Thursday, September 17, 2009
I'm glad this blog has been a useful space to help spread truths, debunk lies, and express frustrations over the West Bend library controversy and related nonsense.
Unfortunately, real life has reared its sometimes ugly head, and I feel it necessary to close this blog down. Thankfully, I'm confident many of you will continue "wielding the sword of truth", as it were, even in this blog's absence.
I have created WISSUP-Uncensored, which I will continue to update with the latest posts from Ginny Maziarka, providing and open comment policy for you to discuss her rhetoric free from moderation.
And one never knows, I might pop up again...
Concerned West Bend Citizen
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Continuing her idiotic criticism of Director Tyree's presence at an ACLU of Wisconsin event celebrating Banned Books Week, Ginny has posted a secondhand account of, and reaction to, one of Tyree's remarks.
According to Maria Hanrahan, Tyree noted how Terry Vrana made an idiot statement after one of the city council meetings, comparing the library to a porn shop. Apparently, Tyree quipped at tonight's event, referring to the fact that Vrana doesn't have a library card, that "he may be familiar with porn shops, but he's not familiar with the library."
An attempt at humor; perhaps it worked, perhaps it didn't. I wasn't in the room.
And neither was Ginny. Yet, that didn't keep her from asserting that such a statement not only slanders Vrana (which it doesn't), but that by saying such a thing, Tyree has "verbally rape[d]" the citizens of West Bend.
Well, it seems that her "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries" (sic) organization might finally be fading into the distance. She hasn't updated the WBCFSL website in ages, hasn't released the promised timeline, and now the mentions of WBCFSL (and its email address) have been removed from the prominent positioning on her flagship WISSUP blog (replaced by links to ParentalRights.org and the Eagle Forum of Wisconsin).
Perhaps Ginny read today's paper and finally realized that she's lost the library battle. But, when we're dealing with Ginny, there's one thing for certain: she won't let us down!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Recently, she's famously filed an ORR for all the email communications of the library board, all the financial reimbursements processed by the library, and who knows what else. Today, she posted the salaries of library employees, for no other apparent reason than because she can.
Ginny, apparently, is a firm believer in the power of open records requests to uncover truths, ensure transparency, and make certain that those who represent citizens are held to the utmost scrutiny.
I'd like to hold Ginny to the same standard. She claims to represent the majority of West Bend citizens. Her organization supposedly works on behalf of us all. So, she should make her self just as open to scrutiny as she holds other representatives of the people. While no law requires her to be open, fairness and justice should compel her to do so.
So, I hereby file the following open records request to Ginny Maziarka and the West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries organization:
Please submit electronic copies of the following documents and communications, as related to the West Bend library controversy:Ginny, please feel free to explain why you shouldn't be held to a similar standard that you are holding others. You claim to represent the majority of the community. Start acting like it.
- All emails/written communication between Ginny Maziarka and Dan Kleinman (SafeLibraries.org), PFOX, Mark Belling, Owen Robinson, and the Wisconsin Family Council.
- All other emails / written communication sent/received related to the library controversy
- Financial statements of all related income, donations, and expenditures.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
My question is: why did Ginny suddenly decide to re-post something completely off topic and originally published on a random (and abandoned) blog in 2004?
Here's my guess:
Perhaps Ginny saw Mark's recent post about her (which also mentioned this lovely merchandise for sale). The post isn't hateful or defamatory. Still, Ginny got pissed, and decided to strike back against our local philosopher, thinking to herself, "philosophy is stupid!"
But, of course, Ginny isn't really capable of writing her own blog post explaining why philosophy is stupid, so, she Googled it.
The first result is from Jaköbishe Rants. But with its Euro-sounding name and mentions of feminism and "queerth" in the description, I'm sure she quickly clicked the left arrow on her browser to return to the search results.
The second result? Yep, our 2004 post from The Vented Truth.
I just wonder if Ginny read the comments; such foul language! Cuz, you know, if you link to something, then you're endorsing/sponsoring/responsible for its content.
Ginny, please correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise, you're just being stupid.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
- Officially, she's a medical transcriptionist for St. Joseph's Hospital in West Bend, WI.
- Her Boots & Sabers profile indicates she has an interest in "Thumping liberal thugs"
- On Twitter, she's a "Conservative Christian Activist - Wielding the sword of Truth"
I wonder if her ability to analyze financial statements will be any better than her (in)ability to understand a code of ethics....
- Ginny Maziarka files a complaint with the city attorney, asking for an ethics investigation into the mayor’s and an alderman’s handling of their book challenges. The request isn't properly notarized, and the city attorney tells her to re-submit properly for consideration. Ginny complains loudly, but doesn't take the extra 5 minutes to get her complaint notarized. Nothing ever happens.
- Ever since she lost the Library Board battle, Ginny has been busy with burdening the taxpayers with multiple ORRs, and claimed in July to be amassing a timeline of "oppression" and "covert involvement" of outsiders related to the book challenges, and tweeted that it was "nearing completion". At least two months have passed since this was "nearing completion", and no timeline has been released.
- Ginny's "future plans" state that "With the appointment of a new library board, WBCFSL will be presenting a revised letter of requests for policies, insisting that the citizens of the community be heard on this matter." Three months have passed since the new board's appointment, and no "revised letter" has been submitted.
- Ginny tweets that "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries getting a NEW NAME". Nearly two weeks have passed, and no new name has materialized (although I have some suggestions).
- And the granddaddy of them all: Ginny's original complaint centered on the lack of "balance" in the library's "Out of the Closet" reading guide. As the issue morphed to include more and more books, as well as supposed obscenities in books, the library sent Ginny notice that, after review with the city attorney, it was determined the nature of her original complaint has changed, and she should submit new reconsideration forms to start the process over again. At her "town meeting", Ginny states: "Since the library has asked us to begin again, we are going to begin again" (at timestamp 21:32 in this video). Later (timestamp 28:05), she tells attendees to "go the extra mile" and to "go to the library, pick up a form, fill it out." Then (timestamp 28:15), she admits that her petition won't be sufficient, and that "I can guarantee you you'll need a formal complaint form." Yet there was no new submissions of reconsideration forms were ever submitted to re-start the process. Instead there were petitions, parades, and countless shouting on her blog.
Friday, September 11, 2009
- June 21, 2008 blog post: Infers homosexuality is comparable to bestiality, pedophilia.
- June 27, 2008 8:21 PM blog comment: Infers homosexuality is comparable to bestiality, pedophilia.
- February 12, 2009 Reconsideration form, item #4: Describes purposes of books on the library's "Out of the Closet" list as encouraging and normalizing "illegal behaviors".
- February 12, 2009 Letter Accompanying Reconsideration form: Believes presence of books that depict homosexuality in a positive light endangers the "health, safety, and well being of many people"
- February 12, 2009 Letter Accompanying Reconsideration form: Refers to homosexuality as a "condition"
Brilliant work (especially the brown headline with red font), and all proceeds will be donated to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
That's why I created a new blog, WISSUP-Uncensored, where each of Ginny's posts will be linked to, with a brief introduction, providing and open comment policy for you to discuss her rhetoric free from moderation.
(I originally was going to republish each of her posts verbatim, but I -- reluctantly -- decided to honor her intellectual property rights to her tired, worn out, ignorant rants. So, all you have is the title and a link to the original)
Check it out! WISSUP-Uncensored
Ginny Maziarka continues to insist that Obama=Hitler, despite any rational attempt to persuade her otherwise.
In today's post, a continuation of her diatribe against the President speaking to school children about -- GASP -- staying in school, each time the name "Obama" appears in her tired rant, she links to various Hitler Youth websites: the Wikipedia article, a random amateur history site, and HistoryPlace.com.
She tops it off with her oh-so-clever phrasing "Hitl...er, Obama's part", reminiscent of her childish re-naming of Maria Hanrahan's organization, the West Bend Parents For Free Speech, as West Bend Parents for Free Sex, um, I mean Free Speech (ooops, sorry 'bout that).
The ignorance of her rhetoric -- and her utter lack of understanding of history -- is astounding.
Citizens of West Bend: please think long and hard about whether you want such an individual to lead any movement meant to "protect" children or otherwise guide your child's education.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate.Well done, whoever you are.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I think we need to take a hard look at this question: Who is more like Hitler: President Obama or Ginny Maziarka?
The evidence that Obama = Hitler is pretty convincing. Consider: they both have brown hair, two syllables in their first name, and are taller than 5'5" yet shorter than 6'5". If that isn't evidence enough, consider that both men celebrated Christmas, wear glasses, give flowers to their wives, and so on. Srsly, folks, you don't have to be a dining room table to make the connection.
But, indulge me, as we consider the possible similarities between Hitler and Ginny Maziarka.
Hitler, as you might recall if your teachers weren't prevented from mentioning the existence of gays in your history classes, persecuted gays throughout Nazi Germany. In the 1920s, before the rize of Hitler and the Nazis, gays enjoyed freedoms and liberties throughout Germany. But then Adolf showed up, who believed that homosexuality was "degenerate behavior" which posed a threat to the capacity of the state and the "masculine character" of the nation. Sound familiar?
Hitler's Nazis then launched its purge of homosexual clubs in Berlin, outlawed sex publications, and banned organized gay groups. The Nazis also publicly burned the library of the Institute of Sex Research, which contained pro-gay materials. Sound familiar?
The Nazis also denounced gay men as "enemies of the state" and charged with "corrupting" public morality and posing a threat to society. Sound familiar?
So, I ask you, who is more like Hitler? President Obama, who dares speak to kids about staying in school and wants to ensure all citizens have health coverage, or Ginny Maziarka, who wants to rid West Bend of anything gay-ish. I report, you decide.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Her latest propaganda at WISSUP notes that the WB schools won't be showing the President's address to students next week. Whatevs.
But, in yet another beautiful example of Ginny's undecipherable and misleading tag spamming, she's labeled her post with the tag "Hitler".
So, let's ignore the fact that it's perfectly normal for a President to want to speak to school children. Hell, Bush-41 and Reagan both did it. And we can ignore the fact that the conservative propaganda that the President will talk about his health care plans and other items from his "socialist agenda" have been proven to be "pants-on-fire" lies. And we can ignore the fact the same people who think Obama is a socialist are equally misguided in thinking that Hitler was one (he instituted totalitariansim, and the closest the Nazi's under his leadership got to socialism was to guarantee social welfare for all Aryans, and Aryans alone).
What truly amazes me about Ginny's use of the "Hitler" tag is that she's finally figured out how to insert a comma between multiple tags. You go, girl!
Well, heeeeeee's baaaaack!
Apparently he sent Ginny this message, which she's pasted to her blog, trying to compare Kewaskum's quick response to his request for a copy of an open records request, to how West Bend dealt with an actual open records request.
Seems that photocopying an existing file happens faster than library board members trying to decide if their personal email accounts are subject to open records laws. Hmmm...maybe apples and oranges are the same thing inside a DQ.
Anyway, Scheunemann can take his self-righteous "Kewaskum will always be better than West Bend" attitude and dip it in some chocolate for all I care. His opinion is more irrelevant than a DQ in December.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.
You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.
You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all.
A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear.
But this is an amusing group.
First, their website, while literally just created yesterday, looks like it was designed in 1996. Love the pixelated graphics, off-center design, broken menu links, etc. C'mon, folks, even Ginny figured out how to use Google Sites to create a halfway decent looking web presence.
Then there's the male-centric focus of this group. Look at the officers: all men (and most with the name "Mike"). I'm sure they'll be thrilled with Ginny's...um...femininity.
Lastly, I wonder how they're react to Ginny's decidedly anti-liberty focus. The group holds "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as one of its core values, yet Ginny's vendetta are most certainly in opposition to that. It is only through the enjoyment of liberty and the pursuit of happiness can someone be free to embrace their sexual identity, seek out love, raise their children without interference, and so on.
Common Sense Citizens might want to think twice before adding Ginny to the mix.....unless they really need a webmaster (and can stomach some ALL CAPS and red text.)
// BTW, I wonder how "grass roots" this group really is, seeing that West Bend's representative, Steve Hutchins, sits on the city council. And since once of the goals of the group is to help "conservative individuals obtain and maintain political offices through fund raising and campaign assistance", I certainly hope Mr. Hutchins won't be abusing his power as an elected official to offer "campaign assistance" to others in the group.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
So, while we all wait with bated breath, perhaps we should come up with our own suggestions.
Perhaps "West Benders Indulge Ginny's Overreaching Tactics" (W-BIGOT)?
Leave your suggestion in the comments below.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Her latest propaganda is one of those moronic videos by Tim Hawkins complaining about government taxes and expenditures. Whatevs.
But in another brilliant example of Ginny's undecipherable and misleading tag spamming, she's labeled her post with "TraditionalValuesCoaltion", referring to these folks, a "Christian Right" group known for various forms of intolerance, especially regarding homosexuality.
Just a quick glance at their "Homosexual Urban Legends" and sorry attempts to link the gay movement with pedophilia reveals their not-so-hidden homophobia and bigotry.
At least Ginny is consistent with her getting into bed with intolerant assholes.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Originally, Ginny Maziarka wanted the pro-gay books removed, and "balance" inserted into the West Bend Library's young adult section. Then she shifted gears and targeted books she deemed "sexually explicit" and even seemed to think the library housed "child pornography".
This, remember, brought out all the crazies, including the CCLU, those four elderly Milwaukee men who apparently drove to West Bend Library and became psychologically harmed just because Baby Be-Bop was shelved there. Their distress was so debilitating, they demanded $120,000 and the book to be burned.
But why stop there? If Ginny is going to engineer the gravy train of imposing personal morals on the public library, we better look beyond those filthy gay penguins.
Next stop: evolution!
This article in the Fond du Lac reporter quotes Library director Michael Tyree, and mentions a new challenge that is emerging from Ginny's gaggle of moralists:
“About 10 days ago, the couple filed an open records request for the library’s expenditures involving reimbursements. I gave them that. Now, another person within their group of supporters wants us to re-catalog books that are science but from a creationist viewpoint. I told her no,” Tyree said.I'd love to hear more about this challenge. I wonder where these books are currently shelved, and what changes are being requested. Hopefully Mr. Tyree can share the details....
Monday, August 24, 2009
Continuing its insightful review of books that Ginny Maziarka has objected to at the West Bend library, Consorship-Free Libraries has posted a summary of Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia, a collection of twenty first-person accounts written by lesbian, gay, and transgender teens.
The bottom line is that Hear Me Out does not contain any sexually explicit material or anything else that could cause it to be labeled as obscene by any reasonable person.
As a result, Censorship-Free Libraries has issues the following challenge to Ginny:
AN OPEN CHALLENGE TO GINNY MAZIARKA: Post a comment to this blog that explains your objection to Hear Me Out!. Tell us clearly what it is about this book you find objectionable, and state in tangible, practical detail what you think the library should do with/to this book. If you feel your explanation needs more space than a blog comment allows, post a full article on your own WISSUP blog and leave a link in a comment here. (Yes, you should expect your response to be scrutinized and debated).I don't expect Ginny to acknowledge this blatant attempt to rid the library of any text that portrays homosexuality in a positive (or, at least, non-negative) light.
Her repeated attempts to push her (intolerant, homophobic, antithetical of the lessons of Jesus) morals on the rest of the community have got to stop.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This bit of propaganda over at Wisconsin Christian News features a nice photo of Ginny Maziarka standing in front of the West Bend Memorial Library holding a copy of Deal With It along with another unidentifiable book.
The way she cradles those reminded me also of this video where she proudly displays her copy of Deal With It within her kitchen.
Which causes me again to wonder: If Ginny considers these books to be vulgar, sexually-explicit, and even pornographic, I wonder where she keeps them at home? Does she lock them away so any un-sexualized kids can't get access to them? Does she keep them in her bedside table for those lonely nights when Jim is away? If she considers the library to be xxx-rated for possessing these books, then what of her own home? Hmmm....
And, I wonder if she realizes that by purchasing these books, she's encouraged the authors and publishers to continue to produce them. Ah, the irony.....
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Lately, Ginny has been spreading her hatred and intolerance to an even broader array of targets.
- She's been posting the usual mis-informed propaganda against health care reform.
- She's been bad-mouthing Carl Knepel, a young West Bend citizen who wants to try to be on the school board.
- She's highly critical of the presence of a gay man, Scott Lone, including gay history in West Bend high school classes, allowing her to perch herself back on her anti-harassment policy soapbox.
Maria Hanrahan puts it best: enough is enough:
Ginny Maziarka does not speak for West Bend, WI. She claims to represent the majority of the community, but offers nothing to substantiate this. Its time for the citizens of this community to speak out and end her bullying of other citizens and acting in other ways that tarnish our community's reputation. I'm not saying she does not have the right to speak her opinion and take action to make changes she believes are necessary in the community. However, we don't have to remain silent (thereby indicating acquiescence) about her rantings about our fellow citizens and our community.
Seems a mother didn't like that her 15-year old daughter was moved by the book Living Dead Girl, written by Elizabeth Scott. The book is about a 15-year-old’s perspective of living with her captor after being forcibly kidnapped and imprisoned at the age of 10. The book has received several accolades and awards from book critics.
Certainly, the book deals with heavy issues, which would cause many readers to be affected. But, of course, that's what makes a book good -- the way it can move you emotionally, take you places you've never been, feel things you've never felt before (and in this case, hopefully never will).
Well, our Effingham mother become concerned because her 15-year old daughter was affected by the book. She formally requested the book be removed from the library or at least the teen section because of the graphic content of the book and the "unsatisfactory ending." (Yep, the main character is murdered at the end of the book, but if unsatisfactory endings is a suitable criteria to remove books from the library, I have a LONG list to present at the next WB Library Board meeting)
This pretty much sums up the mother's position:
“I don’t think any teen or adult should read this book,” Hibdon said. “There is no good coming out of this book.”Sound familiar, West Bend?
Fortunately, the library board knew better. The director has a good perspective, noting that just because a book might make one uncomfortable, that's no reason to remove it:
Library Director Jeannie May said she agrees the book takes on a painful topic, but she doesn’t believe that is reason enough to remove the book from the library.The teen librarian also recognizes the importance -- and popularity -- of books dealing with "dark" subject matter:
Teen librarian Shirley Marshall told May removing the book could start a trend because the middle teens is when young adults begin exploring dark things as an outlet. That is why the “Twilight” series, which revolves around vampires, is so popular. If the requested book is removed from the shelf, how long before someone asks that these other type of “dark” books be removed? questioned Marshall.A board member agreed:
Board member John Latta said although the subject of the “Living Dead Girl” is a difficult subject, it also is something that actually happens in society and having access to that reality may not necessarily be a bad thing. He added the book’s point about the character having the chance to get out of the situation and not taking it illustrates a harsh reality that occurs in those type of abusive situations.Finally, nearly everyone recognized that it is the parents who need to be involved in what their kids are reading:
Ginny, are you listening?
- Library Director Jeannie May: “We believe parents know what is best for their children and it is their job to review the materials they are reading.”
- Board member John Latta: “It is up to the parents to censor the material they are reading, not the library.”
- Board member Rod Wiethop: he would not want his 12- or 13-year-old daughter reading this book, but it is up to families to make those type of decisions.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I just hope the good folks at Chapin Memorial Library know what's coming, since they have It's Perfectly Normal shelved in the juvenile non-fiction section, Perks of Being a Wallflower shelved in young adult fiction, and who knows what else sexualizing children and grandchildren.
I'm shocked Ginny contributes to the tax base of a community that has an "XXX-rated" library. Shocked.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Finally, someone is doing something to save and protect our wayward youth. For too long, we have pretended that it was drugs, peer pressure and involvement in petty crimes and gangs that corrupted our young people. We mistakenly have condemned mindless television, violent video games and nihilistic music when, in fact, the real enemy has been right there under our reading glasses.
Yes, I am talking about books. It is now clear that they are responsible for everything wrong with today's society.
For too long, we have assumed that encouraging reading would make our children better people, more understanding of diversity, more aware of cultural and ethnic differences and more intellectually enlightened. But no longer.
I congratulate Jim and Ginny Maziarka, the vigilant parents in West Bend who have waged war to cleanse their public library of all that is indecent and immoral. They have selflessly spent hours upon hours searching out the filthiest phrases in young people's literature so the phrases can be taken out of context. After all, if you cannot read about something, then it is easier to pretend it does not exist. Like homosexuality or science.
Unfortunately, even though the Maziarkas have come up with 82 questionable books that need to be censored, I think they must have missed quite a few. Indeed, almost any book can seem dirty if you have a dirty enough mind. And apparently, people in West Bend do. Therefore, it would be better to ban all books. By doing this, we can assure that our children will stay as ignorant as guppies and just as docile (although, we hope, not as promiscuous).
Still, it must be confusing for the children in West Bend to watch adults fight over the content of a bunch of silly books. Up until now, libraries were the last place most kids wanted to be seen entering. Now, with their curiosity up, they actually might be tempted to start reading. Soon, they may even develop their own points of view. Or, God forbid, empathy and tolerance for others.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I just don't know what to say to that. Unbelievable.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Recall after the library board refused to move books or change their procedures, Ginny declared the library x-rated. Now, she's saying the library is "sexualizing" children, merely because it shelves the same few young adult books dealing with sexuality (both hetero- and homo-) in the same ways the vast majority of other area libraries do.
I tire of trying to retort all of Ginny's ignorant rhetoric (and I've been banished from commenting on her site anyway). However, I strongly urge everyone to read the comments of "Local MLIS Student", who calls on Ginny to stop being so negative and confrontation, and instead focus on youth literacy:
Honestly, you should really stop and consider the fact that so many other area libraries shelve the books you question in Young Adult sections. You should stop and consider the fact that the books you question are written, promoted, and shelved for young adult audiences, not children. You shoudl stop and consider that numerous professional and academic publications and experts view these materials as appropriate for young adults.Well spoken. Will Ginny listen?
You should stop and consider that nearly everyone can find books in a library they don't agree with. That's the nature of a free society with freedom of expression. This isn't some kind of liberal agenda, nor some kind of conspiracy by the ALA to run local libraries. It merely is nature of the kind of society we enjoy.
If I were you, I'd focus my energies on teaching kids how to judge sources of information, how to make informed decisions about all the media content they encounter, how to reconcile the information they confront with their personal beliefs (and belief systems), and how to get along with people whose belief systems might differ from their own.
This is how we protect children; not by putting certain information out of reach.
First off, I have no idea what a book with a "heterosexual slant" means, but likely ALL THE OTHER BOOKS that don't address GLTBQ issues fit this bill.
Secondly, the library HAS included some reparative-therapy titles as suggested by Ginny Maziarka, as noted here. I recently searched the West Bend library for the over 1 dozen books Maziarka suggested the library acquire (provided within this PDF....which I'll post about soon, and relisted by Ginny here), and found these titles now shelved at the library:
- 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley
- The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction by Janelle Hallman
- Racine Public Library holds Restoring Sexual Identity and Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth
- Waukesha Public Library holds My Genes Made Me Do It and Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth
This speaks to PFOX's other allegation: that the West Bend library is engaging in censorship by not shelving more "ex-gay" texts. The fact of the matter is, that almost NO libraries in southeast Wisconsin carry ANY of the books suggested. That's not censorship, but likely the professional and educated analysis of what books are suitable to be shelved in the library. If the books requested were positively reviewed by reputable publications or organizations, you'd think more libraries would carry them. Yet, they do not.
That's not censorship; it is called responsible and professional librarianship.
//Update: This press release is being covered all over the place, unfortunately. Luckily, others agree as to its idiocy. One great analysis is here.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
From the New York Times report:
And CNN reports:
In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy, a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain that gay men and lesbians can change.No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.
This doesn't bode well for Ginny Maziarka's desire (ie, here and here) to include gay conversion literature in the young adult section of the West Bend library.
"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, chairwoman of the task force that presented the report at the group's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada. The Washington-based association represents more than 150,000 members.
"At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."
In response, the group's governing Council of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods.
The group's Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation reached its conclusion after its review of 87 studies conducted between 1960 and 2007 and finding "serious methodological problems" in the vast majority of them.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
After keeping her hands off comments for a while, Ginny Maziarka has reverted back to censoring comments at her WISSUP blog.
Some removals are more reasonable than others. On her odd post about the hodag, someone named "Ginny's Third Chin Speaks Out" left a rude remark, which Ginny deleted. Fine.
But she's also removed a comment of mine (and one by "Rolf") at her post complaining about Fireside hosting a book signing by a Wisconsin couple who have raised two gay sons.
About 90 minutes after Ginny published this post, I commented that she's merely re-hashing her old argument, that many pointed out was illogical and misplaced months ago. In doing so, I called her "stubborn" and "single-track-minded". I also wondered aloud if her real issue was the fact that the parents are celebrating the gayness of their children.
Over 3 days later, Ginny responds to me with a query about "what author [Fireside] will be offering next to our community to lend insight into the opposing viewpoint"
Then, over 3 days after that response to me, Ginny gives me this ultimatum:
I'll say this as respectfully as I can. I have allowed you to post time and again on my blog. I've tried to give you your say, yet your personal attacks come one right after the other...to the point of harassment. Therefore, this is simply a first request that you tame your commentary and stick to the content of the blog post. If you cannot do what I request, I will ask you not to post on WISSUP in the future. Thank you.Mind you, I made no other comments on this post since my first 5 days prior, while Ginny had been interacting with other commenters with some frequency.
Seeing this, Maria Hanrahan asks Ginny which comments of mine she feels are personal attacks, and why she didn't bring this up sooner, so no other comments had been made.
Ginny refuses to answer Maria because " The request was directed towards others, not you". (This is that stubbornness I was referring to)
So, a few hours later, I left a comment saying, essentially, "Ok, Ginny, answer Maria's question for my benefit, since it was directed at me." And I also said something to the effect of "If you think being called "stubborn" is a personal attack bordering on harassment, then perhaps the blogosphere isn't the place for you. If you can't take the heat...."
I can't paste my exact words, because Ginny deleted the comment! She even celebrated her "wielding the sword of truth" with an exclamatory "Poof!"
I posted a new comment a few minutes ago (see screenshot) asking for an explanation, and in the time it took me to write this post, she deleted that as well.
Oh, and the original -- apparently offending -- remarks haven't been deleted, only my comments questioning her reaction to them. Yes, this is crazy.
// UPDATE: Well, folks. It seems I've been banned from commenting at WISSUP.
After Ginny deleted the comment mentioned above, I left a simple reaction: "WOW" (screenshot at right). Ginny proceeded to delete that comment, and left this message:
As you will note, CCWB is no longer posting here. This is because I feel the harassment CCWB has delivered on this blog has been an ongoing issue that I have been patient with for way too long. I feel CCWBs rhetoric hinders the intelligent conversations taking place, is used as a distraction, and that CCWB is trying to draw attention to himself. I gave one opportunistic warning, now poof!, gone.....I find it truly amusing that:
We'll miss ya.
(a) I had comments deleted and was banned merely because I was asking for explanation of a warning and the subsequent removal of comments,
(b) none of my comments after the warning could even come close to constituting a personal attack or harassment (in fact, the only comments I left after the "opportunistic warning" are those noted above, and this one asking Dan Kleinman for clarification of an accusation he made of another commenter), and
(c) that Ginny feels my rhetoric is hindering what she sees as otherwise "intelligent conversations" on her blog.
.....UPDATE: Ginny has now changed the settings on WISSUP so only people with Google or OpenID accounts can leave comments. No more anonymous comments, or simply providing a name/url. Whatevs.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Looking at the recent posts at WISSUP, it seems Ginny is indeed shifting her focus away from this latest pet peeve. Readers of Ginny's flagship blog have recently been treated to the following:
- A story about a vendor whose lease wasn't renewed at a mall in North Carolina, presumably because some patrons of the mall didn't like what he was selling
- Next came a story about how much Ginny enjoyed a concert by Darryl Worley, known best for his nude photos in Playgirl.
- Then a post about the "Ready or Not...They’re Gay" book signing at Fireside, basically a repeat of her rant from back in June. (This was at least tangentially related to the library controversy)
- Next, a random post confirming the existence of the website Gail.com.
- Then, a pie recipe.
- A symphony concert.
- Next, a comment about President Obama supporters should expect rudeness and hostility in public venues throughout Washington County.
- Then, a post to Glenn Beck's ridiculous conspiracy theory about the government taking over your personal computer if you visit the Cars.gov website (thoroughly debunked, btw).
- Then a repost of Boots & Sabers criticism of a letter to the newspaper about the library controversy (that's the 2nd relevant post).
- And finally, a post about the fictional hodag. (Huh?)
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thanks to the recent report on CNN.com, the West Bend library controversy was the 3rd most blogged about issue last week, according to the Pew Research Center. The only things more blogs linked to were stories about President Obama, and a BBC report on the new costume for British TV science fiction character Dr. Who. And more people blogged about West Bend than the controversial arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates!
I would congratulate Ginny Maziarka for helping West Bend get this kind of global attention, but the vast majority of blog commentaries I've read were highly critical of her and the CCLU's actions.
(It would be a great project for a student out there to track and measure coverage of the issue, analyzing the global opinions on the topic)
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I've been meaning to write a post showing the fallacy of relying on this decision to support their cause. The decision is vary narrowly focused (as all Supreme Court rulings are) on the constitutionality of Congress requiring public schools and libraries receiving E-Rate discounts to install web filtering software as a condition of receiving federal funding.
Yes, Justice Kennedy's separate but concurring opinion states "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree." But that is just a comment, and not part of the legal issue in question. Whether there is an interest in protecting kids from Internet porn wasn't the issue; the issue was whether Congress could force filters as a condition of funding.
Each statement within a ruling is not precedent; this statement is not precedent and does not have the force of law.
For more on this, see today's post on Censorship-Free Libraries. Thankfully s/he took the time for a more lengthy discussion on the inappropriate reliance on this ruling by Ginny & Co.
UPDATE: Censorship-Free Libraries has more superb analysis of the (non)applicability of US v. ALA to the West Bend library controversy here.
According to her new website, it appears Ginny Maziarka is creating a timeline of her own. This page makes the following announcement (emphasis added):
TIMELINE OF EVENTSFor those still catching up, Ginny has long criticized people from outside West Bend for improperly (in her view) involving themselves in this library controversy. When the UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies (the only local school for librarians) issued a statement of support, Ginny derided them (channeling Dan Kleinman). When the ALA's Deborah Caldwell-Stone made an appearance to support the library, Ginny was quick to criticize her presence.
A current timeline of events from February 1, 2009 to present will be available soon.
This TIMELINE will confirm the covert involvement of national organizations to oppress small communities, undermining community standards and pushing the liberal agenda of the American Library Association.
Open Records Requests will be available at the above website hosting the timeline.
Ginny's recent ORR request seems to be an attempt to show (GASP) that the librarians and library board members consulted with the ALA and other professionals more versed in dealing with complicated and controversial challenges. This timeline, apparently, will reveal these communications. Only Ginny would view these consultations as "covert" and "oppressive", as opposed to people simply looking for guidance when confronted with unique circumstances.
Two additional notes:
One, while Ginny seems to think that this issue should only be dealt with locally, and without any outside influence, she welcomes the involvement of Dan Kleinman, the headmaster of the New Jersey-based SafeLibraries organization, as well as Mark Belling, also not a citizen of West Bend. I've grown tired of pointing out Ginny's hypocrisies, but here you go...
Two, an anonymous source requested access to Ginny's timeline (the project page is here), and received an e-mail from both Ginny Maziarka & Dan Kleinman (again, an outsider in New Jersey is intimately involved in Ginny's crusade). Interestingly, Kleinman characterized the purpose of the timeline as such (excerpted from an email to that person; emphasis added):
We believe an accurate presentment of the facts is the best way to present the facts. Therefore, a partially completely time line is not appropriate for public release.That actually sounds like it might be a reasoned, unbiased approach. Contrast this explanation with Ginny's rhetoric of "confirm the covert involvement of national organizations to oppress small communities, undermining community standards and pushing the liberal agenda of the American Library Association".
We intend it to present just the facts, leaving any possible argument to be decided in other fora, such as personal blogs, etc. We intend that the edits made are relevant to the facts and are not filled with personal diatribe. We will also disclose all editors names and affiliations -- anonymous or pseudonymous editors will not be accepted.
We intend to let anyone edit it, so long as vandalism and self-promotion is not involved. In other words, we intend to allow people from all sides edit it.
We are certain that no similar time line has even been produced in any other public library matter and that our time line will be heavily used by the general public and by academic institutions, relatively speaking. It will definitely be used by issue participants to make arguments one way or another.
Thanks again for your interest. We will try to open it to public view as soon as possible. So I will make an effort to email you again when the time line is publicly available, and if you wish to edit it as well, please let us know. If you have any exhibits or other information to submit, please let us know as well.
Which will it be? I'm holding my breath in anticipation....
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- Resources page that includes links to related professional and civil liberties organizations, related websites and blogs (of all perspectives), and video clips from the June 2nd, 2009 Library Board Meeting.
- Publications page that provides PDFs and links to nearly every mention of the controversy (be they articles, opeds, or letters) in both local & national papers and news channels.
(You can see my earlier post with additional links here)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I suspect that many (I didn't say all) involved in the library debate simply haven't taken a close look at the challenged materials. For that reason, I'll include a few book reviews in this blog.You can read the rest of the reasoned review here.
I'll start with It's Perfectly Normal because it's one of the toughest to deal with: there is actually some substance, however little, to the debate about this one. It's also different from many of the other books objected to by the CCLU, WBC4SL, Ginny Maziarka, etc. Unlike most of the others, this is non-fiction. And, since it is heavily illustrated, the evaluation of its alleged obscenity is somewhat different than for literature.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Today's target? The fact that the West Bend Library's webpage for adult readers includes a link to the popular BookSlut review site.
Ginny first attacks the site's logo for depicting **GASP** "a naked women lying on top of a book. You get the idea." Look at the logo, folks. It is a simple, tasteful, and non-explicit line drawing. It is attractive, pleasant, and not at all controversial. You get the idea.
Then, Ginny seems to take issue with the fact that BookSlut's creator, Jessa Crispin, doesn't have a publishing background, that she made the site during down time at her (apparently boring) job, and that she pays reviewers with books. Shameful, I know.
Perhaps Ginny is just taken aback by any mention of the word "slut". Whatevs. I think I'll donate a copy of The Ethical Slut to the WB Library in Ginny's name, and perhaps we can work on that prudish sensitivity of hers.
(more good commentary at the Censorship-Free Libraries blog)
// Oh, BTW, Ginny is still at it with her misleading tagging of posts. For some reason only known and understandable within the depths of her cranium, Ginny singled out UW-Milwaukee's School of Information Studies regarding the existence of this weblink, and tagged her post accordingly.
And last week, her 6-month late post about an FBI indictment against a WB man on child porn charges, which had nothing whatsoever to do with a library, was egregiously mis-tagged with "ALA", "AmericanLibraryAssociation" and "WestBendLibrary"
Keep it up, grrl!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
On a side note, it seems Ginny Maziarka might be growing weary of her leadership role in pressuring the library to abide by
Ginny seems to agree, commenting here that "I wish someone else more skilled than myself would take this over, too." Any takers?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ginny, being a good Christian, doesn't take kindly to someone bad-mouthing her Bible. So, she highlights a couple of phrases from Peterson's commentary, and proceeds to call him a liar. Problem is, the things he said are true, and we have Ginny's own words to prove it.
Let's take a look at two instances in Ginny's post:
Peterson says: "Let’s recap: a local group of fundamentalist Christians asks that a number of books be removed from the library’s shelves on completely unconstitutional grounds."
Ginny replies (all caps red, of course): "LIE. NO BOOKS WERE ASKED TO BE REMOVED FROM THE LIBRARY SHELVES."
But Peterson is correct that this all started with Ginny's request to have books removed from the library altogether. She outlines her group's initial demands in this blog post, noting that " We further asked for the removal of any book in the youth section of our library, i.e., children’s, young adult/YA Zone, that contains perverse and pornographic language" (her emphasis).
Ginny repeats her call for banning books here: " We also told him that we are requesting a "ban" on the The Perks of a Wallflower book." (her emphasis). And if you can sit through this video, at minute 23:38 Ginny repeats her desire to have books removed as the first solution, if only it weren't for the pesky ALA (emphasis mine):
And, again, personally, if [the books] could be moved, I'd be great with that. But, the American Library Association has a lot more power than you or me. And since that's not really going to be a possible option, I guess then this [reclassification] is what we're going to have to ask.So, Peterson is right to characterize the starting point of this entire episode with a request to have books removed from library shelves. To you, Ginny, I say: LIE.
Peterson points out a connection between Ginny and Julaine Appling: "Julaine Appling, whose Wisconsin Family Council seminars provided the Maziarkas with the organizing skills..."
Ginny replies, with her typical detailed commentary: "OUTRIGHT LIE."
But Ginny did take training seminars sponsored by the Wisconsin Family Council and with the American Majority, and offshoot of the Sam Adams Alliance, who is dedicated to "training, inspiring, and empowering people to utilize new media tools (blogging, twitter, wikis) to advance economic freedom and individual liberty.". She blogged about it here, and even tweeted her excitement about the training sessions here and here.
So, again, Peterson appears correct in noting that Ginny benefited from training seminars hosted by WFC. Your denial, Ginny, is an OUTRIGHT LIE.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The story does a pretty good job covering all the twists and turns, and concludes with Ginny's famous "it's common sense" logical fallacy.
I'm still waiting for the Letterman joke, or a skit on SNL....
//update -- Seems the CNN story has created a flurry of activity at WISSUP, and many of the comments are less-than-friendly regarding Ginny's intelligence and appearance.
While Ginny has done her own share of insult-throwing in the past, and I, like many of the commenters, find Ginny grossly ignorant of many fundamental issues at stake, I don't feel calling her "fat" or a "miserable old cow", is helpful discourse....
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Remember her various personal attacks and ad hominems? She struck gold again today.
Lately, we've witnessed a variety of rants about the fact that local librarians and related personnel have the audacity to attend the national ALA meeting to discuss the book challenges that have rocked the 'brary.
After reading today's newspaper article about an ALA panel discussion about the local controversy, Ginny posted an implication that "trash talking" occurred at the event in a manner disparaging of West Bend. Based on the article, the only criticisms levied appeared to be against the media and the blogs for their skewed/incorrect coverage of the controversy. While the librarians noted their frustration over the entire episode, there was no "trash talking" about specific people, the community, or anyone.
Maybe Ginny has a different concept of what "trash talking" is, but it seems the opening line of her very post provides us the best example. While referring to Maria Hanrahan's counter-movement, the West Bend Parents For Free Speech, Ginny makes this disparaging remark:
In a prior blog comment, Maria Hanrahan (WBPFFS), West Bend Parents for Free Sex, um, I mean Free Speech (ooops, sorry 'bout that) stated about the ALA ConferenceTalk about trashy...
Monday, July 13, 2009
I decided to take three of the books Ginny highlights and see how other area libraries catalog them. Here are the results:
As you can see, nearly every area library that holds these books places them in the young adult section, reflecting what appears to be standard classification practices for southeast Wisconsin libraries.
(Acknowledging that Deal With It! seems to be the one text that is also frequently placed in the regular non-fiction sections)
Are West Bend's "community standards" really that different than nearly every other southeastern Wisconsin community? Or, perhaps, must we realize that Ginny's opinions don't necessarily reflect the entire community?