Censorship

Who Decides What Books to Ban

Who has the final word about challenged books in your library? The director? The Board of Trustees? This article from the Star Banner is about a library advisory board (made up of private citizens) that, through appeal, can be the final arbiter on any questionable book.\"The unanimous decision to change library policy came after four hours of rancorous public comment in front of hundreds of people packing the commission auditorium. Most of them spoke about \"It\'s Perfectly Normal,\" a sex education book by Robie H. Harris, which some have characterized as pornographic and want permanently removed from the library shelves.\" -- Read More

Textbook case of self-censorship

Lois Aleta Fundis sent in This almost funny story from Freedomforum.org on some silly censorship down in TX. The State Board of Education approved a reading textbook for 5th that was \"revised\" after two Republican state legislators complained about a picture of Vice President Al Gore and a brief accompanying article.

\"\"The bottom line is the publisher self-censored this book under implicit threat that the far-right contingent on the State Board of Education would grandstand and bully [the publisher], because that\'s been their behavior for the last six years,\" Smoot told The Freedom Forum Online. \"These members of the state board have a long and rich tradition of going after textbooks for such absurd things as disliking a photograph of a woman carrying a briefcase, decrying the number of pages devoted to (farmworker organizer) Cesar Chavez and even saying one history book depicted slavery in too negative a fashion.\"

No More Banned Books

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this piece on a school board that decided not to ban 5 books from an advanced placement english class...if the students are provided alternatives.\"Dr. James Moore and his wife, Minnie, the parents of a former Windsor Forest High School student who now attends college, challenged the books because they contain sex, violence and profanity.\" -- Read More

Define Censorship

\"This exhibition hopes not so much to judge censors and censorship but instead to provoke questions. Every day some form of censorship occurs in the United States. This prevalence of the red pen in a country founded on the Bill of Rights suggests that most people consider some things or ideas too dangerous or offensive to be made widely available. Is there a line in the sand? And if so, where do you stand? Where are your limits of tolerance? As you move through the exhibition, we invite you to consider whether or not there are restrictions which you might impose on the First Amendment. Are there situations in which you might support the suppression of materials or ideas? Note, also, the silence which accompanies your journey through the exhibition, a poignant reminder of the voices suppressed through the ages.\"

Serious Censorship in China

Someone pointed me to this Story available at: Salon.

10 people went to prison Thursday for illegally printing and selling books. One defendant received a life term, after they were convicted of illegal business activities and producing obscene materials! So far this year party censors temporarily shut down at least 13 publishers and closed another.

Famed Censorship Lawyer Dies

Lee Hadden Writes:

An author, friend of libraries
and a hero in the war against
censorship has died in New York. Charles Rember
challenged the government
censoring of many works of literature that were
considered obscene during
the 1960\'s, including Henry Miller\'s \"Tropic of Cancer,\"
John Cleland\'s
\"Fanny Hill\" and D. H. Lawrence\'s \"Lady Chatterly\'s
Lover\". Books published
overseas could not be purchased and mailed to
citizens in the US, or
otherwise made available to either adults or children.
Books written in the
US that were considered obscene were open to
confiscation and destruction.
Mr. Rembar was noted for his wit and his ability
to explain rather
simply complex legal arguments, and to strike to the
heart of a legal
question. My favorite quote of his was \"Pornography is
in the groin of the
beholder.\" -- Read More

School Board Shoots Down Proposal

Click2houston.com has a story on The Santa Fe Independent School District\'s vote to ban certain books containing profanity or homosexual references. This is the dictrict that is discussing banning books with even a single word of profanity.


\"This is a school board that has succeeded once again in making me embarrassed to admit where I live and pay taxes,\" one resident of Santa Fe said to the school board.

FOI flouted. MLLR BPL departments archives.

The Legendary Don Saklad writes:

\"Our regional and Massachusetts Library of Last Recourse
City of Boston Public Library Departments have denied
substantive reply. Our MLLR BPL departments have not
complied with state FOI principles.

Reply has not been made until an appeal is filed, then
reply has been delayed beyond the limit given
government authorities.

A requester is not supposed to be conditionally
required to file an appeal as a requirement for reading
the requested information. -- Read More

More on COPA

CNET News has a Story on COPA and the HR 557 bill that has made it to the house.
It includes an interview with Marvin Johnson, legislative counsel, ACLU on the legislation that will force schools and libraries that. Some have called filtering a \"No-Brainer\", but he says filtering Violates the preceprt of the 1st ammendment. A private company is doing the censorship for the governemt, not based on anything that means anything, but can be simply due to the companies dislike for a website. The filters are clumsy and block more than they should, he says, and they also miss alot of porn. He proposes to teach how to live in this \"internet\" age, and be a wise consumor, to know good from bad, and be a cautious consumer. They have tried to work an ammendmant on this bill to provide more education for all. Remember the AFA ACLU and christian assoc have all come out against this bill. Very libreral and very conservative groups are coming out against this, it can\'t be good.

Censorship: Taking Choices Away From Adults

Charles Levendosky has written an excellent piece on censorship.


The campaign season often gives rise to dumb ideas. Weeks ago, the
FBI
released statistics showing that youth and school violence is at its
lowest level in more than a decade. Yet, members of Congress chose
this
month to blame the film and television industries for rising teen
violence.

The message to Hollywood: Get rid of the violence on your own, or
we\'ll
pass legislation that does it for you. The political chorus was
joined
by Democratic candidate for president Al Gore, his running mate,
Joseph
Lieberman, and Lynne Cheney, wife of Republican vice presidential
nominee Dick Cheney.

Politicians don\'t believe the American people can find the off button
on
their television sets.


There is pleanty more, be sure to read on... -- Read More

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