Friday, May 02, 2014
Leftist Hate-Crime Hysteria
Democrats' new plans to monitor hate speech and racial bias in law enforcement.
Two Democratic Congressman and Attorney General Eric Holder are spearheading equally disturbing efforts to monitor and control the behavior of Americans – even if the Constitution and the truth get trashed in the process.
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) have introduced a bill known as the The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. It would require a relatively obscure government agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), to “update a report on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet in the commission of hate crimes.”
“We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States, which is why it is critical to ensure the Internet, television and radio are not encouraging hate crimes or hate speech that is not outside the protection of the First Amendment," said Senator Markey. "Over 20 years have passed since I first directed the NTIA to review the role that telecommunications play in encouraging hate crimes. My legislation would require the agency to update this critical report for the 21st century.”
Jeffries heartily concurred. “The Internet has proven to be a tremendous platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. However, at times it has also been used as a place where vulnerable persons or groups can be targeted,” he said. “I commend Senator Markey for his longstanding leadership with respect to combating Hate Crimes in America. He understands that in the digital era it is important to comprehensively evaluate the scope of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of First Amendment protection. With the introduction of Senator Markey’s bill, we have taken a substantial step toward addressing this issue."
As it is with so many leftist agendas, it remains up to the bureaucrats at the NTIA to determine what constitutes unacceptable speech that falls outside the purview of First Amendment protections. The bill leaves such interpretations up to the Justice Department (DOJ) and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who will "analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate.”
Civil liberties lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate clarifies the agenda here. “This proposed legislation is worse than merely silly. It is dangerous,” he explained. “It is not up to Sen. Markey, nor to the federal government, to define for a free people what speech is, and is not, acceptable.”
One might think it is also unacceptable for the federal government to define racial bias based on the number of police stops and arrests of Hispanic and black Americans relative to those of whites. One would be wrong. On Monday, the Eric Holder announced the DOJ would begin collecting data on such police activity in five American cities in order to address possible racial bias within the criminal justice system.
“This overrepresentation of young men of color in our criminal justice system is a problem we must confront – not only as an issue of individual responsibility but also as one of fundamental fairness, and as an issue of effective law enforcement," Holder said in a video address released Monday. "Racial disparities contribute to tension in our nation generally and within communities of color specifically, and tend to breed resentment towards law enforcement that is counterproductive to the goal of reducing crime." Thus, the DOJ has aligned itself with the the NAACP and the ACLU both of whom contend that higher arrest rates for blacks and Hispanics demonstrates racism.”
Holder cites familiar statistics to back up his claim, noting that half of black American men have been arrested at least once by the age of 23 and that black men were 6 times more likely, and Latino men were 2.5 times likely, to be imprisoned than white men in 2012.
Unsurprisingly, as is often the case with Holder and his ongoing efforts to use the DOJ to advance an agenda, truth is the first casualty. The reason blacks and Hispanics are arrested and imprisoned at higher rates than their white counterparts is because they commit crimes at much higher rates. For example, black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicides at ten times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined.
If Holder wants to collect data, he might begin with data already collected by the NYPD using their crime fighting analytical tool known as CompStat. In 2010, when civil rights activists began complaining about the disproportionate amounts of pedestrian stops of black New Yorkers relative to the representation in the population – 55 percent stops in a community that comprises 23 percent of the city’s population – CompStat data popped a giant hole in the activists' balloon, when the kind of statistics Holder cherishes revealed what occurred in the Big Apple in 2009. From the New York Times:
Based on reports filed by victims, blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crime in New York in 2009, including 80 percent of shootings and 71 percent of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of reported gun assaults. And the vast majority of the victims of violent crime were also members of minority groups.
Non-Hispanic whites, on the other hand, committed 5 percent of the city’s violent crimes in 2009, 1.4 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies.
Stats released for the city of Chicago’s 2011 homicide rates tell a similar story. In the Windy City that year, 94.8 percent of homicides were committed by blacks and Hispanics – and 94.2 percent of their victims were black and Hispanic as well.
Furthermore in 2012, the year Holder cites as the impetus behind his agenda, even more inconvenient realities are revealed. According to the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Reports, black Americans committed more than 49 percent of all homicides, and 55 percent of all robberies, despite representing less than 13 percent of the nation’s overall population. This compares to 48 percent of homicides and 43 percent of robberies perpetrated by whites and Hispanics combined.
None of this matters to racialist bean-counters like Eric Holder. Thus he will proceed with launching a new National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice, a $4.75 million pilot program funded by taxpayers that essentially starts out with the assumption that police are being over-zealous (read: biased) in their efforts to combat crime.
Tellingly Holder’s real agenda is revealed by what he contends motivated him to undertake this initiative: the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder for fatally shooting teenager Trayvon Martin. “Last July, following the verdict in the case involving the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Obama spoke out about the need to promote better understanding between law enforcement and young men of color,” Holder stated. “ He specifically directed the Justice Department to work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies to develop training and other innovative tools that can help to reduce discord and restore trust.”
Such discord and distrust is regularly ginned up by race hustlers like Al Sharpton, who played a major role in turning the death of Trayvon Martin into a national referendum on race. One so transparently dishonest, it required the media to label George Zimmerman a “white Hispanic” to maintain the fiction. Even Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal was insufficient to blunt the DOJ’s agenda: more than a year and a half after they began investigating him, Zimmerman remains in the agency’s cross-hairs for possible civil rights prosecution connected to the case.
The thinking behind both of these efforts is clear. Democrats and the Obama administration believe there is nothing wrong with using the federal government as a club to advance a progressive agenda that threatens free speech on one hand, and the ability to effectively fight crime on the other. In a time when the American left is attempting to promote the idea that America is cesspool of hate and racism – due in large part to “white privilege” – the public might be forgiven for being highly suspicious of how the NTIA might determine when the Internet is being used to commit hate crimes, and how they would prioritize their pursuit of ostensible violators. As for Eric Holder, he has made it painfully clear he is willing to use the DOJ to pursue a racialist narrative, even when the facts get in the way.
Republicans need to make it clear that another hate crimes bill has no chance of passing. Americans need to make it clear they are tired of an Attorney General willing to call them a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race, even as his latest effort implies that America’s top law enforcement official believes his fellow law enforcement officials are motivated by racial prejudice, rather than the pursuit of crime.
A Democrat brain-fart: Let's Amend the Constitution to Limit Political Speech
Team Townhall has been all over this morning's distressing economic news, which makes for an ugly pairing with the latest figures on the health spending explosion under Obamacare. Brit Hume cuts to the core of the juxtaposition in less than 140 characters:
"GDP growth slows to .1 % in first quarter as health spending spikes 9.9% in same period. Congressional Dems could hardly get worse news."
Not that things were going swimmingly for them to begin with. Anemic economic growth coupled with the largest quarterly spike in healthcare costs in 34 years is very bad news for the American people, and a full-blown political emergency for Democrats -- who own this "recovery," and who promised Obamacare would bend the health spending cost curve down. Time to fire up the distraction jalopy. In addition to their job-killing minimum wage push, Senate Democrats are proposing a number of measures that would scale back and chill political speech. Exhibit A:
"Senate Democrats will schedule a vote this year on a constitutional amendment to reform campaign finance as they face tens of millions of dollars worth of attack ads from conservative groups. The Senate will vote on an amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that would overturn two recent court cases that have given corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals free rein to spend freely on federal races. “The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections. That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now,” said Senate Rules Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who announced the plan. “The only way to undo the damage the court has done is to pass Senator Udall’s amendment to the Constitution, and Senate Democrats are going to try to do that,” he said...The amendment has little chance of becoming a part of the Constitution anytime soon because Republicans generally support the high court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC."
This is what "bereft of ideas" looks like. But as far as political theater goes, it ain't half bad. Dems know this thing has no chance of passing, but it gives them a chance to preen about money in politics and scratch their Kochsteria itch -- all while continuing to rake in huge money from loaded liberal donors.
Sen. Mark Udall, who's introducing this quixotic amendment, has already benefited from television ads paid for by "out of state billionaires." He bucked public opinion in opposing the keystone pipeline to placate one of his political benefactors, environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer."
At last report, the Left was running far ahead of the Right in the 2014 outside money race, but why complicate a solid victimhood narrative? "Robber barons and dark money!" Incidentally, Democrats' Koch Derangement Syndrome may be paying dividends among their top contributors, but it isn't breaking through to the American people. Average citizens may wonder why Democrats are focused so intently on limiting campaign contributions, rather than fixing the US economy and keeping their promises on Obamacare.
Some good "Right Hooks" from Patriot Post
GDP Slows to a Crawl
"If we expect another pivot from the White House, don't expect it to be on the economy," writes Hot Air's Ed Morrissey. That's because first quarter GDP came dragging in at just 0.1% -- barely a heartbeat. That's a significant slowdown from the fourth quarter of 2013, when GDP grew 2.6%. We expect further evidence of economic stagnation when April's jobs numbers are released Friday. Some economists point to the rough winter weather as the reason for the slowdown, and that may be true to a point, but it's far more likely that small business owners finally got their now-higher Obama tax bills. Combined with the other form of taxation -- regulation -- a slowdown is the natural result of Obama's policies.
Another $121M on Healthcare.gov
The Department of Health and Human Services has already doled out roughly $677 million on Healthcare.gov, and they're ready to spend another $121 million between now and January 2015 to fix remaining issues. Contractor Accenture Federal Services, which took over CGI Federal's massive failure on building the website, now says the price tag will be $30 million higher than the original $90 million estimate. Meanwhile, HHS is soliciting applicants for next year's contractor services. By the time 2015 rolls around, at least $800 million (by this administration's count) will have been spent on the federal exchange. Brought to you by the "Affordable" Care Act.
The NBA and Racism
The NBA has banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist remarks he made in private but that were released publicly (that's another story). Meanwhile, the NAACP, which withdrew Sterling's lifetime achievement award he was set to receive this week, said they're willing to "forgive" him -- if he makes some strategic donations. But here's something else to ponder: How many recordings are there of black NBA players making off-color racist remarks? And if they emerge will the NBA take similar action? We suggest a lifetime ban for the man who said this: "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites." That was Barack Obama in his book, "Dreams from My Father."
Biden's 'Basic Bargain'
"This is not your father's Republican Party," said Joe Biden. "Folks, we're losing something profound when we break the basic bargain that built his country ... that made us the greatest economic powerhouse in the history of the world," he added, pointing to the recent story of the troubles of the middle class. The problem, he says, is Republicans. "This massive shift is being largely driven by this incredibly narrow mindset that presumes that wealthy investors are the sole drivers of the economy. ... That's what today's Republican Party is all about." One need not be wealthy to invest. In fact, though investment is down since the Great Recession, still more than half of Americans own stock, including about 50% of the middle class. And what built this country was hard work and self-reliance -- the very antithesis of the wealth distribution schemes of Biden and his boss.
WI Voter ID Struck Down
Wisconsin's Voter ID law was nullified Tuesday after federal district judge Lynn Adelman ruled that "virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin." This is just the latest state to fall victim to leftist charades -- Arkansas' Voter ID law was voided last week, and Eric Holder's DOJ is taking action against North Carolina and Texas over similar laws. The ACLU's Dale Ho declared, "This is a warning to other states that are trying to make it harder for citizens to vote. This decision put them on notice that they can't tamper with citizens' fundamental right to cast a ballot. The people, and our democracy, deserve and demand better." Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker said of the decision, "We believe the voter ID law is Constitutional and will ultimately be upheld. We're reviewing [the] decision before deciding on potential action."
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Posted by JR at 12:41 AM