Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Slippery Slope


The selling points of virtually all proposed legislative acts invariably include the assertion that they are benign efforts to address this or that crisis, injustice or societal problem. After the enactment however, we find the real world effects of the application of these statutes is quite another matter.

One of the glaring examples of this phenomenon is of course the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913 which enabled the Federal government to tax income. The chief reason put forth in support of the proposal was the facilitation of collecting from "fortunate" citizens a "fair share" of the exponentially increasing cost of government programs whose chief purpose is to purchase the votes of one or another political constituency. Additional arguments posited by the Progressives at that time in support of the amendment was that the small marginal rates of the progressive taxation would only effect a very minute percentage of the population and then only the very wealthy. Sound familiar? The good intentions paving that road to today's hell (IRS) are obvious in retrospect. Times have certainly changed since the early decades of the 20th century when it was accepted that changes to the Constitution required legislative action as prescribed in the document instead of the judicial fiat of a mere five black robed members of the legal priesthood.

A similar logic, or I might say, a lack thereof, has attended the widespread acceptance of "hate crime" legislation. These "laws" are attempts to penalize the thoughts of perpetrators by assigning additional penalties dictated by the baseness of their motives. If it can be successfully argued that a criminal has selected his victim on the basis of that person's membership in a protected group, the criminal will receive additional punishment. It therefore comes down to which groups are designated as specifically protected and this process is of necessity a political one. We thus now have political and thought crimes.

Enter House bill H.R. 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 which passed the House on 23 Oct. 2007 and is now before Senate committees. When has "An Act to Prevent ________" actually succeeded in preventing anything?
The most disturbing aspects of this bill, and there are many, are the definitions noted in Section 899a. The three offenses defined in this document that will warrant prosecution are:

“Violent Radicalization: The term ‘violent radicalization’ means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”

“Homegrown Terrorism: The term ‘homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

“Ideologically based violence: The term ‘ideologically based violence’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or social beliefs.”

Laws virtually identical to this bill have been enacted in various jurisdictions of Europe and have more often than not been used to suppress groups and individuals critical of the policies of the ruling, mostly unelected political elite with respect to immigration and the inexorable islamization of that hapless continent. Comments by US bloggers and other observers often allege that such outrages are precluded from occurring on the western shores of the Atlantic due to the protections of the First and Second amendments. I would hasten to remind you, dear readers that the second amendment's protection against infringement of the right of the people to keep and bear arms for otherwise lawful purposes does not extend into the cities of Washington, New York or Chicago nor to the state of California. Additionally, the First Amendment's protection of free speech does not include certain political speech during a specified time period prior to a national election. It seems that in localities and times when these "rights" are the most needed and useful, they will be violated by our rulers.

Cross posted at: Eternity Road

8 comments:

Howlsatmoon said...

They shall go too far one day, my friend.....and then all the laws that they could possibly enact will not save them the embarassment of being dragged naked into the streets to be held to count.

Oh, and then we shall be both heroes and outlaws.

Wollf

Goober said...

Wollf;
I hope you're right, but I cannot see that happening without bloodshed, and a lot of it.

I am afraid of what may someday become, as our percieved collective fears of "the big scary" of the week continue to erode our fundamental rights and freedoms, while we, as a society, seem glad of it.

To allow your fundamental freedoms to be slowly eroded, in return for a perception of security from one monster, merely exposes you, in a hightened state of vulnerability, to another.

Additionally, I notice that in all of this effort to "save" us from "the big scary" of the week, that the largest, most imminent threat to our security has been left unaddressed. This law only deals with terrorism once it has landed on American soil. This deals in no way with the fact that terrorists are currently capable of coming and going as they please through our punchline of a southern border. Typical beareaucratic nonsense to not cap a problem at it's source, when it is most easily remedied.

I will leave you all to ponder why this has been left unsolved as an issue, as the reason eludes me.

Pogo said...

Goober, I believe you miss the point. This law deals with the "terrorists" that are here now. In the words of the philosopher "We have met the enemy and he is US". In effect, when you rise up to resist the muzzies, YOU will be designated as the enemy of the state.

Howlsatmoon said...

Pogo...you are just twisted enough. You have read my silliness a bit too long if you "get" me.

Goober, I personally shall not go quietly to my doom. Leonidas says it well when calling it the slippery slope. I agree with you. As it happened before, 200 years ago, it shall happen again.

"When one People....."
G-d bless our Republic.
Wollf

Goober said...

Pogo,
I did not misunderstand even a little bit. I know exactly what this law is intended for, but see no use for it until the flow of new terrorists is cut off.

Kind of like cleaning up the flood while the pipe is still leaking. First things first, stop the leak, then go after the flood. Otherwise, they replace as quickly as you can arrest and you get no where.

But I am not even that worried about terrorists inside the US when you start looking at what this law means. This is, in effect, thoughtcrime. The definitions so vague that they could be turned on anybody that the government has a mind to.

This is far greater threat than terrorists ever could be. We are gladly allowing on monster to protect us from another, and in return, exposing ourselves to the bigger, badder monster unknowingly.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

goober, the flow of muzzie terrorists into the US has absolutely nothing to do with HR 1955. It clearly refers to the HOME GROWN variety which will include you, me and wollf should we explicitly oppose Islamization. One only need observe what is occurring in the UK which has nearly identical legislation. There, it is the patriotic Brits who are prosecuted for advocating opposition to the implementation of a parallel sharia legal system or "insulting" islam which as everyone knows results in bloody rioting.

Goober said...

Leo;

I know what the HR does. You guys must not be understanding me, and I apologize for not being clear.

While allowing a free flow of people into our country, most of whom we have no idea of their identity, many of whom could easily be terrorists, we are instead choosing to focus on "homegrown" terrorism.

Sort of like ignoring the 800 pound gorrilla in the den, but bombing the house for bugs because you might have seen a cockroach in the kitchen.

Understand?

I refer you to my first post, where I stated the following:

"I am afraid of what may someday become, as our percieved collective fears of "the big scary" of the week continue to erode our fundamental rights and freedoms, while we, as a society, seem glad of it.

To allow your fundamental freedoms to be slowly eroded, in return for a perception of security from one monster, merely exposes you, in a hightened state of vulnerability, to another.


To clarify, then, the second monster that I refer to is the US government slowly taking our essential rights.

Also, in my second post, I stated:
But I am not even that worried about terrorists inside the US when you start looking at what this law means. This is, in effect, thoughtcrime.
And continued...

We are gladly allowing on monster to protect us from another, and in return, exposing ourselves to the bigger, badder monster unknowingly.

Therefore, stating that the government's erosion of our rights is an even bigger monster than the terrorists that are in our midst.

I would rather live every day in fear of a terrorist bomb than give up my rights. Far too many good men died to give them to me, and i am unwilling to surrender them because of fear for whatever "big scary" is currently in vogue.

And yes, i know for sure that this law could be extended to include me. I have said things in the past that could easily fall under this "sedition" law if a bent, crooked politician decided that they should.

So I think you guys are misunderstanding me. I know exactly what this law is for, and what it does, and was merely using the illegal immigration thing as a point to prove that they really don't care about terrorists in our midst, because if they did they would stop the border hemmorage. Because of that, i am convinced this law has nothing to do with Islamic terrorists, or otherwise. It has to do with you and me...

Goober said...

So finally, after all of this bloviating, I guess my point is this...

This law will be useful when and if "they" try to give away our sovereignty to a North American Union, or give away our culture to foreign invasion (like in Europe), or take away our gun rights once and for all, or, or, or...

But it is obviously NOT useful to stop terrorism inside of our borders as long as our border is hemmoraging, and "they" know it. THat is why this law has little to do with terrorism and everything to do with US.

Whatever the event, "they" will have control, whether it be a Europe style foreign invasion, a North Amrican style foreign invasion, a governmental decree to deny further essential rights, etc. This is not just limited to a Europe-style Islamization. it could be anything that the government does that you, in turn, disagree with, and our border is proof of that.

Hope that helped, and that your eyes are not bleeding from the long read... Sorry about that!