Though Collins makes clear his belief that the Festival International board would never add language to its contracts restricting political expression, he does state that the organization will impose restrictions on "vulgar language, sexually explicit lyrics, hate mongering, and the advocacy of violence." Most people agree that these things require limitation, and thus there are laws on the books restricting them. If the festival's restrictions are intended merely to point out that the law must be obeyed, they are redundant and unnecessary. If they are to be stronger than the law, then individuals will end up making moral judgments they have no right to make. It is precisely for the protection of our diverse community that no one should be allowed to impose standards other than those made by elected officials and expressed in law.
I can think of several local and international artists who might be banned from the festival under the "sexually explicit lyrics" heading. There are many important acts who could be considered "hate mongers" if one disagreed strongly enough with their politics. Plenty of artists could be shut down under the "advocacy of violence" ruling. For instance, many reggae artists refer to violence in powerful songs like "Burnin' and Lootin'." Should they not be hired, or should they be told to play only non-controversial songs? Who decides what is and isn't controversial?
To provide a local example that will seem silly at first, what would happen if someone were to sing the line "I'm gonna break your face!" in the popular song "Don't Mess With My Toot Toot"? I'm certain that my 3-year-old daughter would be distraught at hearing those words. Do I want someone at FIL imposing a limitation on it for her sake? Absolutely not. Not in this case, not in any case.
Or, ask yourself what would happen if a punk rock or hip hop group got up on stage and chanted "I'm gonna break your face" aggressively for five minutes straight, pumping their fists in the air with angry looks on their faces? Would that be different, even though the words are the same? Who would decide? Who has the right to judge?
I know the answer to that question. Judges. The elected ones.
The Louisiana Supreme Court has punted on its first chance to decide whether a new state constitutional provision declaring gun possession a fundamental right could void a long list of criminal statutes that regulate firearms.
New Orleans' offense, which ranks sixth in the NFL, isn't helping many of its skill players pile up Pro Bowl-type stats. Rather, the approach of coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees has enabled a wide range of play-makers to emerge periodically with high-production outings.
An ordinance phasing out a rebate businesses receive for collecting and remitting sales taxes is tabled, but it doesn’t solve the vexing issue of government revenue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 12, 2013:
As part of a national undertaking known by industry insiders as the “Butterfly Project,” a rebranded version of The Daily Advertiser is set to launch with Sunday’s edition of the Gannett-owned paper.
Louisiana moved up a slot to 48th in the ranking of healthy states — once again, thank God for Mississippi! — so all this frettin’ about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s refusal to expand Medicaid per Obamacare ... fuggidaboutit! We don’t need Medicaid no more!
The Denham Springs woman who placed Christmas lights in the shape of a butter finger on her roof in a display of anger directed at neighbors has doubled the trouble for the 2013 holiday season.
The 30-second commercial, to run around the state, is the Democratic senator's first TV spot in her bid for re-election to a fourth term.
It's a number that has edged up but falls far short of the thousands who are eligible for subsidized coverage.
A group of mostly higher education leaders will make recommendations to state lawmakers about how to tweak the policies governing tuition rates charged at the state's public colleges.
That would be Congressman John Fleming talking about Sen. David Vitter.
The alleged mastermind behind the bribery scheme that went on for four years under DA Mike Harson’s nose isn’t just schizophrenic, bipolar and recovering from mini strokes; he now says he has cancer.
Louisiana's higher education leaders are trying to work out a financing deal to keep the state's public colleges from running low on state cash to operate their campuses.
With their latest triumph, the Saints left little doubt about how tough they are to beat in the Superdome. Unfortunately, two of their remaining three games are on the road.
For the first time in at least five years, retired teachers, state workers and school system employees could see an increase in their pension checks.
Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
Drew Brees often makes the extraordinary look routine, particularly during night games in the Superdome.
The teams were extended invitations Sunday for the New Year's Day matchup played at Raymond James Stadium, home of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If all 44 projects are approved, about $300 million would remain in the fund set up as a down payment to help the Gulf.
Last week, the Saints gave up 429 yards to Seattle, second most in a game this season.
Since Anthony Jennings and Brooks Haack were not expected to contribute until next year at the earliest, it seemed like a sneak peek at hidden Christmas gifts.
Louisiana National Guard personnel seeking benefits for same-sex spouses will have an easier time filing the requests, despite a state refusal to let its workers process the paperwork.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera sees one potential flaw with his team's stellar defensive play so far this season. "Apparently we like to bite on the double moves," Rivera said.
Computer hackers may have gained access to the personal information of thousands of Louisiana residents who use debit cards issued by JPMorgan Chase for three state agencies, authorities said Wednesday.
Jim Purcell, who has been in the job since February 2011, notified the Board of Regents about his decision at its monthly meeting.