Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

"The Democrats have proven themselves to be entirely worthless. They will not stop or even significantly slow down the Bush administration on any issue that matters. If you still believe that voting for Democrats is an infinitesimal hedge against encroaching disaster, I offer my genuine sympathies. "
Arthur Silber, Power of Narrative, October 2006

I recently discovered the Power of Narrative, which is now one of my favorite blogs. Silber is often accused of spreading "doom and gloom." Well so what. The situation is gloomy and he always hits the nail on the head. Most of the anger directed towards him is the result of his all too correct assessment that the Democrats and Republicans are partners in crime. They all promote empire, war, racism and corporatism. The differences between them are diminishing more and more over time.

Enter Exhibit A, Congresswoman Jane Harman, Democrat of California. She recently sponsored HR 1955, the "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act," which passed the House by a vote of 400 to 6. Qu'est-ce que c'est Homegrown Terror? Even the name is absurd and stupid. Homegrown? Sounds like peaches ready to be canned. It is tempting to laugh but this isn't the least bit funny.

I can think of instances of homegrown terrorism, such as murder threats against abortion doctors, or hate speech emanating from the KKK. Somehow I don't think that is what Harman and her colleagues had in mind. The racist right wing, Republicans and Democrats, have tried to convince us that there are fifth column "Islamofascists" hiding under every bed and they are inspired by, are you ready, the internet.

"The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens." Sounds spooky. Too bad it is all a load of crap.

H.R. 1955 calls for the formation of a commission that will investigate the extent of and no doubt find proof of Muslim and Arab terrorists on every block. But like the ginsu knife there is always more.

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States (hereinafter referred to as `Center') following the merit-review processes and procedures and other limitations that have been previously established for selecting and supporting University Programs Centers of Excellence. The Center shall assist Federal, State, local and tribal homeland security officials through training, education, and research in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States.

Center of Excellence? Harman must have held a seance and asked Orwell for the worst name imaginable. Then again, perhaps it is the best name. This is fascism, pure and simple.

Under the guise of keeping us safe from non-existent threats, our freedoms will be taken away. Dissent of all kind, including non-violent activism, will be criminalized.

Big brother is watching and he is a Democrat.