Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Banning in the High School Library

Another controversy about book banning has erupted in a small town in Oregon.
A book of cartoons featuring rabbits that commit suicide in various ways will remain in the Central Linn High School library, school board members said Monday.

"The Book of Bunny Suicides," by British humorist Andy Riley, follows 100 rabbits as they search for new ways to commit suicide. It has been the focus point of a long-running debate among the school board members since October, when parent Taffey Anderson threatened to burn the book after her 13-year-old son brought it home from school.

Shouldn't the school board members be allowed to decide which books are to be made available in the school library? Would determining that something is not appropriate be tantamount to book banning?

In this particular case, the ACLU of Oregon issued a "warning that removing the book could violate the First Amendment." But would it really? Isn't it up the school board?

Does the book, which is so offensive to some parents that one of them threatened to "burn" it, really pose a danger for high school kids? Is it possible that some depressed kids who get their hands on this "Rabbit" book will suddenly be inspired to actually take their own lives?

What about other books which may be deemed offensive? The school board decided after much debate to keep "The Book of Bunny Suicides," but would they feel that way about, say, a book called, "How to Build a Bomb Using Fertilizer," or "The Dos and Don'ts of School Shootings?" Should books like that be kept in the high school library? And if not, would that represent a violation of the First Amendment?

When we talked about this before, one interesting thing that came up was that some books "advocate homosexuality," and may be dangerous for young people. What do you think about that? Do we have to have those in the high school library in order to not violate the First Amendment?

What's your opinion? Is it OK for teenagers to read the "Bunny" book? Is there any point of trying to shield kids from offensive material? Who has the authority to decide what is offensive? And besides, isn't it all available on the internet nowadays?

Please tell us what you think.


  1. Applying that minor children have ANY individual rights is pure foolishness.

    They can't drink, Vote, Join the Service, work full-time jobs, buy or own a gun, consent to sex, sign a legal document.

    I totally think teachers and public librarians should have the right to restrict acess to controversial or adult books and media.

    If these kids want to read this book they're going to have to convince their parrents to buy it for them. End of story, ACLU is full of shit.

  2. I have to disagree, Beard. Strenuously. The Bill of Rights doesn't exclude children. In some instances, there undoubtedly are compelling state interests that justify intrusions into those rights when we're dealing with kids, but that's a very different statement from saying that minors don't have ANY individual rights. Saying that is the foolishness.

    And by the way, how do you feel about charging criminal defendants who are under 18 as adults?

  3. Every library censors --by spending money on their selections, they censor out other selections.

    Now whose library is it? the Tax-payers --and parents should have a huge say in what the school exposes their kids to. The librarian is an employee of the board elected by the tax payers --and through the board, the taxpaying parents are supposed to have a voice.

    Is suicide ever cute and cuddly? Humorous? is suicide a concept we want our emotionally volatile teen kids to contemplate? Can this issue be trivialized with humor? considering that suicide IS a teen problem?

    seems to me there must be some better, less controversial selections for the public monies. Of course, they shouldn't have books on how to kill or build a bomb -or kill themselves. They don't need books that are pornographic either. Nor books that blatantly intend to undermine the religions of their community.

    It's this sort of stupidity on the part of public servants that inclines people with sense and morals to pull their kids from public schools.

    My daughter and her friends carefully monitor TV viewing in their homes; they don't want their kids to be exposed to the increasing episodes of torture and murder with graphic visual images --as on CSI --nor to nudity --nor to the shows that seem to exalt cut-throat, selfish, arrogant, superficial vanity attitudes as on Survivor and other reality shows. Even the plastic surgery makeovers incline kids to notice more their own defects and desire bodily perfection --before they might otherwise come to such awareness. They certainly don't want the public school to undermine their parenting philosophy and efforts to raise healthy, happy, moral and Christian citizens--on their dime.

    It could be the porn that has reduced the marriage and parenting rate in our country and Europe. People are desensitised to normal stimuli and need ever more variety and perversion to have a sexual response. Men are conditioned to desire the porn star-type --or the forbidden fruit aspect of porn. A recent secular uni conference was held on this topic --the harmful, brain-altering addiction of pornography.

    You asked about books promoting or exploring the issue of homosexuality. I'd certainly say NO, but if they do have such, ONLY if they have the negative lit and research as well. I just read that there was documented evidence that at least a third of teacher-student molestations are homosexual in nature in the USA --in Europe the rate is higher--that gay men were the most likely to molest and hetero women the least --by the crime stats. I knew this to be true in my school. I personally knew of a hetero male molesting an 8th grade girlfriend of mine on school grounds --and knew of prosecutions of homosexually inclined men on our staff who had behaved badly toward young men in their charge. Didn't hear of any females crossing that line in schools I was affiliated with--as teacher, parent, board member, student. Correction --it is suspected that a lesbian relative of mine was influenced that way in private art lessons at her lesbian publc school teacher's home. Of course, we know the long history of homosexually-oriented men taking advantage of boys and adolescents in Catholic schools and churches --including cases in our city. Mudrake likes to say those are pedophiles, not homosexuals. They are Pedophiles or pederasts with homosexual appetite --who find young males more accessible and influence-able (some who are in their prime of attractiveness in teen years) than adult men. I don't know what the studies show about homosexually-inclined adults who pursue young men also being with older adults. Reportedly, they prefer the age of person they were when they started in with gay activities themselves. Tom Foley was molested by his priest and had interest in adolescent boys. So the molested have some tendency to become molesters.

    there was a case recently of two lesbian women who had cruelly abused a 7 year old boy --7 by the time he was rescued --in Fla. They were sadists toward this male child --whose lesbian aunt had custody of him when his mother died. When the aunt died, her lesbian girlfriend took illegal custody of the child and got a new lesbian partner on the internet --and together they abused this child in unspeakable ways. he is now with relatives and "doing well."

    this was in the conservative press and pretty much kept out of the liberal press--because they highlight only the Matt Shephard cases as hate crimes--straights on gays and not the opposite. Granted, we all know about Dahmer and Gacy as gay murderers of young men, but no one calls gays' murder of straights "hate crimes." Libs try to say that homosexuals are not necessarily interested in the young men --but I think that's characteristic of gay men --to idealize youth and pursue young men when they can get them. A very prominent gay man in our school community, took up with a student and made him his life partner when he taught in Catholic seminary, right Mudly? (No, it wasn't Mudrake.) Another prominent gay teacher in our school reportedly had gay orgies on his boat --but no one went to police. A boy's sister told me this teacher molested her brother. Straight guys typically don't want it told that they've "been had" by a homosexual --so the silence protects the perps.

  4. there you have it, the entire panoply, exhibits a through z blantantly presented for your perusal, ladies and gentlemen.
    I am totally behoodled by this display.

  5. of course minor children have individual rights. if they didn't, they could be sold into slavery until they reached majority. seen that happen lately, eh?

    what weerd's overgeneralizing is that parents have very great leeway to override their children's choices, even to the point of appointing other adults to do the overriding in their place (teachers and school officials acting in loco parentis.) but they do NOT have the right to do just anything to their children. parental rights can be entirely revoked both for doing the wrong things to your kid, and for failing to do some of the right things. this only makes sense if kids have at least some individual rights.

    it's traditionally understood that these parental rights should gradually wane as the child approaches the age of majority, and that adolescents should be given increasing amounts of responsibility along with the leeway to use it with respect to their own lives, the older they get. this traditional understanding is not well reflected in the letter of the law, but it seems to be how most folks try to raise their kids. older kids can even be trusted with temporary responsibility for younger kids, including ones not related to them; teenagers babysit, occasionally for pay, every day.

    teenagers, then, should certainly have much more freedom to read, write, speak, and think than (say) five-year-olds. a high school library needs a much wider inventory, on much more adult and controversial subjects, than does a grade school one. possibly not as totally free and uncontrolled a selection as you'd find in a public library --- although, most high school kids should already have their public library cards, and be able to just go there instead...

    (i was certainly reading anything i pleased in my local public library by the time i was in junior high. no controls or restrictions there, other than my own interests. nor should there have been.)

    books discussing suicide are age appropriate for high school kids. some of them will be seriously contemplating committing suicide at that age, in any event; ergo, they definitely can handle the subject. (they'd better!)

    books discussing sexuality in all its forms, and how to responsibly and safely have sex, are definitely age appropriate for pubescent kids. some of those should start appearing in grade school libraries, even. such books should mention the existence of homosexuality, and make no big deal of it; some of the teenagers who'll be reading them will be finding out they are homosexual at about that age, and need to have it presented as normal. pregnancy and its prevention must also be explained, for obvious reasons.

  6. It is always interesting to watch barb find an opening in whatever topic of the thread to get her homophobic message across [to herself, obviously].

    I understand that she was a board of education member of a public school district and she tried to censor the library books in the school district so that they reflected her type of 'christian' morality.

    I also understand that she attempted to revise the sex-education curriculum in the school district so that abstinence was the focus of the program.

    Curiously, she did not mention these two facts in her doctoral dissertation above.

  7. O, you want me to write MORE, Mudrake?!! Who knew!?

    Yes, that was for middle school - (grades 5,6,7 at the time) and we mothers on the board had some success when A.D. loooked at me and said, "We thought we were doing right to teach "safe sex;" now we know that "safe sex" for kids is "no sex." Because HIV was such a fearsome, incurable risk at the time. Previously, our sex educators thought all STD's were curable and all pregnancy preventable --since the pill.

    We mothers on the board--3 of us--preferred that our schools teach abstinence until marriage as the only safe sex. And that sex without a condom was higher risk than sex with a condom--and that only condoms had ANY barrier against STD's, but were not full proof --or fool proof. That the best thing was waiting for marriage --for several reasons.

    The Pregnancy Center had visual aid/object lessons in 8th grade? to teach about long range goals for your life, the ingredients of a good relationship, the volatility of sexual passion that can burn out a romance and disappoint --and so on.

    The Board DID write this view of waiting for marriage as safest into the philosophy of sex ed. We didn't want our kids to have a false impression that condoms made sex safe --when condoms then had a percent of failure rate that you would not acccept as an airplane crash risk. Remember when they found that Jocelyn Elders in Arkansas unwittingly distributed holey condoms to her state's schools.

    To start to be sexually active is to enter a doorway to promiscuity which good and sane parents don't want for their kids.

    We also nixed some abysmal films for sex ed --one gave a message that it was OK to sneak and use a key to your boyfriend's relative's apartment for sex --as long as you went to the drugstore together first. Another featured a young teen Romeo --and said that many famous men throughout history had syphillis and gonnohrea --and that noble responsibility was demonstrated by notifying your partners that you had STD's. No suggestion about delaying sexual gratification. No suggestion that sleeping around was a bad thing to do --for Romeo and his harem.

    another film I didn't like, our schools showed to co-ed classes --the live birth of a baby --and it didn't look beautiful, but like something a girl would want to avoid. Which I supposed was really their intention. This film also showed a sideways drawing of how the male organ goes upward into the female --animated. Not necessary info for grade 5 or 6. We figured the less kids understand about the mechanics of "getting it together", the where's and howfores, etc., the better.

    Once again, Muckin-headed Ninny Muggins, it was MIKE, not me, who introduced homosexuality into this thread --gees, don't you read???

    When we talked about this before, one interesting thing that came up was that some books "advocate homosexuality," and may be dangerous for young people. What do you think about that? Do we have to have those in the high school library in order to not violate the First Amendment?

    to Mike: Definitely, omitting gay promotion from the school library shelves is not a violation of the First Amendment. It's common sense and selective purchasing appropriate for the age of students. People are not born gay and don't happen to just "be gay." They get a self-image and ideas that they need to reject --just as you adult men shut your mental doors to adultery, pedophila, incest, and rape. Homosexual thoughts? Just don't go there!

  8. ...quality not quantity. Remember your composition teachers' advice.

    To finish the story of the oh-so christian school board member, in the next election she was booted off of the school board as her 'christian agenda' was revealed to the voters.

  9. I'm not familiar with the Bunny book...but if I was a parent, I would try to exercise the right to determine what was inappropriate for my child to read up to a point.
    I agree, a child should not have access or exposure to pornography. I find a lot of pornography disturbing and offensive and cheapens the perception of humans, but then I might have a very different definition of pornography than you..
    Books in a childrens library is not an issue of pornography and sexual education is not pornography. I suppose the definition of pornography is based on personal values. The problem is that individuals try to apply their personal values broadly to every one every where.
    In the lengthy screed above, there were references to Europeans and pornography and children that are so divorced from reality that I realize we are not on the same planet. We all know that in reality, the birth rate in France is much higher than America. We also know that America is #22 for infant survival rates and France is now ranked #3.

    And yes, I'm sure almost all of agree that in the right context, suicide can be humorous. Comedy is not always pretty.

    How did John Wayne Gacy and Jeffry Dahmer end up here?

  10. By the way, I just looked a lot of images from "The Bunny Suicides" and the stuff is hilarious and in the tradition of Gary Larson and B. Kliban, in other words great humor.
    I do not find this book inappropriate or offensive and is the kind of stuff I have been laughing at since I was 7 years old.
    It makes The Three Stooges look downright perverse.....

  11. People are not born straight and don't happen to just "be straight."

    there, doesn't that version sound just as perfectly believable? don't we all remember that day in early adolescence when we chose our sexuality and most of us chose to go straight?, we don't, because sexual preferences ARE innate and inborn. those of us who are straight did not choose to be that way, we were born that way. just the same way, nobody chooses to be gay; why on earth would anybody make such a choice? where's the benefits in that?

    now, some folks speculate that individuals who think sexuality is chosen are closeted gay people in denial. i disagree; i think they're deeply confused bisexuals. but then again, i also think bisexuality is a lot more common than most people believe.

  12. I don't know if anyone is interested in Mudrake's "history of Barb," but he opened the door --so here is a lengthy defense against his version of events.

    I served 2 terms, 8 years. I won the 3rd election by 100 votes --2nd place out of 5 candidates running for 3 seats. And then they opened the machines for a recount claiming defective "printer paks" which affected a few county candidates like me--and then in this recount my vote total slipped one digit and I lost --went into 4th place--by a 100 votes. There was no rep for me at the recount --which was wrong. The election board said it was OK because there were dems and republicans there for the recount from the bd. of elections--but this was not a partisan election, so I needed my own representative there to see that someone didn't tamper with the machines by one digit. But I believe there was tampering as it could be done manually--and I should have sued --but I'm cheap. I had an anonymous, mysterious phone call the day the new results were announced which confirmed to me that there was something wrong with the recount.

    If I really was defeated, which I doubt, it was with the help of a door to door liberal faction that probably included Mudrake --he knows so much about those days many years ago. This faction was saying the sorts of things Mudrake writes --religious right wingers don't have any right to an opinion or a place on the school board, e.g. Only liberals have a say on the board. Barb is BAAADDD! ETc.

    I didn't miss being on the board and was not terribly disappointed --I had other things to do.

    Some of the school staff members were angry at 3 members of our 5-member board, especially because we did prevail over their Project Charlie drug program selection--the stupidest "life skills" course they could've selected. People just assume that a program printed for drug ed in public schools will be a good one. The films and books and philosophy behind such programs was liberal garbola. We preferred the D.A.R.E. approach. We did our homework and Project Charlie was rejected by our board. We got a better --but still not good program --in addition to the DARE officers' program which was good. I wouldn't say I was even the board leader in disapproving these programs --but I did talk to the Project Charlie evaluator in D.C. --who was hired by P.C. to evaluate it--we read between the lines that kids were no better at making good lifestyle decisions after the program than before --and that some were even more confused than before about making good decisions regarding drugs. I said to him, "Is that what you were saying between the lines?" And he said Yes, indeed.

    The program felt it necessary to demonstrate the term "high" to 4th graders --by having them whirl around until they were dizzy. Well, gee, that's fun! So what were we teaching them anyway about "altered states of consciousness?" They also gave an unnecessarily sophisticated drug knowledge to the students --telling them which drugs affected one what ways and for how long. We thought it would probably stimulate curiosity and experimentation more than fear of drug use. Another ditzy counselor in our district was passing around a bong in her counseling class --I think the police showed drug paraphernalia, too. Is that helpful? Parents in our district didn't see any necessity for this.

    All the programs then also wanted the kids to avoid drugs without resisting peer pressure --thinking of ways to say no without just saying no. that's why Nancy Reagan's anti-drug emphasis in the schools was "Just Say No" --in response to nation-wide parental protests against the wishy washy, neutral and spineless programs.

    when I was a kid we sang a song about daniel in the Lion's Den--"Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, Dare to make it known." That's not what those drug programs taught --they accommodated cowardice, being inconspicuous in resisting peer pressure, "refusal skills." Ways to retain popularity while refusing peer pressure to do drugs. Bottom line should have been that doing the right thing will not always allow you to be popular --but it's still the best choice.

    So many of those programs suggested to children that no one has a right to tell them what is right or wrong --that it is up to them. That brainstorming solutions to dilemmas can be done without first considering rights and wrongs. Sky's the limit! And then values are up for grabs --depending on your future goals. We figured out that the programs' decision-making guides could be used to justify any self-serving objective, without regard to what is really right or wrong. We could justify cheating on exams by their decision-making steps --if we weighed the possible consequences and decided that flunking was worse than the risk of being caught cheating --if an F were the result in both cases. And so, reportedly, many kids today do cheat --without guilt.

  13. Nomen, is pedophilia also inborn? and incest? rape? porn addiction? Adultery? Use of prostitutes?

    These are generally compulsions like addictions. Why is homosexuality different? It's a chosen, habitual way of thinking --that should be blocked at the first thought, the first impulse. Shunned by the mind.

    No gay gene so far.

  14. Nomen, don't forget the APA's reversal on the topic,, formerly so bent on the old insistence of biological determinant, and now they honestly admit, despite their political (and not scientific) wishes to find a determinant, they have to honestly admit that none could be found. But on that innate inborn theory of homosexuality, you go ahead and keep the faith (which is what it is).

    As for choice, it isn't completely clear to me what role it plays in the beginning or to what extent (though I'm sure no one chooses to even have the inclination), but however one became a homosexual, there are many who have choosen to leave that lifestyle and have had success with the help of a counselor and/or a support group.

    One fellah even subdued his same sex attraction through buddhist meditation.

  15. is pedophilia also inborn?

    indeed. as is, it seems, a predilection for addictions in general. the other things you mention are not behaviors anyone has specific predilections towards, however.

    to forestall your next complaint, no, "inborn" does not mean "harmless" or "acceptable". but behaviors that are harmless should be acceptable; homosexuality and transsexuality both qualify. i will point out that you were the one who falsely claimed homosexuality is not inborn, as if this should matter; you never did explain why that should matter.

  16. As one who was born with any number of tendencies and predilections, I can say the way Nomen describes it makes perfect sense to me. The way Rob and Barb say it, that it's a "choice" doesn't make sense to me. Sorry.

    About homosexual orientation, not something I was born with by the way, I saw a wonderful documentary a while back, or maybe it was an article I read. It said that gay men often have older siblings. The stats showed that a boy born 4th, 5th or 6th in a large family has an increasing probability of being gay. They figured it's because of hormones received in lessening degrees during each gestation period. I pictured it, in my lay-man's thinking, that a woman who has many pregnancies sort-of runs out of the hormones that cause boy babies to be hetero.

    It made sense to me; I found it fascinating. I especially liked it because it supported what I and most of my friends already felt we knew.

  17. Barb's loss on the school board was the first and only time that a sitting board member was removed by the voters. Her victory on the school board mirrors many stealth fundamentalists who got onto school boards all across the nation, with their fundamentalist agendas hidden from public view.

    Only after being elected, did they open their briefcases and set their chrisitan agendas on the table. Apparently it took some time for the citizens of her school district to understand what she was up to, but once they were educated on the ruse, they tossed her out.

    If fundamentalist christians wish to steer or shape the curricula of schools, they ought to serve on Christian school boards, not public school boards.

    Barb's ruse thankfully was exposed and the students of her school district no doubt had a more enriching, more substantive education after her removal.

  18. You are such a liar, Mudrake.

    I don't know another person so obsessed who would study the history of that district enough to know for sure that an incumbent had never been defeated --I don't know that --I didn't obsess over it and only heard this "fact" from Mudrake. We had many who served only one term; I served 2. 2 bd members before my defeat commited suicide, one reportedly for the life insurance for his family; the two women I first served with chose not to run again --one ran for trustee instead and lost in that race. A 4th woman stayed on the board for years until she died --we had put her on the board ourselves, in sympathy, to fulfill her husband's term after his suicide --which was an error on our part for she was a social liberal, a democrat and therefore a teachers' union advocate first of all, and advocate for whatever the facultstration wanted, and thus, no watchdog for parents, and thereafter repeatedly won on the strength of her name recognition --as her husband's folks had been the first principal and sec'y of the consolidated school.

    However, this lady DID back me when I advocated for a new performing arts facility--which the adm. and the architects had not planned. I knew our stage and seating were too small --they were planning a new slob-gocious gymnasium in a district known for its performing arts programs but had no plan for arts expansion. I'm the one who brought it up; she backed me up; and we got it. Of course it is named after the gay teacher from HER school days --who took his much younger student as a partner when he taught at a Catholic boys' school. He had directed drama in the early days of the unified district.

    People generally know nothing about the candidates except the familiarity of their names --which is why candidates buy posters. In our district there were people of Mudrakian obsession and hatred who removed or ran over some of my posters (and it happened to other candidates also) with their cars or whatever.

    Contrary to Mudrake's assertion, however, I was no stealth candidate. ANd I didn't win on name recognition because we had moved here and I got elected on the strength of my campaign. I was an unknown. AND NOW I REMEMBER --I DEFEATED A LADY INCUMBANT! A one-termer, I think. Better check your records, Mudly. And my successor also served only one term.

    I sent a flyer to every home in the district --which MR didn't get, apparently. It had a drawing by me of a pendulum swinging --and said, "Let's swing it back!" I advocated for traditional values being upheld in the schools again --as they had been battered for some time by secular humanistic people who believe as Nomen and Mudrake about social issues and morals and what we teach kids. I told of my church affiliation and positions and my Christian college education. So Mudrake would not have voted for me --but the district voters DID.

    This was the first time there was a potentially fraudulent re-count, Mudly--fraudulent, I believe, because of people like you who hate conservative Christians and think they should have no voice but let teachers like you undermine traditional values in the name of your No-God.

    This was probably the first time people like you went door to door with a flyer against a school board candidate --and I STILL won in the first count. That must've been horribly disappointing to you after all your work.

    The first time a school board had disagreed with the facul-stration on philosophy of sex education and prevailed because of common sense since there were now 2 new STD's without cures, genital Herpes and HIV.

    The first time we parent representatives ever modified very slightly a school's dress policy at the high school --overriding their student and faculty committee. It was about skirt-lengths --they wanted 4 inches above the knee cap--I said that was too short on short girls --that 2 inches was short enough --and the board agreed. We had one excellent teacher in honors courses who complained continually that our principal wouldn't enforce skirt lengths as it was --and that the girls' immodesty was definitely a distraction to the role of the school for the boys and men. Of course, uniforms help and we didn't have them --so students pushed the envelope of propriety all the time.

    My term was the first time we objected to the increase of gov't obligation when the county board sneaked a latch-key program into our district by appealing to the working moms first and not our board --a program taxpayers of our district did not need to finance --as most of our people had money if they needed their kids to be in daycare from 7 am to bedtime. this is when the other two women backed out, however, saying nothing publically, though they were the ones who alerted me and complained the most about what had transpired with the county board. It didn't help my popularity to oppose this program being administrated by us --I knew it would soon become a board/taxpayers' obligation to provide daycare if we started a pilot program. I knew there were private daycares who didn't want the competition, also.

    This was the first time a board had really looked at a curriculum and rejected a bad program (Project Charlie) instead of rubber-stamping.

    the first time a board as parents watched school sex ed videos and objected to what SIECUS was marketing to schools --(the neighboring district, e.g. used a sex ed film featuring little VD germs as macho commandos on the march --supposed to be little villains but could be identified with by anti-social jr. high boys, indifferent to the WRONG of spreading STD's by promiscuity)

    all of public ed's efforts were to take the "right" and "wrong" out of life skills teaching --because we had lost all common sense about the definitions for these --so "appropriate" and "inappropriate" became the new behavior descriptions. As Prof. A. Bloom said in The Closing of the American Mind, kids were coming to college without any skills of discernment and ability to make value judgements of right and wrong, good and bad. Moral relativity/neutrality was the rule of the day.

    This board chose a conservative sup't --who told us and the parents' group that the home, the school, and the churches were all 3 to work together as a triangular foundation for raising good citizens and happy kids. They were to complement and not oppose one another. This Sup't saw the district rise to be one of the top academic schools in the state --hiring well, evidently, after Mudrake retired.

    This must have been the first time a board responded to parental complaints about curricula, like a book featuring and trivializing father-daughter incest on the 9th graders' reading list, R-rated films shown in jr. high like one featuring kids on a marijuana high dancing around the school library balcony rails which also featured disrespect for unrespectable school administrators, and a pro-gay movie in 9th grade health class.
    All brought to our attention by irate parents. We were a board who did what we were elected to do --which included representing and addressing parental concerns --with respect to the school's overall mission and responsibilities. We did not assume, however, that parents were always right.

    we also inherited a squabble over a band director with a deeply divided band parent/student population.

    As far as I know, we also were the only board at our school to ever present a seminar at the Ohio School Bd. Ass'n convention. We had a capacity crowd and people interested in purchasing the life skills program I wrote, titled "Freestyle." But we got sidetracked and never published. I should dig that up--it's still relevant.

  19. quality, not quantity, just as your high school English teacher said.

  20. My last post was on topic about school boards and censorship--while also correcting your erroneous history of my school board termination.

    The quality and the quantity were both there. Would that you could say the same of any post of yours that mentions me.

  21. "Behaviors that are harmless should be acceptable" Nomen says.

    but is it harmless --when a minister leaves his wife and kids to be with a man? What of the harm to them?

    Is it harmless when a husband decides he wants to cross-dress and/or transgender surgically part or half-way -- but stay married? stays with a wife who feels religiously that she should stay with him/her? But now she's in the role of lesbian with her female spouse who struts his stuff in short skirts and long hair in his 50's --looking ridiculous as he flaunts his change on a Chrsitian college campus --that he sued because they wouldn't let him teach --so they settled out of court --to avoid having a court tell them they have to have such faculty despite their religious beliefs --and he hangs around in his skirts --seemingly in defiance of the Christian community around him.

    Is it harmless when a little child's father becomes a woman and the child cries and says he doesn't want two mommies and another child says "I want my father back."

    Is it harmless when Rosie O Donnell's lesbian choice results in her adopted son saying, "But I want a dad!" She said, "Too bad! You're not getting one!"

    Was it more important for these men to become women --or sleep with men --than to raise their children as the fathers they were meant to be?

    What would you all think if your fathers suddenly decided they "needed" to dress like women? or sleep with men?

    NO HARM? I don't agree.

  22. Over 100 people a year --get HIV from blood transfusions or transplants --because infected people are donating.

    No Harm to a lifestyle of promiscuity that spreads HIV? It's a completely preventable, fatal disease but our condoning of a promiscuous lifestyle is causing new cases as usual.

    You say homosexuality doesn't have to be promiscuous and that gay marriage would help --but there is evidence that the lifestyle involves many, many partners --as does all promiscuous living, hetero or homosexual.

  23. ...she goes on and on, suffering from severe OCD

  24. Over 100 people a year --get HIV from blood transfusions or transplants

    in which country?

    because in the industrialized world, all donated blood (and organ donors) are tested for a great number of communicable diseases, most certainly including HIV. don't go making patently ridiculous statements like that without posting some supporting evidence.

  25. Nomen- you are 'debating' a confirmed homophobe and so all logic, data and scientific information is worthless. She gets her 'information' from other homophobes that she pals around with.

  26. The way Rob and Barb say it, that it's a "choice" doesn't make sense to me. Sorry.

    I said I didn't know what role choice played in the origin of homosexual orientation. I believe it is largely influenced, as the APA has said (I linked to it but I'm sure no one looked), through both environment and biological factors.

    For different people, it probably plays roles to different degrees. Nevertheless, whether one chooses it or not, they have the choice to get help through counseling or group therepy as many have found as NARTH and Exodus international have provided multitudes of examples.

    As for the older siblings theory, it is nothing that has been established and it's one of the many theories that have been found lacking.

  27. I asked son Rob R. when he knew that he was a homophobe, but he couldn't pinpoint the exact year. No doubt, mother barb is quite tickled that she taught him well.

    By the way, barb refers to gays as Peter Pans and wonders why they can't be 'real' men.

  28. i've never really understood why some women turn out homophobic, specifically as against homosexual men.

    i mean, with us XY genotypes there's that whole damn machismo deal and all the hidden insecurity that brings with it. that may not make any sense, but at least i can understand how it turns males homophobic against gay men and oversexed towards lesbians. but what's the impetus for a woman to hate homosexual males?

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. I don't know why women would hate gays if they do. I don't know anyone personally who hates gays. I do understand if women would be resentful that so many young men prefer men to women; it could be perceived as insulting. But I had no trouble finding normal men to date and one to marry, so have no personal gripe.

    I just agree with the Bible that sexual acts between persons of the same sex are sinful, unnatural, wrong and yes, iccky --and a poor substitute for God's design and purpose for our bodies. Homosexual activity and ideation should be avoided like incest, pedophilia, bestiality, rape, adultery, and promiscuous heterosex.

    Jesus speaks of the Creation plan --marriage between a man and wife --who become the fathers and mothers of the next generation.

    I'm very sad when I hear that someone has decided he is gay; I know that he has BECOME gay and was not created to be that way. You can usually see the causes and influences when you know the persons.

    There is a Peter Pan syndrome in some of the more flaming gays --a dramatizing of their gayness --an immaturity in interests and emotional stability and personality. If you don't see it, fine--I see it. I do think that they are stunted in their psycho-sexual development --arrested in late childhood/early adolescence when hero worship of guys of the same sex is natural --when finding a niche with men and boys is important for a normal sexual self-image. If they don't get to feel quite like "one of the guys" with fathers and other boys and men, I suspect this is harmful, contributing to homosexual orientation/fixation.

  31. Previous comment was deleted because it posted under Rob's name instead of mine --he had the page open under his name and I thought I probably left it open under my name so was surprised when my comment appeared under his name.

    This is a cue for Mudrake to say Rob and Barb are the same person --but anyone with brains can see that we don't write the same way.

  32. It was 50 people in 2006 --Americans who received HIV infection from transfusions or tissue or blood components. 536 who received the infection up through 06 since the beginning of the epidemic.

    another source cited just over 100 for a recent year, but I couldn't find that on the internet readily. the above is from the CDC's Table 22.

    See this site:

  33. Previous comment was deleted because it posted under Rob's name instead of mine --he had the page open under his name and I thought I probably left it open under my name so was surprised when my comment appeared under his name.

    Sure it was. Rather, it was her male alter-ego under which she posts- quite incestial too boot!

  34. You've been caught, barb, posing as your son. Wow! The implications of this on top of your homophobia makes one's mind spin.

    You REALLY need some psychiatric help!

  35. Mudrake, you are the one with a serious problem!!! Soooo predictable! I knew you would do it! TWO POSTS in a row with the same phony allegation. I wanted to explain to Mike why the deleted post under Rob (probably in Mike's email) was the same as the Barb post. Yes, I inadvertently posted under Rob's name, not realizing the computer was signed in under his name instead of mine --because he used it before I did without signing out.

    Why do I need an altar-ego? I'm capable of writing pages and pages as Barb, right? And so I do. And his writing has far more typos than mine. I was the English teacher; he is not --he is the philos major, (now nuclear med tech,) --and the difference shows in how we express ourselves and in content when the topics are philosophical or religious.

    YOU are the one who wastes space with such nonsensical, obsessive accusations which you know to be false. I don't post as Rob nor he as me; we are 2 separate people; I was not the first incumbant to lose our school board election; I do not hate gays or anyone --not even you are worthy of hatred from me --somebody maybe, but not me.

    So go rake under your own shoes for the muck --if you can dig that deep--Gollum. Give up this obsession with your "preshussss."

  36. Mud, this is just one of your favorite ways to wallow in your trollness. We all live in toledo, there's no reason you have to think that I don't exist considering you can open up a yearbook from the early 90s and see that I am in there. You know that we can meet any time and we have offered to do so. No one else in toledo takes this seriously and considering half our blog partipants know us on a face to face basis, it is all very stupid. Steve doesn't take this claim seriously either.

  37. So, "Rob R." when did you KNOW that you were a homophobe? How much credit do you give 'mom' in helping you get there?

  38. I looked at some of those bunny suicides and some of them are great.

    As for whether a school board should be able to ban them, yes of course. Should they? not so much except, if the controversy comes up, it's just not necessary to have a book like that available and I don't think it's worth the hassle for the district. It's not that culturally important as Shakespear or Mark Twain. I could buy the book for my own fake non-existent kids.

  39. open up a yearbook from the early 90s

    Early 90's? That was 19 years ago. 19 + 18 = 37 years old.

    What the hell are you doing living with mom at age 37?

  40. "You've been caught, barb, posing as your son. Wow! The implications of this on top of your homophobia makes one's mind spin.

    You REALLY need some psychiatric help!"

    Mud Rake, You are a hoot. That's the best laugh I've had all day.

  41. Barack said this morning in Philadelphia,

    "What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed," the President-elect will say, calling for a new declaration of independence "not just in our nation, but in our own lives – from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry – an appeal not to our easy instincts but to our better angels."

    Prejudice and bigotry.


    Your better angels, mom and sonny. Your better angels.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. mudrake, as far as I know only taught middle school

    And rent is money down a rat hole.

    You no doubt assume I was 18 in middle school because you probably were.

  44. You know mike, I was interested in what kind of blog you ran over here as I heard that a troll unconscious of his own lack of reason was given what he deserved, had it pointed out to him that he was the one who attacked people and didn't deal with ideas. I thought, hey, here's a liberal blog that is different from the others, where the host probably is actually tolerant instead of just claiming it. But I see now this is the same as everywhere else, when ideas can't be dealt with, the people are attacked and the blog host pats the trolls on the back for doing so.

  45. Rob, I've been called a troll on my own blog. How about that?

    As far as the differences you and Barb have with Mud Rake, I've made it clear a number of times I agree with him. What you seem to be objecting to now is my appreciating his sense of humor. Sorry about that.

    So far I've never blacklisted anyone and although I've wondered if it's a mistake to host your personal war, Toledo Ohio style, I'm not close to blacklisting anyone now. I'm still enjoying this too much.

  46. From Rob R. posting as anonymous since blogger is giving me fits:

    No one said anything about blacklisting.

    and you can't complain about a "personal war" that your friend is bent on bringing where ever he follows us. If you don't think you should host it then don't, whatever that means to you, but recognize the source. Mom is just defending herself, she doesn't initiate it. But thank you for labeling it what it is, a personal war, and now know this man wishes to shove it everyone's face because of his own frustrations and ineptitude.

    And no, it's not his sense of humor. He has none. He's quite serious though he knows he is lying.

    As for agreeing with mudrake, I would speak for myself and I wouldn't associate with his trolldom. You can articulate views like his own far better than he can and without the association of the inept personal attacks for which he is only capable.

    As for enjoying it, I understand, people enjoy it when they see others they disagree with slandered and insulted. It's an expression of the unfortunate part of human nature.

  47. The 'better angels in us' would not exist with homophobia in the same person.

    Rob R., you haven't yet answered my question about when you first realized your homophobia.

    Was it before or after puberty? Early adolescence? Late teens? Early adulthood. The last time you talked with mom?

  48. I learned that on the same day that you learned that you are an inept troll incapable of well thought out civil discussion who does no authentic good for his own position.

  49. living in your mother's basement because you can't afford the rent is one thing; i can understand that, i've had to do it myself in the past. but, y'know, save up for a few months to get an el-cheapo computer and the networking gear to share that 'net connection. the digital privacy of having your own harddisk alone are more than worth it, never mind preventing the confusion as to who's posting as whom.

    always assuming, of course, that we ARE dealing with two separate people here. better folks than barb have been caught running sockpuppets. just sayin'.

    (i'm serious about the digital privacy thing. the thought of other people opening a file browser on my home directory is... eww... skeezier than them going through my underwear drawer.

    i have serious trouble using other people's computers, because it always leaves me feeling as if i've been peeping in their bedroom windows. bad enough to have to fix my coworkers' PCs at work; that just feels like rifling through somebody else's workplace uniform locker or somesuch.)

  50. Rob R.- what was the 'feeling' you had on that day when you KNEW that you were a HOMOPHOBE?

    Did you run in and tell mom that now BOTH of you were HOMOPHOBES?

    Did you have a little celebration? Dish of ice cream? Little party hats?

    When did dad know? Did you wait at the door when he came home from work?

    Gosh, how special!

  51. You really think Mudrake's funny, Mike?

    I think he has a pretty geeky approach to humor, myself --trying to impress other liberals by insulting the people who believe the Bible about homosexuality --but funny? Naaah! Lame is the word. Too me, he's not only humorless but libelous. Smarmy. Creepy. I just hope he's not dangerous, considering his obsessive hatred for me, in particular. His obsession with me goes clear back to my school board years.

  52. Nomen--for your info --Rob has a laptop computer of his own--he has lived in Ann Arbor most of this year for the nuclear medical rotation at the uni. hospital and never in our basement.

    Other years he has lived in a dorm. And other years at his grandmother's house while going to college and helping her out after her surgeries at the same time.

    but we do have one hook-up in our house --so when he's home, he unattaches my computer to hook in to his. But sometimes he uses my computer. We don't have anything to hide from each other --we share my blog as co-writers.

    I am not getting an extra hook-up. He'll be moving out with his new degree and new job.

    I hope this is OK with you and Mudrake --even though it might mean an erroneous posting with deletion on rare occasions. I'll certainly keep you updated when mistakes are made.

  53. BTW, Mudrake, Rob is nowhere near 37.

    And your last post did sound gay, by the way--your little homophobe party illustration.

  54. that is definitely what I was searching for, You have saved me alot of time