New power for the thought police

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Last week I wrote of the two pilots who overshot Minneapolis by 20 minutes or so. Since then, both have been appropriately grounded by Northwest Airlines with their licenses lifted by the FAA. It is a mess, reflecting poorly on the airlines and the pilot profession. Personally I suspect that they are the only two people in the world that know exactly what happened and won't 'fess up to the facts. It is a sad state of affairs when professionals refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

I laughed though when a friend, a juris doctorate no less, suggested that perhaps the two pilots were engrossed in the act of joining the seven mile high club. Giving that explanation they would have become fireproof in today's politically correct world!

Our elected members of Congress passed a defense appropriations bill H.R. 2647, last week which the President proudly signed.

Sadly though Congressional leadership had inserted a poison pill, I call it the Pedophile Protection Clause; they called it the "Hate Crimes" amendment. As a consequence each of us American citizens had a bit of liberty taken from us.

They have now made it illegal to express our opinion on homosexuality, among other things.

The way I read it homosexual acts are identified, but discouraged, in the Bible as deviant behavior. From now on thought police have newfound power to curtail our God-given freedom of speech. Possibly the U. S. Supreme Court will declare the Hate Crimes legislation unconstitutional but I am not optimistic.

Water, water, water everywhere is the thought that comes to mind while floating over Southwest Nebraska. From my slow moving old airplane flying several hundred high it is easy to see huge deep ruts on about every traveled dirt road in the country.

It is fun to spot pheasant hunters afield by their bright orange clothing. For sure, the hunters have the deer population's attention as those animals are on the move to avoid the hunters out tramping the weeds in search of pheasants.

In cropland and pasture alike, every pot hole is standing water. Little appears to have run off. It will be a while before any farmer can turn a wheel and standing unharvested crops have surely taken a hit.

Corn appears to be standing well, patiently waiting, but soybeans, milo and sunflowers surely will suffer loss. Still, the winter wheat is a beautiful green, except too many acres are yet clean fallow waiting to be planted.

The following is an unabashed appeal for goods and services. My Ann has accepted a challenge from her "adopted" U.S. Army Chaplain, Capt. Melissa Hale, Falcon Base, Iraq.

The good chaplain earlier envisioned a dream of providing a Christmas present for each of her 2,000 charges. Ann has been gathering appropriate items and money from friends, church friends and about anybody else who comes close.

Her goal is 500 Ziploc-packed gifts for Chaplain Melissa's 2000 gift quest. That translates to about 40 of the 15-pound when filled U.S. Postal flat rate boxes that mail for $12.95 each.

All have to be sent by the middle of November and 10 are already on their way. Any and all donations gratefully accepted. Proud of her!

That is the way I saw it.

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    People err when assuming that expanding the hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation (meaning Gay AND Straight, by the way) will "criminalize" a person's thoughts. The current hate crimes law has been on the books since 1969, and NEVER over the past 40 years has someone been prosecuted for expressing prejudice against members of a race or a religious group. Christian pastors have been invoking Scripture against non-Christians for as long as there have been Christians, and the hate crimes statute has never been used against them.

    But there is a BIG difference between expressing personal prejudice against a group, and being motivated by that prejudice to attack someone's person or property. I don't care if Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Sean Hannity or Lou Sheldon hurl their anti-Gay invective until the cows come home; but if someone uses Scripture as a justification for beating up someone who is Gay, that's a different story.

    Likewise when it comes to delineating between different crimes against property: There's a big moral and ethical difference between someone who spraypaints a "tag" on a highway overpass, and someone who spraypaints swastikas on the front of a synagogue.

    Until conservatives mount a concerted effort to repeal the federal hate crimes statute that has been in effect for past 40 years, I'll continue to see their arguments against the legislation that President Obama signed as pretty disingenuous.

    -- Posted by PolishBear on Tue, Nov 3, 2009, at 12:34 PM
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