Monday, December 20, 2010

ALA Pushes Net Neutrality on Wikipedia; Political and Pecuniary Interests Promoted Anonymously by ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom May Violate Ethical and Tax Codes

Deborah Caldwell-Stone
Deborah-Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director of the American Library Association's [ALA] so-called "Office for Intellectual Freedom," has secretly used Wikipedia to propagandize in support of "Net Neutrality."  The ALA is directly involved in promoting net neutrality, so the ALA's surreptitious means to sway public opinion should be roundly criticized.  Deborah Caldwell-Stone may have violated ALA Ethics and IRS 501(c)(3) rules, and exposed how political interests are promoting this pending loss of free speech rights that FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell has called the "long winter's night for Internet freedom."  Do read his entire opinion.

The ALA is a member of the Open Internet Coalition and SaveTheInternet.com that both support net neutrality.  A Google search on "net neutrality" pulls up Network Neutrality on Wikipedia as the top hit.  (The second highest hit is SaveTheInternet.com.)  On that most visible of all web sites on the subject, a site that is the eighth most popular site, the ALA has anonymously made self-serving statements about net neutrality on the Internet Censorship discussion page and added therein promotional links to SaveTheInternet.com as well.  Here is what the ALA Deputy Director wrote as "Anon":

Net neutrality, or the lack of it, enables internet censorship; it permits corporations that control access points to the Internet to extract additional costs from those wanting to publish on the Internet or face loss of access; if a corporate access provider decides that it doesn't like a particular publisher's message, it could block access to that website if there isn't an obligation to provide common carriage without discrimination. In particular, minority voices are often silenced; note that not only so-called liberal groups are concerned with this threat, but also conservative Christian groups, who fear that their message may be silenced if net neutrality is not preserved. -- Anon.

Source:  Talk:Internet censorship, 03:39, 30 April 2007, by 68.21.2.202.

What she said is not true, but that's the essence of propaganda. 

That edit was made by "68.21.2.202," the disguise that day for Deborah-Caldwell Stone, Deputy Director and former Acting Director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  Yes, the Office for Intellectual Freedom.  The Office has few members but it has a huge effect.  "More than any other activity, ALA's work on intellectual freedom ... has captured national attention and given ALA and librarianship huge prestige throughout the world."  Deborah-Caldwell Stone's actions should give it a huge black eye.

Here is the ALA anonymously promoting SaveTheInternet.org, again and again.

She knows this is wrong because an "edit summary" of hers says, "one need only look at LAEC's own safelibraries.org to discover the definition of conflict of interest when it comes to this topic."  She is fully aware of the significance of conflicts of interest, and even excoriates "LAEC," although LAEC disclosed his potential conflicts or she would not have known of them.

I'm LAEC, short for LegitimateAndEvenCompelling, and I'm a Wikipedia editor with years of experience and almost 10,000 edits.  I call myself that name in respect of US v. ALA where the US Supreme Court said, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."  The ALA does not agree.

The ALA leader's actions to hide behind a shield of anonymity on Wikipedia are intentional.  She wrote her name as "Anon," as shown above.  Also, when I exposed her true identity on Wikipedia, something I learned later I should not have done, she remarked: 
The association between my user name, my real name and workplace was not known at all until he posted it in the edit summary.  It is not published elsewhere, and I have taken pains to keep it that way.  I ... would like the association between my user name and my actual identity/workplace to remain private.

Source:   User talk:Dcs47, 22:37, 1 November 2005, by Dcs47.

Note it is expected that people wish to remain private on Wikipedia, but it is not expected that they use Wikipedia to promote their own soapbox.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, aka Dcs47, then began or continued a pattern of editing under Dcs47 for certain things and under dozens of other names or numbers to propagandize in favor of net neutrality, etc.  One more example?  Here she is adding links on Wikipedia to the ALA Store.

There is extensive evidence tying Deborah Caldwell-Stone to dozens of anonymous Wikipedia identities addressing more dozens of ALA and politically-related Wikipedia pages.  The evidence to support these claims is a matter of public record in the possession of Wikipedia and is available to anyone with a web browser.  My role would be in connecting the dots in the public record.  Connecting the dots is too voluminous for this blog post, but here are the dots to be connected:

User: Anonamaus
User: Dcs47 (DCS are the initials for Deborah Caldwell-Stone)
User: 24.12.70.227 - Geolocate
User: 66.72.99.191 - Geolocate
User: 66.72.101.17 - Geolocate
User: 66.158.92.4 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.0.128 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.1.253 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.2.4 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.2.202 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.3.199 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.5.18 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.8.112 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.160.32 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.161.170 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.166.176 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.168.169 - Geolocate
User: 68.21.170.18 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.196.241 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.205.81 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.205.150 - Geolocate
User: 68.22.206.96 - Geolocate
User: 68.251.48.182 - Geolocate

The ALA must look into whether Deborah Caldwell-Stone has violated the ALA Code of Ethics or jeopardized the ALA's 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  If it takes no action or simply applies a slap on the wrist, that would reflect on the ALA generally.

If the ALA takes no action in response to this blog post (that I know it reads), then the ALA itself may be just as guilty as is Deborah Caldwell-Stone.  Indeed, promoters of net neutrality should consider distancing themselves from the ALA if the ALA does not take appropriate action.

I am sending a copy of this to the FCC Commissioners.

Please comment below on my opinion above.


NOTE ADDED 22 DECEMBER 2010:

Apparently, the ALA's actions described above are more sinister than I originally thought.  Recall how the ALA surreptitiously promoted SaveTheInternet.org of which it is a member.  That's a Free Press creation.  Take a look at this:

"The Net Neutrality Coup; The Campaign to Regulate the Internet was Funded By a Who's Who of Left-Liberal Foundations," by John Fund, Wall Street Journal, 21 December 2010.

The ALA is complicit.


NOTE ADDED 28 DECEMBER 2010:

This just in:

"Tech at Night:  Net Neutrality Reactions Continue, ALA, Copyright, Trademark, the New Madden Curse," by Neil Stevens, RedState, 28 December 2010.

Excerpt:

It turns out the fraud behind the Net Neutrality movement runs ever deeper than we knew: The ALA has been astroturfing for Free Press and its front group Save the Internet, over on Wikipedia.  Can we please just make Wikipedia run ads already, forcing the site to bend to the will of market forces instead of its army of astroturfers and shills?

NOTE ADDED 29 DECEMBER 2010:

As a result of the publication of this blog post, apparent ALA supporters, if not ALA members or the OIF itself, have initiated action at Wikipedia that resulting in efforts to stop my editing there or to have me remove this blog post.  Self-censorship, as the ALA would call it.  At this moment, I have been indefinitely blocked from editing, likely in part because I have not removed this blog post.  It is claimed I "outed" Wikipedia editor Deborah Caldwell-Stone, although the actual "outing" I discussed above occurred over five years ago.

But my main reason to write this note is that information I linked in this blog post is being, what, censored?  Look at the struck out language from this page that I had linked above to see the Dcs47 name and her edit summary removed:

Text Struck From Wikipedia Following Publication of This Blog Post


While it may have been the right thing to do, its being done five years after the fact and only after I linked to it is unusual enough for me to bring it to your attention, particularly since it occurred as a result of what seems like an ALA censorship attempt.  (Perhaps people should archive SafeLibraries.org and this SafeLibraries blog before the ALA gets them removed.)

Let me be clear Wikipedia itself is in no way responsible for this incident (and neither am I sure the ALA is).  The volunteer editors like myself may be, but not Wikipedia.  Certainly Wikipedia would not condone censorship to protect guilty parties (but the ALA would and has—Robert Spencer and Scott Savage come to mind).


SECOND NOTE ADDED 29 DECEMBER 2010:

As of now, additional information has been removed from Wikipedia.  For example, the graphic above now contains censored material no longer visible at the site.  Go look and compare.


NOTE ADDED 30 DECEMBER 2010:

This just in:

"Tech at Night:  ALA, Wikipedia, Astroturf, Net Neutrality," by Neil Stevens, RedState, 30 December 2010.

Excerpt:

On the heels of this story about ALA astroturfing on Wikipedia, the ALA is attempting retaliation.  They are attempting to block the Safe Libraries author from having any further access to edit Wikipedia unless his article is censored.

...

And in case the core issue is lost:  Wikipedia is helping cover up political activities by the ALA that could constitute illegal activity for a non-profit like the ALA.  Whether this is conscious bias by Wikipedia, or a case of the ALA duping good faith Wikipedia administrators, it's not yet clear.


SECOND NOTE ADDED 30 DECEMBER 2010:

This is unbelievable.  Free Press is now directly advertising on this very blog post!  In a Google Ad!  The Google Ad links to SaveTheInternet.com, the very site the ALA, a member of the site, was anonymously pushing on Wikipedia in possible violation of federal tax code!  Here's a screen shot, with surrounding material for context:

Free Press Advertisement on SafeLibraries!
The Link Went to Site ALA was Astroturfing!

NOTE ADDED 18 MAY 2011:

Since the ALA has anonymously astroturfed for Free Press, the following about government takeover of the Internet may be of interest, especially since this goes against the very free speech the ALA claims to support (and watch Seton Motley explain why "Net Neutrality" is "terrible"):


NOTE ADDED 10 SEPTEMBER 2013:

Regarding the ALA's continued political activity to promote net neutrality, and recommending unconstitutional action, no less, I wrote this:



And that was cited here:


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Excoriates Book Reviews that Fail to Disclose "Graphic Sexual Details" in Books for Children; Lush by Natasha Friend is "Wildly Inappropriate" for Certain Children

Natasha Friend, the
award-winning author
of PERFECT, LUSH,
BOUNCE, and FOR KEEPS
A school has spoken out sharply about misleading school book reviews that leave children exposed to inappropriate material.

"I read the book and it is not appropriate for fifth graders," stated Kalida Superintendent Don Horstman.  "I contacted the publisher and the two major school reviewers that almost every teacher uses, which both gave glowing reviews.  They apologized, but I don't know what they will do to the reviews.  You rely on a professional service such as Scholastic to review your books.  Everything I read gave glowing reviews and didn't go into the graphic sexual details of the book.  From reading those reviews I would have bought the book."

"It was amazing that any, any educational organization would recommend (Lush) to any middle-grade level child," stated Horstman.  "It is recommended for grades five through nine and it is wildly inappropriate for those ages."

It is breathtaking as it calls into question major book reviewers who fail to reveal inappropriate material for children.  (Might it have something to do with walking on eggshells in publishing?)  Public schools and communities nationwide need to take note of this.  No wonder parents create sites like TheBookBuzz.org.

Oh look!  The American Library Association [ALA] listed it as "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Winner" for 2007!  (Another ALA Quick Pick book was removed from 371 middle and high schools in the New York City public school system for being inappropriate for children.  And a book with 0ral s3x was awarded by the ALA as the best book of the year for 12 year olds and up.)  Here's the ALA's review of Lush:

Thirteen-year-old Samantha’s father is an alcoholic.  When he is sober, he is a great guy, but when he is drunk, he is scary and abusive.  With her mother in denial and a four-year-old brother to protect, Sam writes a note asking for advice and leaves it in the library, hoping an older girl she admires will write back to her.  So begins a correspondence in which Sam opens up about her father’s alcoholism as well as her crush on an older boy.  In return, the letter writer, who goes only by initials, reveals some hard truths.  As she did in Perfect (2005), Friend adeptly takes a teen problem and turns it into a believable, sensitive, character-driven story, with realistic dialogue.  The cautiously optimistic ending works because Friend has convinced readers that Sam can handle whatever happens.  Friend, who clearly understands and empathizes with young teens, is a writer to watch. -- Debbie Carton

See anything missing?

You have to see this for yourself to believe it:

by Cortney Mumaugh
Putnam County Sentinel
15 December 2010

KALIDA - Concerned parents addressed the Kalida School Board on December 8 regarding a book a fifth grader brought home from school.

"Lush" by Natasha Friend was deemed inappropriate by parents, Kalida School Board and Kalida administration.  The book has been pulled from library shelves at the school.

"Lush" was purchased by a fifth grade teacher based on the review provided by Scholastic.  The Scholastic website states the following about "Lush":

"Samantha has a secret...It's hard to be a thirteen-year-old-girl.  But it's even harder when your father's a drunk.  It adds an extra layer to everything - your family's reaction to things, the friends you're willing to bring home, the way you see yourself and the world.  For Samantha, it's something that has been going on for so long that she's almost used to it.  Only, you never get used to it.  Especially when it starts to get worse.

Sam knows things have to stop.  But she doesn't know how to make them stop.  So she picks a random girl in the library and starts sending her notes, asking for advice.  And she keeps an extra-close eye on her little brother, trying to protect him from getting hurt.  Sam doesn't want her family to fall apart.  But that might be what has to happen for things to be okay again.

As she did in the prize-winning Perfect, Natasha Friend has written a powerful, honest novel that gets to the heart of one girl's problems - and the strength she must find in order to cope."

Scholastic rates the book appropriate for ages 13 and over.  A seemingly relevant story for a child to read.  However, this review does not mention the sexual nature of "Lush."

"The book was disgusting and disturbing to anyone, especially a child in the school system.  It's open and very descriptive of sexuality, rape, and drunkenness," stated the father of a Kalida fifth grader.  "There needs to be some sort of system so this does not happen again."

"I read the book and it is not appropriate for fifth graders," stated Kalida Superintendent Don Horstman.  "I contacted the publisher and the two major school reviewers that almost every teacher uses, which both gave glowing reviews.  They apologized, but I don't know what they will do to the reviews.  You rely on a professional service such as Scholastic to review your books.  Everything I read gave glowing reviews and didn't go into the graphic sexual details of the book.  From reading those reviews I would have bought the book."

"It was amazing that any, any educational organization would recommend (Lush) to any middle-grade level child," stated Horstman.  "It is recommended for grades five through nine and it is wildly inappropriate for those ages."

Karl Lammers, Elementary Principal is checking into a screening procedure/process and will report back to the parents and Superintendent.

Here are some other reviews of the book:

ALA's Booklist:
Thirteen-year-old Samantha's father is an alcoholic.  When he is sober, he is a great guy, but when he is drunk, he is scary and abusive.  With her mother in denial and a four-year-old brother to protect, Sam writes a note asking for advice and leaves it in the library, hoping an older girl she admires will write back to her.  So begins a correspondence in which Sam opens up about her father's alcoholism as well as her crush on an older boy.  In return, the letter writer, who goes only by initials, reveals some hard truths.  As she did in Perfect (2005), Friend adeptly takes a teen problem and turns it into a believable, sensitive, character-driven story, with realistic dialogue.  The cautiously optimistic ending works because Friend has convinced readers that Sam can handle whatever happens.  Friend, who clearly understands and empathizes with young teens, is a writer to watch.  Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association.  All rights reserved

School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up–To the outside world, 13-year-old Samantha's family seems perfectly happy.  However, they are struggling to keep her architect father's alcoholism a secret, and the balancing act of enabling his addiction and protecting their image is becoming more and more difficult.  Sam longs to be able to share her burden with a friend and reaches out by leaving an anonymous autobiographical letter in a library book.  Her anger and frustration are palpable as she struggles with her love for her dad despite the fact that his promises to clean up never materialize.  When Sam is chastised by her mother and grandmother for not believing in his ability to change, readers will sympathize with the injustice of her difficult situation.  Yet, the author avoids a maudlin tone by infusing the plot with details of typical teen life, such as Sam's crush on an older boy and embarrassment at her developing body.  Witty dialogue and smooth writing move the novel along at a clipped pace, and tension is successfully built and maintained as the teen's father's illness takes a dangerous turn, her budding relationship comes to a head, and her anonymous library pen pal is revealed.  Despite the minor appearance of a stereotypical librarian, this is a perceptive novel featuring a likable protagonist to whom readers will easily relate.  As in Perfect (Milkweed, 2004), Friend adroitly portrays a weighty topic with touches of humor and grace.–Rebecca M. Jones, Fort Myers-Lee County Library, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.  All rights reserved.

Scholastic:
It's hard to be a 13-year-old girl. But it's even harder when your father's a drunk. It adds an extra layer to everything — your family's reactions to things, the people you're willing to bring home, the way you see yourself and the world.


For Samantha, it's something that's been going on for so long that she's almost used to it. Only, you never get used to it.  Especially when it starts to get worse...


Teenreads.com:
It's not easy being 13, but when your father is a drunk, it's even harder.  Just ask Sam.  She can't even admit to her closest friends the true dynamics of her family.  While Sam is dying to confide in someone about her family problems, she'd rather tell a stranger.  That's why she starts the notes in the library.

Sam writes about all her worries concerning her father's alcoholism on scraps of paper and places the notes in between the pages of the town library's A History of Modern Whaling --- not a very popular check-out item.  To her surprise, and delight, a secret pen pal responds with advice.

While at the library swapping notes with an anonymous pen pal, Sam also attracts the attention of an older boy, Drew.  And she can't believe it when suddenly Drew is attracted to her.  With her home life such a mess, Sam wants more than anything for this boy to like her whatever the cost, even if it means going to a party and drinking.  When Sam finds herself acting like her father, she realizes that she has hit rock bottom.

LUSH is author Natasha Friend's follow-up to the highly acclaimed PERFECT.  Like her former work, it cuts to the raw emotions of this teen girl living in a not-so-perfect situation.  The language is simplistic yet touching and moving.  Sam is real and so is her father's alcoholism.  LUSH will be helpful to young people who are going through the same problem Sam faces.  Friend also includes a list of important alcoholism resources for kids and teens at the end of the novel.

--- Reviewed by Kristi Olson

Reading Rocks at D.R. Hill Middle School:
4 stars

Sam’s life is hanging by a thread.  Her best friend since elementary school has turned into a typical dorky, pervy middle school moron.  Although Sam has four BFFs that she spends every weekend with, they don’t have a clue about her father’s alcoholism.  Sam’s mother is always zoned out on yoga, and she never wants to hold Sam’s father accountable for his drinking binges.  Desperate for advice, Sam turns to an anonymous source - by leaving a letter describing her problems in a library book.  Soon Sam begins corresponding back and forth with a person she’s never even met.  With this support things begin to get better, though.  Sam finds herself the object of a hot high school guy’s crush.  She is suddenly Miss Popularity at her own school.  Her father promises to make some changes.  Yep - life is good.  That is…until the violence starts.

Lush is an important book for anyone in middle school dealing with struggles and stress in his home life.  The author does not paint a pretty picture or a happy ending in this novel.  This does, however, offer hope to anyone dealing with alcoholism - and will offer the reader hope in the end.

Goodreads.com:
In her debut, Perfect, Natasha Friend probed teen angst and denial.  Her second novel, Lush, invites us into the life of a 13-year-old girl forced to cope daily with her father's alcoholism.  Young Samantha's ugly family secret isn't her only problem, though:  Her mother seems more interested in achieving yogic tranquility than in dealing with family problems; her gym teacher views her as a menace; and, oh yes, her boobs won't stop growing.  This arresting novel of adolescence will touch a chord in troubled teens.

Young Adult Book Reviews:
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 14 and up
# of Pages: 178 p.
RAC Book: Yes

Samantha struggles with the fact that her father is an alcoholic.  He is a successful architect who often comes home late or not at all due to his drinking habits.  Her mother is constantly making excuses for him and trying to tell her that everything is okay, but Samantha does not believe this and starts to grow distant from him.  After a binge he is always apologetic and promising change, but Sam quickly learns that his word means nothing.  Her little brother is young enough that he doesn’t understand what is going on, but Sam tries to protect him from it nonetheless.  She begins leaving notes for someone in the library she believes might be able to help her, but the person responding to her notes is not who she thinks it is.  As she deals with some bullying at school the situation at home continues to get worse.  The worst part is that she starts to wonder if she could have the same tendencies as her father.

Alcoholism is a very serious topic for young adults, but this story relates the topic best to teenagers and what it can be like to live with an alcoholic.  This book discusses the warning signs, the symptoms, and even the steps needed to begin overcoming this disease.  Having said that, it never gets preachy or gives the impression that something of this nature can be fixed quickly.  Communication is stressed as being very important to helping a family member work through this problem.  A good book about a serious subject.

Common Sense Media:
Parents need to know that this book is about a girl struggling to cope with an alcoholic father.  In an alcohol-fueled rage, her father hits her young brother with a bottle.  Also, Sam shares some serious kisses with a high school boy; he pressures her to have sex one night while she's drunk at a party -- until he realizes she's only 13.  That same night, she is molested by a group of boys in her grade; when she returns to school, she's called names and her locker is vandalized.

HMS Library:
Did you ever feel like you couldn’t trust your own father?  Samantha feels this way.  The book Lush is about a girl named Samantha who just wants her dad to stop drinking alcohol.  Samantha writes letters to this girl in the library who she doesn’t know because she thinks she can help her out with the problems of her dad and all.  Samantha one day realizes it’s not that girl it’s someone else.  Samantha has her best friends she can’t live without, but they don’t know about her dad.  The only person that does is Charlie Parker, Samantha’s old friend.  There is also someone Samantha likes named Drew at the library.  Drew changes her whole world.  You’ll have to read what happens with that.

I really enjoyed this book.  I think it’s a fun book.  This book is realistic fiction.  I think mostly girls would enjoy it.  This book makes you want to keep reading because you want to find out what happens with Samantha’s dad, if he ever stops drinking alcohol.  I am currently reading the 3rd book in the series called Bounce.  It’s really good so far.  I never got to read the 1st book in the series Perfect, but I bet it is as good as the others.  You don’t have to read the series in order because each book deals with a new character and a new story.

Sarah K. - 7th grade

Shelfari:
It's hard to be a 13-yr-old girl.  But it's even harder when your father's a drunk.  It adds an extra layer to everything -- your family's reactions to things, the people you're willing to bring home, the way you see yourself and the world.  For Samantha, it's something that's been going on for so long that she's almost used to it. Only, you never get used to it.  Especially when it starts to get worse... A bold, honest Scholastic Press debut from Natasha Friend.

Tino Booktalk
:
Lush by Natasha Friend tells the story of a thirteen-year-old girl, Samantha, who has an alcoholic father.  Her father makes life harder for her and her family, but she didn’t know things could get worse.  Samantha knows that things have to stop, but she doesn’t know how to make things stop.  So she chooses a random girl from the library and starts sending her notes for advice.  But the note gets picked up by someone else who tells her to “give up” and that “no matter what you do, things will never change.”  Determined to prove her anonymous pen-pal wrong, she starts telling “her” everything that happens and how she tries to keep her family together.  This book is unpredictable and really shows the voice of the character.  From the prize-winning author of Perfect, Natasha Friend creates a realistic story of one girl’s journey to finding her strength.

Reviewed by Susan W.

Building Rainbows:
Samantha has a secret... Her father is a drunk and it,s hard keeping this secret.  She wants this to stop but it keeps getting worse.  In the library she picks a random girl and starts sending notes, asking for her advice.  She also meets someone else at the library...

Book review by: Maris
age: 12

Lastly, let me remind people of "Court Backs Local School Control in Evans-Marshall v Board of Education; ALA Loses Another Means to Propagandize Local Communities."  It is also good to remind communities that "It's Not Censorship, It's Parenting!  -- Best Explanation Ever for What's Wrong With the American Library Association and its Effect on Public School Libraries."

Dear Superintendent Don Horstman, you are a star for speaking out about misleading book reviews.  When the usual suspects (ALA, ACLU, NCAC, etc.) being to flood your community with the same false information as they do nationwide, don't back down.  Take heart from other school superintendents like Daniel Freeman who actually commented in my blog post and engaged with several authors here: "Kentucky School Superintendent Exposes False Cries of Censorship; Removes Educationally Unsuitable Books from Curriculum Despite Being on ALA's List for Reluctant Readers."  What a coincidence!  Lush is also on that list for "reluctant readers," from the same anything goes ALA!  Why not give Daniel Freeman a call?

Enjoy!  And do contact me when the ALA/ACLU/NCAC propaganda campaign begins.  Send me a copy of the letters or threats you will receive.  I will help you cut through the false information.


NOTE ADDED 22 APRIL 2012:

It appears the problem still exists in another schools:
But do research your YA books beyond just the reviewing tools that fail IMHO almost every time to tell us the amount of promiscuity, profanity, and violence included in a book.
I agree it is difficult to know every title in your library.  I know very few librarians who say the [sic] read cover to cover every book that goes on the shelf.  We rely on reviews and word of mouth quite a bit. 
Source:



(Also, I removed a YouTube video from a defunct account that I had linked above.)

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

How ALA Plagiarism Becomes Truth Through the Media Lens; SafeLibraries in USA Today

USA Today Logo
SafeLibraries is in USA Today, Wednesday, 1 December 2010, page A3.  The article illustrates how American Library Association [ALA] plagiarism becomes the truth through the media lens.  See:

"Those Who Challenge Books Find Strength in Numbers; Schools and Public Libraries Report 'an Uptick of Organized Efforts' to Remove Books," by Didi Tang and Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today, 1 December 2010, p.A3.

Here is an except:

ALA's Deborah
Caldwell-Stone
Parents have long raised concerns about school and library books — children's and young adult books, and sometimes dictionaries — often for inappropriate content.  The number of reported challenges in the past 30 years has hovered between about 400 or 500 each year, says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, an attorney with the American Library Association.

Whereas challenges once were mostly launched by a lone parent, Caldwell-Stone says she has noticed "an uptick in organized efforts" to remove books from public and school libraries.  A number of challenges appear to draw from information provided on websites such as Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, or PABBIS.org, and Safelibraries.org, she says.

Here are the links:  PABBIS; SafeLibraries.org.  The story has been republished in other Gannett papers, such as the Daily Record.

Since I am involved in the story, let me point out an example of how the ALA misleads the media to propagandize the public.  I will explain how the ALA found someone's admittedly poor quality map of "banned books"—in reality 1963 was the last year a book was banned in the USA—then promoted it as its own.  The media then present the poor quality, plagiarized map as if it were high quality and reliably sourced.  VoilĂ , instant credibility for poor quality, plagiarized propaganda, now on page A3 of USA Today.

The online version of the story contains a "map of book bans across the USA" and attributes the map to the ALA.  It is the very same map that the ALA plagiarized.  Yes, stole.  See: "Books Under Fire," by Emily Brown, USA Today, 1 December 2010.  The USA Today map is attributed to "American Library Association; USA TODAY research."  It is substantially a copy of the ALA's version of the map.

Notice, for example, the map point in Idaho on the USA Today map says,  "How to Get Suspended and Influence People, by Adam Selzer; Challenged at the Nampa Public Library in Idaho by a parent who complained that the cover included an abstract drawing of a nude woman and the back cover contains some profanity. (2009)" while the same map point on the ALA plagiarized map says, "Nampa, ID; Last Updated by Nanette on Jul 18 (2009); Adam Selzer's How to Get Suspended and Influence People was challenged at the Nampa Public Library by a parent appalled that the cover included an abstract drawing of a nude woman and the back cover contains some profanity. The book explores the theme of censorship through the eyes of a gifted eighth-grader who is suspended after making an avant-garde sex-education video for a class project."  I've highlighted the similarities to make them more obvious.

But the ALA version of the map is plagiarized.  It is presented by the ALA as if it were its own map.  No attribution of authorship is given.  The inference, of course, is that the ALA authored the map.  It did not.  It was created by an individual who expressly disclaimed membership in the ALA:

Chris Peterson (cpeterson.org)
I created the map that was the focus of Mr. Muncy's anger.  I have no affiliation with the ALA and took my marching orders from no manifesto, real or imagined.

The "censorship" map was, instead, an attempt by a private citizen to facilitate the free flow of information, in the hope that individuals might access it and make decisions for themselves.  Though the ideals of intellectual freedom may escape Mr. Muncy, I trust these are values that Americans everywhere value and understand.

Chris Peterson
Cambridge, Mass.
 
Source: "Letters: Librarians Work to Protect Free Access to Information," by Chris Peterson, Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2009.

Further, the true author of the map that the ALA plagiarized, who describes himself as "just some guy on the Internet," admitted the map is unreliable—"Is this map perfect?  Not even close.  I don’t actually like it very much. The model is all wrong":


In August 2009, a friend of mine named Alita Edelman - about to begin her senior year at Smith College - spent a month volunteering at the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFFE).  ABFFE is a tiny organization that operates within the long shadow of the American Library Association (ALA).  Her job was to organize data on banned and challenged books across America.  The ALA compiles these records, and every year releases a long list of what books were reported challenged where, by whom, and why.

The list is fascinating.  It provides an incredible window into the psyche of those who challenge books in public libraries (according to ABFFE, one sex education book targeted at girls was challenged in Texas for being “happily nonphallocentric”).
But what it doesn’t do is provide a environment within the data can be understood and contextualized.  It doesn’t allow for the abstract data (title, reason, result) to be attached to concrete touchstones like time and place.  It doesn’t, in short, do for books what WikiCrimes does for crimes.

So I created a Google Map for Banned Books.  I issued a strident call on my blog for contributors.  My dream was that librarians everywhere - from the New York Public Library to Podunk Public - would begin placing pushpins every time a parent held a copy of Harry Potter in front of their face, demanding that this instructional manual for witchcraft and wizardry be burned like its practitioners.  Of course, that didn’t happen, because I’m just some guy on the Internet, and not a media mogul with millions of eager readers with too much time on their hands.  Instead, Alita and I began the arduous task of translating the hundreds of ALA records onto the map.

....

Is this map perfect?  Not even close.  I don’t actually like it very much. The model is all wrong. These data, which tell us so much about who we are as a people, and to what extent we believe in deliberative democracy, are too precious and fragile to pass through so many filters and failure points.  I’m willing to bet that for every challenge reported to the ALA, a dozen more go unrecorded.  There are holes in our mosaic.  It’s a Magic Eye: the patterns are there, but distorted, visible only if you squint, and then only if you’re lucky.

Source:  "Mapping Banned Books," by Chris Peterson, Barnes & Noble, circa 3 October 2009.

Lest there be any doubt, the National Coalition Against Censorship identifies the true author of the map: "You can also view the latest map of book challenges across the US, created by NCAC’s newest board member, Chris Peterson."

This is an example of how ALA plagiarized propaganda is filtered through the media lens until it becomes the truth.  And the media are not even aware of this fraud.

And this is not the first time the ALA promoted its plagiarized map.  See: "It's Banned Books Week," by Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times, 28 September 2009:  "We're smack in the middle of Banned Books Week, an event sponsored by the American Library Assn., the American Publishers Assn. and others.  This year, they've launched an interactive map that shows which books were officially banned or challenged, and where, in 2008."  False.  Chris Peterson did, self-described as "just some guy on the Internet" who said, "Is this map perfect?  Not even close.  I don’t actually like it very much."  So the map's true creator admitted the map is his and is not even close to accurate.

Now USA Today promotes, unwittingly, of course, a "map of book bans" as the ALA's that in reality was plagiarized by the ALA, is admittedly poorly prepared in the first place, and where no book bans have occurred in the USA since Fanny Hill in 1963.  Unwittingly, of course.  This is an example of how ALA plagiarism/propaganda becomes the truth through the media lens.  I informed USA Today Corrections and Clarifications of this, including the above evidence, but no correction appears to this point.

It is also an example of why media sources should not blindly accept ALA's statements.  I am available for media interviews.  This is especially important as the ALA plans a huge propaganda campaign in September 2011 for the 30th anniversary of "Banned Books Week."  I can provide balance with solid support, as the above opinion illustrates, and with a smile.

Fortunately, not all people are fooled by the propaganda.  The Daily Record story, for example, includes this comment:

This "banned books" hoax is pulled off by the far-left American Library Association every year.   All a book needs to make this category is for anyone, anywhere, to complain about it.  Libraries and schools have budgets and have to make choices.   I hope not using public funds to supply p[]rno to kids is a part of those choices.   These books are available at bookstore and online.  "Banned"?  Hardly.
12/10/2010 10:04:32 AM

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