Home / Culture and Society / Heartless U.S. Rep. Calls Matthew Shepard Murder A “Hoax”

Heartless U.S. Rep. Calls Matthew Shepard Murder A “Hoax”

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+1Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

According to court testimony, in the months leading up to October of 1998, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney lived with a friend named Tom O’Connor. Tom intimated to McKinney’s girlfriend that he’d had sex occasionally with her boyfriend, and thought he was bisexual. Despite O’Connor’s later sworn statements in court to the contrary, McKinney denied having sex with him. After months of suffering taunts and denials, McKinney became anxious to prove his macho manhood and decided that a good old-fashioned “fag bashing” might just fill the bill.

The trouble was that O’Connor was too good of a mutual friend to be the intended target of his wrath.

McKinney and his attorney would later try to assert that his eventual victim had blatantly approached the two much bigger men for sex and that his client merely overreacted. They didn’t count on both McKinney and Henderson’s girlfriends later refusing to provide them with alibis, and then turning against them in court. According to subsequent testimony by both women (Chastity Paisley and Kristen Price), the two men planned in advance to “play queer,” gain the trust of some homosexual, and then rob and beat him up. Their story was later confirmed when Henderson turned state’s evidence in order to avoid the death penalty.

On the night of October 6, 1998, McKinney and Henderson entered the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming, and picked a slightly built college student named Matthew Shepard as a likely candidate. After a few casual drinks and some flirting to gain his trust, they offered Shepard a ride home, which he accepted. Instead, before he realized what was happening, they drove him far out of town into ranch country, pulled a pistol on him, and then robbed him of his shoes, keys, and valuables.

Not satisfied with that humiliation, McKinney then used a rope to tie him to a ranch fence. The two friends proceeded to torture, taunt, and severely beat him, being careful not to kill their prey in order to prolong his ordeal. When they later returned to their girlfriends, they bragged of repeatedly forcing Shepard to beg for his life, and intimated how they planned to rob their victim’s apartment now that they knew where he lived.

When they were subsequently arrested, the bloody gun, along with Shepard’s wallet and shoes, was found still in McKinney’s truck. The off-handed discarding of his wallet proved that robbery was not the main motive for the attack.

Late in the afternoon of the day after the beating a man discovered the 21-year-old college student still tied to the fence, barely alive, but in a coma. He was so badly beaten that he was at first mistaken for a scarecrow with a red painted face. He later said the only part of Shepard's head not covered with blood was where tears had apparently washed tracks down his cheeks.

His skull was fractured from the back of his head to his right ear. He was so badly beaten that he suffered brain stem damage, which meant his brain could no longer regulate his body temperature and heart rate.

As the night’s temperature fell to near freezing, Matthew probably slowly suffered the cold in agony until mercifully lapsing into a coma. Because of the blood loss from dozens of deep cuts to his scalp and face, the doctors at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins determined there was nothing they could do to save him. Though he remained on life support, he never woke from his coma and died days later on October 12, 1998. His story inspired candlelight vigils all over the world and made national headlines.

Fast-forward ahead in time to 2009.

Inspired by Shepard’s story and many like it over the years, hate crime legislation bearing his name has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.

Republican Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina argued that Shepard was killed accidentally as part of a robbery, not because he was gay: "The bill was named for him, the hate-crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."

In a later attempt to clarify her statement by blaming it on faulty information from right wing websites, she tried to appeal to outraged colleagues by stating, “Referencing these media accounts may have been a mistake, but if so, it was a mistake based on what I believed were reliable accounts.” She went on to try to back-pedal by saying, “Mr. Shepard's death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received.”

In my opinion Rep. Foxx deserves to be removed from office.

It is incomprehensible that an elected official could stand on the hallowed floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and verbally spew what are essentially prejudiced and ignorant statements based on slanted and inaccurate accounts.

It goes to prove the assertion that just because you agree with something doesn’t make it fact. In this case, thankfully, it came back to bite her on the ass, and she deserves nothing less than the same treatment from her constituents; who, I’d dare say, are more than a little embarrassed that she seems to have clumsily confirmed a few unfounded and unwanted southern stereotypes.

Powered by

About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • After considerable attempts, this is now up.

  • No pun intended (sorry, couldn’t resist)..

  • No problem Glen, thanks for your efforts.

    I noticed we’re no longer getting e-mails when comments are posted on our articles, nor when their published?

    Now, no matter which article I log onto, I have to keep putting my name and URL in even though the remember name box is checked.


  • Hey Glen, when you get a sec, click my name/url and tell me what you think of my new BC link icons!

  • Doug Hunter

    I’m not sure I understand the difference between a ‘Hate’ beating and murder and a normal loving and caring beating and murder. This legislation is part and parcel of the leftist divide and conquer strategy. It reminds people of their differences, sews mistrust, and instills fear into groups reminding them to go to the polls and vote for their valiant defenders.

    What is there to fear ‘hate’ crimes or normal loving crimes?

    Avg annual ‘Hate’ murder: 9
    Avg annual Loving murder: 16,900
    Avg annual ‘Hate’ rape: 4
    Avg annual Loving rape: 90,427
    Avg annual ‘Hate’ A. Assault: 800
    Avg annaul Loving A. Assualt: 825,000

    ‘Hate’ crimes are less than .1% of all violent crimes and they don’t warrant special legislation. This is a political stunt by divide and conquer leftists to garner votes.

  • Doug Hunter

    Also, as ‘1984’ references are so prevalent in politics. Readers should look up ‘Hate Week’ from the book and see if the strategy seems familiar.

  • Clavos

    It is incomprehensible that an elected official could stand on the hallowed floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and verbally spew what are essentially prejudiced and ignorant statements based on slanted and inaccurate accounts.

    It shouldn’t be incomprehensible, Jet. The “hallowed” [floor of the] House of Representatives is the country’s preferred and principal location for stupidity — a hallowed tradition that dates all the way back to the 18th century.

  • Jordan Richardson

    So somehow American politicians and pundits managed to turn hate crimes into a political issue too?

    Doug, we have similar hate crimes legislation up here in Canada and it isn’t opposed by any political party nor is it considered a controversial issue. What is and what isn’t a hate crime is pretty simple; it’s based on prejudice or bigotry of gender, race, religion, and so forth. While that reminds people of their differences (heaven forbid!), it certainly also offers just punishment against those crimes committed solely on the basis of said hate.

    I think, as usual, the American discourse is playing semantics and the details are forgotten, as are the victims of very real, very relevant hate crimes.

    Also, the twisting of Orwell to meet one political party or the other is hilarious. I’m pretty sure he would have despised the whole damn scene.

  • to paraphrase…
    They came after the Catholics, but Doug didn’t care he wasn’t one

    They came for the pawn brokers, but Doug laughed and cheered them on because he wasn’t one

    They arrested all the Democrats, but Doug didn’t care he wasn’t one

    They shot the faggots, but Doug didn’t care, in fact he cheered them on

    They excused the Klan for beating Jews and encouraging their neighbors for turning them in for abuse, but Doug didn’t care he wasn’t one

    Then eventually they came for Doug, but there was no one left to defend him against them…

  • Point taken Clavos

  • I got a chuckle out of that myself Jordan.

  • It’s pretty bad when I can’t even get my own article to remember my name and URL… Yes I checked the little remember me box.

  • Clavos

    If I kill someone because he’s black and then kill someone else because I enjoy killing, is there any difference to the victims?

    Will the law punish me differently?

    “Hate crime” is a superfluous concept at best.

    McKinney and Henderson killed Matthew Shepard, so society should kill them. The “why” of their killing is irrelevant to the proceedings, except to establish motive.

  • “It is incomprehensible that an elected official could stand on the hallowed floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and verbally spew what are essentially prejudiced and ignorant statements based on slanted and inaccurate accounts.”

    I happen to agree with Clavos, Jet. Why should you find this incomprehensible is incomprehensible to me. They do it all the time. They’re politicians, aren’t they?

  • Clavos, there are additional penalties for attacking a police officer, because some people attack them only because they’re police officers.

    Until we can teach people like McKinney that it’s wrong to target someone because they don’t like their ethnic background, religion, or sex preference or race solely for hatred reasons, and that they can suffer additional consequences because of it, what’s the problem. When likeminded people finally get the message, the legislation can be repealed, or ignored.

  • Is this entering and re-entering the user’s name and the url going to be a permanent feature of the new BC?

    Is there anyone who knows?

  • Roger, I already conceded the point to Clavos.

    The point remains that the ignorant bitch should’ve made sure she had her facts straight before she opened her mouth.

    It was ignorant and naive of me that I should be appalled that she got away with it on the House floor.

  • The tech guys have the weekend off-well deserved-I’m sure they’ll tackle it on Monday… or maybe Thursday.

    As much as I like the “look” they’ve created, I still maintain that they should’ve worked out the missing nuts and bolts before releasing it to the public.


  • Maybe it’s to make a person think twice before adding a comment… Is it worth the hassle or re-entering all that stuff?

    I’m glad I’m not the only one having that problem. I entered mine last night and it stuck, but this morning I had to start doing it all over again, and the memory seems to be article exclusive, so if you comment somewhere else, you have to start all over again.


  • Jet,

    I am still rather conflicted about “hate crimes” – although less so now than before – so perhaps you can help me out here.

    I see two elements here.

    1) a deterrent. Now, that’s the only aspect of the law I saw before, and even now I’m not certain to what extent a deterrent element ought to be build into sentencing phase. I know that lawyers may have ready-made answers (probably they’re divided, too), but I also believe one could try to think through this from outside, as it were (e.g., from the vantage point of the philosophy of law). So that’s one point.

    2) This is a recent find for me and tends to sway me to thinking that “hate crimes” are justifiable. And the element here is similar to what we call “aggravation” with
    respect to the offense, adding thus additional penalty because of circumstantial or other factors attending the crime.

    One, perhaps not the best example: “homicide as a result of a drunk driver. One would think that being drunk here would constitute an excuse. Well, judges frown at this kind of defense and usually accord even stiffer sentences (not just for deterrence reasons but of the “aggravation factor” – e.g., he willfully put himself/herself in the position of being impaired), and I tend to agree.

    Your thoughts

  • Doug Hunter

    Jordan, technically speaking the ones bringing the legislation are the ones politicizing the issue. I use statistical facts to demonstrate the very limited extent of the problem (less than .1% of violent crimes) and Clavos has attempted to show logically why a ‘Hate’ crime is no different from a normal loving and caring crime. On your side, Jet has accused me of cheering people on while gays are killed and you have accused me of the emotional fopah of ignoring the victims.

    This is why political discourse is so useless, we simply speak two very different languages. Some prefer to try and determine reality based on the facts regardless of how that makes people feel, and others do what makes people feel good regardless of the reality or facts. Too much hard sciences and maths growing up made me an evil right winger!

  • I’ll take your reply shortly. Out to get some smokes.

  • Clavos

    Good point about “aggravated,” Roger. It illustrates that there already are sufficient laws on the books to cover circumstances wherein a crime is committed solely for “hate” reasons.

    And Jet: For obvious reasons, it would be difficult to escalate the appropriate punishment for murder, which is execution of the murderer, although I suppose we could do something like torture the perp before killing him.

  • Doug Hunter

    The additional sentencing for crimes against police are silly as well. I don’t see how a policeman’s life is any more valuable than anyone else’s. If the object is deterrence, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the 99.9% of crimes not covered under special status?

  • Clavos

    And are the statutory punishments actually deterrents? One of the arguments put forth by those opposed to capital punishment, many (if not most) of whom also support hate crime laws, is that capital punishment offers no deterrent to those bent on mayhem. I would, to some degree, grant that point, except in the case of the executed criminal, who obviously will never again commit any crime.

  • Arch Conservative

    The notion of hate crimes is rediculous because it implies that a crime committed against someone is somehow worse when then perp (that’s the person who committed the crime for those of you who aren’t as up to speed on law enforcement lingo as I am) was motivated by hatred based on race, sexual orientation, religion or some other unique characteristic of the victim. If a someone murders a straight man is that any less a tragedy or crime than if a gay man is murdered?

    It’s not that I believe we should ignore the motivations of the perp or perps as in the Matthew Shapard case, it’s just that with all the other issues our government should be addressing I don’t see the need to enact legislation that states the severity with which we should consider a crime should be based on the motivation of the offender. Murder is murder and should be treated with the same whether the vic (some more law enforcement lingo meaning victim) is black, white, male, female, gay, straight, christian, jewish or even a whacked out scientologist.

    Before Jet gets his panties in a bunch let me just add that I do believe there is great value in bringing to light the motivations behind such brutal crimes as the Matthew Shepard case in the public arena. It should be mentioned on the six o’clock news, printed in your local newspaper and talked about at the water cooler on Monday morning. It should be discussed so that others may possibly be saved from their own vile ignorance that makes them think it’s OK to mistreat, harm or otherwise abuse another human being because they happen to be gay, or black etc….

    It is irrational hatred based in stupidity and ignorance that causes some to do what was done to Matthew Shepard but the motivation is more a cultural matter than a legal matter other than as Clavos said…to actually establish motive to prove a crime was committed.

    It’s just that leftists are in love with victimization politics that they feel the need to enact these laws and they will no doubt portray those of us that oppose them as not giving a damn when things like the Matthew Shepard murder happen.

  • Back in 1924 my grandfather (a black man) and my grandmother (a white woman) got married in Kentucky.

    It must’ve been one hell of a love for them to risk the consequences.

    They were beaten, harrassed, their house was torched and he was dragged out and beaten more than once. Their tormentors got away with their acts repeatedly, because there were no laws specifically designed to protect them.

    Eventually he was jailed for that hanus crime of marrying her.

    After a few years, laws were put on the books protecting interracial couples from being the victims of hate crimes. If they hadn’t, the illegal beatings and arson were considered justifiable by the locals as punnishment against folks they considered immoral and against “God’s” will that the races shouldn’t mix. In other words the minority needed protection against the majority.

    Nowadays, interracial couples are everywhere and no one bats an eye, but back then…

    Nowadays ingnorant people used the same passion and bible towards gays that used to be used against my grandparents, and they deserve the same protections until gay couples are accepted as being no more horrid than anyone else.

    Back then interracial marriage would never be considered something that’d ever become normal in the future; it was inconceivable.

    I don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.

  • As for additional penalties, it’s simple. When a life sentence can be paroled in 20 years or less, you have to add stuff to keep people from getting out before they deserve to.

    That’s why criminals are sentenced to 3-4 consecutive life terms in some hanus cases.

  • I hope you guys know that, that “last page” button only works in groups of 20 and that you have to hit next page to see whats beyond that.

    That means once we get above 40, even though there’s 45 or so comments “Last page” will only take you to 40 no matter how many times you hit it.

  • Clavos

    Their tormentors got away with their acts repeatedly, because there were no laws specifically designed to protect them.

    No, Jet, there were laws, even back then against assault, arson, etc. The only difference between then and now is that the laws then were not enforced, due to racial prejudice; it’s a difference in attitude, not in the applicable laws, that is needed.

    What those guys did to Matthew Shepard was already illegal; passing additional laws marking their acts as “hate crimes” won’t mean that the a homophobic murderer or assaulter or arsonist will be more zealously prosecuted and sentenced than a husband who kills his wife in a jealous rage. The crime (and the harm to the victim) is the same.

  • Well, what is the up-to-date legal theory on “aggravation” factor, Clavos? I don’t buy into the deterring element, but I’m not certain how to think about the former. The legal practice of late seems to recognize the first – e.g, the difference between committing a robbery and committing a robbery while possessing a firearm.

  • Clavos, I believe you missed the part where I wrote:

    After a few years, laws were put on the books protecting interracial couples from being the victims of hate crimes. If they hadn’t, the illegal beatings and arson were considered justifiable by the locals as punnishment against folks they considered immoral and against “God’s” will that the races shouldn’t mix. In other words the minority needed protection against the majority.

  • Clavos

    That means once we get above 40, even though there’s 45 or so comments “Last page” will only take you to 40 no matter how many times you hit it.

    Not true, Jet, don’t spread misinformation. Though awkward and inconvenient, the last page button will take you to the next set of twenty comments, whether there are 45, 65, 74 or 85 comments. Both of Dan(Miller’s) current comment threads have exceeded the 40 comment level, and in both, the high number comments are visible with the last page button.

  • I like this idea of the US state killing people who have killed.

    Indeed, I think we should extend the idea. Let’s rape rapists, burn arsonists, steal from thieves, force drugs upon dealers and so on. After all, the punishment should fit the crime…

  • There also seems to be a pitfall when it comes according sentences strictly by virtue of the objective fact, i.e., the crime committed, e.g., as a result of murder. We all know that other factors come into play – e.g., was it premeditated or on the spur of the moment, planned well in advance or in the heat of passion. So these considerations argue against sentencing as based on nothing other than “the objective fact.”

  • Clavos

    Clavos, I believe you missed the part where I wrote:…

    I didn’t miss it, Jet. You missed my explanation of why those laws were unnecessary; all that was needed was for the existing laws to be enforced, which only comes with a change of attitude on the part of society. Without that change in attitude, the new (hate crime) laws would also have been ignored.

  • When we reached 20 here Clavos, “last page” would only take me to 20 and no further. I had to hit “next 20 comments” to read 20-29.

    That’s not misinformation, that’s fact.

  • Clavos

    Last page will take you to the last page, Jet. Fact.

    What you’re saying IS misinformation.

  • From your mouth to God’s ear Chris. amen, it’d be one hell of a deterrant.

  • I remember the good old days when you could just hit “end” on the keyboard to get to the last comment on an article.

    It was a simpler and calmer time.


  • Clavos

    Agreed, Jet, and hopefully we’ll see those days again — we’ve requested it from the tech guys.

  • Clavos

    Ok, Jet, my last comment was #41. I just hit last page and it took me right here.

  • I am wrong-and glad of it. Apparently one of those notes I posted on the editor’s page took and the fixed it, because it didn’t used to work.

    kudos Clavos

    I’m always happy to admit an error

  • Well, Jet. Since they’re still working on it, it’s not a stable environment and occasionally you do run into problems like having to input your name and url. It WAS a problem half an hour ago, but apparently no longer so for the time being.

  • Clavos

    Even techies have to rest once in a while (one can drink only so much Jolt cola), so they’re taking the weekend off, but on Monday, they’ll be hard at work again, so we’ll continue to see bugs resolved and improvements made.

  • However if you want to reference a comment younger that just five minutes ago, you can’t scroll up to read it without some button pushing.

    In one of my rants, I mentioned that on the next re-design (no matter how pretty) they should give the writers (like we’re doing now) a week to tear it apart and fix before releasing an only partially working version for the general public to see.

    I realize we had to rush it in order to release all those articles on Obama’s first 100 days in the new format… but…

    I love the graphics and the design, it’s the execution that sucks.

  • The point in a case of ‘hate’ murder is that there’s an additional and very specific violence being perpetrated on top of the actual homicide. That needs to be recognized by the law.

    Clav, in your acting days did you ever take part in or see a production of The Laramie Project? Our local university drama department staged it a couple of years ago. It’s a unique piece of documentary theatre compiled from actual eyewitness accounts, interviews and court transcripts regarding the Shepard murder.

    It’s one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I’ve ever watched. I would highly recommend everyone to go and see it if a production of it comes on in your area.

    And finally (I can’t believe Clav hasn’t caught this yet):

    Jet – heinous
    Doug – faux pas

    [strolls away whistling and dusting off hands]

  • Clavos

    I believe the name problem came about because they decided they needed to remove the “//http:” that showed previously in the URL box (because not every commenter has a website), so what I think happened is they just wiped them all out, and we’ll have to insert our names on the first comment we make on each thread we participate in, until all of the threads recognize us once more. Notice that the http is now gone.

  • #45 Clavos, I believe I mentioned that about 10 comments previous, and I understand

  • D’oh ahhhhhh he got me, the doc got me. I’m dying, I’m……..

  • Now if only we could get them to put the damned last page button near or on the top instead of the bottom of the page?

  • There is a link just beneath my article here to purchase either the script or the DVD of the Laramie Project-it is excellent and I highly recommend it.

  • Clavos

    However if you want to reference a comment younger that just five minutes ago…

    True to the extent that, if the comment you want is not in the current group of 20 (sounds like a ChiCom government ruling junta), you must hit “previous 20 comments” first. otherwise, you can just scroll.

    As I said, awkward and inconvenient.

    Now if only we could get them to put the damned last page button near or on the top instead of the bottom of the page?

    For truly full functionality, I’d rather see it at both top and bottom. I’ll pass it on.

  • “The point in a case of ‘hate’ murder is that there’s an additional and very specific violence being perpetrated on top of the actual homicide. That needs to be recognized by the law.”

    So do you view this “additional and very specific violence” that’s being perpetrated on analogy with say the “quality” of motivation? And I’m not talking now about the atrocity of the act itself (e.g., eyes punctured or ears cut off, as opposed to just shooting the guy) which is a separate matter (though it still informs of the motivation) but everything else being equal, that is?

  • Clavos


    Haven’t seen (or performed in) The Laramie Project. I’ll watch for it.

    I missed heinous, but saw “fopah.” Everybody crawls up my ass for being the grammar/spelling Nazi, so I’ve started closing my eyes…

  • Clavos

    The point in a case of ‘hate’ murder is that there’s an additional and very specific violence being perpetrated on top of the actual homicide.

    Murder’s murder.

    That needs to be recognized by the law.

    Obviously, I disagree. The victim is no more dead, and if we enforced our capital punishment laws better, neither would the perp be.

  • Roger, if a man steals a car, are you saying he should suffer the same consequence because he stole a rusted out junker to syphon the gasoline in its tank as opposed to stealing say an ambulance that was about to leave on a run to save a life?

    both cases are vehicle theft.

  • Oh now this is interesting. I just hit “last page” and wound up with our regular page here, but where the comments should be was a blank white space with the words “Page not found”???

  • I tend to agree, Jet, as you’ve seen from my earlier comments, that “objective fact” is not a sufficient factor, in and of itself, to determine the sentence. And so I disagree with Clavos here in that “murder is murder” is an oversimplification because not every murder is alike.

    Your example is a bit far-fetched and I’m not very comfortable with it – though it makes a point in a way. I would be more comfortable talking here in terms of motivation (because ultimately the motivation informs the act itself and this principle is recognized in legal practice).

    So I’m putting to you the same question I put to Doc (and forget about the deterrence factor for now): is “the additional and very specific violence” he talks about to be understood on analogy with telling us something over and above about the motivation involved? How else do you understand that? Because IF it does, then I’d tend to agree that it is a pertinent factor and worthy of consideration (insofar as motivation informs the act itself).

    Am I making myself clear?

  • …he talks about to be understood on analogy with telling us something over and above about the motivation involved? How else do you understand that? Because IF it does, then I’d tend to agree that it is a pertinent factor and worthy of consideration (insofar as motivation informs the act itself).

    Am I making myself clear?

    Uh… um

  • Okay, I’m going to be gone a little while, I’ve gotten that “Page not found” for the third time and I’m going to post it on the editor’s page for them to look at on Monday.

  • Okay, I came back and last page only displays my comment 61 and my name and URL vanished again?

    I could swear there used to be a “report a bug” button/link at the top of the page?

  • I left for only an hour and it forgot my name and URL-this is getting old real fast.

  • Cannonshop

    8- They created it as a political football when they coined the term “Hate Crime”. What these two scumbags did was aggravated, premeditated, capital murder. WHY they did it matters not one gods-damned bit except in proving motive, THAT they did what they did is the only thing that matters. That the System was so spineless as to give one a free pardon from execution for it shows just how weak our culture’s become.

    Luring someone out of town, robbing them, torturing them, killing them… that’s the sort of action that is the reason we have inventions like the Gas Chamber, Electric Chair, Lethal Injection and the Rope.

  • Well, Cannon. But that’s precisely my point. What exactly do you mean by “aggravated”? The idea of “hate crime,” it seems to me, works to specify or enlarge upon the meaning of “aggravated” crime.

  • Thanks Cannon, however the point of the piece is that Foxx maintained (until corrected) that the “hate” part of the crime was a hoax in order to sell the legislation. The fact that they intentionally targeted a gay guy in order for McKinney to prove he really wasn’t a fag is.

    She believed a few websites similar to the ones that said the holocaust never happened, and rather than checking her facts about the Shepard case, she ran her mouth off like a fool.

  • Ruvy


    I hate to say this, but I tend to agree with Cannonshop in his comments about the fact that “hate” crimes are a bullshit category. This was premeditated murder, and the bastards should have been hung by the balls, if not by the neck. However, I live in a country that has hate crime legislation on the books. When Arabs call for the death of Jews in Israel, the bastards get off scot free. When Jews where so much as a t-shirt saying “no Arabs, no terror” they are arrested for incitement (what hate crimes are called here).

    That is what will happen increasingly in the States, especially now that the “Blessed of Hussein” is in power. His slant on what constitutes a hate crime will be the official slant and justice will not be pursued impartially.

    Nevertheless, I agree with you that the “honorable” congresswoman from Virginia deserves to be booted out of office for her stupid and false comments.

  • As I’ve said before Ruvy, Hate Crime only adds another layer of time to an existing sentence to make sure these two jerks and the like-minded followers won’t be paroled early.

    That’s why additional time is tacked on other crimes, like against cops, so that two or three life terms are served consecutively.

    That way if they’re paroled early on one, they still have to serve the “hate crime” time in order to be eligible for another parole twenty years later.


  • Ruvy


    I never said the man is a Moslem, did I? Barak Hussein means ‘blessed of Hussein’. That’s a translation of the Arabic, Jet, a language I have to have some familiarity with. And this is the name his Moslem father gave him. And to put is it bluntly, whatever he alleges his faith to be (Moslems claim him because his father is/was a Moslem), his politics are anti-Israel.

  • zingzing

    now republicans are against hate crime legislation? what the fuck is wrong with you people?

    and doug, what’s a “fopah?” you making up words now?

  • It’s one of the cloptzers that straight people use Zing.

  • Ruvy, Obama is about as anti-Israel as you are Anti-American… wait, let me rephrase that

  • same logic, zing, which prompts them against gun legislation: the existing laws should be enforced, that’s all. It’s simply a matter of sticking to their guns. Anything that smacks of “progress” – a dirty word in their vocabulary – ought to be fought in earnest. That’s the essence of conservatism – cherish the old, distrust the new.

  • Roger, you forgot wave the Bible and worship the Confederate flag.

  • All right I give up, HOW are you people tracking multiple comments across different articles without a lot of ctrl D’ing?

  • How did I forget that? That’s just the extreme faction. But all conservatives, to a tee, abhor change.

  • That’s okay Roger, I got it confused anyway, it should read wave the confederate flag and worship the bible, although if you think about it both apply equally as well.

    I wonder what they’ll do with my next article about all the recent teen suicides from being bullied at school by their peers by “That’s so Gay” and being called “Faggot” whether they are or not.

  • Interesting, in some groups of 20 my name and URL are there, in others it’s blank.

  • Same experience here, Jet, as regards last paragraph. Let’s hope for the best.

    But I do want to stress I happen to be with you on this issue – and I tried to be clear as to my reasons. So I’m not your enemy.

    Anyway, I’m coming to the conclusion that no rational argument serves a useful purpose, not anymore. And that it’s essentially a matter of heart. And as you know, there can be no reconciliation in matters of heart unless you win a few. A rational argument ain’t the ticket.

    Look to my brilliant article shortly.

  • Irene Wagner

    What about the Conservatives who abhor Liberals and want to change them into Conservatives?

    Hadn’t someone suggested we stop using those polarizing and fuzzily defined terms?

  • Irene, you mean they want to liberally unliberalize liberals?

    Say THAT three times fast!

    uh liberally unlibubulre
    liberally unlibalizer libals
    liberally unliberize

  • Irene,

    Sorry to disagree with you, darling. Polarization is not my idea but it’s there nonetheless – however I hate to see it and however I label it.

    It is a matter of heart, ultimately, and when it comes to that, there really is no compromise or common ground. You shall never be able to make that kind of reconciliation, not as a human.

    It’s God’s job.

  • Irene wagner

    Yes, Jet, though they’d probably take a more conservative approach.

    YOU were the one who made that suggestion, Roger Nowosielski, several months ago in one of your first articles. God writes his own job description.

  • Oh, they want to conservatively
    unliberalize liberals

  • Well, Irene. Part of my job here is to be a spokesperson.

  • You know, seriously, some people might think I was being flippant by including the cartoon on page two, but if you read the article, the bottom of the cartoon slams you right in the heart as to what his last hours of life must’ve been like.

  • But you’re still skirting the issue and what I consider to be the main stumbling block – which is, to put it bluntly, how to turn the rascals around.

  • Irene wagner

    What to do about sociopaths, you mean, no matter WHO their victims are? Early diagnosis and intervention, maybe? If sociopaths were in CHARGE of that process, as well they might be, there could be problems.

  • People fear what they don’t understand, and the kill what they fear.

    To get to know us gays, is to understand that the only difference between me and the ordinary man in the street is who I sleep with and who I love.

    Once they get over that, they’ll realize that I’m a good neighbor, a caring friend and a thoughtful citizen of the world…

    I’m prejudiced too, against limp-wristed pansies who swish around, talk like hair dressers, and wear five different shades of clashing pink. They’re the only face that the news media feels that it’s necessary to present to the general public, reinforcing a lot of false stereotypes, that have noting whatsoever to do with who I am.

    Either that or we’re all sex-crazed perverts who convert little boys and kidnap husbands from gym lockerrooms.

  • I’m not even considering them. In fact, my remarks far transcend the scope of Jet’s article but pertain to regular, perfectly “reasonable” (take notice of the quotation marks) persons. And the context is no murder or any other crime but honest-to-goodness dialogue, human communication pure and simple.

    Do you get my meaning or do I have to say more? It has to do with disagreement not just on this issue – which Jet rightly raises – but ALL issues in fact, large and small. And there’s no end to this disagreement. It’s part of the human condition.

  • Anyway, think about it, Irene. In my future article (the one after the next), I’ll make a definite statement.

  • Doug Hunter

    Roger, conservative is a terrible misnomer in my opinion. I don’t ‘abhor change’, I abhor people trying to use the government to take away my freedoms, to try and force me to accept their values, and generally to run my life because they believe they know better. That’s a distinction that clearly you can’t comprehend.

  • Irene wagner

    Jet, I’m all for people even people with what Os Guinness (yes, of the Stout family) getting along. “The core problem is not simply an American problem but a global challenge: How do we live with our deepest differences, especially when those differences are religious, racial, and ideological?”

    The thing is Jet, I’m not sure a sociopath is going to be cured of his sociopathology by realizing that homosexuals are people. People are just the sort of creatures sociopaths LIKE to terrorize and kill.

    I might be talking in circles though. Recent discussions on Torture indicate that with the right kind of brain washing can turn anyone into selective sociopath. That’s the sort of brain washing that might be going on in (dast I say the name, lest it beckon his adherents?) Fred Phelps church, but violence toward gays has never been promoted in any church I’ve gone to, Jet, and I’ve been to some pretty conservative churches. Even ones in the South. If these are the sorts of folks you want to build bridges with, Jet…? You know?

    Some poeple DO wave their Bibles. “Hold the fort for I am coming, Jesus answers still.” “Wave the answer BACK to heaven *kids hold their Bibles in the air*, by thy grace we will.”

  • Irene wagner

    whar’s m’ preview button?

  • Yes, Doug. It is ultimately about values. And I happen to think that the kind of values that perhaps you and others oppose are values that transcend nation-states and other (I hate to say it but I will) old-fashioned ideas but embrace humanity at large. And ultimately, I think this is the bone of contention.

  • But Irene. By your own admission as it were, “normal” persons may well be regarded as sociopaths. Just take what you’re saying to a logical conclusion. And it’s got nothing to do with “sociopathic” acts or deeds.

    Aren’t words sufficient?

  • Irene wagner

    Is that hymn sung within fifteen miles of ANY confederate flag by the way?

  • Doug Hunter

    Well at least you admit the truth of what you’re doing. How does your attitude make you any different than say, the Taliban? They too believe their values are worth being forced on others. Perhaps if you have to force your values on others they’re not as worthy as you believe. Freedom is enough for my values to exist, why not yours?

  • There’s no glory in the statement, only hard fact.

  • Irene wagner

    Roger, Criminal justice folk know that sociopathology is a real phenomenon. Early intervention could help–but I worry about diagnosis being carried out by the same crowd who recently made up the “People who are To Be Considered a Threat to Domestic Tranquility” list. Ron Paul supporters were on that list, just for being Ron Paul supporters. Imagine!

    What do you mean “aren’t words sufficient?” To justify a person’s placement into the “sociopath” category?

  • Clavos

    Roger sez, in #85:

    Part of my job here is to be a spokesperson.

    You don’t have a job here.

    Least of all as spokesperson for anybody but yourself.

  • Irene wagner

    Or rather, “acts like a sociopath even though he isn’t a sociopath” category?

  • Acts or speaks, same difference to me.

  • I’d rather revert to biblical categories because they’re more honest.

    The righteous and the wicked. (Or in terms that Heidegger had used, authentic and inauthentic, which comes down to the same thing because self-deceit is no excuse).

    I know I’m gonna catch some wrath here from our well-meaning atheist friend, but so be it.

    In the ultimate analysis, and you can quote me if you will, it’s a fight between good and evil.

  • zingzing

    “How does your attitude make you any different than say, the Taliban? They too believe their values are worth being forced on others.”

    my god. look in the mirror when you say that. what the hell are we doing in iraq? why is your party trying to legislate morality with these defense of marriage acts? why did your party try to pass some law against burning the flag? what’s up with that? i mean, jesus, if there’s one metaphorical example of “freedom,” it’s burning the fucking flag. and you guys tried to stomp on it. why does your party defend wire-tapping and torture? what the fuck is wrong with you?

  • zingzing

    that last comment was for doug in #98


    Doug, you want to experience cowardice, you want to see daily fright FIRST HAND? Go out and tell your five closest friends and neighbors that you’re gay and experience the looks you get for the next week, the avoidance of their children, the whispers and laughs.

    What about the hate crime of having someone paint FAGGOT on your garage door in giant letters, and them laughing at you after being slapped on the wrist with a fine for vandalism, even though it means being your scared of what will happen next, or if it’ll be worse… now that they know they can get away with it?

    Then you’ll see what I go through daily… that is if you’re man enough to endure it-like I am.

    What is worse in your book; teaching teens in highschool that gays are no different than anyone else, or that gays are dangerous perverts that you don’t want to get too close to, because you might get infected by us?

    What irks me personally is how society accepts lesbians but not gays. Think of the difference of reaction if you see to 40-year-old women holding hands, or your wife kissing a female friend, vs two men holding hands, or the smirk on your face every time you see two straight middle eastern men kissing as a normal greeting?

    Something to think about

  • Doug Hunter

    Zing, you have some good points. I believe it to be the lesser of two evils. The left’s evil is more subtle and less overtly offensive, more Nurse Ratched than Gordon Gecko.

  • At least that’s a more honest assessment that some are willing to admit or own up to – the conflict of means over ends.

    The uninformed view is to dismiss the conflict outright as though it was of no consequence or any kind of import.

  • What irks me personally is how society accepts lesbians but not gays.

    I dunno about that, Jet. There seem to be far fewer ‘out’ gay women than there are ‘out’ gay men. I very much doubt we can conclude from this that there are fewer lesbians.

    What you’re referring to is the social norm whereby if two women are seen holding hands or kissing, it’s a lot less likely that anything sexual is going to be read into it than when two men do it.

  • I guess it’s different here in the midwest than out on the wild west coast…

    I’m actually learning trick for entering the name-first letter, drop down box
    URL-the letter H, and select


  • Clav @ #56:

    The victim is no more dead…

    I’ve been out most of the day and I’m sorry to drag this discussion back to where it was a decade and a half or so ago, but that warrants a response.

    It comes back to Jet’s point about punishment. A victim of rape and murder is neither more nor less dead than a victim of straightforward murder – but the punishment for the offender is different. The victim couldn’t care less – but his or her family and loved ones left behind DO. We need to recognize exactly what the perp did.

    Just as someone who commits rape and murder is handled differently by the legal system than someone who commits robbery and murder, so it should be for someone who commits a hate crime and murder. Perhaps ‘hate crime’ is not the best definition, but these are distinct and specific crimes of violence.

    And unless one has been attacked physically or verbally because of the color of one’s skin, one’s nationality or one’s sexual orientation, I don’t think one can truly appreciate that – the closest you could come is perhaps if you were ever bullied at school because of some physical attribute that you couldn’t change.

  • Clavos

    All good points, Doc, but my point is that the only penalty for premeditated 1st degree murder should be death, and you can’t punish the perp more than that — unless of course you want to torture him/her first, which I also would support, especially for murders preceded by torture of the victim, as is the case here.

    But, the death penalty is already on the books, so let’s enforce it and quit trying to put ever more laws on the books, when the real problem is that we don’t, for a variety of reasons, enforce the ones we already have.

    I’m not a religious man, as you know, Doc, but one of the aphorisms from the bible resonates strongly with me: An eye for an eye…

  • Clavos, even you know that a lot of states don’t HAVE the death penalty, and those that do allow a defendant to plead down to life for cooperating with the prosecution against a co-defendant, as in this case where he turned state’s evidence against McKinney.

    How many people have you heard that were ACTUALLY put to death lately?

    Here in reality (for the 9th time) the only way to insure a guilty man actually serves what he’s supposed to is to impose more time on him as insurance against early parole.

    My example of the spray painted garage door vs the slap on the wrist for vandalism, while the victim worries what comes next is the perfect example of why hate crimes penalties are needed.

    Death penalties are pleaded down all of the time and you know it…

    …talk about mis-information!

  • Clavos


    Thirty seven states do have the death penalty, and the ones (13 + DC) that don’t can be forced to enact them by the feds, just as they force states to enact and enforce equal opportunity laws, fed-mandated speed limits, etc.

    Even you know that if a death penalty can be plead down, then a paltry add-on penalty for “hate” will be even more easily avoided.

    Or, maybe you don’t.

    My point still stands:

    we have plenty of laws already on the books; enforce them to the hilt instead of passing new laws which will no more be observed than the existing ones.

    It’s totally illogical to think that despite the fact we don’t enforce the laws now by allowing perps to plead down, when we pass these new “hate” laws, we’ll suddenly start enforcing them.

    Ridiculous, even for you.

  • Irene Wagner

    #113 You’d throw out the Eighth amendment before you’d put up with a law you considered to be merely superfluous?

    Or were you prankishly sending out feelers HERE to see how hard torture opponents would push back?

  • Cannonshop

    #73 Roger, Existing Laws AREN’T Enforced. When someone tortures and murders someone else-whoever that victim may be, it’s an AGGRAVATED crime-whether the motive was a couple bored white-kids out thrill-killing, or a couple Bigoted Rednecks doesn’t matter. What matters is that the victim was tortured before he died, that this was pre-planned and carried out, and that the perps should, by all common rules of decency (except those common to the Left, which can use the victim again-and-again to erode freedoms and add Laws while protecting real murder and real torture of real innocent people) be removed post-haste from the world of living men.

    To me, the Shepard murder is on par with Gacy, Dahmer, or any one of a thousand other cases where the perpetrators went out of their way to dehumanize their victim and destroy them before finally releasing them into death.

    To torture and kill is to torture and kill-that’s all that needs to be considered by the law (BUT, it MUST be considered), ‘why’ is not for the Law to define, only for the investigation to determine as part of the process of uncovering, exposing, arresting, trying, and convicting the guilty.

    A guy who hacks up redheads or a guy who hacks up ‘fags’ makes no difference-obviously it’s hatred, obviously it is evil. There is no specialness about being Gay, or Red-haired, or having a long pinky, or wearing braces or glasses or having a cleft chin or an overbite or being a man or being a woman here, beyond the ability for some office-seeker or publicity seeker to use that as a means to turn people against one another either in fear, or in mistrust. “Hate Crime” legislation does precisely that very thing-it breeds racism, sexism, religious discrimination, it devalues one life by raising the value of a protected class at their expense.

    Notably, it’s the same folks pushing Hate Crime legislation that also push legislation protecting the ‘right’ of creeps to prey on innocent people, whether by enacting gun-control, or opposing the removal of scumbags from the mortal coil.

    The same folk who want to jail others for what they ‘think’ or ‘feel’ are the same ones that want to turn the criminals who do it to EVERYONE loose on EVERYONE.

  • Cannon, while that is very well put, I still maintain my two examples.

    A. Though both are legally the same (vehicle theft), there’s a difference between stealing a junker for the gas in its tank, and stealing an ambulance about to leave on a run to save a life.

    B. Vandallizing a brick wall in a back alley, and painting FAGGOT on a garage door.
    Afterward the homeowner has to live wondering or fearing what comes next after the perpetrator got away with a “slap on the wrist” sentence, when the punishment might have been more severe and future act preventative had the crime been classified as a “hate crime” instead of or better yet on top of vandalism.

    Why do I have to keep repeating this?????

  • zingzing

    because people are idiots.

    “enforce the laws already on the books!” they say. well, we don’t enforce the laws on the books, or else you wouldn’t say that, right? why not make laws that will be enforced?

    hate crime legislation makes absolute sense. it’s obvious. if you don’t understand it, then you have definitive proof that there IS something wrong with you.

  • Clavos

    why not make laws that will be enforced?

    If existing laws are not being enforced, what makes you think new ones will be?

    There’s no logic whatsoever in that assumption.

    because people are idiots.

    Congratulations on finally admitting it zing.

  • “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest…”
    Simon & Garfunkle

  • zingzing

    “If existing laws are not being enforced, what makes you think new ones will be?”

    if at first you don’t succeed, etc, etc. how’s that for logic? if you want to talk about “no logic,” why not look at your own as well? really, what about my statement did you not get?

    “Congratulations on finally admitting it zing.”

    i’m (in this context,) talking about you. or people like you. so… shove it.

  • Ma ® k

    They may be idiots, but they’re all we’ve got.

  • “What matters is that the victim was tortured before he died, that this was pre-planned and carried out, and that the perps should, by all common rules of decency (except those common to the Left, which can use the victim again-and-again to erode freedoms and add Laws while protecting real murder and real torture of real innocent people) be removed post-haste from the world of living men.”

    I like your analysis, Cannon. But explain the last sentence.

  • Definition of aggravated felony from the Wiki.

    Not very helpful because it’s just a list. What is the idea behind it is up to us to guess. Any takers?

  • Clavos

    Garfunkel, Jet. Good song.

  • Hey, how come the html code doesn’t register? How do you post your links now?

  • Clavos


    what about my statement did you not get? Nothing. I got it all, including the fact that it’s illogical and makes no sense.

    i’m (in this context,) talking about you. or people like you. so… shove it.

    BFD. I’m talking about you and people like you, so what?

  • Irene Wagner

    Jet, speaking of “disregarding the rest.” Revisit the teen suicide angle. If a teenager–lacking the maturity and compassion you have–but sharing the revulsion (you referred to it in another comment here) for in-your face stereotypical gay manifestations (a revulsion perhaps fed by private worries about the meaning of his own same-sex attractions)— if he were to call one of his peers a “fag,” (or worse yet, paint it on his garage) would the consequences for him be any more severe than they would be if he called a bulimic (potentially fatally so) classmate fat, or participated in any of the online picture-posting or rumor-spreading cruelty that result in the widespread humiliation (and consequent suicide) of a heterosexual peer? Should they be?

    SRO’s have more than they can handle reducing narcotics sales in the hallways. Is a law which contains injunctions against teasing REALLY going to be enforced? Teen suicide is the third largest killer of young people between 15 and 24, and it’s been on the rise, even as there have been concerted efforts to spread the word that homosexuals are people with feelings, too. Have they really been effective in reducing homosexual suicide? It seems that the people who need special intervention are the at-risk individuals themselves: instruction on how to deal with stress with medication or therapy. Even if one third of the suicides are caused by homosexual angst (debatable of course, since there are other factors that may have been at work and the deceased isn’t around to confirm our guesses), what about the other two thirds?

    That’s all I have to say. Roger said he would be interested in hearing more from Cannonshop about this, and so would I.

  • I’m not certain I’m getting your analogy, Irene. I think the issue turns of the logic of “aggravated” when applied to crime. Philosophy of law would be helpful here, but I don’t have access to the texts. Motivation is an all-important aspect in determining the nature of the crime (and therefore, the sentencing); and if the concept of “aggravation” works to reflect the underlying motivation, then I’d be leaning to the view that the idea of “hate crimes” rests on a sound basis. So that’s my thinking as of now.

    I am less certain about the deterrence factor, i.e., whether stiffer sentencing ought to reflect deterrence.

  • zingzing

    “I got it all, including the fact that it’s illogical and makes no sense.”

    of course it makes sense. and there is logic behind it. you just don’t like it, so you say it’s illogical. bullshit, i say.

    if you can tell me WHY it’s illogical, i’ll listen. but there is an OBVIOUS logic behind it. if you don’t get it, that’s on you.

    “I’m talking about you and people like you, so what?”

    congratulations. we’re talking about each other.

  • Irene Wagner

    Others representing both sides of the issue were handling the aggravated assault aspect (for awhile, in a rather meaningful way), whereas I was talking about teen suicide and homicide, a relationship Jet and others supporting the bill have brought into the discussion. But I’ve said enough here. I want to listen to what some of the others have to say.

  • Irene Wagner

    That was to Roger. I’d also welcome hearing views from a different perspective about what I’ve just said, I just won’t be around to answer them for awhile.

  • To get a link up that you’ve already used, put your curser in the window and hit the letter “h”. A dropdown box should appear with the last links you’ve used, click it and it’ll appear in the box.

    Same with your user name, type the first letter.

  • The bitch is getting back to the most recent comments after you’ve posted one.

  • Think of it this way Irene: In Nazi Germany if I called you fat, people might smirk at you and call you names too. If I called you a Jew, it might get you killed.

    If I called you fat in highschool you might get laughted at and mocked. If I called you a fag you’d likely get beaten up… several times and fear when the next one will come.

  • Here’s a little trick I’ve learned people:
    After you’ve posted a comment, hit the back key on your keyboard, and then F5, you’ll find yourself back here without all the hassle.

  • I like your example, Jet. The cultural prejudices of the day do make a difference and appear to break the analogy.

  • I find hate crime laws rather problematical. True, intent is an element of many if not most criminal offenses. Killing someone accidentally is punishable less severely than killing someone because one intends to do so. Killing someone intentionally after thinking about it and preparing to do it is a crime of a different and more serious magnitude than intentionally killing someone in the heat of passion. However, the victims are in all cases equally dead.

    My objection to hate crime laws is not that they depend upon intent. My objection is that they seek to impose different punishments for harming different classes of people, and that physically injuring people at large due to hatred thereby becomes different and less significant than harming members of statutorily defined classes due to hatred.

    Jet mentions in Comment #15 that additional punishments are often provided for killing policemen than for killing others. I think that the distinction is normally between policeman killed in the exercise of their duties and others, rather than between policeman not in the exercise of their duties and others not in the exercise of their duties. I am not aware, for example, that different laws pertain to killing policemen not in the exercise of their duties and barbers, per se.

    Since policemen’s official duties put them more often in harm’s way than other people, these laws have some logical justification: society has an obligation to protect them in that small additional way when they are employed in protecting society from violent criminals. If society is to provide superior protections to people simply because they are of a particular race, sexual orientation, etc., why not provide similarly superior protections to people simply because they compose beautiful music, contribute heavily to charity, are celebrities or are for whatever reasons viewed by some as different? Society does tend to punish people who physically harm small children more severely than those who harm adults, but children have traditionally been seen as more in need of protection by society than adults. Slippery slope problems should be, if not always avoided, at least considered.


  • THIS ARTICLE WAS MENTIONED and a link back to BC AT USA TODAY!!!!Click here!

  • “My objection to hate crime laws is not that they depend upon intent. My objection is that they seek to impose different punishments for harming different classes of people, and that physically injuring people at large due to hatred thereby becomes different and less significant than harming members of statutorily defined classes due to hatred.”

    I happen to agree with the last part. But doesn’t the first part of your statement, as regards “imposing different punishments” a natural consequent of determining the intent?

    Or to put it another way, how can one avoid the latter (namely, harming different classes of people) while preserving the former?

  • Murder is murder, and a gay man’s life or a black man’s life isn’t worth more if taken than a straight male’s.

    To all those that support hate crime legislation, I understand your position from an emotional standpoint, but this issue has nothing to do with the laws. It’s the system that’s supposed to enforce them that fails.

    Take the recent example of “Derrick Donchak, 19, and Brandon Piekarsky, 17, [who] were acquitted of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and ethnic intimidation for the death of Luis Ramirez…the all-white jury of six men and six women from Schuylkill County jury found Piekarsky and Donchak guilty of simple assault.”

    Read up on it and you will find a hate crime was one of the charges, and the all-white jury, who proved Murtha’s point about rural PA (so his critics can put that in their pipe and smoke it), let them off the hook with a slap on the wrist.

    With that being said, since I don’t plan on committing any potential hate crimes, I wouldn’t stand in the way of having the legislation enacted and enforced. I would ask the people that are against hate crime legislation, how exactly does it impact you at all? Is this really a battle worth having?

  • Go back and check out the link in 140! I got a mention at USA Today!!! with a link back here!

  • I don’t have any horse in this race – just trying to understand the logic of it. And it’s not true that murder is murder. Premeditation is different than a crime of passion. True, the person is equally dead in either case, but the latter may get you no more than five years (especially in France) but not the former. And sentencing reflects these differences, as it ought to.

  • “simply because they compose beautiful music, contribute heavily to charity”

    Please cite a case where a tone deaf jury or a frugal jury allowed a perp to escape justice from your examples. Otherwise, the analogy doesn’t work.

  • Clavos


    One more time:

    It’s illogical to assume that a new law will be any better enforced than existing laws.

    A far better remedy to the problem would be to make it mandatory to enforce all laws equally and to ensure that those crimes which are particularly heinous are punished to the fullest extent available by law. We already have sufficient well-crafted laws to cover any permutation of crime; the real problem, as you and others have said, is the lack of enforcement and (thanks to liberal concern for the rights of criminals above those of the victims) lax sentencing by judges; a new law in and of itself will NOT solve that problem, nor is it likely to be any better enforced.

    Even you should be able to see that.

  • Interesting challenge. But character references is one of the strategies often employed by defense.

  • “And it’s not true that murder is murder.”

    fine. first-degree murder is first-degree murder. does that satisfy your semantic needs?

  • It’s not just a matter of semantics, because the consequences are real.

  • Hey, Jet,

    Just read your bio about collecting chess sets. Do you also play?

  • No Roger, I just stare at the pretty peices and wonder what they do. I play at about the 1200 level.

    Okay burst my bubble, praise me, insult me-but do something people! I’ve never gotten mention in USA Today before. See comment 140.

  • Jet, it was a perfectly innocent question, please, because some people just collect.

  • M A rk

    Congratulations to all of the commentators who got Jet the recognition he craves! (Just kidding, Jet…good article dude.)

  • Thanks Mark, you’re sweet

  • I’ll second that. But Jet, you’re worrying too much about what others think. If they don’t like you, fuck ’em.

  • But Jet. Have you tried to get on the Miller’s last article’s thread? It won’t turn past comment 80.

  • I’ve warned Nalle about this, Clavos, I just hope I catch you in time.

    If you keep leaning to the extreem like that you’re computer’s going to fall off of the right side of your desk!

  • But Roger! Matt Sussman hates me… does that mean I have to

    No I better not go there…

  • Well, I’ve just been told that thousands of articles a day get listed there and it’s no big thing.

    …isn’t that a kick in the balls? Well I’ll be mozzying rait aylong nayow now that I’ve made a fool of myself long enough.

  • Whatever works, Jet. As long as you do it online.

  • Irene Wagner

    Many of our elected officials also neglected to read the bill before they voted on it, so I suppose we shouldn’t feel too bad, but…don’t sections (1) and (2) provide a comprehensive list of “protected classes?” Has the discussion around this bill been more polarizing than it needed to be? Am I missing something?

    H.R. 1913
    ‘Sec. 249. Hate crime acts
    ‘(a) In General-
    ‘(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN-Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person–

    ‘(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

    ‘(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if–

    ‘(i) death results from the offense; or

    ‘(ii) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.


    ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerouse weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person–

    ‘(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

    ‘(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if–

    ‘(I) death results from the offense; or

    ‘(II) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

  • I think the list is comprehensive, Irene. It’s your remark about polarization that I’m not sure of. What you do mean? I must be thickheaded today, or perhaps my natural resistance to legaleese.

  • Irene Wagner

    There HAS been a lot of polarization, Roger, or there’d have been nothing for Jet to write about here. Maybe the bill could have provided a few of those polarized groups an opportunity to work for a common cause, with the conviction that protection from violence motivated by prejudice mattered for everyone, instead of some of them being left with the impression that their protection mattered less than someone else’s. Most people aren’t fond of legalese, either. Couldn’t the bill have been “sold” as one that would consider a variety of hate crime victims? Would there have been as much resistance to the bill by Rep. Foxx if her constituents knew the bill was an attempt to protect them from religious persecution? Would blacks and Hispanics (not the first support gay rights legislation) have given it more support if they had known that they as minorities might be more likely to see justice served?

    And there are still the questions others have brought up: Where is there protection in the bill for, for instance, those who are the objects of any of the myriad jealousies that escalate to murderous intent, AND, even if a COMPLETELY comprehensive list of hate crimes were a possibility, what would its inclusion in a hate crime bill do for victims that the current laws pertaining to aggravated assault wouldn’t (were they to be taken seriously?)

    Why isn’t all this energy isn’t being directed locally towards judges who aren’t sentencing appropriately? If conservatives and liberals could work together, their combined efforts might actually make things happen to criminals (instead of to people in possession of a few joints of marijuana) at a local level, where the jails are! But once again, conservatives and liberals (by the leaders of each) are goaded to stand against one another on an emotionally charged political battlefield.

  • Clavos

    Excellent, common sense comment, Irene!

    Would you consider expanding it into an article and submitting it?

  • Well, Irene. I am kind of beginning to see what you’re saying. Still, you’re seeing it all as factions against other factions. Who/which group isn’t being protected? And why do you suppose the objections come mainly from “unprotected” groups.

    Apart from Jet’s reasons for writing the piece, I don’t see the matter in quite that light. What I see, rather, is that we’re dealing here with a garden variety kind of objection from the Right – akin, say, to an objection to new gun legislation. Which isn’t to say the objection is altogether without merit (because of inadequate enforcement of the existing laws). And there definitely ought to be a concerted effort from both sides that the existing laws are enforced. But for the life of me, I can’t identify the polarized groups which, as you say, have been slighted by their apparent exclusion from this bill. I really can’t, and I don’t think that’s the issue.

    Again, forgive my thickness. I don’t mean to be contrary.

  • Roger, if the congress passed a resolution that the sky was blue, every Republican congressman and senator would vote against it, screaming their heads off and foaming at the mouth that it’s a liberal trick designed to lie to the American public.

  • That’s basically my point, Jeff, although I did not want to be this blunt, especially with Irene. So perhaps you can enlighten me, if you can. Which group or faction isn’t being protected, for Christ’s sake? And what has this got to do with anything? It’s stonewalling and nothing more – buttressed of course by attempts at fine reasoning and sharp logic. Excuse me, but I am not going to be generous here and credit the naysayers with any noble intentions.

    As I say, my only interest here is to understand the issue and legal reasoning behind these law. If they’re based on sound reasoning, then they’re OK by me; if not, then they should go. But everyone is politicizing the issue – and it is this which I find polarizing and nothing else.

    But then again, this issue did not bring the polarization that did not already exist: it’s just another opportunity for the old differences to rear their ugly head. If it wasn’t for this issue, it would be for something else. There are ideological differences that have become well neigh unbridgeable, no matter what.

    So excuse everyone for being so stupidly naive. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t think so.

  • Irene Wagner

    Thanks so much Clavos.

    But, I’m burned out on politics, and the comment is a reflection of my frustration and disillusionment. I don’t even have the small amount of political “with-it-ness” I had this time last year to add enough content to make it an article–certainly not enough to field questions on it. Maybe I’ll come back to write about politics when I can sound positive again, instead of bitter and whiney.

    Roger maybe I didn’t express it clearly enough (or it was buried in too many words) — but my point was about the presentation and people’s perception of the bill–not so much on its content.

    Jet, you’re probably “right” about that. (I hope that term didn’t offend too much!) OK, I’m off again.

  • Jeff?

  • In that case, I agree Irene, because it had all become a matter of perception rather than any sound or logical argument. For the life of me, I can’t think of a reasonable political debate, unless you go back to the times of William F. Buckley and such. It’s all about ideology.

    So the thing to do is not to comment on the present political scene but to offer a diagnosis. And this you can surely do. Yes, I encourage you to.


  • Forgive me, just a misspelling. Not a Freudian slip by any means.

  • Again, sometimes the minority NEEDS protection from the majority-DESPITE the existing laws.

    Otherwise there’d be no black voters, no interacial marriages, or for that matter no WOMEN voters!

    I can see your fears though Clavos, sometimes the Majority needs protection from the minority… otherwise prohibition never would’ve been repealed and we’d all still be drinking rootbeer and “sparkling” grape juice.

    Sometimes you just have to slam some balls to the wall and pass laws that force the fucking unreasonable to be reasonable whether they want to or not.

    …after a while they see reason… it just takes so goddammed long sometimes.

  • Your naturally suspicious nature is showing. Can I say that half-jokingly?

  • No (:p~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • So wait a minute, Jet. I am catching a glimmer of light here. Are you suggesting perhaps that the “silent majority” – to use an old phrase – or whatever other majority you can think of (the Christian Right, Joe- the-Plumber, whatever, feel threatened by this bill? And if so, then why? Can you try to explain this?

  • Is it because they feel that the “new morality” is being shoved up their throat?

  • Example, the white Boston firefighters who were passed over for promotions so that the city could fill its quota of “minority” promotions.

  • Have you tried using my backspace/F5 trick yet?

  • But that’s affirmative action – an old argument. Doesn’t cut it here. Read my #176.

  • Do you do two separate actions here, or just one?

  • According to “them” morality is based on 2000+ year old “teachings” from people who may or may not exist.

    Then rewriting and editing them to fit their “morals” in the 1600s.

    So their idea of “new” would be anything younger than that. I miss the good old days of slavery, killing Christian sinners in Roman stadiums, chopping people’s heads off for adultry, or burning witches… like that. now THAT’s new Christian morality.

    Beating women in the streets if their hair or ankles show, blowing up Buddist statues in Afghanistan, telling people God tried to drown all of us, instead of wiping the whole thing out and starting over as easily as he did the first time… or maybe God’s ego was too big to admit a do-over?

  • You guys really don’t read my postings here do you?

    After you post a comment and the screen clears, hit the backspace key on your keyboard.

    After the screen stops, hit F5 and you’ll wind up back here no fuss no fuss no bother and a clear comments window that you don’t have to worry about posting twice…. and it won’t lose your name and URL


  • Did you read the one on how to get your Name and URL back?

    At the blank Name window type the first letter of your user name, click the dropdown

    At the blank URL type the letter h, click the dropdown.

  • I used “new” in quotation marks – but I meant “new to them,” meaning the kind they don’t want to accept. (But Christ’s teachings wasn’t deficient in none of those respects by the way, even though it’s old: just a minor point, but worth mentioning).

    Anyway, if that’s the case, then the situation is much worse and much more hopeless than I ever suspected. Goes to show how naive I really was about the nature of these objections and this basis of support upon which the Rep politicians stand)if it took me this fucking long to catch the drift.

  • I’ll review your #183 at next available opportunity.

  • But Jet. You have people like Clavos, e.g., arguing against these new laws; and he certainly does not represent the interests of the unthinking hordes, nor is a spokesperson for a political party or a group. So how do you account for that?

  • Here’s how the GOP has “jumped the shark” Roger…

    (I would’ve blockquoted this-but that doesn’t work either-at least not in its old BC form)

    I will be paraphrasing material by Casey Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.

    “It’s been a tough couple of months for the incredible shrinking Republican Party, which is increasingly dominated by its right-wing fringe.

    Uber-conservative members of the Republican National Committee proposed a resolution demanding that Democrats “be truthful and honest with the American people” and “rename themselves the Democratic Socialist Party.” [Cute trick-call Democrats liars without putting up any proof and yet looking like self-right-us gods of truth]

    Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., claimed Democrats will use the AmeriCorps program, a pet project of —Republican— Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, to establish “re-education camps” and indoctrinate children. [They’re so desparate they’re turning on each other now!]

    Rep. Spencer “McCarthy” Bachus, R-Ala., who impressed me with his ability to count on his fingers and his toes, alleged there are 17 socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives. [and fails to name them, basically because there are none; but then who among his followers care about facts?]

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, protesting taxes, suggested Texans may want to secede from the union. [We all know how well that went over… like a lead balloon]

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, [Who just refuses to stop embarrassing herself and the GOP-and leave the stage]interviewed in her office for the “American Chopper” reality television show, covered her couch with the pelt of a grizzly bear her daddy drilled with a high-powered rifle.

    RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who fell out of favor for calling Obama a mere “collectivist” [?] instead of a “socialist,” was forced to kiss Poobah Limbaugh’s [Grand Wizard of the far right]ring [ass] after criticizing the talk show host.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, ridiculing a prudent Homeland Security Department warning about right-wing extremist groups, greeted the Utah County Republican Party Convention with a hearty [and embarrassing]: “Hello, fellow

    Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., introduced a bill to require presidential candidates to prove their citizenship. [Despite everyone in America with half a brain knowing that Hawaii became a state BEFORE Obama was born]

    And throughout the Deep South — Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, etc. — state officials rejected portions of the federal stimulus funding package, allowing constituents to suffer so they can curry favor with the remnants of the conservative base. [regardless of how much that money was needed]

    I could go on. There’s been no end to the senseless (scatological reference deleted) [shit]slinging, the boundless partisanship, the baseless conspiracy theories. (I, too, wear a tinfoil hat. I believe with all my heart that Quisp conspired with Cap’n Crunch to get rid of Quake. But honestly, Rep. Posey, Barack Obama didn’t forge his birth certificate.)[even though Posey believes that if you tell a lie long enough-idiots will think that it’s true]

    Center stage has been captured by the GOP [right wing and religious nut]class clowns, and it’s dragging the party down.”

    Amen Brother, Amen

  • Jet,

    I can interpret it in no other way than saying they all feel the earth shakes beneath their feet. Last-ditch effort, friend, that’s all. And you see it here on BC, a little microcosm, if you like. They’re getting more and more rabid because they’re desperate.


  • Thanks for editing the last comment.

  • You know, sometimes editing leaves too much to the imagination of those not knowing what was left out, and filling it in with their imaginations…


  • leighann


    The problem that some chritian conservatives have with these laws is that they think that if the laws are passed, it would cause them to lose the ability to speak against issues such as homosexuality. It would be considered “hate speech.”

    I believe that this was the point Ruvy was trying to make when he said that they could not even wear a t-shirt that made a negative comment about muslims in his country.

    Most conservative churches do not teach that you should hate homosexuals (I have not been to any that do), they do teach that the act is sinful. It is also taught that one sin is not worse than another to God and that we all are sinners. It is taught that we should love and accept everyone becuase we are all sinners.

    Weather you agree or disagree with this belief, the point is that they do not like hate crimes bills out of the fear that they will not longer be free to express thier religious beliefs such as these.

    For instance, if one day the law changes so that people are allowed to marry more than one partner and this is the religious beliefs of some such as some mormons or muslims, it would be a hate crime for a preacher to preach from the pulpit that adultry is wrong.

    Are the fears realistic? I don’t know.

  • leighann

    Sorry about the spelling. I did not check it.

  • Not what you think, Jet. It was a third-person reference – poor form, I know it – and I’m glad Chris took it out.

  • Wow. This does explain it, leighann. Now I understand. But if speech is protected, it’s not a hate crime, don’t you think?
    Of course, there is a larger problem brewing, same-sex marriages, if and when they become approved by the majority of states.

    What do you think, personally?

  • BTW, I see your point about bigamy. But bigamy, if it were approved, would not constitute adultery, I don’t think. Still, I see the situation as problematic.

  • Irene Wagner

    Roger, I logged back on because I thought I hadn’t given an answer your question deserved. Then I read the rest of your comments. Your #186 leaves me wondering:

    Why DID you assume that my comment was motivated by religious hatred when what I expressed was no different, MOST PARTICULARLY in its religious content, from what Clavos or Cannonshop expressed here?

    Using someone’s religion to shut them up is pretty low, Jet and Roger, and exquisitely ironic in this context.

    I’m just going to leave here with the happy fantasy that you’ve both apologized profusely and have sent me on my way with merry references to Motown music.

  • Well, one way or another, we do have a clash between the old and the new morality, or perhaps more accurately, between religious view point and secularism. And that may well be the basis of most if not all of the ideological divide.

    I never really realized how deeply American political thought has been rooted in religious beliefs. We are coming to a swift resolution, so it seems, which is why the debate gets so heated and nasty. I think it would serve everyone interests better if the real issues were on the table. But perhaps it’s impossible because of the presumed separation between Church and State.

    I’m just thinking out-loud here, trying to make sense of things.

  • “Why DID you assume that my comment was motivated by religious hatred”

    Irene, I never assumed any such thing. What makes you say that? My subsequent discussion with Jet went in a separate direction, can’t you see that? There was no connection with you at all, not that I’m aware of.

  • And what’s in #186 that’s incriminating?

  • I apologize in advance, but I’m awaiting your explanation.

  • Oh, I see now what ticked you off. The reference to “unthinking hordes.” Well, for that I do apologize because I don’t really mean to include all believers in this category, not even most. But by way of explanation, I was buying into the terms of Jet’s argument and used the expression as shorthand – not indicative of what I actually think of the matter but for expediency’s sake, to get the argument moving.

  • In other words, I was buying into Jet’s characterization temporarily, which is to say, in the context of his argument – for there are people who fit the description – without necessarily agreeing with him wholesale.

    Am I forgiven now?

  • I’ll take your answer off the air.

  • Irene Wagner

    Yes Roger Nowosielski, my carrier pidgeons will be along with it directly.

  • Irene Wagner

    They are coming to poop on your house.

    Yes, I’ll let bygones be bygones. Please be careful about the way you talk to people about religion though to other people, will you promise. I’m not even Catholic and I wince at what you say to him sometimes.

    You and Leighann are conversing pretty reasonably — I’m sorry to interrupt, you Leighanne. Go on.

  • Fear not, we make spelling allowances for “chritian conservatives”

    In Jesus’ love

  • No, she’s gone. But it can’t be a bygone if I don’t understand the offense. We all know that there are fanatics, and you don’t even have to be religious to be one. I just fail to see the point about Clavos, et al. The point of the remark was that Clavos does not have an identifiable agenda. Which did not, by any means, mean to suggest that you do.
    So I still don’t understand for the life of me where you’re coming from.

  • By the way leighann I’m very proud of you for not going for the embarrassing, ridiculous and foolhardy “Next they’ll want to make marrying animals legal” argument.

  • Jet, let me work this out with her first. I don’t want to lose her.

  • Actually, Jet, I do happen to think that Leighann presented the best explanation thus far. Whether the fears she speaks of are justifiable or not, it’s not for me to tell. She herself didn’t know what to think of it.

  • Roger, Roger, Roger by constantly justifying yourself to her you’re giving her the power to judge you, and you’re accepting that judgment every time you re-explain yourself to her in terms you think she might like… but she never does…

    (and people wonder why I’m gay?!?)

  • The root problem here is that while this congresswoman’s statements are ignorant and foolish, they are just a distraction. The real issue here is the assault which legislation like the hate crimes bill makes on our constitutional rights and the rule of law.

    People should be punished for their actions, NOT their thoughts.


  • No Jet. Number one, that’s not what I’m doing. Number two, she represents one of the few voices on BC I still value. Number three, I don’t worry about one-upsmanship. All I’ve done is turn the table. Irene made a statement about me which doesn’t represent what I said. So I’m acting in good faith, and will continue to do so, until proven wrong.

    What’s wrong with that?

  • “People should be punished for their actions, NOT their thoughts.”

    I’m in perfect agreement here. But how does the legislation in question imposes a punishment on mere thought? Doesn’t planning of a murder figure in the sentencing one the murder has been committed? Shouldn’t it?

    You must mean then something else, Dave.

  • Clavos


  • Leighann

    I am just speaking what I have heard. We still go to my grandmother’s house on Sunday for dinner. I come from a big family. Some are liberal and some conservative. These issues have been debated over the dinner table many times. Someone sent me a video called “Silencing the Christians” that I watched awhile ago and this is where I get most my info. I do not know how much credence you could give it since it was put out by a group of christian conservatives who may have had other motives for putting it out. I do not know how to find it but I do know it is out there on the net somewhere. If you want to know where some of the fear of this legislation is coming from, it will answer your questions. There is part of me that thinks the video is playing of the fears people may have about losing thier freedom of speech and religion but there is a part of me that fears what they are saying is true.

    After all if it is true and these laws are passed then it may be considered a hate crime for some of you to get on here and talk about christians the way that you do (God forbid!). You know how the pendulum swings,it could be considered a hate speech and you could be punished for it if the right people were to get elected.

    Slippery slopes.

    I am just on here for moments at a time. When I can find a minute, I come back but sometimes not for days. As interesting as you all are, I have kids, a house and a job. Always in a hurry, which is why I do not proofread at times.

    Thanks for the allowance Jett. I really needed that.


  • Leighann,

    I always appreciate your comments, and I know you’re speaking from the heart. What you had said so far is the best explanation I’ve heard yet. I can see why the Christian Right would be opposed to this legislation.

  • I’m in perfect agreement here. But how does the legislation in question imposes a punishment on mere thought? Doesn’t planning of a murder figure in the sentencing one the murder has been committed? Shouldn’t it?

    Of course it does, Roger. That’s the difference between First and Second Degree Murder. It’s already covered in the laws of all 50 states. The hate crime bill adds nothing to that.

    What’s more 48 states already have hate crimes laws on the books. This bill actually only applies to indian reservations, military bases and hate crimes that cross state lines. Wow. That should result in a prosecution about once a millenium. What a waste of legislative effort.


  • So Jet,

    Now I’m confused. I was under the impression that “Hate Act” legislation was invariably tied to committing crimes. Now, in light of the above comment, it looks like speech alone can be labeled as hate crime.

    What goes?

  • Given the popularity of torture, perhaps we could just torture people who are convicted of a hate crime in addition to their sentence for the actual crime.

    Of course, for those getting the death penalty anyway, we could torture them before death.

    Oh wait, what about the 5th amendment. Oh well, who needs it.


  • But in that case, Dave, what’s the big stink then? To get so much in an uproar over wasted legislative effort? It’s a daily occurrence, for crying out loud. There must be some fundamental issues at stake to generate this kind of debate.

    That’s what I’m trying to understand and everybody’s beating around the bush.

  • Re your #220, some here would agree with you in accord with “the-eye-for-the-eye” principle.

  • Clavos

    I haven’t beat around the bush yet.

    One more time:

    I oppose new legislation when laws already on the books cover the issue, making the new legislation superfluous and unnecessary.

    This goes for laws about anything, not just “hate crimes.”

  • You may be opposed to it on the general principle, and I buy that. But my remark was directed at all those who seem to have violent feelings about this issue.

  • The blind leading the blind, trying to side track the issue.


    The article is about my outrage at a woman in power finding a few websites that back up her opinion whether they’re true or not, and then wrongly saying that a terrible crime was a robbery and not a murder, which by the way was the charge that they were both tried with and convicted of and serving time for… NOT ROBBERY

    I just gave backstory based on court records of their motives for the murder and quoted what she said and how she tried to wriggle out of it by blaming her sources in an attempt to distract from what she actually said instead.

    Dave Nalle is guilty of the same thing as she is when he wrote a “news” article about a woman being beaten up and attacked because she had an Obama sticker on her bumper-which was proven an out and out lie two days later… leaving him with mud on his face.

    There is justification for adding an additional layer of punnishment for some crimes, which can concretely be proven to be motivated by race, or sexual preference or supposed nationality, but by us allowing them to self-label them “thought crimes” instead of what they are, we get sidetracked.

    My saying “The Republicans should tell the truth about Bush ordering torture” is like distracting from the fact of the torture and onto the PRESUMPTIVE accusation of the Republicans lying.

    …which is about as fair as my asking if you still beat your wife. The presumption is that you’ve beaten her in the first place, but you’re distracted into defending yourself about whether you still do or not.

    The distraction is them calling it “Thought Crime”, which is bullshit. Just as the multiple wife bullshit, or marrying animals is a distraction from the question of gay marriage. by linking the three, they try to make them equal, which they aren’t.

    If you can successfully distract from your inability to defend your position, you’ve gotten away with not having to defend your position because their attention is now focused on your distraction instead.

    …something several people around here are very good and practiced at.

    Of course now their classic distraction to this is to either completely ignore it until it fades far enough back in the comments to not be paid attention to, or to say convincingly that I have no idea what I’m talking about with a few ten dollar words and an even bigger holier-than-thou attitude.

  • The other distraction is NOT the crime, but the RESULTS of the crime. but the “Thought crime” crowd don’t want you to consider that.

    consider this:

    Back to old Germany
    Painting KILL ALL JEWS on the back wall of Hitler’s military headquarters may cause a few chuckles, and result in a slap on the wrist if that…


    Painting KILL ALL JEWS on a Jewish storefront, could get the owner’s windows smashed and they’d live in terror and go into hiding for fear of the brown shirts dragging them away and killing them and their family…


    So what’s the difference in the two cases of vandalism?

    If you can’t see it, and say the current laws were equal and enough to protect both cases, there’s no hope for you.


  • “it would cause them to lose the ability to speak against issues such as homosexuality.”

    oh, yes. Heaven forbid, they lose that ability. Apparently those Cafeteria Christians skipped over Matthew.

  • Actually EB, they’re terrified that the 700 Club might have to by law hire a gay camera man

  • Clavos

    If I were the Liberal-in-Chief at this juncture of Amerika’s history, with the liberal agenda slated to become the new culture, I would definitely want the hate crime laws passed, because they will be a very useful tool for keeping the citizenry toeing the PC (read liberal government) line.

    If an individual opposes new legislation to expand welfare benefits for example, the government could indict him for “hate crime” against poor people.

    Opposing giving citizenship to illegal immigrants = “hate crime.”

    A very useful tool indeed.

  • Jet,

    I do understand Clavos’s concerns, which isn’t to say I disagree with you.

    One more question: Dave speaks of first and second degree murder – already part of our judicial and sentencing system – as sufficient to make the right kind of discriminations (neutral use of the term, mind you) with respect to kinds of crime.

    Do you agree with him, and if not, why not? And forgive my ignorance in the matter.

  • The liberal government? Clavos you’re so full of bullshit, “the liberal” doesn’t mean anything to you and you can’t define it without terms anyone can understand or doublespeak, because you don’t know what it means.

    Anything you disagree with is “liberal”-Liberal means nothing but “bogeyman” to you, you use it to worry people because the right wing has so perverted the meaning of the word, that it’s useless as an adjective any more.

    What are you going to do when you realize that “liberals” elected our president and also both houses of congress. Maybe I’ll start selling a line of “I’m proud to be a liberal” T-shirts and become so rich that I’ll have to become a republican.


  • Roger, I refer you back to #226

  • Good show, Jet. I don’t want to accuse everyone of doing that, because I don’t know what’s in the hearts of some, but I am very well aware that there’s much of that going on.

    I’ll take a break till tomorrow, Stay well.

  • Jet. I agree with your #226. the question was, as some argue, that the distinction between first and second degree murder already covers all such cases. So does it or does it not?

  • Anyways, I’ll check with you tomorrow.

  • Someone might kill a regular person if provoked enough.

    That same person would think twice about killing a trained and armed cop.

    A person capable of killing a cop-and having gotten away with it, he wouldn’t think twice afterward of killing an unarmed and untrained civilian.

    That makes the 2nd person more dangerous, and the penalty should be more severe.

    100 years ago killing a nigger was commonplace and acceptable as the local norm

    At the same time killing a black factory in the north was a crime and less likely to happen because of the local norms.

    After the civil war, extra protections had to be applied to blacks “depriving him of his civil rights” tacked on to a murder charge, because it was damned hard to convince a southerner 50 years later that it actually WAS a crime to kill a worthless nigger, that they consider less than a man.

    In some parts of the U.S. it’s perfectly acceptable to beat the shit out of a faggot in public-in fact it’s encouraged in some places. In others it isn’t.

    If people who won’t accept that normal assualt charges aren’t going to stop some who were taught by their parents to HATE FAGS, from some beating up gays, then something extra needs to be added to the penalty to teach them it’s no longer acceptable, nor is it acceptable for the neighbors to look the other way.

    How many ways does this need to be explained.

    none-I’m being ignored by the audience I’m trying to reach… which is obvious and normal for this website-just look at the attitudes of the two editors who have bothered to comment here so far.

  • Clavos


    A lot (but not all) of what you say is correct; anything political with which I disagree and which is to the left of my own beliefs I call “liberal,” true. That which is to the right of my beliefs (e.g. belief in “god”) is conservative. That is, in fact, the accepted difference between someone such as myself, a right-leaning libertarian, and someone such as the Liberal in Chief.

    Obama’s announced plans for the USA are far to the left of my beliefs so naturally, I consider him to be a liberal.

    Growing the government and its presence in the lives of the citizens, which are foundations of obama’s policies, are universally defined as liberal ideas; certainly, you won’t find people who describe themselves as conservative supporting them; they are much more inclined to be in favor of small government and little to no involvement with the citizens on the part of government.

    Not everyone who voted for Obama could be considered a liberal. For example, significant numbers of Blacks and Latinos, both of which groups voted heavily for Obama, oppose the idea of gay marriage (which, BTW, I don’t). Take a look at the vote results for Prop. 8 in California for proof of that. Being opposed to gay marriage is definitely not a liberal attitude, wouldn’t you say?

    Generally speaking, Jet, left wing ideas are “liberal,” and right wing ones are “conservative.” I didn’t originate these definitions, they are pretty much universal.

  • Which comes down to what I said earlier: What they don’t like is that morality is being shoved up their throat. Not that that will change them, God forbid, because bigots they’ll remain till they die. But it’s more a matter of being branded as a bigot and and ignorant SOB – and being branded so created social pressure if not at least to affect a change in their heart – than at least their public behavior.

    Which, I suppose, is the same as some people’s violent objection to PC – because it makes them conform to new social norms, which are contrary to the way they were raised and therefore go against the grain as it were.

    So you’re right! They practice distraction under all manner of false pretenses. And the bigger the bigot, the greater the distraction. I’m with you on this 100 percent.

    And now I’m checking out.

    BTW – I’m not speaking of Clavos here or Nalle lest I be accused that I do. I have no reason to believe that either of them would be that deceitful. So you do have to make some allowances here, Jet. You can’t put everybody in the same bag. Manana.

  • Has anyone noticed that this article suddenly disappeared from the BC home page “Politics” listings? even though only two remain there?

  • Clavos

    BTW, Roger, the expression is “shoved down their throat.” If you think about it, it’s pretty near impossible to shove something up someone’s throat; unless, of course you entered via their — well, you get the picture. :>)

  • How many ways does this need to be explained.

    Some new way, obviously, because the way you are currently using – just asserting the same untrue thing over and over again – clearly isn’t working.

    A crime is a crime. A victim is a victim. Setting up special classes of victims is just applying the law unfairly. We’re all supposed to be equal under the law, but you would like to make some people more privileged than others.

    This may seem great now, but it won’t be so great when you fall into a group to whom the law is applied unequally in the other direction.


  • Clavos those definitions are “pretty much universal” in your world and circle of friends, but not in reality

    I haven’t heard on reputable news source call Obama the Liberal in Chief, nor as Liberal President Obama.

    peek out your porthole on that boat of yours.

  • Actually I like “shoved up their throat” as in regergatated(sic)

  • Jet, sorry to say, but if someone is going to beat up a minority because they are minority and doesn’t know that’s wrong already, an extra penalty isn’t going to persuade them. It didn’t stop those boys in PA that I referenced earlier.

  • Clavos

    OK, Jet. Tell me how you define “liberal” and “conservative.”

    True, “Liberal in Chief” is my phrase, but Obama being a liberal is widely talked about in virtually all conservative publications, which I’m guessing you don’t read.

    Oh, and BTW, my boat has windows, not portholes. Windows offer a much nicer view and way more light than portholes.

  • Since the comment vanished with the last forty, I’ll ask again here, has anyone a plausable explanation as to why this article (only days old) suddenly vanished from the home page “political” listings about an hour ago, even though only two are still there now-so it can’t be lack of space or age of the article?????

  • “it won’t be so great when you fall into a group to whom the law is applied unequally in the other direction.”

    Jet is already a member of a group to whom the law has been applied unequally

  • To apply something liberally-to add something extra to it.

    Liberal-to be all inclusive

    But that’s just me personally

  • Yes, I’m gay
    I’m also 1/4 black on my father’s side

    1/4 British and 1/4 German on my mother’s side.

    I’m also a Taurus-which explains a lot.

  • You want to know the fucking attitude of the “politics” editor of this website?

    Go to the top of the page, click “politics” and see the picture HE chose to feature this articl with instead of one of say Matthew Shepard-which this article is mostly about.


  • And in case all of you missed it it’s of two alien looking fairy queens. bothe painted ridicously. I plan to post it on my blogsite if I don’t get an immediate apology.

    I am fucking insulted.

  • That’s the blue word politics between Home and the title of this article

  • Hey Jet,

    I sent you an email about this, but just in case you haven’t seen it yet…

    Just send an email to the edgroup and I’m sure someone can remove the picture ( and I agree that its insulting).

    I’d do it myself, except I’m not sure how that works with our new editing tools for promos, and don’t want to risk screwing up your article.

    Ask and ye shall receive. Hope this helps.


  • Cannonshop

    Ooooh-kay then. I guess I should pay more attention to pictures than I do, I didn’t see it at first. (then again, I’m in the habit of ignoring the cover-pictures of things until I’ve read them.)

    That is just…wha-??

    A couple performance ARTISTS?, clowns? Looks inappropriate to the content to ME. The pic of the fence-line with the shrine-tribute flower basket’s more appropriate.

    Dave, I sure hope that’s just a screw-up on the tech side and not what it appears to be, ’cause I’d hate to think Jet’s got a legit grievance here. Blue and Purple bodypaint boys from the last Star Trek convention don’t fit the content of an article about a politician’s gaffe in reference to the murder of an American Citizen.

    That is just…ew. seriously.

  • In calm terms, I’d like to thank the upper BC staff for the quick action on the above, and hope to see it die quickly.

    The now-deleted photo contained two (male?)fairy queens, each painted one pink and one blue from their hair down, in mohawks, shaved heads, feathers above their ears, eyeliner and exagerated eyebrows. Both wore a sex-crazed look at each other.

    I swear I’m not making that up-no exageration.

    Thankfully this was resolved quickly before someone thought I suggested it.

    …and now back to our show after this commercial message 🙂

  • Now, back to the article… remember the article?

    I’d like all of you to stare at the picture on page one of that fence, imagine yourself tied to it, shoeless, in pain and bleeding all night in the freezing cold.

    Then think about how you were intentionally left there to die.

    The hate crime isn’t the murder, it was what he suffered after that beating and before he died.

    There’s a difference between an instant death and the long lingering one he went through tied to that fence.

    I’m sorry if some of you can’t see that.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting opposing viewpoint by Andrew Breitbart about the Shepard case, which says, in part:

    Elizabeth Vargas interviewed murderers Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson along with the cast of characters involved with the case. Mrs. Vargas appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” to summarize her story:

    “The prosecutor who prosecuted these crimes says that he never believed it was a hate crime. He believes it was a drug crime. Aaron McKinney, according to Aaron McKinney himself and to several other witnesses, was coming down from a five-day methamphetamine binge. He freely admits he not only used methamphetamine but dealt them, sold them. Five days up with no sleep, strung out on drugs, desperate to buy more, desperate to rob somebody to get money to buy more drugs. This was the motive, according to Aaron McKinney and the other witnesses.”

    One needn’t bring in medical experts to explain that a five-day drug binge is not good on the body, mind and soul. Meth-fueled violent crime is a sad cliche of modern American life, yet hate crime advocates who use Mr. Shepard as their ultimate weapon want to overlook the obvious and insist on arguing the unprovable. When the case that is used to make the case for hate crime law is so fundamentally weak, what does it say about the law’s very premise?

    No one will ever know exactly why Matthew Shepard was killed. It’s too bad that most of his advocates are against the death penalty. Because McKinney and Henderson deserve a fate worse than life behind bars.

    As I said more than once upthread, they sure do. For killing, they should be killed.

    The opinion piece concludes with an excellent analysis on the cancer of Political Correctness and its negative effects on our society:

    Mrs. Foxx joins me and gay journalist Andrew Sullivan as public figures who refuse to accept the Shepard mythology. We choose not to impugn Mr. Shepard’s memory or grant his murderers committed a “hate crime,” when it cannot be proved. The left will not accept this because it is built around divisive identity politics. It dismisses “E Pluribus Unum,” America’s formerly helpful marketing slogan, and promotes strategies that ensure the fault lines of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation are exploitable for political gain.

    On college campuses, in newsrooms and now in the highest corridors of power, with Barack Obama in the Oval Office, the politically correct left is wielding its weaponry with the confidence that it can take down any group, anyone or anything. The thought police are now officially in charge. Emphasis added, and also a point made by several commenters upthread, as is this:

    The real hate crime these days is the Orwellian intimidation wielded by the left against those that don’t think the way they do. It’s worse than waterboarding.

  • Jet,
    Could you send me the screen picture image via attachment? I remember seeing it now but haven’t given it much thought then. It was rather odd, come to think of it.

    You have my email. I send you one weeks ago, and you didn’t respond.


  • Clavos
  • Clavos, another distraction from the point? They were tried for neither drugs or robbery, they were tried for MURDER.

    The O’Reily factor? Now there’s an unslanted source of information.

    CLAVOS, THIS MURDER TOOK PLACE OVER 10 YEARS ago-the legislation is days old. How can the prosecutor specifically deny it was a hate crime when the classification didn’t exist, and wasn’t even suggested as one until a year later… Inspired by Phelps and his crowd outside Shepard’s funeral with picket signs screaming GOD HATES FAGS!

  • Ruvy

    I’ve gone through most of the comments here, and will say this. Of the two or three postings Jet has put up on this comment thread (ha ha), the one that impressed me the most was the one about the assholes writing “FAGGOT” on his garage wall, getting slapped on the wrist with a fine, and laughing him in the face, and the fear he felt and still feels regarding them.

    Any Jew who has lived in exile can appreciate that, and it is the reason that so many Jews, despite what the Bible says in Lev. 18:12 (or is it 22?) are willing to decriminalize homosexual behavior in the United States and stand behind gay marriage.

    In my gut, I understand what he went through and still goes through on a daily basis.

    Now let’s add a couple of points. I had the option of leaving the States and going to a country where MY kind were the majority and I didn’t have to take any shit from goyim. And I took that option, though not for that reason. Jet has no such option. There is no such thing as a country where homosexuals are the majority of the population.

    Jet went to court against these assholes who defaced his garage – but in the end, he lost. Now the scumbags know his name and can hack out his phone number and trail him and beat the living shit out of him – just like they did to Matthew Shephard. That is the terror that Jet lives with daily.

    Forgetting all of his other health problems, that itself is a stressor of major proportions.

    Now. How about a solution? Founding homosexual country is out of the question for the time being. Going to the cops is an iffy business. You win in court and you still lose.


    Rabbi Meir Kahane provided a solution for Jews in exile called barzél yisraél. What does that mean? Faced with Jew-hatred, you beat the living shit out of the hater until he figures out that he doesn’t want to be anywhere near you.

    Gays like Jet (well, not Jet – his health isn’t too good anymore) should form a Gay Defense League and beat the living shit out of the bastards who would kill them, spew hatred and violence, etc. etc. until the haters figure out that they do not want to be anywhere near gays, and no matter how much contempt they feel for them, they keep their mouths absolutely shut in situations where they might lose their teeth.

    That is what has happened in the high school where my younger son goes. The gay boys are strong – they train for army service – and they will be happy to beat the crap out of anybody stupid enough to make the Hebrew equivalent of “fag” jokes in their presence. You find out rapidly that no matter what their sexual orientation is, these are men, and they will cram your teeth down your throat until you understand that.

    As for me, I’m as straight as an arrow. But if the gay guy on patrol with me can shoot straight, or handle his flashlight in such a way as to crack a terrorist’s skull, that’s all that interests me. Trust me, Jet, that attitude runs throughout the Police Volunteers in this country, the Border Guards and the IDF.

    I cannot think of a more intelligent solution for gays in America or elsewhere outside of Israel than a gay defense league modeled after the Jewish Defense League.

  • Jet/Dan Miller

    These are my thoughts on the matter. You are definitely right from the moral standpoint – regardless of whether the case in question is a good one for the purposes intended; and Clavos’s last comment and links suggest there could be reasonable doubt. Being as emotionally fired up about this issue as you are is one indication (to me) that you’re more right than wrong. There is a drawback, however.

    Regardless of the morality issue, there are consequences to consider. You’ve heard the expression, “you can’t legislate morality.” There is a sense in which this is wrongheaded; but there some truth to this nonetheless. And the truth has to do is that you cannot force people to be a certain way against their will – even if the way is a righteous one or the most desirable.

    So now we move from the moral arena to laws. And if laws are such as to force others against their will or natural inclinations, that law, whether good in and of itself as regards the substantive issues, still is coercive. So this is one consequence of so-called “good laws” going bad.

    Clavos voices legitimate concerns, and whether they’re realistic or not – I don’t know what you think about that – they shouldn’t be dismissed off hand. For we do know that many things can and do proceed incrementally.

    And lastly, you owe it to yourself and the issue that is so dear to you to consider the best arguments of the bunch rather than the worst. We all know that there are many bigots and that they will resort to any means possible to shoot something down if it strikes a chord, makes them uncomfortable, whatever. That’s when diversion and other tactics come into play. But you have to dismiss such people and their “arguments” even though both of us know they exist and deal instead with counter-arguments of the best kind. In Clavos’s case, for instance, we should both take it for granted he has no hidden agenda in this matter but is speaking from his own, legitimate concerns; and you’ve got to recognize that and deal with it.

    It’d like to add that while it may be desirable to live in an all-moral society where everyone respects everyone else and treats them according as all humans deserve to be treated, law may not be the best instrument to achieve such ends; there are other means to work towards such a happy ending – education being the most important, I think. In fact, perhaps the most proper function of law is precisely to allow for a diverse society to function in a more or less civil way – because the presumption all along is that the society is a diverse one, that there will be a substantial difference of opinion and heated disagreements more often than not, and so on and so forth – but you do get my drift.

    So ultimately, the substantive argument (about the laws in question) boils down to two things – and I stressed it over and over again, and not one person yet had even attempted to deal with it:

    1) Should deterrence of a crime (or certain crimes) be an element determining and informing the sentencing phase? Legal theory and philosophy of law, perhaps, would be a good source here.

    2) What’s the logic behind what we call “aggravated crimes”? The Wiki definition gives just a laundry list, but what we’re looking at is the concept “aggravation” as applicable to crimes.

    3) Does the distinction between first- and second-degree murder sufficiently allows for the motivational factors and therefore is sensitive enough with respect to the kind of distinctions you’re pressing for (and which I grant are valid), for the purpose of adequately discriminating between a garden variety type of crime, such as plain robbery, for instance and crimes where gay-hatred or any other kind of hatred come into play as a special circumstance?

    So this is also a call to Mr. Miller to perhaps try to enlighten us on these admittedly technical matters.

  • Clavos

    How can the prosecutor specifically deny it was a hate crime when the classification didn’t exist, and wasn’t even suggested as one until a year later…

    Because, as noted in the article, there was no evidence of its having been a “hate crime.

    As also noted i n the article, the whole concept of “hate crime” is specious at best, as I have been saying repeatedly for days on this thread.

    It’s an artificial construct, created for political purposes.

  • A brick wall is still just a brick wall, you can paint it with pretty pictures, and patch its ancient and deteriorating surface, but talking to it does no good.

  • As opposed to a “natural construct”?

  • Ruvy

    I have to agree with Clavos as to hate crimes, as much as it goes against my gut to do so.

    That is why I advocate the kind of solution I do. Haters will never learn not to hate. But they can be taught not to seek to actualize their hatred, to bring it to fruition. And gays need a solution that they can rely on carrying out themselves, rather than having to depend on a “sympathetic” administration or cop to do for them. If violence against gays is winked at, and it often is, then gays need to blacken the eyes doing the winking.

    A law is only as good as the prosecutor carrying it out, and ultimately as the cop charged with enforcing it. If the cop himself wouldn’t mind shoving a stick up a guy’s ass, why should a gay man rely on him?

    “Hate crimes” legislation will eventually bite the ass of the fools who advocate their passage, as it will erect a structure for a dictatorship in the States (like one isn’t already there). But the extra-legal actions I talk about will get the message across fast.

    Let me give an example. Let’s say that this prick Phelps has his church burnt down – and a message is left: “fuck with us again and we’ll blow the place up with your congregants in it”. That’s a message – and a warning. The burnt building will be proof that whoever did the burning meant business. Only an idiot would ignore such a thing. A real death threat – not some crap on the internet – makes you think.

    And that is what these haters need to do most – think – particularly of how their lives can end right quick.

  • A typical Ruvy comment – violence is the answer.

  • Oh now that’s cute, after someone found a great shot of Matt Shepard to replace it, now there’s just a blank rectangle with a red x

    oy vay…

    …and I’m Presbyterian!

  • Unfortunately, I’m right, Roger. Violence was the answer Matthew Shepard got – did he deserve to be beaten until his skull was broken? Did he deserve to be tied to a fence like a dog till he died? YOU haven’t got an answer to that that will stop the next SOB who tries this shit somewhere else. I DO.

    Violence is the answer when the law (or equity) will not answer. And that is the point. When the law refuses an adequate solution, you have to take the situation into your own hands.

    That is what this Brooklyn boy learned living there. You cannot realize the sense of liberation I felt when I heard a black belt rabbi say, “good Jewish boys DO fight and have an obligation to”.

    Unlike you, I know the origin of the Gay Pride parades. A club in New York was being picked on by cops, gays were being arrested, and finally, sick and tired of being treated like shit, the gays attacked the cops. VIOLENCE WAS THE ANSWER. Unfortunately, in too many parts of the United States, it still is.

  • Jet,

    Your feedback to #262? If not now, then later perhaps.

  • I am well aware of that – especially when it comes to practical and temporary solutions. But I think the thrust of Jet’s argument is about laws. And so the context is theoretical – the best case scenario, if you will.

    I’m also aware that perhaps you’re not in the position to divorce theory from practice. But I consider myself fortunate enough to have the luxury of being able to do so. For the time being at least – until everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

  • Clavos

    As opposed to a “natural construct”?

    Point taken, Roger.

    I should have said specious construct.

  • What I was really getting at, Clavos, is not your construction but some examples, perhaps, of legal constructs that are not “specious,” as you say – to get a feel for the distinction you’re pressing.

  • Roger,

    One more point – then other obligations call.

    Whether I’m in the position to divorce theory from practice is irrelevant. Jet, whom I’ve known for a while, isn’t, and neither are all the other gay men who live in fear. You cannot understand that fear in your gut. I can.

  • Well, then his attempt at a theoretical argument is going to be muddled.

    By the way, I’d like to qualify what I said earlier in fairness to you. Whether violence or some other kind of activism often is the necessary preamble to getting the laws change – because no asshole is going to give you anything out of their own free will. The Civil Rights Act is one example, and we surely can think of many other gains which have been won because of activism.

  • Well, you’ve got your picture, Jet.

    Which only goes to show if you complain laud and long enough, shit happens. Nobody is gonna give you anything unless you fight for it.

  • Roger,

    Why should Jet – or any individual under threat waste his time on theoretical arguments? What does it get him?

    Because I live here and the man knows that nothing he says can ever damage me, I can afford a polite and gentlemanly conversation with a conservative Christian pastor on such issues as the End of Days.

    Living in the States, under the constant pressure to self-censor myself so as not to offend Christians who one day might riot and murder me off, screaming the American equivalent of “HEP! HEP!” (Hierusalyma Est Perdita – Jerusalem is lost” – screamed by Pole’s who would go on pogroms destroying Jewish villages) and trashing Jews in their neighborhoods or suburbs, I could never do that.

    I can afford to discuss theory – but I see little point. I do not see where Jet will be in the position I am.

    But perhaps, he should speak for himself?

  • But Jet was discussing theory (apart from the matter of the congresswoman’s remarks). Because the presumption still is that we are a nation under laws. I know it is possible to take this with a grain of salt, but in my mind it’s a worthy objective – don’t you think? Isn’t it what we ultimately hope for, the ugly reality notwithstanding?

  • Well, Roger, my suggestion to you is this.

    Reread Jet’s article – not for factual content, though – but for emotional content. In other words, look for outrage, anger, defensiveness, hurt, pain. It was this that I saw in this article, and particularly the comments following, not a theoretical discussion of anything, though Jet has attempted such a discussion. I’m not criticizing anything he has said, though I disagree with a point here or there. But Brooklyn boy that I am, the way I see it, the solution to this problem is not one to be found in laws; the laws are sufficient already.

    It is to be found in aggressive and fair enforcement of those laws, and if that is not sufficient, in the actions that gay men take to impress upon a contemptuous society that they are not to be attacked, if the attackers expect to continue to live to see the next sunrise.

  • But Ruvy, I’m also going be his comments on the thread where he does argue on behalf of these laws, and these are theoretical considerations. I’m aware of the charged emotional content.

    When you say that the laws are sufficient already, I’m not certain I agree. The whole point of Jet’s thread and his many arguments, not to mention all arguments on behalf this legislation, was that they are not. And I was addressing this question first and foremost, not other avenues of dealing with the problem of gay-hatred on a day-to-day basis. As to whether the gays should stand together and form a united front if and when the circumstances warrant, of course I agree.

  • Re Comment #262 — I stated my position in Comment #139 on this thread and in Comments #14 and in a comment which seems not yet to have appeared here, in response to Dave’s Comment #17. Since that comment has not yet appeared, I’ll try again. Since that probably won’t work, I also repeat it here:


    We read the bill rather differently. To me, this does appear to be an attempt to create new Federal criminal offenses and new Federal jurisdiction. The brief introductory paragraph in the bill, “To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes” is hardly a full statement of what the bill would apparently do; such statements rarely are. Nor is the short title, “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009” adequately descriptive. The meat, or at least a big chunk of the meat, comes in Section 6.

    Section 6, “Prohibition of Certain Hate Crimes,” would amend the Federal Criminal Code to provide in (a)(2) “OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY,” that (paraphrased for brevity unless otherwise indicated) whoever willfully injures someone or attempts to do so “because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability” of the victim is subject to the punishments stated if the conduct involves crossing a state or national line, uses implements traveling in interstate commerce, interferes with the victim’s use of interstate commerce or otherwise affects interstate commerce and the State lacks, or does not intend to exercise, jurisdiction or if “the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence.” The last sentence appears to raise possible double jeopardy issues.

    As I read it, the bill would grant Federal jurisdiction if the conduct in some quite remote way impacted interstate commerce and if the State lacked or declined to exercise jurisdiction or if the Federal Government were not satisfied with the effectiveness of the action taken by the State. [repeat of comment ends.]

    I’ll leave the rest of the debate to others.


  • Roger (Jet, this is also addressed to you) and Dan Miller,

    In 1980 I learned a bitter lesson about laws. In 1975, the Minnesota State legislature passed a “bill of rights” for those seeking health insurance coverage who were disabled and who had disabilities and what health insurance companies call “pre-existing conditions”.

    This bill had been lobbied for hard by the organization I was volunteering for at the time. So, the bill was passed, the governor signed it into law, and it went to the commissioner of commerce for enforcement. The day that the governor signed the bill into law the health insurers lawyers sent a series of questions this law posed and their suggested answers to the commissioner of commerce. The coalition that had lobbied for the bill did not have the savvy to do this.

    The result was that this “bill of rights” was gutted before it was enforced, because the commissioner of commerce only saw how the health insurers lawyers thought it should be enforced. They never saw how those who had lobbied for it intended it to be enforced.

    Two years later, in 1982, when a group of women wanted the uterine and vaginal cancers they were getting because their mothers had ingested DES ( diethylstilbestrol, a “miracle” drug that was supposed to make pregnancy easier) removed from the “pre-existing conditions” list of health insurance providers, I researched the bill, drew up the proposed legislation, and then impressed upon the advocacy group’s lawyer that,

    1. this was NOT to be part of that gutted “bill of rights” passed in 1975 and
    2. that a series of questions and suggested answers were to be on the commissioner of commerce’s desk the day Governor Quie signed the bill.

    So it happened. The result was that the commissioner of commerce answered eight of the ten questions the advocacy group’s lawyer had raised in such a way that the advocacy group sought it to be enforced.

    So the key to all law, gentlemen, is how it is enforced. If it is enforced in the breach, as are murder and aggravated murder laws are where gays are concerned, anti-hate legislation is not the answer. Rather, the sovereign (those who are charged to enforce the law) must be made to see that advocacy of sovereignty (refusal to effectively enforce the law) will result in another “sovereign” taking its place.

    But for the sake of one’s own liberty, one must see to it that the sovereign does not have too many laws to turn against the populace. This is the reason that anti-hate legislation, a specious species of law at best, itself, should be avoided to the greatest degree possible.

  • Ruvy

    Sorry guys – that shouldn’t have been “advocacy of soveriegnty” – it should have been “abdication of sovereignty”.

  • No argument there, Ruvy. You don’t have to convince me of the level of corruption at all levels of government.

  • I was in an art class once where the 30 of us read a portion of a book describing the outside of a house, then we had to do a painting of it.

    Every student was graded a B or above, all were excellent, and every single one was different.

    No two people can read the Bible, or any religious text without coming away with their own unique interperation of it.

    The same goes for any text, including the new hate crimes bill. Anything is there if you want it to be there, anything is missing or not strong enough if that’s your wish.

    Republicans are railing and wailing about Obama’s next supreme court justice and the man/woman/thing hasn’t even been selected yet.

    The problem with the GOP consistantly screaming NO all the time on the theory that they’ll always be at least 50% right, is that they’ll always be 50% wrong, which is why people are leaving the Republican party in droves.

  • Jet,

    Fuck the ignoramuses, the propagandists, and Archie Bunkers. Try to refute Clavos’s objections.

  • I just got home from two hours at the doctor, who took me in without an appointment because the outrage of early this morning tore my gut and/or my ulcer apart.

    I need to be away from this for a while so here’s your reading assignments, and that’s all I have to say for now.

    Comment 226
    Comment 250

    Happy trails…….

  • P.S. a simple 10 second recap of nearly 300 comments can be summed up in the question and then answer of the two panes of the cartoon on page two of the article.

    go look.

  • Clavos

    Republicans are railing and wailing about Obama’s next supreme court justice…

    Actually, most Republicans realize that, because Souter was a liberal justice, whomever obama appoints will not change the balance of the court this time.

  • Clavos

    …which is why people are leaving the Republican party in droves.

    Got any data (not opinion, least of all your own) to which you can link to back that up, Jet?

  • It is a fact Clavos that my sources are as reliable and slanted as yours

    Wow the echo off that brick wall is awesome considering its texture!

  • Clavos

    In other words, you don’t.

    That’s what I figured.

  • Jet

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    …If you’re trying to figure how bad things are for Republicans, consider this: More Americans say they are conservatives than say they are part of the Republican Party — which is supposed to be, after all, the party of conservatives.

    That picture emerges from deep inside the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. The numbers there show the extent of the woes facing today’s Republican Party — woes that came into sharp relief last week with the defection of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democrats…

    …In the Journal/NBC News survey, just 31% of those polled called themselves Republicans. That’s down from 37% eight years ago. More important, a larger share of Americans now call themselves Democrats than Republicans in every region of the country, including the South, which the GOP likes to think of as its remaining bastion. Democrats also outnumber Republicans in every age group. In sum, the view of the Republican Party that emerges is the very picture of a minority party.

    At the same time, there are many potential Republicans out there. Of those surveyed, 35% called themselves conservatives — as opposed to 24% who called themselves liberals — and four in 10 of those self-identified conservatives identified themselves as something other than a Republican…

    Americans are twice as likely to say Republicans, rather than Mr. Obama, are to blame for being too stubborn in dealing with the other side.

    This drives Republicans on Capitol Hill crazy because they think the Obama outreach across the aisle has been more advertised than real. Still, those numbers suggest Republicans suffered damage early this year from the big argument over an economic-stimulus package, during which they came to be seen more as opposed to what the Democrats were doing than in favor of any alternative approach

    Accents are mine.

  • Jet

    From Fox News:

    …The GOP leaders have their work cut out out for them. A recent Pew poll found that 22 percent of voters now identify themselves as Republicans compared with 35 percent who say they are Democrats. That is a severe drop-off from the same poll five years ago, which showed Republicans at 30 percent, only down three to Democrats…

    Fox News say a severe drop off?

  • Ruvy


    Looks like you haven’t answered me at all here. Theoretically, I tend to agree with Clavos with respect to “hate crimes” – but as I’ve pointed out over the last few comments from #261 onwards, there is more than theory to be considered here….

    Rabbi Kahane, z”l, hy”d, taught us not to rely on the “goyisher prince” for protection, that we should protect ourselves in the face of a contemptuous legal system, and that is the point I’ve been seeking a response to.

    If someone paints “KILL ALL THE JEWS” on a garage wall, I nose around to find out who is behind the act, and do serious damage to him, her, it, whatever. I don’t waste time on any damned cops or DA.

    You make the fuckers who want to kill you bleed and scream enough that they do not want to ever be near you or anyone like you. Don’t expect them to like you or tolerate you. But make them scared shitless of you.

    Haven’t heard an answer to that, Jet….

  • Clavos
  • Jet

    #287 & 288 Ruvy or haven’t you noticed my absence, except for a couple of copy and pastes?

  • Jet

    As for Clavos, he has an iron will and an iron ego that nothing will change, and I stupidly keep getting caught in the trap of trying, because I consider him a friend.

    My being a liberal (which is a good thing,) tend to see all sides of an issue, then form an OPINION based on that. If I’m later found wrong, I admit it.

    My words and opinions are presented within the body of the last paragraph of the article, they haven’t changed, and right now I’m too physically and mentally worn to
    be diverted in side issues designed to distract and deflect from the main point…

    What was the point?????????

    …The Representative, was representing her own biased opinion (that the Shepard murder was only a robbery), ~~~~by her own admission~~~~ was based on faulty information culled from right leaning and incorrect websites-instead of representing her constituants… which after all is what she was originally elected for.

    For that she should be run out of Washington, hopefully slow enough for the screen door to smack her on the ass as she leaves…


    In case you hadn’t noticed; or had not actually read the article-just the comments on the article.

    …that’s what the article is all about-not all these side issues.

  • Ruvy


    If you’re tired, get some rest. In my first comment on this article, I told you that the congresswoman should be kicked out of office, which was the main point of the article. If you don’t want to be “distracted” by an idea that may help reduce that load of anxiety that you and other gay people in the States carry, I’m sorry to have bothered you. I’m just trying to be a friend.

  • Clavos

    It isn’t you he’s pissed off at, Ruve…

  • Well, I never realized the extent to which Jet is emotionally charged by this issue. If I were him, I’d move to San Francisco and fuck the rest.

  • Clavos

    If I were him, I’d move to San Francisco and fuck the rest.

    In San Francisco???

    That would be exhausting.

  • You mean physically? I don’t mean right after the operation. In the Bay Area you just don’t experience that kind of trauma.
    It is a different world.

  • Clavos


  • M A rk


  • Jet

    Have you ever see the cost of living in San Francisco?

    Or even the monthly rent on an apartment?

    I used to fly there on business 2-3 times a year. It’s a great place to visit, but you can’t afford to live there… although the “scenery” and the scenery is almost worth it.

    It’s one of those fantasies where you wish you could earn your paycheck there, but live in Columbus OH. My penthouse would go for at least five times what I’m paying here.

  • Well, it is, Clavos. And it’s perhaps because I lived there for the past thirty years that I fail to appreciate how the rest of the country is so backwards.
    You should try it. It’d do wonders for you.

  • Jet

    Hey! I just realized someone cured the site of the name/url amnesia!

  • Clavos

    Thanks, M A rk.

  • Yes, Jet. All the viagra ads are gone. And I’m certain you don’t miss it since I presume you don’t need any.

  • Whatever. I’d still exchange the Bay Area for any other part of the country – including NY. And I’d never think I’d ever say that.

  • Jet

    If it becomes a problem I just take a look at Suss’ head shot.

    …ew back choice of words

  • Oh my Roger. You are funny 🙂

  • I didn’t mean to be. But perhaps the best in humor is unintended.

  • Jet

    Within the valley of shadowless death
    They pray for thunderclouds and rain,
    But to the multitude who stand in the rain
    Heaven is where the sun shines.

    The grass will be greener till the stems turn to brown
    And thoughts will fly higher till the earth brings them down.
    Forever caught in desert lands one has to learn
    To disbelieve the sea.

    Mad Man Moon

  • #314 – I think maybe so too Roger.

    #315 – That’s lovely Jet.

  • Jet

    The other man’s grass is always greener
    The sun shines brighter on the other side
    The other man’s grass is always greener
    Some are lucky,
    some are not
    But just be thankful for what you’ve got

    Petula Clark
    The other man’s grass

  • Jet

    Let’s see how long Petula Clark is stuck in your head the rest of the day 🙂

  • I’m not speaking from envy or resentment, Jet. I’ve lived there and it is a different world. Much more different than BC, if I may say. Even conservatives in California are human.
    If you’ve never been there, you should pay it a visit. It’s like the Eagles song – once you check in, you’ll never leave.

  • Clavos


    Actually, it’s:

    “You can checkout any time you like,
    but you can never leave!”

    Which, obviously, has a totally different meaning.

  • Jet

    Roger, did you actualy read #306?

    I used to fly there on business 2-3 times a year. It’s a great place to visit…

    In 10-15 years of business travel, I’ve been there about 45-50 times.

  • I missed it, Jet. But tell you the truth. I’m out of the area for almost a year now, and in terms of my being able to make ends meet, I’m considerably better off, because I fell in the hole when there. But let me tell you, not a day goes by when I don’t think of going back. And I probably will. I may well be homeless in the Bay Area than live in reasonable comfort in the Midwest.

    Count my words – I’m going back. This year, God help.

  • Jet

    For I time I’d invested in two businesses in San Mateo. The first time I saw the Pacific was off of Moss Beach

  • Jet

    Please note Roger, I’ve never been foolish enough to call it “‘Frisco”. I had a bruise on my arm a long time after the first time I did that… and that was a friend!!!

  • Jet

    One of the most gay-friendly towns in the country-believe it or not-is Houston Texas

  • It is God’s country, Jet, I don’t care about the detractors. Yes, I remember Moss Beach well. Last time I took a limo there on my birthday, with a floozie. It was a short-lived affair but we had a great time – champagne, caviar, and plenty of sucking and fucking. A glorious affair which set me back two grand at least.

    But I ain’t talking just about the scenery. It’s the people.

  • So is Austin, I hear. Just like the Bay Area. You might even visit Dave, who lives nearby, and punch him in the mouth for all the insults he had thrown your way.

    Just kidding!

  • I stopped calling it “Frisco” within a year when I got there – and that was in 1978.

    Ever since, I thought it vulgar and uncouth.

    Can you believe, I had a business on Polk Street?

    But I had better change the subject because it makes me cry. I’m depressed enough as it is.

  • Jet

    When there I call it “The City”

  • Clav @ #289:

    Actually, most Republicans realize that, because Souter was a liberal justice, whomever obama appoints will not change the balance of the court this time.

    Nevertheless, what’s the betting there won’t be any vociferous right-wing campaigning for a ‘straight up-or-down vote’ for whoever ends up getting the nomination this time?

  • I call it “The City” whether there or not. Simply because it is.

    I lived there for over ten years. Had even bought a property there – a work-live space before the Loma Prieta, South of Market. But it had changed. The drug scene and homelessness are just too much. Too depressing. So I moved to nearby Oakland, and then Alameda.

  • Jet

    Doc, Clavos already hates whoever Obama will pick in the future anyway.

    why bother?

  • It is going to be a “straight up-or-down vote” on any issue. That’s in the cards and the foreseeable future of the dwindling party. A swan’s song.

  • Jet

    Maybe it’ll be a gay up or down vote?

  • You were talking about brick walls earlier on, didn’t you Jet?

    Don’t you come to a realization now and then that all discussion is futile?

  • Cannonshop

    330: Doc, the only way you’ll get a debate on any obama appointment, is if it originates among the Democrats.
    63 vs 37=win. The best move the GOP caucus could make right now in both houses, is to wait for the roll-call, then get up and walk out as a group, thus denying the Democrats the availability of a straw-man present to keep them united.

  • They’re sitting ducks, in other words, unless the dems themselves shoot themselves in the foot.

    I see no problem there. In fact, I view is as poetic justice.

  • Clavos

    Doc, you really think there will be one? Seems sort of useless; nobody obama picks is going to be much different for the makeup of the court than Souter was.

  • My goodness, The whole world falls apart before your very eyes.
    I’d like to see, Clavos, what your reaction will be when the entire Supreme Court votes to adopt international law – because of their no doubt misguided opinion that it’s superior to the Constitution.

    There’d be no place for you to hide then, would it?

  • Jet

    An even better question is if anyone here actually thinks we’re going to change world affairs.

    It’s not like the leadership of the Democratic or Republican party reads or is even aware of this website, much less this article, nor for that matter, anyone in President Obama’s cabinet.

    This article at its core is actually about people using sources, be it print, media, or websites that agree with their point of view and use them to present their OPINIONS as FACT… which is false no matter if Clavos does it, or I do it.

    A skinhead can find hundreds of websites that would back up his “OPINION” that every Jew and faggot in the world should be killed to rid the world of the stench

    …but that doesn’t make a fact.

    …but that doesn’t mean Obamas a Socialist

    …but that doesn’t make ordinary murder a “hate crime”

    …but that doesn’t make me a heathen and chaser of little boys

    …but that doesn’t…

    Is my point clear yet.

    Is the sky blue?

  • How odd what market aficionados find vulgar and uncouth.

  • Bliffle

    Welcome back, Jet! Looks like you’re hitting on all cylinders.

    Good to see you up and kicking. A lot of other people think so, too, because you’re getting a lot of comments on this article.

  • Jet

    Thanks Blif,
    Right now though, those cylinders still need a ring job.

    Stay tuned…

  • Is the sky blue?

    It’s more a sort of pale brown where I’m sitting.

    Kids in the Valley grow up reading books which talk about the sky being blue and wonder what the author was on…

  • market aficionados

    Where did you get that?

  • Roger, From a discussion of markets…

    Dr.D, when I was a a kid the L.A area the sky was so polluted there were features that were never visible. It was only in the 90s that I noticed for the first time driving down the freeway there was a vista I had never in my life seen though I had been that way many times.

  • Jet


  • Jet

    If you would like to preview and use any of my ten free BC sidebar icons click there.

  • Jet

    Wow, you guys got bored fast! 😉

  • What, Jet. You need more action.
    I thought you wanted a rest.

  • Jet, I think the sudden drying-up of this thread might have more to do with Dave deciding he couldn’t stand all the attention your article was getting and feeling thereby compelled to write three dozen of his own in response.


  • Jet

    I kinda figured that Doc, considering we “suddenly” found those empty Politics slots on the home page after he published, though I feel sorry that Clavos’ article when the same way as mine.

    Oh well, this is still the featured Politics article… for now!

    A little strange though… this was only pubhlished on the 2nd and already my name fell off the “recent contributor’s” list?


    Oh well, I’ve got another in pending…
    … or impending.

    I saw my shrink today, so I’m feeling much better. Hospital is the 21st

  • Jet

    By the way Doc, do I now have to subscribe to ALL of my RSSs in order to know if someone posted a comment on one of my old articles, or is e-mail notification still in the works?

  • Jet

    As per Dave Nalle:

    “BTW, everyone DIGG this article using the link at the top. We’re trying to see if we can increase the awareness of some of our BC politics articles using DIGG.”

  • Jet

    just published my 95th article on Maine passing marriage legislation!!!!

  • You’ve written 95 articles just about that?

    Now that’s dedication. And for a state you don’t even live in!

  • Jet

    (leaves room muttering to himself)

  • Jet

    I just realized Gonzo lives there-I wonder what his take on this would’ve been.

  • Ruvy

    Jet, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you are mostly talking to yourself now in this comment thread.

    I reread the article, and came to the conclusion that Virginia Foxx should be kicked out on her ass – bit that the hate crime legislation should not pass.

    Hey! That rhymes!

  • Of course I talk to myself Ruvy; who else listens?

  • This is just to get us to the next page so someone can find the latest comments.

  • Why don’t you just let this thread die a natural death? I didn’t know you were so conceited. You’ve got enough attention already. Let others have their place in the sun.

  • You’re right Roger, I should let you and Cindy dominate, as usual. Thoughtless of me

  • Oh fuck. I just hate bossy people. How in the world can I take seriously, the opinion of someone, on ideas like morals…when they prove to be such a blind bully.

    It’s pretty self-evident the blind aren’t going to be real clear thinkers.

  • Yeah, well, there is always the little box with the posting button Jet. Stop being such a victim.

  • Jet,

    I didn’t mean my comment to suggest that I should be in the limelight. It just so happens that it happens of its own accord. Sorry, buddy, no self-conceit there, just the fact, Jack.

    But really, I meant all the others – the hoi poloi, that is, the unthinking masses – trying to be as egalitarian as I possibly can.

    So don’t you shutter my illusions now. I’m doing my best not to be an aristocrat and a member of the intellectual elite. Give me “E” for effort.

  • Pardon me: “shatter”

  • Sorry, but there are times when reading you two is like trying to wade through an early morning PBS panel discussion show on theorys regarding the mathematical probabilites that an African Whet beetle will have 40 offspring or 39.

    It’s not that you’re not loved, it’s just that the impression is given that no one else is worthy of joining your discussion and are to be ignored.

  • Handy hint in one step to get to the last page of an article you’re following.

    Once your there Ctrl D it-as the comments progress to the next page, change the page number at the end of the favorites shortcut URL in properties-this even works on the “20”first comment that most people can find until there’s a 22nd.

  • Jet,

    You’re going by past impressions. Of one thing I can assure you. I don’t have an ax to grind, not anymore.

  • Sorry Jet, for being rude.

    #368: Yeah. I can see that.

    #370 Thanks Zeus.

  • Clavos

    I didn’t mean my comment to suggest that I should be in the limelight. It just so happens that it happens of its own accord.


  • Clavos

    Sorry, but there are times when reading you two is like trying to wade through an early morning PBS panel discussion show on theorys regarding the mathematical probabilites that an African Whet beetle will have 40 offspring or 39.

    I liken it more to watching an episode of As The World Turns.


  • As I said, Clavos, it’s old news. There’s only so far one can go with rational discussion, especially in a pixel-defined environment. In the absence of other qualities, it’s just mental masturbation. So no, thanks.

  • BTW, #366 was meant as self-deprecatory in case you haven’t notices.

  • Clavos

    It came across as self-laudatory, however.

  • No problem Roger, the vast majority of people around here take me the wrong way too.

  • Should anyone be interested, “The Matthew Shepard Story” is on today at noon Eastern USA, on the Lifetime Movie Network…

  • President Obama has pledged to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate crimes act tonight

  • Congratulations, Jet.
    Doesn’t it have to go through Congress?

  • It’s already gone through the house and the senate is set to send it to president Obama’s desk

  • Great.

    And forget about the other thing. It’s just how I feel about the economic situation, that was no personal argument.

  • CNN has just covered live his speech to the HRC tonight in which he pledge to end don’t ask don’t tell and a very stong no questions asked speech backing gay rights nationwide.

  • I’ve gone off on a tangent and posted an article on my other love… astronomy. Specifically the gigantic ring around Saturn that’s just been discovered

  • Go ahead, read the description of this crime and tell me again how it’s not a hate crime.

  • President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hates Prevention Act during a White House signing ceremony on Wednesday.

    The legislation expands the definition of federal hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

    “After more than a decade of opposition we passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are,” Obama said before signing the bill.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Good. Glad to see it.

  • Having it’s one thing Glenn, enforcing it’s another… but I’m glad too

  • Washington Post
    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    When a gay Wyoming college student was slain in 1998, congressional Democrats pledged to broaden the definition of federal hate crimes by the end of that year to include attacks based on sexual orientation.

    The effort instead turned into a decade-long proxy war between liberal groups that want to expand gay rights and conservative groups that do not. But Wednesday, President Obama signed the bill and then hosted a White House reception for gay activists and the parents of the slain student, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard.

    “After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we’ve passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are,” Obama said after the signing.

    Washington Post
    Thursday, October 29, 2009

  • Tim Ravndal is President of Montana’s Big Sky Tea Party Association. During a thread on Facebook (that has since been removed, of course), one of Tim’s followers said in reference to gay marriage, “I think fruits are decorative. Hang up [sic] where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions.”

    To which Tim responded with, “Where can I get that Wyoming printed instruction manual?” (Of course, this is a reference to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, a legendary moment in the history of hate crimes against gays).

    Guess what? This isn’t surprising in the least. And I don’t believe this represents a step backwards for gay rights or gay people. I think this represents the Tea Party giving a pulpit to the same hateful monsters who have always existed, have always hated us, and finally have a political movement that welcomes their hate.

    Fred Phelps gets a lot of attention for being in charge of the Westboro Baptist Church, which also used to delight in mocking Matthew Shepard’s legacy. But Tim Ravndal was the President of a Tea Party chapter (his dismissal set off a series of resignations in protest by other officers of the group — again, big surprise). The Tea Party isn’t merely Fred Phelps’s wingnut organization, protesting funerals across the country. No, it’s a political movement. And the fact that one of their president’s views differ so little from Phelps himself is, in my book, significantly more frightening.

  • Jet,

    That’s why we need to fight this *infection* of Tea Party politics in our government; they will try to wipe-out and reverse all of Obama’s legislation, if given the opportunity, plus, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, The Depts of Education, Environmental Protection, Agriculture and on down the line…

  • Let’s hold off until they’ve completely destroyed the Republican party’s reputation first and exposed the GOP for what they are.

    Bigots owned by big oil and Wall Street who only worship the almighty dollar.

  • I’ll try, but patience is not one of my virtues…what am I saying? I don’t have any of those things! yuk 🙁

  • (CNN) The issue of hate crime legislation has gripped Chilean leaders as one family on Friday prepared to bury their 24-year-old son, who was apparently targeted because of his sexual orientation.

    Daniel Zamudio, a gay man, was attacked in a park March 3 and died from his injuries Tuesday.

    The Zamudio house was decorated with flowers and white balloons in observance of the young man’s death, which caused outrage throughout the country.

    Zamudio’s attackers reportedly beat him for an hour, burned him with cigarettes and carved Nazi symbols on his body.

    Four men, believed to belong to a neo-Nazi group and ranging in age from 19 to 26, have been arrested.

    After Zamudio died, authorities raised the charges against the men to aggravated murder.

    “As a government, we did this in the name of millions of Chileans who, after the murder of Daniel Zamudio, feel that Chile has to change,” regional Gov. Cecilia Perez said.

    On Friday the United Nations added its call for passage of an anti-discrimination law.

    “We deplore the violent criminal act that took the life of this young man and urge the Chilean Congress to pass a law against discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in full compliance with relevant international human rights standards,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High commissioner for human rights.

    “The case should be seen in the wider context of hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons around the world,” he added.

    A U.N. report on the issue released last month found evidence of “startling high levels” of homophobic violence around the world, he said.

    Chilean President Sebastian Pinera addressed the incident this week.

    “We want to reiterate today that we have made a commitment. We are not going to tolerate any kind of discrimination against Chilean citizens based on their socioeconomic status, their religion or sexual orientation,” he said.

    The incident has put the issue of hate crimes legislation back on the legislative agenda.

    A hate crimes bill was introduced seven years ago but has languished as conservative groups blocked its passage.

    “At every turn, this law has been cut. At every turn, there have been efforts to trim it. There was even resistance to having discrimination based on sexual orientation included in the (bill). This is something Chile can no longer permit. And now, after the death of Daniel, which has brought this moment of sensibility, it is time to pass” the bill, said Carolina Toha, president of the liberal Party for Democracy.

  • Fifteen years after his murder, Matt’s good name is being smeared yet again in a new book.
    A statement from his foundation:
    “Attempts now to rewrite the story of this hate crime appear to be based on untrustworthy sources, factual errors, rumors and innuendo rather than the actual evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented in a court of law,” the statement said.

    “We do not respond to innuendo, rumor or conspiracy theories. Instead we recommit ourselves to honoring Matthew’s memory, and refuse to be intimidated by those who seek to tarnish it. We owe that to the tens of thousands of donors, activists, volunteers, and allies to the cause of equality who have made our work possible,” it concluded.