Pretty sure mine is the only blog today where a former call girl teaches you how to make potato salad. – Radley Balko
On January 31st, 2011 the award–winning journalist Radley Balko mentioned me in a one-line link on his blog, The Agitator: “Former call girl Maggie McNeil debunks that CNN scare story on underage prostitutes and Backpage.com.” That simple action gave me the best day I had yet had (3486 views), a record that stood for over a year until it was broken on March 18th of this year thanks to a “tweet” from Nicholas Kristof which produced 3522 hits. But Balko was not to be bested by the likes of Kristof, and so trounced him soundly by giving me 4719 hits last Monday (July 2nd). To be sure, it took a bit more than one line and a link this time, so let me explain.
By the time that first link appeared I was already reading The Agitator; it had been pointed out to me by Dave Krueger, who used to write the Sex Hysteria! blog. And I liked it so much, I soon added it to my link boxes; this was not lost on Radley, who on April 17th of last year posted, “I’d like to thank Maggie McNeil for adding me to her blogroll. I’d like to especially thank her for listing me as a ‘friend of whores’. I think I’m going to add that line to my bio.” Cue another big surge in traffic, which made last April 2011 my busiest month until April of this year. In the meantime we’ve occasionally interacted on Twitter or via email, but I honestly didn’t expect him to ask me to be one of five guest bloggers filling in for him over the next few months while he writes a book: that new activity record I mentioned came on the day I published my introductory post, “Who is Maggie McNeill and What the Hell is She Doing Here?” (longtime readers may recognize a shocking similarity to the title and content of my first post on Nobody’s Business, but that’s OK because I ‘fessed up in the modified text and gave NB a link, too).
I’m pleased as punch to be helping out at The Agitator, and not only because it’s sending me traffic and new readers; it’s also extremely flattering to know that a man like Radley respects me enough to entrust me with this sort of gig, and it’s a powerful validation of my work to be considered a peer to people like my fellow bloggers Ken and Patrick from Popehat, Baylen Linnekin of Keep Food Legal, and Drew Johnson, libertarian journalist and opinion editor of the Chattanooga Free Press. It’s also a lot of extra work, however, so I ask my readers to forgive me for employing a measure to decrease that load by 14% while I’m guest-blogging: every Sunday I’m going to do a sequel to this column, in which I call your attention to what I published at The Agitator in the preceding week. And starting next time, I’m also going to point out especially interesting posts from my fellow guests as well.
Most days, Radley posts collections of links to interesting stories, and I’m continuing that tradition; some of the links were for stories I’ve already covered in “That Was the Week That Was” columns (or links to my own columns), but here are the ones that have not previously appeared on this blog:
- Walter Olson’s “Overlawyered”, which I am told was the very first legal blog, turned 13 last Sunday; here are his first two weeks of posts.
- The Library of Congress picks 88 unobjectionable “Books that Shaped America”.
- House burns down due to faulty radio; officials respond by banning beach bonfires.
- “…a kind of Mann Act for giant, awesome snakes.”
- Just in time for Wonderland Day, scientists announced proof of the Higgs boson, whose field has been characterized as “cosmic treacle”.
- Why not try your hand at writing a short story in only six words?
- I like science fiction, but I don’t want to live in it; this Scientology “assessment” juxtaposes mundane (if nosy) inquiries such as “Have you ever been a coward?” and “Have you ever been a professional prostitute?” with such bizarre queries as “Have you ever stolen a body from another being?”, “Have you ever obliterated a language?” and “Have you ever despoiled a planet of its natural resources?”
- In cash-strapped states, collection agencies are given authority to jail people.
- From the Onion: DNA Evidence Frees Black Man Convicted Of Bear Attack.
- Beware of the Blob.
- Florida Lifeguard Fired for Trying to Save Drowning Man Outside of His Assigned Zone.
- Is an Unknown Drug or an Unverifiable Mental Disorder a Better Explanation for Face Eating Than a Voodoo Curse?
- TSA’s newest policy: demanding travelers “freeze” on command.
- Drug use map of the world.
- “Imagine that drug laws were enacted under Justice Roberts’ limited reading of the tax power rather than under the Commerce Clause as now? What would be different about such a world than ours?”
- Video: Penn Jillette on the two-party system, personal responsibility and why a good person should have no fear of the government.
- Louisiana GOP state rep supports taxpayer funding for religious schools, but only if they’re of the One True Religion.
- A list of Obama’s accomplishments.
One Year Ago Today