Free speech

Nov 172012

Um, I think this goes beyond “authoritarian.”

At Western Michigan University, it is considered harassment to hold a “condescending sex-based attitude.”

Free speech is about protecting oddballs. It means protecting dissenters.”It even means letting Ann Coulter speak.

via The Weekend Interview with Greg Lukianoff: How Free Speech Died on Campus –

Sep 262012

James Taranto did a great job analyzing President Obama’s UN speech.  He pointed out that parts of the speech were a “serviceable defense of the First Amendment,” but there was ominous incoherence in other parts, especially where it broke down the distinction between speech and action.

“Churches that are destroyed.” Here is where the president’s moral equivalence leads him into total intellectual and moral incoherence. An attack on a church (or, for that matter, on a synagogue or mosque or any other piece of property) is a violent action that nobody would suggest is protected by freedom of speech. By likening it to “slander” against “the prophet of Islam,” which absolutely is protected, Obama elides the distinction between speech and action, which is fundamental to U.S. constitutional law. Without it, freedom of speech would be either a meaningless phrase or a license to anarchy.

This elision is not just intellectually slovenly but dangerous, for the distinction is precisely the one the Islamic supremacists would like to break down.

via Madonna and Obama –

Jun 102012

Michelle Malkin » Bloggers under fire: Arizona conservative lawyer/activist targeted by left-wing Arizona State Bar.

Are you now or have you ever been a conservative?

Jan 202011

Here’s an idea.    First we establish mechanisms to make sure that, without a search warrant, the government cannot intercept our e-mails and track our web browsing.   After that’s done, we can think about the FTC’s proposed “Do Not Track” rules for web advertising.

WSJ article:  The Internet Browsing Cops : The FTC considers ‘Do Not Track’ Rules for Web advertising.

Nov 042010

A problem in academia: Free expression is unregulated:

“It’s free expression, but nobody is walking through, regulating it,” she said. “They’re just letting it happen, and it’s not just racism, but gender, sexuality and religious discrimination.”

URL here.

As James Taranto explains: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room!” (I learned about this from Taranto’s Best of the Web Today.)

Jul 152010

So Michelle Obama and the NAACP want the tea parties to repudiate any racism in their midst. That would be fine, although they’d first have to identify some. If the tea parties and the NAACP worked together on it, I would be surprised if they couldn’t find any.

But what Ms Obama and the NAACP have failed to do, as far as I know, is praise the non-racist aspects of the tea parties. They wouldn’t have to agree with the political stands, but they should affirm the principle that we used to hear from liberals, e.g. back in John F Kennedy’s day: “We may disagree with what you say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it.”

That would allay any suspicions that it isn’t so much that the NAACP and Michelle Obama want to stop racism, but that they are trying to stifle dissent.

Apr 212010

The ruling class worries that peaceful demonstrations might incite broader unrest? They want protestors to work without fanaticism?

No, this isn’t the American ruling class trying to maintain its hegemony against the rise of tea party activism. These are Russian rulers who are afraid of motorists who are protesting against special road privileges for VIPs.

Just the same, the Russian government could use the services of our Bill Clinton. He knows how to deal with these types of people, if you know what I mean.

His step to the national stage brought police surveillance and a mix of pressure and courtship by officials worried that his horn-honking activism might ignite broader unrest. He recalls the swift reaction when a participant on his group’s online forum suggested setting a car on fire in Red Square. Within minutes, Mr. Kanayev was summoned to Criminal Police headquarters. “It was just a joke,” he says he told his interrogators.

A Kremlin political operative approached, he says, and promised time on state-run television if he would stop the caravans. Another official, Sergey Shishkarev, who heads parliament’s transport committee, says he has offered to shape some of Mr. Kanayev’s ideas on tax and safety issues into legislation but warned the activist “to work without fanaticism.”

WSJ link here

Apr 192010

L Gordon Crovitz wrote an article in the WSJ headlined: “Is Internet Civility an Oxymoron? Unmoderated, anonymous comments on Web sites create more noise than wisdom.”

My response:

A few days ago Bill Clinton waged a neo-McCarthyite smear campaign against dissidents and protesters, trying to link their activity to the Oklahoma City bombing. I don’t think you can blame the Internet or anonymity for that kind of uncivil rhetoric.