Monday, June 1, 2009


Here are places I just must go two or three times a week – or as often as new stuff appears!
by Charlie Leck

I have my blog service keep tabs on blogs that I like and they fill me in just as soon as something new appears on any of those blogs. I won’t miss these particular blogs and I’ll try to tell you why.

(*) This asterisk inclusion means the blog is in my top five favorites.

Laughlines is a NY Times Blog that lets you see some of the nation’s best cartoonists and their latest work all right in one place. I take a daily look and wouldn’t feel good about my day if I didn’t. The blog also points you to funny videos and news about good comedy.

Freakonomics, (*) by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, is a delightfully continuation of their best-selling book by the same name. I have fun at this blog and I also learn amazing things. This blog goes in my top five.

Talk Show by Dick Cavett is delightful for me and it will be for you, too, if your sense of humor leans toward the dry and witty side. I’ve never been disappointed reading Cavett and my only disappointment is that he blogs only every two weeks or so.

Van Peebles Land, by David Williams comes out of Wales and I don’t know if it belongs in this category or in humor or opinion. I find it helpful to get this perspective on current issues from across the pond. David also occasionally dabbles in theological matters and, so, I could have put him in that category as well. David is very eclectic and writes extremely well.

BITTEN, (*) by Mark Bittman (a NY Times Blog), gives me really handy, practical help on preparing good meals with a minimum of effort and mess. It ranks with the favorites of all the blogs I read.

Eat Well by Jennifer Leck Miles is a wonderful little blog about cooking easily and eating healthfully and well. Sure the writer is my daughter, but it’s a damned good blog, too. And, she posts something new almost every day. I’ve tried a number of her recipes and they do work well.

Jamie Oliver is a wonderful chef and this is really his web site, but he treats it like a blog and things changed quickly and dramatically and he’s always adding new recipes and cooking techniques. If you like to cook, get to know it.

Reluctant Gourmet Blog is one I won’t miss. I go to it about once a week and catch up on any exciting recipes or advice they might have posted that week.

Domestic Disturbances (*) by Judith Warner gives me both good, solid opinion and information, and really good writing.

Blog of the Moderate Left is pretty much daily reading for me. It tackles issues hard but it never comes off as radical. There’s a lot of good thinking in this blog.

Cluckerfuck Nation (*) by James Kunstler is solid information about America that really makes you think and expand your mind to other possibilities. I found Kunstler three or four years ago and I’ve been keeping up ever since. Many of you will find this blog a bit tedious because it is so thorough, but is well worth the time you devote to it. Top five!

Dailey Dish, by Andrew Sullivan, comes to us from Atlantic Monthly Magazine, which is one of the really great magazines of all times in America. I simply go to this blog everyday for a quick read and to see what the important issues are.

Think Again (*) by Stanley Fish and the NY Times is a very important blog that ranks in my top five. Fish is a real scholar and thinking man and he dissects issues and goes more deeply into them than any other current writer. One blog might be covering Milton, the poet, and another Obama, the President. Have your thinking-cap on when you read Fish because he challenges you to use your brain completely. He’s also a wordsmith and loves the subtly of language and communications. This is on my top five list.

Margaret & Helen by Helen Philpot and Margaret Schmechtman (whoever they are) is a blog by a couple of grannies who claim to be in the 80s. There are a lot of us who doubt that. I think they’re coeds in one of the great, snobby New England or New York colleges – like Vassar, Smith or Amherst. Nevertheless, it is great stuff and almost makes my top five.

Media Matters isn’t really a blog, but I treat it as one. Any of you who are upset with the right wing media – and any of the media that tends to exaggerate and out-right lie to us – ought to be daily readers on this web site. Media Matters is devoted to keeping the media honest and letting us know when its not.


Joe McNally’s Blog is really top-notch and so is the Joe McNally Web Site. If you go take a look at his web site you’ll see just how good he is as a photographer – one of the very best. He’s a master on the subject of lighting.

Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider is about much more than Photoshop. Kelby is an outstanding expert in digital photography and has a number of books on the subject. This blog will lead you to many other fine photography blogs and it’s a great place to start.

Bert Monroy web site is not a blog. I’ll be honest. I wish it was. I and others are trying to convince Monroy to do a regular blog. He is one extraordinary photographer and Photoshop artist. He’s amazing. I list him here for you in case you’re crazy about photography and Photoshop.

God’s Politics, by Jim Wallis and Friends, comes out of the Sojourners work. This is a good organization that gives you moderation and sensibility in religious thinking, but it is still very spiritual and committed to faith. Wallis is a good thinker. There’s no doubt about that. He tackles current major issues and puts a faith-bases spin on them. They do pass the offering plate a little too often for my tastes, but they’re worth reading and joining.

Out of Ur comes to us from the Christianity Today Magazine. There’s no fooling around on this blog. It’s dang good thinking and pushes the reader to think also. Don’t go here unless you want to read some serious contemporary theological thinking about current issues in faith.

Eric Black Ink on MinnPost, an alternative local on-line newspaper, is a terrific place to keep up on essential Minnesota opinion and commentary. Again, this is one of the blogs I go to every time I’m informed there is something new. Lots of my readers from around the nation are interested in what’s happening in the Norm Coleman – Al Franken battle for the U.S. Senate seat that, sadly, has sat empty for 5 months. That issue will resume in the Minnesota State Supreme Court this week and Eric Black will cover it like a glove. He’ll give you the best information you can get anywhere.

Prairie Ponderings is written by a neighbor, Sam Stern, and he provides really good insight into local and personal issues that is well worth reading for people in the Twin Cities region and especially to people who delight in our own, immediate rural community. The only weakness here is that Sam just doesn’t write regularly and he sometimes lets a month slip by without posting a blog.

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