Category Archives: freedom of expression

Russell Blackford defends Peter Singer

I’ve written twice (here and here) about philosopher Peter Singer’s unpopular views favoring the “mercy killing” of newborn infants having horrible deformities or diseases.  For that many people have called for him to resign, or even for Princeton to fire him. And I’ve said that that’s unconscionable. For one thing, in my view Singer’s view does have some […]

Bill Maher on “politically correct” humor

Here’s Bill Maher on a recent “Real Time” show discussing the current unacceptability of certain brands of humor. (Click on screenshot to see Maher’s take; and is that really Ann Coulter as his special guest?) Humor that deals with issues of sex, race, and the like is a touchy business. For example, unlike Maher I’m not keen on […]

More college triggering

As reader Lenny wrote when he emailed me this link to an Economist article, “Trigger-unhapy: student safety has become a real threat to free speech on campus”, a piece about the spread of calls for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” at U.S. colleges: I don’t think there is anything particularly insightful.  Relevant only because the issue has […]

Comedians avoid the “offense circuit”

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, we learn that at least two famous comedians have decided not to perform on college campuses, and for the same reason: colleges are too “politically correct,” that is, they embody the humorless offense culture: Jerry Seinfeld himself has taken a stand — against political correctness on campus. The 61-year-old comedian told an […]

Pat Condell on free speech

Recently, Pat Condell’s videos have sometimes come close to out-of-control rants, but you have to judge the content of each video on its own. And this one, about free speech and its erosion in America, seems right on the money:

More college shenanigans: After refusing to pass a motion condemning ISIS, Britain’s National Union of Students votes to boycott Israel

I’m afraid Britain’s students have surpassed those of the U.S. in demanding Special Snowflake status, as well as in showing complete obtuseness when it comes to politics. This has just played out in a breathless display of hypocrisy. In October of last year, I reported that Britain’s National Union of Students deep-sixed a vote to […]

U.S. Supreme Court rules that Muslim employee can wear headscarf

You might remember this story: in 2008 Samantha Elauf, a Muslim, applied for a job at the clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch. She was wearing a headscarf. The company claimed it didn’t know that the headscarf was a religious symbol (right!), and denied her employment because the scarf, or hijab, clashed with the company’s dress code. The […]

Ian McEwan extols free speech in a passionate commencement address

At last, a graduation address that says something substantive! (Check out Jeb Bush’s lame and god-toadying lucubrations at Liberty University, and Jeffrey Tayler’s analysis, that I highlighted yesterday.) Here’s novelist Ian McEwan’s recent 15-minute commencement speech at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. He first tenders some congratulations and a teeny bit of advice, and then gets to […]

Youngstown State University joins the no-free-speech Hall of Shame

Once again an American university (Youngstown State University in Pennsylvania Ohio) appears to have suppressed free speech on its campus because the speech constituted unpopular “hate speech”. And this time it’s the college administration, not the students, who are responsible, though the students participated in the “banning,” which involved removing posters deemed offensive. What happened is that a group […]

Free speech on the wane in UK universities: only 20% of them don’t impose censorship

This report comes from the February 2 issue of the Guardian, but it’s likely to still be accurate—or even worse. The article reports on a survey by the online magazine Spiked of how much censorship of speech occurred at 115 British universities; that is, whether speech was suppressed even more severely than the law mandates. This isn’t just […]


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