A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

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Getting Beyond Regulation

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post


The theory on how to best protect the public from private sector wrongdoing consists basically of regulation. From the Federal Reserve Act nearly a century ago to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the Depression to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, we have largely trusted that a federal authority could effectively monitor, and if necessary punish, businesses.

Regulation’s limitations became too obvious to deny during the Bush years. The EPA, not exactly a pit bull to begin with, became almost totally, laughably ineffective (via). To be fair, environmental protection has been derided by conservatives as business unfriendly, myopic, job killing do-gooderism run amok for decades. It is not surprising that the agency had trouble getting the widespread support needed to sustain real vigilance. Also, compared to some of its sister agencies the EPA was a paragon of rectitude.

Even under the best circumstances regulation is destined to be under perpetual assault from those who would benefit from its absence. If you look, for instance, at the way Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (which incidentally is an anagram for “a cad churning smog slop”) installed a revolving door between its boardroom and Washington, it becomes unsurprising that regulation of it has ceased (here is this week’s scandal).

The neutering of regulatory bodies may paradoxically cause those in them to have a positively exalted view of themselves. For example, here is Simon Johnson’s mild take on Goldman’s latest: “If the Federal Reserve were an effective supervisor, it would have the political will sufficient to determine that Goldman Sachs has not been acting in accordance with its banking license. But any meaningful action from this direction seems unlikely.” Contrast that with Minneapolis Fed President Narayana R. Kocherlakota’s almost messianic view of the Fed:

My theme here is that this improvement in our economic situation is attributable in large part to actions taken by the Federal Reserve. I will emphasize that the Federal Reserve was only able to undertake these actions because of the expertise and information it had acquired as a supervisor of the nation’s banks. My conclusion is that stripping the Federal Reserve of its supervisory role would needlessly put a Great Depression on the menu of possibilities for our country.

(He appears, by the way, to be another inflation crusader. Look at the last two paragraphs of page six for a truly bizarre scenario on the dangers of inflation. I particularly like the line “Suppose that households believe prices will rise.”)

In short, regulation has a spotty track record lately. Economist Barry Ritholtz acknowledged that and pointed to a new approach when he wrote a recent proposal “would not have prevented this crisis, but it would reduce taxpayer exposure to Wall Street speculation.” Since regulation depends on human intervention, it would be good to have a simple mechanism that reduced the public’s exposure to abuse.

Think about the surprisingly durable support for a public health insurance option. It bypasses regulation completely. It says to the industry: do what you want, charge what you want, chart your own course - we will not interfere; we’ll just be over here with our own operation that folks can pick if they want. Those who wish to reduce their exposure to the wonders of laissez faire capitalism can sign up. The rest can go with you. What rugged individualist could possibly object? (The main objection to it - that it would undercut the private sector and drive it out of business - raises the obvious question: then what value is the industry providing?)

Similarly, Brent Budowsky recently called for a “public option bank” that would offer a small menu of simple, ordinary services for those who prefer not to take their chances with Citibank or Bank of America. It would not impact the private sector in the slightest - no new taxes, regulations or hoops to jump through. It would just provide an alternative to those who wanted reduced exposure. Those with a taste for swashbuckling capitalism can throw in with Wall Street, those who prefer less excitement can have it.

The “quarantined risk” model will not work for everything. You cannot very well have a government protected patch of the environment and let industry turn the rest into a Superfund site, for example. It does mark the emergence of a new possibility, though, and one that would be an excellent hedge against failed regulation. If it keeps getting traction look for even its most innocuous expressions to be ferociously opposed, because it will represent not just a change in policy or political alignment, but a change in the way we think.

UPDATE: Ritholtz responds.

Reader Comments (2)

good to see that you are back on your feet or at least able to drag yourself to the keyboard and pound out an excellent post.

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjust a reader

Thanks very much - I've been feeling much better. The middle of last week was a total loss (it was no ordinary cold) but but I started improving steadily after that.

February 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterDan

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