Saturday, May 02, 2009

Outside help called in for book banners in West Bend

Hi everyone,

It looks like our local book banners have called in some friends from outside.

From the WB Daily News.

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 $30,000 per 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.

At least it looks like they've finally found someone who's bothered to look at the law.

I love this county.



justanotherbovine said...

Thanks for bringing this to the top.

This part is a real hoot - like I said before, all-aboard the Ginny crazy train:

"The plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, say their mental and emotional well-being were damaged by the book at the Library, the claim states."

Book must have fallen off the shelves, and opened up to the offending passages as it ricocheted off their walkers.

I think some taxpayers from City of West Bend are suffering some damage to their emotional well-being when they realize the taxpayer time & expense being expended due to these kinds of lunatics.

Anonymous said...

This is actually good news. I don't know the other stooges, but Robert C. Braun has been rattling around for years. He inevitably loses these lawsuits. Sometimes he's ordered to pay the costs, but I doubt that he has the funds to pay it back. This is the "quality" that Maziarka attracts. It speaks volumes about her and her crusade.

Eema-le said...

I knew that this was coming. I just didn't know that it would happen so quickly.

PaulyW said...

It is AMAZING how a request to move a un-suitable book from the childrens section to the adult section of the library has turned this into a total waste of taxpayers dollars. This is unbelievable. If they had moved the book in the first place, maybe this would not have turned into such a mess. But I forgot, it's all about being PC, and the public not having a stake in it's library.

Mpeterson said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your other comments!

Yeah, agreed, but for starters I finally looked at the book in question and the most important thing is that it isn't even in the children's section... it's in the section for teenagers. We might still find a way to disagree about that, but we should at least be clear about the facts of our disagreement.

Worst of all is the coddling the city has done with regard to the people complaining... this isn't about Political Correctness, this is about censorship, plain and simple. The people making the complaint never had a constitutional leg to stand on -- that's why they've continually changed what they're complaining about: from religious morality, to pornography, and now to "making a safer library." They have a right to complain but... and here's something to think about ... let's say the library bans this book: if ANYONE takes the library to court for banning or removing that book, the city will LOSE the case. That'll be even more expensive than this little teacup tempest we're having.

Besides, although I disagree with Ginny, and emphatically, I also support her right under the law to stir the pot this way. I'm just not sure she'd feel the same about someone else.

Anyway, in the meantime, I just remember that democracy is a messy business -- and then I go reread Federalist Papers number 10. :^)


Buzymom said...

Which one book is PaulyW talking about? It started out with banning 50-60 based on "propaganda", then ban 2 and add "balance", then ban 3 and move more to the adult section and finally change library policies with a new policy that would let any book with any sexual content whatsoever (as deemed offensive and inappropriate to minors by Ginny or whoever else) to be moved, labelled and restricted.

Or are we talking about the 1 book that this new group found offensive enough to sue over, a book that previously hadn't been mentioned?

And lets not forget that 2 of the 3 books with excerpts on the WISSUP blog are young adult non-fiction and already found shelved in the upstairs adult non-fiction area, not mixed in with the children's books as she would lead us to believe.

PaulyW said...


I agree, books should never be banned. If you don't like it, don't read it. But kids under 18 are just So IMO you need to regulate. Use the same standard you use for Adult magazines in the C-stores. I don't think anybody would condone putting the Penthouse mag out on the tables in the childrens section as a good practice, so how come books with sexual overtones are in the childrens reading section? Move them to somewhere more appropriate. Society makes C-stores cover the adult magazines and put them on the top shelf. If you use the same standard for community morals, then whats the issue?

I know it was more than 1, but by saying book I was refering to the whole situation.

Mpeterson said...

Oh, sure -- if the situation you describe were the case, none of this would have even come up. But the issue is being rather adroitly muddied up. The library isn't doing anything remotely like making porn available. They don't. You can go back and look over some of the other posts about this for the details.

The people complaining have changed their complaint enough times to make it hard to keep up at this point, but it got started because the WB library has a list of age appropriate books for gay and lesbian young people... emphasis on age-appropriate. These were listed on the website in the young adult section. No actual books, just a list of books. That precipitated everything, so far as I can tell. The complainants (? -ers?) insisted the list be removed on moral and religious grounds. When they discovered that was more than likely an unconstitutional reason, they've been fishing around for something that'll work.

Anyway, none of the supposedly offending materials are in the kids section at all, they're already shelved for young adults -- plus, they aren't really offensive in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, did these "outsiders" come to the library, look for the book and then become "damaged"? Were they "damaged" before they came in?

Any person at puberty stage or older has need of multiple sources of information, these "elderly" patrons perhaps aren't able to appreciate and assimilate information that younger readers need.

Don't ban or restrict books, ban closed minds.

steev said...

Weren't a couple of these CCLU members at the Silverbrook meeting? Wasn't one of them the gentlemen who was shaking and puffing all night in his seat until he finally got the chance to go to the microphone and inform all of the gay students (and residents) that they were going to hell? Scary and sad stuff.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...


Yeah, you are absolutely correct. This is the guy and his clan. We did not invite him, he invited himself. We also shut him down. We did not care for his behavior, attitude or words. He was inappropriate then, and he still is.

Other Side said...

We also shut him down. We did not care for his behavior, attitude or words.Sounds like censorship to me comes way too easy. *snark*

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Keep snarking. We "shut him down" because he did not follow the common courtesy we asked of those who attended. He was the only one who personally attacked others at the town meeting. He did not play fair, so to speak; therefore, we asked him to sit down. Our meeting, our rules - no personal attacks. I don't apologize for that. He had it coming.

Mpeterson said...

How wonderful is English?

SnarkSnarkyThe point is you were able to shut down his comments because he wouldn't play by the rules everyone is expected to follow if you want civil discourse.

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: your requests regarding the books in the library didn't follow the rules everyone is expected to play by either.

In every case, in every twist and turn of the complaint, your requests clearly -- I should say obviously -- violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

There were ways you could've probably gotten what you wanted, if only you'd been patient enough to look at the rules carefully -- but the way you went about this was no different, to a lot of the folks watching it, from the way this guy got up at your meeting and went off on everyone.

I can't believe you wanted to appear that way, but that's my reading on how people have reacted.

I was at some pains to point it out gently in the early going, but here now you've said it yourself: our meeting (living in America), our rules (the Constitution).