Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cesar Chavez: SJSU Hero

On March 31, 2006, San Jose State University will be closed for Cesar Chavez Day, in order to pay homage to the legacy of this "civil rights leader." In fact, SJSU has a campaign to raise funds for a Cesar Chavez memorial to be erected on campus. Here is what the website for the campaign says about Chavez:
Chavez was an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Chavez emulated Gandhi in that he demonstrated the complete sacrifice of oneself for others, self-discipline and self-abnegation in order to achieve a higher good.
By comparing Chavez to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., SJSU is making a serious error. Gandhi and King were civil rights leaders. Chavez was a union leader. By proclaiming him a civil rights leader, San Jose State is equating anti-market politics with human achievement, which most economists will tell you is a false comparison. I wonder what the SJSU economics department thinks about this?

I won't comment on the altruistic mumbo-jumbo. Suffice it to say I don't agree with "complete sacrifice of oneself for others."

Of course, SJSU does not observe Columbus Day.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Librarianship and Legitimacy

Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry is a book I found on amazon that might prove interesting reading. I'll post if I read it. If anyone else has read it, please let me know what you think.

From the Booklist review: The Public Library Inquiry, conducted for ALA during 1947^-50 by the Social Science Research Council, reported that its two main duties were to appraise public libraries in terms of their own stated objectives and to appraise the appropriateness of those objectives to the background of American social and cultural institutions and values.

Milton Friedman on Charlie Rose

Just saw the December 26 episode of Charlie Rose, featuring none other than Milton Friedman. It's available on Audible for $4.95. Mr. Friedman is ninety-three now, and as sharp as ever. Some of the issues addressed:
  • Legalization of drugs
  • School vouchers
  • The trade deficit. Cafe Hayek has a portion of the transcript regarding this.
  • Anti-trust legislation
It's well-worth listening to.

Test Post

This is the first post on the Libertarian Librarian.