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Category: Culture

Libel Law-Pros and Cons Two libertarians debate whether libel laws are in line with the First Amendment

Do libel laws cause newspapers and publishers to kill stories that might land them in a libel suit, even if it can be defended in court? Court cases cost money and newspapers are businesses who want to make money. Same with book publishers. But what about our individual right for a reputation? Do we have a right to a reputation? Do we have an expectation that we can protect and defend our reputations? This debate happened in 1998, but is interesting to here the two libertarian sides of this coin. How might the pros and cons of libel law...

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The First Amendment as the Standard Bearer Part 1 in 4 part series: What is free speech?

The First Amendment as the Standard Bearer As a writer, I am dependent upon the freedom to convey my ideas, and I enjoy dialogue from those who disagree with me. So I’ve come to appreciate the depth and brevity of the American idea of free speech found in the First Amendment. 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. Religious Belief Our...

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Free Speech Series-Introduction What free speech is and what it is not.

Speech: Conveys thoughts and feelings; a style of speaking; the language of a nation, region, or group. Speech is an integral part of the progressive evolution of individuals, families, people groups, societies, and governments. A baby’s first words are an exciting milestone for parents marking the beginning of the end of the cry as baby’s primary form of communication. Every waking moment after that is spent teaching, guiding, and correcting a child’s speech to become more effective communicators. This soon evolves into learning to listen to and read speech from other people. The classical model of education is the...

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Should a business owner be able to refuse service? No shirt. No shoes. No service.

Does a lingerie store have the right to tell a breast-feeding mother to leave. Does a fashion designer have the right to make clothes that only fit “beautiful” people? Does a wedding photographer have the right to refuse to photograph a gay wedding ceremony? Does an ordained minister have the right to refuse to marry two people? These are all examples of real business owners refusing service to real people for what some may think are ridiculous reasons. And while we may agree or disagree with the individual decisions of these particular business owners (or even think that some of them are downright assholes – yes, I said it), can we really say that these people have a right to refuse to do business with whomever they choose? Doesn’t refusing to do business with people further perpetuate negative stigmas about those groups of people that are quite possibly undeserving? Should a business owner be able to refuse service? Before we answer this question we have to remember a few things. First, where do our rights come from? Rights are things that we don’t have to ask permission to do and they carry with the burden of responsibility. They are inherent in our own persons, by virtue of our humanity. They don’t come from other people. Our rights extend to our life and property. A business owner is a property...

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The Paradox of Public Servitude Councilor Chuck Wilkins' Only Honorable Option

On Wednesday evening, the Rio Rancho City Council censured Councilor Chuck Wilkins by a vote of 4-2 for failing to disclose his newly acquired property in Unit 10. Wilkins’ wife was obviously angry at me for calling her out in my most recent Observer column (continuing to scream as I said they were) and one of the most telling things about the evening was that the Tea Party couldn’t separate the issue of Wilkins’ act as a governing official from their existence as an (ostensibly) separate and uncompromised entity. Wilkins’ responded to the censure with an obviously off topic...

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