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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The Right to Lie

A¬†right-to-life group is suing for the right to lie. No kidding. And the US Supreme Court agrees they have a case. Is this a great country or what? In America, you can say just about anything. You can call the President a monkey, for example, and you can draw a Hitler mustache on his photo. […]
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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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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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Exposing the Myth of “Free Speech” in America

You hear a lot of blather about the constitutional right to free speech in America, and it’s true that those crazies who utter threatening and seditious remarks against the country’s first black president would probably be rounded up and shot in some other countries. Or at least sent to prison. But the same “right” apparently […]
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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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Banned in Britain: The Prickly Issue of Free Speech

When I first visited Britain 58 years ago (thanks to a World Youth Forum scholarship), I was amazed at the orators in Hyde Park. They ranted and raved at will, denouncing all kinds of things, even calling for the end of the monarchy. A few people listened quietly, but most passers by paid no heed […]
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