Abusing “Free Speech”

  Freedom of speech is one of America’s most hallowed traditions, but it is becoming a dangerous one. Like any freedom, it must have limits. We are not free to do any number of things – murder, robbery, assault – even trespassing on a neighbor’s lot. Why should speech be different? Free speech has been […]
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When “Rights” Collide

  I don’t imagine any reasonable person thinks it’s OK to settle a verbal dispute by violence. So when I exercise my First Amendment right, you don’t have the right to shoot me. That’s how I would sum up the gun control debate that’s sure to be revived in the aftermath of yesterday’s massacre in […]
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Dumb? Diabolical? Or Both?

The dangerous practices of right-wing media have never been more apparent than in their misrepresentation of the Congressional Budget Office report on the effect the Affordable Care Act is likely to have on America’s job market. These so-called news outlets¬†quoted the report as predicting the loss of more than 2 million jobs. That was not […]
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Murdoch is the One who Should be Deported

America’s far right has no sense of irony. They’re howling for the deportation of Piers Morgan on the grounds that his gun control advocacy is somehow anti-American. Meanwhile, that creepy-crawly Australian import Rupert Murdoch (above) blithely pursues his mission to subvert American society without let or hindrance. You might not know who Piers Morgan is. […]
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Free Speech? This Film Qualifies as Hate Speech!

In erroneously criticizing President Obama for”apologizing” to Islamic protesters infuriated by “Innocence of Muslims,” Mitt Romney declared the film represents a precious American value, the right of free speech. As a lifelong journalist, I beg to differ. No country in the world protects this type of trash. Not even America. My understanding is that the […]
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Birth Control Fuss Shows Church’s Hypocrisy

¬† We’re hearing a lot about the First Amendment rights of religious groups in America. An innocuous regulation in the new health care reform legislation is prompting the most unctuous fulminations from Catholic politicians like John Boehner and Rick Santorum – and even Mormon Mitt Romney. They are outraged – outraged – by President Obama’s […]
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Taking “Free Speech” to a Dangerous Extreme

In Canada, a citizen’s right to free speech does not include inciting harm to others or describing them in hateful terms. The Criminal Code prohibits “hate propaganda.” And the Canadian Human Rights Act forbids the posting of hateful or contemptuous messages on the Internet. No such legislation exists in the United States. And, judging from […]
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Let’s Temper “the Constitution” with Common Sense

The fact that I became an American citizen through choice and not through the accident of birth should tell you that I hold the U.S. Constitution in very high regard. But the way in which the Constitution is being interpreted today leaves me gravely concerned. Whatever happened to common sense? As a reporter and editor, […]
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The End of American Democracy – as Some Pundits See it

The U.S. Supreme Court shocked media pundits this week when a majority of the justices decided it is unconstitutional to limit the amount of money corporations can spend to get politicians elected. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, for example, sees the decision as the beginning of the end for democracy in America. Olbermann has lots of company […]
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Rush, Bachmann and Beck, and the Fatal Folly of Free Speech

There’s a Jamaican saying that “words are wind,” but that’s not always true. Sometimes words have consequences. And sometimes the consequences can be fatal. The thought came to mind today as I read an Associated Press report about a census worker in Kentucky who was found hanged with the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest. […]
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