Tag: First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Control the narrative, if you don’t like the truth..

You can’t make up this level of stupid:

The UC Berkeley student government has banned the term “illegal immigrant” from its discourse, deeming the phrase racist, offensive, unfair and derogatory.

In an unanimous vote, student senators passed a resolution that stated the word “illegal” is “racially charged,” “dehumanizes” people, and contributes to “punitive and discriminatory actions aimed primarily at immigrants and communities of color.”

The “resolution in support of drop the I-word campaign” was approved 18 to 0 with one abstention on Oct. 30, according to a copy of the meeting’s minutes obtained by The College Fix.

Its approval marks at least the second time this semester that a public university’s student government has voted to eradicate the phrase. UCLA passed a nearly identical measure in late August.

This is the shit liberal indoctrination comes down to. You can’t even communicate to these people how fascistic this shit is. It’s not just speech control: it is an attempt to limit the opponent’s vocabulary so you can avoid the fact you are dealing with someone that broke the law in the first place. This is simply some douchebags pissing on the constitution and basically telling those they object to that freedom of speech only applies to the speech they approve of. And yet, I guarantee you these idiots feel very proud of what they have done.

Stolen Valor

The Stolen Valor Act — which criminalizes making false claims about military service — is up for review by the Supreme Court. The case involves a California politician who made up a Marine career, including a Medal of Honor. You can see the case for here, which is basically a argument that the Constitutional protection of free speech should not be extended to lies.

But I find myself, not surprisingly, agreeing with Jacob Sullum:

But since the Court is applying a constitutional provision that says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” this approach seems backward. Shouldn’t the question be whether the government has a compelling enough reason to overcome what sounds like a very strong presumption against punishing speech? At the very least, the First Amendment puts the burden of proof on the censors, who must justify their speech limits, rather than the speaker, who need not show that his words have value.

This should be our approach to almost all issues of civil liberties. It is not the people who must justify our freedom; our freedom is implicit; it comes to us from our Creator. It is government that must justify its intrusion.

So, is it justified here? I can’t help but wonder if more generalized fraud provisions would be a better course. If my doctor makes all kinds of false claims about training and awards, I could sue for fraud. If an employee makes false claims about their education and experience, I can fire them. Why shouldn’t false claims of any type be grounds for a fraud complaint or removal from office?

I’m not going to defend Xavier Alvarez, who is a scumbag. But should we be making a federal case out of this? Should he be facing time in federal prison?

Shoot ‘Em Up

SCOTUS has been on a roll lately:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to let California regulate the sale or rental of violent video games to children, saying governments do not have the power to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” despite complaints about graphic violence.

On a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to throw out the state’s ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors’ rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed.

“No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion. “But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”

As Ed Morrissey points out, this may have implications far beyond video games. There is a huge segment of existing and proposed federal law restricting advertisements to children. If the state can not keep video games away from kids, how is it going to argue it can ban Tony the Tiger? (Yes, you read that right, that food grabbers want to ban Tony the fucking Tiger.)

I’m actually somewhat surprised at this since the Court has traditionally found that minors don’t have full Constitutional rights — hence their support for parental notification laws or locker searches in schools. They may have finally found a bridge they aren’t willing to cross.

As for violent video games … do I really need to say it? The evidence that violent video games affect kids, as Scalia noted, is suspect at best (Penn and Teller did a great episode on this). I personally would keep them away from kids until they’re a little older. But there I go again, taking my parenting responsibilities seriously rather than just foisting them off on the government.

Update: They really are on a roll. They also struck down Arizona’s campaign matching law — the one that says that if a political candidate is privately funded, the state will give his opponent matching funds. That’s shouldn’t have been a 5-4, really.