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What does the Defense Authorization Bill Say About the American Left?

Today President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 which includes language making it illegal for a person basically to think the wrong things while committing a crime.

Yes, the Defense Authorization includes the pearl of Leftists, Hate Crimes (sic) language.

Before I get too far into what will necessarily be a mischaracterization of what I want to say here, let me be perfectly clear: I think those who support this legislation more or less have the best intentions in mind. I, too, am disgusted by the crimes against Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. I am glad that those who perpetrated these vilinous acts against Shepard are currently each serving two consecutive life sentences. They will never again see the light of day. Meanwhile, two of the three murderers of Byrd are awaiting their executions while the third is currently serving life in prison.

What must be realized, however, is that the fates of these five men are symbols of how the justice system in America worked without the need for a hate crimes act.

Plain and simple, this is a law that criminalizes what someone is thinking.

All instances of its execution necessarily have contingent upon them the breaking of a law that already exists, and the justice that certainly follows thereafter. All that will happen is that an accused person will be held criminally liable for thinking things.

This law is brought forth with all the best of intentions and I don’t think those who support it realize how insidious and counter to our system of liberty it really is. It’s truly the stuff of Orwell

It is an abomination of liberty, and hopefully the Supreme Court will knock down its clearly unconstitutional basis.

That said, it is incredibly poetic that in July, anti-gun activists celebrated the defeat of a rider to the same bill that would have made it easier for law-abiding citizens to travel among the states with concealed weapons.

Tell you what: If you want to stop hate crimes, here’s a first step: Allow people to defend themselves!

It seems to me that these two riders tell the story of the Left in America today: Trust us. We’ll take care of things for you. Leave your liberties aside and put your faith in the government to take care of you.

It troubles me.

- Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

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52 Comments

  1. Orwell indeed.
    If there is anything that separates the Conservative intellectuals from the lazy left of group politics, it is hate crime laws.

    Honestly, I feel less equal today than I did yesterday.

    Comment by Geena — October 28, 2009 @ 11:19 pm - October 28, 2009

  2. More “double jeopardy”.

    We’ve already had cases where the feds weren’t happy with a state’s prosecution (or punishment) if a crime so they swoop in and file federal charges for a crime that’s already been prosecuted. Of course, this only happens when the victim is a member of a favored class of victims. A little old white lady killed by a person of color is never, ever a hate crime.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — October 28, 2009 @ 11:38 pm - October 28, 2009

  3. I know you are incredibly self loathing and homophobic, but defending queer bashing is sinking to a new low.

    Comment by libhomo — October 28, 2009 @ 11:57 pm - October 28, 2009

  4. libhomo:

    Please provide an instance wherein I have ever “defend[ed] queer bashing”.

    Put up, as the saying goes…

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — October 29, 2009 @ 12:01 am - October 29, 2009

  5. >but defending queer bashing is sinking to a new low

    The lazy intellectual left demonstrated.
    I can respect and understand the reasoning some make for hate crime laws, but c’mon libhomo, I know you’ll come back to read this…is that the best you can do?

    Comment by Geena — October 29, 2009 @ 12:08 am - October 29, 2009

  6. Nick, You stated your case very clearly, I agree with what you said. We should punish the act (murder) not the thoughts behind it.

    I see you’ve managed to rout out another lower case person, bravo to you on that as well!

    Comment by Leah — October 29, 2009 @ 12:42 am - October 29, 2009

  7. We ARE less equal now, Geena. Democrats have taken a major step towards turning us from individuals with individual rights, as our Constitution and our founding principles always intended, into a permanent victim class with group rights, dependent on Democrats.

    Look what they have done to the black community over the last 40 years…70% out of wedlock birthrate, an explosion in crime rates, illiteracy, dropout rates, poverty rates and what Democrats care about most: skyrocketing dependence on government handouts.

    Democrats would love nothing better than to do to the rest of minorities, including women and gays, what their policies have done to the black community.

    I agree with everything Nick wrote, except this:

    I think those who support this legislation more or less have the best intentions in mind.

    I dont. I think they are the laziest thinkers in America and approach policy with nothing but themselves in mind. All they care about is how do they vote to make themselves feel better with the absolute least effort possible? All of which is evidenced perfectly by libhomo’s asinine comment.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 29, 2009 @ 1:19 am - October 29, 2009

  8. I know you are incredibly self loathing and homophobic, but defending queer bashing is sinking to a new low.

    But, given that you bashed and used what liberals like yourself define as “hate speech” against Nick in the first statement of that sentence, it seems obvious that you have no problem with bashing and violent action against gay people who don’t think as you do.

    You are a hypocrite. Apply your own laws against yourself, gay bigot, and go to jail.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 29, 2009 @ 2:01 am - October 29, 2009

  9. “…I find that I’m now a protected mammal in the Liberal jungle. Why is that a bad thing? Imagine who is the most protected, the prisoner or the free man? What’s the first step to permanently establish inequality? Legislate it! Gay men and women are now the most protected, simple animal in the Liberal jungle. We’ve jumped the equality shark and permanently imposed inequality. The history of the world has always been a struggle of one group against another. The United States had a rare opportunity to breakdown those social groups of Europe in favour of the rights of the individual. Now we’re being dissected into portions for easy conquest. How does it feel? Any safer? More Secure? How’s your golden prison now?”

    Comment by Blake Flint — October 29, 2009 @ 2:54 am - October 29, 2009

  10. I’d still like to know why this had to be hidden in a defense bill instead of standing on it’s own, if it’s so wonderful.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 29, 2009 @ 5:34 am - October 29, 2009

  11. ok, try to keep up. Our justice system ALREADY, before any hate crimes legislation, takes into account what people are thinking when they commit crimes. What do you think the difference between first degree, second degree, and third degree murder is? The difference goes to intent, or basically what was in the person’s head. so stop acting like we’re in orwell’s 1984 or something, unless you thought we’ve been there for centuries.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — October 29, 2009 @ 6:31 am - October 29, 2009

  12. and let’s be clear: murder is obviously a serious crime with or without being a hate crime. it’s not like, w/o the hate crime label, murderers are just going free. the “hate crime” makes the sentence slightly tougher, but more importantly, the legislation gives federal money to local areas that, for a variety of reasons, may not have the resources (or the will) to fully investigate.

    Comment by bob (aka boob) — October 29, 2009 @ 6:36 am - October 29, 2009

  13. 6.Nick, You stated your case very clearly, I agree with what you said. We should punish the act (murder) not the thoughts behind it.

    Leah, that is exactly what murder is. It is not just the act (manslaughter), but the thoughts that went behind it.

    Nick, if your point is that we shouldn’t limit any hate when deciding the severity of crime to hate against a group of persons, I agree with that. I also agree that those who support hate crime laws usually have good intentions. Most, right or wrong, view it as a deterrent for committing crimes against people they hate.

    As Bob stated, I don’t think hate crime laws are any more Orwellian than murder. The point is that the thoughts that one has when committing murder or another hate crime is illegal. The law simply says that if those thoughts lead to a crime against someone else, it may carry an additional penalty.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 6:52 am - October 29, 2009

  14. [...] What Does The Defense Authorization Bill Say About The American Left? [...]

    Pingback by Headlines Exposed 10.29.2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com — October 29, 2009 @ 6:55 am - October 29, 2009

  15. Leave it to our resident facist to defend thought crimes.

    Ok bob, try to keep up. I’ll keep the big words to a minimum.

    Guy sees bob has money, guy plots to kill bob. Guy kills bob.

    Guy sees Bob kissing his boyfriend (we’re assuming for the arguement bob has a boyfriend) guy goes postal and kills bob.

    Guy is walking down the street and shoots at a ganger, bob gets killed in the crossfire.

    Please explain to me which crime deserves the higher punishment.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 29, 2009 @ 6:58 am - October 29, 2009

  16. Should be “the point that the thoughts that one has shouldn’t be illegal.” In other words, if a person wants to hate gay persons, they should continue to have that right. Punishing thought in that case is clearly Orwellian. But it’s another thing to use those thoughts to take away rights from another person. And if you use such thoughts as your reason to take someone else’s life, the crime is murder, not just manslaughter.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 6:59 am - October 29, 2009

  17. Please explain to me which crime deserves the higher punishment.

    Livewire, I would say they both are murder. In other words, in both cases we are punishing the persons not just for the act (manslaughter), but the thoughts that went behind it.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 7:04 am - October 29, 2009

  18. Livewire, I missed your third scenario. In that one, it depends why the guy shot at the other ganger. If there was malice aforethought before hand (which I imagine there would be), the crime is still murder whether or not the person they killed was the target or not. If it was just some stupid random shooting, it would just be manslaughter.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 7:08 am - October 29, 2009

  19. “Plain and simple, this is a law that criminalizes what someone is thinking. ”

    No, this law adds protected categories and provides better ability for the federal government to monitor a class of crimes that have been on the books for over 40 years, plain and simple.

    “It is an abomination of liberty, and hopefully the Supreme Court will knock down its clearly unconstitutional basis.”

    They haven’t in the last forty years, why would they now?

    I don’t know how people can be for keeping the existing 1960′s era legislation on the books and not include sexual orientation. I have always said add it or remove it altogether. They chose the former, which is fine by me. The rhetoric of it creates a new class of crimes is nothing but rhetoric. These classes already existed, just this new definition was tacked on.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — October 29, 2009 @ 7:19 am - October 29, 2009

  20. If any local law enforcement jurisdiction lacks resources to investigate any murder; child, elderly, serial killer of prostitutes, homeless or billionaires…Fine the FBI and Feds can step in as they often do.

    Why it must be based on a federal law of sexual gender orientation, and not all human beings equally is where Orwell comes in.

    Animal Farm is a good example.
    “All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others”

    Today:
    “All victims of crimes are equal, but some victims are more equal than others”

    Comment by Geena — October 29, 2009 @ 10:01 am - October 29, 2009

  21. Fan-f-in-tastic.

    http://www.aim.org/media-monitor/exploiting-matthew-shepard/

    The truth is that he was the victim of a robbery gone bad by two drug addicts. What’s more, Shepard was also a heavy drug user who was HIV-positive. Not only were the perpetrators of this brutal crime not “homophobes,” but one of them knew Shepherd and was allegedly bisexual. ”

    Care to take back the
    “I, too, am disgusted by the crimes against Matthew Shepard ”

    ?

    Comment by aisin — October 29, 2009 @ 10:09 am - October 29, 2009

  22. whaa, whaa, whaa. Is crying, bitching and moaning ALL you filthy republicans can do? How pathetic of you.

    It’s going to be a LONG, LONG, LONG decade for you horrible repugnants. You deserve it though, for forcing bushco on the world.

    Comment by buckeyenutlover — October 29, 2009 @ 10:28 am - October 29, 2009

  23. I have NO doubts that a great many people are hoping to present all kinds of precedents in court, designed to push this thought-crimes bill to its logical extreme.

    They will silence millions of Innocent people on the basis of what they ‘might’ have been thinking.

    Comment by Otter — October 29, 2009 @ 10:33 am - October 29, 2009

  24. And what about the double jeopardy part of the equation. Nor only thought crimes are pursued, but you can still be a FELON for the “hate crime” when the government pursues that conviction after you’ve spend all your money on your lawyers for the first trial. It will be great to have that stigma of “felony” on you, never to vote again or own a firearm legally…..It will be great.

    Comment by Surveyguy84 — October 29, 2009 @ 10:44 am - October 29, 2009

  25. “I have NO doubts that a great many people are hoping to present all kinds of precedents in court, designed to push this thought-crimes bill to its logical extreme.”

    The law has been on the books for 40 years. Has there been any such push to date?

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — October 29, 2009 @ 11:00 am - October 29, 2009

  26. Pat, there’s a difference in the not sure of the right word, complexity? of the crime (premeditated vs crime of emotion vs random shooting) and the motivation (he’s rich, he’s gay, he’s in the way).

    I don’t see a problem with the former, but I do with the later. To plot out the death of another human is worse than a loss of control. Why he plotted isn’t as irrelevant.

    Comment by The_Livewire — October 29, 2009 @ 11:11 am - October 29, 2009

  27. Leah, that is exactly what murder is. It is not just the act (manslaughter), but the thoughts that went behind it.

    No you are wrong, the difference between manslaughter and murder is has nothing to do with how the perpetrator thought of the victim. It has to do with the act itself. Was the murder planned intentionally as a murder, or was the person killed in the midst of some other crime (robbery for example).

    It doesn’t matter at all if the murderer hated gays or simply hated that individual person, or simply is a psychopath who likes to kill people.

    Comment by Leah — October 29, 2009 @ 11:40 am - October 29, 2009

  28. The “Matthew Shepard” name tells it all–using a man who was NOT killed because he was gay to bring attention to crimes against gays. There is no evidence that those who killed Shepard were “thinking wrong and hateful thoughts about gays” when they killed him–I suspect they were thinking about drugs and probably just being violent.

    Does “gay” as a legal category even exist? Is everything I do gay? Doesn’t this law undermine those “queer” theorists who say that gay is just a social construct? If someone beats a guy up for buying an Adam Lambert album, does that make it a hate crime?

    What about gay on gay violence? What if a top beats up a bottom? What if a leather guy beats up a twink? What if the recording they post on Dudesnude has the top saying, “You deserve it, you little pervert–I’m going to beat some sense into you–oh, yeah, you need punishment–” can the bottom bring up charges later?

    What if I am, uncharacteristically, hitting on a woman? What if she slaps me? Am I 100% gay all the time? Does she hate me because I’m gay or because I’m being a jerk?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 29, 2009 @ 1:28 pm - October 29, 2009

  29. Mr. Supposedly moderate- I was not aware that 40 years passed since this morning’s signing of the bill.

    Comment by Otter — October 29, 2009 @ 1:31 pm - October 29, 2009

  30. Otter, this makes some modifications to the existing hate crimes statute that has been on the books since the 1960′s. The modifications don’t substantially change it all except to add sexual orientation and a few other classes to the list of already protected classes and to provide some additional stat tracking. Hope that clarifies what I meant.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — October 29, 2009 @ 2:30 pm - October 29, 2009

  31. here is something to ponder. . .

    Possible hate crime shooting at LA synagogue

    http://www.jhvonline.com/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=96&twindow=Default&mad=No&sdetail=7748&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=1291&hn=jhvonline&he=.com

    Shooting at North Hollywood synagogue investigated as hate crime; man detained [Updated]

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/shooting-at-la-synagogue-investigated-as-hate-crime-man-arrested.html

    Comment by rusty — October 29, 2009 @ 2:45 pm - October 29, 2009

  32. Does this law include the bicurious?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 29, 2009 @ 3:10 pm - October 29, 2009

  33. What if you’re self-loathing and constantly beat yourself up for being gay?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — October 29, 2009 @ 3:11 pm - October 29, 2009

  34. Excuse me. You’re all missing something:

    What the HELL does the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act have to do with National Defense!?! I HATE this kind of add-on gimmick. The Dems control both houses and the Presidency, yet supporters of the provision are simply too chicken to pursue this change in the open, and instead hide it in a bill that is virtually veto-proof.

    Having lost a dear friend to a bashing, I do have an emotional stake in this. He was someone who was very at ease with being gay at a time when I was still learning how to get over the negativity associated with it. On the one hand, yes, a person who murders my non-gay brother in a robbery should not get less of a sentence than that person who killed my friend because he was gay. On the other hand, the person who murders my brother during a robbery would get more charges filed against him due to the robbery than the person who murdered my friend because he was gay.

    BTW, the murder still a cold case and I doubt it will ever be solved.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — October 29, 2009 @ 3:43 pm - October 29, 2009

  35. support for this legislation was bipartisan. characterizing hate crimes as a pet issue of the left is wrong.

    Comment by Chad — October 29, 2009 @ 3:49 pm - October 29, 2009

  36. whaa, whaa, whaa. Is crying, bitching and moaning ALL you filthy republicans can do? How pathetic of you.

    It’s going to be a LONG, LONG, LONG decade for you horrible repugnants. You deserve it though, for forcing bushco on the world.

    Comment by buckeyenutlover — October 29, 2009

    If I call duckflybutshover the “queen of queerlandia” and he breaks my neck, can he be charged with a hate crime because I am a filthy republican?

    Comment by heliotrope — October 29, 2009 @ 4:13 pm - October 29, 2009

  37. Chad:

    You’re wrong about this being bipartisan.
    Here are the facts:

    House amendment vote (HR 1913):
    Ayes: 249, Nays: 175
    Republican Ayes: 18

    Senate vote (on the Conference report):
    Yeas: 68, Nays: 29
    Republican Yeas: 9

    Call this what you will, but it ain’t bipartisan. In fact, I can’t find a roll-call vote on this in the Senate (not sure how they track the rider votes, if anybody–Chad, since you brought it up?–can find it, please post), but that they had to attach it as a rider to a must pass bill like Defense Authorization kinda tells me something about the supporters’ belief that it could stand up on its own. Don’tcha think?

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — October 29, 2009 @ 4:15 pm - October 29, 2009

  38. Call this what you will, but it ain’t bipartisan. In fact, I can’t find a roll-call vote on this in the Senate (not sure how they track the rider votes, if anybody–Chad, since you brought it up?–can find it, please post), but that they had to attach it as a rider to a must pass bill like Defense Authorization kinda tells me something about the supporters’ belief that it could stand up on its own. Don’tcha think?

    No. It tells me that Democrats don’t want to attach their vote to anything associated with the term “Gay” and have to face their various constituents who are homophobes (I won’t name names, but we know which Democratic voting blocks voted yes on Prop 8, ensuring its passage).

    Comment by Sonicfrog — October 29, 2009 @ 4:43 pm - October 29, 2009

  39. No you are wrong, the difference between manslaughter and murder is has nothing to do with how the perpetrator thought of the victim. It has to do with the act itself.

    Leah, you can say it anyway you want. But in order for manslaughter to be murder, it involves a persons thoughts. Usually first degree murder involves careful plotting of another’s death, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, if one carefully plots one’s murder, but doesn’t go through with it, nothing illegal has occurred. It’s when the person puts thoughts in motion, the crime has been committed. Same is true for hate crimes. By the way, I’m not saying I support hate crimes legislation, I’m quite on the fence. My support for it would only be as a potential deterrent.

    It doesn’t matter at all if the murderer hated gays or simply hated that individual person, or simply is a psychopath who likes to kill people.

    Excellent point. But my point is that when I see a person oppose hate crimes legislation because it is punishing thoughts, ignore the fact that murder is doing just that. If your point is that in murder the thoughts aren’t necessarily classified to a class of persons, that’s fine. But murder does punish thought if the crime is actually carried out.

    24.And what about the double jeopardy part of the equation.

    Surveyguy, that may be so. But prosecutors have gotten around this for years, simply by trying the defendent a second time for the same crime, but with different charges and/or the federal government adds their own charges to the state’s charges.

    Why it must be based on a federal law of sexual gender orientation, and not all human beings equally is where Orwell comes in.

    Geena, again, I understand your not supporting hate crime laws, but I disagree with your Orwellian equality argument, at least if I understand the legislation correctly. When it comes to sexual orientation and hate crimes we are equal. If a person commits a crime against you because he hates straight people, that is a hate crime. If you are saying that, in reality, the additional penalty would not be pursued in this case, and only pursued when the victim is gay, then I’m in full agreement with you. If you’re saying that it is unfair, because more victims of hate crimes due to sexual orientation are gay, then we still are in an Orwellian world where straight people are more equal than gay people.

    26.Pat, there’s a difference in the not sure of the right word, complexity? of the crime (premeditated vs crime of emotion vs random shooting) and the motivation (he’s rich, he’s gay, he’s in the way).
    I don’t see a problem with the former, but I do with the later. To plot out the death of another human is worse than a loss of control. Why he plotted isn’t as irrelevant.

    Livewire, “he’s rich, he’s gay, etc.” could very well be the premeditation of a crime, including murder. In other words, if a guy stands outside a gay bar, and waits for the first person to come out to kill, that’s murder in my book.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 5:06 pm - October 29, 2009

  40. Pat doesn’t seem to understand the difference between premeditation, or planning, which is, by definition, an action — and motive, which is a thought.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 29, 2009 @ 6:02 pm - October 29, 2009

  41. 40.Pat doesn’t seem to understand the difference between premeditation, or planning, which is, by definition, an action — and motive, which is a thought.

    Thanks, AmericanElephant. But I am well aware of the difference. Perhaps you don’t understand that whether the motive is, planning is usually required to commit the crime. If a person simply hates homosexuals, but never plans to bash gay persons, (or does, but doesn’t act on it), there is no crime. Same with motive and premeditation for murder.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 6:12 pm - October 29, 2009

  42. Okay, AmericanElephant. I did use “premeditation” instead of “motive” in 39. My error.

    Comment by Pat — October 29, 2009 @ 6:19 pm - October 29, 2009

  43. whaa, whaa, whaa.

    Says the OhioCumCatcher when those mean Proles won’t bend over and bite on a pillow when their told.

    It’s going to be a LONG, LONG, LONG decade for you horrible repugnants.

    Is that all you can say in your drive-by hit pieces?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 30, 2009 @ 12:26 am - October 30, 2009

  44. Okay, AmericanElephant. I did use “premeditation” instead of “motive” in 39. My error.

    Nice of you to own up.

    But no, you still dont get the difference between premeditation and motive because you say this;

    Perhaps you don’t understand that whether the motive is, planning is usually required to commit the crime.

    Planning is not required at all. There are all sorts of crimes that are committed with no planning whatsoever. I don’t know, it may even be the majority of crime. Consider two examples:

    1. You say something that angers someone, and they beat you to death on the spot.
    2. You say something that angers someone, and they go home and plot to poison you and dispose of the body.

    In the former, there is no premeditation, but there is a crime. The second is a premeditated crime. It is the action of premeditation, planning, deliberation and consideration that makes the crime worse.

    “I hate gays” is a thought.

    “I’m going to slip cyanide into Pat’s tea, then chop the body up into pieces and put them down the garbage disposal” is a behavior known as plotting, planning, and premeditation.

    You continue to pretend it is the same as a thought. It is not. It is a behavior.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 30, 2009 @ 2:10 am - October 30, 2009

  45. whaa, whaa, whaa.

    Or is that your rendition of some Peter Frampton?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 30, 2009 @ 5:05 am - October 30, 2009

  46. Planning is not required at all. There are all sorts of crimes that are committed with no planning whatsoever. I don’t know, it may even be the majority of crime.

    I’m not so sure of that, AmericanElephant.

    In the former, there is no premeditation, but there is a crime. The second is a premeditated crime. It is the action of premeditation, planning, deliberation and consideration that makes the crime worse.

    In the former, there may indeed be premeditation. It only takes seconds, or less, to plan, deliberate, and consider that using one’s fists (or a gun or a knife, if you have one) would sufficiently kill or maim someone. I think it was jury duty that I learned that. And the latter is not a crime unless the person acted on it. Perhaps that’s what you meant.

    “I hate gays” is a thought.

    “I’m going to slip cyanide into Pat’s tea, then chop the body up into pieces and put them down the garbage disposal” is a behavior known as plotting, planning, and premeditation.

    You continue to pretend it is the same as a thought. It is not. It is a behavior.

    Yes, I agree with the two scenarios above. I think we also can agree that the behavior you described also requires thought. And we can also agree that those things, by themselves are not crimes, unless they are acted on. Yes, the latter behavior is worse, because it does involve plotting, etc. But let’s look at the former again.

    Simply hating gay persons is not a crime. It’s a free country, and one can hate whomever he wants, if he is so inclined, even for irrational reasons. Simply having that thought is not a hate crime. What happens, though, in too many cases, is that hates leads to behavior, such as plotting to bash a person that is the object of their hate (decide to go to a gay bar and pummel the next guy that comes out).

    Comment by Pat — October 30, 2009 @ 6:57 am - October 30, 2009

  47. #46: “Simply hating gay persons is not a crime. It’s a free country, and one can hate whomever he wants, if he is so inclined, even for irrational reasons. Simply having that thought is not a hate crime. What happens, though, in too many cases, is that hates leads to behavior, such as plotting to bash a person that is the object of their hate (decide to go to a gay bar and pummel the next guy that comes out).”

    Pat, thinking that government has a greater role in preventing the scenario above other than by swiftly arresting, trying, and sentencing the perpetrator (without regard to the sexual orientation of the victim and/or the perpetrator’s aversion to it), is what gave Canadians the VILE, ORWELLIAN, out of control Human Rights Commission.

    Comment by Sean A — October 30, 2009 @ 8:42 am - October 30, 2009

  48. In the former, there may indeed be premeditation

    OK, go take it up with the Supreme Court and for that matter English Common Law, because your definition of “instant premeditation” isnt supported by any body of law in the world that I know of, and I really cant argue with your universe, because I’m not in it.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 30, 2009 @ 11:19 pm - October 30, 2009

  49. Pat, thinking that government has a greater role in preventing the scenario above other than by swiftly arresting, trying, and sentencing the perpetrator (without regard to the sexual orientation of the victim and/or the perpetrator’s aversion to it), is what gave Canadians the VILE, ORWELLIAN, out of control Human Rights Commission.

    Sean, there are many good reasons to oppose hate crimes legislation. I just don’t believe that the slippery slope argument is a good one.

    OK, go take it up with the Supreme Court and for that matter English Common Law, because your definition of “instant premeditation” isnt supported by any body of law in the world that I know of

    AmericanElephant, I don’t pretend to be an expert in law, so I could very well be wrong. And it’s certainly possible that my recollection of what I heard is incorrect. But I did a quick google check, and on Wikipedia I saw that some states consider that premeditation could happen in “mere seconds.” Yes, it’s Wikipedia, so they may be wrong as well. Perhaps Sean knows.

    with your universe, because I’m not in it.

    Yeah, I’m quite aware of that. We are definitely in agreement there.

    Comment by Pat — October 31, 2009 @ 9:32 am - October 31, 2009

  50. #49: “Sean, there are many good reasons to oppose hate crimes legislation. I just don’t believe that the slippery slope argument is a good one.”

    I’m sorry, Pat. I’m confused. I didn’t realize this debate was of the “ring-toss variety.” How does this work? Am I just supposed to keep guessing different “reasons to oppose hate crimes legislation” until I hit one that you consider “good”? Am I flying blind or am I entitled to periodic “warmer”/”colder” hints? Is this your way of telling me that you’d rather play Battleship?

    Comment by Sean A — November 1, 2009 @ 3:51 pm - November 1, 2009

  51. Sean, sorry, that wasn’t my intent. In fact, I’m sure you have good reasons to oppose hate crimes legislation. On the other hand, this is a debate, and I’m not sure why we can’t question each others’ reasoning.

    Comment by Pat — November 1, 2009 @ 6:34 pm - November 1, 2009

  52. sorry CP, and with all due respect, but i think you’re the one who is wrong about the bipartisan nature of this vote. i’m not asserting that support for hate crimes is a majority view amongst conservatives, but you’re wrong to suggest that this wasn’t a bipartisan bill. several GOP-aye votes are on the record as supporting hate crimes legislation (eg ros-lehtinen). and the supposed “must-pass” nature of this bill didn’t prevent the rest of the GOP delegation (along with several democrats) from voting nay.

    Comment by Chad — November 2, 2009 @ 4:58 pm - November 2, 2009

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