Blogs I have read and (sometimes) loved

Monday, November 29, 2004


Written by Scott Piatkowski

We live in an age in which “some guy with a website” can and often does scoop the traditional media (print or broadcast). In some cases, that’s because the illusion of anonymity or just plain recklessness allows material to get posted on a website that would never make it past the editor (or the legal department) at any mainstream newspaper. In other cases, it’s simply a matter of bloggers doing the heavy lifting that many journalists are unable or unwilling to do.

Here are a few of the blogs that I read regularly:

POGGE (Peace, Order and Good Government, eh?)

POGGE finds the news story of the day (not necessarily from the front pages) and gives it a thorough and intelligent analysis. Here’s an example:

In Kerry I see someone who may a serial exaggerator in his political rhetoric but on his worst day doesn't come close to being the dissembler that Bush is. And in Kerry, increasingly, I see someone who has a nose for the truth and the courage to go where it leads him when he thinks it's important. That doesn't mean I'm going to agree with everything he does. There's a pretty big gap between American foreign policy as it is, and as I think it should be. The gap was there before Bush took office and I would expect it to remain, at least in part, through a Kerry presidency. But the more I find out about Kerry's time in the Senate, the better I like it.


This is a relatively new blog, but it broke a story that none of the mainstream media would touch – the new Ethics Commissioner’s unfortunate history of failing to protect whistle blowers and of ignoring racism in the Ontario Public Service.

One Damn Thing After Another

I’ve actually just discovered that my good friend Rob Cottingham is a blogger (though his posts are more sporadic than other bloggers). But, now that I’ve read the last few months worth of entries, I’ll be going back. This is part of his Remembrance Day entry:

A lot of the talk on Remembrance Day is about how our soldiers fought and died for freedom and democracy. That elides a much more complex truth, that individual soldiers had varied and personal reasons for joining up – if, in fact, they had an option at all. Economics, family expectations, personal pride, impulsiveness, peer pressure, or the legal compulsion of conscription all helped send young people across the ocean to kill and die. But so did patriotism, and for some, idealism. Yet perhaps none of that matters as much as the main reason soldiers go to war: because our governments ask them to. And whether the state’s goals are noble or base, our soldiers obey. As Michael Moore said at the end of Fahrenheit 9/11, “All they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary.” Whatever else people thought of his film, the wisdom of those words should resonate today.

Rob’s site also contains some great tips for writers and communicators.

Inkless Wells, by Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells

Paul Wells’ politics are generally far to the right of my own, but his use of language to skewer the powerful (especially Paul Martin) is a joy to read. Here’s a brief sample from last April:

The details must await Pettigrew's big speech. But his boss gave a great big curtain-raiser on Friday, and this corner would be remiss if I did not give a major Martin speech the attention it deserves. (pause) There, that didn't take long. Now let me give the speech more attention than it deserves, by analyzing it as though it were the expression of an organized government, rather than a random collection of syllables.


Warren Kinsella’s Latest Musings

Self-promoting Chretien-loyalist Kinsella is utterly transparent in his political agenda (as I am in mine), but his blog is usually interesting reading. This entry, from November 10, made me want to see Paul Martin’s reaction:

A lot of people have been asking me - particularly at the meeting of Liberals In Exile™ on Saturday night - why I'm not demanding a big staff shakeup at PMO, a change in leadership, blah blah blah. You know, all the stuff the Earnscliffe Party used to do for, um, a decade or so. Well, it's because of stuff like this [link to article], which was preceded by stuff like this [link to article]. I swear to God, there is no greater damage that could be done to this crew than the damage this crew regularly do to themselves. It's fun to watch. Pull up a chair and fire up the popcorn machine!

If I could only convince someone to pay me a full time salary for being opinionated, I’d start my own blog tomorrow. My fear is that it would either take over my already busy life or, conversely, that I wouldn’t be able to maintain it with regular postings. For now, you’ll have to settle for one column a week.

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