Friday, December 28, 2007
Call your Congressperson to stop HR 1955
This is your Democrat-controlled Congress attempting to suppress dissent. Check it out, or google for further information and commentary.
From yesterday's Washington Times:
Congress is perched to enact the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" Act, probably the greatest assault on free speech and association in the United States since the 1938 creation of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Sponsored by Rep. Jane Harman, California Democrat, the bill passed the House of Representatives on Oct. 23 by a 404-6 vote under a rule suspension that curtailed debate. To borrow from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, the First Amendment should not distract Congress from doing important business. The Senate companion bill, sponsored by Susan Collins, Maine Republican, has encountered little opposition. Especially in an election year, senators crave every opportunity to appear tough on terrorism. Few if any care about or understand either freedom of expression or the Thought Police dangers of S. 1959. Former President John Quincy Adams presciently lamented: "Democracy has no forefathers, it looks to no posterity, it is swallowed up in the present and thinks of nothing but itself."
Denuded of euphemisms and code words, the act aims to identify and stigmatize persons and groups who hold thoughts the government decrees correlate with homegrown terrorism, for example, opposition to the Patriot Act or the suspension of the great writ of habeas corpus.
The act will inexorably culminate in a government listing of homegrown terrorists or terrorist organizations without due process; a complementary listing of books, videos, or ideas that ostensibly further "violent radicalization;" and a blacklisting of persons who have intersected with either list.
Political discourse will be chilled and needed challenges to conventional wisdom will flag. There are no better examples of sinister congressional folly.
The act inflates the danger of homegrown terrorism manifold to justify creating a marquee National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Ideologically Based Violence . . . Since September 11, 2001, no American has died from homegrown terrorism, while about 120,000 have been murdered. . .
The commission's Big Brother task is to discover ideas and political associations, including connections to non-U.S. persons and networks, that promote "violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States." And "violent radicalization" is defined as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change."
Under the Act, William Lloyd Garrison would have been guilty of promoting "violent radicalization" for publishing the anti-slavery Liberator in 1831, which "facilitated" John Brown. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton would have been condemned for assailing laws disenfranchising women and creating an intellectual atmosphere receptive to violence. And Martin Luther King, Jr. would have fallen under the Act's suspicion for denouncing Jim Crow and practicing civil disobedience, which "facilitated" H. Rap Brown. . .
Lengthy lists of persons, organizations and thoughts to be shunned will be compiled. Portions of the Holy Koran are likely to be taboo. The lives of countless innocent citizens will be shattered. That is the lesson of HUAC and every prior government enterprise to identify "dangerous" people or ideas - for example, the 120,000 innocent Japanese-Americans herded into concentration camps during World War II.
Bruce Fein is a constitutional lawyer with Bruce Fein & Associates and Chairman of the American Freedom Agenda.
(thanks to Undernews)
Call or fax Rep. Neil Abercrombie:
Phone: (808) 541-2570
Fax: (808) 533-0133
Call or fax Rep. Mazie Hirono:
Phone: (808) 541-1986
Fax: (808) 538-0233
And ask them to vote to defeat HR1955.
One thing we should be wary of is the flexible definition of "violence." ( New-agers should question their own complicity in adding to the muddy water here with their adoption of the concept of "'violent' and 'non-violent' communication.")
Clearly, it is not a stretch to imagine that radical speech about social change could be interpreted as "violent." Certainly, the definition of violence could expand to include blockades and other protest methods which impede "business as usual," even in the absence of physical harm to human beings by the protesters.
And breaking windows at a Starbucks or a Nike store (as in Seattle 1999) to illustrate the disproportionate value placed on profit and property in our system would be even more harshly punished.
A group of people on surfboards in front a boat can bring federal homeland security charges. What's next?
The choice is ours. We can timidly accept this state of affairs and allow our voices and our power to be taken away, or we can courageously continue to stand up for what's right, and take action proportionate to the urgency of the situations we face. Make no mistake- our first mistake was made the first time a group of protesters allowed themselves to be herded into a "free speech zone," instead of declaring the world in its entirety the free speech zone. Today, we must atone for that mistake, for the sake of everyone everywhere, whose lives literally depend upon it.
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