Tuesday, April 15, 2008

If the French banned stupidity, they'd have to ban most of themselves

The French are worried so much about "thin" people that "a majority in France's lower house of parliament" want to make it a crime "to promote extreme thinness or anorexia."

The AP is by nature far from objective, but it's sheer insanity in how this "news" piece praises the bill:
While outsiders may still think of the French as trim and chic, France's body shapes are undergoing the same evolution found in industrialized countries everywhere: Rising obesity, especially among children — and rising numbers of eating disorders.

That's what inspired Boyer. The National Assembly adopted her groundbreaking bill, which recommends fines of up to $71,000 and three-year prison sentences for offenders. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.
Ayn Rand was so right: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

Socialists all over the world find it all too easy to get footholds as do-gooders. At first, they may seem mere busybodies, but if you convince people that they're not the best judges of their own lives and property, you can eventually rule them completely. In this case, I'm sure Boyer and her allies on this bill do know that government doesn't need to intervene here, but if they don't pass a law "to do something," they can't shape society into their vision.

Fulfilling what Rand said, since there's not a damn thing government can do to "stop" anorexia, Boyer wants to punish those who "promote" it -- notwithstanding that to "provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss" is hardly forcing. Anorexia is a choice, and as it turns out, it's its own cure in a Darwinian way. Leave anorexics to their own stupidity, and they'll eventually kill themselves off. Similarly, if we had left the French to their own stupidity, though they wouldn't have killed themselvs off, but they'd be speaking German today.

Meanwhile, the French government is putting Brigitte Bardot on trial again -- for "inciting racial hatred." And what did she say? She called Muslims "this population that leads us around by the nose, [and] which destroys our country." That's it.

Previously, she's been tried and convicted for the same "crime":
In 1997, for example, Bardot was first convicted on the charge of "inciting racial hatred" for her open letter to French daily Le Figaro, complaining of "foreign over-population", mostly by Muslim families.

The following year she was convicted anew for decrying the loss of French identity and tradition due to the multiplication of mosques "while our church bells fall silent for want of priests." Darkening Bardot's public image in both cases was her marriage to an active supporter and political ally of French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.

In 2000, Bardot was again convicted — this time for comments in her book Pluto's Square, whose chapter "Open Letter to My Lost France" grieved for "...my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims." And in 2004, another Bardot book, A Cry In the Silence, again took up the question of immigration and Islam — ultimately running afoul of anti-racism laws by generally associating Islam with the 9/11 terror attacks, and denouncing the "Islamization of France" by people she described as "invaders".
Bardot will lose again, for the reason I wrote about last month. She and her lawyers are arguing on the basis of law, when they should be arguing about her right to say such things.

Bardot probably knows she'll be convicted again, so let's give her credit for having the courage to fight, even if it's the wrong way. The jail portion of her sentence will be suspended, but she'll still have to cough up a hefty fine in addition to paying her lawyers. It's now become a matter of principle, like Amazon currently paying €1,000 every day, because it refuses to submit to a French court's ruling that Amazon's free shipping violates competition laws.



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