Forward thinkers in Springfield, IL decided to rid elementary schoollibraries of those pesky librarians in a cost-cutting move.  As such, somelibraries no longer circulate books.  Other libraries are closed tostudents and only teachers can enter and check-out books.  Somestudents cannot get the bar-codes they need to check out books if theirlibrary is one of the few that still circulates books.  One library wasclosed to both students and teachers.  We've got money to buildfreeways to support an SUV culture; we'll spend billions we don't have toinvade foreign nations to soothe the President's ego; Enron, banks,corporate farms, and credit card companies never forget to line up at thecorporate welfare trough.  All of this but no one squawks when we closeelementary school libraries.  Am I the only one who sees a fundamentalproblem with our spending priorities?  People complain about low testscores and the fact that we are supposedly falling behind some Asian andEuropean nations in subjects like math and science.  Economists andstatisticians routinely state and re-state that a better educated populationis healthier and wealthier.  So, the obvious answer is to closelibraries and spend more money on short-term nonsense, of course. Want to know how your local or state libraries stack up compared to otherlibraries in the United States?  A new index released by the American Libraries Associationdishes the dirt.  South Dakota's libraries rank significantlyhigher than those of California, and somewhat higher than arch-rival NorthDakota.  Ohio leads the index of states.  De Smet, SD has thefourth best library in the nation for a town of its size, interestinglyenough.

The Twins won last night in the first game of the American LeagueChampionship Series.  I'm a bit puzzled why the manager of the Twins,Gardenhire, took out Joe Mays in the ninth when he had been rock solid,however.

The Vikings didn't lose this past weekend.  Of course, this amazingfeat can be wholly attributed to the fact that the Vikings didn't play lastweekend...