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Category Archives: Freedom of Expression

The Supreme Court, on Nipples <— Dave Barry


Woman protesting with nipple-shaped pasties.

I think we can all agree that this is very important.

We need our highest judicial body to stop this childish bickering and get back to debating the kinds of weighty constitutional issues that have absorbed the court in recent years, such as whether a city can legally force an exotic dancer to cover her entire nipple, or just the part that pokes out.

Dave Barry, Dave Barry is Not Making This Up

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Freedom of Expression, Humor, Politics

 

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Information Must be Free <— Thomas Jefferson


“He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.

Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

— Thomas JeffersonLetter to Isaac McPherson (1813)

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in economic, Freedom of Expression, Politics

 

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To Silence Dangerous Ideas <– Thomas Jefferson


“I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

Thomas JeffersonFirst Inaugural Address (1801)

 
 

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I’ll Defend, to the Death, Your Right <– Evelyn Beatrice Hall


Evelyn Beatrice Hall was paraphrasing Voltaire's mindset, not quoting him. The closest he ever came was "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too", in Essay on Tolerance

What a fuss about an omelette!‘ he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that!

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now.

— Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in The Friends of Voltaire, summarizing Voltaire’s defense of a censored book (1906)

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Freedom of Expression, Philosophy, Politics

 

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Liberty, not Hypocrisy <– Noam Chomsky


Censorship, like all other oppression, is always imposed with the excuse that its victims are obviously wrong, bad, unhealthy, or foolish

 

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

Noam Chomsky, Guardian (UK), November 23, 1992


 

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Dissent is Patriotic <– Mark Twain


It doesn't matter which party is in control, or whether they are "authorities"; if they are wrong, it would be treason not to openly oppose them

The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth’s political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal, he is a traitor.

That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him: it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does.

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)

 
 

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