School libraries in trouble?

Texas academic librarian writes to share this story from the Houston Chronicle, "Choosing sports over libraries is only one battle brewing under Gov. Perry's 65% spending directive"

"Standard & Poor's school evaluation services is nonpartisan and designed to help policymakers, educators and parents understand relationships between achievement and investment. In addition to Texas, the study looked at Minnesota, Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky, Florida, Kansas, Arizona and Colorado, among a number of states considering a 65 percent rule. The study concluded that while the data do not support mandating a minimum instructional spending threshold, monitoring the percentage districts allocate to instruction can be a useful benchmark."

A New U.S. Supreme Court Justice is Sworn in

Our helpful pal search-engines-web.com writes "Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday after being confirmed by the Senate in one of the most partisan victories in modern history."

WikiPedia Blocks U.S. Congress IP Addresses - RFC

Search-Engines writes "I am opening this RFC in order to centralise discussion concerning actions to be taken against US Congressional staffers who repeatedly revert wars, blank content, engage in slanderous and libelous behaviour, violate WP:NPOV, WP:CIV. The editors from this IP are rude and abrasive, immature, and show no understanding of Wikipedia policy. The editors also frequently try to whitewash the actions of frequent politicians. They treat Wikipedia articles about politicians as though they own it, replacing articles with their sanctioned biographies and engaging in revert wars when other users dispute this sudden change. They also violate Wikipedia:Verifiability, by deleting verified reports, while adding flattering things about members of Congress that are unverified.The editors are currently blocked, but only for a week, so I feel this RFC is needed for the community to comment. I feel that a 1 week block is not enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_fo r_comment/United_States_Congress"

U.S. Congress Votes Database

Jay writes "The U.S. Congress Votes Database now offers an RSS feed for every current member of Congress, so you can get notified each time your elected officials vote. Each member-specific feed includes the member's position in the latest 10 votes. To reach a member's feed, navigate to his or her page and look for the "RSS" link."

Disinfo: Rumsfeld's Information Operations Roadmap

Kathleen writes "From influencing public opinion through new media to designing "computer network attack" weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war. The Information Operations Roadmap,a secret Pentagon "roadmap" on war propaganda, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2003, calls for "boundaries" between information operations abroad and the news media at home, but provides for no such limits and claims that as long as the American public is not "targeted," any leakage of PSYOP to the American public does not matter.

Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and posted on the web Jan.26,2006, the 74-page "Information Operations Roadmap" admits that "information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and PSYOP, increasingly is consumed by our domestic audience and vice-versa," but argues that "the distinction between foreign and domestic audiences becomes more a question of USG [U.S. government] intent rather than information dissemination practices.""


Politics Thursday: The Case for Open Borders

Daniel writes "I wrote this post before I heard about World Migration Day, or Pope Benedict XVI's remarks in commemoration of this day. But it seems in keeping with it's spirit, so I'm offering it today instead of something on Iraq, Iran or our motion towards an elected monarchy. For what it's worth, I'm officially endorsing an open border policy for the United States. What I mean by an "open border" is that everyone entering this country would be required to register with the federal government. Their names would be run against a database of aliens who were convicted of crimes against life or property in the United States. If the alien doesn't appear on this list, they're waived through. If they are flagged, they are arrested and if they can't prove a case of mistaken identity are jailed for a year and deported to their home country. I believe this system will strengthen US security, lower crime, improve wages and working conditions and ultimately lower the number of permanent aliens. I also think there is a moral case for an open border. Why do I think that? Let's start with the pragmatic considerations:


Fox News Science Writer Paid by Philip Morris

kathleen de la pena mccook writes "The New Republic article, "Pundit for Hire," reports Steven Milloy,of FoxNews. has taken money from Philip Morris. On March 9, 2001, he wrote a column "secondhand smokescreen" attacking a study by Stephen Hecht, who found that women living with smokers had higher levels of chemicals associated with risk of lung cancer. "If spin were science, Hecht would win a Nobel Prize," Milloy wrote. For good measure, he heaped scorn on a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report that also linked health risks and secondhand smoke. All the while, he was on the payroll of big tobacco. Reminds me of Hudson Institute Fellow Michael Fumento in the pay of Monsanto. Reminds me of Cato Institute Fellow, Doug Bandow, who told BusinessWeek Online that he had accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles."


The grubby literati in America

Fang-Face writes "An interesting look at the state of literacy in the U.S. and a recent movement decrying the slipping standards thereof. Titled
Who Reads in America?, By Mark Schurmann, Pacific News Service, and posted to Alternet.org, this article intimates that literacy is becoming an underground counterculture."

ACLU & CCR File Domestic Spying Suit

Search-Engines writes "Prominent Journalists, Nonprofit Groups, Terrorism Experts and Community Advocates Join First Lawsuit to Challenge New NSA Spying Program.Saying that the Bush administration's illegal spying on Americans must end, the American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the National Security Agency seeking to stop a secret electronic surveillance program that has been in place since shortly after September 11, 2001. THe ACLU Site Explains"

ALA preparing to file a Patriot Act FOIA request

The Reader's Shop writes "The American Library Association's Executive Board is filing the FOIA request to determine if the FBI has been collecting information on the Association and its leaders as a result of their opposition to certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act."


Subscribe to Politics