ODDS AND ENDS : ISSUE 111, SEPTEMBER 2005

A Collection of Web Sites of Possible Interest to Government Documents Librarians

Table of Contents

"10th Planet" Discovered
Africa to Atlantic: Dust to Dust
American Civil War Homepage
America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2005
The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II : A Collection of Primary Sources
Be Your Own Boss: Tools for Starting and Expanding Your Michigan Business
Bolton Nomination Comes to a Close
Broken Arrows: Nuclear Weapons Accidents
The Buccaneers of America
A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974
to Request Government Records
Climate of 2005: Summary of Hurricane Katrina
College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases
Congressional Directory, 2005-2006 (109th Congress)
CQ Press In Context
Federal Depository Library PURL Referral Report Available
The Future of the Supreme Court
The Government Domain : GPO Access and THOMAS for Legislative Research
Government Information in Spanish (UNLV)
Government Information in Spanish (St. Mary's University)
Guide to Health Care Quality: How To Know It When You See It
Hispanic Americans In Congress
The History Explorer
Hurricane Katrina : What the Federal Government is Doing
The Inequality Predicament : Report on the World Social Situation (UN)
International Affairs: Information on U.S. Agencies’ Efforts to Address Islamic Extremism
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
Islam: A Primer
Islamist Extremism in Europe
J-Track Satellite Tracking
Lowrider: An American Cultural Tradition
Lyndon B. Johnson Oral History Project Now Online
MEAP Grade 11 Social Studies Assessment Model
Media Interaction with the Public in Emergency Situations : Four Case Studies
Methresources.gov
Michigan Adventure! Discover Our State Symbols!
Michigan Authors & Illustrators Database Changes URL
Michigan Leadership Development Program Seeking Winter 2005 Interns
Michigan's Mercury Electric Utility Workgroup Final Report
National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (Third)
Nation's Report Card: 2004 Long-Term Assessment Results
North Korea and the United States:
Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations
Nosotros: Hispanos en los Estados Unidos
Our Tottering Confirmation Process
Overweight and Obesity
Progress of the World's Women 2005 : Women, Work, and Poverty (UN)
Report on the Status of 9/11 Commission Recommendations
Review of the Hay Group Report's Projected Savings from a Statewide Plan, Sept. 6, 2005
School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Widely Available and Generate Substantial Revenues for Schools
Secrecy Report Card 2005 : Quantitative Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government
Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974
Security and Stability in Iraq : Report to Congress
The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball
Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15-44 Years of Age, United States, 2002
State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress
Taking America To Lunch
Thimerosal in Vaccines
Tool Kit for Hispanic Families : Resources to Help Children Succeed in School
Trafficking in Persons Report, 2005
United States Mission to the United Nations
Volcker Report on the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal
We the People: Blacks in the United States
We the People of More Than One Race in the United States
We the People: Pacific Islanders in the United States
Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants
What Is a Recess Appointment?
World Health Report 2005 – Make Every Mother and Child Count
World Summit Outcome, 2005 (UN)

Google
WWW http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/red_tape/

"10th Planet" Discovered
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/29jul_planetx.htm
Article about the July 2005 discovery of "a new planet in the outer solar system. ... The planet, which hasn't been officially named yet ... [is located] more or less in the Kuiper Belt, a dark realm beyond Neptune where thousands of small icy bodies orbit the sun." Includes photos, an artist's concept of the planet, and audio of the story. From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
(Last checked 08/15/05)

Africa to Atlantic: Dust to Dust
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/feature/2004/0116dust.html
A giant dust storm blowing sand from the Sahara all the way to Florida was in the news recently. Here's an article about such phenomenon from Feb. 10, 2004. According to the article, "the planet's deserts kick up literally millions of tons of dust, and winds send it flying to far-flung destinations where it clogs our lungs, changes soil chemistry, deposits minerals in bodies of water," and cause other environmental damage. The web site includes a link to images of recent storms, such as the storm in Iraq in August 2005, and links to related sites. Courtesy of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet : New This Week, August 11, 2005.
(Last checked 08/15/05)

American Civil War Homepage
http://cwar.nps.gov/civilwar/
"Welcome to the official National Park Service Civil War Web Site. The approaching Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War (2011-2015) offers the current generation of Americans a most important opportunity to know, discuss, and commemorate this country's greatest national crisis, while at the same time exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century." This Website acts as an index to the many documents, articles and photos that are held by the NPS, many of which you can view online. Source: El Dorado County Library What's Hot on the Internet, Sept. 26, 2005.
(Last checked 09/27/05)

America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2005
http://www.childstats.gov/amchildren05/index.asp
Previous reports
America's Children (186 pp.) (NCJ 210533) includes 9 contextual measures that describe the changing population, family, and environmental context in which children are living, and 25 indicators that depict the well-being of children in the areas of economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education.
(Last checked 07/17/06)

The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II : A Collection of Primary Sources
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/index.htm
In timely fashion, the National Security Archive has released another of one of its well-devised electronic briefing books for consideration by the general public. This particular book is edited by William Burr and contains 77 declassified US government documents on the atomic bomb and the end of the war in the Pacific theater of operations. As the site notes, "Interested readers can see for themselves the crucial source material that scholars have used to shape narrative accounts of the historical developments and to frame their arguments about the questions that have provoked controversy over the years." As with previous electronic briefing books, each document is complemented by a brief statement of its importance and general relevance to this overall theme. Additionally, there are notes that contain detailed bibliographic information of external sources used to expand on the details for each document. Source: Scout Report, August 12, 2005.
(Last checked 08/15/05)

Be Your Own Boss
Tools for Starting and Expanding Your Michigan Business
http://www.michigan.gov/beyourownboss
Michigan has long been home to people who had a dream and then realized that dream by starting and growing not only their own businesses but whole new industries. Many of Michigan's biggest businesses started out as just a single person with a great idea and a strong work ethic. There are many public and private resources available to help you every step of the way. This website is designed to link you to the resources and assistance you need to become a key factor in Michigan's economic growth.
(Last checked 08/26/050

Bolton Nomination Comes to a Close
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4586094&sourceCode=gaw
Compilation of stories about the "contentious nomination process" that culminated in the August 2005 recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Stories go back to March 2005 when President Bush nominated Undersecretary of State John Bolton for the position. From National Public Radio (NPR). Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
(Last checked 08/15/05)

Broken Arrows: Nuclear Weapons Accidents
http://www.atomicarchive.com/Almanac/Brokenarrows.shtml
Many people know about July 16, August 6, and August 9th, the dates of the first three atomic blasts by the U.S. Fewer know that since 1950, there have been 32 nuclear weapon accidents, known as "Broken Arrows." A Broken Arrow is defined as an unexpected event involving nuclear weapons that result in the accidental launching, firing, detonating, theft or loss of the weapon. To date, six nuclear weapons have been lost and never recovered. Source: Atomic Archives. It makes you wonder. It also makes you think of a John Travolta movie!
(Last checked 08/15/05)

The Buccaneers of America
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/kislak/kislak-interactive.html#
Explore The Buccaneers of America interactive web page with a 3D digital model to simulate turning the pages of a real book. The Page By Page Flash Presentation requires Macromedia Flash Player. Part of an Online Exhibition celebrating the donation of the Jay I. Kislak Collection on the Cultures and History of the Americas to the Library of Congress.
(Last checked 08/15/05)

A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974
to Request Government Records
http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/citizen.pdf
Latest version (109th Congress) of the handbook used by the public to learn how to request government records from agencies under provisions of FOIA and the Privacy Act. From the House Committee on Government Reform. September 20, 2005. U.S. House Report 109-226. 85pp.
(Last checked 08/27/05)

Climate of 2005: Summary of Hurricane Katrina
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/katrina.html
Summarizes the conditions which created the storm and its impact on the coast. Also compares Katrina to other major hurricanes and describes cyclical factors that influence the number and intensity of such storms. From the National Climatic Data Center.
(Last checked 08/27/05)

College Textbooks: Enhanced Offerings Appear to Drive Recent Price Increases
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05806.pdf
U.S. Government Accountability Office. July 2005. 51pp.
(Last checked 09/01/05)

Congressional Directory, 2005-2006 (109th Congress)
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cdirectory/ Via GPO Access
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cdirectory/browse.html : Browseable version
Prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), the Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress. It includes:

  • Short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district.
  • Committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers for members of Congress.
  • Lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.

  • (Last checked 09/27/05)

    CQ Press In Context
    http://cqpress.com/incontext/
    Here in DC and across most of the country the summer heat is at its height, and so is the buzz over Supreme Court issues. All eyes are fixed on the Congressional battle brewing over President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and speculation continues over Chief Justice Rhenquist's health and possible retirement. CQ Press will make this web page available free to the public. Source: CQ Special Offer, August 12, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Federal Depository Library PURL Referral Report Available
    http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/coll-dev/referrals/
    So how well does your library do in linking to GPO purls?
    (Last checked 08/31/05)

    The Future of the Supreme Court
    http://cqpress.com/incontext/
    Here in DC and across most of the country the summer heat is at its height, and so is the buzz over Supreme Court issues. All eyes are fixed on the Congressional battle brewing over President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and speculation continues over Chief Justice Rhenquist's health and possible retirement. CQ Press in Context is available on the Web at http://cqpress.com/incontext/. Enjoy free access until CQ releases a new topic. Source: CQ Special Offer, August 12, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    The Government Domain : GPO Access and THOMAS for Legislative Research
    http://www.llrx.com/columns/govdomain6.htm
    GPO Access and THOMAS are essential congressional research systems sponsored by the legislative branch of the U.S. government. Both are available online for free. GPO Access and THOMAS each take a different approach to legislative information and most researchers need to use both. The question is not “which is better” but rather “which is better for the task at hand?” Peggy Garvin, LLRX, June 23, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/26/05)

    Government Information in Spanish
    Informacion Gubernamental en Espanol
    http://www.library.unlv.edu/govpub/spanishgovlinks.html
    A set of links maintained by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
    (Last checked 08/10/05)

    Government Information in Spanish
    http://library.stmarytx.edu/acadlib/doc/spannew.htm
    Another set of links maintained by Kathy Amen, Government Information Librarian, St. Mary's University Blume Library San Antonio, Texas.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Guide to Health Care Quality: How To Know It When You See It
    http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/guidetoq/guidetoq.pdf
    Offers tips on how to improve your chances to obtain quality health care. From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Hispanic Americans In Congress
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/congress/contents.html
    The origin of this site is a print publication prepared under the direction of the Government Printing Office in 1995, Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995. Thus, the table of contents includes individual pages for Members who served (and continue to serve) within that timeframe. For Members who began serving in the U.S. Congress after 1995, the lists by geographical location and in chronological order are an excellent resource.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    The History Explorer
    http://americanhistory.si.edu/explorer/index.cfm
    The National Museum of American History (NMAH) has created this interactive map featuring stories from their "exhibits, collections and programs." By clicking on a timeline map, visitors can trace history from an early 5th century B.C. Mayan Mask all the way to a 1999 "Locomotive Switch" exhibit from the Museum's collection. Source: El Dorado County Library What's New On the Internet, Sept. 26, 2005.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Hurricane Katrina : What the Federal Government is Doing
    http://www.dhs.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/katrina.htm
    President Bush declared major disasters for areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. The Department of Homeland Security is actively managing federal assistance to these affected communities to speed response and save lives.
    (Last checked 09/09/05)

    The Inequality Predicament : Report on the World Social Situation
    http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/rwss/media%2005/cd-docs/fullreport05.htm
    The global commitment to overcoming inequality, or redressing the imbalance between the wealthy and the poor, as clearly outlined at the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen and endorsed in the United Nations Millenium Declaration, is fading. Eighty per cent of the world's gross domestic product belongs to the 1 billion people living in the developed world; the remaining 20 per cent is shared by the 5 billion people living in developing countries. Failure to address this inequality predicament will ensure that social justice and better living conditions for all people remain elusive, and that communities, countries and regions remain vulnerable to social, political and economic upheaval. Courtesy of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    International Affairs: Information on U.S. Agencies’ Efforts to Address Islamic Extremism
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05852.pdf
    Examines what U.S. agencies are doing to prevent the spread of Islamic extremist movements, what is known about support and funding for such extremist organizations by Saudi Arabian sources, and what the government of Saudi Arabia is doing to counter Islamic extremism. From the Government Accountability Office.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
    http://icasualties.org/
    Information about military casualties in Iraq, "scrupulously culled from government sources and cross-checked against other existing lists." Find statistics about fatalities and injuries for United States and United Kingdom military personnel, contractors, and Iraqis. Includes a discussion of methodology, links to sources of information, and an RSS feed for announcements of new fatalities. Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Islam: A Primer
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21432.pdf
    Text of the February 19, 2003, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress about this religion, which teaches that "Allah selected Muhammad ... as the last of the prophets." Includes a brief historical background, tenets of Islam, jihad, the status of women, and other aspects of Islam. From the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet : New This Week, August 11, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Islamist Extremism in Europe
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RS22211.pdf
    "Although the vast majority of Muslims in Europe are not involved in radical activities, Islamist extremists and vocal fringe communities that advocate terrorism exist and reportedly have provided cover for terrorist cells. Germany and Spain were identified as key logistical and planning bases for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The March 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid have been attributed to an Al Qaeda-inspired group of North Africans. And UK authorities suspect four young British nationals with possible Al Qaeda ties of carrying out the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks on London. This report provides an overview of Islamist extremism in Europe, possible terrorist links, European responses, and implications for the United States. It will be updated as needed." Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists). Courtesy of Resource Shelf's DocuTicker, August 11, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    J-Track Satellite Tracking
    http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/JTrack/
    NASA "created J-Track so you could quickly and easily keep track of your favorite orbiting objects. ... Select the category of satellites you are interested in ... or if you are really adventurous, try J-Track 3D." Types of objects include spacecraft (such as the Space Shuttle, Mir, and Hubble), and weather, search and rescue, and amateur radio satellites. From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Lowrider: An American Cultural Tradition
    http://latino.si.edu/virtualgallery/Lowrider/Lowrider.htm
    This online exhibition tells the story of lowriding as a unique and artistic cultural expression. It features cars as canvas, art inspired by cars, poetry, music, and an interactive section on car mechanics. The exhibition tells the story of lowriding in Los Angeles and in New Mexico and makes reference to the wide spread phenomenon of lowriding. Aside from the dynamic images presented in the exhibition,feature include scholarly essays, a glossary, a reference section, and educational activities. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Center for Latino Initiatives.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Lyndon B. Johnson Oral History Project Now Online
    http://www.millercenter.virginia.edu/scripps/diglibrary/oralhistory/ohp_display.php?project=1&check=0
    The Scripps Library at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia has made their “Lyndon B. Johnson Oral History” project available online. A collection of over 1,150 interview transcripts from the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, may be viewed online in .pdf format. Each interview is fully searchable using the “binocular” button in Adobe Acrobat.
    (Last checked 09/15/05)

    Media Interaction with the Public in Emergency Situations : Four Case Studies
    http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/pdf-files/Media_Interaction.pdf
    Provides an analysis of media coverage of four major emergency situations in the United States and the impact of that coverage on the public. The situations analyzed are the Three Mile Island nuclear accident (1979), the Los Angeles riots (1992), the World Trade Center bombing (1993), and the Oklahoma City bombing (1995). Each study consists of a chronology of events followed by a discussion of the interactions of the media and the public in that particular situation. Emphasis is upon the initial hours or days of each event. Print and television coverage was analyzed in each study; radio coverage was analyzed in one instance. The conclusion discusses several themes that emerge from a comparison of the role of the media in these emergencies. LaVerle Berry et al. A report prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. August 1999. 70pp.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Methresources.gov
    http://www.methresources.gov/
    In recent years, many communities across the country have become all-too familiar with the public health and safety consequences of methamphetamine, as the drug’s production and abuse has migrated eastwards from the western United States. Methamphetamine presents unique challenges to state and local law enforcement professionals, who are often exposed to toxic and highly volatile lab sites, as well as the violent and dangerous behaviors of those who use the drug. Methamphetamine also burdens social service agencies, which must address the physiological and psychological affects on a generation of drug endangered children who have been traumatized and victimized through exposure to toxic labs, abuse, and neglect by their meth-involved adult caregivers.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Michigan Adventure! Discover Our State Symbols!
    http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-15481-67748--,00.html
    The Detroit Free Press first published Michigan Adventure! Discover Our State Symbols during Michigan Week 2002. Follow the Yak as he rides a farm wagon to an apple blossom-filled orchard, goes fly-fishing for brook trout and finds out how nature made Petoskey stones. The Michigan Historical Center is delighted to share these stories with you, thanks to the Free Press. They are PDF files (Adobe® Acrobat® Reader required).
    (Last checked 08/26/05)

    Michigan Authors & Illustrators Database Changes URL
    http://web.mel.org/miai/miai.html
    Michigan Authors and Illustrators (MIAI) is a database of information on authors and illustrators born in Michigan, who live in Michigan, or who have written books about or set in Michigan. Each entry includes biographical information, lists of works by the person and lists of works about the person. More complete information is available for those authors and illustrators who provide information to us. The database is a collaboration of the Michigan Association of Media in Education (MAME), the Library of Michigan (LM) and the Michigan Center for the Book (MCFB). The earlier https address will still work, but the above address is preferred. Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Source: Karren Reish, Library of Michigan, Michlib-L, August 8, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP)
    Grade 11 Social Studies Assessment Model
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/SS-Model-11_96955_7.pdf
    Although published back in March 1998, this 83-page manual provides instructions and sample questions for Michigan social science teachers.
    (Last checked 07/25/05)

    Michigan Leadership Development Program Seeking Winter 2005 Interns
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mldp_info_60488_7.pdf
    The Michigan Leadership Development Program (MLDP), initiated in 2003 by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, is designed to seek out and nurture the young people who will one day lead our state. Participants obtain a broad overview of how state government operates. Meaningful, hands-on work experience, assignment to special projects, direct interaction with experienced personnel and senior staffers, as well as service activities within local Michigan communities (e.g., Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, elementary school literacy program volunteering) are all components of the program. In short, the MLDP provides a younger generation with invaluable governmental experience, personal development and the immense rewards of public service.
    (Last checked 07/27/05)

    Michigan's Mercury Electric Utility Workgroup Final Report
    On Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants
    http://www.deq.state.mi.us/documents/deq-aqd-air-aqe-mercury-report.pdf
    The final report from the Mercury Electric Utility Workgroup has been finalized and is available on the Department of Environmental Quality’s Web site. The report contains information on the history and sources of Mercury, its impact on the environment, and recommendations for Mercury reductions from coal-fired power plants in Michigan. The workgroup was formed by the DEQ at the request of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to study the issue of Mercury emissions in our state. DEQ Director Steven E. Chester will now review the final report and develop the DEQ’s recommendations on the best course of action to reduce Mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Director Chester will then share his recommendations with Governor Granholm. June 20, 2005. 243pp.
    (Last checked 08/17/05)

    National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
    http://www.cr.nps.gov/NR/feature/hispanic/
    The National Register of Historic Places is pleased to help foster the general public's awareness, understanding, and appreciation for Hispanic culture during National Hispanic Heritage Month. As part of the celebration, this site highlights various publications, properties listed in the National Register, and National Parks that deal directly with the ingenuity, creativity, cultural, and political experiences of Hispanic Americans. Join the National Register of Historic Places in recognizing and exploring the achievements of a people that have contributed so much to American culture.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
    http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/
    Provides an ongoing assessment of the U.S. population's exposure to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring. Biomonitoring is the assessment of human exposure to chemicals by measuring the chemicals or their metabolites in human specimens such as blood or urine. According to the 3rd report released on July 21st, Americans have lower levels of lead, secondhand-smoke by products, and other poentially dangerous substances in their boides than they did a decade ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Probable causes include removing lead from gasoline and restrictions against smoking in public areas.
    (Last checked 07/22/05)

    Nation's Report Card: 2004 Long-Term Assessment Results
    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/
    The Nation's Report Card: 2004 Long-Term Assessment Results has just been released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The report states that 9-year-olds earned their highest scores in both reading and math since the tests were first given in the early 1970s. There were smaller gains by 13-year-olds, but the performance of 17-year-olds remained flat. The report also shows that achievement gaps between white students and black and Hispanic students remain, but have narrowed.
    (Last checked 07/15/05)

    North Korea and the United States: Declassified Documents from the Bush I and Clinton Administrations
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB164/
    "Next week, if all goes according to plan, the United States will resume six-party talks with North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and host nation China on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. The parties are trying to reach agreement on a set of principles to guide negotiations that will lead to the dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear program and the threat it poses of a destabilizing North Korean nuclear weapons arsenal. This will be the fifth round of these talks.... To provide additional background for the upcoming resumption of the 6-Power Talks, the Archive is today posting a collection of documents dating from the first Bush and Clinton administrations that illustrate how the themes, issues and challenges seen in the current talks have echoed through prior policy discussions." Courtesy of the National Security Archive.
    (Last checked 09/01/05)

    Nosotros: Hispanos en los Estados Unidos
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-18sp.pdf
    Part of a series of Census 2000 special reports, presenting data on demographic, social and economic characteristics of specific Hispanic groups. This report also provides a portrait of the Hispanic-origin population as a whole. (English version released last December.) May 2005. 20pp.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Our Tottering Confirmation Process
    http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/light/200205.htm
    Article from 2002 about the development and recent functioning of the process by which U.S. presidents appoint individuals to service in the federal government. Includes basic information about the Senate confirmation process, paperwork and background checks, secret holds, and the "de facto subcabinet composed of non-Senate-confirmed appointees." From the Brookings Institution. Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Overweight and Obesity
    http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/
    During the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older—over 60 million people—are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6–19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight.
    These increasing rates raise concern because of their implications for Americans’ health. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including the following:

  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
    Although one of the national health objectives for the year 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults to less than 15%, current data indicate that the situation is worsening rather than improving. This site provides a variety of information designed to help people understand this serious health issue and the efforts being made to address it.
    (Last checked 08/26/05)

    Progress of the World's Women 2005 : Women, Work, and Poverty
    http://www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php?ProductID=48
    This report marks the fifth anniversary of the UN Millennium Declaration and the tenth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. It argues that unless governments and policymakers pay more attention to employment, and its links to poverty, the campaign to make poverty history will not succeed, and the hope for gender equality will founder on the reality of women’s growing economic insecurity.
    “Progress of the World’s Women 2005: Women, Work and Poverty” makes the case for an increased focus on women’s informal employment as a key pathway to reducing poverty and strengthening women’s economic security. It provides the latest available data on the size and composition of the informal economy and compares national data on average earnings and poverty risk across different segments of the informal and formal workforces in six developing countries and one developed country to show the links between employment, gender and poverty. It looks at the costs and benefits of informal work and their consequences for women’s economic security. Finally, it provides a strategic framework — with good practice examples — for how to promote decent work for women informal workers, and shows why strong organizations of workers in the informal economy are vital to effective policy reforms.
    This report can and should be used as a call to action to help advocates, policy makers, governments and the international community “make poverty history.”
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Report on the Status of 9/11 Commission Recommendations
    Part I: Homeland Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response
    http://www.9-11pdp.org/press/2005-09-14_report.pdf
    Former members of the 9/11 Commission criticized Congress and the executive branch for failing to implement reforms in homeland security that they believe would have saved lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Specifically, Thomas H. Kean criticized Congress for not creating sufficient space on the radio spectrum devoted to first responders and said lawmakers now have an opportunity to do something after emergency workers had trouble communicating with each other in the recovery efforts. September 14, 2005. 11pp.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Review of the Hay Group Report's Projected Savings from a Statewide Plan, Sept. 6, 2005
    http://www.stopthetakeover.net/Alliance_Site/StatwdAnalysisRpt-090105.pdf
    The Minneapolis-based actuarial firm Reden & Anders has completed a comprehensive actuarial analysis of the recent Hay Group report on school employees’ health benefits. Reden & Anders’ comprehensive analysis reveals that most of the projected savings cited by the Hay Group are either “non-existent” or “significantly overstated” and that the Hay Group report significantly understates the size of the contingency reserve fund needed to ensure the fund's solvency. Without an adequate contingency fund, the government-run insurance fund would put the state budget at risk and could cause mid-year assessments on school districts and reductions in school employees’ health benefits. Report was funded by the Michigan Association for Classrooms, Teachers and Support Staff. Sept. 6, 2005 23pp.
    (Last checked 09/19/05)

    School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Widely Available and Generate Substantial Revenues for Schools
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05563.pdf
    Recent increases in child obesity have sparked concerns about competitive foods--foods sold to students at school that are not part of federally reimbursable school meals. The nutritional value of these foods is largely unregulated, and students can often purchase these foods in addition to or instead of school meals. In our April 2004 report on competitive foods (GAO-04-673), we reported that several states had enacted competitive food policies that were more restrictive than federal regulations. However, these policies differed widely in the type and extent of restrictions. In addition, it was unclear how and to what extent states were monitoring compliance with these policies. GAO-05-563 Report to Congressional Requesters. United States Government Accountability Office. August 2005.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Secrecy Report Card 2005
    http://www.openthegovernment.org/otg/SRC2005.pdf
    This report provides some quantitative benchmarks that confirm and document the rise in official secrecy. Some interesting measurments cited in the report range from formal classification (which is at a record high) to the number of federal advisory committee meetings now closed to the public. Courtesy of Rick Blum of OpenTheGovernment.org
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB159/index.htm
    A decision to use nuclear weapons is one of the most politically, militarily, and morally perilous decisions that a U.S. president, or any leader of a nuclear state, can make. Recognizing that nuclear weapons differ from any other weapons because of their immense power and danger, President Lyndon B. Johnson once argued that a decision to use them "would lead us down an uncertain path of blows and counterblows whose outcome none may know." Johnson, like most U.S. presidents, sought strict controls over the weapons to minimize the risk of accidental or unauthorized use. That the use of nuclear weapons could precipitate a world conflagration has made leaders of allied nations, not least those with U.S. nuclear weapons stored on their territory, keenly interested in influencing how U.S. presidents would use them. This is especially but not uniquely true of British prime ministers. Since the early days of the Korean War, when the risk of world war loomed, prime ministers have sought a voice in any nuclear use decisions of U.S. presidents. The high priority of the "special relationship" with the United Kingdom made U.S. presidents responsive to British requests even though they raised significant political difficulties. The initiatives taken by British prime ministers and Washington's need to conciliate the closest of allies are documented in this briefing book on the record of U.K.-U.S. understandings on the nuclear use decision process. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 159 posted July 1, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Security and Stability in Iraq : Report to Congress
    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul2005/d20050721secstab.pdf
    Here are the latest findings from a Congressional mandated report on the progress in Iraq. Delivered to Congress on July 21st, the report states that Iraq's army and police aren't ready to fight a strong and determined insurgency by themselves. However, the elections in January and work on drafting a new constitution show Iraq's continued progress. Never mind that initial sections of the constitution treat women as second-class citizens and discriminate against Israel. No estimates are provided either about when U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq. This Pentagon report is required every 90 days since Congress was not satisfied with the administration claims on progress in Iraq.
    (Last checked 07/22/05)

    The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/invest/seminar.htm
    Here's what the Federal Trade Commission says about these seminars: "Consumers who invest in these "opportunities" frequently find that the pay-off isn’t as promised -- and they can’t recoup the money they spent."
    (Last checked 09/28/05)

    Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15-44 Years of Age, United States, 2002
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad362.pdf
    Described as the most comprehensive national survey of sexual behavior ever released by the federal government. Presents national estimates of measures of sexual behavior, orientation and attraction, relevant to demographic and public health concerns. Received news attention for its report that 50% of teens aged 15-19 have engaged in oral sex. From the National Center for Health Statistics.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL32941.pdf
    According to the Congressional Research Service, despite of the passage of important federal legislation, a host of important state and local homeland security policy issues remain to be addressed. This report reviews these issues, which include unmet emergency responder needs, proposed reduction in appropriations for federal homeland security assistance, an absence of emergency responder equipment standards, development of state and local homeland security strategies, and the limited number of state and local officials with security clearances. Congressional Research Service, June 9, 2005, 15pp. Courtesy of the Federation of Atomic Scientists.
    (Last checked 07/22/05)

    Taking America To Lunch
    http://americanhistory.si.edu/lunchboxes/
    No one loves collecting both the monumental and (seemingly) trivial aspects of American material culture more than the National Museum of American History, which has created this fine online exhibit to pay tribute to that unsung hero of midday, the lunch box. This website is designed to complement an in situ exhibit that is currently on view in the Museum's lower level. On this site, visitors are greeted by photographs of such notables as Shirley Jones, Meadowlark Lemon, and June Lockhart all placing lunch containers into the exhibit during a recent event at the Museum. The site contains four areas documenting the evolution of the common lunch container, ranging from the early days of the common worker's lunch bucket all the way to the more tranquil "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" lunch box of 1974. Source: Scout Report, August 12, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Thimerosal in Vaccines
    http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm
    "Thimerosal is a [mercury-containing] preservative that has been used in some vaccines since the 1930's." Site includes a FAQ discussing topics such as removing thimerosal from vaccines and the potential relationship between autism and thimerosal, information about the toxicity of thimerosal, and tables with thimerosal content of vaccines. From the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet : New This Week, August 11, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Tool Kit for Hispanic Families : Resources to Help Children Succeed in School
    http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/involve/toolkit/index.html
    The U.S. Department of Education is distributing a new Spanish-language guide for Latino parents on how to help their kids excel in school which also discusses the resources available to them as part of the No Child Left Behind program.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    Trafficking in Persons Report, 2005
    http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2005/
    "This fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report, along with the $82 million in anti-trafficking assistance our nation provided to foreign governments and non-government organizations last year, demonstrates our strong commitment to this cause. This year, we included more country analyses as a result of deeper research and a wider range of sources. We also expanded our coverage of labor slavery, especially internal labor trafficking. Forced labor and involuntary servitude are appallingly common, including whole villages working to pay off old debts passed down through generations. Its findings will raise global awareness and spur countries to take effective actions to counter trafficking in persons.
    (Last checked 09/08/05)

    United States Mission to the United Nations
    http://www.un.int/usa/
    "From this building [in New York City] the United States delegation to the United Nations, along with a staff of more than 100 persons, carries out our nation's participation in the world body." The site features a list of U.S. representatives to the U.N., fact sheets about U.S. involvement in the U.N., press releases (back to 1998), and information about U.S. positions on topics such as human rights, international law, and economic and social affairs. Take a look from time to time to track what Bolton is up to. Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    Volcker Report on the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal
    http://www.iic-offp.org/Mgmt_Report.htm
    On September 7, 2005, the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme (IIC) released its final report. The 800-plus page report has provided a better understanding of how the program succeeded in attaining its humanitarian goals, bringing much needed food and medicine to millions of Iraqi civilians, and in helping to "maintain the international effort to deprive Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction." The IIC's findings also make it clear that a range of actors—including the UN Secretariat, UN Security Council, UN agencies, national governments, private companies and individuals—contributed to the program's extensive problems.
    (Last checked 09/21/05)

    We the People: Blacks in the United States
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-25.pdf
    A portrait of the social and economic characteristics of the 36 million African-Americans as of Census 2000. From the Census Bureau. August 2005. 19pp.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    We the People of More Than One Race in the United States
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-22.pdf
    A portrait of the social and economic characteristics of the various Americans who claimed multiple races as of Census 2000. From the Census Bureau. April 2005. 24pp.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    We the People: Pacific Islanders in the United States
    http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/censr-26.pdf
    A portrait of the social and economic characteristics of the Pacific Islanders as of Census 2000. From the Census Bureau. August 2005. 23pp.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

    Welcome to the United States:
    A Guide for New Immigrants
    http://uscis.gov/graphics/citizenship/welcomeguide/index.htm
    This comprehensive guide contains practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, as well as basic civics information that introduces new immigrants to the U.S. system of government. Welcome to the United States also gives new immigrants tips on how to get involved in their new communities, and how to meet their responsibilities and exercise their rights as permanent residents. In addition to English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, and Tagalog, Welcome to the United States will soon be available online in Portuguese, French, and Haitian Creole.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    What Is a Recess Appointment?
    http://slate.msn.com/id/1002994/
    Article from 1999 about the power of a president to fill vacancies that happen during the recess of the Senate (and that will expire at the end of their next session). Includes the citation to the section of the U.S. Constitution permitting this, and explains different types of situations in which the power has been used. From the online magazine Slate. The appointment of Bolton to the United Nations is a recent example. Spotted in Librarians Index to the Internet: News this Week, August 4, 2005.
    (Last checked 08/15/05)

    World Health Report 2005 – Make Every Mother and Child Count
    http://www.who.int/whr/2005/en/index.html
    The World Health Report 2005 – Make Every Mother and Child Count says that this year almost 11 million children under five years of age will die from causes that are largely preventable. Among them are 4 million babies who will not survive the first month of life. At the same time, more than half a million women will die in pregnancy, childbirth or soon after. The report says that reducing this toll in line with the Millennium Development Goals depends largely on every mother and every child having the right to access to health care from pregnancy through childbirth, the neonatal period and childhood. World Health Organization.
    (Last checked 07/15/05)

    World Summit Outcome, 2005
    http://www.un.org/summit2005/documents.html
    Final document of the Millennium Summit at the United Nations, September 14-16, 2005 which condemns terrorism, calls for increased aid to poor countries, proposes an independent committee to monitor U.N. finances to avoid future scandals like the Oil for Food Program in Iraq, and proposes a Human Rights Council to replace the Human Rights Commission. The proposals were referred to the General Assembly for action.
    (Last checked 09/27/05)

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