It's been way, way too long since I've noted in one place what some of my favorite blogs are doing. Better late than never, though. So, in fairly random order:
Skippy-san, the resident Far East Cynic is blogging about O-Bon festivals in July, British toughness (I hope he's right), gauche Japanese advertisements for Anne Frank's diary, and generally just an interesting melange of things about Far Eastern culture, his travels, his life experience, etc. An interesting man, our friend Skippy-san, and it's a pleasure to get to know him through his blog.
What did Hamlet say? "Get thee to a nunnery," right? I know it was an insult there, but it's no insult here to say get thee to the Anchoress' cell. A visit there will have you reading about Harry Potter (don't read that if you haven't read the new book yet); the disgrace of American flags being burnt on the lawn of a fallen soldier; the idiocies of Pennsylvania's Lt. Gov.; who attended a military funeral and announced there her opposition to the war; Hugh Hewitt's newly designed site (I guess I'd better check it out), and so much more. I'd say "a lot of bang for the buck," but it's even better than that, because it's absolutely free.
Kathryn, in her delightfully eclectic blog, Suitable for Mixed Company, hooks the French with a pointed article about a huge fine imposed against them for overfishing under EU regulations, and then goes on to discuss the bizarre allocation of resources at a Scottish hospital; link to a good site for novel writers; ruminations on real and faux heroes in WWII France; review children's books; and comment on the death of a Lawrence Welk musician; and on and on. How can you resist a blog that has such rich and varied offerings?
Ah, Patrick, my dear Patrick, farming wonderful paragraphs, delights me today with beautiful animal pictures (that is, beautiful pictures of beautiful animals), and just a marvelous quotation from the speech King Leonidas of Sparta made to his coalition of the willing (comprised of Phokians and Lokrians of Opus, Thebans and Corinthians and Teageates, Orchomenians and Archedians, Philians, Thespaians, Mantineans and the men of Mycenae) all readying to fight against tremendous odds in 480 B.C., to defend Greece against the Persians. Imagine being inspired by a general's words written over 2000 years ago?
Gail, gracing the blogosphere at Crossing the Rubicon, entices us with salmon recipes so savory you can practically smell them on your computer; talks about changes the Encyclopedia Britannica is making to stay competitive in the internet age; includes fun links for creating cyber replicas of yourself or for calculating your level of normalcy; gives us a scathing attack from the Wall Street Journal on the mainline churches currently attacking Israel; has two good quotations, one saying the terrorism is not about Iraq and the other saying that it doesn't matter even if the terrorism is about Iraq; and has just much, much more from a manifestly curious and intelligent mind.
Curt, at Flopping Aces, is a policeman and I just don't know how he finds the time to blog as prodigiously as he does -- and it's always interesting. If you click on over today, you'll find long, content-rich posts about the bombings in Egypt (including a good reminder that it really isn't all about Iraq); the Left's bizarre new critique that Bush is doing too little to combat terrorism (a critique some in the military have aggressively rebutted); publicly sponsored anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic art (if you're not mad after reading that, your emotions must be on novacaine); and regular insights about police-shootings (both when police are shooting, or being shot at). I always come away from this blog knowing much more than I did going in.
Laer, at Cheat Seeking Missiles, has an extraordinarily prodigious output, which is distinguished by its constant high quality. Nothing banal sneaks in here. A quick toodle through his blog gives us honest critiques about Muslim clerics; the continued stupidies issuing from the BBC (anyone remember when it was still a respected broadcasting entity?); reasons not to panic about the heatwaves sweeping the country right now (it's probably not because of global warming); and continued MSM bias regarding the Supreme Court nominations. You're missing something good if you're not checking here regularly.
Phibian, bless his heart, is One Year Old! Okay, he's not really, but his blog -- CDR Salamander -- is. Phibian has been giving advice to his younger self (I think his older self wishes his younger self had figured out how to get rich); has an incredibly funny post that you don't realize is funny until you've clicked over to the two photographs he's hyperlinked; gives a thank you to Germans who tried to assassinate Hitler (and who died miserably, incidentally, for their efforts); points to the fact that modern terrorism is inextricably linked with a particular violent form of Islam; and just generally amuses and educates, often simultaneously.
I'm constantly amazed by the broad range of news Gina, at Gee Dubya, finds. It's as if she's clued into a whole different, and much better, news universe than many of us. If you go to her blog today, you'll be greeted by a photograph of some of the London bombers have the quintessential middle-class, mainstream adventure: white water rafting. Gina has also caught what I've been ignoring (I'm in avoidance mode) -- more bad news about avian flu -- it's coming, and it will be bad, and it's still not clear whether we can do anything about it. You'll also find a photoessay about some of our military in Iraq, and another in her series of posts about Esteban Carpio, an especially vile and violent killer.
If you want a place that has the pleasure of a fragant tropical breeze, you can't miss Anne's blog, Palm Tree Pundit. With invariable warmth, intelligence and humor, Anne blogs about the military's chance to vent at the Demos; the lunacies of affirmative action; the nexus between religion and freedom; advice to her younger self (although it's good advice for anyone of any age); aging baby boomers (yes, Cheryl Ladd is hawking menopause stuff); and just lots of other insights on religion, families and politics.
Whoa! I think Scott's Conservative News and Commentary had a facelift, or I've just been unobservant, because there is a very fierce looking eagle on the masthead now. It's an appropriate symbol for a blog that's all-American in its outlook. I'll keep this short, because I linked just today to Turkeyhead's (that's his blog name, not an insult from me) good work digging up some pretty reprehensible Islamist stuff out there in the blogosphere.
Steve, who regularly emerges from the Binjo Ditch to offer pearls of wisdom has been blogging a bit lightly this summer, but he hasn't missed his regular Wednesday haiku, and he's been around often enough to post some funny stuff about depositions (or maybe funny only to lawyers? I don't know); to attack (rightly) bad movie sequels and remakes; to comment on some of the more terrible examples of drunken people who crawl behind the wheels of their cars; and to tell some great stories about his kids (definitely read the one about his son's shark bite and his daughter's swim lesson).
My friends at Brain Droppings are looking to the future, with a plan for purchasing adjoining vacation lots and building a common pool. It sounds wonderful. My recommendations are: a high fence around the pool; a good pool service; and solar heating. Other interesting stuff includes a really warm welcome to my friend Don Quixote; observations about changes to Scarborough Country; and efforts nationwide to stop gerrymandering. It's a revolving cast of bloggers, but the quality is high and consistent.
Jack's News Snipet 'Blog takes apart the Plame Blame Game, with a detailed time line that helps put everything in perspective; and has a good post taking apart the ridiculous claim that the new War of the World's movie should be taken as some sort of template for retreat in the current war against terrorism. He also attacks the faux Gitmo scandal, and takes some time for the Supreme Court nominations. Aside from being a generally enjoyable blog, I have to say that one of the reasons I always like to check it out is because of the blog's logo: "NEVER TRY TO TEACH A PIG TO READ. FIRST, IT CAN'T BE DONE, AND SECOND, IT ANNOYS THE PIG." You know, that just about says everything that needs to be said, doesn't it?
Heather, at From the Word Go, is another one of the ex-liberal bloggers, and I always like her take on things -- perhaps because I truly know, as an ex-liberal myself, how she got to her conclusions. She talks about Iraq's celebrity commando (a great story I would otherwise have missed); alternative fuel cars to relieve America of the tremendous burden of being dependent on foreign oil; movies she's seen because of a new Netflix subscription (we have one too and it is, as Martha would say, a "good thing"); and the to-bomb or not-to-bomb Mecca debate, something I touched up with my Bush the madman theory (I think she's on board with my "it's not such a bad thing if the Islamists think we might do it, whether or not we actually would" theory).
You can tell Callimachus, at Done With Mirrors, is a professional writer, because his postings are just soooo polished. Every Thursday, he examines Carnival of Etymologies, and I'm constantly stunned by how erudite he is. That's one fine body of knowledge about word origins. In addition to that effort, Callimachus also finds time to write about the fact that we are in WW IV (with the Cold War having been WW II); German songs from the Renaissance (where does he find this stuff?); America as a long-standing symbol of freedom -- against Arab dictators, yet; and the newly emerging "chickenhawk meme," where anti-war people insist that all war supporters should haul themselves over to Iraq and put their moneies where their mouths are. Like Gina, Callimachus seems to be plugged into an other, better news universe.
Thanks, my friends, for all the information and insights you bring to me.