Saturday, December 03, 2005

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.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

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..."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

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.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

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)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Predators and Pornography: A disturbing 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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Newsweek Scandal

It would seem that the Newsweek story was not, ummmm, new. Other papers have been reporting about American interrorgators defiling the Qu'ran (I would normally have gone with "Koran", but since the other spelling annoys righties, I thought, why the hell not?). Why is Newsweek the bad guy? Maybe it's a way to take attention from the British memos that simply confirm what many of us suspected all along: GWB was determined to invade Iraq. No matter what. Ignore the man behind the curtain. And whatever you do, don't let the facts get in your way.



Molly Ivins


"As Riley used to say on an ancient television sitcom, "This is a revoltin' development." There seems to be a bit of a campaign on the right to blame Newsweek for the anti-American riots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Islamic countries.


Uh, people, I hate to tell you this, but the story about Americans abusing the Koran in order to enrage prisoners has been out there for quite some time. The first mention I found of it is March 17, 2004, when the Independent of London interviewed the first British citizen released from Guantanamo Bay. The prisoner said he had been physically beaten but did not consider that as bad as the psychological torture, which he described extensively. Jamal al-Harith, a computer programmer from Manchester, said 70 percent of the inmates had gone on a hunger strike after a guard kicked a copy of the Koran. The strike was ended by force-feeding."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Put Erotica in the Library

David Brooks wrote in a recent New York Times Editorial (Public Hedonism and Private Restraint):


"You could get the impression that America's young people are leading lives of Caligulan hedonism. You could give credence to all those parental scare stories about oral sex parties at bar mitzvahs and junior high school dances. You could worry about hookups, friends with benefits, and the rampant spread of casual, transactional sexuality.


But it turns out you'd be wrong."


It turns out that Teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates have all declined over the last 15 years. Teens are waiting longer to have sex and are having fewer sex partners than before. All of this despite the fact that we have heard a steady drumbeat of hysteria that Sex Education, Pornography, Sexual Imagery on TV and in books are all going to cause our children to engage in recreational sex with hoards of other teens.


This is good news for libraries. As it becomes more obvious that the simple viewing of sexually oriented material does not necessarily lead to increased sexual activity, we can perhaps start improving a part of our collection that has been woefully neglected. We can, at the very least, start a conversation now that will help identify what would best meet those needs