Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ginny Maziarka Pretends She's Not Trying to Remove GLBTQ Material

Ginny Maziarka has a very short-term memory.

In one of her classic rambling posts today, she makes this odd remark (emphasis original):
Screaming that protecting kids from sexually explicit material is a gay and lesbian issue, and abusing gays and lesbians to get these materials into the hands of kids is downright deceitful.
Huh? I got to be honest with you folks, I have no idea what Ginny's talking about with regard to "abusing gays and lesbians". I'll just set that part aside as the random utterances of someone who is grasping for straws to make some kind of odd point that makes perfect sense in her head, but sounds like gibberish to anyone else.

(And forgive poor Ginny for leaving off the BTQ each time she states "gay and lesbian"....I'm sure a little part of her soul dies each time she even thinks the word "lesbian", let alone type it out).

But that first part -- "screaming that protecting kids from sexually explicit material is a gay and lesbian issue" -- that's kind of interesting. Ginny seems to be upset that members of the GLBTQ community are expressing interest in this firestorm she's created in little ol' West Bend. She seems to think that its wrong to make her dispute with the library a "gay and lesbian issue".

Hmm....right.....well, you see folks, it was Ginny who made this a "gay and lesbian issue". Perhaps all this time in the blogosphere has dulled her memory, but luckily Maria Hanrahan has provided us a nice timeline of Ginny's beef with the library.

If you look at Maria's summary of the original 2/12/09 complaint, Ginny doesn't mention "sexually explicit material" at all, and instead focuses her wrath on "propaganda" that "Encourages and normalizes illegal behaviors.” What material is deserving of such disdain? Ginny's letter of complaint seems quite clear: any book that has homosexuality in it, essentially the entire "Out of the Closet" category of books at the WB library. According to Maria's timeline, Ginny also asks that the entire "Out of the Closet" webpage be removed from the library's website (or password-protected to prevent access without parental permission). She also suggest a list of “ex-gay” books for inclusion in the library’s collection.

You see folks? Ginny made this a "gay and lesbian" issue from the very start. And now that someone probably advised her to change her tune and focus on "sexually explicit material" instead, she's whining because the GLBTQ community isn't buying her bullshit.

// Oh, by the way, remember how Ginny keeps repeating she doesn't want any books actually "banned"? Check out the timeline, cuz she asked for precisely that here: " We also told him that we are requesting a "ban" on the The Perks of a Wallflower book." (her emphasis, not mine)

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:
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.

WISSUP's Blog Comment Censorship Policy

There have been a number of complaints that Ginny Maziarka over at WISSUP has been heavily moderating the comments left at her blog, essentially silencing voices who disagree with her, and only letting through complementary ones.

Of course, that's her prerogative, but I decided to ask her about it. I sent an e-mail asking: "why are you censoring comments on your blog?"

The reply:
I moderate ALL comments to:
(1) prevent the automatic posting of spam;
(2) prevent the automatic posting of comments made only for the purpose of link dropping;
(3) prevent the automatic posting of pingbacks made only for the purpose of link dropping;
(4) prevent the automatic posting of troll comments containing personal attacks, obscenities and threats;
(5) prevent the automatic posting of phony comments generated by software made only for the purpose of link dropping;
(6) prevent the automatic posting of off topic comments.

My thinking on this is that in my home I am a hostess and likewise on my blog I am a hostess. I do not allow any comments to be posted on my blog that I would not approve of or tolerate in my home.
Now, this is perfectly reasonable. However, I question how this comment that Maria Hanrahan submitted -- but didn't make it through Ginny's filter -- falls under the above policy. There is no spam, no link dropping, no personal attacks, nothing off topic. It is a level-headed response to some of Ginny's statements and accusations.

Ginny: why did you block that comment?

Oh, and if you thought that Ginny's comment policy seemed a little too polished for an amateur blogger (c'mon, using ALL CAPS and red text in your blog posts for emphasis? really?), so did I. I googled it, and it turns out she just cut & pasted it from this forum discussion. No attribution to the original author, of course.

And I wonder if Ginny is familiar with that person's position on gay marriage, Obama, reproductive rights, etc. Perhaps Ginny should be more careful who she plagiarizes....

// A quick update - I replied to Ginny's e-mail (that stated her policy) by pointing to this blog post of my reaction. Her single-line reply to me: "Sorry. I don't waste my time on unimportant information that is not pertinent to the issues."


Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Lesson in Free Speech, Intolerance, and Libertarianism

The extremists in West Bend had a petition drive at various local businesses this weekend. They say "intimidation tactics" were used to bully some establishments to pull out their agreement to host them. Kevin Scheunemann, the Libertarian Kewaskum Trustee and International Dairy Queen Drive-thru Champion, went so far as to say an "intolerant gay lobby" was involved.

Turns out it was just Maria Hanrahan, who called each business just to make sure they had actually agreed to host the petition drive. No threats were made, no intimidation, no bullying.

Surprise surprise: Ginny exaggerates.

But then the folks over at SafeLibraries stick their dirty noses into it, stating that a "pro gay lobby is violating the free speech rights" of Ginny and her crew.

WTF? Do these people even know what the constitution says? Long story short: your right to free speech protects you from government restrictions. You have no free speech right to sit in a business parking lot and collect signatures from people who support your intolerance. A business can allow you to do that, or they can decide not to. Further, anyone can call that business and talk to them about it; heck, even try to talk them out of it. There's no violation of any freedom of speech here.

But here's what I love about Ginny, SafeLibraries, and the various members of their club: their mastery of twisted logic and fair-weather use of principles when it meets their needs:
  • Kevin Scheunemann, showing is Libertarian stripes, is tired of "government walking on the average taxpayer." But he seems to be fine with using the power of government to impose his values on fellow citizens by dictating what can be found in the library.
  • If you are a member of the library board and make public comments about the current controversy, you've violated your code of ethics and should be removed from office (free speech be damned). But if you're a Kewaskum village trustee (Scheunemann) and publish your bigotry, you're a brave business leader, and any attempt to counter your actions is a violation of free speech (no need to pull him from his government position, apparently).
  • And when confronted with a mother calling a few businesses to make sure they know about the petition drive they've agreed to host, it is being "denied their freedom of speech by a vocal minority using threats and intimidation to shut them up". But when it is a vocal minority using threats and intimidation to kick members off of library boards in order to get their homophobic intolerance into the libraries, that's just fine.
These people crack me up sometimes....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Not everyone is buying this crap. Watch below:

Kevin Scheunemann, Kewaskum Trustee, is Confused

Kevin Scheunemann, Kewaskum Trustee and International Dairy Queen Drive-thru Champion, is confused.

As you can read here, he supports efforts to censor, lable, and remove materials from the West Bend Library. He also thinks that people opposing this censorship attempt are part of a "PRO GAY LOBBY TRYING TO PROSELYTIZE CHILDREN!!!!!"

Yet, he says those who oppose removing gay-themed books from the Young Adult section of the library are "intolerant".

Huh? Does he even know the meaning of the word? He wants to restrict access to books in a public library, and he calls others "intolerant"?

Kevin doesn't appear to be a big fan of government, authority, or anyone telling him what to do. He seems to beat to his own drum, such as breaking the law by speeding, multiple times, and is a card-carrying member of Wisconsin's Libertarian Party.

Of course, his disdain for "the government walking on the average taxpayer" didn't stop him from taking advantage of Wisconsin's Chapter 128 rule allowing people to avoid bankruptcy by restructuring his debts. Yep, government sucks, unless they can help me get out from under my financial responsibilities.

Or, consider the fact he accepted over $7000 in government-collected taxpayer money to help him run for office.

Mr. Scheunemann is confused. He thinks people who oppose his intolerance of gay books are intolerant. He thinks government interference and tax subsidizes are bad, unless he needs money to run for office or government help to avoid his debts.

Thank God he can brag about being DQ Drive Thru champ!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Why am I Sleepless in West Bend?

Because of the intolerance, ignorance, and extremism displayed by people like this, this, this, and this.

And because people like this, this, this, and this need our support.