Needed Reforms for Presidential Libraries

rteeter writes "In a New York Times OpEd, professor Benjamin Hufbauer suggests six necessary reforms in the system of presidential libraries. Archives of Spin."

The Public Understanding of Science....

Turner writes "Technology taking on superstition...this could be interesting. In the last few years, Americans have seen the harm that results when political decisions are made in the name of religion. Now, the non-believers are fighting back. A group calling itself "The Rational Response Squad," has launched The Blasphemy Challenge, a campaign to entice young people to publicly renounce belief in the God of Christianity. Participants who videotape their blasphemy and upload it to YouTube will receive a free DVD of The God Who Wasn't There, a number one bestselling independent documentary at Amazon.com. http://www.alternet.org/stories/46566/"


My Space to Offer Parental Notification Software

Turner writes "I wonder what the kids think about this ? Will they vote with their feet? Two story sources below. MySpace.com, News Corp.'s (NWSa.N: Quote, Profile , Research) popular online social network, plans to offer free parental notification software in a bid to appease government critics, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Parents will be able to use the software, named "Zephyr," to find out what name, age and location their children use to represent themselves on MySpace, the Journal said. It would not allow parents to read their children's e-mail or see their profile pages, and it would alert children that their information was being shared, the paper reported. http://plonc.blogspot.com/2007/01/myspace-to-offer -parental-notification.html http://dmwmedia.com/news/2007/01/17/wsj-myspace-to -offer-parental-notification-feature-on-kids-accou nts"

Like digital wildfire

Here's A Short Article from the Missoula Independent on that goofy blog thing that happened a couple weeks back. When Absarokee-based Episcopal priest Jane Ellen Schmoetzer recounted a conversation she had with a small-town librarian on her blog, janellen.blogspot.com, on Jan. 9, she had no idea the post would trigger a long-distance game of "Telephone" that would change the way she approaches her four-year-old blogging habit.

In her post, "Libraries are dangerous places," Schmoetzer recounts a conversation she had that morning with Larrie Hayden, director of Joliet's tiny public library. According to the post (since removed), Larrie told Schmoetzer that she had submitted a book request to a Billings library for copies of The Last Jihad and The Ezekial Option by novelist Joel C. Rosenberg, which she received along with a letter informing her that the order had earned her a spot on a government "watch list," and that she would have to "appear in person in Billings" before she would be able to order any more books.

Indiana Proposes Big Changes for Libraries

Indiana Library Advocate writes "According to this Chesterton (Ind.) Tribune article, Indiana Library financial issues have escalated to the state level.

The Westchester Public Library Board of Trustees went on record Thursday opposing Gov. Mitch Daniels 2007-09 state budget recommendation to eliminate the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) and redirecting its funding to the Indiana State Library.

A December 2006 Indiana Office of Management and Budget report proposed this change after admonishing INCOLSA for alleged fiscal unaccountability. Ironically, the Office recommended transfering the money and services to the State Library, seemingly rewarding the same agency charged with accountability for INCOLSA state funds for its failures.

The report also pushes for the elimination of the Indiana Librarian Certification Program, the Statewide Library Card Program, and the Distribution to Public Library Program.

All of this is happening while the Indiana State Library searches for a new director after the abrupt resignation of the previous State Librarian, Barbara Maxwell, in December 2005."

SMU Prez to Faculty: Bush Library Will Be Good For US

You know that saying, any kind of public relations is good PR? That seems to be the selling point for having the Bush Library at SMU.

Yesterday college president R. Gerald Turner told 175 of the 600-member faculty "Over time, the political components of the library complex will fade and the historical aspects will ascend."

He added that SMU had been working with the Department of Homeland Security and that SMU's police chief had attended some FBI training. More from the Houston Chronicle.

Bush Library Questioned by SMU Professors

MR has sent out a post by MLDB at Daily Kos that provides a link to "The George W. Bush Library:Asset or Albatross for SMU?"

Professors William K. McElvaney and Suzanne Johnson write in the United Methodist NeXus:

What does it mean ethically for SMU to say a war violating international law makes no difference? That a pre-emptive war based on false premises, misleading the American public, and destined to cost more American lives in Iraq than the 9-11 terrorist attack, makes no difference? That the death of thousands of innocent Iraqis by our "shock and awe" bombing in the name of democracy, verified by international organizations and Iraqi doctors, is of no consequence?

These realities are not about partisan politics. Rather we are concerned with deep ethical issues that transcend politics. Do we want SMU to benefit financially from a legacy of massive violence, destruction and death brought about by the Bush presidency in dismissal of broad international opinion?

Librarians have been used as cover by the Bushes and some have protested.

Mrs. Bush has had grants named for her that existed before her husband became president. Some librarians have noted this. Some of us have been so angry at being used by the Bush family that we have made personal protests.


Library funds ruling overturned

Todd writes "West Virginia state supreme court rules library levy money taken from school funds unconstitutional."


Published by Random House,The Iraq Report Will be Out on December 6

The Washington Post reports that the Iraq Study Group's report on the war there will be released next week, to be published by Random House, as was the 9/11 Commission Report. It will also will be posted Wednesday on the Web sites of the U.S. Institute of Peace and the James Baker Institute.


House Bill Could Force Presidential Library Donors Into Daylight

Anonymous Patron writes: From"The Hill, details on a bill (HR 4682) that House Democrats might pass that would prohibit privately funded travel and lengthen a lobbying ban from one to two years for top staff and former members. Less well-known is the provision requiring the organization that raises money for a presidential library to disclose donors to Congress four times a year.

Bush already has grand plans for his library. The fundraising goal is $500 million for the facility, and, reportedly, a new think tank that has been likened to the Hoover Institution, a conservative policy center in Palo Alto, Calif.

By comparison, President Clinton's library in Arkansas cost $165 million.


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