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US Government Restricting Research Libraries

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the first-they-closed-the-libraries dept.

753

An anonymous reader writes: "In a move that has been termed 'positively Orwellian' by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Executive Director Jeff Ruch, George W. Bush is ending public access to research materials at EPA regional libraries without Congressional consent. This all-out effort to impede research and public access is a [loosely] covert operation to close down 26 technical libraries under the guise of budgetary constraint. Scientists are protesting, but at least 15 of the libraries will be closed by Sept. 30, 2006."

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753 comments

Bush (4, Insightful)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007172)

Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the US as Bush has?

Re:Bush (2, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007190)

Yes, President Carter. Double-didgit inflation, taxes so high that they broke the econom, etc. were all Carter. Carter has done far more for the US after his presidency than he ever did for the country while in office.

Re:Bush (3, Informative)

Epictitus (945324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007211)

Carter inherited a bad situation from his predecessors. Bush has created this one all by himself.

Re:Bush (0, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007448)

Carter didn't inherit the Iranian hostage fiasco from anyone. And his efforts were unfotunate. Having diminished our military ability to the point that we couldn't manage a rescue attempt without abject failure, Carter left us with not only a damaged economy, but damaged military and failed Middle East policy.

Had Clinton taken ANY action in 8 years to answer Saddam's obvious disregard for international law, if not opinion, would W have had the 'opportunity' to enforce the U.N. sanctions that most nations voted for, but did not have the stomach to actually enforce?

And perhaps Clinton could be accused of being distracted from foreign affairs, having become preoccupied with his own?

Paint with both hands, gang, or just be reduced to partisan whining.

rick

Re:Bush (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007520)

Had Clinton taken ANY action in 8 years to answer Saddam's obvious disregard for international law...
Such as, and I'm just throwing this out as a really CRAZY hypothetical here, by continuing an effective policy of hardline trade restrictions designed to prevent the target nation from gaining the ability to engage in the proscribed behavior?

Yea. I mean, if only he'd done SOMETHING like that.... er... wait....

Paint with both hands, gang, or just be reduced to partisan whining.
Since when is it not fair to lay blame for a thing squarely at the feet of the responsible parties?

Re:Bush (5, Insightful)

Milican (58140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007539)

Not true. Bush inherited an economy that was tanking before he even took office. I'm not saying it was Clinton's fault, just a natural cycle after one of the biggest bubbles we have ever had. In addition, 9/11 happened within one year of his office. He has not had an easy time.

Do not mistake me taking up for Bush in approving everything he does. I'm quite disturbed by both this issue, the NSA Domestic Wiretapping issue, and our handling of the Iraq war. Those issues will definitely weigh in my political choices. It should be an interesting election cycle in November.

JOhn

Re:Bush (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007220)

Okay, the economy sucked under Carter, but is a temporary economic downturn really worse than many of the things Bush has done, some of which will have more or less permanent consequences in regard to our personal freedoms as well as the basic principles this country operates under? We recovered from Carter's economy. Will we be able to recover from Bush's restrictions of our basic Constitutional rights, or from his dramatically increasing the power of the Executive? I think at the very least it will be much more difficult.

Living in this country during the Carter years was crappy in some ways, sure, but it got better. But the way things are going, living in this country for the foreseeable future will be crappy in a lot of other ways, thanks to the current administration, and I don't see it getting any better.

Re:Bush (1)

Intangion (816356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007347)

well if we ever get a president in office who cares about the public's opinion it will be EASY for him to get a high approval rating--just undo everything bush has done

it might be hard to get another president into office that actually cares about public opinion now though.. especially since the elections are rigged and actually getting popular votes isnt nessisary anymore

Re:Bush (1)

Mortanius (225192) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007388)

But at the same time, one needs to be wary of public opinion, and not give in to their every whim.

Let this [mobygames.com] be a horiffic reminder of the dangers of giving the public what they want.

(I know this post is entirely-OT and ignoring the parent's inflammatory and to some degree uninformed comments. Sue me.)

History repeating itself? (5, Interesting)

shadowmas (697397) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007397)

What came into my mind as i read this was a documentry i once saw on Discovery channel which talked about china.

China used to be one of the most advanced civilisations in the world. They developed so many stuff before any other country. Then suddenly some idiot in there decided to cut off china from the rest of the world and not only stop building technically advanced ships but actually destroy its unmatched fleet of ships. Shortly afterwards Britan was able to conquer the country using the technology that chinese themselves invented.

The fact that US seems to be closing libraries makes me wonder if its another version of the same events.

Re:Bush (4, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007245)

Yes, President Carter. Double-didgit inflation, taxes so high that they broke the econom, etc. were all Carter

uh, there was a massive energy crisis during the carter administration. a huge spanner in the economic workings of the country that just happen to ocur under his watch. blaming carter for the actions of opec is a little bit unfair.

now, if you're looking for a president who really tanked the economy, i'd suggest reagan. in his eight years he moved the national deficit from 2.5% ($80 bn) of gdp to 6% ($250 bn). if you wonder why the national debt is so out of control, it's because ron spent it all on military adventurism while cutting taxes for the upper 10%.

Re:Bush (4, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007281)

now, if you're looking for a president who really tanked the economy, i'd suggest reagan. in his eight years he moved the national deficit from 2.5% ($80 bn) of gdp to 6% ($250 bn). if you wonder why the national debt is so out of control, it's because ron spent it all on military adventurism while cutting taxes for the upper 10%.


To be fair, that upper 10% did tinkle down... errr trickle down... on the rest of us.

Re:Bush (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007514)

The rich lock up their income in real estate, art, jewelry and luxury items which do little to help grow the economy. The middle class spends on production that grows the economy, and invests in riskier entrepreneurs. That Reagan trickle was a tiny leak compared to the flood of investment when the middle class prospers, has the access to capital and stability to face risk.

Re:Bush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007249)

"Double-didgit inflation, taxes so high that they broke the econom,"

Really? Wow, here I was thinking the basic trait of the US was its freedom. Silly me.

Re:Bush (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007382)

Do you honestly believe that those two issues have caused more fundamental damage to the fabric of U.S. society than what has occurred while the neoconservatives (both Congressional & in the White House) have been in power?

The U.S. economy has long ago shaken off any effects from those policies.

We'll be struggling for decades with the financial, diplomatic and civil liberty effects of what the current crop of "leaders" have done.

Calling Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Maximilio (969075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007389)

I was here when Carter was president. I don't remember feeling like the government was actively trying to destroy everything that made the country worth living in during that period.

This is getting really old, too. This marks about the sixth time I've seen someone trying to compare Bush's presidency to Carter's. There is NO comparison. Carter was a nauseatingly honest individual who was elected largely in response to the nauseatingly dishonest Nixon administration. He entered the political game playing it straight at a time when the opposition was patently playing it crooked, and inherited (as another poster has mentioned) a terrible situation at a terrible time. What he didn't do was leave a huge mess for future generations to clean up -- most of the situations of Carter's presidency that people didn't like were strictly temporary.

On the other hand, Bush has destroyed a huge budget surplus and left trillions in debt to my kids. His deliberate neglect has more or less wiped one whole American city right off the map. He has ruined America's standing as the leader of the free world with his farrago of lies on Iraq, and he has opened a gaping crack in the Middle East which seems destined to consume innocent lives for decades to come. He has fundamentally damaged the conscience of the nation by actively condoning torture, and actively assaulting our cherished civil liberties -- the one aspect of America that truly makes us American. He has starved the middle class and pushed millions into poverty with his patently worker-unfriendly policies (better known as his "Ownership Society" initiative). He has contributed to the further decline of public education, ensuring that millions can't compete in a modern job market, through his unfunded No Child Left Behind. He has bitterly divided America with his lies and hateful, cynical rhetoric. He has flaunted his authority recklessly and led with all the gravitas of a 21-year old fraternity prankster. In a simple character evaluation of Jimmy Carter versus George W. Bush, there is no question who I'd rather have in charge.

Re:Bush (1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007486)

Only a Republican could forget the 8 years of Nixon the Crook and Ford the Goof. You don't think the $BILLIONS on the Vietnam fiasco, the OPEC Oil Kidnapping, the Watergate discrediting the government had anything to do with the damage done? Or Carter's SEC run by Casey, guy who then ran Reagan's 1980 campaign and then the CIA? Maybe Iran had something to do with it - the Shah Iran created by Nixon's CIA, and the Ayatollah Iran propped up by Reagan/Bush's Iran/Contra enterprise?

You Republicans have nothing but lies. The Great Depression: Republicans Coolidge and Hoover. The 1970s recession: Nixon/Ford. The 1982 recession: Reagan/Bush. The 1990 recession: Bush. The 21st Century collapse: Bush/Cheney. Every time you Republicans get together to put one of your crooks in the White House, you attack the country. Only because your party owns the corporate media do you lies get endless free passes out of the dustbin of history and back into power.

But don't expect the rest of us with working memories and conscience to forget. Or forgive.

In my book... (2, Insightful)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007553)

...there is a limit to the amount of criticism that can be heaped on a president who puts on a sweater to cut down on the White House heating bill. Just PR, maybe, but my kind of PR.

Re:Bush (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007562)

But the thing is, problems with the economy can be (and obviously were) rectified.

What government in history has got into office, looked about and said "You know, I think we've got entirely too much power here. We know entirely too much about our citizens lives. Lets hand some power back to the Legislative and Judicial branches, shred a few homeland security files and drop a few database joining tables, eh?".

A screwed economy is one thing, but Bush (and Blair in the UK) seem intent on dismantling the very mechanism of the US/UK democracies.

Re:Bush (2, Insightful)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007216)

Budgetary constraints, eh? Since when is this administration concerned about budgetary constraints?!

One way to slow the spending would have been to not have a war (or at least not THIS war), eh?

Re:Bush (1)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007230)

Nixon. government overreach, presidential misconduct to the greatest possible extremes, authoritarian agenda in the guise of "protecting Americans" from various social groups that we ignored anyway...

Re:Bush (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007233)

I don't know if this can be speciffically attributed to Bush. I would be more inclined to say the government as a whole makes very stupid decisions based on budgets.

Re:Bush (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007538)

The government as a whole is Republican, doing whatever Bush says. Bush has vetoed only one law from his rubber-stamp Republican Congress, and that was just a propaganda attack on stemcell research to desperately keep his theocrat base from deserting him like most everyone else has [keyword] . Those "stupid decisions" somehow work out to be very profitable and powerful for Republican corporate bribers^Wsponsors.

Re:Bush (-1, Redundant)

bgfay (5362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007240)

"Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the US as Bush has?"

In a word: No.

And the person who modded you as a troll has not done any thinking on this. That we have to wait until 2008 to make a change is frightening and, by then, it may be too late.

Re:Bush (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007319)

bush will be remembered as one EVIL ASSED president. it seems he can do no right (not that he even tries.)

not quite hitler-like but certainly the worst president in all of US history. yes, far worse than even nixon.

uniter? puh-LEEZE. never before has one president torn the country so apart. I'm not even sure the civil war/slavery days had the country as divided as we are now (seriously).

"hail to thief" - the thief that stole office. twice!

Let's even narrow the scope: (5, Interesting)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007333)

Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the institution of science in the US as Bush has?

Re:Let's even narrow the scope: (1)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007444)

I don't know--at work right now, so I don't have time to check the facts. But I can imagine there having been 19th century presidents who were even more anti-scientific. That's not to say that Bush is in the least bit bright when it comes to science, or has his scientific priorities straight.

Re:Bush (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007399)

Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the US as Bush has?

Herbert Hoover and then maybe Andrew Johnson, but to be fair neither of those actually caused the problems they failed to deal with.

Although Johnson kind of did a bad job with the occupation of the southern states which Grant had to fix.

Re:Bush (1)

lathama (639499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007479)

Calvin Coolidge, read up on him and you will pity Hoover.

To be far the news article was biased, or should I say that the media is biased depending on the day of the work and what Tom Cruise is doing that day.

Re:Bush (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007494)

Please to be going and reading history now. Not just jumping on a bandwagon because you've been able to vote for 4 or 5 years... There are people who could make an argument that Lincoln hurt the nation more in his handling of events surrounding the civil war.

As for the prattle that we'll be changing all this in 2008. Unless the democratic party gets it's issue of cranial-rectal inversion sorted out then no. You'll get another republican.

Go look up the facts on this before declaring that Bush is trying to destroy the world by changing how scientists will have to look up information.

what you get For wanting to Reduce the Deficit (-1, Troll)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007513)

I'm tired of hearing libs complain about projects and other stuff getting cut, when they're the same flamers complaining that the deficit and spending needs to be reduced. You can have it one way or the other, but not both. If you want to reduce the defecit, you're going to have to reduce spending, which means things are going to get cut. It's not Bush doing this by any means.

Plus, on a side note, you libs in New Orleans need to learn how to manage money (especially that mayor of yours). The government has given you well over a billion dollars already, and look at the nothingness you've accomplished. Stop wining and expecting something else to do your work, get off your lazy butts, and start cleaning up yourself!


Uh-oh, here comes a troll mod from the liberal /.ers

Re:Bush (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007545)

Well, lets see. I can name two.

The first is Lincoln, who was a criminal on a level only Bush could hope to achieve. He denied the south the right to seceed and form a new union, a right given both in the declaration of independance, the constitution itself, and the articles of confederation; all the founding documents of the federal republic which bound the republics of the time together. Lincoln not only invaded the south, but he also passed by his order two amendments; the 14th and 16th amendments, which when combined with the reconstruction acts and the expatration act (ofwhich is honroed by the current US government), turned this country from a bunch of republics under agreement through a federal government into a federal government commanding over instrumentalities which were once individual soverign republican states.

The second was easily Roosevelt. He started and passed the social security program which, as a fundemental property of it's makeup, required the ability for government to do something it never had the ability to do; to tax for the purpose of taking from one man and giving it to another (humor me for one second here). That required everyone who came under the program to incorporate as a "legal fiction", meaning, everyone who has social security is a legal corporation under the law, and under the 16th amendment, is therefor taxable for any income they get. And if you actually think that the social secuirty system is working, lemme tell you something. It isn't; the money is spent and taxed to death. The elderly can't even live in a decent elderly home off of social security, and we've been hearing from this government that by the time I turn 60, I won't even GET social security paychecks.

Lincoln took away our soverignty by force; Roosevelt legislated away our right to breath. Bush is just prooving something we knew all along; government is a business providing a service at the barrel of a gun, and so long as you give them your money, they will take it, buy better guns, and ask for more. It is a fundementally predatory society, which grows upon itself like a cancer until it grows sick and decadent, and can no longer sustain itself. We have now reached that sick and decadent part in nearly every part of the world as the global conspiracy for a "new world order" comes slowly to fruition, and as that plan comes to fruition, we the people slowly come to the relaization of what they have done, and we draw our lines ever closer to theirs. At some point, they'll cross, and when they cross war is enivitable, and their fall is moreso.

Wow... Now that's editorializing... (5, Insightful)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007173)

I believe the article and editorialization need to be marked (-1, Troll)

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (3, Funny)

sowellfan (583448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007212)

I agree - it looks to me like it was an internal EPA budgetary decision. OK, so they're going to close some libraries. I can see why people might get upset, but nothing presented in the article actually presents *any* evidence that George W. Bush wants to make sure that this information is hidden away, like the Ark in that warehouse.

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (5, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007285)

It doesn't seem to be "internal" in the sense of a decision made by EPA scientists or lawyers. It looks like it was made by a political employee high in the EPA hierarchy. People like that implement the policies of the White House.

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007223)

Yeah, I'm certainly open to the possibility that access to information is being sacrificed for excessive security, but how about linking to a real news report, not to rabid statements from activist groups?

Better yet, if the government is really claiming this is a fiscal problem, not a security issue, how about George Soros pitches in a few million to keep this invaluable resource available?

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (1)

Maximilio (969075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007256)

Whose real news report would you like? After their 24x7 extravaganza of the fake JonBenet Killer story, every major media outlet in the country is suspect.

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007470)

Whose real news report would you like? After their 24x7 extravaganza of the fake JonBenet Killer story, every major media outlet in the country is suspect.

As if they weren't suspect before that, for countless other reasons...

I don't think it's too much to ask that we get some sort of report out of someone that doesn't have a vested political interest in what goes on one way or the other. Granted, finding ANY news without a political slant is nearly impossible these days. But generally if I read from both sides of the spectrum, I can almost figure out what might really be going on.

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007310)

Particularly the quote from EPA employess, of course they will be pissed off, they are getting less money for the agency and some employees will be let go.

Re:Wow... Now that's editorializing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007318)

I believe triteness should be moderated at (-1) ignorant.

With the mainstream press toeing the line in conservative controlled Amerika, only special interest publications and opinion writers are left to call attention to issues that will really affect the body politic.

In the current climate, I don't doubt that they too will be strangled away over time.

Pesky Scientists (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007187)

Scientists are protesting,

[GWB-Homer J. Simpson]

Pesky scientists - what do they know, with their research and their little bunson burners and stupid white coats.
They'll get nothing and like it!

That goes for you to, mr john q. public - don't think I don't see you watching me. I'm protecting you from dangerous information, information that could turn you into a terrorist. Don't you think if corporations were poisening your water I'd protect you from it? I'll decide what you can and can't know - I'm the decider.

[/GWB-Homer J. Simpson]


Honestly, maybe the new GWB/Republican tagline should be "How low can you go..."

But the Terrorists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007189)

But if we allow our children to read and learn, then the terrorists will have won!

no surprise (4, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007191)

the u.s. government over the last several months has been a massive binge of re-classifying previously declassified historical documents. i think they've done maybe 50,000 of them. this administration has a culture of secrecy and limit of access to information and this move is nicely in keeping with that ideology. my source on the document reclassification is here [msn.com] .

Positively Orwellian (2, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007192)

There's something positive about being Orwellian?

Re:Positively Orwellian (4, Funny)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007304)

There's something positive about being Orwellian?

Hopefully the trains will run on time.

Re:Positively Orwellian (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007435)

There's something positive about being Orwellian?

Yeah: They get warm fuzzies from the news, not chills of dread like the rest of us.

Re:Positively Orwellian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007463)

You're right, of course. It should have been "double-plus Orwellian".

Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (5, Informative)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007224)

For a more useful story, please see http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6365379.ht ml [libraryjournal.com]

Some points:
- The information will be made available online
- The information will be available through library loan
- Not all the libraries are closing
- Bush is not defying Congress. He sent them a budget which they either approve or amend

Boy, it certainly made for a good story though! For about 2 minutes... *sigh* Do some research before posting or blogging next time.

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007283)

Hush! You are disrupting the psuedo-intellectual rants that always get modded up on slashdot! Won't somebody please think of the pseudo-intellectual rants!

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (4, Insightful)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007339)

I would love to think that this formula was devised and is used solely by Slashdot submitters, but I fear that the process has hit the mainstream media as well:

1. Scan news for "Bush"
2. Figure out how to write/re-write article to ensure that Bush looks as evil as possible
3. Leave out any actual facts in favor of baseless speculation, particularly facts that might help to explain Bush's actions in a reasonable way
4. Comment on the demise of society, blaming it all on Bush
5. For an extra bit of irony, mention/imply that only Republicans are responsible for dividing this country
6. Sell news bits for profit

No "Step 2: ???" necessary.

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (5, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007361)

Uh, according to the article you cite, Bush is taking action BEFORE Congress has had a chance to act on his budget proposal. He isn't waiting to get approval. Furthermore, they say that they will digitize the 80,000 documents beyond boxed and stored, but I'll be very interested to see how quickly that will happen and how well they will be indexed. And the point that institutional memory will be lost when librarians are laid off is not addressed at all. The article is a lot more accurate than you make out.

Can you read? (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007398)

Even before Congress acts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to shut down three regional libraries by September 30

Let me make sure this is clear through the use of a lot of html tags: " the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning "

The EPA is its own entity. It makes decisions on its own based on a plan that it generates. Do you really think Bush walked in to the EPA headquarters and said "shut it all down now!"? Try and read the story completely next time.

As for the scanning, did you also miss the fact that you can order whatever material you want via library loan?

Re:Can you read? (1)

arnott (789715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007476)

From ur article : "We're wondering why a $7 billion agency is fighting so hard for this $2 million cut." And why not make sure all the documents are available online or through loan before stopping access to the documents. the artice also says 'eventual digitizing' , when exactly ?

Re:Can you read? (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007507)

As I said in another post Jeff Ruch is simply trying to salvage his reputation from his stupid comments he made earlier on this issue. Where is the documentation to show that the EPA is fighting so hard for that money? He certainly doesn't site a source. If you read the first few paragraphs of the PDF document linked in the story I posted, you'd understand that the EPA has been going electronic for a while now and the new budget simply changes the plans to account for the funding change. This is a great big story about nothing.

Re:Can you read? (5, Interesting)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007534)

The EPA is its own entity. It makes decisions on its own based on a plan that it generates. Do you really think Bush walked in to the EPA headquarters and said "shut it all down now!"? Try and read the story completely next time.

If you think that because an article attributes a decision to "the EPA" that means that the decision was not made by political appointees implementing administration policy, you're incredibly naive. Bush may well not have been personally involved in this decision, but it sure looks like a political decision, not something that EPA scientists and lawyers have come up with.

As for the scanning, did you also miss the fact that you can order whatever material you want via library loan?

Yep, I missed it because it isn't in the article. What the article says is that "all EPA-generated materials will continue to be available by inter-library loan. That excludes material not generated by the EPA. You need to be more careful about accusing people of not reading the article. I've obviously read it more carefully than you have. Furthermore, even if this does mean that the boxed materials will be available by interlibrary loan, how easy do you think it will be to find what you need, and how long a delay will there be in getting the boxed materials out of storage? I know from personal experience that it can be a real impediment to research to have to wait several weeks or even days to get something out of storage, and that often it is difficult to identify what you need if you can't go look at it on the shelf online.

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (1)

IamWhoIam (998642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007380)

Budget cuts have to start somewhere. As long as the material is available for access who cares how scientist get it. As for the question of ONLY 2 million dollars out of a 7 billion dollar budget, reminds me of the saying "a million here and a million there pretty soon your talking about a lot of money".

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (1)

ssrs396 (988442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007394)

Geez. I'm glad to know our government has our best interests in mind here and that there will be no disruption to information gathering and distribution. It is so convenient to not have a brick and mortar library with flesh and bone employees collecting and classifying information and assisting with search requests. I find it very useful to have all of my information electronically, conveniently burried!

Granted, without more information on the intended reorganization and filing of information it is difficult to say this cut is entirely a BAD thing, but I am very wary of any actions of this particular government that cut information/science/public service programs and budgets. First, they want to put all information online, and then they consider legislation to reduce internet bandwidth except for those willing to pay the telecoms lots of money, making online documents difficult to access.

From your article: "PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch responded, 'I don't know what they consider the total budget, because there is no line item. All we know is their support for the library network is reduced by $2 million. We're wondering why a $7 billion agency is fighting so hard for this $2 million cut.'"

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007472)

Yes, any cut in funding is bad, and that's a completely different story then the sensationalism that was reported. It's also very important to know who decides how that funding affects the agency when wild claims are made about Bush doing X and Y. As for Jeff Ruch's comment, well he's just covering his ass for his stupid comments from earlier. He has to try and save a little face after all.

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007447)

Do some research before posting or blogging next time.

At which library?

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (1)

DragonFodder (712772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007523)

I have to agree with you, it made for a good story... until I read it. Or is that, made for a good headline. At any rate, the ultra-left wing venom dripping from Frank J Ranelli's article made me feel like I was reading from "The Onion" and your reference link to the library journal site helps confirm my suspicions. Just do a google search on the author, and you'll find pages of hits that indicate a very determined radical bent in his writings. So this lean towards the absurd is not of a surprise to me. Now, I for one, don't agree with most of what Bush is doing to our country, and get very angry about what is being done to our young men and women in the military. But, that said, I don't think taking these budgetary changes, cost savings, and movement towards technological deployment of materials and slanting them into a modern form of yellow journalism helps anyone. Well, maybe it helps the controllers/radicals to push around the sheep/gullible?

Re:Mark story -1 Troll and -5 Just Plain Wrong (2, Interesting)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007527)

Whoever marked the parent +5 informative, please have a hanker at the two articles referenced. CXI's article is very light. The PEER article outlines concerns primarily from the enforcement branch of the EPA. Of the two articles referenced, the PEER article articulates
concerns presented by the very people who use the library. The Library Journal article CXI references indicates that the EPA is moving to enact budgetary proposals that have not been approved by Congress. While it is possible that Bush had nothing to do with this decision, he does appoint and presumably broadly direct the head of the EPA, Stephen Johnson.

While it appears to be true that an initiative to digitize and make available some documents (this will surely cost more than 2 million dollars in labor, storage costs, and network overhead related to retrieval and backup), it appears that only EPA-generated documentation will be available through interlibrary loan (I don't know how much of the library's content is EPA-generated documentation, and how much is third party documentation).

You are correct that not all libraries are closing. 10 out of 26 libraries are being closed, and other regional library services and hours are being reduced. These actions appear to be consistent with Bush's unwillingness to tighten environmental standards or actively seek prosecution of environmental polluters.

sloth jr

Book recommendation... (5, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007225)

The Republican War on Science [amazon.com]

Despite the inflammatory name, the book doesn't assert that Republicans are inherently anti-science, but it is a chronicle the past few decades of politicization of science, and how even though Liberals do their own part to misrepresent science, the overwhelming lions share of open distortion percieved by the overwhelming majority of scientists has been unfortunately solidly Republican. It's a rather impressive, well-documented book that I highly recommend showing a trend of scientific limitations and games like today's story.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Book recommendation... (0, Troll)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007252)

Yeah, except today's story is wrong. How much of that book is wrong too? It's hard to say with all the sensationalism that exists today.

Re:Book recommendation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007360)

Huh? Today's story is 100% factually correct. It's simply not 100% of the facts.

This is where bias comes into play. What makes the administration sound more like a boogeyman? "The government has cut the EPA budget and forced it to immediately close a number of libraries" or "The government has cut the EPAs budget which is closing a number of libraries and moving their content to be accessible over the internet"?

So, my bias: (tinfoil hats at the ready!) given the administration's history of classifying unclassified documents, the way I think it will play out is that the libraries will close about a year before all of the content is available online, and when it is available online, it will just seem like there are fewer articles than there were before, but nobody will be able to prove it since noone actually counts these things, and the library will be long gone, its contents buried in some archive (aka landfill) somewhere.

eh... (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007258)

I had the opportunity to have a somewhat long conversation with the author on a local radio show. Consider me unimpressed.

The author really hasn't thought everything through.

Re:Book recommendation... (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007284)

even though Liberals do their own part to misrepresent science, the overwhelming lions share of open distortion percieved by the overwhelming majority of scientists has been unfortunately solidly Republican

Ah, but that doesn't matter in today's politics. All you have to do is find a single instance of someone from the other side doing something similar to what you're doing, and that makes it magically okay for you to continue doing it.

There are no ethics anymore. Instead of people striving to be ethical, they just strive to find other people being unethical so they can excuse their own unethical behavior.

Mass Exodus program? (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007259)

Could we arrange an information exodus program -- sending in people with scanners to go in and copy all of the data possible in the next 15 days?

Re:Mass Exodus program? (4, Informative)

CXI (46706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007296)

If, unlike the person that submitted the story, you did some research you'd find that the EPA is scanning things themselves to make them publically available online. Additionally you may get them through inter-library loan at any of the libraries that are still going to be open (despite the claims of the sensationalist story). So, um, no.

If citzens can't access it (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007261)

If citzens can't access it, you know, the PEOPLE in the government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE, cannot access it, then the people should not have to pay for it. Please either make it accessible to all citizens, DROP it from the budget and CUT taxes accordingly, or risk citizens' waking up to the importance of voting based on character and principles rather than "gee, he's so cute" or "I'm a Democrat/Republican/etc. so that is how I vote."

BUSH EATS BABIES! (-1, Flamebait)

Rotten168 (104565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007268)

Bush reported has been eating eggs for breakfast, which are essentially baby chickens. More news at 11.

Re:BUSH EATS BABIES! (0, Troll)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007541)

Bush might not eat babies, but he's sure been responsible for a lot of deformed ones [beyondtreason.com] .

That is a very compelling movie about the use of depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan and the horrific affects it's having there, and on hundreds of thousands of our soldiers and their families.

The pictures of deformed babies is almost unbearable, and the evidence overwhelming. Just how little of this is getting reported in the normal news is probably most shocking.

Nothing new... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007269)

As a fellow government worker, I can attest to the fact that all this "consolidation" stuff is not just restricted to the Libraries & EPA stuff. We're feeling it in pretty much every branch, some worse than others.

Wars are expensive.. And the money's gotta come from somewhere.. Rather than raising taxes (which I'm sure they'll do anyway), they're cutting expenses elsewhere... Rather than fire people, they're "consolidating". Sounds better, but it's the same thing.

What is the motivation? (0)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007275)

I agree that this is as editorialized of a tidbit as I have seen on Slashdot in a while, and that is saying a lot. As a person who has yet to RTFA, I have to wonder, based on this blurb, what the motivation behind closing down these libraries would be. I know, I know, RTFA, but the point is that you can always tell a heavily biased article/news-bit by the sheer lack of an attempt to explain any motivation besides citing "evil."

Big deal (0, Troll)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007300)

Look at our President, Bush. He's never been to a library in his life and hes just fine. Hes the freaking President.

Re:Big deal (4, Funny)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007404)

In France, one of our best (but dead) comics, Coluche, said that politicians spend more public money for building jails than schools because they know they won't go to school again.

The Nexus (1)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007325)

Don't ya'll see the nexus? The "big business" president has done just one more thing to fatten the wallets of corporations.

"Cutting $2 million in library services in an EPA budget totaling nearly $8 billion is the epitome of a penny wise-pound foolish economy." - You got to be kidding me!

At least such a thing gets reported in this country. Any other third world country, the politicians would have done it and this would not even be news....

Re:The Nexus (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007438)

Don't be so negative, $2M is a lot of money, for example, it can fund at least a couple of minutes of the war on terrorism.

Re:The Nexus (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007508)

Any other third world country, there would have been no libraries to begin with... We should strive to put things in perspective.

Ops bush did it again. (1)

awss82 (995948) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007375)

I think bush has never done something right in his life except putting saddam to jail. But still that's proving to be a mistake also.

Re:Ops bush did it again. (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007427)

Absolutely. A decent President would have seen to it that Saddam Hussein got a fair trial so that his evil deeds were fully exposed and everyone could see that they got him fair and square. Because of Bush's penchant for kangaroo courts, Saddam Hussein is being tried on rather narrow charges and in a fashion that will leave room for his supporters to claim that he was innocent and his condemnation purely political.

If this were Bill Clinton... (3, Insightful)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007386)

I just want to point out that if this same action took place during the Clinton years, the post would read more like:

The always progressive and forward thinking Bill Clinton has proposed legislation that will modernize the nation's research libraries by making all of the information contained in the libraries available online, eliminating the wasteful need for old-fashioned brick-and-mortar facilities. At least some people in the federal government are embracing technology. Kudos, Bill!

Am I wrong?

Re:If this were Bill Clinton... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007568)

Exactly! Mod Parent Up!

Google is Your Friend (4, Insightful)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007425)

I am no Bush apologist (please read that again before modding me flamebait), but I was more than a little perturbed by the editorial tone of the article. So, I Googled the subject and I can find dozens of blogs and opinion pieces dating back to around March or so on this, but nothing from a traditional news source (I gave up after about 5 pages of search results).

I would like to read an objectively written fact based story behind this and not just a lot of reactionary Bush bashing.

Silver Platter (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007429)

George Bush is a "good steward of the environment", like any good Christian. Like any good steward, he's making sure it's cooked properly by professionals.

GWB!! (1)

Overfiend1976 (979710) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007433)

G(reat) W(hite) B(ullsh*tter) That's all I need to say.

Thanks /. (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007537)

After wasting the last 2 days bulsh!tin to get my karma back up to a respectable level, you go and post a polical article again. Let the flame wars begin!

The EPA are the ones closing this, not Bush. But what did you expect anyways? You libs are just dying to reduce national spending and reduce the budget. But wait ... not at the cost of our research! Not at the cost of helping the homeless! Not at the cost of fixing New Orleans! Not at the cost of rebuilding the trade centers! Not at the cost of our educations! Not at the cost of ....

EPA bureaucrats, not Bush, decided this (5, Insightful)

thethibs (882667) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007453)

Doesn't anybody bother to look at the source data before flaming? Or is this news "too good to check"?

This is the EPA engaging in political tactics. To begin with, they haven't yet been asked to cut their budget, and they may never be. The closing of libraries is not Bush's idea--it's EPA bureaucrats saying "Look what you made us do!"

The proposed budget cut constitutes a fraction of of a percent of the EPA's budget, and it could be achieved with a minor reduction in the EPA's bloated administrative costs.

This is a standard tactic in every government in the world. Faced with budget cuts, the bureaucrats respond by threatening to terminate one of the few things they do that actually provides a service. The mystery is that they often get away with it.

The special irony in this item is that the EPA isn't planning to cut the service—just the way it's delivered.

In the next issue of The Decider (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007498)

In the next issue of The Decider, it is The Decider vs. Captain Planet.

What's the other side to the Story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007516)

All we know from the links is that some organization that apparently makes its living by suing the government will not have free ride anymore.

What is the other side? Why is this action being taken? Hoe much does it cost to provide access to these materials?

If you just go on what the whiners say, then you really can't make any judgment of the situation.

This is why you don't rely on gov't (0)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16007524)

I don't understand why ANYONE relies on the gov't for anything, because they do shit like this. Scientists have been bitching forever about how restrictive it is, then golly, move to the private sector and vote to have a smaller government.

That will teach them terrans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16007561)

Yeah! That will teach them terrans!
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