Restrictions Journalists Agreed To In Order To Attend Koch Conference Revealed

By JOSH ISRAEL, ThinkProgress – Last weekend, Charles and David Koch’s Freedom Partners hosted five Republican presidential hopefuls and hundreds of top conservative donors at the St. Regis Monarch Beach luxury resort in California. The tax-exempt organization, which has been dubbed the Koch Brothers’ “secret bank,” allowed nine news organizations to cover parts of the conference. The New York Times highlighted these invitations last week as evidence of the Kochs’ attempt to change their image as a “secretive” network with a “culture deeply allergic to the spotlight.” But in reality, those reporters who covered the event were subject to numerous restrictions — restrictions one media ethics expert called “outrageous.” ThinkProgress obtained a copy of the conditions sent by Freedom Partners to reporters. These included demands that reporters “not report on anyone’s attendance at the event unless you are specifically granted an interview request or they are a part of the formal program,”...

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School District Strips High School Biology Textbook Of Any Mention Of Birth Control Or Abortion

by  TARA CULP-RESSLER – A school district in Arizona will remove two pages from a high school textbook that mention birth control and abortion, following pressure from a conservative Christian group that argued the sections violate a state law requiring schools to advocate for childbirth. It will up to each school to decide whether they want to rip out the page or use marker to censor the passage. The Gilbert Public School Board voted 3-2 to edit a chapter in the textbook “Campbell Biology: Concepts & Connections” that includes information about abstinence, contraception, vasectomies, and abortion-inducing medication as methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy. According to the school board president, this likely marks the first time that a textbook in the state has been edited under the new law, which prevents school districts from using any materials that do not “present childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.” The...

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Prisoner Gag Law an Attack on Fundamental Free Speech Rights, Say Critics

Pennsylvania governor signs law as race and class-based mass incarceration ‘is being questioned more than ever’    By Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams– Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed into law a prisoner gag order that rights groups say is an affront to the First Amendment and a denial of all citizens’ right to understand “an area of U.S. life physically removed from public scrutiny.” Passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on October 15 and the Senate a day later, HB 2533/ SB 508 will allow a judge to censor an inmate or former offender’s public speech before it occurs by permitting a district attorney, the attorney general, or a crime victim to file a complaint if the conduct will allegedly cause “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish” to the victim. Rights groups were quick to condemn the bill, saying its “overboard” language will allow a court system...

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Students, Teachers Turn Out in Force Against Censorship of History

Hundreds pack Colorado school board meeting, voicing their discontent and winning a partial victory By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams – Several hundred students, community members, and educators packed a Jefferson County Board of Education meeting in suburban Denver on Thursday night, lambasting the conservative-majority board’s proposal to censor the district’s history curriculum. The proposal — to establish a committee that would review course materials to ensure they promote patriotism and avoid encouragement of “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law”—was the catalyst for two weeks of student walk-outs and teacher ‘sick-outs,’ the latter of which closed several high schools on two days in September. Since September 19, thousands of high-schoolers have taken to the streets with signs reading, “How will we learn from our mistakes if you don’t teach us about them?” and “Keep your politics out of my education.” They were similarly vocal during a two-hour public comment...

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An Ode to Arianna

“From the Desk of NickiLeaks”   Huff, The Magic’s Draggin’   Huff, the magic’s draggin‘ The posting sure ain’t free The moderators are often pissed Not the way they’re meant to be Little Ari’s newspaper Has gotten kind of rough And wandered off from helpful tales To sideboob and other fluff Oh, Huff the magic’s draggin‘ As anyone can see You’ve taken cash to Switzerland And set lots of evil free Oh, Huff the magic’s draggin‘ As anyone can see You’ve taken cash to Switzerland And set lots of evil free With AOL in shambles They had a Facebook sale Where computers kept a lookout On our comments and email Trolly things for instance Were unleashed by that Greek dame Biased news and censorship Had paved her way to fame Oh, Huff the magic’s draggin‘ As anyone can see You’ve taken cash to Switzerland And set lots of evil free...

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