Thursday, April 29, 2010

Retro Review: Daily Kos, Cato@Liberty, Freakonomics, American Thinker, Wizbang

Reviews from the earliest days of this blog

Here are five blogs in the News, Politics and Opinion Blog category:

Daily Kos. Markos Moulitsas -- a.k.a. "kos" -- created Daily Kos on May 26, 2002, in those dark days when an oppressive and war-crazed administration suppressed all dissent as unpatriotic and treasonous. As a veteran, Moulitsas was offended that the freedoms he pledged his life for were so carelessly being tossed aside by the reckless and destructive Republican administration. Daily Kos has grown in those five years to the premier political community in the United States, with traffic of about 600,000 daily visits. It is a forum to lend your voice to a political world once the domain of the rich, connected, and powerful.

Moulitsas is not the only person writing here – there are actual several voices, all with a Democrat preference (how bout those Kennedys, by the way. Rich, connected and powerful - no criticism of them, eh?). Some go by their full names, such as Dante Atkins, others go by a screen name, such as Angry Mouse.

It makes for interesting reading. I’m a Republican, and I listen to Rush Limbaugh (though I find his male chauvinism annoying, as well as his childish deliberate mis-pronunciation of people’s names) and people who listen to Limbaugh – or read the message boards, only get one view of what’s going on in the world. Limbaugh continues to sing Sara Palin’s praises, for example, for all that I have to agree with the authors here that she is unsuitable to lead the country (but then, so is Obama. ; ) .

In any event, a must-read for anyone interested in the political process. It’s important to read both sides of any story – the Republican and the Democrat, to see where the lies meet and where the diverge, and just how people can have totally different interpretations of an event based on their own personal philosophy.

The last several entries (with uninformative titles, admittedly):

-Brownout (We can’t all be Markos Moulitsas)
-Your abbreviated pundit roundup
-Sunday talk – it takes a village
-Open thread and diary rescue
-Love of your life? No. Random stranger? Come right up. (Gays can marry – justif they are of the opposite sex)
-Back in the Bush days, they bragged about criminal convictions of terrorists

Cato@Liberty . This is the official blog of the Cato Institute. Founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, the Cato Institute is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Institute is named for Cato's Letters, a series of libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.

I like this blog a lot – the authors make a lot of sense. They don’t like Palin (nor do I) but they don’t think much of Obama either. Or at least...of his policies. Several authors contribute to this blog – highly recommended.

A few entries from Feb 12 entries:

-The Federal Government is bribing states to create more welfare dependency (actively recruiting people to go on food stamps)
-President Palin (why it won't happen)
-The Census and the Constitution
-ObamaCare=Litigation Bonanza
-The Government can monitor your location all day every day without implicating your fourth amendment rights

Freakonomics . Freakonomics has sold 3 million copies worldwide. This blog, begun in 2005, is meant to keep the conversation going. Recurring guest bloggers include Ian Ayres, Daniel Hamermesh, Sudhir Venkatesh, and Justin Wolfers.

An excellent blog, though I don’t know that it belongs in the news and politics category. It seems to me more to belong in the science/education category.

Here are the last five entries:
--An economist’s thoughts on happiness
--Will your spare tire save your life? (men survive car crashes more often then women, because of their weight)
--Quotes uncovered: hindsight and crowds
--IRS Combat (doing one’s own taxes allows one to go mano-a-mano with the US government
--Better Biz Goes Boating (a video – can’t be seen on Kindle)
--Cats and Dogs, Monkeys and Elephants (comparing dog and cat owners – Republicans usually have dogs, Democrats, cats!)
--Buying property with a shovel – if you clear a parking spot, do you own it?

American Thinker . American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism, and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

American Thinker is a blog for Republicans, or those who spouse Republican issues. It makes for interesting reading, as the articles are well-written and informative, but each time I review one of these blogs, I encourage people to subscribe to another on the other side of the aisle as well, so as to be able to compare opinions. As long as these types of blogs don’t use foul language, or indulge in attack politics (all Republicans are racists! All Democrats are illegal aliens!) I’ll pretty much say Yes to them all.

As you can see, the focus of the last couple of weeks has been on Islam... very much recommended reading. As a woman, I can't understand how any woman could embrace a faith which mandates she wears a burkha at all times (and I condemn any American politician, such as Hilary Clinton, who actually wore one of those things while she visited the Middle East!)

Here are the last five entries:
-ClimateGate’s Phil Jones Confesses to Climate Fraud
-A Further Inquiry Into Obama’s Origins (many people, on the Republican side of the fence, anyway, are “birthers” – they don’t think Obama was born in the US. They may have a point – he refuses to supply a birth certificate, and so on) and this article speculates further. The point is, at this point whether Obama was born in the US or somewhere else is moot. As is the fact that all of his education transcripts are blocked – we don’t know if he got As or Cs in college. What matters is that he is President, and his policies are destroying America (or saving it, depending on your political leanings!)
-A Cautionary Valentine for Lovers
-Obama and the Horizontal Axis of Faith – Obama “takes a swipe at religious belief.” (Although I think most of Obama’s policies are disastrous, I’m with him on this. The world would be a lot more peaceful if everyone was an atheist).
-The Anachronism of Apostasy – How to become a Muslim, and what happens if you try to leave the faith
-Is it possible for a practicing Muslim soldier to swear allegiance to the US Constitution?
-Common Criminals or Enemy Combatants?

Wizbang. Wizbang is a blog focused on news, politics, sports, entertainment, and video. With a variety of authors and contributors, Wizbang features commentary on a wide range of topics and events.

Well, for a blog that focuses on news and politics, I don’t think much of the name “Wizbang.” It might be suitable for one talking about sports, entertainment and video, however – the enjoyable but inconsequential opiate of the masses (and I say this as someone who loves watching sports on TV).

As you can see from the list of entries, it's all about politics, and the authors are Republicans. Apart from its unfortunate title, this is an excellent blog, written by articulate people.

Here are the last 5 entries:
--Climate scientist Phil Jones: No global warming since 1995
--How do you define anti-semitism? [A British peer requested investigations into Israeli soldiers actions in Haiti. Frankly, I don’t think the request for an investigation is in itself anti-semitic, but apparently everyone else in the peerage did, and she’s been reprimanded. If she'd asked for an investigation into Muslim's behavior, Im sure the request would have been granted. But I don't think any Muslim countries are doing anything to help Haiti.]
--Winston Churchill on Islam: he doesn’t think much of the religion
--Republicans (finally) get tough on Obamacare opposition
--Cheney to appear on ABC Sunday morning: Liberal pundits Prep the Battlefield
--Fortunate Son: an article on Patrick Kennedy

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