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French Magazine Charlie Hebdo Recovers Its Mojo With Controversial Theresa May Cover 

What is it with headless humor these days?

The June 7 issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo arrives on the heels of the Manchester and London Bridge terrorist attacks. Indeed, the bubble remark–‘Too much is too much’–comes from remarks made by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the latter June 3 incidents.

The cover is tasteless. English-language media reaction is just starting to trickle in, but stay car-tooned. There will be lots of it. The cover line, translated, reads as ‘Multiculturalism is the British Way.’

From a U.S. perspective, it’s impossible not to think of the wrath that descended upon comedian Kathy Griffin last week … (read more)

Source: Adweek

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Paris Police: Soldier Opens Fire Outside the Louvre Museum

French soldiers enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrol in front of the Louvre museum on November 16, 2015 in Paris, three days after a series of deadly oordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists, which killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured on November 13. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

French media reported on Friday that a soldier has opened fire on a man armed with a knife at a shopping centre next to the famous Louvre museum in Paris.

Reports say the soldier opened fire on the knifeman after he attacked him at the Louvre Carrousel shopping centre on Friday morning.

According to reports the attacker was shot in the leg. A security cordon has been set up and the underground Louvre Carrousel shopping centre has been evacuated.

Reports on Twitter said tourists at the museum were being moved into rooms to keep them safe. The Louvre itself has declined to comment on the situation.

Images on Twitter also appeared to show worried visitors outside the world famous museum.

“Something is going down at The  30 National Police vehicles with guns drawn,” said one tweeter.

An alarm can be heard in the background. A worried passerby can be heard saying: “I wonder if it’s a training exercise”.

France’s interior ministry confirmed on Twitter that a serious security operation was underway in the area around the Louvre.

Paris and the rest of France is on high alert for terrorism after a series of attacks in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! France Aims To Enshrine Emergency Anti-Terror Law In Constitution

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President Francois Hollande called for the emergency powers to be protected from litigation by placing them in the constitution.

(AFP) – The French cabinet backed reform proposals Wednesday that could see the state of emergency called after last month’s Paris attacks enshrined in the constitution.

“The threat has never been higher. We must face up to a war, a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam.”

— Prime Minister Manuel Valls

Special policing powers used under the state of emergency — such as house arrests and the right to raid houses without judicial oversight — are currently based on an ordinary law which can be challenged at the constitutional court.

In the wake of the Paris attacks that left 130 dead, President Francois Hollande called for the emergency powers to be protected from litigation by placing them in the constitution.

“The threat has never been higher,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters following a meeting of government ministers on Wednesday.

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“We must face up to a war, a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam,” he said.

The constitutional reforms must now be passed by a three-fifths majority in the upper and lower houses of parliament, where debates will start on February 3.

Valls said the latest figures showed more than 1,000 people had left France to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq, of which an estimated 148 had died and 250 returned.

“Radicalised individuals from numerous countries join Daesh (the Arab acronym for the Islamic State group). There are many French speakers and we know that fighters group themselves according to language, to train and prepare terrorist actions on our soil,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


‘This Just Doesn’t Happen in Other Countries’

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“With respect to Planned Parenthood, obviously my heart goes out to the families of those impacted. I mean, Nancy, I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings. This just doesn’t happen in other countries.” 

— President Obama in Paris, 19 days after the Bataclan shootings and 10 months after the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris

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Cover of Latest Edition of Charlie Hebdo

This handout image obtained from French Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on November 17, 2015 shows the cover of the latest edition of the magazine which features its satirical take on the November 13, 2015 terror attack in Paris in which at least 129 people were killed, and a headline which translates as "They are armed, Fuck them, We have Champagne". ì RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO / CHARLIE HEBDO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS î

This handout image obtained from French Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on November 17, 2015 shows the cover of the latest edition of the magazine which features its satirical take on the November 13, 2015 terror attack in Paris in which at least 129 people were killed, and a headline which translates as “They are armed,  Fuck them, We have Champagne”.


[VIDEO] Intelligence: 72 Hours Before Paris Attacks, ISIS-Linked Social Media Account Reveals ‘God Bless You in Your Mission’ 

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FBI monitoring stream of ISIS chatter online

 reports: ISIS claims of responsibility for Friday’s Paris massacre are being reviewed by US intelligence analysts Sunday morning, with a focus on the English-language version, which is delivered in American-accented English, Fox News has been told. It is now clear the plot included a rollout of ISIS propaganda, which was prepared in advance, including threats directed toward the Russian people, Rome, London and Washington DC.

Separately, Fox News has learned that four credible, ISIS-linked social media accounts began sharing messages 72 hours before the Paris attack, including images of weapons, the Eiffel tower, as well as blessings for the attackers’ mission.  A military intelligence source says the social media traffic is now seen as evidence the three teams had gone operational.

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The translations include “God bless you in your mission” and “Support the deployment,” as well as a reference to our “sister,” suggesting an operative, or member of the support team was a woman.

Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey has told field offices across the country to intensify surveillance on ISIS suspects, hoping to…(read more)

Source: Fox News


Sympathisants Jihadists: In Paris Neighborhood Heavily Hit by Terrorists, Bobo Hipster Residents View Attackers as Victims 

‘They’re stupid, but they aren’t evil,’ says Parisian woman who works in 11th arrondissement, and in Place de la Republique, no one wanted to talk about Islamists or the Islamic State.

PARIS – Ansel Pfeffer reports: On the day after the terror campaign in Paris that left 129 people dead and more than 300 wounded, residents of the French capital are still trying to absorb what hit them.

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“They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.”

By evening, after they had avoided gathering outdoors all day on the orders of police, hundreds of people started to assemble at the Place de la Republique, only a few hundred meters from the Bataclan concert hall where four terrorists had held hostage hundreds of people for more than two hours, killing 89 of them. From Boulevard Voltaire, where the hall is located and which was closed by police, ambulances carrying the bodies of the victims would emerge every few minutes, sirens wailing. As of last night only a handful of the victims had been named.

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“They don’t want us to think that maybe it’s connected to the policies of our government and of the United States in the Middle East. These are people the government gave up on, and you have to ask why.” 

A group of friends was standing near the candles that had been lit at the foot of the monument at the square, trying to find out if the waiter that had served them at La Belle Equipe, one of the restaurants attacked in the 11th arrondissement, had been killed.

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“One member of the group said they had come to the square to demonstrate ‘unity,’ but they didn’t seem to feel solidarity with the victims of the last wave of terror. There were signs calling for unity, but it wasn’t clear what they were meant to unite around.”

“It’s very personal, what’s happened,” said Stephan Byatt, an actor who lives on a nearby street. He has a hard time finding the words to describe what he’s feeling. His friend, Bruno Michlaud, a graphic artist, tries to help out. “It’s a symbol of Paris, a symbol of life. They hurt us in the center of our lives and each of us could have been one of those killed.”

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But they aren’t angry, at least not at the perpetrators. “They’re stupid, but they aren’t evil,” their friend Sabrina, an administrative worker in one of the theaters in the 11th arrondissement, said. “They are victims of a system that excluded them from society, that’s why they felt this doesn’t belong to them and they could attack. There are those who live here in alienation, and we are all to blame for this alienation.”

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“Perhaps it’s correct to bomb them in the name of democracy and freedom, but it brought the war in Syria to us in France. I don’t think it’s worth it.”

Ten months after the previous wave of terror in Paris that hit the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher kosher supermarket, one might assume that residents would feel a sense of continuity, but that didn’t seem to be the case. “Then they harmed journalists and Jews, those were defined targets,” said one of the young people who had come to the square. “Now it was an attack with no objective, anyone could have been hurt.” Read the rest of this entry »


French Police are Chasing ‘Four Heavily Armed People’ in Citroen Heading for Paris 

Emma Glanfield reports: Police are reportedly chasing a car containing four ‘heavily armed men’ who stormed through a motorway toll road as they headed towards Paris.

French police are said to be in pursuit of a Citroën Berlingo after it forced its way through a toll on the A10 in the Ablis area of Yvelines in north-west France at lunchtime today.

[Also see – BREAKING: Paris terrorist was a Syrian refugee, says Greek government official]

The town is approximately 40 miles from the centre of Paris and the incident comes as police remain on high alert following a string of deadly terror attacks across the French capital last night.

Police have also confirmed they are currently hunting a black Seat vehicle, registered abroad, which is ‘wanted in connection with the attacks’.

Two armed policemen were among the extra officers drafted in to patrol streets near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Two armed policemen were among the extra officers drafted in to patrol streets near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

[Read the full story here, at Daily Mail Online]

The vehicle is described by French police has having a number plate of GUT 18053 and five-spoke alloy wheels.

Earlier today it was reported that armed officers and a police helicopter were scrambled to the Bagnolet area of Paris following reports of gunfire and explosions.

Residents were reportedly told to stay indoors but local authorities later confirmed the ‘explosions’ were the result of fireworks being let off at a wedding celebration.

The incident comes as police remain on high alert following a string of deadly terror attacks across Paris

France remains on high alert after a string of barbaric terror attacks were carried out across the French capital, leaving at least 127 people dead. Read the rest of this entry »


New York Times: ‘Paris Attacks Kill Dozens in Night of Deadly Terror’

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PARIS — Adam Nosier  and Rick Gladstone report: The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. He closed the borders and mobilized the military in a national emergency.

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region. There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”

— President Francois Hollande, in a nationally televised address.

French television and news services quoted the police as saying at least 100 people had been killed at a concert hall alone, and dozens more in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and at least five other popular locations in the city.

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Witnesses on French television said the scene at the rock concert was a massacre.

The casualties eclipsed the deaths and mayhem that roiled Paris in the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related assaults around the French capital by Islamic militant extremists less than a year ago.

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An explosion near the sports stadium, which French news services said may have been a suicide bombing, came as Germany and France were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was closing its borders.

[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”

Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure all of the areas.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEOS] Explosions et Fusillades à Paris







#FrenchLivesMatter

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[VIDEO] Musee de l’Homie: Paris’s ‘Museum of Mankind’ Dedicated to Human Evolution to Reopen to Public

After six years of renovations, the “Museum of Mankind” (Musee de l’Homme) in Paris will reopen its doors this week, after being inaugurated on Thursday (October 15) by French President Francois Hollande.

“Mankind hasn’t changed but the science of mankind has — we know that to understand mankind we must really grasp the biological and cultural aspects and there are plenty of questions in our society’s current events that require this double-understanding, this double-competence.”

—  Evelyne Heyer, curator

Although the exterior of the art deco building, located in the famous Trocadero square overlooking the Eiffel tower, remains unchanged, inside visitors will discover 2,500 square metres of entirely renovated exhibitions, offering a new perspective on the history and evolution of mankind.

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“What we wanted to do is present three questions: Who are we? What is mankind? To show in this part that mankind is part of the animal kingdom and that mankind is an interaction between biological and cultural elements, so that’s the first part. The second part is ‘Where do we come from?’ It’s the history of the evolution of our species and its expansion with a transitional period, what we call the Neolithic period, the moment where man began to domesticate nature. And the third part, it’s a bit along the lines of, ‘Where are we going?’ 

—  Evelyne Heyer

The permanent exhibition revolves around three fundamental questions, explains curator Evelyne Heyer.

“What we wanted to do is present three questions: Who are we? What is mankind? To show in this part that mankind is part of the animal kingdom and that mankind is an interaction between biological and cultural elements, so that’s the first part. The second part is ‘Where do we come from?’ It’s the history of the evolution of our species and its expansion with a transitional period, what we call the Neolithic period, the moment where man began to domesticate nature. And the third part, it’s a bit along the lines of, ‘Where are we going?’ We focused on three questions — globalisation, the impact of mankind on our environment and our biological evolutionary future,” Heyer told Reuters Television.

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“What we would like visitors to come away with for this last part of the exhibition is that the big questions faced by our society currently, about man’s adaptation to himself, are in the end questions that mankind has faced for 10,000 years. And it might be interesting to ask ourselves how humanity has resolved these issues, or not, in order to think about it or at least to tackle the solutions that we can come up with today to the erosion of biodiversity, for example, or the consequences of climate change.”

— Deputy curator Jean Pierre Vigne

The museum contains some of the largest and most reputable collections of prehistoric artefacts in the world, featuring recently acquired ethnological artefacts.

These remarkable objects are presented in chronological order — from the skull of man’s ancestor Cro-Magnon to that of French philosopher Rene Descartes — along with a gallery of 19th century busts representing human diversity in a modern way.

More than 96 million euros were invested by the French government to revamp the historic museum, which first opened its doors in 1938.

Heyer said that the methods of research into humanity have changed since then — researchers now know how important the relationship between biology and culture is in the functioning of human beings.

“Mankind hasn’t changed but the science of mankind has — we know that to understand mankind we must really grasp the biological and cultural aspects and there are plenty of questions in our society’s current events that require this double-understanding, this double-competence,” she said.

In the final part of the museum, visitors are greeted by a large Senegalese bus, a Mongolian hut and modern handmade objects, all elements that remind visitors of the impact human beings have had on their environment.

Deputy curator Jean Pierre Vigne said that visiting the museum should raise questions for visitors, including how the questions of our ancient ancestors are still relevant today. Read the rest of this entry »


PANIC: German TV Network Inflames Refugee Debate by Depicting Angela Merkel as a Chador-Wearing Muslim

merkel-muslim

Justin Huggler reports: ARD television was inundated with complaints after it broadcast a mocked-up picture of Mrs Merkel wearing the garment, known as a chador, against a backdrop of the Reichstag surrounded by minarets.

“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh! The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”

— A Facebook post

The image was shown during a debate on the refugee crisis on Report from Berlin, a Newsnight-style programme, and was intended to be satirical, the broadcaster claimed.

 “Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion. We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.

— ARD television, defending its use of the controversial image

But many viewers accused the programme-makers of Islamophobia, and said they were deliberately provoking anti-Muslim sentiments.

A Pegida supporter wears a burqa during a rally in Dresden

A Pegida supporter wears a burqa during a rally in Dresden.  Photo: AFP

“This is not constructive journalism. Ugh!” read one comment on the programme’s Facebook page. “The mood turns because of such defamation and propaganda. So yes it’s true: integration cannot succeed.”

The broadcaster defended the use of the image. “Of course it was also the of this artwork to provoke and polarise opinion,” it said in a statement.

“We consider this satirical form of representation to be in keeping with our journalistic values. We reject any insinuation that we would operate Islamophobic propaganda.”

Supporters of Legida, a local copycat of Dresden's Pegida, during a rally in Leipzig

Supporters of Legida, a local copycat of Dresden’s Pegida, during a rally in Leipzig Photo: Jens Schlueter/AFP

But many viewers complained that the image was similar to posters produced by the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant movement Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘Muslims Lives Matter’ Demonstrators Clash With Police In Rotherham

Liam Deacon reports: A “Rotherham Unites Muslim Lives Matter” rally descended into a riot yesterday afternoon. Two separate demonstrations were organised in the town that day; one by the group Britain First against Islamic rape gangs that proliferate in the town, and the other a so-called counter demonstration.

Police estimate around 150 Britain First protestors turned up, as well as 300 Unite Against Fascism activists and many more demonstrators from the local Muslim community.

Britain First made their way from the train station to the town hall to sing songs. The Muslim Lives Matter demonstration marched through the centre of town with signs displaying the UNITE union’s logo and others reading “No To Nazis” and “Never Again.” Read the rest of this entry »


Sweden’s Multicultural Expert on Islamaphobia Excited About New Career Opportunity

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Previously, Michael Skråmo worked to counter what he described as an unfair and misleading picture of Muslims as violent fanatics. Now Skråmo preaches jihad and calls Swedish jihadists to leave Sweden and join the holy war

The 29-year-old Swede, who today calls himself “Abdul Samad al Swedi”, grew up in Gothenburg. He converted to Islam during a field trip to Egypt about ten years ago and has since been engaged in a series of tax-funded Muslim organizations.

In 2009 he was invited to SVT, where he told Swedish viewers how Muslim phobia (Islamophobia) and hatred was spread around Europe.

Previously, the Swede have been heavily involved to counter what he described as a misleading picture of Muslims as violent fanatics. In an episode of SVT debate, which can be seen on Youtube, he attacked the malicious picture of Muslims spread in Europe.

“This fear is based on ignorance of Islam,” Michael Skråmo said. […]

Michael Skråmo, 29, took the whole family – his little four children and wife – to the IS-controlled area inside Syria. Now Skråmo filmed a propaganda video outside the Syrian city Kobane where he preaches jihad and calls Swedish jihadists to leave Sweden and join the “holy war”. Read the rest of this entry »


Andrew C. McCarthy’s ‘Islam and Free Speech’

People hold candles during a memorial service is held for those killed on Saturday by a 22-year-old gunman, in Copenhagen

In January 2015, Muslim terrorists massacred cartoonists and writers at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, proclaiming to be avenging Islam’s prophet. The rampage, which included the 41OveQ31pwL._SL250_murders of hostages at a kosher market, prompted global leaders and throngs of citizens to rally in support of free expression. But was the support genuine?

[Check out Andrew C. McCarthy‘s Islam and Free Speech (Encounter Broadside) at Amazon.com]

In this Broadside, Andrew C. McCarthy explains how leading Islamists have sought to supplant free expression with the blasphemy standards of Islamic law, gaining the support of the U.S. and other Western governments. But free speech is the lifeblood of a functioning democratic society, essential to our capacity to understand, protect ourselves from, and ultimately defeat our enemies.


THE HORROR: Majority of Democrats–and an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free Speech

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John Sexton reports: A new poll shows that a majority of Democrats want to limit free speech with laws that would prohibit so-called “hate speech.”

The YouGov poll published Wednesday found that 51 percent of Democrats favor imposing legal limits on free speech while just 26 percent of Democrats oppose the idea…(more)

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A clear example of this desire to limit speech can be found in the New York Times free-hateeditorial board’s reaction to the attack in Garland. In a piece titled, “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech,” the Times criticizes Pam Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest and the intended victim of the attack. Speaking of Geller, the Times wrote, “she achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims.”

The Times goes on to argue that no amount of violence—not the Charlie Hebdo attacks, not the theatrical brutality of ISIS, not even 9/11—can justify “provocations” (i.e. cartoons) of Islam. This is the severely limited view of the 1st amendment the left-leaning NYT has already embraced.

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In contrast, the opposing view, held by most Republicans and independents according to this YouGov poll, is probably best exemplified by a piece Eugene Volokh published at the Washington Post:

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Eugene Volokh writes:

I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech panic-bettystop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans….(read more at Washington Post)

The 1st Amendment protects all speech, but there is no doubt the left is increasingly comfortable with limiting this…

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editor-commen-deskUnmentioned in John Sexton‘s analysis however, is that Republicans and Independents, not Democrats, are increasingly warming to the idea of free speech bans, while Democrat support is relatively unchanged. For example:

At Hot Air, Allahpundit writes:

Democratic support for banning hate speech hasn’t increased at all; on the contrary, Dems are a bit more likely to oppose a ban than they were seven months ago, a rational reaction to the creepy spectacle of western media outlets self-censoring images of Mohammed cartoons after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It’s Republicans and independents who are slowly warming to hate-speech bans. Indie opposition has dropped 12 points, with an increase of eight points in support. GOPers are now 12 points more likely to support hate-speech bans than they were last year.

Allahpundit‘s exit question:

I can understand why progressives would want a legal cudgel to silence their enemies but I can’t understand why conservatives increasingly would. Even if you don’t value free speech enough to abhor that sort of cudgel on principle, surely you understand that the “politically incorrect” will be the main target of prosecutions. Why on earth would you enable this?

…Hillary Clinton has said that overturning Citizens United is a priority for her if elected President. Read the rest of this entry »


Comic Book Fans Ridicule Southern Poverty Law Center’s Targeting of Artist Bosch Fawstin

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 reports: The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that many critics on the right and the left have described as a mail order scam disguised as a onedoesnotassume_thumbcivil rights organization, responded to the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, by adding one of its targets, artist Bosch Fawstin to its list of hate groups. Not only is adding the victim of a hate crime to a list of hate groups, a perverse thing to do, but it raises real concerns.

While Bosch Fawstin is in the headlines now because of his brush with death in the ISIS terrorist attack, he’s a talented artist who was nominated for an Eisner award and whose work has been praised by Chuck Dixon and Alex Toth among others.

And some in the comics community find SPLC’s targeting of an artist after an attack meant to suppress his work to be troubling.

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At The Outhousers, Jude Terror, who makes it clear that he disagrees with Bosch’s politics, asks some interesting The-Infidel-1-cover-4-Comixology-240x350questions.

If Fawstin belongs on the list of hate groups, does someone like Frank Miller, who wrote a similarly-themed (but less well-received) comic about killing Muslims called “Holy Terror,” belong there as well?

If so, what does that mean for major Hollywood movie studios promoting movies based on his work, such as the upcoming Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice, set to launch a multi-movie franchise?

Or for that matter, for DC Comics, who promoted Miller’s return to writing Batman comics as a major event just last month?

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What about Charlie Hebdo, which the world was pretty much unanimously celebrating in January after an attack on their building killed several cartoonists and editors, and whose defiant “Je Suis Charlie” slogan can still be readily be found on t-shirts and social media avatars. Read the rest of this entry »


Cartoonists: Who Saw This Coming?

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The New Sexy

Via Twitter @AnneBayefsky


Erik Wemple: The Week That Cable News Failed Free Expression

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“There’s no justification for violence. But…”

“I’m a First Amendment absolutist. But…”

“You have every right to do what you did. But…”

imrs-1.phpErik Wemple writes: Though perhaps not verbatim, those are the sentiments that have spilled from cable airwaves — and, for that matter, non-cable airwaves — in the days since Sunday’s violent incident in Garland, Texas. Two gunmen were shot dead by a police officer as they attempted to mount a terrorist attack on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest — an event whose by-product is offensive to many Muslims. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for targeting the contest, which was organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).

“And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable? The woman who organized a cartoon contest.”

Authorities are investigating ISIS’s claim of responsibility; they’re checking the electronic communication histories of the attackers, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi; the White House has called the episode an “attempted terrorist attack.

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

“This is problematic to me, because I wonder whether this group that held this event down there to basically disparage and make fun of the prophet Mohammed doesn’t in some way cause these events.”

— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable? The woman who organized a cartoon contest.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in speaking with a guest: “This is problematic to me, because I wonder whether this group that held this event down there to basically disparage and make fun of the prophet Mohammed doesn’t in some way cause these events. Well, not the word ‘causing’ — how about provoking, how about taunting, how about daring? How do you see the causality factor here?” (Taunting is a form of expression)

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

“To her enduring credit, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly has been screaming all week about the folly of the ‘too-provocative’ crowd.”

Donald Trump on Fox & Friends: “What is she doing drawing Mohammed?…What are they doing drawing Muhammad. Isn’t there something else they can draw?…I’m the one who believes in free speech probably more than she does, but what’s the purpose of this?” (Must protected speech have a Trump-approved purpose?)

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“The American media folded into a crouch of cowardice and rationalization. The Associated Press’s statement said it would ‘refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.’”

Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore: “You know another thing that’s horrific, Pamela Geller? Intentionally putting innocent, unarmed security guards in danger so you can make some bull[—-] free speech argument.” (A bad moment: When comedians are rating others’ free-speech arguments)

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“Nothing justifies the attack, the violent attack. There is no
justification, but…”

— CNN’s Jake Tapper to Geller

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“It’s one thing for someone to stand up for the First Amendment and put his own you-know-what on the line, but…”

— Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren

Fox News host Martha MacCallum to Geller: “I absolutely get where you’re coming street-girlsfrom. I’m not sure you went about it the right way.” (Let the government decide on the “right way”!)

“A judgment has emerged that preaches compliance with the notion that this particular form of expression means you’re asking for it.”

CNN host Alisyn Camerota to Geller: “And nobody is saying that this warrants the violence that you saw. I mean I haven’t heard anyone in the media saying that it’s okay for gunmen to show up at an event like this. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Senior AQAP leader Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi Killed in Drone Strike

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(CNN) Dana Ford, reports: A senior commander in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, according to an online video statement from an AQAP spokesman.

“If he is capable to wage individual jihad in the Western countries that fight Islam — such as America, Britain, France, Canada, and others of the countries that represent the head of disbelief in waging war against Islam … If he is capable of that, then that is better and more harmful.”

It was not immediately clear when Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi was killed.

A U.S. official confirmed that al-Ansi was dead, but would not say whether his death was the result of a drone strike.

“By the grace of Allah the great (and) the almighty, we have made efforts in external work, and the enemy knows the danger of that. We are preparing and lurking for the enemies of Allah. We incite the believers to do that.”

— the late al-Ansi

The senior commander was well known for giving a lengthy statement after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, claiming AQAP was responsible for the attack.

 “But if that is impossible, and he is able to serve his brothers on the front lines, then let him immigrate, for it is better.”

— From al-Ansi’s lengthy statement after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris

Twelve cartoonists, editors and other magazine staffers were killed by two gunmen on January 7. The attack was revenge for the magazine’s depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, al-Ansi said then.

He blamed not only Charlie Hebdo, but also France and the United States in his statement.

Al-Ansi urged all would-be jihadists to wage war at home, when possible, as opposed to traveling abroad. Read the rest of this entry »


Freedom of Speech: Just Getting Warmed Up

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The Dutch anti-Islam political leader who was guest of honor at the Prophet Muhammad cartoon show in Garland, Texas, where gunmen opened fire is calling for more such exhibitions as a show of defiance.

“The most important reaction to the attack on freedom of expression was to make sure that everybody sees this.”

Geert Wilders of the Dutch PVV Freedom Party said in a telephone interview on Thursday that he wants to set up a special Prophet Muhammad cartoon show at the Dutch legislature in The Hague and said all parties who back freedom of expression should rally around the idea.

[CBSHouston]


[VIDEO] TRIFECTA Post Texas Shooting: Is Free Speech a ‘Mousetrap’ for Terrorism?

“There’s a fine line? There’s NO line. There’s NO LINE you IDIOT! It’s free speech or it isn’t, there’s NO LINE.”

— Bill Whittle

Chris Matthews said that the Texas incident was a mousetrap for terrorism, and that event organizers crossed a line. The Trifecta Gang rips this apart.

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“Chris Matthews, you miserable lowlife COWARD, you have the audacity to make a living giving your opinion on American television and now you’re gonna say that these people deserved this, the same way Gary Trudeau said that the people at Charlie Hebdo deserved to be butchered in their chairs because they drew cartoons just like he did?”

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“You have got a lot of nerve, you don’t deserve to live in this country, none of you deserve to live in this country, and if you want to know what the basis of this is, you’ve got it exactly right, Scott, it’s COWARDICE, it’s FEAR, these WEASELS, these LOWLIFES, these TRAITORS, in the media…”

— Bill Whittle, just getting warmed up

Mr-Crab

Mr. Whittle was remarkably restrained, considering. I was going to make a statement, but how can you follow that?

Trifecta – PJ Media


Twitter Terror 2015: Online Jihadist Hails Power of Social Media After Texas Attack

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An Australian Twitter user and Islamic State supporter who appeared to encourage the terrorist attack on an anti-Islamic cartoon event in the US says his movement is “winning the minds of the young generation”.

“This is a war that will be won through the power of social media. We are winning the minds of the young generation.”

— Man who goes by the Twitter name ‘Australi Witness’

The man, who goes by the Twitter name Australi Witness, told Fairfax Media he supported what “our mujahideen [holy warriors] in Texas did” but denied that he specifically told them to launch the attacks, in which both assailants died and one security guard was wounded.

“Law enforcement agencies will consider statements, whether online or offline, to determine whether action can be taken. The online environment has no borders and terrorist propaganda is reaching directly into our homes and families through simple online searches.”

— A spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis

The Perth-based man’s activities underscore how social media has created a global reach for jihad sympathisers who can inspire violence across great distances without ever personally knowing the people they are inciting.

“This is a war that will be won through the power of social media,” the man said. “We are winning the minds of the young generation.”

Two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, opened fire with assault rifles on Sunday at an exhibition of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas. They wounded a security guard before being shot dead by a traffic policeman, who authorities in Garland say prevented a likely bloodbath.

Australi Witness insisted he did not “explicitly” tell Simpson and Soofi to carry out the attacks, though Fairfax Media understands he could face prosecution under the Abbott government’s new laws against advocating terrorism.

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“I support what our mujahideen in Texas did, but I take no responsibility for it. Allah commanded them to attack, not me,” he said.

He reportedly posted before Sunday that “Kuffar [unbelievers] are holding a large ‘Draw Muhammed (PBUH) event in Garland, Texas on May 3rd. Please spread to US brothers.”

He also shared tweets by others encouraging an attack similar to the massacre at the office of Paris-based Charlie Hebdo magazine, including calls for “brothers in Texas” to go to the event “with your weapons, bombs or with knifes”, News Corp Australia reported. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Being Shocked is Part of Democratic Debate. Being Shot is Not’: Charlie Hebdo Receives Award, Standing Ovation at PEN Gala

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Josh Feldman writes: The staff of Charlie Hebdo was honored tonight at the PEN American Center gala, following much controversy, and they received a standing ovation as they affirmed their commitment to free speech and free expression.

“I perfectly understand that a believer can be shocked by a satirical cartoon about Mohammed, Jesus, Moses or even the Pope. But growing up to be a citizen, is to learn that some ideas, some words, some images, can be shocking.”

There was a recent controversy when a group of authors refused to participate in the gala because of their opposition to what they perceive as the French publication’s “intolerance.”

France Newspaper Attack

[Also see – VIDEO – Salman Rushdie: ‘The Moment You Limit Free Speech It’s Not Free Speech’]

[More – REPEAL THEM NOW: Hate-Speech Codes Won’t Protect Europe From Violence]

[More – Jihadists Target Western Principles of Free Speech and Religious Pluralism’]

Salman Rushdie and a whole host of other writers stood up for Charlie Hebdo, defending them from that charge of intolerance and insisting the free speech principle is of paramount importance. Read the rest of this entry »


NBC News Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin Wants Islam Protected From Satire

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John Nolte writes: Ayman Mohyeldin is advertised by NBC News as an objective reporter. This objective reporter became infamous earlier this year for lying about and smearing a decorated veteran sniper, the late Chris Kyle,  as a “racist” who  went on anti-Muslim “killing sprees” in Iraq.

Mohyeldin, who is a Muslim, used his MSNBC perch Tuesday, not to condemn the murderous savages in his faith who attempted to murder Pam Geller and Geert Wilders at a free speech event, but to demand a culture change in America that would not “allow”  people to engage in what he calls “hate speech” against Islam.

[The full transcript of his fascist bed-wetting is here]

And as one would expect from NBC News, through omission, Mohyeldin lied through his teeth in order to pretend Islam is the only religion in America openly ridiculed.

As though “The Book of Mormon” wasn’t currently running on Broadway; as though San Francisco doesn’t hold a blasphemous “Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary“” contest every year; as though “Piss Christ” wasn’t funded by the American government; as though Hollywood didn’t spend billions producing one film after another trashing Christianity — without being challenged by anyone on “Morning Joe,” Mohyeldin  crybabied his lie about Muslims being singled out in America. Read the rest of this entry »


Adieu la Liberté d’Expression: Western Writers Abandon their Support for Free Speech

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Sorry, Charlie Hebdo

Je suis Charlie. French for “I am Charlie,” the phrase became a global expression of solidarity and resolve after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

 “The terrorists who attacked cartoonists in Paris and in Texas hoped that murder would intimidate them—and others—into silence. As such theirs was not merely an attack on a publication; it was an attack on the foundations of liberal democracy.”

In a terrifying copycat attack Sunday in Garland, Texas, two men with assault rifles attempted to gun down people attending an event satirizing Muhammad with cartoons. A single police officer managed to shoot and kill both gunmen before they got inside the event. With some 200 people in the building, the potential for another politicized mass murder was great.

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“Trumpeting the list of petition signers was no less than Glenn Greenwald, last seen lionizing Edward Snowden’s right to go public with information stolen from the National Security Agency’s efforts to track the people who committed the Paris murders and tried to do it again in Texas this week.”

On Monday authorities said one of the gunman, Elton Simpson of Phoenix, had been under surveillance for years because of interest he’d shown in joining jihadist groups overseas. He was found guilty of making false statements to the FBI, but a federal judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence that Mr. Simpson’s activities were “sufficiently ‘related’ to international terrorism.”

SORRY-CHARLIE

Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo. PEN is an association of writers, and six prominent novelists—Peter Carey,Michael Ondaatje,Francine Prose,Teju Cole,Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi—have been trying to repeal the award for Charlie Hebdo.

Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo.

Ms. Kusher said she was uncomfortable with the “forced secular view” and “cultural intolerance” represented by Charlie Hebdo, whose signature attacks were on organized religion. Read the rest of this entry »


Foreign Policy’s David Francis Resurrects Discredited WH Spin: Ambassador Stevens Death ‘Connected to Low-Budget Film’

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Americans Have ‘Stirred the Pot’, Says David Francis

David Francisdavid-francis writes: Violence connected to images depicting the Prophet Mohammed has arrived on American shores.

Five months after an attack at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and four months after a shooting at a free speech event in Copenhagen, two gunmen were shot and killed outside of a cartoon exhibit and contest near Dallas late Sunday evening. While the motive for the attack is unclear, one of the event’s keynote speakers, Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders, has been denounced by Islamist groups for his criticisms of the Muslim presence in Europe, and its chris-stevens-bodyorganizer, Pamela Geller, is a long time critic of Islam.

“In 2012, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo after Mark Basseley Youssef, a U.S. resident, released the anti-Muslim film ‘Innocence of Muslims’. Violence in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens dead was also connected to the low-budget film.”

Two Democratic lawmakers recently asked the White House to ban Wilders from entering the United States.

It remains unclear whether the shooting is connected to broader extremist Islamic movements like the Islamic State or al Qaeda. Some Twitter posts by users associated with the group denounced the event in advance. Citing FBI sources, ABC news reported one of the gunmen is Elton Simpson, a target of previous terrorism related investigations. He had previously
Tweeted using the hashtag #texasattacks.

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“Its organizer, Geller, is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a ‘hate group’.”

Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center’s standards are so ludicrous they’d list a box of cereal a “hate group”. 

The identity of the second gunman is still unknown. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Liberals Side with Islamic Gunmen in #Garland Terror Attack, Blame Organizers, Wish Geller Had Been Shot

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“A number of online liberals appeared to side with the gunmen and were upset that Pamela Geller, one of the event organizers, was not shot. A number of others simply blamed Geller for the shooting, while others blamed the free speech event.”

On Sunday, two gunmen attempted what appears to be a Charlie Hebdo-style terror attack on a free speech event in Garland, Texas, that included a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest. Both gunmen were killed by Garland police officers and one officer was wounded. But, Twitchy said Sunday night, a number of online liberals appeared to side with the gunmen and were upset that Pamela Geller, one of the event organizers, was not shot. A number of others simply blamed Geller for the shooting, while others blamed the free speech event.

“Two people at racist hate event killed, one unfortunately not Pam Geller,” one person said. A search of Twitter revealed many others who blamed Geller.

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“What’s worse mocking Islam or killing people?”

“Nothing like presence of Geert Wilders & Pam Geller to bring out crazies on other side,” one person said. “Oh, and by the way, it is not the fault of ‘Jews’ but one Jew, Pam Geller,whose only job is to create problems,” another person added. Wilders, Twitchy added, is a Dutch politician Democrats wanted to keep out of the country. CAIR also joined in the effort, demanding he be denied a visa.

“Let’s be real, the event in #Garland featured hatemongers like Geert Wilders & Pam Geller, this wasn’t an art event, it was a hate event,” another person said on Twitter, apparently blaming the intended targets for the attempted terror attack. Others appeared to openly side with the gunmen who, as we reported Sunday, received praise from ISIS.

“Racist Pam Geller is responsible for the deaths in Garland Texas,” one Twitter user said. “Her Klan meeting was meant to draw violence. She is responsible.”

“Officials believe Simpson is the person who sent out several Twitter messages prior to the attack on Sunday, in the last one using the hashtag #TexasAttack about half an hour before the shooting.”

“I live in Garland,Tx where shooting occurred,” another Twitter user said. “I’m sorry Garland ever let Pam Geller put this event on–only 200 tickets sold. Geller=idiot.”

“Two of the key speakers/organizers of the ‘Draw Mohammed’ event in Texas are Pam Geller and Geert Wilders,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald. The tweet attracted a great deal of criticism. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Interview with Pamela Geller Disrupted as Gunfight Starts Outside Event

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GARLAND, Texas – Bob Price writes: Pamela Geller was conducting an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas about the Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest just as gunfire erupted outside the event. Her security detail came in and interrupted the interview and quickly extricated her from the scene.

“This was a room of freedom lovers, brave Americans, who knew it was risky,” Geller said seconds before security grabbed her and took her away to safety. “They took a stand for freedom because they know its scary out there.”

“We’ve got to go,” a police officer told Geller. “Come on, we’ve got to stop this right now. Come on, let’s go.” Read the rest of this entry »


Anonymous White House Official Denies that Charlie Hebdo Staff were Invited to See Obama

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 “Really, we just don’t understand the French.” 

 — Obama’s staff response, According to Luzier

Chief Washington Correspondent  reports: The White House on Friday denied a report in a French magazine that the administration invited staffers from the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo to meet with and draw President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the bloody terrorist attack on the publication’s offices in Paris.

French President François Hollande, center, is surrounded by heads of state including, from left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris. (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

French President François Hollande, center, is surrounded by heads of state including, from left, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris. (Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters)

“The idea was to have folks from Charlie to the White House. An interview? Awesome.”

Rénald Luzier, better known by his pen name, Luz, told the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles that U.S. officials conceived of the visit as a way to make up for the absence of a top American official at a march in support for Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 11, one week after the attack.

“We would have gone there directly. Except that they wanted to have a cartoonist come to draw Obama. This isn’t Montmartre. I said, ‘If he comes to Paris, I’ll put Budweiser in the fridge and I’ll draw him.’”

— Rénald Luzier

U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley attended the demonstration, along with leaders of Germany, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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“We have seen some reports that a Charlie Hebdo staffer claims to have received, and declined, an invitation to the White House. These reports are not true. No such invitation was ever extended.”

— White House official, on condition of anonymity

But the absence of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry led to accusations from American conservatives that the president was turning his back on freedom of speech. The attack, by two brothers of Algerian descent, was in apparent retaliation for cartoons that many Muslims saw as blasphemous. Twelve people were shot to death and 11 injured.

“Obama didn’t send an important representative, and sending John Kerry to see [French President François] Hollande wasn’t enough,” Luzier said. Read the rest of this entry »


PEN Dissenters ‘Presume to Lecture Murder Victims on Not Provoking their Murderers’

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Rich Lowry writes: If there is any group of people on the planet who should feel solidarity with the slain editors of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it is writers.

Appropriately enough, the writers group PEN America is giving its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award to the French publication now synonymous with martyrdom to free speech.

[Read the full text here, at New York Post]

Yet the award has become controversial, attacked by a group of writers who Peter-Carey-anti-Hebdopresume to lecture murder victims on not provoking their murderers.

“If the publication’s equal-opportunity offenders had been assaulted by right-wing extremists for their savage mockery of anti-immigrant politicians, or opponents of gay marriage or Catholicism, surely the dissenting writers would be all for recognizing Charlie Hebdo.”

These dissenters are an unabashed fifth column undermining PEN America’s devotion to free expression so as to carve out a safe space for Islam from the barbed speech inherent to a free society.

[Also see –HALL OF SHAME: Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo]

They oppose the killing of the Charlie Hebdo journalists — thanks, guys — but otherwise agree with the jihadis that the publication was out-of-bounds.

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“This is a version of Garry Trudeau’s argument that Charlie Hebdo was ‘punching downward’ against the defenseless, when satire should punch up against the powerful. This is a bizarre notion of power. The weapon of choice of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists was the pen; the weapon of choice of their assailants was the firearm.”

“A hideous crime was committed,” novelist Peter Carey generously concedes, “but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about?” Read the rest of this entry »


Is PEN a Free Speech Organization?

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[Read more here – HALL OF SHAME: Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo]


HALL OF SHAME: Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo

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Novelists Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi have withdrawn from the gala

Jennifer Schuessler writes: The decision by PEN American Center to give its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has prompted six writers to withdraw as literary hosts at the group’s annual gala on May 5, adding a new twist to the continuing debate over the publication’s status as a martyr for free speech.

“In an email to PEN’s leadership on Friday, Ms. Kushner said she was withdrawing out of discomfort with what she called the magazine’s ‘cultural intolerance’ and promotion of ‘a kind of forced secular view’…”

The novelists Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi have withdrawn from the gala, at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Gerard Biard, Charlie Hebdo’s editor in chief, and Jean-Baptiste Thoret, a Charlie Hebdo staff member who arrived late for work on Jan. 7 and missed the attack by Islamic extremists that killed 12 people, are scheduled to accept the award.

“By attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech.”

— Disgraced, formerly relevant, pro-censorship cartoonist Garry Trudeau

In an email to PEN’s leadership on Friday, Ms. Kushner said she was withdrawing out of discomfort with what she called the magazine’s “cultural intolerance” and promotion of “a kind of forced secular view,” opinions echoed by other writers who pulled out.

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“A hideous crime was committed, but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about? All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population.”

— Pro-censorship Francophone author Peter Carey

Mr. Carey, in an email interview yesterday, said the award stepped beyond the group’s traditional role of protecting freedom of expression against government oppression.

[Read the full text here, at the New York Times]

“A hideous crime was committed, but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about?” he wrote.

“We all knew this was in some ways a controversial choice. But I didn’t feel this issue was certain to generate these particular concerns from these particular authors.”

— Andrew Solomon, the president of PEN

He added, “All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population.”

Andrew Solomon, the president of PEN, said on Sunday that the six writers were the only ones that he knew of among the dinner’s several dozen literary hosts who had reconsidered their participation in the gala, which occurs during the group’s annual World Voices Festival, a weeklong event that brings dozens of writers from around the globe to New York City.

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Mr. Solomon said he knew the award to Charlie Hebdo might be controversial, but added he was surprised less by the criticism itself than by the vehemence of some of it, as well by the timing — less than two weeks before the gala, a major fund-raiser that draws a star-studded crowd of more than 800 writers, publishers and supporters.

“There is courage in refusing the very idea of forbidden statements, an urgent brilliance in saying what you have been told not to say in order to make it sayable.”

— Andrew Solomon and Suzanne Nossel, in a letter sent to the PEN board

“We all knew this was in some ways a controversial choice,” he said. “But I didn’t feel this issue was certain to generate these particular concerns from these particular authors.”

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“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name. What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”

— Salman Rushdie, former PEN president who lived in hiding for years after a fatwa in response to his novel The Satanic Verses

The withdrawals reflect the debate over Charlie Hebdo that erupted immediately after the attack, with some questioning whether casting the victims as free-speech heroes ignored what some saw as the magazine’s particular glee in beating up on France’s vulnerable Muslim minority. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! Paris Supermarket Hostages Sue Media Over Live Terror Attack Coverage

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The lawsuit charges media outlets with endangering the lives of others by deliberately ignoring security protocols

Paris (AFP) – Six people who hid in a kosher supermarket refrigerator during January’s Islamist attacks in Paris are suing French media for broadcasting their location live during the siege.

Images broadcast from the scene on January 9, when gunman Amedy Coulibaly stormed into the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket, killing four and taking others hostage, “lacked the most basic precautions” and endangered those still alive inside, said a lawyer representing the group, Patrick Klugman.

“We realised very quickly that a phrase by one of our journalists… about a hostage in the cold room was inappropriate, and was an error.”

— Herve Beroud, the station’s director of information

Klugman singled out French 24-hour news channel BFMTV, which revealed live on air that the group — including a three-year-old child and a one-month-old baby — was hiding from Coulibaly in the cold room, where they were taken by one of the supermarket’s employees.

Patrick Klugman, lawyer of nine activists of Ukrainian feminist protest group Femen who face a hearing on charges of damaging Notre Dame cathedral during a demonstration earlier this year, answers journalist' questions, on September 13, 2013 at Paris courthouse, prior to his clients' hearing. On February 12, Femen activists, who had previously alerted news agencies, hid in the lines of tourists streaming into the historic cathedral before perching on the base of three new bells temporarily placed in the nave.AFP PHOTO LIONEL BONAVENTURE

Patrick Klugman, lawyer.  AFP PHOTO LIONEL BONAVENTURE

“The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime.”

— The group’s lawyer, Patrick Klugman

“The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime,” Klugman told AFP Thursday, also roundly criticising coverage by other outlets of security forces movements during the standoff.

The lives of those hiding “could have been at risk if Coulibaly had been aware in real time what BFMTV was broadcasting,” Klugman said, adding that the jihadist was following the coverage of his raid on different channels and had been in contact with BFMTV journalists. Read the rest of this entry »


Original Asterix Artwork Raises $150,000 for Charlie Hebdo Victims

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Christie’s auction house also waived its commission

The original artwork for an Asterix cartoon from the 70s was auctioned for more than $150,000 on Sunday, with proceeds going to victims of January’s attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The cartoon panels from the iconic comic-book series bore a special dedication from co-creator Albert Uderzo, the BBC reported.

Uderzo, 87, briefly came out of retirement earlier this year to draw two tributes to the 12 victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris, where two gunmen opened fire on Jan. 7 over the magazine’s publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed. Read the rest of this entry »


REPORT: Vladimir Putin ‘Neutralized’ by Stealth Coup; Health Rumors Intensify

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For MailOnlineWill Stewart reports: Vladimir Putin is ‘alive’ but ‘neutralised’ as shadowy security chiefs stage a stealthy coup in Moscow, it was claimed last night.

Former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev was behind the plot, claimed chairman of the pro-Kremlin national Islamic Committee, Geydar Dzhemal.

  • Vladimir Putin is supposed to hold public meetings on Monday
  • The Russian leader has not been seen in public for the past nine days
  • Putin reportedly met the head of the Supreme Court on Friday for talks
  • However, the video is now believed to have been taken from file footage

There have been no confirmed sightings of Putin for nine days, while in the febrile atmosphere engulfing Moscow a convoy of large trucks parked outside the Kremlin fueled rumours of a flit by the president.

In fact, the lorries close to St Basil’s Cathedral were more likely connected to a nationalist celebration of the first anniversary of the return of Crimea to Russia – seen by Putin’s supporters as his ultimate masterstroke.

Despite this, bloggers likened it to Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych’s treasure-grab as he fled into exile just over a year ago in Kiev.

“There are allegations that a security official closer to Kadyrov ordered the Nemtsov murder, and that the FSB and Interior Ministry in Moscow have full proof.”

‘I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive,’ said Dzhemal, seen as a Kremlin loyalist.

FLASHBACK: Wax figure of Vladimir Putin Attacked by Topless Feminist

‘He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.’

“His slaying has triggered bitter factional infighting in the Kremlin, which includes talk of defence and security service generals seeking to replace Putin.”

Recent pictures of Putin supposedly working during a nine day absence from public sight was ‘playing for time’ by the plotters, he claimed.

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MORE: Topless Feminist Stabs Wax Putin in France, Wax Figure in Critical Condition

‘My information is that Patrushev met Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in Pyatigorsk on 11 March and tempted him over to his side.’

“I think that Putin is neutralised at the moment, but of course, he is alive. He is under the control of the power-wielding agencies, who have, in my opinion, organised a coup d’etat.”

— Dzhemal, a Kremlin loyalist

He also pointed to a recent visit by Patrushev – head of Putin’s security council – the US.

The visit came despite sanctions barring visits by most senior Russian officials.

‘I think he was offered something there that he failed to reject,’ said Dzhemal on Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2.

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Several large trucks were parked near Kremlin Square fueling rumours connected with Putin’s absence

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Putin has not been seen in public for nine days which has caused certain consternation in Russia

Putin failed to reappear again on Saturday – the ninth day without a confirmed sighting – as his Chechen enforcer suggested the Russian strongman is in danger of being overthrown.

“With feverish speculation in Moscow over Putin’s health and whereabouts, and claims of a bitter power struggle in his entourage which could even trigger an attempted coup, the head of Chechnya spoke emotionally of people ‘trying to harm the president of Russia – and Russia itself’.”

Ramzan Kadyrov – a devout Muslim whose security apparatchiks are seen as being behind the brutal murder of Boris Nemtsov – said he would remain devoted to the Kremlin leader ‘whether he is in his position or not’.

This came amid a claim that pictures issued by the Kremlin on Friday of Putin meeting Supreme Court head Vyachevslav Lebedev may date from 2011. Read the rest of this entry »


‘L’Origine du Monde’! Facebook Can be Sued if it Tries to Censor Content, Says French Court

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Frenchman whose Facebook account was shut by the social media giant after he posted an image of an explicit 19th century painting cries victory after Paris High Court rules his legal complaint can be handled in France

, Paris: The High Court in Paris has set a legal precedent after ruling that the American social media giant Facebook can be taken to court in France.

“I felt like they were indirectly treating me like a pornographer whereas this is a French painting hanging in a museum. It annoys me to be censored.”

The ruling was made after Frédéric Durand-Baissas, a teacher and father-of-three, posted a picture of L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), an 1866 painting by Gustave Courbet that hangs in the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, on his Facebook account.

“The tableau, which depicts a close-up of the female genitalia, was deemed “too offensive” for Facebook and removed, and the user subsequently blocked.”

Arguing that his freedom of expression had been violated, Mr Durand-Baissas filed a legal complaint to the Parisian court.

“I felt like they were indirectly treating me like a pornographer whereas this is a French painting hanging in a museum. It annoys me to be censored,” he told BFM TV.

Two hauliers prepare to install the Gustave Courbet's canvas 'L'origine du monde' (The origin of the world) at the Courbet museum (AFP)

Two hauliers prepare to install the Gustave Courbet’s canvas ‘L’origine du monde’ (The origin of the world) at the Courbet museum (AFP)

His lawyer, Stéphane Cottineau, insisted that France’s 28 million Facebook users should be able to take any issues they have with the company to a French court.

During a hearing in January, Facebook had argued French justice was not competent to handle the case as the man had signed the social media group’s terms that stipulate only American courts can handle disputes.

“The first round has been won by David against Goliath. Given the Paris High Court’s aura, this decision will set a legal precedent for other socal media networks and other giants of the net that use the location of their headquarters, mainly in the United States, to try and escape French law.”

It also said he could not expect French consumers’ rights as the service was free and he had opened an account on his own initiative.

But the court found Facebook’s compulsory clause on jurisdiction, in which only a California court can handle disputes, to be “abusive”. Read the rest of this entry »


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Charlie Hebdo Resumes Regular Publication

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Charlie Hebdo resumes regular publication after attack

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