Prude Patrol Hitting Libraries?

NEWSFLASH: Libraries across the country are suffering. People just don’t go to them very often anymore. Google and smartphones are crushing the desire for people to use library cards to take out actual paper books. Even libraries with computers aren’t faring much better, because computers are much more affordable today (if you are willing to put up with ones that can’t play the latest games.) So, to keep from becoming completely irrelevant and having to close their doors, many libraries are offering programming that may seem off the wall or over the top to some people. That means they’re going to offer programming that will make anyone with a Victorian attitude toward life faint – or want to scream.

Now that we understand this, it’s time to address a minor problem.

If you don’t like the programming that your local library is offering, the appropriate response does not include trying to disrupt it.

Some folks in Maryland didn’t like the fact that their library was offering sex-ed for kids – with parental permission. They made a website to complain about it. Good so far.

Unfortunately, on that website is information about how these people tried to stop the programming by breaking the rules set by the library for the safety of the kids who were enrolled in the program.

Not good.

Also, there doesn’t seem to be any mention of this group trying to offer “acceptable” programming choices to the library. Remember, the library is trying to get people into the building, so theoretically they would be open to hearing suggestions from everyone.

Another option would have been to look into elected positions that have to do with library management. Is there a community member board position? A political office that has a permanent seat on the board? Although a little extreme, at least pushing for a member of your group to be in a position of power in the library is far better than forcing the police to stand guard outside the library like this group did.

I get it. Really, I do. Conservatives don’t like people talking about sex, especially not to kids (even if the parents are fine with the idea.) Sure, there are people who think that parents should sit in on sex talks with kids, because they believe that kids really want to talk about that stuff in front of their parents. (Not sure where these kids are, but who am I to question someone else’s logic?)

But, conservatives are also supposed to be big on law and order. They’re supposed to be upset with people who break laws, right?

So, why were they breaking laws against trespassing at the library? Libraries are community property, but when they put up clear restrictions on use of their facilities, failing to abide by those restrictions is trespassing (or a similar offense, depending on the local laws.) The library clearly stated that adults were not welcome to attend this program. Only kids could be there, and the kids had to have written permission from their parents to attend.

The argument that the library was doing something objectionable and should be forced to stop because it is a public facility doesn’t work here. Go back to the beginning on this. Libraries are trying to stay alive, and that means programming. It also means that a sex-ed class is probably going to hit the events calendar before a quilting bee. Getting kids into the library is a hard task, and it’s fair to guess that this conservative group isn’t going to come up with a single thing that will help to do that.

But, don’t worry. When the library has to close because of lack of interest, these folks will probably blame anyone but themselves.

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Prude Patrol Hitting Libraries?

Congress needs to take part of a cue from Taiwan

Public officials behaving badly in the US usually means something to do with sex or money, but we’re slowly getting into an international trend of misdeeds that involve violence. So far, we haven’t gotten to the point where Taiwan has (and a few other countries) since our lawmakers haven’t started all-out brawls… yet.

I guess the stress of the job can get to lawmakers, but water balloons? We’ll get back to that in a moment.

The problem lies in the fact that we have warring factions working with each other daily, and they never stop fighting. That wasn’t always the case, especially in the US. Back during the Reagan and Clinton years, members of the House and Senate used to socialize with each other, and not based on party politics. So, you could see two senators who were practically screaming at each other on the floor of the Senate during the day drinking together in a DC bar that night. That doesn’t happen anymore, at least nowhere near as often as it did.

We’ve all been warned to leave work at the office, and decompress at home, right? And that’s because the experts who tell us to do that know that people need to leave the stress of work behind to keep sane.

So, why are we telling politicians to do the absolute opposite, by demanding that they live and breathe on the politicking?

Apparently there are a lot of people out there who think that it’s a good idea to have less-than-sane people running things, because we’re making insane demands. Think about that the next time you see someone complaining about politicians talking nicely with their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

Seriously, it’s surprising that we haven’t seen anything like what happened in Taiwan on the Hill.

Now, back to those water balloons.

While I have no idea why in the world there were water balloons in the hands of Taiwanese lawmakers, I do know why the airmen in the photo here have them. They were celebrating an “excellent” rating on an inspection back in 2012. It was a well-deserved break, and shows that there’s nothing wrong with cutting loose to relieve stress (without brawling.)

Maybe Congress needs to do the same thing, but not as a reward – as a pressure relief. I’m not joking.

Congress needs to have a water balloon fight. They need to get out their frustrations on each other in a way that is generally harmless. Adding a few kegs of beer, and maybe a few cases of hard liquor would help, too. If they keep it on private property in DC, why not throw in some pot – it’s legal there.

And the people need to stop thinking that the warring factions need to be at war at all times. It’s funny, but both sides look back on the Reagan and Clinton years respectively as their party’s time to shine – their president got so much done! What did those two men have in common? They really did know the “art of the deal” since they knew how to reach across the aisle. The “my way or the highway” garbage is just a half-step from a dictatorship or fascism. That’s not us – that’s not the US.

So, commence the water battle and revelry, to prevent a brawl!

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Congress needs to take part of a cue from Taiwan

Evil conservatives hate disabled people

…or something.

USA Today must have been desperate for articles today, or they’re just another media outlet that’s willing to fall victim to the outrage train.

Ok, I’ll give them the fact that it’s despicable for authorities to end up grabbing disabled people out of their wheelchairs over a protest.

As for the rest of it, well…

Sure, there are conservatives out there who would like nothing more than to totally dismantle Medicaid. Most of them are not holding office right now in Congress.

That means the few who really want to do it, and happen to be able to vote on the issue, are in a severe minority on the Hill. It’s political suicide, because one other thing that was right in that particular rant (it’s not an article), is that most Americans really don’t want to hurt people who really need the services provided by Medicaid.

But, I digress.

Yes, opinion contributor Jason Sattler did suggest that the deep cuts to Medicaid that are on the wish list of a select few members of Congress are somehow related to the pro-life movement?

Uh, talk about conflating issues?

Also, Sattler is making me about as angry as the kitty here, since he’s literally forcing me into a corner where I have to (almost) defend the pro-life movement. (I mean beyond defending their right to have their say.)

This rant was just going after the “feels” of course, so why not bring up the idea that the pro-life movement has often painted itself into a corner where it appears like it doesn’t really care about what happens to human beings after they’re born?

Anyway, it doesn’t make much difference anyway, since the health care “repeal, reform, rinse, repeat” maneuvering seems to have stalled anyway.

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Evil conservatives hate disabled people