Friday, November 28, 2003

National Election Studies Homepage

The mission of the National Election Studies (NES) is to produce high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation that serve the research needs of social scientists, teachers, students, policy makers and journalists concerned with the theoretical and empirical foundations of mass politics in a democratic society. Central to this mission is the active involvement of the NES research community in all phases of the project from study planning through data analysis." [Read More...]

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Department Launches Student Web Site

(following excerpted from Department of State website,"The U.S. Department of State launched this month, a new web site for elementary, middle and high school students designed to increase understanding of international issues and events and encourage students' interest in Civil Service or Foreign Service careers with the State Department.

High school students assisted with the name, design and content for the website, which contains an interactive timeline of diplomatic history, country maps, photo slideshows, and stories from American children overseas. Younger students will find puzzles and games to teach them about international travel and foreign countries. The site also offers content specifically for parents and educators. Teachers can download foreign policy lesson plans and videos designed for integration into existing teaching curricula. Three lessons cover the Vietnam conflict, the Cuban missile crisis, and the war on terrorism."

Researchers for hire at NARA

The National Archives is assembling a list of independent researchers who would be willing, for a fee, to undertake research assignments at the National Archives. This could become a very useful referral resource for the occasional IRC request that requires onsite archival research at NARA. The project seems to be in a preliminary information gathering phase....there is plenty of information about what the list is intended to be, and how to join it, but nothing yet - that I could find - about how to access the list.

Friday, November 21, 2003 Report Alert, Vol. 3, No 14

Report Alert, Vol. 3, No 14 This page enables you to keep abreast of recent reports, official and non-official. All items are hyperlinked to the full-text documents.

This issue of Report Alert covers the following topics:

Africa � Arms Control/Non-Proliferation � Balkans � Democracy/Human Rights/Religious Freedom � Development � Economy and Trade � Foreign Policy � Global Issues � International Security � Middle East � Terrorism � U.S. Elections

(excerpt) Free Pint Newsletter 149 - Data Protection, Repatriation

Free Pint Newsletter 149 - Data Protection, Repatriation

Tips for returning Fulbrighters, FSOs?

Political Resources on the Net

Political Resources on the Net

A portal providing "Listings of political sites available on the Internet sorted by country, with links to parties, organizations, governments, media and more from all around the world."

Thursday, November 20, 2003

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

A useful - or at least amusing - tool for when you know the word's definition but not the word!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Pew Research Center for People and the Press. November 5, 2003.

This Pew Center poll studying the mood of voters in upcoming national elections suggests that the sense of national unity that followed the Sept. 11 attacks has subsided. The survey finds a rise in political polarity, similar to public sentiment found in the center's 2000 poll. In fact, a year before the presidential election, American voters are once again seeing things largely through partisan eyes. The Republican Party has made significant gains in party affiliation over the past four years, but this remains a country that is almost evenly divided politically ­ yet further apart than ever in its political values.

The Pew Research Center's longitudinal measures of basic political, economic and social values, which date back to 1987, show that political polarization is now as great as it was prior to the 1994 midterm elections that ended four decades of Democratic control in Congress. [pdf format, 152 pages]

Monday, November 17, 2003

Some interesting posts from the Scout Report, 11/14/2003

American Choices: Understanding Foreign Policy Debates

Sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and several other organizations, this intriguing site offers individuals the opportunity to determine (in a general fashion) where they stand on the "fundamental trade-offs facing U.S. policymakers." At its essence, the website asks users 12 questions about their views on foreign policy stances in order to construct a nuanced portrait of their individual foreign policy beliefs. Along with this feature, users can also offer their views on four aspects of America's role in foreign affairs: use of military power, sponsorship of democracy and human rights, efforts to expand the global marketplace, and the level of international cooperation. In this feature, users use a sliding scale to offer their opinions on these four elements through questions like "Should we increase emphasis on diplomatic or military means to secure peace?" The site is rounded out by a selection of links to outside resources, thematically organized into areas that allow online users to engage in political discussions, learn about foreign policy debates, and read commentaries from a broad range of ideological perspectives. [KMG]

American Journeys -- Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement: A Digital Library and Learning Center

With over 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, the American Journeys Digital Library and Learning Center is the result of a collaboration between the U.S. Institute of Museum & Library Services and by private donors. Much of the work was done at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin, and visitors with an interest in digital projects and their creation and management will want to review the section that details how the website was built. Visitors with a limited amount of time will want to peruse the highlights section, which offers a number of noteworthy historical accounts, including the first encounter of Europeans with the Grand Canyon and the arrival of Captain James Cook in Hawaii. The resource section for educators is well-developed and includes suggestions on integrating documents into lesson plans, information on interpreting documents, and addressing sensitive content. As might be expected, the complete contents of the digital library may be searched in any number of ways, including by topic, author name, document type, and by keyword or full text. [KMG]

HomeTownLocator Gazetteer

A number of sites provide easy access to Census information and topographical features, but the HomeTownLocator Gazetteer is certainly one of the easiest to use, and quite a bit of fun as well. On this site, users may begin by browsing physical and cultural features of the United States, arranged by individual state. From each state listing, visitors may learn about various physical and cultural attributes within each county, such as hospitals, bays, airports, oilfield, and post offices. After browsing a list of each type of feature, visitors may elect to view an aerial photograph of the feature and its environs as well. Census 2000 information may be browsed by city, town, village, county, or zip code, which is yet another nice feature of the site. Also, visitors can use the My House feature to obtain a photo of the street they live on and use a distance finder to calculate the distance between two cities, towns, or zip codes. [KMG]

Explore National American Indian Heritage Month

Under the theme Strengthening the Spirit, the National Register of Historic Places (in tandem with the National Park Service) has developed this site to showcase various historic properties listed in the National Register and National Park units that celebrate the achievements of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The site was also produced to draw attention to National American Indian Heritage Month, and to assist educators with the process of incorporating into the curriculum field trips to these places. Some of the featured places on the site include the Campus Center in Alaska, which served as the location of the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in 1971 and the Southwestern Range and Sheep Breeding Laboratory Historic District in New Mexico, which was a part of a New Deal program to improve sheep breeding. Educators will want to look through the Teaching with Historic Places modules available here that profile additional historical landmarks and sites that capture important aspects of American Indian history throughout the country. [KMG]



United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Web-posted November 10, 2003.

In its most recent semiannual unclassified report to Congress on the acquisition of technology relating to weapons of mass destruction, the CIA asserts that "Tehran has been pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program, in violation of its obligations as a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). To bolster its efforts to establish domestic nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities, Iran sought technology that can support fissile material production for a nuclear weapons program." This report also covers the attempts of other countries and of non-state organizations to procure WMD. There are also sections on key suppliers such as Russia, China and North Korea. [html format, 12 printed pages]

Friday, November 14, 2003

The French were right. National Journal, November 7, 2003

The French were right.

By Paul Starobin, National Journal

© National Journal Group Inc.

Friday, Nov. 7, 2003

"Let's just say this at the start, since this is the beginning, not the end, of the discussion about how to grapple with the post-9/11 world (and because it's the grown-up, big-man thing to do): The French were right. Let's say it again: The French -- yes, those "cheese-eatin' surrender monkeys," as their detractors in the United States so pungently called them -- were right."

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Useful election links from Gary Price

From Gary Price's Resource Shelf blog:

Elections--United States

Election 2004 Resource Compilation #1

Election Day 2004 in the United States is less than a year away so it's time to begin building a compilation of useful reference resources. ResourceShelf hopes that these sites/tools/guides will assist you in preparing your own compilations and/or bookmark files. Let's get started with the following 12 entries. Look for a few new entries each week.


1) Direct Links to Calendars and Schedules: 2004 Presidential Candidates


2) Combined Federal/State Disclosure And Election Directory

From the Federal Election Commission. "This Directory has been prepared as a guidebook to locate and identify organizations and individuals at the state and national level who have a responsibility to disclose information on money in politics."


3) 2004 Preliminary Presidential And Congressional Primary Dates-

4) Senate Election Law Guidebook

"The Guidebook compiles federal and state laws relating to the nomination and election of candidates to the United States Senate."


5) List of Websites: 34 Senators whose terms expire in 2005-

6) Established Vendors of Computerized Vote Tabulation Systems-


"This alphabetical list of acronyms, abbreviations, initials, and common names of federal political action committees (PACs) was prepared to help researchers readily identify committees when their full names are not disclosed on campaign finance reports."


8) New Contribution Limits

A handy chart from OpenSecrets.Org


9) Search Political Organization Tax Disclosures (IRS Form 527)


10) Presidential Job Approval Ratings (via the Roper Center)

Compiles approval ratings from 5 polls. Historical info available.


11) Fundrace 2004: Follow the Money

Two parts to this innovative site:

+ Candidate Rankings: "See who leads in grassroots support, who inspires the most devotion and who is backed by the fat cats."

+ Money Maps: "See which Americans are supporting each candidate (by state, county and zip code)."


12) The Use of IT in Politics...

Source: Linux Journal

Penguins for President?

"As we swing into the thick of the 2004 electoral playoffs, it's interesting to see what kinds of platforms are running under the candidates' official campaign websites. Netcraft has a handy feature called "What's that site running?" that lets us see combinations of Web servers and OS platforms. So here's a quick rundown...."

Direct LINK to This ResourceShelf Post

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

FY2004 EADSURLS No. 13

Hate Crime Statistics

United States Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Web-posted November 12, 2003.

When Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, lawmakers mandated the collection of information regarding crimes motivated by a bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or ethnicity/national origin. The Attorney General designated the FBI to satisfy that requirement. With the cooperation and assistance of many local and state law enforcement agencies familiar with the investigation of hate crimes and the collection of related information, the UCR [Unified Crime Reports] Program created a data collection system to comply with the congressional mandate. The Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include bias against disabilities. The FBI started gathering data for the additional bias motivation on January 1, 1997.
A review of the 7,459 single-bias hate crime incidents reported in 2002 showed that 48.8 percent were racially motivated, 19.1 percent were based on a bias against a religious group, 16.7 percent were motivated by a bias against a sexual orientation, 14.8 percent resulted from an ethnicity/national origin bias, and 0.6 percent were based on a disability bias.
Of the 8,832 hate crime offenses reported in 2002, 67.5 percent were crimes against persons, 32.0 percent were crimes against property, and less than 1 percent were crimes against society. Intimidation was the most frequently reported crime against persons at 52.1 percent. The offense of destruction/damage/vandalism, at 83.1 percent, was the most often reported crime against property. [pdf format, 148 pages]

Item# 04AD112 MPP Theme: 12SIB Geo: USA

Pam Dixon.
World Privacy Forum. November 11, 2003.

In a little over a decade in the United States and elsewhere, the business of searching for a job has moved primarily from a process based on mailing or carrying a hard-copy resume to an electronic transmission process, whether in the form of a job-bank registry, an emailed resume, or filling out online forms, or some combination of these or other digitized procedures. According to the author of this new report, “This changed applicant process has, overall, not had a beneficial effect on the job seeker.”
Dixon’s research of the privacy policies in the online employment industry is full of very useful data that job-seekers and web designers should look at. Besides the usual caveats related to the potential threats of identity theft and misuse of personal data, Dixon uncovered some interesting information, such as the following: “Researchers have submitted a Freedom of Information Act request regarding and These two sites are the Federal Government’s official job sites. In the privacy policy posted at these sites, no mention is made that is the government contractor that is operating these sites.”
The Consumer Guide provides dozens of job-search site addresses, along with the privacy policies attached to each.

Report: [pdf format, 82 pages]
Executive Summary: [pdf format, 6 pages]
Consumer Guide: [pdf format, 22 pages]

Item# 04AD113 MPP Theme: 12RLG Geo: Global

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). November 10, 2003.

[Note: The Environmental Investigation Agency is a non-profit NGO based in London and Washington DC committed to investigating and exposing environmental crime. EIA has been actively tracking the global illegal trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS) since the mid 1990s to provide information to the Montreal Protocol and other relevant bodies.]

This report analyzes complex chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) smuggling operations spanning three continents and including Singapore, South Africa, and the United States. It reveals the global nature of the illegal trade and exposes CFC smuggling operations coordinated by Singaporean dealers who seek to deceive US authorities and dump illegal CFCs on the American market.
EIA reveals how Singaporean companies offer to sell CFCs to the U.S., mislead the US Environmental Protection Agency, and engineer elaborate international trading schemes to avoid U.S. enforcement efforts. One scam involves the gold mines of South Africa. As used CFCs are legally permitted to import into the U.S., opportunistic traders claim to extract CFCs from refrigeration equipment required in South Africa's goldmines. However, the CFCs are often not genuine used material at all, but a mixture of used and illegal virgin material, or illegal virgin CFCs that have been deliberately contaminated to give the appearance of used chemicals, which fetch a very high price on the lucrative U.S. market. To facilitate this scam, virgin CFCs are smuggled into South Africa through the neighboring countries. [pdf format, 20 pages]

Item# 04AD114 MPP Theme: 14 Geo: Global

Audley, John
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. November 2003.

When they meet this November in Miami, Florida, the 34 trade ministers of the Western Hemisphere will do whatever they can to keep the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations from running aground. The lack of progress in key trade areas such as market access, agriculture, and investment, as well as competing trade negotiations involving other FTAA members, have turned the negotiation's scheduled 2004 completion date into a daunting finish line.
Audley notes that the regulatory enforcement approach to the trade and environment challenge taken by the United States has often been interpreted by its developing country trading partners as an effort to coerce them into enforcing their own environmental laws, or risk trade sanctions. Agreeing to what they see as new environmental conditions for access to the U.S. market taps into a deeply rooted fear among developing countries that the United States is using environmental laws to protect its markets from foreign competition. It also conjures up ghosts of earlier U.S. efforts to coerce Latin American governments to adopt U.S. policy priorities. This approach may be appropriate for countries like Australia or Singapore, who already enjoy the capacity to develop and implement sound environmental laws. It may also be suitable for governments like Chile, Brazil, and perhaps even Mexico. However, according to the author, “this approach is poisonous for countries with little or no capacity to protect their environment, like those in Central America, the Caribbean, and many other parts of the hemisphere. “

Note: The Spanish-language version cited below forms the first 3 pages of a larger publication on trade and sustainable development.

Note: Contains copyrighted material. [English-language, pdf format, 6 pages] [Spanish-language, pdf format, 3 pages]

Item# 04AD115 MPP Theme: 5O Geo: WHA

Mark Kriko.
Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). November 2003.

The author takes a firm stand on what he sees as necessary fixes to the current U.S. immigration policies. “To fix immigration’s broken windows the authorities need to start taking immigration violations seriously. To take only one example, people who repeatedly sneak across the border are supposed to be prosecuted and jailed, and the Border Patrol unveiled a new digital fingerprint system in the mid-90s to make tracking of repeat crossers possible. The problem is that short-staffed U.S. Attorney’s offices kept increasing the number of apprehensions needed to trigger prosecution so as to avoid actually having to prosecute anyone.”
He focuses on several specific measures: “The initiative that would yield the most bang for the buck would be enforcement of employer sanctions (the jargon term for the ban on hiring illegal aliens). Ideally, we need a national employment-eligibility verification system, which would allow employers to determine which new hires have the right to work in the United States. The INS developed, and its successor agencies continue to operate, several pilot programs along these lines, and participating employers are generally pleased with them.” [pdf format, 8 pages]

Item# 04AD116 MPP Theme: 8A Geo: USA

Peter Lyman and Hal R. Varian, et al.
University of California, Berkeley. The School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS). Web-posted October 30, 2003.

This study is an attempt to estimate how much new information is created each year. Newly created information is distributed in four storage media – print, film, magnetic, and optical – and seen or heard in four information flows – telephone, radio and TV, and the Internet. This study of information storage and flows analyzes the year 2002 in order to estimate the annual size of the stock of new information contained in storage media, and heard or seen each year in information flows. Where reliable data was available the researchers compared the 2002 findings to those of their 2000 study (which used 1999 data) in order to identify trends – recognizing that 1999-2002 were years of relatively low economic activity. [The 2000 study is located on the Web at .]
Among the SIMS team’s finding: “Print, film, magnetic, and optical storage media produced about 5 exabytes of new information in 2002. Ninety-two percent of the new information was stored on magnetic media, mostly in hard disks.” For comparison purposes, the authors inform us that five exabytes of information is equivalent in size to the information contained in half a million new libraries the size of the Library of Congress print collections. Another way they explain it is that five exabytes is equivalent to “all words ever spoken by human beings.”

Note: In addition to the urls provided below, there is a Table of Contents page, with links to data on “Stored Information” and “Information Flows” at: .

Full Report: [pdf format, 112 pages]
Executive Summary: [html format, 12 printed pages]

Item# 04AD117 MPP Theme: 12IC Geo: Global

Matthew Bunn.
Harvard University, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs/ Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). October 22, 2003.

While progress has been made in securing vulnerable nuclear material stockpiles around the world, there remains a dangerous gap between the pace of progress and the scope and urgency of the threat, according to this analysis by Matthew Bunn of Harvard University. Only 41 percent of Russia’s nuclear materials have received U.S.-funded “rapid” security upgrades or more comprehensive upgrades to date, according to official data cited in Bunn’s paper, released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
The paper outlines the continuing nuclear threat, summarizes the progress made in the last year and the gaps that remain, and recommends steps to close the gap between the threat and the response. According to the analysis, three elements are essential in reducing these threats:
1) Remove the nuclear materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium) entirely from the world’s most vulnerable sites;
2) Accelerate and strengthen cooperative efforts with Russia to secure nuclear stockpiles; and
3) Build a fast-paced global partnership of nations working together to improve security for nuclear materials around the world. [pdf format, 19 pages]

Item# 04AD118 MPP Theme: 2G Geo: Global

Max G. Manwaring, Wendy Fontela, Mary Grizzard, and Dennis Rempe.
U.S. Army War College. Strategic Studies Institute. October 2003.

Last March a conference entitled “Building Regional Security in the Western Hemisphere” was co-sponsored by the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Southern Command, and University of Miami North- South Center. This document summarizes hours of tapes and reams of notes to clarify the issues and develop actionable recommendations.
The report emphasizes four highly related needs and associated recommendations:
* The need to advance hemispheric understanding of the security concerns of each country, and those that the region as a whole faces (e.g., the internal and external threat(s) to security);
* The need to develop multilateral, civil-military structures and processes to identify and address threats in the contemporary security environment;
* The need to foster expanded dialogue, consultations, and cooperation for building consensus principles and concepts for regional security cooperation;
* The need to adapt U.S. military efficacy to the contemporary threat environment in the hemisphere at the strategic level. [pdf format, 46 pages]

Item# 04AD119 MPP Theme: 1H Geo: WHA

Paul Freeman, Michael J. Keen, and Muthukumara Mani.
International Monetary Fund (IMF). October 2003.

Natural disaster risk is emerging as an increasingly important constraint on economic development and poverty reduction. This paper first sets out the key facts in the topic area - that the costs of disaster have been increasing, seem set to continue to increase, and bear especially heavily on the poorest. It then reviews the key economic issues at stake, focusing in particular on the actual and prospective roles of, and interaction between, market instruments and public interventions in dealing with disaster risk. Key sources of market failure include the difficulty of risk spreading and, perhaps even more fundamental, the Samaritan's dilemma: the underinvestment in protective measures associated with the rational expectation that others will provide support if disaster occurs. Innovations addressing each of these are discussed.
Included as an Appendix is an assessment, by region, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of the probable/possible effects of significant climate change.

Note: Contains copyrighted material. [pdf format, 38 pages]

Item# 04AD120 MPP Theme: 14D Geo: Global

Monday, November 10, 2003

U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2003

(Re-posting since the first posting was lost)

Contains facts and statistics regarding American Indians and Native Alaskans of the United States. Topics include population and age distribution, income, families, businesses, homeownership, veterans, and language. Features quotes and audio.

Subjects: American Indian Heritage Month | Indians of North America -- United States

(SOURCE: Posted by tm. October 29, 2003)

Two more related listings from the Librarians Index to the Internet:

National American Indian Heritage Month

"To promote awareness of and appreciation for the history and culture of American Indians during National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month," this National Park Service site presents monuments, buildings, and other places associated with the prehistory and history of Native Americans.

Subjects: American Indian Heritage Month | Indians of North America -- History | Historic sites -- United States | Special months

Created by pf - last updated Oct 27, 2003

Native American Documents Project

This project was designed "to develop methods for making documents of federal Indian policy history accessible by computer." The site includes reports of the commissioners of Indian affairs from the 1870s, allotment data for 1887-1915, documents related to the Rogue River War, and information about California tribes. Browsable and searchable. From California State University, San Marcos.

Subjects: Indians of North America -- Government policy -- United States | Indians of North America -- History

Created by je - last updated Sep 9, 2003

The U.S. Anti-AIDS Program

Q&A page on the status of President Bush's anti-AIDS plan from the Council on Foreign Relations website. Updated on November 6, 2003.

Aid for understanding the U.S. federal court system

The Federal Court System in the U.S.: An Introduction for Judges and Judicial Administrators in Other Countries.

Our Documents - 100 Milestone Documents

Our Documents - 100 Milestone Documents

A list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.

Sunday, November 9, 2003

DOJ Report on Capital Punishment 2002

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released the report Capital Punishment 2002. The report "presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2002, and of persons executed in 2002. Preliminary data on executions by States during 2003 are included, and the report summarizes the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 2002. Numerical tables present data on offenders' sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, marital status, age at time of arrest for capital offense, legal status at time of capital offense, methods of execution, trends, and time between imposition of death sentence and execution. Historical tables present executions since 1930 and sentencing since 1973." The 2002 report shows that U.S. executions have increased for the first time in 3 years.

U.S. Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Center for Public Integrity has compiled a report on U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Includes list of contractors for both Iraq and Afghanistan and a ranking of contractors by contract size.

Greatest danger, or greatest hope?

The terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 have not only widened the differences between America and the rest of the world, but have also deepened divisions within the country itself, says John Parker in the Survey of America special issue of the Economist (November 6). See also the useful Economist "country profile" on the U.S.

Thursday, November 6, 2003

I'm happy to be a member of this blog!

Hope to post useful websites, as I see them via the Scout Report and other sources


(Survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, released November 5, 2003). A year before Election Day, Americans are politically divided and increasingly polarized in their beliefs, according to a new survey of political attitudes and values released by the Pew Research Center. The political landscape has changed drastically from what it was four years ago. Since then, terrorists attacked the United States, the economy declined, and the military waged war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The survey was conducted in the summer and the fall, and was based on more than 4,000 interviews in which individuals were asked 96 questions on various topics, including foreign policy, civil liberties, race, religion, and social values.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003




United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance. November 2003.

This report compares and contrasts the concepts of “e-government”, “e-governance”, and “e-democracy”, which are interrelated but not synonymous. Using the whole array of information and communication technology (ICT) available, the authors maintain that “e-government” can be defined as “the sum of internal processes and external relationships that public authorities maintain with citizens, business, or foreign public entities.”

Among the potential benefits of e-government, the report cites:

* simplification of the process of dealing with public bureaucracy;

* increasing efficiency, transparency and accountability in the use of public resources;

* increasing society’s knowledge of the issues handled by the public administration;

* reduction of administrative costs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

UN Publications: World Public Sector Report: E-Government at the Cross Roads

UN Publications: World Public Sector Report: E-Government at the Cross Roads Excerpt: "The World Public Sector Report 2003 “E-government at the Crossroads” provides an analysis of the status of e-government in the world today. It adopts the UN Millennium Declaration as its analytical framework and presents the UN Global E-government Survey 2003, with a global ranking of Member States as to their e-government readiness. The main message of the report is that development and the existence of e-government applications do not necessarily reflect the quality of life in a country."

Ironically, the report does not appear to be available online, but some of its conclusions are summarized in Mark Stevenson's AP story - including "The United States led the rankings of e-government "readiness," or the amount of information, services and products offered over the Internet combined with the infrastructure - such as telephones, computers and Internet connections - needed to access them.

Sweden ranked second, followed by Australia, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Finland."

SOSIG: What's New in Politics

SOSIG: What's New in PoliticsThis looks like a useful aid for staying on top of things!

NewsBank Presidential Campaign 2004

NewsBank SPECIAL REPORT! Presidential Campaign 2004

Monday, November 3, 2003


Reporters Without Borders/ Reporters sans frontiers (RSF). October 20, 2003.

Like last year, RSF finds the lowest rankings of press freedom in Asia, with eight countries in the bottom ten: North Korea, Burma, Laos, China, Iran, Vietnam, Turkmenistan and Bhutan. Independent news media are either non-existent in these countries, or are constantly repressed by the authorities. Journalists there work in extremely difficult conditions, with no freedom and no security. A number of them are imprisoned in Burma, China and Iran.

Cuba is in 165th position, second from last. Twenty-six independent journalists were arrested in the spring of 2003 and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 14 to 27 years, making Cuba the world's biggest prison for journalists. They were accused of writing articles for publication abroad that played into the hands of "imperialist interests." Eritrea, in 162nd position, has the worst situation in Africa. Privately-owned news media have been banned there for the past two years and 14 journalists are being held in undisclosed locations. [English-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [French-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [Spanish-language, pdf format, 7 pages] [Russian-language, pdf format, 8 pages] [Arabic-language, pdf format, 8 pages]
From the Resource Shelf Blog, November 2, 2003:

Resources, Reports, Tools, Lists, and Full-Text Documents

Ready Reference--Iraq--Timelines

InfoPlease Has Published Three New Timelines

1) Iraq Crisis, 2002–Present

2) Iraq Timeline, 1920s–1999

3) Kurdish History
Cato Institute on National Security Strategy:


Charles V. Peña.

Cato Institute. October 30, 2003.

The author critiques the foreign policy and national security strategy of the Bush administration. He prescribes a less interventionist foreign policy, one that actively seeks out and dismantles threats to American security, but that refrains from provoking further threats. In his words: “It is too late to stop al Qaeda from targeting America and Americans. The United States must do everything in its power to dismantle the al Qaeda terrorist network worldwide, but the United States must also avoid needlessly making new terrorist enemies or fueling the flames of virulent anti-American hatred. In the 21st century, the less the United States meddles in the affairs of other countries, the less likely the prospect that America and Americans will be targets for terrorism.” [pdf format, 26 pages]

Saturday, November 1, 2003

AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) and Leadership Conference on Civil Rights have announced a new website, "Voices of Civil Rights", featuring recollections and observations of people who had first hand experience of the the civil rights movement. The site will be launched on January 15, 2004 and the project will continue throughout 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education