The Perils of Restricting Hate Speech

A while back, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by Laura Beth Nielson arguing that there’s a case for restricting hate speech. As a sociologist and legal scholar, I struggle to explain the boundaries of free speech to undergraduates. Despite the 1st Amendment—I tell my students—local, state, and federal laws limit all kinds of… Continue Reading →

The DOJ’s Dick Move on Legal Aid for Immigrants

Ever since President Trump took office, we’ve been hearing a lot about the public interest legal organizations that have been helping immigrants with the legal fight to come to America and remain here. That these organizations are even necessary is because immigration law is (for the most part) civil law, not criminal law. In many… Continue Reading →

Not Helping Youths In the Sex Trade

Last Friday I wrote about Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s terrific Reason magazine article on the FBI’s long involvement in policing Americans’ sex lives. In this post, I’d like to follow up on a small detail that caught my eye. Supporters of anti-prostitution law enforcement operations often justify them as necessary to protect victims of sex trafficking,… Continue Reading →

An Alien Product Placement

The most recent Alien: Covenant trailer comes with an opening commercial for Walter, the synthetic (a.k.a. artificial person a.k.a. android) played by Michael Fassbender in the movie. Here it is: At the end, they flash a couple of corporate logos. I naturally had to step through them. The first one is a new logo for… Continue Reading →

in Movies

Sex, Lies, and Sex Police

I suspect my friends would be concerned if they knew just how skeptical I was about almost all prostitution-related crimes. Police say they broke up a human trafficking ring? Liars! They call everything human trafficking these days. They arrested ten pimps? Liars! They caught one prostitute in a sting and arrested the then people standing… Continue Reading →

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