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Penn State YAF Tables In A 'Free Speech Zone'
Penn State YAF Chapter took to a designated “free speech zone” on campus to hand out constitutions on Constitution Day. They also were informing students of the ridiculous speech code policies…

By: YAFTV

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Penn State YAF Tables In A ‘Free Speech Zone’ – Video



Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat
Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat talk about free speech. This was made for English class.

By: Joana Rodrigues

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Guy in a Hat and Guy with no Hat – Video

As I have often reported, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) continually fights in the courts and media to protect the free speech rights of students and faculty on college campuses no matter their politics or religion (or absence of any).

However, much remains for FIRE to do to educate students on why and how they are Americans. Earlier this month, that defender of Americas most primal identity warned:

As millions of college students arrive on campus this fall many for the first time few of them realize that nearly 59 percent of our nations colleges maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict speech protected by the First Amendment.

Too many students will realize that the rights they took for granted as Americans have been denied to them only after they face charges and disciplinary action for speaking their minds (Students Return to Campus Censorship, But Fight Back with FIRE, thefire.org, Sept. 2).

A particularly startling example of the cult of censorship among many college administrators is a Sept. 5 email message to University of California-Berkeley students, faculty and staff from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

He began by noting that it is the 50th anniversary of the extraordinary Free Speech Movement by University of California students, which would have gladdened the hearts of James Madison, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

But then listen to how this universitys commander-in-chief defined free speech:

We can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility …

Insofar as we wish to honor the ideal of Free Speech, therefore, we should do so by exercising it graciously. This is true not just of political speech on Sproul Plaza (on campus), but also in our everyday interactions with each other in the classroom, in the office, and in the lab.

In other words: Be polite, or shut up.

Go here to read the rest:
Struggles to protect free speech on our college campuses continue

WE ARE, as it always seems, at a pivotal moment in American history. At least thats what Sens. Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders maintained in a melodramatic Politico column recently as they explained their efforts to repeal the First Amendment.

Let me retort in their language:Its true that building the United States has been long, arduous and rife with setbacks. But throughout the years, the American people have repelled efforts to weaken or dismantle the First Amendment. We have weathered the Sedition Act of 1918, a law that led to the imprisonment of innocent Americans who opposed the war or the draft. Since then, we have withstood many efforts to hamper, chill and undermine basic free expression in the name of patriotism. We have, however, allowed elected officials to treat citizens as if they were children by arbitrarily imposing strict limits on their free speech in the name of fairness.But nowadays, after five members of the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment and treated all political speech equally, liberal activists and Democrats in the Senate would have us return to a time when government dispensed speech to favored institutions as if it were the governments to give.

In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion striking down major parts of a 2002 campaign-finance reform law in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This case and subsequent rulings, including McCutcheon v. FEC, have led to more political activism and more grass-roots engagement than ever before. In the 2012 presidential election, we quickly saw the results.

More Americans voted than in any election; more minorities voted; more Americans engaged in more debate and had more information in their hands than ever before. More than 60 percent of all those super PAC funds came from just 159 donors, each of whom gave more than $1 million. And still, every vote held the same sway. You may be convinced by someone, but no one can buy your vote. I wish the same could be said for your senators.

Even less worrisome is the propaganda surrounding scary-sounding dark money dollars spent by groups that do not have to disclose their funding sources. The 2012 elections saw almost $300 million spent on engagement in our democratic institutions, and the 2014 midterm elections could see as much as $1 billion invested in political debate. That means more democratization of media and more challenges to a media infrastructure that once managed what news we were allowed to consume. Still, no one can buy your vote.

No single issue is more important to the needs of average Americans than upholding the Constitution over the vagaries of contemporary political life. The people elected to office should be responsive to the needs of their constituents. They should also be prepared to be challenged. But mostly, they should uphold their oath to protect the Constitution rather than find ways to undermine it.

When the Supreme Court finds, for purposes of the First Amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the companys bank account is constitutionally protected speech and that attempts to impose coercive restrictions on political debate are unconstitutional, we realize that we live in a republic that isnt always fair but is, for the most part, always free.

Americans right to free speech should not be proportionate to their political power. This is why its vital to stop senators from imposing capricious limits on Americans.

It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So its important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against democracy. Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason.

Last week, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. Thats not what the American republic is all about.

Read this article:
David Harsanyi The senators who really threaten America



9/11 Protesters Rights Put In A Cage
Lee Ann McAdoo on the scene in NY City at the 9/11 Memorial reveals how peoples rights to free speech have now been put into a little cage called the free speech zone far away from the eyes…

By: TheAlexJonesChannel

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9/11 Protesters Rights Put In A Cage – Video

A Democratic election year push to amend the Constitution and roll back campaign-spending free speech rights ran out of steam Thursday and fell victim to a Senate filibuster. Holding the vote, even in defeat, was a major political goal for Democrats during the two-week session of Congress. They hope the …

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GOP blocks Democrats' push to rewrite First Amendment campaign spending

U.C. Berkeleys Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has been kind enough to spice up the imminent Free Speech Movement reunion which starts next week. You can get all the information about the innumerable talks, movies, panels, dinners and especially the new play about the FSM (by Joan Holden with music by Bruce Barthol and Daniel Savio, Marios son) here.

Its a full plate of reminiscences and inspiration, but the part that the chancellor might enhance is the kickoff happy hour on Friday, September 26, from 5:30-6:30 at the Free Speech Movement Cafe Terrace. According to the published schedule: the new(ish) Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks will stop by for a few minutes.

Why might that be big fun, if hes not afraid to show up? Well, hes been catching a fair amount of flack online and in the press since September 5. The focus is a smarmy memo he emailed that day, reprinted here in full:

This Fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which made the right to free expression of ideas a signature issue for our campus, and indeed for universities around the world. Free speech is the cornerstone of our nation and society which is precisely why the founders of the country made it the First Amendment to the Constitution. For a half century now, our University has been a symbol and embodiment of that ideal

As we honor this turning point in our history, it is important that we recognize the broader social context required in order for free speech to thrive. For free speech to have meaning it must not just be tolerated, it must also be heard, listened to, engaged and debated. Yet this is easier said than done, for the boundaries between protected and unprotected speech, between free speech and political advocacy, between the campus and the classroom, between debate and demagoguery, between freedom and responsibility, have never been fully settled. As a consequence, when issues are inherently divisive, controversial and capable of arousing strong feelings, the commitment to free speech and expression can lead to division and divisiveness that undermine a communitys foundation. This fall, like every fall, there will be no shortage of issues to animate and engage us all. Our capacity to maintain that delicate balance between communal interests and free expression, between openness of thought and the requirements and disciplines of academic knowledge, will be tested anew.

Specifically, we can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility. Simply put, courteousness and respect in words and deeds are basic preconditions to any meaningful exchange of ideas. In this sense, free speech and civility are two sides of a single coin the coin of open, democratic society.

Insofar as we wish to honor the ideal of Free Speech, therefore, we should do so by exercising it graciously. This is true not just of political speech on Sproul Plaza, but also in our everyday interactions with each other in the classroom, in the office, and in the lab. Sincerely…

Researching reaction to this pronouncement on the web has yielded a treasure trove of impassioned defenses of, yes, Free Speech, and a great variety of well-crafted explanations of just exactly how Dirks misses the point.

The favorite bte noire seems to be this paragraph:

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Chancellor Dirks Upholds a Berkeley Free Speech Tradition

U.C. Berkeleys Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has been kind enough to spice up the imminent Free Speech Movement reunion which starts next week. You can get all the information about the innumerable talks, movies, panels, dinners and especially the new play about the FSM (by Joan Holden with music by Bruce Barthol and Daniel Savio, Marios son) here.

Its a full plate of reminiscences and inspiration, but the part that the chancellor might enhance is the kickoff happy hour on Friday, September 26, from 5:30-6:30 at the Free Speech Movement Cafe Terrace. According to the published schedule: the new(ish) Chancellor, Nicholas Dirks will stop by for a few minutes.

Why might that be big fun, if hes not afraid to show up? Well, hes been catching a fair amount of flack online and in the press since September 5. The focus is a smarmy memo he emailed that day, reprinted here in full:

This Fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which made the right to free expression of ideas a signature issue for our campus, and indeed for universities around the world. Free speech is the cornerstone of our nation and society which is precisely why the founders of the country made it the First Amendment to the Constitution. For a half century now, our University has been a symbol and embodiment of that ideal

As we honor this turning point in our history, it is important that we recognize the broader social context required in order for free speech to thrive. For free speech to have meaning it must not just be tolerated, it must also be heard, listened to, engaged and debated. Yet this is easier said than done, for the boundaries between protected and unprotected speech, between free speech and political advocacy, between the campus and the classroom, between debate and demagoguery, between freedom and responsibility, have never been fully settled. As a consequence, when issues are inherently divisive, controversial and capable of arousing strong feelings, the commitment to free speech and expression can lead to division and divisiveness that undermine a communitys foundation. This fall, like every fall, there will be no shortage of issues to animate and engage us all. Our capacity to maintain that delicate balance between communal interests and free expression, between openness of thought and the requirements and disciplines of academic knowledge, will be tested anew.

Specifically, we can only exercise our right to free speech insofar as we feel safe and respected in doing so, and this in turn requires that people treat each other with civility. Simply put, courteousness and respect in words and deeds are basic preconditions to any meaningful exchange of ideas. In this sense, free speech and civility are two sides of a single coin the coin of open, democratic society.

Insofar as we wish to honor the ideal of Free Speech, therefore, we should do so by exercising it graciously. This is true not just of political speech on Sproul Plaza, but also in our everyday interactions with each other in the classroom, in the office, and in the lab. Sincerely…

Researching reaction to this pronouncement on the web has yielded a treasure trove of impassioned defenses of, yes, Free Speech, and a great variety of well-crafted explanations of just exactly how Dirks misses the point.

The favorite bte noire seems to be this paragraph:

Continued here:
Chancellor Dirks Upholds a Berkeley Tradition

Needless to say, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate will strike close to home for many Wesleyan students. This book, written by Greg Lukianoff and published in 2012, explores the evolution of free speech rights on college campuses and unveils what Lukianoff perceives as a rise of censorship that has swept the nations institutes of highereducation.

Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), writes articles regularly on free speech and education. His work at FIRE served as the foundation for Unlearning Liberty; the organizations mission is to defend free speech, religious liberty, and due-process rights across campuses. FIREs cases are usually submitted by students, and are handled by FIRE staff intervention or, when necessary, litigated with FIREs LegalNetwork.

Lukianoff prefaces his book with a note on the political dynamics surrounding campus censorship. He writes that although he considers himself liberal and that his mission to defend student and faculty speech rights is consistent with this view, he is often vilified as an evil conservative. This is because, he says, much of the speech FIRE works to defend is advocating conservative positions; on college campuses, this speech tends to face morescrutiny.

Unlearning Liberty is a smooth read, with an emphasis on case studies and a smattering of political philosophy. Lukianoff cites John Stuart Mill, focusing on his argument that dissenting voices need to be protected not only because there is some possibility they could be right, but also because the discussion inspired by dissent can strengthen and clarify everyonesviews.

Unfortunately, Lukianoff argues, the ability to present dissenting opinions is being eroded. One focus of the book is the adoption of speech codes by many universities. These are often vague and unenforceable, for example including a complete prohibition of hurtful or offensive speech. Not only is speech that falls under these categories integral to free thought and free discussion, but these codes are also often enforced arbitrarily by administrations to silence speech they find personallyobjectionable.

Lukianoff also makes the point that people have lost the drive to protect their own Constitutional rights, accepting certain limitations without really questioning them. He attributes this to dynamics rooted in elementary and high schools, where rules are structured to emphasize protection of feelings and the image of the administrations rather than on protection of student rights. As a result, he adds, apathy abounds as people internalize a newnorm.

The book, while getting perhaps a bit repetitive with its reliance on case studies that are all similar in nature, definitely provides readers with plenty of anecdotes with which they can pepper their conversations. For example, readers learn that in 2006, Drexel Universitys speech code included a ban on inconsiderate jokes and inappropriately directed laughter. At Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis, a janitor was threatened with disciplinary action on the grounds of racial harassment for openly reading a historical account of the Ku Klux Klan while on hisbreak.

I would recommend this book to any Wesleyan student who is looking to feel slightly uncomfortable. In addition to no-brainers such as the Ku Klux Klan anecdote, Lukianoff defends, or at least entertains, situations that many would find repugnant, such as fat-shaming dorm posters and exclusionary religiousgroups.

It seems very much that the book is directed at an audience that would naturally disagree with many of its conclusions. It aggressively forces readers to consider difficult questions. At what point does expressing a view become the equivalent of censoring another one? Where is the line drawn between insensitivity and harassment? Can preventing another persons free speech be defended on the grounds that you are expressing yourown?

Although the Wesleyan administration is nowhere near instituting free-speech corners (designated spots that are the only free-speech protected locations on campus), as has happened at several universities discussed in the book, it is interesting to consider the extent of our free speech rights, given the framework Lukianoff outlines. Another type of censorship, perhaps, comes from within the student body; often I have heard the complaint that as tolerant as our population claims to be, it is difficult to express unpopular views without coming underfire.

See the rest here:
Book Review: Unlearning Liberty



Johnson City police officer shuts down free speech in public area b/c homosexuals offended
Officer discriminates and violates the law for homosexuals.

By: goodgroundministry

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Johnson City police officer shuts down free speech in public area b/c homosexuals offended – Video

Many have criticized a message sent around last week by University of California atBerkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, which spoke about free speech and civility. (See, for instance, the items by Ken White (Popehat) and Greg Lukianoff (FIRE).) I think much of the criticism has merit, and, like many institutional exhortations, the message was mushy enough that it could be used in many different ways, some bad.

But one thing at the heart of the e-mail (which I quote at the end of the post) strikes me as quite right: civility is extremely important to the work of the university as it is to the work of other institutions and it is quite right that universities stress this to incoming students. Universities shouldnt have speech codes restricting uncivil speech; but lots of things that shouldnt be forbidden should nonetheless be spoken out against, especially by institutions whose job is to teach. The skills and habits of civil, productive discourse are worth teaching, just as are other skills and habits related to the acquisition and discussion of knowledge.

If Dirkss message is indeed, as some understandably suspect, a prelude to an attempt to punish supposedly uncivil speech, that would be bad. (I set aside here the proper power of professors to ensure that class discussion is civil by cutting off students who insult other students.) But if it is an attempt to persuade people to act civilly, then this goal strikes me as something that a university chancellor should indeed be trying to promote.

And that civility is hard to precisely define, and that people may disagree about what exactly it means in particular contexts, is hardly a reason to stop urging it. Unsound argument, disingenuosness, and lack of scholarly rigor are hard to define, too, but that doesnt mean that universities shouldnt try to teach students the opposite. It would be a great loss if rejecting civility codes turned into rejecting civility norms and the speech (by chancellors, deans, professors, and others) used to buttress those norms.

Here is how I would have written Dirkss message, using many of his words and trying to keep close to the length of the original. I think this might be pretty close to what Dirks meant to say (in my experience, most scholars of all ideological stripes do care a lot about civility), but in any case, I think its worth saying.

This Fall marks the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, which made the right to free expression of ideas a signature issue for our campus, and indeed for universities around the world. Free speech is the cornerstone of our nation and society which is precisely why the founders of the country wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution. For a half century now, our University has been a symbol and embodiment of that ideal. We continue to honor it today.

But while protecting free speech is necessary to maintaining an open, democratic society and to the meaningful exchange of ideas that is the universitys mission it is not sufficient. We also need a willingness to listen. We need a willingness to engage in intellectually honest debate rather than in demagoguery. We need commitment to the requirements and disciplines of academic knowledge, so that what we say will be more likely to be factually accurate and logically sound.

And we particularly need civility. Learning, research, and debate are social endeavors, which work best when people engage in them graciously and politely, and which work poorly when people are needlessly rude and disrespectful to each other. When people know that expressing certain views will lead to name-calling and ad hominem arguments, they will be less likely to express those views. When people are treated disrespectfully by some on the other side of a debate, they will be less open to being convinced, and less likely to work hard to convince others. And this is true not just of political speech on Sproul Plaza, but also in our everyday interactions with each other in the classroom, in the office, and in the lab.

This is especially so when issues are inherently divisive, controversial, and capable of arousing strong feelings. We will protect peoples rights to freely express themselves on these issues (even when they do so uncivilly), and we strongly encourage people to engage those issues. Indeed, the work of the University and a commitment to intellectual honesty demand that people engage those issues, despite their controversial nature. But nearly every idea that people want to express can be expressed politely and expressing it politely is almost always more persuasive, as well as being more conducive to learning, debate, and the discovery of knowledge.

Finally, the university is a place to learn, and one of the habits and skills we teach is constructive, thoughtful discussion that persuades rather than alienating. You will need these habits and skills as scholars, as professionals, and as participants in civic life. Committing ourselves to civility as well as to free inquiry is an important step for all of us in our continuing education.

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Volokh Conspiracy: Free speech and civility at universities

By ADAM C. UZIALKO

Staff Writer

Requiring prior approval to film or take photographs in Helmettas public buildings is a violation of the right of free speech, according to an official with the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-NJ).

Edward Barocas, legal director of the ACLU-NJ, said an ordinance introduced by the Borough Council would curtail civil liberties and open the borough to legal challenges.

The proposal is far too broad and creates a prior restraint, Barocas said. Ultimately, it creates an improper limitation on the right to free speech and especially on the freedom of the press.

The idea of requiring preapproval is looked at constitutionally with a very suspect eye. It gives discretionary authority to government officials, and it does not allow for the spontaneous collection or dissemination of information, which is often what the case will be.

Helmetta Borough Attorney David Clark said the ordinance introduced at the Aug. 27 council meeting is not a general ban, but would establish a process to obtain a permit prior to filming or taking photographs within a public building.

According to Clark, the measure is necessary to ensure the filming is done in a way that would not interfere with the daily operations of public facilities.

The proposed ordinance is a response to repeated attempts by activists to film conditions at the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter (HRAS), which borough officials say disrupted business.

The shelter has been the target of criticism over alleged deficiencies in conditions, but the Middlesex County Board of Health has stated that any infractions at HRAS are minimal and do not pose a threat to the animals.

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ACLU opposes Helmettas film permit proposal

Sep 092014

Several Senate Republicans joined Democrats on Monday to advance a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states greater power to regulate campaign finance.

But the bipartisanship ends there.

Many of the Republicans only voted for the bill to foul up Democrats pre-election messaging schedule, freezing precious Senate floor time for a measure that ultimately has no chance of securing the two-thirds support necessary in both the House and Senate to amend the Constitution.

The legislation needed 60 votes to advance and Democrats took a cynical view of the 79-18 tally. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the GOPs tactic was simply to stall because it would eat up limited floor time that Democrats are eyeing for votes aimed at encouraging gender pay equity and raising the minimum wage.

(McConnell for POLITICO Magazine: The Democrats’ assault on free speech)

They know were getting out of here fairly shortly and they want to prevent discussion on other very important issues, said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). I would love to be proven wrong. But if the end of this week, we end up getting 67 votes, you can tell me I was too cynical.

But campaign finance is not a debate that Senate Republicans are shying away from and their argument is being led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who penned an op-ed for POLITICO on Monday that portrayed Democrats as fixated on repealing the free speech protections the First Amendment guarantees to all Americans.

Not surprisingly, a proposal as bad as the one Senate Democrats are pushing wont even come close to garnering the votes it would need to pass. But to many Democrats, thats just the point. They want this proposal to fail because they think that somehow would help them on Election Day, McConnell wrote.

Democrats see electoral benefits in their proposal, pointing to Democratic-commissioned polls in battleground states that show bipartisan majorities in support of limiting big donors influence in politics and in opposition to Super PACs. Party leaders and aides believe their campaign finance proposal is popular and places the GOP on the wrong side of public opinion so some Democratic aides said they were happy for the debate to consume the Senate this week and still plan to hold votes on raising the minimum wage and pay equity before breaking for campaign season.

Theyre volunteering to defend the Koch brothers and a campaign finance system voters hate, said one Senate aide.

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Constitutional amendment advances

Senators opened a historic debate Monday on whether to alter the First Amendment to give Congress the power to squelch free speech in the form of campaign spending, setting up a showdown vote later this week on the first alterations to the founding document in decades.

Democrats say the debate is a referendum on democracy and keeping the wealthy from distorting the system. Republicans counter its a debate about fundamental freedom of speech that all Americans should have.

For Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat driving the debate, its chiefly about two people Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who pour tens of millions of dollars into conservative and libertarian causes.

They are trying to buy America, at every level of government, Mr. Reid said.

Democrats are trying to undo several Supreme Court decisions that have ruled that spending money on issue ads is covered by free speech guarantees that neither Congress nor the states can ban.

Their legislation would give Congress or state legislatures the power to set reasonable limits on how much money political candidates could raise and spend in seeking election and power to prohibit outside groups from spending any money at all on ads.

That would apply particularly to corporations, whom Democrats say are increasingly being granted rights that should be reserved to individuals.

Their proposed amendment would specifically carve out an exemption for the corporations that own the press, which would be allowed to use its reporting to influence elections.

Republicans said Democrats were trying to silence political opponents rather than debate their ideas and accused Mr. Reid of forcing the issue to the floor in order to rally his political base ahead of Novembers elections.

This proposed amendment would be the biggest threat to free speech that Congress would have enacted since the Alien and Sedition Acts back in 1798, said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican.

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Senate debates limiting campaign cash by altering First Amendment

Sep 082014



Why Bitcoin is a Right
Bitcoin is free speech. The New York State Department of Financial Services is violating free speech. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment…

By: BraveTheWorld

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Why Bitcoin is a Right – Video

Chris Gautz – Money talks when it comes to politics. Oftentimes, quietly. And that's OK by the U.S. Supreme Court, which deems money a form of free speech.As the cacophony of election-season advertising gets into full swing in Michigan, there is plenty of free speech to go around. It's just not always clear who is doing the talking. The laws governing transparency with money in politics have …

Originally posted here:
Money talks in the shadows: How lawmakers, lobbyists quietly bypass state's murky political spending rules

What’s the price of free speech? For English professor Steven Salaita, it was his new job.

And though the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has reportedly offered him a settlement to help compensate the wage loss for rescinding his job offer, some critics are saying it’s not enough.

Salaita was offered and accepted a faculty position at UIUC that was rescinded after he posted a series of anti-Israel statements on Twitter. The case has galvanized many in the academic community to protest his termination as contrary to constitutional and academic freedom of speech, while some speculatethat Salaitas offer was rescinded to appease donors who didn’t like his tweets.

In October 2013, Salaita, a Palestinian-American and scholar of colonialism, was offered a position in the American Indian Studies department at UIUC and was slated to teach two courses this fall. He accepted the job, quit his tenured position in the English department at Virginia Tech, where he had been apopular professorwith high ratings from students, and planned to move to Chicago with his wife, who had recently had a baby.

A vocal critic of Israel, Salaita used Twitter as a platform when Israel began ground strikes in Gaza in July. Some of his tweets, with the hashtag #Gaza, were unremarkable, while his most controversial tweets invited accusations of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence by people both within and outside academia. In one widely circulated tweet, he wrote: At this point, if Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised? #Gaza.” In another, he tweeted: Zionists: transforming anti-Semitism from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.

Although some, including theSimon Wiesenthal Center, said Salaitas tweets were anti-Semitic, there wereacademics who parsed them differently, suggesting that the English professor’s critiques were more nuanced. In a letter to UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise in support of Salaita,Bonnie Honig, professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science at Brown University, who is Jewish and was raised as a Zionist, implies that the scare quotes around the word “anti-Semitism” make Salaita’s tweet ironic rather than literal.

In a public statement explaining the universitys decision,Wise stated,”We cannot… tolerate… personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them.”

Response from some academics was immediate. According tothe Nation, within hours, nearly 2,000 signatures were gathered criticizing the decision, reaching 17,000 by the end of August. Three thousand professors said they would boycot dealings with UIUC. In an open letter to Wise, Columbia Law Professor Katharine Franke announced she was cancelling a series of lectures she had planned to give at UIUC in late September. Instead of merely boycotting in protest, she stated that she would travel to Urbana-Champaign in mid-September at her own expense to discuss Salaitas termination and how it threatens a robust principal of academic freedom.

The American Association of University Professors issued a statement declaring that social media expression is private and protected speech, and that the use of civility as a litmus testwas not acceptable. They also saw the case indicating a campaign to silence critics of Israel, and the undermining of faculty governance at American universities in favor of corporate control.

Particularly problematic to critics was that the decision to withdraw Salaita’s appointment was made by the UIUC Board of Trustees and without consultation of the faculty. Many trustees, says David Palumbo-Liu in The Nation, have no background in higher education. They are there primarily to safeguard and grow the endowment their responsibility is fiduciary, not educational.

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Steven Salaita Twitter Scandal: University Of Illinois Offers Settlement, But Free Speech Questions Linger

Hector Guzman said he’s participated in several peaceful protests all across the valley, but when protesting for worker’s rights in McAllen, he felt his rights to free speech were trampled on twice.

Action 4 News was there when police showed up at the May Day protest in McAllen where Fuerza Del Valle gathered to protest wage theft and workers rights.

“We dont have tons of money to hire fancy lawyers. All we have is our right to assemble, our right to free speech, this is the tool that workers have to make their grievances known to society,” said Fuerza Del Valle Coordinator Hector Guzman Lopez.

Guzman said police and city code enforcers told demonstrators they were in violation of a city noise ordinance and needed to stop or be cited.

We’ve been having direct actions, marches, protests all across the valley from Brownsville to Mission, Pharr, San Juan. Almost every action and we never encountered this violation of free speech,” said Guzman.

Guzman said it happened again two weeks later, when also protesting workers rights.

We asked the City of McAllen about their noise ordinance back in May just after the protest.

They said that amplified noise and use of bull horns were prohibited because it creates a disturbance, but Guzman said the city does not enforce the ordinance evenly across the board.

We have not heard of any other incident where this has been enforced either not at football games, not at other protest, pro-immigrant protests, anti-immigrant protests, happened in McAllen,” said Guzman.

His lawsuit points to other incidents where shouting and bullhorns were also used, such as the protest held last month at the bus station by a group named the Border Convoy.

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Activists believe free speech rights were violated at wage theft protest



What's Fappening! How was your Labor Day (part 1 of 3, made with Spreaker)
Source: http://www.spreaker.com/user/adontheradio/whats-fappening-how-was-your-labor-day The importance of having fun, the pitfalls of free speech, the moral dilema presented by the hundreds…

By: A.D. OnYourRadio

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What’s Fappening! How was your Labor Day (part 1 of 3, made with Spreaker) – Video



Devs Say Stop The Hate! #Hippo-CriteRTU
We live in america, we are allowed to free speech. Subscribe to A Critical Hit Production for more Awesome Videos and Updates Join Us On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/acriticalhit.

By: acriticalhit64 .

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Devs Say Stop The Hate! #Hippo-CriteRTU – Video



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Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism

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