More loosely-worded, unconstitutional ‘legislation’ — an alleged Hate Crimes Bill that could very easily be used by the federal government as an attempt to stifle free speech — that conveniently leaves plenty of room for interpretation is working its way through Congress, offering more evidence that those in Congress should be required to read and understand the United States Constitution before being allowed to take a Congressional seat.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression — states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
H.R. 1966 — the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act — proposed by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez of California states that:
“Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both….
`(1) the term `communication’ means the electronic transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user’s choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received; and
`(2) the term `electronic means’ means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.’.”
Not defining basic language such as ‘behavior,’ ‘severe,’ ‘intent to coerce,’ ‘intimidate,’ ‘harass,’ ‘substantial emotional distress’ and ‘electronic means’ leaves the door open for the government to interpret the meanings however they see fit.
Writing about how hypocritical politicians are, whether it’s on a blog or on a newspaper’s web site could end up resulting in being a Felony, depending on how the government chooses to define it. Writing about bad customer service from a company, despite the fact that it may be true, could easily be interpreted by the government as hostile behavior, resulting in being charged with a crime.
“Excessive” criticism of Israel, as also noted by Counter Punch, could be interpreted as inciting hatred, which can then be interpreted as an act of violence. Demanding that Israel be held accountable for all the war crimes they’ve committed could easily become acts that violate the ‘hate crime’ bill.
Writing about boycotting a company until they change their policies could be considered ‘hostile behavior,’ resulting in committing a crime. Complaining about a partner or spouse you’ve broken up with could be considered ‘hostile behavior,’ making you guilty of committing a crime. The possibilities are endless.
Interpreting ‘Legislation’ to Suit the Government’s Needs
As the history of these past eight years has repeatedly proven, and as noted by Counter Punch, a statute’s words give no indication of how the law will be interpreted and applied. The government has a history of expansively interpreting ‘legislation’ to suit its needs. Some examples given by Counter Punch:
“The Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) was directed at drug lords. Nothing in the law says anything about divorce; yet it soon was applied in divorce cases.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly bans racial quotas and defines racial discrimination as an intentional act. Yet, quotas were imposed by the civil rights bureaucracy on the basis of the 1964 Act, and intent was replaced by statistical disparity.
The Clean Water Act makes no reference to wetlands and conveys no powers to the executive branch to create wetlands regulations. Yet, for example, Ocie and Carey Mills, who had a valid Florida state permit to build a house, were imprisoned by federal bureaucrats, who claimed jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The bureaucrats ruled that the clean dirt used to level the building lot constituted discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters of the U.S. No navigable waters were involved, and according to the state of Florida, no wetlands.
The Exxon Valdez accident was criminalized. An unintentional oil spill became the intentional discharge of pollutants without a license, and the bird kill became killing migratory birds without a license. An accident was prosecuted as crimes of intent.”
There are many more examples of dubious, loosely worded ‘legislation’ that the government conveniently twists around with its double-speak to trample over Constitutional protections and destroy civil liberties. Hate crimes are hard to enforce, especially when trying to determine whether speaking against someone or criticizing them can be easily conflated. More information can be found in the article from Counter Punch.
More Congressional Subversion of The U.S. Constitution
In their usual manner, the press has remained relatively silent regarding the so-called ‘hate crimes law’ that passed in the House of Representatives in a vote of 249 -175 — 249 members of the House of Representatives need to take a look at the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution regarding freedom of speech, equal protection of the laws and the prohibition of double jeopardy (you can’t be prosecuted twice for the same offense) — in total violation of the U.S. Constitution. More information about those amendments and the violation of them can be found from The CATO institute. This is the same government that refuses to hold the Bush administration accountable for their multiple crimes against humanity.
As noted by the CATO Institute, a government powerful enough to pick and choose which thoughts to prosecute is a government too powerful, and that under current U.S. law, any action that ‘abets, counsels, commands (or) induces a perceived ‘hate crime’ shares in the guild of that crime and is therefore punishable.
Once the Senate ignorantly and purposely tries to criminalize thoughts and free speech, it will inevitably end up going before the U.S. Supreme Court. The ‘hate crime’ bill allows defendants found innocent of that offense in a state court to be tried again in a federal court.
President Obama also supports this legislation. His support is surprising since before going into politics, he was a Constitutional scholar — but then again, he’s gotta protect the ones he serves instead of those who voted for him. So much for “change you can believe in.” He and the U.S. Congress need to read and understand the Constitution instead of constantly trying to illegally subvert it. More on the destruction of free speech and the unconstitutional ‘hate crime’ bill can be found from The CATO Institute, War On You and Populist America.