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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 15, 2012/ 23 Iyar, 5772

The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Six years ago Newt Gingrich said the nation needed to "look seriously at a level of supervision that we would never dream of if it weren't for the scale of the [terrorist] threat." America needed to "break up their capacity to use the Internet, break up their capacity to use free speech," he declared — recognizing that such efforts would require to "a serious debate about the First Amendment."

Gingrich's comments — made at, of all places, a free-speech awards banquet — provoked an uproar, and he soon tried to walk them back. But if the case of Tarek Mehanna is any guide, it appears he is finally getting his wish.

Mehanna — a U.S. citizen born in Pittsburgh — recently was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for providing material support for terrorism. Mehanna did not send al-Qaida lawyers, guns or money. He was indicted for engaging in criminal conspiracy by doing such things as "watching jihadi videos" and "[seeking] out online Internet links to tribute videos." Those acts "were not used by the government to demonstrate the intent or mental state behind some other crime," says Yale professor Andrew March, a defense witness who wrote about Mehanna's case. "They were the crime."

"It is not illegal to watch something on television," said one of Mehanna's prosecutors. "It is illegal, however, to watch something in order to cultivate your desire, your ideology." March notes that, as a professor of political science who specializes in Islamic law and war, he also looks at jihadist propaganda and debates the ethics of killing, just as Mehanna did. Their actions are identical; the only difference is their frame of mind. In short, Mehanna is going to prison for what he thought — not what he did.

Some might argue that if there ever were sufficient reason to make an exception to the First Amendment, terrorism is that reason. Lamentably, however, terrorism is only one of many reasons being offered for exception-making these days.

Consider bullying. No decent person is in favor of it, and in the wake of recent tragedies some school systems are seeking ways to curtail it. States across the country have instructed school systems to develop anti-bullying policies; some of those policies include "cyber-bullying" provisions that apply even to behavior outside of school. Last month three eighth-graders in Indiana got in trouble in late April for joking on Facebook — after school, and not on school computers — about (among other things) which of their classmates they would kill if they could. The exchange might have been mean, but it was not a genuine threat. Nevertheless, the girls were expelled.

Arizona has taken that sweeping approach two steps further. A few weeks ago the legislature passed a measure making it a crime for anyone — not just students — to use lewd or profane language to "terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend" anybody else. Pause to let that marinate a little. Especially the "annoy" part.

This is unconstitutional on its face. Yet similar problems bedevil federal legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which contains provisions that would outlaw anonymous online speech made "with intent to annoy" and make it a federal crime to use a computer in a manner that could "cause substantial emotional distress."

The bullying measures attempt to do at the primary- and secondary-school levels what campus speech codes have sought to do at universities across the country: protect people from unpleasantness. Yet like those speech codes — which have gone so far as to forbid violating a student's "right" to "respect for personal feelings" — they are exceptions so large they swallow the rule.

All of these efforts address genuine problems. But there are other issues where free speech falls prey to a pseudo-problem. The most salient now is the effort by states and the Occupy movement to roll back the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Lest anyone forget, that case asked whether that eponymous group could air a documentary about Hillary Clinton — i.e., whether two or more individuals could come together for the purpose of political expression during an election. The court said yes; its critics say no.

Those critics believe they are protecting something important — democracy — from something ugly: corruption. One would hope so. Nobody today advocates censorship as a desirable end in itself. There is always a reason.

Heywood Broun, a journalist of an earlier era, made the same point only better: "Everybody favors free speech," he said, "in the slack moments when no axes are being ground."


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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