September 28th, 2004

romance, flower

Protecting The Right To Read

Banned Books Week 2004

Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

As Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, in Texas v. Johnson, said most eloquently: “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

If we are to continue to protect our First Amendment, we would do well to keep in mind these words of Noam Chomsky: “If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

Between 1990 and 2000, of the 6,364 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom...

1,607 were challenges to "sexually explicit" material
1,427 to material considered to use "offensive language"
1,256 to material considered "unsuited to age group"
842 to material with an "occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism,"
737 to material considered to be "violent"
Other reasons for challenges included "homosexual theme or promoting homosexuality" (515 challenges), "promoting a religious viewpoint" (419 challenges), "nudity" (317 challenges), "racism" (267 challenges), "sex education" (224 challenges) and "anti-family" (202 challenges).

Here's a list of the 100 most frequently banned books from 1990-2000...
http://tinyurl.com/36rrv
booklover

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

"Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well-charted. The second - the story of our quest for love from the world - is a more secret and shameful tale. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first.'

This is a book about an almost universal anxiety that rarely gets mentioned directly: an anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we're judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. This is a book about status anxiety."

I just heard a commentary by the author, Alain de Botton, on NPR about defending your honor in the 21st century and decided to check out information on his latest book.

Very intriguing!

http://www.alaindebotton.com/status.htm
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romance, flower

Drink Along With The Debates

Leave it to Wonkette...

I think we will all need a few drinks to get through the next five weeks until the election.

Drink One Sip If:
Anyone says "terrorism"
Anyone says "Halliburton"
Anyone says "flip flop"
Anyone says "Saddam Hussein"
Anyone blames "the media"
Anyone mentions their own military service
Anyone says "September 11"
One candidate interrupts another candidate

Drink Two Sips If:
Bush says "cut and run"
Kerry says "W stands for wrong"
Either candidate talks past their time limit
Kerry brings up Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment
Bush mentions Crawford, TX
Anyone looks at the wrong camera
Anyone whips out "evidence"
Anyone says "Osama bin Laden"
Anyone mentions blogs
Anyone invokes the hurricane sympathy vote
Anyone mentions "North Korea"
Kerry mentions Bush wants to reinstate the draft
Everytime you see anyone wearing the yellow "LiveSTRONG" bracelet

Finish Your Glass If:
Anyone in the audience gets dragged out of the auditorium
Anyone in the audience gets off an unscripted question
Bush mispronounces any word or name
Anyone says "Osama bin Hidin'"
Anyone uses a sports metaphor
Anyone attempts to speak Spanish to pander to Latinos

Do a Shot If:
Bush mentions the deficit
Bush accuses Kerry of being "French on terrorism"
Kerry accuses Bush of being a pansy for avoiding Vietnam
Bush admits he made a mistake ("miscalculation" counts)
Ralph Nader shows up insisting on airtime

Finish the Bottle If:
Anyone challenges anyone to a duel
The moderator rips off his mask to reveal his true identity is Karl Rove