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By Leonard Pitts Jr | December 7, 2003
WASHINGTON - It is the arrogance that most offends. Yes, the wrongheadedness is troubling, the ignorance irritating. But that damn-you arrogance is what makes you need to count to 10. I refer to the latest insult to free speech in Miami, about which, more in a moment. But first, a little background for those who came in late. Four years ago, the Cuban band Los Van Van played the Miami Arena while hundreds of Cuban exiles protested outside. They had been incited by local officials who had tried for days to block the performance of a group they regard as closely aligned with Fidel Castro's communist regime.
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NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | April 5, 2014
Amid a storm over prayer at government meetings, Carroll County Commissioner Robin Frazier leaned back in a carved wooden rocking chair in the Taneytown public library and quietly gave voice to her fears about the direction of the country. What happened to freedom of speech and the biblical principles the United States was founded upon, she asked a handful of constituents who gathered for one of her monthly discussions Saturday. The current commissioners, all voted into office in 2010, decided that they would open their meetings with prayers because "we believe that guidance from God would be a good thing in making the decisions before us," Frazier said.
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NEWS
By Sharon Hornberger | July 19, 1992
Censorship.It is not a religious issue. It is not a conservative issue. It is not a liberal issue. It is not a Republican issue. It is not a Democratic issue. It is a challenge to the Constitution and it is not to be taken lightly.The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees each citizen the freedom of speech. This freedom extends to the printed word. No individual or group of individuals has the right to tell the rest of us what we can read or see.Thomas Jefferson said of the First Amendment: "Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
NEWS
April 15, 2013
I know it's practically blasphemy in Baltimore to criticize The Johns Hopkins University. But in forcing Dr. Ben Carson out as this year's commencement speaker the powers that be were not only wrong but were trashing his right to free speech and our right to hear him. I may not agree with his positions, but in a democracy he is entitled to state his beliefs, and I have a right to hear them. What the school has done is an insult to the principles of a free democracy. Donald W. Strauss
NEWS
By Glenn McNatt | January 12, 1997
RETURNING from a preview of "The People Vs. Larry Flynt" last week, I stopped by a convenience store and picked up a copy of Hustler magazine, Flynt's flagship publication and perhaps the raunchiest skin rag in America. I wanted to make sure whatever I said about Flynt and the movie about him bore some relation to the reality at the newsstand. For this I was punished severely.The other patrons gave me a wide berth as I walked to the checkout counter.A couple in front of me took snide delight in prolonging what seemed an interminable transaction involving a Lotto ticket and a carton of milk.
NEWS
By George F. Will | October 17, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The media are missing a scandal because the media are the scandal. They are complicit with the portion of the political class currently attempting to impose on the public, in the name of campaign finance reform, speech restrictions of the sort from which the media are immune.But the rationale for this immunity, as explained by the Supreme Court in the First Amendment case most cherished by the media, refutes the argument for the campaign reforms most of the media favor.The Senate is currently debating the McCain-Feingold bill to ban "soft money" contributions to political parties.
SPORTS
By Jerome Holtzman and Jerome Holtzman,Chicago Tribune | December 3, 1992
CHICAGO -- The Marge Schott controversy, which has grown into a media circus, presents an interesting legal question of freedom of speech. She is the owner of the Cincinnati Reds and has been accused of making oral slurs against blacks and Jews, the usual targets.Home run king Hank Aaron, a vice president of the Atlanta Braves, insists Schott should be forced to sell her team and should be thrown out of baseball. Others, outraged but less militant, contend a one- or two-year suspension would be sufficient punishment.
NEWS
By George F. Will | September 13, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Even more scandalous than the political class' continuing assault on the First Amendment is the journalistic class' complicity in this assault. The threat, advanced under the antiseptic rubric of "campaign finance reform," is a speech-rationing system to solve the "problem" of "excessive" political giving and spending.Such a system already exists, but reformers always want new laws to make the system more elaborate. And even without new laws, the Federal Election Commission is trying to punish some "offending" journalism.
NEWS
September 26, 2004
Those who vandalize political signs deal a blow to freedom Freedom of speech is the corner stone of our democracy. Many freedom of speech challenges have been fought in court in recent years, and freedom has prevailed. Unfortunately, there are people in Howard County who believe freedom of speech does not apply to their opponents or supporters of their opponents. Howard County residents use yard signs to show support for candidates who are aligned with beliefs they hold. These signs are used as an expression of speech to show friends and neighbors who they believe is the best candidate for a specific office.
NEWS
March 21, 1997
The Sun's March 13 editorial rightly criticizes the ''flawed big-money system," but stops short of recommending specific reforms.Real campaign reform would involve a fundamental change in our existing system. Public financing of elections is the most effective way of removing the influence of money from the political process.To equate huge financial contributions with freedom of speech, as the Supreme Court has done, is a perversion of the term. What the present system amounts to is freedom of speech for the wealthy, while the rest of us are essentially shut out of the process.
NEWS
April 1, 2012
I want to thank The Sun for running on page one last Sunday the story about the abortion protesters' arrest in Harford County in 2008 ("State trooper wanted protesters to 'rot,'" March 24). We have many freedoms being eroded daily by misguided police officials and other public servants who are supposed to protect us and our freedoms. Freedom of speech is precious. Freedom from being offended isn't in our Constitution. Police personnel and all public servants need to remember that they are servants and protectors of the citizens.
NEWS
March 14, 2011
Five years ago, my son's father asked me to join him in bringing a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church. I declined for the following reasons: I truly believe this is an issue of free speech. I do not like it, and I do not like the WBC, but it is free speech. I was certain that in the end, all that would be accomplished was that a bigger voice would be given to a relatively unknown group of people. I felt it would give them the platform and spotlight they had been seeking.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | December 8, 2010
Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott isn't apologizing for his comments about President Barack Obama and won't be facing disciplinary action from the team, which distanced itself from his statements but not from the slugger's right to speak his mind. A day after Scott told Yahoo Sports that he did not believe Obama was born in the United States and that he thinks the president "dodges questions" and is "hiding something," the 32-year-old stood by his opinions and his ability to exercise them.
NEWS
October 6, 2010
Few things could be more distressing to grieving family members attending the funeral of a loved one than the sudden appearance of noisy demonstrators nearby waving obnoxious signs and shouting hate-filled obscenities. That's what happened to Albert Snyder, the father of a Marine lance corporal killed in Iraq in March 2006. The demonstration outside Matthew A. Snyder's funeral in Westminster by a fringe group of anti-gay zealots, during which protesters brandished such messages as "Thank God for Dead Solders" and "Semper Fi Fags," was as offensive and hurtful as it was seemingly random and pointless.
NEWS
By Bryan P. Sears, Towson Times | May 24, 2010
Two Baltimore County residents say their rights to free speech have been violated because they were ordered to remove signs supporting Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s bid for governor. Their concerns have led county officials to suspend acting on anonymous complaints about improper campaign signs. In one case, Steve Kolbe, who lives on Dulaney Valley Road, had a 32-square-foot sign supporting Ehrlich, the former Republican governor seeking another term, in his yard until removing it to avoid a possible $200-per-day fine or 90 days in jail.
NEWS
February 2, 2010
Would The Sun please stop printing letters or articles that promote the idea of "freedom of speech" in Super Bowl Ads? If one would like to admonish Susan Reimer to purchase her own Super Bowl ad, fine, but do not include allusions to freedom of speech because CBS and other like media are not government entitites. No Constitutional issue of speech is implicated without the government stopping speech. Last I looked CBS is not the U.S.A. Super Bowl ads are a commercial venture. If one wants to buy an ad and a media outlet wants to air it, done deal.
NEWS
By Erika D. Peterman and Erika D. Peterman,SUN STAFF | April 1, 1998
An Ellicott City business that sells sexually explicit books, videos and magazines has dropped a lawsuit against one of its most tireless opponents.The Pack Shack, on Baltimore National Pike, dropped the suit filed in federal court against Franklin V. Goodridge Jr., an anti-pornography activist who led a series of protests against the store. The Pack Shack's owners claimed the almost daily protests violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.But Baltimore lawyer Howard J. Schulman, representing the business, conceded yesterday that the protesters had "comported themselves within the confines of the law," making it unnecessary to pursue litigation.
NEWS
By Thomas Sowell | February 17, 2005
PROFESSOR WARD Churchill of the University of Colorado seems to be enjoying his 15 minutes of infamy for his childish rants against people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Others, of course, resent his cheap shots at the dead, and some are trying to get him fired. The resulting controversy has wider implications for the understanding - and misunderstanding - of what is meant by "academic freedom." However symptomatic Mr. Churchill may be of what is wrong with academia today, his situation has nothing to do with academic freedom.
NEWS
By David G. Savage and David G. Savage,Tribune Washington Bureau | October 7, 2009
WASHINGTON - - The Supreme Court took up a dog fighting case Tuesday to decide whether the First Amendment's protection for freedom of speech goes so far as to protect the sale of gory videos of animals being tortured and killed. But the argument turned to an even more ominous question: Could the government outlaw a future "Human Sacrifice Channel" on cable TV or "snuff films" showing humans being killed? That question may have given a boost to a case that the government and animal-rights advocates seemed to be losing.
NEWS
October 19, 2008
Trains a better choice for 21st Century travel Bemused as I was by the long list of benefits that Neil J. Pedersen claims will flow to us when we complete the 19-mile Intercounty Connector, I couldn't get past the price tag for the highway: $2.4 billion ("A worthwhile investment," Commentary, Oct. 10). North Carolina has a different approach. I just returned from a train trip there and traveled around the state quite comfortably without a car. Since 1991, the N.C. Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the railroads and the cities involved, has restored 12 train stations at a cost of $74 million and worked to increase train service in the state.
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