Johnston County censorship in action!

This article comes to us courtesy of ALA's Library Direct e-mail. Johnsonton County is on the hunt for books to remove from its collection after removing "How the Girls lost their accents". What scariest of all is that they aren't waiting to react, they're just looking for books that are "offensive."


So long as the books removed fall within Board of Education v. Pico, I see no problem. This is a national example to be copied everywhere. Think about it. How long will the ALA continue to push such books without people finally rising up against the ALA? Well, some more people have finally said enough is enough.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you and your website, but it sounds like you want to police what everyone reads, by removing books that are "offensive". One of the purposes of libraries are about giving people the opportunity to read things they wouldn't otherwise find. Sure they could buy it if they really want to read it, but how do they know if they can't see it?

The problem with saying something is "offensive" is you can make an argument that anything is offensive, including the Bible or the Koran. Where does it stop?

I have no problem with people saying they don't want their kids to read something. I do have a big problem with censorship and that's what this is.

Luckily SafeLibraries is just a single (but loud) voice. Effing had a pretty good entry about him the other day.

How long will ALA continue to push such books?

Forever. Got it? Those of us who value freedom of expression and the pluralism of ideas in the public sphere will ...

... read this carefully ...

Never, ever, ever stop, give up, relent, admit defeat, slow down, falter, retreat or yield.

Your every attempt to substitute your morals for someone else's will be met by screeching, furious opposition.

Your every attempt to force people to read and think in the 19th century will will be met by a chorus of ten thousand voices.

You want to get the librarians out of the library so you can steal all the dirty books?

Fine. I don't plan on leaving the fight any way other than feet first so come and get some.

And you better bring more than just you and a web site that might as well have "LOONY" in blinking type across the top of each page.

Folks, calm down. Yes, my web site is not eye candy. So what?

No, I never said anything about "offensive" books. That's from the article, not from me.

No, I am not imposing my morals anywhere, although that's what the ALA does and no one complains.

Listen carefully now. I am not telling people what to do. I am pointing out that the ALA is telling people what to do, and the people can avail themselves of Board of Education v. Pico and other Supreme Court cases and other means to do what they want to do in their own communities, whatever that may be. I fail to see why that is so controversial, yet getting people to ignore the US Supreme Court so children will read material proscribed by the US Supreme Court then be inappropriately s-x-alized is not controversial.

And I'm not the only voice. More and more people's children are being s-x-alized by the ALA, in my opinion, so more and more are asking where do librarians g-t off pushing graphic or-l s-x on young children.

Now we do not have the funding of the ALA from sources like the Pl-yboy Foundation like the ALA so our web sites are not pretty. Yet you attack that as a reason to get other people to think less of us. Now Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" includes, "The fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage." What you are doing is ridiculing me, my ugly web site, and anything else that has nothing to do with the issues. However, I am not infuriated, and instead it works to my advantage to point out that your ad hominem attacks, even if true, are irrelevant to the underlying issues.

Whatever you say about me, that does not change that communities may use Board of Education v. Pico and other means to remove inappropriate books from public schools. As I said originally, "So long as the books removed fall within Board of Education v. Pico, I see no problem." Nothing controversial there. You have no defense against that or that I am only asking for what is already allowed by the US Supreme Court, so you attack me, Alinsky radical style. It only makes you look weaker and makes people wonder what's so evil about the US Supreme Court that you are drawing people's attention away from its guidance.

Mr. Justice Brennan, writing for the majority:

While petitioners might rightfully claim absolute discretion in matters of curriculum by reliance upon their duty to inculcate community values in schools, petitioners' reliance upon that duty is misplaced [p854] where they attempt to extend their claim of absolute discretion beyond the compulsory environment of the classroom into the school library and the regime of voluntary inquiry that there holds sway.

and more from Justice Brennan:

The evidentiary materials before the District Court must be construed favorably to respondents, given the procedural posture of this case. When so construed, those evidentiary materials raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether petitioners exceeded constitutional limitations in exercising their discretion to remove the books at issue from their school libraries. Respondents' allegations, and some of the evidentiary materials before the District Court, also fail to exclude the possibility that petitioners' removal procedures were highly irregular and ad hoc -- the antithesis of those procedures that might tend to allay suspicions regarding petitioners' motivation

Parents have always had the right to challenge and boards and officials have always had the right to remove items. Further the ALA Bill of Rights states that the local community should be the primary source of library standards.

But Pico says that the school boards may not simply rely on one or two families or a narrow, ad hoc set of standards for restricting access to materials or removal.

p.s. I was ridiculing you because I think you're funny. ALA spending Hugh Hefner's money warping children and forcing them, "A Clockwork Orange"-style to read filthy books about filthy secks? C'mon. That's a hanging curveball over the heart of the plate.

Yes, it sounds like a hanging curve ball because it could not be true, but truth is stranger than fiction. Forcing them to read inappropriate books is accomplished in a number of ways, including awarding such books with top awards that ensure the maximum possible exposure. Heck I even saw one such book being sold in a supermarket checkout aisle at kid eye level next to "Bob the Builder," courtesy of that beautiful gold seal of approval from the ALA. That sounds strange too, no? But I got a picture of it here:

<sarcasm>Maybe if the ALA gave it the gold p3nis of approval, that would be okay because then people would be appropriately forewarned.</sarcasm> That's part of the problem. On the one hand the ALA says it's the parent's responsibility, but then, on the other hand, the ALA intentionally misleads the parents as to the contents of the material. Informed consent is near impossible, and the children end up the losers. The children get the very material pushed on them that Board of Education v. Pico and other laws and cases were designed to stop.

Of course, according to you, Pico is a case with such a fine needle to thread that it is nearly impossible to apply. Nice try, but no go. The US Supreme Court rarely decides cases so narrow that they almost never apply.

First ALA doesn't set store displays, blame whatever supermarket that you were in not ALA for putting a book for young adults next to one for children. In the photo the ALA book appears out of place from the rest of the rack. IF ALA has gained that type of power then I see that are due money has gone to good use to control displays in every store in the world.

Second ALA is not only group that gives out book awards. Believe it or not books aren't always chosen for their awards, but for other reasons, such as content. Regardless of who gives the award I don't really think any of the groups have hitmen out there saying "Buy our book or we'll force you to read it!"

Thirdly I'm not sure how giving an award takes control away from parents. The award only says that it met certain qualifications by whomever judged it, not that its okay for everyone, that is still up to the person buying the book

ALA doesn't force people to read books. Awards are given by every major press in the world, but you and you're sight don't seem to be holding them responsible for anything.

Robert Frost - "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

The penguins are coming,

Okay. The wind up of all this is that children should access inappropriate material despite the law, the Court, community standards, common sense, etc. Anything goes. Kids are going to learn about bestiality anyway, so they might as well learn it young so they know how to handle it when the dog is doing the doggie style, right? It's good for parents to have to talk with children about such things brought up in ALA recommended books, right? To you and the others here there's never a reason to keep inappropriate books for children away from children, right? The Pico case never applies because like the death penalty it takes 20 plus years to prove the matter, right?

Tell me. What is gained when children access inappropriate material?

Something is not inappropriate just because you don't like it. Kids are a lot smarter, tougher, and more resilient than you give them credit for, and any reader will look for material that is in keeping with his or her particular interests.

One of the things that is served when people, however young they might be, are left to select books for themselves, is the ideals and principles of freedom and personal liberty upon which the U.S. was founded.

Should I start asking you why it is you hate American freedom the way "terrorists" do?

Save the easily offended: ban everything.

If you ever wondered why some here think you are an intellectually dishonest hysteric, your above post should tell you.

No one said anything about children being about to read or see anything with no restrictions. They have a big restriction: their parents.

Further why should one parent or one family decide what is appropriate for mine?

"To you and the others here there's never a reason to keep inappropriate books for children away from children, right? The Pico case never applies because like the death penalty it takes 20 plus years to prove the matter, right?"

I think you may have a misunderstanding about what Supreme Court cases do. You can't walk up to a copy of "Sandpiper" take it and then say "Pico" three times as you do a fast stations of the cross. It doesn't work that way.

When does Pico apply? When an appealate court says it does. It's not really a determination we get to make. It's not a licence to do one thing or an other. It's a ruling that allows lower courts to make decisions in other, similar cases.

"Tell me. What is gained when children access inappropriate material?"

I don't know. When did you stop beating your wife?

I'm ignoring Fang-Face -- he's pure ad hominem again and again.

As to Chuck, he says, "When does Pico apply? When an appealate court says it does." So we are all to believe Pico never applies unless and until a case makes it past the lower level courts to the appellate level. That is purely wishful thinking. That is pure delay, delay, delay. It's unrealistic to expect a small community to have the money to face off against the ALA and the ACLU to the appellate level. But that's the point, isn't it.

Further, the statement proves exactly what I have been saying about people like you. Thank you for saying something so ridiculous that you make my job easier. What a mockery you have made of the Pico decision. And your attacks on the Christian religion ("fast stations of the cross") further weaken your arguments.

Personally, I choose to be guided by Pico, not by the ALA, you, and your excuses not to follow Pico. Children are more important than made up rules that attempt to get people to ignore the very US Supreme Court case that is a major key to removing pervasively vulgar material from public schools. You don't get that, though -- that's why you made a joke of my serious question. The ALA has serious answers for that question. I wanted to hear yours. Instead you continue to ridicule me to divert people. It's not working. Please answer the question.

I did not answer your question because it would mean that I agreed that the materials are offensive or inappropriate. I do not.

That is not a decision for you or I to make for people other than our own children. And one family does not get to decide that something gets removed from a public or school.

I don't believe that reading about seks, even graphically, is bad for all kids and teenagers. It depends on the child and the material.

In the case of "Sandpiper" it's interesting to note that the book is anti-early seks. The passages quoted are totally out of context. I think a cautionary tale about seks would be a good thing for teenagers to read.

Pico gives school boards, etc. a mechanism for hearing complaints legally and giving parents a means to express their opinions.

But one family's morals cannot govern a whole town. Or ten. Or a hundred.

Yes, it's probably very hard (politically, financially, etc.) to get a book removed. ALA makes it hard and the ACLU makes it hard. And librarians make it hard like land mines make jogging hard.

Boo hoo. Stop whining to the referees and play.