Free Speech

Administrative bloat and the attack on campus free speech

Featured image Almost since the start of Power Line in 2002, we have reported with dismay the descent of American colleges and universities into a leftist bastion of illiberalism. Most of our focus has been on professors, and not without reason. They are the ones who have degraded the teaching of humanities through their obsession with identify politics and disdain for Western Civilization. However, I came away from this year’s ATHENA Roundtable »

Lebron James, Useful Idiot, Part 2 [Updated]

Featured image Paul wrote earlier today about Lebron James’s ill-informed and self-interested comments on Chinese oppression of the residents of Hong Kong, and Daryl Morey’s free speech rights. One of my kids noted this lampooning of James by Barstool Sports, on Instagram. Barstool pulls no punches: “In honor of Lebron denouncing freedom of speech…” When you’re being criticized by sources as disparate as Power Line and Barstool Sports, it is probably time »

Lebron James, useful idiot

Featured image Lebron James has weighed in on the controversy over the expression by the Houston Rockets’ general manager of sympathy for the people of Hong Kong, and on the NBA’s reaction thereto. James accused the GM, Daryl Morey, of thinking only about himself. James said: [A]t times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself. I don’t want »

NBA Censors Pro-Hong Kong Sign

Featured image Americans may be ill-informed about many things, but they know a lot about sports. So, ironically, it could be the NBA’s enforcement of Red China’s strictures on unapproved speech that, more than anything else, educates Americans on the nature of the Chinese regime. This happened on Wednesday, but I just saw it via InstaPundit. At an exhibition game between the Washington Wizards and the Guangzhou Long Lions at Capital One »

Some Stories Have a Happy Ending

Featured image When city governments can’t handle excrement on the sidewalks, crime, potholes, and other traditional responsibilities, they often respond by launching grandiose but wholly useless initiatives. They might try to change the weather or, as in the case of San Francisco, destroy America’s oldest and most effective civil rights organization. We wrote about San Francisco’s attack on the National Rifle Association here. San Francisco not only adopted a resolution labeling the »

New York City Bans Wrongthink

Featured image New York City is trying to ban the phrase “illegal alien” in various contexts, including employment and housing. It has issued a guidance to that effect under the New York City Human Rights Law. Under the City’s interpretation, calling an illegal alien an “illegal alien” could cost you $250,000. At Liberty Unyielding, Hans Bader points out that the guidance is obviously unconstitutional: New York City is seeking to use an »

Tulsi Sues Google

Featured image Yesterday, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign sued Google, alleging that the company wrongly suspended the campaign’s Google Ads account during the critical hours following the first Democratic debate. The Complaint is venued in federal court in central California. Its allegations are explosive. Gabbard accuses Google of trying to sabotage her presidential campaign because she, like Elizabeth Warren, has argued in favor of reining in the tech monopolies, including Google. Here »

The song remains the same

Featured image Driving over to see the Center of the American Experiment’s worldwide premiere of No Safe Spaces at the Parkway Theater this past Tuesday, I had a flashback to the premiere of a movie that we promoted at the Campus Theater in 2007: Indoctrinate U. That film also depicted the parlous state of free speech in higher education. After working on the film for three years, director Evan Coyne Maloney came »

A free speech case the Supreme Court should hear

Featured image Teresa Seeberger rented rooms in a house she owned in Davenport, Iowa. When Seeberger learned that her tenant’s fifteen-year-old daughter had become pregnant, she told the tenant that she and her daughter would have to leave. When the tenant asked why, Seeberger said: “You don’t even pay rent on time the way it is . . . now you’re going to bring another person into the mix.” The eviction was »

Not just another Google mistake

Featured image All this week we are featuring outstanding reviews and essays from the flagship publication of the Claremont Institute, the Claremont Review of Books. We are featuring one such essay in the adjacent post. It is one of the best magazines in the United States. I should probably add that I am a proud fellow of the Claremont Institute. In my case the fellowship is a purely honorific designation that I »

Google Censorship Update: Victory Over Communism!

Featured image Ryan Williams at the Claremont Institute reports that Google has changed its mind: See Ryan’s complete update of the story here. One wonders whether Google changed its mind because it discerned a “mistake” or took note of the public heat it was getting over this. But a deeper issue needs to be addressed. A number of conservatives have said that although Google, Facebook, and Twitter are engaging in censorship of »

Congress must act to protect campus free speech

Featured image Today, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a statement calling on Congress to include protections for campus free speech in the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The NAS statement is signed by more than 100 prominent educators and public figures concerned with higher education. The logic behind insisting on the inclusion of protection for campus free speech is straightforward. Congress needs to stop funneling money to colleges »

A major test case for campus free speech

Featured image Stanley Kurtz alerts us to a story that, he says, “will mark a major turning point in the campus free-speech crisis, whether for good or ill.” The case comes from the University of Arizona where students disrupted a Career Day presentation by Border Patrol agents. Normally in these cases, the students doing the disrupting get off with no punishment or, at most, a light slap on the wrist. But that’s »

Should the FBI “Shut Down” Hate Speech?

Featured image I don’t remember when the phrase “hate speech” came into common use, but for some time now liberals have used it as an implicit attack on the First Amendment. Contrary to all law and logic, they press the view that anything they consider “hate speech” should be suppressed–if necessary, by the government (a government run by liberals, that is). CNN’s Christiane Amanpour engaged in an extreme form of this fallacy »

Amherst flirts with Orwellian “language guide”

Featured image Last month, Amherst College’s office of diversity and inclusion issued a 36-page “Common Language Guide.” The document seeks to impose left-wing identity politics on the campus through the creation of a common way of talking about the left’s favorite issues. The document is truly Orwellian. The “Common Language Guide” isn’t easy to find on the internet, but you can access it here. The document consists, as the name suggests, of »

Facebook Calls For Censorship

Featured image In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called on governments to increase regulation of internet speech. It is easy to understand why Zuckerberg wants governments to tell Facebook what to do. Following regulations will insulate Facebook against liability, and the free speech controversies of recent years have been an unwelcome distraction from Facebook’s remarkably successful business model. Zuckerberg wants government action “in four areas: harmful content, »

More Free Speech Wins

Featured image I agree with Paul and Stanley Kurtz that President Trump’s order on campus free speech represents a significant step forward. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, on the other hand, quotes Minnesota education authorities assuring us the order won’t change a thing: President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday upholding freedom of speech on college campuses — a move some local higher education officials shrugged off as a highly visible case »