Monday, January 1, 2007

Politicians Who Piss Me Off #1

In a local city magazine, The Rake, I read this article which has left my blood boiling for two days. Last week, Minneapolis had to close down 3 city libraries because the city council and the mayor could not figure out how to fund the library system. While they could offer a sum that could help the Minneapolis Library system tread water for a year, they consistently refuse to create a budget that allows the Minneapolis Library system flourish.

As the article in The Rake puts it, the politicians are framing the debate as a choice between more cops and more libraries. Obviously, public safety is incredibly important, so bye-bye library. However, one politician, Don Samuels, distills the debate into this statement: "When you are a person at the other end of a gun... the only use for a book is to throw it at them, or block a bullet with it."

Council Member Samuels totally ignores the social effects of having a library system available in an area that can use the extra community and education that a free public library affords. While it may not help to have a book on you when confronted with a gun, surely the presence of books in a child's life can prevent the acquisition of the gun in the first place.