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dictionary of misinformation redux


A friend of mine alerted me to the "fact" that VP candidate Sarah Palin considers books like Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary "controversial" and, because of her religious beliefs, home-schools her children so they won't be exposed to them.

I suggested that the story was bogus, just finished a little research, and found what I expected to find.

It seems an e-mail has been circulating, especially to and among librarians, which includes a list of books Palin has allegedly sought to have banned when she served as Mayor.

I found a few blogs where this claim has been made, one of which is already starting to backtrack (although he claims the seriousness of the charge demands further investigation).

Sound familiar?

The list of books is basically the same one that has been circulating for years. Here is the list, put under a cut due to length:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Blubber by Judy Blume
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Collective
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth

and so on ...

The list also appeared on:


Oh, brother!

Are people really that gullible? Who are these people that purposely send this stuff out knowing it is false?

Flash! It's all a bunch of hooey! Do a little research.

Some of the books listed weren't even published when Palin was mayor.

Now, when a librarian or anyone tells you that the woman running with John McCain banned books or pulled her kids out of school because she wouldn't let them read Huckleberry Finn, will you feign outrage or set them straight?

Will the mainstream media promote the story in their zeal to get "that woman" (as one D.C. pundit I heard call her)?

Will the Obama "true believers" continue to "circulate" the story knowing it is false?

I thank God for the internet every day, where junk like this can be exposed and hopefully nipped in the bud, although I find it amazing that things like this actually have to be discredited.

Now, go take on the day!


Chapter One says to love her
You love her with all your heart
Chapter Two, you tell her
You're never never never never ever gonna part
In Chapter Three remember
The meaning of romance
In Chapter Four you break up
But you give her just one more chance



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)
If Palin belongs to particular organizations that actually lobby libraries to ban books from their collections due to religious controversy, then she supports these initiatives as well. She already said that the only book she needs to guide her is the Bible. Hey, why need a dictionary if you have the Bible?
Sep. 6th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
If Sarah Palin is capable of banning books years before they're written, her psychic ability alone should make her qualified for the White House.

It appears that the desperation of the radical left is increasing by the day when they continue to push and rationalize phony stories like this.

By your logic, Obama is disqualified by his 20-year membership in a racist, anti-semitic, hate-spewing church, and his association and collaboration with convicted felons and former terrorists who help him get elected to office and serve with him on leftist foundations, etc. One of Obama's clients was ACORN which has a record of falsifying voting registration cards, signing up dead people, etc., to swell the Democrat voting base. Thirty-seven "community organizers" are currently facing trial for fraud, although the media is ignoring the story. I wonder why?

Incidentally, Joe Biden's son's are the dreaded lobbyists he and Obama always rail against, who have regularly gotten money for their clients through associations like Obama.

Change we can do without, don't you think?
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
We can't teach the blind to see, and we can't teach the deaf to hear. All we simple folk can do is love each other, find our path in life, and meet our destiny.
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
I often say that the vast majority of people only want good things for themselves and their families, that they have different ways of looking at things, different ways of tackling problems, different opinions, and different priorities.

The path of life is hard enough, however, and when people start switching signs, turning them around, and placing bogus ones to confuse travelers, that's where I draw a line and kick back.

Everyone should read Eric Hoffer's The True Believer. He experienced the horrors of tyranny and understood the seduction of mass movments, group think, and how they result in surrender to oppressive government, religions, and other organizations and movement.
Sep. 6th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)

On to the next topic.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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