Are you on the RIGHT side?

I'm considering a new section @LISNews. I'm wondering if anyone might be interested in contributing to a Political Librarian Weblog. I don't think the intelligent-right* gets enough press** and that just ain't right. Those with view points that differ significantly from the usual library line should have a place where these views can be aired, shared, and discussed. I can think of at least 2 LISNewsterz that would be perfect for this, so I'm hoping for at least a yes or no vote from them.


So, if you consider your self right of center, and can be fair, accurate and open***, let me know.


Footnotes and an FAQ below.*From my perspective many of those on the right tend to be less than useful in what they write. That is, I didn't learn anything from what I read. That's not to say the left isn't like that as well, but since it seems like they've already cornered the market, I don't need to worry about them. What I want is someone who can argue against the echo chamber, and make it stick.


**When I say press, I don't mean things that came off a printing press, I mean in the librarian web world, and more specifically librarian blogs.


*** I ask that of ALL LISNews authors. While we, as authors @LISNews, all have our biases, I ask that we do our best to keep things civil, fair and open.


FAQ:
1. Why aren't you asking for people from the left?
I think we already have them. I don't want this to be a left wing echo chamber, I want both sides to be represented, and I want both sides to be smart.

2. How are you defining right & left?
I'm not, I leave that up to you.

3. What's your plan?
A section devoted to political discussion.

4. What's political discussion?
Discussion on laws that may or may not pertain to the LISWorld. Discussion on elections, politicians, constitutions, political parties, etc… For the most part stories posted to our index page tend to be related to libraries, and not often very political. This new section would be all about the stuff we all argue about.

5. Have you really thought this through? Doesn't LISNews already do just that?
Yeah, maybe, but I think best when I get ideas from others. This may be a dumb idea, and no one will care to participate, but the idea is to get some feedback to see if there's any interest out there.

So let me know your thoughts on this, either way, is this a good idea?
Comment below, or let me know.

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about political forum

Are you sure you want to make it a part of LIS News?
Can you establish another domain, LIS Forum LIS Opinion or something like that? Just the word NEWS should imply that that's what you're getting, news, --just the facts--instead of opinion. Of course, the journals are opinionated, so maybe this thing is outgrowing its original name - LIS News...?
Anyway, it would be interesting, I agree, but name and purpose must be clearly stated.

Interesting concept...

As one who has never been mistaken as right of anything, I would welcome the chance to hear what my "right-thinking" colleagues have to say. It would be nice to have a discussion forum to, y'know, actually discuss what they are thinking and feeling. Just as long as left-leaners are welcome to contribute to the discussion, I think it would be cool.

I could go for this

I think I match your criteria in most respects, including the part about the ability to be fair and respectful in discussion. I would probably wind up participating more as a commentor than as a news poster. I am not presently working in a library setting, but I have an MLS and have worked in reference, cataloging, and library IT support.

Whether you go through with it or not, I greatly appreciate your raising the possibility, and the way in which you raise it.

Like birdie, I wonder a little bit about how best to integrate it with LISNews. Were you thinking as a separate domain name, as a separate weblog within LISNews, or as a new sub-topic, or as something undreamt of in our philosophies?

The pot calling. . .?

"From my perspective many of those on the right tend to be less than useful in what they write."

I think the reason left of center talk shows don't work is that feelings, concepts, guesswork and assumptions are tough to communicate. So since you made the same observation about the right that I usually make about the left (and I were one, so I should know) it must be perspective and not reality.

A political point of view of a librarian is no more meaningful than the political point of view of a plumber or an architect. We have a job to do and should keep our politics in the voting booth and political organizations and work for our party, if that is meaningful.

Too many people would have to post anonymously because their jobs might be at risk to "come out" as left or right. Librarians are either 1) civil service, 2) unionized or 3) faculty or 4) A & P. As much as we might love to talk about freedom of press, and ideas, all those hierarchies can be extremely dangerous when attempting to establish professional credentials.

It might make more sense to restrict politics to the journal portion rather than make another separate category on a site that I find terribly difficult to work through.

Slightly unclear

Could you please explain this idea further with more of a set-out framework?

"right" minded liberrian

First things first.

I suppose thanks are in order to all of my liberal colleagues here on the board for taking the high road and passing on Blake's "Intelligent-right" set up. Your decorum is duly noted.

Seriously, Blake I am not sure what your vision of this "blog" would be. Would the “right� minded people be responsible for driving the issues/stories for this blog? Any further info would be helpful. I like the idea and would certainly participate but am hesitant to make any commitments.

FWIW, pecking apart liberal fallacies is a wonderful hobby that I would regret losing if I and a few other "right" thinkers were to create, as you say, an echo chamber. Or in this case an echo closet of 3 or 4.
I do relish the part of playing a minority here among so many who are left of center. That said, I'm for educating my library brethren regardless of the forum or blog.

Re:The pot calling. . .?

I think the reason left of center talk shows don't work is that feelings, concepts, guesswork and assumptions are tough to communicate.

Left-wingers don't have any trouble communicating or getting left-wing ideas; only right-wingers do. As members of the right tend to be conservative, they also tend to be resistant to the highest principles of freedom and liberty.

Re:The pot calling. . .?

A political point of view of a librarian is no more meaningful than the political point of view of a plumber or an architect. We have a job to do and should keep our politics in the voting booth and political organizations and work for our party, if that is meaningful.

I don't think Blake's suggestion implies that librarians' political views are any more important than those of other professions. I think what he's doing (and what I applaud) is acknowledging that librarianship as a profession is generally left-leaning, and that there is a tendency for the profession not to hear from other political perspectives. Blake wants "someone who can argue against the echo chamber, and make it stick."

Ideally, it might be better for us to keep our politics in the voting booth, but in fact there are issues in our profession upon which political (and other) considerations impinge, and which cannot resolved simply by recourse to objective precepts of librarianship. The right of minors to privacy vis a vis their parents, e.g., is one such issue. I don't at all think that the profession should be politicized in some fundamental sense, even if it were in accord with my own politics. I do think that there are issues that have already been at least partly politicized, or upon which factors outside of librarianship have a legitimate bearing, and it may be better to acknowledge that fact and to try to discuss these issues in a respectful way.

You make a good point about the potential dangers for some of making explicit their political convictions.

Re:The pot calling. . .?

Are you serious, Fang-face? Or are you wafting subtle ironies beneath our noses, or at least engaging in good-natured ribbing of those you disagree with?

Re:"right" minded liberrian

I should probably let Blake speak for himself, but I have never let such considerations stop me in the past.

I think some have misunderstood him to mean that he wants to found a conservative librarians' blog. I think what he was instead after was some certainty that there would be enough conservative participation in a political librarians' blog to prevent it from becoming an echo chamber. I don't think the intention was to give conservatives a special soapbox.

In Summary

Well, let me try to answer all those questions at once.Yes, it could be a new domain, not sure that's necessary though. I was thinking justPolitics.lisnews.comIt's just easier for me to maintain that way.Quoting me as saying some people are less than useful in what the WRITE, and then saying left of center TALK shows don't work makes me think either I wasn't being clear, or you missed my point. Of course it's my perspective, and in general, and I won't name any names, the right sided reading I do is generally more supported by emotion than facts. I chose my words carefully there, I did not mean that as a swipe at the right, but rather just a comment on what I normally read. It was meant to avoid creating a new blog full of trolls and flamebait. I'd like discussion, backed up by links, something I often see in the comments here @LISNews, and don't see often elsewhere. Those LISNewsterz on the right are not folks I would put in that category.I don't care about plumber or architects, only librarians, this is a site for librarians.Yes, obviously, especially for those tenure track folks, politics can get you in trouble. Something tells me Fang-Face, Tomeboy, and slashgirl all have real names, and real jobs. LISNews allows anonymous participation.Are far as the site being terribly difficult to work through, you have no idea, it's even worse for me! I wish I could make it better, I really do, but at this point, I just don't have the skills.ChuckB sums up what I'm after better than I could. Most of the people around here are left leaning, if that's all we're going to have on a political discussion blog, then there's no point, I wanted to make sure the right was represented.As far as frame work, I had imagined just a new section, and really I still like that idea.But… several people brought up the new domain idea. That's going to add more work for me, unless someone else wants to babysit it.The right wouldn't be any more responsible for anything than the left, I simply wanted to make sure that both "groups" would have some interest in participating. Both sides should be able to pick apart each others fallacies in an open, fair, and maybe even friendly and respectful environment. What I'm after is some authors who say yes I'll participate, and yes I am more conservative than most people around here.ChuckB, I need you to explain what I mean for me before I post anything from now on!So, from what I've read, there is interest, and there doesn't seem to be any objects to just a new section?

Re:The pot calling. . .?

1: Yes, I am serious, 2: no, I was not wafting subtle ironies, although I did have those ironies under consideration, 3: at least a little bit.

1: I'm guessing that most people have difficulty following some of my trains of thought because I employ zen-like processes for analysing and correlating information. As a result of using zen-like patterns, I deal with issues of personal liberty at the very highest level. Most folks simply don't go there.

2: What I wrote about right-wing thinkers not getting leftist ideas applies equally to left-wing thinkers not getting rightist ideas, of course. It's not a political thing, it's simply human psychology. There aren't very many who learn how to suspend their own prejudices long enough to consider ideas that offend them. However, there is a greater general tendency to exhibit such objectivity in liberalism than in conservatism.

3: That was posted in the carefully crafted fashion it was in a deliberate attempt to provoke a reaction.

The upshot of it is: thinking, real thinking where you do more than merely rearrange your prejudices, is a resource intensive labour. Plus, if you are going to start actually thinking, you have to begin by challenging your own basic assumptions. Doing that scares the hell out of people, and not themselves alone, but everyone around them.

Anyway, Tomeboy once asked what "rational" means. A rational person is one who sees the universe the way it is, rather than how he thinks the universe ought to be. Conservative people generally believe they have the power and the methods to force the universe to conform to what they think it should be. Rational thinkers know that efforts such as legislating pi to equal exactly three are exercises in futility.

Re:"right" minded liberrian

I'm in!

Question for Fang

>>A rational person is one who sees the universe the way it is, rather than how he thinks the universe ought to be. Conservative people generally believe they have the power and the methods to force the universe to conform to what they think it should be.

As an American and yourself Canadian (correct?), I wonder if we are working from the same definitions for "conservative" and "liberal"? I'll leave the rationalists alone to ruminate upon their rocks for now.

Liberals, here in the States, are commonly associated with social engineering via federal mandate. These folks want MORE government hence more power to shape our little North American universe to fit their world view. Many have no compunction about proudly shouting this from the highest Ivy League university roof top. They like BIG government.

Conservatives are, for the most part, opposed to an expansion of federalism. (Yes, Bush has failed on this. See Farm Bill)

Affirmative Action, universal health insurance, social security, LBJ's Great Society debacle, etc...all liberal programs. These (liberals) are the folks who want to shape your universe. And take your money which I find the most egregious affront to freedom. I just completed my Federal and State tax returns. You want to talk about privacy issues???? Let's compare the questions for which I owe an explanation to Uncle Sam compared to my right to privacy regarding the books I check out at the library. I'd gladly post the latter on the library's web page if given a choice between the two.


If your disgust for big power is genuine, then my friend you’re more conservative than liberal. At least here in the States.

You may argue that conservatives, specifically the Baptist types for which you have a special affinity, are mucking with your world. I say you’re wrong. These folks don't have the power of federal law acting as a blue suited bully. Sure some may want to remove Judy Blume from Podunk PL but it's Uncle Sam that mandates that a child can'tsay the Pledge of Allegiance. Again can't.

I reckon the First Amendment doesn't apply to those who have the audacity to openly confess their support of the Bill of Rights.

Now my question.

Does your passion for freedom extend to economics? Low taxes, laissez faire, little corporate regulation, free trade, no minimum wage, pro WTO, etc.?

domain, etc.

Can't we call it flamefest.lisnews.com? :)

Seriously, is the point to be politics as it relates to libraries/librarianship somehow? Or is it librarians who have political opinions (aspirations)? Or is this a riff on the "liberal media" meme of the 70's and now? (ala "Librarians are too damned liberal and there needs to be CLA--Conservative Librarians Association--to stop these pinkos).

One can see intelligent arguments occuring in politics these days, but it's certainly NOT the norm, from what I've seen, online.

RE: echo chambers, what's wrong with echos? I daresay most (mine included) political discourse does NOT have the intention of changing minds. That may be a shame, but that's how it is IMHO. Maybe lisnews can be different. After all, librarians are smarter than average!

Re:domain, etc.

>>Can't we call it flamefest.lisnews.com? :)HA! Probably not a bad idea>>Seriously, is the point to be politics as it>>relates to libraries/librarianship somehow? Or>>is it librarians who have political opinions>>(aspirations)?Well, yes, both, either. I'm not really sure.>>Or is this a riff on the "liberal media" meme>>of the 70's and now? (ala "Librarians are too>>damned liberal and there needs to be CLA-->>Conservative Librarians Association--to stop>>these pinkos).No, not at all, just wanted to make sure both sides were represented.>>One can see intelligent arguments occuring in>>politics these days, but it's certainly NOT the>>norm, from what I've seen, online.Or on TV, or on the radio...>>RE: echo chambers, what's wrong with echos? I>>daresay most (mine included) political>>discourse does NOT have the intention of>>changing minds. That may be a shame, but that's>>how it is IMHO. Maybe lisnews can be different.>>After all, librarians are smarter than average!Why yes, we are smarter than average. It may work, it may not, but it's worth a shot. Maybe one of the ideas behind this should be to change minds, maybe that will make it more interesting.

Re:domain, etc.

One can see intelligent arguments occuring in politics these days, but it's certainly NOT the norm, from what I've seen, online.

So right!

RE: echo chambers, what's wrong with echos? I daresay most (mine included) political discourse does NOT have the intention of changing minds. That may be a shame, but that's how it is IMHO. Maybe lisnews can be different.

(Here he goes again, thinking he knows what Blake is thinking! ed.) I'm not sure Blake is intent on having minds changed, but rather challenged. Let's say you are a confirmed conservative, or a confirmed atheist/skeptic, or whatever. I assert that if you face, think through, and thoughtfully respond to the best arguments against your position you can find, your arguments will be the stronger and your views the more soundly held for it. It's the corollary to giving up straw men views of the positions opposing yours. I think of it as the "Proverbs 27:17 Principle" (go ahead: look up this verse; it won't hurt you, I promise).

After all, librarians are smarter than average!

Again: so right! :)

Re:Question for Fang

Ah, another self-appointed expert on my life and psyche. Take a number and join the line up. Your assessment of my politics is, of course, completely wrong from start to finish. So is your assessment of the conservative attitude toward government. Generally speaking, conservatives do not want less government. They want an exclusionary government that helps only those of their selected in-group (WASP), and which is highly intrusive in the lives of the outsiders (non-WASPs). In short: they want a government that will control who and what they tell it to while leaving them alone.

As for whether or not I am politically Conservative/Republican or Liberal/Democrat: neither. As far as I'm concerned they're all liein', cheain', theivin' scum and completely interchangeable. It has probably escaped your notice, but your Democrats and Rebuplicans are almost indistinguishingable. The only way to tell one from the other in matters of public issues is that Republicans shower shit in derision in all directions over abortion while Democrats tend to avoid the issue of a woman's right to choose. Here in Canada, we threw the entire Progressive Conservative party out on its sorry ass (only two candidates out of some 124 were re-elected) out of disgust over its malfeasance and the Liberal Party picked up where the PCs left off without missing a heartbeat. Allee samee.

As long as you insist on making improper distinctions you will never learn anything, Tomeboy. Almost everybody picks sides based on an "Us v: Them" attitude. I take sides based on a "Right v: Wrong" attitude, where "Right" is defined as that which morally and ethically promotes the betterment of all humanity; not just my selected in-group. With the us v: them attitude, the assumption is that your party is always right and the other party is always wrong. This is two dimenisional thinking. It does not allow for third alternatives; the idea for instance, that both parties can be wrong at the same time on any particular issue.

As for economics, some programs promote the betterment of humanity, some don't. I oppose those programs that don't.

Since you seem to be unable to function without pigeonholing things, you may consider me to a Rational Anarchist (do a keyword search for the term at my site). Personally, I generally tend to be apolitical to the point of being anti-political.

Re:Question for Fang

>>Personally, I generally tend to be apolitical to the point of being anti-political

Please.

Your deftness for double-speak and skirting simple questions betrays your “apoliticalness�. Your beloved George Bush should be so proud.

There’s simply too much here to pick apart. Sort of like the Country Buffet on a Saturday night.(This analogy may ring hollow for Zen masters. As does the term "supper" we conservative yokels use)

However by saying nothing you have said something.

Namely, your dislike for politics only goes as far as the issues you care about. Which, by your rational anarchist diatribe, are many. This aside, you are just a political wallflower seeking personal justice for the masses. Provided these masses enjoy the good fortune of having been extricated from their mother’s womb.

This certainly gives new meaning to the term “emancipation�.

Re:Question for Fang

You have tried to say something but have still said nothing.

Relax. I didn't expect you to get it anyway.

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