Below is rich feedback from a reader of this blog and one-time listener to my Sunday radio show (“Facts Matter” on KSCO Santa Cruz, 1080 AM, every Sunday 11am to 1pm). I reproduce it here without change by permission, in italics right below. Your comments on my comment are important to me. Thank you. JD
Keep these things coming? Have you noticed an increasing number of hits on your blog recently? Is your name growing??
Forgive me for the comparison, if you feel offended. But I like your style – obviously – and although I’ve only heard your radio program once (I’m a good Lutheran), I’d say your remind me a bit of Michael Savage, who is the 3rd most-listened to talk radio host in the US (according to one ratings I saw recently). You’ve got academic credentials that are more than most if not all talk radio personalities (yeah there are some JDs out there – is that the same, though??). But more interesting is your approach to life and the fact that you spread your thoughts around. It isn’t just about politics. You add your personal stories about growing up, about places visited, etc. This is one of the things that I used to like about Savage, but a few years ago, he became too critical of conservative talkshow ‘competition’ and made himself sound like a baby at best and a loony at worst.
So that’s meant to be a compliment – and if you were to aspire to the national talk show scene, I’m just saying I think the Savage people would rather listen to you than him. How would you like a daily show with 7-8 million listeners??
Oh yeah – about the “speaking of Polar Bears” entry. ANNUAL yearly rise in temp of .6 degree centigrade???? pretty small??? That still figures to be 60 degrees centigrade in 100 years! I’m sure there are a couple of zeros missing? I think it’s worth a check, and at least a clarification, ’cause I looked at it for a long time and it doesn’t make sense.
And another thing – I loved your blogs when you substituted Lutheran for Muslim. I guess because I am a Lutheran, it stuck out a little more to me. The fact is, some people may not figure it out, because Lutheranism is relatively unknown, and the largest denomination (ELCA) is governed by a VERY liberal minority (left-wing commies to the core, supporting PLO and every other left wing international peace movement you can think of). I’m part of the ‘silent majority’ within its (ELCA) walls, but don’t know if I can/should stay. I’m going to send those particular links to a couple of my lefty ELCA friends and see what their reply is!
Thanks for the extravagant compliments. First things first: Yes, I would like to have 7 million readers and/ or listeners; in fact, I would like to have 700,000.
Radio and blogging are difficult media because they give you little feedback and what they give you is unclear. On my radio show, some days with almost no calls have been my best, I found out later. People who listen carefully often don’t call. In direct answer to your question: Yes, hits on my blog spike every so often. I seldom know why except that it’s frequently after my radio show, on Sunday and on Monday. The system I use cannot tell you if anyone reads anything on the blog. I only know how many times a given posting was brought up. I am optimistic that I have readers, because people who don’t make any formal comments on the blog sometimes approach me informally on the street or by email.
The amount of work involved in the radio show and on the blog is quite significant. It also ties one down as a job would. It’s seldom completely obvious o me that it’s worth doing. I have two wishes: First, I wish I had better, more frequent feedback, and more readable; Second, I wish an agent or a publicist would show up out of somewhere and take care of my marketing, even on a small scale. I am in the following mental trap: The urge to write is easier to satisfy and more pleasant than any promotional action, for me. It may be different for someone else. Same problem with my memoirs (“I used to Be French….”) : Every time, I decide to do something about publishing in hard-copy form, I end up enjoying myself adding segments and improving what’s down. The so-called “creative” work is easy. Those who sell are the real heroes.
I have ambiguous feelings toward your comparing me to Michael Savage. Of course, I like his loud and clear voice. However, I stopped listening to him because I have heard him come close to racist statements (although I could not cite one now). This country does not need racism or even the intimation of racism. It’s at odds with both conservatism and libertarianism.
What I am doing is also different from Savage’s work in one important respect: He talks like an alarmist, as if the End of Days were near. I believe I don’t. On the contrary, I never miss a chance to comment on how well our institutions are actually working. I think I have an asset that Savage lacks: a cross-national perspective. For example, I think that if the worst happens under Obama, this country will not become like the Soviet Union around 1954. Rather, I believe, it will become an inferior kind of France, maybe like France in 1970. It’s a big difference.
I seldom mention my academic credentials because the wine should taste good whatever the sticker on the bottle says. When I use them, it’s always for the same purpose: If I present a difficult analysis on radio or on the blog, I don’t want people to waste time and get side-tracked about unimportant issues. I think that mention of my degrees and of my university career lead to the link to my vita on this blog. The vita in turn tells them roughly what I have done that is relevant to the topic at hand: Don’t worry about whether Delacroix really understands international trade theory; his vita, his publications show he probably does. (And, by the way, they can even find my publications themselves if they half-try.) A “JD” is the normal law degree. On the one hand, Pres. Obama has one. On the other hand, it’s not easy to earn. I think a law degree is often a good generalist’s degree, not bad preparation for talk radio.
I am grateful to you for mentioning your enjoyment of my stories. They are my original contribution to the genre of talk-radio, I think. I also put my own stories on the web because there is nothing I would rather do than tell stories. Moreover, I suspect that many people are like me: After a while, I get fed up with politics and I need a break. Stories are usually a break. A few, I use as teaching tools. By the way, the libertarian periodical Liberty publishes some of my stories every so often. I recommend this publication with or without my own writings in it.
Miscellaneous: You are probably right about my spoofy, sarcastic blog story: “Lutheran Delusions,” posted July 31st 2009. I think the joke went over many readers’ heads because they don’t know enough about Lutheranism. I sure hope no one thinks Lutherans practice “honor killing.” I wish someone had blown his whistle shortly after the posting. Where were you?
You mention what seemed to you like a mistake in my posting: “Speaking of Polar Bears…” (posted a few days ago, on March 1st) I responded on Facebook but I don’t know who saw my response:
According to the UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report, the average annual temperature increased by a total of about 6/10 of a degree centigrade in about one hundred years. Don’t even ask me how they compute this figure because there are problems of validity there too. I am just playing the vicious game of taking my adversaries at their word. I do this systematically because I assume that my radio listeners and my blog readers don’t have time to become specialists in everything. I try to show them the legitimate short-cuts through the jungle of liberal and “progressive” mendacity.
Thanks a lot for giving me a reason to go on and on!
PS Remember that I am looking for a publisher or for an agent.