Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley

In yet another example of insensitive, zero-tolerance approaches, school faculty members of Wichita East High in Wichita, Kansas reportedly compelled a special needs student athlete having both Down syndrome and autism to remove a varsity letter his mother bought for him. He was given instead a girl’s sweater to wear.

School officials stated he could not wear the varsity letter because he was not a member of the varsity team. Apparently they were forced to act upon this transgression because “one parent complained” and therefore no exception could be made for this student.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of TurkeyIn an injustice to both the liberty of a Kurdish man and free speech in general a court in Turkey handed down thirteen year sentence to a defendant accused of removing a Turkish flag at a military base near Diyarbakir, Turkey. The disproportionate sentence followed an outraged Recep Erdogan who declared after the act, “[w]e don’t care if he is a child. Even if a child dares to take down our sacred flag both him and those who send him there will pay a price.”

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200px-Coat_of_arms_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgSheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Sifaudi Arabia, is calling for Kuwait to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia and ban the construction of any Christian religious site. While Islamic leaders like the Grand Mufti are outraged with any slight or restriction of their religion, they deny the most fundamental rights of free exercise to other religions in the name of Islam. This is nothing new for the Saudi cleric and his colleagues. He previously called for all churches to be destroyed in 2012. It is not clear if this is a repeat of his announcement a few years ago or a recycling of the earlier story. However, it is a shocking position from one of the highest Islamic clerics in the world and adds an insight into the recent religious violence in places like Syria and Iraq.

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Austin-attorney-Adam-Reposa-claims-responsibility-for-White-People-Only-stickers-YouTube-800x430Today we have been discussing the call for disbarment against a California attorney for seeking an anti-Gay measure for the state ballot. In Texas, you have another attorney who has attracted controversy over stickers on local businesses reading “exclusively for white people.” The shirtless Adam Reposa is seen in a video defending the campaign. [Warning this story contains foul language]

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California flagAttorney Matt McLaughlin, an attorney in Huntington Beach, California, is facing a call for disbarment after he filed for a statewide resolution that would legalize the execution of gay people and make it a crime to support gay rights in the state. Anyone can file such papers and, for just $200, force the attorney general to prepare a title and a summary for the proposed new law. The question is whether this despicable act can or should be used for a bar action as conduct that shows that he is not of “good moral character.”

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

200px-Starbucks_Coffee_Logo.svgMany are aware of Starbucks Corporation’s “Race Together” campaign where company senior management proffered to promote a dialogue on race relations among their customers. The main initial manifestation of the decision was for baristas to write the words “Race Together” on cups and encouraging a discussion on the matter. Cups were also adorned with labels furthering the message.

While there is little doubt that most persons in the United States want a harmonious relationship between all citizens, there is a question on whether such a campaign is in the interest of shareholders and customers who might be put off by such practices.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Glenn_greenwald_portrait

Glenn Greenwald

During a conference held to award Journalist Glenn Greenwald the Siebenpfeiffer Prize for Journalism, Greenwald reported a conversation in which German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. In this the Vice Chancellor commented to him that the United States threatened Germany with withholding vital intelligence of terrorist activity if the nation granted asylum to Edward Snowden or otherwise allowed him to travel to Germany.

The event shows the extreme measures the Administration is willing to take regarding whistleblowers and others labeled as threats.

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