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Paypal bans publishers who publish erotic ebooks with BDSM content

As Violet Blue says, "PayPal would ban works by Anaïs Nin, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Miller, Marquis de Sade and books like Caligula, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels (True Blood), The Story of O, Venus in Furs, Lolita…" PayPal Strong-Arms Indie Ebook Publishers Over Erotic Content | ZDNet
On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses’ accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes - namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of. PayPal told indie e-book publishers and retailers - such as AllRomance, Smashwords, Excessica and Bookstrand - that if they didn’t remove the offending literature from their catalogs within a few days of notification, PayPal would close their accounts. . . . PayPal would ban works by Anaïs Nin, Vladimir Nabokov, Henry Miller, Marquis de Sade and books like Caligula, The Sookie Stackhouse Novels (True Blood), The Story of O, Venus in Furs, Lolita… So, what kind of fantasy sex in books is PayPal telling indie publishers is not okay? They include a number of subjects that many would consider offensive or disturbing in real life - but they included one area of sexual fantasy that is fairly popular in real life between consenting adults. PayPal told the booksellers they may not sell works of fiction that include sexual fantasies containing themes and implied scenarios of: pseudo-incest (including “daddy” fantasies, step-family), incest, fantasies about non-consensual sex or rape, bestiality (widened to include non-human fantasy creatures), and BDSM. . . .

This Modern World: The Next War on Women

Someone should ask Santorum how he feels about FGM. Daily Kos: A new controversy erupts

Study: Better-educated Republicans become better at ignoring facts, championing ideology

The Republican Brain: Why Even Educated Conservatives Deny Science -- and Reality | | AlterNet
For Republicans, having a college degree didn’t appear to make one any more open to what scientists have to say. On the contrary, better-educated Republicans were more skeptical of modern climate science than their less educated brethren. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans agreed that the planet is warming due to human actions, versus 31 percent of non-college-educated Republicans. … But it’s not just global warming where the “smart idiot” effect occurs. It also emerges on nonscientific but factually contested issues, like the claim that President Obama is a Muslim. Belief in this falsehood actually increased more among better-educated Republicans from 2009 to 2010 than it did among less-educated Republicans, according to research by George Washington University political scientist John Sides. The same effect has also been captured in relation to the myth that the healthcare reform bill empowered government “death panels.” According to research by Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, Republicans who thought they knew more about the Obama healthcare plan were “paradoxically more likely to endorse the misperception than those who did not.”

Krugman: What Ails Europe

What Ails Europe? - NYTimes.com
Why has Europe become the sick man of the world economy? Everyone knows the answer. Unfortunately, most of what people know isn’t true — and false stories about European woes are warping our economic discourse. Read an opinion piece about Europe — or, all too often, a supposedly factual news report — and you’ll probably encounter one of two stories, which I think of as the Republican narrative and the German narrative. Neither story fits the facts. The Republican story — it’s one of the central themes of Mitt Romney’s campaign — is that Europe is in trouble because it has done too much to help the poor and unlucky, that we’re watching the death throes of the welfare state. This story is, by the way, a perennial right-wing favorite: back in 1991, when Sweden was suffering from a banking crisis brought on by deregulation (sound familiar?), the Cato Institute published a triumphant report on how this proved the failure of the whole welfare state model. Did I mention that Sweden, which still has a very generous welfare state, is currently a star performer, with economic growth faster than that of any other wealthy nation? But let’s do this systematically. Look at the 15 European nations currently using the euro (leaving Malta and Cyprus aside), and rank them by the percentage of G.D.P. they spent on social programs before the crisis. Do the troubled GIPSI nations (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy) stand out for having unusually large welfare states? No, they don’t; only Italy was in the top five, and even so its welfare state was smaller than Germany’s. So excessively large welfare states didn’t cause the troubles. Next up, the German story, which is that it’s all about fiscal irresponsibility. This story seems to fit Greece, but nobody else. Italy ran deficits in the years before the crisis, but they were only slightly larger than Germany’s (Italy’s large debt is a legacy from irresponsible policies many years ago). Portugal’s deficits were significantly smaller, while Spain and Ireland actually ran surpluses. . . .