That’s what I like to see in a young woman!

Credit: Toothpaste For Dinner (

Recently, I have been debating with some of the theologically inclined the question of religious privilege in a secular society and the funding of private religious schools. Coincidentally I came across an internet post which illustrates one of the problems of these “special character” schools – prohibition of selected reading material (see Is it OK to run an illegal library from my locker at school?)

It’s quite heart-warming story, really.

As this young woman, Katherine, explains it:

“I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we’re not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well… I did but not too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to me to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list. I took care only to bring the books with literary quality. Some of these books are:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass)
Sabriel (Abhorsen)
The Canterbury Tales (Oxford World’s Classics)
The Divine Comedy
Paradise Lost (Modern Library Classics)
The Godfather
Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles)
The Hunger Games
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Animal Farm
The Witches
Shades Children
The Evolution of Man – Volume 1
The Holy Qur’an

Anyway, I now operate a little mini-library that no one has access to but myself. Practically a real library, because I keep an inventory log and give people due dates and everything. I would be in so much trouble if I got caught, but I think it’s the right thing to do because before I started, almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading! Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, but go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on.”

As she says – she thinks  “it’s the right thing to do.”

Well of course it is. Sometimes one must act according to one’s conscience, not figures of authority.

But what initiative! Such an intelligent approach to this problem.

Thanks to Alice Sheppard (@PenguinGalaxy)

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38 responses to “That’s what I like to see in a young woman!

  1. Mort? Are they freaking insane? They banned a TERRY PRATCHETT book? That’s not only stupid, it’s evil. Animal Farm? Isn’t that supposed to be… like… REQUIRED reading? Hitchhikers guide? What are these people on? Stupid pills?

    People are idiots. I would seriously like to have a chat with the moron who put that list together. I have a burning desire to have a look at how it’s mental processes work (or don’t as it were).


  2. Well, at least we can all take comfort from the fact that real Christians would never do such a thing.
    Never ever.
    As for Pratchett, well, his works are of “da debil”!
    And let’s not forget Harry Potter.

    Harry Potter is the Devil!


  3. Mein Kampf is banned in many countries. Not sure I agree with this.


  4. “Not sure I agree with this.”

    Better have a think about it then, Mick.


  5. OK, Ken, I don’t agree with it at all.

    Is that clear enough for you?


  6. Mein Kampf is banned in many countries.

    Only if your definition of “many” is five(ish) out of a possible 196 or so.


  7. Only if your definition of “many” is five(ish) out of a possible 196 or so.

    Yes, but they are the ones that should be reading it, since they were in the thick of the Nazi regime. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.


  8. See, Mick. A little bit of thought and you have been able to say something definite. A lesson there?


  9. OK, Ken, I don’t agree with it at all.
    Is that clear enough for you?

    Given your previous behaviour on this blog, Ken’s comment was appropriate. You created your own unsavoury reputation. Only you understand what motivated you to behave in such an offensive manner. You can’t expect people to just meekly and mildly move on. If you want to have civil discourse then you have a re-build your reputation from scratch. Getting snappy does not help things along.
    As far as I am concerned, it would not surprise me in the slighted if you went back to your old ways.
    I hope you won’t but only time will tell.


  10. Yes, but…

    So we are agreed that it’s not many at all?

    Yes, but they are the ones that should be reading it, since they were in the thick of the Nazi regime.

    China and Argentina were in “the thick of the Nazi regime”?
    Chilling stuff.


  11. Why was I offensive?
    Which particular attitude or view offended you?
    After all, I was just playing a game of “Cedric Bingo”, to see how many times you could cut and paste the same “JAQing off” definition into comments.

    I lost count but I got to call bingo.


  12. (Let’s all take a trip down memory lane)

    Mick (the Just Asking Questions Troll)
    First JAQ-off was on August 5th ,2011.
    In the space of only 20 days, this much JAQ’ing off spam was created:
    Was this post about Norway or something? Do you need to be rebooted Cedric? Jacking off? Odd thing to say. Do you need some special superpowers to understand this bullshit? Which original doco Ken?Just asking a question. Which of the people in the video are ex-scientists or engineers? Can you name them? Just asking a question. Richard Lindzen Engineer or ex-scientist? John Christy Engineer or ex-scientist? Fred Singer Engineer or ex-scientist? Nir Shaviv Engineer or ex-scientist? Phillip Stott Engineer or ex-scientist? Paul Reiter Engineer or ex-scientist? I was just asking him a question. Maybe there is some confusion? Why does this matter? I am confused. But aren’t those guys in my video climate scientists? Were their voices tampered with in the making of the video? We might be kidnapped by Aliens because of Global Warming. Look, it’s in the Guardian, based on research between NASA and Penn State. Would they lie to us? NASA didn’t lie about the moon landings. NASA didn’t lie about global warming. NASA didn’t lie about the space aliens. What are we going to do about the aliens? What about the children? NASA wouldn’t lie to us. We need to do something! How did you write this article without a computer? Has this “global government” thing been debunked too? How do you know Monckton’s visit was a failure? So it was a failure then? Not a success? Why do they use the term “Right Wing Think Tank”? Are there no “Left Wing Think Tanks”? What do these mean anyway? Just a thought. So, Cedric, what does the term “Right Wing” mean to you? So what is a libertarian then? Right or left? Would you agree that the NZ Maori parties are “right wing”, using this definition? Seems a little far fetched, don’t you think.? Can I ask you a question every minute of an entire 8 hour working day? Can I? Did you check your sources Ken? Maybe they are making it up? Just a thought. Is this correct? Why does it take 39 hours to process one FOI request? Why don’t they just release all the data on a public website and be done with it? This “policy on climate change” will not also come at a significant cost to the taxpayer? Just a thought? It’s their own stupid fault. What did they expect? Is everyone who issues an FOI request a “denier”? Should we automatically accept everything the guvmint says as true, especially if they are after our money? Just a thought. Why does the guvmint complain when they create a system open to abuse? I can put a lot of thought into it. Where do you want to start? Just a question. What is your definition of the “real world”? Is it smelling roses on a rainy Sunday, sitting in front of your PC, or jogging along the path listening to your iPod? Just a question. See above. Just a question. Wasn’t he the guy who quit his job at the Courier Mail after his losing debate in Brisbane against Monckton , the man that no credible person in NZ will debate with?Just a thought. Does Cedric pass the Turing Test? Where did he get us Richard? Into Iraq and Afganistan? Just a thought. You met the Australian Sex Party? Did they give you one of those tattoos? Why would she advise Muslims to convert to Christianity? (Punishable by death under Islam law) and also, why should she want to speak about it at an atheist conference? So why do NZers have all this Maori nonsense about Taniwhas and such like? Why did you mention this ACT party? Is it a religious group? Just a question. No answer Ken? What has this “Act party” got to do with secularism? Do you have some personal axe to grind with this group? Come on, spit it out. Don’t be shy. Just a thought. Just a little question, Ken Ken is a retired fertilser scientist? Libertarian? So what is it then? Don’t you think this is a little shallow? These supposed “intellectuals” have in their midst a woman who is opening exploiting her gender with hard core porn. How’s that for a starter Nick? BTW, Nick, please explain to me why your comment about this “Act party” is not puerile sarcasm? I guess that’s not interesting though, is it Nick? Maybe you are just all hypocrites? WTF has the treaty got to do with these mythical monsters?
    Yes how does he see himself?
    That’s why are I am asking a few leading questions to try and ascertain if you know anything about anything.
    No. You are not asking a “few” questions.
    Don’t try and sugar coat it.
    Jacking off is all you do. It’s your thing. You need to talk to your mother or a good friend about this. If they are decent people, they will strongly disapprove of your actions. What you are doing is not reasonable or defensible. You should be ashamed of yourself.


  13. Why would I talk to my mother about jacking off?


  14. Incidentally, I see that you can read Mein Kampf online here

    This does of course open up the interesting debate on trying to ban books when you can get them online.


  15. I can’t talk about any others, but two countries that have some quite severe freedom of speech restrictions in relation to things Nazi are Germany and Austria.

    I personally lean on the side of complete freedom of speech wikileaks and all, but can understand why this particular area is complicated in these countries, and why such bans are not necessarily bad.

    Perhaps this is another good example of the weakness of absolute positions on anything.


  16. Why would I talk to my mother about jacking off?

    Better have a think about it, Mick.


  17. Nick,
    Why do you think banning Mein Kampf in Austria and Germany might be a good thing?

    Do you think denial is a good way forward?
    Surely it is better to bring everything out into the open.


  18. Have you lived in Germany or Austria Mick? I have.

    The national socialist era is very well addressed in schools (a bit less so in the east) and generally also in the national consciousness. There doesn’t seem to be any denial there at all.

    My guess would be that the motivation around the various laws in this area have a lot to do with the special sensitivity and responsibility that those countries have in regards to the consequences of the Nazi era. i.e. WWII, concentration camps, the holocaust etc…

    Tolerating groups of uniform wearing, swastika toting, “mein kampf” quoting men is something that is much more possible in the USA than in modern Germany.

    As it is, when the NPD or suchlike turn out to have a march, it usually results in a massive counter demo and the city getting a bit smashed up.

    So, this is one of the areas where I am willing to cut the authorities a bit of slack. As I have said previously, I don’t think that absolute positions reflect/address the complexity of reality.


  19. Once again, Nick, you show yourself to be a relativist.

    “Mein Kampf” is readily available on the streets of India and Pakistan, yet you wish the blond master race to remain ignorant of their past.

    How delightful!


  20. Now you are just being offensive Mick.

    You obviously didn’t try and read my previous post.

    Do you get a kick out of this sort of trolling Mick? Doesn’t it embarrass you that people might actually read the drivel that you post, or are do you feel secure sniping from your dark little anonymous corner?


  21. Offensive?
    Why should you find me offensive Nick?

    For example, when the racist pig Margaret Motu appears on TV NZ and tells us that “white people” are “guests” in NZ and that South Africans need to be tested for “racist attitudes” before entering NZ, do you find this offensive?

    Just asking a question, Nick. Just a thought


  22. What is your problem Mick? Life treating you a little hard perhaps? No Job? No wife? No life? Nothing left to you but your computer and your anger

    Or maybe I am being a bit harsh and instead you are suffering from some sort of disorder. Severe Aspergers perhaps?

    Or is it just stupidity….

    Whatever it is, you are of no interest to me.


  23. Whatever it is, you are of no interest to me.

    Clearly Nick, this is axiomatic.
    You are a “liberal”. You are only interested in your own world view and the dreary beige no-hopers like Ken and Cedric that infest left-wing hate sites like this.


  24. By the way, Nick, you accuse me of “severe Aspergers”.
    Do you have any evidence for this, and why would you try to use a serious mental condition as a form of abuse against me?

    Maybe because, Nick, when we prod “liberals” such as you, we find seriously intolerants, racists, and anti-semites lying close to the surface.

    Just a little thought Nick


  25. I lump for a psychological problem. Can’t see that simple honest political tea partyism would explain the persistence and childish hostility.


  26. I lump for a psychological problem

    Any idea what that problem might be Ken?
    Pschopath, serial killer.?
    Maybe you and your chums can use some of your Pop science to diagnose me.


  27. Don’t be upset, Mick. It’s relatively common – part of the drawback of our species self awareness.


  28. On the other hand, we could just be dealing with a homeschooler. Yet it’s wierd how he justifies himself:

    That’s why are I am asking a few leading questions to try and ascertain if you know anything about anything.

    Which morphs into…

    After all, I was just playing a game of “Cedric Bingo”, to see how many times you could cut and paste the same “JAQing off” definition into comments.

    Which later becomes…

    Maybe because, Nick, when we prod “liberals” such as you, we find seriously intolerants, racists, and anti-semites lying close to the surface.

    I like the “we” part. Either it’s the voices in his head or he self- identifies with a particular group. Perhaps the same group that told him that Mein Kampf was banned in “many” countries and that China and Argentina “were in the thick of the Nazi regime”?
    Mick’s google-fu is so abysmal it has to measured in negative numbers.


  29. Pretty rich coming from a Perl script running in Seoul Korea 🙂


  30. Richard Christie

    no name = no cred

    Treat the no name trolls as Cedric does, as a golden opportunity to expose Teh Stupid.

    Don’t you realise that is what is going on here Mike? Your not prodding anybody, you’re just taking your clothes off in public.


  31. Richard Christie

    Whoah….is it Mick, Mike, who cares


  32. you’re just taking your clothes off in public.

    OK, you have found out a little interest of mine Richard. If you haven’;t tried it, maybe you should, it is very liberating, and the Vitamin D is good for you, so I am told.

    Would you like to see my naturist holiday photos?


  33. Richard Christie

    I see you share a hobby with Hank Wangford.


  34. I am sure I share a hobby with many. It is much more common than you think.


  35. Which does of course come (somewhat distastefully) to the subject of the blog post…..


  36. Your not prodding anybody, you’re just taking your clothes off in public.

    One sad factor is the lack of originality. Par for the course for a Climate Denier. They never do anything new. It always devolves into defensive paranoia and ludditism based upon a steadfast refusal to avail themselves of primary sources of information.
    I feel sorry for his family.
    Imagine if he showed them his behaviour on the internet?
    Oh, to be a fly on that wall.


  37. “climate denier”


    Yes, Cedric, I deny that there is a climate

    Hilarious. 🙂



  38. Amazing how everyone’s suddenly read this article in the last couple of weeks…
    The Yahoo Answers post is from March 2009. I doubt the girl in question even goes to the school any more.


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