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Scraps of wisdom

For some time, I've been meaning to write about a rather disturbing lack in the blogosphere. But this morning, I have my excuse to finally do it.

A long time ago (a couple years, which is an eternity in blog-time), Steven Den Beste categorized most bloggers into two categories -- those who create original content, and those who call attention to items elsewhere. He originally called them "writers" and "editors," but one of his readers immediately suggested the far-more-memorable "thinkers" and "linkers."

I've aspired to be more of a "thinker" than a "linker." It's largely a matter of practicality for me; I don't have the sources to come up with great scoops, nor do I have the time to track down items and be the first to "break" them. What I can do is look at events and ruminate about them, take my time to properly ponder them, and then bloviate at my leisure.

But one thing I've noticed is that the right tends to dominate the "thinkers" category. There's the above-mentioned (and much missed) Steven Den Beste, Wretchard, Austin Bay, Will Franklin, Bill Whittle, and the non-blogging Victor Davis Hansen, just to name a few.

But where are the thinkers of the left? Where are the serious essayists, the scholars, the contemplators who would provide balance to the sheer intellectual power of the above?

Scrappleface's Scott Ott noticed that, too, and wrote about it. But where he went for satire, I'm going to be a bit more serious.

I went looking through the big liberal blogs, and was left wanting. Atrios? Nope. Eschaton? Nope. Oliver Willis? God, no. The day Cousin Oliver posts more than two paragraphs of his own original thoughts, I'll lick my cat.

And what passes for intelligent analysis and discourse on the left? One of the most popular pieces of the last week was this one. And a quick perusal of it shows a propensity for personal attacks and unsupported allegations than anything else.

Glenn Reynolds: "Never met a Democrat he couldn't casually accuse of treason."

No sense citing an example; everyone KNOWS it's true.

Michelle Malkin: "Far-right affirmative action hire who is so bigoted she'd arrest herself for trying to cross a border... (i)f she didn't have tits, she'd be stuck writing at Townhall.com."

So the most offensive thing about Michelle Malkin is that she's an Asian woman. How DARE she?

Powerline: "Bilious Minnesotans led by someone who nicknamed himself "Hindrocket." Talk about being manly in that protests-too-much way."

The guy's name is "Hinderacker." He was probably hung with the nickname "Hindrocket" in grade school. Which makes the sophomoric insult very appropriate.

Little Green Footballs: "If LGF didn't exist, Dave Neiwert would have to invent it. Heady stuff for young rightwingers, like the Völkischer Beobachter was in the good old days. Site gives off a strong scent of roast pork."

We're all supposed to know who Dave Neiwert is? I've never heard of him, but Google would indicate he's a Militia Movement weenie. But I did get the Nazi newspaper reference, so there's a Godwin violation. Again, since we're all on the same wavelength, specific examples are completely unnecessary.

That's just the top four, and it doesn't get any better. Never any specific examples given, just a long laundry list of allegations "that we all know are true" and inanely juvenile personal attacks. I don't really have a problem with the juvenile personal attacks, but I prefer they be accompanied by actual serious thought.

It's often been a cliche' that conservatives think while liberals feel, but I used to think that was too shallow. After looking around the left edge of the blogosphere, though, I think it's pretty true. The liberals FEEL everything, and believe that their FEELINGS and PASSION override facts and reality.

I'd like to challenge the readers to prove me wrong on this. Show me a couple liberal bloggers who think, who take long, serious looks at issues and events and analyze them from a logical (and, dare I say, "reality-based") perspective.

I desperately want to read reasonable, logical, intelligent opinions that disagree with my own. But that seems to be damned rare.

Update: Pandagon deemed to grace this posting with a trackback, but I have a long-standing policy of deleting trackbacks that use extreme profanities in their titles. It's a personal thing, a matter of taste and preference. Nonetheless, I don't feel like being accused of "censorship," so here's the link to that piece. Personally, I didn't find much of value in it, but for the sake of completeness, I'm including it.)


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Comments (61)

You are not holding your br... (Below threshold)

You are not holding your breath are you? Oliver did post about an eight or nine paragraph tirade about a month ago but he probably got it out of a wastebasket where he works.

In a closely related questi... (Below threshold)

In a closely related question, I had wondered for years where the funny liberals were. As in, where is the liberal Scrappleface, the liberal Ace O' Spades, the liberal Allah, the liberal Protein Wisdom? Someone who could skewer conservative issues and thinking with a rakish, humorous flair?

After all, you've really got to be able to think and understand to do "funny" well.

I've found one: Opinions You Should Have. But after a while, as his readers took his jokes/humor as Gospel Truth, I lost interest in going there.

Eeewww.Jay, I don'... (Below threshold)


Jay, I don't think that's what was meant when you heard it was fun to lick... er, nevermind.

Hmmmm.The problem ... (Below threshold)


The problem is that original thinking requires effort and research. You can't just start off scream at the top of your lungs, you have to actually figure out what's going on.

It's a very rare situation where I see relevant posts by liberals. A great many times I feel more like a Junior High School teacher grading and correcting papers.

It's frankly the most tedious aspect of blogs.

I often find Nat Hentoff a ... (Below threshold)

I often find Nat Hentoff a 'thinker' for the left.

This guy doesn't do to bad.... (Below threshold)

This guy doesn't do to bad. Even though I disagree, he presents his arguments well.


This link has his "core beliefs".


Silly strawman. You obvious... (Below threshold)

Silly strawman. You obviously don't read many liberal blogs.

Atrios writes fantastic essays on occasion.

These blogs do it every day:
The Whiskey Bar
Orcinus (David Neiwert)
Daily Kos
David Corn
Michael Berube

There are many more.

Hanson is spelled with an '... (Below threshold)

Hanson is spelled with an 'O', not an 'E'.

The only reason I bring that up is because I noticed the exact same mistake in the notes of "A Patriot's History of the United States" (which is, unfortunately, probably about right considering the level of scholarship found in that work.

patriotboy, if I was intere... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

patriotboy, if I was interested in a "straw man" argument, I wouldn't have ended with a plea to be proven wrong. You're right, I don't read many liberal blogs -- they tend to give me headaches. Even the more "reasonable" ones regularly head off into shrieking, barking moonbat land.

But I reject Kos out of hand. Ever since his disgusting "screw them" piece about the Americans killed and hung up in Fallujah, then his cowardly attempt to bury it when it started costing him ad money, he's "damaged goods." As the old saying goes, I wouldn't piss in his face if his head was on fire.


I mostly disagree with <a h... (Below threshold)

I mostly disagree with Hugo Schwyzer, but he is open to reason and puts a lot of thought into his posts.

From what I've read, there ... (Below threshold)

From what I've read, there are a lot of soldiers in Iraq who would say "screw them" when talking about mercs.

patriotboy, don't fib to us... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

patriotboy, don't fib to us. I have a hard time you can read much at all.

Or would you care to cite sources?

(This is what is known as "put up or shut up," putz.)


How about www.michaelmoore.... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

How about www.michaelmoore.com ?

What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?

What ... do you want every ... (Below threshold)

What ... do you want every blog post to be a 5,000-word think piece? That sort of blogging is damn near impossible on a regular basis. I occasionally write those long think pieces myself, and they take a lot out of you.

Still, if you want some thoughtful liberals, I suggest:

Daily Kos -- I don't care much for Kos himself these days, but some of the Kosettes are occasionally worth a read.

Care for some more? Try Talk Left, Bull Moose, Lean Left, Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, ISOU (when he's not feeling his oats too much), Steve Gilliard (occasionally), Media Girl, or a number of others.


From the LA Time:<... (Below threshold)

From the LA Time:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Marines forcibly detained a team of security guards working for an American engineering firm in Iraq after reportedly witnessing the contractors fire at U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians from an armed convoy, the military said Tuesday.

After three days of detention in jail cells at a U.S. military base in Iraq, 19 employees of North Carolina-based Zapata Engineering, including 16 Americans, were released last week.

All have resigned from the company and are returning home, U.S. and company officials said.

The employees have said that the incident in Fallouja last month was a case of mistaken identity. Several have accused the Marines of verbally and physically abusing them while they were in custody.


Mark Schopper, a lawyer for two of the contractors, said that his clients, both former Marines, were subjected to "physical and psychological abuse."

He said his clients told him that Marines had "slammed around" several contractors, stripped them to their underwear and placed a loaded weapon near their heads.

"How does it feel to be a big, rich contractor now?" the Marines shouted at the men, Schopper said, in an apparent reference to the large salaries security contractors can make in Iraq.

I think George Carlin is th... (Below threshold)
Lew Clark:

I think George Carlin is the truely great thinker of the modern left. He was the first to codify the 7 words that make up 90% of their thought process.

patriotboy,A good ... (Below threshold)


A good anecdote but hardly proof. OTOH, as a Viet Nam vetern, I know that the grunts disliked civilian contractors. It wasn't anything specific, more of a general resentment that the civilians were getting high pay, taking no risks and getting whored up in Saigon.

But that was 36 years ago; contractors in Iraq risk getting lynched or beheaded.

I have two words for you:</... (Below threshold)
claudia ryan:

I have two words for you:

Juan Cole

patriotboy, don't fib to... (Below threshold)

patriotboy, don't fib to us. I have a hard time you can read much at all.

Or would you care to cite sources?

(This is what is known as "put up or shut up," putz.)


Posted by: Jay Tea at August 7, 2005 04:11 PM

I have a hard time... what? Patriotboy reads just fine. His blog is quite genius.

Funny liberal blogs<p... (Below threshold)

Funny liberal blogs


The Poorman


World O' Crap

Sadly NO!

Liberal Bloggers who are not "linkers"

David Neiwart

Matthew Yglesias

Digby at Hullabaloo

Ted Barlow

Josh Marshall

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings

Mark Kleiman



Brass mentions guntotinglib... (Below threshold)

Brass mentions guntotingliberal's list of core beliefs. I think it may be an indicator of where the problem lies.

Because, except perhaps for his being "pro-life," they are not what a conservative would call core beliefs. They are just policy positions. For instance he says certain people are not paying their "fair-share" of taxes. But a core belief would be the philosophy that underlies that statement, one that would help someone decide what is fair, and what the position of the citizen should be regarding taxes.

It's not that liberal bloggers don't sometimes say thoughtful things, but that what they say seems insubstantial to conservatives, because one doesn't sense a bedrock political philosophy that organizes and determines them.

Den Beste was definately a ... (Below threshold)

Den Beste was definately a thinker. His suggestion that France might nuke us for invading Iraq was pure genius. Did he get snatched up by the DOD's Office of Special plans? Is that why he doesn't blog anymore?

I think George Carlin is mo... (Below threshold)

I think George Carlin is more of a libertarian or more of a "screw it" independent. I don't think he's a liberal.

e.g, he hates feminists and political correctness.

patriotboy:1) Your... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:


1) Your example of the military's attitude towards contractors boils down to some Marines were less than nice towards some contractors that had shot at them (in a case of mistaken identity). Yeah, real emblematic case there.

2) The Den Beste reference you make is a misleading characterization at best, and a damnable lie at worst. The context was a piece about the leadup to the invasion of Iraq, and France's resolute opposition to any military solution. Den Beste said the following:

"Just how far are they willing to take their opposition to us? They've reached the point where it seems as if they're willing to make any sacrifice. Do they see the stakes as being high enough so that they might actually threaten to nuke us?"

France's opposition was a concern at the time. They are a nuclear power, a member of NATO, a member of the UN Security Council, a major beneficiary of Oil For Food money, and seemed hell-bent on doing whatever they could to forestall an attack. Deciding just how far they would go in their efforts to defend Saddam was a serious cause for concern. And outlining the worst-case scenario is a matter of intellectual honesty. I'm sorry if that's a foreign concept to you.

Den Beste's health issues are his own business, which he has explained far more than he is obligated to. I, for one, honor his contributions and mourn his inability to continue. He made a huge contribution to the blogosphere, and that should never be forgotten.


Thanks for the compliment, ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the compliment, AGAIN, Jay Tea. I blush every time I get praise like that, especially from one of the best, most original bloggers out there; putting me in the same sentence as some of those other giants of thought is probably a little overboard.

I just wish I could blog more. My thesis and my real life (hot wife) just beckon me so much, especially lately. I figure my slower blogging pace of late is a better idea than burning myself out entirely.

But your point is well taken about the leftist blogosphere not producing hordes of intellectual giants. The comments and emails I get on my site from liberals are anecdotal evidence, yes, but it's amazing how thoroughly incapable so many of those people are of forming coherent (logical) arguments.

I am convinced that the blog readers and commenters on the center-right are some of the smartest people in the country. I doubt they'd waste their time reading the kinds of crap that the left-leaning blogs churn out regularly.

Here's three:Penny... (Below threshold)

Here's three:

Andrew Sullivan
Dean Esmay

The liberals call them conservative, but that's pure propaganda.

J -- Thanks for th... (Below threshold)

J --

Thanks for the plug. Me? Conservative? That's news to me.


Wait... WAIT JUST A DAMNED ... (Below threshold)


Democrats are not thinkers?

Holy crap, but aren't all the Democrats all them laywers, and have all that college education, and stuff?

And dem poor repubs, just old farm boys with barely a decent edjumacation!

Here's a radical idea. Try ... (Below threshold)

Here's a radical idea. Try reading some of those blogs before you jump to asinine conclusions with no basis in reality. I'd also like to note that the top rightie blog, the lapdoggish Glenn Reynolds, has posts longer than a paragraph about once a millenium or so. There's also something like an economy of words - ie. Steven den Beste could do with a freaking editor.

One of the funniest lefty b... (Below threshold)
Jon, Just Jon:

One of the funniest lefty blogs is Jesus' General, although the General himself would deny that he is a Frenchy-lefty.

I'm winkin' at you, PatriotBoy!


Geez, doesn't take much to ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Geez, doesn't take much to get Oliver's knickers in a knot...

Lemme clarify a few things for ya, Ollie:

1) I was speaking of a certain type of blogger -- the essayist -- not blogging in general.

2) Now that you remind me, Reynolds isn't too shabby an essayist when he's writing his pieces for Slate. Do you have a similar second outlet for your longer pieces?

3) Den Beste might have needed an editor (note the past tense), but God help him if he got yours: everything he'd write would be reduced to one or two sentences of snark, followed by a link and/or a quote to someone else's work.

One thing Den Beste never did was presume his innate correctness and his audience's instant agreement and approval. He carefully presented the situation, his line of thinking, and his conclusion every single time, never once assuming that everyone would concur with his every pronouncement and nod cheerfully. It's the model I've tried to follow myself whenever I "go long." I'd never dream of asking the readers to simply "take my word for it" on big matters.


Reynolds writes for MSNBC, ... (Below threshold)

Reynolds writes for MSNBC, not Slate, and its usually straight-up regurgitations of his one-sentence musings. There are some conservative bloggers, whose ideas I find abhorrent but are good writers. 90% of what I write is quickie one-offs, though I write a longer bit on occasion. Anyone who presents their data as if everyone already agrees isn't doing a good job (though this is the model I tend to see on the right side of the blogosphere moreso than on the left).

"I went looking through the... (Below threshold)

"I went looking through the big liberal blogs, and was left wanting. Atrios? Nope. Eschaton? Nope."

Atrios and Eschaton are the same blog. Something tells me you put in less than 5 minutes of "research" before posting.

Try talkleft.com or maxspeak.org, assuming you're not being disingenuous.

Catchy's got a good point o... (Below threshold)

Catchy's got a good point on the Atrios/Eschaton slip.


"I went looking through the... (Below threshold)
Red Sox:

"I went looking through the big liberal blogs, and was left wanting. Atrios? Nope. Eschaton? Nope."

LOL! You obviously checked the blogs of both Atrios and Eschaton, and neither one seemed to be a serious essayist.

Anyway, the best i can recommend would probably be juancole.com

Re: Your Atrios/Eschaton id... (Below threshold)

Re: Your Atrios/Eschaton idiocy

Thinker? Nope. Stinker? Yep!

See also poseur, as in Jay Tea, Rapper, Poseur.

Claudia Ryan:Here ... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

Claudia Ryan:

Here are two words for you in return: Regnum Crucis. Cole's professorial pontifications in no way offset the notion that one's "thoughtful" offerings should have some basis in fact.

To clarify, Dave Neiwert ru... (Below threshold)

To clarify, Dave Neiwert runs Orcinus and in terms of thinkage he outweighs most people. He is the leftists go-to place for the Scary Far Right, and we're talking terrorists and racists, not you guys.

Daily Kos (the site) produces at least as much Thinkage every day as any other blog out there, left or right. As for Fallujah, Kos got seriously POd because the media and the right were so focused on these four hired guns that they virtually ignored the deaths of American soldiers on the same day. That sickens you? Tough.

Contractors in Vietnam were not nearly the same as contractors in today's privatized army. For god's sake, Halliburton is building bases for Engineers units.

The Poor Man (AKA The Editors) is probably one of the best thinkers and funniest lefty blogs out there.

You're right, I don't re... (Below threshold)

You're right, I don't read many liberal blogs -- they tend to give me headaches.

Yeah, reading is hard work.

I desperately want to re... (Below threshold)

I desperately want to read reasonable, logical, intelligent opinions that disagree with my own...

You're right, I don't read many liberal blogs...

Ah, there's your problem.

You're not defending Glenn,... (Below threshold)

You're not defending Glenn, are you? Wouldn't he most certainly be more of a "linker" than a "thinker"? Or can you not be bothered to read his site either?

Josh Marshall and Matt Ygle... (Below threshold)
Tony the Pony:

Josh Marshall and Matt Yglesias spring instantly to mind. Atrios in his better moments, but he does link a lot. Juan Cole. James Walcott. Ezra Klein.

I don't read a lot of blogs, but those are pretty frequent destinations that I think fit your criteria.

Doesn't thinking ever inclu... (Below threshold)
Chris R.:

Doesn't thinking ever include acknowleding something you wrote that turned out to be incorrect?

Say, a right-winger that writes, hey, Iraq didn't have WMD's and perhaps the citizenry wouldn't welcome an occupation? Then follows up by linking to one of his posts and says "I was wrong"? (And there are similar examples on the left, but at least Klein and Yglesias acknowledge them frequently).

Isn't that truly the definition of critical thinking, or would you rather just see 9,000 word essays under the logo of the Starship Enterprise?

Jay Tea, this has to be the... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, this has to be the stupidest thing you have ever posted.

You're right, I don't re... (Below threshold)

You're right, I don't read many liberal blogs -- they tend to give me headaches.

Yet you like to pretend you're an authority on them?

Oh, and the piece by Mithras was not meant to be "intelligent analysis and discourse" anymore than a Letterman Top 10 list is meant to be a tome on the human condition.

Your inability to recognize the difference, compounded by your unwillingness to do any real research and topped with an unflattering dose of self-aggrandization is what really seperates you from the 'lefty' blogs.

Well, as a regular reader o... (Below threshold)

Well, as a regular reader of this blog, thanks to the few who provided links and their reasoning for providing same. Jay Tea asked for suggestions, and a few people actually provided. I'm going to go a-wandering and see what these people have to say.

As for the rest of the liberal insult-and-run types... You are the people that conservatives complain about when they bemoan the nastiness of the liberal left. It just wouldn't be the blogosphere without you.

You are the people that ... (Below threshold)

You are the people that conservatives complain about when they bemoan the nastiness of the liberal left.

Sure, just whine about the mean ol liberals because we won't do his work for him.

He was trying to prove a stupid cliche by fisking a humor post and that passes as proof for you idiots. That's the best he could come up with - how sad is that?

Your patience to digest any amount of information longer than a Fox News segment means you believe asinine memes such as liberal's feelings outweigh logic. I think the Iraq war should be one gigantic hint at the fallacy of that statement. If you had bothered to read the arguments against the war from the left you would clearly see that everything we said was going to happen is happening. Those arguments were based on historical precedent and the facts in evidence on the ground. The right's view of the war was and continues to be either a) false or b)a ridiculous slogan about freedom, democracy and pretending to support the troops as your president slashes VA funding and buries his head in the sand (er, brush) about the reality on the ground in Iraq.

Face it, if it weren't for Lee Greenwood you would barely have a political platform, so get over yourselves and the silly notion that you're some sort of hyper-intellectuals constantly burdened by our feelings. The only cross you bear is your own stupidity and laziness.

I don't know why I respond ... (Below threshold)
john d'oh:

I don't know why I respond to this crap, but....

Just go to www.tpm.com

It has smart left-leaning analysis of today's issues. Much smarter than anything I have seen on the right--ever--like, say...here. This includes Wretchard, Austin Bay and Will Franklin, all of whom I just checked out for the first time and...not surprisingly...spent a lot of time in their posts copying and pasting (with intermitent minor comments). Hardly much there in terms of original thought or analysis. So this is what you consider a thinker?

I should also point out that if I had a dollar for every time I heard a right wing reference to liberal elitist academics (who, by the way, come up with original ideas for a living), I'd be a rich man, now I am told there are no thinkers on the left...you guys ought to get your stories straight.

For what it's worth, I know... (Below threshold)

For what it's worth, I know just how you feel, Jay Tea. For a long time, I was looking for essentially a sparring partner on the Left, but I kept finding it a tall order. I didn't expect it to be so difficult to find someone of the opposite political persuasion in the blogosphere who would always assume good faith arguments, acknowledge when I had a chain of reasoning (even if my opponent claimed mistakes in my premises), and refrain from some sort of trump card tactic (you're not fill-in-the-blank minority group, therefore you're wrong.)

Perhaps it would be nice to find someone like that, although my desire to spar online has faded considerably in the last year or so. If you found one such, though, could you wade through the ring of lefty bully boys that seem to glom on to the standard canards (like those who seem to have pounced on this entry)? Would it be worth it? (I've decided it's not, so I've become more of an occasional blogger like Marty on other topics.)

In a closely related que... (Below threshold)
sean m:

In a closely related question, I had wondered for years where the funny liberals were. As in, where is the liberal Scrappleface, the liberal Ace O' Spades, the liberal Allah, the liberal Protein Wisdom? Someone who could skewer conservative issues and thinking with a rakish, humorous flair?

You seem to be laboring under the mistaken impression that there is some kind of surplus of conservative humorists. Is there ? Sadly, No!

Hey, Oliver, I'm feeling a ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Hey, Oliver, I'm feeling a bit insecure about my position at Wizbang. I got this (utterly unfounded) hunch that Kevin might be looking to dump me.

If I could impose on you for a huge favor, could you put up a "Kevin Must Fire Jay Tea" demand and clock? After your "Brit Hume Must Go" campaign, I figure that ought to give me some serious job security.

The only way I think I could improve my chances of sticking around would be if Kos (spit) endorsed and campaigned in favor of someone to replace me. But I doubt I could arrange that.


slarrow,you might wa... (Below threshold)

you might want to check out Obsidian Wings or possibly Tacitus (on a good day) to read posts and comments by people of varying viewpoints who at least attempt to take each other seriously. I agree that partisan snark and reflexive ad hom are used all too frequently by certain blogs...ahem...but that's why we have so many to choose from.

'I've aspired to be more of... (Below threshold)
Doctor Slack:

'I've aspired to be more of a "thinker" than a "linker." '

You'll have succeeded when you're a good enough "thinker" to see through pseudo-intellectual frauds parading largely content-free verbal (or textual) diarrhea as "thinking." You ain't there yet.

'He was trying to prove a stupid cliche by fisking a humor post and that passes as proof for you idiots. That's the best he could come up with - how sad is that?'

Almost as sad as the fact that he couldn't be bothered to actually READ something by Dave Neiwert when he ran across his name. Best he could do was Google him and ineptly conclude that he's "some kind of militia weenie" from the hits that came up. And this is the bright spark who wants to lecture the left blogosphere about its supposed lack of "thinkers." Pathetic.

Emphasis Added is a prime e... (Below threshold)

Emphasis Added is a prime example of well thought out, well written blog by the liberal.

From today's post:

It’s an interesting paradox. On one hand, most white Americans are sincerely uncomfortable with the injustices of racism; as a society, we have made significant progress in eliminating the most visible forms of oppression, and in removing barriers for talented and ambitious minority individuals to succeed. The vast majority of Americans of both parties are not racist in the way we would recognize the meaning of that term before 1970. On the other hand, the unconscious tribal appeal of racism persists. It’s a seductively simple way for some people to explain away the disconcerting complexities of modern life, and it activates a whole set of emotions that appeal to group solidarity and self-esteem, even among educated, cosmopolitan and otherwise-sophisticated people. In a desperate struggle for political and economic power, the big red button of race is just too tempting to resist pushing – not because white politicians are necessarily still interested in oppressing blacks (though of course a few are), but because it is such a cheap and easy way of mobilizing white votes.

Crooked Timber has some good ideas as well.

I'm confused: do you think ... (Below threshold)

I'm confused: do you think Brad DeLong doesn't count because he's not a liberal (he's at Berkeley!) or because he's not a thinker (he's an economics professor!) or simply because you have never heard of him?

The problem is that orig... (Below threshold)

The problem is that original thinking requires effort and research. You can't just start off scream at the top of your lungs, you have to actually figure out what's going on.

I thought conservatives were convinced that all university professors -- you know, the ones who devote their lives to things like effort and research -- were all liberal?

Which is it? Are liberals incapable of research, or are all researchers liberal?

I think George Carlin is... (Below threshold)
Otto Man:

I think George Carlin is the truely great thinker of the modern left. He was the first to codify the 7 words that make up 90% of their thought process.

So George "Major League Asshole" Bush and Dick "Fuck You" Cheney are leftists?

I disagree with your premis... (Below threshold)

I disagree with your premise, Jay. I rarely see more than a snarky line or two on Glenn Reynolds, and Michelle Malkin generally seems to offer equal doses of opinion and links ... I try to read the right regularly, and often find interesting "think" pieces on sites like Mark in Mexico (markinmexico.blogspot.com), and RedState.org (mainly from the commenters, with heavy doses of party-fed info and links in the posts). But even Wizbang, Jawa Report and other sites are about equal parts links and longer pieces. I think the left and right are about the same on that score.

That said, the left part of the blogosphere is currently on offense, so finding "link" info that discredits Team Bush is where the party is. Maybe that's why you see the 'sphere as out of balance ...

I agree with previous posters who said that doing longer essays takes a lot out of a person. I actually find my blog to be more work than the newspaper column I used to write, if only because it requres frequent maintenance (as opposed to delivering one 600 word piece once a week...) The goal, I think, is to provide a balance of your own thoughts and helpful links. I think bloggers on both sides of the aisle try to do that...

One would need to know almo... (Below threshold)

One would need to know almost nothing about the blogosphere or the American political landscape to conclude that this post is pathetically juvenile.

No matter where you read it, no matter who's saying it, no matter what their political persuasion, "the people who agree with me are smart and the people who don't are stupid" is *always* a sign of stunted intellectual and personal development.

The last time I heard someone say that with a straight face was as a college freshman -- probably from someone reading an Ayn Rand book. I guess people like that never do manage to pry their minds open. They just grow up, start blogs, and read only opinions that bolster their ego.

Lest I be only critical:

For intellectual firepower, I go to tmpcafe.com and redstate.org. On bad days, the former is wonky academic and the latter is party hack, but there are more good days than bad, and on good days both contain enormous amounts of material of great intellectual heft and stimulation.

You can find smart people who disagree with you with a minimum of effort. This post should embarass you.

J Tea made two mistakes: he... (Below threshold)

J Tea made two mistakes: he thought and he thought wrong.

That High-rollin Vegas atto... (Below threshold)
Jay B:

That High-rollin Vegas attorney Mark Schopper got those contractors off! It just goes to show that a big money lawyer like Schopper can get you off if you pay enough money to them. The guy evidently represents movie stars and pro athelets too! What has this country come to?






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