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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 29, 2011 / 25 Nissan, 5771

A Thorny, Porn-y Issue for N.Y. Public Library

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of course you've heard some version of this tale before. Winston Churchill says to a woman at a party, "Madam, would you sleep with me for 5 million pounds?"

The woman stammers: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill. Well, yes, I suppose ...

Churchill interrupts: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"

The woman responds immediately: "What? Of course not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!"

To which the British bulldog replied: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."

The story comes to mind upon hearing the news that the New York Public Library has gotten into the porn business. "With adults, anything that you can get on the Internet, you can legally get on a computer in the library," explained an official. "It's difficult, but we err on the side of free and open access."

What does this have to do with the Churchill story? Well, imagine you went to your local library in, say, 1989 -- or some other year before Al Gore invented the Internet.

Then imagine going up to the librarian and asking him, "Do you carry Hustler?"

The shocked librarian answers, "No."

"Back issues of Swank? High Society? Penthouse?"

"No, no and no," quoth the librarian.

"OK, OK. I get it. Do you have movies?"

Librarian answers: "Yes, of course."

"Great!" you reply. "I'd like to sign out 'Debby Does Dallas.'"

"What? No!"

"How about the VHS of 'On Golden Blonde'?"

Finally, the librarian explodes: "Sir, we do not carry any pornography. What do you think we do here?"

Well, the answer to that question is suddenly in doubt. Because up until very, very recently, the idea that public libraries should -- nay, must! -- peddle unfettered access to hardcore porn would have baffled almost everyone.

I'm hardly an anti-porn crusader, but the list of reasons why libraries didn't -- and shouldn't -- carry porn is vast. The two most obvious and mutually reinforcing reasons are moralistic and budgetary: A) "It's wrong," and B) "We have very limited resources and we must choose what we think is worthwhile and what has no redeeming value."

The problem is that the legs have been knocked out from under both answers. Of course, the moralistic -- or "judgmental" -- bias against porn has been eroding for generations. How bad or good a development that is depends on your point of view.

But until the Internet, it didn't matter. Sure, Playboy might make it through, "for the articles." But not even the most radical or deranged librarians could ever justify subscribing to Juggs over National Geographic, because in a world of limited resources, prudential editing is not merely valuable, it's unavoidable.

But the Internet changed all that. The marginal cost of obtaining pornographic materials in libraries, once prohibitively high, is now nearly nonexistent. In fact, it's actually cheaper just to let it all flood in. Who wants to deal with the filters, blockers and monitors? Just proclaim that the First Amendment requires unfettered access to porn.

But, again, just imagine there was no Internet, and all two-dimensional smut was still on paper, celluloid or magnetic tape. Now imagine trying to argue before a cash-strapped city council that the local public library must not only provide some porn -- free of charge! -- to the public, but that it must provide mountains of it free of charge to the public, all because the First Amendment says so.

You'd be laughed out of the room.

Did the First Amendment change with the invention of the Internet? Of course not. What changed is that librarians lost both the "scarce resources" excuse and the backbone to invoke any other rationale -- decency, child welfare, hygiene, safety, etc. -- for barring it from public libraries.

Technological progress poses such challenges. Don't get me wrong: I love technological progress. But technology makes life easier, and when life is easier, it's harder to stick to the rules that were once essential to getting by in life.

The list of customs and values that were formed or informed by material necessity is too long to contemplate because it includes nearly all of them. Cultures, like cuisines, are formed as much by what isn't available as what is. Scarcity of meat is the mother of good seasoning.

The Internet doesn't completely eliminate scarcity of porn (or of hilarious kitten videos), but it gets us closer than humanity has ever been before. When scarcity drops, so does the price. And it seems that for the New York Public Library, like the lady in the Churchill story, price was always the issue.

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