Tag Archives: free speech

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, left, takes a tour of a drilling rig near Williston Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Photo provided by Bakken Backers

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want to Be Your Speech Police

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want to Be Your Speech Police

Sometimes the most critical moments in history happen not when a person does something, but when they refuse to do something. Mark Zuckerberg telling us he does not want to be the world’s speech police is not precisely George Washington refusing to become a king, but it’s close. Zuckerberg is an immensely powerful person standing

Rep. Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, announces his candidacy for North Dakota secretary of state at a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, at Abovo Events, 218 Broadway, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Democratic Lawmaker Suggests New Ethics Commission Could Regulate Speech of Elected Officials

Politicians say stupid things. That’s not exactly breaking news. Sometimes the stupid things they say rise to the level of being offensive. What’s to be done about it? That’s a question Bismarck Tribune reporter Jack Dura asks with a recent article about some North Dakota politicians who write stupid things on social media. What’s interesting is

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 11, 2019. (Sarah Silbiger/Copyright 2019 The New York Times)

Plain Talk: Trump Says So-Called “Fake News” Is “Dangerous” and “Not Free Speech” but He’s Absolutely Wrong

“I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech either, because it’s so crooked, it’s so dishonest. So to me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad, to me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it,” President Donald Trump said at the recent

Fargo police officers and firefighters packed the Fargo City Hall Monday night, May 20, to listen to a debate over increases for the employees of the two departments. Barry Amundson / The Forum

Cops Wearing Their Taxpayer-Issued Uniforms for Political Purposes Is Not Protected Speech

Earlier this week I was critical of members of the Fargo Police Department for showing up en masse, and in uniform, to a meeting of the Fargo City Commission at which a pay raise for the cops was being decided. Today Waylon Hedegaard, head of the North Dakota chapter of the AFL-CIO, accuses me wanting to suppress

Plain Talk: Jussie Smollett and Privilege, Plus North Dakota’s New Law Holding Anti-Pipeline Zealots Accountable

On today’s Plain Talk, Jussie Smollett got away with something in Chicago. What does that mean for our notions about privilege in America? Also, state Senator Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg) talks about her bill, now sitting on Governor Doug Burgum’s desk, which aims to hold political zealots who vandalize or impede critical infrastructure like pipelines accountable.

Protest organizer Kristen Kelsch hold a sign and chants across the street from the State Capitol in Bismarck during a demonstration against the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. Bismarck Tribune photo

Holding Political Extremists Accountable for Violence and Vandalism Is Not an Effort to “Chill Speech”

The ACLU opposes SB2044, a bill which clarifies law around tampering with critical infrastructure like power plants or pipelines and ups the penalties for doing so, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. According to the organization the bill is an assault on protected speech. They said, on the occasion of

Ben Tucker, who farms near St. Thomas, N.D., is one of many private citizens who bring ideas to the Legislature and seek help from lawmakers and Legislative Council staff to guide them through the legislative process. Diane Newberry / North Dakota Newspaper Association

This Is the Sort of Citizen Activist Measure 1 Will Hurt

Over the weekend reporter Diane Newberry from the North Dakota Newspaper Association had a very interesting report about citizen-driven politics at the state Legislature, focusing on an activist named Ben Tucker who has been working on the expansion of Medicaid benefits. Tucker is from St. Thomas, and his lobbying activities at the Legislature are backed

Speaker of the House Rep. Lawrence Klemin, R-Bismarck Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Ordering Study Into Whether It’s “Necessary” or “Desirable” to Implement Ethics Ballot Measure

“Measure 1 is actually so poorly written that it would institute a host of new restrictions and regulations on political speech and advocacy that would violate the First Amendment rights of all citizens.” That’s what the ACLU said about the “ethics” ballot measure last year, before voters approved it at the ballot box. Those sort

Were the Covington Boys Asking for It?

Yesterday during my weekly appearance on the Jay Thomas Show on WDAY AM970 we discussed the controversy of those Covington High School students who attend the March for Life in Washington D.C. and ended up being accused of harassing and intimidating a Native American activist. Only upon closer scrutiny, which few journalists waited for, it

Valve Turner Michael Foster

ACLU Calls North Dakota Bill Targeting Meddling With “Critical Infrastructure” Unconstitutional

Back in 2016, during the heights of the #NoDAPL protests against the Dakota Access Pipelines, a group of left wing activists calling themselves “valve turners” broke into pipeline facilities and, well, turned some valves. One of the valves turned was in North Dakota, along TransCanda’s Keystone line. This was a spectacularly stupid thing to do.

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