15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned In America

I was surprised at this banned book list. Some of these didn’t make sense to me.

15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned In America

1. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford

When: 1987
Why: The book was banned and then reprinted because it originally showcased a topless beachgoer (not like anyone could find her if they tried, though).

Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

When: 1988
Why: Everyone’s favorite childhood book was banned from a public library in Colorado because it was considered “sexist.” It was also challenged by several schools because it “criminalized the foresting agency.”

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

3. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

When: 2006
Why: Talking animals are somehow considered an “insult to god,” resulting in this book’s banning throughout random parts of the United States. Several institutions in Turkey and the UK have also banned the book, claiming that the character of Piglet is offensive to Muslims. Other institutions claim that the book revolves around Nazism.

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Image by Leon Neal / Getty Images

4. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

When: 1999
Why: The book was banned from an elementary School in Texas because it included the word “ass.”

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

5. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

When: 1983
Why: The book was banned from several schools for being “a bad example for children.” It was also challenged for teaching “children to lie, spy, talk back, and curse.”

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

6. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

When: 2010
Why: Forget anti-semitism; the 50th Anniversary “Definitive Edition’” was insteadbanned by a Virginia school because of its “sexual content and homosexual themes.” Additionally, the book was previously banned by several schools in the United States because it was “too depressing.” Most recently, in May of 2013, a Michigan mom tried to get the book banned due to its “pornographic tendencies.”

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

7. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

When: 1996
Why: The book was banned from several classrooms in Pennsylvania on accounts of “profanity, disrespect for adults, and an elaborate fantasy world that might lead to confusion.” The book has also been banned by other schools for its use of the phrases “Oh Lord” and “Lord.”

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

8. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

When: 2006
Why: Similar to Winnie-the-Pooh, this book was banned in Kansas because talking animals are considered an “insult to god.”

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

9. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

When: 1900
Why: Apparently there are references to sexual fantasies and masturbation in this book, resulting in its ban from classrooms in New Hampshire. Since this original banning, the book has been challenged by thousands of other institutions, most famously in the 1960s in fear that it would promote drug use to children.

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

When: 1963
Why: The book was primarily banned in most southern states immediately following its publication, and it has since been challenged due to the fact that it promotes “witchcraft and supernatural events.”

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

11. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

When: 1989
Why: A California school district banned the book and claimed that it “criminalized the foresting industry” and would thus persuade children against logging.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

12. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

When: “Until as recently as 1991”
Why: Remember that time when Sam I Am tried to seduce his friend? Me neither. But the book was banned in California on accounts of “homosexual seduction.” It was also banned in China for “early Marxism” from 1965 until Dr. Seuss’ death in 1991.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

13. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

When: 1988
Why: A Colorado library banned the book because it embraced a “poor philosophy of life.” Additionally, since its publication in 1964, the book was under fire for comparing the Oompa Loompas to Africans. The characters’ descriptions were later changed in an edited version in 1988.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

14. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

When: 1928
Why: All public libraries in Chicago banned the book because of its “ungodly” influence “for depicting women in strong leadership roles.” In 1957, the Detroit Public Library banned the book for having “no value for children of today.”

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Source: webcitation.org  /  via: blog.firstbook.org

15. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

When: 2010
Why: The Texas State Board of Education briefly banned this picture book after confusing its author, Bill Martin, Jr., with philosopher Bill Martin, author of ‘Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.’

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin, Jr.

BONUS: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When: 2010
Why: The 10th edition was banned in several classrooms in California because it included the definition for “oral sex.”

BONUS: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Via: npr.org

Ramadan

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, will be starting very soon.  This year, many Muslims worldwide will be fasting close to 16-18 hours in the long, hot summer months.  Over the next few days, I will be posting articles, videos and recipes for Ramadan.

The first article is a bit of a primer.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a time when Muslims across the world will fast during the hours of daylight.

Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam.

The Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. The actual night that the Qur’an was revealed is a night known as Lailut ul-Qadr (‘The Night of Power’).

How do Muslims keep Ramadan?

Man reading the Qur'anAlmost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan, and some will try to become better Muslims by praying more or reading the Qur’an.

Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur’an at least once during the Ramadan period. Many will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur’an is read.

Fasting is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It also reminds them of the suffering of the poor, who may rarely get to eat well.

It is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.

Because Ramadan is a time to spend with friends and family, the fast will often be broken by different Muslim families coming together to share in an evening meal.

Eid ul Fitr

The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr‘, the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control.

The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.

There are special services out of doors and in Mosques, processions through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal – eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.

Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

During Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family.

At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

 

The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal

The world works in scary ways….

The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal

January 19, 2013 by 
artificial sugar

Did you know that Aspartame was banned by the FDA twice? How is this product legal now?

The bittersweet argument over whether Aspartame is safe or not has been going on for a long time. On one side we have medical evidence that suggests we should avoid using it and on the other side we lean on the FDA’s approval that suggests it is safe. Since generally that seems to be the factor that many continue to hold trust based upon, I thought we could look into the Aspartame story to find out how it came to be accepted as safe by the FDA. You would think that something so widely used and so well accepted would have quite the pristine story leading to its acceptance. I imagine one will discover otherwise after reading this post.

It all starts in the mid 1960′s with a company called G.D. Searle. One of their chemists accidentally creates aspartame while trying to create a cure for stomach ulcers. Searle decides to put aspartame through a testing process which eventually leads to its approval by the FDA. Not long after, serious health effects begin to arise and G.D. Searle comes under fire for their testing practices. It is revealed that the testing process of Aspartame was among the worst the investigators had ever seen and that in fact the product was unsafe for use. Aspartame triggers the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer put into place by the FDA in 1977. By 1980 the FDA bans aspartame from use after having 3 independent scientists study the sweetener. It was determined that one main health effects was that it had a high chance of inducing brain tumors. At this point it was clear that aspartame was not fit to be used in foods and banned is where it stayed, but not for long.

Early in 1981 Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (who is a former Secretary of Defense.. surprise surprise) vowed to “call in his markers,” to get it approved. January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle took the steps to re-apply aspartame’s approval for use by the FDA. Ronald Reagans’ new FDA commissioner Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision. It did not take long for the panel to decide 3-2 in favor of maintaining the ban of aspartame. Hull then decided to appoint a 6th member to the board, which created a tie in the voting, 3-3. Hull then decided to personally break the tie and approve aspartame for use. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller. Burstone-Marstella is the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

It is clear to this point that if anything the safety of aspartame is incredibly shaky.  It has already been through a process of being banned and without the illegitimate un-banning of the product, it would not be being used today. Makes you wonder how much corruption and money was involved with names like Rumsfeld, Reagan and Hull involved so heavily. In 1985, Monsanto decides to purchase the aspartame patent from G.D. Searle. Remember that Arthur Hull now had the connection to Monsanto. Monsanto did not seem too concerned with the past challenges and ugly image aspartame had based on its past. I personally find this comical as Monsanto’s products are banned in many countries and of all companies to buy the product they seem to fit best as they are champions of producing incredibly unsafe and untested products and making sure they stay in the market place.

Since then, aspartame has been under a lot of attack by scientists, doctors, chemists and consumers about it’s safety and neurotoxic properties. Piles of comprehensive studies have been completed that show aspartame is a cause for over 90 serious health problems such as cancer, leukemia, headaches, seizures, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy just to name a few. We have written several articles discussing various affects of aspartame. Aspartame Leukemia Link. Aspartame and Brain Damage.

For a full timeline on aspartame’s legal and safety battles, expand the box below.

 Timeline

December 1965– While working on an ulcer drug, James Schlatter, a chemist at G.D. Searle, accidentally discovers aspartame, a substance that is 180 times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories.

Spring 1967– Searle begins the safety tests on aspartame that are necessary for applying for FDA approval of food additives.

Fall 1967– Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, conducts aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys on behalf of the Searle Company. Of the seven monkeys that were being fed aspartame mixed with milk, one dies and five others have grand mal seizures.

November 1970– Cyclamate, the reigning low-calorie artificial sweetener — is pulled off the market after some scientists associate it with cancer. Questions are also raised about safety of saccharin, the only other artificial sweetener on the market, leaving the field wide open for aspartame.

December 18, 1970– Searle Company executives lay out a “Food and Drug Sweetener Strategy’ that they feel will put the FDA into a positive frame of mind about aspartame. An internal policy memo describes psychological tactics the company should use to bring the FDA into a subconscious spirit of participation” with them on aspartame and get FDA regulators into the “habit of saying, “Yes”.”

Spring 1971– Neuroscientist Dr. John Olney (whose pioneering work with monosodium glutamate was responsible for having it removed from baby foods) informs Searle that his studies show that aspartic acid (one of the ingredients of aspartame) caused holes in the brains of infant mice. One of Searle’s own researchers confirmed Dr. Olney’s findings in a similar study.

February 1973– After spending tens of millions of dollars conducting safety tests, the G.D. Searle Company applies for FDA approval and submits over 100 studies they claim support aspartame’s safety.

March 5, 1973– One of the first FDA scientists to review the aspartame safety data states that “the information provided (by Searle) is inadequate to permit an evaluation of the potential toxicity of aspartame”. She says in her report that in order to be certain that aspartame is safe, further clinical tests are needed.

May 1974– Attorney, Jim Turner (consumer advocate who was instrumental in getting cyclamate taken off the market) meets with Searle representatives to discuss Dr. Olney’s 1971 study which showed that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of infant mice.

July 26, 1974– The FDA grants aspartame its first approval for restricted use in dry foods.

August 1974– Jim Turner and Dr. John Olney file the first objections against aspartame’s approval.

March 24, 1976– Turner and Olney’s petition triggers an FDA investigation of the laboratory practices of aspartame’s manufacturer, G.D. Searle. The investigation finds Searle’s testing procedures shoddy, full of inaccuracies and “manipulated” test data. The investigators report they “had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing.”

January 10, 1977– The FDA formally requests the U.S. Attorney’s office to begin grand jury proceedings to investigate whether indictments should be filed against Searle for knowingly misrepresenting findings and “concealing material facts and making false statements” in aspartame safety tests. This is the first time in the FDA’s history that they request a criminal investigation of a manufacturer.

January 26, 1977– While the grand jury probe is underway, Sidley & Austin, the law firm representing Searle, begins job negotiations with the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, Samuel Skinner.

March 8, 1977– G. D. Searle hires prominent Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as the new CEO to try to turn the beleaguered company around. A former Member of Congress and Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration, Rumsfeld brings in several of his Washington cronies as top management.

July 1, 1977– Samuel Skinner leaves the U.S. Attorney’s office and takes a job with Searle’s law firm. (see Jan. 26th)

August 1, 1977– The Bressler Report, compiled by FDA investigators and headed by Jerome Bressler, is released. The report finds that 98 of the 196 animals died during one of Searle’s studies and weren’t autopsied until later dates, in some cases over one year after death. Many other errors and inconsistencies are noted. For example, a rat was reported alive, then dead, then alive, then dead again; a mass, a uterine polyp, and ovarian neoplasms were found in animals but not reported or diagnosed in Searle’s reports.

December 8, 1977– U.S. Attorney Skinner’s withdrawal and resignation stalls the Searle grand jury investigation for so long that the statue of limitations on the aspartame charges runs out. The grand jury investigation is dropped.

June 1, 1979– The FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to rule on safety issues surrounding NutraSweet.

September 30, 1980– The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals. The board states it “has not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive.”

January 1981– Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, states in a sales meeting that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.

January 21, 1981– Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Reagan’s transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner.

March, 1981– An FDA commissioner’s panel is established to review issues raised by the Public Board of Inquiry.

May 19, 1981– Three of six in-house FDA scientists who were responsible for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet, stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not adequate to determine the safety of aspartame.

July 15, 1981– In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe for its’ proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny.

October 15, 1982– The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids.

July 1, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form. When liquid aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins.

July 8, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection to the final ruling which permits the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that aspartame and its’ degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.

August 8, 1983– Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University’s Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues.

September, 1983– FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet’s major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

Fall 1983– The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold for public consumption.

November 1984– Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use.” (summary by B. Mullarkey)

November 3, 1987– U.S. hearing, “NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns,” Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.

Sources:

http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html

http://rense.com/general33/legal.htm

http://dorway.com/

Best Way to Talk About Problems with your Partner

Loved this article and had to share it here with all of you.

What is the Best Way to Talk About Problems with your Partner?

When problems arise in a relationship, couples are often told they need to “communicate” – or talk to each other.

In many cases, however, couples do not know how to talk about problems and communication only makes the situation worse.

For the most part, there are two basic ways of talking about problems: Direct Accusation versus Problem Identification (described below). Unfortunately, most couples use Direct Accusation rather than Problem Identification when trying to resolve conflict.

The idea that Problem Identification is a better way of solving problems draws upon Gibb’s work on defensive communication and Cupach and Canary’s work on conflict management. Cupach and Canary’s book is a great resource for dealing with conflict management.

Direct Accusation – Focus on Partner’s Behavior

When upset or angry, many people confront their spouses by focusing on their partner’s behavior. These accusations can be made directly “I am upset because you…” or even in the form of a question “why did you…?”

The motivation behind making such accusations is typically to change a spouse’s or partner’s behavior. People believe that if they get upset and point out their partner’s mistakes, things will change. This rarely works.

If you accuse a partner of wrongdoing, partners typically:

•get defensive – fight back or withdraw (stop listening)
•offer an (insincere) apology designed to stop your attack
•hide and conceal similar behavior in the future
The long term outcome of directly confronting a partner is:

•increased distance
•less understanding and greater dissatisfaction
•the lack of a genuine resolution
•increased future conflict
A more effective approach involves focusing on one’s feelings, not a partner’s behavior.

Problem Identification – Focus on One’s Feelings

A better way to resolve relationship problems involves focusing on one’s feelings, rather than blaming a partner for what happened (even if, your partner deserves blame).

It is easier for a partner or spouse to hear what you have to say when you focus on your own feelings and not dwell on his or her mistakes. For example, if your spouse has a habit of coming home late – rather than make a direct accusation – “I hate when you’re so late – why do you do that?” – it helps if you can focus on your feelings instead “I am feeling sad and a little frustrated. I sometimes feel lonely when you are not home.”

When trying to discuss a problem – it’s important not to assign blame. Even saying something as simple as “It makes me feel uncomfortable…” can come across as an accusation – leading to a defensive response. Phrasing a concern as “I feel” rather than “It makes…” is a more effective way of solving problems.

Your motivation for dealing with problems this way should be to get your partner to hear what you have to say. If you can get your partner to understand your point of view, you are much more likely to create a meaningful and lasting resolution.

By focusing on your feelings instead of your spouse’s behavior, partners are more likely to:

•listen to what you have to say
•empathize with your position
•discuss the problem in a constructive manner
And there are many benefits of approaching relationship problems with this way:

•increased closeness, satisfaction and understanding
•greater potential for resolution and change
•less future conflict
Simply put, directly confronting a partner often leads to greater resistance, more conflict and deception. Of course, it is easier to get angry and make accusations, but doing so rarely leads positive, long term outcomes.