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10/12/2000

I did watch the debates

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:04 pm

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I did watch the debates last night. I thought it rather nice of the Cardinals and Mets to hold their scoring to the inning before and the inning after the debate, though I’d have preferred the opposite result. In the debate itself, I found this one much more enjoyable to watch over the third. The thing that struck me most was both candidates rush to endorse hate crime laws. I think their proponents have good intentions, but I am very much against the idea of hate crime laws, and lobby against them when I can. The concept of all the hate crime legislation I’ve seen is if you commit a crime against a person because of the feelings you have about a group that that person belongs to (race, gender, sexual preference, religion, political affiliation, etc.), then you can be punished more harshly. For example (just to be absolutely clear), if you kill a man, you get one sentence. If you kill a man because he’s Catholic and you despise Catholics, you get a harsher sentence. I strongly oppose this concept because it punishes thought. It punishes what you were thinking alongside what you did. Even if the mere idea of legislating thought wasn’t repugnant enough, there is no possible way to fairly apply it to everyone, short of a device that invades your “brain wave matrix” or somesuch and retrieves your thoughts. And who wants that?

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