UPDATE: See this NYT article on Afghan elections. With U.S. withdrawal date approaching, it is informative to see how others have fared in a post-Afghanistan arena. The most recent Afghanistan occupation was by the Soviets, 1979-1989 and Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth has a lengthy analysis on the military aspects of occupation and withdrawal. PDF is here.
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February 26th, 2014 · No Comments
February 4th, 2014 · No Comments
It has been many a year since the debate over NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and Ross Perot’s oft-quoted cliche — “…giant sucking sound…” is not about jobs (as Mr. Perot intimated) but money crossing the border — in both directions. This info-graphic “International Trade Between U.S. and Mexico,” from the Department of Commerce illustrates the flow of goods and services ($494 billion worth in 2012) across the southern border of the U.S.
Speaking of “sucking sounds,” wait until you see the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
January 30th, 2014 · No Comments
January 23rd, 2014 · No Comments
One of this librarian’s film touchstones is Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. So the headline, “The Truths Behind Dr. Strangelove…” in the New Yorker lead me to the sidebar on the Sandia National Laboratories 2010 formerly classified movie, Always / Never: The Quest for Nuclear Safety, Control, and Survivability. The New Yorker article is here.
January 9th, 2014 · No Comments
Follow the money is the mantra of the journalist; and where better to find the dough than the Medical-Industrial Complex as reported via the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The findings, as reported by Duke University Medical Center researchers — are a pain the back –the most prevalent medical care consumers are the folks suffering back pain, 25 million sore backs are responsible for 90 billion in expenditures. Ouch.
December 4th, 2013 · No Comments
Considering that over 30% of fatal traffic accidents involve drivers with a high BAC (blood alcohol content) it is only fitting to remind readers (thanks WPA) to not drink and drive (or text and drive).
November 27th, 2013 · No Comments
If KFC is no longer associated with Kentucky, Fried or the Colonel, could it be that GPO will no longer be associated with “Printing”? Davita E. Vance-Cooks, the GPO CEO, states in her bio that “…her focus has been to move GPO from a print-centric to a content-centric focus in the digital era…” Goodbye printing.
November 14th, 2013 · No Comments
The TSA is obliged to keep a close eye on travelers at the nation’s transportation hubs, but it seems they have a bogus method for identifying evil doers. According to the GAO (via Ars Technica) the 94 signs of suspicion are suspect. You can the GAO read the report here.
October 28th, 2013 · No Comments
Seems the time just keeps ticking away. It was only last century when the National Institute of Standards and Technology was started and how recent is the USNO atomic clock? How is it then that the latest iteration of everything i momentarily fouled up daylight savings time?
Time and time again , the best place to find timely facts is via government information.
October 24th, 2013 · No Comments
As librarians we should always quiz the questioner to find out what is really wanted. For instance, “what is the geographic center of the U.S.?” Simple question and the easiest answer is to hand over the little USGS pamphlet Geographic Centers of the United States which succinctly verifies what we librarians always try to make clear…
“There is no generally accepted definition of geographic center, and no completely satisfactory method for determining it. Because of this, there may be as many geographic centers of a state or country as there are definitions of the term. The geographic center of an area may be defined as the center of gravity of the surface, or that point on which the surface of the area would balance if it were a plane of uniform thickness.”
…there are no simple answers.
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October 8th, 2013 · No Comments
This is your chance to add feedback regarding the effects of government closure. The Missouri Regional FDLP librarian has constructed this quick questionnaire. How bad is it… stay tuned.
September 27th, 2013 · No Comments
Digital damage is a constant fear among Luddites who disdain the digital future. And as with all iconoclastic zealots there is more-often-than-not some truth to their fears. For example the Library of Congress digital preservation folk have this little blog post on “Bits Breaking Bad”.
September 17th, 2013 · No Comments
September 5th, 2013 · No Comments
In 2004 Thomas Frank wrote the popular book What’s the Matter with Kansas that attempted to explain why folks vote against their own self-interest. It is now official that About 1 in 5 Households Experience Hardships in Meeting Basic Needs according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation. Coincidentally this was released the same day that the NYT had a front page (paper edition!!!) story on the “food stamps” debate. There’s an interesting quote that Mr. Frank would appreciate; a food stamp recipient says too many “mooch off the system.”
August 29th, 2013 · No Comments
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis just keeps adding more and more data sets to the FRED economic database. According to librarian Katrina Stierholz there are now 148,000 series from 59 sources.