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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Trafficking and the new civil liberties debate

UPDATE: A summary of the ballot language to Proposition 35 has been added as a footnote.

Civil liberties are more often than not difficult to stand up for in practice. In theory everyone is in favor of them, but the only times they make it into national debate is when they are under attack. When times are good policy makers and the public don’t seem to give much thought to re-visiting prior restrictions. If everything in fine why bother, right?

But in times of uncertainty, when fear and anger are driving the discourse, the temptation is to go for the farthest reaching solutions. Laws with vague provisions get rushed through, comforting assurances are announced to the public, and anyone who objects is immediately deemed suspicious.

We went through all this after 9/11. The PATRIOT Act was (and is) truly awful legislation, and led the way to all sorts of abuse. A nation traumatized by the terrorist attacks wasn’t very worried about unintended consequences, and politicians were happy to legislate accordingly. That kind of post-attack dread is very slow to dissipate, too. More than a decade on, there is still some political hay to be made in denouncing the awful practice of giving suspected terrorists a Miranda warning. Letting the lizard brain go to the background takes a long time.

In the years after 9/11 civil libertarians fought the worst infringements being pushed for and basically lost. The predicted abuses began pretty quickly, infringements expanded without any real push back, and by the time the FISA Amendments Act passed in 2008 it was obvious civil liberties were an afterthought to the federal government. (It’s a wryly amusing footnote that David Petraeus has had his career destroyed by exactly the kind of wide ranging data collection civil libertarians objected to at the time.)

Barring some extraordinary change in public opinion or political sentiment, that is where we stand. The issue has been settled, badly, and there is not much use in covering it any more - which is one of the reasons I haven’t written about it for the past few years. Maybe if a few more Petraeus scandals happen lawmakers will be inspired to have another look, but as of right now it seems like a dead issue.

A new civil liberties fight has started, though, and the outcome of this one is still to be decided. Like with terrorism, it starts grounded in truth. No one argued terrorism was not a threat after 9/11, just that we needed a less expansive fight against it. We could fight terrorism and still be true to our best traditions. Those who said that were mocked even though they were right (it didn’t do John Kerry much good, did it?) Making the case for a rational approach meant being soft on terror.

The issue of human trafficking has similar contours. Described by the government (via) as “the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude,” it is a very real and urgent problem. (It’s also worth pointing out that the Marczak/New Yorker pieces describe America’s involvement in trafficking as part of the subcontracting process for supporting our wars.)

This seems to be a case where an Inspector General report is called for, maybe also a hard look at how the military has outsourced so many of its functions. And this is probably too much to ask, but perhaps we could also look at the degree to which our wars create the environment for these kinds of human rights abuses.

But the term “trafficking” is also being used in other ways, most recently in California’s Proposition 35. It was billed1 as an anti-trafficking law, passed overwhelmingly, and was immediately challenged the the ACLU and the EFF. Because it, like terrorism, is an incredibly emotionally charged issue, anyone opposing it is almost immediately put on the defensive. In the same way that opposing wholesale infringements on our privacy meant that you didn’t want to help protect us from terrorism, opposing prop 35 now means taking a “stand against the safety and sanctity of children.”

Those who have written against it, like Melissa Gira Grant, have taken on a hard and unpopular task. One of the first responses will be to show wrenching pictures like the one that heads Marczak’s article and demand “so are you in favor of this?” The fact that no one with an ounce of empathy is, and that all decent people find trafficking abhorrent, quickly gets lost. When debates enter that kind of territory there isn’t much room for nuance. Those who have taken positions like Grant’s have probably learned that pretty quickly. And if recent history is any guide, the odds against them persuading the larger public are pretty long. It’s a debate worth having though.


1. From the summary provided in the linked voting guide:

Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities. Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.


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