Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Library of Congress American Memory Collection recently added an oral history collection featuring interviews with 20th century U.S. Diplomats. Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training focuses on post-WWII diplomacy but does include some earlier material. Transcripts were donated by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training and include 1301 interviews to date. Additional content will be added.

Friday, February 23, 2007

HIV Testing

Last September, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that HIV testing be incorporated into routine health checks. The City of Houston runs a mobile testing center that offers low-cost (and sometimes free) HIV testing at areas throughout the city. Visit their website for details on times and locations.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Government Information and Native Americans

There are an incredible number of government information resources concerning Native Americans available online. The Native American Documents Project at California State University, San Marcos makes a number of historically significant government publications available. In addition, the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School put online all government statutes and treaties concerning Native American Tribes . A project at Oklahoma State University makes the same information available in a different interface. The 1941 GPO publication Handbook of Federal Indian Law is available online here.

The National Museum of the American Indian always has online exhibitions very much worth visiting. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution has a wonderful site, American Indian History and Culture, which documents Native American collections in the Institution's collections.

In terms of current policy, the EPA maintains the American Indian Environmental Office, which handles environmental issues on Indian lands. The U.S. Census Bureau has a webpage devoted to statistical information on American Indian and Alaska Native Populations. Other links of interest include the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, The Department of Justice's Office of Tribal Justice, and HUD's Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). For the time being, the website of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is offline.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New JFK Video

If you were alive on November 22, 1963, chances are you will be able to pinpoint exactly where you were and what you were thinking when you received the news of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. The family of George Jefferies has donated to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza a newly discovered home movie of the Kennedy motorcade seconds before the President was shot.

To learn more about President Kennedy's legacy, access the
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum site. The museum links historical documents that reveal the policies, life, and times of our thirty-fifth president. Access the multimedia White House Diary (under Historical Resources) to experience the day-to-day routine and momentous events of his presidency.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Slate on Google Patent Search

To those that missed it, a few weeks ago Slate ran a fun and interesting article on the newly released Google patents search. While noting his amazement at the sheer amount of information contained in online patents databases (both through google and the USPTO), the author questions both the efficacy of google's search system and the usefulness of the patent system in general.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Military Command for Africa

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the Pentagon is creating a new unified military command (AFRICOM) for all of Africa (except for Egypt which remains under the Central Command). According to Ryan Henry, Principal Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, “This command will focus on some efforts to reduce conflict, to improve the security environment, to defeat or preclude the development of terrorists or terrorist networks, and support in crisis response.” According to NPR, Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller will oversee the command which is due to be in full operation by the end of fiscal year 2008.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Have Passport, Will Travel

According to the U.S. Department of State, as of January 23, 2007, all persons (including U.S. citizens) traveling by air to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Panama, and the Caribbean must now display a valid passport or one of the following substitutes: an Air NEXUS card, a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, a U.S.Permanent Resident Card, or an asylee or refugee document. However, land and sea travelers are exempt until at least January 2008, and passports are not required for air travel to or from U.S. territories including Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For information about obtaining or renewing a passport (U.S. citizens), access the State Department's passport page or call toll free 1-877-4USA-PPT or TDD/TYY: 1-888-874-7793.

Monday, February 05, 2007

National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq

The DNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) has posted an unclassified copy (including key judgments) of the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq entitled "Prospects for Iraq's Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead." The DNI has also made available the unofficial transcript of the nomination hearing for Mike McConnell to be the next Director of National Intelligence.

President's Budget for FY 2008

The President's Budget of the United States for FY 2008 was sent to Congress on Friday. The total budget requested equals approximately $2.9 trillion, including $716.5 billion for defense. Use the Library of Congress Thomas database to view the status of appropriations measures back to 1998.

For information about the budget process see:

Budget of the United States: About

Searching guide from GPO Access
Wikipedia article on the United States budget process
A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process from the GAO (500 pages!)
The Budget Process from the House Committee on Rules

Friday, February 02, 2007

Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on global warming yesterday. This report, the Summary for Policymakers of the first volume of “Climate Change 2007”, addresses the natural and human drivers of climate change and states that:

"Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years. The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture."