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US Government Restricting Research Libraries 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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US Government Restricting Research Libraries

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  • Bush (Score:4, Insightful)

    by babbling (952366) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:20AM (#16007172)
    Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the US as Bush has?
  • by hcob$ (766699) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:20AM (#16007173)
    I believe the article and editorialization need to be marked (-1, Troll)
  • Re:Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hcob$ (766699) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:22AM (#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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MyDixieWrecked (548719) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:26AM (#16007216) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:27AM (#16007220) Homepage
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frymaster (171343) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:30AM (#16007245) Homepage Journal
    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%.

  • by eln (21727) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:35AM (#16007284) Homepage
    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.
  • 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:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:39AM (#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!
  • by mrn121 (673604) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:42AM (#16007339) Homepage
    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.

  • by mrn121 (673604) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:47AM (#16007386) Homepage
    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?

  • Calling Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maximilio (969075) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:48AM (#16007389) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • by Aqua_boy17 (962670) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:51AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:55AM (#16007447)
    Do some research before posting or blogging next time.

    At which library?

  • by thethibs (882667) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:55AM (#16007453) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CheesyChimp (998844) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @10:59AM (#16007487)
    Don't forget: Bush 'never stops thinking about ways to harm America'.
  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:03AM (#16007514) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:04AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Milican (58140) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:06AM (#16007539) Journal
    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.

  • In my book... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EinZweiDrei (955497) * <> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:08AM (#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.
  • by rootofevil (188401) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:13AM (#16007594) Homepage Journal
    2. Figure out how to write/re-write article to ensure that Bush looks as evil as possible

    most of the time thats not entirely necessary, the actions speak for themselves. unconstitutional actions, obvious power grabs, dumbing down the education system, its all pretty clear. bush is trying to gather as much power as possible for himself/his office.

    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

    because nobody pro-bush would EVER do that. shock, horror. especially bush himself. more shock, horror.

    4. Comment on the demise of society, blaming it all on Bush

    strike bush, replace with democrats, and its the basis for a solid republican "talking point"

    5. For an extra bit of irony, mention/imply that only Republicans are responsible for dividing this country

    slow down. rumsfeld YESTERDAY claimed youre with us, or youre appeasing the fascists. par for the course of rovian politics, if youve been paying attention.

    im not a republican, im not a democrat. id just like a little sensibility in our government.
  • Re:Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:22AM (#16007674) Homepage Journal
    No, because those luxury items do nothing to grow the economy. The brokers are rich, too, and reinvest in other luxury items that don't grow the economy, either. Even the name "trickle down" admits that the flow of capital from rich people stays in their own rich club, and only tiny amounts can even be promoted to flow elsewhere in propaganda for it to be believable by anyone.

    Middle class people spend money on cars, food, building new housing, and all kinds of other economic activity that stimulates new growth.

    Ask any entrepreneur (not just marketers for risk-averse corporations) and they'll tell you they rarely target the rich people unless they have an inside angle, even though that's where most of the money is. We target the middle class because that's where the opportunities are.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:23AM (#16007681)
    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.

    Carter at least was honest, had integrity, was reasonably intelligent, and had his own ideas. What's Bush other than the stooge for a bunch of gangster puppeteers sitting on the sidelines and calling the shots? High taxes? Keep in mind that the Reagan tax cuts were mostly for the wealthy. I see *nothing* wrong with placing (say) a $5 mil (adjusted for inflation) cap on incomes and taxing everything after that at 90%. The wealthy will still be able to be comfortable, but this will reduce the disparity between haves- and have-nots and prevent the accumulation of *extreme* wealth. In addition, the money gained could pay for things like universal, free healthcare - as opposed to corporate universal health care plans like that abomination that Romney passed in MA.

    At the same time, large companies should be taxed slightly more (percentage-wise) than small and startup businesses, which should even get a tax amnesty for the first few years of operation. Why? To encourage the growth of innovative small businesses and discourage the entrenchment of large corps.


  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lixee (863589) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:24AM (#16007691)
    I think the worst thing Bush's done is turning most of the world's population against the US.
  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tony (765) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:27AM (#16007720) Journal
    Am I wrong?

    Yes. []

    Clinton got bashed back in his day. The reason it seems we bitch more about Bush than we did Clinton is because Bush is a big fuck-up.

    Bush supporters get a little tetchy about criticism of this administration, forgetting that all administrations are taken to task when watchful (and slightly paranoid) people catch them with their hands inside the cookie jar of liberty. The Bush administration just happens to be raiding it a lot more than previous administrations, and a lot more blatantly.

    As has been pointed out by others, this story is potentially misleading. I'd write that off to many of us being a bit jumpy around Bush. When the school bully tends to walk up behind you and smack you on the head, you start jerking your head around at the oddest moments. It might look silly when the bully isn't behind you, but it might just save you a few headaches.

    But, had Clinton tried doing this, he would have received much the same treatment.
  • by danpsmith (922127) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:32AM (#16007771)
    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.

    I think this is an extremely important thing to realize. People have been able to justify things way too easily nowadays. When a politician lies they say "well they all lie" and just accept it as part of the territory. Instead of striving toward excellence and taking exception at the failures of striving toward this ideal, the American public seems to like just putting up with mediocrity by thinking that everyone is corrupt liars who steal and the crook you know is better than the one you don't so why even bother punishing them for it. It's a ridiculous mindset. Unethical is unethical, it's the adult equivalent of the "Well Jimmy's dad said he could" argument.

  • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:35AM (#16007810)
    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.

    I'm one of those "libs." Actually, more socially libertarian and fiscally somewhat liberal. We need to *get the hell out of Iraq*, stop involvement in the Middle East (which is a lost cause IMHO) and concentrate on our own New Deal. Massive government subsidies for energy conservation, clean energy production, environmental, space, and automation research are in order. We need to reduce our dependence on countries that are poorer than us and have laxer environmental laws for manufacturing while maintaining our high standard of living. This can only be done through automation of manufacturing so that high-value workers can produce more. The environmental stuff is self-explanatory. First, it'll reduce our dependence on foreign oil, which has been one of the driving forces of our worst foreign policy decisions over the last 30 years. Secondly, there's a very high liklihood - I'd call it a certainty - that global warming is real. Enough said.

    Why space? Humankind needs breathing room - somewhere for the born adventurers to go and explore. In addition, the Earth won't last forever, and humankind should continue on even in the case of the worst happening.


  • by Malakusen (961638) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:46AM (#16007900) Journal
    A 30 day vacation while a major city drowns comes to mind. He was also eating cake and playing guitar in Arizona while New Orleans drowned.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:47AM (#16007910) Homepage
    Something seems flawed about a view of economics in which the "rich" are automatically bad and do not deserve money, while the "middle" are expected to do nothing but aquire enough money to become rich.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vrai (521708) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:49AM (#16007930)
    Carter's mistakes - maybe funding the Afghanistan resistance, which gave us Bin Ladin.
    It was the stationing of American troops in Saudi (i.e. the holy land) and American support for Israel that pissed off Bin Laden, not the existence of America in general or anything Carter did. Anyway the weapons and money provided to the Taliban during the Soviet occupation was long gone by the time the USS Cole and Kenyan Embassy bombings occurred. The Taliban fought the Soviets with Stinger missiles and LAWs - the attacks against American targets involved rubber dinghies, home made explosives and box cutters. Had Bin Laden been killed by the Russians in the eighties the attacks against the US would still have occurred, there'd just be a different bogeyman as the focus of blame.
  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:50AM (#16007939) Journal
    Disclaimer: I'm a Canadian, whose political leanings are economic conservativism and social liberalism.

    Nixon was bad, but his administration did have some accomplishments that substantially advanced America in many fields. I see Nixon as a politician with a shakesperian-level personality flaw of paranoia.

    Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson's fault, NOT Nixon's. He inherited a war that was well into escalation. Nixon had to find a way to escape the war while trying to save face, when the threat of the USSR was still very relevant. Vietnam in some ways was a proxy war, legitimately or not, for European cold war angst.

    Nixon's accomplishments included: a) getting the US economy off of the gold standard allowing for the next several decades of unprecedented US global economic domination -- HUGE strategic decision that in hindsight seems simple but took great forward thinking, b) desegregating the US south, Johnson's promise but Nixon's administration delivered, c) managing the tight-rope of the middle east through shuttle diplomacy, and avoiding ANOTHER vietnam for the US, d) leveraging Detente between China and the USSR, at a time when the communist alliance could have become much stronger.

    These legacies are overlooked given the tragic (and deserved) end to his corrupt administration. A fair and balanced review of Nixon's career has to acknowledge that, especially in the first term, Nixon did deliver several important contributions to the long term success of the US.

    In contrast, the past ~7 years for the US has been a complete wash. Aside from a ongoing mediocre economy despite a terrorist attack, I can find nothing positive. Perhaps time will provide a better context for judgement, but I doubt it -- record deficit, an administration that squandered unprecedented world sympathy into global skepticism, Osama Bin Laden is still free, Iraq has no exit or success strategy, regressive economic and social policies in almost any scientific field, and a US culture that is as polarised as it has been since the civil war. This isn't _all_ Bush's fault, but its on his watch and the buck stops with him.
  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RoboOp (460207) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:50AM (#16007946)
    Carter didn't inherit the Iranian hostage fiasco from anyone.

    It was President Eisenhower that overthrew a democratically elected government and installed a wildly unpopular Shah that resulted in the hostage fiasco. So blame good ol 'Ike for getting us into the democracy-killing-for-oil business.

    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.

    There's a saying, "Presidents fight with the army of the last administration". Why? Mainly because it takes time to train soldiers and keep them up to date.
    Following Vietnam, the use of special forces fell out of favor and were downsized under the Ford administration. When the need for those forces came up under "Desert Eagle" they were not ready. (You can't blame Carter for not having filters on the helicopters. He wasn't the one that blew of the British's advice!) As a result, it was Carter who recognized the need for these units and restored funding - not Reagan. That's a matter of record - not spin.

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

    Cute. But we were much more recognized and respected as a nation under Clinton. You know, back when we weren't endorsing torture and preemptive nuke strikes. Go figure.

    And the army Clinton left for Bush won the battles quickly and efficiently. Now that they are essentially beat-cops in the worst neighborhood on earth, I pity the President that's going to have to restore their strength.

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

    Well gosh, why don't you just hustle on over to Iraq and bask in all the happy Iraqis that you helped free? They'll give you a 'warm welcome' (ala Blackwater) and make you the 'head'(minus body) of the parade.

  • by Maximilio (969075) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:51AM (#16007964) Homepage Journal
    You're comparing the technological pullback of a centuries-long autocratic dynasty with the short-lived executive (8 years) of the United States. There is a significant difference between the two that might go unnoticed in your commentary. First, there is a thriving market economy that seems now to be the primary pusher of technology in the United States. Because the government withdraws funding does not mean our entire society is suddenly unable to progress. I will admit the government does give a large injection of funds, but that's only because it has a large amount of our income withdrawn by taxes. You see, people in the United States have a lot more control over the economy than they did in Imperial China.

    I've been to China. Any notion that the Chinese Government controls all those people is strictly illusory. As soon as the government's eye is not on them, they go on and do whatever it is they need to. And especially during the period in question, there was almost no real contact between the people who ruled from the Forbidden City, and the people who were ruled over. When you contrast that to Bush's stage-managed presidency wherein he has rarely if ever come into contact with someone who was not a carefully screened supporter or piece of harmless hugmeat, the parallels become unpleasant. Furthermore, the kinds of advances that used to take decades now happen in weeks. We are already being left behind by other nations. I've also been to South Korea. Their adoption of technology and modern lifestyle has happened at a seriously breakneck pace. I talked to people who were younger than me (and I'm merely a GenX-er) who had grown up in thatched-roof houses. They now have something like 90% of the country wired for broadband.

    The Bush Admin's open hostility to science is no secret. This isn't an isolated incident; it's part of a total trend of deliberately ignoring information which is inconvenient. And to suggest that we could possibly petition this Congress to do something about it is absurd.

    Finally, we are reading an article that is obviously skewed in the direction of an environmentalist PAC. Perhaps we should hear both sides of the story---or is the witch hunt too far underway to surrender to reason?

    As I've noted already in this thread, we've been getting our news for the last several years from networks who think that fake JonBenet Killer news stories are worth our 24-hour-a-day attention. And if this news story is somehow not factually true I'm sure evidence to that effect will surface, but in the meantime we don't need to balance our news consumption with fiction.

  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moofie (22272) <lee@ring[ ] ['ofs' in gap]> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:54AM (#16007986) Homepage
    "He has not had an easy time."

    Wah. Myself, I don't think a President has much to do with an economy. They can certainly do things that make economic growth harder, and many presidents have spent a lot of time doing that. I also don't hold Bush "responsible" for 9/11.

    I do hold him responsible for every single decision he's made since, and there have been some surpassingly rotten ones.
  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:54AM (#16007987) Homepage
    Ingredients: 1 Potato, 1 Pat of butter.

    You place the butter in the middle of the potato. Lots of butter on that one spot, but wouldnt you prefer to spread butter all over? Try it, and find that one spot now has a lot less butter than it used to.
    Everyone knows butter doesnt just spontaneously appear, if you want to spread something to another area, you need to reduce it in some other area!
  • by inKubus (199753) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:58AM (#16008021) Homepage Journal
    I look at it like this. Those people--our representatives in the government--work for US. Each of us is one of their managers and we aren't doing our job of telling them what they should do. We instead let them manage us.

    We are a society of poor managers. We'd rather manage by gut feelings rather than the facts. We'd rather vote on our beliefs and what the TV preachers (fox news) tell us instead of what works. That's the real problem. And we are learning the hard way that employees left out of control are going to do what works for them, not us.

    There IS an election coming up in November. I hope that people will vote not based on commericals but on facts. The problem is that the media who is supposedly providing us with facts is not doing it correctly either. I see a trend though, towards the positive. It all starts with your immediate representatives, the people who help to run your city. They work for you, tell them what you want. Then to your county government, they work for you, tell them what you want. State, federal, they work for you, tell them what you want. And if they don't do it, well, you're going to learn what all managers do: If you want it done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself. And that means, *gasp*, actually going out and getting involved.

    Stop watching 60 hours of television a week and dedicate 10 hours to doing something that actually benefits you. It takes time, it takes a lot of work, but we citizens are more empowered than ever. All we have to do is TRY.

  • Inaccurate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calhawk (921611) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:03PM (#16008054)

    How on earth do things like this get posted? The first link is to an "op-ed" site that is so obviously anti-Bush that it defies credibility. The article itself is a hysterical mish-mash of fact(?) and opinion that exists only to throw around needlessly inflammatory catchphrases. "Orwellian?" Check. Reference to "Fahrenheit 451?" Check. "Who could have ever envisioned that Ray Bradbury's vicious, futuristic, dystopian society would ever come to fruition; but it may indeed have done just that!" Yeah, it MAY have! Or maybe not... Dude, chill out.

    At least the link from PEER is more factual. And of course the facts aren't all that exciting, at least compared with visions of vicious, dystopian futures:

    1. Nowhere is George Bush mentioned.
    2. PEER seems to be mainly concerned with being able to use a library "to locate [...] information and have it produced to a court house in a timely manner." No impression is given that, as a result of these budget cuts, access to all important materials is going to be forever lost. It just sounds like it might be a bit harder to get it in certain cases, hence their concern.
    3. The summary of this story makes it sound like this is a grave issue for members of the general public, and said public's access to information of general utility will be severely curtailed in the near future. However, the PEER summary clearly states in its headline: "Prosecutions [of polluters] at Risk from Loss of Timely Access to Key Documents." That is, the usefulness of this information is limited in scope to certain legal proceedings. Of course these cases are very important, but it's not like the libraries that you and I visit all the time are closing their doors.

    I know I'm going up against a bunch of knee-jerk leftists here (wow, look at some of these comments!), but I had to at least try and appeal to reason. Slashdot, please stick with tech and science news. If you're going to delve into politics would it be possible to at least provide the most basic quality control to stories that get posted? This story isn't inherently biased, but the way it was presented is just appalling.

  • What's that law... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix (936301) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:03PM (#16008060) Journal
    It's Godwin's cousin, only about 1984 instead of Nazis?

    While this is obviously a bad thing for science and public education, any similarity to 1984 is sketchy at best.
  • Re:Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by buback (144189) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:05PM (#16008079)
    Seems to me that Clinton (and even Bush Senior) realized, as any qued in politico realized, that there was no good way to get rid of Saddam. Iraq has aways been a tangled ball of string. Bush junior thought he could untangle it, and so now we're all wrapped up in this mess.
  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fishdan (569872) * on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:06PM (#16008090) Homepage Journal
    There are people of good conscience who think that the current course of events, though unhappy, is the best path. We are dealing with a world that contains complicated threats and situations. To think that there are black and white cans that you can put every event into is ridiculous. Consider the following statements:
    • I always vote [Democrat | Republican]
    • [Ted Kennedy | George Bush] is like Hitler
    • The U.S. Government has absolutely no right to [be in Iraq | legislate gun control]
    • I don't understand how anyone can be [liberal | conservative]

    If you believe any one of those 8 statements, you're part of the extremist problem. There are MORE than 2 sides to every issue. People who want to limit your choices to either Bush is good or bad are simplifying things for their own manipulative purposes. It's not all black and white. Everyone's shit stinks. If support everything the Bush administration does, you're not paying attention. If you think the Bush administration has no rationalization for it's actions, again, you're not paying attention. To imply that Bush is actively working to ruin the country is as ridiculous as claiming that Bush is the messiah.

    The facts are that there are people of good conscience on BOTH sides of the aisle. Both parties are working to prevent people of good conscience from coming together and working together, because they think compromise weakens the party.

    I'd rather see the rhetoric turned down and the responsibility turned up.

  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Znork (31774) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:14PM (#16008166)
    "There are MORE than 2 sides to every issue."

    Unless the US converts to a proportional representation system it's highly unlikely that more nuanced politics will develop.

    Any two party system is just barely one party away from a dictatorship. And it shows.
  • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:19PM (#16008194) Journal
    Keep in mind that previous EPA administrators under Bush have resigned because of their refusal to toe the Bush administration's line and the administration's refusal to acknowledge real environmental concerns. See Christine Todd Whitman, who was by no means an environmentalist, but still not in bed enough with corporate interests.

    For all intents and purposes, an EPA bureaucrat (as part of the Bush administration) making a decision is the same as the POTUS (or those who make decisions for him) making the decision.
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:21PM (#16008217) Journal
    Every economist worth their salt will tell you that soaring debt is the sign of a great economy. Debt is good, because it means we're spending like crazy and our kids will pay for it and not us.

    Carter refused to nuke the Middle East by Gawd and he even suggested we go all flowery and stop being so dependent on oil and stuff.

    Now excuse me while I gas up my 20 foot long stretch SUV, yeehaw!!!
  • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:28PM (#16008281)
    Like Chamberlain and Daladier, the leaders of Britain and France in the years before WWII, Carter caused a lot of damage, not by evil intent, but by his ineffective and indecisive attitude.

    When you are a world leader, you are supposed to lead; if you aren't capable of handling the existing situation, please don't run for office. With the cold war, Watergate scandal, oil crisis, and post-Vietnam situation, those were difficult times, it's true. But Carter managed to make it worse by his weakness.

    His one great achievement was the signing of the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt, but why couldn't he have followed it with other diplomatic accomplishments? It was while he was in office that the civil war in Lebanon began, the Iranian Islamic revolution happened, and Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was arming at such a rate that most experts predicted they would be able to invade Western Europe around 1985.

    If you think about it, a US president who inherited a messy situation was Nixon. Vietnam was the biggest blunder in US history, Nixon (and Kissinger) had to accept some very bad compromises to get out. The political defeat caused by the impossible military situation presented an image of weakness, which the Soviet Union used to create the largest expansion of communism after the 1945-1950 era. The "domino theory" used to justify the intervention in Vietnam proved true, since not only the neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos, fell to communist dictatorships, but distant countries such as Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia as well.

    Presidents such as Ford and Carter, like Daladier and Chamberlain, show how much damage can be done by leaders who may be well-intentioned, but are weak and ineffective when confronted by determined dictators. The same thing can be said of Bush Sr. too, had he done the right thing and taken Saddam out in 1991, the world would be a different place today.

  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:29PM (#16008285) Journal
    our cherished civil liberties -- the one aspect of America that truly makes us American.
    I agree with you 99%, but I still see you're a victim of the American schooling system. In particular "our cherished civil liberties -- the one aspect of America that truly makes us American." Firstly, these civil liberties were imported from Britain and the Constitution largely codifies principles that were common law in Britain at the time. Secondly, American civil liberties have always trailed behind many places in the rest of the world. I'm thinking in particular of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation within my lifetime (and its remnants clearly visible in the ghettos a few blocks from where I live in Oakland today), internment, religious and political discrimination (if you're an American citizen you may be unaware of what questions visitors to the US are asked) and the disgraceful human rights black hole at Guantanamo today. What makes America truly American is economic freedom. If you have an asset or skill that someone else needs, America is the best place in the world for you - and that's why I moved to the US. And it's this freedom that has made the US the superpower that it is today. It has nothing to do with civil liberties, despite what they teach in American high schools as you pledge allegiance to the flag each morning.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by workindev (607574) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:44PM (#16008407) Homepage
    I think the worst thing Bush's done is turning most of the world's population against the US.

    Are you under the mistaken impression that everybody liked us before Bush was elected?
  • by Travoltus (110240) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:45PM (#16008423) Journal
    He should have gone off to hide at Camp David and play golf like Dubya did after 9/11.
  • by masklinn (823351) <slashdot DOT org AT masklinn DOT net> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:48PM (#16008447)

    Or perhaps scientists just don't like it when some politicians are telling them that yes, why, the bible is a perfectly truthful historical recording, and yes the earth is 6000 years old, and yes evolution is just a figment of your imagination and you were created out of dirt by a bearded old man sitting on a cloud, and yes it should be taught in school, and no, no one cares about the difference between the notions of "stupid bigotic retardation" and "scientific theory".

    Funniest part is that people always quote that education is left-winged, but no right-winger ever wonders why it is so.

  • by Anomylous Howard (666178) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:54PM (#16008513) Homepage
    This is a very lib /. community.
    If by "lib" you mean libertarian, then you are correct. Many here believe that the government should not be engaged in this kind of work (environmental research), but if they are going to do it, they'd better be honest and open about it. Most attacks on the Bush administration you'll find here are over civil-liberties issues. Perhaps it's because any geeks concider themselves part of a (socially) persecuted minority. And because learning is so important to geeks hey also believe in the free flow of knowlege and feel empathy with the down trodden.
    Attempts to stiffle the flow of information are looked down upon around here. We do tend to be open-source fanatics, which is all about sharing information and research.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @12:57PM (#16008543) Homepage Journal
    Nixon was a Republican president with a Democratic Congress with shakesperian paranoia and a lot to be afraid of after committing unprecedented crimes of tyranny.

    Nixon inherited the Democrats Vietnam by campaigning to end it, then escalating it beyond any reasonable level, in another unprecedented crime of tyranny. Twice, for two terms in office. Although he knew South Vietnam was doomed, he campaigned on supporting them just long enough to get reelected, though he planned to drop them cold as soon as he was reelected.

    Nixon moved the US off the gold standard in a fashion that moved us to the petroleum standard, creating OPEC and our dependence on it.

    Nixon desegregated the South by executing the Democratic Congress' laws and fulfilling the Democrats' promise, because it was too late to interfere with the nearly-won Civil Rights revolution without committing political suicide. When Nixon was Eisenhower's Vice President for 8 years, Nixon helped perpetuate racism and Jim Crow until the people took the lead in getting free, supported by Democrats. Nixon based the Republican political recovery on a "Southern Strategy" of pandering to Southern racists, which defines the Republican Party, and the US they usually control, to this day.

    Nixon managed the Mideast into a series of wars with Israel, OPEC holding us hostage, Iran's revolution that might be the death of us all, and no peace until Democrat Jimmy Carter negotiated one between Israel and Egypt that lasts through today.

    Nixon "leveraged detente" with China by sending George Bush Sr as his first ambassador, resulting in a China that's a more legitimate threat to us than even Soviet Russia ever was. In fact, by most measures, the modern China that Nixon helped create is beating us in practically every competition that counts, exploiting the loopholes designed to serve Nixon's Republican corporate constituency. Staking so much on a losing Vietnam War did more to strengthen China and Russia than just leaving Vietnam to go the way of Yugoslavia ever could have.

    A "fair and balanced" (did you really just say that?) view of Nixon's legacy shows that American politics has moved so far to the right that Nixon's relatively moderate corporatism makes the current Republicans look fascist. That the discredit Nixon dealt to the presidency grew an entire generation of Republicans who will stop at nothing for power, discarding Democratic opposition in Congress so ruthlessly that the Republican agenda finally works unimpeded by officials or competing superpowers.

    Now, Nixon wasn't the devil (that's Cheney, who worked for Nixon). And Democrats are no salvation - there is none. But looking at the current catastophic Republican inheritors of Nixon's party, including many of its star players, shows Nixon overwhelmingly bad for the US for generations, some still to come. Without Nixon, Bush couldn't have gotten the power he still has. Especially Nixon's institutionalization of so many fake "national security" violations of the Constitution, and his adoption of the CIA/NSA for Republican partisan conspiracies.

    I'm glad that Nixon didn't reduce the country to smoking ruins the way Bush is working on. But that hardly balances the lasting damage Nixon did. He deserves all the scorn and spite he gets, and much more, even if there was some mercy in his awful reign.
  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:00PM (#16008567) Homepage Journal
    Yes, President Carter. Double-didgit inflation, taxes so high that they broke the econom, etc.

    I remember this period well.

    Note that legally there is not much effective that a President himself can do about inflation, as the most critical factor involved is the money supply, which is controlled by the Federal Reserve. In addition, the economy was still reeling from the impact of high energy prices on entrenched energy inefficiencies. The result was stagflation: a brutal combination of economic stagnation and inflation.

    There's not much you can do to make an economy energy efficient overnight, but what Carter did about this was appoint Paul Volcker as Fed chairman, who proceeded to change the one variable that could be changed quickly: the money supply. Volcker who took office in August of 1979, proceeded to attack inflatoin vigorously, at tremendous political cost to Carter.

    Check out these graphs: prime rate [], Consumer Price Index [], and unemployment [].

    This is the story they tell. Roughly in the middle of his term, Carter hires Paul Volcker as Fed Chairman, with the job of stopping inflation. Volcker starts the cut off the money supply in order to break the back of inflation. Immediately, the rate of inflation starts to drop, economic growth stalls, and unemployment begins to rise.

    Right around the time of the 1980 election, the prime rate is approaching it's historical high of 21.5. This continues to strangle economic growth and drive rising unemployement.

    But inflation IS responding to Volcker's shock treatment. Carter gets no political boost from this, becuase he's only succeeded thus far to change the second derivative of prices. Which is to say that prices aren't dropping, they are continuing to rise at historically high rates. But the inflation rate is moving rapidly in the right direction, something that is only apparent when looking at data graphs, not when you go to purchase a quart of milk. What ordinary people see is high prices that continue to increase at a high rate, reduced economic growth, and decreased job security. This experience of economic insecurity creates a new class of voters: the Reagan Democrat. Ronald Reagan successfully argues that Carter has mismanaged the economy, and the voters buy it because everywhere they look, they see pain.

    In the first half of Reagan's term, far too early for his economic policies to have had such a dramatic effect, inflation returns to its approximate historical average. Immediately the Fed release their death grip on interest rates, and economic growth ensues. Unemployment continues to rise for a short time as weak companies shed workers, but overall in the context of an economy poised to resume growth, this is a good thing.

    Unemployment hits its peak in 1983. By this time, Reagan's fiscal policies are having an effect as well. The biggest thing he can influence strongly is federal spending, and he has embarked on a program of unusually high levels of peacetime deficit spending. Wikipedia does not have a nice graph but you can look it up from the CBO: The last Ford budget had a deficit of 4.1%; Carter's budgets had deficits of 2.7,2.7, 1.6, 2.7 and 2.5%. Reagan's first term budgets had deficits of 3.7, 5.6, 4.7, and 5.1%. An economy is primed for rapid growth responds rapidly to the stimulative effects of federal spending unchecked by offsetting taxes. When the 1984 election rolls around, Reagan looks like an economic genius: inflation under control, economic growth back on track, unemployment rapidly dropping.

    Carter of course looks like an economic idiot even though arguably Carter's fiscal restraint and Volcker's severe anti-inflation policies made the strong recover of the 80s possible. Reagan's spending policies would have be
  • Technically ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:03PM (#16008588) Journal
    ... and our handling of the Iraq war. ...

    Technically ... it takes an act of Congress for the U.S. to Declare War on a foreign power.

    We've had Reagan talk about "The War on Drugs" and Bush talk about "The War on Terror" and the media LOVES to talk about "The War in Iraq", but none of these are "Wars" ... at least as far as the Constitution is concerned. Heck The Power to declare war is one of the FEW things explicitly given to Congress (versus everything its grabbed via things like the "Interstate Commerce Clause"). We never actually declared war against Iraq. Bush going to Congress for an Act of War would have meant recognizing the Iraqi government as legitimate. It also would have reminded the world that U.S. would be invading a sovereign country. These things aren't usually done when that country is sitting half way around the world, and hasn't even sneezed in your direction ... unless it happens to have something you want/need, like cheap Oil.

    In some ways I think his current actions with the libraries and Iraq are good examples of Bush's presidency. Using Executive action and Executive order to create sweeping changes in the way things are done.

    The framers of the Constitution wanted the ability for centralized control in times of crisis (instead of relying on congress to do anything rapidly), but feared centralizing too much power. Bush has been running roughshod over the Checks and Balances that are supposed to be in place to govern these sort of actions, when there ISN'T a crisis (and not every day after 9/11 is a crisis).
  • Re:Bush (Score:4, Insightful)

    by danfromsb (965115) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:05PM (#16008610)
    Maybe you can't say Bush is good or bad, but I think we can all agree Cheney is 100% pure evil.
  • Re:Bush (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:07PM (#16008619)
    Just because Reagan was in power when the USSR collapsed, doesn't mean he defeated it.

    The USSR was rotting from within after decades of excessive military spending and poor economic management. Resources were often wasted because people who knew how to manage them were not consulted. Indeed, "leaders" like Stalin often shot those that told them what they didn't want to hear.

    Reagan was just in the right place at the right time.
  • by shaneh0 (624603) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:18PM (#16008709)
    Much to my surprise, most Americans don't equate Iran Contra with the hostage crisis even though they are one in the same. President Elect Ron Reagan should shoulder a significant amount of the blame for the length of the hostage crisis.

    After being elected in November, he opened back channel negotiations with the Ayatollah. The gist is Reagan offered to supply Iran with arms on the condition that Iran held our hostages until he took the oath. That's two months those innocent people had to live in captivity so Reagan could score political points.

    The only justice in the whole thing is that Reagan is forever stained by Iran-Contra. That's little consolation to the hostages, I'm sure, but it's something.

    Carter worked tirelessly in the months before leaving office to secure their release. There was little he could do outside of ordering an invasion of Iran. I think we can agree that would not have been a good thing.
  • This is FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:27PM (#16008788) Homepage
    I'm reading these articles, and the only occurrance of the word "Bush" is in a deragatory comment. This looks like it is something the EPA is doing, but the articles are too inflammatory to explain why they are doing it. I've never heard of these libraries, so I don't know who has access to them or what is in them or what the real impact is. Was the problem that these were not used by anyone? Or is the information redundant and out-of-date? Is it already in other libraries? The article doesn't even bother to answer the who/what/where/why/when so it is impossible to make a judgement.

    This reminds me of a chain-email I got a few months ago about how George Bush Senior was working with some company to try and strip-mine some place in Brazil. I was enraged - then I read the article and realized it isn't a strip-mine, it doesn't involve George Bush, and it isn't an American company, and that the local supported the effort. I don't know if this is a competitor trying to start fake grassroots efforts by using anti-Bush sentiment, or if it is political enemies, or if there is something real happening here.
  • Re:Bush (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:37PM (#16008863)
    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.

    I don't know, that nine months in office he spent on vacation. That was a pretty easy time of it. A lot of us wish he'd stayed on vacation.

  • Gore and Oxy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000@yah o o . com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @01:43PM (#16008921)

    . So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

    While some who care about the environment would, and did, dump stocks in corporations like Oxy, there is something stockholders can do that others can't. Stockholders can put pressure on the corporations they own stock in to cleanup their act. This is one of ideas behind mutual funds, funds pool money from many people and invest in corporations. With stock in hand they have more clout with the board of directors and ask for changes in how the business operates. Now whether Gore does or did this I don't know but just because someone owns stock doesn't mean they aren't doing anything to clean up the environment or other sri [] issues.

  • Re:Bush (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @02:33PM (#16009351)
    Nixon's accomplishments included: a) getting the US economy off of the gold standard allowing for the next several decades of unprecedented US global economic domination -- HUGE strategic decision that in hindsight seems simple but took great forward thinking

    Are you mad?

    Before Nixon, we had the Bretton Woods system, where the dollar was redeemable in gold only to foreign governments and their central banks. The United States pyramided dollars (in paper money and in bank deposits) on top of gold, in which dollars could be redeemed by foreign governments; while all other governments held dollars as their basic reserve and pyramided their currency on top of dollars.

    There being plenty of room for inflation before retribution could set in, the United States government embarked on its post-war policy of continual monetary inflation, a policy it has pursued merrily ever since. But as the 1950s and 1960s continued, the purchasing power and hence the true value of dollars fell, and dollars became increasingly unwanted by foreign governments. Europe did have the legal option of redeeming dollars in gold at $35 an ounce, and as the dollar became increasingly overvalued in terms of hard money currencies and gold, European governments began more and more to exercise that option. The gold standard check was coming into use; hence gold flowed steadily out of the U.S. for two decades after the early 1950s, until the U.S. gold stock dwindled over this period from over $20 billion to $9 billion.

    On August 15, 1971, at the same time that President Nixon imposed a price-wage freeze in a vain attempt to check bounding inflation, Mr. Nixon also brought the post-war Bretton Woods system to a crashing end. As European Central Banks at last threatened to redeem much of their swollen stock of dollars for gold, President Nixon went totally off gold. For the first time in American history, the dollar was totally fiat, totally without backing in gold.

    Since the U.S. went completely off gold in August 1971 and established the Friedmanite fluctuating fiat system in March 1973, the United States and the world have suffered the most intense and most sustained bout of peacetime inflation in the history of the world. It should be clear by now that this is scarcely a coincidence. Before the dollar was cut loose from gold, keynesians and Friedmanites, each in their own way devoted to fiat paper money, confidently predicted that when fiat money was established, the market price of gold would fall promptly to its non-monetary level, then estimated at about $8 an ounce. In their scorn of gold, both groups maintained that it was the mighty dollar that was propping up the price of gold, and not vice versa. Since 1971, the market price of gold has never been below the old fixed price of $35 an ounce, and has almost always been enormously higher. When, during the 1950s and 1960s, economists such as Jacques Rueff were calling for a gold standard at a price of $70 an ounce, the price was considered absurdly high. It is now even more absurdly low. The far higher gold price is an indication of the calamitous deterioration of the dollar since "modern" economists had their way and all gold backing was removed.

    If you want to know more, check out Murray N. Rothbard's What Has Government Done to Our Money? [].
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @02:49PM (#16009518) Journal
    > Has any other US president ever done as much damage to the US as Bush has?

    Reagan. Because he set the first really major precedents in modern times for unchecked abuse of power (Nixon got checked). Bush is just pushing that envelope.

    Frankly it's Congress not doing its job as an opposition body that is doing the damage. Congress has all the power in the world to spank the crap out of the president even without impeachment. But they won't.
  • by Grendel Drago (41496) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @02:51PM (#16009534) Homepage
    Ah, Zheng He's fleet. If the Pacific weren't so darn wide, maybe Columbus would have run into Chinese colonists when he reached the American shores, eh? But the dissolution of the treasure fleet was motivated largely by economics. The voyages didn't pay for themselves; they were funded by the sale of an enormous tract of land that the Mongols (the Yuan Dynasty) had turned into a park. When the land had finally all been sold, the federal budget shrank, and it ended up as a historical blip and not much more.

    I'd consider Japan's isolationism policy [], which lasted over two centuries, to be a more striking example.
  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @03:12PM (#16009723)
    Let's break down the posting.

    "In a move that has been termed 'positively Orwellian' by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Executive Director Jeff Ruch,

    The post directly quotes and attributes the quote correctly. You might not like the piece it's quoting, but the post accurately represents it.

    George W. Bush is ending public access to research materials at EPA regional libraries

    His administration is doing so, not him. Being as Presidents do almost nothing personally--the bulk of their work is accomplished by staff and appointees--it's a little unreasonable to expect to trace every decision all the way back to him. As Eisenhower said, "The buck stops here." I would not call this totally inaccurate. Give it 1/4 accurate.

    without Congressional consent.

    The action is being taken prior to Congressional review of the EPA budget. Accurate.

    This all-out effort to impede research and public access

    The degree to which this is the intent is a matter of opinion. Certainly EPA would never admit this whether or not it were true.

    However, there is simply no question as to whether this will impede research and public access. It will. It will now introduce a delay and review process to accessing information that did not previously exist. Rather than walking in and copying a document, a person would now have to wait either for an inter-library loan delivery, or a no-deadline-defined scanning process to complete. This delay substantially reduces the capability for quick-response litigation. And since I'm guessing you think I'm a "knee jerk leftist" now (since I disagreed with you), I'll point out that this also impedes the ability of businesses to quickly access research materials to fight EPA regulation changes, fines, or stays. The business community is just as interested in EPA transparency as the enviros are.

    1/2 accurate.

    is a [loosely] covert operation

    Accurate--the import of this decision was gleaned from a leaked internal EPA memo, not a public communiction.

    to close down 26 technical libraries

    Accurate--this is the plan.

    under the guise of budgetary constraint

    Budgetary constraint is the reason given. The degree to which that is a guise is up for debate. 1/4 accurate

    Scientists are protesting,


    but at least 15 of the libraries will be closed by Sept. 30, 2006."


    Of 9 assertions in the post, I scored it about a 7, so about 77% accurate.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BalanceOfJudgement (962905) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @03:36PM (#16009929) Homepage
    He could have saved himself a shitload of problems and an invasion if he'd just not played games with the UN and the world...

    If he had just cooperated fully, him and his sons could be happily torturing, disfiguring, raping, killing and oppressing their people just like in the old days.
    I'm not certain this is true. If you've ever gotten into it with a bully, bullies tend to just get more pissed off at you the more you comply with their demands - there is absolutely nothing you can do to appease their desire to beat you up. They WILL find a reason to do so and it's just a matter of time before you roll home in a garbage can with your hat down your throat.

    In this case, I think Bush is the bully - the more I read about the days leading up to the invasion, the more I become convinced he would have found any reason do to so, the UN circus notwithstanding.
  • Re:Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hackie_Chan (678203) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @04:19PM (#16010268)
    To be fair, Anti-Americanism is a very broad word that include many different opinions, all with the common goal of highly distrusting (or even to a certain extent, hating) the United States.

    Saying that Bush is responsible for making people hate our country is wrong.

    - In the 1990s, an increasingly stronger portion of people began to question the US cultural dominance and thus gave birth to the anti-globalization movement.

    - In the Middle East it's the resentment of secular western thought, which had heavily grown throughout the entire 20th century. It's basically a backlash against the rise of rational thinking that's prominent in both the US (and Europe).

    - Muslims (and a fair number of socialists) all around the world strongly dislike the strong US backing of Israel.

    - Many countries in the world strongly believe that the dominant super power role of the United States is wrong because it is not right for one country to shape the destiny of others after its own will. Sovereignity of other nation states should be respected.

    Bush might not be the only reason they hate America, but due to his rise to Presidency at this special point of time in our history he has surely become the icon for it.
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by I(rispee_I(reme (310391) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @04:33PM (#16010416) Journal
    If they weren't fundamentalist Muslims, they'd be fundamentalist Christians, or fundamentalist something else- does it really make a difference if radicals kill in the name of Yahweh or Allah?

    Oppression and ignorance breed fundamentalist creeds, and the grandparent rightly labels the U.S. as the root of the oppression.
  • Iraq and WMDs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000@yah o o . com> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @05:13PM (#16010814)

    While it may be true that we now know Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction

    It was known before Bush Jr order the invasion that there were no WMDs, the chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter kept stating this. However there were some in both the White House and in the press that did what they could to discredit him because they wanted the invasion to take place no matter what the truth was. As early as 2000 the PNAC [] had plans on it's website with the plans for the invasion.

    had no ties to international terrorism

    Saddam did have ties to "terrorists", Palestinian terrorists, but not with al qaeda or bin Laden. Saddam knew bin Laden wanted him dead as his government was sectarian not religous based, a theocracy, and because he persecuted Muslims in Iraq. In the December before the invasion bin Laden in a radio broadcast talking to Iraqis said they should rise up and overthrow Saddam and to fight invaders when invaded. To bin Laden Saddam was worse than the US because whereas the US wasn't Muslim, Saddam was.

  • by novus ordo (843883) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @05:35PM (#16010996) Journal
    Read up on the Iran-Contra affair [].
    The report published by the Tower Commission, known as the Tower Commission Report, was delivered to the President on February 26, 1987. It criticized the actions of Oliver North, John Poindexter, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and others. It did not determine that the President had knowledge of the extent of the program, although it argued that the President ought to have had better control of the National Security Council staff.
    But that's not the interesting part:
    Some doubted the intentions of the Tower Commission and believed that it was a political stunt. The commission limited its criticism of Vice President George Bush. Subsequently, the head of the commission, John Tower, was nominated to the position of Secretary of Defense by Bush when he became President. He was not confirmed by the Senate. Brent Scowcroft was named National Security Advisor.
    And the nail in the coffin:
    Faced with undeniable evidence of his involvement in the scandal, Reagan expressed regret regarding the situation at a nationally televised White House press conference on March 4, 1987. Responding to questions, Reagan stated that his previous assertions that the U.S. did not trade arms for hostages were incorrect. He also stated that the Vice President knew of the plan.
    "A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages," said Ronald Reagan on March 4, 1987. "My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."
    You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Don't you love politix?
  • Re:Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @07:27PM (#16011815) Homepage Journal
    So I see you're really more a fan of Kissinger than of Nixon. Kissinger got away with crimes against humanity because the global justice system is rigged to protect the powerful even more than is the US justice system. His pet Pinochet didn't even see justice until he was too old and feeble, with his political creditors mostly dead, to push back any more.

    Nixon was no "closet" racist - his racism is evident on the tapes he made. I don't see what that has to do with Kennedy's "missile gap" rhetoric, though I note that Kennedy did face down Russian missiles in Cuba successfully, a tougher Cold Warrior than Nixon. I didn't make any claim about their relative propaganda integrity, just whether Nixon just "inherited" Vietnam and tried to get out while saving face. He capitalized on Vietnam as much as he could. And I didn't say he was KKK, or anything at all about Eisenhower, just that Nixon's Southern Strategy was racist, consistent with his ignoring racism while VP, and continues to hurt the US today. I think you are indulging a desire to go too far, while I am remaining proportional.

    I think "blaming" Truman for Israel's formation is completely legitimate, though I (probably) disagree with what you'd blame him for. I'd blame him for allowing the borders to be drawn in typical British postcolonial fashion, dividing tribes to set them against each other and create endless local wars to distract them from competing with the colonizers. Iran's case is one where Nixon's oil policy and his CIA's sponsorship of the tyrannical Shah put Iran into its revolutionary state. And my point was about Republicans in general, who ran their Iran/Contra resupply operation, and even put Oliver North in the desert where Carter's helicopter rescue attempt "somehow" crashed and burned, even if you don't believe Republicans colluded with Iran to release the hostages coincidentally on Reagan's inauguration day.

    Since you're in Canada, and unfamiliar with Fox News, you don't have as much reason to come to an American perspective on our Republican Party. It has perpetuated terrible frauds on America, producing collusions with our enemies to keep themselves in power through fear, exploiting the easily led American media consumers as much as the foreign producers exploited by their counterparts. The central player in their acts is George Bush Sr, who was not only Nixon's first China chief, but also the Republican Party chair who cleaned up after Watergate to run in 1980 and sit in power for a dozen years (more than anyone but Nixon). I don't claim that Clinton and even Carter let China grow too powerful at our expense. But there's no comparison between their responsibility over 12 years and Republicans over 26 years. 18 of which 26 years have seen Bush Sr actually calling the shots, preceeded by more years slightly removed or just calling shots in China. Hell, Bush Sr was the only person ever to answer the question "where were you the day JFK was shot?" with "I don't know", though it turns out he was in Dallas that day, flying out that morning.

    These people are awful. They are joined to the corporate media, including (especially) Fox News. They have sailed the US through several wars for their global corporate interests, including Iraq and Vietnam, even when assisted by Democrats (usually through failure of Congressional oversight or campaign criticism). Now we're discussing the Republicans shutting the people off from research libraries in a blatant move to protect corporate polluters. I don't think any of the Democrats since America became huge (191x) have tried that kind of tyranny. But it's perfectly consistent with Republicans, especially Nixon.
  • Re:Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Philip K Dickhead (906971) * <> on Wednesday August 30, 2006 @11:28PM (#16013007) Journal
    Yeah. That's the sound of a Zionist tool.

    Deep in the past of the Middle East, they had algebra, astronomy, public universites, street lighting, regular baths and funcioning surgical medicine - as well as true chivalry.

    Europeans slept in the straw mats their animals urinated on - and couldn't read.

    Chivalry was TAUGHT to europeans - by Saladin and his company. Humanity and the face of compassion was not evidenced in that 13th century 'clash of civilizations' by any other than those you selectively and ahistorically accuse of hatred and zealotry.

    Go back home and vote for Leiberman.
  • Re:Bush (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bechthros (714240) on Thursday August 31, 2006 @07:23AM (#16014520) Homepage Journal
    " Marcos
          Mohammed Reza Pahlavi"

    You forgot Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Ladin. Both created wholely from US assets to serve US purposes.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.