March 8, 2008
Iraq: The War Card
"Leading up to the five-year anniversary of the Iraq war, the Center for Public Integrity has released the first analysis of its kind, "Iraq – The War Card: Orchestrated Deception on the Path to War." This comprehensive examination of top Bush administration officials' statements over a two-year period shows how top officials galvanized public opinion in the run-up to the March 18, 2003 invasion of Iraq. The project's chronology provides a framework for examining how the administration's false statements led the country into the war in Iraq. The results of this analysis question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were merely the unwitting victims of bad intelligence." [RJ]
The U.S. Military Index
"In an exclusive new index, Foreign Policy and the Center for a New American Security surveyed more than 3,400 active and retired officers at the highest levels of command about the state of the U.S. military. They see a force stretched dangerously thin and a country ill-prepared for the next fight." [RJ]
Keeping Authorized Torture Techniques Off the Internet, Bush Vetoes H.R. 2082
In his radio address to the nation today, President Bush said he vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2008 (H.R. 2082) because it was wrong to ban practices that have a proven record of keeping America safe. Those practices include harsh interrogation methods that are not authorized in the Army Field Manual, such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists. The President explained:
"Limiting the CIA's interrogation methods to those in the Army Field Manual would be dangerous because the manual is publicly available and easily accessible on the Internet."
Grasping for a rationalization...aren't these techniques common knowledge.
Footnote: H.R. 2082 [Thomas Resources] pass the House 222 - 199; and the Senate 51 - 45 (Clinton & Obama did not vote; McCain voted nay) so a veto override appears unlikely. [JH]
The Religious Landscape of the United States
New report from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: "With unprecedented precision, a new Pew Forum survey details the religious affiliation of the American public and quantifies the remarkable dynamism taking place in the U.S. religious marketplace. Read the report and explore religion in America using online tools." [RJ]
McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out
Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.
Mr. McCain is not the first person to find himself in these circumstances. The last Arizona Republican to be a presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater, faced the issue. He was born in the Arizona territory in 1909, three years before it became a state. But Goldwater did not win, and the view at the time was that since he was born in a continental territory that later became a state, he probably met the standard.
It also surfaced in the 1968 candidacy of George Romney, who was born in Mexico, but again was not tested. The former Connecticut politician Lowell P. Weicker Jr., born in Paris, sought a legal analysis when considering the presidency, an aide said, and was assured he was eligible. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. was once viewed as a potential successor to his father, but was seen by some as ineligible since he had been born on Campobello Island in Canada. The 21st president, Chester A. Arthur, whose birthplace is Vermont, was rumored to have actually been born in Canada, prompting some to question his eligibility.
See also, Does John McCain Have a Birthplace Problem? WSJ Law Blog [RJ]
March 7, 2008
Bank Julius Baer Moves to Withdraw Suit Against WikiLeaks
Bank Julius Baer has filed a motion to dismiss (pdf) its lawsuit against WikiLeaks. The complaint alleged that WikiLeaks published stolen documents revealing confidential information about the accounts of the bank’s clients. The New York Times is reporting that lawyers involved in the case said the move by Bank Julius Baer most likely ends its battle against WikiLeaks.
Librarians in the thick of the Presidential race
USAToday reports that federal archivists at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers, some of which concern pardons by President Clinton. Of the papers requested under the FOIA around 25% of the documents were not provided or were redacted. I recommend reading the linked article as it provides some background on the blocking of material at presidential libraries. [BB]
Internet Explorer 8 Beta Now Available
Internet Explorer 8 Beta can now be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista® Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP® Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Gee-whiz new features include Facebook, eBay, Live Maps and Me.dium integration using IE8's new "WebSlices" technology. With WebSlices, IE8 beta users can subscribe to portions of a page that update dynamically to receive updates from that page as content changes.
Downloaders Beware! Reports of IE8 Beta crashing computers running XP SP2 are coming in. [JH]
Friday Fun: Google Maps, the Creepy Video
Hat tip to Google Blogoscoped. [JH]
Photo Contest Now Underway: Insanity at My Library
Do you have a picture that perfectly illustrates the insanity that takes place at a library? Maybe it's the book drop that was destroyed by a firecracker, the librarian who never matches his socks, or the library that is completely falling apart and has structural damage to prove it! If so, send them to Scott Douglas and you will automatically be entered in a drawing for a free signed copy of Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian.
One copy a week will be given away starting Friday March 28, 2008, ending on Friday, May 2, 2008.
Details and terms of the photo contest at Speak Quietly: Ramblings About Libraries, Writing, and Everything in Between
Hat tip to LISNews. Sounds like fun! [JH]
Professional Reading: Increasing Ethnic Diversity in LIS
Check out Kyung‐Sun Kim and Sei‐Ching Joanna Sin's Increasing Ethnic Diversity in LIS: Strategies Suggested by Librarians of Color, 78 The Library Quarterly 153-177 (April 2008) [web page for April issue] [JH]
2d Circuit Hears Appeal of Student Disciplined for Using Vulgar Slang in Blog Post
What! A Connecticut high school student used vulgar slang to describe her school's cancellation of an event in a blog post that was sent from her personal computer while at home and the school barred her from serving on the student council. Adjunct Law Prof Blog has the story and legal analysis. [JH]
Presidential Fundraising in 2007 Double Amount Raised in 2003
"The presidential candidates raised a combined total of nearly $552 million in 2007 for the 2008 primaries, according to year-end reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on January 31. This more than doubles the previous off-year record of $273 million that the 2004 candidates raised in 2003.
- Democrats in 2007 raised $292 million for the primaries, with $253 million coming from individuals and most of the rest from candidates’ Senate campaign committees and loans.
- Republicans in 2007 raised $260 million for the primaries, with $208 million coming from individuals and most of the rest from Senate campaign committees and from self-financing.
- After starting the year slowly, Republicans raised more from individuals in the fourth quarter ($65 million, including $20 million by Ron Paul) than the Democrats ($58 million).
Despite the massive increase in fundraising, the proportion that the candidates raised in large and small contributions changed only a few percentage points, in the aggregate, from four years before. Contributions of $1,000 or more accounted for 61% of all contributions from individuals in 2007 compared to 66% in 2003." [RJ]
Opening: Law Librarian, State of California Court of Appeal
The State of California, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento, is accepting applications for the position of Law Librarian. Under direction, performs a full range of professional library duties required to direct the personnel and programs of a law library; performs related work as assigned. Incumbents are responsible for directing library programs and personnel within organizational and policy confines and ensuring the accomplishment of the library's goals and objectives.
- Plans, organizes, and performs the full range of work involved in operating and maintaining a modern law library; where appropriate, assigns, supervises, reviews and evaluates the work of a law library staff;
- Instructs, trains, and assists justices, attorneys, externs, and other staff members in legal bibliography, manual, and computerized legal research;
- Develops, implements, administers, and monitors all operational procedures and programs associated with the law library;
- Develops and implements policies and procedures for collection development;
- Prepares, administers, and monitors the law library budget; reviews and approves for payment all items charged to the library budget; negotiates contracts with publishers and vendors;
- Drafts and coordinates formulation of library policies, programs, and scope of services;
- Responds to library correspondence;
- Prepares newsletter or other materials for distribution to justices and attorneys;
- Represents the library and court in professional committees and organizations; and
- Plans the layout of library space, and recommends the purchase of furniture, equipment, and supplies.
- May be required to attend meetings outside normal working hours.
- May be required to work evening and weekend hours occasionally.
- May be required to travel statewide as necessary.
Equivalent to possession of a master's degree in library science from an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited institution, and three years of experience in a law library.
Additional directly related experience may be substituted for the education on a year-for-year basis.
OR Equivalent to possession of a law degree and three years of law library experience.
OR One year as an Assistant Law Librarian II with the Judicial Branch.
- Basic supervisory principles and practices;
- Principles and practices of budget development and administration;
- Operation and management of a law library;
- Principles, practices, procedures, and trends of professional law library work;
- The operation of personal computers and use of specified computer applications needed for legal reference and research, word processing, and spreadsheets;
- Problem-solving and conflict resolution methods and techniques;
- Principles and techniques for preparing and giving oral presentations; and
- Principles and techniques for preparing a variety of effective written materials.
- Plan, organize, and direct the work involved in operating and maintaining a law library; supervise and review the work of a library staff;
- Develop and administer a library budget;
- Participate in developing and implementing goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and work standards associated with operating a law library;
- Instruct, train, and assist justices, attorneys, externs, and other staff members in library usage;
- Perform difficult legal reference and research;
- Knowledgeably and effectively represent the library on a variety of issues;
- Transport books and boxes of books weighing up to approximately 40 pounds;
- Use initiative and independent judgment within general policy guidelines;
- Apply problem-solving and conflict resolution methods;
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships;
- Communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing; and
- Operate personal computers and use specified computer applications for legal reference and research, word processing, and spreadsheets.
PAY & BENEFITS
SALARY RANGE: $5,938 – $7,216 per month.
Some highlights of our benefits package include:
- Health/Dental/Vision benefits program
- 13 paid holidays per calendar year
- Choice of Annual Leave or Sick/Vacation Leave
- 1 personal holiday per year
- $115 transit pass subsidy per month
- CalPERS Retirement Plan
- 401(k) and 457 deferred compensation plans
- Employee Assistance Program
- Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
- FlexElect Program
- Long Term Care Program (employee paid/optional)
- Group Legal Plan (employee paid/optional)
HOW TO APPLY – DO NOT APPLY ONLINE
Our official application must be completed thoroughly in order to be considered, APPLY BY MARCH 17, 2008.
a.) Application and Supplemental Questionnaire can be picked up M-F, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm at:
Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District
900 N Street, Fourth Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
b.) Download the Job Announcement and Application directly from our website:
www.courtinfo.ca.gov/careers under the Special Access and Application Help section but return the application materials to the Sacramento address listed below NOT to the address on the application form.
c.) Call (916) 654-0209 to request an application.
Complete employment application packet checklist:
1. Completed Application
2. Supplemental Questionnaire
3. Current Resume
4. Submit application materials to:
ATTN: Cheryl Butler
Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District
900 N Street, Fourth Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Third District Court of Appeal Is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
March 6, 2008
FBI's Privacy Abuses Continued in 2006
As widely reported FBI Directory Robert Mueller informed the Senate Judiciary Committee during yesterday's hearing that the FBI's abuses of privacy continued in 2006 by inappropriately accessing private citizens' telephone records, credit reports, and Internet traffic through national security letters. You can read the Director's prepared statement and view the archived webcast of the hearing for details. [JH]
Washington Blawg from AALL
Children’s Rights: International and National Laws and Practices
"Children’s Rights examines sixteen nations, across five continents: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, and the United Kingdom (England and Wales). For each nation, the study focuses on the domestic laws and policies that affect child health and social welfare, education and special needs, child labor and exploitation, sale and trafficking of children, and juvenile justice. Children’s Rights also lists which pertinent international treaties the nation has ratified and implemented.
Children’s Rights will enable researchers, legislators, and academics to compare and contrast how children are treated among the different continents and which policies and laws have had the most profound impact on the younger generations." [RJ]
New Titles from Ashgate
February 2008, 218 pages, Ashgate
Hardback: 0 7546 7157 7 | 978-0-7546-7157-2 • $99.95 / £55.00
Description: Rasmus Wandall uses quantitative and qualitative methods from studies carried out in Denmark, to address the formal and informal norms and ideologies that are used to generate decisions to imprison. Focusing on the operations of the courtroom participants, his work investigates how court decision-making is organized to allow the sentencing procedure to be open to more than its formal legal framework, while at the same time keeping the sentencing within the boundaries of law and legal validity. The author uses the theory of law's operational closure, developed by Niklas Luhmann. The theory provides an advantageous point of departure to capture the close and subtle interactions between law's need for validity and for contextual openness in every legal operation - including court decision-making.
February 2008, 154 pages, Ashgate
Paperback: 0 566 08815 0 | 978-0-566-08815-5
Description: Now in its second edition, this internationally best-selling book has been revised and updated. It focuses on helping people overcome some of the most common obstacles to successful publication. Lack of time? An unconscious fear of rejection? Conflicting priorities? In this, the first book to address the subject, Abby Day explains how to overcome these obstacles and create publishable papers for journals most likely to publish them.
She shows how to identify a suitable journal and how to plan, prepare and compile a paper that will satisfy its requirements. She pays particular attention to the creative aspects of the process. As an experienced journal editor and publisher, Dr Day is well placed to reveal the inside workings of the reviewing procedure - and the more fully you understand this, the greater the chance that what you submit will be accepted and published.
For academic and research staff, in whatever discipline, a careful study of Dr Day's book could be your first step on the road to publication.
Librarians as Mischief Makers
One characteristic of librarians I have come to admire is that we do not suffer foolishness gladly, particularly when it come to information-related topics. Another way to put this is that librarians can be viewed as "troublemakers" because they refuse to hop on the bandwagon of the latest IT fad be it the latest widget that "must be" added to web-based publications, the latest tech gadget (e.g., Kindle), or the immediate deployment of the latest version of Microsoft software, OS and apps. Meanwhile, librarians also have the courage to point out that many things taken for granted are simply wrong (e.g., the common practice of distributing digital documents in non-ADA-compliant formats like PDFs.) You might say librarians are mischief makers, so here's a brief guide to mischief. [JH]
The Pocket Guide to Mischief
by Bart King
List Price: $9.95
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith, Publisher (February 1, 2008)
Book Description: The greatest leaders and geniuses in history were mischief makers. They were the brave women who looked at how unfair the world was and said, "I can do better than that." They were the stalwart men who saw stupidity and asked, "Why do we have to do it that way?" And they were the delightful children who ganged up on the neighborhood bully and hit him with wet noodles until he said, "Uncle!"
Yes, history's mischief makers had the courage to point out that things like slavery, global warming, and turtleneck sweaters are bad. And they also pulled off some of the greatest hoaxes and practical jokes of all time. Their achievements include the Boston Tea Party, the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast of 1938, and the Cheese Whiz Disaster of 2008. In honor of them, we introduce The Pocket Guide to Mischief, the perfect addition to any prankster's collection, as well as a fun-filled how-to for the budding troublemaker in all of us.
Annual Superfund Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2007
From EPA's Office of Inspector General: "This report covers Fiscal Year 2007 Superfund activity of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG). The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 requires the OIG to annually audit the Superfund program and report the results to Congress." [RJ]