Showing posts with label censorship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label censorship. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Congress needs to stick SOPA up its PIPA

The definitive video on how Congress is on the razor's edge of blowing up the Internet in the name of weaponizing the law for the benefit of members' war chests.

HAT TIP: Gizmodo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Thursday, December 16, 2010

I couldn't have said it better myself

Do you think the National Organization for Marriage just might have been reading this blog?

Reading this MSNBC story and watching the above video, I would have thought that I couldn't have said it better myself . . . if I hadn't remembered that I already did.

I don't care what you think on the gay-marriage issue (obviously, as an observant Catholic, I'm against it), and I don't care what you think about "big government." But I do think that before people get all paranoid about the power of big government and its potential to sow tyranny, they need to realize that big business is just as capable of reducing us to serfdom . . . and perhaps far more likely to try.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Christianity gets Jobs-ed

Forget Julian Assange.

The most dangerous man in the world just might be Steve Jobs.

Why? Because knowledge is power, communications is the conduit, and Jobs is trying to position Apple -- via the iPhone, iPad and ITunes marketplace -- to be the premier gatekeeper in what he envisions as a "walled garden" of information technology, one micromanaged by himself (Himself?) and his techno-nerd corporate minions.

AND APPARENTLY, Apple just has declared mainstream, orthodox Christianity offensive and banished it from the iTunes app store. From the Catholic News Agency:

After Apple Inc. removed the Manhattan Declaration application from iTunes over complaints that it had offensive material, signers are urging the corporation to make it available again.

The Manhattan Declaration application for iPhones and iPads was dropped last month when the activist group gathered 7,000 signatures for a petition claiming that the application promoted “bigotry” and “homophobia.”

The Declaration – a Christian statement drafted in 2009 that supports religious liberty, traditional marriage and right to life issues – has nearly 500,000 supporters.

The iPhone application, which was previously available for purchase on iTunes, was removed around Thanksgiving.

CNA contacted Apple Dec. 2 for the reason behind the pull. Spokesperson Trudy Muller said via phone that the company “removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

When asked if Apple plans to release additional statements on the matter, Muller said she had no further comment.

CHRISTIANITY has its truth. Apple, and all the mau-mauers yelling "Hate!" in a crowded app store have theirs. And in a world where truth is relative, and often mutually exclusive, the only currency we have left is power and the ability to subjugate the competition.

It seems I was talking about that
just yesterday.

In this kind of an environment, that makes Jobs a really cool Big Brother. It pains me to say this, but "Give me Windows, or give me death!"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Ve haff veys uff makink you see no evil

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. . . .

And now the Obama Administration is out-Bushing the Bushies with an outright ban on the public -- or the press -- seeing what's going on with . . . anything. No one will be able, under penalty of federal law, to get close enough to clean-up boats or oil booms to see our government at work.

Or not.

FROM A story in Thursday's Times-Picayune in New Orleans:
The Coast Guard has put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public - including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill - from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.

According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the "safety zone" rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and could be classified as a Class D felony. Because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 65-foot rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, media representatives said.

But federal officials said the buffer zone is essential to the clean-up effort.

"The safety zone has been put in place to protect members of the response effort, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the operation of response equipment and protection of the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom," the news release said.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday had initially established an even stricter "safety zone" of more than 300 feet, but reduced the distance to 20 meters - 65 feet - on Wednesday. In order to get within the 65-foot limit, media must call the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans, Edwin Stanton, to get permission.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the oil spill, said in a press briefing Thursday that it is "not unusual at all" for the Coast Guard to establish such a safety zone, likening it to a safety measure that would be enacted for "marine events" or "fireworks demonstrations" or for "cruise ships going in and out of port."

Allen said BP had not brought up the issue, but that he had received some complaints from county commissioners in Florida and other local elected officials who "thought that there was a chance that somebody would get hurt or they would have a problem with the boom itself."

Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert, who has been documenting the oil spill, raised concerns about the restrictions within his news organization on Wednesday. He has asked for a sit-down with Coast Guard officials to discuss the new policy - and the penalties - but has not received a response.
SOMEONE NEEDS to explain to President Obama and his enforcers that bad PR starts at the point where you begin to make tea-party paranoiacs' looniest pronouncements begin to look . . . prescient.

Acting like a bunch of thugs while performing official duties like the mayor's incompetent brother-in-law appointee is no way to inspire confidence in the federal government's response to a national environmental catastrophe. As I've said and said, the final crisis coming out of the BPocalypse will be one of governmental legitimacy.

And, ultimately, Obama won't be able to blame that one on George Bush.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free press and the 'fun' of sexting

If anyone in the journalism universe is thinking about making the squelching of the March edition of Omaha North's student newspaper a First Amendment cause célèbre . . . don't.

This is no fit hill on which to die.

Take lazy student "journalists" who can't be bothered with more than a single viewpoint. Add an "in-depth" section on sex. Season with prurient photos and a condoms-on-bananas tutorial.

Then leave out all information on -- for just one example -- sexually transmitted diseases. Serve with a side article about the "fun" and risks of "sexting."


You mean "fun" like five years in the state pen on a child-pornography rap if someone forwards an explicit photo to a buddy?

IT TAKES some doing to make prior restraint seem the lesser of evils, but the staff of the North Star just may have pulled off something special here.

No, after
reading this morning's Omaha World-Herald article on the complete lack of professionalism (and good taste) at the North Star -- produced, regrettably, as part of the school's journalism curriculum -- you won't want to be organizing a First Amendment campaign on the students' behalf. Besides, there's also this.

The Omaha North High School journalism teacher has been disciplined after the principal stopped distribution of the March edition of the student newspaper.

A copy of the North Star viewed by The World-Herald included a four-page “In-Depth” section about teens and sex.

The main headline: “Life on the Sheets. Everyone has hormones, but learning how to control them is what matters.”

Articles and graphics focused on sex drive; masturbation; the district's pro-abstinence human growth and development curriculum; the fun and risks of sexting; and how to put on a condom, using a banana in step-by-step photos. Each article was written by a staff member.

There was no mention of the high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among young people in Omaha and no perspective from teen parents or from teens committed to abstinence.

The main photo, taken by a North Star staff member, shows the back of an unidentifiable female, with her partner's hands reaching around her to remove her bra.


Nelson said that the school has a “very diverse student body” and that the material would have been offensive to some North students and their families.

Aerts is “back in the classroom,” Nelson said. She declined to elaborate on how the teacher was disciplined, saying it was a personnel matter.
JOURNALISM ISN'T just about freedom of the press. Journalism is equally about the obligation its practitioners have to their public . . . and to the truth.

If the World-Herald writers have kept faith with
their public and gotten this story right, it's pretty clear North Star staffers violated the trust of the North High audience. And if the March issue of the North Star actually had gotten into the hands of the Omaha North community -- too many of whom know first-hand the serious repercussions of "Life on the Sheets," repercussions the newspaper staff apparently couldn't be bothered to investigate -- that breach could have been even more significant.

Prurience plus sloppy reporting equals misinformation. That's serious matter . . . and serious journalistic malfeasance.

The right to freely put pen to paper -- or type to page, or pixels to a computer screen -- is a lot like the sex act. It is exhilarating. It can be great fun. It is of great import. It is the exercise of tremendous power. It can be an act of love. It can be a wonderful, joyous thing.

Holy, even.

And it also can be exercised irresponsibly, thereby becoming the immediate cause of great pain. Great injustice. Even, you might say, of great evil.

Sex isn't exactly rocket science, despite its potential to blow up in your face if misused.
Ditto for journalism. There are important prerequisites for engaging in either, but they are pretty basic.

The lack of maturity exhibited by the would-be "journalistic" exhibitionists of the
North Star, however, reveals a bunch of snot-nosed kids who obviously have no business experimenting with either.