No really….why isn’t there a national information policy?

Hello fair readers!

First before we launch into extremely intellectually stimulating and amazing conversations on the issues of information policies (sense my sarcasm….please), I will give you an update on the past to-do list.

1. still working on those readings but nearly there 🙂

2. In regards to the sinus issues…after playing with my neti pot

I realized two things. One: it is weird at first but once you get used to it…kind of amazing. And two: it doesn’t work as well when you don’t just have sinus issues but a really nasty cold. Thankfully I’m recovering after a long day of rest and boredom.

3. Shinji is doing very well and in recovery. He did have to have two teeth pulled, which was scary and expensive. For those of you who don’t understand why this is scary take a look into the connections between a dogs overall health and his/her teeth. The lesson here: I have to start brushing the Shinj’s teeth every day. oy vey. He’s worth it.

4. Mind is still intact. So that is good.

and that brings me to my cliffhanger:

5. The blog on my information policy class! Oh boy! Here I go……

So far I have just started my third week of classes…technically. Even though it really feels like the second. Strange. And yes, as I keep repeating over and over again, this is indeed my last semester.

::tiny celebration::

I’m taking three very interesting classes: Library User Instruction because I need to sharpen my teaching skills

Reference in the Humanities because I have taken almost exclusively legal and business oriented courses…I need a little refinement

and finally…my present to myself….Information Policy taught by the uber cool Ed Valauskas, a man cool enough that Google corrects your spelling of his last name, which to me is usually something like v-a-l-a-s-k-a-s, to the more accurate spelling of v-a-l-a-u-s-k-a-s. You know you have it made when Google knows the correct spelling to your weird and difficult to spell last name.

Anyways I am totally excited about this class. On the first day he told us about some of his experiences lobbying for libraries in Washington D.C., which in my mind happens to be one of the coolest professions ever. A library lobbyist? Yes please.

Then he wrote this on the board:

Yes, fair readers, that is the Second Amendment….firing power for such gigantically annoying groups like the NRA and the Neocons…and yes, I do like my little pun.

Then on the other side of the board he wrote this:

In case you can’t make that out, it reads as follows: Being necessary to the self-governance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

Then he turned to us and said “What if this [pointing to the book version] was in the constitution and not this [pointing to the gun version]”.

At first I thought in my head, “That would be heaven”. And then he divided up the class into two sides. One argues for the book amendment

And the other group argues for the gun amendment.

I happened to be on the book side. What a surprise.

So we divided up and starting listing out arguments. We had to put ourselves in the time frame of the founding fathers…which of course made things difficult. We weren’t thinking in terms of a mostly literate society vs. machine guns. This was a very illiterate society vs. hunting rifles.

ugh. It was going to be difficult.

Right away my group decided that we weren’t taking away the right to guns…just not constitutionally guaranteeing it. We deceided that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in gun control…that would be absurd. It should be left up to the states. As I wrote down this argument…I felt a little like a Ron Paul supporter.

Which I’m not. In fact, I do think the government should regulate use. I completely do. But that wasn’t the point of this exercise.

I was nominated to be the speaker and then we each stood up and argued our sides. My group came up with ideas such as:

-education is vital to sustaining a democracy and since America is the first adventure in democracy we should invest in the people, not aggression.

-the second amendment that deals with guns is a pessimistic view of society while ours is optimistic, we should trust the people

and so on.

When the other side came to speak, I actually found myself agreeing with some of the things they said. I actually thought…wow….the second amendment is really important. It guarantees protection!

(Don’t worry…I haven’t decided to become a Republican. Still a bleeding heart liberal. 🙂 )

But when someone gets up to speak….and speaks charismatically, with enthusiasm, and argues their point well….well, let’s just say it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

Eventually we had a chance to retort to each side’s arguments and then just sit and basically argue with each other.

Finally someone made the point….why do we have to pick one or the other? Can’t we have both?

Ed Valauskas stopped and said “Ah yes. I was wondering when we would get here”.

He then stood up and proposed mixing the two…is this possible? How can we?

We then drafted the above. The perfect second amendment. It reads as follows: Being necessary to the security and self-governance of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall be held in the same regard of the right of the people to keep and read books and neither shall be infringed.

Seriously. Why don’t librarians run the country?

As it stands the country does not have a Secretary of Information. We do not have an official Information Policy. And even when checking out the candidates…none have their information policy listed on their site. Why is this? Perhaps because more people care about this:

Still…aren’t these things connected? How did we end up in Iraq anyways? Misinformation? Those supposed weapons of mass destruction? Would a Secretary of Information perhaps played an important role in this decision?

I am not saying it would solve the world’s problems. But it certainly is something to think about. My class will be mailing the candidates to ask what their policy is on information. I highly encourage you to do the same. Because information does affect our daily lives…sometimes for the worse

and sometimes for the better

Have a lovely Tuesday fair readers. Remember to think critically and vote and participate. I know I will.

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