Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hey, everyone, it's Tuesday again, and time for another check-in with yours truly.

Now I know I was pretty hard on Ray LaHood for opposing the Online Freedom of Speech act (H.R. 1606) last week, and I'm not going to apologize for telling the good Congressman that I think he made a very bad move in voting against the resolution. As much as I may criticize, I will also praise as well. In a State-Journal Register article dated October 28, 2005 ("Congress refuses to stop base closings / BRAC's changes to take effect Nov. 8," article is not available online for free viewing) we see that Congressman LaHood took further action to prevent the loss of the 183rd Fighter Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard. It was ultimately unsuccessful, but this is the reason why we send our representatives to Congress: to fight every battle for our local interests. He may not have won, but Mr. LaHood does deserve praise for doing what was right in this case.

If you do wish to read the article online, you'll need to sign up with NewsLibrary. You can do that through the State Journal-Register website's Archive page by searching for the article. Between NewsLibrary and Lexis-Nexis, I'm very tempted to subscribe for the archives alone.

This brings up another question: when dealing with articles that aren't avilable freely online (i.e., can only be accessed via a paid subscription or a login) what should bloggers do to provide that article for readers? Should we refer to the article with attributions in a style similar to academic papers (MLA, APA, Chicago/Turabian styles) and a link to the article as a sort of "internet footnote," should we reprint it in full with attribution and a link to the source document, or should we provide only the link to the source document? What will make the articles most accessible to the readers while ensuring that full attributions and intellectual property rights are respected? The historian aspect of my personality wants to go with the first idea, but the "hold people accountable for their words" populist aspect wants to go with the second.

Does anyone care to debate the merits and flaws of the above choices with me? I'd like to ensure that credit is given where due, and that readers have access to what people say and write. E-mail me with your comments, as I want to do a post on this. Put "Blog Source Attribution and Credit" for your subject title, and let me know if you'd like your name used on the chance that I use your comments. If you have a blog, I'll use your nom de blog and URL if you'd prefer that.

Next item: SIUC History Professor Jonathan Bean is raising funds to pay speaking fees for an appearance by Ward Connerly, a black man known and demonized for his conservative views on racial colorblindness in government programs and affirmative action. Dr. Bean has been kind enough to provide friendly correspondence to this blog (as well as career advice for wannabe history profs such as myself), and I'd like to return the favor by helping him raise money for this speaking engagement. Ladies and gentlemen, helping pay for Ward Connerly to speak at universities will counter racial agitators like Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado. I'm going to put something together later this evening for donation information once I get access to the info I have at home.

If anything, think of it like this: you're supporting Ward to counteract Ward.

I wonder what Hugh Beaumont would say?

To any readers my age (early 30s, thankyouverymuch) or younger: please tell me you get that reference. PLEASE TELL ME YOU GET THAT. Anyone older should get the reference.

Judy Baar-Topinka is running for governor, according to WLS radio. Ron Gidwitz so far has been the only other person to throw his hat in the ring officially for the Republican nomination, so the pool of candidates is still rather small. Between the federal probes of Governor Blagojevich's hiring practices and George Ryan's current federal trial, will our state treasurer be able to run on a record of government experience? It seems that the executive branch of the state government is rather susceptible to corruption. That will be a very uphill battle for Mrs. Topinka should she commit to candidacy.

So in summary: Ray LaHood is still worthy of praise in most areas of public policy, attributing sources online is a headache, please donate your hard-earned cash to get a conservative speaker on the SIUC campus once again, I'm older than I look or act, and Judy Baar-Topinka is going to need to distance herself from both previous Democrat and Republican administrations to seem viable.

I'll post again this week, I'm pretty sure of that. Until then, take care!

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