Category Archives: freedom of expression

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 […]

Stony Brook students join the P.C. safe-space club

According to The Statesman, the student newspaper of Stony Brook University (also known as The State University of New York at Stony Brook, or SUNY), the school has joined the club of Special Snowflakes Who Cannot Be Offended.  And again it is the students and not the administration who are complaining about hurt feelings and having been […]

“We’re not that kind of place”: Purdue (and the University of Chicago) stand up for free speech

I am being inundated with reports of censorship on American college campuses (and some British ones, too). The perpetrators, it seems, are largely student groups rather than university administrators, although all too often administrators are complicit in stifling free speech. What’s bizarre about the whole thing is that of all the places in the country, college campuses […]

University of Colorado institutes “bias-reporting” system to curb hate speech

I am unaccountably distressed by the Tsarnaev verdict, for nothing is accomplished by killing him except the undesirable result of making him a martyr for jihadists. It’s likely, though, that he’ll never be executed, for there’s a moratorium for the federal death penalty, and at any rate the appeals will take years. Since it’s more expensive […]

The World Turned Upside Down: On free speech, a Christian gets it right and a humanist gets it wrong

Two items of relevance before we can hop off the free-speech bandwagon (I have one in the queue for tomorrow as well). First, you should read the interview in Christianity Today with Kirsten Powers, who’s not only a Christian but a correspondent for Fox News. How screwed up is it when someone with those credentials has the right attitude […]

Canada proposing to use hate crime laws against Israel boycotters

I think today is going to be “Free Speech Day” on this site, as readers have sent me a number of articles about people—mostly liberals and Leftists—favoring the suppression of free speech. Here’s one from Canada, which is rapidly becoming the PC capital of North America. As most readers know, I’m not a fan of the […]

Still more safe spaces: Columbia students want trigger warnings for Ovid

Sadly, the decline in free speech at American universities, and the proliferation of ludicrous “trigger warning” mandates for books and courses, are topics covered largely by the right-wing media, so often I must hold my nose as I examine their sources. (This one is Legal Insurrection.) But even a right-wing venue can get stuff right, and […]

Campus “free speech”: The Onion gets it right

I can rant about the death of free speech on college campuses till my face turns blue, but all it takes is one satirical story, one paragraph long, for The Onion to blow the whole issue away. Have a look at: “College encourages lively exchange of an idea” with the subtitle, “Students, faculty invited to freely […]

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