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France’s most dangerous village

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
France’s most dangerous village

A past decision of the French State Council which has dangerously extended the concept of “public morality”. In a decision on December 8, 1997, the French Conseil d'État issued a ruling regarding the municipality of Arcueil, which prohibited the advertising of “pink courier” services in 1990. Despite some positive aspects, particularly with regard to the…

The German hate speech saga

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
The German hate speech saga

A federal court in Berlin decided that it was a legitimate expression of an opinion to call a politician a "slut", "piece of shit", and "brainless" on Facebook. The politician (who had indeed sued the user) and her supporters are outraged that the court would allow this "hate speech" to exist online. After having been insulted on social media, senior Green…

A European “no-fly list” violates civil rights

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
A European “no-fly list” violates civil rights

Imitating the United States’ surveillance state methods will not make Europeans safer. The European Union is going through the process of creating a counter-terorrism database that will compile information from EU countries regarding ongoing investigations, prosecutions and convictions of militants, including returning foreign fighters who joined terrorist groups abroad. The measure,…

Government bloat: societal divide

Government bloat: societal divide

In his writing regarding the ratio of federal employees to federal contractors (1.5 million : 15 million), economic historian and professor Brian Domitrovic argued that the contractor bubble is rooted in a desire to undermine the private sector. His argument is that federal contractors are in reality federal employees under a different name. The root of Domitrovic’s thesis lies in American…

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Low entry threshold, or affirmative action: a case study

Over the 2010s, a pointless drama played out in the American Supreme Court - twice. A young woman, Abby Fisher, filed a personal injury lawsuit against University of Texas at Austin for not admitting her as an undergraduate. In fairness to Fisher, it turned out that the suit was the concoction of adults in her life who wanted it to become the landmark case that would bring down institutional…

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

Caveat emptor: Or credulity's reward

At the end of April 2019, a 28-year old confidence woman, Anna Sorokin, received a lengthy prison sentence for fraud. The sequence of events was cinematic in terms of the audacity of her swindle, which the courts concluded to be well in excess of $250,000. Using the alias Anna Delvey and claiming to be a German trust-fund baby, over the course of four years she materialized for periods in New…

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

"Access" to upward mobility: A case study

In June 2016, the New York Times published an exposé on Valparaiso University School of Law and their process for recruiting new students. The piece provoked a polemic on the subject of the place of markets and government intervention in education because it revealed that the problematic practices employed by the school were simply standard for a certain level of institution. It was a very…

Freedom of Choice in the 21st Century: Towards a New Jus Vitae Necisque?

Freedom of Choice in the 21st Century: Towards a New Jus Vitae Necisque?

In the United States, an important conversation is taking place, the results of which might set a worldwide precedent for ethical regress of the most devastating kind. It is now an alarming reality that, while European countries have laws which generally ban abortion after the first trimester, when the baby becomes better formed and (as far as science knows so far) able to feel pain, in the US,…

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