Is it only journalists who care about the President’s tax returns?

All traces of the Obama Administration and it’s agenda have been removed from the White House web site. The Wayback Machine indicates the same thing happened on January 22, 2009, so I suppose this is the norm, but it seems very strange to me.  Completely obliterating traces of the previous regime is something I’d expect from an authoritarian or totalitarian regime. In the US the Presidency changes hands, and it comes under the control of the leaders of opposing parties, but there is continuity in the office. Shouldn’t the White House web site better reflect this?

Perhaps the most strange to me is the removal of the petitions on the “We the People” page in the site, including petitions that had not yet reached their target.  There are already two new petitions, though. One calls on President Trump to immediately release his full tax returns, and the other calls on him to divest from or put in a blind trust all his business and financial assets. Both were added today, but as I write this, the petition calling for releasing his tax returns already has over 10,000 signatures.  Strange, since the President claims only journalists care about his taxes!

Now the Donald Trump is the President, it seems to me more urgent than ever that we know exactly what his financial interests are.

 

Bikes of Geneva

What a great city! They have fantastic bike lanes. More cities need to adopt signals, signage, and lanes for different kinds of traffic.

She Deserve a Google Doodle

Audrey Hepburn Google Doodle from May 4, 2014

Audrey Hepburn Google Doodle from May 4, 2014

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Audrey Hepburn, a worthy choice to be sure.  She was one of the most respective actresses of her time, ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema, she is one of the few people to have won an Grammy, Tony, Emmy, Oscar, BAFTA, and numerous other accolades for her work as an actress.

She was also a fashion icon, but she may be most worthy of honor for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  She first did work for UNICEF in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1988 that she began work in an official capacity.  She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, only a year before she died of cancer at the age of only 45.

She’s a worthy subject of honor, to be sure, but I’m curious what criteria Google chooses.  Around this time two years ago the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace launched an effort to ask Google to dedicate a Doodle to Pearl S. Buck.
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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – October 6-12, 2012

Compiled by Scholars at Risk

China: Joint Statement by International Support Committee to Liu Xiaobo
Human Rights Watch, 10/12

Campus opens next to world’s biggest refugee camp
Reuben Kyama, University World News, 10/12

The Big Bang Theory of Education
Christian Caryl, Foreign Policy, 10/11

Call to waive fees for Syrians in UK
David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 10/11

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – September 29 – October 5, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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UAE: Attacks and Smear Campaign against prominent human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor
Gulf Center for Human Rights, 10/5

Professors and students say higher education reforms a threat to academic freedom
Louise Brown, Toronto Star, 10/4

Syria: Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Abducted
Human Rights Watch, 10/4

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Register to Vote! Preserve your Options!

Jason Mraz urges you to “Register to Vote”

Sometimes when I ask people to register to vote they express frustration with the political system, dissatisfaction the candidates that are running, anger at the role of money in politics, or some other annoyance. Because of these things they say that they’re not sure they want to vote at all. I certainly understand the frustration, but voter registration deadlines are upon us.

As they come I urge you to remember one thing: If you register to vote before the deadline, you still have until election day to decide if you actually want to cast a ballot. If you don’t, you’ve closed the door. You will not be able to vote, no matter how much you feel like you want to come election day.  Obviously it is the Presidential elections that are getting most of the attention, but they are not all that’s going to be on your ballot.

In addition to House, Senate and Presidential races, there are state and local races, as well as local and state ballot initiatives. For example, let’s say you you are a Massachusetts resident who has strong feelings about the legalization of marijuana. Medical marijuana is the subject of a statewide ballot question, but it is not getting a great deal of coverage. In fact, I’m noticing many people don’t realize it’s on the ballot at all. Should those who care about the issue come to realize that the question is there before the election, they will be able to voice their opinion and potentially make a difference only if they have registered before their state’s deadline. If not, they are out of luck, except in the few states that offer Election Day registration.

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – September 22-28, 2012

I realize it is an idealistic view, but I believe passionately in the necessity of free intellectual inquiry.  It is the only way we arrive at truth. Only in the most extreme circumstances should it be compromised, for example to protect public safety. That is why I so strongly support the work of Scholars at Risk, and why I re-publish their weekly Academic Freedom Media Review every week. Even if all we do is call attention to abuses of academic freedom, we render a service. So read, re-post, or forward these messages. Visit the site of Scholars of Risk and find out more about the work.

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Higher education mounts rescue efforts for Syrian students, scholars
Eileen Travers, University World News, 9/28

Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Busra Ersanli of Turkey
Scholars at Risk, 9/27

Women’s situation and human rights under militarisation of society: the case of Sri Lanka
Inge Erling Tesdal, University of Bergen, 9/27
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Academic Freedom Media Review – September 15-21, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements.  Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Iran: Ensure Equal Access to Higher Education
Human Rights Watch, 9/22

A professor in defense of tenure and academic freedom at SLU
Tim Lomperis, The University News of Saint Louis University, 9/20

Interview with Pınar Selek: ”The Old Mindset Is Still in Place in Turkey”
Ceyda Nurtsch, Qantara, 9/19

Writer Held Over Japan Comments
Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia, 9/19

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SAR Academic Freedom Media Review – August 18-24, 2012

Scholars at Risk monitors reports of threats to academic freedom and higher education communities worldwide, including media articles, blogs, opinion pieces and other announcements. Unless otherwise indicated (such as in articles written by SAR), the language and views contained in the search results reflect those of the originating author and/or publication and do not necessarily represent the views of Scholars at Risk or its members, affiliates, board or staff. Archived media reviews are available here.

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Government closes all universities after two-month lecturer strike
Dinesh De Alwis, University World News, 8/24

Authoritarianism harms academia
Thandwa Mthembu, Mail & Guardian, 8/24

Iran must immediately release prisoner of conscience Arzhang Davoodi
Amnesty International, 8/24

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