Monday, February 10, 2003

Another Winner

As the Elder mentioned in his post below, John Hawkins of Right Wing News just announced his “First Annual Warblogger Awards.” Given the excellence of his post, let me take this opportunity to nominate the Elder for the upcoming Fraters Libertas Awards, in the category of “Best Post About Someone’s Blogging Awards.” I’d also like to nominate him for “Most Gratuitous Links Included in a Post Under 50 Words” (with an impressive 3:46 ratio). But unfortunately that category doesn’t exist, since it’s considered too obscure for the audience at this time.

There are a multitude of blogging awards out there, unfortunately most of them are overly insular in their perspective and prone to the online voting manipulation of a highly motivated nominee (or his fans). This can result in some curious winners. As an example, see the awards sponsored by Fairvue Central. This organization appears to be professionally operated, technically slick, and reasonably well financed. Yet last year 6 of their 30 awards (including “Weblog of the Year”) were won by a blog operated by that kid who played the whiney teenage prodigy on Star Trek - The Next Generation. Yes, Will Wheaton has a blog. And yes his observations are generally as interesting as a scene with LeVar Burton about running a Level 1 Diagnostic on the plasma warp coils.

I will say the RWN awards were among the best I’ve seen, both in concept and wide degree of participation in the voting. But there was one glaring omission. They left out a certain blog I happen to be very familiar with. One that provides unique and often brilliant commentary on a daily basis from a group of idiosyncratic, yet uniformly entertaining commentators. It goes unrecognized in the award ceremonies, but what other blog regularly covers the following material:

1) Bjorn Lomborg’s continuing battle with the Danish Committee for Scientific Dishonesty.

2) Luxembourg’s devolving role in modern Europe

3) strange things seen on CSPAN in the middle of the night

4) spirited defenses of free market economics with occasional odes to Thomas Sowell

5) tales of beer drinking and bird watching

That’s right, Fraters Libertas .... would like to recognize The Chicago Boyz for doing all of these things and more. They are named in honor of the legendary University of Chicago economists and, appropriately, they do a fine job of covering all matters economic. As you may have noticed they also cover some of the same geo-politcal and cultural territory as Fraters Libertas. But I dare say I’ve never written anything like the following. (It’s regarding Tony Blair, from an essay about the special relationship between the US and Britain):

Tony Blair is a curiosity in large part because he is not a declinist. He actually sees a dynamic role for Britain in the years ahead. He is, in this sense, the heir not of the Labor Party of Clement Atlee, that wound up the Raj in India, but of the older school of liberal imperialists like Henry Asquith who sought to use Britain’s wealth and influence to do good in the world, and in their Empire, in addition to accruing military, political and economic advantage, even at the cost of certain of those advantages. Blair is not embarrassed to hold out his country as basically good, with a past which is not entirely shameful, and as a positive example to the world. This kind of expansive liberal spirit, not crippled by self-doubt or self-loathing, has long been missing on the left, both here and in Britain, and it harks back to an earlier age. Blair is therefore at odds with his own party as well as with most of the conservatives at the same time. But Blair is actually more right than everybody else on this point. That Blair is right may be more apparent from the perspective of the United States than it is in Britain. Several thousand miles of salt water may provide a clearer perspective on this issue.

Typically good stuff. Since I think you actually need a University of Chicago sheepskin to compose something like that, I highly recommend The Chicago Boys for all your future Henry Asquith-related needs. I know that's where I'll be going.

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