A gunman shot at policemen on Paris’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées on Thursday night. Here is what is known so far:
1. France has become a prime target of the Islamic State guerrilla war on Europe. AP lists the November 13, 2015 attacks of the nightclub and vicinity os Saint Denis, and the June 13, June 14, and July 26 terrorist attacks. AP also noted the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 7, 2015.
These terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 230 people.
2. On Thursday evening, April 20, a man shot and killed a Paris police officer and injured two other officers and a tourist on the Champs Elysées:
France’s National Police union said on Twitter that a gunman fired at a police car stopped at a red light, killing an officer.
shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.
L’Express (link in French) reports that Cheurfi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, his term was reduced to 15 years in 2005 following appeal, and was released early in 2016.
While you’re reflecting on things to be grateful for, include this: at least we’re not under the authority of France’s Council of State.
In 2014, a consortium of advocacy groups created a short video called “Dear Future Mom”, with the mom being a woman who is apprehensive after learning that she’s pregnant with a child who has Down syndrome. The video features people with Down Syndrome talking about their lives in a reassuring way, acknowledging the challenges but concluding that “people with Down Syndrome can live a happy life.”
That was a bit too much for the French Broadcasting Counsel, which refused to show the video. The Counsel’s decision was appealed to the French Council of State by some people with Down Syndrome and their advocates. In early November 2016, the Council came down on the side of the broadcaster.
The State Counsel said that allowing people with Down syndrome to smile was “inappropriate” because people’s expression of happiness was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices”.
In other words, a video promoting the value and worth of the lives of people with Down Syndrome is inappropriate because it might cause psychic pain to a woman who has chosen to terminate a pregnancy due to fetal anomaly of one kind or another.
In France, the score is right-not-to-be-offended 1, right-to-life 0.
The Jerome Lejeune Foundation, one of the makers of the video, is appealing the State Council’s decision to the European Court of Human Rights. That should be interesting.
There are thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands–of explanations about why Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last week that you can find online and in print, as well as why the Republicans maintained control of Congress and gained governorships.
Here’s another one, although this discussion confronts one angle, what I call “inevitable leftism.” Barack Obama was the “Hope and Change” candidate for president in 2008; four years later, “Forward” was his rallying cry. Some conservative pundits noticed that “Forward” has a long history as a communist and socialist slogan.
Leftists, Obama is one, firmly believe that their cause is one of inevitable success, that humanity is headed towards–choose your term–a collectivist, socialist, or communist utopia. They view popular leaders such as Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, as atavistic aberrations, mere potholes that can be paved over when the time is right, sooner, as opposed to later.
Except when they are wrong.
The French Revolution, still idealized by the Left, deposed a king and disestablished the Roman Catholic church, and replaced the Ancien Régime with an atheist republic that executed thousands, which was quickly transformed into a dictatorship led by an Italian. Along the way the days and months were renamed in a new decimal calendar–hours and minutes were divided by ten too, as were weights and measures. A couple of decades later there was a king again in France, the Catholic church was the state religion–but the metric system survived, yet strangely enough, it still hasn’t completely caught on in the United States.
Maximilien Robespierre, the guiding force of the French Revolution, and his inner circle were certain they were guiding the world on the right path. He may have even held on to that belief as he walked up to the guillotine, two years after Louis XVI after made the same, final stroll.
The Russian Revolution’s state, the Soviet Union, was similarly hailed by the Left as a societal inevitably, it also led to regicide, and tens of millions were killed. Because the USSR survived much longer than the French Republic, it succeeded in shattering Russian culture. But the surviving Russian nation is a South American-style sham democracy run by a thug, not a nation consisting of a populace that lives “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Barack Obama is not a psychopath or a murderer. But he’s a leftist, albeit one along the lines of French President François Hollande. Obama decided that America needs government-run health care in 2009 but he knew that what the Democrats euphemistically call single-payer would be unpopular, so a hybrid program, quickly dubbed ObamaCare, was developed as a bridge to that health care utopia. ObamaCare is deeply unpopular, and it was one reason for Trump’s win. The president-elect says he will repeal most of ObamaCare. The Democrats’ push for gay marriage is another page from the book of Dem inevitability, but only 21 nations allow same-sex marriages, none of them are in Asia, and South Africa is the only country in Africa that allows it.
It was the Democrats who, through their many friends in the judiciary, that created the so-called crisis surrounding the minuscule segment of the population who feel compelled to use the washrooms and the locker rooms–even in high school–of the opposite gender. They view choose-your-own-bathroom as their next social inevitability. The Democrats are the party of the confused horny teenage boy who wants to shower with girls.
Next year France will hold a presidential election. Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician with a fierce anti-immigrant stance, whose election as president last year ago seemed as likely as Trump moving in to the White House was, is confident of her chances. Hollande hasn’t declared himself as a candidate. Is Le Pen, another atavistic aberration, the inevitability of France?
France is ten percent Muslim. With the higher birth rates of its Muslim citizens a majority Muslim France could be possible by the end of the century. Gay marriage has been legal in France since 2013. Will it be in 2113?
The policy of open borders is also viewed as the next level of human achievement by the Left. It has worked well for the European Union, but there’s a big difference between thousands Germans buying homes in Italy and thousands of Middle Eastern migrants arriving in ramshackle boats there. Democrats, and even some Republicans, have been ignoring calls from ordinary citizens, now dubbed “the Forgotten Man,” to secure the southern border for decades. Opposition to open borders was the main reason why British voters voted to leave the EU.
Of course no one can predict the future. Not even leftists, even though they never tire in telling you how smart they are.
In the United States the hubris of inevitability led to the defeat of the Left last week.
This year could end up being the most tumultuous year since 1968. During that year there was of course a heated presidential election, the Democrats nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who represented the status quo, one that was not especially popular. The Republicans chose a former vice president, Richard Nixon, whose critics decried as someone who presented a dark vision of America. Sound familiar?
Missing of course in 2016 is a third-party presidential candidate who can win electoral votes; in 1968 avowed segregationist and renegade Democrat George Wallace fed on racial discord–and there is plenty of that this year, most of it brought on by leftist groups such as Black Lives Matter, which seems very keen on protesting the rare shootings of African-American criminal suspects but is largely on silent on the daily carnage in cities such as Chicago, where so far this weekend over thirty people, most of them black, have been shot. In most of these shootings it’s very likely that other blacks pulled the trigger.
What is largely forgotten about the 1968 election is that it was the first presidential contest since Reconstruction in which a southern blacks voted in large numbers.
We’ve progressed far.
The penultimate year of the turbulent 1960s also brought us the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, North Korea’s seizure of the USS Pueblo, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King–the anger from the latter caused dozens of deadly riots in American cities–the May Insurrection in France, and the turmoil of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
I’m sure I overlooked something.
This year has seen several deadly Islamist terrorist attacks, including last month’s Orlando night club shooting and the Nice, France truck killings, two assassination tragedies–one in Dallas and the other in Louisiana–where multiple police officers were killed, “Brexit,” Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the attempted coup in Turkey, and of course the frenzied US presidential campaign.
Remember: We still have five more months in 2016.
On the positive end, the Apollo 8 mission brought the moon within reach at the end of 1968.
Let’s hope 2016 ends with good news.
Oh, it was also in late 1968 when Star Trek’s “Plato’s Stepchildren” episode aired. Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura delivered American television’s first kiss between a black and a white, and this embrace was not an innocent peck on the cheek.
As Mitch Albom wrote in Tuesdays With Morrie, “Love wins. Always.”
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit. And yes, he was alive in 1968.
The UN Commission of Experts identified 1,600 actual cases of rape in the Bosnian War that took place in the former Yugoslavia over a period of years. In Germany, 2,000 Muslim migrants sexually assaulted 1,200 women in a single night in cities across Germany.
The former was considered one of the worst war crimes of the decade. Its perpetrators were bombed and then faced war crimes trials. The perpetrators of the latter received a slap on the wrist.
In Cologne, Hassan and Hussein were handed suspended sentences. Hassan, who had demanded that a man hand over two women to him by bellowing, “Give me the girls, give me the girls – or you’re dead” was tried as a juvenile offender and was sentenced to community service and an integration course.
Selin Goren, a spokeswoman for a left-wing refugee group, admitted to lying that the men who sexually assaulted her were German instead of Arabs because the act of the rape had a “political dimension”. Instead of thinking of the men who had assaulted her, she thought of a pro-refugee rally in which she had called for fighting “against racism and sexism”.
And predictably the former took a back seat to the latter.
When the police officer asked her if refugees had been responsible, she retorted that they had spoken German while resenting the officer for being so racist as to assume, correctly, that Muslim migrants were to blame.
A friend had told her that she acted like a battered wife protecting her abusive husband.
It’s an accurate description of not just her, but of the entire left which has turned its own values inside out in order to protect Muslim rapists from a theocratic culture not fundamentally different than ISIS which believes that women are fair game during their gleeful invasion of Europe.
My opinion: European in general and Germany specifically isn’t done paying the spiritual price for the perpetrating/allowing the massacres of the 20th century. And I’m not only referring to the Jews–Russians, Poles—both Jew and Gentile—Romani…and the list goes on. Europe’s spiritual problems are and have always been about leadership.
The spiritual price(s) for bad leadership: delusion and the desire for death, brought on by godlessness. Of course, godless leaders were the catalysts for the massacres in the first place.
Observing from across the water bids these questions. How many Americans are similarly deluded? And what of our leaders?
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Hornblower bowed, but as the Colonel remained unbending he stiffened to attention. He could recognize that type of man at once—the servant of a tyrant, and in close personal association with him, modeling his conduct not on the tyrant’s but on what he fancied should be the correct behaviour of a tyrant, far out-Heroding Herod.
C.S. Forester Flying Colors 1938
I mentioned this morning that it’s hard to comment on news stories on April 1st because you can’t tell what’s real an what’s not.
What is the story that the MRC reported that Hot Air couldn’t believe from the MRC? This:
The White House briefly pulled video of a press event on terrorism with Pres. Obama, and when it reappeared on the WhiteHouse.gov website and YouTube, the audio of Hollande’s translator goes silent, beginning with the words “Islamist terrorism,” then begins again at the end of his sentence.
Even the audio of Hollande saying the words “Islamist terrorism” in French have, apparently, been edited from the video.
You know what the worst part is? Hollande didn’t say “Islamic terrorism,” which is the supposedly objectionable term. He said “Islamist terrorism.” “Islamist” was, I thought, a term that came into use precisely because it gave the speaker an efficient way to distinguish between “moderate Muslims” and the more jihad-minded. “Islamic” describes all things Muslim; “Islamist” describes a supremacist view in which Islam is the highest authority of the state. Many critics of Islam would dispute that there’s a meaningful distinction between those two, but Obama and Hollande certainly wouldn’t. ISIS may not be Islamic to Obama but it’s certainly Islamist. Point being, Hollande chose his words carefully here according to the White House transcript so as not to conflate the average Muslim with the jihadis he’s discussing — and the White House still censored him.
it is the work of those people on a lower level that contribute the most real world damage to Americans.
When President Obama is replaced in November it will be good for the country but just as good if not better will the symbolic cleaning of the Augean stables that the sweeping his radical cronies from DC will be.
I’m back trying to get that elusive $61 a day for DaTipJar but lately I haven’t reported on my progress. Part of it has been I’ve been busy but the other part being the reports for March would be rather depressing.
If we made our $61 a day my annual Tip jar would come into today at $5185, it currently stands at $2857. That’s a deficit of $2328 an increase of nearly $1000 this month.
Or to put it bluntly As of March 26, we’ve made our goal up to Feb 15th a full 29 days behind our goal.
And it’s not due to a lack of traffic, our number in March remain consistent with the blog’s recovery from our previous doldrums as of today we are over 10,000 visits ahead of last March and on a pace to nearly meet March 2014 the final month before our unexpected traffic crash began.
As I’ve said I’d like to think we do good work here If you’d like to help us keep up the pace please consider hitting DaTipJar
Please consider Subscribing. We are currently 116.3 subscribers at $10 a month to make our goal every day without further solicitation but the numbers are even more interesting:
If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers this month subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.
If less than 2/3 of 1% did, I’d be completely out of debt and able to attend CPAC
If a full 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month I could afford to travel across the country covering the presidential race this year in person for a full month.
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France has entered a new and unhappy phase–the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité is now in its terror age.
Seven days into 2015, twelve people were murdered by radical Muslims inside the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that regularly poked fun at Muhammad, including publishing naked cartoons of him.
On Friday–known as Jumu’ah, the day of prayer, for Muslims, a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital killed over 120 people, the Islamic State caliphate immediately claimed responsibility for the barbarism.
France has always been an uncomfortable fit for its roughly five million Muslims, the first wave of which settled there after the end of its war in Algeria in 1962. Its strict secularism flies in the face one of Islam’s central beliefs–that the faith is not only a religion but a way of life, and that includes the legal code. Sure, some Muslims in France support the secularism of the Fifth Republic, but younger Muslims less so.
Of the Friday attacks, ISIS promises, “This is just the beginning.” And even if just twenty percent of French Muslims support the Islamic State, that’s one million radicals ready to tear down the nation.
Of course many French people remain in denial. While I was driving to work yesterday morning, I switched on NPR, where I listened in disbelief as a French political scientist, Nicole Bacharan, said of the Muslim immigrants living among her in Paris, “they are as French as we are.”
Has Bacharan bothered to ask Muslims–both the native born and the immigrants living in France–if they agree with her?
Caecilius:Modern art. Out of the way, that’s it. Oh, Rombus, I’m a little bit peckish. Get me some ants in honey, there’s a good lad. Ooo, maybe a dormouse? What do you think? Metella:You call it modern art, I call it a blooming great waste of space.
Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii 2008
Let’s say it bluntly, most modern art is junk and the people who choose to buy it are suckers. A great example of it is the sculpture The Queen’s Vagina:
That’s this monstrosity is considered art is bad, that it has been placed on the incredible grounds of Versailles (which are a work of art in themselves) is an offense against aesthetics and caused some fuss at the time of its installation. That people have decided to physically attack it however is an offence against property rights.
The “sclupture” was defaced (I use the word “defaced” loosely, since it’s hard to “deface” a piece of junk) by graffiti once but was cleaned, now it is has been hit for a 2nd time:
Phrases such as “Queen sacrificed, twice insulted” and “the second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism” covered the sculpture by the British-Indian artist.
However in the ultimate irony Mr. Kapoor has managed to use this event to transform his piece from the joke that it is to something more.
the 61-year-old British-Indian artist told the daily Le Figaro he would not restore the work as he did the first time, and instead would keep the “abominable words” as part of the sculpture.
“I had already questioned the wisdom of cleaning it after the first vandalism. This time, I am convinced that nothing should be removed from these slurs, from these words which belong to anti-Semitism that we’d rather forget,” Kapoor said.
“From now on, in the name of our universal principles, these abominable words will become part of my work, they will overlay it and stigmatize it.”
Congratulations Mr. Kapoor, you’ve managed by this gesture to transform a piece of junk into a statement about both freedom of expression and against anti-Semitism.
I still have no respect for you as an artist, but I have tremendous respect for you as a man.
The attack on the synagogue has been denounced by politicians in France, but the real problem of huge numbers of Muslims who have no desire to act in a lawful manner, and who can be easily whipped up into a pogrom, does not seem to be a high priority for the French police.
A gunman who would later say he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State walked into her neighborhood’s kosher market and opened fire, launching a siege that would leave four hostages dead — all of them Jewish.
two month later Jeffrey Goldberg in a Piece at the Atlantic wrote asking if it was time for Jews to leave Europe wrote:
France’s 475,000 Jews represent less than 1 percent of the country’s population. Yet last year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal. In 2014, Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish. Sale Juif—“dirty Jew”—rang in the streets, as did “Death to the Jews,” and “Jews to the gas.”
The number of anti-Semitic attacks recorded in France during the first quarter of 2015 increased by 84 percent over the corresponding period last year, a watchdog group said.
The SPCJ security service (Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive) of France’s Jewish communities released the figures Monday in a quarterly report that counted 508 anti-Semitic acts recorded between January and May.
I think the Jews in France need to arm themselves or leave. I’d suggest coming here, at least you can defend yourselves legally, but…
We saw it in the manifestation of UCLA and it was one kid. But it was worse in Stanford. When the Jewish girl in Stanford, who wants to be a rabbi, cleansed her Facebook and removed her (expressions of) support of Israel, in the United States, that’s scary to me. That’s like Jews taking off their kippa in the streets of Paris, and here it’s in the US. I have a feeling that Jewish kids, and I’m (also) looking at it in high school, feel intimidated.
If you are a Jew and are not free to be openly Jewish for fear of your safety you’re not free.
Five days ago free expression was attacked in Paris when Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said, who were trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, screamed “Allahu Akbar” (God is great!) while killing 12 people with AK-47s, most of them journalists employed by satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The terrorists were killed by French police two days later.
Muslim apologists quickly filled the airwaves, explaining that such atrocities are not compatible with Islam and that murderers such as the Kouachi brothers are outliers of the faith–bad apples.
I generally don’t agree with HBO’s Bill Maher, a strident atheist, but when he said last week about Islam, “When there are that many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard,” I have to admit he’s on to something.
Radical Muslims were of course behind the 9/11 attacks in the United States, as well as the 3/11 Mardid and 7/7 London bombings. The jihadists who have seized much of Iraq and Syria–while murdering thousands of Christians and Yazidis–have announced the founding of a new Caliphate. The Fort Hood murderer considered himself a Soldier of Allah. And while western journalists were devoting the lion’s share of its coverage to the Charlie Hebdo killings last week, another Islamist group, Boko Haram, murdered all of the residents–2,000 people–in the Nigerian village of Baga. These are the same criminals who kidnapped 200 teenage Nigeria girls who were the subject of Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign. It didn’t work–the teens are still missing.
Islam–you have a problem. Yes, there are many Muslims that I know who like most people, just want to live their lives and be left alone. But my guess is that the radicals oppose them too.
Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who did his nation and the world a huge service by ousting the Muslim Brotherhood from power, is calling for a “religious revolution” within Islam. In a New Year’s Day speech, Sisi said, “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”
If the rest of the world’s inhabitants don’t accept Islam, what Sisi said of the radicals very well may be true.