Tag: Free Speech

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombus of Radio America celebrate the Supreme Court upholding the Constitution in two separate cases. They agree with the court’s conclusion that President Trump’s travel ban is within his constitutional and statutory right. They are also glad to see the Court side with free speech in striking down a California law that required crisis pregnancy centers to advertise abortion services. They are also pleasantly surprised that Democratic leaders are condemning Maxine Waters’ calls for the harassment of Trump administration officials.

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The Red Hen Is a Canary in the Coal Mine

 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen Restaurant in Virginia along with her seven guests. They already ordered, but a snowflake waiter decided he didn’t like her because she worked for President Donald Trump.

The owner came in and asked the employees what “they wanted her to do.” They said expel Sanders, so she was asked to leave, and she did. Why did this remind me of the 1960s lunch counters where blacks were refused service based on skin color?

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Denouncing the Deviationists

 

In her memoirs, Russian combat pilot Anna Egorova remembered her mother ”kneeling before the icons, as she firstly listed all our names, the names of her children, begging God for health and wisdom for us, and then at the end of each prayer repeating: ‘God save them from slander!’” She didn’t understand that word ‘slander’ in her childhood, Egorova wrote, but after her brother was sent away as An Enemy of the People, “it was exposed before me in all its terrible nakedness.”

I was reminded once again of this story by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s agreement to pay $3.75 million to Maajid Nawaz and his organization, the Quilliam Foundation, for wrongly including them on its now-defunct list of “anti-Muslim extremists.” Sixty other organizations are also considering litigation against the SPLC.

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Penn Law’s Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class

 

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action — comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for “teaching excellence.”

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Roberts Court Upholds Free Speech at the Polls. For Now.

 
Minnesotan Andy Cilek wasn’t allowed to vote while wearing a t-shirt that read “Don’t tread on me.”

Last week’s Supreme Court decision striking down a Minnesota law against wearing “political” T-shirts in the polling place might seem a matter of common sense. But that may just be the problem with it. While Chief Justice John Roberts’s ruling is certainly correct, it leaves many questions unanswered — something that, unfortunately, can be said about a lot of his decisions.

The facts of the case were striking: Minnesota’s law prohibited voters from entering polling places wearing shirts, hats, or buttons “designed to influence and impact voting” or to promote “a group with recognizable political views.” These restrictions were so broad that when one justice asked if voters could wear shirts bearing the words of the Second Amendment, the state’s lawyer answered no. What about the First Amendment? Fumbling, the lawyer said that would be okay … probably.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate another free speech victory coming out of the Supreme Court as it ruled against a Minnesota law that banned political apparel at the polls. They also remain confused at President Donald Trump’s praise for the murderous North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. And they look at the initial details of the long-anticipated Inspector’s General report about Comey, Lynch, and the Hillary Clinton private server investigation.

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Mark Zuckerberg and Conservative Ideals

 

The hassling of Zuckerberg rankled until I was compelled to write a political post, something I have rarely done in almost a decade on Facebook. It’s been up for 15 minutes as of this writing. I foresee either regretting the post, or having it panned. Or both.

There is a Facebook-related issue that is bothering me, so I will opine on Facebook. I have only a surface knowledge of the concerns for which Mark Zuckerberg underwent Senate questioning. What I find disturbing is the optics of hauling in for grilling this private citizen who happens to own a hugely successful venture. In listening to some of the proceedings, I felt like senators were pandering to the public by addressing Zuckerberg as if he were a criminal over a couple of points: a.) a data harvesting practice that I’m sure is widespread over the Internet, and not just a Facebook problem; and b.) an alleged favoring of the left side of the political spectrum in censoring or promoting posts.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to Republicans senators like Ted Cruz, Ben Sasse, and John Kennedy pin down Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on critical issues like censorship, free speech, and user policies that actually benefit Facebook members. They also react to House Speaker Paul Ryan announcing his retirement, looking both at his record and the increased likelihood that Democrats will take back the House this year. And they have fun with London’s ridiculous new knife control push after 50 stabbing deaths in the city this year, including police confiscating scissors and pliers as deadly weapons.

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Daniel DiSalvo joins Brian Anderson to discuss public-sector unions, freedom of speech, and the upcoming Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Janus next week. If the justices rule for the plaintiffs, employees of state and local governments across the country will be able to opt out of paying union fees. Public unions are often powerful political players, and a sharp drop in funding or membership could deal a heavy blow to their influence.

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University and Free Speech – Hope for the Future?

 

Lately, I’ve seen a few encouraging stories about a shifting perspective about free speech on university campuses. Some of the shifts are unhelpful, but others suggest that the leadership of universities is finally recognizing the significant role their institutions can play in supporting and perpetuating free speech.

At first glance, some stories are not positive. A few universities are trying to charge a “security fee” to groups who are inviting what the university defines as “controversial speakers.” Needless to say, the administrators are the very ones who decide that a given speaker is controversial, immediately suggesting that trouble will be brewing before and during a presentation. The University of Alabama imposed a fee of $7,000 on the College Republicans chapter that was hosting Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016. Just before the event, the university revoked the fee with the statement, “the University of Alabama supports free speech and welcomes diverse speakers to our campus. As with all speakers, the views of Mr. Yiannopoulos do not necessarily reflect the views of the University.” It was a wise choice since the chapter could not afford the fee and would have had to cancel the event.

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Video of the day: Hitchens on Free Speech Absolutism

 

I don’t always agree with the late Christopher Hitchins, however, I respect his integrity. In this video he discusses why he is a Free Speech Absolutist: More

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“Truth Conquers All,” or Does It?

 

Lindsay Shepherd is a teaching assistant for a communications course at Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian university whose motto translates to “Truth conquers all.” She showed her class a debate that involved Jordan Peterson and others regarding gendered pronouns that had previously aired on Canadian television. She presented the video without comment, although she later revealed that she disagrees with Prof. Peterson’s position on the issue. However, a “gendered violence” complaint from her class was lodged, triggering a review, and Ms. Shepherd was reprimanded.

Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

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Freshmen, Not Faculty Taking Back Reed College from SJWs

 

Reed College in Portland, OR is yet another liberal-arts school being victimized by illiberal progressives. Their Humanities 110 class, required for incoming freshmen, has been targeted by angry social justice warriors calling themselves Reedies Against Racism (RAR).

The group insisted the silly Steve Martin song, “King Tut,” be banned from the classroom since it is, of course, racist. RAR claimed “the gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface” so it was verboten to discuss.

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