This blog has acknowledged Banned Book Week a time or two in the past.
In the spirit of Free Speech, let me share a recent opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal, written by the chief operating officer of the Institute for American Values (free speech not being, apparently, one of his values).Â Those of you that share his opinion that this is all much ado about nothing might recall that almost half of the country recently voted for a woman who advocated banning books at her local Wasilla, Alaska library:
Finding Censorship Where There Is None
By Mitchell Muncey
To you zealots and bigots and false patriots who live in fear of discourse. You screamers and banners and burners. . . .” These are the opening lines of the official Manifesto of Banned Books Week, which starts tomorrow. This annual “national celebration of the freedom to read” is led by the American Library Association (ALA) and co-sponsored by a number of professional associations and advocacy groups. Events and displays at “hundreds” of libraries and bookstores will “draw attention to the problem of censorship” in the U.S.
As the tone of the Manifesto suggests, the sponsors are more interested in confrontation than celebration. The Banned Books Week Readout in Chicago will feature “wildly successful” and “incredibly popular” authors who will “share their experiences as targets of censors.” The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has produced posters, based on a graphic-novel adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451,” to help “publicize the hundreds of attacks on books that occur every year in the United States.” The ALA has launched an online U.S. “censorship map” to show how pervasive the threat is….[Rest of article]
The official Banned Books Week site is here, with a list of historically banned books.Â Read ’em all!
Jimmy Kimmel has a weekly segment called “This Week In Unnecessary Censorship”, in which they bleep out harmless comments to make them seem more salacious. Sorta 6th-grade, but still funny and obviously a popular segment. Local Omaha newscaster Mary Williams is on briefly right at the minute mark, but probably isn’t going to be happy about it:
(I’ve know Mary (actually her name is Margaret) since she was in 8th grade. Her sister Colleen Williams–also a one-time Omaha newscaster and now an Emmy award-winning newscaster in NBC’s flagship station in Los Angeles–and I used to lifeguard together a few years back…)
If I had owned this old video tape, I would have never let my kids out of the house. Heck, they never would have wanted to anyway!
Just trying to get myself psyched for a visit to my brother in The Ukraine next year.
(Actually, the extent of alcoholism and untreated mental illness in the old Soviet bloc countries is no joke. I feel a twinge of self-loathing for posting this, but…here it is):
And here’s New Gingrich doing his “drunken Russian sailor” bit in honor of the Beatles:
Maybe this will make those stupid “Scooter Store” commercials go away:
Hey, I just noticed that this old tv show is being released on DVD this Tuesday. I don’t recall it being all that good, although I did watch it regularly as a kid. My brother and I would frequently mock our sisters if they were, in our opinion, “acting prissy” by citing the “British cousin”. Watching this brought a memory or two back…:
From US NEWS & WORLD REPORT:
How will the boom in Americans claiming “no religion”â€”25 percent of the country will fit into that category in 20 years, according to a Trinity College survey out todayâ€”alter national politics?
I see four big ways:
1. Secular voters will become an increasingly important component of the Democratic base.
In the 1990s, so-called religious nones comprised 6 percent of the Democratic Party and 6 percent of the GOP. Today, there are two and a half times as many nonesâ€”34 million Americans, or 15 percent of the countryâ€”and they account for 16 percent of Democrats, compared with just 8 percent of Republicans. Three in four of them voted for Barack Obama in the last election. Every indication is that these political trends will continue.
Even as the Democratic Party has seriously stepped up its faith outreach, then, the fact that the fastest-growing religious group in the United States is those with no religious affiliationâ€”and that members of that group are leaning dramatically in the Democratic directionâ€”will make the Dems pay closer attention to them.
2. American politics will become more polarized.
As more Americans leave religion, the ones left in the pews are those most committed to their faith. In a nation where church attendance is one of the best predictors of voting behaviorâ€”the more often you attend, the more likely you are to vote Republicanâ€”this polarization of religious life will spill over into the political arena, setting off more culture-war battles.
3. Republicans will have to choose between becoming a more overtly religious party and reaching out more seriously to the growing secular middle.
Secular voters once constituted an important part of the GOP coalition, but fewer than 10 percent of religious nones under age 30 are Republican. “Republican nones are getting older and continue to show an affinity to the GOP,” says Juhen Navarro-Rivera, a Trinity College research fellow who helped compile the new report. “But they’re not making new Republican nones.” [Rest of article]
Aww, come on–it’s such a cute song, and these fans of the game worked so hard to put this together. So here it is again: