The Right Turn, part 2
As we all know, the nation took a right turn on November 3rd, when Senators Kerry and Edwards conceded the race to their incumbents. I was with my mother during the election and a couple of days afterward. She said she would support our president, if she didn't vote for him or didn't like him; he was our president afterall. There has been some fraudulent voting conversations on many blogs, including the new one, Common Ground Common Sense, the successor to the Kerry/Edwards site. The NYT denies this groundswell about this information on the blogs, yet it is the blogs that bring issues to the attention of the mainstream media.
Today on one of my favorite places to post, forum discussion has been centered around the extension of the Patriot Act. Despite yours truly's post on this site about 4 months ago on this topic, I guess many of the regulars forgot about it until now since it is the Senate that is voting on it. It's likely to pass in the Senate since the Republicans perceive they have political capital like our president, and will spend it. The extension passed in the House in July.
The bloggers on my usual site are concerned about blogs who may be critical of the government's policies could have gag orders slapped on the bloggers' computers. Hello, some of us in the library community have known this for nearly 3 years and have had to live with it. We've had the Government tell us to destroy government property in terms of some of the information they produce on CDs that is supposed to be made freely to the public. That was censorship, all in the guise of the Patriot Act.
What is more interesting is censorship by not only the government, but by those who also have web sites and blogs. Such an occurence happened to me yesterday on this blog whereby a link about a particular article was found to be offensive by some, so the link and the subject line were changed by one of the administrators. When I inquired about it, this was the response:
Elizabeth's weight has been discussed here before. No one here cares about her weight. It's the timing. Drawing any kind of attention to her weight right now, or stereotypes using her as an example, is kind of insensitive when a lot of people are using avatar photos of her with pink ribbons, and worried about her health. This isn't censorship. I'm following the Terms of Service, which clearly state "abusive, inappropriate" content isn't permissible. Other members were upset by the article. I think it's inappropriate and insensitive to use a woman who has breast cancer as a diet model. The link is still there in quoted text on a reply. If anyone else wants to discuss Elizabeth's weight with you, it's not hard to find the article.
The link of course is being supplied here.
In my view, this type of censorship was no different from when the Government made my library remove or destroy some content. My link to the article was removed and they changed the subject all together. Now one could argue it's their site, they are free to do as they wish. But this event violated my core principles about dissemination of information, and dissent, if done respectfully, should be heard and seen. I've talked with a few others who believed as I did that the article was not offensive, instead the author made points about discrimination against large women in the media. It didn't matter to me if the author embraced the right, but my link was removed because the administrators swayed to the politically correct, despite their tolerating perjorative comments about Kerry and Edwards' opponents across the aisle.
Instead of confronting the administrators about this, as the irony would be totally lost on them, I decided to take the JREWD approach. I decided not to post there as I used to; instead I will work on this blog, which I have some control over. I turned my right cheek; my left one shows instead.