MARK STEYN: Checkpoint Charlie Hebdo.
A year ago, after the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath, Angela Merkel was walking directly alongside President Hollande in that hideous memorial parade at which the world’s leaders proclaimed that no such bloody acts of violence would ever kill free speech. No, sir, when it comes to killing free speech, leave it to smooth house-trained western politicians.
And so it was that Chancellor Merkel chose to commemorate the first anniversary of the Charlie massacre by clamping down on freedom of expression for her own benighted subjects. As The Washington Post put it:
Germany springs to action over hate speech against migrants
Who doesn’t love Germans springing? Isn’t that in The Producers? Spring time for thought-crime in Germany… [UPDATE! Scaramouche completes the thought.]
The German state is apparently incapable of springing to action over organized mass sexual assault in at least five cities on a rape-out-the-old New Year’s Eve (oh, and Finland, too), but you’ve gotta be able to prioritize, right? Post reporter Anthony Faiola’s snide opening is a classic of the genre:
BERLIN — Donald Trump may be testing the boundaries of tolerance on the U.S. campaign trail. But here in Germany, the government is effectively enforcing civility, taking aim at a surge of hate speech against refugees and Muslims.
There’s actually nothing very “civil” about “enforcing civility”. Indeed, if civility (which derives from “civis” – citizen) has to be enforced, it is by definition no longer civility at all.
As a friend comments on Facebook: “This is why western countries are headed for one heck of a political debacle. We’ve developed political elites which routinely mishandle major crises, then try to silence anybody who notices. They act as if everything will work out if only we shut up about the problem. This is of course insanity. And we are all going to pay a severe price for it.”