"Trigger warnings: A dangerous idea on campus" by Renee Loth

Renee Loth has written an insightful piece for The Boston Globe on the phenomenon of 'trigger warnings' currently spreading through higher education nationwide. Students and administrators alike have started demanding these disclaimers - which originated in the blogging world - be included on course syllabi and materials that could prove ‘offensive.’ As Loth puts it, “reasonable concern for students who may have suffered terrible traumas has morphed into a serious threat to intellectual freedom.” Tantamount to censorship, these trigger warnings are antithetical to a liberal arts education and have no place in the academy.

See the full article here: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/05/21/trigger-warnings-dangerous-idea-campus/ercxPOCUtzvMJTUl4Es32I/story.html

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Unsettling result of Bulger trial: soon to hit big screen

Last week I sent out my review of the latest Whitey Bulger documentary that I wrote for Forbes.com. This week I have published another piece in response to Berlinger’s film, this time in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, that considers the legal details of the Bulger trial in more depth. In this column I argue that, given the ambiguity in the case law governing the admissibility of Bulger’s claimed immunity agreement, Bulger should have been allowed to present this defense. 

I realize that my position here will be seen as questionable by many, and as both wrong and wrong-headed by some. If you have any feedback, whether in agreement or disagreement, feel free to make a comment below the piece on the MLW website, or write me directly at has@harveysilverglate.com .

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WHITEY: An Only-In-Boston Extravaganza Comes To The Big Screen

Last week I attended a screening of Joe Berlinger's excellent documentary WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, about the life, times, and trial of Boston's most notorious mobster. I've written a review for Forbes.com examining the immunity defense Whitey Bulger was never allowed to present in court, and the film's thoughtful treatment of the explosive subject.

As always, I’d appreciate your feedback on the topic at hand and encourage you to either post a comment directly below the column on Forbes.com or reach me directly at has@harveysilverglate.com

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Justice Goes After the GOP

My views on the Holder Justice Department’s ill-considered recent displays of prosecutorial overzeal and worse are set forth in my latest piece for the Wall Street Journal.

As always, I’d appreciate your feedback on the topic at hand and encourage you to either post a comment directly below the column on the WSJ’s website, or reach me directly at has@harveysilverglate.com. If you’d like to write a Letter to the Editor in response to my column, you can email wsj.ltrs@wsj.com.

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Mass. Governor's Council Settles the 'Armenian Genocide' Question...Sort Of

You may be familiar with the kerfuffle that occurred at the Governor’s Council this past fall regarding Joseph S. Berman’s submission for a Superior Court Judgeship. Despite having a distinguished career as a respected litigator here in the Commonwealth, Mr. Berman’s submission was met with fierce resistance due to his affiliation with the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL describes the slaughter of Armenian’s by the Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI as “tantamount to genocide,” but the inclusion of that modifier continues to draw critique and contempt from the Armenian community. While it is known that Mr. Berman worked internally to soften the organization’s line on the issue, his affiliation with the ADL, it appears, is sufficient to impeach his candidacy for the bench. I’ve had my own experience learning just how narrow and politically-ordained the acceptable narrative of the Armenian genocide is in this state, when representing a group of students and teachers wishing to keep so-called “contra-genocide” educational materials in a resource guide provided by the state’s education commissioner. The materials had been removed after significant pressure was exerted by the local Armenian lobby, which appears to be at work again in Berman’s case.

For a more detailed report on this issue of the Armenian genocide debate becoming a third rail in Massachusetts, please see my column posted on WGBH here: http://blogs.wgbh.org/scrum/2014/1/30/governors-council-settles-armenian-genocide-question-sort/

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