- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2006

First lady Laura Bush, a former public school teacher and librarian in the Houston, Dallas and Austin school systems, is to address the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in New Orleans next week.

The first lady isn’t planning to speak about anything political. The noncontroversial topic of her panel: “School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning” in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Nevertheless, her mere scheduled presence has moonbat activists within the ALA steaming. On a library e-mail list publicized on the SHUSH blog (www.SHUSH.ws) this week, ALA councilor-at-large Mark Rosenzweig’s rant must be quoted at length to be believed:

“I must, with the weariness and frustration that accompanies the anticipated yet still painful, hereby protest that this event turns our conference into a grand political photo-op for the administration of President George W. Bush, whose administration bears such a heavy responsibility for, among other things of which I will remind you, the debacle of the response to Hurricane Katrina and for its on-going aftermath.

“Mrs. Bush is anachronistically called the ‘first lady,’ with the fake gentility which is the hallmark of our provincial cult of the presidency, but what she is, in [political] fact, regardless of her surfeit of — to me — rather cloying charm and her much publicized attachment to libraries as the no-political-downside way of demonstrating Bush administration largess, is the First Supporter of President Bush and one his most valuable public relations assets … she supports virtually every policy of her husband’s administration — tax cuts for the rich, the destruction of Social Security and Medicare, the privatization of public lands, the hand-outs to corporations, the support for the plundering by Big Oil, the covering for the abuses of the [pharmaceutical] industry, the invasion and occupation of Iraq (and the lies that were told to enable it), the blockade of Cuba and the threats to Latin America, the nuclear saber-rattling, the USA Patriot Act, covert domestic surveillance, the attacks on the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution, the flaunting of international law, and, let’s not forget, ‘Gitmo’ and Abu Ghraib and Haditha.

“When you see her smiling demurely on the platform that we have provided for her and basking in the standing ovation Americans love to give to celebrities, know too that the smirking faces of Bush and Cheney and [Rumsfeld] are up there too, and that every clap of the hands and whistle and whoop are taken by them — and by the media who will witness this — as endorsement of their policies and their administation.”

Someone has been breathing too much photocopier fluid. And he’s not alone.

Mr. Rosenzweig held the position of chief book-stacker and archivist for the “Reference Center for Marxist Studies” in New York. He heads a hard-core faction of library-dwelling radicals who are apologists for Fidel Castro (“I don’t think [Cuba] is a dictatorship. It’s a republic,” Mr. Rosenzweig has said).

ALA officials, recycling discredited propaganda about the Patriot Act, are vocal opponents of every aspect of the War on Terror. The ALA policymaking council has passed resolutions calling for the U.S. to cut and run from Iraq and is openly hostile to the Boy Scouts’ freedom of association.

As David Durant, a conservative librarian at East Carolina University, wrote in a whistle-blowing piece on the radicalized ALA last year: “[I]n the wake of September 11 and the war in Iraq, librarianship as a profession no longer simply leans to the left; it has become openly politicized. By 2004, to work in a major American public or academic library was to find yourself in a left-wing echo chamber.”

Popular speakers at past ALA conferences have included: Bush-bashers Richard Clarke, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Gloria Steinem, and E.L. Doctorow. A featured benefit screening of Michael Moore’s conspiracy-mongering “Fahrenheit 9/11” drew a capacity crowd of more than 2,000, Mr. Durant noted. Dissenters are mocked on ALA mailing lists and conference events.

Welcome to the 21st century librarian: book-smart, reality-stupid, Bush-deranged bigots. Let’s hope the first lady’s security detail comes prepared. You never know what these tolerant people will throw.

Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of the new book “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.”

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