Tagged: lèse-majesté

Law 28: Breakup as abetment to suicide and other weird tales from the real world

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EN

Vanity Fair

Saudi bans ‘Abaya’ for Muslim students in exam halls; Crown Prince orders adhere to uniform.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 2022)

The video does not show the uniform that female students will have to wear instead of abaya, so this piece of news is wanting.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) otherwise said: “The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire they choose to wear.” Not so for female students, as they will have to don a uniform other than the abaya. – Still, at the same time that they defang the mutawa, the religious police, this. Consequently, I believe Saudi women will wear indecent and disrespectful attire in public, because there no longer is police enforcement of the decency rule. The abaya is a consensual sign of decency. For every innovation in female attire, there will be a question regarding its decency but no one to properly enforce the rule and, at last, no one to bother about it because it will be too much strain to monitor each fashion change in the endless race of vanity.

If you look at Pakistan’s current Minister of State for foreign affairs, Mrs. Hina Rabbani Khar, you’ll see she wears a veil. Yet her veil reveals all her hair, and not only the hair but also the hairdo; it is only a piece of cloth attached to the back of the head. If this is decent attire, then wearing no veil at all is no less decent because the difference between this sort of veil and no veil lies somewhere between nil and minimal. Presumably, Saudi women’s fashion will follow the same direction as a result of Saudi authorities’ current stand against the traditional and rational abaya. Instead of decency, mockery.

With Mrs. Rabbani Khar’s veil, you also see the ears. With the earrings. It would be a pity not to be able to show such expensive jewels, would it not?

Meanwhile, in Western countries, the next trend in lawmaking will be menstrual leave. Mark my words.

(Post-scriptum. According to some, the abaya ban in exam halls has been motivated by a will of Saudi authorities to prevent the use of crib sheets, as the attire would facilitate it.)

Saudi traditional dress: niqab for females (usually with abaya) and shemagh, the Saudi keffiyeh, for males, here extended over the face.

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“Bulldozer Crackdown”

BJP government in MP [Madhya Pradesh] punishes man with bulldozer action for assaulting girlfriend.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 25, 2022)

(i)
On the one hand

The man’s house being “illegal,” it was bulldozed because of its illegality and certainly not because of assault and battery by the owner on his girlfriend. Can you image a system where the administration bulldozes one’s house because of battery, and this even before any judgment by a court of law? No, the assaulter was not punished by the government for assaulting somebody: he will be judged for his assault and, as to his house, as it was found illegal it was bulldozed. If the house had been bulldozed by virtue of an extrajudicial decision of the government, and that were normal, then India would not abide by the rule of law. But the whole story has nothing to do with administrative “punishment” of a wrongdoer. This is not how the law works.

(ii)
On the other hand

If certain illegal houses, a certain slum had been brought before a court already, MP government had a court order to demolish the slum, not a permission to demolish some of the houses at the government’s discretion. Then, assuming MP government chose to ignore the order based on governance considerations, by allowing some people to live in illegal houses it detracted from the principle of equality before the law. Then, when it punishes a wrongdoer from the slum by bulldozing his house, the government commits another breach of the principle, as the wrongdoer will be punished not only by way of the penalty prescribed by law but also with demolition of his dwelling, which presumably is not in the code under the head of assault and battery. The government may believe to correct one breach, a “plus breach” for the individual (who benefits from government tolerance, in disregard of real estate law), with a “minus breach” (adding an administrative penalty, namely cancellation of said tolerance, to the usual, expected judicial penalty), but in reality it only accumulates breaches of the equality principle.

My take on the issue is that operations of this kind do not reduce crime and are not even aimed at this. If it took bulldozers to prevent violence, the laws should be rewritten to replace prison by bulldozing. But the government thinks it’s got a convenient tool to exercise a judicial power of its own, which it does not have by virtue of the separation of powers. By ignoring real estate law and, in many cases presumably, property rights of landowners whose land is illegally occupied, it creates a slum jurisdiction in which the real judicial power is the government, instead of courts, because there is no defense against an administration that can send a bulldozer to demolish one’s house, and slum dwellers therefore fear not as much the courts as the government. This preeminence of the executive is authoritarian. Slum dwellers are at the mercy of officials, completely dependent on their flippant whims, without recourse. (In such grey zones, drugs and prostitution rings could be run by law enforcement and other officers themselves.) Such governments have no enticement to eliminate slums and on the contrary a direct interest in maintaining them. The only way to see that change is to reject the government’s claims to behave as property law enforcer against individual slum dwellers.

In (i), I overlooked the slum dimension of the issue, which is that slum dwellers are at the mercy of government officials. Also, as several people live in the house, there is a collective dimension to the punishment which is contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which India is a signatory state (although, technically, the wrongdoer and his family are not punished with bulldozing for the wrongdoer committing battery but for the family’s illegal occupation of land).

Some people argue that MP government’s maneuver is good deterrence, as trials are long processes. – However, even if a trial can be long, there is such a thing as pre-trial detention, especially for murderers and violent criminals, which are named by these people. Many accused are kept under arrest while their trial is going on, so the remark is absurd. Then, bulldozing the illegal house of a wrongdoer, not because of illegal occupation of land but because of something else, is not permissible. First, the government tolerates illegal occupation of land regardless of landowners’ rights. Then, officials blackmail the squatters by threatening to bulldoze illegal houses not because a landowner is harmed by illegal occupation but because a squatter does something wrong, and that something can be anything, from battery as in the present case (but the criminal code has no such penalty as bulldozing a house in punishment for battery) to looking askance at one or the other official’s conduct. Finally, bulldozing a house where several people live in retaliation for the wrongdoing of one person is against legal principles of the civilized world and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This story, once understood, is appalling publicity for the Indian regime. It talks of slums, that is, lawlessness for landowners; it talks of extrajudicial punishment, that is, lawlessness for slum dwellers; it talks of collective punishment, that is, lawlessness for everybody.

(iii)
And then

J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] government bulldozer action against Hizbul Mujahideen deputy chief. According to authorities, Ghulam Nabi Khan alias Amir Khan had a wall built on encroached land as an extension to his house in Liver Pahalgam in the south Kashmir district. Khan is a self-styled operational commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and had crossed over to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the early 1990s and is operating from there.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 31, 2022)

Is “bulldozer crackdown” (Hindustan Times) the specific penalty against “terrorists,” then, rather than the legal response to encroachment? – India fighting terrorism with excavators. Now I better understand the phrase “the long arm of the law”: it talks of the articulated arm of excavators.

I’m impressed how Indian authorities punish terrorists for their violations of urban planning.

What a show of powerlessness by Indian authorities! To have people labeled terrorists and punish them for estate encroachment…

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‘Burn Indian High Commission’: Maldives ‘India Out’ campaigner Adil Riza arrested.”(Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 25, 2022)

I disagree that the tweet, as presented, is incitement to arson. Abbas Adil Riza claims the 2012 riots and arsons in Maldives were provoked by India and the damages have not been compensated. “We should start with embassy” is to read in this context, the asking of compensation. In the same way that some threats are true threats and others are merely rhetorical tools in controversies, this tweet is rhetorical, not incitement. The tweet means Maldives has a right to compensation for the 2012 arsons. As India may acknowledge its debt and pay it, the payback alluded to, arson for arson, is not a true threat; it is obvious that arson cannot repay arson, this is merely a way to express the urgent need of compensation after the alleged damaging interference. The tweet is not about Maldives’ retaliation but about Indian reparations. There is, to be sure, a form a rhetorical threat in it, namely: “Absent reparations, Maldivians may retaliate with arson against the embassy and other Indian estate in Maldives.” However, as the threat is conditional, it cannot be incitement, and rather a rhetorical tool in an ongoing debate about reparations or about the events of 2012.

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Only in BJP India:
Breakup as abetment to suicide

BJP [political party with Hindu nationalist ideology] MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly] R. K. [I do not wish to publicize the MLA’s name on this blog] said if there is any love-jihad angle in actor [actress] Tunisha Sharma’s suicide, then the police will probe that and take strict action. The BJP MLA added the communal angle after Tunisha’s co-actor Sheezan Mohammed Khan was arrested and sent to police custody for four days based on the complaint [for abetment to suicide] by Tunisha’s mother.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 2022)

The love-jihad spin deserves some explanation first, for a Western readership. Some Hindus believe that Muslims practice a form of jihad these Hindus call “love jihad,” which takes the form of relationships between Muslim males and Hindu females, the aim of which would be to alienate the latter from their religious community and any other malice conceivable. And now to the point.

Breaking with one’s lover is not abetment to suicide. First of all, extramarital relationships are not protected by law. When you are dropped like a bag of dirt, you get a broken heart, whether you can live with it or not. If you want your relationship to be protected, do not consent to anything outside marriage.

“The FIR [first information report] says that the breakup may have pushed Tunisha to the edge.” A man arrested for breaking up with his girlfriend is the salient and weird piece of news here. The love-jihad spin by a MLA was unfortunately predictable, given the arrested man is a Muslim; it is the predictable and deplorable sequel of something unexpected and very lawfare-like. Merely breaking with one’s girlfriend is not abetment to suicide, which requires intent and some form of direct incitement and/or active psychological pressure. Even if the breakup were the direct cause of suicide, it still would not be abetment, absent further elements hinting at intent and pressure; therefore, that such a vague FIR (“breakup may have pushed Tunisha to the edge”) can serve to arrest a man is appalling. The police themselves may be engulfed in love-jihad fantasies and prejudice, to allow this.

“Cops … maintain that there is no angle of blackmailing or love jihad yet.” So why was Sheezan Khan arrested? Do they intend to torture him to get false confessions? The mother’s declarations, as described, do not support the case for abetment to suicide. There used to be, in Western countries, a crime of fraudulent or deceitful seduction (tentative translation of French “séduction dolosive”), which would apply to false promises of marriage as alleged by the mother. However, it is obsolete in the liberal “emancipated” West, and as India is so eager to be as liberal as the West on morality issues, I believe it does not exist in India either. But to talk, in lieu of this, of abetment to suicide, on the grounds presented, is frivolous.

Sheezan Khan has nothing to do in police custody. Police said there is no blackmailing or love-jihad angle “yet,” and the complaint for abetment to suicide is frivolous: to presume intent to abet suicide in a breakup is unwarranted. A man being grilled in police custody after his lover’s suicide is appalling publicity for the Indian regime; it is outrageous. In any case, a breakup cannot per se give enough reasons to presume intent to abet suicide, or love jihad, or blackmail, or whatever, and arrest a man.

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Gujarat Shocker: BSF [Border Security Force] Jawan [soldier] lynched after fight over his daughter’s ‘obscene’ video. The soldier along with his wife had decided to confront the accused teenager for allegedly circulating the video. However, on raising the issue with the teenager’s parents, the accused’s family attacked them.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Dec 2022)

The more liberalism ruins authority within the family and community, the more it is compelled to repair its mistakes with harsh liberticidal legislation, such as against so-called revenge porn. Liberalism is against families because it is against freedom. If you don’t want obscene videos of yourself on the web, then don’t allow videos to be made of you to begin with. Liberal laws do not have in view payment for acts but rather shielding from payment for acts. You agree that a video is made of you, but you call the police when it is released; yet it is you allowed the release by allowing the video to be made. You’re asking the state to repair your own mistakes. You were lured by promises of lustful liberty and now you beg the police to beat up your lovers with bludgeons and torture them in dark cellars. You are the ones asking for a police state.

In police states, women have their lovers killed by police in basements to prevent revenge porn. Termination is paid by the taxpayer. What kind of state is India?

In France, revenge porn is admissible evidence in a divorce case, yet it is a crime. Think about it.

A man should not marry a woman whose obscene videos are circulating on the internet.

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Twitter’s Deep Involvement with CIA [after FBI] Now Out in the Open | Twitter Files” (Firstpost, YouTube, Dec 2022)

So, Twitter is basically an intelligence department within the public administration, and yet all this commercial advertising on the platform? Shocking.

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In the Year of the Rabbit

Not one country will lift a finger to help Taiwan. China’s quarantines have had an impact on the world economy, with tensions on many production lines. You can’t go to war against the workshop of the world, it would have to be a blitzkrieg and that’s impossible against China. It must be a war of attrition and you can’t fight such a war against the very workshop of your armies.

(ii)

On hypothetical “Western sanctions against China”: the phrase sounds so unreal. How could any country impose sanctions against the workshop of the world? The workshop would keep producing, but its “sanctioning” outlets would collapse.

It is because of foreign investment that China became the workshop of the world, and why has foreign investment gone to China to begin with? Because of profit maximization and free trade. That is to say, companies won’t leave China unless it becomes less competitive, less attractive, or because national states see China as a threat and force companies to leave the country, i.e., if there are sanctions against China. Western sanctions against China are no more unthinkable than a completely different makeup of the world economy, but they are unthinkable in today’s situation.

Companies coming in a country on commercial considerations and leaving on political considerations, are leaving to their own commercial detriment. In Europe, so many factories have shut down over the last decades. As unions say, when this happens, this is not only a factory that is closing but also know-how that goes lost; as the industrial base has been narrowing, redundant skilled workers cannot find jobs for their specific skills any longer and must apply to unskilled jobs. National relocation of industry would be a long process, and this must deter nations from taking sanctions against their workshop, China, because in the short run they will suffer from them more than sanctioned China.

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Criminal trials do not require complaints. Imagine a man without family and he is murdered. He can’t complain because he’s dead and relatives can’t complain because he had none; yet the authorities will investigate the case to bring the culprit before a court of law. Another example: A man having one relative is murdered by his relative. The victim won’t complain because he’s dead and the relative won’t complain because he’s the murderer. Complaints are not needed in criminal cases for justice to be done.

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On Indonesia’s extramarital sex ban. If governments are allowed to ban drugs, there is no reason why they could not ban extramarital sex. When you take drugs, is it any less your own business? Extramarital relationships are the business of any government having marriage regulations, that is, of all governments. Pay attention that, where adultery is not banned, it is a legal cause of punitive divorce. Where adultery is not banned, there is divorce for misconduct. However, when the situation between the spouses is asymmetrical, this civil procedure is wanting, so a criminal procedure may correct the asymmetry and restore harmed spouses in their rights.

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The lèse-majesté laws of UK are shrouded in mystery. 1) When one cabinet member said these laws are no longer valid, the statement was later recanted. As it was recanted, it is to be assumed one still faces imprisonment for life in case of lèse-majesté. 2) Police arrested demonstrators with placards “Not my queen etc.”; the demonstrators were later released, and the authorities explained it was the demonstrators’ right to demonstrate. So what, if I’ve got the right to demonstrate and am nonetheless arrested (demonstration terminated) and later released? This is very convenient. No trials: oh so liberal! No demonstrations: oh how they love their monarchs!

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IT

“Italia e Turchia sono storicamente i due attori principali del Mediterraneo.” (Giorgia a Bali) Bello. Adoro. Dato che Giorgia Meloni non è sposata, dovrebbe provare a diventare la seconda moglie di Erdogan, per consolidare i legami dei due attori principali.

Lessons in Law 11: The Clueless Panopticon

Crack Hills Have Eyes: The Clueless Panopticon

“More American police officers died during prohibition of alcohol than any other time in history. 300 died in 1930 alone. After prohibition ended, police deaths didn’t reach 200 a year again until the year Nixon declared war on drugs.”

As this person mentions interesting data on Prohibition, I have these also:

“By 1930, more than a third of the inmates in the nation’s federal prison system were persons convicted of violating the Volstead Act [Eighteenth Amendment’s implementing federal legislation]. That statistic demonstrates that a major effect of prohibition was the growth of federal prisons. As late as the 1890s, the federal government had no prisons at all ; the small number of persons jailed for committing federal crimes were held in state prisons.” (G. Edward White, American Legal History, 2014)

Nevertheless I regard Prohibition as a “noble experiment” (Herbert Hoover) and was even in touch with the Prohibition Party, which still exists. Please consider sending membership application:

https://www.prohibitionparty.org/

As to the war on drugs, allow me to quote a previous lesson (Lesson 9):

“There’s been a crack pandemic in Paris, France, these last years, with an area now known as Crack Hill (la colline du crack) in the North-Eastern parts of the city. Neighbors talking of a “hell,” a “nightmare,” and other such words has become commonplace. Authorities are pouring millions of taxpayer money in a so-called crack plan doing nothing but distributing under police surveillance new crack pipes every Thursday to the 1.500 crackheads (they know the numbers!) who roam on Crack Hill and paying for 400 hotel rooms for crackheads. Thus, the bureaucracy’s sole policy is to prevent the crackheads’ habit from turning them into blood felons, with the result that they will remain an endless source of unpunished misdemeanors and lower-key felonies, an everlasting nightmare for the neighborhood. – This in a country where the numbers of police officers per inhabitant are extremely high (340 for 10,000 inhabitants, that is, one officer for 294 people, according to Wikipedia).” (Compare this 340 figure with Finland 130, Norway 188, Canada 188, Denmark 192, Sweden 195, UK 208, Switzerland 210, Australia 218, South Korea 227, Japan 234, Ireland 265, The Netherlands 295, USA 298. As 18 per cent of the French population is less than fifteen years old, we have 294-(294×0.18)=241, 1 police officer for 241 French people above fifteen. A university professor has more students than this.)

That’s the “war on drugs” they’ve got there: distributing crack pipes like the Salvation Army bowls of soup and lodging crackheads in hotel rooms at taxpayer’s expense, while the very same taxpayers are living a daily hell.

Not only do they live a hell but also the government is ruining them. You might say –maybe with French authorities– that people are free to take their things and leave if they don’t like the neighborhood, but wait a minute: If they own their house, they won’t be able to sell it at a fair price, they won’t get the price they would if the government had enforced the law instead of letting a Crack Hill sprout.

But the icing on the cake… as I said, they know everything, they know the numbers (1.500), they know how many rooms and how many pipes are needed, they know the names, I guess, and the records of everyone, and who dates whom. They know everything and won’t do a thing. – Crack Hills Have Eyes: The Powerless Panopticon!

Now, when last weekend (first weekend of May 2021) and the next days neighbors, were reported shooting firework mortars at crackheads, my, I can’t say I am surprised.

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A Culture of Fear and Censorship

A Christian Finnish politician has been charged with multiple hate crimes, after she tweeted a Bible verse and criticised homosexuality, and could face up to 6 years in prison as a result. (National File)

“Paul Coleman, the Executive Director of ADF International, who is representing Päivi Räsänen: The Finnish Prosecutor General’s decision to bring these charges against Dr. Räsänen creates a culture of fear and censorship. It is sobering that such cases are becoming all too common throughout Europe. If committed civil servants like Päivi Räsänen are criminally charged for voicing their deeply held beliefs, it creates a chilling effect for everyone’s right to speak freely.”

When the laws are such, no one can be surprised that prosecuting authorities make use of them. What creates a “culture of fear and censorship” in Finland is not the charges but the very laws that trigger them. And make no mistake, grassroots movements for repealing hate speech laws do not exist in European countries where such laws exist.

First, you won’t hear a lawyer ask for a change in the law where judicial review is as good as non-existent, which I believe is the case in most European countries. As a matter of fact, it is the case in France, where the judicial review of laws is the domain of a byzantine council where former members of the legislative and executive powers seat, that is, whose members are asked to review laws they passed in their former functions! Absent serious judicial review, trials do not offer the opportunity to revise the legislation.

And there is and has been no support for repealing hate speech and other speech suppression laws among the public opinions of these countries, nor in the media nor from any group of which I know, probably because, among other things, people know they would go against a state-terror state that does not hesitate to deprive people of their freedom because of their speech. That is, where a state has hate speech and other such laws, asking to repeal these laws is a remarkably exigent demand on such a state, a demand for which one could easily be labeled an enemy of the state.

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The defense chosen by Räsänen’s lawyer is doomed. On the one hand he refuses to criticize the Finnish law, probably for the following reason: To criticize the law would be an argument for judicial review of the law, which is not available to the defendant (this is a mere conjecture, but if judicial review is available, clearly the lawyer ought to make use of it). On the other hand he criticizes the step taken by prosecuting authorities –that is, the charges– as contrary to a ‘cornerstone of democracy,’ freedom of speech, but as the charges are based on Finnish law the argument aims at the wrong target: Judges (it should be juries if you ask me but we are dealing with a type of state devoid of refined conceptions of individual rights) will determine that the charges are conform to the law and condemn Räsänen. It is the law that is supposed to defend freedom of speech, so when the law requires to condemn someone for her speech, the judge, if not summoned to judicially review the law, will descry it as both defending speech and nonetheless instructing him or her to condemn someone for their speech because there are ‘necessary exceptions etc.’ Judges in their quality of ordinary judges are no judge of the law; they will examine the charges but they cannot, as ordinary judges, decide that the charges violate a fundamental guarantee when observing at the same time that the law commands the charges.

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Political Cartel Persecution

In the parliamentary debates on the French bill against Muslim separatism the representative responsible for the bill (rapporteur général) said at some point that proselytism is forbidden, which is simply not true. Think of it, to claim religious freedom exists and at the same time declare that proselytism is forbidden! To be sure, in recent years French authorities took measures to restrain proselytism in the surroundings of schools –I have no idea how such measures can even be applied, so stupid it looks: does it mean people are forbidden to talk about religion in the surroundings of schools?– but of course proselytism is a fundamental right. As if one had no right to proclaim their faith!

Then they say speech laws in France distinguish between criticizing a religion, which would be allowed, and derogatory speech against people because of their religion, which is hate speech. Such a distinction is meaningless; one would say, for instance, “Bahaism is a moronic religion” and that would be fine, but if they said “Bahaism is a religion of morons” that would be hate speech. On the one hand that means you can skirt the law by mere phrasing, by immaterial speech warps with no effect on the content. On the other hand, and this is the truth of this distinction, it means the whole thing is at the discretion of prosecuting authorities (and in France prosecutors are both at the orders of the government and from the same body as allegedly independent judges); there is no rule of law anymore, it’s government arbitrariness throughout.

Then, once they have told you that censorship does not exist in France, that only the judge can rule that such and such speech is illicit, they pass legislative bills allowing the government to shut down associations, close mosques, seize material, etc., based on alleged hate speech without prior intervention of a judge!

Recently, the head of a Muslim charity was under accusations linked with terrorism. For two years he was subjected to police surveillance restricting his freedom because of the judicial proceedings against him. At the end of two years the judge cleared him of all charges: He never had any connection with terrorism, the judge said. In response the administration shut down his organization and the government is now gloating over it. How do you call that, if not a police state?

Likely you won’t even find the word Islam or Muslim in the bill, it’s a catch-all text. The government says it’s against Muslim separatism, not Corsican separatism (an example given by a cabinet member), but a future government may use it against all separatists they want or all people they want to call separatists, and conversely instruct the administration and prosecutors to apply the law in no circumstance whatsoever to such and such other groups. (When people who are the majority in the assembly of Corsica call themselves Corsican Nationalists, of course they are separatists because the ‘Nation’ is France, not Corsica. So the law can be aimed at them, no matter what the government says.) But the truth of such catch-all bills is that they must be implemented discriminatorily. Short of being a catch-all text, the bill would be declared unconstitutional as a result of its discriminatory nature, so the intended discrimination is left to its application by the executive.

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With the bill the government claims that restrictions on freedom of association are necessary to prevent foreign interference (Turkey was blamed several times in the debate). When Iran and Venezuela did the same with the same arguments, this was described as dictatorial moves. I guess the same people will express no objection here, as the associations targeted are not the same and they pay lip service to principles, having only their narrow interests in mind.

Reading a U.S. conservative commentator describing the evils of Venezuela, I would like to call his attention on America’s French NATO ally. This commentator tells how Venezuelan authorities stopped the airing of a TV soap about two sisters, Colombia and Venezuela, the latter, the bad one, having a dog called Little Hugo. Such a soap is not even imaginable in France, where recently private citizens have been held in police custody for mere jokes on the street (a placard reading Macronavirus) and others prosecuted for having beheaded an effigy of the president. After six months of police and judicial surveillance and a trial, these latter were not convicted. Still their ordeal was serious enough. And all this while a few months ago Kathy Griffin’s symbolic Trump beheading had been viral…

Satirical entertainment programs targeting the French president do not exist. In France the specific incrimination of insult to the head of state, actionable by prosecutors with no complaint filed and for which the principle “truth is no defense” obtained, was abolished in 2013 only. The specific crime was abolished, therefore… such speech is now regulated by the more general criminal law of insult to public officials, and in France insulting a public official is a more serious crime than insulting one’s neighbor.

Here there is no Western World but a New World and an Old World. (As long as antiterror laws in the U.S. do not blur the line – but still, as the same phenomenon leads legislators in Europe to push for even more repressive legislation, both the old and the new world going on the same path of repression, a span will remain.) The “enlightened West” is a myth here. There is only one “enlightened” country, and it is the United States of America; all others are sh*thole countries, to speak like a former Potus. Hence the principle: Hate speech is a crime in sh*thole countries. (That is, all countries but the United States of America.)

v
Contemporary lèse-majesté laws
in Europe

Let us make a short trip through these countries via Wikipedia pages on lèse-majesté (interesting that the English word for this is a French word precisely).

Constitutional Monarchies

In Belgium, derogatory comments on the King or the royal family are punished with three years’ imprisonment.

In Denmark (where a legal Nazi Party exists), penalties for libel are doubled when the monarch or a member of the royal family are the targets (eight months’ imprisonment).

In Spain, two years.

In the Netherlands, “[i]n April 2018, the maximum punishment for lèse-majesté was reduced to four months, making it similar to that for insulting police officers and emergency workers.” (Before that date it was five years.)

The British monarchy seems to be more enlightened but this is according to Wikipedia and I keep some doubts about it.

Republics

In France, the specific incrimination as to the head of state (the President, endorsed with significant executive powers) was punished with one year’s imprisonment until 2000, when the law was changed and only a fine remained, before the law was eventually repealed in 2013 as I said in iv. The irony is that now the President is treated like other public officials and the penalty can be six months’ imprisonment, so between 2000 and 2013 the president was less “protected” than he is today and the repeal of 2013 was not even a progress of freedom of speech, quite the contrary.

In Italy, “impinging on the honour or prestige of the President is punishable with one to five years in jail.” The Italian President has more symbolic than executive power, so the incrimination is not as political a tool as it is in France, where the President is the person who actually governs (in most situations).

In Germany, “insulting the federal President is still illegal, but prosecution requires the authorisation of the President.” Same remark as for Italy: The German head of state has only symbolic powers.

In fact, these lèse-majesté laws are not the most relevant issue; one should look at libel law and how it protects public officials (like Presidents when they are a real executive power, as in France, U.S., and Iraq under Saddam Hussein) compared to other persons. Because then officials who are heads of state are political actors, so political criticism can be prosecuted as libel and political freedoms gagged.

Regarding other countries, in Morocco, it’s from one to five years’ imprisonment; in Brunei, up to three years. No major difference with the above, as you can see. – In comparison, in Thailand it’s from three to fifteen years’ imprisonment (and in Cambodia since 2018, from one to five years). In all these countries the monarch is a real executive power (no matter what the Constitution says in the last two).

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Immigration and Consociationalism

Jus naturaliter speaking, legal migrants are under no compulsion to relinquish their worldviews: the moral contract with the host society is that they will be free in these societies just as the natives, and if the condition was that they had to denounce their views and living style, then they would eo ipso be second-rate citizens deprived of some fundamental freedoms.

Then, the truth about illegal immigrants is that they are wanted by the capitalists. In ancient democracies everybody was free and equal, “everybody,” that is, a handful of citizens surrounded by masses of slaves and helots. Same in the U.S. in Tocqueville’s time, all equal and free, but of course not the Negroes and not… the paupers (who had no voting and such rights, who knows how many people that made?). And it is the same today, we are all equal and free, but of course that doesn’t include the “illegal immigrants” who have been toiling in our sweating system for decades and without whom the system would crash overnight.

ii

In this context, the Ottoman model is not a far-fetched idea. In modern political theory what is known as consociationalism, or consociational democracy, may not be much remote from the functioning of the Ottoman polity or of any multiethnic empire of the past like the Austro-Hungarian empire also. What other alternative can there be, as Western societies have made the choice to accommodate masses of immigrants from other cultures, except complete suppression of cultures, a totalitarian mold raising the required conformity to levels so far unknown?

Has this choice been forced on Western populations by so-called globalist elites? But then it means middle classes really had no grip on their polities, so what exactly are they defending? their own alienation?

An alternative to consociationalism may be the American constitutional theory as exposed by Supreme Court judges: “We are not an assimilative, homogeneous society, but a facilitative, pluralistic one, in which we must be willing to abide someone else’s unfamiliar or even repellant practice because the same tolerant impulse protects our own idiosyncrasies. … In a community such as ours, ‘liberty’ must include the freedom not to conform. ” (Justice Brennan, on Michael H. v. Gerald D. [1989])

That may make America look sound very liberal but I still perceive it as more conservative than continental Europe (it is no accident, by the way, that of all European countries the U.K. left the European Union), where we’ve got authoritarian liberalism whereas in the States it remains PC liberalism (enforced by political correctness, not police and tribunals).

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Home Affairs Colonial Policy

The main French social-democratic student union (UNEF) is under fire, some politicians calling for no less than its disbandment. In cause two things.

1/ A local branch of the union dared denounce on their website two professors, quoting their words as “Islamophobic.”

I can’t find the words in question with a quick search, the media seem more interested in telling the public that the national board of the union apologized for what the local branch did. The media will simply not buy that the professors might have made Islamophobic, that is hate speech.

To be precise, the blame has to do with the fact that the union posted words and photographs of the two professors. Such a blame is quite harmful because with a recent bill French authorities created a new crime, that of publishing personal data with malicious intent. The context being the beheading of a teacher by a Muslim boy after data of the victim were published on the Web. So now the union, which has always been a leading student union in the country, is tacitly accused of being calling for physical assassinations.

The character assassination they intended is perhaps objectionable enough in itself, but then it certainly is not the first time, in fact character assassination is the daily bread of political life, and it is quite telling that the razzmatazz takes place when the accusation is that of Islamophobia. The crime, actually, for the powers that be, is to raise that cry: Islamophobia!

Please note that this comes a couple of weeks after the government ordered a report on “islamogauchisme” (“islamo-leftism”) in academia.

2/ Moreover, the union dared organize meetings without male and white people present, in order for colored women to talk freely about racism and sexism as they see and/or live it.

The establishment calls this “racism.” Thus, we see how antidiscrimination laws or the antidiscrimination animus is used: in today’s France it means that colored people are not allowed to do anything without whites being present. You would think yourself in the colonies of old.