Some Favorite Blogs

My blogroll in the sidebar includes all of the several dozen blogs that I follow through NewsBlur, which is the best RSS reader I’ve found to date. I follow many of the blogs because they report on and opine about politics from a conservative angle — a refreshing change of pace from the port-side slants of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

But there are many other blogs that I follow because of their originality, incisiveness, sparkling prose, humor, and libertarian-conservative positions (not mutually exclusive traits). Here are some of my favorites, by category:

Americana and Humor

The bluebird of bitterness has a magic touch when it comes to  finding and packaging funny, touching, and zany material from around the internet. The bob was an indispensable source of comic relief during the runup to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, but the elimination of political coverage after 2012 (though lamented by me) has given the bob more space for outright funny and nostalgic material.

Climate Science

There are several blogs and websites that counter-balance the anti-scientific dogmatism of warmists. The two that I prefer are Roy Spencer, Ph.D. and Watts Up With That?.

Dr. Spencer, a bona fide climate scientist, acknowledges a relationship between CO2 and temperature, but is properly skeptical about the effect of CO2 and warmists’ emphasis on CO2 to the exclusion of other factors (like the drunk who searches for his missing car keys under a street lamp because that’s where the light is).

WUWT, founded and moderated by meteorologist Anthony Watts, offers a range of data-laden posts by Watts and several guest bloggers. WUWT‘s feistiness sometimes extends to internecine squabbles, which is a refreshing change from the monolithic pose adopted by the band of warmist zealots.

Economics

It’s hard to turn around on the web without running into an economics blog. There are some big names (among economists) out there competing for eyeballs. A less well-known name is that of Arnold Kling, who flies solo at askblog. Kling, who seems to consider himself a libertarian, comes across more often than not as a conservative. He is rightly scornful of mathematical economics, rightly skeptical about economists’ understanding of how the economy actually functions, and just plain right in his understanding of the sociological and psychological factors that influence economic activity. He delivers his insights moderately, but not without the force of conviction.

E-zine

Quillette is my e-zine of choice.  I don’t always agree with the views expressed by the varied cast of writers who deliver analyses and opinions on a broad range of topics. But the pieces at Quillette are generally lucid and provocative. It’s like reading The New York Times Magazine without having to constantly filter out the left-wing-propaganda.

Instant Punditry

If the fire-hose of web-bits emitted by Instatpundit is too intense for you (as it is for me), try Dyspepsia Generation and The Right Coast. The former offering comes from Tim of Angle (a.k.a. Timothy D’Angle, I believe see first comment), the latter from University of San Diego lawprof Tom Smith. Both serve up an engaging mixture of political, economic, and cultural samplings from around the web, seasoned with their own humorous and biting commentary, and issued at a digestible rate. In a just world, the traffic count for both sites would exceed that of Instapundit, with its relatively bland commentary. Spread the word.

Law

The Volokh Conspiracy may be the oldest law blog, or nearly so. It deserves its longevity and immense following because of its literate, authoritative, commentary on a wide range of legal, political, social, and economic issues. (An admixture of science, math, and other subjects adds to its sparkle.) The dominant theme is constitutional law, and the prevailing stance is libertarian to conservative (i.e., originalist).

Life Observed

My go-to guy for realistic (i.e., conservative) insights into the human condition is Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels in real life). His pieces appear in various places, but he’s a regular at Taki’s Magazine. (The link is to Dalrymple’s column; the rest of Taki’s Magazine is a very mixed bag.) Dalrymple/Daniels is a retired English prison doctor and psychiatrist. His observations about the debilitating effects of the welfare state are unerringly correct and delivered with sardonic humour, as are his observations about the vicissitudes of life in general.

Philosophy and Religion

Bill Vallicella is a professional philosopher, and a rare conservative member of the tribe. At his blog, Maverick Philosopher, he writes on a broad range of topics, and spares no one in his insistence on rigorous logic, sound evidence, and clarity of expression. His range includes philosophy, of course, but he gives much of his attention to politics. The left is squarely in his sights, and he scores hit after hit.

The author of Imlac’s Journal chooses to remain anonymous, which is no mark against him in this age of leftist witch-hunting. His range is broad, but given mainly to literature and philosophy. His style is erudite and meditative, rather than combative, and all the more refreshing for it.