Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Your legislators in action The New and improved Hate Crimes bill.

I was reading the April 27th version of the Hate crimes bill(H.R.1913) over to compare it with the other version, when I found that the other version wouldn't load. THOMAS said it hadn't received the bill yet. Well I have it now and there are changes.

Rather than go through them myself, I thought I'd post the text of both versions here for you to make your own comparisons. I know it's a lot to read, but it's my understanding that they plan to vote on this tomorrow and that's not a lot of time for us to read this and contact our legislators. My comments are at the bottom. The legislation can be found here, if you would prefer to read them from the THOMAS page.

First the April 27th version:

Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (Reported in House)

HR 1913 RH


Union Calendar No. 40

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1913

[Report No. 111-86]
To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 2, 2009
Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. ACKERMAN, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. BERMAN, Mrs. BIGGERT, Mr. BISHOP of Georgia, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mrs. BONO MACK, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. CAO, Mrs. CAPPS, Mr. CASTLE, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, Mr. CLAY, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. DELAHUNT, Mr. DRIEHAUS, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. ISRAEL, Ms. KILROY, Mr. KIRK, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. LANCE, Mrs. MALONEY, Ms. MCCOLLUM, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. NADLER of New York, Mr. OLVER, Mr. PETERS, Mr. POLIS of Colorado, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. SERRANO, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. WATSON, and Ms. WOOLSEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


April 27, 2009
Additional sponsors: Mr. CAPUANO, Ms. LEE of California, Mr. COHEN, Mr. HARE, Mr. FILNER, Mrs. DAVIS of California, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. MAFFEI, Mr. CROWLEY, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania, Mr. HOLT, Mr. SIRES, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. DOGGETT, Mr. PASTOR of Arizona, Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania, Mr. GRIJALVA, Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California, Ms. NORTON, Mr. QUIGLEY, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD, Mr. PRICE of North Carolina, Mr. WU, Mr. CLYBURN, Mr. MITCHELL, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Ms. MATSUI, Mr. VISCLOSKY, Mr. SMITH of Washington, Mr. SESTAK, Mr. PLATTS, Mr. GONZALEZ, Mr. COURTNEY, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. GIFFORDS, Mr. LANGEVIN, Mr. KLEIN of Florida, Mr. SHERMAN, Ms. PINGREE of Maine, Mr. INSLEE, Mr. SNYDER, Mr. DAVIS of Illinois, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. DOYLE, Ms. HARMAN, Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey, Mr. COOPER, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. CONNOLLY of Virginia, Ms. DEGETTE, Mr. FATTAH, Mr. MILLER of North Carolina, Ms. CLARKE, Mr. LOEBSACK, Mr. PIERLUISI, Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia, Mr. MCMAHON, Mr. FARR, Mr. CLEAVER, Mr. KENNEDY, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. CARNAHAN, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Mr. MARKEY of Massachusetts, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. YARMUTH, Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California, Mr. AL GREEN of Texas, Ms. FUDGE, Mr. BACA, and Mr. CARSON of Indiana


April 27, 2009
Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed


[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]

[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on April 2, 2009]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A BILL
To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITION OF HATE CRIME.

In this Act--

(1) the term `crime of violence' has the meaning given that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code;

(2) the term `hate crime' has the meaning given such term in section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note); and

(3) the term `local' means a county, city, town, township, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.

SEC. 3. SUPPORT FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

(a) Assistance Other Than Financial Assistance-

(1) IN GENERAL- At the request of a State, local, or tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that--

(A) constitutes a crime of violence;

(B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or tribal laws; and

(C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or tribal hate crime laws.

(2) PRIORITY- In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall give priority to crimes committed by offenders who have committed crimes in more than one State and to rural jurisdictions that have difficulty covering the extraordinary expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

(b) Grants-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General may award grants to State, local, and Indian law enforcement agencies for extraordinary expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.

(2) OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS- In implementing the grant program under this subsection, the Office of Justice Programs shall work closely with grantees to ensure that the concerns and needs of all affected parties, including community groups and schools, colleges, and universities, are addressed through the local infrastructure developed under the grants.

(3) APPLICATION-

(A) IN GENERAL- Each State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency that desires a grant under this subsection shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by or containing such information as the Attorney General shall reasonably require.

(B) DATE FOR SUBMISSION- Applications submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be submitted during the 60-day period beginning on a date that the Attorney General shall prescribe.

(C) REQUIREMENTS- A State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency applying for a grant under this subsection shall--

(i) describe the extraordinary purposes for which the grant is needed;

(ii) certify that the State, local government, or Indian tribe lacks the resources necessary to investigate or prosecute the hate crime;

(iii) demonstrate that, in developing a plan to implement the grant, the State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency has consulted and coordinated with nonprofit, nongovernmental violence recovery service programs that have experience in providing services to victims of hate crimes; and

(iv) certify that any Federal funds received under this subsection will be used to supplement, not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for activities funded under this subsection.

(4) DEADLINE- An application for a grant under this subsection shall be approved or denied by the Attorney General not later than 30 business days after the date on which the Attorney General receives the application.

(5) GRANT AMOUNT- A grant under this subsection shall not exceed $100,000 for any single jurisdiction in any 1-year period.

(6) REPORT- Not later than December 31, 2011, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report describing the applications submitted for grants under this subsection, the award of such grants, and the purposes for which the grant amounts were expended.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

SEC. 4. GRANT PROGRAM.

(a) Authority To Award Grants- The Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice may award grants, in accordance with such regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, to State, local, or tribal programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles, including programs to train local law enforcement officers in identifying, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO ASSIST STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Justice, including the Community Relations Service, for fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, such sums as are necessary to increase the number of personnel to prevent and respond to alleged violations of section 249 of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 7 of this Act.

SEC. 6. PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN HATE CRIME ACTS.

(a) In General- Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

`(a) In General-

`(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person--

`(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--

`(i) death results from the offense; or

`(ii) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-

`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person--

`(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--

`(I) death results from the offense; or

`(II) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(B) CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that--

`(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim--

`(I) across a State line or national border; or

`(II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;

`(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);

`(iii) in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or

`(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)--

`(I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or

`(II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.

`(b) Certification Requirement- No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney General that--

`(1) such certifying individual has reasonable cause to believe that the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person was a motivating factor underlying the alleged conduct of the defendant; and

`(2) such certifying individual has consulted with State or local law enforcement officials regarding the prosecution and determined that--

`(A) the State does not have jurisdiction or does not intend to exercise jurisdiction;

`(B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;

`(C) the State does not object to the Federal Government assuming jurisdiction; or

`(D) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence.

`(c) Definitions-

`(1) In this section--

`(A) the term `explosive or incendiary device' has the meaning given such term in section 232 of this title; and

`(B) the term `firearm' has the meaning given such term in section 921(a) of this title.

`(2) For the purposes of this chapter, the term `gender identity' means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.

`(d) Rule of Evidence- In a prosecution for an offense under this section, evidence of expression or associations of the defendant may not be introduced as substantive evidence at trial, unless the evidence specifically relates to that offense. However, nothing in this section affects the rules of evidence governing impeachment of a witness.'.

(b) Technical and Conforming Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

`249. Hate crime acts.'.

SEC. 7. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 8. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the Constitution.
Union Calendar No. 40


111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1913

[Report No. 111-86]

A BILL
To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


April 27, 2009

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Now the supposedly April 2nd although not available on April 28th am version:
Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)

HR 1913 IH


111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1913
To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 2, 2009
Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. ABERCROMBIE, Mr. ACKERMAN, Ms. BALDWIN, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. BERMAN, Mrs. BIGGERT, Mr. BISHOP of Georgia, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mrs. BONO MACK, Mr. BRALEY of Iowa, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. CAO, Mrs. CAPPS, Mr. CASTLE, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, Mr. CLAY, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. DELAHUNT, Mr. DRIEHAUS, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mr. ISRAEL, Ms. KILROY, Mr. KIRK, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. LANCE, Mrs. MALONEY, Ms. MCCOLLUM, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. MOORE of Kansas, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. NADLER of New York, Mr. OLVER, Mr. PETERS, Mr. POLIS of Colorado, Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN, Mr. SERRANO, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. WATSON, and Ms. WOOLSEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A BILL
To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim poses a serious national problem.

(2) Such violence disrupts the tranquility and safety of communities and is deeply divisive.

(3) State and local authorities are now and will continue to be responsible for prosecuting the overwhelming majority of violent crimes in the United States, including violent crimes motivated by bias. These authorities can carry out their responsibilities more effectively with greater Federal assistance.

(4) Existing Federal law is inadequate to address this problem.

(5) A prominent characteristic of a violent crime motivated by bias is that it devastates not just the actual victim and the family and friends of the victim, but frequently savages the community sharing the traits that caused the victim to be selected.

(6) Such violence substantially affects interstate commerce in many ways, including the following:

(A) The movement of members of targeted groups is impeded, and members of such groups are forced to move across State lines to escape the incidence or risk of such violence.

(B) Members of targeted groups are prevented from purchasing goods and services, obtaining or sustaining employment, or participating in other commercial activity.

(C) Perpetrators cross State lines to commit such violence.

(D) Channels, facilities, and instrumentalities of interstate commerce are used to facilitate the commission of such violence.

(E) Such violence is committed using articles that have traveled in interstate commerce.

(7) For generations, the institutions of slavery and involuntary servitude were defined by the race, color, and ancestry of those held in bondage. Slavery and involuntary servitude were enforced, both prior to and after the adoption of the 13th amendment to the Constitution of the United States, through widespread public and private violence directed at persons because of their race, color, or ancestry, or perceived race, color, or ancestry. Accordingly, eliminating racially motivated violence is an important means of eliminating, to the extent possible, the badges, incidents, and relics of slavery and involuntary servitude.

(8) Both at the time when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United States were adopted, and continuing to date, members of certain religious and national origin groups were and are perceived to be distinct `races'. Thus, in order to eliminate, to the extent possible, the badges, incidents, and relics of slavery, it is necessary to prohibit assaults on the basis of real or perceived religions or national origins, at least to the extent such religions or national origins were regarded as races at the time of the adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

(9) Federal jurisdiction over certain violent crimes motivated by bias enables Federal, State, and local authorities to work together as partners in the investigation and prosecution of such crimes.

(10) The problem of crimes motivated by bias is sufficiently serious, widespread, and interstate in nature as to warrant Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF HATE CRIME.

In this Act--

(1) the term `crime of violence' has the meaning given that term in section 16, title 18, United States Code;

(2) the term `hate crime' has the meaning given such term in section 280003(a) of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (28 U.S.C. 994 note); and

(3) the term `local' means a county, city, town, township, parish, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

(a) Assistance Other Than Financial Assistance-

(1) IN GENERAL- At the request of a State, local, or Tribal law enforcement agency, the Attorney General may provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that--

(A) constitutes a crime of violence;

(B) constitutes a felony under the State, local, or Tribal laws; and

(C) is motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, or is a violation of the State, local, or Tribal hate crime laws.

(2) PRIORITY- In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall give priority to crimes committed by offenders who have committed crimes in more than one State and to rural jurisdictions that have difficulty covering the extraordinary expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

(b) Grants-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General may award grants to State, local, and Indian law enforcement agencies for extraordinary expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.

(2) OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS- In implementing the grant program under this subsection, the Office of Justice Programs shall work closely with grantees to ensure that the concerns and needs of all affected parties, including community groups and schools, colleges, and universities, are addressed through the local infrastructure developed under the grants.

(3) APPLICATION-

(A) IN GENERAL- Each State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency that desires a grant under this subsection shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by or containing such information as the Attorney General shall reasonably require.

(B) DATE FOR SUBMISSION- Applications submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be submitted during the 60-day period beginning on a date that the Attorney General shall prescribe.

(C) REQUIREMENTS- A State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency applying for a grant under this subsection shall--

(i) describe the extraordinary purposes for which the grant is needed;

(ii) certify that the State, local government, or Indian tribe lacks the resources necessary to investigate or prosecute the hate crime;

(iii) demonstrate that, in developing a plan to implement the grant, the State, local, and Indian law enforcement agency has consulted and coordinated with nonprofit, nongovernmental violence recovery service programs that have experience in providing services to victims of hate crimes; and

(iv) certify that any Federal funds received under this subsection will be used to supplement, not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for activities funded under this subsection.

(4) DEADLINE- An application for a grant under this subsection shall be approved or denied by the Attorney General not later than 30 business days after the date on which the Attorney General receives the application.

(5) GRANT AMOUNT- A grant under this subsection shall not exceed $100,000 for any single jurisdiction in any 1-year period.

(6) REPORT- Not later than December 31, 2011, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report describing the applications submitted for grants under this subsection, the award of such grants, and the purposes for which the grant amounts were expended.

(7) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

SEC. 5. GRANT PROGRAM.

(a) Authority To Award Grants- The Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice may award grants, in accordance with such regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, to State, local, or Tribal programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles, including programs to train local law enforcement officers in identifying, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes.

(b) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO ASSIST STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Justice, including the Community Relations Service, for fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, such sums as are necessary to increase the number of personnel to prevent and respond to alleged violations of section 249 of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 7 of this Act.

SEC. 7. PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN HATE CRIME ACTS.

(a) In General- Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 249. Hate crime acts

`(a) In General-

`(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person--

`(A) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(B) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--

`(i) death results from the offense; or

`(ii) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-

`(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person--

`(i) shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both; and

`(ii) shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined in accordance with this title, or both, if--

`(I) death results from the offense; or

`(II) the offense includes kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.

`(B) CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the circumstances described in this subparagraph are that--

`(i) the conduct described in subparagraph (A) occurs during the course of, or as the result of, the travel of the defendant or the victim--

`(I) across a State line or national border; or

`(II) using a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce;

`(ii) the defendant uses a channel, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A);

`(iii) in connection with the conduct described in subparagraph (A), the defendant employs a firearm, explosive or incendiary device, or other weapon that has traveled in interstate or foreign commerce; or

`(iv) the conduct described in subparagraph (A)--

`(I) interferes with commercial or other economic activity in which the victim is engaged at the time of the conduct; or

`(II) otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.

`(b) Certification Requirement- No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or any Assistant Attorney General specially designated by the Attorney General that--

`(1) such certifying individual has reasonable cause to believe that the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person was a motivating factor underlying the alleged conduct of the defendant; and

`(2) such certifying individual has consulted with State or local law enforcement officials regarding the prosecution and determined that--

`(A) the State does not have jurisdiction or does not intend to exercise jurisdiction;

`(B) the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction;

`(C) the State does not object to the Federal Government assuming jurisdiction; or

`(D) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to State charges left demonstratively unvindicated the Federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence.

`(c) Definitions-

`(1) In this section--

`(A) the term `explosive or incendiary device' has the meaning given such term in section 232 of this title; and

`(B) the term `firearm' has the meaning given such term in section 921(a) of this title.

`(2) For the purposes of this chapter, the term `gender identity' means actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.

`(d) Rule of Evidence- In a prosecution for an offense under this section, evidence of expression or associations of the defendant may not be introduced as substantive evidence at trial, unless the evidence specifically relates to that offense. However, nothing in this section affects the rules of evidence governing impeachment of a witness.'.

(b) Technical and Conforming Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

`249. Hate crime acts.'.

SEC. 8. STATISTICS.

(a) In General- Subsection (b)(1) of the first section of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended by inserting `gender and gender identity,' after `race,'.

(b) Data- Subsection (b)(5) of the first section of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended by inserting `, including data about crimes committed by, and crimes directed against, juveniles' after `data acquired under this section'.

SEC. 9. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision of this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 10. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.


I find myself to be somewhat troubled about this legislation as I think we have laws currently on the books that are sufficient to the prosecution of any crimes of this nature. There is a higher penalty for murder than for assault, which is as it should be. That said, what does the reason for the commission of such a crime matter? We have penalties for them all with judges able to exercise discretion in sentencing for those who have no remorse. I disagree with the findings of Congress in the "updated-but-still-dated April 2nd-version". (And I find that a bit odd as well. Why would the April 2nd version have been unavailable when I was attempting to see it earlier today when the April 27th version was right there and does not contain the findings of Congress? Was it removed? Which version will they be voting on?)

This seems to be, at best, an attempt to bribe our law enforcement officials into prosecuting more people for these types of crimes. (Aww, somebody murdered your grandma just because they wanted to get into a gang or they thought it would be fun-sorry, we can't help you unless you say that grandma was murdered because of her race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation-real or percieved or etc. ad nauseum, because we don't have the funds to prosecute ordinary murderers. But if it was a hate crime, we have a grant to investigate that. Yikes!)
Comments anyone?

" That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee"

~Duet:19:10-13

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wake up call to Parents

There is a case before the U.S. Supreme court right now that will determine if school officials may strip search students. I find this case particularly appalling in view of the violations of the privileges we have already given school officials under the doctrine of in loco parentis. Those who have read my posts from way back at the American Federalist Blog will surely recall my post there on this very issue.


What's at stake is nothing less than our freedom as a nation and the future of our children and grandchildren. When school administrators perform the duties of law enforcement while acting under in loco parentis, they are in a conflict of interest. They cannot be acting in your child's best interests when they are seeking evidence that may convict them of a crime. It is outrageous that any school official should be able to question, search, lie to and offer rewards to a child for confessing to a crime, in order to prosecute that child and still claim to be acting in the place of a parent. I believe that most parents would insist that their child have a lawyer present for any questioning that might lead to a criminal conviction for that child, just as they would for themselves.


Some may argue that the purpose of a school administrator in these situations is not to find prosecutorial evidence against a child but rather to maintain order in the school and to protect the other students. That when, during such an investigation, a school official finds evidence of a crime, they are then obligated as, both a citizen and an agent of the state(who is paying them in the case of public schools)to communicate what they have found to law enforcement. This might be true if a crime was discovered to have been committed serendipitously, but this is often not the case. When school administrators have carte blanche to interrogate your child on the basis of rumors(malicious or otherwise) or chance heard comments, the tendency is for them to want to find something wrong. This process is traumatic for the student and their family and it sends a message to the other students. That message is-you have no rights to due process here. Even if your child is of a strong enough character to defend him/herself by taking the 5th, many districts maintain that a child's use of the 5th amendment to protect their interests may be construed as a confession and used to expel your child. (Taking the 5th is not an admission of guilt, it is common sense.)


The reason I think that this is an issue of vital national interest is the same reason many of our founders insisted that education be a priority. Educated people can maintain the boundaries of government and prevent it from becoming tyrannical. If our youth are taught by this most practical of examples that the bill of rights does not apply to them while they are in school, how can we possibly expect them to exercise those rights or protect them when they are old enough to vote. If we do not allow our students to exercise their rights, we should not expect to have any when we are old and we should not expect our grandchildren to have them either.


Please understand that I am not condoning criminal behavior on the part of children. I am saying that our children have the same rights we do as American citizens. Those rights include a right to legal counsel when being questioned by an agent of the state about a crime and a right not to incriminate themselves under questioning. Not only does current law allow such abuses of our children' rights, without notification to us, but it it places the heaviest burden to exercise one's God given and Constitutionally affirmed rights on that segment of our population that is least able to exercise it.


If it is determined in this case that school officials do have the right to strip search your child, I would urge all parents to pull their child(ren) out of the public school system and homeschool them for their own safety. If you cannot, then send a certified letter to your school district's administrator revoking the right of all school officials to act "in loco parentis" in such circumstances and directing them to contact you immediately. It should also prohibit them from questioning your child without yourself and /or your legal counsel present. (In fact, I would recommend you do the second one now anyway.)


If you are interested in adding a Constitutional amendment to assure the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children , please also visit http://www.parentalrights.org/


In my own state I have recently submitted language to my legislators for a bill limiting the rights of school officials to act under "in loco parentis" in these types of situations. If your own state does not have such legislation, may I suggest you help them to make some. The future of your children and our nation is at stake. (Always assuming we can get ourselves out the the debt prison to which our Congress has recently consigned us.)



"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."~Gen 18:9

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tea party reporting you won't see on the MSM

Here is a video that shows the overall demeanor of the gathering in Madison on Wednesday. I was a bit disappointed in the pastor, I expected better than drug references and crude joking from a man of the cloth, but if that's how he reaches his congregation, more power to him and may the Lord empower him to lead them to a place where that's not required of him.

There was, as I mentioned earlier, one other speaker who went beyond the bounds of conventional manners, but by and large the speakers were very good and stayed on topic.

Our crowd was clearly better mannered than the one in Chicago, but I can hardly blame them. When I consider how CNN and the MSM spin their coverage, I wouldn't be happy to see them covering any event I was at either.

"And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."~Luke 9:50

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party, Madison, WI - The people who attended are Americans, not Astro Turf.

I have posted more on the speeches and their content on the AFB, but I wanted to address what I found to be one of the most important aspects of this event here. Some in our government and MSM reporters have called these events Astro Turf and have implied that the crowds were one step short of violence. I can't speak for the other demonstrations, but Madison's was absolutely one of the nicest crowds I have ever been in-and I'm including Farmer's Markets and fairgrounds in that comparison.

Our group initially went to the Alliant Energy Center to park and take a shuttle bus to the Capitol Square for this rally. It was soon apparent that this was not going to work. For one thing there was a steady stream of cars and tour buses loaded with folks from across the state who had the same idea. Mostly because that's how it was supposed to work. Unfortunately there were not nearly enough buses to shuttle all the folks who were showing up for this event. For a second thing there were already at least 200-300 people waiting for the two or three shuttle buses that arrived every 5 minutes or so.

Far from being discouraged, many people just started walking. (Now it's at least 2 miles (and probably closer to 4)from the parking area to the capitol building, so this was not lightly made decision from a time standpoint.) We decided to see if we could find some parking closer to the event and the Lord blessed us with a spot about two blocks away. Something I noticed about the over 300 people still waiting for the shuttle buses when we left, (still with a steady stream of cars and buses arriving), was that, even after they realized they were going to miss the beginning of the rally due to the dearth of shuttle buses, they were still upbeat and patient. They were courteous and patient. They were helpful to each other and patient. I don't think I heard anyone swear all day. (Except one of the speakers. My son would tell you that I have a low tolerance for even the mildest expletives, so this is really saying something.)

The tone of the event was further set for me by this encounter as we approached the capitol square. There was a young woman(She looked about 17 or so to me) carrying an American flag. As she walked it was coming perilously close to dragging on the ground. When I caught up to her and said "you want to be careful, that flag's almost touching the ground" she apologized to me and adjusted the way she was holding it to keep it farther from the ground.

My son and I were in the closest bit of the crowd-about 50 feet from the speakers on the main sidewalk. (There is an excellent-although incomplete photo of the crowd here.)There was no pushing or shoving. Folks were careful of their signs and flags and each other. We did not see any counter-protesters although the friends we drove down with said they saw about 4 Acorn folks being ignored by the rest of the crowd.

When folks wanted to move closer to the speakers, they said "excuse me" and other folks made way. When I was having trouble with the names of the speakers, the man next to me (one Mr. Paul Hopp as I found out later so I could say thank you here) who was a bit taller and with a better vantage point would tell me the names. He eventually insisted that I change places with him so that I could see the screen where the names were being displayed. There was some chanting done as well as some booing, but it was, for the most part, well intentioned, good natured and not at all inappropriate.

There were many remarks made by various MSM sources that these events were "Astro Turf". That they had been secretly organized by the GOP. CNN had predicted they would have less than 100 in attendance, the local newspapers grudgingly predicted a few hundred. There were actually, by the counts I have heard so far, between 5000 and 10,000 people who showed up for this event. Most of the people I spoke to were not fans of the GOP, feeling that the GOP had betrayed America by their profligate spending during the Bush and Clinton administrations. I don't recall any of those near me identifying themselves as republicans and, in fact, the president of the WI GOP was heckled and booed a bit by the crowd when he spoke.(Well the fellows handing out signs opposing the governor's plan to add a transit/commuter rail system to Madison, [and why, when the city buses are losing money already would you add a train?] were members of the GOP, but they received a fairly cold shoulder from the crowd. Not many would take a sign from them.)

At one point, when one of the speakers lambasted Congressman David Obey for his writing of the state budget, the crowd booed Mr. Obey appropriately.(Non-fiscal items do not belong in the state budget, period, to say nothing of the other excessive spending proposals.) But when that speaker said, "It could be worse, you could be married to him", the crowd near me loudly chanted "Cheap Shot, Cheap Shot, Cheap Shot." I heard one of them saying "We're better than that" and I had to agree.

The organizer, Mr. Mark Block of the Wisconsin AFP chapter, thanked the Capitol police for their help and relayed their request that we leave any sticks attached to our signs outside when we went in to visit our legislators. Everyone I saw did so without objecting, either leaving their signs outside to collect later or breaking the sticks off and leaving them in a neat pile. An uncharitable reporter might spin this request to imply that the capitol police thought we might use the signs to attack someone, but, in reality our state capitol is a beautiful building with many fine artworks and historical monuments in it. The sticks would also pose a safety hazard to the attendees themselves as the crowd was compressed to fit in to the building. The request was appropriate and respected by the attendees.

Those legislators who were not in hastily convened committee meetings (Ironically enough, requesting more money for housing entitlements.) met with their constituents, discussed their concerns and addressed what they needed to do to have their voices heard in this bastion of entitlement mentality. (At least mine did,[Thank you Mr. Kestell and Mr. Liebham] but they didn't vote for the budget and have done what they could to let their constituencies know what was wrong with it. I wonder what the liberal legislator's discussions were like-if they weren't hiding in the committee meetings.)

There were senior citizens and babies. There were teenagers and married couples. Those with suits and designer clothes were outnumbered by those in jeans and T-shirts, but it is Madison after all. There were businessmen, stay at home moms, students and hourly workers. From what I saw the crowd really didn't leave anyone out. The uniting factor was love of and concern for our country, our state, our families and our fellow citizens. This was America and I am sad for all you folks that didn't attend. If you only heard the highly spun comments I heard in the news coverage later, then you missed seeing the real America.

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"~Mt 5:44

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Party signs from Madison

I have attended the tea party at Wisconsin's capitol building today and have quite a few notes to go through. I would hate to leave the day with no tea party posts, so I will share a few of the signs from the Madison party and get to the meat of the day tomorrow.
There were quite a few, I hope you enjoy them and my thanks to Mr. Paul Hopp who courteously assisted me when I couldn't see the names of the speakers on the display. The entire crowd, in my observation, was courteous and well behaved and I was strengthened by the many shows of consideration in the small things that I observed. But that's for tomorrow's post.
The Signs:
"I was the silent majority, but no longer"
"Please, government, stop helping me, I can't afford it anymore."
"Socialism is not stimulating."
"Lack of cents does not make Change."
"We are American Patriots."
"Restore the Republic, Abolish the income tax."
"This Congress = man made disaster."
"I'm your boss, here's your review-you suck!"
"Read the bill next time."
(Held by a little girl)"Stop spending the money-I haven't made it yet!"
"Stop spending my future."
"No taxation without representation"
"It's time to flush the Doylet"
"Congress, tighten your own belts"
"Print me a trillion while you're at it"

There were also several signs quoting the founding fathers, I'm just going to type up two of them here.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have." ~Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."~Thomas Jefferson

There were signs about socialism, taxes, spending, capitalism, recalling the governor-and in fact one group was circulating sign up sheets to recruit folks to get 50 signatures on a petition to recall the governor. There were clips of Mr. Doyle promising not to raise taxes and declaring (during the campaign -as I recall) "It's not that we tax too little, it's that we spend too much." There were signs with numbers, signs referencing the book "Atlas Shrugged". There were so many signs, I couldn't write them all down if I had all day.
I think the biggest sign, was the presence of 5000-8000 people at the state's capitol, on a week day, protesting the amount of debt to which our government has pledged our people. I hope our legislators were listening. From the news reports I saw after I got home, the MSM was not.

That's all for tonight except for a side note that Senator Liebham's proposal (see this post) is now officially before the legislature.

"But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn. "~Job 12:3-4

Saturday, April 11, 2009

He is Risen

And that's the problem for all those of other faiths that "recognize" Jesus Christ as a prophet or a teacher, but not as the son of God/God in the flesh. The fact that He died for our sins and rose again to show that He had conquered death and paid for the sins of the entire world, should they choose to accept His free gift of salvation, is the entire point.

The problem for Muslims and Jehovah's witnesses and all others who claim that Jesus was only a teacher or a prophet is His resurrection. Without that fact, He would not be the foundation of the Christian faith today, nor could He be counted as a prophet.

Either He was telling the truth and He was/is God, or He was a madman for claiming to be God. His status is wholly dependent upon the truth of His words. If He spoke the truth, He is/was God and deserves our worship as our creator and if He lied, He deserves nothing more than to have been forgotten by history as one more madman claiming to be God.

Throughout His ministry He claimed to be God. There are numerous accounts of His being attacked for such claims in the Bible. There are numerous, credible accounts of His death and His appearances after His death.

This Easter, I will be praying that all those who recognize Jesus only as a teacher or prophet examine their beliefs and come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and His work for us on the cross.

Veritas Vos Liberat

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." ~John 14:6

"And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." ~ Mark 16:6

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." ~Matt 28:6



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mr. McMorris

I found the conversation with Rep. McMorris' to be disappointing.

He clearly has a set script of reasonable sounding doublespeak and redirection for most questions and used it. He said of the republican party: "We hear the public and we have changed our ways and we understand what the public wants and needs".

It's a shame that he made that statement as a follow up to a question about whether or not it was appropriate for the government to break up businesses rather than letting free market forces act. He essentially said that he does believe the government should have a role in breaking up businesses and regulating them in an unconstitutional manner. While he said he understands that the bailouts are not a good idea for the financial sector and others, he believes they are necessary for the auto industry.

These remarks were prefaced by his statement that he was the first person in either house to speak out against the bailouts.

Good for him, I wonder what his constituency is thinking about the "enforced" resignation of GM's Rick Waggoner.

The beginning of one question was asking if the regulations that forced the banks and other lending institutions to make poor quality loans had been dealt with or removed. The answer, (stripped of all the the-housing-bubble-wasn't-entirely-the-government's-fault babble) was no. This is a telling point, because what is the point of bailing out or restructuring lending institutions if they are still going to be forced to write the same types of loans?

He put forth some good sound bites, including the 5 principles most Americans and republicans can agree on. I'll publish them here as a thank you to the Rep. for participating, because I know his participation was voluntary and he was probably expecting positive coverage, which this is not. I'm sure that there will be some who think my posts on the meat of the call thus far should be tempered to encourage the participation of more Reps in the future. I think the time for flattery is well past. The truth is too important to be toned down at this point. I think our country is in an all out battle to retain the founding principles of America. In my opinion the founder's vision is still the preferable one and turning to flattery at this point serves no one.

5 principles most Americans and republicans can agree on:
1. Our liberty is from God, not the government
2. Our sovereignty is in our souls, not the soil. (What exactly does he mean by this one? No idea, but it sure sounds good doesn't it?)
3. Our security is from strength, not surrender.
4. Our prosperity is from the private sector, not the public sector.
5. Our truths are self evident, not relative.

"He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue."~Prov 28:23