The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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”→
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]”→
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.