The Rational American
Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee introduces bill that criminalizes criticism of any “non-White person” and other legislation
January 16, 2023
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US Congresswoman introduced a bill that she alone sponsored that would make it a crime to post on social media, or other platforms, anything that might inspire another to commit a hate crime. One could be found guilty of “conspiracy to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crime” under her proposed legislation for crimes or plots they had no actual knowledge of.

US Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee represents the 18th district of Texas. Lee titled the bill “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023.” It calls for a new type of federal hate crime conspiracy charge solely aimed at White people.

Anyone who criticizes immigration or vilifies any “non-White person or group” in an article or social media post can be charged with this crime. They would face this charge if someone they have never met or communicated with is accused of “planning, development, preparation, or perpetration” of a crime.

What does this mean, and could this bill actually become law?

While the remainder of the bill is not something that I disagree with, it is something that is redundant. It is already against the law to commit a hate crime, no matter what your race is. However, this proposed legislation is aimed solely at “White supremacy.”

The bill would also face tremendous backlash and would face numerous constitutional challenges, as the first amendment is solely on the chopping block if, and it is a big if, this bill was to be signed into law. 

Let's say that you are on Twitter, and you share a video that is depicting a fight between a white kid and several black teens. You share the video and say something along the lines that “this must end. Why does this have to happen in America?”

In all fairness, one could be asking why the violence in America continues to happen and why the overall situation is sad and disturbing. Does it have anything to do with race? To the original poster, it could have absolutely nothing to do with their race and everything to do with the violence they witnessed. And yet, you could still end up charged with a hate crime. 

A guy in another state, clear across the country, sees your post and decides that he is going to “do something” about what he watched in the video, and he takes to the streets and starts randomly picking out Black teenagers to attack.  

Did your post “inspire” him to commit a hate crime? Under this proposed legislation, you might be charged with conspiracy to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crime. 

We all know our actions have consequences, but words also have consequences. Is this the answer? To legislate the masses not to have an opinion or to voice their concern about a situation that might include individuals that are not white?

Talk about a slippery slope. 

This is not the only controversial move that the Congresswoman has made in recent days. 

On the same day that Jackson introduced HR 61, she also co-introduced HR 40, which calls for a federal commission on reparations for slavery. Ultimately the purpose would be to give free money to Black Americans. A total of fifty-two Democrats are currently sponsoring HR 40.

According to a new poll conducted by the University of Massachusetts, most Americans say they hate racism but at the same time oppose reparations for descendants of slaves.

The poll found that 53% of those polled said they see white privilege, which benefits white people over nonwhites in social, political or economic circumstances, in everyday America. At the same time, 62% said racism makes them angry that it still exists, and a majority of Americans say racism is neither rare nor isolated.

According to Mass Live, questions about attitudes toward African-American and Jewish citizens were asked by the Political Science Department at the university with polling conducted during the first week of January. The survey polled the attitudes of 1,000 people in the United States with a political, racial and age cross section approximately equal to current American demographics.

With a country that is so divided, how do we move forward? How do we cross the divide and try to repare that for which we may not have personally broken?

Reparations may aid some to “heal” from wounds they believe were caused by racism, but will it actually heal the divide in our country?

The UMass poll indicates that 57% of respondents ages 18 to 29 support reparations for the descendants of slaves.

That support decreases to 42% among those ages 30 to 54 and just 22% for those over 55 years old, for an aggregate 36% across all age groups.

Tatishe Nteta, provost professor of political science at UMass and director of the poll, said the movement to force the federal government to make reparations payments due is increasing on local, state, and private levels.

“While the movement for reparations has grown at the local, state and private levels there has been little support by the federal government,” Nteta said. “The consistent lack of public support for reparations likely accounts for the lack of legislative or presidential leadership on reparations as 6 in 10 Americans express opposition to a federal program. Four in 10 Americans say that this is a policy that the federal government should ‘definitely not pursue.’”

On a brighter note, Jackson Lee is also demanding the release of a former Afghan soldier seeking asylum in the U.S. who is being held at a Texas detention center after he attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to reunite with his brother.

Her support comes after a coalition of US veteran groups called on Biden to intervene in Safi’s case in December. 

She also believes that Abdul Wasi Safi should begin his life in the U.S. without a criminal record.

Jackson Lee has sent a letter to the White House asking the Biden administration to pardon the Afghan veteran for any crimes related to his crossing the border seeking asylum.

“This is a mistake that needs to be corrected immediately,” she said at a news conference Friday.

Wasi, as he is known, worked as an intelligence officer in the Afghan National Security Forces alongside U.S. troops. He fled Afghanistan in 2021 as the Taliban began targeting citizens who had previously helped the U.S. during the decadeslong war.

Safi’s brother, Sami Safi told CNN in December that while his brother was still in Afghanistan during the withdrawal, he received “multiple voicemails” saying his fellow service members had been captured and killed by the Taliban.

Wasi Safi was “extremely disappointed” that a “country that says ‘we will never leave our allies behind’ left [him] behind to the enemy [he] was fighting,” Sami Safi said.

Sami Safi, who became a US citizen in July 2021, expressed frustration and sorrow over his brother’s fate. He served as an interpreter himself with US forces for several years because he “wanted to be part of the operation against the Taliban,” he said.

Jackson Lee stated that Wasi crossed three continents to make it to the Texas border, where he hoped to meet his brother, who is now a naturalized U.S. citizen. Instead, he was arrested and has been in custody since Sept. 30.

“I’m calling on Biden’s administration to release my brother,” said Sami Safi. “He believed in this mission of this country in Afghanistan. That’s why he fought alongside the United States Special Forces … to eliminate terrorism.”

In a letter to President Joe Biden, the congresswoman requested that he issue Wasi a pardon, stating an owed debt to our allies ought to be honored by the country.

“When their service exposes them to credible threats, we must redouble our effort to keep our word because doing so also protects our troops stationed around the world today and into the future,” the letter reads.



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The RESTRICT Act creates blanket authority, not just Tik Tok
Purposed legislation would ban just about anything linked to a "foreign adversary"

Washington is in a hurry to ban Tik Tok. Congressional hearings and a bipartisan push to ban the Chinese-owned platform citing "national security" and privacy concerns... but what is in the bill and what will it really accomplish? 

The RESTRICT Act, S.686, introduced by Senators Warner and Thune, aims to block or disrupt transactions and financial holdings involving foreign adversaries that pose risks to national security. Although the primary targets of this legislation are companies like TikTok, the bill itself could be used as a blank check to go after other services, including cryptocurrency. 

Some internet users compare the bill to the Patriot Act and warn that the slope proposed is indeed slippery and would end all privacy on the internet.

Many on social media fear that the bill would seek to criminalize the use of VPNs which are often used to hide a user's IP address and to add additional privacy measures while utilizing the internet. 

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Their general aim is the same: keeping your digital activities and location private. Using a VPN with your computer, phone, or another internet-enabled device can do things like mask your I.P. address and encrypt your internet connection.

Warner's office has said his bill wouldn't do this, but many experts warn that its broad language leaves room for doubt.  

The RESTRICT Act doesn't specifically mention TikTok. Rather, it would grant the U.S. secretary of commerce the broad power to "identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate … any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person, or with respect to any property" that the secretary determines to pose "an undue or unacceptable risk" in several different areas. These include federal elections, "information and communications technology products and services," and "critical infrastructure or digital economy," as well as "coercive or criminal activities by a foreign adversary that are designed to undermine democratic processes and institutions or steer policy and regulatory decisions in favor of the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary to the detriment of the national security of the United States."

The language describing who the RESTRICT ACT would apply to is also confusing. The commerce secretary would also be authorized to take steps to address risks posed by "any covered transaction by any person." 

So what counts as a covered transaction? The bill states that this means "a transaction in which an entity described in subparagraph (B) has any interest." Entities described in subparagraph B are a "foreign adversary; an entity subject to the jurisdiction of, or organized under the laws of, a foreign adversary; and an entity owned, directed, or controlled by" either of these. Foreign adversaries can be "any foreign government or regime" that the secretary deems a national security threat.

The ban's criminal penalties, which include a fine up to a million dollar and/or imprisonment of up to 20 years, has caused some alarm among the bill's observers, who have questioned whether some TikTok fanatics might face jail time for using a VPN to get around the ban and access the app.

A speaker for Warner's office told Newsweek that the criminal penalties would not be used to go after individual users. 

"Under the terms of the bill, someone must be engaged in 'sabotage or subversion' of communications technology in the U.S., causing 'catastrophic effects' on U.S. critical infrastructure, or 'interfering in, or altering the result' of a federal election in order for criminal penalties to apply," Warner's communications director, Rachel Cohen, said.

She added that, "The bill is squarely aimed at companies like Kaspersky, Huawei, and TikTok that create systemic risks to the United States' national security, not individual users."

The bill specifically defines the entities that would be subject to enforcement as:

(B) A government, government agency, government department, or government commission.

(D) A fraternal or social organization.

(F) A trust.

(H) A corporation.



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UPDATED: 3 adults, 3 children killed after female shooter opens fire at Nashville Christian elementary school
Covenant Christian is a private Pre-school - 6th grade private Christian school

UPDATE: The shooter has been identified as a Nashville woman, who is 28.

UPDATE: 3 adults and 3 children were killed. The female shooter appears to be in her teens. She was armed with two assault-type riffles and a handgun. She was also killed.

There was an active shooter at a Nashville elementary school Monday morning, officials confirmed.

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) confirmed that the shooter was killed by officers at Covenant School, a preschool through 6th-grade school.

WKRN stated in a live stream that the main hospital confirms that three students were transported by ambulance and that all three have passed away. 

At approximately 11:00 local time, the MNPD confirmed in a Tweet that the shooter was "engaged by MNPD and is dead."

The incident is at 33 Burton Hills Blvd Covenant School in the Green Hills area.

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Possible indictment of Trump and the continued division of the greatest country in the world

The Manhattan grand jury considering charges against former President Trump is expected to reconvene on Monday.

The expected session Monday comes after its last planned session Wednesday was canceled, sources with knowledge of the matter told the Wall Street Journal. 

Trump said he expected to face arrest last week after a years-long investigation involving the former president's alleged hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2020 election campaign.

The decision to indict someone depends on various legal and political factors that are subject to the discretion of prosecutors, judges, and juries.

However, if an indictment were to occur, it could have significant effects on the country, both politically and socially. The indictment of a former president would be a highly unusual and politically charged event that could further polarize an already divided country.

If former President Trump were to be indicted, it could lead to a further erosion of trust in democratic institutions, with some supporters seeing it as a political witch hunt, and others seeing it as necessary accountability for any wrongdoing. There could also be a significant impact on the Republican party, with some members continuing to support Trump, while others distance themselves from him.

In terms of the legal system, an indictment of a former president could set important precedents for the limits of executive power and the accountability of public officials. It would also put a spotlight on the independence of the justice system and the rule of law.

Ultimately, whether or not former President Trump is indicted and what effect it would have on the country is uncertain and subject to many variables. However, any legal or political actions taken against a former president can shape the country's future and the principles on which it is based.

Half of the country believes that President Donald Trump was the best President to ever reside in the White House or at the very least, is one of the top presidents to ever be elected. The other half believes that he is a horrible, spiteful, fascist leader who deserves jail or worse. 

An assessment of a president's performance is subjective and depends on individual perspectives and values.

It is worth noting that assessing a president's effectiveness involves considering a wide range of factors, such as their policies, leadership style, character, and impact on the country and the world. While some individuals may view former President Trump as the best president, others may hold a different view based on their own perspectives and experiences.

It is important to remember that constructive dialogue and respectful debate are essential components of a healthy democratic society. Rather than focusing on political differences, it is essential to work together to find common ground and build a stronger and more united country.

One may look to the past for answers and may seek answers from the framework left behind by our founding fathers.

The founding fathers of the United States envisioned America to be a nation based on the principles of liberty, equality, and democracy. They believed in a government that was accountable to the people and that protected their rights and freedoms.

The founding fathers were influenced by the Enlightenment, a philosophical and intellectual movement that emphasized reason, science, and individualism. They saw America as a place where people could pursue their own interests and aspirations, free from the constraints of oppressive governments and social hierarchies.

The founding fathers also believed in the concept of popular sovereignty, the idea that the authority of government derives from the consent of the governed. They believed that the people had the right to govern themselves and to participate in the democratic process, either directly or through elected representatives.

It was expected that the future held the possibility that not all would agree on a single vision for our country. They knew that as America prospered, diversity of principles, religion, culture, and the combining of many from faraway lands, the political climate would shift and evolve. They created a framework that was meant to provide the guidance for all concerned that would never change. A backbone of society that held America on high. 

In creating the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the founding fathers sought to establish a government that was limited in its power and that protected the rights of individuals and minorities. They recognized the importance of a system of checks and balances, with separate branches of government that would prevent any one person or group from having too much power.

Overall, the founding fathers envisioned America as a beacon of liberty and democracy, a place where people could live free and pursue their own goals and ambitions while working together to build a better and more prosperous society for all. While the realization of these ideals has not always been perfect or complete, they continue to serve as guiding principles for the nation and inspire people around the world.

What would our founding fathers have to say about the current state of affairs that America is currently dealing with?

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