The Markum Report - The Conservative Blog of Galveston County, Texas: Don't spend my tax money on books that don't share my values Ladies and Gentlemen.... Now Forming at the North End of Kyle Field... the Nationally Famous.. Fightin' Texas Aggie Band !

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Don't spend my tax money on books that don't share my values

Conservatives all over the county owe a debt of gratitude to Friendswood City Councilmen John LeCour and Chris Peden for sounding the alarm about the book selected by the Galveston Reads organization, called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

After issuing a proclamation supporting the book, Friendswood Mayor Brizendine issued a press release regretting endorsing the novel and indicating he was concerned about the book’s content.

The book, written from the perspective of an autistic child, contains profanity and is being pushed as recommending reading/discussion material by Galveston County Reads.

This group has slid under the radar in various cities in the county, including the city of Galveston and have “discussions” about the book scheduled in the library at Santa Fe and the library in Dickinson. The group has a discussion scheduled at the League City Civic Center on March 30th at 7p.

Councilman Peden said it best in the Galveston Daily News article, when he said the book, which claims there is no God, and no afterlife, should not be purchased with taxpayer money.

It is one thing to have books like this available to purchase to the public. I am all for freedom of speech.

I just don’t think we should recommend books to our young people that go against our values and we should never use tax money to do it.

Comments:
When I first heard about the gag ordinance in Friendswood, I thought it may be the start of someting. I find it slightly scary that they now want to ban books in Friendswood. Are they going to burn them in a bond fire?
 
It's ok for VP to use that F word in congress, I guess, since he wasn't wearing a t-shirt imprinted with "that word", but not a book for TEENAGERS??? What next books mentioning murder, adultery, etc.? Will they be banning the BIBLE?
 
Tax money goes to support the library, which is responsible for providing a wide range of information in a wide variety of formats. Consult their selection policy, but I am pretty sure that it won't include a provision excluding material with content that offends or contradicts the belief systems of the majority of the community. That would go against the library's mandate to uphold the equal protection and freedom of speech/inquiry principles of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has consistently held that the public library is, to borrow Madison's phrase, a marketplace of ideas that must protect the intellectual freedoms of the minority as well as that of the majority.

Put another way, as a so-called "leftie" I gladly pay tax dollars for the library to shelve books that don't share my values. I don't want to rely on people who agree with me for information on the ideas of people who don't agree with me.

And, as someone who is studying to be a librarian, I believe it is my professional duty to serve the information and entertainment needs of all patrons, regardless of ideology.
 
"I find it slightly scary that they now want to ban books in Friendswood."

Wrong. No books are being banned. If you want to read it, buy it on Amazon with your own money, dont expect the taxpayer to subsidize it.

"Consult their selection policy, but I am pretty sure that it won't include a provision excluding material with content that offends or contradicts the belief systems of the majority of the community."

D'oh! If the taxpayers don't have a say in how their money is being spent, that is a disgrace. A library has no business spending taxpayers money without accountability.

"The Supreme Court has consistently held that the public library is, to borrow Madison's phrase, a marketplace of ideas"

Er, there's no brilliant idea being hidden when you say no to profanity.
Unless you want to do the supposedly '1st Amendment' thing and blow the library budget on triple-XXX porn and neo-nazi racist literature, I'll take it that you trot out this argument for convenience; eg when the 'wrong' people complain about a poor book choice, yet quietly go along when the 'right' people complain about an offensive book.

Yes, let's have a real marketplace of ideas, one that has a variety of viewpoints, but one that also acknowledges the fact that values matter - books are like food, there is healthy stuff and there is junk - and profanity ought not be put forward as 'must read' material for kids.
 
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