Nods along the blogroll, part one

The highly exclusive and influential New Paltz Journal blogroll is a very tough club to get into. Yet, even I take its members for granted.

When I first laid down the blogroll I immediately penciled in the first and last of his kind, rogue philosopher and critic, political scholar (my preferred expert on the Soviet tragedy and Marxist ideology), and high advocate of freedom, Billy Beck. Our chasmatic differences, in another century, might make us mortal enemies, but maybe not. Billy’s blog is among my first and last stops every day.

I often kid Mike Soja about his extraordinary tenacity by comparing him to an ice hockey player, but I only do that because I don’t want to let the fact that I think he’s a great independent journalist go to his head. He has uncanny instinct for finding truth in muddy, foggy facts that demand incredible devotion to clarity and great patience to sort out. He is no friend of those who would wield power over him and he laughs into the abyss where America’s common sense used to be.

Ed Rasimus, whose book, Palace Cobra: A Fighter Pilot in the Vietnam Air War, finally arrived here from Amazon, keeps the blogroll grounded in the American capacity to be warrior and thinker at the same time. I’m honored that he takes the time to read this blog.

I hold similar high regard for Bruce McQuain aka McQ, who is career military and gentleman scholar, and drinks his beer without fruit of any kind. His blogging partners are not slouches, but McQ makes that place go, and as far as I can tell he’s only been wrong on an issue when I disagreed with him.

The greatest public intellectual of our time, and the most important writer in America since 9/11, is Victor Davis Hanson. Very few writers have had as much influence on me, and I pass along a link to his most recent articles because he’s one of the few people thinking large enough for what is happening in and to America and the West.

Richard Fernandez, who blogs The Belmont Club, is the rarest kind of writer, one who surprises you out of the blue. He looks hard into things without straining. Gifted with special insight.

You’re all supposed to read these guys when you’re tired of my tripe. I write but in the shade of my luxurious blogroll.

More about the rest of the roll to come, soon.

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