The federal "hate crimes" measure recently signed into "law" by Barack Obama will do nothing to protect innocent people from criminal violence. But thanks to the cynical pressure group politics that led to passage of that measure, thousands of innocent people will certainly die.
Working with its congressional allies, the White House attached the hate crimes measure as an amendment to the most recent military spending measure, a $680 billion appropriation that contains at least $120 billion to fund the ongoing slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The brutally honest Chris Hedges describes how this arrangement managed to unite advocates of tyrannical "tolerance" on the home front with those who promote the mass murder of harmless foreigners abroad:
"It was a clever piece of marketing. It blunted debate about new funding for war. And behind the closed doors of the caucus rooms, the Democratic leadership told Blue Dog Democrats, who are squeamish about defending gays or lesbians from hate crimes, that they could justify the vote as support for the war. They told liberal Democrats, who are squeamish about unlimited funding for war, that they could defend the vote as a step forward in the battle for civil rights. Gender equality groups, by selfishly narrowing their concern to themselves, participated in the dirty game."
The price of "tolerance": An Afghan child displays the burns inflicted by a NATO bombing (left); other "liberated" Afghans and Iraqis are seen below. Hundreds or thousands of additional victims will die thanks to the political deal that brought about the new hate crimes law.
Granted, it isn't likely that the Pentagon appropriation, including the war funding, would have been defeated.
The difference between this measure and its predecessors is this: The leading elements of the "hate industry" -- those sanctimonious scolds who make a handsome living tutoring the rest of us in the ways of "tolerance" -- are now directly implicated in the avoidable mass murder of innocent people in the Near East.
For the squalid collection of pressure groups that promoted passage of the hate crimes measure, -- the so-called Anti-Defamation League, the self-styled Human Rights Campaign, the fraudulently named Southern Poverty Law Center, et. al. -- this is an entirely acceptable arrangement. Their fund-raising will prosper; their stature in Washington will continue to grow; their influence over law enforcement will expand; most importantly, the power of the state to persecute their political enemies will be significantly enhanced.
Oh, sure -- the political trade-off behind this "victory" means that poor brown people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq will suffer violent death in their homes, streets, and houses of worship, cultivating understandable anti-American hatred that will yield a bloody harvest of terrorism and unending war.
But, hey, aren't we talking about religion-obsessed, hetero-patriarchal homophobes, anyway? Wouldn't the world be better off if we were to be rid of such intolerant people?
Through its involvement in the political deal that led to passage of the hate crimes bill, the Hate Industry (aka the Tolerance Lobby) took an ownership interest in the regime's wars of aggression abroad.
Those running that Lobby are certainly smart enough to have realized this. The moral calculus behind that trade-off must be similar to the self-serving calculations of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment: Since there is a certain sacrificial "percentage" of people who are fated to die each year to serve society's "greater" interests, why scruple over the death of a single unpleasant, greedy old woman -- or several thousand innocent Afghans, Pakistanis, or Iraqis? And wouldn't there be something redemptive in using that horrible war to do something to advance the cause of "tolerance" here?
The hate crimes legislation signed by Obama on October 28 bore the names of James Byrd and Matthew Shephard, murder victims whose assailants were found, prosecuted, and punished very efficiently without the dubious benefit of a federal "hate crimes" statute. There is no shortage of laws dealing with criminal violence against innocent people. But purposes served by "hate crimes" laws have nothing to do with protecting the innocent.
"Hate crimes" statutes invert the priorities described by Justice Felix Frankfurter (in a moment of atypical wisdom): "Law is concerned with external behavior and not the inner life of man." By enhancing the penalty for criminal acts either provably or putatively rooted in certain proscribed attitudes, "hate crimes" statutes impermissibly assert the government's jurisdiction over the inner life of individuals. This is, in principle, an assertion of totalitarian power.
The newly enacted hate crimes measure also expands the assault on what remains of federalism. During that brief and fondly remembered period during which the U.S. Constitution was recognized as the "law of the land," it was understood that whatever police powers could properly be exercised were (with very few specific exceptions) entirely within the purview of the individual states.
Briefly indulging the winsome fantasy that the Constitution is in some way relevant to the actions of the government ruling us, we dust off Federalist #45 in which Madison, the primary author of the Constitution, explained that the "few and defined" powers of the federal government do not include a general police power (as the Lopez ruling reminded us a few years ago).
"Did you take offense over an opinion, an unfriendly look, a politically incorrect bumper sticker or t-shirt inscription? Give us a call!"
By way of contrast, the "numerous and indefinite" powers reserved to the states "extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people" as well as matters of "internal order" -- that is, police power dealing with the protection of life, limb, and property.
There are myriad sound reasons why states shouldn't enact hate crimes laws, but they're constitutionally free to do so. The newly enacted federal measure, on the other hand, is facially incompatible with the assignment of powers described by Madison and required by the 10th Amendment precisely because it would permit federal intervention in criminal matters that fall entirely within the innate jurisdiction of the states.
That jurisdictional arrangement can be changed, of course -- through a constitutional amendment. That not being the case here, there are ample legitimate grounds for state governments to nullify the new federal hate crimes measure. Ironically, one of the arguments used by the measure's supporters actually amounts to what could be called "nullification in reverse."
The new hate crimes "law" provides for an end-run around the Constitution's prohibition of double jeopardy, thereby encouraging federal prosecution of people either acquitted by local courts, or charged with offenses other than "hate crimes."
Defenders of this approach insist that this is "necessary" because some local jurisdictions are fetid pools of bigotry, thereby creating the prospect of jury nullification on the basis of racial or other prejudice. They say that this approach is constitutionally appropriate because of the "dual sovereignty" relationship between states and the federal government.
Tearing away the gauze of sophistry in which they've been swaddled, "dual sovereignty" prosecutions are substantively indistinguishable from double jeopardy. They also tend to be dictated by considerations extraneous to individual justice -- such as race-based interest group politics.
To understand how the "dual sovereignty" doctrine operates in practice, consider this contrast: After being acquitted of criminal charges by a local jury, the four police officers who beat Rodney King were subjected to a federal "civil rights" trial for the same offense, based on the same facts; two of them were convicted. However, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder in what many regarded as a race-based act of jury nullification, he was not subjected to a "dual sovereignty" civil rights or hate crime prosecution.
But this sort of thing is to be expected of a system in which "justice" is a function of belonging to a government-protected collective. That's the vision being inflicted on our society through the new "hate crimes" law, a progressive victory purchased for the paltry cost of $120 billion to kill helpless foreigners.
Such a deal!
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Dum spiro, pugno!
Existing law provides a way to take into consideration the motivation for killing a person, for instance. If A kills B because B is black, or gay, or Arab, or something else, that goes to motive and intent. Such intent would be likely to show premeditation, making the killer (quite rightly) guilty of first degree murder instead of another charge. Of course, I'm not saying anything that you don't already know. Good article.
Another good piece of journalism Will, Thanks.
Those are some very difficult pictures to look at - which I presume is the point. They are by no means the first or worst that I've seen of our imperial death machine and they are just as hard to stomach as the first.
It never ceases to amaze me that we (you and I) live in a state with such great people who engage in the disgusting practice of nationalism (or -ism's in general, as you know my bent on issues).
We jail people for lesser cruelties to animals than for the cuelties we inflict abroad on "those people" in all our names.
It is little wonder that the images of reality in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan never make it to the amerikan 'boob tube', a lesson learned by the puppet masters from Vietnam I suppose. (As a side note, just this weekend I picked up a Buffalo Springfield cd just for the song "For What It's Worth". A bit of nostalgia perhaps and might make one of your video links, who knows. Still seems rather timely though it may be a bit before your time . . .).
As far as piggy-backing the hate crimes onto the defense spending bill, that's just what has become gov't as usual. A slight of hand, an obfuscation, another layer of bureaucracy to distract all but the most observant in such matters. A practice that has destroyed our society and one for which the willfully ignorant and the self-serving tax feeders owe a debt to the rest of us . . .
Make no mistake, the goal is to first criminalize as many as possible and, then with the support of the sheeple, disarm us for 'security' reasons. It matters not whether through hate crimes, family court or some other kangaroo court machination, we all be felons at some point and then with the approval of the sheeple will be de-fanged. Better to hang them all now (got a gov't pay check?) than wait for them to conquer, divide and hang us individually.
I think I've got some spare rope somewhere . . . is it time for a party?
Sic Semper Tyrannis
"Briefly indulging the winsome fantasy that the Constitution is in some way relevant to the actions of the government ruling us"...
Touche' I'm saddened time and again that those who lie to us daily claim they uphold the Constitution but to witness those poor children suffer because of this nations callous disregard for truth and decency tells me that its all a fiction. Poetic words they may be but in truth the equivalent of pearls before the swine we have in charge.
Briefly indulging the winsome fantasy that the Constitution is in some way relevant to the actions of the government ruling us, we dust off Federalist #45…
It's inspiring that you can inject humor into such disturbing matters.
"There are myriad sound reasons why states shouldn't enact hate crimes laws, but they're constitutionally free to do so. The newly enacted federal measure, on the other hand, is facially incompatible with the assignment of powers described by Madison and required by the 10th Amendment precisely because it would permit federal intervention in criminal matters that fall entirely within the innate jurisdiction of the states."
With respect to the above from your article, as well as the reality revealed to us daily, I have two quotes:
The first quote is from none other than her majesty, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house and third in line to the presidency, when asked for the CONSTITUTIONAL provision for fedgov health care:
"Are you serious? Are you serious?"
Now, let's go to the "other side" (a convenient ignorance affecting those who believe there is a difference between the authoritarian right and the enabling left), and quote none other than "W", the "conservative" president, with respect to the Constitution:
"It's just a goddamned piece of paper."
The people elected these trolls thinking there is a difference between democrats and republicans, but P. Buchanan was correct in his assessment that "these are just the right and left wings of the same bird of prey" and the policies of both reveal Buchanan to be absolutely correct. It still astounds me that the vast majority of the public can be so very blind and not elect a third party candidate by an astounding margin. Does this outcome, despite revelations of gangsterism on both sides, reveal the degree to which the amerikan people have been bought and paid for?
In the end, there is only one facet to voting that should always remain: NEVER VOTE FOR AN INCUMBENT, even if "your boy" brings home the bacon. Remember: he had to first STEAL the bacon from someone else.
HATE CRIMES is foisted on us by those who HATE US ALL and do not want that emotion visited back upon them as they, newly emboldened, will be in our faces everywhere, making demands of us, whether we invite them to do so or not. Defending yourself from their onslaught will be the crime.
Ain't amerika grand??
But this sort of thing is to be expected of a system in which "justice" is a function of belonging to a government-protected collective.
Yep, that's the critical aspect. I've long thought that "justice" really means "just [for] us" the commoner folk. This country is in the midst of a moral collapse and arising and radiating out directly from that are all the other ailments (like the ongoing economic insanity perpetrated by both the greedy common folk directly and their power-mongering and likewise greedy ruling representatives directly and indirectly) that plague us and ultimately are goin' to destroy us. Just as blessings can be collectively enjoyed but only rewarded because of the resourceful and righteous actions of a few, so too can curses be collectively agonizing as a reward of the resourceful and nefarious actions of a few.
anonymous @ 12:25 PM: If A kills B because B is black, or gay, or Arab, or something else, that goes to motive and intent.
It's an ominous sign of the level of societal decay to which we've rotted when one observes how conventional and run-of-the-mill it's become to insert a malleable, alterable behavioral trait labeled "gay" into a given mix of otherwise set-in-stone physiological traits like race, ethnicity, and so on.
The problem with this is that motive for said deed, rather than the deed itself, becomes the nexus of everything rather than merely just a means of solidifying already existing evidence that the alleged crime was committed by the alleged perpetrator.
It's already real simple: If one kills anyone (except, of course, the womb-dwellers since their premeditated demise has long been fully sanctioned by Leviathan) with willful intent (premeditation), it's already first-degree murder (or capital murder in some states like Virginia if the homicide charge in question is deemed to warrant a sentence of death). Yeah, the latter is a whole other problem topic, but not the point here.
Anyway, the purposely arbitrary "hate" aspect (a nebulous thought which obviously cannot be conclusively proven) -- when attached to an alleged clear-cut crime (an unambiguous action) -- adds a fiery and whimsical appetizer to the already well-defined menu of main course punishments for crimes (actions) perpetrated.
Some folk must still have some genuine faith left in America, because that's what it must be since the manifest evidence I observe all around doesn't inspire any faith in my mind at all. I harbor absolutely zero faith in this country anymore. My cynicism and skepticism are at all time highs.
I've noticed many people talk negatively about nationalism, but I've never particularly had any issue with nationalism, per se, as if it's some kind of hellish -ism -- i.e. totalitarianism -- as some seem to view it, Will included. Providence is the one who created the concept of nations and it's completely natural for homogenous folk to harbor some flavor of nationalism, to be a nation unto themselves. Do cunning authoritarians capitalize on and make good use of that trait? Absolutely, just as they do with any other available avenue toward the ultimate end - total power and complete cotrol. Even so, that's not an indictment on "nationalism" but rather on undiscerning, rudderless minds that can be easily manipulated. Yes, most folk do fall under that curse; we all do, or did, at one point in life or another.
Most other countries, even though some have sizeable minorities to be sure, are largely homogenous and not a concocted farrago like America. I suppose Providence had His specific purpose for its existence (missionaries and private aid to the less fortunate in the world and such), but I think that purpose has just about run its course and we're on the way down. Besides, if you're just goin' to become yet another slime pit of depravity, materialism, and totalitarianism, then there's no reason for a heterogenous farrago nation to even exist in the first place. In fact, without Providence, it won't exist peacefully or prosperously. Since we've consciously thrown Providence to the wind time and time again, we're payin' the hefty price - culturally, economically, socially, and politically.
Back once more to that "evil" nationalism. All one had to do was observe Mexicans, who counter-protested a tiny Nazi (NSM) protest in California recently. They didn't hold up Ami flags, but rather Mexican flags. No surprise there...y-a-w-n! They were simply revealin' their ...[cough]... nationalist innards. Oh my! And the hate displayed was truly "awe-inspiring" and made the tiny NSM faction look "saintly" by comparison. If it all wasn't so tragic in the context of the country at large, it would've been downright comedic to watch. It was, in essence, one group of socialists hatin' on another group of socialists. HAHAHAHAHA! LOL! Bah, down with 'em all. Because I'm "afflicted" with observing just about every event in the context of the big picture, I've grown tired of payin' any serious mind to what amounts to merely petty conflicts within the same ideological and philosophical cage -- whether the "conflicts" are happenin' on the street, in a leviathanette legislature, or in Leviathan's own politburo in the imperial capital.
Well, of course. The feds tell you how fast your firearms can discharge, what drugs you purchase, and what plants you cultivate. What's the matter with you? Don't you know the Feds make the grass green?
Will, I was just rereading your article and pondered upon what you said about those folks who push these sorts of FED intrusion into our lives. They seem to be the same sort of boot licking statists who go apoplectic at even the slightest hint of secession. To these collectivist cows it's a return to the Civil War or Nazis hiding in your attic so anyone caught voicing these "opinions" find themselves on the receiving end of venomous diatribes. Freedom , in their bent lexicon, means you have the "right" to shut up and do as you're told.
SHOCKED I TELL YOU, SHOCKED!
Who would have thought the ADL was behind it and the two AJCs. My goodness.
COMMISARS preparing a real United Soviet States of Amerika.
ON the poor Christians side, you know like the Czar and his family, fighting for 1st Amendment FOR Americans' right to freedom of thought was poor old Reverend Ted Pike, no free trips to Israel for him, no big paydays like Hagee and Robertson and the late unlamented Jerry Falwell.
American Conservative Union did NOTHING, what about JBS?
GOP even voted for it.
Good article on the Middle East and Christian perspective by Rev Pike
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