Archive for the ‘privacy’ Category

Harry Potter, Gay Life and “Question Authority”

October 24, 2007

By Ben Shapiro
Townhall
October 24, 2007

I  am not a fan of the Harry Potter series. Nonetheless, I, like every other sentient human being, know something about Harry Potter. Most of my friends are fans. My three younger sisters are fans. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve read small portions of several of the books.So when J.K. Rowling announced last week that Albus Dumbledore, the aged headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was gay, I was somewhat confused. When did the old dude with the funky beard turn into Gore Vidal?  

According to Rowling, Dumbledore was always Gore Vidal. At a Carnegie Hall reading, one of Rowling’s fans asked whether Dumbledore had ever found “true love.” “Dumbledore is gay,” Rowling gleefully responded. Dumbledore was apparently in love with his rival, Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling explained. Dumbledore’s homosexual crush, Rowling stated, was his “great tragedy.” Rowling went on to label the Harry Potter books a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and told her fans to “question authority.”

Read the rest:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/
2007/10/24/dumbledore_waves_the_rainbow_flag

Related:
Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Priest Says Harry Potter Helps Devil, Evil

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

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Another Reason to Avoid “Harry Potter” Books

October 22, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 22, 2007

Congratulations to Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling who is now re-writing her best sellers in public pronouncements long after completion the editing and publication process.

Ms. Rowling stunned an audience this weekend by proclaiming that Dumbledore, the wise Hogwarts headmaster and mentor to Harry, is gay.

The liberal media has jumped on this morsel of new information, telling media outlets that now Harry Potter can teach our children about “tolerance.”

Personally, I have come to hate that word “tolerance” as a staple of liberal Democrats, Bill Clinton and others we have no use for at Peace and Freedom.

It might not be politically correct but we much prefer the word “standards” to tolerance – since the liberal media has turned tolerance into “just about anything goes.”

The NBC “Today Show,” the same show that sympathized with gay comedian Ellen about her dog predicament, gleefully reported the new news on Harry Potter and his buddies.

Frankly, we think this is another reason to deny Ms. Rowling any more wealth for producing questionable if not down right detrimental reading material aimed at our children.

Do your kids a favor: get them interested in the facts of history. Real people with real skills and real bravery are a lot better than fantasy, magic and extolling the virtues (?) of gay people.

We don’t hate gay people but we sure do not think they need to be put upon a pedestal or held up as role models for our kids either.

We think one’s sex life — anyone’s sex life — is a private matter.

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Priests Say Harry Potter Promotes Evil

Miguel Sanchez
For Peace and Freedom
July 23, 2007
(Mexico City)

Is Harry Potter really a good thing for your children to read?

At least one member of the Roman Catholic Church clergy has come forward to say Harry Potter could do damage to a child’s mind.

The Reverend Pedro Mendoza is the Director of Exorcists in the Archdiocese of Mexico City.

Peace and Freedom caught up with Father Mendoza after learning he had a strongly contrary view to the masses who turned out Friday night to buy the latest and apparently final Harry Potter book.

“I think a book like this does a lot of damage,” the priest told us. “At its core it is about sorcery. I am sure that is not the best use of a child’s mind.”

Father Mendoza made similar comments at the end of a five-day exorcism conference in Mexico City last week.

”If you put all these ideas in a child’s head, that he can become a wizard, the child believes that, and that is opening an avenue through which the devil can get in,” Mendoza said Friday – the eve of the release of the series’ final book.

He said that Harry Potter ”doesn’t interest us,” but ” unfortunately, it does a lot of damage.”

“When family ties began weakening, the priest said, often the mass media starts to proliferate ”new ideas” and ”abusing sensationalism.

“Without strong, faith-bound families, which he said allow individuals to see God’s work in everyday life, people lose touch with God and seek ‘magical solutions’ to modern problems.”

“There are many demonic influences, curses and forms of witchcraft,” he said. ”And it’s in that field that the devil is able to work.”

“We should not accept sorcery or wizardry as a good thing when there is so much good in the world to embrace.”

Another priest with parallel views is Father John Corapi who says, “It is just not wise to place yourself or your children in the near occasion of evil.”

Related:

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

Google In Hot Water [Again] Over Censorship

September 7, 2007

Juan Carlos Perez

San Francisco  – A media advocacy group is “dismayed” about Google‘s decision to block YouTube videos from viewers in Thailand that are considered inappropriate or illegal by that Asian government.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), calling Google’s reported agreement with the Thai government “a censorship deal,” said on Wednesday that the move creates “a dangerous precedent, which could have global implications for freedom of expression.”

“There is a clear potential for abuse of people’s right to information, which seems much more likely now [that] Google has demonstrated its willingness to collude with governments to effectively censor information,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said in a statement.

The Thailand Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Friday and during the weekend, various news outlets reported from Bangkok that Thailand had lifted a five-month ban on YouTube for its residents after Google agreed to block videos the government finds objectionable.

Last March in Thailand, visitors to the popular video sharing site YouTube were re-directed to a government web site.  In Thailand the reasons and criteria for an internet site blocking are usually not made public. In the past, if the resulting controversy over a certain blocking gets too vocal, the blocked site comes back online and the government denies it was ever blocked at all.

This is often the way China also handles internet disruptions and censorship.

In Thailand, news analysts speculated that YouTube was blocked after posting a CNN interview that features ex-prime minister Thaksin. Thaksin was ousted by the Thai military and the current military backed regime is not happy with Thaksin getting any form of media exposure.

In an article posted Friday, the International Herald Tribune quoted Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, Thailand’s minister of information and communications technology, as saying that YouTube had agreed to block clips deemed offensive to Thai culture or that violate Thai law.

People accessing YouTube from outside of Thailand will be able to view the videos blocked in that country, the minister told the International Herald Tribune.

Thailand blocked all access to Google’s YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing site, in early April after someone posted a video the government considered insulting to the country’s king.

YouTube is “pleased to hear” that access to its site has been reinstated in Thailand, a YouTube spokesman said via e-mail Wednesday.

“We appreciate the constructive dialogue we have had with the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Ministry. YouTube remains committed to removing videos when they violate our content policies, and we will continue to work closely with authorities in Thailand,” the YouTube spokesman wrote.

YouTube has taken steps to make sure that its users in Thailand will not be able to access videos that have been identified as violating the country’s laws, he confirmed.

Asked if YouTube’s parent company had any reaction to the IFJ’s criticism, he said the question should answered by a Google official. At press time, no one from Google had responded to this question.

Those found guilty of offending the monarchy face serious penalties in Thailand. Days before the YouTube incident, a Swiss national living in Thailand got slapped with a 10-year jail sentence for defacing images of the king.

This is the latest incident in which Google and other providers of Internet services, such as Yahoo and Microsoft, find themselves criticized for censorship by human rights organizations, press advocacy groups, U.S. legislators, and shareholders.

For example, several Internet companies have been criticized for agreeing to censor content in their China sites and search engines that the Chinese government finds objectionable.

Yahoo in particular has been blasted often for cooperating with the Chinese government and providing information that has led to the arrest of dissidents and journalists.

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others invariably defend themselves saying that they must comply with the local laws of the countries in which they do business and that governments must collaborate to establish international standards of operation.

“We always welcome constructive discussions with local governments around the world on similar issues. We are committed to addressing these questions in ways that both respect relevant laws and cultural concerns and are consistent with our global content policies,” the YouTube spokesman wrote.

When it comes to content that may break local laws, YouTube works with local authorities to resolve the issues. “We think this approach strikes the right balance between freedom of expression and respect for local law,” he wrote.

Thailand recently introduced the Computer Crime Act, which gives authorities the power to seize the computers of people suspected of accessing or creating content deemed insulting or pornographic, according to the IFJ.

Activist, social worker and webmaster Sombat Bun-ngam-anong is currently serving a 12-day detention order for alleged defamation for violating the Act, the IFJ said in Wednesday’s statement.

Also on Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders, another international press watchdog group, reported that a Thai blogger named Pichai has been reportedly detained for the past 12 days, also for violating the Act, which this group says took effect on July 18.

The blogger’s arrest “confirms our fears about the dangers of a law that is supposed to combat pornography but turns out to be a way of restricting and controlling press freedom,” Reporters Without Borders charged.
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Peace and Freedom Comment:

Several of us have been to Thailand.  It is difficult to believe that the Thai military Generals really fear pornography in a nation that has moving sex as a mainstay of the society and the economy.  We could be wrong….

Google was widely criticized earlier this year for accepting China’s restrictions and limitations on information.