Safety issues

Want to join the [political] fight against terrorism?

American organizations dedicated to fighting terrorism tend to bathe in strongly pro-Israeli or anti-Islamic rhetoric. Having had several personal friends who are Muslim, I firmly oppose any effort to marginalize Muslims in American society. The best way for non-Muslims to fight terrorism is to actively support our secular Constitutional form of government, seek friendship and understanding with...

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What was the perpetrator thinking?

In the wake of Charleston: part 1 of 4 This week and next, we will take a look at the aftermath of the Charleston shootings in a four-part series. Readers will receive an extra e-mail this Tuesday and next. Today’s topic is on the psychology of hate crime. Future posts will look at what racism means, the call for gun controls that frequently follow mass shootings, and the Confederate flag. Why...

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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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How to respect our veterans

Today is Veterans’ Day, when we honor those who have served in the armed forces and their sacrifice of time, body, and sometimes life for principles we all hold dear. I confess that I have mixed feelings about the military. While I generally avoid using A Bit Political to state my political opinions, it might be helpful to share with you my struggle. It centers around two concerns: Do we really...

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What price free speech?

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of the people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Fourteenth Amendment extended those guarantees to the actions of state and local governments. However, the message sometimes gets muddled, especially at the local level. For example, Robert Small, a parent of two children attending the public...

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