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The yellow star, the scarlet letter and ‘International Megan’s Law’

When I was growing up, in a Jewish family in Brooklyn in the 1950s, Hitler and the Holocaust were common subjects of conversation in my household.  Though at the time it all seemed like ancient history — along with the Civil War, the Black Death, the fall of Rome, and everything else that had ever happened before I was born — I realized, when I became an adult, that to my parents and their generation it must have seemed as though it had happened the day before yesterday. Full Article

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  1. ab

    Read the comments for a head spinning break down of whatever the commentators think is at issue here. While the article raises some great points, it also misses a few.

    1. International Megan’s law is problematic not just because of a unique identifier on some passports, but because of the definitions of sex offenses between countries. In many countries acts defined as sex offenses in the United States are not only legal, but also more common. Actually some such conduct doesn’t even have the sexual connotation in those countries.

    2. The term sexually violent predator or high risk sex offender differ in application from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Who is to say any particular classification is justified and for how long? Knowing the federal government isn’t great with exact or accurate information means they shouldn’t be trusted to communicate on behalf of a citizen what the citizens intentions or lack thereof will be in another country. Let’s say someone was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with someone under the age of consent. That could be any range of activity depending the state of conviction. No foreign agency will know or care to ask for exact details (presuming the details are even kept in an accessible place or at all) so they won’t know if the person even did anything illegal or serious by their standards. Nor will the time passed since the conduct be a consideration.

    3. The definition of a child is not universally defined. Let alone an offense against a child. Here’s the biggest problem; one country can’t prevent its citizens from engaging in activities in another country. Even though the United States tries by making it illegal for a US citizen to break US law while in other countries even if they are doing something completely legal wherever they are visiting. Sex tourism and trafficking can’t be stopped by one country. Only an international effort can do anything and that effort won’t be about stopping trafficking or tourism again. No, it will focus on making sure the draws for such things are not in existence to start. Going after the customer is the wrong approach. Target the tourism provider and traffickers are they get setup to resolve the issue.

  2. mike r

    No the cops and gov prefer to go after soft targets ie drug offenders, prostitutes, johns, and indigents instead of going after hard targets such as gang members, cartels, official corruption.

  3. John

    Cast your vote and oppose HR515 https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/114/hr515. Write a letter, email, and call your House Rep to state your opposition.

  4. anonymously

    The Nazi analogy is apt since such a parallel exists between sex offenders treatment continually getting harsher and Jews in Nazi Germany progressively getting worse and worse treatment. First, Nazis went after Communists and Socialists. After the Night of the Long Knives where Nazis went after Ernst Rohm, who was gay, then they went after gays, and then Jews, then Gypsies. The Nazis really concentrated on Jews and went after them incessantly. Jews they saw as evil and a threat they despised, for whatever ill-conceived reason/s. Considering someone a threat from being in a class of so called ‘sex offenders’ who are former offenders with a less than 1% reoffense rate is ill-concieved in my opinion. A parallel to the add-ons to registry laws is unmistakeable. In the case of Jews of Germany, the Nazi’s didn’t go to extermination of them right away. They first kicked Jews out of the professions, the schools, the media, segregating Jews, placed special marks on them and banned them from leaving the country. Sounds familiar. As for non-German European Jews, extermination camps was to be their fate once Germany started invading other countries. Of course Russia and the US stopped them from completing the Final Solution. Whatever the reason for Hitler hating and fearing the Jews and Chris Smith and the Republican Congress and their supporters hating and fearing (former) sex offenders, once tagged into the class for persecution and in the case of sex offenders, having a less than 1% reoffense rate that shows a lack of danger, the trajectory for the final solution appears to be set, unless HR 1515 can be stopped. Also, I note the usage of using references to the victim Megan Kanka to link sex offenders to murder, where, I would say, 100% of the very rare cases of registrants who have murdered would be in prison for life and not subject to this law and the fact that (former) sex offenders having committed murder is extremely rare, is very propagandistic. And not unlike the age old accusations of jewish blood libel, which the Nazi’s used, where supposedly Jews drank the blood of Christian children, thereby associating all Jews as murderers of children.

  5. anonymously

    Sex deviants/offenders which included those who committed a wide range of offenses such as many of the registrable offenses in the US as well as adult homosexuality were the first to be forced to register in Nazi Germany. In Nazi Germany, the persecution expanded to other classes. Right now in the US, the Republican Party Presidential frontrunner said he thinks Muslims should be forced to register, which would be that similar expansion of registration and persecution to other classes as in Nazi Germany, where registration similarly started with sex offenders, deviants and homosexuals. I want to cite oncefallen’s site for some of my information. With HR 1515 proposal for Nazi-like ban on travel with special markings on passports and done supposedly for the children, comparisons of HR 1515 to Nazi Germany special markings for Jews on passports hold a lot of weight and if HR 1515 goes into law can be instructive to whatever group is next for registry persecution that Scalia’s observation that the US is rife for concentration camp type persecution, where one is not allowed to leave the country of persecution, could be on the horizon, may be more than a remote possibility.

  6. anonymously

    HR 515, not HR 1515.. It was once called “….for the reduction in demand of sex trafficking” so I wonder if Kelly money, maybe paying off Paul Ryan was the impetus for the gained traction in Congress, as Kelly is known to attack registrants using dubious links to sex trafficking.

  7. Fima

    Here is my message to article author:

    When I was a Soviet citizen, and after 1991 citizen of Belarus, there was a line in my passport which identified me as a Jew.
    This looked like: 5. Nationality: Jew.
    Even all russian jews was not religious, because soviet state destroyed all Jewish religious institutions, closed jewish schools, destroyed all books on their language. The only thing they kept was Jew in passport, just like nazi Germany J.
    Nazi Germany was not the only country known to add such a moniker to the passports of its citizens. There were USSR and Belarus. As you understand identifying somebody as a Jew was very harmful for that person, discrimination at any situation like getting job, education and so on. Even beating by angry idiots hating you just for being a Jew.

    I remember my grandfather story from ww2. He had document identify him as a Jew, and he took passport of dead person without such identity. This way he was not killed by Germans nazi. All people with jew in their documents were killed by nazi who also were christians.

    Here is article i wrote:

    http://fimafimovich.blogspot.com/2014/10/discrimination-of-soviet-jews-and.html

    Fima

    Minnesota

  8. Margaret Moon

    It is common to use “sex trafficking” as an excuse to pass another onerous restriction on registered citizens. This is garbage. I have several family members in law enforcement (they really are not all bad) and they all, to a man, have stated that sex trafficking is done by Gangs, not RSO’s.
    There is a study done recently by the University of San Diego and Pt. Loma Nazarene University, funded by the National Institute of Justice (which is part of the U.S. Dept. of Justice). The study found that “the trafficking industry is run by gang members and worth up to $810 million.” We must work together to squelch the lie that further restrictions on registrants will have any affect on “sex trafficking.”

  9. anonymously

    “Never Again” seems to mean never again will Germany do these things to the Jews and others. But it unfortunately did not mean that never again will that happen to anyone at the hands of anyone else. Anti-semitism did not die with the fall of Hitler. Russia continued their anti-semitism which is historically documented by things like the Russian written 1905 Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the pogroms against Jews, accusations of blood libel, etc. Protocols was like a bible for the Nazis. The Nazis piled on laws against Jews and other victims, there where the first of which were sex offenders, at a blinding speed that culminated in concentration/death camps and invading other countries to go after Jews. In the US, restrictive laws are heaped on registrants at a similarly fast pace and also taking on the component of going after registrants or their equivalents on a worldwide basis as seen in some of the language of HR 515. I shudder to think where this could end up. I see a light in the story which is those fighting against this fascism and scapegoating. But there is a long way to go. Much as there was a long way to go to change treatment of Jews by the US where at one time during WW2, a ship of Jews escaping the Nazi’s was turned away by the US and Canada ( Dominican Republic took 8 Jews ) and the Jews were eventually accepted by France, Netherlands, and Belgium. But unfortunately, Hitler invaded those countries in the next few months and got them. Luckily, now the US recognizes the horribe state of anti-semitism in places such as Russia and the need to escape that. I can only imagine the horror of escaping one place of unfair discrimination only to see similar inhumanity.

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