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Oct. 12, 2005

             I hate all the new talk about hate speech legislation. I hate any effort to make any speech a criminal offense, unless perhaps it emanates from the mouth of Tom Cruise. Or if it involves threat or incitement to kill or riot. But there are already laws covering such things.
          I hate hate speech, but I hate worse any effort to create laws against it. The thing is, people love to hate. Ask Rush Limbaugh. No, don’t. Just listen to him. Behind the pose of fairness: hate, hate, hate, sneer, sneer, sneer. Ask Bill Maher. No pose of fairness there, just hate, hate, hate, sneer, sneer, sneer.
          Of course, I like Maher’s forthright hate a lot more than Limbaugh’s disguised hate. That’s my hateful taste. That makes me a hate hypocrite to some, I guess, and they can hate me for it. Bon apetit! In this country, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of hatred.
          Especially since Dick “Go F--- Yourself” Cheney and George W. “He’s a major-league a------“ Bush took over.
          But I digress. Hate when I do that.
          I hate a lot of things about the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005 (HR3132, Senate bill1145), which the House passed in September. First, I hate the fact that it is necessary at all. I hate the fact that people get so hateful that they insult, assault, injure, and kill. Of course, if you are going to engage in those things, it’s a lot easier to do it with hate than without.
          But I digress again! Hate when that happens.
          The thing I really hate about S. 1145 is that it sounds nice and noble, but hides something potentially hateful. That is, if you do not hate the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and general licentiousness---er, freedom---guaranteed in this country.
          It hides the fact that the federal government will have the right to not only prosecute hate speech, but to decide what hate speech is. Yes, I know it’s a “hate crimes” bill, not “hate speech,” but guess what? I even hate the term “hate crime.”
          After all, what crime is committed without hatred? Jaywalking. Maybe.
          If a gay person, or a black person, or any sort of person is attacked, injured, or murdered---on the basis of bigotry and resentment---how is that different from a person attacked, injured, murdered on the basis of fifty bucks in a wallet? Tell a robbery or rape victim that they have not been subjected to a hate crime, and I’ll bet they’ll just hate hearing that.
          Crime is an act of hatred. Hatred of law, or hatred of perceived injustices, hatred of personal circumstances, hatred of society. And I hate having to state anything so painfully obvious.
          But I digress yet again. Don’t you just hate that?
          In Canada, “hate speech”---defined as advocating genocide or racial hatred---can get you fourteen years in prison, which is a pretty hateful place. In the UK, inciting racial animisoty can get you seven years. Hmmm. So if I move to Canada and I go nuts and start blogging about getting rid of all men in business suits, they can throw me in the clink. Never mind how improved the world might be.
          Okay, frankly, I agree that anybody who goes on-line, or on the street with a sign, or on the airwaves or rooftops or hires a blimp and advocates genocide or racial animosity. . .should be prosecuted. For something. Loitering, creating a public nuisance, inciting to riot, disturbing the peace (now there's a law I'd like to see enforced!) Or at least their internet/TV station/blimp plug should be pulled or sign torn up. I hate ‘em. But what of televangelists like the sinister D. James Kennedy, a church-as state advocate who broadcasts extremely hateful, inflammatory political propaganda every Sunday morning under the cover of religion?* See my point? When is hate hate, and when is hate just a point of view?
          And do you want those nuts in D.C. to decide?
          Of course, this new bill was supported by esteemed elected representatives who claim they really hate “hate crimes” and “hate speech.” That these things just fill them with hatred, and who can blame them?
          The problem is that we are in the midst of a particularly hateful time when hateful people have taken over the government, and want to do hateful things like limit freedoms under the pretense of protecting the country from hateful terrorists.
          These people---and their special interest controllers---will really support S.1145, because this means they can pretty much define “hate speech” as they like, and arrest people for speaking it. And then they can invite all the good folks out there to hate those nasty hateful people, too.
          All of you readers who are now saying, “oh, they’d hate to do anything like that,” let me remind you of the woman who was not allowed to fly in a commercial jetliner recently because she wore a humorous T-shirt expressing hate for “President” Bush. Let me remind you of a bill pending in Indiana that says if you have a child out of wedlock that you will be criminally prosecuted---apparently for hating marriage. Let me remind you that White House advisor Karl Christian Rove (put that middle name in quotes) called ordinary citizen/mom Cindy Sheehan---a heartbroken woman who is protesting a war that killed her son, that killed her son---a “clown.”
          And let me remind you of Hate Central, which you are looking at right now.
          Yes, people who love to hate have found paradise in a computer screen, enabling them to type the most vile, vindictive, vituperative, vexacious viciousness imaginable. No, it is quite beyond imaginable. You hate it---the Internet loves it.
          If you are now thinking that “hate speech” laws could become a means of government censorship of the ‘net, well, then, you are thinking.
          Which reminds me, I’ve got to get busy hating before the government takes away my right to do so. You know, the government that claims to oppose “big government” but has done more to interfere with civil rights and freedom than any administration in U.S. history; that is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on Iraq while U.S. education goes to hell, the middle class withers away, poverty enters deep-rot, and corporations run rampant over conciousness and environment. Okay, I'm warmed up now, so here goes. . .
          I hate pit-bulls, and Rottweilers. I hate Bush’s beady, self-righteous little eyeballs. I hate warm coffee, and soup that is too hot, and the fact that newspapers have forgotten that they are supposed to be hard-hitting and largely local. I really, really hate demographics and marketing people and their profession---more than I can express---and the grip they have on culture. I hate the way they say they are just giving the public what it wants, when in fact they are pandering to whatever the public will respond to on an animal level. When their only goal is to make money, regardless of the impact of any given product on society.
          I hate the crotch-level jeans that all women seem to be wearing. They destroy all grace in the female figure, and turn lithe physiques into segmented bug-bodies. I hate the fact that it takes Oprah Winfrey to get people to read, and that most of what they read is demographically designed crap, anyhow. I really, really, really hate movie previews---their hypertrophic volume, cataclysmic sound effects that are actually physical assaults, and that Voice of Satan guy who does all the narration for every new film. Eww!
          I hate the fact that the "president" can get away with nominating ardent extreme-right "Christian" ideologues for the Supreme Court. I hate that these nominees refuse to answer the only germane questions asked---about their politics. I hate the fact that if I spend five minutes in a Starbucks, my pores reek of coffee. I hate "grinders" and the infernal noise they make as they try endlessly to flip a skateboard on to a sidewalk curb. I think it's the second stupidest "sport" ever dreamed  up, right after soccer.
          Oh, and um. . .if I could express the sheer contempt I feel for cigarette smokers, well, I’d be a hell of a writer. I mean, suck that poison smoke in. . .blow that poison smoke out. . .suck that poison smoke in. . .now look intense. . .Suckers. I hate almost all sitcoms, of course, but I admit they might be funny if you have Down’s Syndrome or cannot speak English.
          I hate the fact that one of the astronauts recently remarked that the air’s atmospheric layer is visibly thinner than it was twenty years ago, and that this barely made a headline. I hate anyone talking on a cell phone, driving or otherwise. I hate the obsession with cars, cars, cars. 
          I hate Michael Jackson’s parents, and people who do not say “hello” on sidewalks, and people who do not respond to polite letters or e-mail, and people who equate courtesy with weakness. I hate bitchiness. I hate the fact that a very reputable and plugged-in animation consultant wanted two grand up-front to shop my children’s fable. Two grand! (I turned him down.) I really hate all those “country” singers with those stupid, stupid black hats. I think they should all be rounded up, put into "detention facilities," and made to go hatless. I cannot begin to convey the profound hatred I feel for the L.A. Times editor who un-hired me as a columnist (after another had hired me) because, and I quote, “we have too many white male columnists here.”
          I hate tattoos, especially those at the base of women's spines. I absolutely hate religious fanaticism of any sort, and I revile blind nationalism. I hate that a former friend of mine once declared, "I can't think of a better reason to invade another country than to take its oil." I hate "The View," and Rupert Murdoch, and SUV's. I think SUV drivers should be rounded up, put into "detention facilities," and made to walk twenty miles per day.  I hate the phoney "war on terrorism," and the lies that come from Washington with every single act and public statement. I hate the complacency of the citizens of this country.
          And, well, I really hate to go on like this.

* Just about half of each Kennedy broadcast is flagrantly political, often involving distorted and false assertions about the ACLU. Quote from Kennedy: "As Vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our schools, government, literature, and news media and our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."
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