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SHAFIK SHAKEDOWN

Library - Family - Views - Reviews

Will Chinese Libraries in America Register as Foreign Agents

  

100 Universities in the United States in Direct Partnership with the Chinese Government

  

Should Yale Divinity School register as Foreign Agent?

  

Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Foreign Influence Transparency Act of 2018, which requires organizations, such as the Confucius Institute, to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) if they promote the political agenda of a foreign country’s government.

Will this Act apply to Yale Divinity School?

Yale Divining School hosts chines students and scholars, conducts activities and researches related to the China-America relation and conflicts. 

Will the Act apply to Chinese libraries in America?

Many American Universities collect Chines records, host Chines libraries, and invite Chines scholars to lecture in conferences and workshops. 

Chines American Librarians Association Role in Stopping Chinese Infiltration in American Society

This organization conducts training for Chines American librarians, can promote awareness against China propaganda in America. The American people have the right to know if they are consuming propaganda that is being produced by a foreign government.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that China has aggressively placed operatives at universities, “whether its professors, scientists, students,” and the bureau must monitor them from its 56 field offices across the nation.

“It’s every field office, not just major cities. It’s small ones as well,” Wray said.

The FBI is also “watching warily” activities at dozens of Confucius Institutes, Chinese government-sponsored academies that are often embedded within universities and public schools to offer US students Mandarin language classes.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida wrote last week to five Florida institutions – Miami Dade College and the universities of North Florida, South Florida and West Florida as well as to Cypress Bay High School in Broward County – asking that they shut down their Confucius programs.

A smattering of universities eliminated their Confucius Institute program, but the program continues at universities in North and South Carolina, California, Kentucky, Idaho, Texas, Missouri and Kansas, among other states.

The US operations of China's Confucius Institute would be required to register with the American government as foreign agents under a draft proposal in the US Senate and House of Representatives. 


With more than 100 universities in the United States now in direct partnership with the Chinese government through Confucius Institutes, the U.S. intelligence community is warning about their potential as spying outposts. But the more important challenge is the threat the institutes pose to the ability of the next generation of American leaders to learn, think and speak about realities in China and the true nature of the Communist Party regime

A Tribe Library Card to Solve Warren “Pocahontas” Dispute

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Tribes History Research, and Tribe Citizenship Quite Trump Claim

US-Indians Delaware 1867 Treaty, and 1904 Court Ruling May Have Had Displaced Warren’s Ancestors


  

Elizabeth Warren said she grew up with family stories about both grandparents on her mother’s side having some Cherokee or Delaware blood. The Massachusetts Democrat told press how her parents met in Oklahoma, But Warren’s story has come under scrutiny for relying on family lore rather than official tribal documentation of Native American heritage.

In 2012, The Atlantic claimed that:

Elizabeth Warren is not a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Elizabeth Warren is not enrolled in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

And Elizabeth Warren is not one of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee.

“Even if it could be proven, it wouldn't qualify her to be a member of a tribe:  Having 1/32 Cherokee ancestry is "sufficient for tribal citizenship, Warren would not be eligible to become a member of any of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes based on the evidence so far surfaced by independent genealogists about her ancestry.”

In the Cherokee Nation, though, there is no minimum blood requirement, which would allow someone with as little as 1/128 Cherokee blood to enroll (that would be a great-great-great-great-great grandparent). Finding that remote relative is not conclusive, however.

Some elements in the media, and Republican supporters call for the Senator to take a DNA test. Since she refused the idea, Elizabeth Warren can use her tribe library card, if she has one, to search back into the history of the above three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. If she does so, she finds out amazing facts about Delaware Indians and Cherokee Nation struggle in Oklahoma, which causes exchanging lands, money and people. Mrs. Warren can read also the court ruling:

DELAWARE INDIANS v. CHEROKEE NATION. 127 193 U. S.

APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF CLAIMS. No. 240. Argued December 1, 2, 1903.-Decided February 23, 1904:

On June 28, 1898, the Congress of the United States passed an act entitled "An act for the protection of the people of the Indian Territory and other purposes." 30 Stat. 495. By the twenty-fifth section of the act it is provided: "That before any allotment shall be made of lands in the Cherokee Nation, there shall be segregated therefrom by the commission heretofore mentioned, in separate allotments or otherwise, the one hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred acres purchased by the Delaware tribe of Indians from the Cherokee Nation under agreement of April eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, subject to the judicial determination of the rights of said descendants and the Cherokee Nation under said agreement. That the Delaware Indians residing in the. Cherokee Nation are hereby authorized and empowered to DEIAWAIE INDIANS v. CHEROKEE NATION.

Court ruled that:

"The Cherokees, parties of the first part, for and in consideration of certain payments and the fulfillment of certain conditions hereinafter mentioned, agree to sell to the Delawares for their occupancy, a quantity of land east of the line of the 960 west longitude, in the aggregate equal to one hundred and sixty acres for each individual of the Delaware tribe, who has been enrolled upon a certain register made February 18, 1867, by the Delaware agent, and on file in the Office of Indian Affairs, being the list of Delawares who elect to remove to the 'Indian country,' to which list may be added, only with the consent of the Delaware council. 

And the said Delawares further agree that there shall be paid from their funds now or hereafter to come into possession of the United States a sum of money which shall sustain the same proportion to the existing Cherokee national fund that the number of Delawares registered as above mentioned and removing to the Indian country sustains to the whole number of Cherokees residing in the Cherokee Nation.

"And the children hereinafter born of such Delawares so incorporated into the Cherokee Nation shall, in all respects, be regarded as native Cherokees."

The treaties which led up to this agreement are referred to in the contract and were ratified in 1866. The fifteenth article of the treaty of August 11,1866, between the United States and the Cherokee Nation provided: "Article XV. The United States may settle any civilized Indians, friendly with the Cherokees and adjacent tribes, wiihin the Cherokee country, on unoccupied lands east of 96 (legrees, on such terms as may be agreed upon by any such tribe and the Cherokees, subject to the approval of the President of the United States

Article IV of the Delaware treaty, referred to in the agreement of April 8, 1867, is in the following terms: "Article IV. The United States agree to sell to the said Delaware Indians a tract of land ceded to the government by the Choctaws and Chickasaws, the Creeks, or the Seminoles, or which may be ceded by the Cherokees in the Indian country, to be selected by the Delawares.

As DNA tests don’t lie, so official historic documents. Using library search and research, for sure, can lead to the real prove that Elizabeth Warren is American Indian, then she can apply for a tribe citizenship, then Trump and other stop calling her “Pocahontas” 

Strange government contracts available in library field

Library of Congress has 3224 librarians, but has tens of contracts available for outsourcing

By Said Shafik

 

Shakedown the Federal Business Opportunities using NAICS Code 519120-Libraries and Archives, found contracts worth $ Millions

Why Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs needs Cloud-Based Integrated Library System to be built from scratch?

Why Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior needs records management contract?


  

Federal contracting category NAICS 519120 states that vendors that win government contracts in this category are primarily engaged in providing library or archive services. These establishments are engaged in maintaining collections of documents (e.g., books, journals, newspapers, and music) and facilitating the use of such documents (recorded information regardless of its physical form and characteristics) as are required to meet the informational, research, educational, or recreational needs of their user. These establishments may also acquire, research, store, preserve, and generally make accessible to the public historical documents, photographs, maps, audio material, audiovisual material, and other archival material of historical interest. All or portions of these collections may be accessible electronically.

If all the above is what librarians do, then why federal government adds library staff by direct hiring, instead of spending Billions of Dollars of contractors to do same jobs?

I myself worked as a library contractor at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington DC. My annual salary, according to Government Contract Salary Guidelines was $77,000 (contractor charges $160K). During my work on the project, I kept asking the head of the department I worked at why don’t they just hire a librarian for far less money. The answer was, and still: Accountability. By hiring contractors, department head said, they will take the blames for any failure, especially if Congressional Accountability Office investigates.

Going over the list of available library contracts, found strange postings:

Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Hansen's Disease Program wants a contractor for “Museum Assistants”

National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine wants contractors for “library technicians/archives clerks”

Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship & Immigration Services, USCIS Contracting Office needs contractors to perform Enterprise-Wide Tape Back-up Support Services supporting United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, Central Office Business Office Wants to hire a contractor to cover library services. 

Department of the Army, U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity needs a contractor to manage periodicals and online subscriptions.

Trump to cut libraries funds, but supports UN library budget

Taxpayers pay 22% to UN, got no free services from its libraries

Why USA contributes to UN libraries in Mexico, Africa, and Asia?


My two boys participate every year in the summer reading programs in Alexandria, Virginia, public library, thanks to $3,671,769 LSTA funding in Virginia, received through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) budget of $214 million.

Next year, that fund will be eliminated in the new budget presented to Congress by Trump administration.

Last week, I went to the same public library, asking to read and print the United Nations document of the treaty between United States and the European Union, to find out that United Nations documents stored in designated UN Depository Libraries, or UN documents can be purchased online at the UN iLibrary. I checked UN site trying to find a "depository library" near me in Alexandria so I can get a free copy of the treaty. All UN depository libraries reside in some of the academic libraries, no public libraries in America have been designated as UN depository, except two: New York Public Library, and Library of Congress.

Since I am not a student in the University of Virginia, or any universities, and do not have a Library of Congress card, I found myself going back to UN iLibrary to purchase the document. I asked Alexandria Public Library staff why not to apply to be a UN depository branch? He told me the library could not afford to pay the $1000 yearly fees.

Something wrong in this two stories. Instead of eliminating funds for OUR public libraries programs, Trump administration ought to eliminate its contributions to UN libraries.

UN Foundation, a mega money machine led by Ted Turner, the mouth from the south, is a tax exempt organization with a huge budget, never contribute to United Nations Libraries budgets. Now, it is time for reforming United Nations libraries. 

Privatizing Public Libraries Prevents Passport Services

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US State Department does not allow privatized libraries run by private firms to provide passport services. Searching passport acceptance facilities site for library nearby shows only "public" libraries. For example, using zip code 92509 search produces only 2 public libraries belong to City of Rancho Cucamonga, but any public library belongs to  Riverside County Library System in the same area does not provide passport services. How do you know if your library is privatized or not? Just go to the library employment link, once you click, it takes you out to the company that manages the library. Example: If you click on Riverside job postings link, you find yourself at Library  Systems & Services job site

Shakedown the privatization issue, you find some interesting data. Library Systems & Services, created by a librarian and her husband, is the only company in US that manages "privatized" libraries. Other firms. like LAC Group, named Library Associates before, provide staffing and consultancy, not "privatization"

One might ask: Giving grants to American Library Association (ALA) makes a different in the way the organization look at "privatization of public libraries?" ALA was against the practice in the beginning, now it provides a "guide" on how to privatize a public library. 

Shaker asks: Why United States Government is allowing one company only to have a privatization of libraries market, why there is no competition in that field for the past 25 years?

How soon American Library Association Files for Bankruptcy?

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Year after year, American Library Association (ALA) budget misses its projection and loses money. 2017 was not different. Operating revenues for the entire Association were $48.7 million and operating expenses were $51.1 million. Among revenue sources, publishing revenue of $11 million (lower than projected by 11%) while membership dues revenue of $5.3 million were lower by 4%. Meeting & Exhibits revenue was also lower than projected. American Library Association promised to start a period of internal review and reinvention, with changes in both key leadership positions and the way in which we view publishing, membership, and conferences—all critical areas that fund the professional development, advocacy, and mission-focused work that is the purpose of the Association.

ALA treasurer says “We see success in revenues from grants, with grants awarded in late FY2017 to fund activities in FY2018 and FY2019. We also are beginning to see substantial growth in our fundraising efforts”, something we repeatedly heard over the years, without any numbers to back it up.

Source: https://goo.gl/rCAYod

Tourism to USA is Down

Tourists from Canada are up, Mexico 9% Down

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People are not coming to visit America like before. I used to live in New York and watch thousands of tourists all over the city. Now, I work in down town DC, see few international tourists. Now I know why. Going through 2017 statistics issued by travel.trade.gov site noticed that tourists from top 20 countries to USA was down 3%. South Korea and Canada were top of the list, while fewer tourists cam from Argentina, Mexico, India, and Colombia. 

News and Views

Do not commit cloaking

  

I learned that word the hard way. Poor me, I have been once removed from search engine index because I cloaked. I found a gig on Fiverr site its owner claimed he can enhance the traffic coming to my site. That kind of gigs is all over, not only Fiverr site, but anywhere you turn for a help with SEO, another word I added to my broken English vocabularies. 

All I wanted is just to have a site to use for promoting products and get commission from users’ clicks and purchase practices. I thought it was easy and straight forward project. I found myself needing to know more jargon, and pay money every time I learn a jargon. I had to sign for a “site health check” service to check on the “on-page optimization/indexing” 

I learned also words like “AMP”, “Canonical URL”, “linked with rel=prev/next”, “optimize Tweet with cards”, “open graph protocol”, “JSON for linking data”, and paid for services to enable them on my site.

I am not done. I had to sign with Google Adwords to enhance the site presence on the Web, and for a “SEO profiler” to watch my back, I mean my site for any violation or errors. I forgot to mention the big daddy of all: “keyword searching”

FICO vs TransUnion

I stopped depending on FICO to check my credit score. I use TransUnion as the only reliable source for my credit history reports.

Do you know there are 49 different types of FICO credit scores?

 Each using a different calculation and formula depending on the industry. For example, my Discover card uses FICO score 8, a common score used by credit card companies to evaluate customers’ credit limits.  Mortgage lenders use FICO score 2, which takes into account other types of debt, such as student loans, personal loans, or auto loans — and that can result in a lower score. 

 The three main credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Some credit card companies offer a free score from one of the bureaus, but that score may be different than the credit score from another bureau. 

So, to make it short: Depending on FICO credit score is not reliable, Checking your credit scores on the three credit bureaus reports may show different scores. To keep it simple for me: I chose to depend only on TransUnion.

USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approves Device Reduces Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

A good news for Parkinson's Disease patients 


 The Vercise Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) System is used as an adjunctive therapy in reducing some of the symptoms of moderate to advanced levodopa-responsive Parkinson's Disease that is not adequately controlled with medication. The Vercise DBS System will stimulate the subthalamic nucleus bilaterally, according to FDA Press Release. Read the important details HERE.

USA Food and Drug Administration Alerts