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)

« Ten Pounds of Bullshit in a Five Pound Bag | Main | This Week In Tyranny »

The Pneumatics of Washington DC

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

The BP oil spill has been covered up as much as possible from the very beginning, but the nature of it seems to have changed recently. It started as an attempt to downplay the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf, apparently with the belief it would be stopped relatively quickly and its effects kept offshore and under water. Barry Eisler imagined a political flak’s approach: “We’re just guessing. So I want us to guess lower. We’ll introduce the lower number into the public’s mind to ease the entire incident into their consciousness. Once they realize there’s a spill, we can gradually walk the number up without unduly shocking people.” Whatever the real thinking was, his fictionalized logic squares perfectly with what actually happened.

As the magnitude of the disaster has expanded, though, so has the response. What looked like an attempt to collude with a negligent corporation to limit damage to its reputation, if not the environment (via), has morphed into an all-encompassing effort to shut down reporting on the fallout (via). (When former security contractor Adam Dillon went public with his concerns about BP’s actions it prompted a little change, though with unspecified caveats.)

In addition to the lockdown on media access to the worst of the spill sites, there now seems to be an effort to cripple scientific investigation into the effect of the disaster on the Gulf. As Dan Froomkin reported, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is collecting a vast wealth of data on the impact. Unfortunately it has chosen not to share any of it with scientists, though it is doing so with BP. This gives the government the appearance of privileging the irresponsible party who unleashed this disaster on the public over the disinterested researchers who just want to figure out what exactly is going on.

The mushroom approach is of a piece with a larger narrative. As Glenn Greenwald astutely observed on another matter:

Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance — literally — occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry. While a small portion of that is legitimately classified, these whistle blower prosecutions and other disclosure controversies demonstrate that the vast majority of this secrecy is devoted to avoiding embarrassment and accountability….Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. That’s why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics. They’re one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place.

His use of ecclesiastical language is perfect. In fact, the dynamic inside the Beltway bears the strongest resemblance to a particular subset of faith. Most religions throw open their doors to any and all who care to convert. Broadly speaking, if you are willing to learn the basics and live by the major tenets you can become a fully participating member.

There are some, though, like Gnosticism, that postulate secret knowledge not necessarily available even to members. Among the congregation there is a small group who have learned very special things. They have access to the innermost sanctum, and that separates them from everyone - true believers included. (See also secretive societies like the Freemasons.) Unlike faiths that offer full salvation/enlightenment from day one, these groups require years of training and sacrifice in order for the holiest doctrines to be revealed, and there is no promise that they ever will be.

That is the dynamic that seems to best characterize politics at America’s national level. Citizens do not know much of what is happening, but not because such things are unknowable. Data is being collected, records are being kept, it all is getting taken down. But our leaders seem to have come to see themselves as the keepers of holy mysteries. They derive their power not from their training, experience or competence but because they guard that which has been revealed. The more miserly they are in rationing it, the more it enhances their prestige. In that sense the biggest threats are, as Greenwald notes, those who would bring light to the masses.

In other words, the challenge is not to persuade NOAA administrators on the facts but to subvert their will. They are not keeping data on the catastrophe secret because they sincerely believe the best response for the Gulf and the country is to only allow BP look at it. They are doing so out of a quasi-religious belief in keeping dark knowledge from the uninitiated.

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