Bloggers Against Banning Books is a grassroots campaign in Malaysia designed to educate and create awareness about book banning. Censorship is a huge issue in that nation, where the Home Affairs Ministry (known as the KDN) bans books that it feels are in some way "detrimental to public order" or liable in some way to"contribute to immorality".

Malaysian book lovers have created a blog with information about the books that are banned in their country. The opening post says:

Censors. They are gatekeepers, they are also jailkeepers. For banning a book is akin to imprisoning it. Making it unavailable to the masses, treating it like some criminal, something that society needs to be protected from. Who are they to pass judgement on a piece of writing? Do we really need protection from the printed word? Alas, it seems so for our own Home Affairs Ministry(KDN) considers policing all printed material its sacred duty.

All right. Take away porn, I can live with that. Ban the Satanic Verses, if you wish to win popular favour. But the latest list of books our censors have decided are bad for us is so ludicrous that I got shaken out of my apathy. .. who wants to live in a country where books are banned? .... It is high time we do something about this.

When even books on breastfeeding and for reading aloud to children are not allowed into Malaysia, then what will there be left to read? If we let this stand, if we let this slide, then think about what else could be banned? We just might end up like China or Burma where the government censors even the Internet. Little by little, we might end up losing the battle for personal freedom and our own freedom of self-expression.

Don't think of it as fighting for the books. There's more at stake here than just words on paper.

Please visit the blog and leave a comment there to show your support.

This is not a matter of *condemning* Malaysian culture. By speaking out against censorship, we are *respecting* and *supporting* a very important aspect of Malaysian culture.
So ... do any of you know anything about putting a book together? That is, what is involved in doing so?

I'm looking for specific answers, not well-intended but maddeningly vague and uninformed generalities like, "Um, I think you have to have an agent but I don't know how people get them" and "I guess you go to the bookstore and look for publishers that have published similar things and then maybe write to them?" which is what my RL pals are telling me.

Any answers/advice or suggestions about who/how to get the info? I am really NOT looking for information about self-publishing or print on demand stuff.

And yes, I should have thought of this before I went to the book festival, but I didn't.
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
title or description

Swiped from here (no, I'm not a fan of the site, I just stumbled across the image & had to steal it):

Find a performance of the first CD/record you ever bought, and post it in your blog.

I was delighted and astonished to find it! Critic Richard Goldstein once described hearing "the ebb and flow of feminine hips" while listening to this group performing this song. 

The person who posted it disabled "embedding," so you'll have to click here to watch:

This is the entire news item from today's New York Times:

The story )

I want to know what happened and whodunit!
New York State Attorney General candidate Jeanine Pirro held a press conference today to discuss the fact that she is under investigation by federal law enforcement officials.

Tearfully, she *once again* defended herself for staying in her marriage to her crooked, cheating husband. I can't help feeling a little sorry for her. 

She really needs to dump Al, who spent 11 months in prison on tax fraud charges and, as a result of his extramarital affairs, has fathered at least one illegitimate child. He's nothing but an anchor around her neck.


OK, it doesn't really start until sundown, but since I won't be near a computer then, I'll say it now.


May it be inscribed and may it be sealed in the book of life
that the new year brings you
health and happiness, love and fulfillment, peace and prosperity – all of life’s very best things. 

A wonderful New Year to you all.

Happy 5767!


Sep. 21st, 2006 05:05 pm
September 21, 2006

Dear World Trade Center Families:

Recent advances in the technique for extracting DNA from bone, developed by Bode Laboratory, have provided us the opportunity to renew our efforts to identify your loved ones.

We are working actively on World Trade Center identifications, and new identifications will be forthcoming. I cannot predict how many or the time it will take.

My colleagues and I reiterate our committment to you: we will never quit.


Chief Medical Examiner
New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
But as David Letterman would say, it's a good kinda tired. Pretty much didn't stop running all weekend but had lots of fun.

Best part of yesterday -- going to a panel discussion that included an author whose work I have long admired, BUT I have long been bugged by an odd plot twist in one of his novels. Why did he do it? I never understood why!

So, yesterday, during the panel discussion. he read a passage from the book that has been bugging me. What are the odds he'd decide to read from that book, since it isn't his newest, most famous or best-received book? I got the feeling that he and I were the only people in the room who were familiar with it!

Anyway, I went up to him after the panel & asked about the odd plot twist. Glory be, he graciously took five minutes, answered my question, told me that it is his favorite of the novels he's written (mine too) and actually thanked me for reading the book. Whatta guy!

Best part of today -- seeing a male belly dancer perform. Oh, man ... ! :)
Hope your day was wonderful. Or is it still day where you are? Anyway, happy birthday, happy birthevening & happy birthnight.
Read more... )
Give sorrow words:
The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart,
And bids it break.

-- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 3

I'm thinking of you all tonight.

Thank you for helping me to give sorrow words.
I am incredibly tired and haven't been able to read anyone's journal entries for the last few days. I hope you are all well.

I went out this morning to go to a tree-planting ceremony and ended up going from one event to another all day, finally coming home and feeling utterly drained.

The tree ceremony was beautiful and moving, far more so than anyone who organized or participated expected. Speakers included representatives of Buddhist, Sikh, Methodist, Santaria, Evangelical Christian, Moslem and Jewish communities. There were people who'd survived the Oklahoma City bombing, people who'd come through the WTC attacks in 1993 and 2001, people who travelled great distances -- in every sense of the word -- to join us. A small band played, we all placed shovelsful of earth around a sapling grown from the OKC Survivor Tree ( and, and the only ones who didn't cry were the children.

Then to a reception, a church service, a procession, a luncheon, a photo shoot ... and home, home, home at last.

I'll have to be up very early tomorrow and I know the day will be long but I have to go down into the pit again. Now, to spend a few moments feeding the kitties, rubbing their bellies and getting some rest. Goodnight.
I went to a free one-ring circus today on Coney Island. Shot a very short & grainy video (my first attempt) of the opening act and uploaded it to YouTube. A great FREE show and um, extremely political.

OK, so the Brooklyn blog seems to be getting posted on LJ, but the comments made to it show up ONLY on LJ, not in the blog.

This is killing me.

I wanted to get more comments in the blog, not in LJ. :(

Should I delete feedburner? Did that somehow screw it up?
A few people told me that I should create an RSS feed for my Brooklyn blog (never mind that I'm not quite sure what that is), so I've spent the last few hours trying to do so. Argh! I fiddled with settings in the blog, in LJ, back to blog, back to LJ and still can't seem to make it work. (Although, honestly, I'm not sure what it would be doing if it WAS working.)

On the plus side, though, apparently one of the settings I changed allows me to NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, see images posted in LJ. I never saw them before, ever, only little stupid icons that look sort of like doors. I had to click on the door to see each and every image and it was horribly tedious. I usually didn't even bother to look at anyone's images because it was so much trouble. I didn't know anyone else saw it differently, but I guess the rest of you do. Oh, well.

If anyone can coach me through this feed stuff, please do. I'm tired of potchkying with it and feeling annoyed. I'm going to watch a movie. Do you think The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will un-annoy me? Here's the blog:
But I'm returning to family duty in a few days. Not a great summer for my family.

Nephew has had surgery on his knee and is now bored and restless. Poor thing. His friends are out running around, swimming, biking, playing ball and chasing girls, and he's stuck inside. This is "the worst summer ever" and now, since he is in a cast from ankle to thigh and unsteady on his pins, he is -- at the age of 15 -- in the undignified position of once again having a "babysitter" in the house while his parents are at work. We'll know in a few weeks whether he needs another operation, but if he does, he will go completely out of his skull with boredom. He is an active, athletic kid who loves baseball, basketball and the marching band; sitting on the couch is *not* his style.

Mom burned herself badly by spilling a cup of coffee in her lap. The wounds are starting to heal, but she is quite depressed, as her two closest friends died this summer. Next week I will try to cheer both mom and nephew with movies, books and sweets. So ... that's on the horizon.

In the meantime I am going to switch off the news and enjoy the lovely weather in my city.

Blog has been updated with the Arthur Avenue excursion. Look at the gorgeous rum cakes and cannoli, imagine the freshly brewed espresso and sweet vanilla smells of the pastry shop and weep because you weren't there. :)
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