Censorship

Tracking the Palin Rumors

|

The most disturbing allegation about Sarah Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla—that Palin tried to oust the local librarian because she wouldn't remove offensive books from the shelves—is starting to look shaky. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

Palin didn't mention specific books at that meeting, [Palin critic Anne] Kilkenny said.

Palin herself, questioned at the time, called her inquiries rhetorical and simply part of a policy discussion with a department head "about understanding and following administration agendas," according to the Frontiersman article.

Were any books…banned? June Pinell-Stephens, chairwoman of the Alaska Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee since 1984, checked her files Wednesday and came up empty-handed.

Palin later asked the librarian to resign, but it's far from clear that this was related to the censorship question, given that Palin asked for other officials' resignation around the same time (and given that the subsequent librarian doesn't seem to have removed any controversial books). I don't think the door is closed on this story—I hope to see more reporting on it—but whatever did happen, it's a far cry from the over-the-top accusations that have been circulating online. (One frequently forwarded email lists dozens of books that Palin allegedly tried to take off the shelves. More than one of the volumes were actually published after the event. The list turned out to be cut-and-pasted from a catalog of "Books Banned at One Time in the United States.")

Meanwhile, the claim that Palin supported abstinence-only sex education is looking even shakier. The Los Angeles Times points out that Palin is actually to the left of McCain on this issue:

Palin's running mate, John McCain, and the GOP platform say children should be taught that abstinence until marriage is the only safe way to avoid pregnancy and disease. Palin's position is less clear….

In July of [2006], she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of "explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?"

Palin wrote, "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

But in August of that year, Palin was asked during a KTOO radio debate if "explicit" programs include those that discuss condoms. Palin said no and called discussions of condoms "relatively benign."

"Explicit means explicit," she said. "No, I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that. That doesn't scare me, so it's something I would support also."

I'm not sure what she means by "explicit," but I can guess: Social conservatives frequently fear that sex ed will turn into a sexual how-to guide, and I suspect she was referring to that. It's clear, at any rate, that the abstinence-only charge is false. It fits popular prejudices about those scary backwoods Christians, though, so we'll probably keep hearing about it.

The most objectionable thing about Palin doesn't have anything to do with fringy positions on traditional morality. It's her willingness to embrace McCain's militarist foreign-policy views. And those ideas, alas, are entirely within the political mainstream.

Update: The Frontiersman's original 1996 report on the library incident is here. A lengthy attempt to track all the Palin rumors is here; I can't vouch for all of it, but it's a good place to start clicking links, checking out sources, and Googling for further information.

Advertisement

NEXT: Moral Hazard Watch

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Starting to look shaky?

    Anyone with a search engine could have determined this was BS shortly after it came out.
    The Time story was porly sourced.The twit reporter at TWI couldn’t find a damn thing in the records.The whole charge has been nothing but a smear.

    There should be no objections to a social conservative’s beliefs about morality if she doesn’t intend to impose them on others by force.

  2. SIV: The one way the story could get new life is if someone uncovers more info about why exactly Palin brought up the issue in the first place. That still looks hazy to me, though if you’ve seen more complete reporting on it please let me know & I’ll post an update. In the meantime, there doesn’t seem to be much there there.

  3. But the real question is did she try to censor “America Deceived”?

  4. There should be no objections to a social conservative’s beliefs about morality if she doesn’t intend to impose them on others by force.

    While true, what matters is whether she is someone who will impose by force if given the power. I’m not saying she is or isn’t, but power corrupts.

  5. Say you’re a small-town librarian, and the mayor drops by for a visit.

    He or she comes into your office, sits down, and says:

    “Hello. What would you say if I told you to remove a half-dozen books because they are offensive to my constituents? Hypothetically speaking, of course?”

    What on Earth would you be thinking?

  6. Thanks for posting this Jesse. I wasn’t impressed by the accuracy of the original smear as moves to ban library books usually make the papers(front page in a small town paper and usually a mention in the States “big city” dailies). The initial report sourced to a political opponent and said the librarian in question–who didn’t lose her job–was unavailable for comment.

  7. Elemenope,

    That apparently wasn’t what she said.

    Episiarch,

    The only “social conservative” legal action of Palin’s I’m aware of was signing some Gay rights law she disagreed with as Governor.She has power, she isn’t using it.

  8. Elemenope,

    Officially or unofficially?

    Officially I would be thinking that this is a great hypothetical question. Seeing as how ALL of the half-dozen books are offensive. Also we can not allow our impressionable children to read these socially destructive books. I will have a detailed report for you in about 4 weeks. Thank you for your visit, Mayor. It’s always a pleasure to see our elected officials take an interest in reading.

  9. Unofficially I would think that this is fucking bogus and a waste of my time. The mayor can’t be to bright so I should just kiss her ass a little and humor her. If I buy some time, she will most likely forget. Also, I’m gonna figure out a way to tip off the local media without anyone knowing it was me.

  10. When “simply a policy discussion with a department head” includes any discussion, no matter how rhetorical or hypothetical, about censorship or book-removal, that’s the ball game for me.

    I cannot trust a person who, in a leadership position, would have it even fucking occur to them that this might conceivably, rhetorically, hypothetically, or what-the-fuck-ever, be a legitimate discussion for a politician to have with the librarian whose job they hold in their hands.

    Even if we were to be charitable and assume that the discussion is not about whether the librarian would go along with removing books, but rather whether the librarian would follow orders or “is loyal” (which seems to me where this is now spinning), that’s a whole different level of scary.

  11. NS —

    Unofficially, I wouldn’t make the assumption that she wasn’t too bright, but other than that…yeah.

  12. I ALWAYS assume boss people are stuid and have drunk deep of the power kool aid. But in my line of work my ability to soothe boss people and BS customers is legendary. I suppose when I get a real job I’ll have to change my game up a bit. Till then, if it ain’t broke . . .

  13. I don’t find the fact that she didn’t mention specific books to be banned particularly undamning. If the rumor is false, fine. If the rumor that she inquired about banning books without mentioning specific books is true, not fine.

    If she decided to throw around her weight to install yes-men and yes-women in office, also not fine, IMO.

  14. What possible reason would a small town mayor have for asking a librarian to resign, unless they were doing they’re job poorly?
    Since when is that a political position, and what kind of person sees it as political?
    Not much “reason” in evidence here, only ass covering and bias.

  15. Looks to me like this woman doesn’t like Palin because Palin spoke up. Too bad! There’s always one in the crowd that doesn’t like you. You found it. lol

  16. I don’t get it. Why was Palin even asking about banning books in the first place?

  17. WASILLA — Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

    According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn’t fully support her and had to go….

    Palin told the Daily News back then the letters were just a test of loyalty as she took on the mayor’s job, which she’d won from three-term mayor John Stein in a hard-fought election.

    This sounds pretty damning to me.

  18. Since when are mayors concerned with the hiring and firing of librarians? Everything I’ve heard about Palin indicates she lost her mind when she became a mayor of a small town. I’d hate to see what the Presidency would do to her – or what she would do to it. I realize I’m biased, but seeing a small time pol already showing every negative symptom of the Bush administration scares the hell out of me.

    Maybe the librarian was corrupt, incompetent, whatever – deserved to be fired. In that case, I eagerly await Michelle Malkin’s intrepid reporting on what type of countertops she owns.

  19. How loyal does a librarian have to be?

  20. Hypothetical book bannings? Why would it even to occur for a mayor to ask such a thing?

    A “test of loyalty”? A librarian in a small town has to pass a test of loyalty?

    Loyalty to what for frack’s sake? Loyal against what?

  21. This woman may or may not be qualified. What is the most disturbing is that we know so little. Transparent as a mud puddle. To fuel that worry is the republican Party’s sheltering of her. WHY? This person could be president of our country and we know less about her than the bagger at the local grocery store. No wonder people are reading anything they can get their hands on. I absolutely will not vote for this ticket with her on it. Scary Very Scary

  22. lmnop,

    Personally, I would assume it was a trick question and that I would be fired if I came out in favor of censorship.

  23. Yup, this is just more crap from the Reason editors, desperately trying to convince themselves and us that Palin is still a potentially libertarian-friendly candidate.

    So the mayor called the librarian and asked, “Hey, what’s the procedure if I want to ban books?” and we’re supposed to consider the rumor “shaky” because she didn’t actually name the books she wanted to ban?

    Look, Walker, maybe there’s some sort of email out there with a titles list that somebody pulled out of their ass – and if so, I guess that EMAIL is debunked. But the story about book-banning in general is not debunked. The material you’ve provided is what’s known as CONFIRMATION, Jesse. You confirmed that Palin talked to the librarian to find out how to ban books.

    And the sex ed story may not demonstrate that Palin supported abstinence-only sex education, but it does demonstrate that she’s an idiot. If she’s the kind of person who hears the question, “What do you think of explicit sex education?” and in her mind thinks the word “explicit” means “using hard core pornography taken off the internet and from Larry Flynt’s personal collection”, then she’s a moron. “Oh, my heavens! I was frightened by the word ‘explicit’!” Next you’ll tell me there was a question that said, “Are you a hard core supporter of limited government?” and she accidentally answered No, because she heard the words “hard core” and thought someone was asking if she had starred in porn films.

  24. It’s clear, at any rate, that the abstinence-only charge is false. It fits popular prejudices about those scary backwoods Christians, though, so we’ll probably keep hearing about it.

    See, this is the kind of thing that annoys me.

    Palin fills out the questionnaire incorrectly because she’s stupid, but it’s everybody else’s fault for taking her answer seriously, because they’re mean anti-Christians.

    I mean, are you actually reading this stuff before you post it?

    And something tells me, without looking it up, that the questionnaire Palin completed was probably from a pro-abstinence group, so her “chick moment” in misunderstanding the question “just so happened” to help make her look better to that group. Right?

  25. http://explorations.chasrmartin.com/2008/09/06/palin-rumors/

    For all you factually challenged so called Libertarians.

  26. Oh gee, what a shock!

    I looked it up, and it turns out the questionnaire where Palin “mistakenly” made it look like she was in favor of abstinence-only did in fact “just so happen” to be from a pro-abstinence group!

    It was Eagle Forum Alaska, which is these psychos here:

    http://www.eagleforumalaska.org/

    What a surprise! Palin misunderstood the questionnaire in EXACTLY THE WAY that would make her answers look as good as possible to the folks who sent it to her.

    So I guess now it’s only a 50/50 chance that she’s an idiot who doesn’t understand that the word “explicit” has a meaning outside of the world of pornography. The other 50% chance is that she falsely pretended to be one for political advantage.

  27. Palin fills out the questionnaire incorrectly because she’s stupid, but it’s everybody else’s fault for taking her answer seriously, because they’re mean anti-Christians.

    Grievance and overblown assertions of persecution are the bread and butter of identity politics.

    Sarah Palin is an identity-politics candidate. Why do you think we hear Republicans use the phrase “identify with” so much when discussing demographic groups they hope she will help with?

  28. I think her answer was just fine, btw. The nut cases who put the questionnaire together asked “Are you in favor of sex ed classes that involve children being fed into the maw of a horrible monster?” and she answered, “Hell, no, I’m strongly opposed to feeding children to monsters.”

    That’s a fine answer.

  29. Wow, there are so many how do you keep track of them all. I have a feeling we will see a LOT more skeletons fall from her closet! LOL

    Jiff
    http://www.anonymize.kr.tc

  30. “Are you in favor of sex ed classes that involve children being fed into the maw of a horrible monster?”

    I’m not 100% sure, because I haven’t actually seen one myself, but I think you may have just described a GWAR concert.

  31. No books were ever banned. The librarian retained her job through Palin’s first term.
    She did fire the county museum director, maybe there is something there for someone to gin up a controversy.

  32. It’s ok, everybody. SIV says there’s nothing to this story.

    And also, SCARY BLACK CHURCH! SCARY BLACK CHURCH!

  33. Let me know when there is something there joe.

    Some Pentecostals handle snakes you know.
    SCARY WHITE REDNECK CHURCH !

  34. It’s okay folks, she didn’t fire the librarian until later. Mayors fire librarians all the time! And she fired someone else to for what I’m sure are solid small government reasons. And her drastic increase in her towns budget, spending and debt are irrelevant. There’s a chain email out there that’s wrong, see.

    Mooseburgers, people! Mooseburgers! She’s just like me and my moose eating freak friends.

  35. I’m not 100% sure, because I haven’t actually seen one myself, but I think you may have just described a GWAR concert.

    Gay Women Against Rape!

    Oh and they feed children to the gaping maw of the monster at each and every concert.

    American must be destroyed!

  36. But who watches those that watch the watchmen?

  37. Cindie:

    WTF are you on about?

    PurpleDragon2:

    not convinced. also, I haven’t heard more than a tenth of the rumors that site allegedly seeks to dispel. that suggests to me they are possibly fake rumors designed to make the democrats or the media (whoever the site author is purporting is spreading those rumors) look bad.

    I guess republicans throwing their weight around and using and misusing their authority is OK, but democrats doing so is not.

    Personally, I’d rather neither group did so and that both groups had much less authority than they do.

  38. So the mayor called the librarian and asked, “Hey, what’s the procedure if I want to ban books?” and we’re supposed to consider the rumor “shaky” because she didn’t actually name the books she wanted to ban?

    Look, Walker, maybe there’s some sort of email out there with a titles list that somebody pulled out of their ass – and if so, I guess that EMAIL is debunked. But the story about book-banning in general is not debunked. The material you’ve provided is what’s known as CONFIRMATION, Jesse. You confirmed that Palin talked to the librarian to find out how to ban books.

    It is confirmed that she asked the librarian about the books. It is not confirmed that she wanted to ban any books. The reason why she inquired about the issue is not yet known; I can think of damning possibilities and I can think of not-damning possibilities. As I said above, it’s the one really hazy spot in the story.

    In the meantime, it looks as though (a) she claims — maybe truthfully, maybe not — the conversation was not motivated by a desire to ban books; (b) the attempt to fire the librarian was probably not related to book-banning; and (c) she did not attempt to ban any books after the librarian left. None of which adds up to confirmation, or even CONFIRMATION.

    And the sex ed story may not demonstrate that Palin supported abstinence-only sex education, but it does demonstrate that she’s an idiot. If she’s the kind of person who hears the question, “What do you think of explicit sex education?” and in her mind thinks the word “explicit” means “using hard core pornography taken off the internet and from Larry Flynt’s personal collection”, then she’s a moron.

    The subject of whether she’s a “moron” is not at issue. But it’s hardly idiotic to see a reference to “explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools” and think the questioner is curious about more than just teaching kids about condoms. (And yes, she might have just been kissing up to the religious right at election time.)

    this is just more crap from the Reason editors, desperately trying to convince themselves and us that Palin is still a potentially libertarian-friendly candidate.

    So even though I have repeatedly written that I think McCain is the greater evil — and you’re a regular here, Fluffy, so you know where I stand on this — I’m supposed to be carrying water for the GOP if I doubt some of the accusations being hurled at its candidates. Sorry, Fluffy, but I’m working for Reason, not for one of the campaigns. You might be driven by a partisan preference, but please do me the favor of not projecting such motives onto me.

  39. Weigel shills for the Dems

  40. Why would someone ask if the librarian would be down for banning books if they didn’t want to ban books? Why isn’t it suspicious that the librarian was threatened to be fired after saying, “Fuck no”? Unless I see tons of complaints about the librarian unrelated to book banning, it’s hard not to see the two as related.

  41. Your mom’s a tit.

  42. The only report I’d seen about the book-banning was that she asked the librarian how she’d go about banning books – no mention of firing her because she said no, or specific titles. It’s still an indictment of any claim she might have to social freedoms.

  43. The underlying premise to all this remains that there is a perfectly good reason for a mayor trying to get a librarian fired.

  44. Oh, hello everyone.

    Does anyone realize how FUCKING ABSURD it is that we are debating the details of this woman’s interaction with an ALASKAN LIBRARIAN?

    Is that alone not enough to cause you to wonder whether you’d be comfortable with her as the commander-in-chief?

  45. Oh, so boring
    Oh, oh, so boring
    Oh, so boring
    This puts me to sleep

  46. Sarah Palin versus Marion the Librarian – the ultimate catfight! Hubba hubba!

  47. It is confirmed that she asked the librarian about the books. It is not confirmed that she wanted to ban any books. The reason why she inquired about the issue is not yet known; I can think of damning possibilities and I can think of not-damning possibilities. As I said above, it’s the one really hazy spot in the story.

    You can think of “non-damning possibilities”? Christ, I’d love to hear them.

    Me, when I think about a person with authority saying out loud anything about futzing with the contents of a library, my spidey-libertarian sense goes all crazy.

    ……………….

    Fluffy —

    Be careful. They’ll call you a shill next! I wonder what you’ll be a shill for. Me, I’m for Big Asshole.

  48. Matt2 —

    Half of us are already there, and half of us will sadly never arrive.

  49. Fluffy,

    You said

    Yup, this is just more crap from the Reason editors, desperately trying to convince themselves and us that Palin is still a potentially libertarian-friendly candidate.

    Well we know for a fact that regarding civil liberties Joe Biden is a one man catastrophe.

    What is interesting is the endless attention paid to and bottomless wells of righteous indignation focused on Palin’s one question on content based removal of books from a library.

    And the pristine silence regarding the proven fact that joe biden is a walking civil liberties disaster.

    If you are really concerned about civil liberties it would be preferable to vote for the ticket that has Palin on not the one that has biden on it.

    Had to take a break from my vacation to register my disappointment in Obama’s selection of Biden.

    Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress.

    Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden.

    Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about).

    Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs.

    Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences).

    Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004’s horrendous RAVE Act.

    Its sunday and everyone needs a drink so.

    Real libertarians would look at the track record and not the party affiliation of the candidates.

    If you do that it becomes painfully clear that with respect to civil liberties Palin arguably has the most libertarian friendly track record of all of the candidates.

  50. Whn judging amongst civil libertarians, I prefer to look at the presidential candidates; you know, the guy who would be:

    1. Deciding how to enforce Acts of Congress
    2. Writing Executive Orders
    3. Appointing Federal Judges, including SCOTUS Justices

    On balance, it is a sorta squeaker, but I’d take Obama over McCain. I’m a shill for the Empirical Presidency, it is true. I’ll take in a heartbeat a guy who will even *say* he’ll look at prevailing evidence and experts when making decisions, over the guy who has clearly indicated he couldn’t give a shit about either.

    I hate both VP candidates, so that’s a wash. But it is interesting how it has been framed that if you don’t like one, that means you have to like the other.

    Oh, and if you’d like another drink:

    Real Libertarians would look at these two slates, and shoot themselves in the head.

  51. Apparently, Palin sent a summer reading list to the librarian. The list included such titles as The Seven Habits of Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Da Vinci Code, and The Fountainhead. The librarian refused to reserve the books on the list. Thus the librarian was shit canned.

  52. You can think of “non-damning possibilities”? Christ, I’d love to hear them.

    Here is the original coverage from 1996. It’s not clear to me whether Palin actually wanted the power to remove books or if she simply wanted to sound out how the librarian felt about censorship issues, in the event of, say, popular pressure to ban a text.

    The underlying premise to all this remains that there is a perfectly good reason for a mayor trying to get a librarian fired.

    She asked a bunch of people to resign in different departments of the city government, not just the librarian. There was a lot of small-town politics going on, and small-town politics can be opaque to outsiders. Especially when — as in this case — the Wasillans who have come forward with comments obviously have axes to grind. (Which is not to say that any of them in particular are wrong. Just that, as I wrote in my post, I’d like to see more reporting on the subject.)

  53. Palin’s question to the librarian sounds less like a threat to liberty than Obama’s recent “I don’t have the votes [to ban guns].”

    But that quasi-hypothetical doesn’t count. Because.

  54. I cannot trust a person who, in a leadership position, would have it even fucking occur to them that this might conceivably, rhetorically, hypothetically, or what-the-fuck-ever, be a legitimate discussion for a politician to have with the librarian whose job they hold in their hands.

    If I was the politician in question, it’s one of the first questions I’d ask of a librarian. It goes to core duties. If any librarian said she would censor books, that would be grounds for termination.

    What possible reason would a small town mayor have for asking a librarian to resign, unless they were doing they’re job poorly?
    Since when is that a political position, and what kind of person sees it as political?

    If (as happened here) the librarian in question campaigned for the opposition candidate (as the other officials asked to resign also were) then librarian is a political position, or at least being used as one. I live in a small town. Politics is a hard game here.

    Since when are mayors concerned with the hiring and firing of librarians?

    Since the librarian is a city department head in charge of a chunk of the mayor’s budget, a major city facility, and several city employees.

  55. BO’s gun control record for those of you so very concerned about a mistake SP made when she was new in politics.

    http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_obama.html

  56. Man…it’s just starting to look like one big ol’ mess for McCain at this point. One question that really raises an eyebrow in my mind – since when did Mayors become involved with the hiring/firing of librarians?

  57. Is that alone not enough to cause you to wonder whether you’d be comfortable with her as the commander-in-chief?

    You do realize you’re saying “we’re arguing about a rumor based largely on a forged list of supposedly to be banned books. Isn’t that enough to make you wonder whether you’d be comfortable with her as the commander-in-chief?”

    If we’re to take that approach, dude, there’s lots scarier rumors being made up about Obama.

    In the meantime, though, here’s a link to a contemporaneous report that doesn’t sound nearly as scary, taken from my canonical list of Palin rumors.

    One question that really raises an eyebrow in my mind – since when did Mayors become involved with the hiring/firing of librarians?

    Let me guess: you’ve never actually seen a small town except from the air, right?

  58. “Me, when I think about a person with authority saying out loud anything about futzing with the contents of a library, my spidey-libertarian sense goes all crazy.”

    I’m concerned at the idea of a majory part of the book-rental business being not only subsidized by the government, but placed in the hands of a government department.

  59. If I was the politician in question, it’s one of the first questions I’d ask of a librarian. It goes to core duties. If any librarian said she would censor books, that would be grounds for termination.

    Uh huh. But if that were the case, then Palin would say, “Yeah I asked the question, and that’s because I was testing the librarian on their duties”. It would be an easy out, and she’d pick up points.

    But, no. She hasn’t said that. Because, most obviously, the above explanation is clearly bullshit.

  60. In the meantime, it looks as though (a) she claims — maybe truthfully, maybe not — the conversation was not motivated by a desire to ban books; (b) the attempt to fire the librarian was probably not related to book-banning; and (c) she did not attempt to ban any books after the librarian left.

    I can hardly think of a better summary of why this is a non-story.

    Me, when I think about a person with authority saying out loud anything about futzing with the contents of a library, my spidey-libertarian sense goes all crazy.

    You realize, of course, that librarians spend their days futzing with the contents of libraries?

  61. I think that friends of liberty should be focused upon whether, and if so, why Sara Palin asked the librarian about book burning. If she asked to ascertain the librarian’s position in furtherance of her philosophical opposition to book banning, then fine. If she asked because she wanted to know if the librarian would go along with some book banning, then that is all we need to know. Whether or not some folks who are part of the false left/right paradigm are being unfair and/or hyperbolic in their claims against another who is also part of said paradigm, is of far less importance.

  62. Charlie, I could give a shit about her interactions with the librarian and what did or did not happen. It’s probably an overblown rumor.

    It does strike me as completely bizarre and more than a little scary that “small town mayor” equals executive experience, and that the Team Red talking points have been so thoroughly disseminated.

    I was a legitimately undecided voter, probably leaning towards McCain. I don’t want Palin running the country, so McCain/Palin are out. I would imagine that many independents who can think feel the same way.

  63. “Let’s not play games,” he said. “What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you’re absolutely right that that has not come.”

    ^Anyone who, at this point, still believes BHO is a Muslim, is a moron. Nor is he a Black Liberation Theologist. That is extremist non-sense. Barack has proven beyond any doubt his Jewish roots:

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24224774-2,00.html

  64. matt2, the experience game is being played in this election in a way that is somewhat astonishing to all of us.

    If “small-town mayor” doesn’t count as relevant executive experience, then does community organizer/law professor?

    If “governor of Alaska for two years” doesn’t count, then does “state legislator/part-time Senator?”

    Should “running for President” count?

    And the astonishing thing is, that pretty much sums up the experience debate. All of which begs the real question – what does the President really do, what should he/she/it do, and what prepares someone to do it?

  65. Just kidding above on the Muslim/Jew thing. Osama is a Black Liberation Theologist (20 years in the church) and not one of them there Isrealis or Islams.

    Palin supports jury nullification. Barack Obama doesn’t even support the second amendment. Good enough for this libertarian. This may be the first Republican I vote for in a presidential race. Does this cancel out my vote for Dukakis? Does anything?

    Also, Palin is articulate and clean.

    Fully Informed Jury Association link:
    http://www.fija.org//index.php?page=displaytxt&id=222

  66. The only “social conservative” legal action of Palin’s I’m aware of was signing some Gay rights law she disagreed with as Governor.She has power, she isn’t using it.

    And that’s even backwards. What Palin did in this case should reassure Libertarians. Her own party passed a bill which would refuse spousal benefits to same-sex couples. Palin vetoed it, on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and would violate her oath of office. The Republicans begged her to reconsider to fight the ‘out of control courts’, and she refused.

    This means the only social policy she actually implemented as Governor that I could find was to protect gay people’s rights under the constitution.

    How can any Libertarians argue with that?

    So let’s see where we are so far:

    – Protects gay rights
    – supports teaching contraception in sex ed
    – opposes teaching creationism as part of the curriculum.

    She’s not turning out to be the theo-con monster the left is desperately trying to paint her as.

    Even her most extreme position, her staunch pro-life beliefs, are expressed in a very non-authoritarian way. She believes the best way to prevent abortion is to empower women so it’s less socially stigmatizing to have a baby, and to help them with resources which makes it easier to keep the baby and still go to school and work. Sounds like something any feminist should be able to get behind.

    And don’t forget, Ron Paul is as pro-life as she is.

    As for other libertarian bona fides, in 2000 she supported Steve Forbes for President, and her husband is an independent who seems to be pretty close to being a libertarian.

  67. So small town mayors fire librarians all time then, and I am an elitist for thinking that is completely insane explanation. What with all the lattes and manicures over here it’s easy to forget the scourge that is Small Town Librarians.

  68. raise your hands, good honest, simple folk of the small towns which I have “never seen” except “from an airplane” (and you better believe I was all first class in that business) – how many posters here have ever heard of their local librarian get fired on by the mayor?

  69. I’ve lived in several small towns, from 1,000 people to 10,000. The fact is, a public library is a major expenditure for a small town, and it’s very easy for a librarian to get fired – all he or she has to do is to run the place poorly, or use it as a soapbox for a personal agenda, or refuse to stock books the people of the town want.

    Small town politics are also heavily involved in the personal. Everyone knows everyone else. This can lead to corruption (for example, the librarian hiring unqualified friends or even their own children to work there), and it can lead to group bullying as some faction or other gains power in town politics.

    The fact is, Palin did all these things in her first term. When she ran for re-election, all this stuff was known. The mayor she beat the first time ran against her, and lost by a 3-1 margin. I’d say Palin won a people’s referendum on her actions – she was voted on by the people who knew her and the situation in which she was governing better than anyone else. To this day, the residents of that town are by a large margin huge Sarah Palin fans, as is the Mayor who succeeded her. Does that tell you anything?

    What she ACTUALLY did in that town should also be heartening to Libertarians (other than her stadium project): She cut property taxes by 40%, and instead used a flatter sales tax. The Property taxes were ‘progressive’, which means people with nicer homes were paying higher tax rates. The result of that was a population that was not growing and new investment wasn’t coming to town. When Palin left office, the town was almost twice the size as it was when she took office. That’s also a ‘people’s referendum’ on whether she did the right things.

  70. I’ve lived in several small towns, from 1,000 people to 10,000. The fact is, a public library is a major expenditure for a small town, and it’s very easy for a librarian to get fired – all he or she has to do is to run the place poorly, or use it as a soapbox for a personal agenda, or refuse to stock books the people of the town want.

    Very well. I was wrong.

  71. Not sure I understand why “libertarians” are so exercised over issues related to a public library. Why is it assumed that the government-employee librarian should be the final arbiter of which books are purchased or not purchased for a government-run library? If Palin had intended to influence the books that are stocked in a privately-owned bookstore, we’d have a problem of real concern.

  72. In the article from the Frontiersman there was this.

    “But on Monday, Oct. 28, Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak when Palin was requesting resignations from all? the city’s department heads as a way of expressing loyalty.”

    How fucking weird is that? A loyalty test? Does this not seem weird.

    Palin wanted people to “express loyalty” by requesting resignations? Again, loyalty to what? Against what? In Wasiila..it’s not the Politburo.

  73. Apparently in small towns that sort of thing happens. A lot of loyalty tests and political resignations of nonpolitical offices. So I’m told.

  74. I think Jesse Walker has to humble himself before the “test of loyalty” point.

    About censorship vs. gun control: those in favor of gun control frequently enough have nothing against gun owners, but are just convinced that gun control would really cut down on overall violence and deaths, which is a perfectly reasonable concern to have.

    But those in favor of censorship are, if I’m not mistaken, evil. And I mean the noun, not the adjective.

  75. Scary backwoods Christians?!?! To the average cosmotarian, anyone living between I-5 and the beltway is a dangerous provincial that needs to be tolerantly regulated into conformance, but calling non-urban Christians scary is downright nutty. True, most televangelists are conniving populist bible-bangers, but they are as unrepresentative of mainstream Christianity as O’Reilly is unrepresentative of mainstream conservativism: ignore the blowhards on TV.

  76. Sarah Palin herself said she didn’rt ask the librarian to ban any particular books (Anne Kilkenny concurs) but asked if the librarian would comply if asked, and defended it when people in Wasilla came to the defense of the librarian after Palin fired her, saying it was a question to test loyalty, because there was a rival faction in the town she was trying to cleanse from the government. This sort of loyalty test is out of line in a democracy. Unlike the relatively ignorant Regent grads who were able to pass the litmus test to be hired into Bush’s Justice Department and proceeded believing they served the President rather than the Constitution and the people of the United States, the librarian understood that she represented the townspeople and served them in a proper professional capacity by not banning books professional library associations have authorized as acceptable for US libraries. She told Sarah Palin that and was subsequently fired, Sarah Palin says because she flunked the litmus test.

  77. People need to think back to 1996. There was a huge flare-up over library books (not matched since) related to the unabomber and whether he had picked up his recipes in the local library. Plenty of articles from this exact time frame can be found with the simple use of google. it was perfectly reasonable in that context for palin to ask the librarian whether she would broadly consider removing books.

  78. STORY is spreading
    To Even Mention Book Banning is Sarah Palin at Her Dangerous Worst
    “The mere suggestion of book-banning should set off alarm bells of epic proportion across the country.

    The fact that Sarah Palin, the Republican would-be veep, approached Wasilla’s librarian with a ‘how would you react to banning books?’ question should not only give us all pause, but make us run shrieking in alarm to editorial boards in every nook and cranny of this country.

    Besides that question being pulled out of her ass, it didn’t come from nowhere”
    http://www.opednews.com/maxwri
    Palin’s Book-banning Efforts
    “. But as long as McCain aides are talking about this issue, maybe they can answer a couple of additional questions, such as, “Why did Palin try to fire the librarian in the first place?” Or how about, “Why did Palin broach the subject of book-banning if she had no intention of trying to ban books?”(from CBS)

    I thought McCain needed to pee in a drug test cup for selecting Palin, NOW I want every white woman voter in America who is fascinated with this UNSTABLE Christian Reich woman they’ve known for 2 seconds and ONE speech, to pee in a drug test cup before voting.
    THIS IS INSANE!
    I hope Jewish voters are watching this garbage, Palin was UNQUALIFIED to be a MAYOR, she abused that power immediately, then as Governor she used her influence to strike out in a personal vendetta, and used her husband and co-workers for this scheme…now you want to give her CHENEY’S POWER with an old fool sitting in the oval office who doesn’t know how many houses he OWNS?
    CHRIST if Bush’s second term armed this queer, Palin makes me want a bunker and grenades.

  79. Dan,
    Palin is NOT supporting Gay Rights the bill she vetoed was deemed unconstitutional. Her previous church of SIX years supports “repairative therapy” to pray away the gay, and has P-Flag demonstrators up there TODAY to stop this practice which is DISCREDITED by every major medical association as useless and HARMFUL to LGBT Americans.
    ANY LGBT person who supports Palin is a self loathing CLOSET CASE like Ken Mehlman, Lindsey Graham, Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Mitch McConnell, Matt Drudge, Patrick McHenry, Larry Craig, Dennis Hastert, Mark Foley, and Ted Haggard.

  80. This is interesting, the skeletons in her closet is starting to come out one by one.

  81. HourDoc is tool for Time Tracking. http://www.HourDoc.com Time Tracking Software is right treatment for time and labor management processes has to be an easy-to-administer and affordable solution for Freelancers, supervisors, employees and HR and payroll managers. They offer free application to companies less than 50 employees.

  82. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  83. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.