October 5, 2016

You'll get my respect when you figure out that seriously intended insults to a foreign leader cannot be a crime.

"In the end, German prosecutors decided that a satirical poem was just that, an act of hyperbole in the name of art — not a criminal attempt to insult a foreign leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey."

46 comments:

Jason said...

Germans gotta German.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

You'll get my respect when you figure out that serious intent to insult a foreign leader cannot be a crime.

One more Supreme Court justice and you'll find that seriously intended insults to a domestic leader can be a crime.

AprilApple said...

Hillary would love to stomp on anyone who speaks badly about her.

rhhardin said...

You can still insult foreign leaders on purpose or deliberately, if not intentionally.

Char Char Binks said...

Try convincing Chris Matthews.

rhhardin said...

You won't find Gary Johnson insulting foreign leaders.

rhhardin said...

Germans were calling Goering "Meyer" for a while.

That was after he was head of the humane society and in charge of the air force.

Sebastian said...

"You'll get my respect when you figure out that seriously intended insults to a foreign leader cannot be a crime." That'll keep them awake at night.

Besides the asinine German statute, many European countries have criminal hate speech provisions that greatly infringe on free expression. Typically used to target right wingers, of course, as is currently happening in France and Holland. So far not a peep from US "liberals."

tim in vermont said...

So Germany has more respect for speech than we do. We put the guy who made "The Innocence of Muslims" in jail on the flimsiest pretext. I guess the guy violated an order not to create any more art. That's what the Hillary supporters tell me was the solid reason he was re-incarcerated, anyway.

This was the same filmmaker Hillary promised the families of the four dead at Benghazi would be punished. Can't say she didn't carry through on her word! This is the same lady that has promised to clip the wings of the First Amendment by applying an anti free speech litmus test to any prospective 'Justice' appointee.

Thus endeth the Enlightenment.

Larry J said...

AprilApple said...
Hillary would love to stomp on anyone who speaks badly about her.


That's why she is so strongly against the Citizens United case. Citizens United made a video critical of her in 2008. The FEC banned the video and the supreme court ruled against the ban. Hillary will nominate justices to overturn that and many other court decisions.

Darrell said...

Hillary wants to bring that her. Stop her, folks.

David Begley said...

Wow. Laslo Spatula and his replacement would get their heads chopped off in Germany. A special exception to their enlightened no death penalty policy due to the unusual effectiveness and creativity of their poems.

And I do consider their work to be poetic in a post-modern way.

Curious George said...

"Sebastian said...
"You'll get my respect when you figure out that seriously intended insults to a foreign leader cannot be a crime." That'll keep them awake at night.

Besides the asinine German statute, many European countries have criminal hate speech provisions that greatly infringe on free expression. Typically used to target right wingers, of course, as is currently happening in France and Holland. So far not a peep from US "liberals."

Canada too.

damikesc said...

Making it a crime to insult a politician?

Only in Europe.

For now.

Besides the asinine German statute, many European countries have criminal hate speech provisions that greatly infringe on free expression. Typically used to target right wingers, of course, as is currently happening in France and Holland. So far not a peep from US "liberals."

Because people like Le Pen et al are REALLY Nazis. Totes for realz. Socialists are adorable scamps, while nationalists are inches from goose-stepping all over grannies.

Our campuses do the EXACT same thing, mind you. A mob attacks a conservative speaker and the college follows up by refusing to allow the speaker to return. The mob? Why, they get nothing as usual.

So Germany has more respect for speech than we do. We put the guy who made "The Innocence of Muslims" in jail on the flimsiest pretext. I guess the guy violated an order not to create any more art.

Doesn't that order sound awfully draconian? I'd love to see what justified it.

buwaya puti said...

I am glad to see that there is something my old country does better than Germany.
There at least, there is free speech.
For the most part.

gspencer said...

Even if not done in the name of art, but rather done with the declared intent to insult the top Muzzie of Turkey, it would NOT be a criminal act.

Yancey Ward said...

Read that description of the decision carefully. He did not get off because the prosecutors decided he had a right to insult a foreign leader- they decided to let him off under the reasoning that he didn't intend an insult but was, rather, writing satire. There is a troubling distinction here, which I think Ms. Althouse is pointing out with the blog title.

Gk1 said...

Isn't this the logical consequences of allowing college campuses to declare what is or is not hate speech? They are creating a legion of voters that think there are "permissible limits" on what can be said.

Yancey Ward said...

If I were Mr. Böhmermann, my very first statement on the case would be along these lines:

"I thank the prosecutors for interpreting my work as satire and letting me off the hook, but it was not only satire, but I meant every word of it literally."

Rob said...

But they make such damn fine cars.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'll give you my satire when you can pry it from my cold, dead rectum.

The Vault Dweller said...

Things like this are what cemented my decision to support Donald Trump even if he wasn't my first choice for candidate. The Supreme court composition matters critically. To me it seems that much of the decisions from the left wing of the court are leaning towards rationalizations of what that wing feels is a just outcome. The Obergefell decision was an example. I think there are lots of good arguments for why the institution of marriage should include same-sex couples, chief among them that there isn't a reasonable explanation for how it can hurt other people and a free society ought to default on not prohibiting things that don't hurt other people.

That being said, I have yet to read a good argument that demonstrates that the drafters of the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, intended it to prevent states from limiting marriage to heterosexual couples. I can't say I'm particularly upset about the outcome of the case. But the method in which the outcome was arrived to deeply worries me. Laws, especially ones that limit government action and protect people's individual rights and liberties need to be strong. The strength comes from their relatively immutable character. Changing a constitutional provision is meant to be hard. And certainly not something the court should be able to do on its own.

So when I hear about German laws prosecuting people for insulting a foreign leader I get very worried. The left in America and much of the west is getting more and more hostile to free speech. You see this in college campuses with the proliferation of safe spaces and college speech codes, you see this online in forums and other media that delete posts and content they disagree with. While I don't think America is any near term danger of creating laws that criminalize insulting foreign leaders, I do very much worry about otherwise protected speech suddenly becoming unprotected.

The very fact that there are broad labels like "Hate Speech" show the cultural move to exclude certain speech from protection. And I will note that Canada, to which America is very culturally similar, recently prosecuted a comedian. That comedian told an offensive joke about a child with a terminal illness and wondering why the child had not died yet. The comedian was fined $42,000 by the Canadian Human Rights commission for this joke.

Once the government has the power to exclude certain speech from protection because it is offensive it opens up the possibility of almost any unpopular speech from being excluded. And freedom of speech is designed exactly to protect unpopular speech.

clint said...

"Ignorance is Bliss said...
You'll get my respect when you figure out that serious intent to insult a foreign leader cannot be a crime.

One more Supreme Court justice and you'll find that seriously intended insults to a domestic leader can be a crime."

This. A thousand times this.

And yet... how many of the people in this country who feel strongly about the Citizens United decision are even aware that a movie was involved in the case, much less a movie about Hillary Clinton.

MSM delenda est.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh don't be so harsh, Professor. How far off do you think something like that really is here in America? 20 years, maybe? I mean your employer almost certainly has some policy or rule about what kinds of speech a student can't engage in, right? Hate speech, that kind of thing? I mean, any such speech might be harmful and traumatic, and might create a hostile environment for others and that simply can't be tolerated.
Do you for a moment believe the Left will stop at the campus' edge? As I type there are several state attorneys general working on prosecuting energy companies for expressing the "wrong" opinion about climate change.
American exceptionalism isn't a valid concept, remember? We've been fundamentally transformed. It's just hubris to believe that the Leftist contagion--a symptom of which is using the state to suppress crimethink and badspeech--won't sweep away what you think of as your 1st Amendment protections.

Achilles said...

Hillary clearly wants the power to shut down dissent. They are training millions of little female brown shirts on college campuses here in this country.

Do not for a moment think this will end peacefully.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The Vault Dweller said...The Obergefell decision was an example. I think there are lots of good arguments for why the institution of marriage should include same-sex couples, chief among them that there isn't a reasonable explanation for how it can hurt other people and a free society ought to default on not prohibiting things that don't hurt other people.

The portion of your sentence after the comma is unnecessary, TVD. The Supreme Court of the United States explained this already: the only reason anyone opposes same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior is an "irrational animus." That's the law; Justice Kennedy says so. If you oppose same-sex marriage you do so because an irrational hate. No one has any reason to respect the opinions of an irrational, hate-filled person. It's therefore not necessary to state the case for same-sex marriage, or cite the law, or really have any further conversation about the subject at all.

People one the other side are motivated by irrational animus. We therefore owe them nothing--not respect, not the extension of the presumption of good faith, not a fair hearing--nothing. Case closed, pack it in, move on. Love wins and the haters will just have to get over it.

If they keep spewing their hate, of course, and keep harming others with their irrational animus (that is to say if they don't shut the fuck up and go away) then the government will eventually have to take some action to prevent them from traumatizing innocent citizens with their evil, irrational expressions of hate. Hate speech isn't free speech, after all.

We'll get there.

rhhardin said...

For me, respect is earned, or at least paid well for.

Quaestor said...

I'll give you my satire when you can pry it from my cold, dead rectum.

My satire is in your rectum. That's right, bitch. You take it, uh-huh.

tim in vermont said...

chief among them that there isn't a reasonable explanation for how it can hurt other people and a free society ought to default on not prohibiting things that don't hurt other people.

So we should give military pensions to people who have never served in the military? Marriage is a benefit once conferred on people who had a far higher likelihood of producing more citizens, in a way that made it far more likely that these children would be raised suitably to a modern society. Everybody has always had the "right to marry" in whatever fashion they wanted. What the court gave them was the subsidies that the government provided to married couples in what that that government thought was the country's interest.

The only way that argument makes sense is if you ignore a lot of stuff.

It's like saying the government has a right to draft you into the military, truck you to a fox hole, and force you to risk maiming and death, but doesn't have the right to force you to carry a child. The government has the right to do both. Limitations should be decided by a democratically elected government, not by judges. But, as we know, it's turtles all the way down and, as I learned in a protracted legal dispute, "The judge is king!"

Harold said...

tim in vermont said...
"The judge is king!"


Just about right. I got to sit in the local county court and observe a whole bunch of credit card companies, banks, etc. vs ordinary citizens. If the citizen fails to show up, a default judgement is entered against the citizen. If a representative of the bank or credit card company fails to show up, the case is continues at another date. Until the citizen fails to show up. Also, what the law says is immaterial. Even if you have evidence that the bank or credit card company is suing the wrong person just because they have the same name, the evidence won't be considered by the judge unless the company has a representative there. Even if it's the fourth appearance date.

The Vault Dweller said...

Limitations should be decided by a democratically elected government, not by judges.

I agree. And I think there are legitimate reasons for keeping marriage limited to a man and a woman. I just don't think that one of those reasons is that allowing same-sex marriages hurts someone else. I'm not going to say it needs to occur in all circumstances, but in a free society I think you need to give a pretty good reason to prevent someone from doing something if it doesn't actually harm anyone else.

sean said...

If only university investigations had such uniformly pro-free expression results!

tim in vermont said...

I just don't think that one of those reasons is that allowing same-sex marriages hurts someone else.

Does it deplete Social Security for one thing? Does that hurt other people? You haven't answered my question. Should we give non veterans military pensions on the grounds that the government can print as much money as they want, so nobody is hurt?

tim in vermont said...

I don't really oppose same sex marriage, BTW, I just oppose judges usurping the rights, privileges, and inherent powers of the electorate.

Same as I support limited right to abortion. What I don't support is overruling the electorate and judges taking the decision private.

I am a little 'd' democrat. I trust the people way more than I trust judges.

The Vault Dweller said...

Well, I don't think we should hand out military pensions to non-military people. But is avoiding depleting social security really your reason for not wanting same sex marriage?

I don't like the government changing the concept of marriage, especially when done by court decision, because that strikes me the government seeking to impose its own view of morality on society and culture, whereas it should be done the other way around.

If a significant enough majority for a long enough time in a state decided that same sex marriage was fine and they voted to instate that, it would be different because then that is an organic change in society changing the government laws to suit it's own change in values.

I just don't see a real harm to anyone else directly by allowing same sex marriage. The possibility of new gay people claiming survivor's benefits on social security doesn't seem like a direct harm against someone else. Plus I don't think anyone really cares about that.

tim in vermont said...

But is avoiding depleting social security really your reason for not wanting same sex marriage?

Jesus Christ! So now you know what I am thinking and can dismiss my arguments saying I don't believe in them because you don't believe in them. What fucking arrogance!

The possibility of new gay people claiming survivor's benefits on social security doesn't seem like a direct harm against someone else. Plus I don't think anyone really cares about that.

So it won't harm anybody when the "trust fund" is depleted and taxes need to be raised? You are just dismissing these arguments without dealing with them because they are fatal to your argument.

And I already said I am not opposed to gay marriage, and have voted for it in a referendum in Florida. What I am opposed to is bullshit arguments like the one you make.

tim in vermont said...

FREE SPEECH CRACKDOWN: EU orders British press NOT to reveal when terrorists are Muslims

MEDDLING Brussels has said the British press should not report when terrorists are Muslims in a slew of demands to the Government to crack down on the media


Gee, I wonder why the Brits voted for Brexit? BTW, is it the Brits who are suffering, or the Germans? Hint: It's the Germans.

Jupiter said...

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

openidname said...

Typical horrible NYT article. Good luck finding where it says what crime Böhmermann was accused of. Because the real problem is that Germany still has a criminal law against making fun of foreign heads of state. It wasn't enforced in this case because that would have looked too bad. (Much as the classified information law wasn't enforced against Hillary.) But it's still out there. And Merkel still caved in to the Turks. And Erdogan can still keep a civil suit for mega-marks hanging over Böhmermann's head. Plus Böhmermann's had to go into hiding because of death threats from Erdogan supporters.

It's the NYT trying to convince us that Merkel's s*** doesn't stink.

Jon Ericson said...

Welcome to the...
Machine?
Show that never ends?
Discuss.

Jon Ericson said...

Or, just bite me, or visa versa,
I'm in touch with my inner biter.

Jon Ericson said...

vice *blush*

Freeman Hunt said...

I love America, a place where we can insult any ruler in any way we'd like.

Freeman Hunt said...

Here in America, a person can say, "President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey acted like a jackass," and not be dragged into court.

Earnest Prole said...

lighten-up bitte spiked-helmut volk

tim in vermont said...

I love America, a place where we can insult any ruler in any way we'd like

Hillary has already said that restricting that freedom will be her goal in picking a 'Justice' for the Supreme Court.