Archive for May 2010

More on Exception Scenarios   2 comments

A follow up from this previous post.

John McQuaid over at True/Slant (twice), David Roberts at Grist, and David Brooks in a NYT Op-Ed weigh in on this with some commentary that’s worth reading.

Some assorted observations:

David Roberts says, “Once we know that accidents can be catastrophic and irreversible, it becomes clear that there is no margin of error. We’re operating a brittle system, unable to contain failure and unable to recover from it… the thing is, we’re already operating in those circumstances in a thousand different ways — it’s just that the risks and the damages tend to be distributed and obscured from view.”

That’s actually a bad way to look at this particular scenario, he’s learning something of the wrong lesson.  Systems are brittle when accidents can have catastrophic effects, sure, but the conclusion is that “there is no margin of error” is incorrect.  It’s based upon the faulty premise that “catastrophic and irreversible” also means “the end of the Universe”.  There’s lots of catastrophic and irreversible (at least, in non-geologic time) events that can occur that have nothing to do with anything human beings can control.  Supervolcanoes, Gamma-Ray Bursts, other stuff you’d read about in Phil’s Death From the Skies.  Some of these *are* “endgame”.  Some aren’t.  Even if this oil spill were irreversible, it’s not endgame.

Now, sure, it would be *really* bad, but once you cross over into “some possible accident may have consequences so dire that we can’t possibly engage in this activity” land, you’re rapidly going to wind up huddled in a corner, afraid to do anything.  You can’t do a risk analysis without looking at benefits.  It’s costs (including possible exception scenarios) vs benefits.  Take one of them out, and you’re doing it wrong.

We are not, in fact, operating in those circumstances in a thousand different ways.  You could bring down the entire U.S. power grid for a month, you wouldn’t destroy civilization.  You could release a supervirus that kills off 70% of its victims, worse than any plague we’ve ever had, and you wouldn’t destroy civilization.  You could release a bacterium that destroys rice, or wheat, or corn, and you wouldn’t destroy civilization (this one would come a lot closer, though, and would certainly depopulate some geographical areas).  The consequences of AGW aren’t an actual destruction of the planet (the death of a few billion people, which is horrible, granted, but you’re not going to shatter the earth).

Now, I don’t disagree with his conclusion: “Maybe they’ll stop thinking about how to drill better and start thinking about how to avoid drilling altogether.”  But not just because “some mistakes can’t be undone”.  Because some mistakes can’t be undone, and it’s actually possible to generate energy using something other than hydrocarbons.  We don’t need to burn fossil fuels.  We just need to get off our butts and start committing to the alternatives… and replacing oil as the lynchpin of our economy is going to take time, and be really, really painful, and irritate everyone who can’t think in a longer term than the price of travel during summer vacation.  Tough.

John McQuaid says, “Or take the oft-litigated (in the courts and the media) case of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans levee system. I’ll repeat this here, for clarity: most of the devastating flooding of New Orleans occurred because faulty floodwalls collapsed because of errors in their designs approved by the Army Corps of Engineers – i.e., the U.S. government.”

John’s right in the sense that the flooding of New Orleans wasn’t just due to the hurricane, but also the faulty design of the levees (side note to John: this isn’t a suitable place for a blanket anti-ACoE/anti-government plug, since the ACoE itself had reported the fault in the design, the NOAA had asked them to update their hurricane model, etc.  Many people knew or strongly suspected that the levees would break, upgrades had been in the pipe for some time and were cut out of various budgets).

But, when it comes to exception scenarios, the source of the scenario is only important to the extent one can mitigate it.  If the levees are substandard, and might break, but you have no ability to fix them yourself (due to a lack of local government funds) or can’t rely upon someone else to fix them for you (lack of political will among, well, whoever), you have to plan for the levees breaking.  In fact, it’s a good idea to have a plan for the levees breaking regardless of whether they’re broken by water pressure caused by a hurricane, or an actual act of human agency.  Any time you have a large population center below water level, it’s probably a good idea to focus on the question: “What do we do if the waters come rushing in?”, in addition to trying to prevent it in the first place.  Actually, focusing upon the response to classes of failures is going to be much more likely to produce positive results than trying to stop a long laundry list of individual, specific failures.

David Brooks says, “These systems, which allow us to live as well as we do, are too complex for any single person to understand. Yet every day, individuals are asked to monitor the health of these networks, weigh the risks of a system failure and take appropriate measures to reduce those risks.  If there is one thing we’ve learned, it is that humans are not great at measuring and responding to risk when placed in situations too complicated to understand.”

Actually, this is both true and misleading.  Human beings, as a class, are really bad at risk analysis.  However, some individual humans (by a combination of training and natural inclination) are really, really good at risk analysis.  Human beings, as a class, can be either good or bad at risk analysis in very specific problem domains with which they have a lot of experience, certain types of risks will be generally downplayed, others will be exaggerated.

The big problem with events like BP’s oil spill isn’t (precisely) that people are bad at risk analysis, though.  Further down in Brooks’ piece: “On the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, a Transocean official apparently tried to close off a safety debate by reminding everybody the blowout preventer would save them if something went wrong.”

This illustrates a problem I’ve actually alluded to before, in this specific-to-the-IT-industry post.  Someone might actually have a very good idea that something is wrong.  FBI agents suspected terrorists were getting flying lessons prior to 9/11.  Harry Markopolos knew that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.  Lots and lots and lots of economists or real estate professionals knew that there was a real estate bubble.  Safety debates took place on the Deepwater Horizon.

The problem is in leadership.  Good risk analysts don’t necessarily acquire leadership positions in our society.  Most of our economic and social-ladder reward systems aren’t based upon “slow and steady wins the race”, but “flashy and makes huge profit right now gets promoted”.  If you deliver a success at a company, you get promoted.  If, three years down the line, your “success” is actually shown to be an utter failure, you normally don’t get demoted.  It’s too late, you can cover your hind end, claim plausible deniability, state conditions have changed, etc.  Typically, you can’t even really prove that the success is an utter failure, because you didn’t quantify at the beginning what constituted success!

Human organizations (be they businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, governmental entities, or a collection of random spontaneous volunteers) are very, very bad at keeping incentives aligned with responsibilities.  If one of those Deepwater Horizon employees had the understood authority to unilaterally declare a shutdown of an operation that costs $500,000 a day to operate, with no outright repercussions on their career, you can bet that the rig would have been shut down during that safety debate.  As long as individuals have to weigh their own individual economic interest against their responsibilities, you put an incredible tension when possible problems crop up.

We don’t reward caution.  We don’t promote risk analysts.

There are advantages to this: when things go right (and by definition, exception scenarios are things that are the exception, not the rule), we progress very, very rapidly.  We make money, we open new markets, we develop new technologies, we have rapid innovation.

We also build economic time bombs, build new monopolies, introduce new byproducts, crush outstanding methods that might be (when all externalities are accounted for), cheaper, more efficient, less polluting, whatever.

I think a case can be made that perhaps American business and government could use more principled hardasses that won’t keel over at the first sign of trouble.  Whatever happened to the American leader?

Posted May 28, 2010 by padraic2112 in rants, Uncategorized

Singed Your Hair On That One, WH.   Leave a comment

JoshBW , Michael Coates, and Pinvoke deconstruct a research project by White Hat Security.  From Josh, a pithy summary I agree with almost wholeheartedly:

All of that said, for any given organization the languages that are probably the most secure are the ones the developers are most comfortable writing code with. Forcing a PHP developer to write code because you feel it is more secure is a mistake and will buy you nothing but a longer development cycle. (exception – if your coders still swear by CGI you really are better off forcing them into something invented in the past decade even if they will have a learning curve. You probably shouldnt’ have let them be so resistant to change to begin with).

My exception to his exception: someone who can program secure C code for a CGI-based web site is probably a valuable developer.  The problem is, (s)he is going to be dang hard to replace.  The value in forcing your development crew to stay current with technology – at least, not five “cool frameworks” in the past – is that eventually you’re going to have to hand that code over to somebody else.

And the likelihood that their replacement can write secure C code is very low.  It’s really easy to shoot yourself in the foot with C.

Posted May 26, 2010 by padraic2112 in security, tech

Found on Facebook   1 comment

Posted May 18, 2010 by padraic2112 in humor, Uncategorized

Megmemes: 25 Questions   Leave a comment

From Megan:

25 Questions

1. What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
Chicks with bricks come.
Chicks with blocks come.
Chicks with bricks and blocks and clocks come.

2. If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be?
Wayne Manor

3. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?
About 33 hours.  I never found this to be an entertaining challenge.

4. What’s your favorite Barry Manilow song?
I only know of the Copa.

5. Who’s your favorite Muppet?

6. What’s the habit you’re proudest of breaking?
I don’t get pride out of changing habits.  That’s silly talk.  You change habits because you ought.

7. What’s your favorite website?
Judging solely by persistence, the one that’s been in my bookmarks the longest is Schneier’s.

8. What’s your favorite school supply?
Mechanical pencils and graph paper tie.

9. Who’s your favorite TV attorney?
Meg’s right, Perry is the *only* TV attorney.  All the rest of these chumps pale by comparison.

10. What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles?
Taking the kids to Meg’s and back.  Okay, that’s actually 48.2

11. What’s the best bargain you’ve ever found at a garage sale or junk shop?
My “disco theme party” leisure suit.  It’s the exact same one that Jon Heder wore years later in Napoleon Dynamite.

12. Where were you on September 11, 2001?
Living on S. Lake Avenue in a house that was too big and too expensive in the monthly rent.  Kitty was over, and NPR woke us up with the news.

13. What’s your favorite tree?
I like trees you can climb in.  Oaks are high on the list.

14. What’s the most interesting biography you’ve read?
I’ve been trying to find a biography of Emmy Noether that doesn’t cost $200+.  Let me know if you find one.

15. What do you order when you eat Chinese food?
I love me some dumplings.

16. What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn?
Probably the pirate costume I wore for a pirate party.  I’ll have to dig up a picture.

17. What’s your least favorite word?
One I can’t put on this blog on account o’ my family-friendly policy.

18. If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be?
State names are nicknames, you don’t get to pick your own.

19. Who’s your favorite bear?
The Grizzly

20. Describe something that’s happened to you for which you have no explanation.
I should have fallen off a 20 meter rock face and died when I was freeclimbing in college.  It was basically impossible to regain my balance, but somehow it happened.

21. If you could travel anywhere in Africa, where would it be?
The Serengeti.

22. What did you have for lunch yesterday?
A burrito from Burrito Express.  JVC with Carne Asada, spicy.

23. Where do you go for advice?
The Magic Internet Machine!

24. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus?
Since just about every computer widget has a built-in dictionary and auto-correcting spelling nowadays, everyone would answer “dictionary” if they thought about it.

25. Have you ever been snorkeling? Scuba diving?
Yep, in Catalina, Hawaii, and Australia.  Nope, not ever.

Posted May 13, 2010 by padraic2112 in memes, Uncategorized

Theme Thursday: Mystery   6 comments

I love mysteries.  I love hard-boiled detective fiction, whodunits, and campy mysteriocomedies.  Gimme all if it, Miss Marple, Peter Death Bredon Whimsey, Sam Spade, Elvis Cole, Bernie Rhodenbarr, Hieronymous Bosch, Travis McGee, Irwin Maurice Fletcher, Francis Xavier Flynn, Philip Marlowe, I could go on and on and on… in novel form or short story, on the little screen or deep in the bowels of a dark cinema.  The kids are into the original Scooby Doo episodes right now, and as campy and silly as they are, it’s been a good lead-in to explaining to Jack what that big chunk of brown- and blue-bound books are and why he wants to read them…

I read those Hardy Boys books, from The Tower Treasure to The Sting of the Scorpion (all 58 stories) before I started third grade, most of the first 38 in the original runs prior to the re-writes.  I still have most of them, having survived the cycle of being loaned out to, and returned from, avid younger readers.  I’m looking forward to reading Jack those crazy cliff-hanger end-of-chapter pages!

As cheesy as the television series was at times, it still had that late-70s trend towards awesome intros.  Orson, you da man.

Since Somebody Asked…   5 comments

Here’s what’s in my music archive (all stuff I purchased myself or acquired by marriage, and yes I own all the CDs).  This is not quite up to date, I’ll have to get the additions in there.  It also doesn’t include all the LPs, which is an enormous project in and of itself…

Artist Album
24-7 Spyz Strength In Numbers
A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders
ABBA ABBA Gold . Greatest Hits
Above The Law Black Mafia Life – The Album
AC-DC High Voltage
AC-DC Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
AC-DC Powerage
AC-DC Highway To Hell
AC-DC Back In Black
Adam Ant Friend or Foe
Aerosmith Toys In The Attic
Aerosmith Permanent Vacation
Aerosmith Pump
Aerosmith Pandora’s Box; Disc 1
Aerosmith Pandora’s Box; Disc 2
Aerosmith Pandora’s Box; Disc 3
Aerosmith Get A Grip
A-ha Hunting High and Low
Ali Farka Toure With Ry Cooder Talking Timbuktu
Alice In Chains Facelift
Alice In Chains Dirt
Alice In Chains Jar Of Flies
Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom of the Opera (Disc 2)
Andrew Lloyd Webber The Phantom of the Opera (Disc 1)
Anne-Sophie Mutter,  André Previn,   Staatskapelle Dresden Sibelius: Violinkonzert – Serenaden – Humoreske
Anthrax Among the Living
Anthrax State Of Euphoria
Anthrax Attack of The Killer B’s
Anthrax Sound Of White Noise
Antonio Vivaldi Vivaldi’s Favorites, Vol. 1 (Six Concertos for Diverse Instruments)
Asia Then & Now
Astor Piazzolla Tango: Zero Hour
Average White Band Pickin’ Up the Pieces: The Best of Average White Band (1974-1990)
B.B. King Blues Summit
Bad Brains Rock For Light
Bad Brains Rise
Bad Brains Black Dots
Bauhaus Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape
Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique
Beastie Boys Check Your Head
Beastie Boys Ill Communication
Beastie Boys Hello Nasty
Beatles Rubber Soul
Beatles Revolver
Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Beatles Yellow Submarine
Beatles Past Masters Volume 2
BeauSoliel L’Amour ou la Folie
Beck One Foot in the Grave
Beck Odelay
Belle & Sebastian If You’re Feeling Sinister
Ben Harper The Will To Live
Ben Harper And The Innocent Criminals Burn To Shine
Benny Goodman The Gold Collection (Disc 2)
Benny Goodman The Gold Collection (Disk 1)
Big Audio Dynamite Planet BAD: Greatest Hits
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Americana Deluxe
Billie Holiday Complete Edition Volume 1 – 1933-1936
Billie Holiday Billie’s Blues
Billie Holiday All Or Nothing At All II
Billie Holiday Billie Holiday’s Greatest Hits
Billie Holiday All Or Nothing At All I
Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue
Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue Volume II
Billy Idol Billy Idol (Remastered)
Billy Idol Rebel Yell
Billy Joel Greatest Hits (Disc 1)
Billy Joel Greatest Hits (Disc 2)
Bing Crosby Top O’The Morning, His Irish Collection
Bizet Carmen- Fritz Reiner, Rise Stevens, Jan Peerce, Licia Albanese, Robert Merill (Disc 1)
Bizet Carmen- Fritz Reiner, Rise Stevens, Jan Peerce, Licia Albanese, Robert Merill (Disc 2)
Bizet Carmen- Fritz Reiner, Rise Stevens, Jan Peerce, Licia Albanese, Robert Merill (Disc 3)
Bjork Debut
Black Sabbath Paranoid
Blind Melon Blind Melon
Blondie The Best Of Blondie
Blues Traveler Travelers & Thieves
Blues Traveler Save His Soul
Blues Traveler Four
Blur She’s So High (Anniversary Box)
Blur Bang (Anniversary Box)
Blur Leisure
Blur There’s No Other Way (Anniversary Box)
Blur Popscene (Anniversary Box)
Blur Chemical World (Anniversary Box)
Blur For Tomorrow (Anniversary Box)
Blur Sunday Sunday (Anniversary Box)
Blur End Of A Century (Single)
Blur Girls & Boys (Anniversary Box)
Blur Parklife
Blur Parklife (Anniversary Box)
Blur To The End (Anniversary Box)
Blur Country House (Anniversary Box)
Blur The Universal (Anniversary Box)
Blur Stereotypes (Anniversary Box)
Blur Beetlebum (Anniversary Box)
Blur Blur
Blur M.O.R. (Anniversary Box)
Blur On Your Own (Anniversary Box)
Blur Song 2 (Anniversary Box)
Blur 13
Blur Tender (Anniversary Box)
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits
Bob Marley and The Wailers Legend
Boston Boston
Boston Don’t Look Back
Boston Walk On
Boxing Gandhis Boxing Gandhis
Boxing Gandhis Howard
Branford Marsalis Royal Garden Blues
Branford Marsalis Trio Bloomington
Branford Marsalis-Trio Jeepy Branford Marsalis-Trio Jeepy
Brother Exit From Screechville
Calloway Cab Hii De Ho man
Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman
Cecilia Bartoli A Portrait – Cecilia Bartoli
Charlie Parker The Original Kansas City Verve Recordings
Cheap Trick The Greatest Hits
Christopher O’Riley True Love Waits
Christopher Parkening Parkening Plays Bach
Christopher Parkening In the Spanish Style
Cirque du Soleil Alegria
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1 CD 3
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1, CD 1
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1, CD 2
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 2, CD 1
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 2, CD 2
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Walter Weller (conductor) Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol. 2, CD 3
Clannad Magical Ring
Clannad Macalla
Clannad Past Present
Clannad Anam
Clannad Lore
Clannad Landmarks
Clannad Fuaim
Cocktail Mix Vol. 2: Martini Madness
Coldplay Parachutes
Coldplay A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Coldplay X&Y
Coolio It Takes A Thief
Coolio Gansta’s Paradise
Cornershop When I Was Born for the 7th Time
Cornershop Handcream for a Generation
Counting Crows August and Everything After
Coverdale Page Coverdale Page
Crash Test Dummies God Shuffled His Feet
Creedence Clearwater Revival Chronicle – The 20 Greates Hits
Cut Chemist Meets Shortkut Live At The Futureprimitive Soundsession
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill Black Sunday
Dan Zanes Catch That Train!
Daniel Ash Coming Down
Dave Matthews Band Under The Table And Dreaming
Dave Matthews Band Crash
David Gray White Ladder
David Lee Roth David Lee Roth – Crazy From the Heat
Death Cab for Cutie Plans
Deee-Lite Infinity Within
Def Leppard On Through The Night
Def Leppard High ‘N’ Dry
Def Leppard Pyromania
Depeche Mode Speak & Spell
Depeche Mode Get The Balance Right And Live Tracks
Depeche Mode Some Great Reward
Depeche Mode Black Celebration
Depeche Mode Violator
Depeche Mode PRO-CD-5192
Depeche Mode Songs Of Faith And Devotion
Dido No Angel
Digable Planets Reachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space)
Digable Planets Blowout Comb
Dire Straits Money For Nothing
Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces
DJ Krush Code4109
Doug Stone From The Heart
Duran Duran Decade
Dwight Yoakam This Time
E Broken Toy Shop
Eagle-Eye Cherry Desireless
Eagle-Eye Cherry Present | Future
Earl Klugh Move
Eastman Trio Tchaikovsky Trio in A minor, Op. 50  /  Glinka Trio Pathétique in D minor
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians Ghost Of A Dog
Eels Beautiful Freak
Eels Electro-shock Blues
Eels daisies of the galaxy
Eels oh what a beautiful morning
Eels Souljacker
Eels Rotten World Blues EP
Eels Blinking Lights And Other Revelations (Disc 1)
Eels Blinking Lights And Other Revelations (Disc 2)
Ella Fitzgerald The Platinum Collection (Disc 1)
Ella Fitzgerald The Platinum Collection (Disc 2)
Ella Fitzgerald The Best of Ella Fitgerald
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Ella And Louis
Elvis Presley The Top Ten Hits (Disc 1)
Elvis Presley The Top Ten Hits [Disc 2]
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
Enigma MCMXC a. D.
Enigma Enigma 2 The CROSS of Changes
Enya Enya
Enya Watermark
Enya Shepherd Moons
Enya The Celts
Enya The Memory of Trees
Enya A Day Without Rain
Eric Clapton Crossroads (Disc 1)
Eric Clapton Crossroads (Disc 2)
Eric Clapton Crossroads (Disc 3)
Eric Clapton Crossroads (Disc 4)
Eric Johnson Tones
Eric Johnson Ah Via Musicom
Eric Johnson Venus Isle
Ethyl Meatplow Happy Days, Sweetheart
Eurythmics Greatest Hits
Exodus Fabulous Disaster
Exodus Force Of Habit
Faith No More Introduce Yourself
Faith No More The Real Thing
Faith No More Angel Dust
Faith, Folk & Anarchy Live (Disc 1)
Faith, Folk & Anarchy Live (Disc 2)
Farside Rochambeau
Fatboy Slim You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
Fats Domino Antonie “Fats” Domino (Disc 1)
Fats Domino Antonie “Fats” Domino (Disc 2)
Fats Waller Greatest Hits [RCA]
Fats Waller Ain’t Misbehavin’
Fats Waller At The Organ
Felix Mendelssohn Octet/ String quartet no.2
Fiddler on the Roof: Original Film Soundtrack Fiddler on the Roof
Fishbone Fishbone
Fishbone In Your Face
Fishbone Bonin’ In The Boneyard
Fishbone Give a Monkey a Brain… And He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe
Fleming & John Delusions Of Grandeur
Fleming & John The Way We Are
Foghat The Best Of Foghat
Folk Implosion One Part Lullaby
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters The Colour And The Shape
Foo Fighters There is Nothing Left to Lose
Foreigner The Definitive Collection 1
Foreigner The Definitive Collection 2
Forever Plaid The Heavenly Musical Hits
Frankie Goes To Hollywood Welcome to the Pleasuredome
G. Love & Special Sauce G. Love and Special Sauce
G. Love & Special Sauce Coast To Coast Motel
G. Love & Special Sauce Philadelphonic
Gabriel Fauré & Maurice Duruflé Requiem op. 48 & Requiem op. 9
Garth Brooks The Chase
Genesis Abacab
Genesis Genesis
George Friedrich Handel Messiah (Disc 1)
George Friedrich Handel Messiah (Disc 2)
George Shearing In Dixieland
George Thorogood Bad To The Bone
George Thorogood Maverick
George Thorogood Live
George Thorogood Born To Be Bad
George Thorogood And The Destroyers Move It On Over
Georgia Satellites Georgia Satellites
Getaway People Getaway People
Glenn Miller Chattanooga Choo Choo – The #1 Hits
Glenn Miller The Best of Glenn MIller
Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction
Guns N’ Roses GN’R Lies
Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I
Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion II
Guru Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1
Guru Jazzmatazz Volume II – The New Reality
Gustav Holst + Niccollo Paganini The Planets Op 32 + Intro toVariations
Hall & Oates The Very Best Of Hall & Oats
Harry Belafonte Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Henryk Szeryng, Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra Schumann & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Herbie Hancock Future Shock
Hootie & the Blowfish Cracked Rear View
Hothouse Flowers Home
Hothouse Flowers Songs From The Rain
Howard Jones Dream Into Action
Howard Jones Greatest Hits
Igor Stravinsky Petrushka (1947) / Pulcinella – Royal ConcertgebouwOrchestra
In June Only Because
Infectious Grooves The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…
INXS The Swing
INXS Listen Like Thieves
Itzhak Perlman Live In the Fiddler’s House
James Brown 20 All-Time Greatest Hits!
James Cotton Living The Blues
James Horner Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
James Taylor Greatest Hits
Jamiroquai The Return of The Space Cowboy
Jamiroquai Traveling Without Moving
Jane’s Addiction Nothing’s Shocking
Jane’s Addiction Ritual De Lo Habitual
Jeff Buckley Grace
Jeff Buckley Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk
Jeff Buckley Sketches For my Sweetheart The Drunk [Disk Two]
Jesus Jones Liquidizer
Jesus Jones Doubt
Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys (Capitol Pressing)
Jimi Hendrix Radio One
Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced
Jimmy Buffett Songs You Know By Heart, Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hit(s)
Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra Contrasts
Joan Jett And The Blackhearts I Love Rock-n-Roll
Joan Osborne Relish
Joe Satriani Not Of This Earth
Joe Satriani Surfing With The Alien
Joe Satriani Dreaming #11
Joe Satriani Flying In A Blue Dream
Joe Satriani The Extremist
Joe Satriani Time Machine (Live-CD)
Joe Satriani Time Machine (Studio-CD)
Joe Satriani Joe Satriani
Joe Satriani Crystal Planet
Joe Satriani Engines Of Creation
John Coltrane Live In Antibes, 1965
John Coltrane and others The New Wave in Jazz
John Lee Hooker Trouble Blues – 20 Original Recordings
John Lee Hooker House Of The Blues
John Williams Star Wars Trilogy Soundtrack (Disc 4)
John Williams Star Wars Trilogy Soundtrack (Disc 1)
John Williams Star Wars Trilogy Soundtrack (Disc 2)
John Williams Star Wars Trilogy Soundtrack (Disc 3)
Jonatha Brooke & The Story Plumb
Journey Greatest Hits
Kathy Mattea Willow In The Wind
King Missile Happy Hour
Kiss Smashes, Thrashes & Hits
Kiss Revenge
L7 Bricks Are Heavy
Latin Playboys Dose
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Led Zeppelin Boxed Set (Disc 1)
Led Zeppelin Boxed Set (Disc 2)
Led Zeppelin Boxed Set (Disc 3)
Led Zeppelin Boxed Set (Disc 4)
Led Zeppelin Box Set Compendium (Disc 1)
Led Zeppelin Box Set Compendium (Disc 2)
Lenny Kravitz Let Love Rule
Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way
Lenny Kravitz Circus
Lenny Kravitz Mama Said
Liz Phair Whip-Smart
Liz Phair Whitechocolatespaceegg
Los Lobos Kiko
Los Lobos How Will The Wolf Survive?
Louis Armstrong All Time Greatest Hits
Love And Rockets Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven
Love and Rockets Express
Love and Rockets Love and Rockets
Loverboy Loverboy Classics – Their Greatest Hits
Ludwig Van Beethoven Vladimir Feltsman Performs Beethoven
Luscious Jackson Daughters of the Kaos
Luscious Jackson In Search of Manny
Luscious Jackson Natural Ingredients
Luscious Jackson Fever In Fever Out
Luscious Jackson Electric Honey
Lush Spooky
M.C. Hammer Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Macy Gray On How Life Is
Maia Sharp Hardly Glamour
Manuel Barrueco Manuel Barrueco Plays de Falla, Ponce, Rodrigo
Marlene Dietrich Live at the Cafè de Paris, London
Martyn Joseph Thunder And Rainbows (Disc 1)
Martyn Joseph Thunder And Rainbows (Disc 2)
Martyn Joseph Don’t Talk About Love Vol 2
Martyn Joseph Whoever It Was That Brought Me Here Will Have To Take Me Home
Martyn Joseph Being There
Matthew Sweet Girlfriend
Mazzy Star She Hangs Brightly
Mazzy Star So Tonight That I Might See
Megadeth Rust In Peace
Men At Work Business As Usual
Metallica Kill ‘Em All
Metallica Ride The Lightning
Metallica Master Of Puppets
Metallica Garage Days Re-Revisited
Metallica …And Justice For All
Metallica Harvester Of Sorrow
Metallica Black Album
Metallica Enter Sandman [Single]
Michael Chapdelaine Spanish Roses
Midnight Oil Red Sails In The Sunset
Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
Midnight Oil Blue Sky Mining
Midnight Oil Forgotten Years
Miles Davis Getz/Konitz / Conception
Miles Davis And Quincy Jones Miles And Quincy Live At Montreux
Ministry The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste
Ministry In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (Live)
Ministry Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & the Way to Suck Eggs
Miriam Makeba Africa
Morrissey Viva Hate
Morrissey Bona Drag
Morrissey Kill Uncle
Mötley Crüe Girls, Girls, Girls
Mötley Crüe Raw Tracks
Mötley Crüe Raw Tracks
Mötley Crüe Shout At The Devil
Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro (Disc 1)
Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro (Disc 2)
Mozart Le Nozze Di Figaro (Disc 3)
Mozart Requiem
Mozart Symphonien 40 & 41 “Jupiter”
Mozart Symphonies 24, 25, 26 ,27, 32
Muddy Waters Hard Again
Nadja Salerno-sonnenberg Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg – Humoresque
Nanci Griffith Other Voices, Other Rooms
Nanci Griffith Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back To Bountiful)
Nat King Cole Nat King Cole 40 Hits Vol. 1
Nat King Cole Nat King Cole 40 Hits Vol. 2
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin God Fodder
Neil Norman Star Trek Original T.V. Series Sound Effects
New Order Substance (Disc 1)
New Order Substance (Disc 2)
Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
Nine Inch Nails Broken
Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral
Nirvana Unplugged In New York
No Doubt No Doubt
No Doubt Tragic Kingdom
Norah Jones Come Away With Me
Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Oingo Boingo Only a Lad
Oingo Boingo Good for Your Soul
Oingo Boingo BOI-NGO
Oingo Boingo Boingo Alive (Disc 1)
Oingo Boingo Boingo Alive (Disc 2)
Oingo Boingo Dark At The End Of The Tunnel
Oingo Boingo Boingo
Olivia Newton-John Back to Basics (The Essential Collection 1971-1992)
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark The Best of OMD
Otis Redding The Dock Of The Bay
Ozomatli Ozomatli
Pat Benatar Best Shots (1989)
Patsy Cline 12 Greatest Hits
Paul Simon Negotiations And Love Songs 1971-1986
Pearl Jam Ten
Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel 3
Peter Gabriel Security
Peter Gabriel So
Peter Gabriel Us
Peter Gabriel Secret World Live  (Disc 2)
Peter Gabriel Secret World Live  (Disc 1) *
Phil Collins Face Value
Phil Collins Hello, I Must Be Going!
Phil Collins No Jacket Required
Pink Floyd A Saucerful Of Secrets
Pink Floyd Meddle
Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Animals
Pink Floyd The Wall (Disc 1)
Pink Floyd The Wall (Disc 2)
Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Pink Floyd Early Singles
Porno For Pyros Porno For Pyros
Porno For Pyros Good God’s Urge
Primal Scream Screamadelica
Primus Frizzle Fry
Primus Sailing The Seas Of Cheese
Primus Miscellaneous Debris
Primus Pork Soda
Primus Tales From The Punchbowl
Prince 1999
Prince & The Revolution Purple Rain
Puccini La bohème (Disc 1)
Puccini La bohème (Disc 2)
Puccini La bohème (Disc 3)
Puccini La bohème (Disc 4)
Queen Queen II
Queen Sheer Heart Attack
Queen A Night At The Opera
Queen A Day At The Races
Queen News Of The World
Queen Jazz
Queen The Game
Queen The Works
Queen A Kind of Magic
Queen Innuendo
Queen We Will Rock You & We Are the Champions (Remixed by Rick Rubin)
Queen Made In Heaven
Queensrÿche Empire
Queensrÿche Operation Livecrime
Quiet Riot Metal Health
R.E.M. Lifes Rich Pageant
R.E.M. Document
R.E.M. Eponymous
R.E.M. Green
R.E.M. Out Of Time
R.E.M. Automatic for the People
Radiohead Ok Computer
Radiohead Kid A
Rage Against The Machine Rage Against The Machine
Ramones Ramones Mania
Ratt Ratt & Roll 8191
Ravi Shankar Ragas & Talas
Richard Stoltzman Aria
Robert Palmer Riptide
Robert Palmer Addictions Volume 1
Robert Plant & Jimmy Page No Quarter
Rush Rush
Rush Caress of Steel
Rush Fly By Night
Rush 2112
Rush All The World’s A Stage
Rush A Farewell to Kings
Rush Hemispheres
Rush Permanent Waves
Rush Exit…Stage Left
Rush Moving Pictures
Rush Signals
Rush Grace Under Pressure
Rush Power Windows
Rush Hold Your Fire
Rush A Show Of Hands
Rush Presto
RUSH Roll The Bones
Rush Counterparts
Rush Test for echo
Rush Vapor Trails
Rush Feedback
Rush Snakes & Arrows
Rush Run From The Fans
Sam & Dave The Very Best Of Sam & Dave
Sammy Hagar Standing Hampton
Sammy Hagar VOA
Santana Santana’s Greatest Hits
Santana Milagro
Sarah Chang, Leif Ove Andsnes Dvorak – Violin Concerto Op.53,Piano Quintet Op.81
Sausage Riddles are Abound Tonight
Scorpions Love At First Sting
Semisonic Feeling Strangely Fine
Sheryl Crow Tuesday Night Music Club
Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow
Shriekback The Dancing Years
Sibelius Finlandia – Karelia – Tapiola CD 2
Sibelius, Boston Symphony Orchestra Symphony No.2, Valse triste, Finlandia
Simon & Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel – Collected Works (Disc 2)
Simon & Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel – Collected Works (Disc 1)
Simon & Garfunkel Simon & Garfunkel – Collected Works (Disc 3)
Simon, Carly Film Noir
Siouxsie and the Banshees Superstition
Siouxsie and The Banshees Twice Upon A Time
Sir Mix-A-Lot Baby Got Back (CD Single)
Smashing Pumpkins Gish
Snap The Power of Bhangra (Promo)
Soul Coughing Irresistible Bliss
Soundgarden Badmotorfinger
Soundgarden Superunknown
Soundgarden Down on the Upside
Soup Dragons Hotwired
Spike Jones & His City Slickers Strictly For Music Lovers (Disc 2)
Spike Jones & His City Slickers Strictly for Music Lovers (Disc 3)
Spike Jones & His City Slickers Strictly For Music Lovers (Disc 1)
Spike Jones & His City Slickers Strictly for Music Lovers (Disc 4)
Spinal Tap Break Like The Wind
Squirrel Nut Zippers Hot
Squirrel Nut Zippers Perennial Favorites
Steve Vai Passion and Warfare
Steve Vai The Ultra Zone
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Couldn’t Stand The Weather
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble In Step
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble The Sky Is Crying
Sting The Dream Of The Blue Turtles
Sting Bring On The Night (Disc 1)
Sting Bring On The Night (Disc 2)
Sting …Nothing Like The Sun
Sting Ten Summoner’s Tales
Stone Temple Pilots Core
Stone Temple Pilots Purple
Stormtroopers Of Death Speak English Or Die
Sublime Sublime
Sugarhill Gang Rapper’s Delight: The Best Of Sugarhill Gang
Supertramp Breakfast In America
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (Disc 1)
Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker (Disc 2)
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture
Tchaikovsky String Quartet 3 Op 30
Tchaikovsky Tchaikovsky Piano Trio Op.50-Arensky Piano Trio Op.32
Tears For Fears The Hurting
Tears For Fears Songs From The Big Chair
Ted Nugent Great Gonzos: The Best of Ted Nugent
Terence Trent D’Arby Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby
The Art Of Noise (Who’s Afraid of?) the Art of Noise!
The Art Of Noise In Visible Silence
The Art Of Noise The Best of the Art of Noise
The Art Of Noise Below The Waste
The Art Of Noise the Seduction of Claude Debussy
The Beatles Help!
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles The Beatles (Disc 1)
The Beatles The Beatles (Disc 2)
The Beatles Abbey Road
The Beatles Let It Be
The Beatles Past Masters Volume 1
The Black Crowes Shake Your Money Maker
The Black Crowes The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion
The Brand New Heavies Heavy Rhyme Experience: Vol. 1
The Brand New Heavies Brother Sister
The Brand New Heavies Get Used to It
The Brand New Heavies Shelter
The Breeders Last Splash
The Cars Heartbeat City
The Cars Greatest Hits
The Cars Door To Door
The Cars The Cars
The Chieftains The Long Black Veil
The Chieftains Water from the Well
The Chieftains Further Down The Old Plank Road
The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem Irish Songs of Rebellion
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Irish Songs of Drinking and Rebellion
The Clash The Story Of The Clash – Volume 1 (Disc 1)
The Clash The Story Of The Clash – Volume 1 (Disc 2)
The Cranberries Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
The Cranberries No Need to Argue
The Crystal Method Tweekend
The Cult Sonic Temple
The Cure Pornography
The Cure The Head On The Door
The Cure Staring at the Sea: The Singles
The Cure Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
The Cure Disintegration
The Cure Mixed Up
The Cure Wish
The Cure Wild Mood Swings
The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Out
The Dubliners The Definitive Transatlantic Collection
The Eagles The Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
The Eagles The Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
The Fixx Reach the Beach
The Flaming Lips Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland
The Judds Love Can Build A Bridge
The Latin Playboys Latin Playboys
The New York Choral Society Robert DeCormier / Christmas Is Coming
The Police Outlandos d’Amour
The Police Reggatta de Blanc
The Police Zenyatta Mondatta
The Police Ghost In The Machine
The Police Synchronicity
The Red Hot Chili Peppers Freaky Styley
The Red Hot Chili Peppers The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
The Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik
The Red Hot Chili Peppers What Hits!?
The Red Hot Chili Peppers Mothers Milk
The Rolling Stones Singles Collection – The London Years (Disc 1)
The Rolling Stones Singles Collection – The London Years (Disc 2)
The Rolling Stones Singles Collection – The London Years (Disc 3)
The Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
The Smiths Meat Is Murder
The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
The Smiths Louder Than Bombs
The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come
The Smiths Best … I
The Solsonics Jazz in the Present Tense
The Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits 1974-78
The Stray Cats Rock This Town-Best Of The Stray Cats
The Sundays Blind
The Waterboys Dream Harder
The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan
The Who The Who’s Greatest Hits
Thelonious Monk Criss-Cross
This is Acid Jazz Livin’ in the land of hi-fi – Volume Five
Thompson Twins Hold Me Now
Time Zone World Destruction
Tom Petty Full Moon Fever
Tool Undertow
Toto A Rock And Roll Band
Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman Matters of the Heart
Tracy Chapman New Beginning
Travis The Invisible Band
Trisha Yearwood Thinkin’ About You
U2 Boy
U2 October
U2 Under a Blood Red Sky
U2 The Unforgettable Fire
U2 The Joshua Tree
U2 Zooropa
U2 Pop
U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind
US3 Hand On The Torch
US3 broadway & 52nd
Van Halen Van Halen
Van Halen Van Halen II
Van Halen Women and Children First
Van Halen Fair Warning
Van Halen Diver Down
Van Halen 1984
Van Halen 5150
Van Halen For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Various Artists Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack
Various Artists National Lampoon’s Animal House Soundtrack
Various Artists Masterpieces of Classical Music (Disc 1)
Various Artists Masterpieces of Classical Music (Disc 2)
Various Artists Masterpieces of Classical Music (Disc 3)
Various Artists Masterpieces of Classical Music (Disc 4)
Various Artists The Disco Years – Vol. 1: Turn The Beat Around (1974-1978)
Various Artists Where The Pyramid meets the Eye
Various Artists Just Say Anything (Volume V of Just Say Yes)
Various Artists Thelma & Louise Soundtrack
Various Artists Reservoir Dogs (Soundtrack)
Various Artists Specialty Legends Of Boogie Woogie
Various Artists Stanley, Son of Theodore: Yet Another Alternative Music Sampler
Various Artists The Best of Mountain Stage, Volume Three
Various Artists Blues Masters Volume 7: Blues Revival
Various Artists Giant Steps
Various Artists Irish Drinking Songs
Various Artists No Alternative
Various Artists So I Married An Axe Murderer Soundtrack
Various Artists Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750 Brandenburg ConcertosNos. 1-3 & Two Violin Concertos
Various Artists Pulp Fiction Soundtrack
Various Artists Speakeasy  Collective
Various Artists The Crow Soundtrack
Various Artists Desperado Soundtrack
Various Artists The Best Of Acid Jazz
Various Artists The Next Step
Various Artists Pure Disco
Various Artists Romeo + Juliet: Music from the Motion Picture
Various Artists Swingers Soundtrack
Various Artists Twister Soundtrack
Various Artists X Files, The: Songs in the Key of X
Various Artists Disneyland,Walt Disney World: The Official Album
Various Artists Mad About You: The Final Frontier
Various Artists Heart of Scotland: A Collection of Gaelic Songs
Various Artists Music From Chicago Cab
Various Artists Reaction – 21st Century Groove
Various Artists Still Breathing Soundtrack
Various Artists The X-Files: The Abum
Various Artists Ultimate Dance Party 1999
Various Artists Waking Ned Devine Soundtrack
Various Artists American Beauty Soundtrack
Various Artists The Rookie Soundtrack
Various Artists A Mighty Wind: The Album
Various Artists Camp Soundtrack
Various Artists Garden State Soundtrack
Various Artists Abstract Workshop
Various Artists Disco Nights Vol. 2, The Best of Disco Funk
Various Artists HIT SINGLES – 1980-1988
Various Artists Live From the Mountain Stage Lounge
Various Artists Motown 25 #1 Hits From 25 Years (Disc 1)
Various Artists Motown 25 #1 Hits From 25 Years (Disc 2)
Various Artists Muppets from Space – The Ultimate Muppet Trip
Various Artists Philadelphia Soundtrack
Various Artists Swingers Too!
Various Artists The Future Of Rock
Violent Femmes Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes New Times
Wang Chung Greatest Hits
Wilson Pickett Greatest Hits
Wynonna Judd Wynonna
XTC Drums and Wires
XTC Oranges & Lemons
Yaz Upstairs At Eric’s
Yello One Second
Yo-Yo Ma & Bobby McFerrin Hush
Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble Silk Road Journeys – When StrangersMeet
Yusuf An Other Cup
ZZ Top Eliminator
ZZ Top Afterburner
ZZ Top The Sixpack – Tejas & El Loco
ZZ Top The Sixpack – Tres Hombres & Fandango!
ZZ Top The Sixpack – ZZ Top’s First Album & Rio

Posted May 12, 2010 by padraic2112 in music, Uncategorized

This Is An Attack Ad?   1 comment

If you support the teaching of evolution in the classroom, you’re a stinkin’ liberal.

Now that you think we’ve fully entered bizzaro-world, guess what?  It gets more mind-bendingly crazy… who’s funding this ad?  The Alabama Education Association.

You know, politically speaking I find quite a bit about the Democratic party to be simply silly, but if this is what it means to be a conservative…

State GOP groups are progressively getting more nutty.

Posted May 12, 2010 by padraic2112 in politics, Uncategorized

Why You Shouldn’t Like Obama’s Pick for SCOTUS   1 comment

Thankfully (since I don’t really have the time or the expertise to write this analysis), other people have done the work for me.

From Greenwald’s piece:

Beyond the disturbing risks posed by Kagan’s strange silence on most key legal questions, there are serious red flags raised by what little there is to examine in her record.  I’ve written twice before about that record — here (last paragraph) and here — and won’t repeat those points.  Among the most disturbing aspects is her testimony during her Solicitor General confirmation hearing, where she agreed wholeheartedly with Lindsey Graham about the rightness of the core Bush/Cheney Terrorism template:  namely, that the entire world is a “battlefield,” that “war” is the proper legal framework for analyzing all matters relating to Terrorism, and the Government can therefore indefinitely detain anyone captured on that “battlefield” (i.e., anywhere in the world without geographical limits) who is accused (but not proven) to be an “enemy combatant.”

Those views, along with her steadfast work as Solicitor General defending the Bush/Cheney approach to executive power, have caused even the farthest Right elements — from Bill Kristol to former Bush OLC lawyer Ed Whelan — to praise her rather lavishly.  Contrast all of that with Justice Stevens’ unbroken record of opposing Bush’s sweeping claims of executive power every chance he got, at times even more vigorously than the rest of the Court’s “liberal wing,” and the risks of a Kagan nomination are self-evident.

Scott Horton’s take is a little more nuanced, but essentially the same:

My suspicion–and it’s only a suspicion–is that Kagan is a liberal in the sense of the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, someone who has faith in the power of the executive to shape a better and more just state. She pays lip service to the limitations on executive authority contained in the Constitution, but she’s generally in the thrall of executive power.

Stuart Taylor, Jr. at The Atlantic chimes in:

But on presidential power and terrorism, she is more of a known quantity.

Justice Stevens led the Court’s assault on the Bush Administration’s sweeping claims of presidential and congressional power to wage war against terrorism. In three big decisions in 2004, 2006, and 2008, narrow liberal majorities — with swing-voting Anthony Kennedy providing the fifth vote — for the first time asserted judicial power to review presidential detentions of alleged “enemy combatants” seized and held abroad. Stevens and his allies also invalidated the rules decreed by Bush for “military commission” trials of foreigners for alleged war crimes and severely restricted interrogations of suspected terrorists.

Kagan has had no occasion to revisit those precise issues as solicitor general. But on somewhat analogous issues — both in her 2009 confirmation testimony and in defending Obama’s continuation of some Bush policies that left-liberals reviled — she has sought to limit the reach of the 2008 decision and has firmly rejected the stance of the left.
… [however, he concludes]…

Speaking as a moderate independent, I like everything about Kagan that the left dislikes.

Additional commentary from The American Conservative:

Perhaps they are all too tired out from combating Sotomayor’s non-existent racism that they don’t have the energy to resist a nominee who appears to be a willing enabler of the worst excesses of the national security state. In reality, we all know that most Republicans have no interest in checking those excesses, and many of them have become so attached to defending such excesses that it has become part of their political identity. To the extent that most Republicans are content with or not overly concerned about Kagan, because she seems to line up with them on some of the issues on which the GOP has been appallingly bad, progressives, libertarians and small-government conservatives have reason to be worried.

And from The American Prospect:

Presumptive front-runner Elena Kagan, while an attractive candidate in some respects, has a record on civil liberties and executive power that strongly suggests she would not be a liberal in this mold either. This would be bad for the development of progressive constitutional values.

Of course, the views of the general political blogosphere are all over the place.  I’m inclined to provisionally agree with Mr. Thompson over at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen:

When Kagan is confirmed, it will be but one more step in the long and unabated pattern of Congressional acquiescence to the Executive, and abdication of its own institutional responsibilities that I identified a while back.  It would certainly be helpful if they realized at some point that their interests as Congress-lizards are not the same as the interests of their respective parties, and are definitely not the same as the interests of the Executive Branch.  We do not live in a parliamentary system, and Congress is supposed to be a coequal branch.  Unfortunately, Congress seems to think otherwise.

and from the comment thread on that post:

It would be nice if the Republicans at least tried to object on executive power grounds. They haven’t, and it doesn’t look like they’re expecting to seriously contest her nomination in general. This is most likely because they actually like her positions on executive power, much as they actually liked the Dick Cheney view of executive power. This does not excuse the Congressional Democrats, who will continue their well-established pattern of spinelessly acceding to the wishes of the Executive branch.

Since we don’t actually have a body of case law decisions to look at, we don’t know for sure that Kagan will be as staunch a supporter of the unitary executive as Mark fears.  However, given the fact that we still have The Patriot Act and we still have warrantless wiretapping, I’m disinclined to give the Administration a pass on this.

David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan both seem largely unimpressed with her conflict-avoidance (Brooks first):

She seems to be smart, impressive and honest — and in her willingness to suppress so much of her mind for the sake of her career, kind of disturbing.

Her life, so far as one can tell, is her career, and her career has been built by avoiding any tough or difficult political or moral positions, eschewing any rigorous intellectual debate in which she takes a clear stand one way or the other, pleasing every single authority figure she has encountered, and reveling in the approval of the First Class Car Acela Corridor elite.

I’m not so enamored of bashing elites, but it does seem pretty odd to me that someone who is being positioned to be a Final Arbiter of conflict in our society has so little public expression of the ability to be involved in conflict.

Posted May 11, 2010 by padraic2112 in law, politics, Uncategorized

CATO, Examining The Evidence   Leave a comment

Research paper published at CATO refutes the “Starve the Beast” philosophy of reducing government spending by cutting revenue.

The empirical evidence shows that cutting taxes *increases* spending.  Why?  Possible reasons

In the first place, cutting taxes doesn’t deprive the government of funds as long as it can tap the credit markets on a vast scale. Locking up the ice cream does no good if there’s an endless supply of burgers and fries. In the second place, cutting taxes instead of spending is seductively pleasant. It lets citizens enjoy more government services at no extra cost on April 15.

We can have our cake and eat it too!  Tip o’ the blogging hat to The Volokh Conspiracy.

Posted May 3, 2010 by padraic2112 in politics

Something to Read   Leave a comment

Tip o’ the blogger hat to Ben Laurie.

This book (Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air) takes a straightforward and fact-based approach to the question (of sustainable energy), summing up all the sinks of energy and possible sustainable sources, and seeing what works. The sad fact is, it seems, that not much does.

The book is also available for free in PDF form from the author’s website. But don’t forget that if you buy the book, you are sequestering carbon!

Posted May 3, 2010 by padraic2112 in books, reference