Censorship

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

Blume Most Challenged Author

Freedomforum.org has an Interview with Author Judy Blume. She\'s also the author of five of \"the 100 most frequently challenged books of the decade\" of the 1990s, so she knows a thing or two about censorship. She appears most often on that list. It\'s a great lengthy interview, and worth a read.

\"The pattern of targeting books adds up to three \"S\" words: sexuality, swearing and Satan, she noted.

\"Long, long, long, long before Harry Potter, I would go out and speak about the three S\'s,\" she said \"And that\'s been true for a very long time. People would choose to ban books — Satan\'s been there.\"

Not Censorship But Selection

Here\'s a great article on the
debate between Censorship And Selection by Lester
Asheim. A very interesting read for those interested in
this area.

\"Our concern here, of course, is not with cases
where the librarian is merely carrying out an obligation
placed upon him by law. Where the decision is not his
to make, we can hardly hold him responsible for that de
cision. Thus, the library which does not stock a book
which may not be passed through customs or which is
punishable by law as pornographic, will not be
considered here. The real question of censorship
versus selection arises when the librarian, exercising
his own judgment, decides against a book which has
every legal right to representation on his shelves. In
other words, we should not have been concerned with
the librarian who refused to buy Ulysses for his library
before 1933 but we do have an interest in his re fusal
after the courts cleared it for general circulation in the
IJnited States\"

Dr. Laura\'s Tangled Web makeover

Will the Dr. Laura show makeover caused by ratings problems cause the show to appeal more or less to our base instincts? So, Dr. Laura, will the programmers ask you throw more prurient interest into your show? How does that square with your morality quest?

I read this quote from Robert Anton Wilson, in the Illuminatus trilogy recently:

\"Thus in preliterate societies taboos on spoken word are more numerous and more Draconic than at any more complex level of social organisation. With the invention of written speech -- hieroglyphic, ideographic, or alphabetical -- the taboos are shifted to this medium; there is less concern with what people SAY and more concern with what people WRITE. When a more efficient medium arrives, the taboos on television will decrease.\"

-- Read More

Banned Books, Weak

The Disinformation Company has a new page up about Banned Books Week, called Banned Books, Weak. There\'s an essay, copied here, and links to related articles and sites.


From September 23rd-30th, 2000, retailers and libraries have blown off the dust and moved the usual suspects, such as Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye, from their Literature sections to displays in the front of their buildings to show that they\'re in the vanguard on the fight against censorship. They\'re feeling righteous.


Only thing is, Banned Books Week is . . . well, weak. I like the general principle, but there are several problems with it in practice. -- Read More

Trying to shut out the light by banning books

Freedomforum.
org
has a nice Story on banned books, starting
with the very first banned book. The author, Paul
McMasters, comes down hard on would be censors
throughout the past few centuries.

\"Two
centuries of
enlightenment brought on by the advent of the printing
press have failed
to ease our fear of the new and the different.
We still struggle vainly to resist change. It is
something of a miracle that our children do
learn and grow, despite our best efforts to shut
out the light, to dim and deny it.\"

ALA President Nancy Kranich discussion on Salon

Salon is hosting an Online Discussion with ALA President Nancy Kranich. You\'ll need to Register first.

Happy Banned Books Week!!

Old World Thinking Pulls Brave new World

Someone sent in this Story from Salon on a complaint from a parent that prompted school officials to pull Aldous Huxley\'s novel \"Brave New World\" from library shelves in Alabama. \"Brave New World\" ranks 54th on the ALA\'s list of the top 100 books drawing complaints during the 1990s.

\"Kathleen Stone of Elberta filed the complaint in letters to the school and Gov. Don Siegelman. She said Wednesday the novel\'s references to orgies, self-flogging, suicide and the characters\' contempt for religion, marriage and family do not make it a good choice for high school students.

\"When you\'re a college student, it\'s one thing, but I don\'t think too much of assigning this to high school students,\" Stone said.

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