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NEWS
December 9, 2011
The robocalls made on behalf of Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. were less cynical than Dan Rodricks ' column ("Drawing the line in cutthroat business of politics," Dec. 7). To describe protected political speech defenses as "hedging" betrays a sneering disbelief in basic First Amendment freedoms. Constitutional rights are not technicalities. Thomas F. McDonough, Towson
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
Jules Witcover | September 29, 2014
The President Obama many fellow Democrats have been looking for ever since his 2008 election may have shown up last week at the United Nations. His tough and direct call on the rest of the international community to step up to the challenge of global terrorism displayed a spine they have long felt missing in action. Words, to be sure, are not action. But his demand that the rest of the world community put muscle behind its anti-terrorism rhetoric had a pointed intensity too often lacking in his previous preachings.
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NEWS
April 9, 2014
Regarding your editorial on campaign finance limits, quite apart from the question of whether campaign contributions are essentially a form of speech is the question of why one can't spend one's money as one sees fit ( "A win for the billionaires," April 4). There should be no limit on how much donors can contribute, but full disclosure should be required. Dave Reich, Perry Hall - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word:  BUNCOMBE Many of the words featured here are of Latin or Greek origin, but America has made contributions to English, too, and today we look at the origins of a valuable one.  We can pinpoint the origins of this word. During the debate on the Missouri Question in the Sixteenth Congress, the Hon. Felix Walker of Buncombe County, North Carolina, took the floor of the House of Representatives to speak at length to no particular purpose.
NEWS
March 16, 2010
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me? Baloney! Social scientists, along with those invested in the field of mental health, have determined through respected documentation that verbal battering is no less harmful in its literal destruction of the mind as is physical abuse to the body. So there you go on the editorial page, defending Pastor Fred Phelps' right to express his organization's venomous tirades, even at the funerals of our military sons and daughters, clearly orchestrated to do irreparable harm ("Free speech is paramount," March 13)
NEWS
February 16, 2014
I applaud Melanie McAlister for her reasoned commentary on the Israel academic boycott movement ( "Maryland bills would stifle academic freedom," Feb. 12). As Ms. McAlister notes, "in considering the ASA boycott decision, it's important to recognize that whether or not one thinks it was a good idea, it does not violate the academic freedom of Israeli or American scholars. " What would violate this freedom is a bill under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly that seeks to criminalize free speech concerning this matter.
NEWS
September 13, 2014
President Barack Obama's speech about ISIS and the reaction to it have shown me how rotten politics are today ("Obama pursues Islamic State," Sept. 11). When President George W. Bush went into Iraq, most Democrats wanted to know where the weapons of mass destruction were. They could not have cared less if people were being killed by the thousands by the evil administration of one tribe of the country. But now, to get the press off Mr. Obama's lack of leadership, he comes out and acts as if he cares about the sectarian killings in the area and the supposed threat to our security.
NEWS
February 15, 2013
The Sun's editorial board commits the same sin they attribute to conservatives: selective editing of Dr. Ben Carson's speech and the reaction thereto ("The Carson Monologue" Feb 12). Did not Cal Thomas, a conservative icon, come out with a demand that Dr. Carson apologize to the president? The Sun piece made no mention. To quote from the great doctor's speech: "Enough said. " Did not Dr. Carson himself establish that six doctors signed the Declaration of Independence? The Sun piece made no mention.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey | annie.linskey@baltsun.com | January 27, 2010
Mark your calendars. In pencil. Gov. Martin O'Malley has rescheduled his annual state of the state address. Again. It is now on for noon Tuesday. The speech is given with a full complement of Annapolis pomp and ceremony. Invitations go to all 188 lawmakers, who listen as the governor outlines his agenda. This year, the speech was initially set for noon today. But when President Barack Obama announced he'd give his annual State of the Union speech that day, the governor bowed out. "The governor expressed a desire to be sure the people of Maryland see the State of the Union," O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said.
NEWS
By Gregory Rodriguez | March 28, 2012
Hate speech is a form of vandalism. It defaces the environment, and like a broken window, if left untended, signals to other hoodlums that the coast is clear to do more damage. But unlike the proverbial broken window, which urban police departments and criminologists urge us to repair to maintain the aura of social order, nobody seems to be in much of a hurry to nip hate speech in the bud. That's because since the ill-fated attempt by several universities to regulate hate speech in the 1980s and 1990s, any discussion of reining in racist taunts inevitably degrades into charges of political correctness and ends abruptly with the invocation of the First Amendment.
NEWS
September 13, 2014
President Barack Obama's speech about ISIS and the reaction to it have shown me how rotten politics are today ("Obama pursues Islamic State," Sept. 11). When President George W. Bush went into Iraq, most Democrats wanted to know where the weapons of mass destruction were. They could not have cared less if people were being killed by the thousands by the evil administration of one tribe of the country. But now, to get the press off Mr. Obama's lack of leadership, he comes out and acts as if he cares about the sectarian killings in the area and the supposed threat to our security.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck | September 4, 2014
Not sure what the over-under line was on the length of Ray Lewis's speech after the Ravens unveiled his statue on Thursday morning at M&T Bank Stadium, but no one was complaining after he talked for 31 minutes about his life, his family, his career and his teammates. Lewis has always been a great orator, so it was just a matter of striking the right balance between honoring his own legacy and honoring the other people who contributed to it. He did that well, recognizing important family members and pivotal figures in his career among the large group of invited guests that included the family of Johnny Unitas, olympian Michael Phelps and the mother of former Ravens quarterback Steve McNair.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | August 11, 2014
On the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation as president, his admission of guilt has finally been made public in a 1983 videotaped interview with him by an old White House aide. Speaking of the "smoking gun" White House tape in which he talked about raising hush money for the arrested Watergate burglars, Nixon tells aide Frank Gannon: "This was the final blow, the nail in the coffin. Although you didn't need another nail if you were already in the coffin, which we were.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2014
First, Anne Arundel County Council candidate Michael Peroutka talks about the need to destroy the "current regime," secede and establish a government based on the Bible.  Then he asks the crowd to stand for the National Anthem. But Peroutka does not sing "The Star-Spangled Banner. " He plucks the guitar and sings:  "Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton Old times there are not forgotten Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land" Is that.... Yup, Peroutka's National Anthem is "Dixie.
NEWS
By Danae King, The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2014
Rita Sloan Berndt, a neurology professor at the University of Maryland Medical School for 25 years who studied people who suffered from aphasia, the loss of the power to use or understand words, died June 17 of lymphoma at her home in Roland Park. She was 70. Sheila Blumstein, a professor of cognitive linguistics and psychological sciences at Brown University, called her colleague and friend a force in the fields of aphasia and neuroscience. "We have yet to truly understand aphasia and the reasons behind it, but we've come a long way, and Rita was part of the reason we've come a long way," Dr. Blumstein said.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | June 2, 2014
In keeping with his determination to get America off "a perpetual wartime footing" after more than a decade of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama's commencement address at West Point was a sobering preview of what lies ahead for the graduates. Before an audience of the newly minted military officers, he sought at length to make the case for a selective response to global and regional challenges. He argued that this country must make hard choices about when and where the nation's might can be exerted as the leading partner in the world community.
NEWS
December 19, 1991
Of 547 callers who responded to the SUNDIAL question about Gov. William Donald Schaefer's TV speech on the state fiscal crisis, 408 (74 percent) said they watched the speech, and 139 (25 percent) said they did not.Of 550 responses, 337 (61 percent) said they are pessimistic about economic recovery in 1992, and 213 (38 percent) are optimistic.Most of the callers, or 431 out of 550 (78 percent) said there is no need for some form of increase in the state income tax, while 119 (21 percent) said such an increase is needed.
NEWS
May 29, 2014
Regarding that cross in Bladensburg, when talking about the separation of church and state has anyone actually read the First Amendment to the Constitution ( "Veterans' cross in Maryland at the center of national battle," May 25)? Why is the phrase "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" never mentioned? Doesn't the First Amendment say that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances?"
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | May 26, 2014
Vegetarian activists have sued in federal court two Baltimore police officers who forced them to stop leafleting at the Inner Harbor — the latest legal front after years of disputes over the constitutional rights of protesters in the city. A former Baltimore teacher and three other vegetarian activists filed the lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court over events that took place in May 2011. The lawsuit, which does not name the city nor the Police Department, alleges the officers violated their constitutional rights.
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