Library Juice 3:3 - January 19, 2000


1. The Core Values Document
2. New site offers unique activism information
3. Bad Subjects #46
4. San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair & Literary Festival
5. FEN Newswire: Lawsuit Challenges Ban on Anti-Censorship Pamphlet
6. UNESCO to create new program for information activities
7. _UNESCO Thesaurus_ and UNESCO Library
8. Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of Information
9. America Happened to Us (Cinco Puntos Press)
10. Clandestine E-Texts
11. Hermès 5 table of contents
12. FYI France: Vitrolles -- who watches the watchers?
13. Pirates! Fact and Legend
14. Propaganda Analysis
15. Letter from Sandy Berman to City Pages (Minneapolis weekly)

Quote for the week:

"We need our libraries open to all, so we can prepare our students for
the 21st Century."
- Martin Luther King, quoted in the program at ALA midwinter, "Celebrating
Equity and Empowerment," on Martin Luther King Day.

Home page of the week: Deborah Dyll Ultan

1. The Core Values Document

ALA is working on a Core Values Statement.  The first draft is on the web,
and still open to comments.  A second draft is coming soon.

For a news item from Library Journal, see:

2. New site offers unique activism information

This is to announce a new web site devoted to alerting
the concerned public that there are devices, including
some in the commercial and unclassified arenas, which
are totally silent and leave no evidence.  These devices
make perfect "revenge" or "unethical research" crimes
routine and easy, and can be purchased by (or built by)
the average millionaire.

None of the current justice system agencies can protect
against crimes committed with these devices.  Police
are made totally helpless by them.

The site is at:    (no tilde ~)

On the site is a fact-filled 112-page report detailing
the how-it-works of these devices and the current usages
of the commercial and unclassified technology, at:

Eleanor White, P.Eng., Technical Advisor
Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse
430 Cumberland Ave. #312
Hamilton,  Ontario
Canada     L8M 3M9
Days: 905-339-2000 x49

3. Bad Subjects #46

Includes "Alternative Schmalternative" and "Zines are Dead."


The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center 13th Annual
San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair & Literary Festival

17 - 19 February 2000 at Trinity University

John Phillip Santos
Rosario Ferré
John Nichols
Virgil Suárez
Sandra Cisneros
Loida Maritza Pérez
Bill Moyers

Readings, lectures, panels, signings, and workshops with 60+ authors,
including Marjorie Agosín, Wendy Barker, Sandra Benitez, Ramiro Burr, Lori
Marie Carlson, Lucha Corpi, Martin Espada, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Patrisia
Gonzales & Roberto Rodriguez, Oscar Hahn, Oscar Hijuelos, Ed Hirsch, James
Hoggard, David Lida, James Mardis, Angela Shelf Medearis, Carol Moldaw,
Charrie Moraga, Dave Oliphant, Hermine Pinson & the Jazz Warriors, Roberto
Quesada, Gayle Ross, Raul Salinas, Aram Saroyan, Sheryl St. Germain, Sudeep
Sen, Arthur Sze, Carmen Tafolla, Lorenzo Thomas, David Toscana, Alfredo Vea,
Marcos M. Villatoro, Donley Watt, and More!

For more information:
Display Space Available - (210) 271-3151
For tickets, call (210) 351-7787
All daytime events free ... evening readings $10 / $7 for seniors, students

5. FEN Newswire: Lawsuit Challenges Ban on Anti-Censorship Pamphlet

For further information, contact:

    Judith Krug (ALA), (312) 280-4222
    Chris Finan (ABFFE), (212) 587-4025
    Judith Platt (AAP), (202) 220-4551
    Brian Cartier (NACS), (440) 775-7777, ext.  2201
    Claire Safran (ASJA), (203) 227-6271
    Kent Willis, Rebecca Glenberg, (ACLU of Virginia) (804) 644-8080
    Michael A. Bamberger, (Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal) (212) 768-6756

    For Immediate Release

    Lawsuit Challenges Ban on Anti-Censorship Pamphlet

    HARRISONBURG, Virginia, January 12, 2000 - Five national groups
representing booksellers, publishers, librarians and writers today
joined an English teacher and four students in suing a Virginia high
school principal who ordered the removal of an anti-censorship
pamphlet from the door of the teacherAEs classroom.  The lawsuit,
filed in U.S. District Court here, accuses principal C. James Slye of
violating the First Amendment rights of the teacher, Jeffrey Newton,
and the students of Spotswood High School, part of the Rockingham
School District in western Virginia.  The lawsuit, which is being
brought jointly by the ACLU of Virginia Foundation and lawyers from
the New York office of Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal, also names
the school board and the superintendent of schools as defendants.

    The pamphlet that Slye ordered removed was a list of the books
that had been challenged or banned in schools, libraries and
bookstores around the country in 1997-98.  A version of the list is
published each year in connection with Banned Books Week, a
promotion of the importance of free expression that began in 1982 and
is held in September.  Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American
Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free
Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the National
Association of College Stores and the American Society of Journalists
and Authors.  The sponsors have joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

    Slye ordered the pamphlet removed after a parent complained to a
member of the school board.  He told Newton that the brochure
contained three objectionable titles, The Joy of Gay Sex,
Understanding Sexual Identity: A Book for Gay Teens and Their
Friends, and Women on Top: How Real Life has Changed WomenAEs
Fantasies.  He threatened to take disciplinary action against Newton
if he did not remove the material.  Ironically, Slye ordered the
removal on September 29, during this yearAEs Banned Books Week.

    After taking down the pamphlet, Newton sought assistance from the
ACLU. The lawsuit requests a court order permitting him to once again
post the Banned Books Week pamphlet on his classroom door.

    "We created the Banned Books Week list to show that even in a
free society like ours there is always someone who is trying to
censor something," Judith F. Krug,  the director of the ALAAEs Office
for Intellectual Freedom, said.  "Principal Slye has proved our point."

    Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for
Free Expression, praised Newton for refusing to accept his
principalAEs order without a fight.  "Jeff Newton is defending not
only his rights, but the rights of his students and the rest of us.
The Rockingham schools are lucky to have such a brave and passionate

    The plaintiffs are represented by Rebecca Glenberg, the legal
director of the ACLU of Virginia,  and Michael A. Bamberger, a
partner in the New York office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Those wishing to receive FEN Newswire releases may subscribe
on the FEN Clearinghouse:

6. UNESCO to create new program for information activities

Date:         Thu, 13 Jan 2000 17:08:57 +0100
From: "Plathe, Axel" <A.Plathe[at]UNESCO.ORG>
Subject:      UNESCO creates new programme for its activities in the
       area of information

UNESCO is creating a new programme for contributing to a just and free
information society with universal benefit. UNESCO's Member States wish that
the new programme, which will replace the General Information Programme
(PGI) and the Intergovernmental Informatics Programme, promote free and
universal access to information which individuals need to participate
equitably in the global information society.

The programme should also provide an appropriate framework for the
preservation and global sharing of information and knowledge and is thus of
particular relevance to the archives and library community.

Information experts are invited to submit suggestions as to the scope and
activities of the new programme as well as to its name at


Axel Plathe
Information and Informatics Division
1, rue Miollis
75015 Paris

*  Send a UNESCO < > netaid e-card


_UNESCO Thesaurus_ [.pdf]

UNESCO Library

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization ) Library has recently released a trilingual (preferred
terms in English/French/Spanish) Thesaurus of some 7,000 terms that
"closely reflects the evolving content of UNESCO documents and
publications." Users may browse the online _Thesaurus_ alphabetically
or hierarchically. The _Thesaurus_ includes French and Spanish
equivalents of English preferred terms as well as separate indexes of
French and Spanish terms (with equivalents). Instructions on using
the _Thesaurus_ and information on its development are available
on-site. [MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.


The January 1, 2000 edition of the "Subject Index to Literature on
Electronic Sources of Information"  is available at:

The page-specific "Subject Index to Literature on Electronic Sources of
Information" and the accompanying "Electronic Sources of Information: A
Bibliography" (listing all indexed items) deal with all aspects of
electronic publishing and include print and non-print materials,
periodical articles, monographs and individual chapters in collected
works. This edition includes 1,095 titles. Both the Index and the Bibliography
are continuously updated.

Introduction, which includes sample search and instructions how to use the
Subject Index and the Bibliography, is located at:

This message has been crossposted to several mailing lists. Please excuse
any duplication.

*Marian Dworaczek                               *
*Head, Acquisitions Department                  *
*and Head, Technical Services Division          *
*University of Saskatchewan Libraries           *
*E-mail:  dworaczek[at]              *
*Phone: (306) 966-6016                          *
*Fax: (306) 966-5919                            *
*Home Page:   *

9. America Happened to Us (Cinco Puntos Press)

The story of _The Story of Colors_

On Monday, March 8 (1999), Julia Preston of the Mexico City Bureau of
_The New York Times_ interviewed me by phone about a bilingual
storybook we had just published, _The Story of Colors / La Historia
de los Colores_.  She found it curious and delightful.  The book is a
Mayan legend about how a bunch of gods went out and found all the
colors in the world.  Julia, being a correspondent in Mexico, was
very interested in the author -- Subcommandante Marcos, the most
well-known leader of the Zapatistas who walked out of the jungles of
Chiapas on New Year's morning of 1994, and made war on the Mexican

We talked a long time, Julia and I, about many different subjects.
But Preston also was curious about the fact that Cinco Puntos had
received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a book
by a revolutionary.  I told her that Cinco Puntos bought the rights
from the Mexican publisher, Colectivo Callejero, which had published
the book in Mexico.  The writings of Marcos, I reminded her, are in
the public domain.  He has given up copyright.  I told her the NEA
has a long and proud history of publishing important works in
translation.  Indeed, the NEA's purpose is to support and encourage
diversity in the arts.  There was nothing particularly unusual about
this book. 

So she called the NEA to verify facts and to ask several questions.
The next day, Bill Ivey, the chairperson of the NEA, rescinded
funding for the _Story of Colors_.  Ignoring two review panels, he
made the decision, as they say in Washington, "unilaterally."  He was
worried, he told the press, that NEA funds might end up in the hands
of the Zapatistas.  But Cherrie Simon, a public relations person at
the NEA, told me the night before that what the NEA was really
worried about was the _Washington Times_, the newspaper owned by the
Reverend Moon and which is oft-quoted by right-wing-talk-babblers
Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy.

When Bill Ivey informed Julia Preston of his decision, she was upset
and contrite.  She called me up to apologize.  Cinco Puntos was out
$7,500.  She asked me how I felt about his action.  Angry, I said.
Ivey's decision was spineless and cowardly.  He caved in before there
was any pressure.  The next day, because of Bill Ivey, Cinco Puntos
Press and _The Story of Colors_ were on the front page of _The New
York Times_.

The phone started ringing before the sun came up, and it didn't stop
for three days.  During that time, between our distributor and
ourselves, we sold out of the first printing of 5,000 copies, and we
started selling the second printing of 8,000.  The Lannan Foundation
-- the same organization that stepped forward to fund the
Mapplethorpe exhibition after it too had lost funding -- promptly
offered to reimburse us for the money lost.  In fact, they doubled
it.  The story made the major papers across the nation, and it also
became big news in Mexico.  It was a strange media frenzy, a true
boon to Cinco Puntos.  But the real ideas and issues got lost in that
frenzy, the most important of which is the indigenous struggle for
autonomy and land in Chiapas.

Also not to be forgotten is the chilling message that Ivey's action
sends to artists and arts organizations in the United States.  For
the last 30 years the NEA has been a major player in a great
flowering of literary expression in this country.  For the first
two-thirds of the century, our literature was dominated by a
monolithic structure rooted in universities and New York City
media.  Then, poets and writers from all sorts of diverse communities
-- African American, women, Latino/a, Native American, Gay and
Lesbian, geographically or ideologically isolated communities, etc.
-- started clamoring for national attention.  With the new
technologies at hand, people were up all night after their day jobs
putting together important books.

Meanwhile, the Endowment made diversification of its peer review
panels a basic tenet of its philosophy.  It was a courageous and
truly democratic endeavor.  The panels became multicultural, they
became multi-racial, they became multi-ideological.  Alternative
presses in supposedly backwater communities like El Paso bagan to
receive funding, and readers throughout the United States began to
read and hear different voices.  But all these voices speaking at
once is contrary to the body politic.  Politicians from the right
wing, those like William Bennett who staunchly believe in maintaining
the purity of inherited European traditions and ideas, began to ask
questions.  They worried that the monolith was crumbling.

Indeed it was.

But the NEA and its supporters responded with their own simple
question: Why not?  This is America, this is a democracy.  In the
last few years, however, the NEA's critics became more and more
vociferous and powerful.  The right wing Republican Congress,
apprehensive of multiculturalism and its political dissonance, began
chopping away at the NEA's funding, threatening even to dismantle the
organization altogether.  Bill Clinton whimpered and let them do what
they wanted.  Ivey was hired in 1998 to chair the NEA, and
immediately he bagan to hear demons in the hallways.

After telling me that he was rescinding funds for _The Story of
Colors_, Bill Ivey said to me that it was not a censorship issue.
But he is wrong.  His decision speaks to all persons and
organizations writing a grant to the Endowment.  Their choices will
be tainted by that decision.  Meanwhile, Cinco Puntos has prospered
because Ivey was afraid of those demons in the hallways.  We sold a
lot of books, we received tremendous publicity.  But not all writers
or small presses will have the same opportunity.  Nor will the
indigenous communities of Chiapas, the place where the story for this
beautiful book was born.  Nor will the Zapatistas who are still
surrounded by the Mexican Army which, of course, receives generous
support from the United States Government.

-Bobby Bird

Visit the Cinco Puntos Press website at

10. Clandestine E-Texts

Edited and maintained by Gianluca Mori of the University of
Turin-Vercelli, this site currently hosts the full texts (in French)
of seventeen French clandestine manuscripts from the early
enlightenment. As Mori notes, the treatises share an anti-Christian
attitude, but beyond that their philosophical inspiration varies,
"leading sometimes either to a deist (_Examen de la religion_) or to
an atheist position (Meslier's _Memoire_, Freret's _Lettre de
Thrasybule a Leucippe_)." The treatises are offered in HTML format,
some with related links. Links are also provided to several texts on
other servers and to related resources. Users may register for email
notification of updates to the site, which is also available in
French and Italian. [MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.

11. Hermès 5 table of contents

Voici la table des matieres du numero 5 de HERMèS.


L'ideologie californienne
par Richard Barbrook et Andy Cameron
Traduction Pierre Blouin

Les fondements constitutionnels de la liberte academique des professeurs d'
universite en droit canadien et americain (troisieme et derniere partie)
par Elvio Buono

Sur l'idee de communication et d'information : lectures diverses
par Roger Charland

Au-dela du discours idealiste de l'information.
Volet 3 : La veille de l'information ou comment eviter de s'endormir
ignorant (et pauvre)
par Pierre Blouin

Une page d'histoire qui reste a ecrire : la reforme de la formation moyennen moyenne des bibliothecaires en France
par Michele Gasc

Garlic, vodka, and the politics of gender : Anti-intellectualism in America
par Michael Winter

L'information fabricante de  realite ?
Stephen Talbot
Montage et traduction de Pierre Blouin

Lettre sur le commerce des livres.
Denis Diderot

Lectures suggerees par HERMES
par Roger Charland

Les auteurs de ce numero de HERMES

Comptes rendus

  Michael Heim. Electric Language: A Philosophical Study of Word Processing.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. xxi + 303 pp. Bibliographical
references and index. $18.00 (paper), ISBN 0-300-07746-7.
Par Susan C. Hines

  Jean-Marc Mandosio, L'effondrement de la tres grande bibliotheque nationale
de France. Ses causes, ses consequences. Paris, Editions de l'Encyclopedie
des nuisances, 1999, 129 p.
par Roger Charland  (à venir très bientôt)

Bonne lecture et a bientot !

Roger Charland

12. FYI France: Vitrolles -- who watches the watchers?

In these days of AOL / TimeWarner megamergers, and "paradigm
shifts" in information management and access, and the
"globalization" of "the American corporate enterprise dream" --
and of growing resistance to same -- it might be useful for all
of us to consider what just has happened in Vitrolles, a small
city (pop. 203,000) in France. It is happening in their library,
in fact...

The extremist right - wing Front National party won political
control of Vitrolles some time ago. The mayor now is the wife of
the party's leading ideologue, and both that couple and their
many local and national supporters are vehemently dedicated to
propagating their particular political agenda -- throughout their city
and, using Vitrolles as a platform, throughout their country.

Now comes the question: what books shall the Vitrolles library
buy? what materials shall the "40,000 e'tudiants", whom the city
proudly advertises in its promotional literature online, be
encouraged to / allowed to read?

There now is a list -- always, in these situations, there is a
list -- the following are the books recommended in October for
purchase, by the Vitrolles "e'lue de'le'gue'e a` la culture
accompagne'e de la secre'taire ge'ne'rale adjointe a` la vie
locale", then to be rubber - stamped by a committee.

We are told (reference below) that, "La liste d'ouvrages
suivante, e'manant entie`rement du charge' de mission a`
l'animation, a e'te' commente'e et valide'e par l'e'lue". There
is a furor over this now in France, librarians protesting that
their normal selection procedures have been circumvented,
railroaded, ramrodded -- nightmarish, such terms, to anyone
familiar with the history of the European 1920s and 30s.

The actual book choices will make anyone familiar with France and the
French, and the way these things are done in too many other countries
and have been done throughout history, smile and then perhaps cry a

* De'sinformation, flagrant de'lit / Vladimir VOLKOFF. -  Rocher
* Le racisme anti-franc,ais et anti-chre'tien / Henri de Fersan.
- Henri de Fersan
* La Guerre des Boers / Bernard LUGAN. - Perrin
* Napole'on est-il mort empoisonne'?/Ben WAIDER - Pygmalion - Watelet
* De'sormais seul en face de Dieu / George MATHIEU. - L'a^ge d'homme
* Louis XI / Jacques HEERS. - Perrin
* 28 sie`cles d'Europe / Denis de ROUGEMONT. - Bartillat
* Aubrac / Ge'rard CHAUVY. - Albin Michel
* La cre'tinisation par la culture / Alain PAUCARD. - L'a^ge d'homme
* Penser l'anti - racisme / Henry de LESQUEN. - Godefroy de Bouillon
* Au galop des hussards / Christian MILLAU. - Fallois
* Les journaux de tranche'es de la Grande Guerre / Jean-Pierre
* James Connolly / Roger FALIGOT. - Terre de brume
* Le Carre' de Pluton / Brigitte BARDOT. - Grasset
* Qui veut tuer la France ? La strate'gie ame'ricaine / Daniel
REMY. - Gancher
* Les larmes de la Re'publique / Christine BOUTIN. - Plon
* Le Chagrin et l'espe'rance / Bruno MEGRET. - Cite' liberte'
* La semaine buissonnie`re / Antoine BLONDIN. - La table ronde
* Secret d'Etat d'un Pre'sident / Michel BASSI, Michel GUERIN. -
Le Rocher
* Varie'te's / Roger NIMIER. - Arle'a
* Les Guerriers de Finn / Michel CAZENAVE. - Artus
* Quelques nouvelles du Pays de Galle . - Terre de brume
* Jean-Paul II / George WEIGEL. - J.-C. Latte`s
* Padre Pio / Enrico MALATESTA. - F.X. de Guibert
* Claymore ; T.1 : Eileen / Ersel Maryse NOUWENS. - Gle'nat
* Le fer et le feu ; vol. 1 & 2 / STALNER. - Gle'nat
* Nouveau dictionnaire de mythologie celtique / Jean MARKALE. -
Pygmalion - Watelet

No, I have not read these myself, and in all probability I will
not. There undoubtedly is someone reading this now who has read
at least a few of the above, and may want to defend individual
selections. But that is not the point...

It is not that Messrs. Volkoff, de Fersan, Lugan, Waider, etc.
are bad people, or that they do not write well, necessarily...
nor is it that subjects like "anti - French and anti - Christian
racism", and "the Boer War", and "Catholicism", and "Qui veut
tuer la France ? La strate'gie ame'ricaine" do not necessarily
deserve serious and studious consideration, from the "40,000
e'tudiants" of Vitrolles and others. I myself would be interested to
read that last - named title -- and I look forward very much to
reading "Le Carre' de Pluton" of Brigitte Bardot, some day.

But there are at least two things going on here which should
alarm anyone, not just those interested in France and the French. The
substance of the list, first of all, appears to represent a political
platform. Simply judging from the titles and authors it seems that the
political program of the Front National is primarily what is being
presented: nationalism, conservative Catholicism, "celtic mythology"
for pete's sake -- is this to be Wagner redux? -- and people should be
reminded that Mlle. Bardot is married to a Front National party

Second, and more important, is the procedure: legal philosophers
make a basic distinction between "substance" and "procedure" and
then ignore the former, realizing that the latter is what makes
societies tick. And here, in Vitrolles, the "procedure" stinks. A
bureaucratic zealot is imposing a political platform on the choice of
what "the people" will be able to read, disguising it of course as
"the will of the people", saying that "this is what the people of
Vitrolles really want to read..." and so on.

This is the way these things happen -- it is the way they
happened under Hitler, the way things unfolded under Stalin, the
way totalitarians and censors throughout the ages have
manipulated the media -- read the history, Hannah Arendt and the
rest -- arbitrary - or - worse bureaucratic fiat, thinly
disguised as "what the people want". Vitrolles, and France, have
a serious problem here.

Details of the Vitrolles booklist / "comite' de lecture" issue
may be read online, in French, at the following address: search
on "Vitrolles" in the November, December, and January files --[at]

But Vitrolles may be a microcosm now of something more, in fact
-- more than just France and the French and their problems with
their Front National. French readers should take no comfort, in
other words, from recent setbacks in the fortunes of the FN; nor
should they or foreigners feel that Vitrolles and its FN problems are
merely a local French issue.

For we all have the Internet crashing in now upon the already
severely - unsettled world of publishing and media and
entertainment. "Infotainment" is rearing its ugly head in the new AOL
/ TimeWarner merger -- and the fear as to which shark is swallowing
which, and many other fears -- at least the awful possibility that
sitcoms and titillation will be all that we have left, once the
digital world fully enables the current "Media" empires truly to reach
into each of our homes and lives, through our televisions or our
refrigerators or our flip - phones or however.

In all of this Internet and digital information excitement, no
"procedures" are emerging of the sort which legal philosophers,
at least, like to see. Perhaps the most innocuous of the dangers
which might loom initially in such an unregulated world is
"Infotainment" -- sweaty gyrating bodies, cutesy newscasters,
booming music, and brainless dialog are not the worst things
which might ooze from the information pipe. Far worse might be
the new methods -- arising in the vacuum currently being left by
the defeat and discouraged retreat of the old -- for selecting
and distributing information in health, and education, and legal, and
political fields.

If mega - corporate "Infotainment" companies are going to
dominate the new information channels in _their_ sphere --
defying, or simply ignoring, social regulatory structures which
have not kept up with the new technologies -- who will dominate
in the health areas, drug companies?... in education, soft drink
vendors? Already online advertising is making its way into US
schools, and soft drink and other vendors have been fighting each
other for turf there for some time -- why should schools serve soft
drinks to their students anyway?... and in law and politics?... In
Vitrolles, in France, it now is an extremist right - wing political
party, the Front National...

One of the great arguments for the AOL / TimeWarner merger -- and for
the similar "media" mergers which will follow it soon, in the US and
Europe and Asia, as mainstream information industries finally embrace
the new Internet -- is that the chaotic and diffuse nature of the
Internet will _democratize_ the sclerotic and now over - consolidated
and centralized Big Media industries.

AOL's Steve Case makes this point in his presentations. But sure,
Steve: I am a longtime AOL fan, shareholder, and loyal user -- I know
it _is_ possible, now, to reach "The Internet" from "AOL" -- but users
have to wade through a proprietary AOL front - end which now will be
overloaded with TimeWarner offerings -- and you know very well, Steve,
how hard it is to get new users to see through that AOL front - end to
"The Internet"... it's where our money comes from at AOL, after all,
all that difficult front - end "wading"...

Critics of the trend -- like a professor of "Media Ecology" at
NYU (NPR broadcast), and various irate independent journalists --
worry tremendously that only content owned or at least approved by the
giant corporation will get served out over AOL now, that the wrong
shark will win in fact, that the tail ultimately will wag the dog. In
"Infotainment" this will be bad enough. In politics it will spell
disaster. If control over All of Information -- that "convergence"
which digital information technologists are so fond of extolling --
now is handed to fewer and fewer large factors in the _political_
process, as well as in Infotainment or possibly even as a result of
the Infotainment trend, there is grave trouble brewing.

Over centuries societies like France and the US have evolved
extremely complex social and political and legal structures for
dealing with freedom of information and communication. These
structures balance, very delicately, social and political and
legal regulation against deliberate gaps allowing freedom from
regulation. The structures and balances so - developed in France
have been very different from those in the US. Those of India and
China and other societies have been even more different. All this now
is at risk in our Brave New Internet World.

What balance, of regulation and the lack thereof, is going to
govern AOL / TimeWarner and other giant Infotainment media
mergers? They already are beyond the purview of most individual
nation - states to govern. Now, via the Internet, they are "going
global". The UN cannot even manage a little Balkan or Middle Eastern
War, the EU and NATO run only Europe, the WTO has its tail between its
legs from Seattle and may not be an impartial arbiter anyway, the US
cannot and should not do everything. So who will be "watching the
watchers", as Infotainment and the rest of digital information
"globalize"? Judging from the Vitrolles example, the regulatory
position in the balancing equation is very much up for grabs, now, and
already some very old demons are beginning to re - emerge.

Censorship -- thought control -- brainwashing: are the 20th
century's greatest nightmares about to become those of the 21st?
It is as though, pace Santayana, Franz Kafka's spectres are
rising from the gutters to which the previous century washed
them, with so much blood. Orson Wells' film of "The Trial" just
has been re - released: go see it -- and wonder, just for a
moment, whether information really "wants to be free", or whether it
just might prefer a more controlled and insidious and ultimately
devastating form, in its natural state. In Vitrolles, in France,
citizens are facing this awful possibility on a daily basis now. Sort
of takes the bloom off of the Internet rose...

"Oh well", as one of our youthful sons says -- and Happy New Year
anyway, everybody.


FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal                   ISSN 1071 - 5916

      |           FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
      |           journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
      |           personal experiment, in the creation of large-
      |           scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler.
     / \          Any material written by me which appears in
    -----         FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for
   //   \\        any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me
  ---------       credit and show my email address, and, b) it
//       \\      isn't going to make them money: if it is going
                  to make them money, they must get my permission in
advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of
material written by others requires their permission. FYI France
archives may be found at (search
fyifrance), or[at] (BIBLIO-FR
econference archive), or at . Suggestions,
reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all will be
gratefully received at kessler[at]

                Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler,
        all rights reserved except as expressed above.



13. Pirates! Fact and Legend

        Find facts about piracy from ancient times to the present
        at this comprehensive and well-researched site. See the
        types of piracy; biographical information on famous
        pirates, including Anne Bonny, Edward "Blackbeard"
        Teach, Henry Morgan, Jean Laffite, Mary Read, Sir
        Francis Drake, and Captain William Kidd; vocabulary;
        ship information; and more. Legend contains a
        bibliography of titles, fiction, poetry, and movies about
        pirates; common misconceptions; information on pirate
        treasure; and links to other related sites. The author also
        has a discussion board for questions not answered by the
        material on the site. Another excellent ThinkQuest site. -

From Librarians Index to the Internet

14. Propaganda Analysis

        This site presents an exploration of propaganda, or
        "opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions
        of individuals or groups." Common fallacies in argument
        and logic are described, including name-calling,
        "glittering generalities," and euphemisms. Examples are
        available of wartime propaganda from World War I; and
        of usage by Newt Gingrich, the Democratic National
        Committee, the International Socialist Organization, the
        International Workers Organization, and the John Birch
        Society, among others. A gallery of excerpts from eight
        films is included. Requires RealPlayer. - dl

From Librarians' Index to the Internet

15. Letter from Sandy Berman to City Pages (Minneapolis weekly)


Josie Rawson
City Pages
401 North 3rd St. Ste 550
Minneapolis, MN  55401

Dear Josie,

To confirm yesterday afternoon's voicemail message:

 If I had a "magic wand," I'd

 Eliminate hunger, homelessness, and want by ensuring that
 everyone has an income above the poverty line and access
 to both decent, affordable shelter and full medical care.
 But it doesn't require a "magic wand."  These things can
 be achieved through public policies like single-payer health
 insurance, living wage laws, investment in low-rent housing,
 and "welfare reform" designed by poor people themselves.

With renewed thanks for asking -- plus heartiest holiday greetings,

Sanford Berman,

4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN  55416


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