The Virtue of Selfies-ness: Libertarians Fight for Free Speech at the Ballot Box

It’s finally election time — as I write this, early voting is already under way in many states. You may have already voted. Even if haven’t, you probably know who you’re voting for. But if you live in Colorado, it’s illegal to tell anyone who you voted for, or who you think someone else might have voted for.

Yes, really. It’s right there in black and white in Colorado Revised Statute  §1-13-712, section 3: “No election official, watcher, or person shall reveal to any other person the name of any candidate for whom a voter has voted or communicate to another his opinion, belief, or impression as to how or for whom a voter has voted.”

Caryn Ann Harlos objects. Strenuously. She’s the communications director of the Libertarian Party of Colorado and sits on the party’s national committee, so you can probably guess how she’s voting. But she’s not allowed to tell you, even though “communications” is right there in her job title.

Read more at…

Source: The Virtue of Selfies-ness: Libertarians Fight for Free Speech at the Ballot Box | The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism

Trump Isn’t the First Politician to Threaten Newspapers – Walter Olson

Donald Trump isn’t happy with the Washington Post, which has steadfastly opposed his presidential campaign on its editorial pages and now has assigned a reporter team to write a book about him. And he has repeatedly responded in Trump fashion: by threatening the business interests of the newspaper and its owner Jeff Bezos.

Trump cited the Post by name in his February comments about how he wants to “open up” libel law so that “when the Washington Post… writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.” And he said then of Amazon, of which Bezos is CEO, “If I become president, oh do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

Source: Trump Isn’t the First Politician to Threaten Newspapers | Foundation for Economic Education

Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It – Glenn Greenwald

We learned recently from Paris that the Western world is deeply and passionately committed to free expression and ready to march and fight against attempts to suppress it. That’s a really good thing, since there are all sorts of severe suppression efforts underway in the West — perpetrated not by The Terrorists but by the Western politicians claiming to fight them.

English: A plaque targeting Prime Minister Dav...

One of the most alarming examples comes, not at all surprisingly, from the U.K. government, which is currently agitating for new counterterrorism powers, “including plans for extremism disruption orders designed to restrict those trying to radicalize young people.” Here are the powers which the British Freedom Fighters and Democracy Protectors are seeking:

They would include a ban on broadcasting and a requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web and social media or in print. The bill will also contain plans for banning orders for extremist organisations which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but it will fall short of banning on the grounds of provoking hatred.

It will also contain new powers to close premises including mosques where extremists seek to influence others. The powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities that misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism will also be strengthened.

In essence, advocating any ideas or working for any political outcomes regarded by British politicians as “extremist” will not only be a crime, but can be physically banned in advance. Basking in his election victory, Prime Minister David Cameron unleashed this Orwellian decree to explain why new Thought Police powers are needed: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.’” It’s not enough for British subjects merely to “obey the law”; they must refrain from believing in or expressing ideas which Her Majesty’s Government dislikes.

If all that sounds menacing, tyrannical and even fascist to you — and really, how could it not? “extremism disruption orders” — you should really watch this video of Tory Home Secretary Theresa May trying to justify the bill in an interview on BBC this morning. When pressed on what “extremism” means — specifically, when something crosses the line from legitimate disagreement into criminal “extremism” — she evades the question completely, repeatedly invoking creepy slogans about the need to stop those who seek to “undermine Our British Values” and, instead, ensure “we are together as one society, One Nation” (I personally believe this was all more lyrical in its original German). Click here to watch the video and see the face of Western authoritarianism, advocating powers in the name of Freedom that are its very antithesis.

Read the rest via Greatest Threat to Free Speech Comes Not From Terrorism, But From Those Claiming to Fight It – The Intercept.

Cop’s Free Speech Rights Violated for Supporting Cannabis Law Reform

 

 

St. Louis police officer Gary Wiegert has served over three decades protecting Missouri’s largest metropolitan area, but now his rights are under attack.  Sergeant Wiegert’s experience on the force led him to believe that Missouri should decrease penalties for marijuana possession.  A believer in small government, Wiegert has been lobbying for the St. Louis Tea Party for a few years before picking up another client, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation (SMCR).

Unfortunately, the sergeant’s higher ups decided to put the kabosh on his lobbying once they got wind of his work to reform Missouri’s cannabis laws.  Fortunately, however, Sergeant Wiegert isn’t one to give up his First Amendment rights without a fight.

 

Read more via Cop’s Free Speech Rights Violated for Supporting Cannabis Law Reform – Liberty Crier.