04 May 2009

More Unrelated Stuff

This may be fairly normal around here, posts that include two or more topics that are on my mind at that time. :-)

1. So far, my "worry? me?" husband seems to be right that the swine/H1N1 flu outbreak has been rather exaggerated by the media and causing undue anxiety. At least at this stage. I happened across an article on CNN's site that suggests we're going to have a lot more cause to worry in a few months.

2. Can anyone explain to me how "hate crime" legislation is not:
a) creating a category of "crimethink", in which one receives criminal penalties for one's thoughts/motivations?
b) declaring some citizens more valuable than others, by imposing greater penalties for crimes against members of "protected" groups?
Just try to ask any PC type that question and brace yourself for venomous ranting about how even asking such questions "proves" you've been brainwashed by the "religious right". (Interesting phrase that. Does it mean that the religious ARE right? I certainly think so (grin).) Seems to me that George Orwell definitely saw this coming, with a) covered by 1984, and b) covered by Animal Farm ("some are more equal than others").
To my thinking, the same crime should be given the same punishment, regardless of the victim's race, sex, religion, age, choice of lifestyle, etc. Wouldn't that be actual justice, to treat all citizens as equally valued, thus the same crime yields the same punishment for the offender? As for adding to the punishment because the offender's motive is deemed "prejudiced", "bigoted", etc., for one thing, how do you prove what someone is thinking? Also, doesn't the Constitution protect freedom of thought, no matter how repugnant your thoughts might be to society as a whole?

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