Friday, September 22, 2006

Here's a story about the fun(?) things you can do with books. Criminals are inventive, for sure.

Prison Uncovers Library Book Drug-Smuggling Scam

The Michigan Department of Corrections has foiled a plot to smuggle drugs hidden in borrowed public library books into a state prison. State Police Detective Sgt. Edward Doyle said in the September 13 Grand Rapids Press that a scheme at the Carson City (Mich.) Correctional Facility was discovered through an informant before any drugs entered the prison.

Court records obtained by the newspaper described the alleged plot: An accomplice would check out books from the Madison Square branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library, cut out the bindings, insert the drugs, reseal them, and return them to the library. The accomplice would then tell inmates which books to request through a state-supported prisoner interlibrary loan program. Although prison librarians examine the pages and covers of the books, the bindings are usually overlooked, said prison spokesman Leo LaLonde.

Investigators told the Press that the titles chosen were “unpopular books so the likelihood someone else would check them out in the interim is unlikely.” No accomplices have yet been arrested in connection with the operation.

Separation of Church, State run amok?

A federal court in California has ruled that public libraries can bar religious groups from using their meeting rooms for religious services. This is after an Evangelical Church was denied the use of a public library meeting room for its service. Basically, the court ruled that religious groups can use the library to discuss religious issues, but the library can ban them from actually holding service (praying , preaching, and whatnot). The library says that the ban is in the interest of Separation of Church and State; that the taxpayers should not be funding religious activity.

This really is tough for me to say, but I disagree with the library on this issue. And this is scary for me because I'm actually disagreeing with librarians and agreeing with the Bush administration who have sided with the Evangelicals (big suprise, right?), and I took my meds today, not running a fever or anything. But I really don't believe that the framers of the Consitution had this in mind when they wrote about Separation of Church and State and that the library is restricting the group's First Amendment rights. It's not as if the library is promoting one religion over an other. Religious expression is still covered by the freedom of expression.

Here are a couple articles on the ruling. Read them and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ted Kennedy has some things to say about Net Neutrality. Doesn't really give any ideas about how the net will remain neutral, but at least he's talking about it.

Sen. Ted Kennedy supports Net Neutrality

There's a few people out there (MS, I'm talking to you), that might appreciate this one. Tangled up tubes!!!

DJ Ted Stevens Techno Remix: "A Series of Tubes"

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Here's a charming and uplifting piece about librarians that was published in The Nation on August 22, 2006. It's good to know we are thought of fondly.

Feel empowered!