Tea Party Republicans Force the Library of Congress to retain the de-humanizing term “illegal alien” for undocumented immigrants.

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GOP reinstates usage of ‘illegal alien’ in Library of Congress’ records

BY ANDREW TAYLOR, ASSOCIATED PRESS May 17, 2016 at 4:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — Republicans on a powerful House panel Tuesday narrowly defended a tea party-fueled move to tell the Library of Congress how to label immigrants living in the country illegally.

The GOP move is designed to force the Library of Congress to retain the term “illegal alien” for cataloging and search purposes, reversing the library’s plan to replace “illegal alien” with less prejudicial terms like “noncitizens” or “unauthorized immigration.” Read full article here

Where did the Government Jobs Go?

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Long a ticket to the middle class, especially for African-Americans, they have become increasingly difficult to find

 

By ANNIE LOWREY
APRIL 27, 2016

On a muggy afternoon in April, Angelina Iles, 65, folded herself into my passenger seat and took me on a tour of her beloved Pineville, La., a sleepy town smack in the middle of the low, wet state. We drove past spaced-out, low-slung houses and boarded-up businesses — shuttered restaurants, a decrepit gas station — as Iles, an African-American retired lunchroom worker and community activist, guided me toward the muddy banks of the Red River. Near there stands the locked-up Art Deco shell of the Huey P. Long hospital, which once served the poorest of the poor in Rapides Parish — and employed more than 300 workers.

When employers leave towns like Pineville, they often do it with a deaf ear to the pleading of state and local governments. But in the case of Huey P. Long, the employer was the government itself. Its demise began, arguably, in 2008, when Bobby Jindal was swept into the Louisiana governor’s mansion on a small-government-and-ethics platform, promising to modernize the state and unleash the power of American private industry along the Gulf Coast. At the time, Louisiana was flush with federal funds for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and running a budget surplus. Jindal and the State Legislature slashed income taxes and started privatizing and cutting. This was a source of great pride for Jindal. During his failed bid for the presidency last year, he boasted that bureaucrats are now an endangered species in Louisiana. “I’ve laid off more of them than Trump has fired people,” he said, “and I’ve cut my state’s budget by more than he’s worth.” Full article here

Victory for Unions as Supreme Court, Scalia Gone, Ties 4-4

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With Scalia gone, Unions squeak out a victory–From the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court handed organized labor a major victory on Tuesday, deadlocking 4 to 4 in a case that had threatened to cripple the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees from workers who chose not to join and did not want to pay for the unions’ collective bargaining activities.

It was the starkest illustration yet of how the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month has blocked the power of the court’s four remaining conservatives to move the law to the right.

A ruling allowing workers to refuse to pay the fees would have been the culmination of a decades-long campaign by a group of prominent conservative foundations aimed at weakening unions that represent teachers and other public employees. Tuesday’s deadlock denied them that victory, but it set no precedent and left the door open for further challenges once the Supreme Court is back at full strength.

Read the rest here.
and here
and here

Flint Public Library Responds to Lead Contamination to the Water Supply

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Via the Progressive Librarians Guild:
Letter from Flint Public Library about Lead in Water Crisis to PUBLIB

On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 9:05 AM, Kay Schwartz wrote:

Friends in the Library world,

The Flint Public Library is getting many expressions of sympathy from libraries all over the country about the water crisis in Flint – thank you all so much for your concern for our community and our library!

Flint indeed has a long road to travel, because we have to now determine what homes and businesses and what underground water systems were damaged by the corrosive water, and decide how to fix all that. Now that we’re
back on regular Lake Huron water, we still aren’t able to drink it until each and every home and building is tested to make sure that the service lines AND the lines within the home are not leaching lead. It varies building
to building, neighborhood to neighborhood, and house to house. Understand that it was not the river water per se but the failure to add corrosion control to the water, that caused the damage. The water was ok when it left the plant but corroded the pipes on the way to homes and corroded the pipes inside your home or building on the way to your faucets.

Read the full letter here.

Spread of internet has not conquered ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor – report

Via The Guardian:

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Study by World Bank praises potential of technology to transform lives, but warns of risk of creating a ‘new underclass’ of the disconnected

The rapid spread of the internet and mobile phones around the globe has failed to deliver the expected boost to jobs and growth, the World Bank has revealed in a report that highlights a growing digital divide between rich and poor.

The Bank said no other technology has reached more people in so short a time as the internet, but warned that the development potential of technological change had yet to be reaped.

According to the Bank’s new “World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends”, the number of people connected to the internet has more than tripled in the past decade, from 1 billion to an estimated 3.5 billion. In many developing countries, more families own a mobile phone than have access to electricity or clean water.

Full Story Here

 

SHAME! Wisconsin School District Bows to Hate Group–Cancels Book Reading about Transgender Teen.

From the New York Daily News:

Wisconsin elementary school cancels reading about transgender teen after anti-LGBTQ group threatens lawsuit

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, November 28, 2015, 4:18 PM

A Wisconsin elemejazz-book-312x217ntary school called off a scheduled reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl after a Florida-based non-profit threatened to sue.

The Mount Horeb Primary Center had planned to read “I Am Jazz,” a book based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, a 15-year-old transgender activist.

The principal sent home a letter to parents on Nov. 19, in advance of the reading, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune.

“We believe all students deserve respect and support regardless of their gender identity and expression, and the best way to foster that respect and support is through educating students about the issue of being transgender,” the letter said.

Then, religious activists stepped in. Full Article Here

Why Public Libraries Matter: It’s time for America to stop starving its libraries of funding.

There are lots of articles about why libraries matter. Here is an especially good one from The Nation:

ny_library_ap_img_1Why Public Libraries Matter

It’s time for America to stop starving its libraries of funding.

 

An open letter to the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees about SPL’s “anti-book” agenda

branding-your-business_categoryBig trouble is brewing in Seattle over the very expensive– private funds or not– rebranding of the SPL– the public library every other public library loves to emulate. Whose library?

From the Seattle Review of Books

An open letter to the Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees about SPL’s “anti-book” agenda

President Fujiwara and the Seattle Public Library’s Board of Trustees,

As Laurel Holliday reported for the Seattle Review of Books last week,public response to Seattle Public Library’s proposed rebranding campaign has been overwhelmingly negative. In fact, Holliday reports the response has been so negative that the board appears likely to kill the rebranding plan at or before their public meeting on Wednesday.

This is for the best. The rebranding was ill-considered, and it was presented to the public in an arrogant, unprofessional way. SPL librarians were not warned about the rebranding effort in advance, so they were unprepared when the angry public demanded answers.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Bentley Professors Vote to Unionize

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Adjunct professors at Bentley University in Waltham yesterday voted by a more than a 2-to-1 margin to unionize, marking the third such faculty victory in as many weeks at a local university.

The 108-to-42 vote brings to nearly 3,000 the total number of Boston area adjuncts and lecturers who have joined the Service Employees International Union in a growing national movement to improve the lot of the university employees, who often work for poverty-level wages.

“There’s a groundswell of support on campuses here and across the country for unionization as one step toward addressing a crisis in higher education,” said Jason Stephany, a spokesman for SEIU 509.

Read full article here

New York Public Library reverses course on Renovation Plan

In a striking about-face, the New York Public Library has abandoned its much-disputed renovation plan to turn part of its research flagship on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street into a circulating library and instead will refurbish the nearby Mid-Manhattan Library, several library trustees said.

“When the facts change, the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget,” Anthony W. Marx, the library’s president, said on Wednesday.
—-see more here

and here

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