Monthly Archives: March 2010

American Library Association (ALA) Candidates Speak on Cuban Library Issue

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I received this press release from the Friends of Cuban Libraries:

ALA Candidates Speak on Cuban Library Issue

Sara Kelly Johns and Molly Raphael, candidates for ALA president, spoke on March 8 at the office of New York City’s METRO library organization.

Both candidates affirmed their respect for intellectual freedom as a core value of the ALA, but a specific question from the audience about the Cuban independent library issue identified their contrasting views on intellectual freedom as a matter of policy.

Critics of current ALA policy say that past ALA investigations and panel discussions on Cuba have overlooked or ignored the repression of Cuba’s independent library movement, founded in 1998 to oppose censorship. According to journalists and human rights organizations, Cuba’s independent library workers have been subjected to police raids, arrests, 20-year prison terms and the court-ordered burning of confiscated book collections. Amnesty International has named Cuba’s jailed independent librarians as prisoners of conscience and is calling for their release.

In the only opinion poll of ALA members on the Cuba issue, conducted by AL Direct, 76% of respondents voted for the ALA to condemn the repression Cuba’s independent library movement.

During the question period at the March 8 presidential candidates event in New York, a member of the Friends of Cuban Libraries complained that several ALA investigations and panel discussions of this issue had allowed only one side of the controversy to be fairly heard. The questioner asked Sara Kelly Johns and Molly Raphael to guarantee that, under their leadership, diverse views on the Cuban library controversy would be fairly represented in future ALA considerations of this issue.

Sara Kelly Johns responded to the question by noting that she has paid close attention to the Cuban library issue. She gave assurances that, under her leadership, diverse views on controversies would be heard within the ALA and that the Cuban library issue would not be permitted to “go under the table.”
If brought to Council by a Council committee, the issue would be discussed.

In contrast, Molly Raphael said that the ALA has already established its Cuba policy on several occasions, and she stated it is not the role of the ALA president to challenge settled policies. With regard to the ongoing controversy over Cuba’s independent libraries, she stated it is not a “yes or no question.”

In contrast, the Friends of Cuban Libraries believe book burning is very much a “yes or no question.”

Also see:

fREADdom: How do you catalogue a burned book?

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

U.S. events here.

March is Women’s History Month but you do not need a special month to find the sort of commentary below disturbing. I do not care whether you consider yourself conservative, liberal, centrist, or independent. This is just plain wrong. Who raised these people, pigs? I know, pigs are better than they.

The Culture & Media Insitute looked back at what the media had to say over the past year about some of today’s most prominent conservative women, including Michelle Malkin, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney, and compiled a list of the 10 worst attacks on these women who dare to speak out in favor of conservative values.

The worst venom was reserved for Michelle Malkin. Here are a few examples:

1. Playboy’s Hate List

Playboy magazine writer Guy Cimbalo released his list of top ten conservative women against whom he’d like to commit violent sexual acts last June. Calling these acts a “hate f—” in his “So Right It’s Wrong” article, Cimbalo explained that he “might despise everything” about women like Michelle Malkin, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, “The View’s” Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Mary Katherine Ham  and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, “but g–dammit, they’re hot!”…

2. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi Uses Graphic Sexual Language to Discredit Michelle Malkin and the Tea Party Movement

In a Tax Day 2009 blog post, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi claimed “he really enjoying this whole teabag thing” and that “it’s really inspiring some excellent daydreaming.”

Taibbi let his readers in on the nature of his daydreams that involve conservative pundit Michelle Malkin in incredibly vulgar ways…

4. Keith Olbermann Compares Michelle Malkin to a ‘Mashed-Up Bag of Meat With Lipstick on it”

MSNBC personalities reserve a special level of vitriol for conservative woman, and none more so than Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann compared Michelle Malkin to a “big, mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it” during his Oct. 13 “Countdown” show because he believed she encouraged death threats made to a woman who posted a video of singing their praises to President Barack Obama…

6. Toronto Star Columnist Tweets a Death Wish for Michelle Malkin

Unfortunately, as Erbe proved, it’s not only liberal men who have it out for conservative women. Antonia Zerbisias is another one.

The Toronto Star columnist expressed deep hatred for Michelle Malkin in an April 2009 Twitter message that read, “Forget the Marxists, I wish the marksmen would take @MichelleMalkin. I’m thinking Dick Cheney. He’s such a good shot.”

9-11 “Truther’s” Pentagon Rampage Ends in a Hail of Bullets

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I always knew these “truthers” were totally nuts and had the potential to explode in a violent rage. Well, now it’s happened. John Patrick Bedell opened fire with two handguns at pre-screen area outside the Pentagon metro station and was subsequently shot and killed by security personnel.

The WSJ reports:

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency said Mr. Bedell emerged from the Pentagon subway station Thursday evening and made his way to a nearby guard post. When officers asked for his identification, Mr. Bedell, who was wearing a white button-down shirt and blazer, pulled out a pistol and started shooting.

The investigators said Mr. Bedell, who had studied physics and engineering, drove to Washington from his parents’ home in Hollister, Calif., in the days before the assault. Mr. Bedell’s 1998 green Toyota Avalon was recovered from a garage at the Pentagon City Mall hours after the attack. Additional ammunition was found in the car, authorities said.

Mr. Bedell’s parents reached out to law-enforcement officials after growing concerned about their son’s mental health. According to police in San Benito County, the Bedells filed a missing-persons report about their son on Jan. 4 after not hearing from him for several days…

On Jan. 11, Mr. Bedell’s mother told police her son had made a $600 purchase at a Sacramento-area gun range. The police don’t yet know if Mr. Bedell bought his guns there.

Concerns about the safety of U.S. military installations have been running high since a November shooting at Fort Hood in Texas killed 13 troops, and an earlier incident outside a Little Rock, Ark., recruiting station killed one soldier and badly wounded another. Authorities said both of those incidents were religiously motivated.

Mr. Bedell’s actions, by contrast, appear to have been prompted by his anger at the U.S. government, and belief that far-reaching conspiracies were behind events as big as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In a Nov. 25, 2006, podcast called “Directions to Freedom, Part Two,” Mr. Bedell said the “seizure of the United States government by an international criminal conspiracy” was a “long-established reality.” He criticized the military and intelligence services, which he said had become tools of an illegitimate regime. “This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control,” he said.

Now it’s just a matter of time for liberal and conservative pundits to claim this guy was either a right-wing or left-wing extremist. Yet the “truthers” cut across the partisan divide and include kooks from both fringes. One thing they all share in common is a conspiratorial world view and an extreme apprehension of reality.

Speaking of which, expect the conspiracy sites to claim this was a CIA (or other government agency) psyops action intended to make the “truthers” appear violent and insane in order to turn the American public against them. I hate to break the news, but we did not require something like this to happen to know ya’all are nuts.

“Directions to Freedom, Part Two” is available here. Part One here.