The world's a pretty scary place. It's also a very busy one. So it's nice to have reliable places to pick up insights into the latest and greatest of the Wonderful Wide World (WWW). This list rather closely mirrors my current set of bookmarks.
CounterPunch - Published as an online magazine exclusively filled with political commentary, "America's best political newsletter" is pretty much guaranteed to have something insightful and exciting any day of the week. Topics include almost anything a thoughful lefty should know, from massacres in Darfur to the miscarriages of justice in the Lynne Stewart case. Special props go to Alexander Cockburn for leading this enterprise, and managing to royally annoy conservatives the world over.
Antiwar.com - Founded by the ineffable Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com serves as a repository for news and views on U.S. interventions around the globe. Featuring commentators from both the left and the right, their common denominator is opposition to war. And if seeing pieces by Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky side by side is disturbing, it only goes to show that war makes for strange bedfellows, in both camps.
Electronic Intifada - Along with its cousin Electronic Iraq, ei does a creditable job of covering what's become 'the mother of all conflicts.' ei covers all angles, from Israeli politics, to human rights issues in the territories, to cultural discussions. Lead editor Ali Abunimah is a force in his own right, frequently appearing in non-mainstream discussions of Israel/Palestine.
IMEMC - Apparently quite new, the International Middle East Media Center gives news and views, primarily on Israel/Palestine. While its claim to be nonpartisan is unlikely to be heeded, it does incorporate both Israeli and Palestinian journalists in an English language publication making IMEMC a somewhat unique undertaking.
Democracy Now! - The brainchild of Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! dedicates itself to covering issues the mainstream media either ignores or misconstrues. Taking a very critical angle to the media's coverage of Washington, Iraq and the world, Goodman's daily radio program interviews significant figures, receives briefings from hot-spots, and delves into the generally neglected topics of the day, in her 'war and peace report.'
Alternative Radio - David Barsamian's AR is a weekly radio broadcast of interviews with leading progressives and activists on the important issues of the day. Public affairs, and discussions with figures like Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein make for a diverse and thought-provoking listen.
Noam Chomsky - Perhaps the most famous, err infamous of the left-intellectuals in America today, Chomsky's enormous productivity is matched by his convictions and tendency to be ignored by the mainstream press. A byword for liberalism gone wrong (in much of the media), his collections of books, articles, and blog offer thoughtful critiques on much of the major issues of the world today.
Juan Cole - Not too many historians have blogs, but if they took a cue from Cole, the blogosphere would most definitely be a more interesting place. A specialist on Middle Eastern history, Cole offers a view into current events with a keen eye for relevant historical context. Come to think of it, he probably doesn't sleep much either.
Norman Finkelstein - A controversial political scientist currently at DePaul University, Finkelstein has proven unwilling to spare sacred cows in any capacity. A tireless critic of apologists for Israel, those seeking monetary and political gain from the memory of the Holocaust, and shoddy scholarship in general, he has had run-ins with all the right people: Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Goldhagen, and Alan Dershowitz among others. His site includes articles, audio recordings, and information about upcoming appearances.
Robert Fisk - Few folk have traveled to all the places that Fisk has, and fewer still have survived to write about it. One of the few men to interview Osama bin Laden, he has shown a willingness to talk to the people and go to the places that the mainstream media either can't or won't. Wherever he goes, Fisk's reports have been refreshingly different from the canned, 'safe' material spewed by major news outlets. His columns are collected here.
Johann Hari - Like Robert Fisk, Hari is columnist for the Independent. However, his pieces are considerably more varied in subject matter, including local British affairs, book reviews, and of course the world at large. He isn't especially beloved by most lefties, but his writing is generally good.
Lew Rockwell - The only libertarian in the mix, Lew Rockwell's site is actually a compendium for articles by various libertarians. Nonetheless, an interesting perspective, and one which has particularly resonance in these days of state supremacy.