Green Friday

I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to my Donovan and Foley ancestors for leaving Ireland, braving the Atlantic Ocean, and coming to America. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! I’ll be playing Celtic music and scaring the dog with my poor imitation of an Irish jig all day.

My friend (and awesome writer) Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and noted author Patricia Reilly Giff both have excellent books about the Irish Potato Famine.

I’ve been working on pictures books and shoveling the mountains of correspondence that precede a school visit trip. I woke up this morning and watched the sun crawl across the ceiling and came up with the opening lines of this new picture book that’s been nipping at my heels. (Details on next week’s adventure tomorrow.) It’s really nice when new stories start to talk to you.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed the bill that forces libraries to remove all books with sexual or homosexual themes (like SPEAK) to the “adults only” section of the library. The vote? 60 for, 33 against. The OK House of Reps doesn’t trust families to choose books for their children. Let’s see – wiretapping without a warrant is legal, book banning is legal… how long will it be before these fringe groups succeed in burning our Constitution to ashes and installing cameras in our homes to monitor our behavior?

If this upsets you, then ask yourself what you have done in the past month to participate in our democracy. If we do not take our government back, this is just the beginning.

And if any of you reading the above two paragraphs feel inclined to make assumptions about my faith or politics based on those opinions, let me state for the record that I am a Christian and I am more conservative than liberal. I am fed up with both political parties. Please let me know if you hear of a political leader who has common sense, who won’t take money from lobbyists, and who has a clue about our country’s history. I haven’t found one yet.

OK, end of rant.

Gerry MacNamara, hold your head up high. We love you and are proud. Did you see Adam Morrison at the end of the Gonzaga game??? Wow. Georgetown plays at 2:35pm on CBS…. might…have…to….wander….by…the…TV…

29 Replies to “Green Friday”

  1. Political Leaders with Common Sense

    Sorry, Laurie, can’t help you here…I’m from CT where until last month we had 2 mayors and a governor who went straight from elected office into the slam for corruption…oh and a Congressman who spends more time running for President than actually doing the job we elected him to do.

    My sympathies about Syracuse…UConn men play Albany later today, but really I’m waiting for the UConn girls to start their march on Sunday night!

    Jan Kozlowski
    JCKoz452@aol.com

  2. Just want to remind you that I love you and your Irish self.

    Sorry about the Orangemen. Thank goodness I changed my bracket the other day.. I had them going to the final dance.

  3. OK censorship

    Since the state of OK is removing *your* book from library shelves, can *you* do something?

    I think it’s appalling and terrifying. But I thought our country’s “direction” and government were appalling *before* the last election. I’m confounded that they were ever re-elected, and feel we deserve what we get as a result. Somebody voted these people into office. I wasn’t one of them.

    As a member of the minority (non-partisan, entirely non-religious, socially slightly left of center, fiscally slightly right of center), I feel powerless. I can vote and vote and vote, but nothing changes. I can write letters to my congresspeople, but they have had no affect.

    I hate politics.

    I love the USA.

  4. I’m a Political Science major and even I haven’t found a political like that yet (unless you count Martin Sheen’s character on The West Wing ;)). I think that censorship is a bipartisan issue: it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a Socialist or whatever – it still takes away your rights and your voice can still be silenced by laws like that. It’s people who think “well, if you’re not doing anything wrong, then the government won’t censor you” who let things like that happen. It doesn’t matter what you say: someone will disagree with you and try to silence your voice, which is why the first ammendment is so important.

    I, too, am fed up with both political parties. As an extremely left-wing Democrat, I’m sick and tired of the liberals in Congress/Senate who are too scared to stand up and fight the USA Patriot Act and other laws that take away constitutional rights. And I’m just as tired of conservatives who claim to be patriotic, but then take away the basic foundation of our government.

    “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

  5. Woo-hoo for the government!

    I’m a little bit Irish. I’ve always loved St. Patrick’s Day!

    Yeah, well, since our govenor lost all his weight and now looks like he’ll fall into a casket any day now, he feels the need to make sure the rest of us our as skinny as he is. (He’s really nice though. I met him once when he was thicker (he signed a book for me), and twice since his weight loss (I paged at the Capitol last year). Anyways, we used to have decent food in the lunch room, but now I hardly ever eat lunch. They’ll throw food away before they’ll let us buy extras (french fries, rolls, hamburgers). And next year we’ll have to be at school until four since they’re adding a thirty minute “walking period.” Okay, if they cut down on our food anymore and make us keep walking, I’m going to look anorexic, and it’s not gonna be my fault! I don’t see how it’s any of the government’s business how fat or skinny we are. If we want to lose weight, it’s our own choice; they don’t need to force us to not eat.

  6. Yay, St. Patrick’s day!!! My famiily was the Cochrane’s 🙂 And I love Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s BLACK POTATOES. I haven’t read PRG’s…I’ll have to look it up this summer (when I’m not doing all of my lit class readings).

    And speaking of politics…I haven’t heard of any great ones, either. Unfortunately, I’m a very liberal person coming from a breeding ground of conservatives, so when I do write my congress-people (at the state and national levels) they brush me off because while I’m a concerned citizen, I clearly didn’t vote them into office (and with their attitudes, I will continue to try to get them out)

  7. Did you see Adam Morrison at the end of the Gonzaga game???

    You mean when he was beating himself in the head with the ball? WOW, indeed. I have to admit, after that game (and the GW game) everything else was sort of downhill in terms of entertainment, particulary the Washington game – which I, as a West Coaster, ought to care about!

    Syracuse ruined my bracket. Sigh. And of course my friends say, “I could have told you that.”

    Now if Morrison can just keep Gonzaga going …

  8. Open access to information?!

    Hi. I’m currently in a class for young adult materials for librarianship, and we were discussing these sorts of problems last night. It’s amazing what lengths people will go to in order to prevent other people from accessing information that they may not particularly care for. Personally, I hope that when I become a full-fledged librarian, I never have to deal with this type of problem. It’s absolutely ridiculous! Why should people be deprived of specific materials, or have to go on a scavenger hunt to find them in a different section?

    1. Re: Open access to information?!

      Personally, I hope that when I become a full-fledged librarian, I never have to deal with this type of problem.

      Speaking as a fellow future librarian, I’m afraid we’ll all have to be dealing with this incessant, moralistic madness. Are you planning to work as a public librarian? Books are challenged all the time in public libraries, by people who think they should decide what we keep on our shelves. Take a look at ALA’s page on challenged and banned books: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/challengedbanned.htm.

      I can only hope that ALA and other librarians (and us wanna-bes) stand up to this sort of censorship and government invasion and get it knocked down!

      I’m also a mom, by the way. My daughter is 7, and in my opinion, no one but myself and my husband have the right and the knowledge to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for her. Let ME make that decision, NOT Big Brother.

      Sorry to rant, – best of luck with your librarian studies. And apologies to you as well, Laurie. This is a hot button issue with me, and not much else makes me as angry.

  9. the golden compass

    So was The Golden Compass not a category 4 for you because of the poke at Christianity?

  10. I learned about the democratic process

    See in my school they have put in tutoring for 10th period. Now aee tutoring is a good thing and some people may benefit from it no problem right? Wrong! see just because we take the bus the head of the special education and services decided to put everyone in tutoring just because they take the bus she didn’t even try to justify it by people’s grades. I’m not in special ed in fact, I’m in honors but since I’m in a wheelchair I do recieve a para and that is considered a service. Since we felt this was dicrimination against us just because we take the bus and is not justifiable in any way me and like 15 other students signed a petition and requested a meeting with the principal. Let me tell you she was shocked to see us all there I suppose she thought we would Just deal with it quietly. Instead of saying we didn’t want tutoring even though we don’t we simply told her that we would like it in the morning. The school buses are outside of the school by 1st period anyway. I think it’s working because they are now in negotiations figuring out what can be done. The head of the special ed department wasn’t happy though because we went beyond her to the principal.

      1. Re: I learned about the democratic process

        Tell me about it! I could so run the country! first thing I would do is try to make the citizens understand you shouldn’t ban books in PUBLIC libraries. Then I Would make things like trains and public shopping areas more accessible to wheelchairs/other physically or mentally challenged. I mean why do all the nice apartments/houses have so many stairs? I would also make more schools accessible do you know how hard it was to find a high school that wasn’t too far so that the bus would pick me up and was what is referred to as barrier free? let me tell you it wasn’t that easy there aren’t many in New York all together.

  11. I am so frustrated with the direction of our society right now. Why is it that other people are starting to have a say in how we run our lives? The next step would be to ban the books altogether– aren’t we supposed to be moving away from that? Why is history repeating itself?

    Our government (Australian) tends to sort of follow (within a couple of years) what American policy is, so I watch what is happening in the US, and it worries me.

    What’s worse, is that I don’t think it’s all party policy that is to blame. People who sit here and rant about Bush have to realise that these people are doing what the majority WANT them to do. The majority, at the last election, LIKED what they saw and re-elected this government. I don’t think that if people kick Bush out in the next election, everything will dramatically change for the better. It’s the general direction altogether. In order to remain elected, the next government is going to have to take a bit of the previous party direction in an effort to please more people.

    We are in the litigious ‘we have knowledge about loopholes in our laws’ age. People are too prepared to sue, and too worried about being sued. Therefore: Stupid, stupid things happen.

  12. OMG

    I…CAN’T…BELIEVE…THAT…FRICKIN…PASSED!!!
    WHAT IS GOING ON?!
    Anybody been hearing about the movie with Natalie Portman called V for Vendetta? It’s about a totalitarian government and all that entails, with many parallels that can be drawn to the US, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, North Korea, etc., and at first I didn’t really care and didn’t want to see it, but now…books being banned from teenagers under 18?!
    This realllly makes me want to go and see this movie.
    I am absolutely shocked that this passed. I keep hearing people talking about how America has been getting more and more conservative, and I disagreed, but now…wow.
    I currently live in North Texas, I know people in college in Okalahoma, and it looks like I won’t be going there any time soon.
    Wow. I’m still shell shocked. I can’t believe it…

  13. Atlanta

    Please do not look to the ATL for an honest leader. We are in the midst of cleaning up what our previous mayor, Bill Campbell, did to destroy the city and line his pockets with money and women. Aren’t men great?? Three cheers for our current mayor, Shirley Franklin. What an amazing woman she is. When I grow up, I want to be Shirley Franklin.

  14. The OK House of Reps’ decision is deeply saddening to me. It’s horrendous to me that our liberties are being taken away, bit by bit, and most people are more than happy to sit on their haunches and watch.

    I’m not, though. To whom do we write?

  15. That sucks

    That’s not fair!!! Why would they take our books away!!?? Sometimes I hate the way things work in our country, espeicaly since there is NOTHING wrong with being a homosexual!! ARGH! Oh well…maybe someday the world will be like in that movie where the firemen all burn books so no one can think…

  16. Very Interesting Here!

    Hello world! I’m from Latvia, I now have a computer and Internet! It’s so interesting here! But on some forums I see strange posts, they offer to buy some pills or something and they look very stupid. It is robots posting? I thought moderators should delete such posts. Maybe somebody will explain me what’s going on? But at all it is very interesting to speak to all you people!
    Kisses! 🙂

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