… and a number of websites that I use often

Reading my two most recent pieces on this blog, one might think that I spent my time online mainly reading other weblogs. That is not quite true, there are, ofcourse, other kinds of sites I find useful ans visit frequently. Let me introduce a few of them. As this is a weblog for English-language readers, I will leave out websites in the language that I tend to use most often, which happens to be Dutch…

An absolute favourite is the online version of the radical magazine Counterpunch. Every day new articles way outsiede the mainstream, comments on forgotten aspets of the wars raging, the dismantling of civil liberties going on in the USA, repression and resistance in all kinds of coun tries. When there is something shocking happening – an shooting spree on a U.S. university, for instance, or a crisis around elections in Ukraine – besure to check this site. You will find articles thathelp you to make sense of those events.

The politics of the magazine are not that clear, not soe say inconsistent, often delightfully so. The irreverence of especially the editors, radical journalist Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, is a pleasure to behold. However, it has its downsides, as, for instance, when Cockbrun cannot resist the temptation to side with climate sceptics, apparently just out of a sense of mischief against what he considers a wrong-headed consensus. Also, the mixture of old-style conservative articles among the left wing ones is not what radical magaines are made for. The fact that some conservatives, out of isolationist motoves, dislike the wars of the Bush administration, and that they don’t like the imperial superstate that the neo-conservatives erect to wage those wars – these facts are no good reason to consider, for instance, the fans of dissident Republican Ron Paul in any sense true allies. Still, it makes for a surprising mix…

Another splendid website is Tomdispatch, with its subtitle: ‘a regular antidote to the mainstream media’. Its maker, Tom Engelhardt, writes well-researched articels on the Iraq war and other episodes of the ‘War on Rerror’. He also publishes articles by a number of other relevant writers: Michael Klare on enery policies, oil etcetera; Nick Turse on the Pentagon, the military- industrial complex in shocking, sometimes also hilarious detail, and others. The articles are well-annotated and contain a wealth of leads for further research. People whoe regularly checked Tomdipatch in recent years will neither have been suprised by recent news about the US  planning tot stay in Iraq endlessly, nor by the fact that Big oil is preparing to return to the country. Tom Engelhardt and other writers of Tomdispatch can rightly say: we told you so, way back years ago. if you are not tegularly reading Tomdispatch, you do yourself a disservice.

Of course, I also look at regular more mainstream websites for news and background. I prefer Aljazeera and the BBC, and British newspapers like the Guardian. For an overview of relevant pieces, selected from a progressive perspective for progressive readers,  from the English-language press, I check Common Dreams. That saves me the effort of checking all the main British, American, Canadian, Australian newspapers myself on a daily basis… Yes, I am aware of the fact that I cannot blindly rely on such a pre-selected range, so I don’t. But my time is not unlimited.

Back to more radical sites. There are lots of them, some of thim linked to marxist organisations of left wing magaines. Socialist Worker (US), made by the International Socialist Organisation, has reorganised and restyled their website this spring, and the res7ult is impressive. Where it used to be a weekly magaine on-line, now there are daily additions. Not just news, but comments, background pieces, on the US elections, on class struggle in the U.S. and world wide, on all kinds of subjects relevant for a rebel like me, written from a similar rebellious Marxist perspective to my own ideas. Beautiful.

A different type of marxist site is the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS). This is made by a Trotskyist group with, in my opinioon, rather narrow sectarian politics. The site, however, is useful indeed. They bring together information, usually based on reading the mainstream press, on conflicts and events all around the world, and combine that with Marxist analysis that basically makes sense – as long as you subtract or ignore the general conclusions which go like ‘build a socialist movement in OUR special way, there is no other salvation’…

There is, of course, much more. Maybe I will make it a habit of mine on this weblog to write a little piece like this or the wtoe latest ones, just to tell writers where my internet travel tends to take me, day in and day out. For now: enough.


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