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FEMA Removes 9/11 Coloring Book For Children From Website

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the everbody-dies-jimmy dept.

United States 324

FEMA has decided to pull a children's coloring book entitled, "A Scary Thing Happened" from their website. The coloring book contained three images of the twin towers on fire for children to color. Rose Olmsted, the coordinator behind the book said, "I stand firm that it was a very well thought-out and useful resource for kids, but it's obviously being misinterpreted by a lot of people." Since people are so upset about the coloring book, I can only assume FEMA's plan for a human remains concentration game will be put on hold.

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Wrong move (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776737)

Censorship is a bigger danger to the American Public than any FEMA publication.

Re:Wrong move (3, Funny)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776913)

Obviously the submitter is heavily biased and can't be bothered to think past his or (very unlikely her) own prejudices.

That final sentence is just "hey look at me, I'm a bigot but listen to me anyway."

For some reason, this [penny-arcade.com] comes to mind.

Re:Wrong move (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777523)

What prejudices and biases are you talking about? What does a Penny Arcade comic about punctuation and flaming fan-boys have to do with the summary? I just don't understand what you are referring to at all.

Re:Wrong move (2, Informative)

vvildcard (1544763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27778041)

As with most Penny Arcade strips, it's not about the game the strip is specifically referring to, it's about the concepts that are at play in the background... you gotta read between the lines.

The point, if you can't see it, is that the poster goes through the following process:

1. Frames his rejection of an idea.
2. Claims he's not a bigot/hypocrite and/or attempts to validate why he's certified to hold such an opinion.
3. Makes a stupid statement that completely invalidates the main thrust of his position and confirms that he is, in fact, a bigot/hypocrite.

Re:Wrong move (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776957)

I certainly cry whenever I see a citizen or agency decide not to publish something based on negative public reaction and publicity.

Wait, what do you mean that's not censorship?

Re:Wrong move (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777151)

Yes, public pressure is a very frequent mechanism used for censorship.

Bruce Perens is a censor! (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777419)

I notice YOU haven't published the coloring book on YOUR site either, Mr. Perens. Therefore, by your own logic, you are a censor.

Except that is not censorship. Nobody is banning anything. FEMA is choosing not to use our tax dollars to publish a coloring book on their own web site. Calling that censorship dilutes the meaning of the word, and it demeans the struggle against real censorship.

Re:Bruce Perens is a censor! (2, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777525)

The difference is that the FEMA site is a site to which people go in search of information about disasters and emergencies. Bruce Perens' site is not. Furthermore, until some silly people began to complain about it, FEMA did have it on its site.

No, this isn't censorship in the strict sense, but it is unfortunate that a government site should take down a perfectly appropriate publication because some people whine about it.

Re:Bruce Perens is a censor! (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777745)

Isn't the government supposed to be accountable to the people? Then why on earth is it a bad thing when they listen to them and not publish something?

Why is it a bad thing? (3, Insightful)

mengel (13619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777989)

Because the people who are asking them to take it down are silly, that's why. Things like coloring or drawing pictures (and talking about the pictures thus drawn) of traumatic events is good therapy. Removing something that supports that is silly.

So yes, the government should be accountable to the people. But they should also know when a few people are being silly and complaining about something that is actually worthwhile.

On the other hand, kids that are of a coloring-book age (like my 5-year-old) at this point probably don't remember September 11, 2001, anyhow.

Re:Bruce Perens is a censor! (1)

nevergleam (900375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27778029)

The government is accountable to the people, but only insofar as the Constitution allows. What I say is beside the point that the coloring book was a pretty bad idea.

Is it censorship? I don't know, and I don't care if it is in this particular case. I just know that the book was available on FEMA's site for SIX YEARS. I wonder how many kids' minds it put at ease in that time.

Re:Bruce Perens is a censor! (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777777)

See, now this is how we calmly and rationally discuss an issue without resorting to hyperbole. I happen to disagree that this is unfortunate. Not that I think it is fortunate either, I think it is utterly unimportant.

Seriously, if you are going to the FEMA site for tips on how to talk to your kids about terrorism, you have bigger problems than the disappearance of a coloring book.

Well said (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777571)

I don't think I've ever agreed with you before, spun!

Re:Well said (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777863)

Libertarians suck! Wait, what did you say? Sorry, that's just kind of an automatic response from me. Property is theft! It's like Tourette Syndrome. The free market is broken! I call it 'Libertariette Syndrome.'

Re:Bruce Perens is a censor! (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777747)

Freedom of speech does not require that I give anyone a podium.

FEMA, in this case, was forced to remove the material due to pressure to be "politically correct". Yes, that's censorship.

Wrong again (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777947)

By your logic, anything the government published at one time but no longer publishes has been 'censored.' Do you really not understand how that dilutes the real meaning of the word 'censorship?'

FEMA was not 'forced' to remove anything. FEMA is a government agency, with limited funds. They put up something they thought would be useful. People did not find it useful, and they asked FEMA not to waste any resources on it. FEMA took it down. The work is still available, if anyone wants it. The government has not banned the coloring book. The government is just not wasting our tax dollars hosting that worthless content anymore.

Calling this censorship is simply hyperbole, and a knee-jerk attempt at whipping up some anti-government, anti-PC hysteria.

Re:Wrong move (1, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777753)

That may be, but there's still no censorship going on here.

Sorry, Bruce.

Re:Wrong move (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776987)

Do you mean to equate this situation with censorship, or are you just playing happy happy non sequitur?

Re:Wrong move (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777079)

How would you characterize the disappearance of the book, if we're avoiding the word "censorship"?

Re:Wrong move (5, Insightful)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777169)

A decision by a government agency to stop selling a book that upset some people.

Censorship would be if FEMA removed the book from their website, and then told the publisher to stop publishing it.

Extreme cases would then involve removing it from book stores, schools and homes... but that wouldn't be necessary. FEMA taking it off its own website though, not censorship. I don't link to slashdot on my home page, am I guilty of censorship against slashdot?

Re:Wrong move (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777293)

I don't link to slashdot on my home page, am I guilty of censorship against slashdot?

If you've never linked to slashdot from your homepage, you're OK. However if you have a link on there and later decide, "You know, that link is unnecessary and silly," and remove it - You've just self-censored. God help you if somebody else sends you an e-mail saying that the link is pointless and that you should take it down - Then if you do what they suggest, you have an obligation to fight censorship by leaving it up.

In case the sarcasm isn't coming across through the post, I agree with you - This is not censorship. And associating it with censorship waters down valid arguments against censorship. The government putting out a publication that the tax-payers largely object to would not be some strike for free speech, it would be misallocated government spending.

Re:Wrong move (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777173)

I would describe it as a redirection of government resources.

I mean, the government doesn't actually have an obligation to fully represent all viewpoints, or to maintain public access to all content that it has ever published.

If FEMA refused to turn over the book in the face of a FOIA request, I would be a little irritated, but there is a link down the page to a copy of the book hosted on the Smoking Gun, so I wouldn't spend much time on it.

Re:Wrong move (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777225)

I would call it "Not choosing to put the book on the FEMA site." Guess what, I chose not to put it on my website either. Am I a censor?

There is a HUGE difference between 'government not using its resources to publish your creation' and 'government banning your creation.'

Re:Wrong move (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777721)

I'm not making a political argument, just a pedantic one...if I display something, and then remove it from view for some reason, I am censoring myself (as a poster above said).

Seriously, I'm looking for a word that describes what happened, and failing to find a more approprate one. It may or may not be censorship in the legal sense, I have no idea...I suppose it depends on whether they ask TSG et. al. to remove links to it, as well, but in the literal sense it definitely is.

From Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] :

to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable <censor the news> ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable <censor out indecent passages>

If you choose to not put the link on your site, then no, that's not censorship. If you have the link on your site and then remove it, then yes, it's censorship...just not the government kind we often talk about, and sometimes see.

Re:Wrong move (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777119)

And censorship of this... I don't see what is wrong at all with creating resources like this for helping small children cope with disasters.

Re:Wrong move (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777597)

Censorship that abridged the right to free speech is a danger. Since the government isn't forbidding anybody from publishing a tasteless coloring book, I think we're fine. Government sites aren't obligated to publish EVERYTHING, just like it's not a violation of constitutional rights if a government press decides not to publish a particular book.

Wrong decision (4, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776775)

But given the level of ignorance and PCness in this country, not at all surprising. Games and coloring books are two ways kids learn, remember and process things. I recall growing up with coloring books that depicted, for instance, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Nazis, etc. It didn't turn me into a hateful monster or give me terrible dreams; it helped me learn, remember and understand. I've talked to several friends about this (I have friends across most spectrums you can come up with) and they reached the same conclusion.

We've become absurdly over-sensitive as a nation.

Re:Wrong decision (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776877)

---
We've become absurdly over-sensitive as a nation.
---

QFT. I like to call it the "pussification" of America.

Re:Wrong decision (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777133)

Stop putting the pussy on a pedestal.

Re:Wrong decision (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777493)

That reminds me of that Greek Mythology coloring book I had as a kid... one of my grammar school teachers liked it so much that she used it to make transparencies. I wonder if that would be allowed today?

Re:Wrong decision (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777543)

It was a very wrong decision. The FEMA employee that put the book on the website should be fired. That is more than offensive and insensitive!

It is not the governments place to do this.

Re:Wrong decision (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777253)

And, if you read Fahrenheit 451, is one of the main reasons that firemen will soon start fires, instead of putting them out. We can't have books, because they will offend people.

Re:Wrong decision (4, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777333)

I totally agree with your conclusion. We're entirely over-sensitive, especially in the U.S.

However, I have issues with the coloring book and I'm mostly glad it was removed.

In my opinion, 9/11 is still a very large and very sore subject for many people. I believe the little fly-by stunt the government pulled this week proves that. However, that's not the direct reason I think the book was "off color" (forgive the pun).

I was speaking with my girlfriend and we're in agreement. Children, especially children that are at the age where coloring books are a learning aid really don't need to be exposed to the details of 9/11. Frankly, most children barely understand that different people live in different parts of the world. The U.S. is a big enough place with enough demographics to keep a kids mind chugging out questions for quite some time.

Children coloring in planes flying and blowing up into buildings won't mean squat to them. The word "Terrorist" is basically just another word for "bad" or "stranger". The meaning of what happened and what it means is entirely lost on a child.

Think of it this way, I can't see explaining to a child (of coloring book age) what really happened on 9/11. What is a coloring book really going to teach them then?

I don't know, rambling a bit here, but I just don't see the point in coloring in 9/11 imagery. If you want children to learn about 9/11, show them news footage and witness accounts. Then teach about the politics and religions that led up to the event and what happened afterwards (in response to and the just because's). But kids of that age, again, really aren't ready (as a whole) to be told, let alone understand, what really happened.

Regardless of what you may think, Wars, Nazis, 9/11, etc, just simply aren't coloring book material. Lets keep kids coloring books to Spongebob and Animals. When they are old enough to understand and respect what happened, then they can be exposed.

All this is of course from a schooling perspective. If you want to teach your kids about the realities of the world at home at whatever age you choose, please feel free!

Re:Wrong decision (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777577)

And while you are at it, keep those kids away from Grimm's fairy tales.

Re:Wrong decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777341)

But we don't have Pearl Harbor and Nazi coloring books anymore, right? I'm not sure I like the idea of a coloring book based on the 20th centuries worst moments. Then again, there might be a use for it in high schools today.

Remove all 9/11 images (3, Insightful)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776781)

Is what the government is saying. Please forget this ever happened.

It's like trying to take guns and cannons out of civil war coloring books.

It happened and it's history. People need to know the truth.

Vampires, Garlic, Elephants, and Donkeys (1, Informative)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776979)

Remove all 9/11 images is what the government is saying. Please forget this ever happened.

Because the more fixated you are on the events of 9/11, the less likely you are to vote Democrat. Or so the prevailing sentiment on both sides of the political aisle goes. Republicans trot out the images every opportunity they get when up for election, from dogcatcher through president, and the Democrats feed the Marketing Mindset by running from them like vampires from garlic -- or doing stunts like this.

I think it was Vonnegut who said, "You are what you pretend to be. Be careful of what you pretend to be."

9/11 == Power Over Electorate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777381)

Nonsense. 9/11 helps whoever is in power by whipping the nation into a patriotic government-worshiping frenzy. Remember all those people who thought that criticizing the president was akin to treason? That's the power of 9/11. Both Democrats and Republicans want that power.

This coloring book was pulled for a completely different reason, namely that people didn't want their tax dollars supporting such a thing.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777011)

It happened and it's history. People need to know the truth.

And an appropriate way to teach kids about it is to have them color in pictures of burning buildings and planes aiming for buildings?

Sorry, big bag of fail there. Kids who need coloring books to learn about a terrorist attack do not need to learn the history yet. Wait until they are older, when it can be taught as history and discussed rationally, instead of indoctrinating their very young minds.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777175)

Well, as a publication from FEMA related to disaster response, it probably made a lot of sense when it was released.

I seriously doubt that the book talks much about terrorists and "indoctrinates young minds". On the contrary, removing the book (assuming it talks about how to deal with people being hurt and dying unexpectedly) initiates it's own fair share of indoctrination, don't you think? Ever tell a kid "you can't read/watch/see that", and have them ask you why? You learn a lot about yourself and your motivations during the course of that explanation.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777365)

If I ever have kids, the first step will be to teach them that I'm a hypocrite.

After that, when they ask why not, I can tell them I am an asshole, while emphasizing that they aren't to use such language.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777263)

The coloring book was produced to help kids process something that a _lot_ of them saw on live television _while_ it was happening, including the second plane strike, the people jumping, and the towers collapsing; not to mention the bajillion talking heads who were visibly shaken themselves.

"A Scary Thing Happened", and the kids were going to be thinking about it, and maybe drawing it anyway. Maybe it might have been good to let them know (via a coloring book) that scary things are rare, and that happy times are common. Now, eight years later, those kids have grown past the coloring book stage, and today's toddlers have no need for "A Scary Thing Happened."

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (2, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777429)

Sorry, big bag of fail there. Kids who need coloring books to learn about a terrorist attack do not need to learn the history yet.

I'm not sure someone who has to describe something as a "big bag of fail" has a proper perspective on what children need much less how to educate them.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (2, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777127)

Is what the government is saying. Please forget this ever happened.

DHS, Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, TSA, color-coded 'Terrorists Might Get Us Today' alert levels, Boston freaking out over L.E.D.'s, troops in Afghanistan, troops in Iraq, 'No Fly' lists, etc...

I think that genie is irrevocably out of the bottle, but it would still not surprise me if you were correct.

It happened and it's history. People need to know the truth./quote
And remember it to avoid the same mistakes.(we seem to be having trouble with this one)

Just remember kiddies, when you stick your head in the sand, it puts your butt up in the air for easy access...have plenty of lube ready.

Re:Remove all 9/11 images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777139)

Apparently, they're doing it in response to pressure from the public, not because of some sinister policy.

But a "human remains concentration game"? WTF???

Karma restored! (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777227)

This was simply done to balance the karma equation, after terrorizing most of lower Manhattan with a 747 and a fighter jet.

Karma restored. Yay government!

You can clearly see! (5, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776793)

In those coloring book images, you can clearly see that the towers were rigged for demolition! See, I just drew in a team of CIA operatives with a TNT plunger! COVER UP! I call COVER UP!

Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1, Troll)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776843)

I stand firm that it was a very well thought-out and useful resource for kids, but it's obviously being misinterpreted by a lot of people

Misinterpreted? Children colouring in a terrorist attack... This doesn't worry anyone?

I'm sorry but I think exposing children to this sort of material will desensitise them to such actions if (when) they happen again... Is that what we really want?

And more importantly, is this really news for nerds?

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (2, Insightful)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776955)

Where the hell did you grow up? Certainly not in the U.S.A., if you think that coloring in a terrorist attack is so worrisome, what's your opinion on the public television they'll be watching in just a few years? I say we quit pretending and come to terms with reality, this happened. It was a very real thing, a 'turning point' (using this term lightly) in American history.

What happened to "9/11 - Never Forget". When did it become "9/11 - Never Forget, But Don't Tell the Children!!".

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (2, Insightful)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777057)

This isn't about us pretending, it's about children pretending. Learning about the futility of existence should be a suprise saved for later in life.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777097)

Touche sir, haha.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777687)

I guess we should having coloring books for the blown-off limbs of soldier who got caught by IEDs in Iraq.

It happened. Certainly, it's something one should know about. But it's in very poor taste.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776997)

Children colouring in a terrorist attack... This doesn't worry anyone?
 
It doesn't worry me. Yes, it will probably desensitize them, but considering the overreaction our nation had to the killing of fewer citizens in a terrorist attack than we lose on the highways to drunk driving on a holiday weekend, I think we can use some desensitizing.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777081)

A certain amount of desensitization is necessary to live.

I open the paper every day to see a two-page spread of people who died. If I wasn't desensitized to death to a certain degree and instead had a huge emotional reaction to everyone who had died, I'd be screwed.

You don't want kids to be callous, but you don't want them to live in fear, either.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777299)

I just don't want to see green flames and purple pictures of the WTC Towers. And where are the people jumping?

I mean, how far do you take it? I have a feeling a lot of people's problems is the coloring book to light heartedness relationship. I know it's mine, I don't want to hide kids from 9/11 nor do I want to shove it down their throats.

So, while I'll have discussions with young kids, watch news footage with older ones, and visit the memorial with both I don't want plush toys, coloring books or theme songs.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777635)

A certain amount of desensitization is necessary to live.

Necessary to live? Not so much. Desensitization is certainly required to fully enjoy today's mass media, however.

It's come to the point where I can't watch anything but Craig Ferguson and the weather channel.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

agnosticanarch (105861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776999)

Desensitized? You mean in the same way that the song Rock-a-bye Baby desensitized children to the violence of life? You mean the same way that the song Ring Around the Rosie desensitized children to the horrors of disease and death? Maybe a bit of desensitization is not necessarily a bad thing _if it prepares children for the horror of REAL LIFE_!

~AA

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777531)

Exactly, things always end up on a larger scale later in life. The sooner you have certain life experiences the better you are. Think about chicken pox, when you are 4 or 5 chicken pox is just a few days sick, a few oatmeal baths and some lotion, on the other hand, when you are 40, chicken pox can get you hospitalised rather quickly. Or think about drinking, the kid who drinks a bit when he is 15, throws up and then only occasionally drinks compared to the kid who is 21 and drinks enough to have alcohol poisoning because he doesn't know when to quit.

Early exposure to things almost always leads to better handling of it and less severe consequences then later in life.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777029)

I'm sorry but I think exposing children to this sort of material will desensitise them to such actions if (when) they happen again..

Ummm you need to look up what desensitize means. It doesn't mean that you don't care when something happens, it means you don't get tied up into an ineffective emotional knot.

For example, someone who is "desensitized" to violence (like a soldier) is not going to not notice, or not care about killing, but they will be able to kill without having huge emotional issues. At least that's the theory, in practice it usually ends up still bothering people quite a bit.

Your argument is like saying that showing kids pictures of the Holocaust will "desensitize" them to genocide, so that they won't notice or care WHEN it happens again. Which simply isn't true- it makes them MORE aware of such things, which is good.

As for this book, it was intended to give kids an outlet to help them deal with constantly seeing stuff about 9/11 on TV, on the news, at school, etc. They don't really understand what's going on at that age, but still need an outlet to help deal with the fear that they pick up from the adults around them.
It doesn't seem very politically correct, but that's because LIFE is not politically correct, and attempting to shoehorn life into a nice tidy little box is going to cause the kids bigger problems in the long run.

As a final thought, if this really was an issue, then why do most kids who played the board game "operation" still vomit when a coroner opens up a corpse in front of them?

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (4, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777125)

The coloring book was a well thought out resource then for allowing toddlers work out their emotions from that event.

Honestly, can you imagine how scary it would have been to be a 4 year old during 9/11? We adults, the folk they looked to for guidance, were primarily broken. Most of the people I knew back then were completely at a loss on how to act, what to think, or even what to say, they just sat there organically BSOD'ed.

Now imagine you are a kid and your parents are doing this, and the TV is saying we are under attack, showing buildings falling and people jumping out. Over and over again.

The kids back then needed something to help them cope, and giving them the opportunity to draw it in a coloring book, as much as it sounds counter intuitive, is pretty much the standard "coping technique" any child psychologist will suggest for children who've experienced a tramatic event.

On the other hand, I really don't see it being as useful today. I would have supported removing it, not because of 'negative pressure' but simply because it was no longer relevant or useful for the purpose it was created.

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777135)

Yes.

One thing that I have never really understood.... whats so bad about being desensitized?

I mean really, do we think that the proper reaction, in just about any situation, is to immediately reduce yourself to a quivering blob of jelly? Isn't desensitization exactly what you want when a major event happens and you have to keep a calm and level head and act rationally?

I mean seriously, other than a bunch o fhand waving about the bogus dangers of "desensitization" is there really any way at all that this could be, in the least bit, harmful to children?

Seriously, if we had been a bit more "desensitized" to this extremely rare event, by a very small number of people (who are mostly all dead or captured), then maybe we wouldn't have overreacted so badly.

At current count, adding security to cockpit doors is the SINGLE change I have seen since 9/12 thats made anyone any safer. In reality, the attack vector was one that relied on passengers believing they would be involved in a bloodless standoff that was exploited. 9/11 was a 100% self correcting problem, as it educated airline passengers to a new type of terrorist plot.

As of about 11 am on 9/11 the plot could not have been repeated ever again. No new "security measures" were needed. However, being nation of ultra-sensitive cowards who like to hide behind big police forces and military might, we did a lot more than that.

I see desensitization as a good thing. Lets have them color in some suicide bomb belts while they are at it. so maybe next time we can act like mature adults rather than sacred little children.

-Steve

Re:Yes, clearly misinterpreted (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777301)

I'm sorry but I think exposing children to this sort of material will desensitise them to such actions if (when) they happen again... Is that what we really want?

Yes, by all means. We should keep them fearful and unable to deal with situations and concepts that even adults have difficulty dealing with.

Who thinks of this stuff? (0, Flamebait)

ForShizzle (1365021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776869)

This is about as retarded as the people who bought the terrorist playing cards that have photos of random brown skinned men. All used to fuel hate. Indeed, (g)od Bless the USA!!!

Re:Who thinks of this stuff? (3, Informative)

drakaan (688386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777249)

...The individuals on the terrorist training cards are no more random than the airplanes, tanks, and trucks on the NATO/Warsaw Pact training cards.

They're not used to fuel hate, they're used to familiarize soldiers with the appearance of specific human beings so that they don't pass by unnoticed. Kind of like "wanted" posters, but made in a way that they're likely to be looked at more often.

Re:Who thinks of this stuff? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777679)

They're not used to fuel hate, they're used to familiarize soldiers with the appearance of specific human beings so that they don't pass by unnoticed. Kind of like "wanted" posters, but made in a way that they're likely to be looked at more often.

Which is probably true of the original decks distributed to US soldiers in Iraq. But is definitely not true of the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands more decks sold on ebay and hundreds of websites to those who have zero chance of encountering the people depicted on the cards.

Re:Who thinks of this stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777405)

Are you naturally this idiotic or do you have to work at it?

Next on the list for removal (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776887)

This is just the first government agency publication to be pulled. To come:

FEMA's Katrina Snorkel & Search underwater body hunt field kit
The SEC's Big Book of Why Daddy Contemplates Suicide guide to financial hardship for kids
The FDA's Crush&Snort Mortar and Pestle Set

Look for a complete list to be published by early summer.

Re:Next on the list for removal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777113)

I lol'd

Re:Next on the list for removal (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777359)

Don't forget the DEA's Crystal Meth EZ-Bake Oven. That one's a classic.

Re:Next on the list for removal (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777427)

To the mod who decided to mod the parent post overrated:

Yes, it's not very funny. However, the primary point of the post was to lampoon how ridiculous the catastrophe coloring book idea is. Whether or not you agree with that point is something else, but I hope you considered the idea.

Off-topic, completely, I know... but it seems there are so many rush-moderators now, maybe you'll consider thinking about it next time.

I'll be the karma whore (5, Informative)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776951)

Here's a copy of the coloring book: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/graphics/pdf/femacoloringbook.pdf [thesmokinggun.com]

Re:I'll be the karma whore (5, Insightful)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777257)

OK.. so after flipping through it the only thing related to 9/11 is the cover and ONE page. The rest of the coloring book doesn't refer to any specific events, just "disaster". It looks to me like a good effort at educating children about disaster and coping with it.

Why can't they change the cover, change the image on that page, and MOVE ON!

Re:I'll be the karma whore (3, Interesting)

bratloaf (1287954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777399)

I just read through that entire thing, and seems to me this is a really good and well thought-out coloring book about general disasters and helping young kids cope. The cover is really the only thing that's 9/11 related - and if you look, even that is just ONE part of the disasters represented. I think this is clearly yet another example of overzealous political correctness - i.e. pussification.

Re:I'll be the karma whore (5, Interesting)

mutube (981006) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777609)

I agree. I'd never heard of this book before now (I am from the UK) and expected something either frightening/sickly sweet. It's actually good.

If anything the only problem I can see with the use of the 9/11 image on the front is that it's 'out of date' - in the sense that there have been a number of more recent disasters that it may be better to refer to (given the target age).

Change the cover and it's good to go, no?

I like the book! (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777835)

I agree as well, just replace the 9/11 imagery with more generic disasters and it'd be fine.

The only thing that did annoy me was the christian cross on the last page, though at least it was very subtle.

Re:I'll be the karma whore (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27778019)

putting the towers on the front cover was a bit PR mistake though. If they hadnt done that they probably would have avoided this whole mess.

You cant judge a book from its cover, but most people do anyway.

Re:I'll be the karma whore (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777659)

Thanks.

I'll be adding this file to the rest of my collection "Stuff Bigbrother nerfed". I'm sure after four years I'll need to create a database to index all the contraband I've collected.

Re:I'll be the karma whore (1)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777711)

Before reading it I assumed it would have the subtle undercurrent of 'brown ppl = mommy killer' but the book seems pretty benign. Mostly of the pages deal with coping with losing a loved one to a disaster..

Glad no one showed me this book when I was young.. I would have gone into a schizophrenic paranoid dementia :)

it never should have been posted (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777115)

This FEMA document was clearly intended as confidential briefing material for President Bush.

Not a big deal (2, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777121)

I remember when I was between the ages of 6 and 10 I use to draw battles with tanks, jets, and stickmen. I had people falling into volcanoes, getting blown in two by bombs, getting hit by "tracer" round gunfire, etc. Guess what, I'm still pretty normal. I don't have the urge to blow anyone up or shoot anyone.

While I agree it's a bit odd to have the twin towers getting hit by airplanes in a coloring book, I wouldn't have a problem with my kids coloring the picture.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777221)

I must agree with Parent. I too drew all kinds of atrocities. Hell I had a milder view of death when I was a child than I do now, provided it was not my own death. I can only attribute this to the fact my mind has not developed enough to express true empathy for my fellow men.

Serves the same function as Fairy Tales (2, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777207)

..to teach kids about bad stuff.

Hansel and Gretel -- your parents can't feed you so they abandon you in the woods to starve to death. Kids had to be exposed to the realities of the world, which despite our attempts to pretend otherwise, were way worse for your typical non-aristocrat in 17th century Europe. Abuse. Abandonment. Starvation. Fairy Tales served as a way to expose kids to what might happen next.

How is that story -- which was a real threat back when famine and starvation weren't just inspirations for pop music sing-alongs -- any worse than a 9/11 coloring book which tries to help kids understand what happened?

We're so fucked when the response is to just shelter kids from everything. Shelter them from nothing. Expose them carefully and they will learn.

Another thing from Minnesota today (0, Offtopic)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777255)

After looking at the coloring book I was surprised to see that it came from Minnesota, hit look at the page 24. So apparently this is ok, but internet gambling is not.

Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777295)

This is ridiculous. I just looked through the book, and it was all about helping kids cope with bad things. Do we not want them to learn how to deal with bad things so they can become neurotic adults?

Outlived its usefulness (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777383)

Disaster books for children should either
1) cover a disaster that the particular child has experienced or heard about, preferably one that their peers have also heard about
2) cover a fictional or very old disaster that none of their friends experienced or heard about

A book about 9/11 was useful in the early 2000s. A book about The Tsunami was useful in the mid-2000s. A book about Katrina would be useful today.

Likewise, children's books about World War II or The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 are useful and timeless.

Re:Outlived its usefulness (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777759)

You should read the book. It isn't about 9/11, except for pretty much the cover. How does that old saying go about judging books?

Um, yeah, bad idea or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777447)

Come on, actually coloring? Can't you think of a better way to cover this?

The coloring book is late wrt relevancy (1)

ObiWonKanblomi (320618) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777457)

It's been over 7 years since 9/11, so I'm not sure how relevant painting burning towers now would be for a kid who probably wasn't born yet.

For those who say history shouldn't be covered up, that's true, but this isn't a history book. It's a coloring book aimed toward coping with disaster.

And Does The Book (-1, Troll)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777481)

. . . have a page depicting the people trapped in the floors above the crash site leaping to their deaths on the sidewalks below rather than burn alive in the advancing flames?

I think our poseur of a president should watch those videos every morning as he eats breakfast. Then maybe he won't be so quick to call waterboarding "torture."

Don't be a jerk. (1)

Wolvez (13077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777553)

samzenpus,

"a human remains concentration game"?

Yes, people getting fired up about a book that helps kids understand tragedy is idiotic, as Olmsted clearly recognizes. However, writing or saying things that are even more asinine isn't going to achieve anything except validating the idiots' misdirected efforts.

Ignoring respect for the dead doesn't make you sound clever or witty; rather, it makes you look foolish and weak.

-W

The very next thing that will happen (-1, Flamebait)

jskline (301574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777563)

The very next thing that will happen is that they will now begin to deny that it even ever happened at all. It was a news story concocted to make headlines and drum up republican support for President Bush. See the liberals are blaming EVERYTHING on former President Bush.

Re:The very next thing that will happen (2, Informative)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777887)

The coloring book was created and posted 3 years ago, meaning during the Bush administration.

Now, would you care to rescind your flamebait?

Airplanes! (5, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777573)

So that's why they flew air force one over New York City. They were making a live action version of this comic book.

Tax money hard at work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777589)

I don't think the book or images are a big deal, kids do need to be exposed to reality.

But what in the hell is FEMA doing spending tax money on creating/hosting something like this to begin with? When their failures to actual disaster response are still so recent and well documented, they couldn't find a better place to focus their efforts and spend their budget more wisely?

Let the parents do the parenting and quit wasting our money on projects that have a very hard to quantify cost/benefit ratio.

Slashdot Reports On Coloring Book: +1, True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27777683)

worth about U.S. $ 1.00

while U.S.A. collapses economically [youtube.com]

The hedge funds that refused equity for debt are right. The debt is worth more than the equity, particularly, once Chrysler declares Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtholders have a claim before the shareholders.

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout

They also shelved the upcoming coloring book (1)

the_mpls_guy (844170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27777823)

This little piggy goes achoo! - a swine flu coloring book.

In another news... (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27778011)

TV news anchor: In another news, due to the lack of any major natural disaster, ... *cough* *cough*, ... hope I'm not catching that little swine flu virus, FEMA moved to create a PR disaster by publishing a 9/11 coloring book for children who get extra off-school days from the flu.

I want one! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27778023)

That's so stupid it's passed around to the other side to become genius. I totally want a copy.

What's the spirally thing to the left? A tornado or the Tasmanian Devil?

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