Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thought Crime Act of 2009

Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.
-- Nineteen Eighty-Four

It's amazing to see how far we've come since George Orwell published his sadly prescient, dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Sadly, we have yet another example of the United States' government enacting legislation which is designed to control not just the speech and actions of the citizenry, but their very thoughts. Of course, in today's politically correct version of Newspeak, such legislation is called "Hate Crimes."

Sadly, as socialist (both the economic and social varieties) gain more and more power in this country, such concepts gain greater and greater traction and acceptance.

But back on point, The Chosen One has recently signed a new law (the law was signed on 10/28/2009) which does two things: the first is add additional money to the fiasco in Afghanistan and the second is attack the very central concepts of free speech in this country.

It's amazing how Congress can design a law which is able to do two incredibly different things, both of which inherently destroy as many lives as possible.

Anyways, the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, henceforth known as the CrimeThink Act of 2009, expands the 1969 Federal Hate-Crime Law to:

  • include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability
  • removes the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally-protected activity (such as voting)
  • gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in thought crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue
  • provides $10,000,000 in funding for 2008 & 2009 to help state/local agencies pay for investigating thought crimes
  • requires the FBI to track statistics on thought crimes against transgender people (other "protected" groups are already tracked)

Probably what amuses me the most about this rather un-Constitutional law is who it is named after. Sure, James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Shephard were killed due to the thought crimes as described in the CrimeThink Act of 2009, additionally, those individuals responsible for killing the two in question were never charged under a thought-crime legislation.

Of course the simple fact that there was no thought crime legislation under which they could be flogged didn't stop their killers from being caught, tried and convicted.

But hey, what does that matter to those evil folks who push thought crime legislation through our governments? They care less about the fact that those responsible for killing someone were arrested, tried and convicted than they do that they weren't arrested, tried and convicted for saying things that they don't agree with.

Above all of this, heck, even above and beyond the concept of free speech, this is something which the United States Federal Government should have never brought to life. It is inherently un-Constitutional for reasons even above and beyond the free speech one.

First, there are serious repercussions regarding double jeopardy. The way this law is worded, Federal Prosecutors could charge, and convict, someone for a thought-crime, for which said person was acquitted of the actual crime.

Think about that: you could be charged and convicted because of THOUGHTS which lead to the beating/death of someone, for which you are legally (and possibly even actually) innocent of. Worse, you would receive a lengthier sentence than if you had been convicted of the actual crime of beating/killing someone.

Now think about this, our Constitution provides clear and concise limits on the power that Congress has. There are things Congress is allowed to do and things that it is not allowed to do. This concept was reaffirmed back in 1994 in United States v. Lopez. Of course, Congress has ignored the concept once again as it scrambles to draw more power to itself.

The thing is that back when the Constitution was actually relevant to our way of life, one knew that police powers were almost exclusively within the domain for the States. Additionally,it has long been understood (at least until Thought Crime legislation started making the rounds) that (and here I'm quoting the dissenting opinion of Justice Frankfurter for the case: W.Va. State Board of Educ. v. Barnette) "Law is concerned with external behavior and not with the inner life of man."

Why have we forgotten that?

Oh wait, we haven't--provided that the law in question is related to sexual deviancy, or what two consenting adults choose to do within the confines of their own home. Of course, simple things such as your thoughts and beliefs, well, you'd have better luck asking for a fire to not burn you than expect the government to not try and control what you think and believe.

And that has become a fundamental aspect of our rulers: they want to control every aspect of our lives. They expect us to bow and kowtow to their whims on everything to how we can improve our personal property to whether or not we have health care insurance.

Such tryanny used to be called such. It used to be understood in this country that totalitarian regimes were not a good thing.

Sadly, such wisdom has been lost in our leaders rush to provide us with such a thing.

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