Columnists all have arrangements for their columns to appear here

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Somebody asked me in an email if the columnists I feature here write specifically for this web site.  They asked if they were just a copy & paste job.  Specifically they asked:

“Do the columnist write specifically for this sight,? [sic] aside from you or are they mostly cut and paste?”

Just cut and paste.  Gee.  That would be so simple.  And illegal.  And wrong.  And stupid.  And lame.  But hey thanks for appreciating the time and professionalism I’ve tried to impart here for “the cause”, fellow conservative! 

Lots of people seem to think that a magical fairy pays for things in Canada, perhaps because they’re so used to everything in Canada being “free”—you know, like our healthcare is free.  Or, that if the laws don’t suit you personally, it would be perfectly acceptable to break them or change them to suit their needs.  Hello Cotler. 

But actually, I’ve spent a huge amount of time and money creating this little site, and making it the kind of site that might attract notable and influential conservative writers (and readers, of course!) from Canada and the United States, while still making it exciting enough to visit and useful enough to make a difference.  It’s harder than you think!  Abiding by copyright laws, properly citing my quotes and snippets from newspapers and using proper journalistic techniques and etiquette, saying the right things in my own blog entries and columns, having the right focus for the site generally, keeping swearing and abuse and frantic rants from visitors who are commenting to a minimum, having the right advertising, and on and on and on. 

The discussion forum, now closed as of yesterday due to a lack of participation and support (though not a lack of readership), was a big source of concern because the potential damage that can be caused there on an editorial level was huge, every day, all day, and all night.  Character assassinations, rudeness, horrible language and attitudes, abusiveness, hate-mongering among liberals or conservatives, and more, were all potential deal-breakers for the success of the rest of this site and the plans I’ve had for it.  I’d be happy to live with that if at least there was a real show of support and participation, but it seemed rather the opposite of that of late.

Most “blogs” and “bloggers” don’t have to worry about any of that.  They do one thing, and by their very nature they have a single goal which is to write their thoughts and observations and that’s it!  Nearly all of them use free ready-made software and free web space—which is all perfectly fine, but to build a proprietary web site with a big goal, which was to be able to advance the conservative cause in a big way, I think I chose the right path—using very expensive software, literally re-writing much of it to suit this site specifically, setting it up to fit our needs exactly, then hosting it all on good servers (American!), and all the rest.  It’s not just another “blog”, here, and I hope people appreciate that somewhat, even if they don’t see fit to support it.  And P.S.: “supporting” something doesn’t mean visiting it!  Conservatives in Canada have yet to figure out what support means. It’s extremely discouraging for folks like me who are trying so hard, and I’ll leave it at that. 

I don’t pay all the columnists, and I won’t tell you which ones I don’t pay, and no, they don’t write specifically for this web site (except me, and I do hope to change that with a call for new columnists).  Some of them are syndicated columnists—meaning they have agents and have signed a contract with me and several other newspapers and the same column appears here as in each one of the other places.  That’s the way syndication generally works.  But yes I pay the cold hard cash for their weekly (or whatever) column, or some other such arrangement with them—they’re all different. 

Nonetheless, every columnist featured here is a person who has looked us over, sometimes very carefully, and agreed to make their column available to this site because they like this site and support the effort here.  I have personally spoken to them on the phone or had email exchanges with them—sometimes several.  And the effort from them and me is to help you, Canadian conservatives, and you, Canadian liberals, create a better Canada. 

As far as accessing the individual columns go (after all those arrangements are made): in some cases the columns are “copied and pasted” from a newspaper site where it’s convenient to grab it; and in other cases they email it directly to me (Wendy McElroy does it that way for example) or they supply me with the key to a special password-accessible site (like Ann Coulter does) where the columns are sitting there waiting for me to take in raw form.  I almost always have to reformat them and occasionally have to edit them slightly to make links work and so on. 

All the columnists featured here are doing us all a favor in one way or another—at least that’s the way I look at it.  Ann Coulter, to be candid, costs a lot of money to have here.  But, perhaps because she feels sorry for us, or because she likes us and supports our efforts here (unfortunately it’s not like I chat with her on the phone every day, so I couldn’t really tell you!), gave me a huge break in her usual fee. 

I want people to understand how this site works and to feel free to ask any questions rather than speculate and assume the worst.  I have to admit—I was a little taken aback when someone asked me if I simply copy and paste the columnists columns and stick ‘em on this web site, then claim to have a Columnist section.  It really is a bit of a snub and a bit of disrespect for the work that might have gone into creating this little site in such a relatively short amount of time.  I haven’t made it a habit to make public appeals for sympathy and I’m not now—I’m really just concerned that this is the attitude among the “winning” conservatives out there in our country, who don’t seem to have a clue how to build a momentum or a movement! 

I honestly love getting the hate mails from liberals who make me laugh every day with their hate and anger and frustration at this site, because it in fact proves that this site is working, and it is effective—otherwise they wouldn’t care and wouldn’t bother.  But those emails are often counter-acted by emails (and posts and replies here and in the now-closed discussion forums) from conservatives—and they really don’t make me laugh.  What they do is really eat me up inside sometimes and concern me a great deal, because it almost seems as though they’re proving this site is not effective at all, or at least that they couldn’t care less about it or its success.  And what concerns me about that is that if that’s how Canadian conservatives think they’re going to make any headway in this country, well they’re simply off their rocker and they deserve exactly what they will get. 

It costs tons of money, it takes full cooperation, full support, a simple public show of support too, a public show of unity, positive thinking, and so on.  It takes a real effort.  Not just a “surf on in and visit and hope that it’s still there” and an occasional “chime in with my comment”; and it takes a lot more than just a “thumbs-up!”  It takes more than just assuming somebody else will pay the shot forever.  And it takes not running away when the light of personal responsibility is shining on them.  This is not a movement (I like the term “groundswell”!) that will be driven by magical fairies, but rather by you, (insert your name here).  Otherwise it will fail. 


Joel Johannesen
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