kmccook's blog

Bush Disinformation Doctrine is Abuse of Public Sphere

On April 15, 2007 the New York Times wrote this of the White House purge of United States attorneys. The entire scandal has its basis in disinformation.

the administration edited a government-ordered report on voter fraud to support its fantasy. The original version concluded that among experts "there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud." But the publicly released version said, "There is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud." It's hard to see that as anything but a deliberate effort to mislead the public.

In President Bush's first term, a White House official, who had been the oil industry's front man in trying to discredit the science of global warming, repeatedly edited government reports to play down links between climate change and greenhouse gases. And then there was the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which turned reports on old, dubious and false tales about weapons of mass destruction into warnings of clear, present and supposedly mortal dangers.

Bush Doctrine of Disinformation is an Abuse of the Public Sphere.

Contenders for Man Booker International Prize

Judges' List of Contenders for the 2007 Man Booker International Prize. Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe.
Margaret Atwood

John Banville

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[Will add another site so as not to take up too much band-width here]..

Peter CareyDon DeLilloCarlos FuentesDoris LessingIan McEwanHarry Mulisch Alice MunroMichael OndaatjeAmos OzPhilip RothSalman RushdieMichel Tournier

Secret Investigations Strip Personal Freedom

George Christian, executive director of Library Connection, a consortium of 27 libraries in the Hartford, Conn., area,who fended off an FBI demand for computer records on patrons said Wednesday that secret anti-terrorism investigations strip away personal freedoms.

"Terrorists win when the fear of them induces us to destroy the rights that make us free," said George Christian.

Christian said his experience "should raise a big patriotic American flag of caution" about the strain that the government's pursuit of would-be terrorists puts on civil liberties.

He said the government uses the USA Patriot Act and other laws to learn, without proper judicial oversight or any after-the-fact review, what citizens are researching in libraries.

...

In July 2005, the FBI issued a national security letter to Christian and three other Connecticut librarians. The letter sought computer subscriber data for a 45-minute period on Feb. 15, 2005, during which a terrorist threat was thought to have been transmitted. A gag order prevented the librarians from talking about the letter.

The librarians refused to comply with the FBI's request.

See more at LIBRARIAN.

International Man Booker Prize-2007

Toronto gears up again for Booker Prize nominees to be announced April 12. The International Man Booker Prize worth 60,000 British pounds or about $135,725 can be won by an author of any nationality.Last year, the shortlist had 18 writers, including Canadians Margaret Atwood and Saul Bellow, as well as Ian McEwan, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, Philip Roth, and John Updike.

Last time, Albanian writer Ismail Kadare took the prize worth 60,000 British pounds or about $135,725. It can be won by an author of any nationality.

Embarrassment: Ronda Storms' Gay Pride Ban

KEVIN GRAHAM of the

St. Pete Times reports: TAMPA - Author and family therapist Chris Crutcher called politicians like state Sen. Ronda Storms, the former Hillsborough County (FL) commissioner who successfully spearheaded a ban on county government's recognition of gay pride, an embarrassment to their community.

"We have to always go after people that make decisions like these that leave people destroyed in their wake," Crutcher said. "When the Ronda Storms of the world show up, people get together and start talking about what we have to do to get rid of bigotry."

Crutcher traveled from Spokane, Wash., to speak at the University of South Florida on Tuesday. Though he's heterosexual, Crutcher said he took the ban personally. He authored two books in the gay pride display at the
public library that captured Storms' attention.

Crutcher has written books about a range of topics that young adults, gay and straight, struggle with, and said his books are banned or challenged at least six times a year.

Crutcher singled out one comment Storms made in discussions about the countywide ban, when she said she didn't want to have to explain homosexuality to her then 6-year-old daughter had she seen the library display, which was in recognition of gay pride month.

"Give me a break," Crutcher said. "What am I gonna tell my daughter? Nothing. There is nothing scary for a 6-year-old kid on that display. But there is something scary for a 6-year-old kid when she's 20 to have to say there is a hater in her legacy."

Crutcher said parents with beliefs like Storms' make themselves unavailable when their children face situations that deal with sexuality. Children would rather talk with a stranger because they are afraid to disappoint their parents, he said.

For more back ground; see LIBRARIAN.

IMPAC -2007

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind.
It involves libraries from all corners of the globe, and is open to books written in any language.
The Award, an initiative of Dublin City Council, is a partnership between Dublin City Council, the Municipal Government of Dublin City, and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company which operates in over 50 countries.
The Award is administered by Dublin City Public Libraries.
=============

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes

Nominated by:
* Veria Central Public Library, Greece
* M.I. Rudomino State Library for Foreign Literature, Russia
* Deichmanske Bibliotek, Norway
* Belfast Education & Library Board, Northern Ireland
* Tampere City Library, Tampere, Finland
* Liverpool Libraries & Information Services, Liverpool, England

A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

Nominated by:
* Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek, Norway
* Liverpool Libraries & Information Services, England
* State Library of Queensland, Australia
* Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland
* Provincial Information & Library Resources Board, Gander, Canada
* Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA
* San Diego Public Library, San Diego, USA

Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee
Nominated by:

* Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota, Colombia
* Cork City Libraries, Cork, Ireland

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Nominated by:

* Halifax Regional Library, Halifax, Canada
* Jacksonville Public Library, Jacksonville, USA
* New Hampshire State Library, Concord, USA
* Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Cincinnat, USA
* Richmond Public Library, Richmond, USA
* New York Public Library, New York, USA
* Stedelijke Openbare Bibliotheek Gent, Ghent, Belgium
* Stadtbücherei Frankfurt-am-Main, Frankfurt, Germany

The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs

Nominated by:

* Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek, Bergen, Norway

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Nominated by:

* Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, USA
* Deichmanske Bibliotek, Oslo, Norway
* Lincoln City Libraries, Lincoln, USA

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
Translated from Norwegian by Anne Born
Nominated by:

* Deichmanske Bibliotek, Oslo, Norway
* Sølvberget KF - Stavanger Bibliotek og Kulturhus, Stavanger, Norway

Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

Nominated by:
* Zentral-und Landesbibliothek Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Bushops &amp; Clergy- Protect SMU

The ProtectSMU Petition, with the names of those who have signed it, will be presented to the SMU Administration, the SMU Board of Trustees and the Trustees of the United Methodist Church's South Central Jurisdiction.

We the undersigned express our objection to the prospect of the George W. Bush library, museum, and think tank being established at Southern Methodist University. As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate. We urge the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church to reject this project.

Literacy in Everyday Life

4.3.2007.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has just released Literacy in Everyday Life, the most recent publication of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). For more information see Librarian. No.4.3.2007.71.

Pour une "litterature-monde" en francais;

What and who are 'French writers'?

Alan Riding in the International Herald Tribune.
PARIS: With French long engaged in a losing battle against English around the world, a new way of fighting back has been proposed by a multinational group of authors who write in French: Uncouple the language from France and turn French literature into "world literature" written in French...
They argue that it is time for the French to stop looking down on francophone authors, as foreigners writing in French are known, because these very novelists - many, but not all, from former French colonies - hold the key to energizing French literature.

For this, they say, French must be freed from "its exclusive pact" with France. And, as an example worth following, they point to how literature in English has been enriched by Commonwealth and other foreign writers, among them V. S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie, J. M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ben Okri, Arundhati Roy, Peter Carey and Kiran Desai.

Still, the timing of this new campaign is not accidental.

Last autumn, to the astonishment of France's literary establishment, foreign-born writers won five of the country's seven major book awards, with the coveted Goncourt going to "Les Bienveillantes," or "The Kindly Ones," by the New York-born novelist Jonathan Littell, who also won the Académie Française's prize. Other winners were Alain Mabanckou from Congo, Nancy Huston from Canada and Léonora Miano from Cameroon.

Pour une "littérature-monde" en français

WISH I COULD MAKE DIACRITICS WORK.
Liste des signataires : Muriel Barbery, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Alain Borer, Roland Brival, Maryse Condé, Didier Daeninckx, Ananda Devi, Alain Dugrand, Edouard Glissant, Jacques Godbout, Nancy Huston, Koffi Kwahulé, Dany Laferrière, Gilles Lapouge, Jean-Marie Laclavetine, Michel Layaz, Michel Le Bris, JMG Le Clézio, Yvon Le Men, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Anna Moï, Wajdi Mouawad, Nimrod, Wilfried N'Sondé, Esther Orner, Erik Orsenna, Benoît Peeters, Patrick Rambaud, Gisèle Pineau, Jean-Claude Pirotte, Grégoire Polet, Patrick Raynal, Jean-Luc V. Raharimanana, Jean Rouaud, Boualem Sansal, Dai Sitje, Brina Svit, Lyonel Trouillot, Anne Vallaeys, Jean Vautrin, André Velter, Gary Victor, Abdourahman A. Waberi.

Best Spanish Fiction

100 Best Works of Fiction Written in Spanish over the Last 25 Years includes Roberto Bolano's Estrella Distante (Distant Star) (1996). [#14].
Read more at Librarian.

Law Lib.Dean Leads Veto of Jeb Bush Honorary Degree

The University of Florida Faculty voted to deny an honorary degree to former Gov. Jeb Bush. Professor Mary Kathleen Price, Clarence J. TeSelle Professor of Law, and Associate Dean, Library & Technology,was one who objected to the award. Professor Price is former Law Librarian of Congress, past president of the American Association of Law Libraries, and a member of Beta Phi Mu.

American Libraries at 100

The Video

Smithsonian Chief's Corrupting Influence

"I believe that the secretary of the Smithsonian [Lawrence M. Small] has lost the confidence of the American people with his actions -- actions that have been contrary to the public trust he has been given," Grassley said.

The former Smithsonian inspector general who launched an audit of high-ranking officials and their business practices said yesterday that Secretary Lawrence M. Small tried to pressure her to drop the inquiry shortly after she announced it last year....

Small had charged the institution $90,000 in unauthorized expenditures during his tenure, including chartered jet travel, his wife's trip to Cambodia, hotel rooms, luxury car service, catered staff meals and expensive gifts.

...Rudy Rudran, a conservation officer at the National Zoo and a Smithsonian employee for 40 years, said he was outraged and called for Small's resignation in an open letter to Undersecretary Sheila Burke. "The bottom line is that ever since Mr. Small came to the Smithsonian, he has behaved in a manner unbecoming of a person responsible for leading a highly respected academic institution. He has had a corrupting influence at the Smithsonian," Rudran wrote.

Lawrence M. Small Earns $915,698.

Bush White House Dodges PRA

The e-mail used by DOJ and Bush 43's White House staff to plan the purge of US Attorneys has used a Republican domain rather than a government domain.

What's with the GWB43.com emails?

Open Government Bills Pass House

In a bipartisan confrontation with the White House over executive branch secrecy, the House ignored a stern veto threat and overwhelmingly passed a package of open-government bills yesterday that would roll back administration efforts to shield its workings from public view.

Even top Republicans supported three bills that would streamline access to records in presidential libraries, expand safeguards for government whistle-blowers, and strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which guides public requests for government documents. All were approved with veto-proof majorities...The showdown was the latest in a series of efforts by Congress to force accountability from an administration that has been unresponsive to questions from lawmakers and the public about its decision-making. Introduced for government "Sunshine Week," an effort by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and other open-government groups to protest what they consider excessive government secrecy, the bills took on added heat as lawmakers called the White House to account for its role in the firings of U.S. attorneys and the FBI's mishandling of national security letters.

The Bills:
The bills passed and the votes were:

H.R. 1255 (333-93) to nullify an executive order limiting access to presidential records;

H.R. 985 (331-94) granting improved protection to federal whistleblowers; and

H.R. 1254 (390-34) to require the release of presidential library donor information.

Thank you Representative Waxman!

Whiteman Wins Florida Book Award

First Annual Florida Book Awards Competition.

GENERAL FICTION
Gold Medal Winner:

Tony D'Souza

Whiteman . (Harcour

WHITEMAN is an extraordinary debut novel about a maverick American relief worker deep in the West African bush. Although funding for his official mandate has been cut off, Jack Diaz refuses to leave his post, a Muslim village in the Ivory Coast, as Christians and Muslims square off for war. Against a backdrop of bloody sectarian conflict and vibrant African life, Jack and his village guardian, Mamadou, learn that hate knows no color, that true heroism waits for us where we least expect it.

During lulls in the violence, Jack learns the cycles of Africa—of hunting in the rainforest, cultivating the yam, navigating the nuances of the language; of witchcraft, storytelling, and chivalry. Despite the omnipresence of AIDS, he courts Djamilla, the stunning Peul girl, meets Mariam, his neighbor's wife, in the darkened forest when the moon is new, and desperately pursues Mazatou, the village flirt. Still, Jack spends many a night alone in his hut, longing for love in a place where his skin color excludes him.

Brimming with dangerous passions, ubiquitous genies, spirited proverbs, and the pressures of life in a time of war, WHITEMAN is a tale of desire, isolation, humor, and fear.

The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair heralded Whiteman as one of the most anticipated novels of the year, Nerve Magazine nominated it for Best Sex Scene of the Year, and it has debuted to widespread critical acclaim.

Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2007

The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2007
requires mandatory disclosure of donations to presidential libraries. It is a bipartisan measure, co-authored by Democrats Henry Waxman, Rahm Emanuel, and William Clay and Republicans John Duncan and Todd Platts.

More on the Bush Jr. [43] Library:

Calder Bookstore

Times Online reports:
JOHN CALDER, PUBLISHER OF 19 winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sits in overcoat and scarf in his windowless basement office in Waterloo, contemplating the end of his 60 years in the book business. Among the chaos of paper on his desk is a letter informing him that his rent is about to rise to £20,000 a year. He last published a new title four years ago, no longer actively sells his list and sells only a few thousand pounds-worth of books in a good month. Under pressure, he is about to sell the rights in his most valuable author, Samuel Beckett.

Presidential Records Act of 2007

"History is not partisan,"

said Waxman, a sponsor of the bill and chair of the House's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a subcommittee of which held the hearing on presidential records Thursday.

"Historians and scholars need access to our nation's history as it happened, not as a former president wished that it happened."

See LIBRARIAN for details.

Romero vs. Gonzalez over USAPATRIOT Act

ACLU Executive Director, Anthony D. Romero v. Alberto Gonzalez, Bush family puppet (AG) over USAPATRIOT ACT.

More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush's disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.

The WaPo reports on 3/10/07:Lawmakers from both parties yesterday called for limits on antiterrorism laws in response to a Justice Department report that the FBI improperly obtained telephone logs, banking records and other personal information on thousands of Americans. ..Top lawmakers raised the possibility that Congress would seek to curb the Justice Department's powers, most likely by placing restrictions on the USA Patriot Act antiterrorism law.
Barton Gellman wrote about the Library Connection Inc. case in Nov.2005:

The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26.

The American Civil Liberties Union(3/9/07) called on Congress to repeal a provision of the Patriot Act granting the FBI expanded powers to demand sensitive personal information without judicial supervision through the use of so-called National Security Letters.

[See Librarian for more].

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