We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever." George Orwell, 1984
The very notion of speech "crimes," or "thought crimes," deeply dismays me. It's not a slippery slope argument: we are already on the slope.
If I punch you in the nose due to an irritable mood, it's assault. If I punch you in the nose and call you a "filthy libertarian," they can add a couple of years to my jail time.
While we tend to think of Lefties when we think of proponents of criminalizing thought, no-one's hands are clean with this. From a piece by Nat Hentoff in the Village Voice (h/t, Daily Pundit):
The current view of the Supreme Court, that what you say can add prison time for what you do—in a "hate crimes" case—came down in Wisconsin v. Mitchell (1993). The defendant, Todd Mitchell, black, was convicted for "assaulting" a white teenager, and the trial judge added two years to the normal two-year sentence for aggravated battery, making it a "hate crime."
This is what happened in the "assault"—as described in by far the best book on this issue, Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics (Oxford University Press), by NYU law professor James Jacobs and attorney Kimberly Potter.
Todd Mitchell and several friends had just seen the movie Mississippi Burning, about the notorious murders of civil rights workers in the South during the 1960s. In one scene, a praying black youth was beaten by a white man. As Mitchell and his friends left the theater, a white youngster walked by, and Todd Mitchell said to his companions:
"You all want to fuck somebody up? There goes a white boy, go get him." The white boy was beaten so badly that he suffered severe injury. But Todd Mitchell, as Professor Jacobs notes, "did not physically participate in the beating." (Emphasis added.)
The Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the state "hate crimes" law that added two years to Mitchell's sentence unconstitutional because it punished an "offensive motive or thought." But writing for a unanimous United States Supreme Court, William Rehnquist overturned the state court and ruled that "bias-motivated offenses warrant greater maximum penalties across the board."(Emphasis added.)
Rehnquist was way wrong on that one. How about the Bloods and the Crips? Read the whole thing.
Image: Photo of George Orwell (Eric Blair), 1903-1950. No doubt he would be pleased to know that he is in the Maggie's Farm pantheon.
Update: As if to reinforce the above, I see today at Env. Repub that the ADL wants Gibson charged with hate crimes - purely for speech. Thank God that in America we are all free to be jerks and disgusting idiots - because we all are, sometimes. Which is not a defence of Gibson - what a schmuck. (Is that hate speech too?)