The Current Refugee Crisis

translator's preface: rephrasing the following into early 21st century English is, to understate things slightly, a challenge. To even explain why it's a challenge would, likewise be a challenge. How does one explain the polyseme in vocabulary terms that existed in the 21st century? One might as well attempt to translate the 21st century word "internet" into Old English in a way that would be accessible to denizens of a mead hall. Any attempt, including this one, is necessarily … [Read More...]

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Lawsplainer: Why Chuck C. Johnson Is About To Get MOED Down

In June, journalist Chuck C. Johnson of California — after a litany of threats to sue almost anyone who had ever said an unkind word about him — ponied up and¬†filed a defamation action against Gawker and several of its contributors, each haling from New York. ¬†Johnson complained that Gawker had published several defamatory articles […]

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D.C. Circuit: First Amendment Trumps Birthers, Stupid People, Walruses

The United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit today handed a victory to Esquire Magazine and a bitter defeat to Joseph Farah of WorldNet Daily and author Jerome Corsi, who are widely known as critics of the Obama Administration, conspiracy theorists, birthers, and repeat sexual abusers of walruses. Equire's victory, and […]

A Few Comments on the UN Broadband Commission's "Cyber Violence Against Women And Girls" Report

Update: Further information suggests I was far too benefit-of-the doubt here, which is what happens when you write fast and when you generally despise some of the people involved. Some of this is still right, but regard the conclusions and characterizations with skepticism. Taking a second look. See, e.g., the fact that they cited this […]

Let's Applaud Wesleyan's Student Censors For Honesty

Earlier this week I covered a tumult at Wesleyan, where students claimed to be silenced by a student newspaper op-ed they didn't like. The student op-ed criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in a manner that strikes me as more bootlicking than racist. This yielded a cringing and cringeworthy apology from the Wesleyan Argus' staff […]

A Hotlinking of Juggalos

Scott Greenfield asked me to write a post for the great new group criminal justice blog Fault Lines, so I did, here.

"Your Speech Silences Me:" A Trope The Kids Learned From Us

As befits an old fart, I spend a lot of time ranting about how young people today are just terrible, particularly about freedom of expression. If I avoid being a cloud-shouting caricature, it's because I admit this is my generation's fault: young people are just adopting the awful values that we taught them. Today's example […]

The War For Free Speech Laws, Hearts, And Minds Is Endless

I do not anticipate an end to the war for, or against, free speech in academia. Last week was a bloody one in that struggle. In California, the Regents of the University of California had an opportunity to wave glorious banners of censorship, blow trumpets, and retreat from the field. Some committee or working group […]

Terrorist clock? Or birth of a new libertarian? DON'T FEED THE WOODCHIPPER!

Willful Paranoia: The Classic Excuse for Willful Paranoia #IStandWithAhmed

American lives are controlled by the thuggishly mediocre. The best measure of their control is this: when called out on their mediocre thuggery, they can comfortably double down. Ahmed Mohamed, a bright and curious ninth-grader in Irving, Texas, learned that to his regret this week. Ahmed made a clock. He likes to make thing and […]

Lawsplainer: What's Going On With That Troll Joshua Goldberg, Anyway?

Ken, you need to explain the Ninth Circuit's decision about the interaction between Section 512(f) of the DMCA and fair use law, particularly in the context of surviving motions to dismiss or summary judgment. Shan't. DO IT You can't make me. Fine. God. You're such a child. Will you write about SOMETHING please? . . […]

A Market Solution To Academic Snowflakes

For years I've been grumbling about the rise of the imagined right not to be offended. It's not going away. If anything, feelings of entitlement not to be offended are growing, especially in academia. The University of California is considering enshrining a right to be free of "expressions of intolerance," defined as meretriciously as you'd […]

It's Not Politically Correct To Say, But People Who Say "It's Not Politically Correct To Say, But . . ." Are Generally Assholes

What, exactly, do people mean to signal when they preface a comment with "I know this isn't politically correct to say, but . . ."? It is boasting? "Please acknowledge that I am brave, a rebel, a nonconformist, by being willing to say the following in defiance of social convention." Is it special pleading? "I […]

OMG! Broad, Flexible, Plaintiff-Friendly Law Used In Unanticipated Manner!

California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, a 1959 law named after a powerful California politician, was a precursor to the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act. It prohibits businesses from discriminating against folks based on specified attributes, currently including sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation. It […]