No Libraries Left Behind
February 17, 2006 11:48 AM   Subscribe

"How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?" Good question. As noted in an earlier post, the EPA is one of the agencies that is facing cuts to finance BushCo's America. How? By shutting down its network of libraries and its electronic catalogue.
posted by (16 comments total)
The EPA (for the benefit of non-Americans) is the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
posted by at 11:53 AM on February 17, 2006

Smooth move... Maybe they could cut their budget for stationary as well and stop them sending out any letters.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2006

Just when I think I can't be amazed further by the actions of this administration, they go and do something even more idiotic.

I'd REALLY like to hear the justification for this one. Ought to be a real winner.
posted by 40 Watt at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2006

I used to think that we were well past the bad ol' days when ignorant plundering barbarians would destroy libraries, universities and other important pillars of societal advancement.


How fucking naive of me.
posted by PsychoKick at 12:20 PM on February 17, 2006

Fecking Crap. The EPA has one of the most useful and complete online libraries anywhere in the world. This isn't just a loss for the US. Practially the whole world uses EPA methods from that library, even the EU, though they won't admit it.
posted by bonehead at 12:25 PM on February 17, 2006

posted by kaseijin at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2006

EPA's goal is a good and important one, but ask anyone in the Fed and they'd tell you it's more dysfunctional than most agencies. No doubt because the Republicans want to gut it, but the 1990's weren't that kind either, especially in terms of directors.
posted by bardic at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2006

I'd REALLY like to hear the justification for this one. Ought to be a real winner.

Libraries are so old skool. We need to adapt to the e-bay era!

Less facts and more propaganda!
posted by Otis at 12:36 PM on February 17, 2006

They may have started out believing in democracy as much as the next person, but by now they will be firmly convinced that oligarchy is necessary, with people like themselves running the show -- even if it still looks like a democracy. This time, however, the oligarchy is very temporary. The trials and scandals will help to reduce the number of rich people who are still competing for power; and in the end, everyone will be relieved to see a leader emerge who looks like he can take charge and put things in order; and he’ll be glad to oblige them."
"That’s precisely what the masses tend to prefer."
"And how does the root in democracy, the sapling that seems to be a protector of the people, grow into a tyrant?
"In the same way, the first taste of a competitor’s blood will already have started the new leader down the path toward becoming a wolf. Once he has gotten himself firmly established in power as a strong leader, with all the police and other instruments of control in his hands, he’ll begin to show that he rather enjoys the taste of human flesh, figuratively speaking. The competition for power will have trained him to become highly skilled in political spin control. That is, he’ll have beaten his competitors by relying, in part, upon the manipulation of public opinion, using deceptive statements, false accusations, etc. He’ll figure, ‘Hey, it’s worked well so far -- why stop now?’ So now that he’s got the power, whenever he sees or imagines an enemy in the city, he’ll have the authorities drag him into the courts, make out a seemingly solid case against him, and then banish or execute him. Meanwhile, using the old carrot-and-stick approach, he’ll do his best to show the public that he’s a good guy. For instance, he might talk publicly about how he’s considering a law that will forgive everyone’s debts, or that will give everyone a piece of land in the countryside. Doesn’t it seem that a leader like this must either be killed by his enemies or become a tyrant?"

"It’s unavoidable."
"Then everyone will see that this is tyranny indeed, and a very cruel result. It’s almost enough to kill an elderly parent, not only literally, but also figuratively, as we speak about the city as a whole. The people who tried to avoid the smoke of democracy, in which freedom got out of control and made them almost like slaves to the rights demanded by their fellow men, have now landed in the fire, where they are slaves indeed, in the worst slavery of all, serving masters who themselves were once slaves. And at this point, I think you’ll agree, we have adequately covered this last transition, from democracy to tyranny."

from Plato's Republic
posted by uni verse at 12:51 PM on February 17, 2006

Bah, knowledge never helped anyone. Facts are meaningless. You can use them to proved anything that's even remotely true. And besides, 86% of statistics are made up, 47% of people know that!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:03 PM on February 17, 2006

Plus, blue beetle over 114% of statistics are completely in error.

Not to mention the 338 facts that are taken out of context.

Y'know what really bothers me is - I'm won't to do research. I'm one of those that has to know the truth. This makes me dangerous. And, unless I'm completely committed to rebellion, I'll wind up as one of the assholes in charge.

I'd really rather lay in the sun on my lawn while my kids screw around with the hose.

I keep having nightmares that I'll end up like O'Brien in 1984.
I'd rather be (to extend the Orwell analogy) the cat in Animal Farm.

This makes me want to get involved. The metaphysics of knowlege.

There is an objective reality that is knowable (as expressed in 1984 by 2+2 = 4).
BushCo doesn't want to hear about it. Everything is in political context.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2006

Oh, nice.

My husband has very personally and recently been affected by yet another ridiculous cut in the DOE. As in, company failure, everybody go find a new job, don't worry about those pesky toxic leaks.

But at least we'll know that democracy is being promoted in Iran, if all goes as planned.
posted by moira at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2006

BushCo doesn't want to hear about it. Everything is in political context.

That's the weirdest thing about the last five years of American politics, it's like all of history up to this point was swept away, suddenly the Republicans decide collectivist spending and offensive wars are the solutions to all our problems.

I just don't know how to reach some people, though. They just tune every upsetting fact out.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:30 PM on February 17, 2006

Those aren't leaks moira, some products are simply sub-optimally contained. It's a free-market thing. Trrrsts hate our freedoms, so essentially, so-called leaks are a Good Thing. Lieberries and information though: too dangerous to have running loose. And expensive. Don't forget we're at War. Price of freedom. Trrsts hate our freedom to be protected from dangerous (and expensive!) information.
posted by cairnish at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2006

This makes me really angry. I'm lost for words.
posted by lalochezia at 9:15 PM on February 17, 2006

Here are the members of the House Committee on Science, which oversees the EPA budget.

Some of them are up for re-election. Some of them are in your state. Some of them are in your district.

Some of them need to hear from
posted by JDC8 at 8:28 AM on February 18, 2006

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