The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

MAY  2014

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Internet in bull's-eye for new
'hate speech' plan

Proposal would evaluate language, make 'recommendations'

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Other individuals and groups publicly condemned by SPLC for their positions on moral issues included Fox News, blogger Pamela Geller, former Ambassador John Bolton and retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin.

It was NHMC that in 2009 revitalized a concerted effort to carry on Markey's idea to establish federal government regulation of telecommunications content by seeking to institutionalize an annual NTIA report. The hope was to establish a link between the use of telecommunications media and hate crimes.

On Jan. 28, 2009, NHMC, assisted by attorneys from the Soros-funded Media Access Project, filed a petition to the Federal Communications Commission, asking the FCC to invite public comment on hate speech in the media, "including the relationship between hate speech in the media and hate crimes," with a view to explore "options for counteracting or reducing the negative effects of such speech."

In a letter addressed Aug. 11, 2009, NHMC wrote to the NTIA administrator requesting NTIA update its 1993 report on "The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes," the report Markey had been responsible for creating. NHMC charged that since 1993, the radio, cable television and the Internet "are now permeated with hate speech - which was not the case in 1993."

On Jan. 13, NHMC wrote a letter to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., that suggested behind-the-scenes coordination may have been occurring or that NHMC had prior knowledge of a plan to implement the telecommunications hate crimes measure. The letter thanks Jeffries for introducing to the House a telecommunications hate crimes bill Jeffries actually introduced two days later.

The NHMC letter claimed the 1993 NTIA report was now outdated because "one could not have anticipated the explosion of the Internet or the multitude of ways we all stay connected today." It argued that an updated NTIA report "will augment the record with current data and information in a way that will raise awareness about the depth and impact of hate speech across all media platforms."

The letter was signed by some 45 leftist organizations, including SPLC.

WND reported the new one-page bill calls for the Justice Department and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to "analyze information on the use of telecommunications, including the Internet, broadcast television and radio, cable television, public access television, commercial mobile services, and other electronic media, to advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate."

The bill does not define which actions by broadcasters would be considered to have encouraged violence, seemingly leaving that open to interpretation.

Once the report is compiled, the bill calls for "any recommendations" for action "consistent with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" that is determined to be an "appropriate and necessary" way to address the purported encouragement of violent acts.

The Boston Herald took issue with the bill, calling it "frankly chilling" that Markey is seeking to "empower an obscure federal agency to begin scouring the Internet, TV and radio for speech it finds threatening."

"Perhaps he could crack a briefing book on the crisis in Ukraine rather than looking for his own extra-constitutional methods of punishing speech he finds unacceptable," added the Herald editorial.

The latest plan is perceived by critics as the next step in Obama's campaign against "hate crimes," which earlier included the creation of a federal hate crimes law that targets for additional punishment those who may commit crimes while in a certain mindset.

The original law, called the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was signed by Obama when Democrats strategically attached it to a "must-pass" $680 billion defense-appropriations bill in 2009.

The law cracks down on any acts that could be linked to criticism of homosexuality or even the "perception" of homosexuality. Obama boasted of his accomplishment.

"After more than a decade, we've passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are," he said.

But the criticism was vocal and pointed. American Family Association President Tim Wildmon warned the new law "creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in non-normative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American."

He pointed out that the legislation also creates possible situations in which pastors could be arrested if their sermons on sexuality can be linked in even the remotest way to acts of violence. For example, if someone hears the biblical description of homosexuality as a sin and uses that message as a reason for acting.

The Alliance Defending Freedom also blasted the "hate-crimes" bill, calling it "another nail in the coffin of the First Amendment."

"All violent crimes are hate crimes, and all crime victims deserve equal justice," ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley said in a statement. "This law is a grave threat to the First Amendment because it provides special penalties based on what people think, feel or believe."

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, testified before Congress against the hate-crimes bill.

"It is fundamentally unjust for the government to treat some crime victims more favorably than others, just because they are homosexual or transsexual," Dacus said. "This bill is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state law-enforcement authority, and it is an unwise step toward silencing religious and moral viewpoints.