John Hinderaker grew up in South Dakota and graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. Since 1974, he has practised law in Minneapolis. In 2006 he was named Minnesota's Super Lawyer of the Year. In approximately 1990, he started writing commentary on current events with his friend Scott Johnson. They have been published in many newspapers and magazines. In 2002, John, Scott and John's friend Paul Mirengoff started the web site Power Line. Power Line was Time magazine's Blog of the Year in 2005 as a result of its role in exposing the fake Dan Rather/60 Minutes/National Guard documents. In 2006 Forbes magazine named John one of the top 25 celebrities on the web.
Why do you blog? > We are conservatives who use our web site, along with other media, to promote conservative ideas.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write about things you know. If you write about the same national and international events as everyone else, it's hard to get noticed. At least some of the time, write about your own unique environment.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Aristotle, St. Paul, Hume, Locke, Washington, Madison, Lincoln, Coolidge, Chambers, Reagan, Sowell, and my partners Scott and Paul.
What are you reading at the moment? > Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time (3rd volume) and Alan Furst's latest, The Spies of Warsaw.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Bill James, George Strait, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Jane Austen, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Thomas Hardy, many more.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Two books with a similar theme have always been near the top, Anna Karenin and Madame Bovary. I'm a big Thomas Hardy fan; The Mayor of Casterbridge is the only book I've read that has a character I really identify with. Plus Proust and much of Trollope, and much more.
What is your favourite poem? > Shakespeare's Sonnet 29, the 23rd Psalm, then a lot by Stevens, Wordsworth and Larkin. 'Peter Quince at the Clavier', 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird', and - really! - 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'.
What is your favourite movie? > Modern Times, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Casablanca and The Big Sleep are old favourites. Chinatown is great. In recent years I've mostly liked kids' movies like Beauty and the Beast, or offbeat films like Secondhand Lions or Danny Deckchair.
What is your favourite song? > 'Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee', 'Brown-Eyed Girl', 'Blue Clear Sky', 'St. Thomas' (Sonny Rollins), 'Amarillo By Morning', too many to count.
Who is your favourite composer? > Mozart; Lennon and McCartney.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I was once a Communist, so...
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > The power of freedom.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > All you need is love.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Bill James's Statistical Abstracts, published during the late 1970s and 1980s, demonstrated how logic and a maniacal devotion to fact can illuminate any field.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the support of Paul.'
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Abolish the progressive income tax.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > As technology continues to advance, the ability of a small number of people to do a great deal of damage will inevitably increase. It is unclear whether civilization has adequate means to protect itself against this threat.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > In technological terms, the best is certainly yet to come. In moral terms, it's hard to say, but given the generally sad history of the human race, the bar is set pretty low.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > It's longer than you think, and you'll have several chances. Don't blow them all.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Persistence.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Laziness.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I don't think I have any prejudices. The things and people I dislike, I dislike based on experience.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > I don't really worry about much except my children's safety.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Not sure; maybe go into a more profitable business.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Denzel Washington, maybe. My kids think Bob Saget, whoever he is, looks like me.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Bermuda, or London.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Hang out with my wife and kids and read.
What is your most treasured possession? > My pretty large book collection.
What talent would you most like to have? > I'd like to be able to play the piano better.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Charlie Chaplin.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Sandy Koufax, Johnny Unitas, Bobby Orr, Kirby Puckett.
Which baseball team do you support? > Minnesota Twins.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > Not much. Retire at 62 instead of 65, buy a place in London.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Churchill would certainly be one. Plus Ulysses Grant, my favourite historical figure, Shelby Foote, Karl Rove, David McCullough - I'm looking for dinner guests here, not history's greatest men - but we need some women, too, so add Anna Karina, Marguerite de Valois, and Abigail Adams.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]