Justice Elena Kagan has a way with words. The conservative majority on the court, she said after two recent rulings, is “weaponizing the First Amendment.” What a phrase! But what does it mean? “Conservative groups, borrowing and building on arguments developed by liberals,” explains The New York Times, “have used
Have Americans forgotten that freedom makes getting along easier? We do not all have to like each other. We do not even all have to be nice to each other. We just don’t have license to hit or hornswoggle our fellows. Hate speech may be bad, but it is hate
Rob Port’s job is to have an opinion. Opinions breed counter-opinions. Unfortunately, they sometimes conjure up concerted campaigns to pressure opinion-makers to shut up. So, no surprise that his reporting — on his radio talk show and in print — on the doings and not-doings of North Dakota’s junior U.S.
The First Amendment applies only against governments, but our free speech rights can be violated by nearly anyone. These days, these rights are most notoriously and routinely violated by mobs of students . . . attending colleges and universities nearly all of which depend upon taxpayer subsidies. David E. Bernstein,
Amidst all the talk of The Deep State, we are in danger of losing track of a parallel problem: the Shallow State — which, despite lack of depth, is very wide. I am referring to government employees who increasingly abandon any pretense of impartiality. And the public institutions that protect
If you are older than 50, you probably remember when “liberal” meant free speech advocacy to the point of absolutism. “I may disagree with what you say,” stalwart liberals pledged back in the Sixties, “but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Nowadays, if you are under
Does banning Facebook in the weeks leading up to an election sound like freedom? “The corrosive effect of social media on democratic life,” writes The New Republic’s Jeet Heer, “has led both French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make the same threat to Facebook: self-regulate
“We’re Number 17!!!” This lacks a certain triumphant note. It is nothing like the “We’re Number 1!” the Swiss are now hollering as they pump their arms into the air, waving giant #1 foam fingers against the backdrop of snow-covered Alps. Actually, knowing the Swiss, they are probably a bit
Is Twitter cooperating with Germany’s new crackdown on social-media speech because otherwise it risks steep penalties? Or is Twitter just doing what it would do anyway? When Germany’s new law against unwelcome speech went into effect this year, many Germans protested. “Please spare us the thought police!” was the headline
Back in the USSR’s heyday, the joke about the two major newspapers, Pravda (meaning “truth” — and published by the Communist Party) and Izvestia (meaning “news” — and published by the Soviet State), was that “there’s no Truth in the News and no News in the Truth.” Nowadays, in Trump’s
“Who Are We?” I asked Sunday at Townhall.com. Today’s question: What have we come to? Under a seemingly click-bait headline in The Atlantic, “Can Government Officials Have You Arrested for Speaking to Them?” Garrett Epps examines last week’s outrageous handcuffing and arrest of a Louisiana teacher, Deyshia Hargrave, for speech
He thought he was just horsing around. Using the popular app WeChat, a Chinese construction worker supervisor Chen Sho Uli made a gossipy joke about government officials while chatting in a chat group. But being too casual about what you say — and where — can be dangerous in China.