Sarah Palin’s burning issue

A row has broken out over which books Sarah Palin actually wants to ban.

This is due to a story resurfacing that on becoming Mayor of Wassilla in Alaska, Sarah asked the librarian if she could ban some books in the local library:

In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her — starting before she was sworn in — about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

“Sarah said to Mary Ellen, ‘What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?” Kilkenny said.

“I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, ‘The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'”

The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, refused the ban and a few months later Sarah Palin tried to fire her for lack of support.

After a public outcry in Alaska, Palin was instead forced to keep Mary Ellen in her post.

Mary Ellen decided to resign in 1999. “[Palin] essentially forced Mary Ellen out,” says June Pinnell-Stephens, chair of the Alaska Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee and a friend of Mary Ellen Baker’s [Emmons]. “She all but fired her.”

Well it obviously wasn’t for the want of trying!

Some bloggers have a list of banned books but in all the blogs I have read the list actually comes from a site naming banned books – at one time or another – in America.

No-one as yet has come up with a definitive list of books Sarah Palin would like banned.

We know Sarah Palin is a creationist. So it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to deduce that Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would be one of the books. Or anything by Richard Dawkins.

We know that America is no stranger to book burning either. Even the Harry Potter books have gone up in flames.

Harry Potter book burning in New Mexico

Its incredible in this day and age that people will want to burn books just because they disagree with their premise or theories. Its almost as if the Enlightenment never happened.

“Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” – Heinrich Heine. The Nazis burned his books among others in 1933.

Of course if these religious fundamentalists like Sarah Palin actually burned some of the books that were left in Travelodge hotels then we’d probably complain less about it!

Top ten books left in Travelodge hotels:-

1. Prezza: Pulling No Punches by John Prescott
2. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
3. Speaking For Myself by Cherie Blair
4. Don’t You Know Who I Am by Piers Morgan?
5. Angel Uncovered and Crystal by Katie Price
6. You and Your Money by Alvin Hall
7. Lessons in Heartbreak by Cathy Kelly
8. Blind Faith by Ben Elton
9. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
10. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

I mean if it was just the thrill of burning books then there wouldn’t be too many complaints if John Prescott and Russell Brands’ books were in the pile, surely? I mean apart from environmental concerns anyway! Not that the environment bothers Sarah Palin in any case.

But no. Its always The Catcher in the Rye and Catch 22 and the rest, isn’t it?

Once the argument for one book to be burned is made, its easier for religious fundamentalists to carry on burning others. That’s why even John Prescott’s Prezza: Pulling No Punches deserves to be spared.

At least until the first bad winter anyway!

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3 Responses to Sarah Palin’s burning issue

  1. BritishUgos says:

    So I guess you’re the kind of person that believes African princes are trying to make you wealthy too.

  2. northbritain says:

    Chris Kelly in The Huffington Post has provided a clearer idea that Palin did try and ban books:

    First of all he quotes McCain spokesman Brian Rogers:

    “The fact is that as Mayor, Palin never asked anyone to ban a book and not one book was ever banned, period.”

    But he asks why did Rogers use the phrase ‘as Mayor’ before he talked about not banning books.

    Then he submits evidence from the New York Times to clarify the truth:-

    Sarah Palin never asked anyone to ban a book as Mayor. As Mayor — of a Wal-Mart and a snowmobile trail — she was only interested in censorship in general.

    As the New York Times reported this weekend, she only pushed to ban books by name when she was on the city council.

    I hope that clears up everything.

    Why was it so important for Brian Rogers to slip in the words “as Mayor” a week ago, before anyone had heard about Sarah Palin’s city council campaign to protect Alaska from Daddy’s Roommate?

    The fact is that when silent, Brian Rogers isn’t lying.


  3. Bob says:

    Hey. Just to add my two cents: I am a conservative Christian, and I love the Harry Potter books. I read all of them.

    Also, I disagree with the burning of any sort of literature, even it it’s about Evolution, or any other topic that I disagree with.

    Thirdly, I just thought I might say, I see no books burning in that bonfire in the picture with the church. Looks to me like they’re just having a good time praising God next to a fire.

    In any case, even if there ARE books in that fire (Harry Potter books, to be precise)I’ve never been to or heard of a church that would do that.


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