Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Political rant for the day

In an interview with Katie Couric the other day, former Attorney General Edwin Meese said:

Mr. MEESE: Well, first of all, there's never--it's never even been used against--in the case of a library, as was indicated the other day by the attorney general. Furthermore, I think librarians, unfortunately, some of them at least, are more interested in allowing pornography to go to children than they are fighting terrorism.

The response of Nadine Strossen was:
Ms. STROSSEN: I think what's so--I think what's so important, Katie, is that it's not only librarians and civil libertarians, but many members of Congress, including conservative Republicans are saying that this law went too far too fast. And therefore our--the votes to repeal it, important sections of it, are coming from members of Republican House leaders. Alaska Congressman Don Young, a member of the House Republican leadership, said 'This is the worst law we ever passed. It was stupid. It was emotional voting.' So now we're saying, 'Let's go back and fine tune it. Let's keep in the provisions that are necessary to fight terrorism.' But, certainly, looking at your library records and my medal--medical records is not necessary.

Isn't it interesting that librarians are characterised as either being frumpy women who shhh you or fanatic fighters for child pornography? It's an insult to take very complex issues and boil it down to such an absurd generalisation. As Nadine Strossen's remarks reflect, many Americans from many sides of the political spectrum are concerned with this legislation. Cities across America have passed resolutions expressing that concern. Librarians are as patriotic as anyone else--we simply don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water. Unfortunately this Administration and its cronies seem bent on characterising legitimate concerns as hysteria, which frankly, is a stupid way to manage public reaction. Hello, we're not all stupid.

Whilst on the topic of politics, let me just state that whatever a person may have thought of the Clintons...much has been said of the differences between the role of First Lady in Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had been a librarian (as Laura Bush was), she'd be working behind and in front of the scenes to quash this sort of idiotcy. Now, some would laugh, and say, Hillary Clinton, a librarian? Let me tell you, there are librarians just as savvy, outspoken, and even abrasive as Hillary Clinton, and we're tired of everyone being surprised when we raise our voices.

Another thing...okay, I know, I'm obviously in the progressive Democratic camp. But it amazes me that a President can be impeached for lying about sex with an intern but no one bats an eye when a President lies his way into a war in which our soldiers are dying. And even if you take the kinder view that Bush and his Administration did not lie but just had faulty intelligence, then I'm sorry, it sounds like the 'Greatest Nation on Earth' has Keystone Kops for an anti-terror network. And they say the media has a liberal bias! Why have those of us who have been grousing for so long remained in the minority? It's certainly not winning PR on the part of the Bush Administration, nor do I accept that the American public is that stupid. Perhaps they fear terrorism so much that they're willing to go along, but that is so dangerous...once you become that complacent you're open to the erosion of all sorts of civil liberties, such as what happened in1930s Germany. It's not like the Nazis took control overnight. Now, I'm not saying Bush and his Administration are anything like that...but I still believe that if we allow an exchange of civil rights for supposed security then essentially the terrorists win, because they destroy what makes this America.

Ah, nothing like a political rant to get your juices flowing in the morning. Which is good, because it's 38 freaking degrees outside.

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