FIRE expands free-speech advocacy

Fantastic news in the battle for free expression. I have admired FIRE for many years, and their expansion to cover situations that occur outside of Education is great. Anyone who wishes to make a donation can do so here.

“The notion that you have to reduce your vigor with which you defend First Amendment rights or you will damage the strength of your advocacy for equal rights for women, gays, and Blacks, et cetera is just demonstrably not true and, yet, they’ve done that,” Glasser told Gerstein. “It has created a vacuum in the viewpoint-neutral defense of free speech, which FIRE has filled.”


There’s some really good news. Thanks Pat.

Too bad about the ACLU, they used to be the good guys.


Free expression is an interesting game. The only way to be the “good” guys is if you are prepared to defend the “bad”.


Yup. We’re glad to have Ella here defending trans-wokeness as best she can. In the article you linked it was just as wrong to penalize someone for having a BLM poster in his window as it would have been in the poster had said ‘unborn lives matter’ or whatever else. The appropriate Volaire quotation should be memorized by every educated person.


The first period of free speech in the Anglosphere happened when Parliament let the Stationers Act lapse from 1642-45. The result was the propaganda presses that every faction maintained during the Civil Wars and that certainly fanned the conflict while driving all sides to ever more radical positions.

The first period of free speech in the US ended with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 when the Federalists and Democratic Republicans were at each other’s throats. Presses and rallies were suppressed by the Lincoln administration,particularly in Maryland, during the American Civil War. During WW I, the Wilson administration violently suppressed freed speech.

I hope it won’t surprise you to know the Supreme Court was silent as the grave during all this and some district courts actually convicted people under the sedition laws. The convictions during the Wilson administration were actually up held by the Supreme Court.

All governments believe free speech is a luxury suitable only for good times.


No substitute for a knowledge of history.

Free Speech is most likely to be jettisoned in periods where the people grow tired of establishment politics, and seek alternatives to the interchangeable ruling parties. The irony is that in 2016 the American people would have elected a golden retriever named Sunny, provided he has no previous experience working in Washington.

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Yes, a golden retriever would have been a very fine choice. They are intelligent, honest, loyal, good natured and practical-minded canines who know that there’s no substitute for bringing the duck in.

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We’ll see in November but I’m not optimistic. I think economic reckoning will come before the political reckoning.

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