Not-So-Private Reading Rooms


My anarcho-librarian friend Jessamyn West has an angry article in Slingshot about the USA Patriot Act's effect on libraries.

[Via bOING bOING.]

NEXT: Smoke This

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  1. No argument on that. These Dems have no cajones at all. I can handle losing a good fight (winning’s better, of course) but these guys just roll over.

    Happy Friday, David.

  2. Reps/Dems; Same dog, different spots. The notion that “they had no idea what they were voting for” is BS. All (well almost all, we love you Ron Paul) Reps and Sens want bigger government (makes them more powerful, see). If they were really so “shocked shocked” at PATRIOT, they could repeal it. I know there is some hot air blowing in that direction, but the fact is, that PATRIOT II has a better chance of passing than PATRIOT (the first) has of being repealed. The ones who are really “shocked” are the masses who are just now starting to feel the heels of jackboots.

  3. It’s ironic that little old lady librarians have become Freedom’s front line of defense.

    I recently saw an article about a county in northern California where a big sign was posted in all the libraries that the FBI may be watching the patrons and they would never know if an inquiry was made about their activities. Further, the library director reported each week to the Board of Supervisors that “no inquiries have been made this week”. The absence of that message would be the only signal that an inquiry had indeed, been made.

  4. happy friday!

    USA PATRIOT ( is a terrible act, most members of congress probably are surprised to the provisions they agreed upon, and it signifies, to me, exactly what conservatives are all about: controlling us in a certain way.

    the fact that the post oklahoma city bombing laws, thanks, pat lehey, proved what liberals are about (controlling us in a certain (other) way), also is clear.

    this act is terrible, i absolutely can’t stand john ashcroft. and the reduction of our civil liberties is very very disturbing to this citizen. PATRIOT II,,1294,57636,00.html, is even worse.

    now, even though this is the baby of ashcroft, i blame the dems for much of this. they had the majority in the senate in the days after 9/11. just as they gave the prez some sort of approval which led us to war now (and the dems whine about it now), the dems in typical balls-less fashion, passed this. Then as one democrat party worker said to me once that he was worried about “civil liberties”. hrumph.

    intelligence agencies apparently have failed to profile SH et al in iraq properly (those goon squads); they failed to protect our borders. and we gave them more money and power.

    how frustrating.


  5. I suggested to our local librarian that they issue library cards to anyone without proper ID, so long as they get it co-signed, like a car loan.

    I have trustworthy friends, they won’t steal books from the library, so I co-sign as being liable for any unreturned books from cards issued to my friends under assumed names.

    Sure, the government spies can look to me, but their link=proof equation is broken.

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