Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scandal: ALA Intimidation Squelches Free Speech; Ethical Violations, Threats and Personal Attacks Gag and Censor ALA Opponents to Avoid Open Debate

What follows is a description of an outrageous scandal within the American Library Association [ALA]. Apparently, the ALA squelches free speech and censors people using propaganda, ethical violations, threats, and personal attacks. An avoidance of the issues by using ad hominem argument is apparently the modus operandi of the ALA.

Walter Skold, MLIS, wrote the following letter entitled, "[ifforum] Chair of IFC on Intimidation of Councilors & Librarians" on 24 July 2008. I tend to believe what he has revealed as I too have been similarly subjected to the exact same intimidation and issue avoidance tactics. For example, one ALA Councilor said SafeLibraries "will destroy anything" and is "happy to destroy lives" while the Councilor defended his defamation of American troops which I challenged. See "American Troops Defamed by ALA Councilor Peter McDonald," by SafeLibraries, 26 June 2008, and the associated comments.

Are you wondering why this particular ALA scandal is relevant to SafeLibraries' efforts to educate communities to protect children from ALA misinformation? It shows another example that the ALA's claimed interests in free speech and intellectual freedom are fraudulent. It shows another ALA double standard. And it shows people should expect personal attack as a method of issue avoidance, or just issue avoidance in the first place.

Now here's Walter Skold's letter revealing this ALA scandal:

Intimidation of Council Members & Librarians Must Stop

The current effort gaining steam which would seek to use the tactics of intimidation and propaganda in order to squelch free speech and force a uniformity of thought at the Council and organizational level must be stopped.

The underhanded effort is a clear violation of several core principles as outlined in The Library Bill of Rights and the stated Policies of the ALA regarding intellectual freedom. The current Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, Kenton Oliver, has written about this "practice of gagging and deriding members who dissent" in Ohio Libraries, and Councilors are encouraged to read excerpts of that article added just below.

This authoritarian course of action being promoted by a relatively small number of librarians seeks to criminalize efforts to engage in open dialogue with ALA Council candidates about their positions. Serious but unsubstantiated charges of fraud and ethical violations have been publicly leveled at librarians, who are then provided no opportunity to respond. What is worse, those using these tactics refuse to respond to repeated public challenges to debate these issues in open library forums, and some are now even seeking to use the implied threat of legal action in an unprofessional attempt to shut down the free exchange of ideas.

I invite all the ALA Council and ALA membership to resist these censorious reactions to the exercise of prima facie democratic rights. Resist the "rehearsed responses" to unpopular ideas that W. H. Auden warned against. It is a very troubling trend when elected leaders who represent the ideals of American librarianship resort to character assassination, yellow journalism, and repeated verbal attacks in order to silence the opinions of dissident librarians.

Mr. Oliver's important observations on intellectual freedom within the ALA follow.

Those who think it is wise to seek second opinions about issues like book burning and censorship, are invited to read the documentation assembled at:

http://groups.google.com/group/Cuba451Letters.

Walter Skold, MLIS
(Un-government-funded and solely on behalf of himself)

Excerpts from Kenton Oliver article in Ohio Libraries. Fall 2004.
The full article can be accessed at:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3978/is_200410/ai_n9471664

"ALA members who claim to hold freedom of speech and intellectual freedom values dear are resorting to tactics at Council and membership meetings aimed at silencing opposition and discourse. This troubling cultural atmosphere is unfortunate. It cheats the association of our focus; it plays out in violation of the association's adopted policy...

...For whatever reason, the issues and subjects of these discussions do not seem to allow for coll├ęgial and reasoned debate. We are moving toward intolerance, disrespect, and labeling of association members. It is good theatre but boorish behavior. And it is ironic. As an association that professes to support diversity and dissent in its members and institutions, we shut each other down at our membership meetings…

... I felt the atmosphere of contempt for anyone who would speak against the resolution was as clear as it had been at the non-membership meeting discussion earlier in the conference. Just as Ms. Davison-Turley described in her membership meeting experience, councilors rising to oppose the resolution risked being labeled right wing government lackeys..."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Judith Flint: Heroine or Jerk?

The following is word for word from "Best of the Web Today - July 22, 2008" by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal:

Judith Flint: Heroine or Jerk?
It's a classic case of the little guy--or, in this case, gal--standing up to authority, at least the way the Associated Press describes it in a dispatch from Randolph, Vt.:

Children's librarian Judith Flint was getting ready for the monthly book discussion group for 8- and 9-year-olds on "Love That Dog" when police showed up.
They weren't kidding around: Five state police detectives wanted to seize Kimball Public Library's public access computers as they frantically searched for a 12-year-old girl, acting on a tip that she sometimes used the terminals.
Flint demanded a search warrant, touching off a confrontation that pitted the privacy rights of library patrons against the rights of police on official business. . . .
Investigators did obtain a warrant about eight hours later, but the June 26 standoff in the 105-year-old, red brick library on Main Street frustrated police and had fellow librarians cheering Flint.
"What I observed when I came in were a bunch of very tall men encircling a very small woman," said the library's director, Amy Grasmick, who held fast to the need for a warrant after coming to the rescue of the 4-foot-10 Flint. . . .

The missing girl, Brooke Bennett, turned up dead a week later. Her uncle Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender, has been charged with kidnapping her. "Authorities say Jacques had gotten into her MySpace account and altered postings to make investigators believe she had run off with someone she met online," the AP reports.

The cops were in the library that day "chasing a lead that she had used the computers there to arrange a rendezvous":

"The lead detective said to me that they need to take the public computers and I said 'OK, show me your warrant and that will be that,'" said Flint, 56. "He did say he didn't need any paper. I said 'You do.' He said 'I'm just trying to save a 12-year-old girl,' and I told him 'Show me the paper.' "

A Vermont law that requires librarians to demand court orders in such cases had not yet gone into effect, so Flint was acting on her own discretion in demanding a warrant. The cops yielded and obtained a warrant eight hours later.

Grasmick, and by extension the AP, depicts the police as bullies picking on "a very small women." To our mind her smallness is not just a matter of physical stature. Presented with an opportunity to help a little girl in danger, she officiously responded: "Show me the paper."

Far from bullying her, the cops--although they were bigger and more numerous than she--deferred to her, slowing the investigation by crucial hours in order to comply with her demand. You can describe their treatment of her as impressively chivalrous or as excessively obeisant. In either case, it was far from domineering.

Flint, of course, would claim that she was standing up for a principle--for, in the AP's words, "the privacy rights of library patrons." Have you noticed, though, how the people who assert this principle are never patrons but always librarians? We'd say this is really a case of status envy. Librarians want their "profession" to be treated with the same respect society affords the practice of medicine or law. (We should note that people in our own line of work are vulnerable to the same criticism, as evidenced by this item on proposed shield laws.)

Here is a case in which police searching for a missing girl were forced to waste precious time because a bureaucrat, acting on her own authority, said "Show me the paper" instead of "How can I help?" Judith Flint is no heroine.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Library Allows Child Porn; Policy Says No But Practice Says Yes; Kicks Out Complaining Mother

A library allows illegal child pornography viewing in practice, though not in policy, and kicks out a complaining mother after her child views girl giving man a Lewinsky. I could say more, but this one speaks loudly for itself--this is another American library out of control.

You have got to read this for yourselves and perhaps leave a comment, but note, it contains adult language:

A Little Too Ironic, Don't You Think?, by Kat, One Bad-Ass Blog, 20 July 2008, last accessed 21 July 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008
A Little Too Ironic, Don’t You Think?

When do you know it’s time to take the kiddo to the library? When the 8 year old in your house has read her entire book collection, and is now moving onto your own Klosterman collection leafing through “Sex, Drugs, And Coco Puffs.” Not quite the read I am sure her Dad has in mind for her, so off to the local library we go to find some more appropriate reading materials, little did I know that this simple trip to the library would become so frighteningly educational.

She has her heart set on a chapter book by a Russian author, so we jump on the electronic card catalog to see if there are any books available. She can’t remember the name of the book so we search for the author, no luck. Knowing how tricky the spelling of Russian names can be I decide to go to the computer terminals to look up the book on Amazon to get the correct spelling….easier said than done….the twenty five or so computers are all occupied…..but just then I see a guy get up from the end computer in last row and head to the bathroom.

I make my move…thinking yeah I know he’s got the computer signed out in his name but all I really need is like 30 seconds on Amazon and I will be out of his way before he’s done washing his hands, he’ll never even know I was there.

So we sprint to the back to the open computer… sit down, I flip back the “work in progress” sheet he left on his screen, hit the button to turn on the monitor, nervously looking toward the bathroom to see if he’s coming out as to not get caught, when I feel a tough on my arm. I turn to Lilly whose eyes are as big as saucers and ask her what’s the matter? “ Mom……Why is that little girl doing that?”

To my horror on the screen I had just uncovered was a very graphic picture of an obviously preteen girl giving a middle aged fucker a head job. That’s right that scum bucket was looking at kiddie porn at the local library. I immediately turn off the monitor, and send her back to the front desk. At this point the jerk off is walking like he is on a mission back to the computer area…..obviously he didn’t take the extra 30 seconds to wash his hands. I am greeted with a charming “What the hell, I am signed up for this computer for another hour, what do you think you are doing?”

Of course my response was “Well I wasn’t enjoying the kiddie porn you had pulled up on the screen if that’s what you’re asking dumb ass” Of course the dipshit spews off some idiotic statement that there is no rule against what he could or could not look at on the computers. Oh really…. we’ll see about that mutherfucker… so of course in typical “Kat” fashion I head up to the desk to let the desk clerk know what Mr. JackOff is doing in the back row of the computers. I send Lilly to sit on a bench out of earshot and proceed to question the desk clerk.

Needless to say I am not happy with the response that I get from the clerk. I immediately ask her if the Library had a policy on internet usage that customers had to abide by. “Yes, we have a policy was her response”. Does said policy state that all forms of pornography including kiddie porn are prohibited was my next question. Once again the clerk confirms my question by saying yes. Ok, then are you aware that the gentleman at the last computer in the back row is at this moment looking at kiddie porn?
Now this is where the conversation takes a pathetic turn for the worse……the clerks response literally floored me…….”Oh he’s in the back row, so we kinda let it go, no one can really see what he’s doing, he’s not really hurting anyone.”

Excuse me? Let me get this right, you have a policy against looking at porn on your computers that specifically states that it is not allowed, from your statement you are aware he is looking at said material, and you are giving him a free pass because he uses the back row? Have you overlooked the fact that the computer area is located a mere ten feet from the kid’s book section? Did it not occur to you that you might want to monitor this jack off?

At this point I am asked to keep my voice down………yeah wouldn’t want to disturb the fucking pedophile’s in the back row! This of course just makes me want to notch it up a level. “What keep my voice down that you allow people to watch kiddie porn on your computers here? The next thing you’ll be telling me is that you ask them if they’d like a bottle of Jerkins Lotion and a box of Kleenex when they sign out the computers. Might as well make the scum buckets comfortable right?”

Surprisingly, I am informed that If I don’t quiet down I will be asked to leave and could have my library privileges revoked. Oh that’s just perfect isn’t it, you’ll punish me someone who has the interest of a child in mind, but you won’t do fucking squat about someone who is in all probability a child predator hanging out in your library!

By this point the manager has come out of his office and asked what the commotion was all about……..long story short I rattled off a few choice words about how f’d up their internet security system was and I was asked to leave the premises. Seeing I was getting nowhere with my argument, I begrudgingly relented and turned on my heal to leave, but not before asking the manager one last question…….. How exactly am I supposed to explain to an 8 year old why that little girl had her mouth wrapped around that grown man’s dick? Thanks to your ill managed organization a little piece of her innocence is forever stolen. Just one of the many services you provide the community with my tax dollars…A little too ironic, don’t you think?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Library Rape Case. How is the ALA Not Partly Responsible? Investigations are Needed.

A 16 year old girl was raped in the parking lot outside the Lone Tree Public Library, CO, by a criminal who spent the day in the library, picked his victim, then followed her out. The library likely bypassed local law that created the library and limited its uses, though I do not know that for certain yet. But I do know the library follows American Library Association [ALA] guidance that causes many libraries nationwide to exceed the bounds of local library laws. For example, the library flat out misleads the public by falsely claiming, "Douglas County Libraries has no control over information accessed through the Internet."

Along comes the media report, "DNA Was the Key in Lone Tree Rape Arrest," The Denver Post, 15 July 2008. The article says the police chief reported the rapist "rode the light rail from Denver to the south metro community and spent the day in the library before picking a victim and following her out...."

I called the library and found out only the children's computers are filtered.

I call upon the police and the media to investigate further:

  • Police: Obtain all library computer records regarding the Internet web sites viewed on the day of the rape. Gather any security camera evidence, if any, or any other evidence that is relevant to showing whether or not the rapist was viewing pornographic web sites that day. See if it is possible to directly tie in the rapist to computer porn, or generally, if the records are not complete enough to establish a direct link. I called the police and left a similar message.
  • Media: Obtain all legal instruments used to create the library to determine what scope it has regarding library content. Compare that law with the library's policy in force to see if the policy is in compliance with the law or if it is acting outside the law (ultra vires). If the library is acting outside the law, determine what efforts, if any, have been made by the government to ensure the library is acting within the bounds of the library's legal creation instrument. If none, find out why. I called the Denver Post and left a similar message.

If the police can tie in the rapist to the use of unfiltered computers for viewing pornography, and if the media can establish the likelihood that the library has and is acting outside the law, then the library may be partly responsible for the rape, and such incidents will likely continue. If the library is acting outside the law, and if it is doing so as a result of adherence to ALA policies or the like, then how is the ALA not also partly responsible for the rape of the girl? If it is true as I contend that the ALA is aware its policies result in increased criminal activity in public libraries, how are punitive damages not appropriate?

I urge the victim's family to consider contacting me for further information in this regard.

UPDATE 4 SEPTEMBER 2010:
"Man Gets 336 Years in Prison for Lone Tree Rape," by Howard Pankratz, The Denver Post, 3 September 2010.

DNA Was the Key in Lone Tree Rape Arrest


The Denver Post



Scott J. Sylvia was arrested Monday after a DNA test linked him to the rape of a 16-year-old girl in a library parking lot.
Investigators say Sylvia, 25, followed the girl to her car, forced her in at knife-point and assaulted her July 7.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation expedited a DNA investigation.
Sylvia has a criminal record for violent assaults, robbery and drug-related crimes, said Lone Tree Police Chief Stephen Hasler.
Sylvia has never been charged with sexual assault, but Hasler said investigators across the metro region are checking whether he might be connected to any unsolved rapes.
Sylvia rode the light rail from Denver to the south metro community and spent the day in the library before picking a victim and following her out, Hasler said.
Sylvia took the girl's driver's license so she would know that he knew where she lived, Hasler said.
"He picked the wrong girl," the chief said. "She's a very strong young woman who has a great recall. She's going to be a fantastic witness."