Friday, March 28, 2008

A 360 Euro Fine

[30 MAR 2008: UPDATE HERE.]

Followup to something that I wrote yesterday.

A value has been set on the crime of inciting racial hatred.

No, it's not a crime in any U.S. jurisdiction, as far as I know.n my mind this differs from a "hate crime," or something that is a crime in and of itself but motivated by racial circumstances.

So anyways, Finland for Thought links to Turkkilaista tuumintaa. Thankfully for me, the latter post was written in English.

Update on Mikko Ellilä

English: Mikko was ordered to pay 360 euros in fines and also told to remove the post from the blog. He has appealed over the verdict.

Here is a summary of Mikko Ellilä's criminal activity:

Mika Illman: The text under discussion, "Society Consists of People", has been published on the Internet. In the text, Africans are slandered and insulted. It includes material that is prohibited in section 11 of the penal code and that should therefore not be disseminated. I demand that the text be removed from the Internet. It is indisputable that the text has been disseminated as described in the penal code. What is in dispute is whether the statements included in the text are illegal. This case is not about freedom of opinion. Mr Ellilä is free to hold any opinions that he wishes. However, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits abusing these rights. Freedom of speech may not be misused....

Illman: I quote some extracts from the text that I consider illegal.

Quotation I: "For the Africans, looting, rape, nepotism, corruption, clan warfare, superstition and impulsive homicide are [ *illegal content omitted* ] by Bolshevist-style anarchy and voodoo culture."

Quotation II: "In the United States and in Canada, Negroes behave bearably only when.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] adapt to Western culture."

Quotation III: "Were black-majority areas to be independent city states, they.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] ..manifest themselves in their behaviour."

Quotation IV: "Importing Negroes into Europe lowers.. [ *illegal content omitted* ] ..if Negroes weren't welfare bums living off taxpayer money."

Illman: These are the extracts that in my opinion fulfill the essential criteria of the offence. If the text were to contain only a few sentences like this, they would not be sufficient to make the text as a whole illegal. However, the extracts that I quoted comprise an essential part of the text.

Now an entire blog post - or, for that matter, an entire blog - could be devoted to the questions raised by this case, including whether linking to content makes you liable for the content, whether laws of one jurisdiction should apply in another, and on which limitations to apply to free speech. (For the record, EVERY society places limitations on free speech. If you don't believe me, try posting Barack Obama's passport information to the Internet and see what happens to you.)

But I'm more interested in the valuation. Presumably some type of sentencing guidelines were used in determining Mikko Ellila's fine, but the guidelines themselves had to come from somewhere. Phil at Finland for Thought, who has disliked Ellila's statements but has tended to support his right to say them, talked about the valuation:

Mikko Ellilä isn’t racist, the Finnish judicial system is - anybody who believes “inciting racial hatred” is only worth 360 euros, are racist themselves.

By way of comparison, the cost of slavery in the United States has been estimated at a 2002 value of $1.4 trillion dollars. Assuming for the moment that all 300 million Americans suffered because of slavery, we're talking over US$4,600 per person.

But the fun part is in extending the application of the 360 Euro fine. That's about US$568 at today's exchange rates. If Finnish law applied in the United States, how many people could be fined for "inciting racial hatred"?

And I'm not just talking about Rev. Jeremiah Wright, or about the Democrats, or about the Republicans, or about any one group. There's enough "inciting racial hatred" going around that we could probably fine all 300,000,000 Americans US$568. That's over $170 billion in revenue for the Federal government.

We could use that as a down payment on reparations, I guess. Or Iraq. Or health care.

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Humbaba said...

Just because someone don't understand the system doesn't mean theres anything wrong with it.

Mikko Ellilä was fined "60 day fines", which is a pretty serious verdict as the day fines range from 10 to 120.

How that translates to 360 euros is a mathematical formula that depends on the persons income.

“The daily disposable income is considered to be one 60th part of the person’s monthly mean income during the year, after taxes, social security payments and a basic living allowance of 255€ per month have been deducted. In addition, every person for whose upkeep the fined person is responsible decreases the amount of daily fine by 3 €. The income of the person is calculated on the basis of the latest taxation data.”

So everyone can calculate how much they would have paid.

Anssi Vanjoki, and executive of Nokia was ticketed for speeding and got 16 day fines. That 16 days added up to 166 000 euros.

So all we can deduct Ellilä is piss-poor without income (he is a student). Not that he got off with a "lenient" sentence.

Ontario Emperor said...

Humbaba, I guess that means that Bill Gates is lucky that he never got a speeding ticket in Finland. Thanks for the clarification.

Humbaba said...

Why, they were planning to lend Bill Gates a Lamborghini and get rid of the National Debt when he came over ;)

Ontario Emperor said...

Torvalds, Schmorvalds.