Archive for the “News You Can Use” Category

Join us at the Central Library on Wednesday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome Nan Levinson, author of War Is Not a Game: the New Antiwar Soldiers and the Movement They Built.

On July 23, 2004, five marines, two soldiers, and one airman became the most unlikely of antiwar activists. Young and gung-ho when they first signed up to defend their country, they were sent to fight a war that left them confused, enraged, and haunted. Once they returned home, they became determined to put their disillusionment to use. So that sultry summer evening, they mounted the stage of Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall and announced the launch of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

War Is Not a Game tells the story of this new soldiers’ antiwar movement, showing why it was born, how it quickly grew, where it has struggled, and what it has already accomplished. Nan Levinson reveals the individuals behind the movement, painting an unforgettable portrait of these predominantly working-class veterans who became leaders of a national organization.

Written with sensitivity and humor, War Is Not a Game gives readers an uncensored, grunt’s-eye view of the occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while conveying the equally dramatic struggles that soldiers face upon returning home. Demanding to be seen neither simply as tragic victims nor as battlefront heroes, the Iraq Veterans Against the War have worked to shape the national conversation. This book celebrates their bravery, showing that sometimes the most vital battles take place on the home front.

Nan Levinson is a Somerville resident, writer, teacher, and journalist, who covers civil and human rights, culture, and technology. For this book, she spent seven years not quite embedded with military-related antiwar groups around the country. Her last book, Outspoken: Free Speech Stories, grew from her reporting as the U.S. correspondent for the international magazine, Index on Censorship, and she was twice named to the Heroes List of the Boston Coalition for Freedom of Expression. She teaches journalism and fiction writing at Tufts University.

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All is back to normal.

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Stay tuned for an update.

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????????????????????????????????????????Worried about how much of your personal information Google, Facebook, and other online software providers have collected?

Concerned about overbroad government surveillance programs hoovering up your private
data? Uneasy about criminal hackers who might seek to exploit you?

Our online privacy is indeed under threat, but the good news is that there are technology tools to help us fight back. Join us at the Central Library, February 21 at 11:00 a.m. Alison Macrina, a librarian and privacy rights activist, will present an online privacy toolkit that offers solutions to help subvert digital spying. These tools address things like search tracking, encryption, password protection, secure deletion of temporary files, secure browsing, online anonymity, and more.

This class lasts until 2 pm and is appropriate for all levels of technical ability. Bring your laptop to get the most out of it! You may bring a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet, but please be aware that the focus of this class will primarily be on desktop software.

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SPL opened at noon today. The libraries will close at their regular times tonight. Normal hours resume tomorrow.

Stay warm.

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Due to snow.

To pass a little of the time, read this poem by Wallace Stevens, because I like it.

The Snow Man


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;


And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

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The Somerville Public Library will close at 4:30 today due to the impending storm.

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jfkAll main exhibits at the JFK Library and Museum are closed until mid-March while the museum undergoes renovations. However, there is a small exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis open to the public. Admission is free.

The research rooms will still be open, but as always researchers should call in advance to schedule their visit. 617.514.1600 .

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spyConcerned about your privacy (or lack thereof)? Join us at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave.,  Jan. 10 at 11:00 a.m., where James O’Keefe of the Massachusetts Pirate Party and other privacy experts show you how to use the web anonymously, encrypt your mail, stop companies from using your cell phone to track you, and more. This is a hands-on workshop, so please bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone so we can help you install the latest anonymizing software and show you how to encrypt your phone calls, emails, and other communications.

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Somerville Public Libraries will close at 5 pm today and will be closed all day both Thursday and Friday.

Normal hours resume on Saturday, November 29.

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