Friday, January 30, 2015

Code Pink in the Stink...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


I was one of those youthful individual that knew instinctively that Vietnam was wrong. America had no business in Southeast Asia and President Lyndon Baines Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam conflict was among one of America's most unjustified foreign policy decisions. A decision that caused the death of innocent Southeast Asians as well as thousands of American lives were lost. Lost in a cause that never should have been.

Thinking back on those years; all the justified demonstrations against our involvement in Southeast Asia; the escalation under President Johnson, the graphic pictures and body bags coming home I cannot help but think LBJ should have been tried for war crimes. But LBJ is dead, as is President Richard Milhous Nixon. So we're left with Code Pink making a stink about wanting Henry Kissinger arrested for war crimes.

Of course progressive weblogs are actively blogging in support of the Code Pink demonstration (video and story below) and charging the former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State with war cries. Well, to my friends on the left side of reality, isn't it time to let Southeast Asia go? Kissinger is 91 years old, he is relic of the Cold War mentality, and he served his country. Let him leave this earth dealing with his conscience, just as other presidential advisors who served their president during times of war have done.

John McCain was right in defining the Code Pink fiasco as he did, outrageous, disgraceful, and despicable. Of course Senator McCain should have refrained from calling a Code Pink participant low life scum but a part of me understands why he said it.

Video and article from PJ Tatler below.



A Senate hearing opened this morning with Code Pink protesters trying to arrest former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for “war crimes.”

The protesters, bearing signs reading “Kissinger War Criminal” and “Cambodia,” rushed up behind the 91-year-old diplomat at the witness table of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which was holding a hearing on global challenges and the U.S. national security strategy.

Also testifying were 94-year-old former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and 77-year-old former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he would call recess until Capitol Police removed Code Pink from the room.

“I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” McCain said, which led to shout-backs from the protesters.

“You know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested. If we can’t get the Capital Hill Police in here immediately… Get out of here, you low-life scum,” McCain added.

“So Henry, I hope you will — Dr. Kissinger, I hope on behalf of all of the members of this committee on both sides of the aisle — in fact, from all of my colleagues, I’d like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior towards a man who served his country with the greatest distinction. I apologize profusely.”

Later, when Kissinger began his opening statement, more protesters popped up in the room, screaming about Vietnam and rattling off his “war crimes.”

“Vietnam! From 1969 to 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, that led to the deaths of millions — millions of people. Many thousands more died from the effects of massive doses of agent orange and from unexploded bombs that covered the countryside!” a protester shouted. “Chile! Henry Kissinger was one of the principle architects of the coup in Chile on September 11th, 1973…”

Shultz then stood up to verbally battle the protesters, saying, “I salute Henry Kissinger for his many contributions to peace and security.” That led to a standing ovation from the committee members and audience that drowned out Code Pink.

What say you? All thoughts and views are welcome, as log as they are civil, thoughtful, and respectful.

Via: FreeThinke

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Amazing Stuff...



For all intents and purposes, this octopus basically teleports from inside a boat to the water outside.

Thursday Night Humor...

Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch standard 4 pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners,military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the British engineers.
When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow

The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and
begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo --


"Defrost the chicken!"

True story... Or so we've been told.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mega Donors Buying Politicians and Influence...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth



Thinking pro business and pro growth makes sense for everybody; after all economic growth, or an expanding economy (added demand)creates jobs which are in turn filled by folks looking for work, and it gives businesses the opportunity to increase their income (the result of increased demand for goods or services)and provide those extra jobs that get filled by folks looking for work.

All that makes sense; right? It does if viewed from the perspective that all businesses are, to a great extent, concerned with the importance of a growing vibrant middle class. But we all know this is not the case and mega wealthy corporations spend mega millions financing political campaigns of candidates they believe will be most favorable to their interests, not yours or the country's at large.

Very wealthy individuals and corporations spend the millions they do on political campaigns for one purpose and one purpose only, TO BY INFLUENCE and CONTROL POLIT0ICIANS who make laws and regulations. In short they are attempting to insure their own special interests are protected. Whether that has a positive or negative impact on the larger picture is really of little consequence to the wealthy corporations or wealthy individuals.

So, in looking out for your own self interests be sure to do the research and learn if mega dollar donors are supporting a candidate you are considering voting for, whether they be a congressional, senate, or presidential candidate. Because if they are being bankrolled by big money the chances are the candidate will be looking out after the interests of the corporation or individual(s) whose money bought them.

POLIICO - The Koch brothers’ conservative network is still debating whether it will spend any of its massive $889 million budget in the Republican presidential primaries, but the prospect of choosing a GOP nominee loomed over the network’s just-concluded donor conference in the California desert.

In an informal straw poll of some conference donors, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida came out ahead of four other would-be GOP presidential candidates who had been invited, according to an attendee familiar with the results. The poll was conducted by Frank Luntz, a veteran GOP pollster, during a break-out session of the conference, which wrapped up Tuesday after a long weekend of presentations and discussions at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — who received the least enthusiastic response from donors during a Sunday night forum of prospective candidates that also featured Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — finished last in Luntz’s poll, the source told POLITICO.

The poll is by no means a definitive assessment of the feelings of the hundreds of wealthy business leaders who comprise the vaunted network created by billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. But it does provide an early glimpse into the leanings of a pool of megadonors who are being hotly courted by the field of would-be candidates, and whose checkbooks could go a long way toward determining who emerges with the GOP nomination — regardless of whether the Koch network decides to formally back a candidate.

The network has thus far steered clear of endorsing specific candidates in primaries, but it is coming under internal and external pressures to do so. It hopes to raise $889 million from wealthy backers like those who gathered in Rancho Mirage to push its agenda in 2015 and 2016, more than double what it spent in the 2012 election cycle.

In addition to Cruz, Paul and Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker paid a visit to the Ritz meeting, though he was not present for the forum.

The three-day conference was organized by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit outfit that oversees the vast political and policy network created by the Koch brothers.

More BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Memeorandum

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Straight From the Horses A*s --- Gohmert: ‘Our Republican females sent entirely wrong message’ by wanting rape exception to abortion ban

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Purveyor of Truth


I'm thinking that the female members standing in opposition to the bill as written are by far more representative of the general population (both female and male) than either Gohmert or the GOP leadership.

But keep on plugging away Louie and sooner or later you and you tribe of reactionary religionists will succeed in making the conservative agenda, or whatever is left of a true conservatism, totally irrelevant.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday accused GOP congresswomen — who he called “Republican females” — of sending “entirely the wrong message” when they derailed a 20-week abortion ban because it did not have an acceptable exception for rape.

During a conference call with pastor E.W. Jackson on Tuesday, Gohmert urged conservatives to continue to pressure Republicans in Congress even after bills like the 20-week abortion ban did not pass as expected.

“Really, I think that was driving the abortion bill — the pro-life bill — to the floor,” he said. “Before it had even gone through committee, our leadership was so anxious to show people, ‘Look, we are standing firm on these issues you care about.’”

Skip

“But there was an exception put on there that unless there was a case of reported rape — reported to authorities,” Gohmert continued. “Well, that became the dividing factor among some of our female members of the House, Republican female members. But some were adamant they didn’t want any exceptions, some were saying, no, we [should] not require it be reported to authorities.”

The Texas congressman argued that the congresswomen should have taken up their concerns with leadership before the bill came to the floor.

“I’m told that they’re still going to bring it back, but because there was such division among our Republican females, they pulled the bill that day,” he pointed out. “And that was extremely unfortunate, and it sent the entirely wrong message.”
Listen to the king of cheese. If you're wondering about the foregoing phraseology it is the sinere attempt to be polite.



Via: Memeorandum

Monday, January 26, 2015

Conservatives and the Palin Distraction/Problem...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Just when you thought Sarah Palin couldn't out do her prior ramblings she steps up, tees off, and has just about everyone wondering just what the hell her purpose was. If the GOP has any sense the leadership will figure out how to shut her up. Should Palin decide to mount a campaign one can imagine it will be very difficult for her to find serious donors that would be willing and foolish enough to throw good money after bad supporting a dim light candidate.
DES MOINES — As a chance to evaluate possible 2016 Republican presidential candidates, the Freedom Summit here in Des Moines was a solid success. Several potential candidates — Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and a few others — left the 10-hour political marathon with their prospects undeniably enhanced.

All that was good news for Republicans. But at the same time, more than a few GOP loyalists came away shaking their heads at the performance of a party star, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose long, rambling, and at times barely coherent speech left some wondering what role she should play in Republican politics as the 2016 race begins in earnest.

Palin made news when she arrived in Iowa saying she is seriously considering a run for president. In an interview with ABC the day before coming to Iowa, Palin answered "of course" when asked if she is interested in running in 2016. Then, when she arrived at a Des Moines hotel late Friday evening, she told the Washington Post, "Who wouldn't be interested?" Asked to clarify, Palin told the paper, "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested."

The news, given big play on the Drudge Report, heightened the anticipation of Palin's speech to the Freedom Summit. After all, there were still memories in the crowd of her rousing speech at the 2008 Republican convention. But when Palin took the stage, it was clear this would be no inspiring effort.

First, Palin embarked on an extended stream-of-consciousness complaint about media coverage of her decision to run in a half-marathon race in Storm Lake, Iowa in 2011. She then moved on to grumbling about coverage of a recent photo of her with a supporter who had made a sign saying "Fuc_ you Michael Moore" in reaction to the left-wing moviemaker's criticism of the film "American Sniper." Then it was on to Palin's objections about the social media ruckus over a picture of her six-year-old son Trig standing on the family's Labrador Retriever.

It was all quite petty, and yet the complaining took half of Palin's allotted time. She then proceeded to blow through her time limit with a free-association ramble on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the energy industry, her daughter Bristol, Margaret Thatcher, middle-class economics — "the man can only ride ya when your back is bent" — women in politics, and much more. It would be hard to say that Palin's 35-minute talk had a theme, but she did hint that she is interested in running, although there are no indications she has taken any actual steps in that direction.

"Long and disjointed," said one social conservative activist when asked for reaction. "A weird speech," said another conservative activist. "Terrible. Didn't make any sense."

"There was a certain coarseness to her that wasn't there before," said yet another social conservative who noted that some in the crowd were uncomfortable with Palin declarations like, "Screw the left in Hollywood!" (It's not that they like the left in Hollywood — just the opposite — but the crudeness of Palin's expressions turned them off.)

Continue reading BELOW THE FOLD.



Via: Memeorandum

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sarah Palin on Deflated Balls...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Here's one that's bound to entertain you. The Nuge and the Stooge.

For those who are a hankerin for some politics Sarah style she had this bit of advice for the GOP.
LAS VEGAS — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin declined to speculate on a potential 2016 run Thursday at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, but she did offer the GOP some free political advice. We caught up with Palin as she was promoting the second season of her show, “Amazing America,” which airs on the Sportsman Channel Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. “I’m not going to talk politics except to say the GOP had better go on offense. Man, they are not going to win any game on defense,” she told TheBlaze. “Being in the majority there in D.C. — we’re blowing it if we just bend our back.” She added, “That GOP leadership, that establishment, they’ve got to get their stuff together. I love what they believe in, I believe in it too. But they’ve got to get tough, man. You know what? It’s not just the New England Patriots who are dealing with deflated balls right now.”
Now for some more from the GOP side show.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Open Thread On the SOTU Address, So Lets Mix It Up!...

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Purveyor of Truth


Tonight is open thread comment night here at Rational Nation USA with respect to the SOTU address. On the heels of the President's SOTU address last night, one in which the President laid out his progressive agenda for the remainder of his presidency, there is much for the advocates and the naysayers to "crow" about or "bitch" about. In this writer's view the speech was superbly delivered with some interesting ideas yet substance with respect to just how the nation is to pay for his aggressive progressive agenda was in short supply. In fairness to the President such is almost always the case.

The video, a highly truncated "sound bite" of the full SOTU address, along with the quoted text from VOX should provide sufficient impetus to get the juices and comments flowing.



1) The most striking sentence in President Obama's 2015 State of the Union came near the start: "Tonight, we turn the page."

2) It is the seventh year of Obama's presidency. But it's the first in which the economy is no longer in crisis. And so it's the first in which Obama's State of the Union proposals no longer reeked of crisis.

3) Obama's first address to a Joint Session of Congress — which was, basically, a stand-in State of the Union — came in February 2009; the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent. During the next State of the Union, it was 9.8 percent, then 9.2 percent, then 8.3 percent, then 8 percent, and then 6.6 percent.



4) We don't yet have unemployment data for January 2015. But according to the early numbers for December, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent. And it's not just unemployment: the economy grew last quarter at a 5 percent annualized rate, and a gallon of gas is less than $2 in much of the country. The deficit is down, too.

5) Imagine if Mitt Romney was giving the State of the Union address amidst these economic numbers. The cheering wouldn't stop long enough to let him speak.

6) The "turn the page" line wasn't just rhetoric. It was policy, too. In every State of the Union since Obama took office, he has offered policy built for an emergency. It's been huge plans to rescue the financial sector or pump stimulus into a failing economy or deal with an unemployment crisis or beat back a rising tide of red ink.

7) But not this time. The tax increases Obama proposed in Tuesday's speech are simply there to pay for tax cuts for the middle class. It's a plan, and an agenda, that would have fit neatly into Bill Clinton's presidency — which is to say, it's the kind of plan Democrats offer when the economy is doing well rather than when it's doing poorly.

8) If there is a deeper crisis that the Obama administration is responding to, it's the crisis of labor-force participation. One reason unemployment is down to 5.6 percent is that millions of people have dropped out of the labor force — they've stopped looking for work, at least so far as the government can tell. That may be because they can't find it, or it may be because the work they can find simply doesn't pay enough.

9) The particular tax cuts Obama's proposing make work pay more. The government is basically subsidizing low-wage jobs. He's also trying to raise the minimum wage. Obama is also proposing to make college — particularly community college — cheaper, which is to say, he's trying to get more people to upgrade their skills so they can get better-paying jobs.

10) What's notable, too, is what wasn't in the speech: there was little about Obamacare. The omission was particularly notable given that open enrollment for Obamacare is ongoing, and the State of the Union offers President Obama the largest audience he's likely to have for a while. He could have directed people to the (smoothly functioning) HealthCare.gov marketplaces and bragged about how many have already enrolled. The absence of any serious discussion of Obamacare was clearly intentional — and fit a speech in which Obama seemed intent on looking forward to new problems and policies rather than backwards to older ones.

11) Even on foreign policy, Obama seemed freed from the shackles of past emergencies. While America still has some troops overseas, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are largely over. Russia's currency has collapsed, allowing Obama to declare a kind of victory against Vladimir Putin's various provocations in 2014, and Ebola has been beaten back from America's shores. There's even a thaw with Cuba.

12) There was one place, though, where Obama couldn't turn the page, and he knew it — American politics. Towards the end of his address, he revisited the promises of his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he dismissed America's political divisions, and his 2008 campaign, where he promised to heal them.

13) "Our politics seems more divided than ever," he admitted on Tuesday. "It's held up as proof not just of my own flaws — of which there are many — but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and na├»ve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. I know how tempting such cynicism may be. But I still think the cynics are wrong."

14) But unlike in the economy, where Obama could point to the falling unemployment rate, and unlike in foreign policy, where he could point to Putin's economic troubles or the new relationship with Cuba, here Obama couldn't turn the page. He could only hope that the page would, someday, be turned.

All relevant and thoughtful comments are welcome and encouraged, Regardless of which "side" they originate from. So, have at it folks, there is much room for discussion.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, January 19, 2015

‘Cowboy’ conservative claims MLK for the Tea Party until liberals stop bringing up race

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Purveyor of Truth



You just can't make this sh*t up.

During his speech at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition convention yesterday, conservative entertainer and YouTube celebrity “Wild Bill” Finley claimed ownership of slain Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

“How appropriate that we are here right at the Martin Luther King holiday,” he began. “Martin Luther King had a dream, and it was a good one — a day when skin color wouldn’t matter anymore. A time when character would be more important than skin color.”

“But when we look at what’s going on in America today, it’s pretty easy to see that Dr. King’s dream got hijacked,” Finley continued. “I believe racism in this country would’ve died out a long time ago, except that some people figured out that racism can be very profitable — both financially and politically.”

“And now, those who are most vocal about Martin Luther King being their hero seem to be the most race-driven people in America. The left have mastered the art of turning every issue into a skin-color issue, character be damned,” he said.

“Manufacturing racism for political purposes is a big business in the USA, and manufactured racism has been used to hurt the Tea Party from Day 1. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today the liberal left would spit in his face because he would be such a threat to their political agendas.”

Continue reading BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an American Activist for Equality...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth


Today as we reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, Dr. King's 1962 speech in NYC continues to have relevance.

Dr. King was a remarkable and courageous man whose life was cut short by a man who was possessed of a misunderstanding and hatred that still exists in some corners yet today.



For more on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Proceed Here.
Hat tip Progressive Eruptions.

UPDATE:

Speech starts at approximately the 5 minute mark. Hat tip TPM.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Growing Evil Worldwide...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor o Truth


As the Paris terror attack against Charlie Hebdo unfolded and the worldwide show of unity followed, terror in West Africa destroying thousands of lives continued to take place.



WASHINGTON – One of the most brutal and murderous Islamist militant groups has been steadily gaining ground, inflicting a streak of atrocities shocking by even their standards -- and it's not Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.

At the same time the world focuses on the terror attacks in France, the growing territory and lethality of Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror network which for a short time last year commanded global attention, is fueling calls in Washington for a new U.S. strategy.

“If we don’t stop it in its tracks, we are destined for this horrible group to not step back but to continue to be in power,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said.

Boko Haram slaughtered its way through another Nigerian town in early January, shortly before Islamic assassins were reigning terror on Paris – this time, killing more than 2,000 men, women and children while displacing another 30,000 residents along the way, rights groups say. Members of the Islamist terror group stormed the fishing town of Baga near Lake Chad. Houses, shops and other buildings were burned and the bodies of those murdered were left on the street to rot. The group, which had raided the town before, had come back for seconds.

A few days later, explosives were strapped to a girl, reported to be as young as 10, and detonated at a crowded marketplace. The attack killed more than a dozen people, authorities said. The explosives went off as the girl was being screened before entering the market. Boko Haram militants are the main suspects.

Boko Haram for months has blazed a path of destruction across the region while launching strikes in Cameroon and Chad. Their land grab now equals that of the Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria. Last year, more than 10,000 people died in the violence, according to an estimate by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Story (and video) continues BELOW THE FOLD.

Via: Fox News Politics

Charlie Hebdo, the Most Recent Edition...

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Purveyor of Truth



Certainly provocative is the cover of this weeks edition of href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/01/13/charlie_hebdo_new_cover_translated_and_explained_cartoonist_luz_on_new_mohammed.html">Charlie Hebdo. One can just imagine future response from the radicalized extremist element entrenched in Islam.

The right of free speech critical of government and religion absolutely must be advocated, supported, and if necessary fought for by all who desire to be free to experience the joy of liberty. Having said this it does seem that intentionally provocative and negative press presumably for the sole purpose of goading a particular group may not be all that sensible. Especially given the particular in question long track record of violent response. Just a thought.

Moving to the governments of the free world; they must be collaborating, planning, plotting, and ultimately setting in motions concrete actions that will help the Muslim nations of the world neutralize or eradicate the threat radicalized extreme Islam presents to the world.

Via: Memeorandum

UPDATE:

Al Qaeda in Yemen Claims Responsibility for Charlie Hebdo Attack

It's going to be a long treacherous road and there is no guarantee reason and rational thought will ultimately win. One thing is certain though; if the West allows itself to be driven by the actions of these extremists into becoming like them they will have won.

Via: Memeorandun

Monday, January 12, 2015

Obama's Big Blunder...

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Purveyor of Truth



On Sunday, leaders representing Europe, Israel, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East linked arms and marched together down Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Unfortunately and most conspicuously our own president chose not to attend.

The decision by the President of the United States of America to not be present, or at the very least send his Vie President, has been most troubling.

Obama may have had his reasons but in politics and governance perception can be everything. Certainly the perceptions of many, if not most on this important issue is not a positive one. The White House belatedly recognizing the error in judgment has acknowledged the mistake while at the same time spinning to put the best face possible on the snafu.

On this issue Rational Nation USA finds itself behind Senator Ted Cruz. At issue is the growth of, and the threat radicalized extremist Islam present the civilized world.

President Obama should have been there. Our president ought to have known this instinctively. It is of course now water under the bridge.

Mistakes happen. This one never should have.

Friday, January 9, 2015

AN EXAMPLE of GENERALIZED, UNHINGED, IRRATIONAL HATRED TOWARDS ALL MUSLIMS

Example Here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Considering Charlie Hebdo...

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Purveyor of Truth



My position on organized religions is fairly well known;  rarely do I visit sites whose primary purpose is to espouse or advance a specific religion. Surfing the blogosphere today an article in Catholic League caught my eye. In light of the recent terror attack in Paris the article has great relevancy and for this reason Rational Nation USA is reprinting it here in full.

MUSLIMS ARE RIGHT TO BE ANGRY

January 7, 2015 by Bill
Filed under Latest News Releases
2015 - January Releases

CHARLIE HEBDO - Bill Donohue comments on the killing of 12 people at the Paris office of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo:

Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.

Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses.

While some Muslims today object to any depiction of the Prophet, others do not. Moreover, visual representations of him are not proscribed by the Koran. What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.

Stephane Charbonnier, the paper’s publisher, was killed today in the slaughter. It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive. Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.

Anti-Catholic artists in this country have provoked me to hold many demonstrations, but never have I counseled violence. This, however, does not empty the issue. Madison was right when he said, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power. (Emphasis mine)