Friday, May 8, 2009

What Is Going On?

I am so confused.  Those that know me know that this doesn't take much.  There is currently a lot of outrage going on about S.909 and HR1913, having to do with hate crimes prevention.  To be perfectly clear, those people that I know that are outraged by these bills are also outraged by hate crimes.  They are not objecting to the prevention and prosecution of hate crimes.

The problem, from what I can gather from limited resources at this time, is the fact that there is a very broad definition of the protected behavior.  This leads to a danger that someone that is being tried for some kinds of sexual assault could potentially use this bill as a defense.

At this point, that's all I can say that I know about it.  I have heard (and, I have to admit, spread) some more sensational rumors about these bills.  I certainly have some more concerns about it, but so far have nothing to back things up.  Even having read the bills*, that's all I can say.  For a non-lawyer type like myself, I have a hard time discerning anything more about the legal implications therein contained. (Why do lawyers and only lawyers use words like "whereas" and "heretofore" and "therein"? I don't even know if those are all real words!  They just fit my legal language stereotypes. Wherefore, it slightly amused me to use some of these made up words in a sentence.  Yeah, it doesn't take much to amuse me, either.)

I want to go try to learn some more about it.  And by "go", I mean sit on my couch and let the internet take me places.  I would love to hear what the congress people were getting as they prepared to vote.  Maybe I'll have to actually take a look at what was presented as pros and cons for the bill as they were preparing to vote on it.  Hmm, sounds good, but a little ambitious for a lazy bum like myself.  I don't even know where I would look for such a thing.  I am also reminded very strongly about how vague my knowledge of government is.  It's like the making of sausage.  I'm not sure how much I want to know.  Anyway, I'll let you know what I find out (if I get that far).  It's Friday night.  I guarantee I will make it no farther than that on the subject tonight.

*Yes, I actually went to the Library of Congress site and read the bills!  Are you impressed?  Because I sure am.  I know that it's not cool to be that impressed with myself, but I'm not going to lie.  I'm impressed. Tell me, when was the last time you actually read a bill??  (I am speaking to the general population, not anyone whose job involves reading bills in some way.)  I feel a little more educated now, so I can go back to other important business... for example, have you seen the latest episode of Lost? Whoa!  So much going on, I don't know if I can handle it!  And how many episodes are left this year?  Because there are a lot of story threads that I can see that they are going to leave hanging, AND THAT IS NOT OKAY!!  Alright. I've said my piece.  Over and out.

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