4-Year-Old’s Overdue Library Books Returned After Police Sent To Family’s House

The case of the four overdue library books and the little girl who borrowed them is closed, thanks in part to local police who were sent to investigate the case.

Four-year-old Katelyn Jageman’s books were due back to the Freeport Area Library on Oct. 19, 2011. Until Thursday, they were still in her possession. Library officials said after several attempts to retrieve the books, the case was turned over to police, who made a courtesy call to the child’s home.

“It’s a rare incident, but it does occur,” said Donna Michael, President of the Freeport Area Library Board.

After phone calls and letters to the family, Michael admitted she alerted authorities and put the problem in their hands.

“I did turn the file over to the police department,” she said.

The library receives no federal funding and relies on memberships, donations, and a secondhand shop to survive.

“We’re here to serve the community and we try to do it as best we can, and all we really want is to have our library materials returned,” said Michael.

At a rate of ten cents a day over a 204-day period, Katelyn owed the library $81.60.

Read more here.

Obama: A Global Disappointment

In Europe, where more than 200,000 people thronged a Berlin rally in 2008 to hear Barack Obama speak, there’s disappointment that he hasn’t kept his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and perceptions that he’s shunting blame for the financial crisis across the Atlantic.

In Mogadishu, a former teacher wishes he had sent more economic assistance and fewer armed drones to fix Somalia’s problems. And many in the Middle East wonder what became of Obama’s vow, in a landmark 2009 speech at the University of Cairo, to forge a closer relationship with the Muslim world.

In a world weary of war and economic crises, and concerned about global climate change, the consensus is that Obama has not lived up to the lofty expectations that surrounded his 2008 election and Nobel Peace Prize a year later. Many in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were also taken aback by his support for gay marriage, a taboo subject among religious conservatives.

But the Democrat still enjoys broad international support. In large part, it’s because of unfavorable memories of his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, and many people would still prefer Obama over his presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“We all had high hopes for him,” said Filomena Cunha, an office worker in Lisbon, Portugal, who said she’s struggling to make ends meet. “But then things got bad and there’s not much he can do for us over here.”

Obama’s rock-star-like reception at Berlin’s Victory Column in the summer of 2008 was a high point of a wildly successful European campaign tour. The thawing of a harsh anti-Americanism that had thrived in Europe was as much a reaction to the Bush years as it was an embrace of the presidential hopeful.

Those high European expectations have turned into disappointment, largely because of the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and Obama’s failure to close Guantanamo Bay in the face of vehement congressional opposition.

Foreign policy expert Josef Braml, who analyzes the U.S. for the German Council on Foreign Relations, said many Germans give Obama too much of the blame because they don’t understand the limits of his powers.

“There’s a lack of understanding both of how the system of checks and balances works – or doesn’t work any longer – and a lack of understanding of how big the socio-economic problems in the United States are, which cause the gridlock,” Braml said in a telephone call from Greece, where he was on vacation.

Obama’s views on Europe’s financial crisis also have rankled some on the continent. In September, he said the crisis was “scaring the world” and that steps taken by European nations to stem the eurozone debt problem “haven’t been as quick as they need to be.”

The Obama administration describes the eurozone crisis as a European problem that needs a European solution. The U.S. and Canada last month refused to participate in boosting the International Monetary Fund’s financial resources to manage the crisis.

“I think people see through his game to put the blame on Europeans – I think Germans and Europeans still know where the economic crisis had its beginning,” Braml said. “That’s just finger-pointing, not doing a fair analysis of the dire situation in the U.S., but I can understand Obama is doing that because he wants to get re-elected so they need to shift blame around on the Republicans or the Europeans.”

Mehmet Yegin, a specialist in Turkish-American relations at USAK, the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization, said Europe still sees Obama as superior to Romney, “because they primarily evaluate Romney as a Republican and their memories about George W. Bush linger.”

Many in the Mideast also would like to see Obama win a second term, though they feel he has not lived up to his Cairo speech, in which he extended a hand to the Islamic world by calling for an end to the cycle of suspicion and discord.

Read more here.

President Obama‘s Former Doctor Thinks He Lacks ’Humanity’

When President Obama was first elected back in 2008, many observers hailed him as being a brilliant communicator who would erase all the tropes of Bush-era communication. Where Bush was inarticulate and stumbled over words like “nuclear,” Obama was crisp and clear with everything he said. Where Bush’s engagement with certain issues appeared to some to be fumbling and awkward, Obama would be a bright light of intelligence. And where Bush appeared to be an unquestionably warm person, Obama would be…well, a bit of a cold fish.

That last part has caused the President problems. In fact, over the course of the Obama Presidency, more than a few people have remarked that the President’s emotional engagement with issues is rather difficult to gauge. At times (like the 2010) BP oil spill, he has seemed to fumble awkwardly for some attempt at indignation or emotion, and his speeches have always come off as more than a little academic or pedantic. This has caused many people to wonder whether the President has poor handlers, or just doesn’t know how to talk to people.

New information revealed by President Obama’s own physician in the new book “Amateur” suggests that it’s the latter more than the former. Human Events includes the relevant excerpts, which depict the President as a cerebral, hyper-intellectualized man who is out of touch with his own emotions almost as much as he’s out of touch with the emotions of others:

In a revealing new book, The Amateur, author Edward Klein interviews President Barack Obama’s physician, Dr. David Scheiner, MD, who blasts the president’s health care plan and says that President Obama has an “academic detachment” that he could never break through.

The doctor fears that if the health care plan is “the failure” he believes it will be, because of runaway costs and other problems, then any health reform will be set back for years to come.[...]

Scheiner said that he believes the president miscalculated politically and that the health reform is ultimately doomed to fail. Worse, Scheiner doubts the character of a man who holds the highest and most influential office in America: “I think there is too much of the University of Chicago in him. By which I mean he’s academic, lacks passion and feeling, and doesn’t have the sense of humanity that I expected.”

The author, Klein, later in the book, compares Obama’s personality to early the 20th Century progressive president, Woodrow Wilson. By quoting the historian Forrest McDonald, who called Wilson’s perception of himself, “little short of Messianic,” Klein says that McDonald’s description of Wilson “fits Obama to a T.”

Read more here.