Friday, June 19, 2009

Marcy Wheeler A G Eric Holder's demagoguery on hate crimes

The blog post below is from Marcy Wheeler's terrific website which I think more and more people will be following as the Obama administration and Attorney General Holder continue to trash the Constitution in the tradition of Bush-Cheney. A precedent that will apparently continue indefinitely unless some outside force -- the Supreme Court??? -- finds a way to stop them.

On a personal/technical note, there are some aspects to Marcy Wheeler's website which I haven't yet had the patience (or ability) to track down. For one thing, its name: I know it as Emptywheel and as Firedoglake. Also, in the blog on Eric Holder/hate crimes below I thought I was reading the prose of Marcy Wheeler but then I look up and see the byline -- bmaz. Who is bmaz?

Anyway, I can't help repeating the first line of bmaz's item.

Eric Holder can't seem to do squat for transparency, privacy, accountability or a plethora of other ills carried over from the Bush/Cheney Administration, but he is concerned that we need more hate crime laws:

So much for change for the better in the Obama administration. Holder's demagoguery on hate crimes reminds me of the misdirection of the Bush-Cheney years when they successfully masked the lack of any kind of positive domestic agenda by pushing for the privatization of Social Security even though they well knew it would go down in flames. I recall how in his final press conference Bush snarkily cited the Social Security privatization plan as one of his "mistakes."

So Holder is proving that he's the same empty suit that he was in the Clinton years. Obama sure knows how to choose 'em.

The interesting question is whether the Obama administration
a. stands for nothing?
b. the Rightwing pushback against standing for principle is too great for Obama to bear?

Either way, whether it's cowardice or lack of conviction or some combination, we get crushed by the Zionists and the militarists.


Eric Holder Demagogues Hate Crimes
By: bmaz Tuesday June 16, 2009

Eric Holder can't seem to do squat for transparency, privacy, accountability or a plethora of other ills carried over from the Bush/Cheney Administration, but he is concerned that we need more hate crime laws:

"Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed brazen acts of violence, committed in places that many would have considered unthinkable," Holder told the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

He cited separate attacks over a two-week period that killed a young soldier, an abortion provider and a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In order to stop that violence, he said, Congress should past an updated version of hate crimes legislation, in order to more effectively prosecute those who commit violent attacks based on gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

Yeah, that bunk ought to really stop Tiller's killer, the Arkansas recruiting center shooter and thevon Brunns of the world from committing murders when that piddly old first degree murder capital offense with the death penalty couldn't. Okay, I want to be completely honest, the District of Columbia does not have the death penalty, but it certainly has life in prison available for the offense of premeditated murder. Both Kansas and Arkansas, the locations of the other two heinous crimes, do indeed have the death penalty for such offenses. What exactly does Eric Holder think the "hate crimes" he is demagoguing about are going to do for deterrence that the death penalty or life in prison won't?

I have a problem with "hate crime" laws. We already have laws for assault and battery, murder, intimidation etc. The same conduct, and level of conduct, should not have different laws and heightened penalties because it is targeted to a minority or other protected group. Why is the assault of a black worth more than an assault on on a white? Why is an assault on a gay man any more heinous than an assault on a straight? Why is one group of human beings entitled to more protection under the law than another? Yet, that is exactly what hate crime legislation does. This really flies in the face of the quintessential Constitutional and founding concepts of equal protection, fundamental fairness and all men being created equal.

The Supreme Court disagrees, but that is my take. And no matter what your view, I would argue that Eric Holder and the United States Department of Justice have far more important tasks to attend to right now, and they have been failing miserably on most.



Ronald said...

Leila responded:

I have to chime in on this.

For days I’ve been reading/hearing/listening to the endless speculation as to Iran. And my gosh are there a load of eager beavers racing to assume that there is one answer and one answer only: Ahmadinejad had the election rigged.

End of story.

Proves he’s a very bad sort.

The fact of the matter is, probably there was some funny stuff going on but it’s seriously doubtful that Mousavi would have won anyway. I posted here already this week on that. He came out of nowhere, he got all the air time, he became the ‘moderate reformer darling’ of the West, and thus lo and behold he’s got to be the real true favourite. No, he’s just as ‘hard-line’ as Ahmadinejad, was thrown in jail by the Shah for being such, and define ‘hard-line’ anyway.

In my book it’s anyone who says boo to the USA.

The incumbent was leading by twice the intended vote count. Little different than before, but this time the American backed Persian radio pre-empted the results and announced it was rigged. Protests ensued. Mousavi is the true shining light of reform in Iran, and thus he’s been shut out by an ayatollah who won’t grown up and see the (correct) way of the West.

If anyone doubts the games involved, the centre/moderate think tank in Washington DC, the New America Foundation worked with the right wing Terror Free Tomorrow on a report on the elections in Iran. Funded by the Rockefellers.

It was released on June 12th. It stressed that all the polls within Iran as well as their own independent polling (see below for methodology) showed that Amhadinejad was far and away leading his competition.

It circulated Congress, as usual, and suddenly, it’s all reversed course overnight and everything is wrong. Report issued, Ahmadinejad leading, trouble for the USA and Israel, elections, and scandal around the world because it had to be rigged. Despite the polls all the way until then, it just had to be rigged.

Personally I don’t care about who or what, race, religion, creed, or colour, branch of belief or lack of belief within any nation. Once the US (prior to that the British Empire, Dutch Empire, French or Russian) begins to interfere, it’s just trouble for the people who live there. Unless asked, they should just stay out of it.

I had a conversation with an Iranian friend, who’s entire family voted for Mousavi in Tehran. She made clear that:

Mousavi was the ‘same cat different stripe’;
Mousavi was only a hoped for alternative, not the essence of reform;
He’s a Rafsanjani protégé, who was imprisoned by the “moderate” Shah of Iran for being too radical;
It’s laughable for anyone to think he would usher in any kind of Western democracy;
Even though her family voted for him, no one really believed he could have won – it was a protest vote, but that was it;
According to everyone they’re talking with, Ahmadinejad really would have won with or without this media focus;
The protests are equal on both sides.

But one thing was made clear to me. They all agree on is that if the West or Israel interferes in any way shape or form, they will all unite against the West and in support of any leaders in Iran, as one front.

The front page of the report is below.

(And Ronald, it’s just not true to repeat that the Taliban and al-Qa’eda are puppets of the US; it’s patently false. They were supported by the US in the 1980s, against the Soviets. Al-Qa’eda didn’t even exist then. Job done, US out, and a long time passed since.)

Ronald said...

K responded(apparently agreeing with my views:

Those defending Ahmadinejad and the vote count take the position that
anyone who imperialist USA is opposed to has to be defended, no matter how repressive or undemocratic they may be. They have learned nothing from what happened to the Soviet bloc.

Ronald said...

SF wrote:

It's sort of an old left Stalinist type reflex to back Ahmadinejad, dating back to Cold WAr .
Counterpunch sees it as genuine revolution.
So does Trotskyist Alan Woods.
But not Trotskyists at WSW who backs Ahmadinejad
As you say it is in Israel's/neo-cons interet that Ahmadinejad win