Monday, April 06, 2009

Porn in the Library! West Bend Society for the Suppression of Vice Battles On

Hi everyone,

"Busy busy busy," as the Bokononists say.

Saturday's column in the WB Daily News.

West Bend Society for the Suppression of Vice Battles On

West Bend News, Saturday, April 4, 2009

The originally scheduled West Bend Community Memorial Library meeting was cancelled by the Fire Department because too many people turned out? How great is that. We should be proud of ourselves. But we’re not done yet.

A previous column discussed the constitutional difficulty of removing books from libraries on religious or moral grounds. Since then the original complaint has shi fted a bit, so here we are again.

From what I read in the paper, the original complaint asked the library to remove all books from the Out of the Closet category on its Web site and that the books listed there be reclassified as adult material. Since then, the complainant has apparently said she doesn’t want all the books banned, but is asking that two of them be removed because the language is “pornographic.”

The slipperiness of the complaint is not surprising. My suspicion is that they discovered their original complaint was unconstitutional and are now fishing around for something that’ll pass legal muster.

The new complaint seems to be that the library material is pornographic. The news m edia immediately adopted this language asking, breathlessly “Should the library ban pornography?”

There never was any question whether the library would “allow” pornographic materials. They don’t. The question is whether it is possible to find a definition of pornography everyone can agree on. So far, whether in the Supreme Court or in West Bend, agreement has not appeared.

Back in 1964, while trying to provide a sound legal definition of pornography, Justice Potter Stewart famously remarked, “I know it when I see it.” I know it when I see it too, but I don’t believe my definition of pornography should be imposed on everyone else.

Personally, I like James Joyce’s definition. Ironically, his “Ulysses,” arguably the most important book in English in the last 150 years, was considered so pornographic that a group called the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice was formed in 1920 to keep the book out of the United States. Their pressure tactics succeeded until a district court ruled against them in 1933 and allowed “Ulysses” into the country.

Joyce defined pornography as any expression that inspires a desire in the observer to possess the object. It’s a broad definition with interesting consequences. It covers typical bachelor party pornography but also includes advertising – since all advertising is designed to inspi re desire – and probably “Entertainment Tonight” and Rush Limbaugh, both of which inspire a desire to possess a particular kind of life: one, rich and famous and, the other, a nostalgia-world America in which the poor are to blame for their circumstances and government is the only thing standing between me and prosperity. A lot of entertainment and political punditry seems to fall into that category, but I don’t think we’ll be able to ban it.

Anyway, the problem isn’t that we don’t know porn when we see it – everyone does. It’s just that everyone draws the line a bit differently. In Afghanistan under the Taliban, the sight o f a woman’s ankle was pornographic. Women stepping outside without their burkas could be stoned to death. That was Kabul. What about West Bend?

Our community standards count, too. In 1973, the Chief Justice Burger’s Supreme Court ruled that something could be considered obscene when the average person applying community standards would find that, taken as a whole, the work appeals to a prurient interest. To be considered prurient something must appeal to “shameful or morbid interests” in sex but this does not include anything that incites “normal lust.” So, if the complaint can establish that the library’s Web site appeals to shameful and morbid interests, beyond inciting “normal lust,” then it’s got to go. But if it s imply incites “normal lust,” then it’s protected.

You can see how slippery these terms are – which is why complaints about pornography seldom survive into the court system.

Forgetting all the definitions for a moment, common sense provides all the answers we need. The group protesting these books at the library is entitled to decide what their children should and shouldn’t read – but they don’t get to decide for everyone else. If we allow the fundamentalist religious, or political, beliefs of any one group to determine our reading lists, then there is nothing to separate us from the Taliban.

And so it goes.

More as things ... well, I was going to say 'develop' but somehow that strikes me as the wrong word.

hiho
Mp

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

The whole entire onslaught of literature is designed to provoke and titillate-to make the viewer turn the page. Nowadays, even the West Bend News has tried to emulate this urgent tonality.
But truly, the artist has no obligation to satisfy any adored notions as he/she ruthlessly carries out an an experimental laboratory in which convention and language are openly defied. This represents the progress of culture, and civilization as our visionaries see through and knock down the bars of morality imprisoning us in a police-state of suspicion, outrage, and scapegoating.
I suspect the library will win, but I know the children have already triumphed.

SafeLibraries said...

If the West Bend News does not publish my response to this article, I will publish it here. Basically, Mr. Peterson's comments were irrelevant, and the community may legally act to protect its children.

So, before I publish why Mr. Peterson was so far off, does anyone want to try to figure out why for themselves first?

Anonymous said...

BTW, while not pornographic "per se", the Taliban may have been on to something.
There is something indescribably alluring about the sight of a woman's ankle, yes?

Mpeterson said...

Hi Ginny,

I'm always glad to find out when I'm far off... and you're welcome to publish anything you'd like -- so long as I don't find it pornographic -- right here.

My suspicion is that you'll simply change the ground of your arguments again to find something that doesn't violate the constitution. You know, all you have to do is check the conditions under which libraries HAVE segregated materials from young people and then use that as a model. I cannot figure why you haven't done that yet... but okay.

I mentioned pornography in the column only because that's what the paper reported was the new basis for the complaint.

But SafeLibraries is a deceptive new moniker: there's nothing safe about a library that bans books -- not for anyone.

Please send along your reply: I'll be happy to put it up right here.

Best,
Mark

SafeLibraries said...

Mark,

This is Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries. SafeLibraries is not related to Ginny in any way. I realize under the circumstances it may have been easy to miss that, so no harm done.

As Dan Kleinman now, I hope the paper publishes what I already sent them with a copy to you. Out of respect for the paper, I won't publish it here until I'm fairly certain the paper will not be publishing it.

Cool? So time will pass and we'll see. In the meantime, it would be interesting to see if people can guess where I might be going from the small tidbits I provided in a previous comment.

So I'll write again sooner or later.

Maria Hanrahan said...

"SafeLibraries is not related to Ginny in any way."

Except in the way that Ginny's group now calls itself West Bend Citizens For Safe Libraries. And in the way that Ginny/the group has actively promoted Dan Kleinman's views and the views of SafeLibraries. And in the way that SafeLibraries has been active in just about every blog that has addressed this topic and the Maziarka complaint. And in the way that Ginny accuses UWM of "poking its nose" into the WB library issue and continues to invite Mr. Kleinman and SafeLibraries to do that very thing.

But other than that, they aren't related in any way.

SafeLibraries said...

Maria Hanrahan,

I noticed that too! I suppose imitation is the best form of flattery, of course it could just be that "safe libraries" is merely descriptive while "SafeLibraries" is more of a legally protectable mark.

My being active in blogs has nothing to do with my professional relation, if any, with Ginny. You are active in the blogs, and way more than me. Are you even more strongly related professionally to Ginny?

I never heard of Ginny until I heard of this matter. I addressed this matter in the normal course of my activities nationally, and I just happen to have more in common on library issues with Ginny than I have with you.

So I'll assert again, "SafeLibraries is not related to Ginny in any way." And now I'll add SafeLibraries is not related to Maria Hanrahan in any way.

What is particularly interesting is your obvious concern over Ginny's effectiveness since you are resorting to ad hominem argument. She got over 400 signatures? Fantastic! No wonder you seem to besmirch her personally every chance you get.

Mpeterson said...

Technically, it's only an ad hominem when it attacks Ginny. In this case, Maria is reporting what Ginny has actually said and done.

But this is personal now, since a lot of us here take our constitutional rights seriously. We've seen where book banning has gone in the past. There are precedents. -- but we simply won't let it happen here.

It may well be that there are good reasons to examine the library's placement of adult themed books, but that's not how Ginny kick started this thing... she did that by complaining about the immorality of gay-themed material. She met resistance, changed her complaints, and has now escalated this little teacup of a dispute into the city council and county board. You and the ACLU are now suddenly interested. She threatened ethics violation charges against the mayor and one of our smarter aldermen...

-- and yet, at the end of the day, there's the First Amendment, waiting for her. And you. And all of us.

Now, be nice to Maria. She's a nice lady.

SafeLibraries said...

MPeterson:

"We've seen where book banning has gone in the past. There are precedents." Let me ask you. What was the last book banned in the USA, when was it banned, and when was the ban lifted?

"It may well be that there are good reasons to examine the library's placement of adult themed books...." Then we agree. After all, even top ALA leadership agrees such moves are legal.

"[B]ut that's not how Ginny kick started this thing... she did that by complaining about the immorality of gay-themed material." I agree. But she has dropped that. Her current argument is exactly opposite of that now actually. You are attempting to cast her as a loser because of her past losing position that she has dropped. Nice try but you are no longer addressing the relevant issues.

"She met resistance, changed her complaints...." You keep after her for this. Did it ever occur to you that her change in position on that issue is courageous and should be encouraged?

"[T]his little teacup of a dispute into the city council and county board." Then why are you responding to it if it's so little. Why did UW-M do an entire propaganda piece on the topic for a mere little teacup? Actually, Ginny is having a number of successes on this issue that might set precedent nationally, so I'm not surprised you are calling it a "little teacup." Nothing to see here. Move along. Again, nice try, but I and others are watching Ginny carefully, and what the community learns here about applying legal means to protect children may help communities nationwide.

"She threatened ethics violation charges against the mayor and one of our smarter aldermen..." There are legitimate issues of ethical violations, and possibly worse. Again, you try to make it look like a joke. Again, nice try.

"-- and yet, at the end of the day, there's the First Amendment, waiting for her. And you. And all of us." True. But Ginny is seeking legal means to protect children. For example, even you said, "It may well be that there are good reasons to examine the library's placement of adult themed books...." Your own argument illustrates there are legal means to protect children.

"Now, be nice to Maria. She's a nice lady." Hello Maria. Please have a very nice day. Love, SafeLibraries.org.

Maria Hanrahan said...

"No wonder you seem to besmirch her personally every chance you get." - SafeLibraries

Actually, Dan, you would be very hard-pressed to find anything I have written or said that will back up the above statement. Ginny Maziarka herself has publicly (on her own blog) stated that I have not made any personal attacks against her. (The reverse is not true, by the way.) Everything that I have commented on either addresses Ginny's direct comments or my discussions about why I think her viewpoint/complaint is invalid. No personal comments of any sort.

Glad we could clear that up.

justanotherbovine said...

I am so confused my head is wobbling! Is this an "anti-gay" thing or not? I thought it wasn't, until now.

Today at WISSUP (4/25/09): http://wissup.blogspot.com/2009/04/this-business-owner-is-not-afraid.html

It seems that a local business person affirmed "after-the-fact" that WISSUP group has permission to use his business for petition purposes (he was not available when permission was granted).

This was part of his reasoning:

""After reviewing your site, YOU HAVE MY FULL CONFIDENCE; AND I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THE PRO GAY LOBBY TRYING TO PROSELYTIZE CHILDREN!!!!!""

Now, he is free to have opinions and allow the use of his business as he sees fit. I guess I question the wisdom of WISSUP posting this, unless this whole controversy really is based on an "anti-gay" bent. Or is she willing to put her supporters at risk to accomplish her goals?

Haven't figured out how to post at your site yet, Maria, but I hope you see this. I also hope that business people aren't deceived and drawn into this controversy (like boycotts or something - please do not go there!). I think the city alderman that voted down the library board appointments realize they have bitten off more than they can chew & wish they had never heard of Ginny's group.

MP, I wish you would do some occasional posts on this topic. I understand that you don't have the luxury of blogging as a full time avocation, like some people obviously have.

Mpeterson said...

SafeLibraries sent me a note to post up, but it was a copy of something from one of Ginny's blogs commenting on something from Maria's blog so, sorry Dan -- too much she said/she said.

Dan claims that Ginny claims she's heard that the businesses where she's been collecting signatures for her petitions have been harassed by Maria. Please see Ginny's blog for those assertions.

Mpeterson said...

Justanother --

Alas, my job eats most of my day and night -- although Steve Jobs said it best, "Get a job you love and you'll never work another day in your life." So I'm blessed that way.

But yeah, "the pro-gay blahblahblah??"

I still don't get it.

hiho
Mark

justanotherbovine said...

Something else I don't get: Is not the Libertarian Party the party that is friendly & sympathetic to gay issues? The business person making the anti-gay rant cited above is a member of that party (the WI site lists him & his brother as Libertarians holding public positions in Kewaskum).

I suppose like any other major political party, the tent is always big enough for wingbats, but really!

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

This is getting ridciulous. see my comments here: http://sleeplessinwestbend.blogspot.com/

Buzymom said...

Please look at the left side of Maria's blog, under "comments to Wissup" to see her response to the accusations of harassing businesses (several of which had not granted permission to her being there and using their name on her blog).
http://www.westbendparentsforfreespeech.webs.com
Also see the new timeline documenting how the complaint has changed over time.

justanotherbovine said...

Here is good site that links here:

http://sleeplessinwestbend.blogspot.com/

He/she has an excellent perspective on the gay-bashing Dairy Queen owner thing. Going back to my comment in the post above ("teabagging"), I find it comical that this is the definition for Dairy Queen:

"Dairy Queen

In gay slang--A gay man who only dates white guys."

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dairy+queen

And that explains why Ginnie only refers to it as "DQ" in her post, not "Dairy Queen".

Kevin Scheunemann said...

I'm the "wingbat" in question in the previous post.

Just to be clear: Libertarians as a philosophy believe that taxpayers should not be forced to fund items and materials they oppose. The actions of the West Bend library to stock many questionable items in the "children's section" is opposed by many taxpayers.

I support moving those items to an "adult/parental" supervision section, where children can only gain access with PARENTAL PERMISSION. The decision is then properly left with the parents. Liberty in this scenerio is left with the parents.

No Libertarian supports giving access to pornographic/questionable material to children, without parental consent, at taxpayers expense.

So to make a blanket statement Libertarians support putting this material in front of children would not be accurate.

My question is: Why is it so important to give children access to this material at taxpayer expense? Why don't you just buy the material and go distribute it to children at random on the street, without parental consent?

Kevin Scheunemann

Other Side said...

...I will not be intimidated by the pro gay lobby trying to proselytize children.Oh, cut it out.

Mpeterson said...

Note from the Motley-Censor:

I'll be glad to keep putting up whatever y'all send in because I know that you will, responsibly, decide whether your own children should read these comments. I don't feel I have a right to determine that for you.

Ahem.

Mpeterson said...

Hi Mr. Scheunemann,

Nice to see ya.

Did you really write "YOU HAVE MY FULL CONFIDENCE; AND I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THE PRO GAY LOBBY TRYING TO PROSELYTIZE CHILDREN!!!!!"??

I'm a bit freaked out to think that you of all people would believe there's such a thing as a proselytizing pro-gay lobby.

From you I'd expect the argument that there shouldn't be public libraries at all -- only subscription or privately funded ones. But I cannot imagine you'd argue that government should censor the press even in the institutions established to disseminate information freely among all citizens.

But I'm just guessin. :^)

Hope you've been well!

Best,
Mp

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Hey Mark,

This controversy is great! I had no idea you had a blog.

Yes, I did write the phrase you ask about. In retrospect, I really should have broke 2 ideas apart.

1.) There was a concerted campaign to intimidate business from not allowing this petitioning to go forward. I would even let Mark Peterson petition for medical Mary Jane in my parking lot because its important to let people petition for grievences against government. What I saw and experienced was not innocent expression of viewpoints but a campaign of intimidation of business to push for disallowance of one tiny bit of democracy for a few hours. What happened at Hobby Lobby also qualified in my opinion as "intimidation".

Instead of an attempt to have a peaceful counter petition supporting full children's access to the materials in question, it was an subtle campaign to stop people from signing the petition that supported moving the questionable library materials to a parental permission part of the library. That's the issue of "intimidation" I wanted to express, but probably did not do it very well.

I oppose any intimidation, subtle or otherwise, preventing people from signing a petition they want to sign. Denial of availability of the petition is a subtle form of intimidation.

2.) "PROSELYTIZE CHILDREN" comment. Again, I should have stretched my economic thoughts behind this comment. This issue comes down, in my view, to public vs. private funding of libraries. You are indeed the astute professor I remember, and you perfectly articulate the Libertarian philisophical position on funding of libraries. Naturally, this is a philisophical ideal and not the real world.

So we are left with the "messy" issue of publicly funded libraries. The community, then decides the material standards of the library. This is where it gets "extra messy". What goes for the UW-Madison library does not go for West Bend or Ootsburg for that matter. Its probably perfectly acceptable in Madison to have books extoling and praising alternative lifestyles. West Bend is far from the Madison standard. I am not, and as far as I know, no one is saying to get rid of these materials, only implement a "parental consent" policy for these materials.

For those that feel the current policy is appropriate, would you feel comfortable handing these materials out to random children on the streets of West Bend?
(without parental permission) Why or why not?

I suspect some squimishness would ensue in that exercise. Parents would immediately question the motives of someone doing such a thing.

The same argument would probably be held about a preacher, preaching in the public square to children. The "Freedom from Religion Foundation" would say kids are being "proselytized" in that particular religous message.

In either case, PARENTAL PERMISSION is the key element. (Age of legal consent standard.) If the parents are fine with kids receiving either message in the public square, great. No controversy really exists.

If libraries were privately funded, this whole mess and debate could be avoided. If Prof. Peterson would tap his lavish public employee pension a little bit early, he could establish the "Mark Peterson anything goes children's library". Then all these materials would be available and the public library would not have to stock all those PROSELYTIZING children's materials. The Peterson library would not be using public funds, so it can stock whatever materials with whatever funding with little to no public input. (I'd suggest the whole UW-Madison library on a kindle.) Decide what to charge for material use, if any. End of controversy.

However, this issue comes down to taking tax money, without choice, from people to put material and viewpoints in front of their children they may not agree with, possibly without their consent.

Those constituents, as "forced funders" of the public library system have every right to speak out about this.

I support maximizing liberty. And that includes liberty in the economic sense. Anyone forced to fund it, has a right to say how that institution is run.

If that is an issue, (constituents demanding a small amount of regulation of children's materials) The West Bend Library should stop taking its annual government bailout payment, known as property taxes. After all, when you take government bailout money any CEO can be fired in the public domain now...why would the West Bend Library Director get any less scrutiny?

(I just had to say it, because I know the bailout term will get Prof. Peterson in a "twist". I'm confident that Prof. Peterson and I agree that federal bailout money for private companies is complete nonsense!)

Kevin Scheunemann
(Now that you got me reading your blog, I may have to interject some "economic liberty" balance comments on a couple of things. Liberal UW Prof. tend to be a little weak on liberty in terms of economics.)

Mpeterson said...

Grin. I am not now nor have I ever been a "liberal." I wish people would stop calling me that. [And we do indeed agree about the bailout.]

Nice to see ya Kevin.

I imagine Maria, another self-identified libertarian, probably has a recollection different from yours.

One of the muddying bits here has been the way the complaint has shifted around over time -- as Ginny ran into Constitutional proscriptions regarding, first, religious and moral grounds, then questions about pornography, then whether libraries can *remove* materials patrons find offensive and now -- if I'm up to date -- to simply asking some of the materials to be relocated out of the hands of kids.

-- which doesn't help us with the question about what criteria are to be used in tagging or relocating materials. If we let Christian Fundamentalists decide that, why shouldn't we let Fundamentalist Hindus, or atheists, do the same?

Of course, that would close the library and serve your economic purposes.

If I were you, I think I'd encourage them.

Yeah, the messy business of reality: I guess I'd note that when kids get a library card, parents are made explicitly responsible for what their kids select from the stacks, so I'm not sure the analogy to handing out material on the street holds here.

As for economic liberty, I think we've just seen what 8 years of that can do -- unless you want to argue that we can't have liberty with the levels of fraud that were required to bankrupt the economic system.

hiho

kevin Scheunemann said...

Would it be OK if I said your slightly "liberal blog"? (If I promise to say "progressive" once in a while?)

The library card does do as you say on material checkout, but that does not prevent kids, without parental consent, from purusing the materials in the library children's section on a class field trip, or just a random visit which may occur without the parents.

On the future vision of local libraries:

One of the issues not considered here is the eventual effect of technology. I envision libraries, as we know them today, to be gone in 50 years. With kindle technology, books can just be downloaded and carried around in an electronic format very easily and cheaply, and the antiquated notion of the paper form of book will just be a novelty that kids will probably laugh at in 25-50 years.

So will the "public funded" local library be a thing of the past if the Library of Congress sets up electronic downloads of every book ever in the U.S.?

When individual household information terminals are doing the download, the household will get complete control of what is downloaded.

Naturally, the environmental lobby will really like this idea. No need to cut down anymore trees for books.

This antiquated notion of public funded local libraries, with a physical location, is at the beginning of the end.

Technology will adopt the Libertarian angle on this one and each household will have the liberty to decide for themselves.

This "technology advance" may happen to education as well. Fortunately, you are an excellent Professor that can sell his skills nationwide in the marketplace on a broad distribution basis. The lessor Professors of philosophy across the nation will be displaced by the Peterson marketing machine and superior teaching skills.

First I bring up the annual government "bailout" of the West Bend library, now I'm pointing your path to the "capitalist" marketplace via technology...

concernedcitizen said...

I believe I am the person who called Mr Schuenemann and who he has referred to. Forgive me that after being characterized as “the pro gay lobby proselytizing children” I would like to remain anonymous. I would like to clear up a few things. First, I did not call on Maria’s behalf, or because she asked me to or as part of any organized campaign. While I had been involved in collecting signatures for the petition and in discussions on her forums, she did not recruit me to make phone calls. I don't know if any other supporters called any of the businesses on their own; it wouldn't surprise me if they did, but again, if they did it wasn't part of any organized campaign.

I started out by calling 2 businesses on Friday: Quilted Bear and Hobby Lobby. My reasons for this were 2 fold:
1) I frequent both business, the Quilted Bear occasionally and Hobby Lobby very often. I wanted to know as a customer if they were supporting the WBCSL, not because I was planning on launching a publicity campaign against them, but so that I could stop personally patronizing their business if they were in support. I don't think this is unreasonable, as strongly as I feel about the issue. But though I would have stopped using their business if I had found out they were indeed supporting WBCSL, I did not even go so far as to threaten to take away my business.
2) I coincidentally was with a former employee of Quilted Bear that day and this employee told me they could not imagine Ryan, the manager/owner, wanting to get his business involved in anything this controversial. The employee also said they usually have weddings starting Sat afternoon so he probably wouldn’t want his parking lot being used this way. I suspected businesses were being used without owner permission.

At Hobby Lobby, the manager was not in that day and I never did speak to him, but the assistant manager told me he highly doubted the manager would have granted permission for his property to be used. (If you read Maria's blog, she did speak with the manager on Saturday, and he said though he had been asked, he had not given permission and that they would need to stay on the sidewalks, which they and Maria's group did). I then called Quilted Bear and at first the manager wasn’t available, but an employee repeated to me what the former employee had said. It looked like a pattern was developing, so though I initially didn't plan to (since I don't frequent those businesses), I then made the decision to call Dairy Queen in Kewaskum and State Farm to see if the same thing happened there.

Mr Schuenemann- I seem to remember our conversation being pleasant and respectful on both sides. I started out asking you if you were aware of and allowing the group to petition on your property. You told me you were not (I realize you were not aware at the time that your wife had granted permission) and said you did not want to get involved. Though I don’t remember every detail of the conversation, I remember you doing more talking than me and saying that you were aware of the controversy, had been following it with interest b/c of your role as village trustee and you did not think it would be good for business to take sides. I certainly don’t remember talking about my views on homosexuality or saying anything that would characterize me as “the pro gay lobby proselytizing children” or saying that I planned to interfere with their petition signing in any way. You were planning on making sure they used the sidewalks and did not want your business name used on her blog. I gave you her website/blog so you could decide for yourself and see how your business name was being used. You later changed your mind and decided to support their group which you have every right to do. Maria wrote on her website that her supporters should leave you alone and I hope they did. After what you said about me, I did want to call you, but refrained and gave myself time to calm down.

My call to State Farm was brief; the agent in charge wasn't available, would not be in that day, and the person answering the phone knew nothing about it; I did not call back.

When I did later get in touch the manager/owner of Quilted Bear, he said he in fact knew nothing about the petition signing on his property and was upset to learn about it and that his property was being used without his permission. He did not want to take either side or become involved in any way and immediately took steps to make sure they would not be there. He was appreciative to being alerted ahead of time, especially since he said he would have a wedding taking place the next day. At this point I felt angry that based on the information I had so far, the WBCSL would put businesses in such an awkward situation. Much later that day, I called the manager at Family Funland (a business I frequent with my children) and after a very brief conversation, was told a similar story. The manager seemed to be unaware of the situation. He was appreciative of the call. I don’t know if in either or both cases, an employee or someone else could have granted
permission without the owners/managers knowledge.

My little one woman “campaign” made no threats, used no “intimidation tactics” or harassment. Maria states that she did not either. I wish the not so subtle "campaign" of exaggerations and lies against Maria and those of us that support her efforts would stop. Both sides need to show respect for each other despite the charged emotions.

Interesting conversation about libertarians and viewpoints in all this- I'm learning something here!

Dr. Joe Goebbels said...

May 10, 1933: "No to decadence and moral corruption! Yes to decency and morality in family and state!"

concernedcitizen said...

I just wanted also to clarify that I am not the same person as "Concerned West Bend Citizen" or the author of the Sleepless blog. Just happened to choose a similar name.

SafeLibraries said...

concernedcitizen, are you Maria Hanrahan?

concernedcitizen said...

SafeLibraries- Nope, just someone who agrees with her.

Anonymous said...

Ginny is sure lucky Dan Kleinman came along and shut her up about the contagious gayness going around in the West Bend Library. Its too bad her blog still spews forth hateful entries that show her most un-Christian side and despicable agenda.
What happened to judge not, lest ye be judged??

SafeLibraries said...

Anonymous said, "Ginny is sure lucky Dan Kleinman came along and shut her up about the contagious gayness going around in the West Bend Library."

Thank you, but stop it. I did not "shut her up." She made up her own mind. I don't control her. I have no idea why people keep attacking her over her old comments, except to have an excuse for trying to convince other people to ignore her now-legitimate requests.

If Ginny really has abandoned her stance on "contagious gayness," isn't that something that should be applauded instead of attacked? I hereby applaud Ginny for dropping her opposition to "contagious gayness." If other people would drop their opposition to "contagious gayness," that would be good, and to the extent Ginny has provided an example to those people, that is excellent. I thank Ginny for leading the way.

Ginny's former opposition to "contagious gayness" is old news; let's move on. And those who need to move on include the ALA President, etc.

While I'm writing, let me say this blog post, along with the comments, is really excellent. Thanks, Mpeterson.

Mpeterson said...

You are most welcome. I'm a great believer in finding a way for our inevitable, inherent, American fractiousness to play out. See the Federalist Papers Number 10 for more details.

But I too am not sure we need to let Ginny off the hook. Her complaints have shifted each time she's met resistance or Constitutional objections. If she'd settled on a particular objection we could have had this behind us by now.

I'm not sure anyone objects to the idea that parents should be comfortable letting their kids use the library or that, equally, parents should shoulder their responsibilities as parents to make sure that they think their kids' reading materials are appropriate.


Best,
Mark

Anonymous said...

she hasn't abandoned it, Dan. if you read her blog, you'll see that there certainly is an anti-gay agenda. now i'm sure she can magically make those entries disappear and remove the links to the other anti-gay sites and continue to act like we are all dwelling on the past--like this has nothing to do with her ignorant, judgemental stance on homosexuality. wolves, i tell you! wolves in sheeps' clothing!
hey--maybe along with relocating those books, we could also get the city to construct a separate entrance, bathroom and water fountain for those who choose to read them!! i'm going to go start a petition! i'll be busy making assumptions of what businesses will support me.

Anonymous said...

and might i also point out this little gem of a blog post:

http://the-motley-cow.blogspot.com/search/label/Christianity

imagine that!

justanotherbovine said...

Wow, Dan, you & Ginny would have a great future in message/focus-testing - keep fine tuning your message in "real-time" until you get it right.

Then there is this:

"State v. Rader, 62 Ore. 37; 124 P. 195, argued on May 9, 1912, decided on May 28, 1912."

"....................... It is not an easy task to unring a bell, nor to remove from the mind an impression once firmly imprinted there, and the withdrawal of the testimony should be so emphatic as to leave no doubt in the mind of the juror as to the unequivocal repudiation by the court of the erroneously admitted matter, and even then, in a case where the testimony is evenly balanced or contradictory, courts hesitate to sanction such withdrawal, though it seems absolutely necessary to permit this course in some instances."

Recognize the concept? Can't "unring the bell"?

Or how about the concept that "you can't make a silk purse out of a gay-bashing swine's ear"?

Jump on Ginny's "crazy train" and enjoy the ride. With all the cross-listing with her site, will be interesting the next time Google does a web crawl - your site should generate a lot of "anti-gay" Google hits.

justanotherbovine said...

Speaking of Ginny's crazy train - more are jumping on board:

From Daily News 5/2/2009

"Christian rights group joins library fray

Suit by Milwaukee chapter singles out ‘Baby BeBop’ for complaint

The Milwaukee branch of the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) has filed a legal claim that says a book that is available in the West Bend Community Memorial Library is offensive.
Robert C. Braun of West Allis, Joseph Kogelmann of Milwaukee, Robert Brough of West Bend and the Rev. Cleveland Eden of Milwaukee, representing the Milwaukeebased group, filed the claim with the city of West Bend clerk's office.
Named in the claim are the city of West Bend, Mayor Kristine Deiss, the West Bend Library Board and Library Director Michael Tyree. The group is seeking $30,000per plaintiff, Deiss’ resignation and a racist book be removed and publicly burned or destroyed as a deterrent to repeating the offensive conduct, the claim states."
...................................

MP, we need a new post on this topic.