Calling a Spade a Spade

I followed what was hopefully the last Clinton scandal (fat chance) - The Clinton Pardons - with much anticipation and fascination because it was fun to watch a number of liberals finally admit that "Well, if he did do that, then it is a very serious thing...". Well, he did and it is.

This is a tired story and I only bring it up because I noted that every news source had the same theme and the same talking points. Apparently "bribery" is "very hard to prove" because you must provide "proof of intent" and show that there was a "quid pro quo". So, therefore, since we cannot possibly know what Clinton was thinking when he issued those pardons we cannot prove that he granted them because of any personal gain. So I guess we all just had better shut up and stop this "right wing conspiracy". Since the hypocrisy of the Clinton defenders and the liberal media know no bounds this argument was not applied to anything else. But my thoughts drifted to another discussion that was hot just a few months earlier during the campaign: Hate Crimes (as opposed to what? Love Crimes I guess - or Disinterested Crimes or perhaps Envy Crimes - whatever). My point is this: If bribery is so "very hard to prove" because it requires "proof of intent" how can it possibly be that hate crimes are so easy to prove? Hmmm?

Hate crimes are as bad as any other crime but some would have you believe that because a criminal acted upon stupid ideas based on, say, race, religion or sexual orientation, etc. that these crimes are worse than crimes in which the criminal based his actions on "voices in his head", envy, greed or other motivations. Make no mistake - when you introduce degrees of crimes based on motivation you are saying that there is a hierarchy of crimes and that a murder caused by, say, racial hate is worse than a murder based on something else.

The liberals among us are always quick to point out that hierarchy already exists in abundance in our legal system - i.e. Murder 1, Murder 2, Murder 3. This is a specious and ludicrous argument. Brutal, premeditated murder with an ax is different than, say, manslaughter when a person may accidentally hit and kill someone with a car in a parking lot. Either way the victims race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, etc. do not (and should not) enter into the judgment.

When these traits are entered into the judgment we get into the argument that liberals live for: Special protection, rights & privileges for a select few. The problem that I have with the designation of "hate crimes" is that the judgment is based upon the criminals motivation (and who can know or prove that?) instead of the criminal act itself. To do this invites another favorite liberal tool: Divisiveness. Is it more of a crime when a black man kills a white man or vice versa? I think we all know what Jesse Jackson thinks. Is it not more equal to punish all criminals using the same standard? To value all peoples property, lives and rights the same - equally? To give harsher punishments based on the criminals intent inadvertently (or perhaps by design) gives lesser punishments for the same crimes caused by different intent. Can this be called preference?

Another liberal argument is that we need hate crime legislation and laws to make reparations to long standing injustices. "To heal the wounds of yesterday" they bleat. "That certain groups have had a history of suffering at the acts of others and that we need to level the playing field". Well, welcome to life on planet earth people. Read a history book once and you will find that every group of people has been enslaved and at the mercy of others at some period in time. Two wrongs don't make a right and the end seldom justifies the means. When we start making reparations for the crimes committed by past generations we are done for. We will be at the mercy of whoever says they are the victim this week and make no mistake - you can never put that genie back into the bottle. Talk about divisive!

My other beef with hate crimes is that when you differentiate crimes you invent a hierarchy that is hard to defend. This is the same problem that I have with "Date Rape". What the hell is date rape? Some say that most rape victims know the person who raped them - so what's with the title "date rape"? Are we surprised that they were on a date with someone they knew? Do I care that the rapist was on a "date" with the victim? Hell no. What's next? Picnic rape? Stranger rape? Mere Acquaintance Rape? Guy I Saw Once, Thought Was Cute But Never Saw Again Rape? Come on! Robbery is robbery. Arson is arson. Murder is murder and yes, Rape is rape. It is horrible and needs to be punished severely. Crime is crime. To offer the title "date rape" implies that it is somehow different than other rape. It's not. Now, I'm sure the intention was to raise awareness among young women and tell them that it's ok to say "no" and that you do not "owe" your date anything. Sounds good to me - but tell them that without inventing a new form of rape to tell the story. I argue that by differentiating you introduce the concept that there are other forms of rape, a hierarchy, different flavors - there aren't. The bottom line is this: I have a son and two daughters and a wife and God pity the fool that brings harm to them. If, for example, one of my daughters should ever be raped (God forbid) it will be of no concern to me that they were on a "date" when it happened. Regardless of where they were, what they were doing, what religion or race anybody belongs to, the simple fact is that the authorities better find him before I do because my form of justice is swift - and blind. Do you feel the same about your family, your children? Then why feel differently when it is about someone else's child? Be it hate crimes, date rape or for that matter all crime, I argue that our courts should be swift - and blind - as well.

Next week: Haiku of Damien J. Sweeney! - Up Close And Personal! Don't Miss It!

A Free Sample:
    Jeffords has left us
    Please come back - you've forgotten
    To take John McCain

Some Updates & Stuff: WILL be up soon. I promise. We are finishing the overall layout and are ready to post, um, sometime next week?? Nick and I are forever discussing color schemes, layout, content - cripes! - it's a good thing we are only brothers and not married. Come to think of it we could be both in San Francisco....

This column (along with all of my past rants) made coherent by my lovely wife (of 10+ years), Editor and all around Hottie Saucetress - Julie Sweeney - without whom life would have no meaning. Also without whom you would be subject to endless typos, mixed metaphors, run on sentences and other "grammar stuffs" that I really know nothing about since it gives me hives whenever I think about it. With any luck I can get her to contribute to Monkey and the world will be a better place for it.