Censorship

Book Censorship Spiked in 2013

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paukrus / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Censorship of books rose dramatically in the U.S. in 2013, according to a major watchdog and advocacy organization.

The Kid's Right to Read Project (KRRP), an arm of the National Coalition Against Censorship, reports that, compared to last year, it has investigated 53 percent more cases of books being "challenged." Shelf-Awareness, an industry newsletter, states that in November alone, KRRP "investigated three times the average number of incidents," and that "during the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year." In total, they've grappled with 49 incidents in 29 states. Luckily, many of their efforts have successfully put books back on the shelves.

KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor told the newsletter, "It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," said O'Connor. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block." She highlighted that the majority of books that were challenged dealt with sensitive topics like race and sexuality.

The KRRP warns of the serious repercussions that come with restricting children's access to literature:

Censorship is about more than a single book. It is about the intellectual, cultural and political life of the community and the people in it.

Each time a book is a removed it reinforces the idea that books and ideas are off-limits if someone doesn't like them. It contributes to a culture where it's better to hide from controversial or difficult topics, than to acknowledge or discuss them.

[…]

It's censorship whenever anyone in the government – including public schools and library – restricts access to a book because they dislike it or disagree with what it says.

Who is trying to ban books? "Most of the challengers were parents of district students or library patrons, though a handful were local or state government officials," according to The Guardian. As little provocation as a single complaint can take books out of classrooms. A notable case of this happened to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere in a New Mexico high school in October.

Although the advocacy group suggests that determining the merits of a book should not be left up to "squeaky wheels" or "majority opinions," they believe in "the professional judgment of individuals with training and expertise." This stance, unfortunately, also falls short of actually preventing censorship. The real way to protect books is by not putting authority in the hands of any, but by allowing each individual to decide for himself—and only himself—what information he consumes.

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  1. Each time a book is a removed it reinforces the idea that books and ideas are off-limits if someone doesn’t like them.

    It’s called tolerance. Tolerance means not tolerating intolerance. Obviously these books are intolerant, so in the name of tolerance they must be banned.

    1. It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn’t have seen the Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It’s that thick.

  2. Although the advocacy group suggests that determining the merits of a book should not be left up to “squeaky wheels” or “majority opinions,” they believe in “the professional judgment of individuals with training and expertise.”

    We have top men working on the approve reading list now.

  3. Who is trying to ban books?

    Short answer: soccer moms.

    1. That’s pretty much the correct answer in most authoritarian instances.

      “I’ve seen the future and it’s not pretty. It’s an anti-bacterial police state. People on the street without protective padding hide their faces and hurry to their destinations, when one of their 5-Star safety rated, hybrid minivans drive by.”

    2. When conservatives do it, it’s banning; when liberals do it, it’s selection.

      1. Soccer moms span all political spectra. FOR TEH CHILDRUNZ? is not exclusive to one or the other of left and right.

        1. Correct, but the terminology is different, depending on the political views of the soccer mom

    3. “Short answer: soccer moms.”

      I do not know if that ‘gibes’ with the listed top ten banned books found here:

      http://www.ala.org/bbooks/freq…..ooks/top10

        1. If you are going to define ‘soccer moms’ as any pearl clutching suburban mother then perhaps you can get there, but I think there is a more specific group of people who object to books on grounds of depictions of sexuality and offensive language to point to there.

          1. If you are going to define ‘soccer moms’ as any pearl clutching suburban mother

            Which is exactly how we use the term in these parts.

            but I think there is a more specific group of people who object to books on grounds of depictions of sexuality and offensive language to point to there.

            You speak of Illuminati shape-shifter Lizard People hybrids, of course.

            1. I think it is silly for a soccer mom to = ‘any concerned mother.’

              I frankly think of soccer moms as suburban Democrat-leaning Independents who worry about nut allergies and their children’s self esteem and would take their teen ager to buy birth control for them (and support taking my money and having the government pay for it, but that is another matter).

              I think such people are objecting to a fair amount of books, but it is still usually social conservatives who object to most (and this could simply be a function of most books assigned by teachers or stocked by librarians being more willing to offend socon sensibilities mind you).

              1. Well, I’m old enough to remember SoCons loosing their shit over D&D, and the parallels to them doing the same over Harry Potter, so I’ll give you that.

              2. My definition of “soccer mom” is any parent (regardless of gender) that thinks their child is the be-all-end-all of human existence and will do anything to shield said child from everything potentially painful or offensive.

        2. To Kill a Mockingbird is on there. There is no limit to the stupidity of banners.

          1. When I was in middle school we watched an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet in an English class. We all had to take home permission slips to see the movie because in one of the love scenes there was a nip slip. There was some poor girl in the class whose mother didn’t want her to see some anatomy she saw every day in the shower, so she had to leave the room for that scene.

            1. I was lucky. I got to watch Roman Polanski’s Macbeth in English class, beheadings and nudity included. I liked it.

      1. The ALA is blocking my work’s IP, but if the books contain any sex or violence, then yes, it “gibes” with what soccer moms want to keep their precious snowflakes from seeing.

  4. That’s what they get for bringing them to knife fights.

  5. The Kid’s Right to Read Project (KRRP)

    Oh, why couldn’t it have been the World Kids’ Reading Project?

    1. + Chy-Chy Rodruhgwez.

    2. Or the People’s Front of Judea?

    3. Okay then – If I ever form my own charity that’s what it will be! Thank you.

    4. Are they located in Cincinnati?

  6. Send your kids to private school or give them the book yourself. I am not seeing how asking for a book to be taken out of a high school is “censorship”. A bad idea perhaps. But it is hardly censorship. Moreover, how is parents attempting the control over their kids’ education anything but “censorship” in this context?

    This may be an interesting argument about the role and justification and possible harm of having public schools or the need to have a more free civil society. But I don’t see how it is about censorship.

    1. “I am not seeing how asking for a book to be taken out of a high school is “censorship”.”

      Because it falls under the literal definition?

      1. In my world censorship means prohibiting access to something altogether not just stopping it at one place. When I throw a book away in my home because I don’t want to keep it or choose not to buy a book, I don’t consider myself to have censored my household of the book or for that matter when my employer tells me I can’t view porn at work, I don’t consider them to have engaged in “censorship”.

        But since you are both pedantic and dense, I have no doubt you do. The rest world thinks a bit differently about things.

        1. “In my world censorship means prohibiting access to something altogether not just stopping it at one place.”

          You have your own dictionary? Because in this world censorship is not defined to require that access be prohibited to something ‘altogether.’

          1. Then I am “censoring” when I throw a book away when I don’t like it. Or for that matter, any school that refused to stock porn in their library are engaging in “censorship”. That is ridiculous Bo and not how the word is being used here.

            I don’t what to tell you if you are too stupid to see that. I can only put things on the lowest level I can for you. The rest is up to you.

            1. John, not trying to give you a hard time, but that is not how the term is defined. It would be silly to say it must include the element of requiring it be prohibited ‘altogether’ because then if one copy remained extant then we do not have ‘censorship’ under your definition. When people remove books from public forums because of the content, that is censorship. Now, not all censorship may be wrong, but we do not have to get there the way you do, by restricting the definition idiosyncratically to only those forms of it you think would be wrong.

              Your examples are not apt because there is a difference between not buying something in the first place and removing it, the latter is literally censorship.

        2. are you really not seeing a difference between you tossing out a book for whatever reason and govt doing so, or is this another episode of john vs bo?

          1. If your problem here is that “the government did it” in the form of it being a public school, I would submit to you that your problem is not with the action but with the existence of public schools in general.

            They can’t stock every book can they? And even you would agree that some books are inappropriate or at the very least a waste of money right? So who decides what books get included and not included? I would say the parents. And if you have a problem with parents having a voice in public institutions, get rid of public schools, which again is an entirely different issue.

            1. This could be any public forum, John, and the same issue would exist.

              And perhaps you might distinguish between ‘not stocking’ a book and removing a book already offered because of its content?

            2. my problem here is that, once again, every issue is reduced to the least common denominator. One parent gets pissed about something and a book goes; then another and another and, before long, you have a different kind of tyranny.

              Yes, parents eliminate any risk of actual parenting in teaching their kids something useful. And the kids learn, or think they learn, that if they’re loud enough, they can get their way.

      2. So is it “censorship” when parents object to the use of “Of Pandas and People” in biology classes and succeed in getting it replaced?

        1. I think it is helpful to distinguish between books in a curriculum and books in a library. Objecting to Of Panda’s and People as part of a Science Curriculum vs. objecting to the book being in a library.

          1. I think it is helpful to distinguish between books in a curriculum and books in a library.

            Pretty sure many if not most of the banned books they’re talking about were used for reading assignments, so there’s overlap there.

        2. I tried to add “Little Black Sambo” to a list of banned books at my city library during Banned Book Week. It didn’t make the cut.

          1. I trust you purchased and donated a copy of Little Black Sambo to the library.

    2. ya. Not having something paid for by tax dollars isn’t censorship.

      1. This analogy is not apt, is it? Because what is being talked about here is a book that has already been bought (or donated) to a public forum that is then removed upon complaint about its contents.

    3. I agree. This always rankles me. When an organization improperly co-opts a word to push emotional buttons, it immediately causes me to disregard whatever they are peddling.

      1. *gasp*

        Next you’ll be telling me that Israel’s actions and policies towards the Palestinians in no way resemble “apartheid” as formerly practiced in South Africa!

        1. But you’re still worse than Hitler. LITERALLY.

          1. It is true. I can’t paint for shit.

        2. Or oil-rich gulf states giving jobs to imported Westerners over the aforementioned Palestinians.

    4. Because you are asking state authority to remove the book for whatever specious reason you desire.

  7. Each time a book is a removed it reinforces the idea that books and ideas are off-limits if someone doesn’t like them.

    No. It just means that if you are going to take my tax money to build a library or school to house the book, I would like a say in what books go into it.

    Suppose the library contained books in the science sections advocating for intelligent design, would people have a problem with parents wanting the books removed? Would that really be censorship or parents taking an active role in what is sold to their kids as “science”?

    1. and if you have a say, then everyone else has a say, too, and before long the shelves are empty. A library is supposed to be a repository of ideas, to include ideas that you, I, or someone else may not like. But if someone is going to be arbitrarily determine which ideas are suitable for sharing with others and which are not, then ideas don’t have much value in the first place.

      1. and if you have a say, then everyone else has a say, too, and before long the shelves are empty.

        Not necessarily. But you can’t put every book there can you? So how do you determine what goes in and what doesn’t? Shouldn’t the parents get a say?

        If you don’t like parents having a say in things, you really don’t like public schools, which is an entirely different debate.

        1. no library has every book but if every title is subject to the whims of one parent or another, it becomes a cluster.

          1. So what? I will take that evil over taking people’s tax money and then telling them to fuck off they have no right to object to what goes in the library.

            What you are saying here is that if we are going to have public libraries, only “top men” get to decide what goes into them. Fuck that. If you don’t like the hecklers veto, don’t build the library.

            1. no, I’m saying that a lone heckler doesn’t get to decide what stays and what goes. In practice, that approach is no different than Top Men deciding. Same dog, different fleas.

              1. no, I’m saying that a lone heckler doesn’t get to decide what stays and what goes

                Which is another way of saying I don’t get a say in how you use my tax money. Why are you more important than the lone heckler? Why does his taxes and views not count?

                If you don’t want to listen to him, don’t take his money.

            2. As little provocation as a single complaint can take books out of classrooms.

              I think that’s the main objection, here.

              1. If you don’t like that Kristen, don’t take people’s money to buy shit. You can buy whatever textbook you like with your own money.

                1. John, by your logic then I should be able to command the US military stop buying and using cluster bombs. After all, I object to them and the government takes my money to pay for them. Where is my say?

                  1. The military isn’t giving books to my kids. When they do, yeah, I am going to want a say in the books.

                    The bottomline here is that you people are perfectly content to take people’s money and then tell them they get no say in how that money is used and top men get to decide what books their kids get rather than their parents.

                    That doesn’t surprise me coming from Bo. He eats that sort of authoritarian shit with a spoon. But from wareagle and Kristen it is a bit disappointing.

                    1. I didn’t provide any argument. I merely was trying to clarify that the main point some folks were trying to make was one person getting to decide what’s good for everyone else. If an individual doesn’t like a certain book, for example, they’re probably not going to check it out of the library. It’s the preventing others from checking it out that is the main objection here. Libraries generally have a book-buying budget, and they get what they can within that budget.

                      It seems your main issue is with the existence of public libraries as a whole, which is a different argument altogether.

                    2. Again, it is pretty ironic that a fellow who seems to only be able to imagine ‘having a say’ as removing a book throws the authoritarian charge around!

                      You can tell your own kid they can not check out books or certain books John.

                    3. how is it authoritarian to question if every single title’s inclusion is subject to the objection of a single person? I’m perfectly capable of ignoring books I don’t find interesting without the need to make sure that you don’t find it interesting, either. And your methodology is its own version of authoritarianism, a tyranny of the minority.

                2. then let’s just shut all public libraries down and be done with it, because that is the only solution that satisfies the argument you raise.

                  1. As an aside, a huge amount of public libraries were founded with private money from philanthropists like Carnegie. Local governments then ran them with tax dollars, and that is a problem for the NAP, but I wanted to mention many of them would not exist sans private initiatives.

                  2. then let’s just shut all public libraries down and be done with it, because that is the only solution that satisfies the argument you raise.

                    How in the fuck is this being said with pearls firmly clutched at a libertarian website where we routinely debate the wisdom of public schools, public roads, public parks, etc etc? It should pretty much go without saying that libertarians by default oppose public libraries, and then the debate should start from the premise “But as long as we have them…” Libraries in libertopia would be offered to the public on the same terms as parks – either certain generous benefactors would pay for the library and its upkeep and offer access to it for free, or investors would pay for the library and its upkeep and offer access to it for a fee. In either case, the actual owners of the library make these types of decisions and you don’t run into these very typical tragedies of the commons.

                3. Then that could apply to any government program, John. I don’t want the Fairfax County police using my taxes to buy Motorola radios. Motorola killed my Pappy! I hate chairs at the DMV. They’re uncomfortable for my phlebitis, goddammit.

      2. and if you have a say, then everyone else has a say, too, and before long the shelves are empty.

        Not necessarily. But you can’t put every book there can you? So how do you determine what goes in and what doesn’t? Shouldn’t the parents get a say?

        If you don’t like parents having a say in things, you really don’t like public schools, which is an entirely different debate.

      3. Re: wareagle,

        and if you have a say, then everyone else has a say, too, and before long the shelves are empty.

        Which is why there should be NO public libraries. At all.

        There are plenty of privately-run libraries that cater to their customers by providing whatever books the customers DEEM likable; no more, no less.

        1. Or have them but understand that when you do have them, the contents in them are subject to the public veto. Yeah, you start forcing people to pay for a library, they are going to occasionally want some say in what goes in it. Who could possibly have seen that?

          1. People can have say in something without their say restricting what others get or want to say. It is the difference between asking your library to order a book arguing against an atheist tome and asking them to remove said atheist tome.

            1. People can have say in something without their say restricting what others get or want to say.

              You can have a say as long as you don’t ask for any control. That is rediculous. You are taking my money at gun point via taxes but then telling me I can’t ever object to the books you use that tax money to buy and potentially provide to my kids in school?

              I find it unsurprising that you see nothing wrong with such a system. I however do.

              If you want a book, buy it yourself. If you want me to pay for it via taxes, you can expect me to get a say in it.

              1. “I can’t ever object”

                I am saying that there is a difference between having a say in terms of ‘hey, I want to add this book to the list offered to the community’ and having a say in terms of ‘hey, I want this book currently offered to the community to be removed and no longer offered.’ I do not see how the first is not some aspect of ‘control.’

                I am not thrilled with the model of a public library either John, but as an admitted conservative Republican I imagine there are more than a few things that I would consider a violation of the NAP that you would support, so please, descend that tall equine if you will.

        2. but like them or not, public libraries exist.

          1. Sure they do. And everyone should get a veto in what goes into them. If you don’t like that, start your own library. Why should you be able to take my money to buy books I don’t like?

            1. I find it interesting, and perhaps telling, that you continually frame ‘control’ to mean what other people will access rather than considering that control can also mean having a say in what is stocked rather than what is removed.

            2. sure, let’s put every single book to the “one person question” and see what happens. My guess is the result will not resemble most folks’ definition of a library.

              1. Better that than forcing people to pay for trash they don’t want or letting librarians tell parents that they no longer get a say in what their kids’ read.

                1. how is a librarian telling parents anything of the kind? Unless the librarian is forcing kids to take home certain books, I don’t see it. But apparently, better you or some other individual determine what is “trash” than the state do so.

          2. Re: wareagle

            but like them or not, public libraries exist.

            You’re completely missing the point. Mr. Evans is talking about the increase in the number of books excluded from public libraries, focusing on the censorship itself. I am saying that the censorship is inevitable as long as libraries are public, because these will always operate as a Tragedy Of The Commons, where everybody’s self-interest will play a part in what books will be available instead of leaving it to the true customers and owners.

            1. Should have scrolled before posting. OM nails it.

  8. It contributes to a culture where it’s better to hide from controversial or difficult topics, than to acknowledge or discuss them.

    I find this argument less than compelling. If there is one thing that the science of aesthetics teaches you, is that there are topics that are not to be discussed around polite company, especially if there’s nothing constructive to be obtained from such a topic. For instance, I’m not going to be discussing different ways to sexually torture prostitutes with my children, and I bet that that is a difficult and controversial topic to discuss.

    1. Trouble is, “polite company” is much more restrictive than formerly, and getting more so. The country is fantastically PC whipped.

  9. The real way to protect books is by not putting authority in the hands of any, but by allowing each individual to decide for himself?and only himself?what information he consumes.

    You want ANARCHY XENU,..I mean Zenon? What do you think this is? SOMALIA?!

    1. And a middle school student is capable of making an intelligent decision about this? idiot.

    2. Somalia is where I spent Christmas. It’s a real paradise, haven’t you heard?

      1. Yes but what about the ROADZ!

        (p.s. Did I mention I got a real (and nice too) Top Hat for x-mas?)

  10. The author and some of you of seem to be confused about what censorship means.

    There is subject matter that is inappropriate for school children of a certain age. There are also texts that push a far left agenda that have no place in schools. AS well as texts that push a political agenda. There is no place for this garbage in our schools.

    Not allowing some books in a middle school classroom is not censorship. Censorship would be the government not allowing the publication.

    1. There are also texts that push a far left agenda that have no place in schools

      What about texts that push a “far Right agenda”? Are those ok? I’m curious.

      1. Depends on who you are. I suppose for some parents they would not be okay at all. And good for them. They have every right to object to those just like I have a right to object to Howard Zinn.

        1. Books aren’t brainwashing machines. We’ve all read books in school that we thought were bullshit, Zinn for example. Indeed, it can be a quite valuable educational activity to examine an extremely biased book and do the work in pointing out the biases and spoken and unspoken assumptions.

          1. Only if you are secure and confident in your ability and philosophy. Otherwise it is easier to just ban stuff that is hard.

          2. This would be a good idea in those schools which try to inculcate some sort of critical thinking. I don’t think all schools do this.

        2. and if all of you are objecting for whatever reason, pretty soon the shelves are empty.

    2. I find it amusing that you make a blanket statement that certain subject matter is inappropriate for school children of a certain age. Who is the gatekeeper of this information? You? If so, go fuck yourself. You don’t get to decide shit about what is inappropriate.

      1. You don’t get to decide shit about what is inappropriate.

        I do for MY KIDS. And if you don’t like my opinion, stop taking my money to buy books. If you insist on taking my money, go fuck yourself, you are going to hear about what I think is appropriate.

        1. Edit out a couple words, and that expresses my view. This isn’t about freedom v. censorship, it’s about Government by Expert versus government by the people. And bear in mind that the “experts” in question are ed-school graduates, and the benighted parents tend to be educated themselves, as well as having some claim to expertise in what their children need.

        2. Of course. In your home, with your kids, you decide (if you can control them) what they read. But you don’t get to decide what gets to be in a library. Yes, unfortunately, your taxes partially paid for that library. But so did everyone else’s. To me, that means no one gets to decide what is appropriate, instead of everyone. It’s a tragedy of the commons issue that would ideally be solved by having only privately funded libraries, but since we don’t have that, no one gets to control shit.

          1. But someone has to decide. If not you and I and the taxpayers then who? Some fucking librarian with an ed degree?

            I will live with a bland public library. That is better than taking people’s money and then telling them that only top men get to say how it is spent.

            1. But someone has to decide. If not you and I and the taxpayers then who?

              Kind of wondering that myself. The library fairy doesn’t come once a year and leave extra books in the drop off.

              The best way we’ve come up with so far to deal with commons issues is democracy. So perhaps the annual book procurement could be decided by public vote. But at the end of the day, *somebody* is making a decision on what goes into the library. Saying “nobody should decide!” is about as brain dead a statement to throw at the problem as could possibly be conceived.

    3. if we’re debating the difference between textbooks and books on a library shelf, then your point is much stronger. Not much choice involved where a text is concerned. But doesn’t seem these cases all involve material that is for the classroom only.

    4. So you wouldn’t permit your children to read The Jungle? Would you go all soccer mom on a teacher that had that book on his or her syllabus?

    5. no place for this garbage in our schools.

      And here we see demonstrated the statist in his natural habitat. Gleefully bounding over the central issues of principles and rights while heading headlong into empowering Top Men. Magnificent isn’t it? “Watch out Jim, those can be dangerous.”

      1. ahhh…my slow typing and formatting has caused me to lose the moment. Now my ridicule of the intellectual giant that called ME an idiot is insignificant. I am disappoint.

  11. Re: wareagle

    but like them or not, public libraries exist.

    You’re completely missing the point. Mr. Evans is talking about the increase in the number of books excluded from public libraries, focusing on the censorship itself. I am saying that the censorship is inevitable as long as libraries are public, because these will always operate under a reverse Tragedy Of The Commons scenario, where everybody’s self-interest will play a part in what books will be available instead of leaving it to the true customers and owners.

    1. not “reverse”. Just Tragedy of the commons.

    2. you’re the one who said the solution was to stop having public libraries, which is not going to happen. That leaves us to work within the construct of their existence.

      Part of Evans’ objection is noticing that a single customer’s objection makes the decision for everyone else. Multiply that by a few times and the result is something that no longer resembles a library.

      1. Re: wareagle,

        you’re the one who said the solution was to stop having public libraries, which is not going to happen.

        Never say “never.”

        That leaves us to work within the construct of their existence.

        No, it doesn’t. Doing it is a waste of time, like trying to fix a commons problem by fixing the people.

        Part of Evans’ objection is noticing that a single customer’s objection makes the decision for everyone else.

        You saved the day again, Captain Obvious! I know what he is saying. I am saying that it is inevitable as long as there are public libraries. The author and the advocacy group are focusing on the wrong problem. The censorship (or banning, whatever) of certain books from public libraries is just the symptom of a bigger issue, which is the collectivist nature of libraries. Asking for libraries not to take heed of the very people that support them through taxes and other forms of extorsion by government is foolhardy, as people tend to tolerate impositions much less when they hit too close to home.

    3. Please, call me Zenon. One name. Like “Bono” or “Oprah.”

  12. I thought the internet made censorship irrelevant.

    1. Not to mention making the industrial-era Prussian-style system of government schools irrelevant.

  13. They’re cleverly conflating separate issues – the contents of school libraries, where students can borrow books for pleasure reading or research, and the assignment of particular books in classes. You can defend a school library with access to *Justine* and *Little Black Sambo* without endorsing the assignment of these books – classics as they are – in English class or Social Studies. Teachers *have* to select which books to assign, unless it’s a read-what-you-want class.

    As it happens, I’m *against* stocking the school library with *Justine,* *Little Black Sambo,* and similar literature which curious tykes could just as easily get elsewhere with the school’s imprimatur. I’m certainly for the right of taxpayers to decide what books are assigned in public school classes. To heck with the “specialized training” of teachers! Many of these parents probably have more specialized training than these ed-school graduates, an even Cletus the Yokel may have better insights into the needs of their kids than some fresh-faced education major.

    1. “Now, children, what is the author of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion trying to tell us in this passage?”

      /expert educator in Saudi Arabia

  14. Complaining about the censorship of one or two books in public schools is like complaining that the makers of a Soviet propaganda film edited out a scene.

    1. +1984

  15. Over the mountains and through the woods!

    http://www.BeinAnon.tk

  16. No problem with voluntary use in public library or even school library for any age. But in a public school classroom with books used as class material those under 18yr do not have choice and did not nor can give consent to any class material.

    There is a role for the parents still in this country, maybe not for long, to protect their children. Don’t they have ‘the authority to decide’ for their children?

  17. I remember the big debate in the late 90’s over putting porn filters on public library computers. It’s Fahrenheit 451 all over again! ZOMG!

    At a time when you can go to your local McDonald’s and use the free wifi to access more books than are housed in the library of congress, it’s interesting to contemplate how much longer the public library can stay relevant, let alone what books its priestly curators ought to keep on the shelves.

  18. Why do we need taxpayer-funded libraries in the first place?

  19. Over the years it has been amazing to me to discover how many of what I thought of as core American values are and never were anything of the sort.

  20. And, they don’t even bother to list the books that were supposedly questionable. I recall in the past when the authorities (Catholic Church) burned Bibles. Such arrogance!

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