U.S. appeals court says ‘caveman diet’ blogger can speak

The Carolina Journal’s Sara Burrows reports that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed a trial judge’s decision to dismiss Charlotte-area “paleo diet” blogger Steve Cooksey’s free speech case.

The N.C. Board of Dietetics/Nutrition tried to censor Cooksey’s blog Diabetics Warrior because they alleged he was giving dietary advise without a license when he wrote about the diet of cavemen.

Read more at Carolina Journal Online.

Watch a video on the case by the Institute for Justice.

An outsiders view of Moral Mondays

The rounds of charges and counter-charges swirling around the Moral Monday demonstrations illustrate just how low political discourse in our state has fallen. It’s like children exchanging insults on a playground: “I know you are, but what am I.”

This farce is the inevitable result of a political system designed as a duopoly, with Democrats and Republicans taking turns being in charge, yet offering few differences between themselves.

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Anti-war group plans ‘enlightening’ civil engagement filing FOIA requests

The Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Repression is planning an “enlightening form of civil engagement” for April 27 — filling out Freedom of Information Act requests. They group wants to find out what information the government is collecting about its members. The event will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Durham Solidarity Center, 331 W Main St.

“We encourage activists and organizers to fill out FOIA requests,” said Kosta Harlan, a member of the committee. “We know the FBI has been spying on those of us who peacefully exercise our First Amendment rights to speak out against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. What we don’t know is the extent of the surveillance here in our community.”

A federal agent infiltrated the Minnesota Antiwar Committee and for two and a half years. While pretending to be an active member of the committee, the agent raised money, befriended members, and gave public speeches on behalf of the group. He also handed internal reports to the government that described plans to go on an international solidarity trip to Palestine.

“By collectively filing these FOIA requests, we are demonstrating that we are not afraid to defend our rights, and we will not be deterred from working for peace and justice,” Harlan said.

The committee is organizing this event to generate FOIA request to find out what level of scrutiny the movement in our parts is under. This collective action is part of a larger efforts to find out where the FBI has been collecting information.

The committee believes it is critical to let the FBI and the federal government know that people are paying attention. Representatives from the National Lawyers Guild will be on hand to guide people through the process.

For more information, contact the Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Repression at ncstopfbi@gmail.com or go to their website.

Cost of freedom means tolerating opinions we despise

Students who were offended at some slogan painted on the NC State’s so called “Freedom Tunnel” exercised their own right to free speech and painted over the slogan. They then wrote, “Freedom of speech. At what cost?” Apparently the answer to that questions is not taught at NC State.

In case any NCSU student is interested, the answer is that the cost of freedom is a willingness to not only let people express opinions you abhor and detest, but to defend that right. As Noam Chomsky puts it, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, than we don’t believe in it at all.”

One NC State alumni does understand the answer. Stef Watson wrote in her blog GoLiberty.net that she had hoped her alma mater would be open-minded enough to resist unreasonable bigotry but was disappointed by the response from the students and the school administration.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re opinion, if you show open intolerance to someone of a different opinion, that’s bigotry,” she said. “The artist may be a bigot, but the artist isn’t trying to take away the rights of other students through his expression. The protesters are the ones taking their bigotry too far by assuming that the artist should not have a right to this type of expression.”

Read more at GoLiberty.net.