News Services

News Services

We regulate slander. Why not hate speech?

As a sociologist and legal scholar, I struggle to explain the boundaries of free speech to undergraduates. Despite the First Amendment – I tell my students – local, state, and federal laws limit all kinds of speech. We regulate advertising, obscenity, slander, libel, and inciting lawless action to name just a few. My students nod along until we get to racist and sexist speech. Some can't grasp why, if we restrict so many forms of speech, we don't also restrict hate speech. Why, for example, did the Supreme Court on Monday rule that the trademark office cannot reject "disparaging" applications – like a request from an Oregon band to trademark "the Slants" as in Asian "slant eyes."

News Services

Ten years later, the iPhone owns us

Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in January, 2007, before an adoring congregation, in his signature "Sermon on the Mount" style. On June 29, it became available to the public. Ten years later, the phone has spread like Christianity. The device represents "the pinnacle product of all capitalism," as Brian Merchant argues in his new book, "The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone." Merchant calls the adoption of the iPhone a "rapid, civilization-scale transformation."

Videos

Government shutdown looms: Views from Olympia

Washington State lawmakers, state workers and social service agencies are all keeping a close eye on the Washington Legislature's third special session to reach an agreement on a budget and avoid a partial government shutdown.
Tony Overman toverman@theolympian.com
Government shutdown looms: Views from Olympia 1:49

Government shutdown looms: Views from Olympia

This couple's dream home used to be a meth lab 2:12

This couple's dream home used to be a meth lab

Bullying target fights back with Facebook video 2:47

Bullying target fights back with Facebook video

How do customers feel about the Northwood Casino closing? 1:24

How do customers feel about the Northwood Casino closing?