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Today’s episode features Zachary Greenberg of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. We discuss freedom of speech, FIRE’s work to protect it on college campuses, and its importance for maintaining a liberal society.

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  • Forgive me if I’m doing this wrong. But I don’t see a place to just post links to get a discussion going like I do on Facebook. Anyway, this is my latest for C4SS.org. ” Luckily, the legislation itself isn’t likely to make any difference. Govtrack gives it a 1% chance of being enacted. The larger problem at play here is that by seeking to ban every kind of speech feminists find distasteful, they discredit a movement with important and worthy goals. Campaigns like this wrongly associate feminists and others concerned about equal opportunity for girls with efforts to curtail speech rights and grow government. Creating a culture which is less hostile to young ladies’ well-being will require proposals which respect the First Amendment and allow a free and open marketplace of ideas.”

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  • Lots of young people have been called ‘snowflakes’ recently. This group likes ‘safe spaces’, appear easily offended and ‘call-out’ micro aggressions. But sadly all of this is about shutting down ideas and curtailing freedom of speech. This is not the work of a tender snowflake but of a militancy that appears to have taken a hold of many universities. Calling them snowflakes surely let’s them off the hook?

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  • When J. K. Rowling mentioned a petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, the audience at the PEN Literary Gala applauded. But unlike much of the left, she knows that taking away freedom of speech threatens everyone, including her, and she rebuked the people who clapped. “Just a moment: Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.” The people who applauded were doubtless the same ones who objected to PEN’s free speech award to Charlie Hebdo. While they’re not likely to be convinced by any argument, she may have gotten others to think about the danger in today’s spreading hostility to free speech. That’s what counts.

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  • Question: Considering the 1st Amendment (and only the 1st Amendment), can the President issue an executive order forbidding speech aimed at disparagement of his leadership?

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  • Presentation and Q&A with Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers at the University of Minnesota on February 18, 2016.

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