Category: Free Speech

The U.S. Bars Entry To Founder Of The BDS Movement

We have previously discussed the decision to bar certain travelers from the United States based on their political views or associations. I have long opposed such orders as inimical to free speech and counterproductive for the country as a whole. The latest example of this policy is the barring of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. According to NPR, the Palestinian activist was prevented from entering to speak to various groups who wanted to hear from him. The government prevented that as well as his desire to attend his daughter’s wedding.

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AND SO IT BEGINS . . . ASSANGE ARRESTED

On Thursday, British authorities arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuador abandoned its long-standing commitment to protect Assange from a coordinated effort of the United States and a variety of other countries as intelligence organizations. American intelligence has long demanded the prosecution of Assange who disclosed controversial military operations in the United States. The arrest will now trigger litigation over the status of Assange. Was he acting as a journalist, a whistleblower, a spy, or a dupe?

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Turley And Waldron To Debate Hate Speech At Rice University

Hate speech and the First Amendment in focus at Rice April 9

'Hate Speech and the First Amendment'

I will be participating in a long-planned debate over the banning or criminalization of hate speech in the United States. I will be debate NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron, one of the leading proponents of new speech regulations. He is the author if The Harm in Hate Speech (Harvard University Press, 2012). The debate will be held on Tuesday, April 9th at Rice University in Houston.

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California Woman Is Fired After Verbally Assaulting Elderly Trump Supporter At Starbucks

We have previously discussed the issue of when it is appropriate to punishment people for conduct outside of the work place. We have followed cases where people have been fired after boorish or insulting conduct once their names and employers are made known. (here andhere and here and here and here).  There is another such case out of California with a twist. Rebecca Mankey created a scene at a Starbucks by screaming at s 74-year-old man wearing a “Make American Great Again” hat in support of President Trump. Mankey posted the instant and said that she wanted to get him kicked out of every club and make his life a living hell. Instead, she was fired by her own employer for her rude and intolerant conduct.

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CNN Host Presses Comey On Why He Failed To “Shut Down” Trump’s Campaign Statements As Hate Speech

CNN Screenshot

There was a chilling moment on CNN this week in an interview of former FBI Director James Comey, by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. In the middle of the interview, Amanpour asked Comey if he had wished the FBI “shut down” President Donald Trump’s “hate speech” during the 2016 presidential election. Next week I will be debating an advocate of such speech codes and the criminalization of hate speech at Rice University. This was a particularly revealing moment as one of the top personalities at CNN pressed the former head of the FBI on why he did not simply shutdown Trump’s speeches as hate speech. Amanpour has been an outspoken critic of Trump but this reflect more of the diminishing European view of free speech.

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Turley To Speak On Free Speech At The University of Texas at Arlington

I will be speaking today at the University of Texas at Arlington on “The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in The West” at the University Hall at 7 pm. Next week I will be returning to Texas for a debate with NYU Professor Jeremy Waldron on hate speech and speech codes on April 9th at Rice University in Houston.

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Catholic Priests Burn Books In Poland

SMS z NIEBA/Facebook

Catholic priests in northern Poland have shown this week that ignorance and intolerance is the not sole domain of any religion or region. The priests showed children how to burn books that they declared as sacrilegious, including Harry Potter novels. Given the Pope’s recent speeches against hate and wall building, he might want to take a closer look at his Polish priests who participated or supported this disgraceful event to take place.

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Chinese Censors Leave Audiences Confused After Cutting All Gay References From Bohemian Rhapsody

The Chinese government maintains one of the most extensive censorship operations in history — an effort to hold the world at its physical and virtual borders. It is not only an effort to prevent citizens from reading of civil liberties or government abuses. It is also a ban on such subjects as homosexuality. That effort has taken a ridiculous term with the censoring of gay language and plots from the hit movie “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The cuts have left audiences reportedly confused by the disjointed dialogue and story.

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Wake Forest Grapples With Free Speech Controversy Over Instagram Posting

There is a controversy brewing over free speech at Wake Forest University where an Instagram post has triggered an investigation. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the “racist” posting  encouraged students to vote for a candidate for student body president. It read: “He wants to build a wall between Wake and Winston-Salem State and he’ll make them pay for it.” While the university’s president Nathan Hatch described it as a possible “parody”, an investigation was still launched. That has raised objections from students who complain of a chilling effect on speech under such rules.

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British Columnist Criminally Investigated For “Misgendering” In Debate With Transgender Activist

I have been a critic of the alarming criminalizing of speech in Great Britain through hate speech laws.  Such laws create an insatiable appetite for greater and greater speech regulation and create a sense of empowerment among citizens to silence those with whom they disagree.  We have yet another example of how religious and political speech is being rapidly curtailed in Great Britain under expanding speech codes. Carolina Farrow, a Roman Catholic columnist, is now being investigated because, on Twitter, she referred to the biological rather than identified gender of the child of a transgender rights activist. She is accused of referring to Green’s daughter as a boy. For that, the activist, Susie Green, filed a complaint under Malicious Communications Act, which bars offensive, threatening and abusive content online. Police wanted a “taped interview with caution” on possible charges for transphobic conduct on social media. After criticism, Green decided to drop her demand for a criminal investigation but the point is that such references are now treated as criminal matters. The chilling effect on free speech is obvious.

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Augsburg University and UChicago Face Protests Over Classroom Use Of The N-Word

In Minnesota, Augsburg University has reportedly stripped Professor Phillip Adamo of his directorship of the honors program after he used the n-word in a class discussion of a passage (using the word) from James Baldwin. In the meantime, at the University of Chicago (my alma mater) Professor Geoffrey Stone is under fire for the same alleged offense in a classroom. Unlike Augsburg, however, UChicago has continued its staunch defense of free speech and academic freedom in support of Stone.

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Sarah Lawrence Students Demand Tenure Review Of Conservative Professor, No-Whites Scholarships, And Free Detergent

Sarah Lawrence College students have demanded issued a list of demands from the ” the Diaspora Coalition” to address “the injustices imposed on people of color by this institution on a daily basis.” What is striking about the list is the inclusion of scholarships that would bar white students and an action targeting a member of the faculty because they disagree with his views. While the college is pledging to work with the students to reach a compromise, the demands reflect the growing intolerance of opposing views and free speech rights on campuses — as well as a call for the awarding of scholarship on the basis of race. They also demand special benefits for “first-generation students” as well as mandatory training sessions for all students on “intellectual elitism and classism.” They also include demands for free food, free detergent and free student storage.

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Iran Sentences Lawyer To 38 Years and 148 Lashes After Representing Women Opposed To The Islamic Headscarf

We have been discussing the incredible courage of women activists in Saudi Arabia and Iran who are being arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for claiming the most basic civil liberties. One of the most inspiring activists is Nasrin Sotoudeh, a world renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran for her representation of women who removed their mandatory headscarf. In an act of unspeakable brutality and savagery, an Iranian court has sentenced her to 38 years and 148 lashes in a trumped up charge of spying, spreading propaganda, and insulting Iran’s supreme leader. In the meantime, ten women are being tried in Saudi Arabia which continues to repress women and girls under its strict Islamic code.

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Beach To The Rescue

By Daren Smith, Weekend Contributor

© 2019 Darren Smith

There are times in operating any business when one needs to walk away else levy a deafening rebuke against a vendor.  After one just likely cost me a grand in lost income due to their incompetence and making promises they could not keep, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads.  I could either drive East read him the riot act or I could drive West and take in some photos and save my heart the aggravation.

Here is the result: (click to enlarge)

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