Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Intellectual Tyranny! Now with 30% more Umlauts!

Just as Geert Wilders’ party wins after so much being done to prosecute him for being uppity and exercising his right to free speech, the distorted European political discourse founded on demonization continues.

Mark Steyn:

Putting to one side the stupidity of the Dutch establishment in attempting to criminalize legitimate political opposition, one is struck by the media boilerplate: Wilders is the "extreme" "far-right" "fringe", but the parties he beats are the "mainstream"? That there is a lot of what's wrong with the European political discourse. Maybe he only seems so "extreme" and "far" because you're the one out on the fringe.
Got that? It’s the party with the most votes that’s being universally called by the European press to be the fringe, and the losers that they know and love with less than 14% of the vote that are called ‘the mainstream’.

Much like the use of the term “ultra droite” to refer to ANY conservative in France never being matched by the ameliorating term “gauche de la gauche” when referring to the carnival of destructive leftist radicals, they play into one idiotic notion after another.

The “ultra right” identified by the “ultra left” are a handful of neo-fascists who are just in love with a all-powerful state as the left are, and are, in fact, leftists themselves. Anarchists (the true, “no government at all” kind), coddled joyously by the “ultra left” are the only fringe element you could actually call “ultra right”, but only after you weed out the Trotskyite agitators.

Leaving aside that they think the minority parties are the mainstream, and vice versa, they avoid the ideological spectrum altogether in favor of the kind of story that can be written in a drunken stupor off of their yellowing 3-by-5 cards. The issue is a matter of how much central government/ local government/ no government you want in your life on specific issues.

Broadly accepted without questioning the matter, is the idea that the Netherlands is some kind of nirvana of liberty. Not so. Article 7 of their constitution, which is supposed to invauably encapsulate rights, formalizes a collection of middle-minded bugaboos more than anything else. The seed are there of making rights of free speech having a relationship with who you are:
This article has only been partially changed in the 1983 revision, as it was linked to very complicated case law. Subarticle 1 contains the classic freedom of the press. Any censorship is absolutely forbidden. However, formal law can otherwise limit this freedom, e.g. by making a certain content punishable under penal law. Such limitative powers cannot be delegated to lower administrative bodies such as municipalities and this includes the concomitant right of distribution of printed materials. However, the Supreme Court has nevertheless ruled since 1950 that such bodies may in fact limit the distribution of materials, if such a limitation is not based on the content of those materials and does not imply a complete impediment to any separate means of distribution. They may e.g., limit the spreading of pamphlets to certain hours for reasons of public order.
Subarticle 2 has the same arrangement for television and radio broadcasts.
Subarticle 3, added in 1983, gives a general right of expression, for those cases neither printed nor broadcasted information is involved; this includes the freedom of speech. Again, no censorship is ever allowed, but the right can otherwise be limited by formal law; explicitly mentioned in subarticle 3 is the possibility to limit the viewing of movies by minors under the age of sixteen. Although no delegation is possible, lower bodies may limit the exercise of the right for reasons of public order if such limitations are not based on the content of the expressed views. Subarticle 4 states that commercial advertising is not protected by article 7.

The Dutch constitution does not contain a freedom of gathering of information.
Journalists have ‘exrta speech rights’ set aside which by virtue of that fact would have to be limited to others’, begging the question: who exactly is a journalist, and what foundation in law do those who are permitted to declare someone a journalist, or declare that they are not a journalist, have?

Why is advertizing different, and who can stretch that definition? i.e., the advertizing of ideas, and the over-extention of that power to give municipal authorities the right to distribute materials.

Why are radio and television different than speech or print? The whole thing isn’t just uninspired, it’s peevish – as buggy as the notions harbored by the European advocacy press that doesn’t consider for a moment that a nation can lawfully exercise sovereignty when it comes to putting figures to immigration, but does when it feels like prosecuting speech.

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