Request for Blogroll Advice

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I know some people don't like to be pigeonholed, and reality is sometimes much more complex than we would like when we want to categorize, but I suspect my list of unclassified political blogs could be shortened if I knew a little more about some of the blogs in there that I look at from time to time but don't know the way a more regular reader would. Shortening isn't necessarily the goal, but I want to be accurate in placing blogs according to perspective if that perspective is one I single out for its own section in my blogroll. So I'd appreciate if anyone wouldn't mind taking a look at that part of my blogroll to see if you think any of those sites could accurately be classified as libertarian, conservative, liberal, or some other label. I'm not moving the Iraq War Was Wrong blog, because I believe that to be a deliberate conservative parody of liberal attitudes toward the war, which is itself a complicated enough situation that I want it where it is, but I believe anything else there is open for moving if I come to see that it belongs somewhere else.

I'm also looking to expand the blogroll on race. I've found a few intelligent moderate blogs on race (particularly among Latino bloggers), but I'd even list liberal ones that I find intelligent. It's overemphasizing conservative and moderately conservative blogs at the moment, and I want it to be at least a little more representative. So I'm accepting recommendations for that. If you appreciate a blog that regularly deals with race issues (even if it's not the only topic covered by the blog), let me know.

The third request is for any sites you know that you think would be good additions to the academic blogs list. I don't want political blogs there, even if they're run by political science professors, and the philosophy blogs have their own section, but any other ones that you think could count as academic blogs are open for consideration. I have to find the site at least somewhat interesting, largely inoffensive, and intelligent enough to be worth considering a good academic blog. In some fields this will involve higher standards than others. Any recommendation is welcome, even if I don't ultimately use it.


By reputation, LittleGreeFootballs is hardline pro-war, and very conservative. Can't say for certain as I haven't really read the site. covers lots of ground. It is a political/technology/tech-law/copyright-law/blog-journalism site. As for its leanings, politically it is liberal, copyright it leans towards consumer rights and creative commons, and on blog-journalism topics it (unsurprisingly for a blog) comes down on the pro-blog side.

Lawrence Lessig, which you have classified under liberal blogs, is mostly centered on copyright law stuff, though it is liberal politically. So although it is not inaccurate to classify it as a liberal blog, the far greater focus is on copyright issues. I don't know if you have a good way of classifying that. I'd recommend classifing it as an "academic" blog as Lessig is a prof as well as a lawyer.

As for new reccomendations...Easily Distracted by Timothy Burke a prof at Swarthmore is a very good read. Liberal, yes, but the recent spate of political posts should die down after the election is over, so he should probably fall ender the "academic blogs" category.

Niel Gaiman has a fun blog. He is of course the author of Sandman, Neverwhere and American Gods. I don't know where you should categorize him. Maybe "geek blogs" as almost everyone who reads his works is a geek?

I've been to LGF a few times before it became even more known for the memo stuff recently (which is why it's now #2 in the Ecosystem). I saw a couple statements disavowing both conservatism and liberalism, perhaps out of a desire to appear different. I did get a sense of a more conservative stance in terms of foreign policy, but I wondered about what other views might have been in the mix.

Lessig and SiliconValley got quick looks from me at the time you gave me them, and I put them where their content at that point seemed to lead me at the time. I haven't looked at them frequently since, though I have visited them a couple times and wasn't quite sure what to do with them then either. I'll take a closer look at these again and the others you listed some time when I'm not ready to collapse from a long day.

Shows what I know...I didn't even realize that LGF had shot up so high in the Ecosystem. What little I know about LGF is gleaned mostly from the following posts over at Anil Dash's blog. All of that was some time ago.

Basically, it boils down to anti-Islamic extremists (who isn't), pro-Israel/anti-Palistinian, rabid (uncontrollable?) community, and not very gracious. I gleaned the pro-war attitude from some other commentary, I don't remember where. The combination of the hardline wipe-em-out attitude towards islamic extremists, the pro-Israel/anti-Palistinian stance, and the pro-war stance led me to call him conservative. But reflecting on your comment, you seem to be right that his conservatism seems to be limited to foreign policy. (I have not heard of him caring about domestic issues.)

Easily Distracted seems an odd mix. He has these nice, truly non-party-line discussions of the idiocy of true idiocy.

I read a few posts that seemed very balanced and interesting, willing to acknowledge a number of things about the Bush approach but disagreeing on some key things. In the latter case, I think he commits a few fallacies to get to that point. In the first, it's just a matter of a different perspective. Overall, though, I was impressed at his willingness to say something good about both sides and sometimes even something bad about both sides. But then I got to one that just terribly oversimplifies, attributes to Bush things that have nothing to do with him, and pretty much ignores major elements of Bush's stance on religion and politics to treat him as a theocrat. That was the kind of thing that led me to stop reading Andrew Sullivan. It's as if he went from reasonable and responsible, with matters where I disagreed with him, to a drunken fervor especially related to the things I disagreed with him on, and then his posts went back and forth between the two.

Another example is this one that says Bush lied when he said he wanted to unite and not divide, which is clearly not the case. Bush came from Texas, where he was incredibly successful at finding things both parties could agree to do. He was unprepared for the partisan resistance in Congress, particularly in the Senate, to things coming from the other party simply because they're coming from the other party. He tried to work with particular signal Democrats, and it didn't work too well. He included a Democrat in his cabinet, with disastrous results for the ability to deal with terrorism in airline screening due to racial profiling concerns. He included a number of moderate Republicans, sometimes not allowing them to do what they wanted and sometimes allowing them to do so much that conservatives were angered. He's done a lot of pork barrell, further angering conservatives. I don't think he sees himself as an extremist, and I think he was greatly frustrated in the first year or two of his term that his attempts to unite didn't work. Calling him a liar over this is just stupid.

I therefore don't know what to think of this blog, because sometimes he'll give good, balanced posts that recognize Bush and his strategy for dealing with terrorism for what it is, and sometimes he just loses all sense of decency, fairness, and carefulness to go off into conspiracy theory ranting. I'll probably link to him eventually, because there's some good stuff there, but I'll have to read more to figure out where to put him. It's a little too political right now for me to want it in the academic blogs section at the moment.

Easily Distracted has some of the most interesting and well written posts out there, but he often takes long breaks between posts. As I noted before, he is rather political right now, but that isn't generally his focus and the political posts should die down after the election.

He is not free from making unfair attacks on politicians he doesn't like, but few are able to resist such temptations; but as you noted, he is able to put forth quite fair interesting political anaysis as well.

His best stuff is on academics and teaching and on MMORPGs as well as general life observations.

heh. You probably stopped reading Andrew Sullivan around the time I started reading him. I had tried reading Sullivan for a while, but his wildly unfair attacks (interspered with reasonable posts) made me unable to stand him (seeing as we disagreed on most issues at the time). Now that he has switched to agreeing with me on many issues, I find him much more palatable. But I am always aware that he hasn't changed in his basic style...which means that he is still as unfair as before, just unfair to a different side.

That being said, what I find really valuable about his is that he has a pretty clear idea of what is actually important in this election. Kerry's war record is laregely irrelevant, Bush's National Guard service is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is the current war in Iraq. He is right to continue focusing on that.

I'm listing Easily Distracted as a liberal blog, since most of his posts are on politics at the moment. If that changes, I can move it later.

I've solved the LGF problem by removing it. I didn't realize how single-mindedly xenophobic and anti-Islam he is. It's not obvious that this is motivating what he says, but the fact that he draws so many who obviously are motivated by that and that he won't do anything to minimize that is a red flag, and some of his name-calling at least sounds as if he agrees with them. He makes fun of those who recognize that there are peaceful Muslims. Some people merely recognize that Palestinians, as evil as much of what they do really is, have some claim against Israel, and Israel is not entirely innocent. People who take that sort of view get labeled anti-semitic.

My initial reason for linking the site was that it seemed to be a well-stocked linking site to some of the best conservative stuff on the war on terrorism. I looked at a statement saying that he wasn't conservative or liberal but more complicated, and I assumed there'd be some interesting balance. The fact is that he's a single-issue blogger, and even though I really like a good deal of what he says on that issue I can't tolerate a link to it on my blog anymore, now that I've seen what seems to be motivating it. It's hate and revenge, as far as I can tell, and it's directed not just at anyone associated with Islam but at anyone who won't use only harsh words against anything associated with Islam.

yeayh, LGF scares me. The little I've read was disturbing. But I didn't want to tell to drop him from your blogroll in case you saw something in his blog that I didn't. I'm glad that you've decided to drop him.

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