The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

French thought-police on the prowl

Orwell called it thoughtcrime, Americans call it free speech and the French call it criminal racism. Jean-Marie Le Pen is once again in hot water with the French state. He is being charged under French anti-racism laws that makes denying the holocaust a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment. The offending remarks? Le Pen told a small right-wing paper that French occupation by the Nazi's was, "not especially inhumane." I know I am awfully hard on the French, but they really make this to easy. As far as I know, the prosecutor has not specified which race Mssr. Le Pen is attacking with his comments. If a crabby old American curmudgeon said something like this people might shake their heads and deride him for being out of touch and maybe senile, but no one would even consider criminal charges. In fact, there would be no statute under which to charge him. We have a saying here in the States, "I don't agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," This is another indication of the total statism, call it totalitarianism lite, that France and other so called "social democracies" are drifting towards. France was once the cradle of European liberty, today it is little more than a poor, broken and unimportant state in an increasingly less relevant neighborhood. What did Rumsfield call it? Old Europe. Not that America is immune from this sort of zealous anti-free speech non-sense, especially since 9.11 and the Patriot Act. But free people must be diligent in protecting their rights and that includes calling prosecutions like this absurd and dangerous to everyone that wishes to express controversial views. (Including me.)
In a rare example of the U.S. Supreme Court doing the right thing, they made it official yesterday...Federal Sentencing Guidelines are unconstitutional and should only be used as a reference. The Cato Institute's Eric Luna explained in a policy report in 2002 why these guidelines are inappropriate, prejudicial and unconstitutional. Read that policy report here.
Two New York teens have been charged under Hate Crime laws for beating a Satanist. It is the latest case showing the absurdity of these laws. Read the Libertarian Party press release about this case and Hate Crime laws generally here.


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