Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dispatches From the Culture Wars - `Banned Books' Edition

Hi. Here's stuff I mostly didn't know; like the first item telling us that
"Slain ambassador Chris Stevens was a member of Oregon's Chinook Native
American Tribe, or like the last item telling us that the 10th most banned
book in the US this year is
(gasp) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Reasons: offensive language;
If you're like me, read on. Hey, it's our country. Some furriner stuff,

From: Portside Moderator [mailto:moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG]

Dispatches From the Culture Wars - `Banned Books' Edition September 18,

Published by Portside

# # #

Slain ambassador Stevens was member of local Chinook Tribe

The Daily Astorian
Chinook Observer
September 13, 2012

Slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and his family are members of
the Chinook Indian Tribe, the historic Oregon people who met Lewis and
Clark at the mouth of the Columbia River, and the Tribal Chairman has put
out a call asking for prayers on their behalf. Stevens' mother Mary
Commanday, well known in the tribe, received a call from President Obama
to express his condolences.

# # #

Black Hills Auction: The Auction of the Sacred

by Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe)

Indian Country Today Media Network
August 16, 2012

Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is named for the cave itself,
called Washun Niya, or the Breathing Hole of Mother Earth by the Lakota
People. Nearby cave Pe'Sla -- the "Center of the Heart of Everything that
is..." -- is one of the Lakota's most sacred sites. On private property,
it is scheduled for auction, destined to be diced into a set of 300 acre
tracts, proposed for ranchettes. Debra White Plume from Manderson tells
me," We heard nothing about it until we saw the auction announcement".
Meetings are being held in most of the Lakota nation this week, with hopes
to protect Pe'Sla from the auction block.

# # #

Update: Pe'Sla Owners Accept $9M Offer from Tribes

By Vincent Schilling

Indian Country Today Media Network
September 12, 2012

In a historic victory for American Indian tribes, the owners of the sacred
site Pe'Sla have agreed to an offer of $9 million to purchase 1,900 acres of
land also known as Reynolds Prairie. The cost will be shared among all the
Lakota tribes in the region, including Cheyenne River, Rosebud, Oglala,
Standing Rock, Yankton Dakota and others.

# # #

CUNY Administration Declares War On Rebel English Department

By Angus Johnson
September 15, 2012

On Wednesday the English department at Queensborough Community College
voted not to adopt a policy of the City University of New York to reduce
composition course credits from four to three. In so doing, they rejected
the CUNY Pathways initiative, a proposal for streamlining and centralizing
CUNY curricula which many faculty regard as antithetical to students'

Administrators didn't like this. And in fact they disliked it so much that
Queensborough announced two days later that they're dismantling the QCC
English department in retaliation.

# # #

Republicans' #areyoubetteroff Hashtag Backfires when Twitter Responds

By Elizabeth Mitchell
September 7, 2012

In an effort to use Twitter to promote Romney, the GOP purchased the
hashtag #areyoubetteroff, and is paying $120,000 per day for the privilege.
The republicans expected people to answer, "No! We are not better off!
Romney for president!" But the Twitterverse had an overwhelmingly
different response. Instead, #areyoubetteroff was combined with the word
"yes" more than 1,800 times in its first 24 hours, while paired with "no"
only 600 times.
Since then, the yes/no ratio has been an embarrassing 5 to 1 and has
spawned rebuttal hashtags like #iambetteroff and #betteroff.

# # #

Players' Support of Gay Marriage Alters N.F.L. Image

By Adam Himmelsbach

New York Times
September 8, 2012

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has been an outspoken
supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, which caught the attention of
Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Maryland state delegate who opposes it. Burns sent a
letter to Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens' owner, urging him to "inhibit such
expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist
such injurious actions." Infuriated, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe
sent his own blistering response to Burns.

The N.F.L. has long fought the stigma of a homophobic culture, but now,
two pro football players have powerfully lent their support for same-sex
marriage, taking a political figure to task in the process. The support
offered by Kluwe and Ayanbadejo is timely, because Minnesota and Maryland
are among four states that will have same-sex marriage votes this

# # #

"In The Life," television's first LGBT newsmag, ending in December

By Dru Sefton
September 6, 2012

In The Life, the first and only nationally broadcast lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) newsmagazine, is going off the air from
public television in December, after 20 years. ITLM has entered into
conversations with other organizations to create a web-based, open-source
repository of their video archive documenting the LGBT movement. They
promised "additional details soon."

# # #

Faced with a Five-Page Limit, Lawyer Files Cartoon Amicus Brief with
Proper Font Size

By Debra Cassens Weiss

ABA Journal (American Bar Association)
September 5, 2012

A lawyer who opposes the Justice Department's proposed antitrust
settlement with three publishers of e-books has filed an amicus brief in
the form of a comic strip. Bob Kohn said he opted for the unusual format
after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of Manhattan limited his brief to
five pages. He calls the cartoon a "graphic novelette" and says it
complies with court rules requiring 12-point or larger type and one- inch

Publishers Weekly suggests Kohn's comic strip is intended to reach beyond
the courtroom. "His rendering is brilliant, and as a comic strip, the brief
will be widely digestible for the general public who may not have the
gumption to plow through a typical legal brief."

# # #

The Israeli Left Archive now Housed in Amsterdam

The website of the Israeli Left Archive is now hosted by the
distinguished International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam,
Netherlands. The Israeli Left Archive is devoted to the radical left and
the women's peace movement in Israel during the sixties, seventies and the
Collections include Women in Black; SHASI (Israel Socialist Left); Dai
L'Kibbush; Yesh Gvul; Black Panthers (Israel); and many other groups.

To assist readers who do not know Hebrew, there is a special collection of
documents in English. There is also a special collection of posters and
periodicals. The materials in this archive were collected by Dafna and
Reuven Kaminer and the website was built by their granddaughter, Carmel.

# # #

"I'm Dreaming of a White President": Randy Newman on His New Song

By Ben Yagoda
September 18, 2012

Today, Randy Newman weighs in on the racial subtext of our presidential
politics. His new song, "I'm Dreaming," which is available as a free
download - is sung in the voice of a narrator who's not just unreliable
but...well, here's the
refrain: "I'm dreaming of a white President / Just like the ones we've
always had." (In case we miss the reference to Irving Berlin's "White
Christmas, Newman throws in a der Bingle-esque "buh buh buh" toward the end
of the number.)

He was inspired to write the song because "there are a lot of people who
don't want a black person in the White House and they want him out."
Although "I'm Dreaming" is released free of charge, Newman is encouraging
listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund.

# # #

Sept 30- October 6, 2 012

During the last week of September every year, hundreds of libraries and
bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship.
The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 30
through October 6.
The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit;
unsuited to age group

2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa Reasons:
nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins Reasons:
anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language;
occult/satanic; violence

4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by
Dori Hillestad Butler Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit;
unsuited to age group

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually
explicit; unsuited to age group

6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Reasons:
nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Reasons:
insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones Reasons:
nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar Reasons:
drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Reasons: offensive language;

# # #


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