Order of business
Well, I am back in the metaphorical saddle after a session of nursing back home. Thanks for all your comments and emails; very much appreciated. This is one of the amazing aspects of this blogging thing: a community of people you don't know otherwise, stopping in to wish well. Thanks again.
First on the block, though, is attendance to some business assigned me by my good blogging buddy Cernig at the revamped and now community site, The Newshoggers. Being tapped as a "thinking blogger" by Cernig in this round of Thinking Blogger Awards (something I would, in other circumstances, strenuously dispute), it falls upon me to offer up my own selection of five smart sources of discourse and news agglomeration from some blogs less traveled, which are generally the ones I pay attention to. Sure you can scan Americablog and Atrios for news, but, frankly, you're not going to learn anything thing much at these places. Such blogs function as RSS feeds more than anything, which is fine. It is just not very interesting or engaging.
I also won't cite the obvious, such as Talking Points Memo, Informed Comment, Global Security etc.. I assumes such sources are given. I guess I could tap Cernig and his great collaborators, fester, shaminac and Libby Spencer, but I don't think that is the point. Nonetheless, Newshoggers is essential daily viewing.
Onto my five choices for news and smart thoughts about it.
1) Hotpotatomash is my go to source for video snips and mash ups and some biting commentary on the state of the media and our corrupt political class. Alan Breslauer, who also guests at the invaluable Bradblog, pounds on Fox News relentlessly. And, I'm happy to say, he has gained some notoriety of late with his pursuit of the DC Madam list, being cited by the Associated Press as leading the charge to discover who owns these phone numbers. Alan asks, why did the government seek to suppress the publication of the phone list of a private business? This is no nominal function of government but, rather, one that further demonstrates what has been clear for sometime: the Bush administration uses the government for its own and the GOP's business.
2) Kel at The Osterley Times keeps a close and unrelenting watch on the Israeli-Palestinian debacle and delivers smart and passionate commentary on the perfidy of US and UK governments in their dealings with that dreadful and wholly manufactured condition. His prodigious output and coverage extends to Iraq, of course, with an emphasis on the British press, which delivers a far bleaker picture of the Bushian disaster than anything you will find in the US media. He ravaged Tony Blair, which I always enjoyed, and I expect Kel will be able to keep that up as Blair jaunts around the Middle East, likely making things worse.
3) This is a new -- newish -- discovery for me and one I am happy to list. Swedish Meatballs Confidential focuses on unwrapping programs of propaganda, PSYOPS and "perception management" from across the spectrum of media outlets. It's saucy, too. This group know what the fuck is going on. Read it, and you will too.
4) Pete Blackwell's (parenthetical remarks) is a sharp, dead on deconstruction of media nonsense and nonsense in general. He rips on Hitchens and Sullivan a fair amount, which they deserve entirely. Simply enjoyable to read.
5) A tie for two sites covering two separate subjects by respective experts. I am a bit torn about listing Angry Bear and Real Climate, just because they're fairly well known blogs. But cite it I must. Excellent discussions of economic conditions at Angry Bear are the order of the day and Real Climate is required reading for anyone paying attention to the climate "debate," if we can debase that word with what passes for such in our ridiculous media on the subject of global warming. Debunking right wing bullshit is a common occurrence.
So, there they are. There are many more, of course, and five seems like a wholly inadequate number of blogs to cite. So, mostly because I feel bad about not having more than five in the list, I will toss an honourable mention to 'Aqoul for some excellent and reasoned discussions on the Middle East; Gary Buell at Covert History tracks an awful lot of news, both spooky and just plain weird; Demon Princess at MoronCowboy also deserves a tip: good stuff from someone who is passionate about the state of things. Anyone (and this should be everyone) interested in the ongoing saga that is the Sibel Edmonds case needs to visit both Luke Ryland's new outlet, Monosyllabic Fish (I agree Luke, it is a dumb name) and Sibel Edmonds' own Just a Citizen. Luke became the foremost expert on the Edmonds case at his previous outlet Wot is it good 4, which is no longer active but still a great archive of the Edmonds case. Hopefully, Luke won't delete it. For an hilarious and light-hearted send up of good ol' boy Fred Thompson, be sure to stop in at Fred Thompson's Private Journal for some amusement about the confused state of mind of this GOP non-candidate. And finally, when he sticks to his subject -- our urban and suburban blight -- and doesn't veer into overt pro-Israeli nonsense, James Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation, offers up raucous, scathing critiques of American society and its profligate ways. His monthly chronicle of architectural malfeasance, Eyesore of the Month is a great feature. If you've never read Geography of Nowhere, you must fix that.