Palin wanted to ban library books

Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." More,8599,1837918,00.html


If she was doing what the voters wanted done she was not necessarily injecting her religious beliefs. If the voters had not asked and she was looking into banning the books it would be clear that it was her personal motive.

The executive should be doing what the voters want.

By your logic all you need to function as an ideal "executive" is a good pollster. Obviously worked great during the many years of institutionalized racism in the South when the executives were simply "doing what the voters wanted." I think we should expect quite a bit more of our leaders than just being rubber stamps for the popular will.

'I think we should expect quite a bit more of our leaders than just being rubber stamps for the popular will.'

A main point of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution's Bill of Rights is the need for guides or laws to allow or require leaders to do the right thing, e.g., do not start wars or lie to the people or imprison people wilthout a trial.

Let's say a majority of voters want to put you in jail for your criminal lack of knowledge of something called the US Constitution. Would that be ethical? I say let's do it.

Was is the constitutional flaw in my argument? I said the executive has to operate under the constitution.

No, you said, "The executive should be doing what the voters want." You made no mention of the Constitution in your original post.

I agree with your statement, by the way. I think the executive should lock you up if that is what the voters want.

the government is supposed to uphold the constitution... banning books is not on the agenda!

Here's a hypothetical: You the governor of a state in the U.S., the super-majority of your voters want to enslave Black people. Please note that this would not be an illegal act, as no legally binding higher authority has prohibitions against slavery. In fact in this hypothetical the highest legal and judicial authorities patently endorse the chains of slavery. Unfortunately though, many of the more advanced and modern nations around the world, and even thousands of citizens in the U.S. (under the leadership of other governors) abhorr the practice. So their influence is not binding for you. Since "the exective should be doing what the voters want," as you said, then you must be for it. Let's see, has this happened at point in our history? Hmmm... Read closely please: banning books is clearly as aggressively immoral as slavery. Every single instance of banning books has become a lightning rod in history - yet another example of our worst behavior as human beings. I encourage you to consult the list of banned books throughout history, as promulgated by religious extremists nearly every single time, and determine the value of that previous statement for yourself. Here's one to start with: De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium. It was banned by the Catholic Church, even more powerful in Europe at the time than Mayor Palin in her time. It was written by a man Nicolas Copernicus with a central premise that the Sun, not the Earth was the center of the solar system.

"yet another example of our worst behavior as human beings." Wow. Just wow. I can think of many, many, many worse behaviors than book banning.

I may no expert in the law, but wouldn't a governor have to respond to federal law? If a state governor tried to "follow the will of the people" and impose slavery, wouldn't the federal government have some say so in all that? Please explain.

I think a great leap has been taken here that is not appropriate.

If we stipulate that removal of certain books from a public library has occured (this is not the actual case, but since we are using hypotheticals I felt it not innapropriate) we cannot make the leap to conclude that the book has been banned. Simply removing a book from a public library because of its content, while repugnant, is not book banning.

Tolstoy has been banned in Russia - even the posession of some of his works was illegal. The Catholic Church long published its Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which threatened not criminal prosecution but eternal damnation. These are much more grave than simply removing a book about two penguins from a public library because the majority of the community does not wish it to be there.

I can still buy the penguin book at a bookstore, I would have been imprisoned for attempting to do the same with The Kingdom of God is Within You.

Concerning your slavery comment...Have you ever read the Constitution? The 13th amendment or the first?? It is up to the people of Alaska to decide what books they want -this does not constitute violation of free speech. Congress did not pass a law that prevented the sale of these books. Alaska is within its rights decide what books to keep in their public library.

I don't think, even in Alaska, that the library's collection development policy is decided by "the people" in some democratic fashion. Lord help us if it did as this might fall under that "tyranny of the majority" we were warned about in the Federalist Papers.

Then you must agree that we should have gotten out of Iraq.

The base job of the executive is to follow the will of the people tempered by what is legal, constitutional, and morally correct.

No. The job of the executive is not to follow the will of the people, which changes with the wind. The executive is better informed about the issues than the "people," who rely on the media (who, by the way, are probably the least "liberal" group in society, or at least have been for the past eight years) who often get things wrong or at best distort things by oversimplifying them. The executive has to work on his/her own judgment and that of his/her advisers, and it is the judgment of the individual candidate that voters are electing. In the case of Governor Palin--or at least Mayor Palin--that judgement includes a total disregard for the first amendment (the cornerstone of American civil liberties) both in attempting to control freedom of expression in banning books from the public library and, more generally, attempting to destroy freedom of religion by forcing her own religious beliefs on the community. This does not bode well for a Vice President, who takes an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States." There is no additional phrase in that oath that says "except for the first amendment."

Man, I submitted this from my work computer and it came up under anonymous.

Geez, even when I try to stir up trouble something goes wrong.

While Drupal may not be Slashcode, it remains imperative to still preview before submitting.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
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The Palm Beach Post says that Palin "...exude[s] a naughty librarian vibe."

The Times Online
says " I love her beehive hairdo and glasses, the sexy librarian look."

Is sexy/naughty librarian supposed to be an oxymoron, or does this mean that librarians are breaking through the polyester ceiling of dowdiness?

Sarah Palin appears to have some ethics problems in dealing with employees. She seems to think government employees are her personal staff, and that municipal or state workers should do whatever she wants them to do. In fact, elected officers have relatively little power, and although she may want to kick around government employees, she is limited in what she can do to them or order them to do. She cannot tell government employees to disregard the laws, disobey the rules, or act unethically. And that covers an awful lot of territory.

The librarian does not have to jump when she says to jump. The chief of the Alaskan state police don't have to do everything she says or obey her whims. State acquisition and property disposal laws don't change simply because she wants them to change now. State and municipal employment regulations don't change, simply because she has a new office and title.

As governor she can threaten and can take some retribution, but that is open to other political pressure and this can really backfire on her, as it obviously is doing now. She can fire appointed officials, such as town's department heads, but not their career employees. The first time she comes against a federal employee union may be quite a shock to her.

I have seen this happen often (think of the Dilbert cartoons), and usually it happens to control freaks who want to advance in order to be able to order other people around. They often find when they get to the top, that they really have nothing to offer.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

I don't see any ethics problems - well other than those she reported and for which others were investigated and fined when she was on the Oil and Gas Conservation Board, from which she resigned because she felt there was a lack of ethics by the other members.

She rightly feels municipal and state workers who she supervises and whom legislation and regulation make at will employees of the mayor or governor can be subject to discipline by the person to whom they report. She is free to fire the head of the state police, and she was free to fire the police chief and librarian. The Court upheld her right to fire the Chief, and while no lawsuit was filed the residents petitioned for reinstatement of the librarian and Palin re-hired the librarian.

You can spin it any way you want, but there are no ethical lapses. There seems to be a panic thatwe may elect a conservative woman and mother - a woman just like many moms across the country with her own family's day to day problems - a woman who is not a lawyer nor beholden to special interests, someone who is very far outside the beltway, someone who dropped a dime of fellow Republicans when they acted unethically, someone who has executive experience - albeit in a small town and the largest state - but more than the opposing ticket. A smokescreen is being thrown up and it is unfortunate that many will fail to recognize it for what it is, a desperate grasping at straws attempt to discredit a woman who has performed ethically and conscientiously to the best of her ability personally, professionally, and politically.

If you don't see a problem with removing books from a public library because some don't agree with the language in them, then our country is indeed in deep trouble.
I wonder if Orwell's "1984" is in that library. It is eerily coming true.
Too bad we don't know which books - that would be very interesting.

Palin had some interesting responses to the Eagle Forum when she was running for governor in 2006.

Will you support the right of parents to opt out their children from curricula, books, classes, or surveys, which parents consider privacy-invading or offensive to their religion or conscience?

Yes. Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught.

I'm fine with parents removing their children from books. I'm less okay with the state removing books from children.

"Yes. Parents should have the ultimate control over what their children are taught." was her response. The rest was me.

I am not even in to women and find her insanely hot!

I am pretty sure that Palin also wants to kill puppies. Palin hates everything that liberals love. Especially puppies, kittens, and books.

Palin's problem is that she wants to "remove" the public choice. She wants a diverse population to conform to her narrow standard. It's a public library not her private collection. She's just like any other politician. Where's the "freedom" she talks so much about? What about the freedom to choose? I'm not just talking about books. What about reproductive rights? You're so fond of freedom until you disagree with the choice. Typical.

You went from library books to reproductive rights. Is that a euphamism for abortion?
Reproductive rights are all about choice, you know like her daughter could have chosen not to have sex, but she didn't make that particular choice - she chose the other option, so now they chose not to murder the child.

Seems like Governor Palin and her family are making all sorts of choices, just not the ones you like.

I think the public has a right to give her crap about her advocacy of abstinence only views for children when she wasn't parent enough to make it work in her own family. The least she should do is admit that her views aren't necessarily valid for everyone and stay off her high horse when its dead on it's feet.

It may be best to take a break and cool off. Play the issue, not the person. If that is something that can be mastered even at the blog known as Slugger O'Toole (they cover politics in Northern Ireland), I think it should be a simple matter to do so here in the US.

I agree with Matt that to go from book banning to discussing abortion is one heckuva conceptual leap. There are other sites, such as DailyKos or Democratic Underground, that would be more appropriate places for such. I do not ever want to push people away but it is very difficult using the site when one encounters such venomous, hate-filled, mean-spirited, and frankly evil utterances that are way out there in terms of incivility.

Please take a break, relax, and not get your blood pressure too high. Life is far too short for such bile.
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen
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I agree with Matt that to go from book banning to discussing abortion is one heckuva conceptual leap.

From everything I've seen, banning both are part and parcel of the same mindset. And Matt did not open a discussion about abortion, he pointed out that that this anti-rights advocate supported both book banning and control over the choices other women make.

Control over what information you may have access to, and how to run your own life, in other words.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.