Thursday, February 03, 2005


Thank you for your feedback, everyone! I was easily swayed and because I am such a yarn whore, I went ahead and ordered the yarn kits from Ram Wools. For anyone interested, they are available on this page and are the Maude tank and Maude shrug. You have to buy the Mission Falls in Living Color book separately.

I have alwways found Ram Wools to be a good company to order from, and their customer service is excellent, if anyone wondered. And thanks for the tip that the Mission Falls cotton is no longer being made, it pushed my decision over the top.

I still can't find the camera, so still no pictures of the cashmere cable scarf.

Today, I'm going to toss some politics into the mix, which I rarely do, but I'll do so today because it involves my profession.

My very first archives professor in library school at The University of Michigan, Bob Warner, was the National Archivist under Presidents Carter and Reagan. He had been responsible for the separation of the National Archives from the General Services Administration and the supposed de-politicization of the position of National Archivist by establishing it as one which was a lifetime Presidential appointment, so that politics was not supposed to play a role in who the National Archivist was.

This, of course, was not true in the case of Don Wilson, who made some very poor archival decisions and quit at the end of George H.W. Bush's administration to run the Bush Presidential Library (which is part of the National Archives). Clinton then appointed John Carlin, the governor of Kansas, who had a B.S. in dairy farming and had been helpful in the Clinton campaign, to be National Archivist. Background in history or archives? No. But he hasn't been bad, despite it being a political appointment.

And then George W. Bush stepped in and tried to get rid of Carlin (despite Carlin's having received a LIFETIME APPOINTMENT) and make his own political appointment. And now I'm just depressed. Even my innocuous little profession can't be left alone.

The following appears in the January 26, 2005 Wichita Eagle (you can read it here) as well:

Carlin is still archivist; secrecy fight goes on

History News Service

On Inauguration Day, the classified papers of former President George H.W. Bush became eligible for release -- as the law specifies, 12 years after he left office. Overseeing the release of those papers is the responsibility of the archivist of the United States, John Carlin, the former Democratic governor of Kansas appointed in 1995 by President Clinton. But President George W. Bush nominated a new archivist last May, historian Allen Weinstein. Weinstein is author of two books on Soviet espionage in the United States and former head of the Center for Democracy in Washington, D.C.

But the Weinstein nomination ran into trouble in the Senate after almost two dozen organizations of historians and archivists expressed concern. So Carlin remains archivist, in charge of release of the first wave of the first Bush's presidential papers. The new Senate will take up the Weinstein nomination again, probably in a month or two.

Congress tried to make the office nonpolitical by specifying in a 1984 law that the term of the archivist was indefinite. Under the law, archivists can serve as long as they want; if the president wants to replace one, the president must show cause. Bush did not do that when he moved to replace Carlin with Weinstein.

Weinstein personifies many of the problems of secrecy in Washington today: His record on access to documents is bad. He has refused to release to other scholars his interviews and his copies of Soviet espionage documents.

Secrecy is an issue now because, in 2001, President Bush issued a new executive order governing presidential records. Now the president has the right to veto the release of presidential papers ordered by the National Archives under the 12-year rule, even if they have passed the declassification review. Former presidents have also been given the right to veto release of documents, as do the family and heirs of former presidents. Weinstein told the Senate committee that, if confirmed, he would go to court to defend the Bush order on withholding presidential papers.

In the fight at the National Archives between democracy and secrecy, right now secrecy is winning.

So, in order to cheer myself (and everyone else) up, I shall end with this link for your viewing and listening pleasure.


Blogger Lauren said...

thanks a lot for putting this article up. It will be a perfect topic of discussion in my archives class next week. if you were at michigan, you probably know my instructor this semester... Wallace?

Have you seen the Librarian/Archivist Knitter webring? I have it on my sidebar--it would be great if you joined! There are a lot of us :)

10:44 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Yay! Another new member!! I'm so happy you joined the archivist/librarian/knitter ring. Now I'm going to have to read your entire site archives.

One thing, when you have a second: in the code for the ring, please change the links for "Join" and "Next" so that "Vidardottir" is replaced with "heidijane" - thank you!


4:53 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home