Is It 1933?

nazis burn booksOn April 6th, 1933, the Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit”, which was to climax in a literary purge or “cleansing” (“Säuberung”) by fire. Local chapters were to supply the press with releases and commissioned articles, sponsor well-known Nazi figures to speak at public gatherings, and negotiate for radio broadcast time.

Eighty-one years ago the Nazis attempted to stifle freedom of speech and expression by burning books, they also used radio to promote their views of the world.

Now here in Delaware it seems that the same spirit moves others to replicate these acts.

At the March 27th Cape Henlopen School Board meeting, two of the board members, Sandi Minard and Jennifer Burton challenged the curriculum of the Cape District, in particular the use of certain books that were described as pornographic in nature.

Ms. Minard drew special attention to an 82 year-old book written in 1932 by Aldous Huxley , Brave New World, ironically the year before the Nazis decided to burn books. The book tells of a future world in which the people are controlled through the use of drugs and pop-culture interest. A world where,  individualism is stifled, monogamy is frowned upon, and humans are “created” in laboratories called hatcheries.

Ms. Minard and Ms. Burton seem to think that this book romanticizes these predictions. Even though the book is taught in an advance placement language composition class at the high school level, and even though the book has been a part of the class for the past five years, it seems that these ladies think it too explicit for high school kids.

My first question to both of these ladies is, have you ever read the book? Or did you go through and pick out the parts that you find offensive? Do you not realize that the book is a warning of the dangers of attempting to create a master race, in a centrally controlled society? Considering the time in which it was written it is blatantly obvious to anyone not caught up in being the book police, or maybe firemen is more appropriate. That Ms. Minard  and Burton was a Ferienhiet  451 reference, you may want to read that one too.
Ms. Minard stated, “This is not an education issue”, “This is a social, sexual issue. It has nothing to do with educating this child.”
Again, have you read the book? If all you got from it was that there were acts of sex portrayed in it, then you maybe should read it again, there is a lesson to be learned, for both adults and young adults.

But the most intriguing statement made by Ms. Minard and Ms. Burton, was this, both expressed their concerns with literature that they said contained violence, despair and sexual references.
Really? Because while I am not aware of whether or not Ms. Burton was in favor of the recent attempt to make the Bible part of a literary course at Cape Henlopen, I do know for a fact that Ms. Minard was a fervent and outspoken proponent of the idea.

So let me get this straight, on the one hand you want the Bible taught as literature, the Bible that has quite a bit of despair, more than its share of violence, and even homosexual sex acts. However on the other hand you want to point a finger at other books that have despair, violence and sex. I am sorry but you can’t have it both ways.

Maybe both ladies should try spending more time reading the classics, and maybe a few history books as well, instead of scanning books for the sexy parts.

It is up to parents to be involved with their children’s education, to be aware of what they are doing on a day-to-day basis, not to just wait around for the report cards. Many parents seem to be frightened that the school will be of a greater influence than they, the parents, will be in the child’s life. I say if that is the case, then you as a parent are not working hard enough as a parent.

Yes books and pop-culture can have a great deal of influence upon the children of today, but so can the fact that they see their parents getting high and drunk, and watching as their parents get divorced and then shackin up. Parents need to be an example of how to live a good life, and not just the thought police.

73 Comments on "Is It 1933?"

  1. waterpirate says:

    The censoeship or attemted censorship of books on required reading lists world wide can only be viewed as you have portrayed it. Whats next on their list? Just like big govt. if they can remove on classic they will remove more. In fact the dangers of censorship were just replayd for us in one of the ” Harry Potter ” movies. We should be encourageing our children to read MORE of the classics, not crab assing about which ones.

  2. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, you are correct, under these broad reasons for being against a book they would have to remove so many of the classics. I guess in Ms. Minard and Burton’s world the only approved reading would be the Bible and the Constitution.

  3. Dave says:

    I read the classics and I’m ok. I assume some folks here read the classics and you are all ok (well mostly anyway). I wonder if Ms’. Minard and Burton read the classics? I assume they must have or they would not be concerned with censoring them. Makes you wonder if her opposition is experiential. Maybe they think they would have turned out better if they had not been exposed to such material!

  4. 2014 says:

    This isn’t the first time Minard ran off half cocked a few years ago she pulled a bus driver at Mariner off his bus in front of the kids and replace him which she has no authority to do.

    Time for Sandi Minard to resign from Cape and represent the children in the District where she lives, the Indian River School District.

  5. Hube says:

    Yeesh. Is this cretin related to Frank Burns??

  6. 2014 says:

    Hube, Jen Burton, Sandi Minard and a state cop all made public statements that teachers could be criminally arrested for distributing sexually explicit materials to a minor for assigning Brave New World.

  7. waterpirate says:

    The classics truly are a ” box of chocolates ” . By reading them all you come away enriched and educated about a wide spectrum of views and ideology. If you pick and choose, you are brainwashing, not educating.

    Care to name the State police officer involved so we all know?

  8. waterpirate says:

    Anyone here planning on attending what should be a 3 ring circus tommorow in Millsboro hosted by POIR/IPOD at 1-3 pm?

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    One has to wonder exactly what books would pass the Minard/Burton test?
    The Scarlet Letter? Nope, adultery.
    To Kill A mockingbird? Nope, violence, rape, though the racism may have its redeeming quality.
    Little Women? No lesbian overtones.
    Guess we are back to the Bible and the Constitution.
    Wait, wait, wait, I know, the kids can just read, See Dick Run. Oh! Hell! Never mind.

  10. saltyindependent says:

    burton also was a supporter of the bible. their actions at the meeting were sad. the state trooper cited delaware code insinuating that the district could be criminally responsible for violating public decency laws. he obviously didn’t read far enough into the code to the part where it talks about education and schools. i would like to hear more about where she lives. i can guarantee you she doesn’t “read” much of anything.

  11. waterpirate says:

    Again, I call for a name.

    I hold DSP in high regard, because they hold themselves to a higher standard than say….. the Sherrif. If an officer were there citing Delaware code and pushing this bull$hit agenda, they were certainly off the reservation in regard to the chain of command. They should be identified as such, and the Command should be asked whether they supported this action?

    Please no more title suggestions for them to add to their list or our children will be reading the farmers almanac only.

  12. ano says:

    There were only 3 citizens who commented on the book, two were women who supported it, one was a man who identified himself as a state police officer before he spoke. Here’s the article, that should make it easy to figure out even though the article omits the fact that he identified himself as a state police officer:

  13. waterpirate says:

    Thank you for that link.
    While I applaud Mr. Hagen for his involvement in his childs education, I find it disturbing he felt the need to identify himself as a DSP officer before tendering an opinion that is I hope NOT shared by the entirety of DSP wanting to expand its role to include: book and thought policing.

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, not sure about the almanac, I haven’t read one in quite some time, but there is the chance that they might talk about animal husbandry.
    One has to wonder where these folks come up with this stuff. Either they have never read Brave New World, or they have no reading comprehension skills.
    The book should be a radical right wingers best friend. It tells of the evil of centralized government, the casual sex element that seems to consume the attention of these folks is clearly portrayed in a negative light.
    To have totally missed the meaning of this book points to either a puritan obsession with sex, or some other type of sexual frustration.
    Just for the record I backed off titling this post, “The Cape Henlopen Taliban”.

  15. waterpirate says:

    What is very scary is that closed minds found their way onto the school board and are championing the closeing of our childrens minds, to match their own?

    As a thread hijack, I did go to the meeting in Millsboro this afternoon. The group that was in attendance is very pasionate and loosely organised. The strategy they are employing however is going to garaunte the failure to block the building of the plant.

    They would be better served to advance the idea that the plant does not fit the changed fabric of the neihborhood now that is becomeing more focused on a residential tack.

    To wine and cheese about the States failure to do this or that, or DNREC not saving them from a percieved pollution plume will fail. It is a hot topic now, but will fade.

    They brought out the esteamed John Austin, retired EPA guy with alot of charts and dots and words that went over the audiences head. This water pollution tack is another loser. In DE the property owner is responsible for the maintanance and testing of their own private well. Not DNREC, not the Dept. of health, not the Gov.

    The data he presented was flawed as he gave no explanation of what a base line water well in what aquifer in that area should be. So GIGO is the result of his compilation.

    In the end the residents will be provided central water at their or our expense, and the plant will be built. As I pointed out before, many of the private wells tested do not meet the 1986 standards, let alone the new ones coming down the road.

    Ho hum

  16. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, it has long been a problem, that far too many people find themselves in positions of authority, who suffer from the ailment of open mouth and closed mind.
    As for the other issue you spoke of, well those pushing this have to make it a state issue in order to promote their dreams of becoming a relevant third party, and like their tactics concerning this plant issue, their tactics of creating that relevance will also fail.

  17. Frank Knotts says:

    “Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.” George Bernard Shaw

  18. saltyindependent says:

    irony is completely lost on both burton and minard. they are simply not capable of grasping the concept, let alone recognizing it in their own world. burton essentially said that the book was ok to read back in the day, but now we have the internet so it isn’t ok to read anymore.

    burton graduated with the complaining parent (who complains quite a bit). the parent, citing his years in law enforcement reason to listen to him, cited delaware code as if he were an attorney. it was comical and scary at the same time. he “strongly advised” the board to consult their attorney on this matter. indeed….

    minard also remarked that she was “elected” to this position and was a watchdog and not a cheerleader. she was, in fact, unopposed in her election bid. originally she filed for an area that had a number of other candidates. she refiled to the area where nobody else was running. it was certainly within her rights to do so, but it flies in the face of all her “people/taxpayer” rhetoric. she did not give the people a choice. she would lose against a warm corpse in the cape district. she also likes to talk about the need for new policies etc. when it suits her needs with regard to censorship. all the while talking about government overreach and overregulation. as i mentioned above, she is incapable of identifying the irony that is her public record.

  19. Duke Brooks says:

    Virtually every bright (and some not-so-much) high schooler in the last half-century has read Alduous Huxley’s Brave New World. It’s a disturbing book, to be sure, but removing it from an advanced-placement reading curriculum hardly amounts to censorship, and it doesn’t begin to approach Goebbels’ bonfires. If one of those high schoolers wants to read the book, they’re free to do so…just like anyone else is in America.
    The Nazi book-burnings represented one of the most pitiful and depraved acts ever publicly undertaken by an otherwise civilized people. We know about the sickness of their un-civilized acts. School board members are relied upon to exercise their judgment, and to represent their constituents’ values. Censorship is the “prior restraint,” by government, against publication of a work government seeks to suppress. Removal from a reading list of a book that, although already studied for decades, could be seen as ‘controversial’ by democratically-elected leaders is not censorship. In fact, I don’t even see a real, bona-fide “slippery slope” here. Certainly, some responsible adults see value in Huxley; some responsible adults don’t. This event seems more like a “Sussex literary critics’ circle” debate on the novel’s merits; Huxley’s team lost this time. It’s not censorship, it’s not “book-burning,” and it’s not the end of the world.
    Writing as a private citizen who is not a parent.

  20. waterpirate says:

    If you are familiar this brain trusts ” prior bad acts ” everything you are saying missed the mark. Your arguement begs a mature, well read, educated oposition. In this case I put my trust in greater minds than mine who placed this book, which I read in the 9th grade, on the classics list. If you allow the removal of one book from the classics list, where will it stop? Now go get me the radiation readings for this month, and the previous month as well.

  21. Frank Knotts says:

    Duke, as someone who USED to be in the media business, you must realize the use of metaphor.
    Do I realize that Ms. Minard and Burton did not actually burn a book? Well of course I do.
    As for your interpretation of what is or is not censorship, well we may have to disagree. Since a school board is a level of government, and since these members wish to remove any book that contains despair, sex or violence, that would leave a very small list. If that does not rise to your definition of censorship, well it does mine.
    The warning written within the book Brave New World is of the danger of a centralized government in which all of the citizens decisions are made for them by that government. How this book does not resonate with the fringe element of the conservative movement, a fringe that you yourself have associated yourself, and also Ms. Minard, well I guess the instinct to control outweighs the desire for Liberty.
    let us remember, Brave New World was but an example of the type of books that these Cape Board members would exclude from the curriculum.
    I know you to be well read, please give us a list of five classic books that under the rules listed above, no despair, no violence, and no sex. I await your list, and please don’t play childish games and list instructional manuals on how to grow beans for the end of the world.
    Why even Moby Dick would be excluded. ( I mean for the violence and despair, not for the mention of Dick)

  22. Duke Brooks says:

    Where did he learn to cook…Afghanistan?
    Nobody, including the school board, apparently, has any plans to “ban” this, or any other, book. Removing it from one class’ reading list is NOT “censoring” the book. The students’, and everyone else’s, right to read, own and possess Huxley remains perfectly intact. There are books I consider to be “classics” that some teachers don’t. And vice-versa. If I “allow the removal of one book” from a list, am I “censoring” that book, or am I making room for another one? Or am I saying, “I’m not sure this particular book is appropriate for people under the age of 18.” And if Brave New World remains on the list, will there still be room for “The Right Stuff” or “Incredible Victory?”
    Verify range to target; one ping only, please.

  23. Duke Brooks says:

    There are virtually no “great” novels devoid of violence, sex or despair. I think the question is context. One might think about “Great Expectations,” “The Call of the Wild,” “A Tale of Two Cities,” “War and Peace,” “The Last of the Mohicans” and, my all-time favorites, “Airlock Delta” and “The Traveler’s Tale.” But, I digress.
    It’s not censorship, and nobody is trying to “censor” Huxley’s book. Only to remove it from a required reading list. HUGE difference.

  24. ano says:

    Ms Burton is ignorantat when it comes to literature and history. Life was much scarier for kids in the 50’s, 60’s. 70’S and 80’s when we had an Evil Empire pointing nuclear missiles at us and we were doing bomb drills in school.

    Duke Brooks no one wins when small minded people take it upon themselves to pull College Board approved literature from the curricula at a high school. These kids need to be college ready and 2 school board members are jeopardizing the education goals of many Cape Parents.

  25. waterpirate says:

    I certainly hope I do not slip on my tea for this. The reality is that the members calling for the removal of this book from the AP required reading list are ruled by emotion, narrow opinion, and ignorance. They lust for relavance and will crusade for anything that places themselves in ” the thick of it”.

    I trust in greater minds than mine. So I ask ” what basis besides emotion and ignorance is at the heart of their arguement for removal?”. Do they have literature degree’s? Education credentials? Any educated position to support their new crusade?

  26. Frank Knotts says:

    WP, I would ask if they have read the entire book, or are they simply taking the Wiki course.
    Ano, great point, and for the record, they don’t believe in college, it has been one of the arguments used against Tech, too many students going to college and actually being prepared for it.
    Duke what a great empty come back, and just like the fringe on the right always does, you failed to answer a direct question.
    So I will ask again, give us a list of five books that are widely considered classics that would pass the no despair, no violence and no sex.
    And please remember that I like these board members get to place my own opinion of what constitutes despair, violence and sex.
    Come on Duke, show us that big brain and conservative creds.

  27. Rick says:

    Brave New World is a political novel, like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Atlas Shrugged, Animal Farm, A Clockwork Orange and so on. There is much less sexuality (with the possible exception of A Clockwork Orange) in these books than the average gay propaganda books ubiquitous to most curricula.

    By-the-way, Huxley wrote a sequel to BNW, Brave New World Revisited, which I deem to be a better book.

    From Chapter VI, The Arts of Selling, Brave New World Revisited;

    “The political merchandisers appeal only to the weak­nesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this pur­pose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully se­lected samples of the electorate are given “interviews in depth.” These interviews in depth reveal the uncon­scious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given so­ciety at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look “sincere.” Under the new dispen­sation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The person­ality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really mat­ter.

    In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to con­centrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most — and prefera­bly (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex is­sues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most con­scientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchan­dise the political candidate as though he were a deo­dorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.”

    How true.

  28. pandora says:

    Delmarva Public Radio has the quote that tells you, in her own words, what this really is all about:

    Burton argued, that with the age of the internet students can now grasp the sexual and drug-related references quickly adding “This is not an education issue, this is a social sexual issue.”

    So I’m just gonna ignore everything Duke Brooks said, because this isn’t about switching out one book for another (something that happens all the time, btw). This is about setting precedent, and once they pull this book what book is next on their list – and you know they have a list.

    My daughter is a high school junior. This year she’s read The Scarlet Letter, The Taming of the Shrew, The Prophet, the poetry of Keats, and (currently) I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. The classes that surround these books were extremely in depth and challenging, so saying, “The students’, and everyone else’s, right to read, own and possess Huxley remains perfectly intact.” misses the point, quite spectacularly. Reading a book and studying a book are two very different things.

    BTW, I’d bet good money that those coming out against Brave New World haven’t read the book. These are the ravings of the uneducated trying to bring everyone down to their “intellectual” (and boy, am I using that term loosely) level.

  29. waterpirate says:


    We really need a like button.

    Pandora, consider your post ” liked”.

  30. saltyindependent says:

    i agree with wp. great post pandora.

  31. Frank Knotts says:

    I know I scare Pandora when this happens, but we once again agree.
    And by the way, has anyone heard from Duke? I am sure he is somewhere deep in the bunker complex sorting through the library trying to find at least one classic that the Censor twins would allow.
    One wonders where these two and duke were when several years ago libraries wanted to pull The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the shelves because of the “N” word?

  32. pandora says:

    Thanks for the shout out!

    I was thinking about this last night and I kept coming back to this part: “Burton argued, that with the age of the internet students can now grasp the sexual and drug-related references”

    How exactly does Ms. Burton think a literature course was taught before the internet? Does she think teachers deliberately misled or lied to their students about what a novel or sonnet said? That they skipped the naughty bits?

    If a class is studying Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn, is Ms. Burton suggesting that a teacher skip these lines:

    “Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness” and “More happy love! more happy, happy love!
    For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
    For ever panting, and for ever young;”

    Can those lines have several meanings? Of course, but to pretend that sex isn’t one of them is ridiculous and would be a sign of bad teaching. Oops, I’ve probably just added Keats to Burton’s and Minard’s hit list.

    Okay, let’s ruin Shakespeare’s Tweflth Night for them, too. Have fun with this one and be sure to read it out loud!

    “By my life, this is my lady’s hand, these be her
    very C’s, her U’s, and her T’s, and thus makes she her
    great P’s. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.”

    Anyone blushing yet?

    And don’t even get me started on Gulliver’s Travels. 😉

    So, bring on your list, Duke. I have some free time today!

  33. fightingbluehen says:

    I would have thought that some liberal utopian group would have been the ones to want this book banned, because that’s who the book paints in a bad light , but it seems that Sandi Minard and her group are the utopian statists on this one. If they had read the book with any sort of comprehension. They would have realized this.

    As I’ve noted before. The extreme ends of the liberal and conservative movement always end up in exactly the same place. That of an overreaching authoritarian governance.

  34. Rick says:

    Maybe Pandora can post an article on censorship. Or, the fear of differing ideas. As practiced on Delaware Chickens#!t Pravda Liberal.

    “Camptown Lady”

  35. Hube says:

    Maybe Pandora can post an article on censorship. Or, the fear of differing ideas.

    Indeed! However, there is a difference between a private entity (the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers blog, aka DE Liberal) and a public institution like a school.

    That being said, Minard and Burton (and whoever else involved in this matter) are mild in comparison to radical “progressive” censors who usually operate on college campuses. IMO, it ain’t even close. But the former will usually get the negative ink because of their politics, natch.

  36. Frank Knotts says:

    Hube the reason the former gets more ink is because on the one hand they cry Liberty, and thne we get something like this, which is anything but Liberty. It is the hypocracy that makes it news.

  37. delacrat says:

    It’s amusing to read Hube and Pandora hold forth on the evils of censorship when delacrat is banned on their respective blogs .

  38. Duke Brooks says:

    Waterpirate: I would have liked to live in Montana…and drive a recreational vehicle. NO PAPERS!

  39. Frank Knotts says:

    So Duke comes back sans list of classic books that would pass the Censor Twins rules of approval.
    Still working on it Duke? How hard can it be?

  40. Hube says:

    It’s amusing to read Hube and Pandora hold forth on the evils of censorship when delacrat is banned on their respective blogs .

    First, you missed this line: “However, there is a difference between a private entity (the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers blog, aka DE Liberal) and a public institution like a school.”

    Second, perhaps when you cease posting childish insults about blog authors and other commenters in your comments, and keep it relevant to the topic at hand, you can come back.

  41. Hube says:

    Hube the reason the former gets more ink is because on the one hand they cry Liberty, and thne we get something like this, which is anything but Liberty. It is the hypocracy that makes it news.

    And the Left doesn’t cry about free speech, tolerance and the like? The difference is that the Left has the media on its side.

  42. pandora says:

    Ignoring the moonbat endearment… the standard of “our house, our rules” in blogging applies. Commenters aren’t allowed to come in and trash the furniture. And I’ll point out that that’s exactly what’s happening now, on this thread. There’s a topic on the table. Frank took his time to write a post, and people are hijacking the thread.

    You don’t like me, or Hube? Fine. We don’t care. I might hand you a tissue, tho…

  43. Hube says:

    And I’ll point out that that’s exactly what’s happening now, on this thread. There’s a topic on the table. Frank took his time to write a post, and people are hijacking the thread.

    Then you have a severe reading deficiency, my dear. Try reading the comments again. And note I was defending your blog’s right to set the rules as you see fit.

    You don’t like me, or Hube? Fine. We don’t care. I might hand you a tissue, tho…

    Are you speaking in the first person singular or the plural? But you’re right — I don’t like you (plural). And I know you don’t care. Big deal. I’ll take the tissue, tho — to blow my nose in it, and then hand it right back to you. Because that’s precisely what you all deserve, and nothing more.

  44. Hube says:

    You know what? I have the reading problem. I didn”t see the “or” in your comment, pandora. I sincerely apologize for my last comment as I thought it was directed at me. 🙁

  45. Hube says:

    FWIW, this is an example of what I’m talking about regarding the Left and speech:

  46. delacrat says:


    Someone who routinely refers to people as “moonbats” is not someone to lecture to anyone about “childish insults”.

  47. Hube says:

    Only responding in kind, ‘crat. Only responding in kind.

    If you’re unhappy with our procedures (or any other blog’s), feel free to start up your own. It’s free and quite easy to do. After all, you’re pretty good at giving offense — you manage to tick off the Left, Right and Center.

  48. pandora says:

    No problem, Hube. And while we don’t agree on much, I respect you in some weird, therapy-inducing way. 😉

    What we do agree on is that people like Minard and Burton have no business in our children’s education. Neither is remotely qualified to pull books from the classroom because of “social sexual issues” – especially books they obviously haven’t read, yet alone understand. I’d be willing to put either one of them up against my 16 year old – who would, at her tender age, wipe the floor with them.

    I have a sophomore in college and haven’t witnessed a liberal bias. Then again, his major doesn’t leave room for “opinion” infused courses – which I’m not entirely thrilled with since engineering majors could stand some well roundedness.

    I will admit to seeing both biases at my daughter’s high school. She actually liked sparring with conservative AP history teacher – and he loves her. Obviously, both of them like a challenge. I’m fine with biases out in the open. It’s when they’re insidious and closed to debate that I have a problem.

  49. Hube says:

    Thanks for accepting my apology, pan. 🙂

    I would suggest scanning through the site, the main site of that which I linked above. It’s chock full instances not really about liberal bias, but coercive attempts at squelching speech on campuses, usually liberal against conservative. It’s a libertarian outfit, and also goes after attempts like Cape’s (but at a college level).

  50. Rick says:

    Ignoring the moonbat endearment… the standard of “our house, our rules” in blogging applies. Commenters aren’t allowed to come in and trash the furniture. And I’ll point out that that’s exactly what’s happening now, on this thread.

    Go to any thread on your chickens#!t website, then copy and post one example of anything resembling a personal attack by me, ‘Camptown Lady.’ You can’t. On the other hand, I can site several examples of your little cadre attacking me, relentlessly.

    Your little cadre just can’t stand competition- just comprehend the possibility that other views exist (such as the 25% of Americans who did not vote for Our Little Red Star.

    You, Pandora, are a fraud (unless you mean that criticizing your Messiah is ‘trashing the furniture’). I can’t help it if your fellow travelers are incapable of defending their ideas- or comprehending the meaning of postmodernist in a political context.

    As an aside, I thought it was hilarious when I posted on Delaware Pravda under ‘Camptown Lady’ how long it took for your rather unperceptive cadre of regulars to recognize parody. Their stupefying political-correctness wouldn’t allow them to react because of the possibility that I might be a woman- or worse, a woman of ‘color.’


    “Camptown Lady sing this song,
    do dah, do dah,

    Camptown racetrack five miles long,
    Oh da do dah day…”

  51. Rick says:


    The seventy-five percent of Americans who did not vote for Our Little Red Star.

  52. Duke Brooks says:

    “Our house; our rules.” The left ALWAYS claims this as a fallback position while gnashing their teeth and weeping copious tears if somebody ELSE claims it as well. It applies to THEIR websites, but not schools, obviously, unless it’s a liberal school. (Please don’t try to split hairs over the ownership of ‘public’ schools vs. websites. A website is more accessible to the public than a ‘public’ school is.) The so-called ‘liberal’ left is more than ready to exercise ACTUAL censorship over non-liberal ideas on their websites, yet, in fully affectated high dudgeon, they scream bloody murder if the right wants a book removed from an A.P. reading list. (If the left-wing Board members wanted to ban “Atlas Shrugged,” we’d hear crickets, and nothing else, from the “liberals,” and everyone knows it.) Frank, as far as a reading list of great novels that meet Sandi Minard’s standards are concerned, I think you should ask her, since I don’t speak for her or her compatriots on the Board. Would I include BNW? Sure I would. But I’d include “Day of Infamy” by Lord and maybe “Stick and Rudder” by Langeweische, but, that’s just me. Waterpirate: Have you ever met Marco Ramius?

  53. Frank Knotts says:

    So, Duke uses 201 words and can’t come up with a list of five classics that would pass the Minard Burton smell test. And he cops out as well.
    Duke I should have known from arguing with the fringe element in the past that they tend to distract and deflect, rather than answer direct questions.
    So the two examples you give of books, one is an historical account of Pearl Harbor, and the other is some sort of instructional manual.
    Well even so, your “Day of Infamy” would not pass due to the violence. As for Stick and Rudder? well I did say no instructional manuals.
    As for the cop out, you came here to defend the actions of Minard and Burton, now you say you can’t speak for them, which is it.
    the difference between a private blog site that is open to the public is that it is run privately, a school is a publically owned mandated institution.
    There is a difference in being banned from a website and censorship. Now see what the fringe has done? It made me go and defend Delaware Liberal! Damn you radicals of all sides.

  54. waterpirate says:

    I want to raise rabbits and have her cook them for me.

    This is truly NOT a left or right issue. It is an issue of whether we revert to the 1950’s and pretend the last 64 years never happened. The phrase ” social sexual ” scares the living hell out of me. If we allow this kind of logic into our public school system, where will it end?

    Pandora, as I am forced to spen a great deal of my time with engineering types, I can tell you from personal experiance that they despratly need some liberal electives to make them like ” normal ” people after teir major requirements are met! LOL

  55. pandora says:

    That had to hurt, Frank!

    I’m just going to ignore Duke’s word salad and focus on how he didn’t name five classics. My bet is that he hasn’t read five classics… but he can feel free to prove me wrong.

    BTW, my daughter studied Ayn Rand in school several years ago and I didn’t have a problem with it – Nope, no protest from me, no outraged call to the principal, no impassioned speech at the school board meeting. Then again, I’m not threatened by different view points and actually encourage my kids to seek them out. People that don’t do that are, imo, deeply insecure in their ideology and beliefs.

    If being exposed to books like Brave New World undermines your parenting, ideology or beliefs then you probably should review your parenting, ideology and beliefs because it looks like your kids may already questioning them.

    And waterpirate… I’m laughing. I’ve been in a room full of engineers (I’m actually married to one!). They are an interesting bunch!

  56. Duke Brooks says:

    Frank, I didn’t “come here” to defend the actions of Sandy Minard. I did want to make sure that other readers are aware that your mentioning of Nazi book burnings and censorship in the same breath as removing BNW from an AP reading list is, at best, an utterly unfit comparison and, at worst, patently absurd. Words have actual, fairly precise meanings and Minard’s actions at Cape Henlopen cannot, in any way whatsoever, be called “censorship.” A closer study of my comments on this thread will reveal that I neither defended nor attacked Minard and her friends, but I did assert that your comparison to 1933 Nazi Germany was totally baseless. As far as naming five classic books, that straw man left the forum the moment he was overflown by a low-altitude, multi-engine turboprop. I doubt that anyone would assert that no “great novel” is devoid of conflict, violence, sex, despair or any of the other themes of human conflict and cooperation that have always characterized great literature.
    And WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG with Wolfgang Langeweisch? Best damn book about flying, other than “The Right Stuff,” that’s ever been written. And, yes, I’ve read almost everything Gann ever wrote on the subject. By the time I was 18, I read Nabokov, Shakespeare (insufferable), Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Lee, Twain, Hardy, Homer, Steinbeck, Austen, Orwell, Huxley, Tolkein, Dickens, Hemingway and at least a dozen others. I’m glad I did, but I went to a serious prep school whose attempts to brainwash me into being a leftist, happily, came to naught.
    Since we’re all entitled to form, and express, our opinions on DelawareRight (something that “Delaware liberal” never heard of, since, to them, Freedom of Speech only obtains in their own little like-minded circles), my opinion remains the same, despite the invective and oprobrium: Removing a book from a reading list is NOT censorship, Minard was elected by voters to make judgments such as these, BNW remains available anywhere to anyone (including Cape Henlopen students), and the Americans will listen to their rock and roll while we conduct missile drills. Just like in the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin.

  57. Frank Knotts says:

    Pandora, I have always tried to not allow things said on blogs have much effect on me, though once in a awhile the idiocy does get to me.
    I like the idea of a word salad, all garnish and toppings on top, but underneath it really is just lettuce.
    Okay Duke, since you want to split hairs, let me say that you came here to defend the practice of censorship being practiced at Cape by Ms. Minard and Ms. Burton, if not to defend them in particular.
    Now as to what constitutes censorship.
    Censorship is the act of censoring, I assume we can agree on that at least. This act is committed by a person who is acting as a censor.
    So let us look at the word censor,
    “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds. ”
    Or maybe this one,
    “any person who supervises the manners or morality of others. ”
    Now considering the comment made by these censors ” “This is a social, sexual issue.”, I think they are censors, practicing censorship within their small sphere of control, if they could ban the books state wide they would, if they had the authority to ban them nationwide they would, and thank the heavens they don’t and pity on the children of Cape that have to suffer under these totalitarian type tactics of social engineering, tactics worthy of the most radical leftist that ever lived.
    So yes, I do see this as censorship, and yes I do think it has Nazi overtones. You sir can fool yourself anyway you need to, to be able to sleep at night, but when I lay my head down it is on a pillow of consistency and honesty, and it is soft and I sleep like a baby.

  58. pandora says:

    Duke Brooks said: “Frank, I didn’t “come here” to defend the actions of Sandy Minard.”

    Why… yes, yes you did. Frank wrote a post calling out Minard and Burton for trying to remove Brave New World from an AP course. You defended Minard and Burton’s actions by claiming such things as…

    1. This isn’t about banning a book. This is about merely switching out one book for another.

    You know, there have actually been discussions such as this when a curriculum is formed/revised. (FYI: School Board’s do not form curriculum. Just sayin’… cause it seems you didn’t know that) Teachers swap out one book for another all the time. But that isn’t what’s happening here, no matter how hard you pretend it is.

    Minard and Burton (and those who agree with them) haven’t embarked on a literary debate over the merits of Brave New World vs Of Mice and Men. Their focus is on pulling Brave New World out of the classroom because in their own words, “This is not an education issue, this is a social sexual issue.”

    So let’s drop your made up claim (in defense of Minard and Burton, btw) that this is simply about switching out one book for another. It’s not.

    2. You claim: “Censorship is the “prior restraint,” by government, against publication of a work government seeks to suppress. Removal from a reading list of a book that, although already studied for decades, could be seen as ‘controversial’ by democratically-elected leaders is not censorship.”

    I’m still trying to get my head around this statement. Let’s see if I can fix your fist sentence.

    Censorship is the “prior restraint,” by government (Elected School Board Officials), against publication of a work (Brave New World) government seeks to suppress.

    See how that works?

    So yeah, you did come here to defend Minard. Not sure why you’re backing away from that fact and are now pretending to only ever have been concerned with, what you consider, hyperbole.

    One would think, as a lover of war focused books, you would have entered this “battle” with a better strategy. 🙂

  59. Duke Brooks says:

    Pandora, I hope you feel better now that you think you’ve declared victory and left. Question for you: Since The Bible is NOT on the A.P. reading list, was it ‘censored’? Since BNW is STILL AVAILABLE to any person who wants to read it, including the A.P. students, has it been ‘censored’? If “Pride and Prejudice” is not ‘required reading’ at Cape Henlopen, has it been ‘censored’? Since NBC news has not covered Lois Lerner’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee, did NBC ‘censor’ that news? If Harvard Univ. took hundreds of copies of Ayn Rand and publicly burned them, would that be ‘censorship’? No? What if Liberty U. burned hundreds of copies of Randy Shilts, Sol Alinsky and Gore Vidal? (Oh…that’s DIFFERENT, right?) Minard and Burton have no authority whatsoever to prohibit students from reading a book, just as they cannot “ban” the book, or force it out of print. You really ought to think before you attack; I’ve made it abundantly clear that, 1) Minard’s and Burton’s actions are NOT censorship, which is NOT a defense of their actions since I have also said that, if it were my decision, I would have left BNW on the AP list, and 2) Frank’s attempt to make this ‘issue’ a metaphor for Nazi book burnings is as off-base as it can get. Telling students that a book is no longer on a reading list isn’t censorship, anymore than NBC ignoring Benghazi, the IRS and ‘Fast and Furious’ is. You might want to try reading a dictionary before you start conflating censorship with curriculum.

  60. pandora says:

    I haven’t left, but I obviously hit a nerve.

    You most certainly came here to defend Minard and Burton’s stance. You even made up a reason for their stance – switching out one book for another, which is a complete fabrication. Why did you do that? Why not just address their stated reason for wanting to pull the book: “This is not an education issue, this is a social sexual issue.”

    Go on and address that statement. Because that statement (about pulling Brave New World due to a “social sexual issue”) is the flippin’ point.

    And censoring is an active event. Omission is not censorship. So, while not being able to teach all the classics in school is not censorship, selecting one that can no longer be taught in school – due to “social sexual issues” – is. This really isn’t complicated.

  61. 2014 says:

    The function of a school board is to ensure that the children in the district are given every tool possible to succeed – whether “success” is defined as going into a trade, or going on to college.

    By removing College Board approved materials from the AP curriculum, Sandi Minard and Jennifer Burton are endangering the student’s ability to achieve acceptable scores on the SAT, (which was created by the College Board), and therefore, to move on to college and beyond.

    For this reason, Sandi Minard, and her useful idiot Jennifer Burton should resign from the Cape School Board immediately, they are a detriment to the success of the students in that district.

  62. fightingbluehen says:

    Breaking news from WGMD radio: WGMD news at 12:00 noon conveyed that Sandi Minard is not trying to get rid of the book. She only wants to give parents a “heads up” on the book.

  63. Frank Knotts says:

    Duke, if you keep splitting hairs you are going to start to look like our vice-president.
    As I have said several times above in my comments, this is not about Brave New World, that was but an example made by Minard and Burton, of the type of books they find unacceptable.
    What they are censoring is not a book in particular, but they are censoring ideas. Ideas that in their view are full of despair, violence and S-E-X!
    The Nazi book burnings weren’t about specific books, but was an attempt to cleanse the German people of the threat of “un-german” influnece.
    In this case I have to think it is an attempt to cleanse the Cape District of what Minard/Burton consider un-Christian influence.
    So if we can agree that they are attemting to remove all books that contain these ideas, from their own words, then they have censored these ideas from the curriculum.
    Far more dangerous than removing one particular book, the censoring of ideas is exactly what the Nazis were attempting to do.
    You seem to think that censoring can only happen on the grand scale of a nation state.
    But as I said above, these two ladies are wielding the little power they have in the samll sphere of control they possess. It makes it no less insidious.

  64. pandora says:

    Okay, my daughter is in the Brandywine School District and I had to sign all my daughter’s AP and IB syllabuses (or syllabi, if you prefer) since 7th grade. Doesn’t Cape do this already?

    And what is the point of Minard’s heads up? How would that look? Dear parents, are you aware that Brave New World has social sexual issues? (From where I’m sitting, it isn’t the book that has social sexual issues. 😉 )

  65. Dave says:

    Giving parents a heads up on the book is not the function of the board. Parents with a child in an AP course has access to the curriculum, either provided directly to them or through the student. Some parents may choose not to be informed, but it’s a choice. Parents need to accept some personal responsibility for knowing what is being taught.

    Minard’s and Burton’s role is not to play nanny. Rather it is to provide oversight and direction to the Superintendent. That they fail to comprehend their role and responsibilities is a familiar problem for those in authority in Sussex County. They both appear to be graduates of the Jeff Christopher school of governance. First it’s pulling kids off a school bus (opening the county to the risk of lawsuit). Now, it’s attempting to structure curriculum for an AP course. What’s next?

  66. fightingbluehen says:

    Sounds to me like she’s backtracking on what she previously said for some reason.

  67. 2014 says:

    Cape Henlopen parents with children in the AP Program already get a “heads up” on the curriculum and have to sign off on it for their children to be in the AP Program.

    Minard surely knows that AP parents sign off on the curriculum, which leads to the only conclusion possible, Sandi Minard is once again playing the media whore to get some attention.

    I hope the Cape teacher sues her for violating Cape Board policy once again. It’s time Minard faces the consequences.

  68. RickiRumor says:

    Rumors are running wild in the cape district about how Minard isn’t even living in Milton anymore, she may be living in another part of the state with some guy who broke up her marriage. Maybe parents and teachers should ask her about that at the next meeting, or maybe they should call in to Gafneys show to let the public know about this so they can come to the next school board meeting to ask. You know, to give parents a “heads up” about it.

  69. Frank Knotts says:

    The idea of a heads up to parents who already have access to this information seems more like the board “WARNING” parents about how to feel about this book and others.
    Or maybe to cast shame upon them for not objecting to the book themselves.
    Ms. Minard stated that she was acting a representative of the citizens of the district. So where were all the people calling in to complain of the use of this book or any other for that matter. Has the school been inundated with phone calls or complaints about this course? Has one letter been written to an editor? Did anyone call Dan Gaffney prior to the story breaking about the board meeting? Where was the public outcry?
    Or are we to believe that every parent who was concerned about this as an issue went straight to either Ms. Minard or Ms. Burton?
    No more likely the opinions expressed by these two board members are their opinions, which they are seeking to impose on the students of the district.
    That is not being a representative of the citizens, that is tyranny.

  70. saltyindependent says:

    my guess is that only one parent complained. he was on the record as complaining. in fact, he has a history of complaining. he graduated high school with two of the board members. burton has her heart in the right place, but she is easily mislead. as someone referenced earlier, minard is a grandstander. she talks about her constituents etc. i have said this before, but she was originally campaigning in a district with other candidates. she moved to the seat in which there were no other candidates. she ran unopposed. she did not give “the people” a chance to speak. apparently now she lives out of the district. i am sure this is a minor detail to the queen of transparency and accountability. the cape district has moved along and done well in spite of her. talk about “government waste”. i will wager right here and now that she does not run again for school board. she will find herself defeated by the same margin the referendum nay sayers were beaten by. 66%-33%.

  71. Dave says:

    ” burton has her heart in the right place, but she is easily mislead”

    That may be true on both counts but if I had children in the school district I don’t want heart. I want cool, calculated, decision-making on issues regarding what it takes to create a world class learning environment for the young leaders of tomorrow and if she is easily mislead than I fault her for her critical thinking skills. A board position is a not place for sheep.

    Next election, that she can be “mislead” is a characteristic that communicates her qualification for the position. I also question her judgment in aligning herself with someone like Minard. Birds of a feather and all that.

  72. home says:


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