Saturday, May 28, 2011

Libraries Allowing Porn Are Wrong; Donna Rice Hughes of Enough Is Enough Explains Why

Donna Rice Hughes
Donna Rices Hughes of Enough Is Enough has been deeply involved with the Internet safety issues vis-à-vis children for a very long time.   She has worked with the Department of Justice on such issues, appeared on national television on shows such as 20/20 and Oprah, been appointed by Senator Trent Lott to serve on the Child Online Protection Act Commission, co-wrote a season finale for Touched By An Angel that brought Internet dangers to the public's attention in a big way, and has many other significant achievements.  Lately, she has produced Internet Safety 101: Empowering Parents Program.

What Donna Rice Hughes has to say about the libraries allowing unfettered pornography, such as in the Brooklyn Public Library, is highly instructive.  New York City public libraries have been successful in propagandizing the public that anything goes in public libraries.

The truth is the opposite—libraries have successfully removed legal porn and exposed American Library Association dogma.  Let's hear what Donna Rice Hughes has to say that sets the library propaganda about the law straight:

"FIRST PERSON (Donna Rice Hughes):  Porn—In Your Public Library?," by Donna Rice Hughes, Baptist Press, 27 May 2011.

RESTON, VA -- An April fistfight between an impatient person and a porn-viewing patron at the Brooklyn Public Library has reignited an old debate regarding whether adults should have free and easy access to hardcore pornography or illegal adult pornography, known under the law as obscenity, at their local public library.  A spokesperson for the library has explained that the library is complying with patrons' First Amendment rights, and thus provides Internet access to pornography to adult patrons.

While libraries do not stock obscene hard core videos, patrons at the New York Public Library have easy access to this hardcore content through taxpayer-funded Internet access.  Why?  Because this particular library doesn't understand the laws pertaining to this issue.

The library spokesperson stated:  "We comply with CIPA [Children's Internet Protection Act] and our policy forbids users to access materials that are legally defined as obscene, as child pornography, or, in the case of persons under 17, as harmful to minors.  The library is committed to creating a positive experience for everyone, and we expect those who use the library to do so with respect to our policies and to others."

As indicated by her statement, the Brooklyn library spokesperson has apparently confused both the definition of CIPA and the legal definitions of obscenity and child pornography covered by CIPA.  Hence, the library's feeble attempt to comply with CIPA has left adult and child library patrons unprotected.

At this point, three lessons are in order, which will hopefully benefit this particular library and others operating under the same misguided misunderstanding of these laws.

— First, a history lesson:  This is déjà vu for Enough Is Enough (EIE).  In the mid-1990s, EIE realized that schools and libraries were not protecting students and library patrons from the deluge of obscenity and child pornography available online.  As an early pioneer of Internet safety efforts since 1994, EIE sprang into action.  I personally prepared a briefing book, containing news stories and pictures of the types of pornography available in both schools and libraries, for Sen. John McCain, then head of the Senate Commerce Committee, and other senators and asked:  Should taxpayers pay for our schools and libraries to be pornography outlets?  Congress didn't think so.  CIPA passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton.  The American Library Association (ALA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups immediately launched a legal challenge, questioning the constitutionality of CIPA.  Fortunately for the sake of children and families, with the leadership of EIE and other groups, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of CIPA.  As a result, schools and libraries that implement CIPA as intended by Congress are better able to ensure the Internet is safely accessed.

— Second, a CIPA law lesson:  CIPA requires schools and libraries using federal "e-rate" subsidies to dedicate some of those funds to install software that filters out pornography.  Specifically, child pornography, obscenity and softcore content, legally defined as "harmful to minors," must be filtered for those ages 17 or under.  For adult library users, both child pornography and online obscenity should be filtered, since neither of these is constitutionally protected under current federal statutes.  There exists a common misconception that the only type of illegal pornography for adults is child pornography.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In layman's terms, the First Amendment does not protect obscenity for adults period, whether in the library or anywhere else.  Although CIPA was written to be idiot proof, common misunderstandings emerge from confusion over the legal definitions of pornography, specifically obscenity.

— Hence, the third and final lesson:  Pornography Law 101:  There are three types of pornography legally defined by the Supreme Court, and CIPA refers to all three:

1.  Child pornography -- Child pornography is material that visually depicts children under the age of 18 engaged in actual or simulated sexual activity, including lewd exhibition of the genitals.

2.  Obscenity -- Obscenity is graphic material that focuses on sex and/or sexual violence.  It includes close-ups of graphic sex acts, lewd exhibition of the genitals and deviant activities such as group sex, bestiality, incest and excretory functions.  For clarification, obscenity is not to be confused with softcore pornography, known under the law as harmful to minors/indecent content.

3.  Harmful to Minors (HTM) material -- Harmful to minors material represents nudity or sex that has prurient appeal for minors, is offensive and unsuitable for minors, and lacks serious value for minors.  There are "harmful to minors" laws in every state.

For libraries attempting to correctly implement CIPA, they must not confuse the laws above, which distinctly refer to different types of content.  Obscenity is not protected under the First Amendment for children or adults; however, it is available in abundance, both online and offline.

People often ask:  If it's illegal, why is it everywhere?  Simply put, obscenity laws have not been aggressively enforced, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld federal obscenity laws.

Additionally, individuals should not equate the widespread availability of illegal adult material with community acceptance of hardcore content.  In October, 2009, a national poll by Harris Interactive found that 76 percent of individuals surveyed "totally disagreed" that viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet was morally acceptable.  Likewise, 74 percent "totally disagreed" that viewing hardcore adult pornography on the Internet was generally harmless entertainment.

The New York Public Library seems to have been shaped by the misguided (and radical) position of the ACLU, which we successfully battled in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.  While they may be claiming to uphold CIPA in principle, they are failing to uphold CIPA in practice.  Several patrons have testified that they regularly witness individuals viewing hardcore content.  While computer terminals include privacy extensions, many individuals are not using these screens, and even when individuals do use the screens, patrons have complained they can still hear the audio from the hardcore content.  It is clear that the New York Public Library is not in full compliance with CIPA and, as a result, is not fulfilling its responsibility to protect children and adult library patrons.

As the overwhelming majority of Americans understand, the problem with pornography, as with many things, is that it affects more than those who just look at it.  For some individuals, pornography is progressively addictive in nature.  Research shows that pornography affects attitudes, values and behaviors, and pornography has been linked to sex crimes against women and children, innocent victims who did not view pornography.  A number of federal legal precedents have also found that pornography was used as a tool in sexual harassment, and the New York Library should do more to implement responsible policies to protect themselves and taxpayers from legal liability.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

ACLU Double Standard in Public Schools on a Single Person Bringing Complaints

ACLU uses double standard to threaten NJ public school.
The ACLU has a double standard, it applies that double standard in public schools, then it threatens suit to enforce its double standard.  Basically, the ACLU decries claimed "censorship" simply because a single person makes a complaint, yet the ACLU brings thinly veiled threats to sue public schools based on a single person's complaint, and that complainant isn't even a parent, isn't even a member of the school community!

Watch "ACLU Threatens Lawsuit Over Graduation Site; Cross Causing Problems for High School," by Steve Doocy, FOX News, 20 May 2011, and notice the extensive discussion with a Neptune High School student and his mom of the single person complaining to the ACLU:

Read more here, from the local Asbury Park Press:

Compare that to the many cases where the ACLU threatens to sue other schools precisely for removing inappropriate material after the complaint of only one parent.  Here's a sample:

  • "Free Speech Groups Oppose Censorship of 'Bless Me, Ultima,'" by Joan Bertin, National Coalition Against Censorship, 9 January 2009, bold emphasis mine.
    Dear Members of the Board of Trustees:

    We write to urge you to reinstate Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya in high school classrooms in Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District.  Based on the report of the recent school board meeting in the Modesto Bee (January 6, 2008), it is clear that the student's parent who challenged the book objected to it because she believes it is anti-Catholic, and that Superintendent Rick Fauss banned the book on this basis without actually having read it.  In our opinion, the removal of the book under these circumstances violates the school board’s obligations under the First Amendment.  We hope that the action will be reversed expeditiously.

    As the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California stated in a letter dated December 15, 2008, removing a book from the curriculum on the basis of its perceived religious viewpoints is constitutionally unsound and potentially exposes the school district to legal liability.   Indeed, the district is far more susceptible to legal challenge by banning the book than it would be by keeping it in the curriculum.

    It is well established that parents have no enforceable right to have their viewpoint reflected in the school curriculum.  No parent has the right "to tell a public school what his or her child will and will not be taught."  Leebaert v. Harrington, 332 F.3d 134, 141 (2d Cir. 2003).  Nor do parents have "a fundamental right generally to direct how a public school teaches their child."  Blau v. Fort Thomas Public School District, et al [sic], 401 F.3d 381, 395 (6th Cir. 2005).   Furthermore, the school has a constitutional obligation not to endorse or accommodate a particular perspective or viewpoint at the expense of alternative views:  "Local school boards may not remove books from school libraries simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to 'prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.'"  Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 872 (1982) (plurality opinion) citing West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943).
    The practical effect of acceding to any parent's request to censor materials will be to invite others to demand changes in the curriculum to reflect their beliefs and to leave school officials vulnerable to multiple, possibly conflicting, demands.

    We strongly urge you to restore Bless Me, Ultima to high school classrooms in your school district.  Individual freedom, democracy, and a good education all depend on protecting the right to read, inquire, question, and think for ourselves.
    If we can be of assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.



    Andre Segura
    Civil Liberties Fellow
    American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Double standard, anyone?

For your interest, here is a quote from PABBIS quoting Bless Me, Ultima, which, according to the ACLU, contains "ideas" that teach "individual freedom, democracy, and a good education":

At school he pretends he is a priest taking confessions:  "..Tell him only your worst one R. coaxed H. ......I made a whole in the wall... could see into the girls bathroom... could see everything.. her ass...hear the pee... You have sinned i said...  There's more ..  I saw a teacher..... it was biggggggggggg....... give him penance the girls are dirty H. they cried....... me next! .....B. shouted.  I got a better sin than H.  ....Bless me, father!  .....he kept making sign of the cross over and over....... i saw a boy and girl fucking in the grass.....smiled proudly and looked around...  Ah, I see them every night under the railroad bridge V. scoffed... naked!  Jumping up and down.  Give me penance (B. said) .. a rosary to the Virgin, I said .....Like H.? he shouted.  .....but my sin was bigger .. he threw me down.... another rosary for daring to touch the priest...that made him happy and he settled down... F. next...they grabbed F. and made him kneel in front of me.....  No! i protested....  Confess him they chanted...what are your sins I asked? ...  I don’t have any F. said ..... Tell me one sin I pleaded ....  Confess your sins or your go to hell R. cried out .....  It was God who has sinned against me (F. said)...  They were gathering around me now, I could feel their presence and hot bitter breath. ...they wanted me to punish F. ...  Make his penance hard....  Make him kneel and we’ll beat him ....  Stone him! ...beat him! ..kill him!..." 


Oh look, the ACLU threatened another school community, and, like how Neptune High School treated the ACLU, the ACLU was roundly ignored, after taxpayers got charged for initial compliance with the ACLU's demand.  This picture of the Neptune High School logo should give a hint as to how the ACLU was treated:

Neptune High School logo.

As usual, a single person complaining was enough for the ACLU.  It appears the ACLU is losing its power to threaten.  Enjoy:

Oh wait, Bastrop High School has a graphic message for the ACLU as well:

Bastrop High School logo.

Remember how the ACLU decried "censorship" when it attempted to force a school to allow inappropriate material for children?  See how the ACLU goes around the country threatening school communities to censor out any reference to Christianity?  It reminds me of how true is the following quote from Dan Gerstein:

The ... elites have convinced themselves that they are taking a stand against cultural tyranny. .... [T]he reality is that it is those who cry "Censorship!" the loudest who are the ones trying to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others.


See also "The ACLU's Double Standard," by Dennis Ingolfsland, The Recliner Commentaries, 21 May 2011.

Interesting:  Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005).


The ACLU is threatening Bastrop High School again, even ordering that a student be disciplined and the community be reeducated.  Read the ACLU's latest threat to the school—the language is confrontational and demanding—the ACLU must have a complex if it thinks it can go around and threaten schools and communities this way:
If every school defied the ACLU, the ACLU would lack the wherewithal to threaten them.  Besides they are public schools, not ACLU schools.


And the ACLU threatened yet another school, again based on the complaint of a single person, actually got a federal judge to order the school what not to say—so much for freedom of speech, right?—and a federal appeals court just overruled the lower court and ordered the ACLU to take a flying leap.  See for yourself:
  • "Federal Court Lifts Ban on Public Prayer at Texas High School Graduation After Uproar," by Todd Starnes and AP, FOXNews, 3 June 2011.
    "This is a complete victory for religious freedom and for Angela," said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of Liberty Institute, which had represented class valedictorian Angela Hildenbrand in the appeal.  "We are thrilled that she will be able to give her prayer without censorship in her valedictorian speech tomorrow night.  No citizen has the right to ask the government to bind and gag the free speech of another citizen."

    Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's initial ban had been denounced as an "activist decision" by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who called it "exactly the wrong civics lesson to teach to the class of 2011."

    Biery had ruled Thursday in favor of Christa and Danny Schultz, who sued to block such religious expressions at their son's graduation.  Among the words or phrases Biery had banned were:  “join in prayer,” “bow their heads,” “amen,” and “prayer.”

    He also ordered the school district to remove the terms “invocation” and “benediction” from the graduation program, in favor of "opening remarks" and "closing remarks."

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott responded by voicing support for the school district in its appeal.

    “Part of this goes to the very heart of the unraveling of moral values in this country,” Abbott told Fox News Radio, saying the judge wanted to turn school administrators into “speech police.”

    “I’ve never seen such a restriction on speech issued by a court or the government,” Abbott told Fox News Radio.  “It seems like a trampling of the First Amendment rather than protecting the First Amendment.”

Can you believe this?  The vaunted ACLU promoting censorship and forcing schools to be speech police, all the while unraveling the moral values of our country.  Words of the news story, not mine.  The ACLU is trampling the First Amendment.  The Texas Attorney General said that, not me.

But it's true, is it not?

To remind everyone why I raise this issue, it is because the American Library Association keeps using the shibboleth that schools should not be help hostage to a single parent, yet that's what the ACLU does again and again.  The ACLU is the ALA's comrade-in-arms.  Consider, e.g., US v. ALA et al. (the "et al." includes the ACLU), where both worked together to stop the "Children's Internet Protection Act."  They both lost.  Children won.

Indeed, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom [OIF] was created by an ACLU state leader, and it is the OIF that, by itself, made keeping inappropriate material from children tantamount to a crime.  It is the OIF that calls anyone who complains about any material "censors."  Coincidence?


See also:


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anti-American Indoctrination in Public Schools

Is there a liberal agenda indoctrinating children in public schools?  Are some public schools teaching anti-Americanism?  Are they teaching children to defy their parents or commit illegal acts?  Food for thought, hopefully representing a range of political thought:
"Analyze the major factors that drove United States imperialism."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

School Removes Squirting Sperm Book After 8-Year-Old Complains To Her Mother

Lovingly Alice book in the news.
Public school officials have removed a book containing inappropriate material from the Quail Run Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, at least until the next school year.  The book, Lovingly Alice, from the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, includes material such as a "penis squirting sperm inside the vagina."  The 8-year-old girl complained about the book to her mother who then brought the book to the school's attention.

The principal was "shocked."  According to the mother, he said he "didn't even know this was in our library."  "Even the school librarian admitted it wasn't appropriate for younger kids and put a restriction on it for sixth graders only," said a reporter.

See for yourself:

I spoke with the outspoken mother, Hilary Lockhart.  Here is some information that may help her and any other parent/guardian having similar concerns:
Alice book removed from school library labeled "Children."


A former head of the Arizona Library Association wants the squirting sperm book returned to the shelves:
Ann Dutton Ewbank wants
children to retain access
to squirting sperm book.
Regarding the article "Mother's complaint prompts Paradise Valley school officials to remove book" that appeared on on Tuesday:  Paradise Valley administrators removed the book "Lovingly Alice" from the Quail Run Elementary School library prior to the initiation of an official book challenge.  The district policy governing this process, "Parent Complaint Procedures Regarding Instructional Materials" states, "During the review, materials in question may remain in use."  As a parent, Hilary Lockhart has the right and responsibility to direct her children's reading, but the decision to remove the book prior to the outcome of the book-challenge procedure restricts access to all students.  District administrators should return the book to the shelves until the challenge process is complete and a final decision has been made by a committee of teachers, parents and librarians, as stated in district policy. - Ann Dutton Ewbank, Phoenix
The writer is a past president of the Arizona Library Association.
"PV Schools Skipped Book Procedure," by Ann Dutton Ewbank, The Arizona Republic, 19 May 2011.

Notice "may remain in use" completely negates her argument since the book need not remain in use.  That leaves her simply throwing around her Arizona Library Association weight to attempt to browbeat the school back into line.  It's demagoguery pure and simple.

So skipping the material reconsideration procedure is bad if it keeps kids from reading inappropriate material, but, in Clarkstown, NY, skipping the material reconsideration is good if it keeps kids reading inappropriate material.  And there we have yet another double standard.  The ends justifies the means.


Ann Dutton Ewbank, the librarian who wanted the squirting sperm book returned to the shelves, has now written a book:
It cost $40!

Get this, and I quote, "Ann Dutton Ewbank is associate professor at Montana State University, Bozeman. She researches school library advocacy and is a member-leader in the American Library Association. A tireless advocate, Ewbank has direct experience working with elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels to enact positive policy for school library programs."  Returning the squirting sperm book to school shelves despite the principal and the school's own librarian removing it must be the positive policy for school libraries about which she's writing.

Also, I have updated most dead links with archived or new links, and I removed a dead video.

Friday, May 6, 2011

School Bullies Girl to Promote Political Push for Perks By Displaying In Class Video of Girl's Parents; School Board Misleads Parents Opposing School Book So Only Book Supporters Attend Public Meeting; Media Touts Total Victory And Leaves Out Bullying and Political Trickery; Guest Writer Aldo DeVivo Speaks Out

I am Aldo DeVivo and I and my wife would like to make a public statement regarding what was reported in "Clarkstown Rejects Ban on 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,'" by Hema Easley, The Journal News, 6 May 2011.

Backgrounder From SafeLibraries

Before continuing with Aldo DeVivo's statement, here is some background from SafeLibraries to better understand what Aldo DeVivo is saying and why:

This story involves a book used by the Clarkstown High School North, New City, NY.  The book is entitled, "Perks of Being a Wallflower."  It contains bestiality and other sexually explicit material, for example:
After a few minutes, the boy pushed the girl's head down, and she started to kiss his penis.  She was still crying.  Finally, she stopped crying because he put his penis in her mouth, and I don't think you can cry in that position.  I had to stop watching at that point because I started to feel sick, but it kept going on, and they kept doing other things, and she kept saying "no."
A recent Harris Poll showed most people do not want children in public schools to have access to sexually explicit material.  See "Most Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools Says Harris Poll."  This is evidence such materials violate community standards.

Further, pervasively vulgar books may be quickly and legally removed from public schools thanks to Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982).  This is evidence the law allows for the removal of such material.

School policy called "TEACHING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES" requires that, "Teachers shall always give fair representation to all sides of issues."  Keep this in mind when reading about a video a teacher showed about the DeVivos that made their daughter break down in tears after she found out it was shown in a different English class.  By the way, "teachers, within their professional judgment, may at times present pertinent, controversial issues to classes and select appropriate curriculum materials approved by the administration."  Did the administration approve the showing of the video that effectively bullied the daughter?  Either way, there's a serious injustice.  And students may be expelled for defamation, discrimination, harassment, or bullying.  What about teachers or the school administration if it approved the video in question that essentially does the same thing, based on the daughter's reaction? 

In my opinion, I fully understand why the school board used trickery, the school teacher and/or school administration used intimidation and bullying, and the media choose to ignore the inconvenient truth.  But read on to see for yourselves.

Continuing Aldo DeVivo's Message

What a scam!  None of us against the book even knew there was a vote.  Just to give an idea of what I'm talking about:


Countdown to the 2011-12 School Budget Vote

There are two remaining public meeting for voters to learn about the 2011-12 budget and express their comments prior to the vote.  Both will be held in the Main Board Room at the Chestnut Grove Administrative Center, 62 Old Middletown Road in New City.

On Thursday, May 5 at the regular meeting of the Board of Education, the Board will hold a public hearing at 8:00 pm.  Members of the community are invited to share their questions and opinions on the proposed spending plan.

So what do you think about that?  Most likely the room was filled with proponents for the book who knew that there was going to be a vote on the book.  These people, using students as pawns, had it staged all along to present their arguments before the board—without us knowing.

What's even more deplorable is that during the day an English teacher decided to show a video clip of an interview my wife and I had with a TV network in an 11th grade English class.  Of course we presented opposing views in that interview.   She was using this clip as a prelude to her having students reading the Perks book.  And she had the students write letters in support of the book for the meeting she knew about but we didn't.  Several students read their letters to the board.  By the way, they've gone back to no parental notices.

Now what I'm about to describe is the depravity and egregious nature of these people.

Keep in mind that when this video clip was shown during the school day, there had not been a decision on the book yet.

Furthermore, our daughter, who is a junior at the school, has close friends and casual friends who don't care about our position on the book.

Conversely, I'm sure there are other students who know our position who may think differently of befriending our daughter.

In any case, between classes, a friend of our daughter mentioned that her English teacher showed a video clip of us during class regarding the book.

My daughter broke down in tears.  How could a teacher show a clip of us knowing full well that showing this would place our daughter in not only an awkward and inappropriate situation, but may also place her in a position of being harassed by other students?

It's absolutely despicable. We don't mind losing in a fair fight, but this was not a fair fight.

Can you believe a budget meeting turned into a vote for the book?

And what they did to our daughter is truly the lowest of the low.  Will there be justice before we are forced to compel it?


I sent an email to a number of people, some at the school concerned.  Get a load of this automated response:


NOTICE: Clarkstown Central School District wishes to maintain an environment that promotes mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance of differences.  We believe that all classroom, school, district and meeting environments must promote a positive culture that serves to enhance the emotional well being of all students, staff, parents and visitors to our school district.  It is our expectation that all parties are treated with dignity and respect. As such, we expect individuals to speak in ways that are tactful and respectful.  The district does not tolerate verbal, written or defamatory comments or actions that target specific individuals or groups.

Is there a double standard at work or will the school comply with its own policy?

Were the DeVivos, including the daughter, treated with "mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance of differences"?  Did showing a video for political purposes that caused the DeVivo's daughter to cry "promote a positive culture that serves to enhance the emotional well being [sic] of all students"?  Were the DeVivos "treated with dignity and respect"?

"The district does not tolerate verbal, written or defamatory comments or actions that target specific individuals or groups."  Did the video not target Mr. and Mrs. DeVivo?

What obvious duplicity. 


Aldo DeVivo received a letter dated 22 March 2011 from Clarkstown Central School District's Deputy Superintendent of Schools Deborah O'Connell stating, "As we continue to move through this process we will keep you informed."  The substance of the letter is shown below.

Not only was Mr. DeVivo not informed, but the school district broke its agreement to do so.  The "Materials Reconsideration Policy" review was not honored by the school, and the matter should be reopened for a proper review:

Letter agreeing to keep Aldo DeVivo informed.  An agreement never honored.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Librarians Library Porn Problem Detailed by the Library Journal's Annoyed Librarian

There are many reasons why the Annoyed Librarian is one of my favorites.  Here's another:

"The Problem of Library Porn for Librarians," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 4 May 2011, emphasis mine, graphics added, reprinted under US Copyright §107 Fair Use:
I can't seem to get away from the issue of Internet pornography in the library, mainly because so many librarians are so recalcitrant about the issue.  So just one last word on the problem of library porn for librarians.

Please don't trot out the old chestnut that we can't define porn, so we don't know what it is.  We know what it is, including the people who view it.  That's why people caught viewing porn in libraries by reporters don't want to talk.  They're ashamed, not of surfing for porn, but of being called about it in public.  And it makes for great news stories.

Usually the issue is considered in terms of the problem of library porn for patrons.  That's important of course, and considering the needs of patrons should certainly be a central concern, at least after considering the needs of librarians.

Some adults don't want to see Internet pornography, and public libraries are the only place that those who disapprove of pornography have to see any.  Bookstores and convenience stores and other places that sell pornographic magazines usually hide the covers.  I see a lot of people working on laptops in coffee shops, and I’ve never seen anyone surfing for porn.

There's no other public space where visual pornography is acceptable.  Even sex stores don't have videos playing in the public areas as far as I can tell.

Let's just ignore these prudes for a moment, these busybodies who expect public libraries to abide by the same conventions as every other public space in the country.  They should know better.

Then there's the argument over porn in children's areas of the library.  This is the only substantive area of disagreement, and the one where the ALA OIF ideology is the most outside the mainstream.  It's illegal to sell pornographic magazines to children, yet the ALA insists that it's wrong to filter pornography in the children's area of librariesThe vast majority of people up to and including the Supreme Court think otherwise.

Is porn really a problem for children?  This depends on the porn and the child, I suppose.  Pornographic videos aren't really my cuppa, since I much prefer print to video for erotic content, but I've seen a few here and there, mostly when preparing for blog posts about the issue.

It's clear there's a lot of sick stuff out there, and a lot of sick people apparently watching it.  To think that some men (and it's always men) get enjoyment out of some of the depictions and treatment of women in any number of videos makes me wonder about the sad state of their soul, though it doesn't make me wonder why they're watching porn instead of having relationships with real women.

On the other hand, some of it is as tastefully done as possible.  Not much, but some.

Would any of it harm children?  I won't link to examples, but for those of you with children, would you want your child of 5 or 7 or so seeing a video of a man choking a woman while ejaculating on her face?  Or of young women who seem drug-impaired being gang-raped?  Or of young men being gang-raped for that matter.

But let’s say you are one of those librarians who think it's okay for young children to view gang-rape videos because those videos are "Constitutionally protected speech."  For the sake of argument, let's say you're correct, and that this would be just as healthy for children as watching Scooby Doo or whatever it is the kids watch these days.

There's still a problem with library porn, even if we concede the arguments that public libraries should abide by the convention of every other public space in the country and that children shouldn't be exposed to Internet porn.

The problem is for the librarians and the library.  The problem with library porn is that librarians sound like fools defending it, and sounding like fools is never good for librarians.

They especially sound like fools when they start going on about how the Constitution protects people viewing Internet porn in public libraries.  This isn't a settled issue, but given the other rulings by the Supreme Court, it doesn’t seem likely that this would ever be considered a right.

They also sound like fools when they defend public library porn because of an alleged dedication to access to information.  Men who sit in front of library computers viewing Internet porn aren't "accessing information," unless we want to make "accessing information" a new euphemism for getting sexually aroused and possibly doing something about that arousal.

I could definitely see this getting traction with librarians, like those tee shirts that say, "Librarians do it in the stacks," but in general I think it would be detrimental to our cause.

Finally, they sound like fools because no one agrees with them and they have no good arguments for their position.  There's no Constitutional right to view porn.  Communities have standards and libraries as public institutions supported by those communities should abide by those standards just like every other public place.  This is so commonsensical that only a librarian could think otherwise.

The problem about the whole situation isn't that the news media like to hop on juicy library porn stories, as if America's public libraries were full of perverts standing in line to satisfy their porn addictions @ the library.  We know that's not the case.

The problem also isn't when the news media give such exposure to a relatively limited problem when libraries are in such dire straits.

The problem is with librarians who keep feeding reporters the same laughable lines and making libraries and librarians look ridiculous in times when libraries are in such bad shape.  Keep it up and see where it gets you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Will Manley Outs Library Profession as the Only One in the World That Wants Children to Have Access to Pornography; Annoyed Librarian Says Some Librarians Sound Like Smut Peddlars

Will Manley speaks the truth about the library profession.  See "3 Ways to Get Blackballed in the Library Profession," by Will Manley, Will Unwound, #428, 26 April 2011, emphasis and graphics added, excerpted here:
1)      Conservative politics….We all know that the library profession is extremely liberal in its political leanings.  To prove this all you have to do is look at the big name speakers at A.L.A. conferences.  How many conservatives have there been among this group in the past 40 years?  Maybe one or two at most.   Librarians would rather be validated than challenged when it comes to politics.  But it goes beyond that.  Many librarians think that conservatives are selfish, stupid, unsophisticated, and ultimately evil people.  Conservatism is not an alternative political viewpoint to the library profession; it is a curse.  The unfortunate issue here is that our many city councils, county boards, and state legislatures are ruled by conservative politicians.  These are the folks who hold our purse strings.  Isn’t it time to stop demonizing them and start dialoging with them?  Don’t even think about it if you want that big promotion.
2)      Organized religion….The library profession is very wary of organized religion, because religious morality is the banner that many book censors wave.  Many librarians disdain organized religion because they think it is repressive, judgmental, irrational, evangelical, and overly structured.  If you are a librarian it is okay to freely talk about your spiritual quest as long as you do not mention that you belong to an organized church.  It’s also very okay to be openly atheistic and agnostic because this shows you are a thinking person who has overcome an early childhood attachment to superstition.  If you have to be an avowed member of a formal religion, Buddhism seems to be your best bet.  Buddhism seems to be the cool religion right now.  Protestantism and Catholicism definitely are not.  If you are a member of a formal Christian Church keep that part of your life in the closet for the good of your career.
3)      Censorship Perhaps the most career limiting move that you could make in the library profession is to refuse to toe the line with the anything goes philosophy of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom.  I am still getting criticism heaped on me for a series of articles that I wrote in the 1990s advocating that filters be put on children’s room computers to block out pornography.  Really!  I’m pretty sure that the library profession is the only profession in the world that wants children to have access to pornography.  Why?  Because everyone is afraid of being called a censor.  It is the death nail in the career coffin.  The irony of all of this is that the library profession touts itself as the champion of intellectual freedom.  If that’s true why can’t we freely express our dissenting views of an "anything goes" philosophy of intellectual freedom…or conservative politics…or organized religion for that matter?

And why are librarians afraid to be called a censor?  That would be courtesy of former de facto ALA leader Judith Krug and her bringing her ACLU leadership policies and enforcement tactics to the ALA

Librarians Should Take Back Control of the Office for Intellectual Freedom From the Porn Pushers

Look in the comments on Will's post to see comment after comment by librarians speaking out to agree with Will.  Judith Krug, may she rest in peace, has passed on and the new leader of the OIF is a poor substitute.  The deputy director is a plagiarizer and an unethical astroturfer.  (Administrative Assistant Bryan Campbell is honest but I'll leave that for another story.)  Maybe now is the time for librarians to do what they know is right and take back control of the OIF from the Krug/ACLU acolytes.

See also:

The Annoyed Librarian Outs Smut Peddling Librarians

By the way, the other top library blogger also pointed out that the ALA is "pro-porn."  See:  "Libraries and Porn Privacy," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 27 April 2011.  "But if librarians insist on sounding like smut peddlers, the articles will keep coming.  If this is the hill librarians want to die on while they pretend they’re protecting free speech, then so be it."  That's the Library Journal post, by the way, where the Annoyed Librarian agrees with my view of the ALA in the Brooklyn Public Library porn matter saying, "Safe Libraries Guy argues that the problem is the ALA urging libraries to disregard federal law.  He does have a point there."  Lawyers take note.

And see how the Annoyed Librarian mocks "library porn mavens" in still more evidence of the ALA's anything-goes policy:
The argument against Internet filters may have some technological weight, but it has no moral weight at all, which is why the ALA has done such a bad job of persuading Congress of the American right to salivate over Internet porn at the taxpayer's expense. An Internet filter for porn is just a technological version of the filter that librarians use when they don't subscribe to hard core porn magazines for their public library. It's called selection, and it requires judgment about what "information" is appropriate for a library. The ALA evades any debates about selection and judgment by classifying everything as "information" and then saying everyone should have access to all of it.
"Library Porn Challenge," by Annoyed Librarian, Annoyed Librarian, 5 March 2007, emphasis added.

I get a lot of criticism for saying the ALA pushes porn on children.  But I make that statement based on solid evidence including that presented by the likes of Will Manley and the Annoyed Librarian.  For example, just search on what the Annoyed Librarian has said about the ALA's love for porn.

A First Amendment Right to Porn in the Public Library?

The Annoyed Librarian is so funny.  Look at this.  Here is the ALA's First Amendment:

Library Bill of Rights
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and view publicly subsidized pornography in their local library.

Speaking of librarians "acting like smut peddlers," "Smut!" by Tom Lehrer is the ALA's anthem.

Will Your Community Stop the ALA From Targeting Children?

"[T]he library profession is the only profession in the world that
wants children to have access to pornography."

Will Manley said that.  Any questions?  Any community want the ALA anywhere near your public libraries and your children while it continues along its current path?  Will librarians finally move to deradicalize the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom?  Anyone want to write a guest blog post for SafeLibraries to say what it's like in your own libraries?