Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nuclear-free libraries

Mark Steyn links to this truly amusing story out of Berkley. It seems that Berkley requires that companies sign a nuclear-free disclosure form. And one company refuses to sign which is creating problems for their libraries.
Berkeley's public library will face a showdown with the city's Peace and Justice Commission tonight over whether a service contract for the book check-out system violates the city's nuclear-free ordinance.

The dispute centers on a five-year, $63,000 contract the library wants to sign with 3M, an international technology company based in Minnesota, to service five scanner machines library patrons use to check out books.

But 3M, a company with operations in 60 countries, refused to sign Berkeley's nuclear-free disclosure form as required by the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act passed by voters in 1986.

As a result, the library's self-checkout machines have not been serviced in about six months. Library officials say 3M is the only company authorized by the manufacturer to fix the machines, which were purchased in 2004.
How truly bizarre. As Steyn reacts,
How's that for an opening? In the entire history of civilization, has any human society so ordered its affairs that it would seem entirely normal to combine those words in that order in a single sentence?
How will Berkleyites react when their library has to shut down because 3M won't sign the nuclear-free disclosure form and the scanners don't work to check out their books?