Category: Politics

Turkey Flips Out Over Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Lion RoaringThe power of the cartoon seems to rival that of a division or more of soldiers, an economic boycott, or even a well-funded bribe. It only took one such cartoon to enrage Turkey such a degree that it effectively caused a worsening of diplomatic relations with France. We have to wonder what is more significant in these interesting times: the strength wielded by a free press satire newspaper, or how easily a dictator can be manipulated as a result of his unchecked ego and power.

The row between nations stemmed from a rather risque cover on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper of October 28th, 2020. A caricature depicts a randy, lecherous looking President Erdoğan sitting in his underwear upon an armchair while lifting the hijab of a laughing woman to expose her bare buttocks. The Turk seemingly takes delight in this, saying “Ouuuh! Le prophète!” A caption reads: “Erdogan dans le privé, il est très drôle” (A possible translation is “Erdoğan in the private sector, he is very funny.” )

Turkey and its president released the Kraken of its bureaucracy, prosecutors, and diplomats to counter the Charlie Hebdo cartoon threat, with his Communications Directorate proclaiming, “Our people should have no doubt that all necessary legal and diplomatic steps will be taken against the caricature in question. Our battle against these rude, ill-intentioned and insulting steps will continue until the end with reason but determination.”. Erdoğan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun wrote “Macron’s anti-Muslim agenda is bearing fruit! We condemn this most disgusting effort by this publication to spread its cultural racism and hatred.” Yet not to be outdone or outshined by his own underlings, President Erdoğan was more succinct and measured in his learned analysis, voicing a week ago that French President Macron ‘needed a mental health check’ for his pledging to defend secular values and fight radical Islam, prompting France to recall its ambassador.

Erdoğan could add to that mountain of wisdom by lending an ear to his cohort Saddam Hussein who during trial proceedings memorably orated, “The lion does not care about a monkey laughing at him from a tree.” and just let it go.

Continue reading “Turkey Flips Out Over Charlie Hebdo Cartoon”

Democrats Threaten Retaliatory Actions To Add Or Remove Justices On A “Court Out Of Whack”

Below is my column in The Hill on the call for Justice Amy Coney Barrett to recuse herself or be impeached. The call for recusal is indicative of demands and threats that are becoming more unhinged by the day.  Whether it is adding or impeaching justices, the Democrats are yielding to the same 30 percent of irate and increasingly irrational voters in their base.  What is concerning is the utter lack of responsible voices from the party to counter this retaliatory impulse or to defend the institution of the Court. Instead, former Vice President Joe Biden’s declaration that the Court is “out of whack” now means that many Democrats are out to whack either the Court or its members.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Democrats Threaten Retaliatory Actions To Add Or Remove Justices On A “Court Out Of Whack””

“Anonymous” Revealed and Retained: CNN Keeps Contributor Who Lied On The Air To Anderson Cooper

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, came forward this week to confirm that he is “Anonymous,” the author of the bombshell opinion column published in The New York Times two years ago and the subsequent book “A Warning.” What is most notable is that Taylor is now a CNN contributor who will remain in that role despite lying to Anderson Cooper and CNN viewers on the air. CNN sees no problem or conflict in a contributor who knowingly lied on the air while others were being hammered as the suspected source. Indeed, this is fast becoming a curious credential for CNN contributors.

Continue reading ““Anonymous” Revealed and Retained: CNN Keeps Contributor Who Lied On The Air To Anderson Cooper”

Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett

My column this morning in the Hill discussed a call by columnist and professor Norm Ornstein to impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she does not yield to a demand to recuse herself from any election challenge before the Court. A demand for such recusal was filed yesterday in the Supreme Court. Ornstein’s call for impeachment is the latest unhinged response to Barrett nomination and further decouples our national debate from any sense rationality and restraint.

Continue reading “Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett”

Markey: “Originalism Is Racist . . . Sexist . . . Homophobic”

We have previously discussed how senators crossed a critical line in the Barrett nomination in declaring that the conservative’s judicial philosophy makes her “unqualified” — the abandonment of decades of tradition where members separated the qualifications from the philosophy of a nominee. That dangerous shift was particularly evident yesterday when Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., called originalism “racist, sexist, homophobic and a fancy word for discrimination.” Continue reading “Markey: “Originalism Is Racist . . . Sexist . . . Homophobic””

Disinformation By Popular Demand: How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI. No mainstream reporter bothered to ask the simple question of whether this was his son’s laptop and emails, including emails clearly engaging in an influence peddling scheme and referring to Joe Biden’s knowledge.  Instead, media has maintained a consistent and narrow focus. Indeed, in her interview, Leslie Stahl immediately dismissed any “scandal” involving Hunter in an interview with the President on 60 Minutes. It was an open example of what I previously noted in a column: “After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal.”

Continue reading “Disinformation By Popular Demand: How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial”

Biden’s Parade of Horribles: A Review Of The “Alternatives” For The New Biden Commission On Changing The Supreme Court

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the range of options referenced by Vice President Joe Biden in the last debate that may be considered by his new “commission” for reforming the Supreme Court.  It is worth looking at the parade of horribles proposed by academics for changing the Court to legislatively negate the majority of conservative justices after the addition of Amy Coney Barrett to the Court (as early as today). The concern is that this is little beyond enablement by commission as Democrats claim license to do lasting harm to one of the most important institutions in our constitutional system.

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Biden’s Parade of Horribles: A Review Of The “Alternatives” For The New Biden Commission On Changing The Supreme Court”

“Lizard Brains”: Historian and NBC Analyst Meacham Attacks Trump Supporters As Functioning On Primitive Limbic Systems

Below is my column on Fox regarding the recent remarks of NBC analyst Jon Meacham explaining how Trump supporters suffer from “lizard brains.” The statement is indicative of a long-standing trend in the media of insulting and biased comments about Trump supporters. Analysts seem to have dispensed with any notion of restraint or reason in such attacks.  What is most troubling is that there are students who support Trump at Vanderbilt and there have been complaints for years about an increasingly hostile environment for conservative students. Taking a professor who has publicly dismissed your political views as the result of a lizard brain is hardly welcoming.

Here is the column:

Continue reading ““Lizard Brains”: Historian and NBC Analyst Meacham Attacks Trump Supporters As Functioning On Primitive Limbic Systems”

“We Are Tired”: Duke Law Students Demand George Mason Professor Be Barred From Virtual Panel

“We are tired.” Those three words sum up a great deal of the anti-free speech movement growing on our campuses. Students and faculty have grown tired of free speech. Opposing views are now treated as threats and intolerable for students. A case in point is the effort by half of the law students at Duke to ban Helen Alvaré, a George Mason University law professor, from appearing on a virtual panel discussion about family law. The letter is both well-written and chilling in its call for censorship on campus. It dismisses any notion of free speech protection in allowing dissenting views to be heard on campus. Indeed, it does not even consider such values worthy of discussion. Instead, the students insist that the mere ability of an academic to speak on a panel is an endorsement of her views and a threat to current and future Duke law students. Continue reading ““We Are Tired”: Duke Law Students Demand George Mason Professor Be Barred From Virtual Panel”

Ridiculox: Schools Are Adopting Gender Neutral Alternative To The Gender Neutral “Alumni”

Most colleges and universities have committed themselves to being more inclusive environments in recent years, including the replacement of certain terms with gender neutral alternatives. This effort however appears now to be changing terms that are already gender neutral. Schools like Loyola University, California Institute of the Arts, Rutgers University, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Michigan, College of the Atlantic, Drew University in New Jersey, Swarthmore College, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts have reportedly dumped the word “alumni” to replace it with “alumnx” – much like the move to drop Latino or Latinx. The problem is that “alumni” is already gender neutral but that does not apparently matter in claiming a new gender reform. Continue reading “Ridiculox: Schools Are Adopting Gender Neutral Alternative To The Gender Neutral “Alumni””

Witness: Joe Biden Was “The Big Guy” [Updated]

A former business partner to Hunter Biden, Tony Bobulinski, has made a bombshell statement that not only are the emails on the Biden laptop authentic but the reference to giving a cut to “the big guy” was indeed a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden. More emails are emerging that show Hunter Biden referring to his family as his asset in these dealings. Continue reading “Witness: Joe Biden Was “The Big Guy” [Updated]”

Biden Laptop Was Subpoenaed By The FBI in 2019 As Part Of A Money Laundering Investigation

Last night, Fox News reported that the laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden was subpoenaed last year by the FBI in a money laundering investigation. While the status and the targets of the investigations are unknown, the subpoena would appear to support the fact that these emails are authentic and that the laptop was Biden’s. While House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and roughly 50 “intelligence experts” have assured the public that this is just Russian disinformation, both the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence have now confirmed that they do not believe the laptop and its contents are Russian disinformation. Now it appears that the laptop was viewed as sufficiently connected to possible federal crimes to be subpoenaed as evidence by the FBI a year ago. Continue reading “Biden Laptop Was Subpoenaed By The FBI in 2019 As Part Of A Money Laundering Investigation”

The Barrett Boycott: Democrats Struggle To Get An Empty Sack To Stand Up

I recently wrote about how the Barrett confirmation hearing is proof that Benjamin Franklin was right when he wrote that “it is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.” Now that analogy is becoming reality as Democrats plan to leave actual empty seats in today’s hearing to vote on the nomination. It is all an effort to convince Democrats voters that the senators are really angry over the nomination and fighting like the dickens to stop it. It is, of course, pure theater with no real impact on the nomination but voters seem to demand little more from politicians today than visceral distractions.

Continue reading “The Barrett Boycott: Democrats Struggle To Get An Empty Sack To Stand Up”

Will Adam Schiff’s Claims Now Be Blocked On Twitter?

Twitter LogoJust a day after more than 50 former senior intelligence officials signed on to a letter declaring that the recent disclosure of emails from the Hunter Biden laptop is likely Russian disinformation, the FBI reportedly confirmed that the material does not appear to be Russian disinformation. While former officials like John Brennan insisted that the story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” the FBI appears to have found no such evidence thus far. This followed a similar conclusion from the Director of National Intelligence in response to House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff saying that the story was pure Russian disinformation. The question is whether Twitter and Facebook will now bar access to Schiff’s statements pending further review since the actual intelligence agencies are suggesting that this could be democratic disinformation. After all, a former Twitter executive is calling for President Trump to be barred from all social media until after the election to prevent “misinformation.” The burden of being a free speech advocate is the the answer is clearly no. Those, like Schiff, who have called for censoring material on the Internet still should benefit from the protections of free speech. Continue reading “Will Adam Schiff’s Claims Now Be Blocked On Twitter?”

“Time To Mute The President”: Former Twitter and Google Executive Calls For Trump To Be Banned From Social Media Until After The Election

YouTube Screengrab (CNN)

Peter Greenberger, a former Twitter and Google executive, is calling for the social media accounts of President Donald Trump to be shutdown for the remainder of the election. For those of us who have criticized calls for censorship from Democratic leaders for years, the demand is yet another example of the slippery slope of censorship that awaits this country with increasing regulation of speech on social media. Continue reading ““Time To Mute The President”: Former Twitter and Google Executive Calls For Trump To Be Banned From Social Media Until After The Election”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks