Category Archives: freedom of expression

Freedom of speech does not confer the right to make threats

I swear, some people still can’t get the principles of the First Amendment through their skulls. One of these is the blogger P. Z. Myers, who just wrote a short post on Pharyngula implying that a neo-Nazi accused of making a vile threat across state lines was, according to First Amendment principles, merely exercising his […]

A state university disinvites an anti-Semite

It’s a test of your adherence to free speech if you can stand up for the rights of speakers whose message you despise. And this is one case, as reported on December 24 in the Los Angeles Times (click on screenshot below). San Diego State, a public university in California, gave $170,000 to four of […]

UBC cancels free speech event on grounds of “risk”

Andy Ngo is a photographer and journalist who is widely viewed as a conservative. At least that’s what Wikipedia says, and so I’ll go with it, though he describes himself, when pressed, as “center-right”. But I also know he’s documented the excesses of Antifa, was beaten up by them, and has provided some useful coverage […]

Ireland’s blasphemy law rescinded

There is no rational excuse to have blasphemy laws on the books anywhere, yet, as I wrote in my Jesus and Mo foreword, they’re prevalent: 69 of the world’s 195 countries have laws on the books against [blasphemy], though in places the laws are vestigial and unenforced relics of an earlier time. But you can […]

Federal appeals court ruling endangers First Amendment

A new article in The Atlantic by Garrett Epps, writer and legal scholar (he teaches law at the University of Baltimore), describes what both he and I see as a very legal serious challenge to the First Amendment’s free speech provision. Click on the screenshot to read about it. I can state the facts in […]

“Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus” : Hitchens on free speech

I must have watched well over a hundred YouTube clips of Christopher Hitchens, but there never seems to be an end—nor do I ever get bored. I proffer this one, on the eighth anniversary of his death, as my favorite. It’s Hitchens on free speech, given in Toronto in 2006, and shows his usual combination […]

Truman State rejects student clubs for no good reason, violating First Amendment

I once visited Truman State University (it’s in Kirksville, Missouri—Truman’s state) as a guest of Taner Edis, physicist, atheist, and anti-creationist. It was a pleasant visit, and Taner surely couldn’t have played a role in the latest shenanigans at This school, recounted in the article from FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) that […]

Vanderbilt students protest Steve Pinker’s appearance because of his “ties” to Jeffrey Epstein

From the Vanderbilt Hustler, the student newspaper of that Nashville, Tennessee university, we learn that the demonized people subject to being deplatformed by the Left is—you guessed it—Steve Pinker. Read the article below, which describes a petition the students are putting together demanding that Pinker get booted from an upcoming panel on global issues. The […]

Penn students deplatform former ICE director

According to the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, an event involving acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Thomas Homan was canceled after Penn students disrupted the proceedings. The discussion, scheduled to involve several people (see below) was sponsored by Perry World House, self-described as “a center for scholarly inquiry, teaching, research, […]

The best and worst schools for free speech: an “experts'” take

At least for the time being, we have internet on the ship (we’re still in port), so you’re not rid of me yet. Today’s non-travel post is on a subject dear to my heart: free speech on college campuses. In particular, the website RealClear Education has published a survey of “expert” opinion about which colleges […]