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Archive of Articles in the "Free Speech" Category

From The Archives -- What Would Abbie Hoffman Have Thought Of The Flag Lapel Pin Debate?

[ Posted Friday, July 3rd, 2020 – 15:25 UTC ]

Instead, please enjoy the following column, which ran on the Fourth of July, 2008. Just to remind everyone, at that particular point in time Barack Obama had secured the Democratic presidential nomination, but the general election was still months away.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Battle Of Lafayette Square

[ Posted Friday, June 5th, 2020 – 17:24 UTC ]

This week, an American president ordered the violent removal of peaceful protesters -- who were doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government for redress -- from a public park so that he could then walk across the park and hold up a borrowed Bible for a photo opportunity with both the Secretary of Defense and (clad in battle fatigues) the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Afterward, the Trump White House immediately issued a propaganda video of the event. Later that evening, a military helicopter clearly marked with a red cross took offensive action against the protesters (which is banned by the Geneva Conventions, and is now under investigation). Later still, the president and all his enablers in the White House lied through their teeth about the entire incident, repeatedly. At week's end, we learned of another affront to the Constitution by the Trump administration, when it was revealed that federal law enforcement had unconstitutionally seized a shipment of cloth face masks created by a Black Lives Matter affiliate, and the only possible reason they did so was that the Department of Justice apparently didn't like the messages displayed on the masks (which read: "Stop killing black people," and: "Defund police").

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Friday Talking Points -- 100,000 Dead While Trump Fiddles With Twitter

[ Posted Friday, May 29th, 2020 – 17:16 UTC ]

Anyone "tired of all the winning" yet? Just asking....

In the same week America passed the grim milestone of 100,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic, a black man was suffocated by a white police officer while three other cops stood by and either helped him commit this crime or did absolutely nothing to prevent it. Since then, there have been sometimes-violent protests in the streets of not only Minneapolis but in several other cities across the country. The dead man was accused of the crime of trying to use a fake $20 bill at a convenience store. The cops, acting as judge, jury, and executioner, provided him with a death sentence -- for the transgression of trying to pass a fake twenty.

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Trump Shoots Himself In Foot With Twitter Executive Order

[ Posted Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 17:23 UTC ]

President Donald Trump executed a double-reverse bit of irony today, by signing an executive order that he thinks will threaten social media companies like Twitter into allowing conservatives to spout whatever hate-filled or wildly inaccurate rants they wish to. However, as with many things Trump does, his executive order might just wind up giving companies like Twitter more incentive to police Trump's own tweets. In other words, by attempting to "fight back," Trump may in fact have just shot himself in the foot.

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Trump Unclear On First Amendment

[ Posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 – 16:53 UTC ]

President Donald Trump is unclear on the basic concept of the First Amendment's "free speech" clause. This isn't all that surprising, since he's obviously never made it all the way through a reading of the United States Constitution. After all, the Founding Fathers didn't see fit to provide colorful graphics instead of boring blocks of text, and the whole thing just goes on for pages and pages and pages -- both of which absolutely guarantee Trump has never read it.

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Too Little, Too Late From Twitter

[ Posted Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 – 16:33 UTC ]

Twitter is at the heart of a storm of controversy today, and rightly so. It just made a timid move to better its own public standing, but it is far too little and far too late to really stem the tide of deserved criticism they're now receiving. Twitter is, to be blunt, scared of President Donald Trump and his legions of followers. So they've allowed him to get away with tweeting pretty much anything that pops into his head, no matter how false or downright destructive his words prove to be. Now, perhaps, they're beginning to pay a price for this timidity in the court of public opinion.

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Friday Talking Points -- Predicting Nevada's Outcome

[ Posted Friday, February 21st, 2020 – 17:45 UTC ]

We are hereby totally throwing in the towel on our usual "weekly news wrap-up" segment here, because the Democratic primary race is ever so much nicer to focus on. In place of it, we offer up what we wrote back in Friday Talking Points Volume 523, from last April -- a "Generic Weekly News Roundup" with Mad-Lib-style fill-in-the-blanks. Two paragraphs even caught our eye as being not all that far removed from the current week, to wit:

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My 2019 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 27th, 2019 – 19:41 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second and final installment of our year-end awards columns! If you missed last week's column, you should probably check that out, too.

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Post-Debate Reactions

[ Posted Thursday, December 19th, 2019 – 23:12 UTC ]

Tonight we saw the sixth in the series of Democratic presidential debates, and my first and strongest impression is that I for one am glad the field is being narrowed. Seven on the stage was enough, in other words, for me.

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Friday Talking Points -- And Here We Are

[ Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2019 – 19:30 UTC ]

That title comes from Fiona Hill's testimony before the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearings this week. When Hill confronted Gordon Sondland over the quid pro quo Trump was forcing Ukraine into, she angrily told him: "This is all going to blow up." To which she added, to the congressmen questioning her: "And here we are."

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