Thursday, September 11, 2008

Y(IKE)S, Call 9/11

Well, it's that time again, isn't it? This time around, it strikes me that Americans are united in honoring this day, yet there are so many differing beliefs on how we got here and how we go on.

For myself, I wouldn't be shocked to discover that OBL ordered the attack as vengeance for the Bushies cozying up to OBL's father and bringing western evil to his country. I even used to think there might be a chance that GWB choreographed it to start his wars and control us easier.

My planning to vote GOP in November doesn't mean I believe the possibilities of those theories any less. It's just that was then, this is now, and we have to move on and deal with the leftovers. There have been many days that I want to hurt George Bush but I guess I've always paid enough attention to the news to know that John McCain has probably wanted to hurt him more and more often. Most of the nasties in the Congressional GOP are no longer there, finally, and I think sometimes the GOP haters are still hating the past.

So it is that on this day I always re-assess my feelings about our place in the world. I remember how passionately angry so many around me were in 2001, and although I wanted to be, I wasn't. Instead, I get a bit angrier about it with every passing year and less fearful of accepting and appreciating a hawkish stance in a post-9/11 world. That my child and her many wonderful friends have all become adults in the last 7 seven years has a lot to do with my courage, I think.


As I write this, Ike keeps turning more and more towards us. Even so, Hubs wants to stay and shelter in place, and Missy called to report she doesn't want to come home. So we decided last night not to leave, and went to bed.

Hubs got up to discover Missy sleeping in her bed. Turns out the college and town both decided on an evacuation in the middle of the night. There was the college's automated message on our machine. We'd slept right thru it. Well, there goes my Plan B (I was going to hang out at her dorm if things looked really ominous for us.)

We turn on the local news and the damn storm track is closer to us even more now. I try reserving a hotel and the traffic nightmare to get to any of them makes me stop. (Missy refuses to get into that traffic after the last storm.) So, here we are, waiting for a mutha of a massive storm to decide the weapon and the method, cuz it's now a given that it will happen to us. We will get the storm. What scares me is the storm surge, should it become a Cat 4. We are around 25 ft about sea level, but also only about 1/4 of a mile from Cedar Bayou that feeds into Galveston Bay. The bayou will back up and rise if the bay does. It's never flooded on my street from the bayou or from storm surge and I am just praying this is not the first time.

I don't know, but it seems like right now only the coastal low-lying towns are under evacuation right now. Seems like a lot of folks are going to stay. Tropical storm winds and rain are supposed to begin tomorrow mid-day, and I have have have to prepare a corporate tax return today (my last official one). It's due next week, but if we lose electricity that's a problem so gotta do it now. Then, I have to take a video of all our rooms. Then help secure odds and ends. Missy can get groceries today. I paid all the bills already for the next two weeks. I have our prescriptions, our hurricane supplies, cash, full gas tanks, water, clothes are washed, got dogfood. What else?

A nuclear black-hole machine to put Ike in would be nice...

Mayor Palin's Big Book-Ban Scandal 411
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Palin: Library censorship inquiries 'Rhetorical'

Editor's note: This story first ran in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman Dec. 18, 1996. It has been typeset and posted here to accommodate numerous requests for the story from media worldwide and curious individuals. Please note that not at any time were any books ever banned from the Wasilla city library.

WASILLA -- In the wake of strong reactions from the city's library director to inquiries about censorship, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin on Monday was taking pains to explain her questions about censoring library material were “rhetorical.”

Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons last week said Palin broached the subject with her on two occasions in October - once Palin was elected mayor Oct. 1 but before she took office on Oct. 14, and again in more detail on Monday, Oct. 28. Besides heading the Wasilla City Library, Emmons is also president of the Alaska Library Association.

The issue became public last Wednesday, when Palin brought it up during an interview about the now-defunct Liquor task Force. Palin used the library topic as an example of discussions with her department heads about understanding and following administration agendas. Palin said she asked Emmons how she would respond to censorship.

Emmons drew a clear distinction Saturday between the nature of Palin's inquiries and an established book-challenge policy in place in Wasilla, and in most public libraries.

"I'm not trying to suppress anyone's views," Emmons said. "But I told her (Palin) clearly, I will fight anyone who tries to dictate what books can go on the library shelves."

Palin said Monday she had no particular books or other material in mind when she posed the questions to Emmons.

Emmons said in the first conversation, before being sworn in as mayor, Palin briefly touched on the subject of censorship.

But on Monday, Oct. 28, Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak when Palin was requesting resignations from all the city's department heads as a way of expressing loyalty.

"This is different than a normal book-selection procedure or a book-challenge policy," Emmons stressed Saturday. "She was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library."

Monday Palin said in a written statement she was only trying to get aquatinted with her staff at the time. "Many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature," Palin added.

Emmons recalled that the Oct. 28 conversation she pulled no punches with her response to the mayor.

"She asked me if I would object to censorship, and I replied 'Yup'," Emmons recounted Saturday. "And I told her it would not be just me. This was a constitutional question, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would get involved, too."

Emmons said Palin asked her on Oct. 28 if she would object to censorship, even if people were circling the library in protest about a book. "I told her it would definitely be a problem the ACLU would take on then," Emmons said

Asked who she thought might picket the library, Palin said Monday, "Had no one in mind ... again, the issue was discussed in the context of a professional question being asked in regards to library policy.

"All questions posed to Wasilla's library director were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city. Obviously the issue of censorship is a library question... you ask a library director that type of question," Palin said

Palin also said Monday censorship issues would not involve any departments other than the library.

Emmons said she has been offered help if it is ever needed on censorship issues from the state library association's Intellectual Freedom Committee and the National Freedom to Read Foundation.

Palin called Emmons into her office Monday to discuss the censorship questions again.

Palin also attended Friday's staff meeting at the library, but without mentioning censorship , Emmons said.

"I'm hoping it was just a trial balloon," Emmons said, "because the free exchange of information is my main job, and I'll fight anyone who tries to interfere with that."

The timing of the issue comes at a time when Emmons is trying to get the book-challenge policies of the Wasilla Library and of the Palmer City Library in line with the Mat-Su Borough policy, revised in December of last year.

Emmons described the new borough policy as "a very good one."

It is a step-by-step blueprint of procedures for anyone wanting to challenge the selection and availability of library material, Emmons explained. "it is a good process, and almost all public libraries have one."

The borough's policy was revised mainly to replace the borough manager as the final decision maker with a formal Reconsideration Committee Mat-Su Borough Manager Don Moore said Saturday that changes were made, with the blessings, after a dispute that was resolved about two years ago involving a challenged book at the Big Lake Library.

Emmons said the current Wasilla policy, which she described as written in more general terms than the borough's, also worked procedurally in a book-challenge case last year. Emmons said then-council-woman Palin was distressed about the issue when it came up, indicating she was aware of the city's book-challenge policy.

Emmons said in the conversations with now-Mayor Palin in October, she reminded her again that the city has a policy in place. "But it seamed clear to me that wasn't really what she was talking about anyhow," Emmons added. "I just hope it doesn't come up again."

Meanwhile, Emmons said she is working with borough libraries boss Bruce Urban and Palmer Library Director Janice Sanford, in the hope of getting the cities to adopt a book-challenge policy identical to the borough's.

My additional information: Palin had constituents who wanted books banned. What if you were mayor of your town and had those constituents? Not cool to just tell them no. A mayor serves all the people. Palin asked questions and took her full position to do that, but that's all. She didn't DO anything. Just asked questions. And is that the story you got in newspapers, magazines, and TV news about this? No, but it should have been with an unbiased media...


Linda said...

I'm sending out prayers that you all stay safe during the storm.

Sarah C. said...

Aimeslee, prayers for safety for you all during this storm!