Tag Archives: free speech

“Too controversial”: Polk State College rejects professor’s anti-Trump artwork

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by staff

“Free expression on campus isn’t childproofe d– except at Polk State College, where part-time faculty member Serhat Tanyolacar’s artwork was rejected from a faculty art exhibition for being ‘too controversial.’ In early January, Polk State encouraged all faculty members in its arts program, including Tanyolacar, to submit artwork to a faculty exhibition scheduled to begin on Feb. 12. Tanyolacar submitted a piece titled ‘Death of Innocence,’ which depicts several poets and writers juxtaposed with a number of pictures of President Donald Trump and other political figures engaging in sexual activity. Tanyolacar said the art is intended to highlight ‘moral corruption and moral dichotomy’ and provoke debate. In response to his submission, Polk State Program Coordinator Nancy Lozell informed Tanyolacar on Feb. 6 that his artwork would not be displayed.” (02/20/18)


Speech Code of the Month: Kentucky State University

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Samantha Harris

“FIRE announces our Speech Code of the Month for February 2018: Kentucky State University. Kentucky State’s updated Student Code of Conduct contains an expanded list of ‘offenses against persons’ that — in addition to wholly reasonable bans on physical abuse, harassment, threats, and the like — includes a ban on ’embarrassment.’ Yes, you read that correctly — at Kentucky State, you can face disciplinary action for embarrassing another person.” (02/14/18)


The bogus “free speech” argument against unions

Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

“Free speech has no fiercer advocate than Professor Eugene Volokh of the University of California at Los Angeles. As a teacher of First Amendment law, director of a First Amendment amicus brief clinic, and a founder of the libertarian-leaning Volokh Conspiracy blog, Volokh lets almost no free-speech sparrow fall anywhere in the U.S. without weighing in, usually against government and in favor of free speech objectors. Supreme Court justices have cited his opinions six times. From personal experience, I know him to be merciless when he deems a fellow academic insufficiently militant in defense of speech values. So when Volokh weighs in before the Supreme Court in opposition to a free-speech claim, that fact should spur a careful look on all sides. Last month, Volokh filed an amicus brief in Janus v. American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, the pending First Amendment challenge to ‘agency fee’ agreements between government and public-employee unions. Volokh’s brief, in support of the union, argues that the fees are fully constitutiona — that, in fact, the First Amendment simply doesn’t apply to this case.” (02/14/18)


The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by staff

“Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive speech codes has continued to decline, 90 percent of schools still maintain codes that either clearly restrict or could too easily be used to restrict free speech. Today, we present our 2018 list of the 10 worst colleges for free speech. As always, our list is presented in no particular order, and it includes both public and private institutions.” (02/12/18)


Indiana man sues after receiving ticket for flipping off cop

Source: Cleveland.com

“A motorist who was ticketed last summer for flipping off an Indiana state trooper has filed a federal lawsuit saying the citation violates his First Amendment rights. Mark May of Terre Haute, Ind., admits making the gesture at Indiana State Police Master Trooper Matt Ames, the Tribune Star reports. He flipped off Ames while driving by the trooper, who had stopped another motorist. May says he was cut off by Ames as the trooper chased down the other motorist. Ames pulled over May and ticketed him for ‘provocation,’ according to the Tribune Star.” [editor’s note: OK, so the state police should tear up the ticket, apologize, and fire the idiot cop for driving wrecklessly and ticketing people for objecting. That might save the taxpayers some lawsuit money – TLK] (02/05/18)


Poland: Senate approves Holocaust censorship law

Source: Politico

“Polish lawmakers approved draft legislation on Thursday penalising suggestions of any complicity by Poland in the Nazi Holocaust on its soil during World War Two, defying criticism by Israel and the United States. …. Under the proposed legislation, violators would face three years in prison for a mention of ‘Polish death camps’ …. ‘We have to send a clear signal to the world that we won’t allow for Poland to continue being insulted,’ Patryk Jaki, a deputy justice minister, told reporters in parliament. The Senate voted on the draft bill in the early hours on Thursday and it will now be sent to President Andrzej Duda for a final signature.” (02/01/18)


The First Amendment does not give us freedom of speech

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Assume that the New York Times is right — that people’s rights come from the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. That implies, of course, that it is the federal government that has given people their rights. If the government is the grantor of these rights, then it follows that it is the legitimate prerogative of the government to regulate, control, limit, or even take back such rights. Thus, if one believes that rights come from the government, he is unable to condemn the North Korean regime at a fundamental level. His mindset precludes it from teaching children that it is morally wrong for any government to control or abridge speech. Instead, his mindset leaves him relegated to merely suggesting that our rulers are nicer than North Korean rulers because our rulers permit Americans to be freer. But rights don’t involve governmental permission.” (01/29/18)


Twitter’s Merkel tactics or Merkel’s Twitter tactics?

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Is Twitter cooperating with Germany’s new crackdown on social-media speech because otherwise it risks steep penalties? Or is Twitter just doing what it would do anyway? When Germany’s new law against unwelcome speech went into effect this year, many Germans protested. ‘Please spare us the thought police!’ was the headline in one top-selling paper, Bild. The law requires social-media sites to block unapproved content — which includes ‘hate speech’ and ‘fake news’ — within 24 hours or face exorbitant fines.” (01/25/18)


Government will protect us from bad speech? That’s the fakest news of all.

Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“The folks from the government are here to protect us from extremism, fake news, and hate speech, and they’ve strong-armed some media company friends to help. … To be sure, working against violent extremism sounds, on its face, like a good thing. But let’s be clear that these are executives of media companies going before government officials to promise to suppress officially disapproved speech and to promote ideas and messages that the government supports. Historically, the sort of ‘hate speech’ government officials tend to dislike most is that directed at them, and their definitions of ‘positive and moderate voices’ most commonly apply to anything that strokes their egos.” (01/23/18)


Lock her up

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“Under a seemingly click-bait headline in The Atlantic, ‘Can Government Officials Have You Arrested for Speaking to Them?’ Garrett Epps examines last week’s outrageous handcuffing and arrest of a Louisiana teacher, Deyshia Hargrave, for speech displeasing to the Vermilion Parish school board at a public meeting. … If respectfully challenging our so-called public servants in meetings designed for that can lead to being arrested, handcuffed and dragged off, we no longer live in ‘the land of the free.'” (01/16/18)