I just saw this today in the ny post:
November 1, 2007 -- In an unprecedented verdict, a jury yesterday found a Bronx gangbanger guilty of an "act of terror" for fatally shooting a 10-year-old altar girl outside a christening party.
For the first time, a prosecutor in New York state applied a post-9/11 terrorism statute to a street gang.
Jurors found Edgar Morales, 25, guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a crime of terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.
As a result, he faces life behind bars when sentenced next month.
Had Morales been convicted of ordinary manslaughter in the first degree for the Aug. 18, 2002, shooting, he would have to serve no more than 25 years.
"They terrorized the community," juror Linnea Daniels said after a monthlong trial and four days of deliberation at Bronx Supreme Court. "They weren't invited to this party. Once you fire shots and the crowd scurries, that is an act of terrorism."
The mother of little Malenny Mendez, who was shot in the head when The St. James Boys street gang opened fire on a group of men they mistakenly thought were rivals, shed tears at the verdict.
Antonia Gutierrez said Morales - who she believes shot her daughter - got what he deserved.
"As far as I'm concerned, he could rot in jail," she said.
Bronx DA Robert Johnson said, "These were callous acts that resulted in the life of an innocent child being snuffed out. The jury's finding of terrorism is significant in determining an appropriate punishment."
Defense lawyer Dino Lombardi said he plans to file post-trial motions and probably an appeal challenging the use of the terror statute.
I have to wonder if I'm not the only one to worry about this. now this law only deals with a real violent crime. but if enforced and accepted over a few years, it will become easier for other laws that target "terrorism." it's just a bit worrisome.
once we lose a literal respect for our laws, everything starts to slip. that's why I worry about things like the spread of gay rights... once they gain traction, the old institutions that opposed them start to die out... mainly white christian religion. other religions that are equally anti-gay remain such as orthodox judaism and islam. the end result is we wind up with a society where christianity is weaker and islam is stronger. that's not good for anyone, including gays.
the truth is that when you look seriously at history and society, there's not much link between people being treated fairly and them being free or living well. the chinese and jews were badly mistreated in late 19th century america and had equal or greater success than priviledged whites. blacks had more stable communities in the 1920s under jim crow than after the civil rights movements. (one reason for this could be that people behave better when they are mistreated up to a certain degree. it makes them humble and appreciative of good things. it also makes them work hard. when you are nice to people for who they naturally are, they can become ornery and too self loving.
anyway, instead of treating the constitution and our republic as religions and dieties to be honored, we think of it as something to follow in rough spirit only. all those technicalities about things like who has jurisdiction where, we just try not to think about. basically, we put our own wishes before those of the Founding Fathers. they loved us and wanted us to have a stable country... these were people like john adams, franklin, madison, washington.
instead slip through one lie after another, claiming the interstate commerce clause allows things like the ADA or endangered species act. we allow the presidentially-supreme court to cite the bill of rights to strike down state laws, even though the bill of rights was designed to protect the states against the national government. we find that the word "coin money" can be extended to printing worthless paper fiat.
these are the kinds of steps we've taken in this country for years. when the constitution doesn't allow something, we won't make the effort to amend it rationally -- we simply ignore it and pretend it means something different. we think women should be able to have abortions, so we pretend the constitution says something it doesn't. we've disregarded the text for so long it means almost nothing now. so what will we turn to when we need the freedoms inherent to a free republic? our years of self-serving intellectual dishonesty have taken the bones out of our champion. states are beholden to the federal government. all power is focused in a poorly run national state that is reaching the final stages of a multi-decade bull market. it has surged in size and power. we're only at the beginning of reckoning with this monster.
anyway, I just saw mike huckabee on charlie rose. he was very interesting and defintiely could have some promise in 2012.