University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds celebrates the tenth anniversary of his blog, Instapundit, born Aug. 8, 2001, and I wish him and his blog every blessing (and hope one day earn a spot in his blogroll). He was one of the first bloggers I saw at CPAC 2009 speaking with Vodkapundit, Stephen Green, and Scrappleface, Scott Ott, on a panel moderated by Bill Whittle.
As Bill posed various controversial questions, I was impressed by how the three men could express opposing viewpoints with great civility and then return to common ground, accustomed as I was to disagreement generally eliciting a psychotic breakdown from at least one panelist or audience member at Leftist conferences. And I wanted to jump out of my seat a la Horshack when Prof. Reynolds stated he’d welcome gays in the conservative movement as long as they had a closet full of assault rifles since I was a Junior NRA Expert Sharpshooter. I wanted to introduce myself after the panel but the crowd around him was so deep I couldn’t get through before he left. Somehow I came to his attention a couple of weeks later and was blessed with my first Instalanche, which is the inside blogball name for a link from Instapundit since it produces an avalanche of traffic.
From time-to-time Prof. Reynolds also links bloggers in financial distress to rally the blogosphere to their aid. He did that for me at the end of May 2010. The response and donations probably saved my life by meeting the immediate need with enough left over for me to have a much-needed sonogram and consultation with a doctor and then to buy the equipment I needed to follow her orders. It was a relief to learn that I wasn’t in pain because I was dying — the doctor I saw is a gynecologist/oncologist/surgeon, which gives you a clue about what I was afraid of. But I got the best possible diagnosis: I was in pain because I was fat. She gave me a prescription for ibuprofen to control the joint pain that made it too painful to exercise. I got much busier at the gym and started counting calories. Since June of 2010 I’ve lost over 53 pounds and dropped my heart rate from the 80’s to the 60’s. I haven’t wanted to jinx my progress by writing about it — I’ll tell more of the story after I’ve achieved my objective.
Prof. Reynolds has probably given more momentum, in the form of traffic, and more practical assistance, in the form of fundraising links, to fellow bloggers than any other blogger. The bottom line is that over the last 10 years as Instapundit, Prof. Reynolds has lifted and transformed the conservative/libertarian blogosphere with his wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, unflappable nature and sense of humor.