Tag: Censorship

A-B-C-Don’t Indoctrinate Me »

Bored State Legislators + Education + Inconvenient “Facts” = Nothing Good In Oklahoma, a legislative committee recently passed a measure that would ban Advanced Placement (A.P.) U.S. History courses in high school. House Bill 1380, introduced and supported by Representative Dan Fisher, will ban the use of state funds for these history courses. The…
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Self Censorship »

One by-product of the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was an outpouring of support for freedom of speech. While there was general agreement that the magazine’s content has been, beyond a doubt, offensive to some (and not only Muslims), almost everyone agreed that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be…
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Plain Brown Wrappers? »

It once was true that copies of Playboy, Hustler, and other (soft or hard) pornographic materials were delivered to subscribers in generic envelopes so that no one, including your local postal carrier, could see what publications you had ordered. I, of course, know that fact only on the basis of hearsay evidence. Nowadays, though,…
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The Free Speech Movement Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary, but the Eternal Battle Between Liberty and Power Goes On »

“Free speech is an eternally radical idea, so it is always under threat at all times in human history.” —Greg Lukianoff October 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, the iconic student rebellion that rocked the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, during the tumultuous 1960s. As summarized by Berkeley’s…
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The Giver’s Dystopia: Total Equality and No Humanity »

“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of The Giver: the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.” —Lois Lowry Last month, I had…
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Taking Offense at Every Word or Phrase? »

A recent news item suggests that if offense possibly can be taken, it will be taken. We have just been treated to studied outrage at the nicknames of the NFL’s Washington “Redskins”, Florida State University’s “Seminoles” and MLB’s Cleveland “Indians.” As my friend and colleague Randy Holcombe reminds us in a recent blog, the…
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Shining Light on Big Brother »

“Will the digital age usher in the individual liberation and political freedoms that the Internet is uniquely capable of unleashing? Or will it bring about a system of omniscient monitoring and control, beyond the dreams of even the greatest tyrants of the past? Right now, either path is possible. Our actions will determine where…
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The Economics of Offensive Trademarks »

My fellow blogger William Shughart recently gave a good critique of the Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to rescind protection of the Washington Redskins’ name. I agree with him that whether some people view a trademark as offensive should not be a criterion for determining whether it should be protected. If a large number…
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Disinvitation Season 2014 »

“Universities have not only failed to stand up to those who limit debate, they have played a part in encouraging them.” —Ruth R. Wisse As American colleges and universities go through the 2014 commencement season, a recent series of ugly incidents show illiberal attitudes do not vanish by graduation. The civil liberties organization Foundation…
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The Concise Case for Free Speech Against Its Enemies »

“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.”…
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