February 2008

Utah Internet providers could earn ‘G-rating’

A Post Over @ Slashdot points the way to a Story on a new law in Utah. Internet service providers could earn a state-approved “G-rating” for filtering content and insuring that users could not access pornography under provisions in a bill heard by a House committee on Monday.
HB407, sponsored by Rep. Michael Morley, R-Spanish Fork, would require the Utah Division of Consumer Protection to create a designation for providers who prevent access to “prohibited” material. After attaining the “seal of approval,” providers would be subject for fines up to $10,000 for violating requirements.

Mississauga Ontario Catholic schools decided against book ban

The Golden Compass is not leading young Catholic readers astray and the book can stay on its library bookshelves in Mississauga, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board has decided. The Catholic board’s Challenged Materials Review committee was asked to look at the book penned by Pullman, an avowed atheist, after a parent complained. The Halton Catholic Board had already banned the book.
Critics claim the stories are filled with anti-religious and anti-Catholic implications.

Michael Dirda on the the Past & Future of Bookselling, eBay etc.

“Once I could have sold my books to any number of local used bookshops for a reasonable sum–now nobody much wants anything, aside from rarities–because everything is available online. I myself understand the attractiveness of being able to buy everything you want, but I don’t like the whole outlook. It’s like a billionaire buying a beautiful woman any time he wants one to sleep with–where’s the romance, where’s the excitement, the heartache, the attendant glories and sorrows of romance? Once it was exciting to go out ‘booking’–and there were scores of places to go. But now, now. To make everything freely available makes everything seem that much less interesting and desirable. But I begin to rant.”–Michael Dirda in a discussion held Wednesday at the Washington Post.

Canada Doesn’t Want Your Erotic Comics

You may, or may not, depending on your local censorware, be able to access this link to a post over on Violet Blue’s blog regarding the Canadian ban on bringing sexually explicit comics into the country. Indeed, anything deemed to be obscene is verboten at the American/Canadian border. Of course, no real definition of “obscene” is forth coming.

However, you may peruse the quarterly Quarterly List of Admissible and Prohibited Titles (24 page PDF).

Man Tries To Ban Sex Books… Again

Randy Jackson doesn’t like The Joy of Sex or The Joy of Gay Sex. In 2005, he attempted to have them removed from the shelves of the Nampa Public Library. He had help too. Another community member threatened to keep a $10,000 donation he was going to make to the library.

We know, after all, that the way to look righteous and true is to wave around some money.

In the end, the library moved the books to a higher shelf so kids couldn’t easily reach them.

Today the library board has two new members, so Jackson is trying again.

Report: NARA doubted White House e-mail archives in 2004

As early as January 2004 the National Archives and Records Administration warned the White House that its e-mail archival method was operating at risk, and the Bush administration has yet to address those concerns, according to a report released by Democratic lawmakers today.

The document released at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee provides the most detailed public account to date of the White House’s decisions regarding its e-mail archive system — the subject of ongoing litigation and congressional inquiry.

Man Tries to Get 2 Sex Books Banned From Library

Always remember, if you don’t like it, it’s no good for anyone. A Nampa Idaho Public Library patron is trying again to ban two sexually explicit books from the library’s collection. The books, “The New Joy of Sex” and “The Joy of Gay Sex,” first drew criticism from Randy Jackson in 2005. The books contain drawings and photos of sexual activity.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Bush undecided on disclosure policy for SMU library donors

After settling on SMU to house his library, President Bush said Thursday he doesn’t know yet whether donors to the multimillion-dollar project will be identified but he probably will accept money from foreign sources. Mr. Bush said at a news conference that some people “like to give and don’t particularly want their names disclosed … and so we’ll take that into consideration.”
Mr. Bush, asked whether the public has a right to know who is helping to finance his library, said: “You know, we’re weighing, taking a look. Taking consideration, giving it serious consideration.”

Rowling ‘deeply troubled’ by unauthorised book

Pity Poor J.K. Rowling… “I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books,” she wrote in court papers filed against the publisher, RDR Books. Ark is editor of a website containing a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopaedic material on the Potter universe, including lists of spells and potions found in the books, a catalogue of magical creatures and a who’s who in the wizarding world.

“Authors everywhere will be forced to protect their creations much more rigorously, which could mean denying well-meaning fans permission to pursue legitimate creative activities. I find it devastating to contemplate the possibility of such a severe alteration of author-fan relations.”

Author admits making up memoir of surviving Holocaust

Eleven years after the publication of her best-selling Holocaust memoir – a heartwarming tale of a small Jewish girl trekking across Europe and living with wolves – the Massachusetts author yesterday admitted the whole story was a hoax.
In a statement issued by her Belgian lawyer, Misha Defonseca of Dudley, whose book, “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,” has been translated into 18 languages and is the basis for a new French movie, “Survivre avec les Loups” (“Surviving With the Wolves”), confessed that she is not Jewish and that she spent the war safely in Brussels.