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Best Music of 2012

by danps Sat Dec 29th, 2012 at 07:31:02 AM EST

A CD's worth of the year's best songs, generally from off the beaten path.

If you dig these songs please consider buying them. Most can be had for less than a buck. They will also be hosted at Pruning Shears until Thursday, so you can try before you buy over there.

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Best music of 2011

by danps Sat Dec 31st, 2011 at 06:56:38 AM EST

A CD's worth of the year's best songs, generally from off the beaten path.

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The high cost of fracking - and the movement against it

by danps Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 06:30:57 AM EST

A relatively new natural gas drilling technique - hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" - is being rushed into wide scale use with the same heedless abandon as deep water oil drilling.  Activists are trying to put the brakes on it before fracking has the chance to produce its own version of last year's BP oil spill.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Cairo puts popular opinion back on the map

by danps Tue Feb 15th, 2011 at 05:08:56 PM EST

America's foreign policy has long embraced repressive regimes when it was convenient to do so.  Events in Egypt have demonstrated the price of convenience, and it may already be making a difference.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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The economic aspect of Egypt's protests

by danps Sat Feb 5th, 2011 at 06:48:09 AM EST

Conventional wisdom in Washington seems to have pretty quickly settled on an ideological basis for the unrest in Egypt.  By doing so it has ignored a more compelling - and prosaic - explanation.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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The government's subversion of Silicon Alley

by danps Sat Jan 22nd, 2011 at 06:19:23 AM EST

America's war on WikiLeaks has some familiar echoes to another recent issue.  Unlike last time, however, this time it might do substantial damage to the companies who cooperate.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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The right's role in the Arizona massacre

by danps Tue Jan 11th, 2011 at 07:23:51 PM EST

Some on the right are protesting their innocence and angrily proclaiming it terribly unfair to say their rhetoric in any way contributed to the weekend's violence.  Here is why they are wrong.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Recalibrating convenience, privacy and security

by danps Sat Jan 8th, 2011 at 06:35:08 AM EST

The computer era has largely been marked by a willingness of users to go with the easiest security options available even when those choices weren't terribly secure.  Recent developments in courts and the industry may give users reason to re-think that approach, however.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Best Music of 2010

by danps Sat Jan 1st, 2011 at 08:37:29 AM EST

A CD's worth of the year's best songs, generally from off the beaten path.

Read more... (6 comments, 3193 words in story)

Building the shadow Internet

by danps Sat Dec 18th, 2010 at 06:11:23 AM EST

Two developments have started to fragment the Internet of late.  One looks quite a bit more benign, but both threaten the openness that has been a hallmark of the connected world.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Spain as 51st state

by danps Mon Dec 13th, 2010 at 07:53:49 AM EST

The release of diplomatic cables by WikiLaeaks has provoked a strong reaction from the United States, but perhaps the most interesting part about them is what they reveal about an ally.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

front-paged by afew

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Shutting down the Internet, once seizure at a time

by danps Sat Dec 4th, 2010 at 07:18:30 AM EST

The Department of Homeland Security recently shut down dozens of web sites.  Their legal authority to do so was questionable, as was the court's, and it is part of a disturbing trend.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

Civil liberties, executive power

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Make hay while the sun shines

by danps Sat Nov 27th, 2010 at 07:06:15 AM EST

Since 9/11 the rallying cry of conservatives has been the authoritarian's mantra: If you aren't doing anything wrong, you shouldn't worry about an intrusive government.  Now that an agency has finally gone too far for some of them, they have changed their tune.  Civil libertarians should do something about that, and quickly - before it changes back.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

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Tracking the new financial WMDs

by danps Sat Nov 20th, 2010 at 06:00:38 AM EST

With reckless behavior by the lords of finance now given the blessing of the government, the big question is not whether the era of bubbles is past but where the next one is being inflated.  The pump of choice may have already been selected.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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A terrible precedent

by danps Sat Nov 13th, 2010 at 06:18:57 AM EST

America has passed another unfortunate milestone in its ever longer history of torture.  The latest ex-president thinks that is a good thing, but for some without an immediate self-interest it doesn't look quite so pleasant.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

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The fetishization of efficiency

by danps Sat Nov 6th, 2010 at 06:02:31 AM EST

Efficiency enjoys a nearly spotless reputation.  Business leaders invoke it to justify activities that would otherwise be frowned upon, while politicians use it to explain why policy must follow their pet theories.  Its limitations are once again being laid bare for anyone who cares to see, however.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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State-run Iranian media beats the NY Times on WikiLeaks reporting

by danps Sat Oct 30th, 2010 at 06:53:06 AM EST

One of the biggest stories of the year is being virtually ignored by one of the most influential media outlets in America.  Meanwhile, Iran's government news outlet engages in journalism.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Banks created the foreclosure crisis - they should have to live with it

by danps Sat Oct 23rd, 2010 at 07:10:00 AM EST

The firms that pushed securitization the hardest decided to treat mortgage record keeping into a game of Three Card Monte.  Now that even they can't find the queen, they deserve to suffer the consequences.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Why not a Nobel for Western dissidents?

by danps Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 06:51:02 AM EST

The Nobel Peace prize has been awarded for many different people and for many different reasons, but there appears to be one area the committee is reluctant to go.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

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Assassination is the new torture

by danps Sat Oct 9th, 2010 at 05:59:44 AM EST

The widespread revulsion over torture in the Bush era caused civil libertarians from a wide part of the political spectrum to unite in protest.  The latest presidential power grab is revealing some differences that had been concealed, though.

For more on pruning back executive power see Pruning Shears.

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