Bomb book tests U.S. free speech

Steve M. Cohen donated This One on Lyle Stuart, the , 81-year-old president of maverick publisher Barricade Books, who they say, is an old hand at testing the limits of free speech and believes people should not be told what they can read.
Barricade's titles are far from mass-market and bestseller fare. While some have recorded substantial sales from online and mainstream outlets, they remain largely unknown to the general public, and the firm is driven more by principle than profit although it does not disclose financial data.

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A daring publisher

I grew up in the BBS days where those with a 14.4kbps modem were considered hot stuff and no one could yet afford the 28.8. I ran two BBSes and both were extremely popular for two reasons. (Actually, it was pretty much the same BBS with a different name and slightly different setups.) The first reason was because I had decent conversation and the second was because I stocked things like the Jolly Roger and other assorted anarchist text files. People love to read this stuff, but that doesn't mean they want to actually do it.


I've read the Anarchist Cookbook cover to cover and enjoyed every page. Thanks to it, I know how to make bombs, forge IDs, rip off various organizations, and more. But you know something? I've never done any of that stuff. Nope, never built a bomb, never made homemade guns, never forged anything. I've never seen a need to. But even so, I know how to do it. That knowledge may help me later on. (I hope not.) And at the very least it comes in handy as trivia for parties.


Sure he publishes stuff I totally 100% disagree with, like The Turner Diaries. Has anyone actually read that? I think the only reason that they published it is because no one else would. I've seen better literature come out of middle school creative writing classes. It's racist BS, it's poorly written, but you can still read it, if you have the stomach. You won't become a racist if you do, contrary to what popular media would have us believe.


This information and these thoughts have been around for centuries. It should be available, and one should be able to read it. Beyond that, it's up to you what you do with it. In other words, it's the same as a recipe book. You read it and use it as you see fit.

Our hypocritical cities' public libraries.

And yet our Boston Public Library Reference Desks are without reproach generally from colleagues while censoring public city archives of the very same public institution.

Re:A daring publisher

Ah, BBSing. Back when messaging was civilized and twit bashing was fun.

The Turner Diaries. Has anyone actually read that?

I read a brief extract from it, and, as you said, it turned my stomach. I wonder where I can find a copy nowadays. I'd loved to be able to freak people out just by quoting from it. I still have to choke down Mein Kampf, though. Dreadful stuff. Not alone because the style of writing is so second-last century. I wonder if the translation actually makes it more palatable.

Re:A daring publisher

Mein Kampf, at least in my opinion, is better written than The Turner Diaries, but no less a pile of BS. Hitler was so full of crap and half the book is lies. And believe me, nothing is really lost in translation. You could read Kampf in German and it's boring. Additionally, another fun fact is that you could translate The Turner Diaries into Latin and it'd still suck just as much.


Regardless, it is still the right of humanity to read this stuff if they want. Goddess knows I wouldn't actually force either of these works on anyone, even my worst enemies. Since it is so hard to find such books in the common market, libraries should take extra care to obtain and retain copies when possible. Sometimes though, it's the retaining part that get you. The Anarchist Cookbook is an extremely popular book, but I think it's mistitled. I think the appropriate title would be one used by Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Book.

what libraries should carry The Turner Diaries?

I read several chapters of this piece of crap, for the same reason that I force myself to read free market capitalist propaganda, in order to know what other people think. That said, I would probably write a letter of protest if my town library bought a copy of The Turner Diaries instead of a more useful book, even if my town wasn't heavily Jewish. Is my position censorship or sensible selection?

Re:A daring publisher

(Respectfully submitted)Fang - I enjoy the ideological pretentiousness of fellow librarians when discussing their abhorrence to anything remotely associated with censorship. It's amusing to me. And while I LOL at these self-anointed guardians of freedom, I wonder if their hypocrisy is rooted in ignorance or deception. I hope not the latter.Understand that I make no pretensions regarding censorship as a librarian. That's honesty. Understand too, that the word "censorship" is a loaded term that carries a lot of baggage and is quick to raise public attention. We all know this. I guess that's why we call our codified policies for censorship, Collection Development Policies rather than Censorship Development Policies? I know you've heard this all before but I feel it's time we introduce honesty into this discussion, rather than using loaded words to perpetuate hysteria. Agree? We will leave the hysteria regarding the filtering debacle alone for now. It's been beaten to death. Thankfully.So what's my point? Well, I am not sure I can make it in one posting. I try to keep things pithy. I guess I would ask you to entertain removing yourself from your delusional sanctimony and accept the reality that we as librarians censor on a daily basis. Yes censor!! (ahh the gasps) I would even argue that sometimes censorship, as understood commonly among those in our profession, is a good thing. If your convictions, and your constituency, requires the purchase of books such as Creed of Iron, Deceived, Damned and Defiant or Blood Ritual then buy em’. But chances are you will make a personal judgment or invoke your CDP to "censor" these books like most other librarians have done. Better yet, feature the White Power Warehouse www.whitepowerrecords.com as your feature "Censored Link of the Week" on your website. (You may want to add Jews, gays and communists to your warning for religious extremists)Sure this stuff is garbage, but what about the poor, skin-headed racists???? (You mention choking on Mein Kampf but this is relatively innocuous, read more for morbid curiosity than propaganda)Junk is junk and budgets are finite. Enter "censorship". If self-serving self-righteousness legitimizes the calling for some librarians. Fine. Just be sure not to "censor" the truth of how collections are selected to the public. The fact is you are no different than the rest of us. Sorry.BTW - Your website is a hoot! Terrific example of biased opinions being used to purport an unbiased ideology. Sort of like the ends justifying the means????

A lot of libraries carry The Turner Diaries

Just check WorldCat. Most of the large library consortiums in my state (and many of the county systems) have it. And I am in middle America. I read this book a few years ago for the same reason you (and I) read supply-sider "liberals-suck" tomes. To find out why this is so seductive to some. It was worth it, the whole thing seemed like self-parody, a put on. Another book that is harder to get (but instructive is the same way) is Norman Spinrad's "The Iron Dream". A fake science fiction novel supposedly written by Adolph Hitler in an alternate universe where was was, um, a science fiction author. Painful prose. But interesting. I like disturbing books, but that does not mean I am disturbed.

Re:what libraries should carry The Turner Diaries?

Censorship if you are in a position to influence what is selected based on your personal beliefs and not "objective" standards.

Re:A daring publisher

I enjoy the ideological pretentiousness of fellow
librarians when discussing their abhorrence to anything remotely
associated with censorship. It's amusing to me.

I wish I could say the same about the pretentiousness of the
intellectually naive and the ideology of the slavemongers when
they discuss anything remotely associated with freedom of thought
or the transmission of ideas or information.

And while I LOL at these self-anointed guardians of
freedom, I wonder if their hypocrisy is rooted in ignorance or
deception. I hope not the latter.

Hey, at least you find some grounds for amusement from those who
espouse the cause of liberty. Rest assured that there is nothing
whatsoever funny about the totalitarianism of censors and the
self-appointed and -annointed arbiters of righteousness and
morality. And I have very firm conclusions that their hypocrisy
is rooted in both ignorance and deception.

Understand that I make no pretensions regarding
censorship as a librarian. That's honesty.

Not necessarily; it could be, and in this case certainly is,
delusion. It depends on whether or not a person admits that
censorship is practiced by some librarians and that the practice
is deplorable, or if, as you admit, you believe that humans have
no ability to strive for higher ideals, and you purport that
there is no process of selection in practice as a result, but
that it is all necessarily censorship.

Understand too, that the word "censorship" is a
loaded term that carries a lot of baggage and is quick to raise
public attention. We all know this.

The same way we all "know" that the earth is flat? That it is
motionless in the heavens? That all niggers are lazy and are the
cursed seed of Ham? That Jews control the world press and the
world economy and are Christ-killers?

Personally, I do not know any such thing. I have, however,
observed the phenomenon of censorship advocates claiming that
such is the case. Also, I ask myself why they do that; the only
reason for it that I can see from my studies is that they are
attempting to invalidate any claims that the censorship being
attempted actually is censorship. One of the hallmarks of
censorship, after all, is a denial that anyone wants to affect it
in the case at hand. That message should have come across in the
South Texas ISD case. It was right there in plain english in the Valley Star article by Ms. Zeliznek.

And the word "evolution" is as emotionally laden for those who
"know" that the bible is the literal word of God from start to
finish and believe the earth was created in seven days of 24
hours duration each. You might "know" that censorship is an
emotionally laden term, but it appears that you only "know" it
emotionally. You do not seem to have an intellectual grasp of
the term. Those who study the issue of censorship in an effort to
understand the process from a sociological viewpoint as well as
from the viewpoint of civil liberties, recognize the word for
what it is and use it in that context. As a label to describe a
phenomenon. The rational mind does not react on an emotional
basis to the label, only to the phenomenon itself. Hence, the
rational mind does not hesitate to apply the label when and where
it is appropriate to do so.

I know you've heard this all before but I feel it's
time we introduce honesty into this discussion, rather than using
loaded words to perpetuate hysteria. Agree?

No. Because your ad hominem attack is one long diatribe of
anti-libertarian hysteria. And there is not, from my point of
view, one shred of honesty in it. Furthermore, in what way do
the terms: "hysteria", "ideological pretentiousness",
"self-anointed guardians of freedom", "ignorance or deception",
and "delusional sanctimony", fail to be loaded?

We will leave the hysteria regarding the filtering
debacle alone for now.

Then why bring it up at all? Why mention it if you want it left
alone?

So what's my point? Well, I am not sure I can make it
in one posting.

We have a saying in the writing business: if you can't make your
point in five minutes, you don't have one.

However, in this case I think quite honestly that you don't
have a point at all. Not, at least, any point you can verbalize.

I guess I would ask you to entertain removing
yourself from your delusional sanctimony and accept the reality
that we as librarians censor on a daily basis.

No, I will not, because it is not a delusional sanctimony (and
tsk: such emotionally laden words). The delusional sanctimony is
to be found in the attitude that a person does not have to make
any effort to attain a higher level of consciousness. Such an
attitude in this case appears to be founded on learned
helplessness; the idea the subject has that it is too much of an
investment of resources and there won't be any appreciable return
on the investment so why bother at all. In the case of those who
actively censor, instead of passively, the attitude stems from a
fundamental disrespect for the potentials of humanity.

Aside from which, I have adopted the conviction that there is
a difference between selection and censorship after due
consideration. In short: I already did entertain your notion and
I have found it to be bankrupt.

Yes censor!! (ahh the gasps) I would even argue that
sometimes censorship, as understood commonly among those in our
profession, is a good thing.

Then why do you keep a collection at all? By the way, you say
that it is commonly understood by the members or your profession
as if your viewpoint is held by the majority. Got any facts and
figures to back up that contention or are you merely spouting it
as an assumption the way ultra-conservatives spout their totally
unsupported proclamations about media violence and satanism?

If your convictions, and your constituency, requires
the purchase of books such as Creed of Iron, Deceived, Damned and
Defiant or Blood Ritual then buy . But chances are you will make
a personal judgment or invoke your CDP to "censor" these books
like most other librarians have done.

Once again: you are failing to consider the likelyhood of those
books being passed over simply on the basis of selection and
assuming a priori that it can only constitute censorship. Well,
fine, that is your prejudice and you have a right to it, but
nowhere have you offered any argument to support the contention.
You merely repeat it endlessly as if it is some kind dogma. What
factor of human psychology or sociology makes it impossible for
the phenomenon of selection vs: censorship; who did the work and
where is it published? Or, alternatively, what factors in the
various fields of human endeavour lead you to believe that
selection is a bankrupt concept?

Or try to explain to me how failing to consider a book for
inclusion in a collection could possibly constitute censorship
when the book is never considered at all for lack of funds.
Censorship involves content and viewpoint discrimination. How
can it possibly be censorship to not purchase a book if you haven't
even heard any rumours about what it contains?

Better yet, feature the White Power Warehouse
www.whitepowerrecords.com as your feature "Censored Link of the
Week" on your website.

I do not have such a feature on my site. However, if that group
has been challenged, kindly provide the pertinent details, or,
better yet, tell me where I can find those details for myself,
and I will write it up for inclusion in the chronology.

(You may want to add Jews, gays and communists to
your warning for religious extremists)

Which part of "religious extremism" does Jewish extremism fail to
fall under?

Ah, well, the political extremism, yes, I will grant you that.
So difficult, sometimes, to differentiate when you have a state
based on a general faith rather than any particular sect or
church. Actually, what I should do to properly qualify that is
to rewrite it as "any kind of extremist". All extremism is
inherently equally invalid.

Sure this stuff is garbage, but what about the poor,
skin-headed racists????

I have several entries where I slam city governments for
abrogating the civil liberties of white supremacists, most
commonly the KKK. As I point out, it is just as wrong to censor
hate-speech as it is to censor "mainstream" speech.

(You mention choking on Mein Kampf but this is
relatively innocuous, read more for morbid curiosity than
propaganda)

You've misinterpreted my words or are deliberately taking them
out of context. I was "chocking down" Mein Kampf because the
style in which it is written is so unpalatable for me that the book
cannot hold my interest. I find it boring. Not hateful. I
haven't even gotten far enough into it to find the hateful parts.
Or do you mean to suggest that finding a book boring is a kind of
censorship?

Junk is junk and budgets are finite. Enter
"censorship".

Again: prove it.

If self-serving self-righteousness legitimizes the
calling for some librarians. Fine. Just be sure not to "censor"
the truth of how collections are selected to the
public.

Those who support civil liberties in thought and deed will not
deny that there are librarians who use censorship in developing
their collections. I, and I believe most of them, will reject
your argument that all efforts at choosing constitute
censorship.

The fact is you are no different than the rest of us.
Sorry.

Sorry, but the fact is that you have no sense of self-worth, and
as with every bully, my sense of self-worth and aspiring to
personal growth and betterment galls you and makes you feel so
worthless that you are trying to build yourself up by tearing me
down. It's the bully's standard tactic. But those of us who
respect ourselves have had to put up with this crap since
kindergarten, and because we engage in personal growth, we are
easily able to recognize this sort of thing and shrug it off. We
know that your lack of self-respect is your problem, not ours.

BTW - Your website is a hoot! Terrific example of
biased opinions being used to purport an unbiased
ideology.

If you had studied my site to any depth you would have found that
in several comments I allude to my own biases and rhetoric. I do
not pretend to be unbiased, I merely make an effort to keep my
biased opinions separate from the reporting of the facts; which
is why my personal commentary is kept to within square brackets.
There are a few instances where my biases have tainted an entry,
but since you have already made up your mind that everything is
wrong-wing, you won't be able to pick out those nuances, so don't
worry about it. What I do not discriminate against, is what
others are allowed to say. Subject only to reasonable
time, place, or manner restrictions.

Oh, and you also seem to have ignored those entries where my
personal comments say an incident was misreported and did not
constitute censorship, and where I blow the whistle on what
appears to be deliberate misreporting.

An area where your message fails as a whole, is the
way you have so blindly invoked your own ideology and pretended
that it is perfectly rational and unbiased. I do understand that
the libertarian viewpoint itself constitutes an ideology by
definition, as with all systems of political beliefs, and I also
understand that everyone passes everything they perceive through
the filters of their personal biases and prejudices. Judging
from the tenor of your message, you do not, even though you try
to invalidate all of my convictions by saying I do these things.
Or was that a deliberate double standard morality?

Another area where your message fails is how you
try to pretend that censorship is only invoked while picking out
which books to include in a collection. You ignore the greater
scope of censorship. Would you care to try explaining how it is
normal and good when a book which has undergone the selection
process is suddenly deemed unfit for humanity and a demand is
made to remove it from the shelves or the curriculum? Is it a
good and normal thing that all Stephen King novels were
unilaterally banned by some school board officious from every
school in the Brookelane School District in Texas during the
2002-2003 school year?

How about Montgomery County? Was it normal to demand that the
librarian be fired because Robie Harris wrote a book in which he
failed to be intolerant enough towards fags and lezzies? Will it
be normal to not buy such books out of fear of losing one's job?

As for the difference between selection and censorship, for
the benefit of those who have not previously encountered the
issue, I liken it to the difference between the Light side and the
Dark side of the force. The Light side is used to promote the
interests of humanity, and the Dark side is used to promote the
selfish interests of the oligarchy. It requires a greater
investment of resources to promote the interests of humanity,
because it is basically an act of construction. It requires a
minimal investment of energy to censor, because it is a
destructive force, and censorship, like explosions, always
follows the path of least resistance. Which means simply
throwing something into the bonfire because one person heard that
it is a "dirty" book instead of reading it to find out for
yourself.

Re:A daring publisher

Careful. You’re banging your keys a bit too hard. I thought logically guys like you could eliminate emotion when in discourse. You know that's how Buckley does it ; )Gentle suggestion: Perhaps you should think carefully about a response before regurgitating the tired old "Kill the Censors Shtick". Think first, then respond. Much of what you posted was off the mark.Now allow me to lay the groundwork from which I posit my position regarding censorship. Read carefully and slowly. Let's keep this academic Fang.The complete elimination of "censorship" can be strived for but never attained. It is an impossible though commendable goal. Sort of like having too much money or having too much time to read. To state, "We don't censor in our library" is an oxymoron by definition. Now I notice you couch the term "selection" as somehow different than censorship. This is pure semantics. "I am sorry sir but according to Angelfire.com and my personal conviction regarding the difference between censorship and selection, I have decided not to purchase, Why My Johnny Plays Pocket Pool and Other Male Exploratory Questions." "But mind you WE DIDN'T CENSOR THIS! Would you like to check out my web page to learn why I didn't censor this????At least you recognize the quaint corner your argument deftly paints you in by admitting this conviction of dual definitions has been adopted by exactly one person. Yourself. I guess all the noise you hear is just from your one-man gallery.Moving on. I stated junk is junk and budgets are finite. Your retort was (Prove it). Well I have $130,000 in my collection development budget. I would say that is finite. Agree? Having established this, let’s move on to junk. How does one select a book? Academic merit, credibility of the author, relevance to the mission of the library, reviews, publisher, faculty input, curriculum, etc.... you get the point. How should I allocate my budget between books that would meet the criteria of our collection development policy (remember, we all have one of these codified censor policies) and those that don’t? YOU MAKE THE CALL FANG. Give me a percentage. A real number. No whining about hypotheticals here because it is not a hypothetical. (I'm betting the house you tip toe this answer because it beckons you out of your ivory tower)We have already established that I have a finite budget. Now I must somehow divorce my personal bias when selecting books. Get real. I tell the skinhead that I did not buy the White Trash Guide to World Domination because I have a FINITE budget and a responsibility to purchase better books that aren't junk. There you have it I CENSORED! Would I entertain buying a couple of these hate tomes. Sure. I have. But it will be a smattering at best. Something, according to you, that constitutes censorship because I have no compunction of labeling this stuff as junk.Censorship is unavoidable because humans purchase books. With that fact your argument is nothing more than a lofty ideal and a waste of web space. It's reality Fang. Get out of your basement. But here's the good news, we all do it. Do we like to admit it? Of course not. Do we try to avoid it? Most of the time, Yes. Punch your pillow but it doesn't change the reality outside of your bedroom walls. (Good luck finding the WhitePower books in WorldCat. And Kudos to the 99.99998% of the libraries who consider this stuff junk too)You speak about civil liberties. How about your fiduciary responsibility to spend taxpayers’ money wisely? (Your face is getting read. Deep breath) Am I inferring that a squeaky minority have the right to pull a book? No. But if you think dividing your collection development budget equally between "good stuff" and what many would consider material that has little artistic, literary or factual merit I say your irresponsible. So how do you do it without censoring?If you have a billion dollars and a chain of empty Super Wal Mart's then I say you’re close to your dream of no censoring. Or as you gently refer to your homespun credo of not buying certain books, selection. It certainly sounds more benign but the awful truth is that the outcome is the same. Now you prove to me where a book that is not "selected" is still available in that library.Just a few more points for your edification. You put the onus on me to provide details of any alleged censorship of WhitePower. Tell me, do you require the same of the other parties involved in the cases you unabashedly list? Perhaps this is a matter of bias with your own personal agenda???I find it interesting that you have an inherent distrust for extremists. Does your own extremism conflict with the distrust of those you wish to attack?? Don't tell me you’re not an extremist. Try the frogs, their greener.In closing, I think the crux of this argument is how the meaning of censorship is cleverly massaged. You are able to justify the passing over of books as a selection process. Fine. And good for Angelfire whoever the hell made them the ultimate arbiters of this debate. My A PRIORI argument is that any selection process, created by people with prejudices, biases, whatever, disqualifies any lofty notion of a "censorship-free" library. Simple.The difference is reality v idealism.Parting question. How do you rectify the flip side of censorship? What if libraries were mandated by the government to carry certain books? No exceptions. Let's even say they are free. Can I deduct from you "logic" you would eagerly accept this?Keep rattlin'

Re:A daring publisher

>>By the way, you say that it is commonly understood by the members or your profession as if your viewpoint is held by the majority. Got any facts and figures to back up that contention or are you merely spouting it as an assumption the way ultra-conservatives spout their totally unsupported proclamations about media violence and satanismBook BanishingU.S. News & World Report; 5/18/92, Vol. 112 Issue 19, p76, 1/8p, 1 illustrationNot bad for a 2 minute search? And these are only the ones who admit it.

Re:A daring publisher

Another nugget from the Blaise Cronin, Dean of Info Science at Indiana University. Again, my point is to simply demonstrate the obvious. Librarians censor. End of story.Whatever Happened to Common Sense?Library Journal; 09/01/2000, Vol. 125 Issue 14, p176, 1p ...Most public librarians, judging by what I read in the pages of LJ and American Libraries, seem to have an implacable antipathy to filtering or censorship of any kind, even though selection--the defining professional skill--necessarily entails such....

Re:A daring publisher

Once again you have resorted to ad hominem attacks and a raft of other logical fallacies. And you also attempted to redirect the debate.

Re:A daring publisher

Predictable.I guess better ad hominem than ad nauseam.

Re:A daring publisher

Predictable.

I guess better ad hominem than ad nauseam.

Neither is a valid mode of argument, and yet you do insist on employing both fallacies. Oh, well, if you want me to point out your intellectual shortcomings to the rest of the world that's your choice. I have enough time on my hands to humour you this afternoon.

Careful. You're banging your keys a bit too hard.

This is an
Argumentum Ad Hominem and otherwise devoid of content.

I thought logically guys like you could eliminate emotion when in discourse.

You didn't think about it at all much less logically, or you would have realized that such a premise is as unreasonable as trying to wipe out all censorship. Open mindedness and rational discourse are not about eliminating all emotion. They are about setting aside personal prejudice long enough to consider points of view with which you do not agree. A state which you have demonstrably not attained.

Gentle suggestion: Perhaps you should think carefully about a response before regurgitating the tired old "Kill the Censors Shtick". Think first, then respond.

Argumentum Ad Hominem. But I will reply to it: Tu Quoque.

Much of what you posted was off the mark.

This is just your personal opinion and constitutes neither a premise, an argument, or an explanation. You could not possibly prove the truth of such a statement, it is simply
Ipse Dixit.

Now allow me to lay the groundwork from which I posit my position regarding censorship. Read carefully and slowly.

If you could present your arguments with proper logical structure they might make enough sense that I wouldn't have to read carefully and slowly.

Let's keep this academic Fang.

You cannot ask others to do what you yourself will not or cannot do. That is a principle of leadership.

The complete elimination of "censorship" can be strived for but never attained.

Irrelevant. The topic under discussion is not the elimination of censorship.

It is an impossible though commendable goal.

It cannot possibly be a commendable goal if it is an impossible goal. The idea of wiping out censorship as a goal is as pathetically stupid as the wars on poverty, drugs, and terrorism; not to mention the nineteenth amendment.

Now I notice you couch the term "selection" as somehow different than censorship. This is pure semantics.

Only from the point of view that refuses to consider the issue at all. From the viewpoint of the rational mind, it is a matter of using a separate label to describe a separate phenomenon. Even if that phenomenon does not in fact exist the way you insist that it does not.

At least you recognize the quaint corner your argument deftly paints you in by admitting this conviction of dual definitions has been adopted by exactly one person. Yourself. I guess all the noise you hear is just from your one-man gallery.

This is an
Argumentum Ad Numerum. I am not wrong simply because I stand alone. Galileo stood alone and the world moves anyway. Moreover, I am not alone. I did not develop the concept of selection; I merely joined with those who believe in it.

Moving on. I stated junk is junk and budgets are finite. Your retort was (Prove it). Well I have $130,000 in my collection development budget. I would say that is finite. Agree?

Irrelevant; this is a Straw Man argument. The topic under discussion was your point that finite budgets necessarily create an atmosphere of censorship. Not whether the budgets were finite or not.

let's move on to junk.

"Junk" is a subjective determination. As the saying goes: One man's junk is another man's treasure. If you want to make sense when using the term then you'll have to properly define it. So, here's a question for you to tip-toe around: exactly what constitutes "junk"?

How does one select a book?
Academic merit, credibility of the author, relevance to the mission of the library, reviews, publisher, faculty input, curriculum, etc.... you get the point.

You can hardly support your argument that there is no such thing as selection by invoking selection in your argument. Your position is supposed to be that there is no such thing as selection because it actually constitutes censorship. You're eroding your own credibility here.

How should I allocate my budget between books that would meet the criteria of our collection development policy (remember, we all have one of these codified censor policies) and those that don't? YOU MAKE THE CALL FANG. Give me a percentage. A real number. No whining about hypotheticals here because it is not a hypothetical. (I'm betting the house you tip toe this answer because it beckons you out of your ivory tower)

Actually, your question is meaningless the way you have posed it. However, editing out the empty rhetoric leads me to interpret it to mean: How should I allocate my budget between books that meet our criteria and those that don't? If I have interpreted your incoherence correctly, then the way you have it written is a Red Herring. To answer the question as I interpret it: the entire exercise of the selection process is an attempt to spend one hundred percent of the budget on the best choices; what you have failed to show while dogmatically asserting that such is the case, is how it is censorship when you pass over a lesser book to buy the better book.

Oh, and one more thing: what the hell are you doing considering books that don't even meet your selection criteria in the first place?

We have already established that I have a finite budget. Now I must somehow divorce my personal bias when selecting books.

Red Herring.

Get real. I tell the skinhead that I did not buy the White Trash Guide to World Domination because I have a FINITE budget and a responsibility to purchase better books that aren't junk. There you have it I CENSORED!

No, you selected; allowing for your misuse of the word "junk", given the context. Once again (and ad nauseum): It would have been censorship if you had rejected the book because of its content or viewpoint. It is selection if you opt for a work of higher artistic or literary merit or quality.

Would I entertain buying a couple of these hate tomes. Sure. I have. But it will be a smattering at best. Something, according to you, that constitutes censorship because I have no compunction of labeling this stuff as junk.

No; once again: it is censorship if you reject the books because of content or viewpoint. Secondly, you seem to have created an Equivocation. Is this book junk because it was basically scribbled, due to lack of meritricity, or is it junk because you don't like the content? What is your intent in not selecting this book; that is where censorship enters into it.

Censorship is unavoidable because humans purchase books.

This is such a totally asinine statement that I honestly can not figure out how to classify it as a logical fallacy. Congratulations. And just to set you straight: censorship is a sociological phenomenon born of the interplay between manifest and latent functions. It has to do with the free flow of information and does not involve the written word alone. You can be stoned for a spoken blasphemy as much as for putting it in writing.

With that fact your argument is nothing more than a lofty ideal and a waste of web space.

Except you haven't proven your position to be a fact. All you can do is to say that it is, and that is not enough to make it so.

It's reality Fang.

Inside your mind, maybe, but I have a reality that seems to be too broad for that space.

You speak about civil liberties. How about your fiduciary responsibility to spend taxpayers' money wisely?

Not only are the two not mutually exclusive, but responsible spending is part of what the selection process is about. Again: to buy the best book available.

(Your face is getting read. Deep breath)

Guess again. Here's a reality for you: whatever you think you've got? -- it isn't enough to push anyone's buttons.

Am I inferring that a squeaky minority have the right to pull a book? No.

No, but you are arguing from the same position the bookburners take. The idea that humanity is too weak in the mind to aspire to a higher consciousness. As I mentioned previously: in your case it appears to be a matter of learned helplessness; in their case it one of

a fundamental disresepect for the potentials of humanity
.

But if you think dividing your collection development budget equally between "good stuff" and what many would consider material that has little artistic, literary or factual merit I say your irresponsible. So how do you do it without censoring?

How many times do I have to explain it to you? You read the books and pick the best one. Just because a book has a higher artistic merit that makes it more attractive does not necessarily make the other choices "junk". And just the fact that you do read the books, assuming that you do, is enough by itself to remove the process from the realm of censorship.

You put the onus on me to provide details of any alleged censorship of WhitePower.

It's called
Burden of Proof. You made an allegation, it's up to you to give supporting evidence or arguments. I merely asked for that supporting evidence. At any rate, this is another Red Herring. The topic under discussion in that point was not the validity of your claim. I had posted an irrefutable reply to your hastily made claim that I did not chronicle instances of censorship against supremacist groups. I reiterate: I do chronicle such attempts when I come across them, as best as I am able, and if you have any proof that WhitePower.com or whatever has been challenged just point me to that proof. In the meantime, try these:
09 Jan 2001;
20 Jul 2001;
19 Apr 2002;
29 Nov 2002;
20 Jan 2003;
07 Jul 2003.

Tell me, do you require the same of the other parties involved in the cases you unabashedly list?

I have on occasion. Which you would know if you closed your biscuit trap and opened your eyes and mind instead. Questioning Questionable Reporting

I find it interesting that you have an inherent distrust for extremists.

I find it interesting that you say that as if you don't.

Does your own extremism conflict with the distrust of those you wish to attack?? Don't tell me you're not an extremist.

Strange. I don't recall threatening anyone with forcing information on them. Do you have anything to back that up or is it just another attempt to invalidate my stance by making me look bad? Or a sly attempt to silence me? Perhaps I should chalk that one up to an
a
Argumentum Ad Baculum
. After all, the mere threat of being accused of heresy was enough to silence the academics who protested having their names fraudently associated with the Malleus Maleficarum in 1484. Although it just as easily could be pre-emptive invective. Gotta get your mud slung first, after all, to keep the other guy from using it.

In closing, I think the crux of this argument is how the meaning of censorship is cleverly massaged. You are able to justify the passing over of books as a selection process. Fine.

Whereas by massaging it your way you are able to justify the greater scope of censorship as being not that bad because everybody does it anyway. I've seen this sort of thing recently. Neo-nazi holocaust deniers do something similar when talking down the numbers of the dead, although their argument is that the six hundred thousand, by their count and "anyway it couldn't possibly even have been that many", wasn't so bad because the Allies killed at least as many Aryans in invading Germany.

And good for Angelfire whoever the hell made them the ultimate arbiters of this debate.

Angelfire is a web site host. Talk less, look more.

My A PRIORI argument is that any selection process, created by people with prejudices, biases, whatever, disqualifies any lofty notion of a "censorship-free" library. Simple.

My a priori argument is that your a priori argument is full of shit. Your a priori argument is exactly the kind used to "prove" that niggers are only fit for slavery and all Jews are moneygrubbing status seekers. The nicest thing that can be said of your a priori argument is that it is a Fallacy of Accident.

The difference is reality v idealism.

The difference is idealism vs: reductionism. Don't worry about it, though, I didn't expect you to get it.

Parting question. How do you rectify the flip side of censorship?

The flip side of censorship is freedom of thought and information. You rectify it by burning people -- and books -- at the stake. At least until your turn comes. I refer the reader to the case of Savanarola.

What if libraries were mandated by the government to carry certain books? No exceptions. Let's even say they are free.

If the government mandates which books a library is permitted to carry that is a very clear and present case of censorship and selection doesn't even enter into it. See Nazi Germany.

Children's Literature in Hitler's Germany: The Cultural Policy of National Socialism
Christa Kamenetsky -1984
ISBN 0-8214-0699-X
Dewey # 830.9 K15C

Now, here's a curve ball for you. What do you consider it if your anthropology section needs a book written from the white supremacist viewpoint and you have a choice between The Turner Diaries and a very well written, albeit pseudo-scientific text that is obviously claptrap? Your finite budget allows you to buy only one, but your supposed censorship policy does require that you buy one of them to fill out the collection.

Can I deduct from you "logic" you would eagerly accept this?

Speaking of reading carefully and slowly you might want to try it some time. Your spelling and punctuation are both lacking. Must derive from that fancy college education of yours. What a waste of tuition that was, eh?

Class dismissed. And feel free to mutter as you slink out the door about how the earth really doesn't move at all.

Re:A daring publisher

Well now, "Fang the Toothless Wonder" is now attacking my spelling and grammar. Pitiful. I guess you can only get so much mileage out of (all together fellow posters) AD HOMINEM.I would just suggest (gently of course) that there is a very good "LIKELYHOOD" that you shouldn't throw stones in glass basements. (I guess your Penguin Pocket Latin Dictionary didn't have this one?)And to say that I had been accused of changing my,(all together fellow posters) AD HOMINEM argument. Precious. Fangtastic.Claptrap, full of shit? Keep tossing Fang. I think it's obvious where your logic ends and your frustration begins. Another Twinkie and you'll be fine.Last request. Please...Would you be so kind as to share the url of your library online catalog? I can't wait to see your philosophy put into action. Baited breath.BTW - Curious how your posts are getting longer and mine shorter. I guess that five minute rule you spoke of earlier really is true?

A dick

Tomeboy, you may be right (if only in your mind), but why are such a dick? If you think libraries are a socialist, evil, politically correct institution, overthrow the idiots, or quit.

Re:A daring publisher

Well now, "Fang the Toothless Wonder" is now attacking my spelling and grammar.

<Shrug> What do you expect? You made it so easy for me. By my count there are forty-one (41) errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and I didn't even have to crack my Strunk & White. And what's the best you can come up with?

"LIKELYHOOD" [...]. (I guess your Penguin Pocket Latin Dictionary didn't have this one?)

And you still managed to put your foot in your mouth because you never stopped to consider cultural differences. My Oxford Canadian Dictionary uses Canadian spelling, and according to the OCD, my spelling it "likelihood" is quite correct. If you don't understand the global nature of internet communications, that's your problem, not mine.

Re:A daring publisher

Oh I see, it's cultural.As a favor, I took the liberty to submit a few creative spellings from your web site. Actually more than a few. I didn't bother including the fragments or made-up words. We can attribute those to creative license. (I admit this is petty but this is your game, not mine)BTW - Somthing tells me I don't think your cultural argument is going to explain all of these words.Lastly, for the sake of not embarrassing our resident wordsmith, or is that wordsmyth, I sent this list via your feedback button.Happy hunting.Regards till next time

Re:A daring publisher

As a favor, I took the liberty to submit a few creative spellings from your web site. [...] Lastly, for the sake of not embarrassing our resident wordsmith, or is that wordsmyth, I sent this list via your feedback button.

I would think that the resident wordsmith can decide for himself whether he is embarrassed or not. And how did you send that material? By e-mail or by posting a message to my guestbook? I haven't seen it anywhere.

Re:A daring publisher

If you really want the list let me know how you want it. Your call.I want to revisit my original contention.All librarians responsible for collection development are guilty of censorship, either consciously or subconsciously. Myself included. I would recommend that a more accurate term would be “collection development bias�. Now I am anticipating that you will not agree that this is censorship. I disagree. In fact I would argue that because of its prominence and subtle nature that collection development bias may be a more insidious form of censorship. Banned book lists are sexy. In fact, the books on banned book lists often enjoy more popularity than other titles. Good! But we need to understand the reality of how material is searched for and retrieved if we are going to have a serious discussion on censorship/collection bias.Let me explain.First, it is important to understand how patrons search for books. My experience is within academic libraries. Most patrons, especially college students, don’t search for specific titles. (This is important to remember.) Most often, they search for books by subject or keyword. A student is more likely so ask, “Do you have any books on assisted suicide,� rather than “Do you have, Prescription Medicine: the goodness of planned death by Jack Kevorkian�? This is a fact. They are searching with zero knowledge on the availability of all published subject matter. Call them sheep, but this is reality.When students search for books, they will hopefully plug in the relevant LC Subject Headings (at least in the US) and find a list of books. Perhaps they find 27 books with the heading “right to die�, 22 with “suicide assisted� and 51 with “terminal care – moral and ethical aspects�. This list of 100 books will more than likely serve to be a comprehensive list on this subject for the student. In other words, they will only select books from this list. I understand an argument can be made that bibliographic instruction should remedy this misunderstanding but again, I am speaking from reality. Students that look for comprehensive bibliographies or check other catalogs are the exception rather than the rule.Librarians’ with biases understand this too.As I look on my desk, there are countless trade catalogs. Oxford, Princeton, Regnery, Harvard, Wisconsin, Prometheus, etc., each representing hundreds of books with its own reputation as a publisher. Why do I mention this? Because many collection development librarians hold biases against entire publishers, much less authors and subjects. I know I do. For example, I will pick up the Princeton catalog before the Wiley, Elsevier before Springer Verlag, Praeger before Prentice Hall etc.. We all, at least many, have our favorites.When going through these catalogs, most students will never know the hundreds of titles I passed over. Is this selection or censorship? If I choose not to purchase, “Prescription Medicine: the goodness of planned death by Jack Kevorkian� because it is too expensive, not available in hardbound, don’t care much for Prometheus, or feel that we have adequate coverage on pro-assisted suicide material; the affect on our student is the same. In fact, most students (undergraduates anyway) would never know the book existed.Collection development bias is a serious issue and a form of censorship. Make no mistake. It may not be as sexy as banned books lists but it is a reality. We need to focus on the prevalence of subtle censorship rather than just the Harry Potter stuff. It’s much more widespread. Although collection development bias aka censorship can never be eliminated we can do better.I find it interesting to do subject searches in online catalogs on contentious subjects. Try this. Theoretically a collection should try to maintain a balance of material representing all perspectives of a given issue if possible. The reality is many don’t. And given that most patrons never know the difference, IMHO, this constitutes censorship.That's it!(I hope my content rather than grammar is considered here)

Re:A daring publisher

If you really want the list let me know how you want it. Your call.

Do it or don't do it, but it is entirely up to you. It is not my call. I am not responsible for your life.

I want to revisit my original contention.

And I see that you have done so in a manner more conducive to mutual dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. Thank you. Your arguments are well formulated and logically sound. I will take your opinions into consideration, however, I do not subscribe to your school of thought and am unlikely to. The point of view strikes me as too implausible.

BBSing [was Re:A daring publisher]

I still BBS. telnet to bbs.heinous.net login:bbs Name:New to set up an account.

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