Earlier this month, civil liberties advocate and journalist Glenn Greenwald (along with Ryan Grimm of The Intercept) wrote an article warning about a bill before Congress with potentially dire consequences for free speech. If passed, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S.720, would make it illegal for Americans to engage in organized boycotts against the state of Israel. Participation in such activity could lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Unfortunately, the bill is very likely to pass. Continue Reading
Yesterday, a spokesperson for former Senator Jim Webb, a potential 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, attacked the Business Insider for its report Monday that Webb’s Political Action Committee (PAC) paid nearly $100,000 to Webb’s wife and daughter over the course of the past six years. Ashleigh Owens, who represents Webb’s Born Fighting PAC, accused the Business Insider of “[a]dding up numbers across several years [to create] a sensational headline.” The controversy marks the first for Webb since he became the first major candidate to open an exploratory committee last month.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, revealed through the Associated Press (AP) yesterday that he plans to announce by March whether to run for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Sanders, a self-identified Socialist who champions against income inequality, says he will make a “gut decision” about whether to run. Though often touted as a potential presidential candidate, Sanders has never made a run for the presidency. Continue Reading
After weeks of listening to the talking heads brainstorm how to combat ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), it became plainly obvious that no one had a clue. As they always do, the neo-cons beat the war drum, demanding “boots on the ground” to begin another Iraq War. President Obama laid out a plan to arm so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels; the same rebels fighting the Assad regime alongside ISIS. Seeing these extremes, I wondered what a sensible solution would entail. A cursory search online did not uncover anything substantive. The Libertarian Party’s official press release left much to be desired. Then, yesterday, a workable solution came to me out of the blue, after seeing an interview with an unlikely source: West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
The US government is inching closer to banning so-called hate speech. The Washington Free Beacon reports, the National Science Foundation (NSF), a federal agency, will spend nearly $1 million in taxpayer money to create an internet database targeting “false and misleading ideas,” “suspicious memes,” and “hate speech” on Twitter. Though the database will have no authority immediately, it reflects the federal government’s priority and foreshadows passage of a hate speech ban similar to the UK’s Public Order Act 1986.
On May 21, 49 members of the United States Senate signed on to a letter urging National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell to force the Washington Redskins to change their nickname. The letter attempted to circumvent Redskins majority owner Daniel Snyder, who has repeatedly affirmed he would “never” change the name. According to the Senators, “Redskins” is a racial slur for Native Americans. They argued the NFL should send the message that “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.” This, they say, is the message reflected in the NBA’s recent decision to ban Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling over the content of an illegally taped personal discussion with his girlfriend about racial association. All 49 Senators who signed on to the letter belong to the Democratic Party. Continue Reading