Politics

Screening Will Go On at Enfield CT Library

The Enfield Public Library and town officials have reached a compromise that will allow a screening of the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" about the American health care system.

Mayor Scott Kaupin tells The Associated Press that the library will show the movie in the next few weeks as part of a series that will include multiple points of view on controversial topics.

The library last week canceled a planned screening of the movie, which is critical of the U.S. health care system, after the Republican mayor and some town council members objected.

That led to accusations of censorship.

Kaupin says the issue was not whether the film should be shown, but whether the library should offer just one side of the health care debate.

NECN reports.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #137

This week's episode contains a replay of the most recent episode of TVO's program Search Engine about the censorship situation in Tunisia. We follow up last Tuesday's release of Search Engine by bringing the story up to date with events that happened since.

Another episode of LISTen will be released late Tuesday night/early Wednesday overnight with content that is more traditional.

Related links:
The episode of Search Engine being replayed
Ars Technica on Twitter vs. Tunisia
Committee to Protect Journalists on Tunisian Censorship
BBC News reporting on Tunisian censorship...in 2005...
The Voice of America on the Tunisia situation
Story by Aidan Lewis on BBC News about the situation in Tunisia
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news on the ex-President of Tunisia fleeing to Saudi Arabia
France24 on the possibility of more incidents like this

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Based on a work at www.tvo.org.

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CLA's Response to Governor Defunding Libraries


From Shelf Awareness: California Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 eliminates state funding for public libraries, a loss of $30.4 million for the Public Library Fund, Transaction Based Reimbursement and the California Library Literacy & English Acquisition Service.

In a formal response, Paymaneh Maghsoudi, California Library Association president--and director of the Whittier Public Library--contended that Brown's proposal "is both disastrous and disheartening. Since the early 2000s, public libraries have been one of the hardest hit segments of local government, with deep reductions totaling more than 75% made to these programs by the previous two governors combined. We understand fully California's dire budget situation and the challenges of the recessionary economy, but the public libraries have done more than their share to assist with the Budget deficit over the years by absorbing painful cuts. The time has come to stop the bleeding and CLA respectfully asks the members of the legislature to oppose these proposed cuts to our valuable programs."

"I Am Not a Witch" & Other Goodies from Yale Librarian Fred Shapiro's Top Ten Quotes of 2010

New Haven, CT (AP) Christine O'Donnell's TV ad declaration "I'm not a witch" during her U.S. Senate campaign topped this year's best quotes, according to a Yale University librarian.

O'Donnell's quote is cited by Fred Shapiro, associate librarian at Yale Law School, who released his fifth annual list of the most notable quotations of the year. In the ad, O'Donnell was responding to reports of her revelations that she had dabbled in witchcraft years ago.

"It was such a remarkable unconventional quote to be a part of the political discourse," Shapiro said.

The quote by O'Donnell, a tea party favorite running in Delaware, tied for first place with "I'd like my life back," the lament made in May by BP's CEO Tony Hayward after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

"People resented the fact that he was wanting to get back to his yacht races and other aspects of his normal life when those little problems were dwarfed by the magnitude of what people on the Gulf Coast were dealing with," Shapiro said.

Shapiro noted that the top quotes stemmed from two of the biggest news stories of the year, the oil spill and the emergence of the tea party.

The original Yale Book of Quotations was published in 2006. Since then, Shapiro has released an annual list of the top 10 quotes. He said they will be incorporated into the next edition of the book.

Nixon Tapes Reveal Multiple Biases Against Minority Americans

New tapes revealed at the Nixon Presidential Library contain recorded conversations where the disgraced former president says negative and hateful things about Jews, blacks, Italian- and Irish-Americans among others.

Amazon Selling Kindle Version of Wikileaks

Among its many services, Amazon.com offers hosting for websites in the form of data storage. When Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of diplomatic cables onto the Internet, it didn't take long for some technologically minded people to find out that Amazon had been hosting Wikileaks' data and content for quite some time. Yet, after the blow up over the cables, Amazon tossed Wikileaks from their servers, siting violations of their terms of service.

So make of this what you will, but Amazon UK is selling a Kindle version of the Wikileaks data. You can also have a look at the customer comments.

Smithsonian Censors Itself at the Behest of the Government

The Smithsonian Museum has been under pressure from Catholics and congressmen to pull pieces of an exhibit focusing on homosexuality and homosexual Americans. From NPR:

At least one critic has accused the Smithsonian of caving in to pressure from Catholics and from two Republican members of Congress. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money." A spokesperson for incoming House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January."

More from NPR.

Buffalo's Monetary Woes Continue

The conundrum over how to support dozens of arts groups and replenish the libraries for 2011 comes to a head in the Erie County Legislature today with no clear strategy at hand according to the Buffalo News.

Most lawmakers say they would like to restore some or all of the approximately $4 million that County Executive Chris Collins cut from the library system when he proposed a budget for next year.

Most lawmakers also want to provide taxpayer money to some or all of the dozens of theaters and galleries that Collins froze out.

However, none of the four plans hatched by assorted camps of lawmakers has yet drawn a Legislature majority. Those four include the set of revisions proposed Monday by Legislature Chairwoman Barbara Miller-Williams, D-Buffalo.

Miller-Williams said she sought a middle ground that Collins would not veto, “to assure that at the end of the day the library and the cultural organizations actually will see the funding.”

However, the $1 million she would restore for the library system was considered too little by both Republican Minority Leader John J. Mills of Orchard Park and Democratic Majority Leader Maria R. Whyte of Buffalo.

Library Director Bridget Quinn- Carey was not wowed, either.

Economist on the new Wikileaks document dump

The Economist has a short piece posted about the most recent document dump from WikiLeaks. A key quote:

Maybe it's something about tech geeks, or maybe it's just related to the self-interest of people and organisations whose particular strength lies in an ability to get a hold of other people's information. But it definitely seems like we're learning a lesson here: while information may want to be free, human beings are usually better off when it's on a leash.

(h/t Glyn Moody)

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