Just Giblets

A Disgrace to His Profession

13th November 2009
by Scot

A Disgrace to His Profession

3 Dollar BillMaybe you’ve seen this, but a Purdue library science professor and government documents librarian has blogged An Economic Case Against Homosexuality. Yes, it’s as ludicrous as it sounds. I’m leaving this off my professional blog, as it has little to do with librarianship, other than the fact that Professor Bert Chapman displays no traits of a librarian, despite his blog title “Conservative Librarian.”

You’ll see a comment by me… two, if they approve my last one. Not that I doubt it’s rationality, but it’s close to the 2,000 character limit they put on comments, so it may be held in moderation. Or then again, it may have been flushed down the toilet. It’s in response to a commenter named Adriana who takes me to task for bringing up the taboo of the “facts” Prof. Chapman’s economic publication lacks.

Here is my follow up, in case they don’t publish it:


The facts Prof. Chapman presents, but does not cite are:

1. Not only does he not cite his source of data, but Prof. Chapman attributes US Government expenditures on AIDS to a support of what he deems “a homosexual lifestyle.” Though he recognizes that the disease is spread by many means, he still presents it as a moral issue. But regardless, a librarian must state where his numbers come from and what “expenditures on this disease” encompass.

2. He cites as fact that behavior he deems immoral taints our blood supply without support of fact.

3. Chapman also claims that rape of male inmates by fellow males is a drain on taxpayer dollars. Does he cite how many of the offenders are homosexual? It may seem unthinkable to you, but heterosexual males rape men. I see no citations to established facts to support his claims that homosexual men are draining US tax dollars in this way.

4. At long last, the educated librarian cites an external work, “Do Domestic Partner Benefits Make Good Economic Sense?” by The Corporate Resource Center. He claims that it is available on a web site, but does not provide a URL. He does not even qualify where this center is or what affiliation it has, if any, to a larger organization. I challenge anyone to find this work available on the web. For this fraud alone, Prof. Chapman should be censured, at the very least.

5. Finally, the learned professor closes with a long list of ways that heterosexual entitlements may be diminished by the acknowledgment of same-sex relationships. There are no numbers given. There are no longitudinal studies cited. There is only the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) tactics of a frightened man with no other defense. The last paragraph reminds me of the FUD tactics of white families in the 1960’s who would incite neighborhood hatred against black families moving in, in the name of “decreased property values.”

I am not arguing against Prof. Chapman’s points. He has none.

The student furor over his blog post has led to calls for his dismissal from the university. Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first antigay blog post he’s written.

Update: I totally forgot to thank the dude who alerted me to this fiasco! Rob at wakingupnow.com is a really great blogger who has a fierce, but reasoned approach to civil action. Thank you, Rob. You set a good example.

24th January 2009
by Scot

Time is Money

As y’all know, I am the Web Services Manager for the Boston Public Library. I make a decent salary, which is good cause the city is a pretty expensive place to live. And we have to live in the city if we work for the city. Residency requirement.

Y’all also probably know that the whole world is facing a budget crisis. And what gets hit first in governmental belt-tightening? Not the police or fire departments, of course. “Non-essential” services like those the library provides.

So, we’ve been doing a lot of financial naval-gazing of late at work and I was reminded of this Unshelved comic strip by Bill Barnes and “Gene Ambaum” (not his real name).

Unshelved 01-25-2003

Well, I decided to add up just how much my time is worth. I took the Boston city budget for FY 2008 and figured out what percentage went to the library. (That’s 1.6%.) Then I took the state budget, and since I’m generous, figured out how much went to all libraries in the state. (0.1%. I felt okay about using the figure for all librarys because a. It’s a really small amount and b. I wasn’t going to figure out how much sales tax I paid, so I figure it evens out.)

Next, I figured out how much I made from BPL after taxes. I divided that up by the number of hours I’m meant to work in a year to arrive at an hourly monetary value for my expertise. Next, I figured out how much I paid in city property and excise taxes. I also figured out how much I paid in state taxes from both my sources of income in FY 2008. ( I also teach a course at Simmons College.)

Well, what do you know? According to my figures, if we ran things by the amount of money a person puts into “the pot”, I am entitled to 70 minutes of my time a year. I would be entitled to a much smaller portion of the president’s time a year and a bit more of an entry-level librarians’ time. But I think it all evens out to about 70 minutes of staff time overall.

Now, of course, I am not recommending that we cut service off after any period of time per person. That’s crazy talk. But I do hear a lot of unusual, personal suggestions for changes in service from the same few individuals. Ironically, some of those individuals don’t even live in the city. Guess how much time I’d get if I lived in, say, Cambridge? About nine minutes.

What I guess I’m saying is that I hope people are ready to face the fact that their concerns are part of a larger collective. We pay taxes in order to fuel collective goals, not to make sure our tiny piece of ground is cared for according to our specific terms.

Anyway, food for thought.

14th October 2008
by Scot

My world is exploding

I saw it on the Herald and didn’t think about it too hard.

But Maureen McCormick was a bulimic, depressive, sex addict, fetus-killer, junkie who dated Michael Jackson.

Yeah, it’s the last part that hurts.

Oh yeah, and she made a C&W album. That’s not so cool either.

[Afterthought: The C&W album was really BAD. I have nothing against C&W as a concept.]


Oy. I had no idea that “Peter Brady”, Christopher Knight (the only one to actually grow up HOT) had a new show!

But since this “news” keeps on coming, I think it’s time to take this offline. Contact me if you have Brady love to share…

8th September 2008
by Scot

Bring crack, too

Under the category of WTF-ness I’ve missed is this lovely story about how some teachers in Texas can bring guns to school. You know, for protection. I’m sure the added firearms will make it more difficult for students to go on murder-suicide rampages.

Um, WTF??!

2nd June 2005
by Scot

“Slang” is a snobbish word

“Y’all” is a perfectly good word to use. Every English speaker understands what it means and there is no other word in greater use to uniquely represent second person plural.

Same goes for “their” to represent possessive third person.

posted in Language, Rants | at 7:32 pm | 0 Comments
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