Free speech repealed in Arizona

The desert sun must be getting to people in the Grand Canyon State.  I'm reading one news item sure to infuriate liberals, another sure to infuriate conservatives, and both of them infuriate me.

First, Arizona lawmakers have passed a ban on t-shirts bearing the names of deceased soldiers who served in Iraq.  Naturally this is pushed as a ban on "profiting" from the tragedy of their deaths, and any suppression of antiwar sentiment is merely a convenient byproduct.  The purveyor of the offending shirts says he'll keep selling them.  Good for him.

Meanwhile, a professor at the big community college system in Phoenix is on the verge of being fired for emailing his colleagues a copy of George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation last Thanksgiving.  That in itself no one found offensive (although these days, who knows?).  But what did offend some of the recipients' sensibilities is that the email included a link to the site where he found the proclamation's text — which happens to be Pat Buchanan's site.  Evidently some of the professor's colleagues clicked through and thought the materials there pertaining to immigration tantamount to "hate speech."

Whatever happened to "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."?  Whether or not Voltaire said it, they're still fine words to live by.

Hat tip on both stories to Sam Smith