How to Think Like Bob Owens

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Monday, February 27, 2006; 5:58 PM

Bob Owens is the author of the daily political blog, Confederate Yankee, according to which he has been "a day laborer, college freshman composition instructor, car salesman, sports writer, web designer, and technical writer, just to name a few." He holds a Master of Arts degree from East Carolina University and lives near Raleigh, North Carolina.

How would you characterize yourself politically?
I am for small government, low taxes, personal responsibility, energy independence, nuclear power, the muscular projection of foreign policy, dead terrorists, de-funding the United Nations, privatizing social security, and "gay families with closets full of assault weapons," to borrow a phrase from Glenn Reynolds.

What one issue do you think readers should be most concerned about, and what's your position on that issue?
The most pressing issue for the world right now should be Iran's apparent goal of acquiring nuclear warheads. I sincerely hope that diplomatic pressure brought to bear against the Iranian regime will work, but at this present time, that does not appear to be in the cards. Iran appears intent on triggering a war. Whether it is a nuclear war or not depends on how fast we act.

What or who first got you interested in writing opinion columns?
I've always enjoyed writing, and I've always felt people were entitled to my opinion. What constantly amazes me is that literally tens of people each day willingly volunteer to submit themselves to my hits and missives, and many become regular readers.

Where's your home town?
I was born and raised in Greenville, North Carolina, a fast-growing university town roughly midway between the state capital of Raleigh and the coast. What books have most influenced your thinking?
Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis, Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda, The Stand by Stephen King, several books by John Gardener, the works of C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, and Louis L'Amour, and the Bible.

What Web sites (if any) do you find most useful?
Instapundit, Memeorandum, Pajamas Media (of which I am a member), Google News, Snopes, Technorati, the Drudge Report. Also, I surf a variety of blogs listed on my blogroll, and mainstream media sites like CNN, the New York Times, Fox News, and washingtonpost.com.

If you weren't a blogger, what other occupation(s) would you consider?
I would have been a soldier. My left knee, operated on once already and still problematic, refused to co-operate. My high school guidance counselor suggested the Forest Service, which would not have been a bad choice, but I wouldn't mind being a hunting or fishing guide, either. And yes, I'd love to hunt with the Vice President, without any reservations.

Please ask yourself a question that wasn't listed above and provide an answer.
Question: What makes your thoughts and opinions more correct or valuable than mine or someone else's?
Answer: Thoughts and opinions only have the value a reader assigns to it. On matters of fact, I try to establish credibility by doing research the reader may not have time to conduct on his own, and in matters of opinion, I try to offer a reasonable level of support for my position. Whether you are a Pulitzer-winning journalist or a Weblog Award nominee, your value comes from your credibility and your ability to substantiate what you say, and your ability to admit and correct mistakes.

Interviewed by Hal Straus


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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