Tag Archives: free speech

Free speech: Ted Wheeler is the enemy he invokes

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"The difference between Ted Wheeler and an 'alt-right' agitator with a baseball bat is that Wheeler has a full-time police force, armed with lethal weaponry and effective legal immunity for its actions, at his beck and call. We’ve seen societies in which the likes of Wheeler lay down a party line and the police break out their tear gas and truncheons to suppress all opposition to that line. For example, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Germany before, and eastern Europe after, World War Two. I don’t want to live in such a society." (05/30/17)


OR: Portland's fascist mayor publicly wipes his ass with 1st Amendment

Source: ABC News

"The mayor of Portland, Oregon, is asking the federal government to cancel the permit for an "alt-right" rally scheduled for Sunday, saying it could make a difficult situation worse, after two men were stabbed to death as they tried to intervene when a pair of women were targeted by a man yelling what authorities have described as hate speech. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also said he is trying to ensure that a permit is not issued for a June 10 protest, which is reported by ABC Portland affiliate KATU to be called #MarchAgainstSharia. … 'I am calling on the federal government to IMMEDIATELY REVOKE the permit(s) they have issued for the June 4th event and to not issue a permit for June 10th,' Wheeler wrote on Facebook. 'Our city is in mourning, our community's anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation.'" [editor's note: What's this "permit" crap? The events should go forward, "permit" or not – TLK] (05/30/17)


What free speech isn't

Source: National Review
by Karol Markowicz

"As a free society, we must protect speech in the public square. That’s why the Westboro Church lunatics are accompanied by a sizable police force when they protest military funerals. It is our job as a society to permit speech, even and especially speech we find repugnant, and to protect the speaker from violent reactions to that speech. Additionally, speakers must not face repercussions from the government for what they say. If Donald Trump doesn’t like it when Saturday Night Live makes fun of him, he can tweet about it. He can’t send a police force to arrest Alec Baldwin. This does not, however, mean that speech comes without consequences. If Westboro Church leader Fred Phelps applied for a job at your company, you would be fully within your rights to turn him down because he is a vile, hateful person whom you do not wish to employ." (05/09/17)


On churches in politics, Trump does … nothing

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

"In the executive order he signed Thursday titled 'Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,' Donald Trump had a rare opportunity to pursue a small yet significant change that would have accomplished both of his stated purposes. Instead, he ceremoniously unveiled a heaping platter of nothingburgers." (05/08/17)


The mob vetoes Ann Coulter

Source: The American Conservative
by Peter Van Buren

"Ann Coulter will not speak at Berkeley tonight because the threat of mob violence led campus authorities to claim they could not protect her, resulting in a back-and-forth in which the speech was canceled, un-canceled, and finally canceled for good when the group sponsoring the event backed out. Similar threats led New York University (NYU) to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos'[s] appearance in February. These are shameful actions by two universities that purport to value free speech — one of them a public institution that is constitutionally obligated to. Previous violence at Berkeley directed against Yiannopoulos, as well as the current threats, originated with a coalition of so-called antifas: anti-fascists, persons who believe that in Trump’s America violence to silence speech they do not agree with is justified. They probably are unaware their tactics were once used to silence civil-rights marchers, anti-war protesters, abortion-rights advocates, and the women’s movement." (04/27/17)


The bipartisan urge to suppress dissent

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"The University of California at Berkeley's inhospitality to conservative speakers, the subject of a federal lawsuit filed on Monday, prompted a Twitter rebuke from President Trump a few months ago. Yet his administration seems determined to demonstrate that suppression of opposing views is a bipartisan impulse. … the Justice Department is once again looking for a way to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for sharing classified documents with the public. The Obama administration abandoned that project after concluding that charging Assange with violating the Espionage Act would create a precedent that could be used against any news organization that publishes stories based on 'defense information' from sources who obtained or divulged it illegally — a very common journalistic practice. CIA Director Mike Pompeo says we shouldn't worry about that because Assange is not a real journalist, a debatable and constitutionally irrelevant point. The 'freedom of the press' that is guaranteed by the First Amendment is not the freedom of people who work for officially recognized news outlets; it is the freedom to use technologies of mass communication." (04/26/17)


Howard Dean's new excuse for censoring Ann Coulter: She incites violence

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"Last week [Howard] Dean … said it was OK for a public university to cancel Coulter's talk because 'hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.' … having been informed that 'hate speech' is not a constitutionally relevant category, Dean started citing Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the 1942 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the criminalization of 'fighting words,' in-person insults that 'tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace' by provoking a violent response from the target. As I noted yesterday, neither of the Coulter quotations cited by Dean remotely resembles the Supreme Court's definition of fighting words. Yesterday Dean decided his real point was not that Coulter's remarks qualify as 'hate speech' or that they amount to 'fighting words' but (as I predicted) that they constitute 'incitement to violence,' which 'is not protected.' That issue, Dean informs us, 'has been litigated multiple times.' Once again Dean is making shit up to give his censorious impulses a sheen of constitutional legitimacy." (04/25/17)


CA: UC Berkeley student Republicans sue over timing of Coulter burlesque

Source: Los Angeles Times

"A UC Berkeley student group on Monday filed a lawsuit demanding that the university allow conservative pundit Ann Coulter to speak on campus Thursday as originally planned. Citing unspecified threats, administrators had rescheduled Coulter’s appearance for May 2, when they said they could provide adequate security. But in its free-speech lawsuit, the Berkeley College Republicans — which planned to host Coulter — called that date a 'sham' intended to ensure her address was poorly attended. That day falls during 'dead week,' when students are studying for final exams and the campus traditionally is deserted. The university also had said Coulter would have to speak at midday, in a science hall located away from the central campus, rather than during the evening." (04/24/17)


The Un-Free Speech Movement at Berkeley

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

"There are few prospects in life more appealing than the silence of Ann Coulter. She brings to mind what novelist Mary McCarthy said about playwright and Stalinist Lillian Hellman: 'Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the." If the world never suffered another emission from Coulter's toxic brain, it would be a better place. But she said she would speak at the University of California, Berkeley even though the school administration had canceled the speech she was scheduled to give April 27 at the invitation of two student groups. Faced with that challenge, the university changed its mind, sort of, proposing to let her appear May 2. All I can say is something I never thought I would: It will be a great thing for Ann Coulter to speak." (04/24/17)


Yes, rights are double-edged swords

Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

"The beauty of the idea of the right to free speech is that it can turn a minority idea into a majority idea. Free speech is why same-sex marriage went from strongly opposed by the majority of people in this society heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian values to being generally accepted, at least within the realm of government marriage. Likewise, cannabis legalization efforts have been made possible because the right to free speech has allowed legalization advocates to inform the public that the government claims about cannabis are false. … But free speech, as with any concept developed by humans, is a double-edged sword. It allows minority and majority opinions to be expressed. Free speech is not 'appropriated' when people use it to express an opinion that is unpopular within your sphere of influence, it’s exactly what the concept of free speech was created to allow." (04/21/17)