Free Speech

Free Speech From a Friend of the Blog

Over at the Friendly Atheist, my sometimes co-blogger Rogier van Bakel (a.k.a. Terry Firma) comes out of the closet with some harsh words about media outlets that congratulate themselves for standing up for free speech but refuse to publish images of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cover even in stories specifically about it.

To Publish or Not To Publish

Rick Horowitz has an interesting post about his decision not to display any Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Er, in other words, his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre consisted of an explanation of why he wasn’t posting Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. […]

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie

I am not Charlie. Honestly, until this shit happened, I didn’t know a damned thing about Charlie Hebdo. I don’t have a clue what Charlie Hebdo stood for, so I’m not about to identify myself with them or support their editorial agenda, whatever it is. Besides, in my mind, “I am Charlie” links to the […]

The Queen is a Fink!

I’ve known for many years that access to this blog is blocked in mainland China. Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. I imagine it all depends on how recently I’ve mentioned the Tiananmen Square Massacre. As I write this, it’s not being blocked (I checked here), but that could change since I just […]

Buffer Zones and Free Speech Zones

Over at Addicting Info (a.k.a. Buzzfeed for liberal politics) Justin Rosario is trying to portray the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down so-called “buffer zones” around abortion clinics as a case of giving special free-speech rights to rich people: It seems that while your regular woman on the street has no way to keep religious fanatics […]

No Need for the Truth Police

At the very liberal Addicting Info website, Justin Acuff is upset that politicians might be lying, and he wants the government to do something about it: There’s a first amendment case going in front of the Supreme Court right now that’s very, very dangerous. Why? Because it might allow religious opinion to become legal fact, […]

Thane Rosenbaum Wants Us to Stop Being Mean…Or Else

Thane Rosenbaum has an opinion piece at the Daily Beast arguing that we should suppress the rights of Neo-Nazis and others to spout “hate speech.” That’s a common and well-meaning proposition, however misguided, but his reasoning for why we should have these laws is dangerously overbroad. Let me start, however, by pointing out that the […]

“Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head…”

“…I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them. lol. jk.” — Justin Carter, on Facebook, March 2013. Because today, August 1, is Quote Justin Carter On Social Media Day, as promoted by Jack Marshall on Ethics Alarms. According […]

A One-Two-Punch Against Free Speech

[WARNING: This post is part of an April Fools Day prank. The Arizona bill is real, but the bill by Senator Lieberman is completely fictional. Eric Turkewitz was the ring leader for this event, and he has the wrap-up. The short version is that no one bit who should have known better.] This weekend we’re […]

Why SOPA is Bad and What You Can Do About It

This is a great explanation of how and why the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R.3261) is going to do a lot of damage to the Internet: And this is what you can do about it. Make waves. Talk to people. Tell your congresscritters to vote against it. If you want to know more, you can […]

You Know Your Threat Assessment Team is a Bunch of Pussies When…

Apparently, Professor James Miller at the University of Wisconsin (Stout campus) is a Firefly fan, because he had on his office door a poster of Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal Reynolds, with the quote “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. […]

To Hell With Toning It Down

(I’ve been hanging onto this for a few days in the hope of figuring out a better way to say what I’m trying to say, but it’s just not coming to me, so I’m going with what I’ve got.) In the wake of the tragic shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords last weekend, we’ve been hearing the […]

Free Speech At the Fringes

Over at the Legal Satyricon, Charles Platt is a little annoyed at Julian Assange over the whole Wikileaks business: I’m getting an uneasy feeling when I watch Julian Assange using pretentious phrases such as “my philosophy” and “my work.” … It’s the same feeling I had when I saw the World Trade Center going down. […]

Eating Babies and Missing the Point

I was reading yet another story about the good old fashioned book burning organized, then cancelled, by Pastor Terry Jones. President Hamid Karzai was quoted as saying: “We have heard that in the US, a pastor has decided to insult Korans. Now although we have heard that they are not doing this, we tell them […]

“Hey, are you a terrorist?”

It’s hardly the greatest infringement of free speech I’ve ever heard of, but this doesn’t sound right: The manager of a North Chicago sandwich shop learned in a Lake County courtroom this week that the difference between a joke in poor taste and an inflammatory remark is about 75 bucks. Arjunsinh Sindha, 64, said he […]