free speech

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Free will, individual responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness: Fundamental tenets of, wait for it... Satanism. While the word conjures up images of fire and brimstone, the truth is a bit more complicated. So why does a religion which celebrates so much what Americans profess to hold dear get such a bad rap?

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET with a reaction from Hillary Clinton provided by her campaign.

In one of the most powerful moments at the Democratic National Convention, a Muslim father of a fallen U.S. soldier took the stage with his wife beside him and spoke directly to Donald Trump.

That father, Khizr Khan, condemned the Republican presidential nominee for proposing a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Paul Van Der Woof / Creative Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons follows the theory that people can't be trusted to take care of common property without degrading it or taking more than their fair share of resources. This idea was popularized by William Forster Lloyd, who published a pamphlet in 1833 using cow herders to prove that people couldn't be trusted to share our common resources wisely. He believed property should be owned privately.

While the dispute over cracking into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter is at the center of a legal case between Apple and the FBI, the company recently told a federal court that it has received — and resisted — similar orders to help unlock iPhones and an iPad in recent months.

When a federal judge ordered Apple earlier this week to unlock a phone used by one of the assailants in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., she cited a law from 1789. It could make you wonder if the nation's legal system is having a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of technological change. So, I asked a few legal experts if our old laws can apply to this particular situation.

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

President Obama backed a bill in Illinois last week that would automatically register people to vote when they apply for a driver's license or state ID.

"That will protect the fundamental right of everybody," he said. "Democrats, Republicans, independents, seniors, folks with disabilities, the men and women of our military — it would make sure that it was easier for them to vote and have their vote counted."

Connecticut Senate Republicans / Creative Commons

Advocates are urging Connecticut lawmakers not to allow the governor to move to a system of block grants to government agencies. They worry this new way of dealing with the budget might eliminate public hearings.

Mark Fischer / Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a landmark case that could potentially limit teachers’ unions from collecting fees from non-members. New Haven has joined an amicus brief filed in the case.

Helder Mira / Connecticut College

The national conversations about race and racism; police and African Americans; free speech on college campuses; “safe spaces” and hate speech and political correctness have all come together in very interesting and interlocked ways here in Connecticut recently.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

On Monday, the first police officer went to trial for the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Just a few days earlier, video was released of a white police officer in Chicago shooting a black man 16 times.

This hour, we talk about race and racism with three people including Hartford resident Gareth Weston, a black man whose own daughter thought he looked like a "bad guy" when wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. 

Erin Pettigrew / Creative Commons

Events this past week at Yale and the University of Missouri have sparked intense debate about the boundaries of free speech, and whether that debate is diverting the conversation away from a culture of racism at both schools that is not easily understood by those who don't live it.

Can we separate the fight against racism from the freedom to speak openly about it? Are we hurting students on the brink of adulthood if we protect them from exposure to the cruelties of life?

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Just days after the University of Missouri's chancellor and the system president resigned under pressure from students, another college leader is facing a crucial moment.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hundreds of Yale University students marched through campus on Monday afternoon against what they said is a hostile climate. 

The company that makes Legos has landed at the center of a social-media firestorm after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei complained that it refused to supply a bulk order of the toy bricks for his art.

Ai said he wanted to use the bricks for an exhibition on free speech at Australia's National Gallery of Victoria. The museum attempted to place an order but was told by the company that it "cannot approve the use of Legos for political works."

"We've been refused, and the reason is Lego will not support political art, which is very frustrating," Ai said in an interview with NPR.

www.law.uconn.edu

The Connecticut Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of a former employee at a UBS AG subsidiary who claimed he was fired in 2008 from his managing director job in violation of his free speech rights, after repeatedly warning that properties in the company's investment funds were overvalued by millions of dollars.

Kicking off a two-day trip to Ethiopia, President Obama called on the country to end its crackdown on journalists and to be more open politically.

Obama spoke Monday at a joint news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Dozens of students marched to their college president's home on Sunday after racist graffiti was found in several campus bathrooms.

The graffiti read, “no n------”, with the “n” word spelled out. Sources tell WNPR that the graffiti was found in several bathrooms and in different handwriting styles.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Classes are canceled at Connecticut College on Monday after racist graffiti was found in a bathroom Sunday.

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

The data breach that affected Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in February affected more than a million and a half current and past Connecticut members. Most recently, Anthem announced they’ll be sending letters to those whose data was possibly leaked, offering them two years of free credit monitoring. We'll get an update. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

It's an idea as old as free speech itself: where does one's right to speak freely end, and the public's right to safety begin? The community at Connecticut College in New London is in the middle of trying to figure that out. 

Chion Wolf

Our topics today involve censorship, transgression, and reconciliation. 

Earlier in the week, The Nose panelists started talking about China's "dancing grannies" problem. This sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but it's real. In China's public squares, droves of people --most of them women and most of them with a little snow on their roofs -- assemble and dance, in various styles, to various kinds of music. 

Controversial Painting Defaced In Trumbull

Mar 12, 2015
Courtesy of Trumbull Library

A controversial painting at the Trumbull Library in Trumbull, Connecticut was defaced on Wednesday. The incident occurred while the library board met to hear public debate over the issue in a nearby room.

Courtesy of Trumbull Library

   

A painting featuring prominent female activists has been removed from the Trumbull Public Library by the town’s First Selectman Tim Herbst after a local pastor raised a concern about using Mother Teresa’s image in a painting alongside Margaret Sanger, which some see as controversial. 

Sozialfotografie [►] StR / Flickr Creative Commons

Less than a week after the deadly shootings at the headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, political cartoonists in the U.S. are still processing what happened to their colleagues.

Two Connecticut-based cartoonists spoke on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show about reactions they get to their work. Matt Davies, staff cartoonist for Newsday, and Dan Perkins, syndicated cartoonist better known as Tom Tomorrow, called some of the feedback "nasty" and "frightening."

Aurelien Guichard / Creative Commons

Today on the Scramble, we talk to two cartoonists about the road ahead from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I'm still wrestling with some of my own questions about what this story means to the world of satire, which I consider vitally important to the health of the world.

Gerry Lauzon / Creative Commons

Even though riots broke out around the world after satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad were published in Denmark ten years ago, one expert says analysts were surprised that cartoons could still provoke a terrorist attack like the Paris massacre.

This much is certain: Charlie Hebdo will live another day.

The magazine, which was the target of a deadly attack Wednesday, will be kept going through financial and editorial backing from some of France's largest media groups.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The success of a society depends - at least in part - on the civility of its members. Mutual respect, openness to different viewpoints...civil conversation is what we try to promote here on our show. 

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