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September 18, 2021

Book Banning Comes Back to Palin Country

Not since the old days when Mayor Sarah Palin of Wasilla tried to ban Howard Bess’  Pastor, I’m Gay from the Wasilla Public Library has the Mat-Su been embroiled in a book banning kerfuffle. Now, it’s the School Board.

BANNING BOOKS

Pandemic, science denial, the erosion of our democratic pillars of government, civil unrest, rising authoritarianism… seems like the perfect time to add book banning into the mix. We’re still a step away from outright burning, but the Mat-Su School Board just voted 5-2 to BAN from high school curricula the following five books, and The New York Times’ teacher resources:

Let’s take these one by one. There’s no detailed report from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman yet, just their Twitter post from last night. But here’s what we know about why these books have been banned in the past.



I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – In 1983, honored and award-winning writer and poet Maya Angelou’s autobiography of her childhood was banned because the Alabama State Textbook Committee determined it incited ”bitterness and hatred toward white people.” It also discusses her sexual abuse.

The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien’s powerful third book about the Vietnam War is based upon his experiences as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division. The war apparently contains profanity deemed unacceptable in an educational setting.

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller’s classic novel of a World War II bomber who is frustrated by the world around him was banned in the town of Strongsville, Ohio in 1972 because this war too contained language that was viewed by some as indecent. The ban was later removed in 1976.

Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison’s National Book Award winning novel dealing with race in America was banned from school libraries in Randolph County, N.C.  “I didn’t find any literary value,” said a school board member before the board voted 5-2 to ban the book. In 1965, a national poll of book critics deemed it the greatest American novel written since World War II.

The Great Gatsby – The F. Scott Fitzgerald novel was banned at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC in 1987 because of “language and sexual references in the book.” The Roaring 20s in the United States also contained alcohol consumption and partying.


All of this ^^ right here is one of the many reasons school board elections are important, and why everyone needs to do some research and learn who is running in local elections and when they happen.

Where is the right-wing’s demand for freedom and liberty now? Maybe they’ll ban Fahrenheit 451 next, just for the irony.

Meanwhile, Mat-Su English teachers are scrambling to order books from the meager list of 11 books left – some of which they’ve never taught before, and many of which are not even available in paperback on Amazon.

Feel free to thank Mat-Su School Board members Sarah Welton and Kelsey Trimmer for standing up for literature – or let the others know how you feel. Contact information is HERE.

 

 

#OPENALASKA

While the far-right is busy banning books from high school libraries, they’re simultaneously pitching a fit because their freedom is being cramped by a stay-at-home order during the middle of a pandemic. These lovers of liberty decided to have a parade around – of all places – the Loussac Library in Anchorage. You can’t make this stuff up.

The cavalcade of flag-waving trucks, some from Anchorage, and some containing bored imports from the Mat-Su and the Kenai, also clogged roads in downtown Anchorage letting us know that Ethan Berkowitz isn’t an emperor, vaccines are the problem, deadly viruses aren’t all that bad, wearing a mask is a #MyBodyMyChoice issue, and Alaska just needs to get back to work because we don’t have that many cases of coronavirus.

The fact that the reason we don’t have many cases is BECAUSE we’ve been great about social distancing seems to elude them.

(Note the careful stencil spacing to allow for insertion of the incorrect,
upside-down apostrophe)

At least one elected official attended the event. This was on the #OpenAlaska organization’s Facebook page from Sen. Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) encouraging people to participate.

Science and good public policy don’t matter. The fact that restrictions are starting to be eased as of tomorrow doesn’t matter. The fact that their poster-boy Gov. Dunleavy has for the most part enacted the same restrictions as Anchorage doesn’t matter. They just got to go yell at clouds and be mad at liberals. Yay.

 

 

PLUG THOSE HOLES!

Remember when Gov. Dunleavy told us not to worry about all those gaping holes in the budget and that the federal money coming from the CARES Act would plug them up? Well now the governor is backpedaling as hard as Don Young after he called a deadly pandemic-causing pathogen “the beer virus.” Here’s the new quote:

“When I publicly stated CARES funding could be used to replace state funding, I was working with the best available information at the time which led many to believe CARES act funding could in fact be used to offset revenue loss,” the governor wrote. “Today, there continues to be a lack of clarity as to whether the use of CARES act funds can be used to backfill lost revenue as a result of the pandemic.”

Money will be going to local governments across the state, but it looks like it still won’t be enough for some communities, like…

 

 

 

WELL, THAT DIDN’T AGE WELL

If you weren’t watching the Senate floor session on January 24, you might have missed it. But when the Senate was voting to override the governor’s vetoes, there was an interesting discussion. First, you need to understand that when local governments across Alaska assumed debt for school bonds, they had been promised that the state would pick up part of that cost. Elected officials were promised, voters were promised. And suddenly Gov. Dunleavy, while he was flailing around brandishing his red Sharpie, decided that wasn’t going to happen. Too bad, so sad Alaska towns and cities! You’ll just have to figure it out on your own. That’s when Shelley Hughes said this:

Shhhhh… Maybe if we’re all suuuper quiet, we can hear everyone in the Mat-Su cheering…

*crickets*

 

 

This article was reprinted with permission from the Alaska Democratic Party

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Comments
4 Responses to “Book Banning Comes Back to Palin Country”
  1. mike from iowa says:

    Just a reminder, as wingnuts force states to open up, this rerd menace is still out there and still opportunistic as all hell….

    Last updated: May 18, 2020, 22:03 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:
    1,544,874
    Deaths:
    91,731

  2. mike from iowa says:

    Last updated: April 28, 2020, 21:26 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:
    1,029,878
    Deaths:
    58,640
    Recovered:
    140,138
    CLOSED CASES
    198,778
    Cases which had an outcome:
    140,138 (70%)
    Recovered / Discharged

    58,640 (30%)
    Deaths

    Death rate grew 1% since yesterday.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    drumpf body count updated for today….

    Last updated: April 24, 2020, 21:42 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:
    916,348
    Deaths:
    51,742

    Middle of next week, drumpf will have surpassed alkl the soldiers sacrificed in Viet Nam clusterflock and we will be assaulted with his brayings about his daily propaganda shitshow ratings.

    • mike from iowa says:

      drumpf’s body count passed the Viet Nam deaths today. We must allmake sure drumpf and stoopid ass weingnuts never live this down.

      Anybody seen Brian in the last couple of years? Asking for a friend.

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