GregS*'s blog

Canada's healthcare

The only thing I find appalling about this story is that there are Americans who want the same system.

9/11/2001

I have a special article up dealing with ALA and 9/11. I doubt you'll enjoy it but hopefully you'll at least have found it worth reading. Check it out.

Gmail question

Just had a patron say they couldn't get into their Gmail account because the Active X controls were disabled. I haven't changed any of the IE security settings and according to the settings it will allow anything unless its 'unsigned'. Is this because its still in trial stage?

[Update: its working on the only station with Windows XP]

Vat a Country!

You can download primetime RNC speeches for free through the iPod iTunes Store!!!

Blows The Mind

I'm a person who believes that man hasn't changed since he was created, at least in terms of the nature of personality/emotions/intelligence. This editorial is the kind of thing that really shocks you into seeing how different the 21st century is going to be. I still believe human nature remains unchanged and yet...

[The editorial is by Kristof from the NYTs, requires registeration]

Not only...

Not only did someone think of this. Someone made it. Someone paid for it. Enough people paid for it to consider making even more of it. We're doomed.

medical malpractise

People talk about the price of oil, how about the price of insurance, any insurance? Here's one of the leading causes: John Edwards.

all in

Peggy Noonan lays her cards on the table.

I'm impressed, this is a serious commitment.

www.librariansforbush.org

It seems silly to have to do but since the 'Librarians Against Bush' folk have a site up I figured people who came across it might decide to type in 'Librarians For Bush' to see if there actually were any. Its just something simple, maybe I'll put a messageboard on it, we'll see.

Kerry's speech

Apparently not only did Kerry go to Vietnam but Edwards is the son of a mill worker. Who knew?

I'm sure Bush will do it to some degree but I hate the wish list mentality of politicians. The Department of the Treasury is not a candy store.

Doesn't matter, the only issue is Iraq. Kerry wouldn't have gone, Bush did. Kerry would have avoided the Middle East altogether which is no longer acceptable.

PA debate

Before going on vacation I was debating with Daniel on the Patriot Act. Here's the link to the article and discussion...

http://www.lisnews.com/article.pl?sid=04/07/13/2045204&tid=

I promised a reply when I got back which follows though I thought mdoneil had an excellent post on the act here : http://www.lisnews.com/comments.pl?sid=5248&cid=9165

But here's my reply...

“215 lowers the threshold�

Nervous? No. I have no faith in government infallibility. But like you said we have a ‘system of justice’. 215 focuses specifically on non-citizens and can include Americans only as long as there is more evidence then what would be covered under 1st Amendment rights. Meaning it can’t be used on an American if they were overheard on 9/11 saying “Nice shot!�. Do I think that will be stretched when possible? Yes, but probably no more than any other law has been stretched by the police, judges, lawyers, and politicians when convenient.

But remember it doesn’t end there! Again, there is a ‘system of justice’. Simply because 215 is used doesn’t mean you go to jail. As an American you still get due process. You get a lawyer. You get a trial. You get multiple chances at re-trials. The outcry over 215 makes it sound like you go straight to jail, do not pass Go, do not get $200.

Here is the 4th Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. “

How exactly does 215 violate that? And I mean that specifically. No doubt over the decades we’ve put laws on the books that expand on this and get into very specific detail over what is appropriate and what isn’t. But then that was part of the problem wasn’t it? Getting so specfic that law enforcement is boxed in and can do nothing.

�Library Records�

There are really only two relavent activities that law enforcement would want from a library concerning a patron, what they are reading and what they are looking at online. Neither are sacrosanct. The idea that ‘books don’t kill people’ overlooks the fact that books can and do teach you how. You are responsible for your actions and reading is an action. Should a man be convicted for hanging his wife because he checked out a book on tying knots? No. Should he be convicted because he was visiting his admin assistant every night at a bar, because he had a bloody pipe in his car from knocking out his wife, because he took out a life insurance policy on her, *and* because he checked out a books on tying knots? Yes.

As for documented history of law enforcement abuses, as long as humans are human that history will go on. Deal with it when it happens, don’t paint yourself into a corner trying to avoid the inevitable.

"Broadening the discussion, are there records of any kind you think should be sacrosanct? Or should every single detail about someone's life be available to Federal authorities on the simple assertion that the information needed is "relevant" to an ongoing investigation?"

Here’s an old saying Howie Carr likes to use here in Boston: “Never write when you can speak. Never speak when you can nod. Never nod when you can wink�

There is very little in life that is worth keeping private, there is very little that could be kept private from anyone with a little initiative. The tabloids are more tenacious and invasive then any federal agent.

In that spirit of ‘broadening the discussion’, how come the Patriot Act is such a pariah on civil liberties but the tax code, which is enormous, unreadable, unknowable, and permeates everything in your life, isn’t?

AIDs solution = USA

An interesting article via Tech Central Station:

Yankee, Stay Home
By James K. Glassman

From the article:"Never mind that U.S. taxpayers will provide more money this year to fight AIDS than the governments of the rest of the world combined. Never mind that U.S. research and development has given the world the drugs that now prevent a diagnosis of HIV infection from becoming a death sentence."

Much like the terrorism issue, the world is free to whine only because we carry the load. I would encourage the John Galt route if I didn't think things would be screwed up to the point of no return.

Canuck Conservatism

Hope springs eternal with our Northern neighbors...

The New Kids in the Hall
Canucks aren’t as boring as you think, eh?

By Dan Dunsky

Opening paragraph:

"If Canadian elections bore Americans, don't feel bad, they bore Canadians, too. Still, the recent one was the most exciting in some time. Not because of who won (the Liberals — surprise!) but because June 2004 may end up being to Canada's conservative movement what November 1964 was to American conservatism. "

blogger blogs

I really think there is a lot of potential for localized blogs here where I work. Particularly with YA but after a conversation with the assistant director, who is a voracious reader, I think there are other avenues to explore as well.

I use Frontpage to manage my site at Shush. Its easier for me because I'm familiar it and I know enough html to smooth out the rough edges that Frontpage can create. Unfortunetly the people I work with don't even know how to bold. So I'm experimenting with Blogger and have a temporary blog at techgenie.blogspot.com.

So far its pretty easy to setup, which I would have to do for the staff anyway. And since they can post just by emailing its possible that all I'll have to give them is an email address to post to and maybe give them some simple codes to make it readable.

I keep telling myself that I'm tired of learning new things but as long as there's a good excuse its not all bad.

Credit Card vending machines

While I was on vacation I was watching a lot of tv at night and was really surprised by a new turn-key system being advertised for video vending. The videos were rented and returned with the machine. I knew the only way this could work was with a credit card to pay otherwise who would return the video. But I also found it hard to believe that anyone would be crazy enough to put their credit card in a public vending machine. At least an ATM is related to a bank. Mdoneil was saying in his journal that a Pepsi machine was charging $2.50 in FL and takes credit cards. The cost is obscene considering Walmart has Sam's machines in front of it for $.50 or $.75 a pop but the idea of using a credit card to get a soda seems a. highly risky and b. an excuse to inflate the price.

Bush's Hitler ad

Bush has an ad at www.georgebush.com that splices comments from various Democrats with video of Hitler. But its not just video of Hitler, it is actual clips from MoveOn's ad they made of Bush. You can see Hitler morph into Bush, you can see the subtitles of Hitler speaking in German actually talking about Al Queda and Iraq. The whole point of the ad is to point out the outrageous charges being leveled at Bush. There is no comparison of the Democrats with Hitler, Bush is simply putting out the comparisons Democrats made of Bush with Hitler.

The Rory Statement

I moderated on the topic instead of actually getting involved. Rory and I have tangled a couple times now in Conservativelib and ALTMLS and there wasn't much point in me voicing an opinion on him because my bias is pretty obvious by now.

That said, any and all of you who have posted concerning the pros and cons of healthy discussion may want to actually read the entire issue of Library Juice that this little section comes from. Well not the entire issue, just the section before the LISNews section titled: Four Popular Delusions about Free Speech. Delusion #3 is amazingly appropriate to this discussion and totally bizarre when taken in that context. The delusion is titled :"Being too forceful can stifle debate, and that's censorship." That's a delusion mind you.

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