Why isn't Scoble against 'thought crimes bill?'

Better Bad News asks why I’m not speaking out against Senate Bill S-1959.

Good question.

It just wasn’t brought to my attention until now.

So, now that it is, I’ve gotta say this bill is really pretty horrid. But don’t take my word on it. Look at Justanothercoverup and what they have to say about it.

Here’s the text of the bill
.

Or even more people trying to get this bill stopped.

Thanks to Better Bad News for bringing this to my attention and forcing me to take a stance on it. Really horrible stuff.

Comments

  1. How is it that you have such a great and yet such a weird and scary country…

    I hope there is good intent in this law, and bad composition. The use of violence “or force” is worrisome indeed. Force is all the people have. That cannot just be suppressed.

    Take care.

  2. How is it that you have such a great and yet such a weird and scary country…

    I hope there is good intent in this law, and bad composition. The use of violence “or force” is worrisome indeed. Force is all the people have. That cannot just be suppressed.

    Take care.

  3. How is it that you have such a great and yet such a weird and scary country…

    I hope there is good intent in this law, and bad composition. The use of violence “or force” is worrisome indeed. Force is all the people have. That cannot just be suppressed.

    Take care.

  4. knock-knock
    > whose there?
    it’s the thought police, open up!
    > why, what did I do?
    You know exactly what you did
    > what do you mean?
    now your doing it again!
    > etc, etc…

    (Could be piece by Harold Pinter)

  5. knock-knock
    > whose there?
    it’s the thought police, open up!
    > why, what did I do?
    You know exactly what you did
    > what do you mean?
    now your doing it again!
    > etc, etc…

    (Could be piece by Harold Pinter)

  6. knock-knock
    > whose there?
    it’s the thought police, open up!
    > why, what did I do?
    You know exactly what you did
    > what do you mean?
    now your doing it again!
    > etc, etc…

    (Could be piece by Harold Pinter)

  7. FYI: I’m not supporting the bill – certainly not as written – too vague and open-ended.

    My only problem with the BetterBadNews video is that it is far less about information and more about well-positioned soundbites – making it feel like a Michael Moore documentary.

    They should, if it is their cause, present a case, not a bunch of fragmented clips with ominous music playing in the background. It makes me immediately wary of their message – as though THEY are hiding something.

    FYI: I’m not saying or insuating that – I’m just saying the method for conveying their message is more like the worst of politician campaign ads – dark and sinister visions of their opponents rather than true information.

  8. FYI: I’m not supporting the bill – certainly not as written – too vague and open-ended.

    My only problem with the BetterBadNews video is that it is far less about information and more about well-positioned soundbites – making it feel like a Michael Moore documentary.

    They should, if it is their cause, present a case, not a bunch of fragmented clips with ominous music playing in the background. It makes me immediately wary of their message – as though THEY are hiding something.

    FYI: I’m not saying or insuating that – I’m just saying the method for conveying their message is more like the worst of politician campaign ads – dark and sinister visions of their opponents rather than true information.

  9. FYI: I’m not supporting the bill – certainly not as written – too vague and open-ended.

    My only problem with the BetterBadNews video is that it is far less about information and more about well-positioned soundbites – making it feel like a Michael Moore documentary.

    They should, if it is their cause, present a case, not a bunch of fragmented clips with ominous music playing in the background. It makes me immediately wary of their message – as though THEY are hiding something.

    FYI: I’m not saying or insuating that – I’m just saying the method for conveying their message is more like the worst of politician campaign ads – dark and sinister visions of their opponents rather than true information.

  10. Guess I’m missing something, and it’s reading a lot into a bill which to my untrained eye, but there seems to be a lot of huff for a bill that doesn’t have any bite into it.

    It’s for forming a committee which looks into the methods of groups that promote (ok, this part is admittedly and disturbingly vague) “violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence” use the internet and other tools to organize. Once the commission is done, then a report is going to be generated with some recommendations. There are no arrests that can occur, there are no special powers they can exert (other than probably subpoenas).

    While on the surface, this rings heavily of “McCarthyism,” there seems to be a lot of reaching to get to the point of arresting those that speak out against the Bush administration.

    What am I missing?

  11. Guess I’m missing something, and it’s reading a lot into a bill which to my untrained eye, but there seems to be a lot of huff for a bill that doesn’t have any bite into it.

    It’s for forming a committee which looks into the methods of groups that promote (ok, this part is admittedly and disturbingly vague) “violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence” use the internet and other tools to organize. Once the commission is done, then a report is going to be generated with some recommendations. There are no arrests that can occur, there are no special powers they can exert (other than probably subpoenas).

    While on the surface, this rings heavily of “McCarthyism,” there seems to be a lot of reaching to get to the point of arresting those that speak out against the Bush administration.

    What am I missing?

  12. Guess I’m missing something, and it’s reading a lot into a bill which to my untrained eye, but there seems to be a lot of huff for a bill that doesn’t have any bite into it.

    It’s for forming a committee which looks into the methods of groups that promote (ok, this part is admittedly and disturbingly vague) “violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence” use the internet and other tools to organize. Once the commission is done, then a report is going to be generated with some recommendations. There are no arrests that can occur, there are no special powers they can exert (other than probably subpoenas).

    While on the surface, this rings heavily of “McCarthyism,” there seems to be a lot of reaching to get to the point of arresting those that speak out against the Bush administration.

    What am I missing?

  13. Matt, it’s good to see someone focusing on the important aspects of things like this: like visual presentation, colors, background-music, interpunctuation and other important things, but most importantly to totally disregard the message of the content.

  14. Matt, it’s good to see someone focusing on the important aspects of things like this: like visual presentation, colors, background-music, interpunctuation and other important things, but most importantly to totally disregard the message of the content.

  15. Matt, it’s good to see someone focusing on the important aspects of things like this: like visual presentation, colors, background-music, interpunctuation and other important things, but most importantly to totally disregard the message of the content.

  16. Uhhh….

    Could someone with a legal background please provide some cogent analysis of this bill rather than simply ranting about what it might mean if you read between the lines?

    As far as I can tell the bill establishes a commission to study homegrown terrorism and make recommendations on how to handle it. Most of the objections seem to be based on the assumption that the recommendations will both be undesirable and be enacted.

    Combating terrorism within the framework of the constitution has proven quite difficult…I’ll leave it to others to debate the degree to which constitutional rights have been violated by existing strategies.

    But if you start with the assumptions that (1) fighting terrorism is necessary, (2) our constitutional rights must be upheld, and (3) efforts so far have been questionable at best in terms of both 1 and 2; then I’m not sure how you can argue against studying the problem.

    There are two very real problems here that need to be addressed: The threat of terrorism and the steady reduction in civil liberties that has taken place to fight it. We need a way to fight terrorism without reducing our civil liberties, and I simply do not see a magical solution appearing out of thin air.

    I think the detractors should be more constructive and suggest solutions to their objections rather than engaging in hyperbolic conspiracy theory.

  17. Uhhh….

    Could someone with a legal background please provide some cogent analysis of this bill rather than simply ranting about what it might mean if you read between the lines?

    As far as I can tell the bill establishes a commission to study homegrown terrorism and make recommendations on how to handle it. Most of the objections seem to be based on the assumption that the recommendations will both be undesirable and be enacted.

    Combating terrorism within the framework of the constitution has proven quite difficult…I’ll leave it to others to debate the degree to which constitutional rights have been violated by existing strategies.

    But if you start with the assumptions that (1) fighting terrorism is necessary, (2) our constitutional rights must be upheld, and (3) efforts so far have been questionable at best in terms of both 1 and 2; then I’m not sure how you can argue against studying the problem.

    There are two very real problems here that need to be addressed: The threat of terrorism and the steady reduction in civil liberties that has taken place to fight it. We need a way to fight terrorism without reducing our civil liberties, and I simply do not see a magical solution appearing out of thin air.

    I think the detractors should be more constructive and suggest solutions to their objections rather than engaging in hyperbolic conspiracy theory.

  18. Uhhh….

    Could someone with a legal background please provide some cogent analysis of this bill rather than simply ranting about what it might mean if you read between the lines?

    As far as I can tell the bill establishes a commission to study homegrown terrorism and make recommendations on how to handle it. Most of the objections seem to be based on the assumption that the recommendations will both be undesirable and be enacted.

    Combating terrorism within the framework of the constitution has proven quite difficult…I’ll leave it to others to debate the degree to which constitutional rights have been violated by existing strategies.

    But if you start with the assumptions that (1) fighting terrorism is necessary, (2) our constitutional rights must be upheld, and (3) efforts so far have been questionable at best in terms of both 1 and 2; then I’m not sure how you can argue against studying the problem.

    There are two very real problems here that need to be addressed: The threat of terrorism and the steady reduction in civil liberties that has taken place to fight it. We need a way to fight terrorism without reducing our civil liberties, and I simply do not see a magical solution appearing out of thin air.

    I think the detractors should be more constructive and suggest solutions to their objections rather than engaging in hyperbolic conspiracy theory.

  19. Wow, they’re trying to pass a law here in Utah requiring that the Declaration of Independence be displayed prominently in all classrooms K-8. I wonder if that would qualify as ideological violence for political change??

  20. Wow, they’re trying to pass a law here in Utah requiring that the Declaration of Independence be displayed prominently in all classrooms K-8. I wonder if that would qualify as ideological violence for political change??

  21. Wow, they’re trying to pass a law here in Utah requiring that the Declaration of Independence be displayed prominently in all classrooms K-8. I wonder if that would qualify as ideological violence for political change??

  22. The language is indeed overbroad and would punish speech (it’s not about “thought”). The test for advocating violence is pretty lenient in the U.S. — it’s not endlessly open-ended, but you’d have to prove that the speech was about “incitement to imminent violence”.

    This bill would be unlikely to pass, given past Supreme Court decisions defining the First Amendment to the Constitution. So let’s get a grip here, all you American haters and conspiracy freaks, it’s just a bill.

    The more relevant and moral point about all this is: what is YOUR plan for stopping violent radicalization? That is, the spread of radical ideologies that sanction and promote violence? You’re saying violence is “ok” and this is “all the people have”? Huh? What, I’m poor, I get to blow up a building? What, I don’t like America’s support of Israel, I get to massacre hundreds? Huh?

    You don’t want to suppress speech. So..what *are* you offering them to address this very real problem of hateful and violent intolerance? Violent intolerance that would start *with you* if it were in power?

  23. The language is indeed overbroad and would punish speech (it’s not about “thought”). The test for advocating violence is pretty lenient in the U.S. — it’s not endlessly open-ended, but you’d have to prove that the speech was about “incitement to imminent violence”.

    This bill would be unlikely to pass, given past Supreme Court decisions defining the First Amendment to the Constitution. So let’s get a grip here, all you American haters and conspiracy freaks, it’s just a bill.

    The more relevant and moral point about all this is: what is YOUR plan for stopping violent radicalization? That is, the spread of radical ideologies that sanction and promote violence? You’re saying violence is “ok” and this is “all the people have”? Huh? What, I’m poor, I get to blow up a building? What, I don’t like America’s support of Israel, I get to massacre hundreds? Huh?

    You don’t want to suppress speech. So..what *are* you offering them to address this very real problem of hateful and violent intolerance? Violent intolerance that would start *with you* if it were in power?

  24. The language is indeed overbroad and would punish speech (it’s not about “thought”). The test for advocating violence is pretty lenient in the U.S. — it’s not endlessly open-ended, but you’d have to prove that the speech was about “incitement to imminent violence”.

    This bill would be unlikely to pass, given past Supreme Court decisions defining the First Amendment to the Constitution. So let’s get a grip here, all you American haters and conspiracy freaks, it’s just a bill.

    The more relevant and moral point about all this is: what is YOUR plan for stopping violent radicalization? That is, the spread of radical ideologies that sanction and promote violence? You’re saying violence is “ok” and this is “all the people have”? Huh? What, I’m poor, I get to blow up a building? What, I don’t like America’s support of Israel, I get to massacre hundreds? Huh?

    You don’t want to suppress speech. So..what *are* you offering them to address this very real problem of hateful and violent intolerance? Violent intolerance that would start *with you* if it were in power?

  25. IANAL but I’m not seeing anything in the bill that actually has any teeth. Seems to just establish a commission.

  26. IANAL but I’m not seeing anything in the bill that actually has any teeth. Seems to just establish a commission.

  27. IANAL but I’m not seeing anything in the bill that actually has any teeth. Seems to just establish a commission.

  28. I’m not for the language of this bill, but there’s no enforcement provisions here. Basically, this funds study of the problem. I don’t like the way this is worded at all, especially regarding religious groups and ideological groups because it does sound a lot like thought policing.
    But this bill doesn’t make a thought police force.
    Having a Center of Excellence to study this is a good idea, as I’ve seen the work that several centers have done, and it has value.

  29. I’m not for the language of this bill, but there’s no enforcement provisions here. Basically, this funds study of the problem. I don’t like the way this is worded at all, especially regarding religious groups and ideological groups because it does sound a lot like thought policing.
    But this bill doesn’t make a thought police force.
    Having a Center of Excellence to study this is a good idea, as I’ve seen the work that several centers have done, and it has value.

  30. I’m not for the language of this bill, but there’s no enforcement provisions here. Basically, this funds study of the problem. I don’t like the way this is worded at all, especially regarding religious groups and ideological groups because it does sound a lot like thought policing.
    But this bill doesn’t make a thought police force.
    Having a Center of Excellence to study this is a good idea, as I’ve seen the work that several centers have done, and it has value.

  31. I tried to read your Justanothercoverup link and gave up after a couple of paragraphs. That blog reads just like a crazy ranting lunatic foaming at the mouth – and with about as much skill at putting words into a sentence. I still have no idea wtf the bill is even about.

    Since I’m all about our freedoms, particularly speech, I imagine I would oppose this bill – but since there doesn’t seem to be a coherent analysis anywhere in sight, it makes it difficult.

    Why does everyone feel like going overboard and screaming at the top of their lungs unintelligibly will rally people to help fight a cause? All it does is hurt. A rational, reasoned approach by even a semi-intelligent person would go a long way, methinks.

  32. I tried to read your Justanothercoverup link and gave up after a couple of paragraphs. That blog reads just like a crazy ranting lunatic foaming at the mouth – and with about as much skill at putting words into a sentence. I still have no idea wtf the bill is even about.

    Since I’m all about our freedoms, particularly speech, I imagine I would oppose this bill – but since there doesn’t seem to be a coherent analysis anywhere in sight, it makes it difficult.

    Why does everyone feel like going overboard and screaming at the top of their lungs unintelligibly will rally people to help fight a cause? All it does is hurt. A rational, reasoned approach by even a semi-intelligent person would go a long way, methinks.

  33. I tried to read your Justanothercoverup link and gave up after a couple of paragraphs. That blog reads just like a crazy ranting lunatic foaming at the mouth – and with about as much skill at putting words into a sentence. I still have no idea wtf the bill is even about.

    Since I’m all about our freedoms, particularly speech, I imagine I would oppose this bill – but since there doesn’t seem to be a coherent analysis anywhere in sight, it makes it difficult.

    Why does everyone feel like going overboard and screaming at the top of their lungs unintelligibly will rally people to help fight a cause? All it does is hurt. A rational, reasoned approach by even a semi-intelligent person would go a long way, methinks.

  34. Scoble, using GovTrack is totally Luddite. OpenCongress has a totally awesome Congress 2.0 site.

    I’m leading the campaign to get you geeked about OpenCongress over on my blog.

  35. Scoble, using GovTrack is totally Luddite. OpenCongress has a totally awesome Congress 2.0 site.

    I’m leading the campaign to get you geeked about OpenCongress over on my blog.

  36. Scoble, using GovTrack is totally Luddite. OpenCongress has a totally awesome Congress 2.0 site.

    I’m leading the campaign to get you geeked about OpenCongress over on my blog.

  37. Robert, did you read the actual bill, or are you just regurgitating what others are saying? Read the bill then tell us what YOUR opinions are. Don’t point us to what others think. Have an original thought.

    @9. What’s unconstitutional about:

    “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 – Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add a new section concerning the prevention of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.
    Establishes within the legislative branch the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism to: (1) examine and report on facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States; (2) survey methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent such radicalization and terrorism; and (3) build upon, bring together, and avoid unnecessary duplication of related work done by other entities toward such goal.
    Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States to assist federal, state, local, and tribal government homeland security officials in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States. Requires the Secretary to ensure that activities to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism do not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    I don’t see ANYTHING in that bill that will prevent people from talking about blowing up buildings, overthrowing the US Govt, or planning a coup, or interpreting their religious tomes in a way that justifies killing people in the name of their God.. NOTHING in this bill prohibits freedom of speech. Please point out text where it does. Freedom of speech doesn’t exempt people from the potential consequences. Nor does it seem to infringe on the 4th Amendment, as there doesn’t seem to be “unreasonable” to study the potential effects of groups bent on terrorism

    What the bill proposes ways to study and PREVENT terrorists acts from being carried out.

  38. Robert, did you read the actual bill, or are you just regurgitating what others are saying? Read the bill then tell us what YOUR opinions are. Don’t point us to what others think. Have an original thought.

    @9. What’s unconstitutional about:

    “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 – Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add a new section concerning the prevention of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.
    Establishes within the legislative branch the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism to: (1) examine and report on facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States; (2) survey methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent such radicalization and terrorism; and (3) build upon, bring together, and avoid unnecessary duplication of related work done by other entities toward such goal.
    Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States to assist federal, state, local, and tribal government homeland security officials in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States. Requires the Secretary to ensure that activities to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism do not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    I don’t see ANYTHING in that bill that will prevent people from talking about blowing up buildings, overthrowing the US Govt, or planning a coup, or interpreting their religious tomes in a way that justifies killing people in the name of their God.. NOTHING in this bill prohibits freedom of speech. Please point out text where it does. Freedom of speech doesn’t exempt people from the potential consequences. Nor does it seem to infringe on the 4th Amendment, as there doesn’t seem to be “unreasonable” to study the potential effects of groups bent on terrorism

    What the bill proposes ways to study and PREVENT terrorists acts from being carried out.

  39. Robert, did you read the actual bill, or are you just regurgitating what others are saying? Read the bill then tell us what YOUR opinions are. Don’t point us to what others think. Have an original thought.

    @9. What’s unconstitutional about:

    “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 – Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add a new section concerning the prevention of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism.
    Establishes within the legislative branch the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism to: (1) examine and report on facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States; (2) survey methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent such radicalization and terrorism; and (3) build upon, bring together, and avoid unnecessary duplication of related work done by other entities toward such goal.
    Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States to assist federal, state, local, and tribal government homeland security officials in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States. Requires the Secretary to ensure that activities to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism do not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    I don’t see ANYTHING in that bill that will prevent people from talking about blowing up buildings, overthrowing the US Govt, or planning a coup, or interpreting their religious tomes in a way that justifies killing people in the name of their God.. NOTHING in this bill prohibits freedom of speech. Please point out text where it does. Freedom of speech doesn’t exempt people from the potential consequences. Nor does it seem to infringe on the 4th Amendment, as there doesn’t seem to be “unreasonable” to study the potential effects of groups bent on terrorism

    What the bill proposes ways to study and PREVENT terrorists acts from being carried out.

  40. Yes Robert, I think you got co-opted into someone else’s agenda (like the juxtaposition of a “24″ episode with the prospect that internship camps are being built all over the US).

    The Bill is designed to set up a study and a Center for the study of how radicalization to violent means is done. It doesn’t make anything illegal and it certainly has nothing to do with “thought crimes.”

    Now, you did get me to read all of it (and from the official government site, just to be safe), check its legislative history (it has been consigned to a committee and it is not clear when or whether it will be addressed by that committee), and make sure that it is actually before the current Congress and is not another one of those bogus E-mail tax things.

    The outcome of the implementation of this bill is a report on the nature of such activities, how they come about, and what other (democratic) countries with experience in domestic terrorism have learned about it and about their efforts to contain/prevent it.

    This, I think, is a great demonstration of the willingness of advocacy groups to lie, exaggerate, and speculate without bound in the name of their particular just cause. You know, the “extremism for the sake of freedom is no vice” kind of thing. (I don’t know about the exact wording, but a Republican Senator said that.)

    In this time of facing into a major electoral season in the United States, one that may shape the direction of the nation for years to come, we should have our bullshit and unsupported claims detectors turned to high. Let’s cool it on the screaming meemies.

  41. Yes Robert, I think you got co-opted into someone else’s agenda (like the juxtaposition of a “24″ episode with the prospect that internship camps are being built all over the US).

    The Bill is designed to set up a study and a Center for the study of how radicalization to violent means is done. It doesn’t make anything illegal and it certainly has nothing to do with “thought crimes.”

    Now, you did get me to read all of it (and from the official government site, just to be safe), check its legislative history (it has been consigned to a committee and it is not clear when or whether it will be addressed by that committee), and make sure that it is actually before the current Congress and is not another one of those bogus E-mail tax things.

    The outcome of the implementation of this bill is a report on the nature of such activities, how they come about, and what other (democratic) countries with experience in domestic terrorism have learned about it and about their efforts to contain/prevent it.

    This, I think, is a great demonstration of the willingness of advocacy groups to lie, exaggerate, and speculate without bound in the name of their particular just cause. You know, the “extremism for the sake of freedom is no vice” kind of thing. (I don’t know about the exact wording, but a Republican Senator said that.)

    In this time of facing into a major electoral season in the United States, one that may shape the direction of the nation for years to come, we should have our bullshit and unsupported claims detectors turned to high. Let’s cool it on the screaming meemies.

  42. Yes Robert, I think you got co-opted into someone else’s agenda (like the juxtaposition of a “24″ episode with the prospect that internship camps are being built all over the US).

    The Bill is designed to set up a study and a Center for the study of how radicalization to violent means is done. It doesn’t make anything illegal and it certainly has nothing to do with “thought crimes.”

    Now, you did get me to read all of it (and from the official government site, just to be safe), check its legislative history (it has been consigned to a committee and it is not clear when or whether it will be addressed by that committee), and make sure that it is actually before the current Congress and is not another one of those bogus E-mail tax things.

    The outcome of the implementation of this bill is a report on the nature of such activities, how they come about, and what other (democratic) countries with experience in domestic terrorism have learned about it and about their efforts to contain/prevent it.

    This, I think, is a great demonstration of the willingness of advocacy groups to lie, exaggerate, and speculate without bound in the name of their particular just cause. You know, the “extremism for the sake of freedom is no vice” kind of thing. (I don’t know about the exact wording, but a Republican Senator said that.)

    In this time of facing into a major electoral season in the United States, one that may shape the direction of the nation for years to come, we should have our bullshit and unsupported claims detectors turned to high. Let’s cool it on the screaming meemies.

  43. Is the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 as Bad as Scoble Says it is?

    A bunch of bloggers have taken Robert Scoble to task for not speaking out against S. 1959, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. The problem is that until they took him to task, Robert wasn’t aware of the legi…

  44. My Fellow Americans,

    There are definitely some bills worth freaking out on. One is S1959, and another is Patriot Act.

    The latter is being used to undermine our Consitutional Rights — today!

    S1959 aims to go after groups that haven’t used any violence, and more importantly the measure doesn’t discriminate between issues like radical Islam or environmental radicalism (Greenpeace, Earth First, etc) or 9/11 Truth groups.

    Instituting a research arm to assist the govt in fighting groups that aren’t doing anything … is bad.

    It’s yet another expansion of terrorism, an already poorly-defined government-apropriated word, into radicalization, which could be defined as anything counter to the norm.

    As a person who believes war is terrorism, jailing people for drugs is unconstitutional, and that Bush and co were informed of the events of 9/11 and did nothing — does that mean I’m targetted by this bill just for stating these things on your website ** without ever advocating that anyone take any kind of radical action **?

    Sure makes ya wonder!

    And if you watch my video:

    That asks people to take legal action to get Bush impeached — is that going to be targetted?

    Where will it stop?

  45. My Fellow Americans,

    There are definitely some bills worth freaking out on. One is S1959, and another is Patriot Act.

    The latter is being used to undermine our Consitutional Rights — today!

    S1959 aims to go after groups that haven’t used any violence, and more importantly the measure doesn’t discriminate between issues like radical Islam or environmental radicalism (Greenpeace, Earth First, etc) or 9/11 Truth groups.

    Instituting a research arm to assist the govt in fighting groups that aren’t doing anything … is bad.

    It’s yet another expansion of terrorism, an already poorly-defined government-apropriated word, into radicalization, which could be defined as anything counter to the norm.

    As a person who believes war is terrorism, jailing people for drugs is unconstitutional, and that Bush and co were informed of the events of 9/11 and did nothing — does that mean I’m targetted by this bill just for stating these things on your website ** without ever advocating that anyone take any kind of radical action **?

    Sure makes ya wonder!

    And if you watch my video:

    That asks people to take legal action to get Bush impeached — is that going to be targetted?

    Where will it stop?

  46. My Fellow Americans,

    There are definitely some bills worth freaking out on. One is S1959, and another is Patriot Act.

    The latter is being used to undermine our Consitutional Rights — today!

    S1959 aims to go after groups that haven’t used any violence, and more importantly the measure doesn’t discriminate between issues like radical Islam or environmental radicalism (Greenpeace, Earth First, etc) or 9/11 Truth groups.

    Instituting a research arm to assist the govt in fighting groups that aren’t doing anything … is bad.

    It’s yet another expansion of terrorism, an already poorly-defined government-apropriated word, into radicalization, which could be defined as anything counter to the norm.

    As a person who believes war is terrorism, jailing people for drugs is unconstitutional, and that Bush and co were informed of the events of 9/11 and did nothing — does that mean I’m targetted by this bill just for stating these things on your website ** without ever advocating that anyone take any kind of radical action **?

    Sure makes ya wonder!

    And if you watch my video:

    That asks people to take legal action to get Bush impeached — is that going to be targetted?

    Where will it stop?

  47. Unfortunately, folks, it appears that this bill has already passed. Look on that site for “Bills with the same name – 1″ and click it. There is a bill with the same name, same text, which passed already, – bill number 1955:

    This language in this bill that disturbs me is this:

    `(i) Powers of Commission- The powers of the Commission shall be as follows:

    `(1) IN GENERAL-

    `(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.

    `(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.

    All the commissions duties – whatever they may include in the effort to stop *individuals* or groups from planning to do anything involving force or violence or intimidation against the government!, citizens of USA as a whole, or subgroups…

    think about all that – read the whole bill – it sounds totally insane… and IT ALREADY PASSED!

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1955

    but, i bet most bills involved with the patriot act or the homeland security stuff look like this.

    sucks, doesn’t it.

  48. Unfortunately, folks, it appears that this bill has already passed. Look on that site for “Bills with the same name – 1″ and click it. There is a bill with the same name, same text, which passed already, – bill number 1955:

    This language in this bill that disturbs me is this:

    `(i) Powers of Commission- The powers of the Commission shall be as follows:

    `(1) IN GENERAL-

    `(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.

    `(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.

    All the commissions duties – whatever they may include in the effort to stop *individuals* or groups from planning to do anything involving force or violence or intimidation against the government!, citizens of USA as a whole, or subgroups…

    think about all that – read the whole bill – it sounds totally insane… and IT ALREADY PASSED!

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1955

    but, i bet most bills involved with the patriot act or the homeland security stuff look like this.

    sucks, doesn’t it.

  49. Unfortunately, folks, it appears that this bill has already passed. Look on that site for “Bills with the same name – 1″ and click it. There is a bill with the same name, same text, which passed already, – bill number 1955:

    This language in this bill that disturbs me is this:

    `(i) Powers of Commission- The powers of the Commission shall be as follows:

    `(1) IN GENERAL-

    `(A) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE- The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.

    `(B) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.

    All the commissions duties – whatever they may include in the effort to stop *individuals* or groups from planning to do anything involving force or violence or intimidation against the government!, citizens of USA as a whole, or subgroups…

    think about all that – read the whole bill – it sounds totally insane… and IT ALREADY PASSED!

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1955

    but, i bet most bills involved with the patriot act or the homeland security stuff look like this.

    sucks, doesn’t it.

  50. Understanding a law entails more than merely reading the full text itself. More tha anything else, it should also be taken in the proper context. The author of the bill left many loopholes for this law. In that sense, it looks good but it doesn’t really have any “meat” in it.

  51. Understanding a law entails more than merely reading the full text itself. More tha anything else, it should also be taken in the proper context. The author of the bill left many loopholes for this law. In that sense, it looks good but it doesn’t really have any “meat” in it.

  52. Understanding a law entails more than merely reading the full text itself. More tha anything else, it should also be taken in the proper context. The author of the bill left many loopholes for this law. In that sense, it looks good but it doesn’t really have any “meat” in it.

  53. OK, let’s cool it, OK. HR 1955 was the bill that passed in the House of Representatives. The authoritative version of this bill, which was forwarded to the Senate and is there as S.1959 is here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:4:./temp/~c110AhkghS:b0:

    So, if we are to quote things, lets find the accurate legislative history and link to the definitive versions. (The Library of Congress is definitive in every way I can imagine.)

    Finally, let us get off the Chicken Little bandwagon. This is going to make it harder to find the real scary stuff that might be happening by desensitizing all of us to ravings about this.

    First, the HR.1955 and S.1959 do not create laws in the sense of making additions to the US Code (USC). It is an Act to ammend an Act (the Homeland Security Act of 2002) in order to establish a study Commission and a Center of Excellence. These are not unusual activities and this is an ordinary way of carrying them out.

    The presumption that this is going to create laws against “thought crimes” is unwarranted. If the commission produces a report calling for such legislation, that will be an appropriate time to complain. (They will be delivering their report during the administration of the next President of the United States, by the way.)

    However, such an outcome is in no way a foregone conclusion. Since the bill did pass in the house, you might want to find out how *your* Congress-person voted on the bill and find out why. The voting record on this bill should be an useful bit of information.

  54. OK, let’s cool it, OK. HR 1955 was the bill that passed in the House of Representatives. The authoritative version of this bill, which was forwarded to the Senate and is there as S.1959 is here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:4:./temp/~c110AhkghS:b0:

    So, if we are to quote things, lets find the accurate legislative history and link to the definitive versions. (The Library of Congress is definitive in every way I can imagine.)

    Finally, let us get off the Chicken Little bandwagon. This is going to make it harder to find the real scary stuff that might be happening by desensitizing all of us to ravings about this.

    First, the HR.1955 and S.1959 do not create laws in the sense of making additions to the US Code (USC). It is an Act to ammend an Act (the Homeland Security Act of 2002) in order to establish a study Commission and a Center of Excellence. These are not unusual activities and this is an ordinary way of carrying them out.

    The presumption that this is going to create laws against “thought crimes” is unwarranted. If the commission produces a report calling for such legislation, that will be an appropriate time to complain. (They will be delivering their report during the administration of the next President of the United States, by the way.)

    However, such an outcome is in no way a foregone conclusion. Since the bill did pass in the house, you might want to find out how *your* Congress-person voted on the bill and find out why. The voting record on this bill should be an useful bit of information.

  55. OK, let’s cool it, OK. HR 1955 was the bill that passed in the House of Representatives. The authoritative version of this bill, which was forwarded to the Senate and is there as S.1959 is here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:4:./temp/~c110AhkghS:b0:

    So, if we are to quote things, lets find the accurate legislative history and link to the definitive versions. (The Library of Congress is definitive in every way I can imagine.)

    Finally, let us get off the Chicken Little bandwagon. This is going to make it harder to find the real scary stuff that might be happening by desensitizing all of us to ravings about this.

    First, the HR.1955 and S.1959 do not create laws in the sense of making additions to the US Code (USC). It is an Act to ammend an Act (the Homeland Security Act of 2002) in order to establish a study Commission and a Center of Excellence. These are not unusual activities and this is an ordinary way of carrying them out.

    The presumption that this is going to create laws against “thought crimes” is unwarranted. If the commission produces a report calling for such legislation, that will be an appropriate time to complain. (They will be delivering their report during the administration of the next President of the United States, by the way.)

    However, such an outcome is in no way a foregone conclusion. Since the bill did pass in the house, you might want to find out how *your* Congress-person voted on the bill and find out why. The voting record on this bill should be an useful bit of information.

  56. PS: No one seems to find it worth mentioning that a major part of the charge to the proposed Commission is to make sure that the protections of the US Constitution are addressed and given weight in any recommendation.

    So I am mentioning it.

  57. PS: No one seems to find it worth mentioning that a major part of the charge to the proposed Commission is to make sure that the protections of the US Constitution are addressed and given weight in any recommendation.

    So I am mentioning it.

  58. PS: No one seems to find it worth mentioning that a major part of the charge to the proposed Commission is to make sure that the protections of the US Constitution are addressed and given weight in any recommendation.

    So I am mentioning it.

  59. @20 and @21. What’s wrong with a law that enables the government to form a commission to study potential terrorist plots? Nothing in this bill prevents anyone from plotting to destroy the country, plotting to overthrow the govt, or plotting to kill people in the name of their God. What it does do is form a commission to study such things and what the possible outcomes would be. Now, if I’m not mistaken, most of the things they are wanting to study, if actually carried out, would be crimes. I’m also pretty sure that even plotting or conspiring to commit crimes is illegal. So, in a lot of ways we already have crimes against “thought”.

  60. @20 and @21. What’s wrong with a law that enables the government to form a commission to study potential terrorist plots? Nothing in this bill prevents anyone from plotting to destroy the country, plotting to overthrow the govt, or plotting to kill people in the name of their God. What it does do is form a commission to study such things and what the possible outcomes would be. Now, if I’m not mistaken, most of the things they are wanting to study, if actually carried out, would be crimes. I’m also pretty sure that even plotting or conspiring to commit crimes is illegal. So, in a lot of ways we already have crimes against “thought”.

  61. @20 and @21. What’s wrong with a law that enables the government to form a commission to study potential terrorist plots? Nothing in this bill prevents anyone from plotting to destroy the country, plotting to overthrow the govt, or plotting to kill people in the name of their God. What it does do is form a commission to study such things and what the possible outcomes would be. Now, if I’m not mistaken, most of the things they are wanting to study, if actually carried out, would be crimes. I’m also pretty sure that even plotting or conspiring to commit crimes is illegal. So, in a lot of ways we already have crimes against “thought”.

  62. The ACLU has a good description of the problems with the charter the bill gives to the commission at http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/32886prs20071128.html

    “The framework established by the measure will unavoidably make the focus of the commission the bill creates more likely to lead to unconstitutional restrictions on speech and belief – in addition to more appropriate restrictions on actions. Experience has demonstrated that the results of such a study will likely be used to recommend the use of racial, ethnic and religious profiling, in the event of a terrorist attack. We believe this approach to be counter-productive, and it will only heighten, rather than decrease, the spread of radicalization.”

    Kucinich and Ron Paul both are very articulate on this as well, Kucinich saying “If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest” and Paul commenting “This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding.”

    For a discussion of the hearings so far, see Michael Collins Scoop article at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0712/S00247.htm

  63. The ACLU has a good description of the problems with the charter the bill gives to the commission at http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/32886prs20071128.html

    “The framework established by the measure will unavoidably make the focus of the commission the bill creates more likely to lead to unconstitutional restrictions on speech and belief – in addition to more appropriate restrictions on actions. Experience has demonstrated that the results of such a study will likely be used to recommend the use of racial, ethnic and religious profiling, in the event of a terrorist attack. We believe this approach to be counter-productive, and it will only heighten, rather than decrease, the spread of radicalization.”

    Kucinich and Ron Paul both are very articulate on this as well, Kucinich saying “If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest” and Paul commenting “This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding.”

    For a discussion of the hearings so far, see Michael Collins Scoop article at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0712/S00247.htm

  64. The ACLU has a good description of the problems with the charter the bill gives to the commission at http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/32886prs20071128.html

    “The framework established by the measure will unavoidably make the focus of the commission the bill creates more likely to lead to unconstitutional restrictions on speech and belief – in addition to more appropriate restrictions on actions. Experience has demonstrated that the results of such a study will likely be used to recommend the use of racial, ethnic and religious profiling, in the event of a terrorist attack. We believe this approach to be counter-productive, and it will only heighten, rather than decrease, the spread of radicalization.”

    Kucinich and Ron Paul both are very articulate on this as well, Kucinich saying “If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest” and Paul commenting “This legislation will set up a new government bureaucracy to monitor and further study the as-yet undemonstrated pressing problem of homegrown terrorism and radicalization. It will no doubt prove to be another bureaucracy that artificially inflates problems so as to guarantee its future existence and funding.”

    For a discussion of the hearings so far, see Michael Collins Scoop article at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0712/S00247.htm

  65. The problem with this legislation is not what it will do with regards to our freedoms:

    “(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    The problem is, as Ron Paul says that it is yet another waste of tax payers money, and like all bureaucracies, will tend to be self perpetuating.

    I wish some of you nut-jobs could get as motivated about the waste and abuse going on at other federal agencies. the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do your own reading and research and stop depending on “activists” for your opinions. They have books and video tapes to sell and they will sell them by whatever means.

  66. The problem with this legislation is not what it will do with regards to our freedoms:

    “(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    The problem is, as Ron Paul says that it is yet another waste of tax payers money, and like all bureaucracies, will tend to be self perpetuating.

    I wish some of you nut-jobs could get as motivated about the waste and abuse going on at other federal agencies. the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do your own reading and research and stop depending on “activists” for your opinions. They have books and video tapes to sell and they will sell them by whatever means.

  67. The problem with this legislation is not what it will do with regards to our freedoms:

    “(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, or civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.”

    The problem is, as Ron Paul says that it is yet another waste of tax payers money, and like all bureaucracies, will tend to be self perpetuating.

    I wish some of you nut-jobs could get as motivated about the waste and abuse going on at other federal agencies. the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Do your own reading and research and stop depending on “activists” for your opinions. They have books and video tapes to sell and they will sell them by whatever means.

  68. The links you provided about this bill are really short on details. One even started ranting about “internment camps” or some such nonsense. Yet none provide any actual details of the bill.

    You say that it’s “really horrible stuff”, yet none of the links you’ve provided really offer any concrete information. In fact, they all leave me with the distinct impression that what is merely a “kinda dumb” bill is being oversold as a “really dangerous” bill.

    Do you have a decent link anywhere with an actual analysis?

  69. The links you provided about this bill are really short on details. One even started ranting about “internment camps” or some such nonsense. Yet none provide any actual details of the bill.

    You say that it’s “really horrible stuff”, yet none of the links you’ve provided really offer any concrete information. In fact, they all leave me with the distinct impression that what is merely a “kinda dumb” bill is being oversold as a “really dangerous” bill.

    Do you have a decent link anywhere with an actual analysis?

  70. The links you provided about this bill are really short on details. One even started ranting about “internment camps” or some such nonsense. Yet none provide any actual details of the bill.

    You say that it’s “really horrible stuff”, yet none of the links you’ve provided really offer any concrete information. In fact, they all leave me with the distinct impression that what is merely a “kinda dumb” bill is being oversold as a “really dangerous” bill.

    Do you have a decent link anywhere with an actual analysis?