Liberty

When public officials try to silence criticism

It is human nature. People don’t like to be criticized. However, those who hold public office must accept criticism as part of holding office. We have the right (and the duty) to hold our officials accountable for respecting our rights and spending our tax dollars wisely. Usually, the way public officials try to hide from accountability is to persuade the legislature to frame sunshine laws as...

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Ballot issues can bring change

Some time ago, I wrote about civic activist Barry Klein, who helps fellow Texans set up ballot issues on community issues. Today, I received an e-mail from him reporting three victories from elections held May 9. In San Antonio voters approved a charter amendment that will require voter approval on any future urban rail proposal. In Arlington voters amended their city charter to ban red light...

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GOP: How about some constructive ideas?

Like him or hate him, there is one think you have to admit about Sen. Ted Cruz. You know exactly where he stands. Columnist Cal Thomas (no relation) aptly described it this way: What the establishment and the left really dislike about Cruz is that he paints in bold colors. You know where he stands, whether or not you agree with his positions. There is little chance Cruz will say one thing on...

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What are the limits on free speech?

Part 2 of 2 Last week, I wrote about the problems of using the law to limit free speech. There is another way to contain discussion within acceptable boundaries, which I will call social pressure. Social pressure is an informal agreement that certain subjects should be outside the range of open conversation. Like the law, social pressure can be abused; but our best hope of maintaining speech...

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What are the limits on free speech?

Part 1 of 2 What, exactly, is free speech, and what limits can we reasonably put on it? Readers of this space know that free speech is a frequent topic here. In past articles, we have looked at the right to put bumper stickers on a car, attempts by officials at the University of London and several U.S. universities to restrict speech (mostly to protect “political correctness”), the evident...

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