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Politics

Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee

Can an idea be dangerous? Can a dangerous idea be expressed? Can the government punish ideas it deems to be dangerous?

These are not questions one regularly asks in America because of our rich tradition of protecting the freedom of speech from infringement by the government. Yet, we appear to be on the cusp of the mass suppression of public ...Read more

Is Your Car Spying on You?

"I predict future happiness for Americans,

if they can prevent the government from

wasting the labors of the people under

the pretense of taking care of them."

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Last week, Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Edward Markey of Massachusetts revealed that automobiles sold in the United States with a GPS or ...Read more

Our Government is Using Force to Suppress Freedom!

When James Madison was a member of Congress in 1791 and charged with drafting the Bill of Rights, he made two grammatical demands. One was that the word "the" precede "freedom of speech" in the First Amendment, and the other was a command in the Ninth Amendment that the "rights retained by the people," rights too numerous to enumerate, "shall ...Read more

Killing the Constitution

In the last days of East Germany, when government officials detected that their power was unraveling, they ratcheted up enforcement of the nation's reporting laws. The reporting laws made it a felony to know of a crime and fail to report it. It was also a crime to tell the person of whose crime you learned that you had done so. There was no ...Read more

The Right to Assembly

Last week, the Supreme Court effectively abolished the right to assembly in three Southern states. By refusing to hear an appeal of a speaker accused of being liable for what a protester did in an audience the speaker addressed, the court exposed all protest organizers and speakers to potentially ruinous financial penalties for what unknown ...Read more

The CIA Wants More Power to Spy on Americans!

Americans need to be aware of the unbridled propensity of federal intelligence agencies to spy on all of us without search warrants as required by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

These agencies believe that the Fourth Amendment -- which protects the individual right to privacy -- only regulates law enforcement and does not apply ...Read more

The Government Attacks the Freedom of Speech

"I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

-- Voltaire (1694-1778)

Holy Week was not a good week for personal liberty as governments throughout the United States engaged in direct and subtle attacks on free speech.

The freedom of speech is unique in American history and ethos. It was...Read more

Taking Easter Seriously

"That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event
To which the whole creation moves."
-- Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

When American colonists were oppressed by British governance, the word most frequently uttered in pamphlets, editorials and sermons was not "...Read more

Can Congress Ban TikTok?

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech."

--First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

When James Madison set about to draft the Bill of Rights -- the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- he was articulating what lawyers and philosophers and judges call "negative rights." A positive right grants a ...Read more

My Dinner With the Pope

I spent last week living and studying at the Vatican as a guest lecturer at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, or PASS. PASS is an organization of scholars that explores ideas of interest to the Vatican. Last week, PASS addressed the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, since March 8, 2024, was the 750th anniversary of his death.

This is ...Read more

Taking Rights Seriously

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion,
Mankind would be no more justified
In silencing that one person,
Than he, if he had the power,
Would be justified in silencing mankind."
-- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

The world is filled with self-evident truths -- truisms -- that philosophers, lawyers and ...Read more

The Torturers' Poor Memories

As the pre-trial hearings in the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others who are charged with masterminding the 9/11 attacks proceed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, the government continues to stumble with its own witnesses. In hearings last week, government lawyers tried to demonstrate that statements the defendants made to CIA and ...Read more

Gargantuan Trump Judgement is Government Theft at its Worst!

"Where there is a wrong, there is a remedy." -- Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo (1870-1938)

Last week, a New York court ordered the Trump Organization and its principals -- including the former President -- to forfeit nearly $400 million to the state government. This gargantuan punishment was not for any crime committed or harm caused by the...Read more

 

Comics

Dave Granlund Joel Pett Rick McKee Eric Allie Lisa Benson Pat Bagley