Free Speech

Harry and Barry

Featured image According to CNN, British officials fear the political consequences if Prince Harry and his bride-to-be invite Barack and Michelle Obama, with whom they are friends, to their wedding, but not President Trump. I don’t know whether these officials have any reason to expect political consequences in that event, but if they do, perhaps they should also worry about the interview Harry conducted with Barack Obama today on BBC radio. The »

Thief of MAGA hat faces criminal charge

Featured image Back in September, we posted video of Edith Macias, a left-wing student at the University of California, Riverside, who stole the “Make America Great Again” hat of a fellow student. In an enlightening encounter, the hat thief and her victim exchanged views while college employees tried to adjudicate the dispute. Macias’ view was that the “f***ing hat” is promoting laws and legislation that are “literally killing people.” Also: “You feel »

Losing the plot on free expression

Featured image Shouting down a speaker is un-American. Kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem is anti-American. Giving the presidential motorcade the finger is as American as apple pie. Yet, students who shout down speakers on college campuses typically receive no (or no meaningful) disciplinary action. Meanwhile, a woman who, while riding her bike, flipped off President Trump’s motorcade lost her job as a result. Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post »

Campus shout-down rate nearly quadruples

Featured image Stanley Kurtz reports that as we approach the halfway mark of the Fall 2017 semester, the rate of shout-downs on college campuses is nearly quadruple that of last spring. There have been nearly twice as many shout-downs as last semester in only half the time That’s a striking figure, given that shout-downs were far from rare during the Spring semester. Kurtz chronicled ten such events. They included rioting at Berkeley »

What is the ACLU prepared to do to defend free speech on campus?

Featured image Claire Gastañaga is the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. Earlier this month, she tried to speak to students at William & Mary, her alma mater, about the First Amendment on college campuses. However, Gastañaga wasn’t able to. Left-wing students shouted her down. I wrote about this in a post called “What is William & Mary prepared to do to defend free speech on campus?” After Gastañaga was shouted »

College administrator comes up short in analysis of shout-down crisis [With Comment by John]

Featured image Writing in the New York Times, Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon, criticizes the “misguided” student protest movement that is assaulting free speech on college campuses. Schill knows of what he speaks. His attempt to give a “state of the university” speech was thwarted when protesters shouted him down. Schill ended up posting an outline of his speech on the internet. Schill says many of the right things »

The European Revolt Continues

Featured image The Czech Republic’s parliamentary election represented yet another rebellion against Europe’s political elites. The winning party, ANO, is considered centrist and won nearly 30% of the vote. Its leader, Andrej Babis, is a billionaire and has been described as a Czech Donald Trump. The Associated Press reports: The centrist ANO movement led by populist Andrej Babis decisively won the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election Saturday in a vote that shifted the »

The campus shout-down movement takes its next logical step

Featured image Recently, a friend who is enrolled in a graduate program at a prestigious university asked me whether I would be interesting in speaking to a group of students as part of series on public policy the program was holding. She said that all of the speakers so far have been liberal and that I would add a different perspective to the proceedings. I responded, chidingly, that I might be risking »

Have Trump’s tweets aided the kneelers’ legal position?

Featured image The Washington Post wants to create that impression. Its story on the subject is called (in the paper edition): “Trump may have bolstered kneelers’ legal position.” No sound argument supports this notion. The Post’s Tracy Jan who, according to the paper “covers the intersection of race and the economy,” peddles the view that Trump’s talk about revoking the NFL’s tax breaks means that the government is now infringing free expression. »

Trump supporters shout down liberal speakers

Featured image Based on a report from FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), Stanley Kurtz provides what he calls a “man bites dog” story: the shout-down of California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra and California State Assembly Leader Ian Calderon — both liberals – by Pro-Trump, MAGA hat-wearing protesters. This occurred at Whittier College, alma mater of Richard Nixon, where Becerra was trying to explain his decision to sue the Trump administration »

Campus chaos — a shout-down a day

Featured image Stanley Kurtz reports on the escalating campus free speech crisis. He notes that last night’s disruption of Charles Murray’s speech at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor means that every working day for the past week has seen a significant shout-down. Here are the specifics: Thursday, October 5: Students at Columbia University stormed into a class on sexuality and gender law to protest its instructor, Suzanne Goldberg. Goldberg is both »

A penny’s worth of thoughts on Pence

Featured image As vice president-elect, Mike Pence and his family attended the musical “Hamilton” in New York City. After the performance, as the Pence family was leaving the theater, the cast saw fit to deliver a political lecture to the soon-to-be VP. Pence, a better man than me, halted and listened respectfully to the left-wing sermon. He told his family that this is what freedom looks like. Yesterday, Vice President Pence attended »

Democrats Threaten to Regulate Twitter

Featured image Two House Democrats have written a letter to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, threatening “increased regulations” if Twitter fails to crack down on objectionable speech. Bridget Johnson reports at PJ Media: Two House lawmakers have asked the CEO of Twitter to “take immediate action to identify and suspend Twitter accounts and automated boys [sic] that are being used to spread racist and violent behavior,” stressing it’s “incumbent” for the social-media platform “to »

What is William & Mary prepared to do to defend free speech on campus?

Featured image As Steve discusses in the post just below, students affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement shut down a presentation at the College of William & Mary. They rushed the stage and prevented the invited guest from speaking. The invited guest was Claire Gastañaga of the American Civil Liberties Union. Gastañaga, a William & Mary alum, had intended to speak about “Students and the First Amendment.” She never got that »

The campus free speech crisis in a nutshell [UPDATED with comment by John]

Featured image In the video below, a student at the University of California who has stolen the “Make America Great Again” hat of another student defends her theft on the theory that the “f***ing hat” is promoting laws and legislation that are “literally killing people.” The video illustrates not only the campus free speech crisis, but also the staggering stupidity and blatant racism of the students who are generating that crisis. UPDATE: »

The campus free speech crisis and how to deal with it

Featured image Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered what Fox News calls a “blistering speech” in which he declared that freedom of expression is “under attack” on America’s college campuses. Though major media outlets tried to shrug off Sessions’ speech, his contention is beyond reasonable dispute. Anyone who doubts this should read Stanley Kurtz’s harrowing account of the campus free speech crisis. Stanley argues that an already parlous situation is worsening as »

Steeler alone [with comment by Paul]

Featured image The right to free speech is under serious threat in the United States — on campus and wherever else leftist opinion holds sway. Yet somehow the NFL players’ putative right to disrespect the national anthem has been turned into the crisis du jour. Yesterday the players’ putative right was transformed into a mass movement. Indeed, the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team remained in the locker room during the anthem, with the »