Some people spend hours a day on Facebook; others have never seen it and actively avoid it. Some people have strongly partisan views, one way or another, which may color their view of Facebook. In my view, it doesn’t matter whether or not you “like” Facebook, or whether you are red or blue or any […]
You can shield yourself from ideas that make you uncomfortable or that you disagree with. You may be able, to some extent, to limit the exposure that the young people in your care have to those ideas. But you cannot shield your community from the things you disagree with. That’s called censorship, and in any practical […]
That’s what school officials in Duluth, Minnesota (and a few other places, unfortunately) would have you believe. The school system in Duluth is the latest to remove To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the required reading list for ninth graders. The reason they give: the language used in these books […]
Another painting giveaway; Amazon gift cards; Pliny the Younger, Rome’s great eyewitness reporter; newsletter, Feb. 2, 2018
This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,222) on Friday, February 2, 2018. Hi, I watched a super moon, a blood moon, and a lunar eclipse this week. Not as spectacular as the solar eclipse we saw last summer but still pretty phenomenal. Nature has its moments — many of them, in fact, if we would […]
J.K. Rowling has a point of view: Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable. Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures. Just a moment. I find almost […]
The suffrage ladies may not be done with me. Those were the women who, between 1910 and 1920, affected the most profound change in the make-up of the electorate in the history of the Republic. In 2013, Seeing Suffrage was published by the University of Tennessee Press. The book was about the 1913 Washington suffrage […]
The nation seems to be in a state of perpetual war, and during times of crisis, individual freedoms are always in danger. Professor Dwight Teeter of the University of Tennessee discusses the state and strength of First Amendment freedoms today.
University of Tennessee professor Dwight Teeter discusses the case of Luther Baldwin, a New Jersey man who was prosecuted under the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Baldwin became a symbol of Federalist intolerance during the 1800 presidential election. This video is part of the Tennessee Journalism Series and was produced and edited by Jim […]
In this two-and-a-half minute video, Dr. Dwight Teeter explains some of the political maneuvering that occurred to get the an amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech into the hotly-debated Constitution in the late 1780s. The freedoms protected by the amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — were not foremost in the minds of the […]
The First Amendment is one of the most important legal and social documents in American history. Its meaning remains the center of much controversy, debate and litigation even after 200 years.
We have seen an erosion of freedom of speech and the press in the last few years, so it might be good to remind ourselves of what one of the Founding Fathers had to say about it. James Madison: • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise […]
Two poems by Robert Louis Stevenson
In this week’s newsletter
Read about the new book Ole Bert: Sage of the Smokies that Jim has just edited and produced for the Blount County Public Library.
Point Spread on Amazon
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