Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dutch court rules giant phallus is insulting

(Photo by Omroep Brabant, translation of story by NOS below:)
"Wooden penis insulting to Agent A wooden penis in the garden of an artist in Steenbergen is insulting to a police officer. That is the ruling of a court in Breda. Artist Peter Koning put the big wooden penis this spring in his garden and put a sign on it referring to the agent. Koning thinks that the police officer went too far while frisking his daughter. The judge said that the reference is insulting to the agent and levied a conditional fine of 1000 euros."
My comment: the freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult, as many court cases have shown (see: Geert Wilders). The Dutch law making an exemption for police is a mistake. So is the law making it a crime to insult the queen. Showing respect for a police officer (and everybody) should be common sense; not insulting people should also be common sense. People do dumb things when they're angry including saying mean things. But the law should only get involved when verbal anger turns to physical attack or other harassment. IMO.

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I use this space as a brain dump, almost a note pad.
Lots of English translations of Dutch information, especially if I think something could also be useful for others. For speed I start with Google translate and then put on finishing touches myself.
*Use at your own risk.*