PATRIOT Watch: six more months of winter

The sunsetting provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act have been extended for another six months to give senators time to research and debate what checks and balances to put into the USA PATRIOT Act before its complete renewal. This is a hard fought compromise, and it appears that President Bush will not veto it, even though he’s not too pleased.

update: I spoke too soon. The six month extension was what the Senate had passed, and was proposing. The two houses finally agreed on a five week extension.

update re: ILL/Mao/DHS

Two stories in Southcoast Today [also in print in the Standard Times] following up on the Homeland Security/ILL report from yesterday. ‘Little Red Book’ story gets wide publicity , an article reporting on the publicity and with several statements from additional folks involved, most notably Homeland Security officials calling the scenario described “unlikely”. Also UMass Dartmouth statement on “Little Red Book” denying that they passed on any confidential information to agents or anyone else. [thanks aaron]

hi – 20dec

Hi. Anyone who reads this site at its web address instead of via an RSS reader will notice that the default stylesheet has changed. I modified a freely available theme because I wanted something with different levels of navigation. Thanks to another freely available plug-in you can choose the way you would like this site to appear to you. Just check the list of options under the Themes heading in the sidebar. If you’re interested in the other modifications I’ve made and plug-ins I’m using, feel free to check out this page about WordPress on Feel free to pick the stylesheet you like the best, or if there isn’t one that does what you want, let me know.

In other fancy design news, you’ve already seen it but I thought I would show it off: Michael’s Tame the Web blog has broken out of its default stylesheet thanks to the help of the Movable Type Style Generator and some little extra haxies, including the listing on the righthand column of the ipod blog and the custom sidebars on a few other pages. We’re still bringing the old URLs into line with the new ones and a few other things, but overall I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

legal: don’t sell library property on eBay

This post could also be titled “why I had to dig 13 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary out of the dumpster instead of just getting them handed to me by the librarian who tipped me to their location” (it’s true!) In short, you can’t get rid of government property — including library books in some cases — any way you want, the method of disposal has to be approved. This is why some books wind up in the dumpster instead of the book sale. While it’s clear why this law exists, it has some weird side effects when enforced in this way. I’d like to apologize to Adam Romanik, it was a good thing you did, you shouldn’t have been treated this way.