A recent letter provides university officials with excellent advice on free speech in connection with issues of Israel and Palestine. The bottom line is this: Political speech, regardless of its civility, is protected by the First Amendment.
Popular political speech needs no protection from the First Amendment -- it never has. It is unpopular political speech -- even downright lies -- which need defending by the courts. As ignoble and as impure as that may sound.
Why can't political ads be held to the same standard as investment prospectuses or ads for consumer products? In all of these cases, Americans are making important decisions and should be entitled to base their decisions on truthful information.
Most reasonable people can infer that Obama didn't actually mean that nobody built their own businesses. Quite sensibly, he meant that nobody on their own builds roads or bridges or schools.
But, as Republicans point out with undisguised schadenfreude: He didn't say that.
Never before have we had so many means to communicate; never before have we communicated less. We are caught up in this whirlwind of mindless blather, of incessant motion masquerading as action, and we desperately need some quiet.
Fred Phelps and his "church" are the ones who arrive at various places and events all across the country, waving hate-filled signs which convey his belief that God hates the US, homosexuals, the U.S. military, and dead American soldiers.