Redcardlibrarian's blog

Time Warner and Censorship

A recent article on the Free-Market News Network asks, IS TIME WARNER PRACTICING CENSORSHIP?

"Time Warner Corp. recently silenced a Bush-bashing comedian who was taping a routine for the Showtime at the Apollo TV program, according to a Radar Online story. Comic Paul Mooney (most recently of Chappelle's Show) "was midway through a taping of the famed Harlem theater's weekly variety show when the plug was abruptly pulled."

Mooney was evidently told that he "had offended unnamed officials from Time Warner."


The easy answer to this is that, no, this is not censorship. Time Warner is not a governmental agency. Nor do they, as far as I know, control enough of the market to effectively silence voices they don't like.

I do find it SHOCKING that a prominent member of the Main Stream Media (MSM) is actually unhappy with a Bush-bashing comic.

Banned Books Week and BPL

Jack, over on Conservator, leaves the reader with impression that the Brooklyn Public Library has banned the book Londistan. They have rectified their mistake, and now carry the book. Check their holdings on their online card catalog. It's nice to see someone get it right, even if they got it wrong at first. It would also be nice to see someone tell the WHOLE story.

Blog Watch - Conservator

Not really this week in Library Blog Land, but close enough for government work.

What started out as simply wrong, over on Jack's Conservator Blog, has now become a lie. In his Wednesday, October 30th, blog, Jack states: "Indeed, the EPA's self-description as an "independent agency" I would take as an indication that the White House is not in a position to issue the agency "orders," even if it were so inclined."

I pointed out that he had misread the meaning of the word "independent" and I showed him that the President does indeed issue "directives" to the head of the EPA. To date he has shown no interest in maintaining the same level of factual veracity that he expects from others.

Bird Flu

I'm starting to get a sore throat. I should have known that going to the park and licking all those birds was a bad idea.

Happy Birthday ACLU-SC

Happy Birthday to the ACLU of Southern California.

"May 15, 1923: Upton Sinclair, a crusading writer, climbed the steps of a platform that striking dockworkers had built atop what they named Liberty Hill in San Pedro.

As someone held a candle for illumination, Sinclair began reading the Bill of Rights, making no reference to the 600 dockworkers who had recently been arrested for striking.
Sinclair only got as far as the first three lines of the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, before he was arrested.

The incident would lead to the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California."

L. A. Times

Hyperlinks provided by me.

Daily Supplement

Here's one for your daily dose of irony from the fine folks at the Miami Herald : "The Cuban Calvinists are back. The ones who dogmatically refuse to allow anything to be said or written that doesn't conform with their straitened view of the island. Even books for small children."

The book, A Visit to Cuba, according to School Board Member Frank Bolaños, should be removed for not attacking the government of Fidel Castro. Mind you, it doesn't defend the government of Castro either.

When Cuba is finally liberated from Casto, who is going to liberate Miami-Dade from Bolaños?

Making Georgia Safe for Sex Toys

Well, Georgia is about to head down the path of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Federal 11th Court of Appeals has struck down a section of the Georgia obscenity law that banned the sale of Sex Toys. The law wasn't entirely draconian, it allowed for exemptions for "A person associated with an institution of higher learning, either as a member of the faculty or a matriculated student, teaching or pursuing a course of study related to such material", or a doctor's note. Evidently a note from mommy to buy a dildo wasn't good enough.

Even more interestingly, the Georgia law stipulates that "Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this Code section if the distribution thereof, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of their prurient appeal." Better make sure that those massage oils get used ABOVE the waistline, sunshine (with apologies to Murray Head)

A Present for Saturnalia

This is certainly a present fit for Saturnalia. It is also nice to see some sanity on the part of our friends to the North.

"Top court redefines obscenity: Group sex, swinging, no longer considered bawdy behaviour
By RICHARD BLACKWELL

Thursday, December 22, 2005 Page A1

In a landmark ruling that shifts the legal ground under Canadian sexual behaviour, the Supreme Court of Canada said two Montreal swingers clubs didn't break obscenity laws because the group sex caused no harm to those doing the groping, or to society as a whole."

The Globe and Mail

Big Brother and the Nanny State

According to an opinion piece on delawareonline quite a bit of programming on cable and satellite TV is not appropriate for children, "But monitoring that is the parents' job." Not the government's.

That is a sentiment that applies not only to cable and satellite TV, but applies to public libraries as well. We can provide tools and guidance, but it is ultimately up to parents to determine what is, and is not, appropriate for their children to read, view and listen to.

First Amendment Buzz

Articles:

Panel focuses on censorship of music lyrics
Experts participate as part of Freedom of Speech Week
BSU Daily News

"Four out of 10 Americans feel that music should be censored, a First Amendment scholar and Ball State University alumnus said on Thursday during a panel discussion."

Free Speech In School
WHAM (Channel 13 - Rochester, New York)<>

"The Brighton School District is considering training its staff on the first amendment after an incident involving a student wearing a political button."
[...]
"Rebecca Braiman-Dewey recently wore anti-Bush buttons to school. She said a teacher's aide told her to take them off because they were disrupting the learning environment."

Censoring Art or Protecting Workers?
Inside Higher Ed

"The charcoal drawing called “Hermaphrodite,� which hangs in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Center at the University of Michigan at Flint, is accurately named."
[...]
"University officials ordered the drawing removed, saying that it was creating a hostile work environment for an employee who complained about it."

FRC Supports Obscenity Laws
Pat Trueman, Senior Legal Counsel for Family Research Council, Encourages Tough, Constitutional Boundaries on Obscenity
PR Newswire

"Pornography distributors argued their case before a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday. California-based Extreme Associates Inc. and its owners, Robert Zicari and wife, Janet Romano, had been indicted for distributing videos that depicted women being raped and having their throats slit."

Opinion:

The Family Room: Censorship will not save kids
Windsor Tribune
By REBECCA VALENTINE

"The last week of September was national Banned Book Week. The library encourages us to read banned books. I encourage my kids to do the same. I don't understand broad censorship in any form, but especially in books."

Whose Speech Is Free?
Washington Post
By Michael Kinsley

[...]
"An exemption for journalists from the basic duty of a citizen to cooperate with law enforcement is supposed to encourage troublemakers who want to speak truth to power. But Miller was being used by people in power in a secret campaign to undermine a troublemaker."

Defending CU Professor Ward Churchill's Free Speech Rights
Hawaii Reporter
By Charles Mitchell

[...]
"All of us at FIRE appreciate shedding light on what looks to be a terrible case at DePaul. But their statement regarding our stance on the Churchill matter is simply not correct. Far from denouncing Churchill, FIRE wrote to UC in support of his free speech rights (without endorsing or condemning the actual content of his speech)."

Editorial: Free speech costing more than expected
Delco Daily Times via Zwire

"Two familiar faces in Delaware County political circles have emerged as players in a national political story. Former Delaware County Council chairman Wallace H. Nunn, the Drexel Hill Republican, and Media Mayor Bob McMahon, a Democrat, are among the plaintiffs suing the former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, the United States senator from Massachusetts, and his Pennsylvania campaign manager, Anthony Podesta."

Blogs:

Coulter Calls for 'Repression of Free Speech', Florida Republicans Applaud!
'Not a big fan of the First Amendment', Says GOP Poster Girl
Brad Blog
Blogged by Brad on 10/21/2005 @ 2:04pm PT...

[...]
"According to an article in today's Independent Florida Alligator, Coulter -- who makes her living, in no small part, by enjoying her Free Speech rights under the First Amendment -- pleased the rabid attendees by denigrating the U.S. Constitution..."

Equality is slowly working its way into the Justice System

It seems only fair that the law should treat homosexuals and heterosexual in an equal fashion.

Kansas Law on Gay Sex by Teenagers Is Overturned

By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: October 22, 2005

"Matthew R. Limon had just turned 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a boy just shy of 15 at a Kansas school in 2000. He was convicted of criminal sodomy and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had the sex been heterosexual, the maximum penalty would have been 15 months.

Yesterday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the starkly different penalties violated the federal Constitution's equal protection clause. It said the state's "Romeo and Juliet" statute, which limits the punishment that can be imposed on older teenagers who have sex with younger ones, but only if they are of the opposite sex, must also apply to teenagers who engage in homosexual sex."

New York Times (registration required)

The Devil is in the details

So, is the selection of this song by a public high make for an impermissiable entanglement between church and state? For my part, I tend to not think so.

WASHINGTON — After the devil went down to Georgia, it seems, he got censored in suburban Washington.

In preparation for a guest appearance at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, the marching band at Hylton High School in Prince William County, Va., had a logical and seemingly innocuous idea: play a Georgia-themed song. They decided on "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," by the Charlie Daniels Band.

But early this month, a local newspaper, the Potomac News, published a letter by a resident who wondered how a song about the devil could be played at school events, because of the separation of church and state.

Hylton's longtime band director, Dennis Brown, pulled the song from the playlist. "I was just being protective of my students. I didn't want any negative publicity," he said.

But Brown's strategy backfired. Residents, alumni and parents have been fulminating in the Potomac News and on its Web site against censorship, media values, the band director and the writer of the letter."

Seattle Times

Censors Never Give Up

As the article states, "The slippery slope is all too real here. Where does it end?" The answer, it never really does. That's the importance of events like Banned Book Week. To constantly keep the issue in front of us, to be constantly aware that there are people, no matter how well intentioned, who wish to restrict what we read, listen to and view. If we simply ignore them, censors will not go away. They will not get bored and stop. Censors never give up. Neither can we.

"The Coming Push for Cable Censorship

Written By: Adam Thierer
Published In: IT&T News
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

In late August, Salon reported that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has met privately with numerous religious and “pro-family� groups to coordinate policies to address “racy content on cable and satellite television.�

Rick Schatz, president of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, who sat in on those meetings, told Salon, “[Martin] said the free rein of cable and satellite and satellite radio is not acceptable,� and that Martin is “committed to seeing something is done during his tenure.�

That comes as no surprise. While things have been quiet for the past few months, most industry watchers agreed that the reason for the delay on this front was that the pro-regulatory forces were quietly planning their attack on cable and satellite. As the Salon article makes clear, censorship proponents know they have an uphill battle and are tightly coordinating their efforts to radically expand the scope of federal indecency law.

The pressure comes amid ongoing media and technological convergence that has placed a great deal of strain on the old analog-era, broadcaster-oriented model of content regulation. The result is a collision of jurisprudential visions that has profound ramifications for the First Amendment treatment of all media providers and forms of content."

The Heartland Institute

Banned Book Week a Success?

If the editorial below is any example, Banned Book Week is successful at gaining the attention of the media. Hopefully readers will become a bit more thoughtful in their actions next time they come across a book they find disagreeable.

"Ban this column?

Charles Winkler
Eureka Times Standard

Think you live in an open society where free thought, speech and writing is absolutely protected by the First Amendment?

Well, you do, technically. But some people just haven’t gotten the message.

That message -- the vital importance of intellectual freedom -- is a main force behind the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, coming up Sept. 24 through Oct. 1.

In its annual event, the ALA spotlights books that have been banned or challenged. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the actual removal of those materials.

As you’ll see from the list below, there’s no particular type of book that’s challenged. And, according to the ALA, challenges are often made “with the best intentions -- to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.�

Still, a banned book is a banned book: It violates a core foundation of our free society. Many books are indeed too heavy or explicit for some children, or children under a certain age, to handle.

But the best way to handle that is certainly up to the parents or guardians of those children, whether that be through guided reading, suggested alternatives or honest, age-appropriate discussion of the issues involved."

Times-Standard (Eureka, California)

Truly Graphic novels pulled from shelf at Denver PL

"Sexually explicit Spanish-language comic books are being removed from Denver library shelves and sent to downtown headquarters for inspection, library officials said Thursday.

The books, called fotonovelas, were flagged by talk-radio host Peter Boyles this week. The KHOW- AM Web site Thursday had the headline: "Shocking Content Found on Denver Public Library Shelves."

Since the radio program, the library has received a steady stream of calls, said Diane Lapierre, director of strategic planning for the library."

Rock Mountain News

The Mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, added: "I've been assured by the library commission that the matter will be dealt with swiftly. Given the limited nature of the library's resources, these items are troubling, and we can only assume they were purchased in error..." Or, just maybe, some of his constituents enjoy those books and the library was satisfying a legitimate demand on the part of some of their patrons.

Revolutionary America - The Original Blue State

Just some food for thought.

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."[note - not from God. We were endowed with those rights by our "Creator", but government is designed by the People for the People]

"For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders
which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States..."

"For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:.."

"For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences..."

"For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies..."

"He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation..."

Declaration of Independence

Oh, 200 years ago, the forces of oppression wore Red. The forces of freedom wore Blue. Funny how history repeats itself.

Free Speech and Political Rallies

So, it would seem, both of the big parties conduct rallies like this on public property expressly for the purpose of ensuring the "...positive spin they want to produce for their candidate." Eugene Register Guard (Oregon)

That last comment was quoted from the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, so we can assume that when he talks about "both major parties" he must REALLY mean Republicans. Because we all know that the ACLU is just out to push a Liberal agenda and wouldn't/couldn't actually be truly concerned about Free Speech regardless of who uses it.

"Last Sept. 17, Perry Patterson of Eugene attended a political event featuring Vice President Dick Cheney at the Monaco Coach Corp. hangar at the Eugene airport. Patterson had obtained a ticket legally from the local Republican Party office and wanted to hear the vice president. She had no intention of disrupting the gathering. Motivated by concern for her two teenage sons, Perry was hoping for the opportunity to ask Cheney about the possibility of a military draft.

Patterson, a gentle and passive person, spent the two hours before Cheney's arrival calmly socializing with other ticket-holders. Cheney arrived and began his speech to the crowd. As the speech continued, Patterson became somewhat alarmed at the vice president's messages, including his oft-repeated mantra: "President Bush is making the world safer now."

Patterson became emotional and blurted out a simple "no, no, no!" Her utterance was not enough to disturb the entire crowd, but it caught the attention of those immediately around her. Patterson described the reaction as that of "zombies awakening" as they slowly gazed at her in mild shock. Someone then grabbed Patterson's arm and forcibly led her out of the room.

[...]

The Bush-Cheney campaign routinely staged political events on private property. That made it easier to arrest attendees who showed any sign of dissent. Patterson was charged with criminal trespassing against Monaco. The company has not requested that the charges be dropped."

Guest Viewpoint: Free speech rights face another day in court

By Paul Motta

Eugene Register Guard (Oregon)

A different Perspective on the MSM

Once you get past the opening paragraphs, I think it gives something interesting to think about.

Great Lies of the American free press

[...]

"The legacy of McCarthyism demonstrates that, despite popular myth, America does not truly have a "free press." While the Bill of Rights guarantees that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging freedom of the press," it is usually nongovernmental factors - fear of losing readers, viewers and/or advertising dollars - that actually control the decisions made by corporate-controlled news media. These influences can also be labeled the three "P’s": Popularity, Prejudice and Profit. And, to accommodate the three "P’s," corporate-controlled news media have persistently ignored two others: the People and the Public Interest."

Bellaciao

EVIL ACLU

I can imagine that there will be some who will see "ACLU" and "prisoners" and refuse to consider the big picture. It's just that evil, Liberal, ACLU. By God, don't they realize that once someone has been arrested and convicted, that's it's OK to do whatever you want to them? (If other people can make straw men just so they can knock them down, so can I).

Minnesota Prison Officials End Censorship of ACLU Publication After Threat of Lawsuit

May 27, 2005

"ST. PAUL, MN -- The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded prison officials’ policy revision allowing Minnesota prisoners in segregation to receive publications containing legal material. The policy change came on the eve of the ACLU’s filing that would have challenged the censorship of the organization’s legal journal for prisoners.

"Access to legal information is the most fundamental tool that prisoners have to protect their rights," said Teresa Nelson, an attorney for the ACLU of Minnesota. "Minnesotans value constitutional rights and the Department of Corrections’ move to lift this ban on legal information should be congratulated."

ACLU

Predators and Pornography: a distrubing link

Penny Nance, in a recent National Review article believes that there is a strong link between pornography and violent crime against women and children. She asserts: "More needs to be done to evaluate the connection between violent predatory behavior and pornography..." It is understandble why she did not cite any studies in her article. It may be that those studies come to a different conclusion.

Sex, Guys, and Cyberspace: Effects of Internet Pornography and Individual Differences on Men's Attitudes Toward Women.

Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Vol. 11(1) 1999. pp 63-91.

"The results of two separate studies failed to show any detectable relationship between differential and substantial exposure to Internet pornography and men's attitudes women, acceptance of women as managers, likelihood of sexual harassment, or rape myth acceptance." (p. 84)

"..we were unable to document negative effects of experimental or self-regulated exposure to Internet pornography. Despite the fact that negative effects of Internet pornography have widely been feared... and despite the fact that such fears have served as the basis for recent legislation to restrict access to Internet pornography..." (p. 84)

"Our findins may also be considered as support for recent proposals to increase use of the Internet as a sex education and counseling tool... insofar as Internet-driven sexually explicit materials do not appear to necessarily produce negative effects, and their potential for producing positive effects on sexuality may reasonably be explored." (p. 84 - 85)

Child molestors do use porn to help desensitize and abuse children. Just as they use alcohol, drugs, kindness, and positions of trust and authority: Church Camp counselors, Softball Coaches, Boy Scout leaders, to name a few. If I read this study correctly, problems that arise from the abuse of Internet porn has more to do with pre-existing personality issues than with pornography itself. Pornography does not turn men into violent abusers of women and children anymore than a .44 handgun turned David Berkowitz into a serial killer.

Syndicate content