Tom Lowe's Favorites
Alternet. Wide-ranging articles on current issues and events from a left/liberal point of view.
Corey Robin. Author of The Reactionary Mind (a must read), Robin takes a critical look at conservative/liberal writings and American left history.
Counterpunch. Founded by the late Alexander Cockburn, a go-to place for essays on politics and social issues.
Crooked Timber. Essays on a variety of current intellectual and academic ideas by a mix of writers.
Firedoglake. Another left/liberal site for viewpoints on current events. I check their News Desk’s "The Roundup" daily to see what outrage I’ve missed.
FiveThirtyEight Blog. Nate Silver’s analysis of current polling results for the 2012 election. Silver is a professional statistician with a good analytical track record. [A New York Times blog.]
Frank Rich. A former New York Times columnist, now with New York Magazine, monthly articles sometimes on politics, sometimes on culture.
Informed Comment. A Middle East observer, Juan Cole of the University of Michigan is fluent in Arabic and Farsi as well as in Islamic studies, and is a critical analyst of the mainstream view of events in that region.
Naked Capitalism. Yves Smith’s site for articles on economics (some fairly technical) and daily links to economic news.
Pharyngula. One of the “New Atheists,” P.Z. Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. He has a sharp sense of humor and the science background to intelligently criticize Creationists. He also loves octopi, hence the title.
Robert Reich. The University of California at Berkeley economist, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, writing on politics and the economy.
Salon. A mainstream liberal site for political and social comment. Andrew O’Hehir is my current favorite film critic.
Truthdig. Robert Scheer’s current base of operations, with writings on current events from Chris Hedges, Scheer, Juan Cole, Amy Goodman, and Richard Schickel, among others.
Whirled View. Two former U.S. women diplomats commenting on current world diplomacy and politics.
Wikipedia. One of the best inventions of the internet, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia maintained by a core of writer/editors, but also modifiable by outside contributors. This is both a virtue and a flaw—articles can be hacked by outside interests. The editors have a running battle with Scientology, for example, over the accuracy of the article on that subject. To protect the site's integrity, the editors flag for reliability and lack of citations, giving some basis for judgment, but letting readers make up their own mind.
Tom's Mostly Fun Stuff
Ars Technica. Well-written tech news, everything from hardware to games.
Boing Boing. A mix of arts, emerging cultural trends, creative uses of technology, new and non-mainstream writers, in an updated daily mix.
KCSM FM. Jazz 24/7—very knowledgeable programmers. I hear something surprising every day.
Not Coming to a Theater Near You. Writing and criticism on forgotten, or less known, films from around the world.
Pandora. Online music site, you indicate your musical interests, they make a mix based on that. Often you get unexpected artists songs.
Reddit. A window into the world of twenty-somethings. User-posted links, photos, video, etc. Eclectic, trivial, narcissist, and all points in between.
Ken Marks's Favorites
The New York Times. Their news is objective and comprehensive, without all the trash filler that you find on sites like CNN. It also offers the best op-ed pieces by far. I regularly read Paul Krugman, at whose shrine I worship; Tom Friedman, a foreign affairs and green energy guru; and Maureen Dowd, the Queen of Snark. Her politics don't align precisely with mine, but her prose stylings are a wonder.
Fareed Zakaria. The most objective and penetrating look at current events on the Web.
The NYR blog. A product of the editors of the New York Review of Books. It explores a range of political and cultural stories that you can't find anywhere else. Its list of contributors reads like an intellectual who's who.
The Huffington Post. A menagerie of bloggers, many of which have interesting observations about the issues and personalities that people talk about.
Slate.The best written and edited ezine that I know of.
The Conscience of a Liberal. Paul Krugman's blog, sponsored by the NYT. Can't get enough of this guy.
Johnathan Chait Archive. An index into Chait's blog. He's an insightful observer of the political scene and often funny as well.
TED. An array of short video lectures on fascinating subjects. Calculated to challenge your mind.
Khan Academy. Video tutoring on a range of academic and practical subjects. A good way to put a patches on the gaps in your education.
Pogue's Posts. David Pogue' blog, sponsored by the NYT. He writes entertainingly about what's making news in technology.
Rotten Tomatoes. A movie-review site where a number of reviews of the same movie are aggregated. A good way to compare the perspectives that critics bring to their reviews. If you believe, as I do, that movies are the dominant art form or our time, this site is an important tool for separating real art from commercial junk.
Intrade. At first glance, this seems to be no more than a gambling site. Viewers are invited to wager (by "buying shares") on a wide range of timely speculations. Every speculation is phrased as a question that can be answered yes or no. The value of the site to a nongambler (me) is that it serves as an excellent gauge of public opinion on current events, politics, foreign affairs, science, entertainment, and many other topics.
Three comic strips that have genius authors:
Doonesbury. Garry Trudeau has the most consistently insightful take on the political scene that has ever appeared in strip form.
Dilbert. Scott Adams gives us the only strip ever to dissect the insanity of the corporate world, which so thoroughly dominates and demeans the life of the American worker.
Bizarro. Dan Piraro is a master humorist who daily reveals the absurdity in our lives. He uses word play, satire, black humor, hilarious allusions—all the comic nuances that you'd find in a dozen different strips.
Aljazeera tells what is going on in the Eastern Hemisphere today. It typically does so several hours ahead of the BBC and several days before American media catches on.
BBC provides what seems to be the most balanced coverage of news around the world, and grants a much more balanced view of events in the U.S. than American media do.
To say you never know what will show up here is an understatement.
Disinfo. If you have even the faintest passing interest in counter-culture affairs, you have to check out a website tagged Disinformation: Everything You Know Is Wrong.
The Drudge Report. The design, reminiscent of a sheet of white paper filled in by an old typewriter with an aging ribbon isn’t trendy, but the information is always hot.
Emagazine, along with Grist (listed below) is generally regarded as one of the best sources of environmental news and for sharing ideas and resources.
Grind TV may not be the website to follow for a news junkie, but if you prefer modern action and adventure sports coverage over traditional and team sports, Grind TV is the channel to watch.
Grist. Known for its “gloom and doom with a sense of humor,” Grist is one of the leading environmental news websites.
The Guardian was founded in 1821 and known until 1959 as The Manchester Guardian. The former newspaper has successfully made the leap to an online format, as proven by being named website of the year in the 2012 Online Media Awards.
The Huffington Post. While I can’t say this is absolutely my favorite political website, surveys verify it swamps the competition as the most popular political website. And while you are on “Huff Post” be sure to check out the “Weird News” section.
NPR. Critics knock NPR for its alleged “liberal bias” but in listening to its shows, bias is hard to find. If anything NPR tries too hard to be too fair, often giving both sides of an argument equal voice even if one side represents only a tiny percentage of the public.
Reuters. Best known in recent years for its non-use of the word terrorist, Reuters has been around since 1851 and still has thousands journalists on front lines around the world.
Vimeo is for videographers sort of what Shutterbug is for photographers. Most of the work posted on Vimeo is several levels above amateur videos posted on YouTube. Often you find gems. Sometimes you find diamonds in the (very) rough.
Yahoo is a mainstream website, so you often have to sift through a lot of fluff about the latest DUI star or starlet, but along with that comes up to the minute news, events and sports coverage.
YouTube. If you want a quick, across the board, slice of life in America and abroad, here it is.
Morris Dean's Favorite
Moristotle & Co. Lively views on topics that touch everyone.