free speech

Fibonacci Blue, CC BY 2.0,

You can champion the cause of tolerance and acceptance, but can you go overboard?  Can you so insist on the exercise of some people's rights that you trample the rights of others?  This is a question asked for years now on college campuses. 

Robert Boyers, himself a distinguished academic and self-described left-liberal, decries what he sees as the growing illiberal and intolerant climate created by identity politics on college campuses.  He takes on the issue in a series of essays, bundled together as The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, the Academy and the Hunt for Political Heresies

Steven Larsen, CC BY 3.0,

"I can say what I want, it's a free country."  Easy to say, not so easy to justify; no rights are absolute in the United States (or anywhere else). 

Free speech has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with conservatives complaining about how their views are handled on college campuses, and liberals complaining about political money identified as speech by federal courts. 

P.E. Moskowitz takes up many facets of the speech debate in The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent

VENTSday: The Limits Of Protest (If Any)

Dec 6, 2016
Fibonacci Blue -

Anti-Trump protests on the streets.  Anti-pipeline protests on the edge of the reservation. 

Just two examples of people taking their disagreements and disappointments public.  Free speech, protected by the first amendment, right? 

This VENTSday, December 7th, let's hear your thoughts on IF there is a line protestors can cross, and what that line is.  Are there situations and places where protest ceases to be free speech and becomes something else? 

Call the show live at 800-838-3760, email or, if you can't make it live, take the survey below or record a message at 541-552-6331. 

Speaking Out, Over And Over

Jan 27, 2016

The heyday of street theater ended decades ago.  But Patrick "Stoney" Burke's performances did not. 

Burke exercises his first amendment rights, sort of like a personal trainer exercises a client.  He's been relentless in his mission to question the doings of the rich and powerful, often with great humor. 

It got him arrested, more than once.  From Eugene to Berkeley to the Republican National Convention, he's stayed busy. 

Oh, the stories he could tell... and does, in Weapon: Mouth, his book.