Wednesday, March 31, 2004

No Libraries?

Schools without libraries? Sounds odd, but in one California school district it might become a reality.

I'm not planning on going into school librarianship (my interest lies elsewhere) but a library and librarians are essential to the success of kids. Hopefully this decision can be reversed.


Monday, March 29, 2004

Tribute to Mims

Mims is my best friend's grandmother and she passed away last night. She "adopted" her granddaughter's friends as her own grandchildren and always made us feel welcome at any family gathering. Her name was Edna Horner and she was a WWII - era war bride. Originally from England, she met her husband while he was stationed there just after the war. They married and moved to Knoxville, his hometown. Mims never lost her British accent and loved to talk about the "nasty Nazis." She had many wonderful stories to tell about her childhood and how the war affected her and her family.

Mims developed some health problems a few years ago and became unable to live on her own, so she moved in with her daughter -- but for the last several months she lived in a nursing home. She was a proud, loving woman. I'm glad that she lived long enough to meet her great-grandson.

Goodbye, Mims. I hope that you are dancing to Glenn Miller with a handsome GI.


Monday, March 22, 2004

The TN Lottery is going to cost money?

Who knew?

Well, anyone who looked at the "scholarship" plan should have been able to see that there would be a problem. The Tennessee Board of Regents (which operates 6 universities and 13 community colleges) estimates that it will cost $1.2 million to deal with added costs of the lottery scholarships.

The lottery provides money for tuition but does nothing to help with the infrastructure of the higher education system.

(Thanks to Donald Sensing for the pointer)


Sunday, March 21, 2004

Why should we follow Europe?

My husband and I had an interesting conversation a few mornings ago. We were listening to NPR on the way to work and heard a story about the recent Spanish elections. The story had a definite spin to it -- mainly that America should do whatever it takes to stay in the good graces of the European nations and that we should follow their diplomatic footsteps.

My husband's question was this -- why should we listen to Europe's diplomacy plan? When was the last time a workable plan came from Europe?

Was it when France and England appeased Germany? (While England did an admirable job in fighting WWII, she must still share some blame for the appeasement that led to the war)

Was it when the Vichy France government cooperated with the Nazis during WWII?

Was it when France fought wars in Algeria and Indochina -- to keep their colonial lands?

Was it when Britain left the Palestine area in such a wonderful state?

Or should we follow Spain -- a country that elected and re-elected a dictator (a man who suppressed all political opposition and who's troops were supported by the Nazis and the Italian Fascists during the Spanish Civil War)?

Perhaps it is Russia we should follow. After all, the Soviets were master diplomats in Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

Oh, and why is France conducting military operations with China in an attempt to intimidate Taiwan -- a democratic nation?

The point is -- why should America be criticized for not going along with Europe? Why is Europe never criticized for not going along with America? The leaders of America have to do what is best for this country -- what will keep our citizens safe. I'm not advocating an isolationist position, merely one that puts America (not Europe) first.


Appeasement, Part II

Dr. Suess, in addition to publishing Green Eggs and Ham, also created editorial/political cartoons. I found a book dedicated to his WWII cartoons in a local bookstore.

Dr. Suess had some strong ideas about how well appeasement of Nazi Germany was going to work. Here's a page with a few examples:

Dr. Suess/Appeasement


TLA Conference

I attended my first professional conference last week -- The Tennessee Library Association Conference. I was also a presenter -- I created a display for the poster session. My topic was one close to my heart - -The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The conference was a good one with lots of interesting sessions. There were so many topics that interested me that I was unable to attend everything I wanted to. I met some nice people and also had some encouragement on the job front.


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I'm not Irish, but does that matter on St. Paddy's Day? I think my Welsh, English, and German ancestors will forgive me if I wear a bit of green today.

Here's a bit of history about St. Patrick's Day:

History of St. Patrick's Day

Census Bureau info on 3/17

Chicago St. Paddy's parade




Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Apparently it is true...

...that John Kerry has support from foreign leaders. The question is --- does he want the support of these guys?

Foreign Leaders For Kerry

(Via The Corner)


Monday, March 15, 2004

Appeasement or Not

The head of the European Commission (executive arm of the European Union) says

"It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists," Prodi said. "Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago," and all of Europe now feels threatened, he told the paper.

I think it is untrue that terrorism is more powerful now than a year ago. A year ago there were hiding places in Iraq and Libya. Now Iraq is on its way to democracy and Libya has capitulated. The bombing in Madrid is very horrible -- but how many terrorist attacks have there been since the United States (with our allies) went to war and proved that we were not going to just sit back and accept being attacked? There have been none in the United States and very few elsewhere in the world.

Did Europe learn nothing from World War II? Appeasement did not work with Hitler and it won't work with terrorists. I would argue that the United State's bungling of the response to previous attacks on the World Trade Center, the USS Cole, and the embassies (perhaps a form of appeasement) led directly to the September 11 attack. The terrorists perceived the US as being soft and easily cowed. If Europe follows the road to appeasement then they are opening themselves to more attacks. It is as simple as that . The terrorists want to wipe out Western civilization. That cannot be allowed to happen.


Why I'll vote for George W. Bush

I've stated before that George Bush has disappointed me with some of his decisions. Not only has he increased spending to almost ridiculous levels he has not met a piece of legislation he didn't like.

I'll cut him some slack for the military and intelligence portion of his spending. I want a strong military. And in this day and age we can not afford to cut the intelligence budgets. However, the non-military spending has got to be slowed down. There is no need to increase Medicare benefits -- at least not the way that was passed in the fall. That was a pander to the over-65 (and soon to be over-65 baby boomers) crowd. The federal expenditures on education are unnecessary. I'm of the belief that education is a responsibility of the states not the federal government. The President has veto power for a reason. He needs to use it. Once instance where this would have come in handy is the campaign finance bill that was passed in 2003.

Regardless of all of the above, I still think that Bush is the president we need at this time. We are at war -- and it is a war that will not end soon. The Madrid attacks last week prove that. I do not want a president who will grovel to the world leader and abdicate America's safety. We need a president who does what he says he is going to do. We need a president who believes that this country is great and is willing to do what it takes to protect our shores and our populace.

I am voting for Bush because of the way he has handled the war since September 11, 2001. That war has not ended.


Bush vs. Kerry

John Kerry has the required number of delegates to cinch the Democratic nomination. Plus the most recent polls show that he is leading George W. Bush at the moment. Does this mean that Bush is beatable in November? Maybe, maybe not.

I don't think it is reliable to think that the current polls are a clear indicator of what will happen in November. Kerry has just come off a primary season that presented all of the Democratic candidates in the media almost 24 hours a day. George Bush has just started campaigning. And while Bush has disappointed many of his supporters with the amount of money he is spending I think that his war base is still strong enough to provide a solid base of support for reelection.

Kerry is also complaining about the "negative" ads that Bush is running. The ads are no more negative than what Kerry and his other Democratic compatriots have been spouting. Frankly, I'm getting tired of always hearing the Democrats state that they will fix the economy, fix the health care system, fix the education system, etc. Fine -- but what are your plans to fix these broken entities. Let me guess, more money? No plans are ever presented, just complaints.

Finally, Kerry has a very big arrogance problem. He comes off as quite condescending. Plus there are all of his flip-flops. He voted for the Iraqi war but not for the money that would actually ensure success. He voted for the Patriot Act but is against it now. He voted for No Child Left Behind now he's against it. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act but now says marriage is just for a man and a woman. He wanted to overhaul Social Security but now won't touch it. Does the man have a solid belief in anything?


New York Times Backs Down

The New York Times claims to be one of, if not the, paper of record for the United States. While some (including me) would argue that the paper's quality has declined and that there is a distinctive bias to the content, it should be remembered that this is the paper that published the Pentagon Papers in 1971 -- in the face of much pressure to cease and desist.

A few days ago the website The National Debate put up a page that was obviously a parody of The New York Times -- the page pokes fun at the NYT's lack of response to notification of errors within columns on the editorial page.

The NYT sent a cease and desist letter to the ISP of Robert Cox, manager of The National Debate, claiming that the page in question violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The only problem with this complaint is that parodies are protected speech under the First Amendment and no one who looks at the page in question could be in any doubt as to whether it is a parody or not.

Luckily a copyright attorney offered to represent Mr. Cox and sent off a letter of his own to the NYT -- which is linked here. My favorite parts of the letter are the quotes that show a bit of hypocrisy coming from the newspaper.

More good news for Mr. Cox is that The New York Times has dropped (free registration may be required) its complaint. It now admits that the page is a parody.


Thursday, March 04, 2004


Part of my inspiration to resume writing comes from Instapundit. Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee, where I attend graduate school. He spoke during a meeting at the library about his process of writing, where blogging comes from, and where it might be headed.

After his talk, I introduced myself to him and mentioned that I was a fan. He was very gracious to me and seemed appreciative. He then asked me how blogging is viewed in the information science world. I told him what I thought and it seemed to interest him.


Back to Writing

Well, I took an untintentially long break. Initially I only planned to finish up the fall semester and resume writing on this blog. But I just couldn't get motivated. Lame excuse, I know, but that is the truth.

Regardless, I'm motivated again and will continue to post on a regular basis.