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Blogroll, of sorts

Your Humble Blogger doesn’t have a blogroll, nor need one, I think. But the news that The Invisible Adjunct is hanging up the old keyboard reminds me that I’ve been meaning to note down a few blogs I read and enjoy.

The problem is, after spending a day and a half between that last sentence and this one, I really only have a very few, and most of those I have, I have already mentioned in this Tohu Bohu more than once.

I look at the Daily Kos every day. I look at the main column, read the intros, and then scan the diaries to the right (at least, that’s how it’s set up on my screen). I maybe read three actual entries a day. Kos himself writes with the snarky tone that I associate with blogs generally; DHinMI is even more snarky, but tends to get a bit deeper into topics, tho’ still without much value added except his style. The analysis is dreadful, but they do draw my attention to stories I would otherwise not get until the next day. In addition, the group there acts as a sort of focus group, picking which outrages to get het up over, and which to sneer at, and which to more or less let go. It’s an interesting attempt to form an actual on-line community; I hope somebody’s studying it for a dissertation.

I’ve mentioned Nathan Newman in this Tohu Bohu a few times; his blog is outstanding. He focuses mostly on labour issues, but his reactions to current political events are historically informed, well-written, and not altogether predictable. He appears to understand the way politics works, and is a pragmatist. He and I share a good many assumptions (though we come to different conclusions on specifics fairly often). Also, he writes clearly, which is a plus. It’s really a terrific blog, but he hasn’t built up a decent community in the comments section. Which is too bad, really.

Rhetorica is my favorite blog in the blogger-I’ve-never-met category. Andrew Cline is interested in the use of rhetoric, the reporting of rhetoric, journalism, the presidency, the public interest, and the public. It’s an endlessly fascinating subject (ok, it’s endlessly fascinating to YHB) about which he writes with both insight and wit. Half his entries I wish I could have written myself, and half are things I never would have thought of, and require a good deal of thinking before I can agree or disagree with them. Again here, he would benefit from a dozen or so regular correspondents, but that’s scarcely his fault. He responds to comments quickly and gently, but seems to have few long-term readers with whom to have an ongoing dialogue. My own comments there are generally fawning in nature, which doesn’t really help.

The Blogging of the President is an attempt, I think, to form a community of well-read, well-spoken people to discuss the campaign in great depth. In my arrogant opinion, it hasn’t succeeded yet, and I doubt it will, but it’s an interesting attempt. The bit that is most active is the BOPNews blog with regular posts from a half-dozen or so people who are, for the most part, intelligent, well-informed, and interesting, if pretentious and annoying (about which YHB can hardly complain about). Also, it’s pretty clearly dissolved from a blog about, well, about the Blogging of the President to a pretty random blog without a brief. I still check it, and on rare occasion post to it.

Clutch Hits, over at the Baseball Primer, has been my favorite baseball blog/chat site for a couple of years, but I’ve drifted away during this off-season. In a month or two, they are going to a registration-based system, which might help entice me back, but what will really get me back is the opening of the season, and (I hope) more discussion about the teams and the players.

While I’m on the baseball topic, I check the fairly new Phillies Foul Balls pretty frequently; the writer is an old college buddy, a good writer, and a good baseball guy. It’s a specific Phillies site, though, so prepare to be depressed (haw, haw). Good, decent, Giants fans can check Westwood Blues and Waiting for Boof, both of which are entertaining, if you know what they’re talking about.

On a more personal note, I of course read my gracious host, and enjoy it tremendously, and I would certainly read my servermate, PoI, if Dan would post now and then.

Other old college buddies have Livejournals; for now I approximate the friends list by using irilyth’s list, which in addition to irilyth himself, has gannet, whose magnificent journal I’ve mentioned in the past, along with several others, whose journals are mostly of interest to those who know and care about them. I sometimes refer to these as ham-and-eggs journals, as the journalist may well post more or less the information we might have conversed about if we lived on the same block, such as what he or she had for breakfast. I’m terribly glad that some of my friends have ’em, as I’m such a terrible correspondent.

There are others I look at now and then. I’ve just started reading John Scalzi’s Whatever, which appears to be entertaining. Alas, a Blog is enjoyable. Jeanne, at Body and Soul,lets her character come through very well, in a political blog. For some reason, I do read Margaret Cho’s blog despite finding it more annoying than amusing. I’ve just noted Easily Distracted, which I’m hoping becomes worth reading regularly.

That’s pretty much it. And I’m not, on the whole, looking for more. Suggestions would of course be appreciated, but I may not manage to follow them up. I know there are brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging blogs out there which would knock my proverbial socks off, but there are brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging books, too, and my brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging Best Reader to spend a life with, and my brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging Non-Reader to be raised, and brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging meals to be eaten as well, and brilliant, entertaining, compelling, challenging naps to be, er, well.

Redintegro Iraq,


Thanks for posting this. I don't often seek out political blogs or blogs of people I don't know personally, but it sounds like a good list, and next time I need such a blog I'll come by here for some links.

There was a while when it seemed like every blog I heard about or encountered was either libertarian or conservative, generally to the point of devoting vast swaths of text to being viciously nasty to liberals, usually with a great deal of snide sarcasm and a tone that suggested that nobody could be stupid enough to believe the things that liberals claim to believe. I've been pleased to see more political blogs in the past year or so that have either a more left-leaning slant or a more neutral tone; even so, I tend to find political blogs hard to read, 'cause they usually end up making me angry, and then I waste a lot of time writing nasty responses that I then have to delete rather than sending.

Um, but I'm digressing; what I meant to say was thank you for writing a little about what you do and don't like about each of the ones you mentioned; I find that more useful than just a list of links.

I am familiar with the delete-before-submitting angry blog comment. Oh, yes.

I could have listed another half-dozen out of my 'lefty blogs' folder, but I've essentially stopped reading most of them, simply because they make me angry. Oh, and many of them are commercial/official blogs, which are a different breed entirely. But there are lots of liberal/left bloggers out there; check out DKos' blogroll for a pretty sizeable list. Many of them are working with, or for, Democrat or lefty organizations, so there's a ton of coordination.

Also, the Dems themselves have half-a-dozen blogs; I should go do a web-wander™ around them one of these days.


I've tried, on occasion, but I find that I can't read the blogs/journals of people I don't know. I can never really work up any interest in what they have to say, and stop trying after a little while. On the flip side, I enjoy reading a lot of the journals of people that I do know, even only in passing.

The exception to the rule is The Old New Thing, a blog by an MS developer which sheds light on some of the reasons Windows behaves the way it does. He has a good style, and his posts are very interesting, at least to a computer geek like myself, so I read that one regularly.

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