Stealth treason by usurping the Constitution. Stealth surrender to Iran. Stealth indoctrination of children in schools. Stealth fascism. Stealth amnesty. Stealth wealth distribution. Stealth health care.
Stealth censorship. It's all of a piece in the name of domestic tranquility. Its feasibility must be "studied." The nation must be made "safe" from provocative words. If that means shutting up anyone who offends with his words, and preventing projected or hypothetical or imaginary violence, so be it.
It won’t be called "censorship." It will be called the enforcement of "responsible speech." "Irresponsible" speech must be codified into the criminal law and punished.
It is uncommon knowledge – I say uncommon because not everyone is anchored to reality – that when the government begins to "study" a problem, it usually leads to legislation to control or eradicate the problem. The government studied the meat-packing industry, and wound up regulating it. The government studied farm prices, and decided they needed to be "stabilized" with subsidies. The government studied cars, and wound up regulating them. The government studied smoking, and wound up regulating it. The government studied nutrition, and wound up regulating it. The government has studied climate change, and wishes it could regulate it. The government studied birds, bees, trees, and rocks, and wound up regulating or at least protecting them.
I can't think of a thing or human action the government hasn't studied and not wound up regulating, protecting, or even prohibiting it.
The problem of "hate speech" has been something the government has been "studying" for a long time. Now thirteen Democrats are proposing that it be "studied" even more, and have introduced a bill in the House that would lead to the creation of a special committee charged with coming up with the right solution. An a priori, or a foregone, politically correct conclusion. One can't decide if it's part and parcel of a conspiracy, or just the natural progress of statism with blinkered politicians at the wheel steering us on a course over the cliff of no return.
The modus operandi of American style fascism is not to goose-step its way into your life in time with an umpapa band, but to quietly sneak up on you in a pair of Nike Forging Iron basketball shoes and, in this instance, slip a gag over your mouth. The irony is that you paid for those shoes. The thirteen politicians are not the mouthpieces or poodles of an Argentine junta you didn't elect. And if you resist, you won’t be secreted away in an Argentinean made Ford Falcon. You will be tossed ever so gently into a General Motors-made SWAT-mobile. Or, if that's a scenario that our Platonic guardians want to avoid lest it scare Americans into open revolt, you'll simply be run ragged in court or sued until you cry uncle or poverty.
On January 16th, Pete Kasperowicz reported on The Hill in his article, "13 House Democrats offer bill demanding government study on Internet hate speech":
Thirteen House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to study hate speech on the Internet, mobile phones and television and radio.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and 12 other House Democrats, would look at how those media are used to "advocate and encourage violent acts and the commission of crimes of hate."
"Hate speech," of course, is any speech that any politician, advocacy group, or speech-sensitive group or tribe deems it to be. It could be a scholarly book or paper on Islam, or colloquial mockery of gays or bearded ladies, or chitchat about Barack Obama's lousy golf scores, or even images transmitted to or sent from one's mobile phone from an article published somewhere on the Internet.
Jeffries says the NTIA needs to see how hate speech is transmitted over the various new modes of communication that have sprung up over the last two decades.
"The Internet is a wonderful vehicle for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship," he said. "But it can also be used as a platform to promote hate and target vulnerable individuals.
"This legislation will mandate a comprehensive analysis of criminal and hateful activity on the Internet that occurs outside of the zone of the First Amendment protection."
His legislation requires the NTIA to update its report to examine how the Internet and mobile phones can be used to encourage and commit hate crimes based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.
What are "vulnerable individuals"? They are any group of people, as Moonbattery reports, that qualifies as a "protected" group, or a politically favored one, like bald eagles or snail darters or Joshua trees. Or Muslims. The Internet is a wonderful thing, concedes Jeffries. But it should be controlled so that wildfires of violence are not lit by speech that targets those groups. "Hate speech," after all, can incite "hate crimes," or even be treated as a "hate crime" itself. "Hate speech," you see, has the same metaphysical properties as real bullets, bricks, and bombs. Words can wound, injure, or maim, or cause feelings of inadequacy and a theft of self-esteem. "Irresponsible" speech poses the same danger as arson.
Doubtless, that "comprehensive analysis" of what is said or shown on the Internet will cover everything from the Duck Dynasty to lascivious asides on "Two and a Half Men."
Representative Jeffries will help the committee to decide which "hate crimes" are sparked by which kinds of "hate speech" against the race, gender, religion and sexual orientations of their collective choice. If the bill passes, it will be called the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014. Read it here and weep. Or fight it.
What is outside the "zone of First Amendment protection"? It used to be simple-to-grasp concepts like slander and libel. However, the "zone" has grown with the appetite of The Blob, while the First Amendment has been whittled away to a pathetic shadow of its once formidable self. Now the "zone" can include anything the government wishes to be in it, because the immeasurable feelings of the potentially offended trump individual rights and freedom of speech.
Caveat: The next time you hear a Congressman propose that a "problem" be studied in order to find a solution, know that he hasn't your freedom in mind and that the solution will likely be a further tightening of the noose around your neck, your wallet, and your future.