The only reason to ban “It Feels Good to Be Yourself” by Theresa Thorn is that Noah Grigni, the illustrator, made the children look too happy

Through a Georgia Open Records Request, I received the minutes from the Greater Clarks Hill Regional Library‘s (GCHRL) and the Columbia County Library‘s Boards of Directors meetings. The Columbia County Library is the largest branch within GCHRL, and it is the closest branch to my home. At the December 13, 2022 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Columbia County Library voted to remove It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity, written by Theresa Thorn and illustrated by Noah Grigni.

In all of the minutes, I couldn’t find any specific complaint about this book. I was able to acquire it through the Georgia PINES interlibrary loan process. Other Georgia public libraries have 35 copies of this book.

I’ve finished reading it, and I’m racking my brain to understand why my library’s board caved-in to the demands of the local Moms 4 Liberty/No Left Turn/Spanish Inquisition agitators.

There’s no sexual content in the book. No kissing, no hand-holding, no love letters.

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Kim Stanley Robinson’s Vast World of Speculative Fiction Can’t Envision a Point in the Next 30 Years When Arabs Deserve Respect

I’m a Kim Stanley Robinson fan. I’ve read the Mars Trilogy, which I believe is one of the best science fiction series ever. I’ve read the Science in the Capitol series, which was good. I LOVED Years of Rice and Salt, although I might have some criticisms of it if I reread it now. Shaman was rollicking good fun! So, The Ministry for the Future was on my to-read list since its publication. When Science Friday announced it as the February 2023 SciFri book club selection, I finally read it.

There are several reasons to read the book, which I’ve rated 5 of 5. The most important is that it treats the threat of biosphere collapse with the gravity it deserves and shows a possible path out of it. My biggest struggle is believing that there is a path out of it. Read the novel, and you will see that Robinson’s imagined path forward is much more radical than the current neoliberal Washington Consensus contemplates.

Even though Robinson can imagine an incredible series of human actions which together save humanity, he sadly can’t imagine two things: (1) a United States that plays a positive role and (2) a near future where Arabs “deserve respect.”

Starting on p. 551, from a chapter told from the perspective of Cerine, a Syrian refugee who came to Switzerland 40 years ago with two young daughters and who was finally granted a legal status in Switzerland:

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Supplement Marketing Deceptions: Benefiber Original vs Healthy Shape

A gastroenterologist recommended for a family member Benefiber to regulate bowel movements. Benefiber is a product of Haleon. I purchased Benefiber Healthy Shape from my regular Kroger. On one hand, the powdered supplment dissolved without taste in water and grape juice, which was an advntage over the Metamucil supplement we had tried before. In expectation of our relative’s continued use of the supplement, the next time I purchased from Kroger, I purchased another bottle. This time I purchased Benefiber Original, which was less expensive per gram than the Benefiber Healthy Shape, partly due to the larger size.

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There Are Real Issues at Stake in Georgia Runoff Election. You Just Don’t Hear About It from the Candidates.

If you are unfortunate enough to live in a state which doesn’t have ranked choice voting, you may find yourself in the middle of an intense political season weeks after the 2nd Tuesday in November, when voting in the General Election occurred. In Georgia, we get to hear attack ads about the Democratic Party’s nominee Senator Rapheal Warnock and the Republican Party’s nominee Herschel Walker.

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Why Are Depictions of Baseball in Fiction Better than Watching Actual Baseball on TV?

I enjoyed Golden Arm, a Young Adult novel by Carl Deuker. The protagonist is a high school pitcher, and the fictional games in which his team played had me on the edge of my seat. Another YA book I read which featured baseball prominently was Much Ado about Baseball by Rajani LaRocca.

Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, I finally opened up the Major League Baseball website to check the standings to see if my Atlanta Braves had a chance to make the playoffs. This was the first time I’d actually checked during the entire 162-game 2022 season. Needless to say, I hadn’t watched a game, possibly not even a single inning.

And, to be honest, even last season when the Braves won the World Series, I only started following during the National League Championship Series and the World Series. And I didn’t watch games from beginning to end. I’d record the game on the DVR, check the results online, and, if the Braves won, I’d watch by fast forwarding to the innings in which base runners got on base as indicated by the broadcasters’ screen graphics. I’d then hit the “Skip 30 second forward” button on the remote to the end of each at bat, and then skip backwards until I could see the final pitch.

In other words, I’m hardly a fan of watching baseball on TV.

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Imperialism II: Hypercommercial Strategy Has Limitations

In the hypercommercial strategy, I controlled Ireland, Switzerland, the Mayas, the Taino, The Sioux, the Incas, the Aztecs , the Cherokee & the Pueblo without a single battle.

I blogged about how the turn-based computer strategy game Imperialism II models well the historical and ongoing process of imperialism as illustrated by its terms of trade. I then wanted to try to win a game where I wouldn’t fight one battle but would instead control the world through the force of capital. Without a single battle, I controlled Ireland, Switzerland, the Mayas, the Taino, The Sioux, the Incas, the Aztecs , the Cherokee & the Pueblo.

However, I could not win the game without fighting a war. Holland and Portugal were fighting France, and I, as ruler of Sweden, had to declare war on France in order to capture some of its provinces to prevent Holland from capturing them all and winning the game by reaching 33 provinces. As the Tripartite Aggression against France, with Sweden’s actual agenda of preventing a victory by the Artificial Intelligence-ruled Holland, I began granting Portugal $10,000 per year to improve the relationship between the two empires. The war concluded with the capture of all the French provinces, Shortly thereafter, Sweden asked Portugal to join its empire, and Portugal assented. This resulted in Sweden controlling 37 provinces and winning the game.

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Computer Strategy Game “Imperialism II” Demonstrates How the Industrialized States Have Become Wealthy Off the Backs of Poor in the Global South

I’ve blogged about the computer strategy game Imperialism II, which I still like to play when I am watching something on TV that doesn’t require full attention. As I was about to claim victory, I thought I’d try to acquire $1,000,000. I wondered if the computer programmers behind the game had made allowances for a 7-digit figure for cash. As this screenshot demonstrates, they did!

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USA Colonialism Trivia Contest

This quote is taken from a report submitted to the United States Senate. The blanks indicate my redaction to hide the country of which the report’s author(s) speaks.

The people of ____________ are not unmindful of our efforts at the cost of our blood and large expenditures of our public funds for their progress and development, and to give them their place in the sun. …. From a standpoint of education, the administration of justice, and a capacity to maintain their economic progress, it is not doubted that the __________ people are fully competent to set up and maintain a free and independent government. … Every step taken by the United States since the inception of American sovereignty over _____________ has been to prepare the _________ people for independence. As a result, they are now ready for independence politically, socially, and economically.

Of what country is the report speaking? Bonus points if you can give an approximate date. More importantly, to how many countries might this quote apply equally?

I found this quote in Dylan Rodriguez‘s book White Reconstruction: Domestic Warfare and the Logic of Genocide.

Follow this link to see the full, unredacted quote and learn about the report from which it came.

I don’t have a prize to give you for the correct answer. But you did get a book recommendation by reading this far.