Category Archives: freedom of expression

Bad idea of the year: Constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning

According to his website, two days ago U.S. Senator Steve Danes of Montana (a Republican, of course) introduced not a law, but a proposal for a Constitutional amendment to allow congress to prohibit the burning of the U.S. Flag. It was co-sponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Lindsey […]

Santa Clara University denies recognition to conservative student group

I remember the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) when I was in college in the late Sixties. The members were Republicans, pro-Nixon, and were largely ignored by the rest of the students. But the group served as a nucleus for conservatives, and I don’t remember anything particularly invidious about it. Reading over the Wikipedia entry […]

Free-speech suppression at the University of Wisconsin

Reader Gregory called my attention to this piece in the Washington Post (it may be paywalled for you, but judicious inquiry might yield a copy). Click on screenshot to read: Now the University of Wisconsin campuses are public institutions, and are therefore covered by the First Amendment. But many people are calling for a suppression […]

WordPress once again helps the Pakistani government block my “blasphemous” Jesus and Mo posts

I think this must be the third time that WordPress has cooperated with the Pakistani government in blocking “blasphemous” content on my site. The blasphemy, as you’ll see from the three links singled out, involves reproducing Jesus and Mo cartoons, which have apparently hurt the feelings of Muslims. Indeed, I seem to have committed a […]

“Free speech . . . but” is not free speech

Here’s an example of two academic officials saying that they’re in favor of free speech while doing everything they can to oppose free speech. It’s my view, and that of the University of Chicago, that when a speaker is invited to campus, no matter how unpopular their views, the University should shut up about those […]

Regardless of your politics, theft is theft and assault is assault

Civil disobedience is the act of breaking the law to make a statement about politics or justice, trying to effect social change by calling public attention to your grievance. An essential part of the act is to accept the legal consequences of  breaking the law. The difference between those who practiced civil disobedience in the […]

Conversation with attorney Andrew Seidel on June 11 about the secular origins of the United States

If you’re in Chicago, mark your calendars for June 11. For on that evening I’ll be having a conversation in town with Andrew Seidel (sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation [FFRF] and the End of the Line Humanists) about Andrew’s new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. To be released in […]

Two defenses of Camille Paglia

There’s no doubt that Camille Paglia is a provocateur and a self-promoter, but there’s equally little doubt that she truly believes what she’s saying. Much of what she’s saying goes against the Authoritarian Left, even though she’s on that side of the divide. She also has the Leftist street cred of being a woman, a […]

A “speech wars” section of The Atlantic

I’d like to call your attention to a fairly new feature of The Atlantic that began last fall: a series of columns and short pieces gathered under the rubric (and webpage) called “The Speech Wars”. Click on the screenshot to go there: The topics and viewpoints are diverse, but all have something to do with […]

Williams College finally allows a pro-Israel student organization to exist, but without official approval

On April 25 I reported that the Williams College student council, by a vote of 13-8, rejected the bid of Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI), a pro-Israel student organization, to join the many student organizations already approved. These include the pro-Palestinian organization Students for Justice In Palestine (SJP). Based on its actions and anti-Zionist stand, […]