Quick Roundup 428

Thursday, April 30, 2009

House Votes to Criminalize Opinion

Through this blog entry linked at The Houston Chronicle, I learned that the House was considering HR 1913, a "hate crime" bill. The writer at The Black Shards Chronicle makes an argument against the very concept very much like one I made a few years ago in The Undercurrent. As I said then:

Punishing someone for his beliefs in addition to his actual crime is, in fact, exactly the opposite of what the government should be doing. For example, if someone gets ten years for a crime and has two more added on because he is "guilty" of a "hate crime," he's being jailed two years for his ideas by the government.
As of this morning, the bill has passed. I am not sure whether WorldNetDaily is correct that a minister can now be prosecuted under this bill, "should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense," but it certainly paves the way for it. (Proper laws -- against actual incitement -- are already on the books, just as they are for assault, rape, and murder.)

Also, as I noted then, the conservative movement is hardly opposing this latest assault on freedom:
A 2007 Hart Research poll shows large majorities of every major subgroup of the American electorate -- including such traditionally conservative groups as Republican men and evangelical Christians -- expressing support for strengthening hate crimes laws.
The headline? "Log Cabin Republicans applauds passage of hate crimes prevention."

Playboy Interviews Ayn Rand

Jeff Scialabba of the Ayn Rand Institute reports that, "Playboy has posted its dynamite 1964 interview with Ayn Rand."

Objectivist Roundups

Last week, Rational Jenn hosted. This week, it will be is at Stephen Bourque's blog, One Reality.

Drat! Gotta make that submission deadline next time!

Additional note to self: Watch this video. Leonard Nimoy and hobbits! How can I lose? My wife will probably like it, too.

Handouts against Handouts!

Paul Hsieh notes that printouts of the PDF version of "Health Care is Not a Right" would make excellent handouts to have on hand for the next round of Tea Party protests and tells you how to get the PDF.

Altruism vs. Beauty -- and Courtesy

Jennifer Snow writes a very thought-provoking post, taking the oft-alleged "objectification" of women as her point of departure:
But saying that a woman who clearly has put in quite a lot of effort is "ugly"? To me, this is frankly disturbing. The ramifications of a statement like that are incredible, particularly when it is made in front of another woman as a sort of compliment, which is how I hear this most often. Even if I ascribe the best of intent to the man making the statement--he is saying this particular woman is not his type--it implies an ugly comparative standard. He is saying to the other woman present that she should be pleased because he is elevating HER appearance above that of this other, idolized woman. I'm sorry, but no rational person wants to be valued only because they're BETTER THAN someone else. They want to be valued because they are good by an objective standard. [bold added]
Read the whole thing.

-- CAV

2 comments:

Jaz said...

Gus,
First off I just finished reading the link to the Undercurrent article you wrote few years back on the subject -you nailed what is at stake with clarity, with no quarter given to the mystical intellectual adverseries. Just extraordinary, superlative writing.

There were two stories in the local News& Observer from this morning that caught my attention related to the "hate crime legislation". The first was an AP report -ok, get prepared for this-it said: "The bill, which passed 249-175, could provide a financial bonanza to state and local authorities, with grants for investigation and prosecution. The federal government could step in and prosecute if states requested it or declined to exercise their authority."
To be kept in mind is that AP is one of the largest news services in the world and not a kook-job. The above is very ominious and needs to vigorously fought. As you pointed out in your article this is an assault on the ideas that we hold in our mind. It is an abject attempt at "mind-control". What thoughts that a man or each man as part of a group hold that would need the states to request federal help? And the federal Gestapo will now be able to circumvent the states if they think the law of a state is not "punishing" "hate-crime" enough??
From that same AP report:"President Barack Obama, in contrast, urged support, saying it would "enhance civil rights protections, while also protecting our freedom of speech and association." And of course that will go unchallenged with the cultural state we are in! In fact he will be hailed as an upholder of freedom and no one sees the massive contradiction and evasion involved.
The second story was from the Charlotte Observer on U.S. Rep. Foxx "Foxx Called Out for Criticism of anti-hate crime bill": http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/695592.html

An ignorant and uninterested public perhaps does not understand the import of the entire "hate-crime" legislation and what is at stake.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, Jaz.

What really blows my mind about this is that this was nowhere near being on my radar. I am, admittedly, spread pretty thin these days, but still: I heard about this only by chance.