Censorship

The morality police

Salon has an interesting Story on our new found censorship impulse.
Charles Taylor comes out solidly on the side of free speech.

\"At the heart of that argument is the belief that society should be remade for everyone, not just children. Basically, my friend was arguing that all adult discourse should be rendered suitable for kids, that entertainment or writing specifically intended for adults is somehow dangerous and that, as journalists, we should all be required to adhere to a phony \"family newspaper\" standard. \"

Politically Incorrect Book Leads to Assault

BJ
Hampton
writes \"History can be dangerous. A
student who checked out a book on the Confederacy
(with a Confederate flag on the cover) for a school
assignment was kicked unconscious by some
students calling him \"racist\". (Story) While this happened in a school
hallway rather than the library, we shouldn\'t assume
that the library is a sanctuary. It seem that the
administration of this school failed in its essential duty
to provide a safe and secure learning facility, including
promoting tolerance.


Those who debated with me previously about the
desirability of making *all* information available to *all*
patrons in a library might question the consistency of
my philosophy: Do I think the student had a \"right\"
to access to this \"inflammatory\" material?\"

More... -- Read More

Alaskan Mayor Bans Gay Exhibit

Mayor George Wuerch must\'ve been very bored last
week. He took it upon himself to decide what the library
is allowed to display.

He said the exhibit couldn\'t be allowed at Loussac
Library because it takes an advocacy position. He\'s not
bored anymore, he\'s now had about 400 telephone
calls on the issue. Keep in mind, there were no
complaints. James passed along the Friday\'s Story, and One From Today.


\"Not only does it seem to be a ban on free speech, it
also seems to be a violation of the library\'s own policy
on how these displays are selected and put up,\" said
AkCLU executive director Jennifer Rudinger.

Alaskan Mayor Rethinks Position

Someone writes \"Perhaps he\'s not a bigot after all.
Full Story \"


Alaskan mayor George Wuerch said Wednesday he is rethinking his directive and will personally inspect the display materials before making a final call. He had just decided against a gay pride exhibit at the city library.

Gay Pride Exhibit Pulled By Mayor in AK

The Anchorage Daily News is reporting Mayor George Wuerch abruptly removed A gay pride exhibit at Z.J. Loussac Public Library on Tuesday. The exhibit was sponsored by Metropolitan Community Church, a predominately gay and lesbian congregation, and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. There were no complaints from any patrons, he\'s just much smarter than the people who elected him. Full Story

\"I just said \'no,\' \" Wuerch said. \"This is a fundamental responsibility of the mayor, to make decisions. Once in a while, you have to say no.\"

The porn crusaders

Salon has a long Story on the AFA and the fight it started against Yahoo!.

It\'s a good look at why Yahoo! caved in, and what the AFA is up to, so far they\'ve been rather unsuccessful, but they don\'t seem to be letting up. Funniest quote I\'ve heard in quite sometime.

\"I believe we can make a major difference. We can change the Internet.\" - Patrick Trueman legal counsel to the right-wing American Family Association.

Censorship in Cartoons

Lee Hadden writes: \"Many of the cartoons
produced before 1950 used and satirized racial and
ethnic stereotypes. In an article in Friday\'s Wall Street
Journal, May 4,
2001, first page, \"Bunny in Blackface: Why Cartoon
Network Won\'t Run 12 Bugs
Pix: Its Plans for a June Retrospective Sparked
Concerns Over Taste; Two
Agendas Inside AOL.\"
Some of the Bugs Bunny cartoons produced during
World War II showed
racial and ethnic stereotypes against the Japanese and
Germans. Other Bugs
Bunny cartoons showed racial stereotypes and
demeaning situations that are
offensive to today\'s sensibilities.
The owners of the original Bugs Bunny cartoons did
not want these
offensive cartoons shown, even for historical
representations and
retrospective reviews. The control over the cartoons is
slipping, as is the
censorship efforts to prevent their being seen.
Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal.\"

You should be able to see some of them Here at Throttlebox.com

Censorship fears as Alexandria library is rebuilt

Charles Davis sent in This Story on the Biblioteca
Alexandrina.
It opens today after, two decades in the
making, today\'s opening to academics and journalists ahead of the formal ceremony in
October has been overshadowed by a row over censorship which is
threatening libraries and bookshops across the country.
See
unesco.org
for more info. as well.

\"Under mounting pressure from Islamists, President Mubarak has urged government officials to press ahead with a strict censorship regime against works deemed offensive to Islam. Bookshops, book fairs and public libraries are frequently raided by government censors.\"

DMCA and Free Speech

The RIAA used the DMCA to stop a research project that involved hacking a watermarking technology promoted by the five major record labels. A few good stories to read up on this issue:


Is the RIAA running scared? from Salon says this move by the RIAA \"shows just how wary of free speech the recording industry has become\", but, this case could potentially undermine the widely disparaged DMCA.

Similar Story at the NY Times.

Wired calls it Another Stain on Copyright Law. \"Once again, the law intended to promote the distribution of content on the Internet has instead been used to restrict it.\"

\"Tin Drum\" legal fees OK\'d

The Oklahoma City Council finally decided Tuesday to
pay court-ordered legal fees for a man who sued after
police confiscated his rented videotape of \"The Tin
Drum\" because they believed it
contained child pornography.
Then they promptly forgot to actually authorize the
$143,047 payment. The city has now spent more than
$700,000 to settle the case.


James writes: \"The civic leaders have
dragged their collective feet for years, thereby fully
disclosing what fools they are. The reluctance to pay up
shows their ignorance and fundamentilst training in
that instead of paying for their lose, they continue to
keep the issue alive, perhaps hoping that god will take
pity on them and strike the ACLU and Michael Camfiled
dead and remove the \"sin\" of freedom to read and view
from Oklahoma City.\"

You can read more at the
(Worst
Newspaper in America) The
Oklahoman Archives
aren\'t free, but there does
appear to be a number of stories on this subject. This
entire thing is just a sad joke.

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