Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 8.52.11 AMMishawaka Police officer Jason Barthel has been told to stop selling T-Shirt in his spare time. There is nothing illegal about the Indiana officer selling shirts, but these t-shirts say “Breathe easy, don’t break the law.” They are in direct response to t-shirts being worn in protest over the decision of a New York grand jury not to indict officers in the death of Eric Garner who died in Staten Island from a chokehold while saying that he could not breathe. “I Can’t Breathe” has become a rallying cry for those protesting police abuse of minorities. However, Barthel wants to sell a counter message that supports police. While there has been vandalism of stores selling the t-shirts, they reportedly remain high selling items.

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242A6AC700000578-2880647-image-m-2_1419001158648A Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic is under fire for posting this picture with the caption: “Our real enemy.” The caption also said “Need 2 stop pointing guns at each other & at the ones that’s legally killing innocents.” Marcell Salters has also published highly antagonistic language toward police officers. He has since apologized but some have called for his punishment or termination. In the meantime, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is under attack after Ismaaiyl Brinsley effectively executed two police officers over his anger with the recent decisions by grand juries in Missouri and New York. police have been protesting what they view as de Blasio’s unfair portrayals of police after the decision, including turning their backs on the mayor when he came to give a press conference on the murders.

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still-of-fred-astaire-and-ginger-rogers-in-top-hat-(1935)-1220px-Erdogan_croppedTurkey was long viewed as a symbol of secularism in the Islamic world — an alternative to the rigid Islamic governments imposing medieval Sharia laws to their populations. Then came the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has steadily broken down secular tradition and introduced more and more Islamic influences in government. (You may recall Erdogan recently declaring that Muslims discovered America and that there was proof of a Mosque in Cuba when Columbus arrived) The fines imposed this week by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) have reaffirmed those concerns. RTUK officials imposed as fine of 410,000 Turkish lira ($177,000, 145,000 euros) against The game show, “I Don’t Know, My Spouse Knows.” The episode in question showed wives pictures of their husbands dancing with foreign women. That was deemed “contrary to public morality and the Turkish family structure.”

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Anonymous_at_Scientology_in_Los_AngelesHacktivism seems to be taking place in the aftermath of Sony declining to release The Interview. The Interview portrays a comic plot to assassinate North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. The decision follows a security breach where afterward extortionists attempted to induce Sony to halt distribution of the film. Many regarded this decision to be a surrender of free speech rights.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgWe previously discussed HERE the concern that condom requirements imposed upon the adult film industry would have a chilling effect on the First Amendment but a court challenge to the public health compelling interest of the state likely would prevail. A circuit court of appeals addressed such matters recently.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the District Court denying an injunction against Los Angeles County regarding the Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, including the enforcement of mandatory condom use in certain situations. The lower court ruled that the requirement of condom use constituted a de minimis effect on expression and was “narrowly tailored to achieve the substantial government interest of reducing the rate of sexually transmitted infections, and left open adequate alternative means of expression.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor

It should not surprise any of the regular visitors to this blog that I have written many articles detailing the abuses of many of the Big Banks and the resulting fines that they have paid on multiple occasions.  When a taxpayer reads about Billion dollar settlements being paid by Banks and financial companies as a result of a Justice Department investigation, they probably assume that the entire amount of the fine is being paid.

Those very same taxpayers may be surprised to learn that in many cases, the Banks are able to deduct from their taxes up to 75% of the fines and settlements made with the Justice Department. (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Flag of TurkeyWe recently reported HERE arrests made around Turkey of journalists, police, and opposition critical of President Erdogan. Now, an arrest warrant has been issued against Cleric Fethulla Gülen who is presently residing in the United States as an exile.

The Turkish government accuses Gülen of orchestrating a terrorist plot to seize power in Turkey. He has been an outspoken critic of the president and that certainly appears to be a motivator in another campaign to eradicate political opponents of the leadership of our NATO ally.

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