We have previously discussed cases involving the view of many Muslims that dogs are unclean. Now, Saudi Arabia has again taken Islamic values to a far extreme by arresting two men for simply organizing a dog pageant in Jeddah. That’s it. They simply wanted to pick the 10 best dogs in the Kingdom so they were arrested for an “un-Islamic” act .
On our final day in Alaska, we woke up in Girdwood and went out for our final hike. We chose Winner’s Trail which we expanded by adding a few miles on the Upper Winner’s trail. It was a wonderful way to cap off so many hikes and sites in Alaska. We then drove to Anchorage to take a late flight.
We have been discussing the crackdown on free speech on college campuses as administrators punish any speech deemed insensitive or the still ill-defined category of “microaggressions.” One of the greatest concerns is the double standard showed to different speakers based on their content. The University of California at Berkeley is the most recent example of this controversy. In columns for the Daily Californian titled “Speaking Out”, “Fucking White Boys,” and “Choosing Myself Over White People”, Maggie Lam mocks and ridicules white people. A column using such language mocking people of color would instantly trigger demands for expulsion. It is not that I believe that Lam should be punished, to the contrary, I believe that it is far better to have the exchange of such views on campus than to regulate speech, particularly inconsistent regulation.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
A tradition spanning multiple generations in the United States is that a large portion of our society celebrates and shows tribute to the United States through the lighting and observance of fireworks. Yet numerous municipalities and counties impose sweeping and total bans of fireworks. Some statutes regulate the type of firework allowable, such as those having a ferocity that safety requires certified technicians. Others ban benign devices such as snakes and small fountains.
But does a complete ban on fireworks regardless of size constitute an infringement on the first amendment rights of citizens?
There could be an interesting constitutional case brewing in the Big Easy. As some know on the blog, I spent a few years in Louisiana and lived in New Orleans while teaching at Tulane Law School. The city has changed a bit after Katrina, but some of the biggest changes are social. The French Quarter always had a certain raunchy edge with strip clubs and seedy bars. Now, it is packed with tee-shirt shops and . . . tee shirt shops. Politicians have taken particular effort in cracking down on strip clubs and a new measure would likely cut the current 23 clubs to 7. That raises a serious question of the disparate treatment given adult entertainment business, a subject that we have previously discussed.
There is another arrest in the United Kingdom for criminal speech, a crime that is on the rise in the West to censor and punish those who are deemed hateful or insulting in their views. The latest arrestee is reported to be Matthew Doyle, 46, a partner at a London PR agency. He was arrested after tweeting about how he asked a Muslim woman to “explain” the terror attacks in Brussels. It was a stupid and insulting act, in my view. Moreover, Doyle reportedly used some slur for Muslims in later postings. However, none of that justifies criminalizing speech and the arrest shows the increasing appetite in England (and the West) for rolling back on free speech. Indeed, we recently discussed the Obama Administration’s threats of prosecution for those who speak in ways deemed misleading or hateful.
There is a disturbing threat from an Obama Administration official that the Administration could prosecute those who “spread false information or inflammatory statements about the perpetrators” in an alleged sexual assault by juvenile Muslim migrants in Idaho. The remarks of United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson has triggered concerns over the criminalization of speech.