Did You Like This Facebook Page? Government Seeks Info on DisruptJ20 Activity

Although the page is public, the warrant would require the disclosure of non-public lists of people who planned to attend political organizing events and even the names of people who simply liked, followed, reacted to, commented on, or otherwise engaged with the content on the Facebook page.


Overbroad Search Warrant Implicates Private Pages of Two Local Activists and First Amendment Rights of Thousands of Facebook Users


September 28, 2017, WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia (ACLU-DC) went to court today to block the enforcement of search warrants targeting three Facebook accounts as part of the government’s investigation and prosecution of activists arrested on Inauguration Day 2017 in Washington D.C.

Two of the warrants would require Facebook to disclose to the government all information from the personal Facebook profiles of local DisruptJ20 activists Lacy MacAuley and Legba Carrefour from November 1, 2016 through February 9, 2017. Although the warrants claim to seek only evidence in support of the government’s prosecutions of January 20 demonstrations, they demand—among other things—all private messages, friend lists, status updates, comments, photos, video, and other private information solely intended for the users’ Facebook friends and family, even if they have nothing to do with Inauguration Day. The warrants also seek information about actions taken on Facebook, including all searches performed by the users, groups or networks joined, and all “data and information that has been deleted by the user.”

The third search warrant was issued for the “DisruptJ20” Facebook page (now called “Resist This”), administered and moderated by Emmelia Talarico. Although the page is public, the warrant would require the disclosure of non-public lists of people who planned to attend political organizing events and even the names of people who simply liked, followed, reacted to, commented on, or otherwise engaged with the content on the Facebook page. During the three-month span the search warrant covers, approximately 6,000 Facebook users liked the page.

The ACLU-DC filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the Facebook users whose accounts are targeted, and a motion to quash or modify the search warrants, arguing that the warrants are overbroad under the Fourth Amendment (which protects personal privacy) and are particularly problematic because the lawful political associations and activities of the users and thousands of third parties will be revealed. The ACLU filing asks the court either to void the warrants outright or to appoint a “special master” who is not part of the prosecutor’s office, to review the Facebook information before providing to the prosecutor only the material—if there is any—relevant to their criminal prosecutions.

“Opening up the entire contents of a personal Facebook page for review by the government is a gross invasion of privacy,” said Scott Michelman, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU-DC.  “The primary purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to prevent this type of exploratory rummaging through a person’s private information. Moreover, when law enforcement officers can comb through records concerning political organizing in opposition to the very administration for which those officers work, the result is the chilling of First Amendment-protected political activity.”

None of the ACLU-DC’s clients in today’s filing has been charged by the U.S. Attorney with any Inauguration Day-related crimes.

The public first learned of this case when Facebook revealed it had received the warrants and challenged a gag order attached to the warrants that prevented the company from notifying its customers that their information was sought by federal law enforcement. Public interest groups including the ACLU, ACLU-DC, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Citizen, as well as internet companies including Google, Apple, and Microsoft, filed friend-of-the-court briefs arguing that the gag order should be lifted so the Facebook users could challenge the constitutionality of the search warrants under the First and Fourth Amendments. On the eve of the hearing on the gag order before the D.C. Court of Appeals, the government abruptly withdrew the order. Facebook then notified MacAuley, Carrefour, and Talarico of the warrants and the threats to their privacy.

“My Facebook page contains the most private aspects of my life—and also a frightening amount of information on the people in my life. There are intimate details of my love life, family, and things the federal government just doesn’t need to see,” said MacAuley, one of the ACLU-DC clients challenging the enforcement of the warrants. “Jeff Sessions doesn’t need to see my family photos.”

“This is part of a pattern of prosecutorial overreach in the repression of Inauguration Day protestors,” said Carrefour. “This warrant is more than just a violation of privacy. It is a direct attack on D.C.’s grassroots organizing community,” said Talarico. “In a city rife with inequities and injustices, the deck is already stacked against us. This overreaching warrant would strike a devastating blow to organizers working every day to make this city a better place.”

This is second known attempt by the government to conduct unlawful dragnet searches of the internet and social media in search of evidence against activists arrested on Inauguration Day. In a similar case of government overreach, the government had issued a warrant to website hosting provider Dreamhost for the IP addresses of the 1.3 million people who ever visited the DisruptJ20.org website. Dreamhost, supported by several amici and intervenors, challenged the scope of the warrant and went public with the government’s overbroad request. Amidst public outcry, the government asked the D.C. Superior Court to narrow the time frame of the warrant and eliminate the request for IP addresses. The court agreed and went further by demanding strict safeguards for privacy before the warrant may be executed. The government is now litigating the scope of these additional protections.

Today’s motions to intervene and to quash were filed in D.C. Superior Court. The case is formally titled In the Matter of the Search of Information Associated with Facebook Accounts disruptj20, lacymacauley, and legba.carrefour That Is Stored at Premises Controlled by Facebook, Inc.

Legal documents can be found at:


CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER features Tom Hanks, John Mayer, Sam Shepard

CALIFORNIA TYPEWRITER is a documentary portrait of artists, writers, and collectors who remain steadfastly loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, featuring Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough, Sam Shepard and others.

It also movingly documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing repair shops in America dedicated to keeping the aging machines clicking.

In the process, the film delivers a thought-provoking meditation on the changing dynamic between humans and machines, and encourages us to consider our own relationship with technology, old and new, as the digital age’s emphasis on speed and convenience redefines who’s serving whom, human or machine?

Film credits:


Directed, Photographed & Edited by DOUG NICHOL







Tom Hanks




John Mayer





Sam Shepard



For screening information:



Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda per school librarian

School Librarian in Connecticut refuses gift of books sent by First Lady Melania Trump. Read why here:



Dear Mrs. Trump

Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special. It truly is. Our beautiful and diverse student body is made up of children from all over the world; from different socioeconomic statuses; with a spectrum of gender expressions and identities; with a range of abilities; and of varied racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

According to the White House website, you selected one school per state by “working with the Department of Education to identify schools with programs that have achieved high standards of excellence, recognized by State and National awards and Blue Ribbon Awards…” Each of those carefully vetted schools received ten books: Seuss-isms!; Because a Little Bug Went KaChoo; What Pet Should I Get?; The Cat in the Hat; I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; The Foot Book; Wacky Wednesday; Green Eggs and Ham; and Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.

My students were interested in reading your enclosed letter and impressed with the beautiful bookplates with your name and the indelible White House stamp, however, we will not be keeping the titles for our collection. I’d like to respectfully offer my explanation.

* * * * *

My school and my library are indeed award-winning. I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to “excellence.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an amazing city with robust social programming, a responsive city government, free all-day kindergarten, and well-paid teachers (relatively speaking — many of us can’t afford to live in the city in which we teach). My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science. Multiple studies show that schools with professionally staffed libraries improve student performance. The American Association of School Librarians has a great infographic on these findings. Many schools around the state and country can’t compete.

Yearly per-pupil spending in Cambridge is well over $20,000; our city’s values are such that given a HUGE range in the socioeconomic status of our residents, we believe that each and every child deserves the best free education possible and are working hard to make that a reality (most classrooms maintain a 60/40 split between free/reduced lunch and paid lunch). This offers our Title I school and the district a lot of privilege and room for programming and pedagogy to foster “high standards of excellence.” Even so, we still struggle to close the achievement gap, retain teachers of color, and dismantle the systemic white supremacy in our institution. But hell, we test well! And in the end, it appears that data — and not children — are what matters.

Meanwhile, school libraries around the country are being shuttered. Cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit are suffering through expansion, privatization, and school “choice” with no interest in outcomes of children, their families, their teachers, and their schools. Are those kids any less deserving of books simply because of circumstances beyond their control? Why not go out of your way to gift books to underfunded and underprivileged communities that continue to be marginalized and maligned by policies put in place by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos? Why not reflect on those “high standards of excellence” beyond only what the numbers suggest? Secretary DeVos would do well to scaffold and lift schools instead of punishing them with closures and slashed budgets.

* * * * *

So, my school doesn’t have a NEED for these books. And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.

Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes. Open one of his books (If I Ran a Zoo or And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example), and you’ll see the racist mockery in his art. Grace Hwang Lynch’s School Library Journal article, “Is the Cat in the Hat Racist? Read Across America Shifts Away from Dr. Seuss and Toward Diverse Books,” reports on Katie Ishizuka’s work analyzing the minstrel characteristics and trope nature of Seuss’s characters. Scholar Philip Nel’s new book, Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books, further explores and shines a spotlight on the systemic racism and oppression in education and literature.

I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out. Books can be a powerful way to learn about and experience the world around us; they help build empathy and understanding. In return, I’m attaching a list of ten books (it’s the librarian in me) that I hope will offer you a window into the lives of the many children affected by the policies of your husband’s administration. You and your husband have a direct impact on these children’s lives. Please make time to learn about and value them. I hope you share these books with your family and with kids around the country. And I encourage you to reach out to your local librarian for more recommendations.


Liz Phipps Soeiro

School Librarian

Cambridge, MA


In 2016, a Presidential Proclamation made by Barack Obama, gave high praise to Dr. Suess. Obama often spoke highly of Dr. Suess’s The Sneetches as a moral lesson on how we are all the same.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

From a child’s first foray into the depths of a story to an adult’s escape into a world of words, reading plays an integral role in our lives. Works of fiction and non-fiction alike pique interest and inspiration and shape our understanding of each other and ourselves, teaching us lessons in kindness and humility, responsibility and respect. The moment we persuade a child to pick up a book for the first time we change their lives forever for the better, and on Read Across America Day, we recommit to getting literary works into our young peoples’ hands early and often.

March 2 is also the birthday of one of America’s revered wordsmiths. Theodor Seuss Geisel—or Dr. Seuss—used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear. Through a prolific collection of stories, he made children see that reading is fun, and in the process, he emphasized respect for all; pushed us to accept ourselves for who we are; challenged preconceived notions and encouraged trying new things; and by example, taught us that we are limited by nothing but the range of our aspirations and the vibrancy of our imaginations. And for older lovers of literature, he reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously, creating wacky and wild characters and envisioning creative and colorful places.

Books reveal unexplored universes and stimulate curiosity, and in underserved communities, they play a particularly important role in prompting inquisition and encouraging ambition. Last month, the First Lady announced the launch of Open eBooks, a new project that will unlock a world of learning and possibility for millions of American children and provide over $250 million worth of reading material to students who need it most. As we work to get every child engrossed in literature, we honor the many people who devote their lives and careers to carrying forward this important cause—including our librarians, educators, and parents. We can all get lost in a good read, and we owe it to rising learners to give them the chance to experience that same enjoyment and fulfillment.

Today, and every day, let us celebrate the power of reading by promoting literacy and supporting new opportunities for students to plunge into the pages of a book. As Dr. Seuss noted, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Together, we can help all children go plenty of places along their unending journey for knowledge and ensure everyone can find joy and satisfaction in the wonders of the written word.

Now, Therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2, 2016, as Read Across America Day. I call upon children, families, educators, librarians, public officials, and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.



North Korea Rhetoric Continues Unabated


Workers Will Deal Sledge-Hammer Blow at War Maniacs

Date: 27/09/2017 | Source: KCNA.kp (En) | Pyongyang, September 26 (KCNA)

For the sake of independent life of the workers all over the world, such unpopular society like the U.S. which is getting corpulent at the cost of bloodshed by the billions of peoples has to disappear from the earth and such popular country as the DPRK has to prosper for eternity.

We, the Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il working class, will turn out in the do-or-die battle with the U.S. in hearty response to the call of the respected Supreme Leader and force with the dignity and honor of Juche Korea the old deranged man to pay a dear price and bring about the final victory without fail.

Agricultural Workers Will Mete out Merciless Punishment to Provocateurs

Date: 27/09/2017 | Source: KCNA.kp (En) | Pyongyang, September 26 (KCNA)

Noting that the reckless remarks of the old lunatic Trump to “totally destroy” the DPRK and the whole Korean nation are the thrice-cursed provocative crime, the statement went on:

Trump is a worm less than animals raised by farmers and a poisonous mushroom less than weed in paddy and non-paddy fields.

The Yankees are going hysterical, frightened by the thunder of Juche bomb declaring the last end of the U.S. imperialism. Our agricultural workers regard them as puppets only in paddy and non-paddy fields.

Moral Dilemmas: How Do We Know What’s Right?

California State University Fullerton alumnus Michael Shermer will join CSUF faculty members Ryan Nichols, associate professor of philosophy, and Douglas Navarick, professor of psychology, Oct. 19, 2017 on campus to discuss science’s role in solving moral dilemmas.

Can science provide the moral answers to such issues as abortion, euthanasia and organ donation — without the guidance of religious ideology or philosophy? Cal State Fullerton alumnus Michael Shermer ’78 (M.A. psychology) returns to his alma mater to present his case.

Shermer is the author of The Moral Arc and nearly a dozen other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, editor of Skeptic.com, a columnist for Scientific American and the recipient of CSUF’s 2002 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Moral Arc by Michael Shermer

The free, public event, titled “Solving Moral Dilemmas: How Do We Know What’s Right?” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Titan Student Union’s Titan Theater. Joining Shermer for the discussion are Douglas Navarick, professor of psychology, and Ryan Nichols, associate professor of philosophy.

The event is hosted by CSUF’s chapter of the Psi Chi international honor society in psychology and will be moderated by Jesse Dollemore and Brittany Page, co-hosts of the “I Doubt It With Dollemore” podcast. Visit dollemore.com/events for more information and to RSVP.

This event will be recorded and availaable on the I Doubt It With Dollemore Podcast 1-2 weeks after the live event.


Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: A Must Visit Website

“Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment or satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, just a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism into public schools. These people are mistaken — The Church of FSM is legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental.”


About the Church:

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, after having existed in secrecy for hundreds of years, came into the mainstream just a few years ago.

With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshipers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents – mostly fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs.

Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment or satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, just a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism into public schools. These people are mistaken — The Church of FSM is legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental.

Sounds great but where do I start?

For a taste of what we’re about, watch this video made by our friend Matt Tillman, an Introduction to Pastafarianism: Spaghetti, Wenches & Metaphysics.

What is this business about pirates, and the Beer Volcano, and Stripper Factory?

Religious texts tell us that humans evolved from Pirates. Consider that so-called “science experts” would have us believe humans evolved from primates, pointing towards the shared 99% shared DNA between humans and primates. But humans and Pirates share upwards of 99.9% of DNA.

We believe that Pirates were the original Pastafarians and that they were peaceful explorers. It was only due to Christian misinformation that they have an image of outcast criminals today.

No one knows what the afterlife really holds, but we are told FSM Heaven has a Beer Volcano and Stripper Factory.

How Do I Join?

There is no formal membership process and we do not collect money from our members. The site is supported purely by our Certificates of Ordination.

Must see: Follow link here for printables/flyers/brochures:

Propaganda Materials

Courtesy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Courtesy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster


Courtesy Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Website offers an faq section (Well worth reading), a blog, church-related news, fan photos and art, hate mail, and much more. it is both intelligently written and lots of fun.



Ben Shapiro Speech in Utah Sparks Protests

“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Ben Shapiro

Best-selling author, journalist and media personality Ben Shapiro will speak at University of Utah September 27, 2017. Counter protests are planned led by Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Utah, Black Lives Matter – Salt Lake City and University of Utah Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán (MECHA). The Salt Lake City Tribune published, “Letter: Why we intend to shut down Ben Shapiro,” available here:


So what exactly is Ben Shapiro doing or saying TO OUTRAGE SOME STUDENTS?

Ben Shapiro is a conservative promoting traditional values. Shapiro advocates for capitalism, traditional marriage (man and woman), intact family units (two-parent households) and morality derived from religion (unless it’s Islam–more about that below).

Shapiro is a prolific author. His conservatism is reflected in some of his more popular titles:

Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (2004).

Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future (2005).

Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (2013).

How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument (2014)

In Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, Shapiro writes:

“At my own beloved UCLA the numbers are just as frightening. There are thirty-one English professors with registered party affiliation. Twenty-nine of them are affiliated with the Democratic party, the Green party, or another leftist political party. Out of thirteen journalism professors with registered affiliation, twelve are affiliated with leftist parties. Fifty-three out of fifty-six history professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Sixteen out of seventeen political science professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Thirty-one of thirty-three women’s studies professors are affiliated with leftist parties.”

In Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future, Shapiro says:

“Never in our country’s history has a generation been so empowered, so wealthy, so privileged—and yet so empty.”

But where Shapiro really goes hard on college students is in his book How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument:

“College students’ sense of moral righteousness doesn’t come from achievement – it comes from believing that you are a bad person. You are a racist and sexist; they are not. That makes them good, even if they don’t give charity, have never met a black person, stand for policies that impoverish minority communities across the United States, and enable America-haters around the globe.”

And this, also from How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them:

“The leftist bullies have taken over the major institutions of the United States. The university system has been monopolized by a group of folks who believe that it’s no longer worthwhile debating the evidence on tax rates, or whether the Laffer curve is right, or whether Keynesian policies actually promote economic growth. They don’t want to debate those issues. What they want to teach instead is that is you are personally ignorant, bigoted, corrupt, and mean if you disagree with them. Their opinions are not opinions; they are fact. This is the hallmark of being stuck inside a bubble. The people who occupy the professoriate have not had to work a real job – a job with real-world consequences — in over 30 years. They’ve lived on a campus where everyone agrees with them, convincing them that their beliefs are universally-held. Anyone who disagrees is a “flat earther.” Anyone who disagrees is a monster. You are a monster.”

In 2014, Shapiro ruffled feathers when he published this video titled, “The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority is Just That.”

And then, in 2015, Shapiro got in heated debate with transgender journalist Zoey Tur, after which Shapiro filed a police report.

So that’s Ben Shapiro and as Ben Shapiro says, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Controversial Speakers & Protesters on Campus

Photo Credit: Chris Meiamed

“Protesters should not be permitted to shut down or shout down the speech, preventing others from hearing the speaker.”



  • Once a body has decided to extend an invitation to a campus speaker, the choice to withdraw it must meet far more stringent criteria.
  • Except in the most extreme cases, concerns over threats of violence or the potential outbreak of violence should not be grounds for canceling a controversial speech or event.
  • That a campus event may be colored by protests should also not be a factor in a decision to withdraw an invitation.
  • When a speaking invitation sparks protests, those who object and wish to protest should have an opportunity to make themselves heard.
  • Protesters should not be permitted to shut down or shout down the speech, preventing others from hearing the speaker.

Addressing concerns that recent campus controversies may lead a rising generation to grow alienated from core American values of free speech, PEN America released the “PEN America Principles on Campus Speech” to help guide university students, faculty, and administrators to advance inclusion and equality while safeguarding intellectual and academic freedom.

The Principles were released as part of the groundbreaking investigative report titled And Campus for All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Speech at U.S. Universities, which examines the future of free speech in American higher education. While declaring that there is no current crisis for free speech on campus, the report notes, “Free speech advocates face an urgent task to articulate how unfettered expression can be reconciled with acute demands for greater equality and inclusion, and, indeed, how such freedoms are essential to the realization of these goals.”

The full report is available here:


About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Founded in 1922, PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. Our strength is in our membership—a nationwide community of more than 4,000 novelists, journalists, poets, essayists, playwrights, editors, publishers, translators, agents, and other writing professionals. For more information, visit pen.org.


Speech Code: What does it mean and is it legal at American Universities?

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) defines a “speech code” as any university regulation or policy that prohibits expression that would be protected by the First Amendment in society at large. Any policy—such as a harassment policy, a protest and demonstration policy, or an IT acceptable use policy—can be a speech code if it prohibits protected speech or expression.

Many speech codes impermissibly prohibit speech on the basis of content and/or viewpoint. An example of this type of policy would be a ban on “offensive language” or “disparaging remarks.” Other speech codes are content-neutral but excessively regulate the time, place, and manner of speech. A policy of this type might limit protests and demonstrations to one or two “free speech zones” on campus and/or require students to obtain permission in advance in order to demonstrate on campus.

If universities applied these rules to the letter, major voices of public criticism, satire, and commentary would be silenced on American campuses, and some of our greatest authors, artists, and filmmakers would be banned. These codes also lead students to believe they have an absolute right to be free from offense, embarrassment, or discomfort. As a result, other students begin the compromise of self-censorship.

These attitudes stay with students long after graduation. If students on our nation’s campuses learn that jokes, remarks, and visual displays that “offend” someone may rightly be banned, they will not find it odd or dangerous when the government itself seeks to censor and to demand moral conformity in the expression of its citizens. A nation that does not educate in freedom will not survive in freedom, and will not even know when it has lost it. It is to prevent this unspeakable loss of freedom that FIRE has created FIRE’s Spotlight Database.

The Spotlight Speech Codes Database is searchable by school name or state. Every year, FIRE reads through the rules governing student speech at more than 400 of our nation’s biggest and most prestigious universities to document the institutions that ignore students’ rights—or don’t tell the truth about how they’ve taken them away. FIRE’s Spotlight database will tell you if your school is one of them.


To read the most recent published report on Speech Codes:

Spotlight on Speech Codes 2017: Full Report



Fake News: How​ ​Can​ ​We​ ​Know​ ​What’s​ ​True?

Skeptic Magazine Marks​ ​25th​ ​Anniversary​ ​with​ ​Live​ ​Science​ ​Variety​ ​Show

When: September 27, 2017, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Broadcast on The Young​ ​Turks​ ​Network​; Limited tickets available for live show: 75 Ninth Ave., New York, NY. 

Dr. Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine, will mark 25 years of combating ‘fake news’ with ‘HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT’S TRUE?’, a live variety science show, in partnership with YouTube Space NY.

Celebrity creators and public intellectuals are slated to debate Dr. Shermer on a range of issues such as climate change, vaccinations, reemergence of the ‘Alt-Right’ movement, religion and life beyond earth. Live debate segments will include ASAPScience hosts Mitchell​ ​Moffit and​ ​Greg​ ​Brown​, world renowned philosopher Deepak​ ​Chopra​, and award-winning author Aspen​ ​Matis​.

The event will also feature Grammy-nominated recording artist Mike​ ​Posner​, host of his newly released philosophy podcast What Does It All Mean? Broadcast on The Young​ ​Turks​ ​Network​, the event will focus on the role of skepticism in today’s political climate –where evidence and facts are increasingly dismissed.

Climate change, government engagement in science legislation, the relationship between science and faith, the dangers behind radical social ideologies — the Skeptics Society has for more than two decades, explored these issues that affect us all. Pairing some of the most influential minds in science, philosophy, journalism and popular culture, the commemorative science variety show addresses these ongoing issues as they relate to the digital age, fact-checking fake journalism, and as a result, coming to know the truth.

Happy 25th Anniversary messages will be broadcast from Skeptic fans around the world, including ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ co-creator and star Rachel​ ​Bloom​, bestselling author and biologist Richard​ ​Dawkins​, and celebrity illusionist​ ​Derren​ ​Brown​. A pre-show magic act by the longest running magician in the history of New York City, Prakash​ ​Puru​, will demonstrate how easily we are fooled, and science rapper Baba​ ​Brinkman​ will debut a skeptic-themed track.

Happy Birthday video:


Dr. Shermer says there is no better time than now to learn how to be a better skeptic. “Skepticism is the most important right we have, because talking and listening to others is the only way to find out if we’re wrong, if we’ve gone off the rails. I think we need to continue to move towards this method of examination in the next quarter century, particularly in crucial areas like climate change and terrorism, which pose potential threats to our existence.”

“Over the next 25 years, who knows what crazy ideas people will hold, so we have to equip society with a cognitive toolkit that is general enough to be applied to any and all claims, including those we can’t think of now. We don’t know what we don’t know. Science and skepticism are the best methods ever devised to understand the true nature of the world,” said Shermer.

With celebrity guests from all areas of science and entertainment, ‘HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT’S TRUE?’ offers a unique perspective on how each of us can be our very own best skeptic.

About​ ​the​ ​Skeptics​ ​Society:

Once a fringe movement, today’s skeptical community now deals with the biggest and most important issues of our time: terrorism, religion, gun violence, climate change, alternative medicine, and science education. The Skeptics Society was the first to investigate the Holocaust deniers, the first to debunk the 9/11 Truthers, and pioneered the method of letting the proponents of a belief speak for themselves. Fighting for scientific fact in the face of fallacy has become a worldwide movement; the Skeptic Society now hosts chapters all over the globe including England, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.