Comment: The right to free speech doesn't guarantee

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The right to free speech doesn't guarantee

you a venue in which to be heard. It means that, unlike in Russia, East Germany, and other Soviet block countries, or China or some other countries today, the GOVERNMENT can't ban a book or haul you off to prison because of what you have expressed. Bookstores, mass merchandising outlets, convenience stores, airports, schools, public libraries, or any other places that sell or loan out books are under no obligation to carry particular titles. In selecting their inventory, it's up to them what they choose to carry, based on whatever parameters or standards they deem appropriate re marketability, decency, age appropriateness, popularity... Indeed, I find it galling that school libraries promote "Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read," urging students to read a "banned book," by which they mean books that at one time or another weren't considered appropriate by some, or most, schools. There is nothing intrinsically good about literature that doesn't make it into school libraries. Indeed, there are books there that the vast majority of PARENTS would never allow their children to read at home.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir