Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hate Crimes up in Germany - Time to Reinvade Normandy!

"Right-wing" crimes rose in Germany last year. By 14%!!!! And violent attacks on foreigners are up a whopping 37%!!! Call the younger Eisenhowers - let's kill this serpent in the shell!

Or not. Actually, there were only 511 "violent" attacks on foreigners last year - which in a country of 85million with a significant foreign population is not really all that bad. And of course, as any reader will notice, it's not statistically difficult to get a 37% spike in numbers in the hundreds in any given year for crimes of this kind.

But the really cool lines in the article are these:


The total number of politically motivated crimes, which also includes crimes by leftist groups, rose by about 10 percent to 29,050 cases.


Oh, nice - so the lefties count too, but the leading sentence of the article is still "BERLIN - Crimes by right-wing extremists and attacks on foreigners rose in Germany last year, the government said Friday." Right.

Earlier we're told that there were 18000 "right-wing" political crimes in Germany last year - so if these numbers are right, then there were roughly 6,000 more "right-wing" political crimes than there were "left-wing" political crimes. So, clearly, the right-wingers are the bigger problem.

Or maybe not. Consider that:


Inciting racial hatred, denying the Holocaust and displaying Nazi symbols are all crimes in Germany.


Gee - so the political opinions and symbols of expression of the right wing are banned, but the beliefs and symbols of the left are not, and the groups whose symbols and opinions are banned just also happens to be the side of the coin that accounts for those "excess" 6000 "political crimes?" Who'da thunk?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that most of these 6,000 political "crimes" involve things like giving a stiff-armed salute to the police while drunk, or being caught reading some Holocaust-denial literature without a proper license on the subway. In other words, things that in a more reasonable country would be protected free speech - a right and not a crime.

The lesson to be learned from this article is that lots of politics is self-fulfilling prophecy. If you make a particular political opinion a "crime," don't be surprised to find that believers in that creed disproportionately account for "political crimes" in your country. If you make even harmless drugs like marijuana illegal, don't be surprised to find that there is a "drug epidemic" in your country. If (as a friend points out yesterday) you raise taxes dramatically on oil, don't be surprised to find that prices go up "necessitating" more funding for "alternative" energy sources.

The point is that we should concentrate our energies on fighting real problems. The police can only do so much - but if what the police are doing is tracking down child molesters and murderers, then I'd say that's what they're for and more power to them. If, on the other hand, they're slapping artificial price tags on gas to justify someone's ethanol subsidy, or telling me when, where and how much I can pay for crappy government healthcare, or arresting people for expressing opinions the government doesn't like - then we really have to ask ourselve why we fund them at all?

At any rate, this is just another in a long series of stories about Germany's complete inability to learn from its past mistakes. You can't fight fascism with fascism, kids.

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