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The Chicago Sun Times says that loud "Shhhhh!" you hear Monday may be the sound of 25,000 librarians reacting to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's defense of the government's right to confiscate people's library records. Fitzgerald has volunteered to take his campaign for renewal right into the heart of the opposition today, debating Colleen Connell, director of the Chicago office of the American Civil Liberties Union, which takes the librarians' side.
An Editorial says Many of the Patriot Actâ€™s provisions, including the more controversial provisions concerning library records and so-called â€œsneak and peakâ€? searches, do not provide new and unprecedented investigative tools to law enforcement officials. Rather, the Patriot Act allows law enforcement officials to now use tools long available to them regarding organized crime, child pornography, or drug investigations when conducting international terrorism investigations.
Unfortunately, much of the debate regarding the Patriot Act has become so exaggerated and distorted that the thoughtful deliberation which reauthorization of this important law deserves is too often missing.
Anonymous Patron writes ""The Huntington Library has informed the Huntington Chapter of the Long Island Progressive Coalition that approval for the continuation of the monthly series of â€œPatriot Gamesâ€? forums, now in their third year, has been withdrawn because the Chapter can not produce a $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy to cover each event. (LIPCâ€™s insurance carrier estimates that the cost for such insurance would be $350 per meeting, plus costs or $4,200.00 + per year.)"Details at http://www.democracyforli.org/node/133"
Garry Trudeau is donating his take from sales of the latest Doonesbury book, The Long Road Home, to Fisher House, a foundation that "offers family members of wounded troops temporary housing at little or no cost during their loved oneâ€™s hospitalization." In addition, publisher Andrews McMeel is donating 10% of its profits from the book to Fisher House. Story in Stars and Stripes.
The book is a collection of Doonesbury strips following the character B.D., who is wounded as a soldier in Iraq and has a leg amputated.
Anonymous Patron writes "The Times Online reports a blob of â€œwronglyâ€? coloured ink, a controversial map of Asia and the seizure of 128 civics textbooks have plunged Japan and China into another round of bitterness and mutual distrust.
The latest incident in the troubled relationship between the two neighbours flared up yesterday when it emerged that books on their way by mail to a Japanese school in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian had been seized by customs authorities."
Anonymous Patron writes "Group sues library over meeting rulesA Florida organization led by a lawyer who has taken on gay marriage across the nation said it is suing a library district near Colorado Springs for denying the use of a room to discuss its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Attorney Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, which provides pro bono legal representation for religious liberty, anti-abortion and pro-family issues, said he sued the Rampart Library District Board of Trustees on Thursday in Colorado U.S. District Court.
Iorio challenges county after ban on gay pride. Tampa is a city that embraces diversity, including people who are gay, Mayor Pam Iorio said Thursday.
"Gays and lesbians are part of our diversity and deserve our respect. That is a value that I hold dear," Iorio said at a breakfast organized to promote public art in Tampa. "We should build on tolerance, not intolerance."
Iorio made her remarks the day after the Hillsborough County Commission voted 5-1 for a policy that bans county government from acknowledging, promoting or participating in gay pride recognition and events."
The Reader's Shop writes "MSNBC Reports Despite a possible veto from President Bush, the House voted Wednesday to block
the FBI and the Justice Department from using the Patriot Act to search library
and bookstore records. The vote was 238-187."
Daniel writes "The libertarian Cato Institute has an item on some conservative leaders who are speaking out against the PATRIOT Act renewal and the secret markup by the Senate Intelligence Committee.Moral of passing USAPA: "If you give a mouse a cookie...""
AshtabulaGuy writes "The Editorial Board of The Post (the student newspaper of Ohio University in Athens) published an editorial this week decrying budget cuts to Ohio's libraries. The case made is necessary for review by librarians of all types as shown by this quote: "With Gov. Taft continually promoting the need for Ohio to compete in high-tech industries, the decision to cut library funding seems not only to contradict these economic goals, but also make them nearly impossible.""