Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Banned Books

Improper Government Searching of Books?


I’ve written here before about attempts to control what we read in What’s To Be Done About Banned Books?

Today’s post is related but different

There’s a publication called The Bookseller.

They recently had an article called, Security staff begin checking books at US airports.

And, before I share excerpts, I’ll ask folks in countries besides the United States of America to share in the Comments anything happening in their countries that might be similar

So, a few excerpts:

“Security staff in US airports have reportedly been demanding passengers clear all the reading material out of their hand luggage into a separate bin during safety searches so that staff can search for items made of paper.”

Here’s where this “pilot program” has already begun:

“…searches have taken place in Missouri and various other airports including Los Angeles, Boise, Colorado Springs, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Boston Logan, Lubbock, Munoz Marin in Puerto Rico, Las Vegas McCarran and Phoenix Sky Harbour.”

The reason for it?

“Transportation Security Administration officials said the new process is because carry-on bags are getting so full that screening agents at x-ray machines are struggling to see what is inside and so cannot search for items effectively.”

The real reason?

“A senior policy analyst of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project added: ‘Books raise very special privacy issues… there is a long history of special legal protection for the privacy of one’s reading habits in the United States, not only through numerous Supreme Court and other court decisions, but also through state laws that criminalise the violation of public library reading privacy or require a warrant to obtain book sales, rental, or lending records.'”

I’m not yet believing this is something sinister; though, in the current political climate, one can easily start seeing things that aren’t really there

And, if this does get worse; and, if I were to take a plane and have some books on me, even though I’d abhor doing it, I’d smile and say, “Sure, take a look at my books.”

But, that’s what I believe would be proper; and, it might just let me keep my books, when throwing a public fit about it might get me arrested…

Still, let’s all hope this and other programs like it stay non-tyrannical………
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What’s To Be Done About Banned Books?


There’s a certain 15-year-old, Amaranthia Sepia Gittens-Jones, who “…attended Pal and Nischimachi International Schools, Tokyo, Japan…”. “By age eight Amaranthia declared her purpose to become an artist. By age 12 she was awarded a full scholarship at Kimball Jenkins Art School, Concord, New Hampshire, USA.”

Baned Books

Image by Christian Ferrari ~ http://christian-ferrari.blogspot.com/

She’s written a guest post on Jessica Bell‘s blog, The Artist Unleashed, called Why Books Should Not Be Banned.

Certainly, some folks who think particular books should be banned might stop reading right here, or read further and engage in rant-mode.

And, some people who think no books should be banned may not much care about a young person’s opinion on the subject—possibly reasoning that kids want freedoms just because they’re young

Let me share some excerpts from Amaranthia’s post (hoping you’ll go read the whole post…):

Talking about the Harry Potter series and quoting another author—“‘Some religious groups feel that these books steer children away from God and the church.’—she goes on to say, “Should books be banned and ostracized for themes that people can enjoy and learn from?”

Then, she immediately expands her position:

“I believe banned books should be shown to children to educate them about censorship and themes that are seen as inappropriate to certain demographics….If these themes are explained to children, it could inform them about the viewpoint of groups who believe in censoring, and grant them an awareness of a story that may benefit them before they read.”

She then brings up Huckleberry Finn

And, including a quote from a professor at Franklin Pierce University, she says, “If we only study what we agree with,’our world becomes smaller’.”

Amaranthia next shares a quote from the American Library Association:

“A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.”

One of her closing remarks is:

“Banned books can be used to teach students ethics, the blunders of the past, and the mindset of former generations.”

I’ll leave it to you to find out about the quote she shares from American President Abraham Lincoln
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Author and Book Trivia ~ Consume At Your Own Risk :-)


Since this blog is dedicated to serious posts about Reading, Writing, and Publishing (even when I have a bit of fun in my treatment of certain topics), you won’t see many “fluff” articles

Except for today :-)

I collect articles from many other WebSites and store them for potential future use.

I built-up a collection of “trivial” treatments of authors’ lives and various folks’ foibles about books.

Still, you may find a few of today’s offerings providing the stimulus for profound thought or committed planning

If the flit of a falling leaf can inspire poets to soaring explorations of the human condition, the following links just might provide the catalyst for consuming considerations

Or, you may just have a few minutes of carefree contemplation :-)

Famous authors’ early jobs

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

10 Great Literary Late Bloomers

My Ideal Bookshelf: Portraits of Famous Creators Through the Spines of Their Favorite Books

20 Banned Books That May Surprise You

Dream Homes Built for Books and the Nerds Who Love Them

10 ‘Unfilmable’ Books That Made It to the Big Screen

Authors’ Funniest Responses to the Film Adaptations of Their Work

Famous Last Words: 15 Authors’ Epitaphs

If any of those articles did more than provide a few minutes of pleasant reading, I’d love to hear why in our Comments :-)
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Banned Books Week plus Secret Banning . . .


Yesterday began Banned Books Week sponsored by American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American PublishersComic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read FoundationNational Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and and Project Censored.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Back in May I published a post called Book Banning (Open & Secret) and The Politics of Publishing, which, in honor of Banned Books Week, I now repost

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This blog’s visitor numbers, by country, show the United States taking an oscillating percentage between 50 and 70%.

I’m happy, living in the U.S., that there are that many folks from other countries visiting and hope their number increases

Still, many people see the U.S. as leading the way in democratic freedoms.

Sad to say, politics and corporate agendas are swiftly eroding true liberty in the U.S. and it becomes particularly painful when I see its action in the publishing industry.

But, publishing houses are corporations and are, in turn, owned by larger corporations

And, corporations and politicians are the current “masters” of humanity.

My novel treats of this phenomenon but goes further and has the corporations completely absorbing politics—no more parties or candidates, just The Corporation

Perhaps my book will be banned one day………

Yet, even though freedom to publish is aided by all the initiatives in self-publishing, the political climate is darkening and the pall of population control is widening.

What of the non-fiction world, where authors attempt to uncover plots against freedom and clear the murk of political obfuscation?

It’s becoming somewhat like the novel, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In case you’re of the mind to ignore the dangers from crushing oppression of humanity’s freedom, I dare you to watch this video:


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Book Banning (Open & Secret) and The Politics of Publishing


This blog’s visitor numbers, by country, show the United States taking an oscillating percentage between 50 and 70%.

I’m happy, living in the U.S., that there are that many folks from other countries visiting and hope their number increases

Still, many people see the U.S. as leading the way in democratic freedoms.

Sad to say, politics and corporate agendas are swiftly eroding true liberty in the U.S. and it becomes particularly painful when I see its action in the publishing industry.

But, publishing houses are corporations and are, in turn, owned by larger corporations

And, corporations and politicians are the current “masters” of humanity.

My novel treats of this phenomenon but goes further and has the corporations completely absorbing politics—no more parties or candidates, just The Corporation…

Perhaps my book will be banned one day………

Yet, even though freedom to publish is aided by all the initiatives in self-publishing, the political climate is darkening and the pall of population control is widening.

What of the non-fiction world, where authors attempt to uncover plots against freedom and clear the murk of political obfuscation?

It’s becoming somewhat like the novel, Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

In case you’re of the mind to ignore the dangers from crushing oppression of humanity’s freedom, I dare you to watch this video:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com