Last day of summer short takes

“Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” “Libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people.” – American Library Association, Library Bill of Rights. All of this to note that this Saturday marks the beginning of Banned Book Week. Participate, and find out about current attempts in our society to restrict the flow of information to legitimate users.
And speaking of books: I had ordered a couple CDs from Amazon recently, and was shocked to get a package from Amazon today, given the fact that i received the confirmation of the CD order only yesterday. But it was the book Tales from Fish Camp: A City Girl’s Experience Working in an Alaskan Fishing Village by Danielle Henderson. I won this in a contest run by Greg Burgas. Thanks, Greg! I read the (short) first chapter, and think I’ll be liking this.
So, I go to Greg’s page to thank him. I can’t remember when this contest was exactly, so I figure I’ll go to his page, search the word “contest” on the Search This Blog feature. But no, I get a bunch of references to contests from all of the blogs. (As Greg might say, “Stupid Blogger!”) So I look anyway. Here you can draw a lion and win a cash prize, reportedly.
My friend Don wrote a a review of a new book about the Beatles.
My bud David Brickman will be doing his next art criticism spot on WAMC (90.3 fm) tomorrow (Thursday) at 9:48 a.m. The topic will be two shows of paintings, one at Skidmore, one at Sage. By the way, for the out-of-towners it is possible to listen online at (live only – not archived).
If you’re going to the DC rally this weekend, you might check out this page.
Hurricane Rita picked up strength Wednesday as it churned toward the Texas Gulf Coast and was upgraded to a Category 4 storm with winds topping 135 mph.
And on the issue of hurricanes, it appears that Former FEMA Chief Brown Bought Votes in Florida. “Michael Brown, the embattled former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approved payments in excess of $31 million in taxpayer money to thousands of Florida residents who were unaffected by Hurricane Frances and three other hurricanes last year in an effort to help President Bush win a majority of votes in that state during his reelection campaign, according to published reports.”
I was reading the Wall Street Journal from last Tuesday (it’s an occupational hazard), when I came across this headline: “Wage Winners and Losers”. The average worker LOST 0.4% from July 2003 to July 2004, adjusted for inflation. Somewhere on the linked page is the National Compensation Survey.

In last Thursday’s WSJ, this piece: “After Katrina, Republicans Back a Sea of Conservative Ideas”. It suggested that on the “list of Katrina initiatives backed by Republicans” will be:

  • Temporary exemptions from environmental laws
  • Suspension of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws
  • Streamlined approval process for oil refineries
  • School vouchers for displaced students, even those who had been going to public school
    Sure enough, I get a couple e-mails this week:
    Bush Suspends Affirmative Action for Gulf Contractors. The announcement by the Labor Department came the day after President Bush announced the suspension of a law that requires employers to pay the locally prevailing wage to construction workers on federally financed projects.
    Bush Proposes Private School Vouchers for All Displaced Students. Under President Bush’s plan to cover most of the cost of educating students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, parents could enroll their children in a private or religious school this year at federal expense, even if they had gone to public schools back home, administration officials said yesterday.
    Outpouring of Relief Cash Raises Fear of Corruption and Cronyism.
    It should be no surprise that the people who brought you the USA PATRIOT Act and the Iraq war in response to 9/11 should bring in some “add-ons” in light of Katrina.
    Fortunately, Robert B. Reich has written Bush Administration Paradox Explained. “The White House’s strategy to make John Roberts the next chief justice has been the very model of meticulous planning, by contrast to its utter clueless-ness in dealing with Katrina. Robert Reich states that no White House in modern history has been as adept at politics and as ham-fisted at governing. Why?”
  • Mixed Bag CD Blog-Roger

    Do you think I’m actually going to review my own CD? Nah, it’s here for completeness sake.
    NAME: Roger Green
    BLOG NAME: Ramblin’ with Roger
    NAME OF CD: Travelogue USA #1: New York-Texas
    RUNNING TIME: 61:38
    COVER ART: Standardized computer fare
    SONG LIST: Here
    ALREADY REVIEWED BY: Nat on July 8; Gordon on July 21; Eddie on August 6
    GENERAL THOUGHTS: TREMENDOUS! STUPENDOUS! MAGNIFICANT! (I kid.) Actually, I like it. I actually play it from time to time. It’s grown on me.
    THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: That Petty is almost unrecognizable.
    ON THE OTHER HAND: I agonized over changing the last track from Garth to the Harshed Mallows’ version of U.S. Blues. BTW, both songs make reference to flag-waving, but they have very different sentiments.
    ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: I’ve been in every state represented in this collection except Mississippi; my Alabama visit was VERY short.

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