GregS*'s blog

Hi, My name is Greg McClay

It's a 1024x768 world

I noticed on the Ujiko search engine that you can't see it properly without setting your screen properties to at least 1024x768. Normally I have it set to 800x600 because its much easier on the eyes. All our public stations are set that way as well. But I'm seeing a lot of sites that just don't fit in that size screen. Even some flat panel monitors don't look right at 8x6. I'm wondering at what point I'll have to make sure 10x7 is the standard setting...

Stingy Canucks

I saw this story in a newspaper this morning and just started laughing.

Canada to consider export ban on drugs

Canada's health minister Wednesday announced he's looking into legislation that would ban the bulk export of prescription drugs to the United States and other countries.

"Canada cannot be the drugstore for the United States," Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh told reporters at a news conference.

With the cost of prescription medicine rising in the United States, many people, including some senior citizens on fixed incomes, have traveled to Canada to buy medications. The Canadian government controls prices charged by drug companies.

"In light of potential American legislation legalizing the bulk import of Canadian prescription and other medications, our priority must be the health and safety of all Canadians and the strength of our health care system," he said.

"We must be proactive in making sure that the supply of affordable prescription medications remains stable and sufficient to meet the needs of Canadians," he said.

The irony being that the only reason they're getting them cheap to begin with is because we're paying so much here.

Other People's Children

I've heard a number of references lately to what commitments, or lack thereof, are being made to the war by the children of Bush, Cheney, et al. (a little class warfare there but nothing new).

The problem with reading so much online is its very easy to forget some of the important things that come up from time to time. Jay Nordlinger is an editor at National Review who travels every year to the World Economic Forum. This is from one of his columns while there this past May:

As I mentioned, Liz Cheney is here, for she is the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. (Mouthful of a title, huh?) She is the daughter of Dick and Lynne, and sits down for a bit with a small group of journalists.

Clearly, she looks like both parents — is a mixture of the two. And, like both of those parents, she speaks very, very comfortably. She stresses the "quickening pace of change" in the Middle East, saying that the mood is markedly different from even a year ago. (Jan. 30 — when the Iraqi election was held — was a momentous day.)

Ms. Cheney also stresses American involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I recall, however, that when George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, he spoke of a more modest, less intrusive approach, saying that peace was up to the parties themselves: to the Israelis and the Palestinians. If president, he wasn't going to do what Bill Clinton had done; he was not going to overinvest America.

Someone asks, "Why the change?" (in effect). And Liz Cheney has an answer: Yasser Arafat. As in, he's no longer here — is planted.

And she has this remarkable statement, concerning the relatedness of events, and societies: "Once fear starts to lift in one place, fear is a less useful tool in all other places."

And she uses a phrase I like a lot: "out of business." The thugs and autocrats — and the entrenched elites — of the Middle East know that, if Iraq succeeds — if the fever spreads — "they're out of business." We can see this unmistakably at this very conference.

After the press huddle, Ms. Cheney participates in a panel that I am unable to attend. But I have an acquaintance who does — he is a distinguished editor and writer — and he tells me about it, later in the day.

Liz was amidst some classic careerists — the Arab Old Guard — and "she actually had the temerity to say, 'You should stop mentioning "Palestine" just to win a cheap round of applause, and start addressing real issues of reform.' And a couple of men behind me said, in disturbingly loud tones, 'She's a lesbian, she's a lesbian.'"

Actually, she is not. But I return to what I've said throughout these Davos-in-Jordan notes: Democratic advances, and popular rumblings, are making many people in this region very, very nervous, and upset.

Isn't it wonderful?

Not bad for a snotty rich kid huh? Nordlinger's no slouch either, all his Davos journals are worth reading.

fast food dieting

Interesting Q&A over at National Review with Soso Whaley who has done a documentary that counterbalances the now infamous "Supersize Me".

For myself, I stopped buying groceries a month ago and now only eat drive-thru or delivery. Its worked out pretty well, not much more expensive and, as long as I'm careful, actually more healthy then what I usually get at the grocery store. Not to mention better tasting. I can cook but I've never been interested in wasting the time when its just for me.

A little more Truth to Power

This time its Condoleeza to Saudia Arabia... here

It says something that Bush has two women in his life that are as tough when necessary as a Rumsfeld or Cheney.

journaling

6 posts in 40 minutes and 2 are already tagged as trolls. I suppose that's what I get for getting up at 1pm on a Saturday with a hangover.

Why the Downing S M isn't news

Because the people who want to do something about it and are in the position to do something about it are absolutely bonkers. Here's an article in the Post about a mock trial chaired by Rep. Conyers. Here's the bonkers part:

"The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his "candid answer."

At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks."

I'm supposed to trust these people over the President? Ummm. No.

memos, memos, everywhere

Here's an article about one from 1998. Kofi, Kofi, naughty, naughty.

nat'l healthcare takes hit in Canada

Northern Exposure
A court ruling could unravel Canada’s health-care system.
By Grace-Marie Turner

The supreme court of Canada struck down a Quebec law on Thursday that had banned private health insurance for services covered under medicare, Canada's socialized health-care program... More here

moderating

I turned it off for me. It never fails, as soon as I moderate a post on an article, another post comes up that I want to comment on.

So to all my conservative friends, consider yourselves 'insightful', to all my liberal friends consider yourselves 'interesting', and to the trolls, well, you know who you are, I don't need to tell you.

timewaster

But educational. My geography skills always stunk but I managed an 86. Of Course once you're halfway in your golden.

Ignorance

From John:

"Darn straight. Next week we'll cover why having a physician practicing voodoo is worrisome, but having a scientific bias is no problem at all.

It reminds me of the quote, "The difference between democratic journalists and republican journalists is that the former are journalists first while the latter are republican first." The same could likely be said of librarians."

That has to top even Fang as being one of the most ignorant statements I've ever come across here. There's really nothing worse than holier then thou attitudes which are nothing more than the same bile tossed around by others just dressed up to look nice.

The people you linked to are no more or less journalists than Chris Matthews or George Stephanopolous, former employees of Carter and Clinton respectively.

Madness

A bizarro article over at NRO concerning possible new rules regulating those infamous 527 political groups.

Money is like water, put up all the dams you want, its going to make its way downhill sooner or later. I'd rather just open the floodgates and simply make it mandatory to track where it comes from and who it goes to.

1000

posts that is...

ALA Councilors-At-Large

Originally posted here.

The SRRT list has been nice enough to provide a list of
candidates who are current SRRT members and are running for the position of ALA
Council-At-Large. If you'd like an opportunity to speak out against the activities of
SRRT then these are the people you shouldn't vote for.

MONIKA ANTONELLI

MARY BIBLO

DIEDRE CONKLING

CAROLYN LOWE GARNES

BARBARA A. GENCO

CHARLES E. KRATZ

RORY LITWIN

PETER McDONALD

MICHAEL J. MILLER

STEPHANIE SCHMITT

THERESA A. TOBIN

SAMUEL E. TROSOW

LISA VON DRASEK

     I would strongly advise that if you do choose someone else
because of this and if the person you did vote for wins then you should try and send an
email to them explaining why.

ALA President

When I said who I would vote for last year (3/21, 3:08pm) I couched it with Howie Carr's favorite expression: "I'm not going to vote for someone who is going to screw me!" Which is why it probably came as a surprise that I said Gorman should be President. In making my case I also said this:

I described Gorman as a nut, but at least he's on the record as one. Experience with ALA to date should make it clear that while Stripling doesn't voice her political opinions, the odds are they are not all that different from Gorman's

Consider me vindicated because both Michael Gorman and Barbara Stripling are members of the Twit
List
. Lesson? Being 'diplomatic' isn't going to cut it, especially if you intend on doing just as much damage as those who aren't. Flying under the radar makes it worse, its basically an act in dishonesty.

I suppose we can be thankful for the Twit List in this regard however because it pretty much blows any kind of cover future candidates would
have (for the time being). Example: one of our ALA Presidential candidates is also on
that list for everyone to see. The other one, thankfully, isn't.

Now I'll say what I said before, politics shouldn't matter. This should be about our profession and about the organization. If either of these candidates want to fume and vent about Iraq to their liberal friends and in politically-
oriented organizations they are free to do so. The Resolution on Torture however was
basically an act of unprofessionalism so staggering in its size and offensiveness its
amazing any of the people who voted for it haven't had their degrees stripped from them.

When questioned at MidWinter about the vote Christine Lind Hage, who voted against it, was respectful enough of members to not try to bring political activism under ALA's umbrella. Leslie Berger reaffirmed her vote for it and said this:

We need to carefully weigh each and every one of those opportunities and use the deliberative forum of the ALA Council to evaluate whether that is something we
want to take a position on
.

Emphasis mine. What next? A resolution on steroids in baseball? A resolution on the fact that boys and girls are different? No, I
doubt that's what Ms. Burger had in mind. Let me share a piece of mail of hers that was
offered on the SRRT listserv:

The Social Responsibilities Round Table can play an essential role in advancing this agenda. As a former member of the SRRT Action Council I
fully support the work you do to bring important social issues to the Association's attention. I am proud of the positions that ALA has taken on social issues both nationally and internationally. As president I will ensure that these issues get on the Council agenda as part of the deliberative debate process.

SRRT's current project is on a resolution calling for the
withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq
. That's what she wants to get on the agenda.

Christine Hage isn't a conservative, but she's not going to screw us either.

Bigger Blog Issues

Sounds like McCain-Feingold is getting into the act.

my defense of Gorman

Go Figure

SRRT

To Council and Executive Board Members,

I've been on the SRRT listserv for a whole two weeks and have sent a whopping four emails to this list and already they are circling the wagons. What some of us are being accused of pales in comparison to the responses we've received. From "go dunk your frozen heart in a bucket of warm water" to "your ignorant, moonbat ass" the attitude of this group is less than welcoming. While the second comment strains the limits of civility the idea that many in SRRT are closed to opposing viewpoints completely is fine. As long as all discussion is open and above the table, as long as an open dialog exists then I believe it is an individual's choice whether they attempt to engage. At this point, however, you may want to read the email forwarded below.

Either SRRT is part of ALA or its not. Either they are discussing and debating the social responsibilities of libraries and what best approach to take on related issues or they already have a preconceived agenda that is not open to discussion and what little debate there is goes to enforcing said agenda. If its the latter then SRRT is a political party within ALA and needs to be separated from the body as a whole. They should not have a vote on the Council and they should not be allowed to offer resolutions to the Council unless ALA is willing to create an alternative Round Table with equal footing and wave the requirements for number of members. Otherwise this is simply the majority silencing the minority.

If it is actually the former, then they should not be allowed the option of closing off debate by limiting where and when it takes place. I realize ALA cannot control what people choose to filter on their own computers, however I'm aware of ALA's trial run of an online messageboard which at least would limit such filtering and offer an equal footing in open debate.

Thank you for your time and I apologize for having to involve you in this situation.

Greg McClay
SHUSH - for the conservative librarian
www.shush.ws / greg@shush.ws

"I choose free libraries as the best
agencies for improving the masses of
the people, because they give nothing
for nothing. They only help those who
help themselves."

- Andrew Carnegie

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-srrtac-l@ala.org [mailto:owner-srrtac-l@ala.org]On Behalf Of
Rory Litwin
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 5:38 PM
To: SRRT Action Council
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:15903] Time for some serious thinking about SRRTAC-L

I want to ask list members to do some serious thinking about the list.

The list has a much different character than it had a year ago.

It seems to me that SRRTAC-L is deteriorating in much the same way that the ALAOIF list deteriorated a few years ago. The ALAOIF list began as a space for intellectual freedom advocates to discuss news and ideas, under the auspices of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. Following contemporary interpretations of the value of intellectual freedom, it was open to anyone to join. Rather quickly, filtering advocates and advocates of censorship in libraries along conservative Christian lines joined the list, and it became the site of constant and rather ugly and
fiery debate between polarized camps that it is today. So ALA's OIF listserv is no longer FOR intellectual freedom so much as it is ABOUT intellectual freedom - for and against. For the Office of Intellectual Freedom this is not a terrible problem, because it is not a membership
group and sets its agenda and manages its work internally. The ALAOIF list is external to it.

For SRRT, the situation is both not as bad and more dangerous. The SRRT list is still primarily made up of SRRT's active members. There are
only a few people onboard who are challenging SRRT's historical mission and purpose. But it seems to me that a synergy has emerged between
McClay, Zyroff and Stephens, with John D. Berry and Stephen Denney potentially contributing to it, that has the capacity to divert the list
completely, regardless of their proportional numbers. So I think we are in a situation where we could soon lose (or perhaps already have lost)
our list as a meeting place for our community.

So I want to ask members of SRRT to think seriously and realistically about this resource. To what extent can it be saved for productive use, and how can we save it? In what ways does SRRT do its work independent of the discussion on this listserv? (TF's and Action Council come to
mind.)

SRRT has been around since 1969. I don't know in what year SRRTAC-L was introduced, but SRRT was certainly productive prior to that. Many of us
were active members of SRRT prior to the list's coming into existence and have experience working in older ways. Others have been involved in
organizations that have worked through difficulties posed by electronic communication and may have solutions to offer.

One of the solutions that's been offered is list moderation. I can see that it has its advantages, but it only claims to solve certain
problems, mainly to cool off flame wars before they start and to weed out "off topic" discussions where a group wants to. They don't resolve any of the deeper problems of email list communication - for instance, the undemocratic phenomenon of monopolization of discussions by small minorities in the organization. The IF problems associated with list moderation have already been discussed and should certainly be raised again if people want to explore this as a possibility.

I'm not necessarily asking for a new discussion of our list beginning now. I mainly want to ask people to think about it.

Thanks,

Rory Litwin
SRRT Coordinator

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