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General News    H3'ed 9/8/10

Conservatives and conservatism's book burning madness

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Message Ed Tubbs
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One of the diminishing number of advantages about reaching "senior" status is receiving AARP's news magazine. The September issue featured a list of books that had been banned in the United States. (

Follows shortly is the long list of books that conservatives have banned, or sought to have banned. But two prefatory remarks first. The entire premise adhering to the dignity of the individual adult is the presumption that no one has ever walked the face of the earth, or who currently lives who had or has superior knowledge what is right for that or any other adult. As we shall observe, that premise runs contrary to what conservatives feel, which sets up a clear contradiction relative to their claims to love freedom. Conservatives do not love freedom, they abhor it, and seek to enchain the minds and bodies of everyone who doesn't agree with them. They have ever been with us, and are with us now; in the Muslim world and in the Christian world.

Conservatives are frightened little people whose base fears require they place in subjugation all who they fear might pose some threat to their senses of order . . . as if one could ever hold back the tides of change and progress, regardless whatever might could be summoned to the task. For, in the words of Galileo, as he was being led from the Inquisition, upon being found guilty, ". . . and yet it moves."

In our own country, it was the conservative Tories who argued vehemently for remaining under the British crown. It was conservatives in the South who held that one man, a white man, had the god-given right to own a black man; like a man might own a horse or a cow. It was conservatives who fought and fought and fought against right of a woman to vote, and to be able to actually own her own property, and to not be the property of her husband. It was conservatives who stood four-square in opposition to the Civil Rights legislation in the mid-60s; "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." And today, it is conservatives who have worked and are working feverishly to deny to one adult the full swath of freedom and dignity that, by the very preamble to the Declaration of Independence, we swear to hold "these truths to be self-evident." Yet, conservatives lie. As they always have.

The list of books that conservatives have tried to keep adults from reading. Decide for yourself whether any human should have assumed some right to deny to you your right to read them.
Uncle Tom's Cabin -- Harriet Beecher Stowe
All Quiet on the Western Front -- Erich maria Remarque
A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
Animal Farm -- George Orwell
1984 -- George Orwell
Doctor Zhivago -- Boris Pasternak
Slaughterhouse Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse -- Peter Matthiessen
Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert
Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- Thomas Hardy
Ulysses -- James Joyce
The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
Lady Chatterley's Lover -- D. H. Lawrence
Tropic of Cancer -- Henry Miller
Lolita -- Vladimir Nabokov
Peyton Place -- Grace Metalious
Rabbit, Run -- john Updike
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings -- Maya Angelou
Jaws -- Peter Benchley
Forever -- Judy Blume
The Prince of Tides -- Pat Conroy
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents -- Julia Alvarez
On the Origin of Species -- Charles Darwin
Lord of the Rings trilogy -- J.R.R. Tolkien
The Last Temptation of Christ -- Nikos Kazantzakis
Bless Me, Ultima -- Rudolfo Anaya
Harry Potter series -- J.K. Rowling
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin -- Benjamin Franklin
The Scarlet Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
Gone With the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
Of Mice and Men -- John Steinbeck
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl -- Anne Frank
The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
Fahrenheit 451 -- Ray Bradbury
To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
James and the Giant Peach -- Roald Dahl
Catch-22 -- Joseph Heller
A Clockwork Orange -- Anthony Burgess
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest -- Ken Kesey
In Cold Blood -- Truman Capote
Cujo -- Stephen King
The Color Purple -- Alice Walker
Ordinary People -- Judith Guest
A Thousand Acres -- Jane Smiley
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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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