California State University Professor Sued After Allegedly Leading Students Out Of Class To Wipe Out Pro-Life Messages On Campus

downloadWe have been writing about the enculturation of anti-free speech values in college students across the country.   The most recent incident occurred at the California State University where assistant professor of public health professor Greg Thatcher is shown on a videotape wiping out the pro-life statements written in chalk by members of Fresno State Students for Life.  Thatcher supports his students who destroyed the messages before his arrival (those students said that their teacher gave them permission to destroy the free speech of other students).  Thatcher’s attitude and open contempt for free speech is chilling. It is also now the subject of a free speech lawsuit filed against him in his personal capacity.

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Sen. Risch Defends Trump’s Disclosure of Classified Information To The Russians and Demands The Prosecution of “The Traitor” Who Leaked The Information

images-1440px-Jim_Risch_official_portraitOne of the most conspicuous aspects of the controversy over President Donald Trump’s sharing information with the Russians was the virtually complete silence of defenders on the Hill.  Faced with yet another scandal GOP members distanced themselves from Trump.  Most senators declined to support Trump’s disclosure of high sensitive Israeli intelligence.  The one exception was Idaho Sen. Jim Risch.  Risch made headlines in not only supporting the widely denounced disclosure of the intelligence but he called on the government to find and prosecute the person who disclosed the information.

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Duke Divinity Professor Who Questioned Diversity Training Resigns After Being Put Under Investigation

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Ireland Drops Blasphemy Prosecution Of Actor Because Not Enough People Were Outraged

As we discussed yesterday, the Irish people have remained committed to holding the ignoble status of a Western country prosecuting people for blasphemy with its sister jurisdictions in Iran, Saudi Arabia and other repressive governments.  Even when the Irish government seeks to avoid the obvious denial of free speech under its blasphemy law, it only makes the entire country look even more ridiculous. That is the case with the decision to drop the criminal investigation of famous actor Stephen Fry.  In a television interview, Fry merely asked why he should  “respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world…. full of injustice.”  He was asked about his view of religion and he answered.  A citizen then said that, while he was not insulted, the comment still constituted blasphemy and should be investigated. Now the police have said that they decided to drop the investigation after concluding an insufficient number of people expressed outrage. So the Irish have the perfect free speech nightmare law: whether you will be prosecuted will depend how many people want you incarcerated.  Sounds like criminal law by plebiscite.

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Calling Out Foul Fans: It Is Time For An Unsportsmanlike Conduct Rule For Fans

The Red Sox management is moving aggressively in the wake of the allegation by Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones of racist taunts at Fenway Park , including the banning for life of a fan who made a racist comment to another fan during a recent game.  Boston police are also looking into any possible criminal conduct, including the throwing of peanuts at Jones and others.  Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the proposal for a new federal crime for prosecuting racist fans.  Putting aside the serious constitutional issues, it is entirely unnecessary. The problem with both rowdy and racist fans is the inaction of ballparks, not the insufficiency of criminal laws.

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B for Blasphemy: Stephen Fry Under Investigation For Sharing His Views Of Religion

When he played Gordon Deitrich in V For Vendetta, the television personality who challenged an authoritarian state, Stephen Fry exposed the terror of living in a state that reserved to itself the right to determine what speech was considered criminal.  He now faces a criminal prosecution over a statement in Ireland that would be entirely protected in the United States as an exercise of free speech.  Irish police are investigating him under the country’s  infamous blasphemy law for asking why he should  “respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world…. full of injustice.” Ireland allies itself with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other nations in prosecuting free speech deemed insulting or offensive to any religion.  The law is a disgrace to all freedom-loving people and the Irish demean themselves in keeping blasphemy in the criminal code.  The only thing missing is some menacing Irish Chancellor saying “Ireland Prevails.” Continue reading

Four California Students Sue After Being Suspended For “Liking” Postings on Instragram

225px-Instagram_logoThere is an important lawsuit that has been filed in California after four high school students were suspended for simply “liking” Instagram posts deemed racist.  The lawsuit could force reconsideration of the erosion of free speech rights for students, including the widening scope of discipline for student speech outside of schools.  School officials now believe that they have full license to punish students if their personal views outside of school do not conform with accepted values. This case did have troubling aspects that raised legitimate concerns (though these students were not the author of the posting).  The question is one of authority to regulate speech outside of schools if they do not involve criminal threats.

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