What difference does the 'hate' in 'hate crime' make?

News reports are crackling with the breathless announcement that the Buffalo shooter, Payton Gendron, is also being charged as the perpetrator of a hate crime — in addition to ten counts of murder in the first degree.  I could practically hear the buttons popping off the shirts of the nauseatingly self-important "officials" who made this call.

Had Mr. Gendron merely wanted to steal the wallets from the victims of his shooting spree, would the crime be any less heinous? 

Emanating from this absurdity is the farcical nature of so much of the legislation that is promoted as problem-solving.  The news media are in on the scam.  In addition to actual news, they are constantly broadcasting the pained utterances of the surviving friends and relatives of unfortunate victims.  Grief is not news...but it is a useful and contagious emotion.

I have often mused that if I were president, I'd create a new Cabinet position — secretary of the Department of Fatuous Gestures.  Within its purview would be such pointless posturing as hate crimes, gun-free zones (as if criminals are inclined to obey rules), and the War on Drugs.  (Remember that?  Drugs won.)

Whenever a horrible crime is committed, and hate is added to the charges, I just can't help but smirk.  "Why bother?" I ask.  Murder, assault, robbery, etc. should already have substantial penalties attached to their conviction.  Hate is nothing more than a state of mind, often occurring without causing any physical action.   Also, criminal acts seldom, if ever, occur between individuals who are actually fond of each other.  "What about domestic violence?" you may ask...but in those cases, love is no longer a significant component.  Frustration, resentment, jealousy, and proximity are the real factors.

My point here is that we really have to escape from the false benefit of virtue-signaling.  It's the first step on the path of least resistance.  Do you think the corrupt media could have a hand in this?  Wink, wink.

I think the opening up of "alternative" media has started to have a good effect.  The recent failure to launch the "Ministry of Truth" under Homeland Security is a glaring example.  Once the plan was made public along with the identity of its questionable leader, incoming fusillades were being felt from all corners. 

A more palpable result concerns the pathetic excuses being made for price inflation.  The off-the-rack, knee-jerk explanation has been repeatedly expressed by the pseudo-economist Robert B. Reich and his dogmatic acolytes: greedy corporations are conspiring to exploit helpless consumers.  Big oil, big meat, big automobile, etc. are all fixing prices to pump up their bottom lines.  And, unlike in the past world where Reich made his bones, skepticism now abounds.  Many voices are saying that if this strategy actually worked, why wasn't it used years ago?  Oh, yeah...that's right...there's this pesky thing called competition.  Kind of keeps those greedy corporations sort of honest, since their potential customers have other options.  In the mercantile world, there's this thing called the principle of substitution.  What could someone use his money to buy other than your product?

The political winds are swirling.  Much ink is being spilled prognosticating on the near-term outcome of the trend.  Yet the forces on the other side keep digging.  Are they on to something?  Obviously not, but their media cronies keep egging them on.

A bit of a historical fact: Franklin Roosevelt was only the third Democrat elected to the presidency since the Civil War.  That's 67 years under the bridge.

Image: Marco Bellucci via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (cropped).

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