Sarah Palin, would-be banner of books

Time Magazine says that when Sarah Palin took office as mayor, she approached the town librarian and asked how to go about banning books from the town library:
[Former Wasilla mayor] Stein says that as mayor, 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.” The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn’t be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving “full support” to the mayor.
Sarah Palin, VP nominee

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  1. One can hope, Mojave, but never underestimate the power of stupidity, or the extreme right wingers to whom Palunatic panders to.

  2. Whn y hv smthng ndr pltcl cntrl nd bng pblclly fnncd, th ppl wh hld ffc hv vry rght t nfrc thr wll n tht pltcl nstttn. Ths s prcsly why w shld hv s fw nstttns shld b ndr pltcl cntrl.

    Sm wth th pblc schls whn t cms t crrclm. Th wnnrs wrt th crrclm nd dcd wht gts tght.

    Gt th lbrrs nd schls t f pltcl cntrl r dl wth hvng th wnnrs mss wth yr mny nd yr wrld.

  3. hehe, as much fun as that rumor is, I understand the timeline of their respective prengancies makes that impossible.

  4. If she’s a banner of books, that can only help her get more votes from conservatives. She should brag about it in her speech tonight.

  5. Fun? Evil and irresponsible. For her detractors, Palin’s political record provides enough fodder against her. Leave her family life out of it.

  6. I wish I could ask McCain face to face how it feels to step on your dick. Palin is an insult to just about everyone, eccept the far far right,(even with her un-wed mother daughter).

  7. Well, given that she was a member of the “Alaska Independence Party” and wanted Alaska to secede from the Union, only the libraries in her new country…(Alaskastan?) would be affected.

  8. @#5

    I disagree, the problems you describe seem to be more a function of corruption and extremism more so than merely being public institutions.

    Education is probably the best example where people who have an agenda can twist and corrupt something beyond recognition. Look at how often some people use “home schooling” as a way to make an end run around school boards who won’t teach creationism. Never mind that the whole point to education is (ideally) to create knowledgeable individuals who can go on to be productive members of society, a frightening number of people are using education as a form of indoctrination and instead of allowing students to learn and make their own decisions, they’re stacking the deck so to speak and trying to make sure they brainwash as many kids as they can.

    By the same token, libraries, when run by people who respect the concept and the institutions have nothing to fear if they’re publicly funded. Unfortunately, if you bring in the wrong kind of leaders, people who are hell bent on pushing their agendas, then all bets are off (just as they would be if the owner of a private company decided to push their agenda at the expense of profitability etc…).

    If we can learn anything from Palin, it’s that the bogyman err woman to fear is blind adherence to extremist viewpoints coupled with a willingness to do anything to “win.” I’m not afraid of the Republicans because they have a different viewpoint, I’m terrified of them because they (as a group) seem perfectly happy to enforce and inflict their viewpoints on myself and the people I care about.

  9. @5, she could be lying about how far along her daughter’s pregnancy is. It might only be three or four months, and the baby will be “late”. It’s not unheard of for a woman to get pregnant within two months of giving birth. (My mother and her sister are only 11 months apart.)

    Or – this is more cold-blooded and sinister – she could be lying about her daughter’s pregnancy ALTOGETHER, and in a few months the same friendly Alaska hospital will say, “Oops! Miscarriage. Happens all the time with first pregnancies.”

  10. #7: I wouldnt go so far as to say evil, not by a long shot (considering the world is rife with rapists, murderers, people helping to commit genocide, etc, putting a simple rumor into the same category seems a bit.. heavy handed). But I agree that families should be kept out of it.

    Sorry, moving right along..

    I tend to think the conservative voters who support bookbanning would be voting for McCain anyway. Her psycho stance on assorted issues won’t make her look more appealing in the eyes of the independent voters.

  11. @5 – srsly dbt tht srh pln s th bby’s mthr. th whl stry bt hr flyng 3k mls frm txs t lsk *ftr* hr wtr brk rss lt f cncrn fr m.

    nchrg Dly Nws
    http://www.dn.cm/626/stry/382864.html
    “””
    Pln ws n Txs lst wk fr n nrgy cnfrnc f th Ntnl Gvrnrs ssctn whn sh xprncd sgns f rly lbr. Sh wsn’t d fr nthr mnth.

    rly Thrsdy — sh thnks t ws rnd 4 .m. Txs tm — sh cnsltd wth hr dctr, fmly physcn Cthy Bldwn-Jhnsn, wh s bsd n th Vlly nd hs dlvrd lts f bbs, ncldng Ppr, Pln’s 7-yr-ld.

    Pln sd sh flt fn bt hd lkd mntc fld nd ls flt sm cntrctns tht smd dffrnt frm th fls lbr sh hd bn hvng fr mnths.

    ” sd m gng t sty fr th dy. hv spch ws dtrmnd t gv,” Pln sd. Sh gv th lnchn kynt ddrss fr th nrgy cnfrnc.

    Pln kpt n cls cntct wth Bldwn-Jhnsn. Th cntrctns slwd t n r tw n hr, “whch s nt ctv lbr,” th dctr sd.
    “””

    myb t ws dptd.

    Brstn Pln cldn’t b th mthr — sh ws t f schl wth mn fr 5 mnths.

  12. @#13

    Gvn hr pstn n th brtn dbt, ‘d ctlly b crs t knw smthng. Nt tht wsh hr ll, bt yr mscrrg cmmnt md m wndr, wht wld thy d f thy wr frcd t chs btwn mntnng th prgnncy nd brtng t t sv hr dghtr’s lf? fr tht s f hr bcmng th VP pck th qstn s pnflly bvs, bt t stll mks m wndr. Wld sh rsk th dghtr sh knws nd lvs t frthr hr pltcl sprtns, r wld sh fnd sm wy t jstfy dng smthng t sv hr dghtr?

    sm t rcll hrng fr bt f ncdtl vdnc frm pr-R-v-Wd bt hw wll-t-d fmls wld ftn mk rrngmnts t sfly trmnt nwntd prgnncs vn whl rlng gnst th vls f “kllng bbs” (.. th d s sy nt s d mntlty).

  13. @7 pstd by Mrk Frnfldr wrt:
    <>
    f sh’s bnnr f bks, tht cn nly hlp hr gt mr vts frm cnsrvtvs. Sh shld brg bt t n hr spch tnght.

    Th vst mjrty f nfrngmnt n fr xprssn n th Wst cms frm th Lft, nt th Rght. Ht spch lws, sng Crgslst fr pblshng “llgl” prfrncs fr hsmts, th Cndn gvrnmnt tryng t slnc Mcln’s nd Mrk Styn wth “Hmn Rghts Trbnl”, tc.

  14. @#18

    True, the (far) Right usually just sees fit to burn books, CDs, and anything else they don’t like.

    /cynic

  15. I have not been as frightened for the future as I have been since this woman was nominated. I feel like I live in Super Crazytown.

    Dont put it pass these crazy bastards to steal this election too.

  16. TJIC: Limiting this discussion to the US – not Canada:

    There is an actual difference between legitimate speech and incitement to a crime.

    Ther are laws against “hate speech” precisely because that speech is incitement to a crime, in some fashion.

    One has the right to express one’s opinion. One has the right to express extreme hatred. One does not have the right to hijack a government, governmental process, governmental office, governmental body, or taxpayer dollars to amplify that speech.

    Anyone claiming that the “vast majority of infringement” of free expression comes from “the Left”, has completely ignored the decades-long history of censorship regarding sex information, STD information, evolution, Larry Flynt’s travails, the incredible proliferation of local Blue Laws still on the books but unenforceable, and the ever-recurring struggle by someone, somewhere, to take Kurt Vonnegut off a library shelf.

  17. It should be noted that while Governor of AK, Ms. Palin lowered taxes for wealthy corporate interests and raised them for most other Alaskans. Censorship, old buddy politics, pork-barrel spending, environmental irresponsibility, personal vendettas resulting in lawsuits… It all sounds strangely familiar! She’s a shoe-in!

    Seriously though, the daughter and pregnancy seem to be a story *released* by the campaign and used to steer attention away from these other more relevant issues. And while the media concentrates on it, they get to play the victim. Very choreographed.

  18. @17 – ssm sh’d rtnlz n brtn fr hr dghtr, jst lk ths ppl d:

    < hrf="http://mypg.drct.c/w/wrtr/nt-tls.html" rl="nfllw">Th nly Mrl brtn s my brtn

    Whch thrd ws t tht dscssd th dffrnc btwn sympthy nd mpthy?

    1. Of all the things that could be discussed about Ms. Palin, like the subject of the post for instance, everybody wants to talk about her baby-making history. Do you know what that says about your view of women?

  19. TJIC@18 —

    I don’t disagree. I’m saying that religious fundamentalists are going to be pleased to learn that she wanted to ban books from libraries.

  20. #10:
    >Well, given that she was a member of the “Alaska Independence Party” and wanted Alaska to secede from the Union, only the libraries in her new country…(Alaskastan?) would be affected.

    I think the territory for Alaskastan would overlap the land claimed by the unrecognized nation of Sasquatchistan.

    Personally, that’s a war I’d like to see.

  21. If the GOP ever had much of a librarian vote, I think they lost most of it to the PATRIOT Act. Needless to say, this kind of news certainly isn’t helping woo them back.

  22. Leave the babies out, unless she lied about it. Sorry if she lied, it is a very important issue of honesty.

  23. Slw J Bdn’s sn nd brthr hv bn ndctd fr dfrdng nvstrs f mllns nd ths s stry? Rlly? D w nd t dscss Rzc nd Bll Wllm rs nd Brndn Dhrn…

  24. Antinous, I think it speaks more to people’s inherent love of gossip, honestly.
    The McCain campaign is counting on it. Offer the media something to juicy to resist. Cry foul when it becomes the focus, and avoid substantive issues.

  25. I kind of find it sinking to the level of the McBush campaign too, sexism or gossip-mongering. Better to hew her head from her shoulders honourably with fair combat over religious lunacy, censorship and general incompetence mingled with suspect character.

  26. Knd f rnc hw n tpc f bk-bnnng, ppl’s cmmnts r md nrdbl by th gvrnrs f ths st. vn cmmnts nt bt th bnnd “bsttrc hstry.”

    Mrk, s ths hw t wrks nw? Nt vn n th hgh-mtn dys fllwng 9/11 wr BBs cmmnts sctn vttd lk ths.

  27. ah shaddup Paulm, the topic is clear, the rules are clear and Antinous is clearly right in this matter. Chasing after the National Enquirer crap plays into the hands of the demons.

  28. Ugh, I thought she just oppossed a bigger library and cut funding for her town’s museum (link), but now I find out she actually considered to banning books? Screw her.

    And oh yeah, she cut all that funding, she also approved of increasing to build a new sports complex. Remind you of high school yet?

    “Sorry kids, no arts or music classes, the football team needs new uniforms!”

  29. Paul, I think the point was gossiping about Palin’s daughter was off topic and threadjacking.

    Threadjacking is a nono on pretty much every forum on the entire internet, with relatively few exceptions.

    and, uh, this post is kind of threadjacking too, it really belongs in the moderation thread..

    sorry :P

  30. In 1997, Palin ordered Baker to weed three titles due to “inappropriate language”:

    “James and the Giant Bottle of Peach Schnapps”
    “The Hardy Boys Investigate Each Other”
    “Horton Makes A Sex Tape With Hilton”

  31. I’m feeling a bit ‘republicanish’ today …
    can I ban ‘PaulM’ from posting anything but unicorn chasers?

  32. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there are dozens of other reasons BESIDES her fake baby/daughter baby story for her NOT to be a heartbeat away from the button…….this will pass.

    Obama in a landslide.

  33. Does Boingboing’s vaunted commitment to reason and skepticism fly out the window when it comes to digging dirt on a prominent conservative? I for one would like to know where John Stein’s proof is that Sarah Palin did this. The oblique reference to news reports is not enough to convince me.

    I’m also unclear on why MillerTSmith’s point is out of bounds. Why shouldn’t public library content be subject to democratic control?

  34. phlamer@54, sure homie! anything you don’t like or feel threatened by should be immediatly removed from all book shelves and burned! how dare someone print something you all powerful ‘con-servatives’ disagree with! oh, the shame! yes, this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they coined the 1rst amendment. jeebus, you and LIONEL need to get a room…

  35. @PaulM,

    Why don’t you skip the obstetrics, and go for the much simpler ( and more fun ) question of whether or not she still believes in ‘Abstinence Only’ education for teens…

    Or whether she believes her failure to teach her daughter ‘Proper Christian Values’ means that she is a failure as a parent.

    Her daughter made some bad choices – as all 17 year old kids do – she just happened to win the lottery on ‘bad consequences that dont kill you or send you to prison’. Leave her alone, and stop playing games that would even embarass Karl Rove. Then go take her apart on the REAL issues… there are certainly enough of them.

    Eeyore

  36. I’m sure she wasn’t trying to ban “Catcher in the Rye” — after all, the secret shadow government still needs that book to trigger the assassination of Obama if the Diebold voting machines fail.

  37. #55: you’re implying there that pretty much any criticism of her at all is based on her gender.

    Dangerous, highly flawed argument to make. And Id like to think that that 51% arent foolish enough to fall into the trap of that arguement and see her for what she is.

    A threat to the integrity of this country.

    Course if people dont care bout things like book burning and intellectual freedom I guess they can just go vote for her just because of what she’s got in her underwear.

  38. Minty #58

    I didn’t say that a book should be pulled from all shelves. I *asked* why a *publicly funded* and *government run* library should not have its corpus subject to public review.

  39. because i have the right to read whatever the fuck i want to. and you , or even a majority of voters shouldn’t be able to mess with that right. that’s why. fuck your “public review’!

  40. @63

    You have the right to. Why do you have the right to do so on my tax dollar?

    #65

    Again, considering that the whole story may be questionable, but it says that Palin heard from some of her supporters. How should such review happen if not through the democratic representative process? Referendum?

  41. I hate this “leave the politicians’ families out of it” nonsense. It is obvious that our personal lives are poker chips in their games; white chip: library “reading rights”; blue chip: drugs; red chip: abortion. Why should I respect theirs?

  42. FLAMER@66: Do you know how little of your tax $ goes to funding libraries? When compared to all the other pork-barrel out there, you choosing your battleground here is very telling.

    The problem with choosing to eliminate books is that there are very different opinions about what books are valued and which are not so much. Already there is public input about what goers into a public library (requests are solicited in every one of them) but to remove selections comes from wanting to limit information and access to ideas. This is NOT what a supposedly democratic society is about. Ideas are not seen as dangerous, in themselves, in a free society. As Minty said, (paraphrasing) just check out what you want, but don’t limit someone else’s choices.

    “Books are burning
    In the main square, and I saw there
    The first eating the text
    Books are burning
    In the still air
    And you know where they burn books
    People are next
    I believe the printed word should be forgiven
    Doesn’t matter what it said
    Wisdom hotline from the dead back to the living
    Key to the larder for your heart and head
    Books are burning
    In our own town, watch us turn ’round
    And cast our glances elsewhere
    Books are burning
    In the playground
    Smell of burnt book is not unlike human hair
    I believe the printed word is more than sacred
    Beyond the gauge of good or bad
    The human right to let your soul fly free and naked
    Above the violence of the fearful and sad
    The church of matches
    Anoints in ignorance with gasoline
    The church of matches
    Grows fat by breathing in the smoke of dreams
    It’s quite obscene
    Books are burning
    More each day now, and I pray now
    You boys will tire of these games
    Books are burning
    I hope somehow, this will allow
    A phoenix up from the flames”

  43. #67: Why? Bcs tw wrngs dn’t mk rght. Bt fl fr t sll t yr prncpls t wg wr f hyprbl n n lctn tht y nd 100% f vrybdy rdng ths st hv lrdy md p thr mnds n.

    nd n cs tht 100% sttstc ws nvld, BngBng lrdy gv p ll thr crdblty s crdbl src f nfrmtn n th cnddts wth thr jvnl “Cyln” nd “D&D chrctr shts” strs. ll tht’s lft t d hr s wtch n msmnt s mst f th cmmntrs fl thmslvs nt thnkng tht th chc s bvs bsd n thr prsnl slctv cnsdrtn f th fcts nd pstns, r tht thr s ny chnc whtsvr tht ny cmmnt r stry pstd hr wll hv ny mpct whtsvr n vn sngl vt. t wll ls b msng t wtnss th rny f th rmnng pstrs gttng thr cmmnts dsmvwld.

    t dsn’t mttr. t th nd f th dy, n f th tw mjr prty’s lyng, pndrng, bffns s gng t gt lctd nd w gt t fnd t whch brnd f fckd w r.

  44. I don’t have a problem with Adolph Hitler’s, Sean Hannity’s, Rush Limbaugh’s, george bush’s, Richard Nixon’s, or Ann Coulter’s books being in the public library, for example. I don’t feel threatened in the least by their utterly diametric opinions to my own being out in the public domain, and in fact, I defend their rights to be there too. Just don’t touch my Mark Twain, Phillip K. Dick, or Kurt Vonnegut either.

  45. But then that’s not democracy. Democracy is rule by the will of the people, no matter if the people are ignorant, prejudiced, or cowardly. If we don’t like that, if we want principles like freedom and knowledge even though they outweigh the will of the people, let’s go with it, but then don’t let’s be hypocrites and call ourselves democrats.

    Point being that Governor Palin was democratically elected and proceeded to use her just powers derived from the consent of the governed to do their will. I won’t mark it against her that she lacked the categorical imperative to know where democracy stops and principle kicks in.

  46. nah, you’ll get disemvowelled for being snotty and superior on scant evidence. Democracy is untidy, brash, obnoxious,loud and more fair than just the smart people talking. I hate it too, but I’m smart enough to see reality.

  47. Lionel, it’s not swiftboating if it’s true.

    I don’t think all the prurient gossip about her and her daughter’s pregnancies is cool, to be sure. But stuff like this? Is totally unrelated to her gender.

    Get a clue: 18 million Hillary supporters are currently going “Does John McCain really think we’re this stupid? Are we really supposed to fall for this just because she’s female?”

    My mother, for example, is going to flip her lid when she hears about this. She’s a librarian. Librarians do NOT stand for people banning books.

  48. Ys, Mntphrsh, vr snc th dfntn f trllng ws chng t ncld nt gng lng wth pplr lcl pnn.

    Tkn, bth prts hv lng, strd hstry f pndrng, nd sllng t bt plyng t ff s tkng th mrl hgh-grnd. Thy’ll bth sll t r cvl rghts, jst dffrnt ns. Thy’r bth “dfndrs” f th cvl rghts tht th fnd cnvnnt. Wnt vdnc? Gy mrrg, brtn, gn wnrshp, pryr n schls… Th lst gs n. Thy’r bt “fr” th cvl rghts thy pprv f. nd “sntty nd sprr” wld hv bn “prvctv” f y grd wth m.

  49. Actually, banning books is usually a fairly democratic process – you fill out a form that explains why you don’t like a book, feel it has no redeeming qualities, and does not deserve shelf space, then it goes to a committee for review. If your argument is worthy, the book is pulled. All libraries have some sort of process. And, as much as you may not like it, it isn’t censorship, it’s selection. The same way it got into the library in the first place. And community standards do count in the decision making.

    Believe it or not, there are entire semesters in library school (yeah, I went) devoted to the argument. Do you give the public what they want? Or are you, as the original libraries were thought of, the “poor man’s university?” Do you take it upon yourself to spend your precious budget on books only a few people are going to read? Or do you blow it on 30 copies of the latest Dan Brown novel? It’s what people want, after all.

    That being said, an elected official going out of her way to ask how to ban books is creepy, very creepy.

  50. #80: 18 mlln Hllry spprtrs r shwng thr hypcrcy by gng “th frst wmn s sppsd t b <>n f s“. ‘d tll y wht thght “n f s” ws, bt thn ‘d crtnly b ccsd f trllng. Lt’s sffc t t sy tht t wn’t b gd ngh f wmn wrks hr wy nt n lctd pstn n r xctv brnch. Sh hs t b trdtnl 1970’s fmnst t.

  51. Flamingphonebook, #66 & 77:

    Why do you have the right to do so on my tax dollar?

    You seem very certain that the standards used by this “public review” will match the ones in your head.

    Democracy is rule by the will of the people, no matter if the people are ignorant, prejudiced, or cowardly. If we don’t like that, if we want principles like freedom and knowledge even though they outweigh the will of the people, let’s go with it, but then don’t let’s be hypocrites and call ourselves democrats.

    Democracy is a little more complicated than that. One of the things you need to do, if you want to keep a democracy, is make sure that everybody has a voice, and everybody has access to information. The further you get from that ideal the easier it is for a relatively small group to narrow the “will of the people’s” range of choices.

  52. IVAN256: For someone who said “All that’s left to do here is watch in amusement as most of the commenters fool themselves” you sure seem to have a lot to spew. Why don’t you go back to watching.

    fLAMER: There’s no arguing with “logic” like yours. And besides, you BS seems to be self-evident.

  53. VN, lk yr lgc. Frst, thy sd thy wntd wmn p thr, nd thn th GP gvs thm n, nd NW thy’r syn sh n’t lbrl ngh? Shsh ths ppl sr r pcky.

    N, t my b tht th fct tht Pln s th cmplt pltcl, dlgcl nd hm mntl ppst f Hllry Clntn my jst cncl t th gndr thng. rgng tht t’s hypcrtcl fr Hllry’s spprtrs nt t blndly spprt Pln s n tslf sxst, nd jst dtc.

  54. ivan, you are the very definition of trolling. i don’t care if you have a differing pt. of view then mine or the prevailing b.b. pt of view, it is the manner in which you express that opinion. your self-agrandizingly rude manner. that’s all. oh, that and the fact that you are wrong.

  55. I keep seeing this snippet with no further explanation appearing everywhere… I don’t even know what it would mean, any mentions of what she, particularly, wanted banned, or even that she actually wanted any banned at all.

    Also, she was never a member of the AIP. That’s totally made up.

    And all the baby stuff is irrelevant.

    Sick of this stuff just being regurgitated with no one even thinking whether it even makes sense.

  56. According to the diagram linked here previously (Thanks SONNY@79) The Department of Museum and Library Services (That’s both Musuems AND Libraries) accounts for .242 billion out of a total budget of 782 billion. You do the math. The cost of the books fLAMER might like to see banned is a very small % of that, even per library (even if, as I suspect, that might be a very large list.)

  57. You seem very certain that the standards used by this “public review” will match the ones in your head.

    No, I’m just willing to defer to the choices of the people. Heck, I deal with the fact that the standards used every day are miles from my own. I’m also willing to scrap the public review and have an “any book gets in” standard, but then let’s not call that democracy, but republicanism with book access as a fundamental right. And if that’s the case, then there are several other fundamental rights that should be beyond the scope of public debate.

    Democracy is a little more complicated than that. One of the things you need to do, if you want to keep a democracy, is make sure that everybody has a voice, and everybody has access to information. The further you get from that ideal the easier it is for a relatively small group to narrow the “will of the people’s” range of choices.

    Again, this is not democracy. This is “self-maintaining democracy” or “Lockean democracy” or “Western-style democracy” or some such. Making it more complicated changes its state. I’m in favor of a non-complicated system of government, a consistent philosophy that tells us what to do to make the decisions, regardless of the consequences. Straight, dictionary-definition democracy would allow the small groups to narrow the people’s options, and would allow Sarah Palin to inquire as to the means.

    Phikus:

    It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing. A single penny taken out of my pocket by force for something other than defense of my rights is an injustice.

  58. phlamer, if that were really true, you would be out in force, up in st. paul screaming and carrying a sign protesting the rape and dismemberment of your rights by this admin. the patriot act alone should be enough to get you started. you want a simple, easy to read, non-complicated system of gov’t? try the U.S CONSTITUTION! it’s all pretty much laid out right in front of you. and we are not a democracy! we are a democratic republic. any questions? the founding fathers put it all out there in black and white on the page. read the federalist papers, or t.payne’s writing. read what jefferson, washington and franklin had to say on the subject. they would be appalled at what the con-servatives have done to their system of checks and balances. and don’t ever call me a democrat. i have voted for at least five different political parties since i registered INDEPENDENT. so, when you headed for minn.?

  59. IVAN,

    Which of the Bill of Rights are you for? Which ones are you against? That includes, of course, Supreme Court rulings now in effect.

    And what is “hypocracy”? The rule by hypocrites?

  60. Lionel, I am a lady, and if you could please count me and my other lady friends who are of SOUND MIND out of your li’l 51% survey I’d really appreciate it.
    Palin being swiftboated over gender? Srsly, your head is up your arse on this one dude. Its insulting. to all Americans.

  61. Shocking that comments on a post about book banning should be so heavily disemvoweled. I at least wish that the urls were left intact.

  62. My theme for today is “look for the bright side of things”. Accordingly …

    The fact that she had to ask how to ban books is a good thing. It means she never tried to do it before (before she was elected mayor). It would have been far worse if she didn’t have to ask, if she was well acquainted with the procedures because she had been doing it for the past 20 years.

  63. exactly why was my serious comment, #5, scrambled?

    someone else brought up questions about the pregnancy, and i linked to an actual news story that casts doubt on her having actually carried the child to term — where she talks about flying cross country after her water broke.

    i also suggested it might be adopted, not saying “omg, its the daughters!!”

    btw, the ‘book banning’ story is a non-story. she was just inquiring. she tried to fire the librarian for other reasons – along with most of the rest of the city’s non-elected management.

    She’s a bad politcian for many reasons – but she didn’t fire someone who wouldn’t burn books for her.

    1. jonathan_v,

      Because that issue is off-topic, as I have mentioned several times. This is a thread about book-banning, not childbirth.

  64. #93

    No, I’m far more concerned with the Democrats’ curtailments of my rights. The difference is that I can work around the Republicans’ curtailments myself. If Sarah Palin or my own Governor Patterson pulls a book from my library, I can run down to the Borders and drop a couple of bucks for it. If someone wants to use the USAPATRIOT act to arrest me (for what motive?), I have enough ties to the community to make enough of a stink to get public attention. Even if they went to extremes and tried to force Christianity on me, I can maintain what I believe in my mind.

    Contrast with the oppression I face consistent with the Democrats’ platform. That my 401(k) consistently outperforms my social security, I have no hope of ceasing my contributions to SS, since it would bring attention on my employer and cost them money and time. I do not have the option to self-insure my motor vehicle, and if I attempted to, I would not receive the requisite identification to use the roads, and that would be swiftly noticed. If I wish to start a business by hanging out a shingle and offering my services as a barber or a livery driver or a tax advisor, I will be forced to stop at the point of a policeman’s gun.

    The difference is that one side wants to restrict and the other side wants to require. Against restrictions, I can go underground. Against requirements, I can do little.

  65. What book/s a person-or society-seeks to ban are not the issue by far. Or are they? To me it’s a few separate concepts. First we start with:

    The fact of a person seeking any book be banned. That fact to me calls for banning that person from sane society.

    Which concept shows the intent of producing an absurdity in response to another can be often intentional. My concepts for example- highlight the issue’s inherent frank stupids. All banning a book does is show how frightened the ban seekers are. Thus establishing the concept of banning as an empowerment of dubious merit. Anyone recall the term “Banned In Boston?

    Still and all, if something rattles the Repugnant party’s cage- it might be worth reading eh?

  66. phlamer, u are babbling like a brook. so you would much rather be out of your rights to free speach, a free press, your right of assembly, your right of habeaus corpus, the separation of church and state and all the other rights that were once taken as granted, in order to save your business from some sort of fictitious ‘liberal’ demon who may add some sort of tax or regulation to a small business? i have owned my own business for the last 12 years, i don’t have a clue as to what you are talking about. i never did so well as i did in the last 4 years of clinton. after bush took office, business declined until it nearly died after 9/11. since then it has been constantly touch and go, with good months and very bad ones. i also have more regs. now then 8 years ago, and my tax burden is higher. also, since i own my own biz, i wasn’t able to get the $300-$600 republican tax-bribe. yeah, probably the democrats fault.

  67. minto: Anything I want to speak, press, or assemble to discuss, I have no fear of the government interfering with me (since I don’t want to speak about committing terrorism). I have no fear that if I want to read a book, that the government will stop me. I have great fear that if I want to run a business to my own standards (note that that has nothing to do with how successful I am–I have a right to fail), the government will interfere.

  68. I’m a librarian, and I would have been aghast, too. However, I also would have handed her the reconsideration policy and the procedure for challenging a material right away; it was a legitimate information request from a patron, and no matter my personal feelings on the matter, it is my job as an information professional to satisfy that request. Still sucks that they can use that against us, though.

  69. phlamer, the repubs have interfered with my biz to the power of 10 as compared to when a democrat was in office, and my tax burden has INCREASED, not decreased ( same for the size of our bureaucracy ) since the republicrats have taken office. i still run it to MY standards (which happen to be higher than the fed gov’t standard). so i guess i still don’t get your argument.

  70. Flamingphonebook:

    The United States of America is not a democracy. The USA is a Republic, under the rule of law. That law is meant to ensure equal access to government and government services to all, and to ensure that people are not victimised by the more powerful, by the mobs, by the majority.

    “I do not have the option to self-insure my motor vehicle, and if I attempted to, I would not receive the requisite identification to use the roads, and that would be swiftly noticed. If I wish to start a business by hanging out a shingle and offering my services as a barber or a livery driver or a tax advisor, I will be forced to stop at the point of a policeman’s gun.”

    You damn well do have the option to self-insure your vehicle – You even have the option to self-insure against liability, uninsured motorist, flood, fire, sudden death and any other category – you must merely meet THE SAME STANDARDS EVERYONE ELSE MUST MEET TO DO SO.

    You damn well do have the option to be a barber, a livery driver, or a tax advisor – you must merely meet THE SAME STANDARDS EVERYONE ELSE MUST MEET TO DO SO.

    The law applies to everyone, equally. 2+2 still equals 4, regardless of the whining of lazy people that it must equal three especially for them, or the whining of greedy corporatists that it must equal five for everyone else.

    The government must not be an arbiter – MUST NOT – of whose speech is appropriate and whose is not – it must solely decide whether a particular instance of speech – by judicial review, in each and every particular instance – is itself a crime or an incitement to crime. Then, AND ONLY THEN, may the government demand that a particular expression be denied. Anything less than this provides a method by which political factions may harness and abuse vast power to oppress others.

    Sarah Palin has demonstrated – unequivocally – that she is willing and able to abuse her political power to forward her own political or personal agenda, by hijacking governmental office to do so.

    She is UNFIT FOR ANY OFFICE, much less the Vice-Presidency. If elected, she will take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Her past performance IN GOVERNMENTAL OFFICE demonstrates that she has no qualms about imposing her own /personal/ beliefs on others by abusing power. Her track record demonstrates that she sees no moral problem in violating the oath of office for the very office she is campaigning for. She’s impeached herself before even reaching the front door.

    OBAMA BY A LANDSLIDE.

  71. @77 Flaming – “If we don’t like that, if we want principles like freedom and knowledge even though they outweigh the will of the people, let’s go with it, but then don’t let’s be hypocrites and call ourselves democrats.”

    I ask one question.
    How is democracy possible in a society without Freedom & Access to Knowledge?

    If China decided to have a democratic election tomorrow and a new party stood for election and they had every popular policy on their agenda, they came across as honest and trustworthy, etc, etc things they still would not win.

    Why wouldn’t they win? Because over the past 60 years the Communist Party of China have not given their people freedom and have restricted information to their citizens. As a result the VAST MAJORITY of Chinese citizens think their government is fantastic. There’s another word for that though, it’s called Brainwashing.

  72. Phlamer @66:

    “Again, considering that the whole story may be questionable, but it says that Palin heard from some of her supporters. How should such review happen if not through the democratic representative process? Referendum?”

    There are these professionals: they’re called “librarians”. They are paid to do a job, which involves (among other things) acquiring, maintaining and distributing books and other materials. Within their workplaces they have protocols in place for reviewing these materials. Sometimes, after review, they determine that it is appropriate to pass along certain of those materials when no longer needed.

    It’s not the place of a governor or any private citizens in a state to order the removal of so-called “non appropriate” materials. Dropping a note in the suggestion box is fine. But forcing a ban is a big no-no.

    In some ways, librarians are our last, best defense against the darkness.

  73. I know it’s a huge challenge even to get BB readers to RTFA, but given that TFA is itself of questionable source, has anyone bothered to independently fact-check?

    I’ve emailed the current Wasilla Public Library administrators asking for verification and details in re: this story, and I’ll be happy to post the answer when I get it, if they reply.

    Yeah, I know, it’s more fun to abstract the debate beyond the particular subject and argue about book-banning in general, but there is a real world out there that’s worth worrying about too.

  74. Meanwhile, I’ve committed to building my own library, to help fend off the coming darkness. Of course, mine will comprise a cheap terabyte hard drive and all the eBooks I can download.

  75. I think it’s fLAMER: “I have enough ties to the community to make enough of a stink to get public attention”

  76. Minto: what do you do?

    Bartfinn:

    The United States of America is not a democracy. The USA is a Republic, under the rule of law. That law is meant to ensure equal access to government and government services to all, and to ensure that people are not victimised by the more powerful, by the mobs, by the majority.

    But it means that the powerful can be victimized by the powerless. I can be smarter, richer, more adept than anyone, yet they get to tell me what to do.

    You damn well do have the option to be a barber, a livery driver, or a tax advisor – you must merely meet THE SAME STANDARDS EVERYONE ELSE MUST MEET TO DO SO.

    Let’s assume I’m the safest, most able, most knowledgeble driver in the world. Let’s say I hang out in Manhattan and offer to drive someone out to JFK airport for $20. How much do I have to pay the government to do this legally? $600,000. Why is that a standard worth meeting?

    As I said, I’m fine with republican government that allows total freedom in books, so long as it allows total freedom in business.

    Chgoliz:

    There are these professionals: they’re called “librarians”. They are paid to do a job, which involves (among other things) acquiring, maintaining and distributing books and other materials. Within their workplaces they have protocols in place for reviewing these materials. Sometimes, after review, they determine that it is appropriate to pass along certain of those materials when no longer needed.

    That’s not a democracy. That’s an expert-ocracy.

    The goal of government should be to allow the people to exercize their choices, not to make the right choices. It can either do this democratically, by allowing people to choose the government, however it may be, or it can do it republicanically, by giving the people complete freedom from government.

    If the people are lazy, jealous, covetous of reward without work, oppressive, angry, etc., the government, either way it’s structured, should allow the people to live by these values. If they thrive, they thrive. If they fail, then the people get selected out. That’s the right process for progress. You want to take a shortcut. You want to keep the semblance of choice, so long as the choices are the right ones. That’s not choice.

    In short, people who elected Sarah Palin wanted books removed from the public library. If that value is not conducive to prosperity, don’t tell people that, don’t argue, don’t vote on it, let it play out. And if the town survives and prospers, then concede that the value is viable.

    All right, I know there is concern about pulling threads off-topic, so I’ll finish with this and then I’m done: government should be based on philosophy, not reality. And come hell or high water, we should stick to that philosophy, and that’s what I intend to do.

  77. Strictly speaking the topic is ‘an enquiry about the process of banning books’

    However please note that no books were actually banned and the librarian apparently not fired.

    The far right scares me. The far left just annoys…

  78. phlamer, the u.s. constitution. read it. you may learn something about your “republicanically” philosophized gov’t.

  79. Flaming @119: Was Palin elected on a mandate of book-banning? If you allow elected officials to do any damn thing they please on the basis that some of their supporters want it, how is this different from a dictatorship?

  80. @Moderator:

    Out of curiosity, why was my comment (#17) disemvoweled? I don’t see why/how it runs afoul of the rules. I thought it was clearly a hypothetical questions/musing that was prompted by an earlier comment and it relates to the person in question.

    FYI, I tried looking for a way to ask this privately, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do so. I’m not trying to be combative, but I’ve never had a comment disemvoweled before and I don’t think this one warranted it so I’d like some clarification.

  81. Antinous made it clear (read all the thread) that the gossip-rag juicy stuff about Palin’s pregnancy was too far from the topic to be reasonably included. I agreed, as did others. You and others subsequently had posts pruned to steer the discussion in the declared direction for the stated reasons.

    One of my favourite Bran Mac Morn quotes: “There are some weapons too foul to be used against even Rome”.

  82. @#124

    So why was comment #13 spared? For the record, Antinous’ comment wasn’t clear, I read it and didn’t parse it as a threat to disemvowel not to mention that my comment was explicitly about how her political stand might or might not change if her daughter’s pregnancy was non-ideal.

    I guess the main reason I was puzzled is that the comment I responded to (which was outright gossipy IMO) was left intact while mine got “pruned” even though I thought I was raising a valid question about the person in question and how she might stick by her “ideals” which is ultimately what the post was about (e.g. what would her response be if the community wanted to ban the bible? the koran? etc…). That actually makes me wonder what books the community wanted to ban in the first place, I’m no fan of book banning, but certainly some books and magazines are easier targets than others.

  83. Flaming PB @62: It doesn’t appear to have been a public review she was after.

    Ivan256 @73: Feel like letting us know what’s gotten up your nose? I know you’re capable of being far more sensible than this.

    Flaming PB @77: You know, your parents pay us to hang out with you.

    Flaming PB @91:

    Again, this is not democracy. This is “self-maintaining democracy” or “Lockean democracy” or “Western-style democracy” or some such. Making it more complicated changes its state. I’m in favor of a non-complicated system of government, a consistent philosophy that tells us what to do to make the decisions, regardless of the consequences.

    You just don’t like being told what to do, ever.

    Flaming PB @101: You’re really having to stretch to present those as oppressive. And by the way, your parents don’t pay us nearly enough.

    Flaming PB @106: There’s a lot I could say, but BardFinn said it so much better @110.

    Flaming PB @119:

    government should be based on philosophy, not reality. And come hell or high water, we should stick to that philosophy, and that’s what I intend to do.

    I couldn’t improve on that line if I had Jon Stewart’s entire writing staff helping out.

    Takuan @124: Mak, not Mac, fellow fanboy. (I’ve read every one of them.)

  84. quite, been spending too much time with the Feegles.
    (Worms of the Earth; always got a frisson in my forcipules from the sex scene)

  85. Palin Asked City Librarian About Censoring Books, Insisted It Was ‘Rhetorical.’

    In 1996, according to the Frontiersman, Wasilla’s library director Mary Ellen Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. Emmons said, “This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy…She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can’t be in the library.” Palin said in response, “Many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature.” [Frontiersman, 12/18/96]

  86. I know I’m way late on this one, but it’s been bugging me on my list-of-things-that-I-really-shouldn’t-care about, so here goes:

    F-phone said:

    If someone wants to use the USAPATRIOT act to arrest me (for what motive?), I have enough ties to the community to make enough of a stink to get public attention. Even if they went to extremes and tried to force Christianity on me, I can maintain what I believe in my mind.

    First of all — “for what motive?” — seems to smell of that old argument — if you’re a good person, the patriot act won’t come after you. Zzzzz.

    Second — “I have ties to the community” — what does that mean? I’m such a great citizen that no mean old government could come after me, but you rabble, well, obviously you would get what you deserve? When the government decides to wheel and turn on you — I’ve got news for you — 98% of us are vulnerable, despite whatever community standing we think we’ve attained.

    And to say, that it’s okay for the Government to “force” christianity on you, because you’ve got a strong mind? Uh, okay. Personally, I do too, that still doesn’t mean I want to have to recite the Apostles Creed every day, wear a prayer cap, not be allowed to watch TV on Friday night, and much, much worse. So F-phone would have no problem living in Saudi Arabia with all of their religious imposition in his life because of his super strong mind?

    Lord … have … mercy …

  87. thanks for that Tim.

    Those killed in war have their names recorded, recited and remembered. In the face of an uncertain future then let these names be spoken too, for a book is not killed if SOMEONE remembers:

    1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    4. Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
    5. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    6. Blubber by Judy Blume
    7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    8. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    9. Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
    10. Carrie by Stephen King
    11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    12. Christine by Stephen King
    13. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    14. Cujo by Stephen King
    15. Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
    16. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
    17. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
    18. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    19. Decameron by Boccaccio
    20. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    21. Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
    22. Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
    23. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    24. Forever by Judy Blume
    25. Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
    26. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
    27. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
    28. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
    29.Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
    30.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
    31.Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
    32.How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
    33.I Have to Go! by Robert Munsch
    34.I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    35.Impressions edited by Jack Booth
    36.In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    37.It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
    38.James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    39.Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
    40.Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    41.Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
    42.Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    43.Love Is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
    44.Lysistrata by Aristophanes
    45.More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    46.My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    47.My House by Nikki Giovanni
    48.My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
    49.Night Chills by Dean Koontz
    50.Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    51.On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
    52.One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    53.One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    54.One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    55.Ordinary People by Judith Guest
    56.Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Woman’s Health Collective
    57.Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
    58.Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
    59.Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
    60.Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
    61.Silas Marner by George Eliot
    62.Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
    63.Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    64.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    65.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    66. The Bastard by John Jakes
    67. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    68. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    69. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    70. The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
    71. The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
    72. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    73. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
    74. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    75. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    76. The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
    77. The Living Bible by William C. Bower
    78. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
    79.The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
    80. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    81. The Seduction of Peter S. by Peter Sanders
    82. The Shining by Stephen King
    83. The Witches by Roald Dahl
    84. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    85. Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
    86. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    87. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
    88. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
    89. Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

  88. Well, I was going to comment to one of FlamingPeanutButter’s diatribes. Then I saw this:

    It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing. A single penny taken out of my pocket by force for something other than defense of my rights is an injustice.

    This makes it clear there is no basis for a discussion between us, no common ground we can possibly explore. This is a person who wants to reap the benefits of an organized society without paying any of the costs, or personally experiencing even the tiniest bit of the downside. While I realize the phrase has been misused by the right, this is what *I* mean when I say “social parasite” (by philosophy, if not in reality).

    I don’t think punishment for being that way is appropriate; however, intelligent people of good will (you know, people who have a conscience and don’t believe in FPB’s all-taking, no-giving philosophy) will avoid such a person. It’s a waste of time to argue with them, even: wastes your time and annoys—well, you can complete that Heinlein quote.

    And anyone who can write “government should be based on philosophy, not reality” has left the path of wisdom, even sanity. In fact politics has been called “the art of the possible” by those who practice it, and “the authoritative allocation of scarce resources” (i.e. reality) by those who study it. Next FPB will tell us that government should have nothing to do with politics, and we’ll really have a good laugh.

  89. Timothy Horrigan: I don’t think there’s any documented evidence that shows that was the list of books she wanted banned, is there?

    You say yourself “The provenance of the list is uncertain and Palin’s apologists have been nitpicking it”. Nitpicking it with good reason if it’s a baseless assertion. It undermines this whole story–which seems more than halfway factual–to over-egg the thing in this manner.

  90. whether every single title is on that list or not matters not. One is enough and too much. It is obvious though that these are the works that those characterized as the American Taliban would seek to ban. I have seen enough.

  91. mattymatt “I wonder what the specific books were that Sarah Palin wanted to ban.”
    If this story is true, does it matter? If it’s Catcher in the Rye is it okay? How about Harry Potter? Mein Kampf? Quotations from Mao Tse-tung?

    Talia “Course if people dont care bout things like book burning and intellectual freedom I guess they can just go vote for her just because of what she’s got in her underwear.”
    Is it potato chips? ‘Cause if so, she shouldn’t sit down. Trust me.

    racer x “Believe it or not, there are entire semesters in library school (yeah, I went)…”
    When you asked a question in class, did they shush you if you used your outdoors voice?

    flamingphonebook “A single penny taken out of my pocket by force for something other than defense of my rights is an injustice.”
    Think of it this way: libraries help defend people from being ignorant and stupid. They aren’t a cure, by any means. More of a treatment, with regular booster shots required.
    “But it means that the powerful can be victimized by the powerless.”
    /me head explodes

    chgoliz “There are these professionals: they’re called “librarians”.”
    That sounds an awful lot like them “elites” that the Republicans are always talkin’ about, I reckon.

    Jezrael “The far right scares me. The far left just annoys…”
    And the middle totally hogs the blankets.

    Xopher “This is a person who wants to reap the benefits of an organized society without paying any of the costs, or personally experiencing even the tiniest bit of the downside.”
    That sounds a lot like a description of the modern political Libertarian (although a perusal of their website shows that they’ve softened a little). Their lapel pins are neat. All they say is “Mine!”.

  92. There are some Libertarians who are more sensible, and understand that society is a system of agreements that you implicitly sign up for by accepting the benefits. They want to alter the terms of the agreement, not without consent, and make it lighter in both benefit and cost.

    Then there are the ones like FPB, who give the sensible ones a bad name.

  93. It’s been a while since I looked in to them, but their official stance a while ago appeared to be designed specifically to create and maintain a large underclass for cheap, easily replaceable labour. That boat idea indicates a lack of…something.

    Still, I’m going with my original statement. I don’t remember what it was. I’m sure that it was witty, inflammatory and poorly researched.

  94. Jezrael @120:

    The librarian WAS fired, ostensibly as part of the sweep whereby everyone who had worked under the former mayor was fired…in a town that was less than 5,000 at the time. It caused quite a stir.

    This was one of the first things Palin did as the new mayor. Do you really think a gaggle of constituents called her up on the first day and said the number one priority was to ban books in the library? She got into power, and goshdarnit, she was going to use it.

  95. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/06/uselections2008.sarahpalin

    Then, in an incident that is fast turning into the stuff of political legend, Palin was revealed earlier this week to have attempted to censor Wasilla’s library. The idea is almost laughable when you see the library itself. Its small collection of books includes a prominent section on hunting and fishing, and no visible copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Yet in 1996, after parents complained about a book their child had taken home, Palin took umbrage. Frustratingly, no one can remember the volume concerned. What we do know is that Palin turned on the then librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, asking her in a council meeting what she would do if she were told by the mayor to remove certain books from the collection.

    Local resident Anne Kilkenny was in the public gallery and heard the librarian’s reaction: “She sucked in her breath, and replied that the books in the library were all acquired in accordance with professional criteria and she would resist completely.”

    Palin has since claimed her question was purely rhetorical. That is not how Naegele and Kilkenny perceived it at the time. A few weeks later, Palin sent Emmons a letter terminating her employment. “People in the town rose up in anger,” Kilkenny recalls. “The library is an important institution in our city, as there’s not a lot else to do here in the winter but sit by the fire with a good book. There was real public pressure, and Sarah was forced to rescind the letter.”

  96. (apologies in advance for possible double-posting: problem with my internet connection happened at the moment of post.)

    You know, if we want to make a big stink about this, don’t talk about “banning books” – just use the headline “Sarah Palin wants to take Harry Potter out of the library!” – that’ll get the reaction we want.

  97. Oh come on now, what excuse can there be for censoring the last sentence of my comment #85?

    Unsurprised that comments to this particular topic end up disemvoweled in such a partisan manner. Saddened, but not at all surprised.

Comments are closed.