News and Notes
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*** Mehdi touches on the hypocrisy, the simple dishonesty, that the mainline press in America adopts when it addresses the concept of a Free Press and a free exchange of ideas. This is the first time I have seen it charged so widely, in the mainline press, that there is no “free press” when it comes to the Holocaust question. The massacre that provoked these unusual moments of open honesty started immediately after that event on 07 January.
WASHINGTON POST, 08 January 2015
[Excerpted from an article written by Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.]
Indeed, if the French want to memorialize those killed at Charlie Hebdo, they could start by rescinding their laws criminalizing speech that insults, defames or incites hatred, discrimination or violence on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sex or sexual orientation. These laws have been used to harass the satirical newspaper and threaten its staff for years. Speech has been conditioned on being used “responsibly” in France, suggesting that it is more of a privilege than a right for those who hold controversial views.
In 2012, the government criminalized denial of the Armenian genocide (a law later overturned by the courts, but Holocaust denial remains a crime).
BLOOMBERG NEWS, 08 January 2015
Even the free speech issue is more complicated, and caught up in identity politics, than #JeSuis-Charlie would suggest. President Obama said that the attack on a newspaper “underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press.” But freedom of speech in France isn’t as airtight as it is here. In France—and in Germany, for one—it is a crime to deny the Holocaust.
DAILY SABAH (Turkey), 09 January 2015
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Carlos Latuff, a world-renowned Brazilian cartoonist, said that there are double standards on the issue of freedom of speech. “It is an ever-lasting discussion, because what is freedom of speech and what is hate speech. Why are some subjects protected by freedom of speech and others not? Why can we mock some issues and cannot do so with others? Should Holocaust denial, for example, be included as freedom of speech or racial hatred? See for example, the treatment given by the Western mainstream media to Mohammed cartoons and the Holocaust cartoons.”
THE NATION, 10 January 2015
Well, then, what about the double standards? This is a refrain we hear all the time with satirical weeklies like Charlie Hebdo. And not without cause. Under French law, the magazine could run cartoons mocking Islam, but it could not run cartoons mocking the Holocaust. In fact, in 2009, Charlie Hebdo fired Maurice Sinet (known as Siné), one of its most famous cartoonists, because of a column in which he suggested that Nicolas Sarkozy’s son would “go a long way in life” after marrying a Jewish heiress.
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR, 12 January 2015
It is now being promoted that the French media is free to publish anything as a fundamental right without restrictions of any kind; this is a myth. For example, French law does not permit the publication of material that promotes the use of drugs; hatred based on race or gender; insults about the national flag and anthem; or questions about the Nazi Holocaust. Dieudonné M’Bala, a French comedian and satirist, was convicted and fined in a French court for describing Holocaust remembrance as “memorial pornography.”
AL JEZEERA, 13 January 2015
In fact, there are limits to any right. In France, freedom of expression “is limited by strict defamation and privacy laws”, and “some of the toughest hate speech laws in the EU”, according to Index on Censorship.
In France—and other European states—it is a crime to deny the Holocaust, but not other genocides. Muslims are disproportionately surveyilled. Wearing religious signs or clothing in schools is forbidden, as is the face veil in public places, and Islamic prayers in the streets.
Charlie Hebdo fired one of its employees over anti-Semitic content. Similarly, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten said soon after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 that it would not publish cartoons offending Christians and Jews.
HA'ARETZ, 13 January 2015
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, publications around the world reprinted the satirical Mohammed cartoons on their pages.
For many editors and journalists, and for their readers, re-publishing was a form of protest against extremist barbarity, standing up for core democratic value of free expression, showing solidarity with fellow journalists and simply being responsible news reporters.
Publications that stepped up to the plate included Germany’s Bild and Berliner Zeitung, Spain’s El Pais, Britain’s The Times of London, Israel’s Haaretz and newspapers all over France. The list of those who stood tall, however, did not include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and The Associated Press. Neither CNN nor Fox News showed the images either.
FOREIGN POLICY, 13 January 2015
For all the talk of defending the right to blaspheme Mohammed, the French can be extremely hypocritical when it comes to making fun of others.
But the ink does not always flow free in France, which leads the Western world in crackdowns on free speech. Holocaust denial is a crime, and denying the Armenian genocide nearly became one in 2012.
For all the laudatory talk praising Charlie Hebdo as a fearless French satirical weekly that spares no sacred cows, some cows are apparently more sacred than others. In 2009, the magazine fired Maurice Sinet, known as Siné, one of its most famous cartoonists, over a column he wrote suggesting that then-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s son, Jean, would “go a long way in life” since he was marrying a Jewish heiress. Siné’s stereotyping was tame by Charlie Hebdo standards, but it was too much for then-editor Philippe Val, who asked Siné to apologize. He refused, noting, “I’d rather cut off my balls.” And so he was kicked off the masthead.
THE TELEGRAPH (UK), 14 January 2015
A top court in France has upheld the ban on a performance by the controversial comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a move the government has hailed as a “victory” over anti-Semitism.
The decision comes less than two hours before the comedian was due to give the opening performance of his national tour in the western city of Nantes, despite his lawyers claiming a breach of his freedom of expression.
The ban had been lifted only yesterday by local judge Jean-Francois Molla who said that a perceived risk to public order could not be used to “justify as radical a measure as banning the show”. However, France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, ruled that the show should be allowed to go ahead.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who has led the campaign to ban the comedian’s performances, said: “We cannot tolerate hatred of others, racism, anti-Semitism or holocaust denial. That is not France. This is a victory for the Republic.”
The decision marks a landmark break with legal precedent in France, where previous attempts to ban Dieudonné from performing foundered against constitutional provisions on free speech.
THE NEW REPUBLIC, January 16 2015
Despicable though their hateful and bigoted comments are, the 54 arrested have ultimately been detained for practicing a similar type of speech to that which the millions who purchased the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo seek to venerate. In France, speech is less protected than in the United States: The French Pleven Act of 1972, for instance, prohibits incitements to hatred, discrimination, and racial insults, and the Gayssot Law of 1990—passed largely in response to Robert Faurisson’s notorious Holocaust denial—does the same for any speech blatantly anti-Semitic, racist, or xenophobic. The aftermath of Charlie Hebdo, then, has exposed what many consider a double standard: as it turns out, French law, unlike Charlie Hebdo, is not an equal-opportunity offender, and it selectively protects the dignity of certain communities and minority groups more than others.
*** Shafar Nullifidian
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place
Dear Dana Weinstein,
Having been employed for some 16 years in an industrial chemical processing facility where the principal raw material was liquid hydrocyanic acid HCN, I would opine that my familiarity with its physical and chemical properties is a great deal more than that of an overwhelming majority of Americans.
I learned first hand of the dangers of even limited exposure to HCN, having been accidentally overcome (mildly) on a few occasions. Further, having been trained in the dos and definitely do nots in the handling of HCN I was and remain keenly aware of how mortally dangerous it is, unless one is completely protected, from exposure to residual HCN vapors emanating from an unconscious or perhaps expired victim of HCN poisoning.
For this reason, I began having serious doubts about your Holocaust when I read and heard the tales of the Sonderkommando, supposedly equipped with “gas masks,” hauling alleged HCN gassed cadavers from the supposed “gas chambers” at Auschwitz. Moreover, from their description of the appearance of these alleged cadavers, it was patently obvious that these Sonderkommando were lying or repeating the lies of others.
The more I learned, the more I came to believe sincerely that the historiography of your Holocaust consists of far more hysteria and hyperbole than factual history.
Here is a deal I’m offering to you. You provide me with forensically verifiable documentation of the name of one person executed in a homicidal gas chamber at Auschwitz and I will donate $50 to the USHMM. However, if you cannot provide such, then the USHMM shall donate $1.00 for each of the 594 men and women executed in homicidal gas chambers in the U.S., all of whom I will identify by name, age, gender, crime(s) for which capital punishment was imposed, along with the date and state where the death penalty was administered, as documented.
The recipient for your donation to be CoDoH. The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.
*** Hannover at The CODOH Forum comments on a review in The Guardian of Night Will Fall, the Holocaust film that was “too shocking to show.”
From The Guardian: “In 1945, overseen by Alfred Hitchcock, a crack team of British filmmakers went to Germany to document the horror of the concentration camps. Despite being hailed as a masterpiece, the film was never shown. Now, in a documentary called Night Will Fall, the full story of its creation and suppression is being told.”
This appallingly tendentious article has to be one of the worst ever. A good start is the picture of Auschwitz labeled Bergen-Belsen, then a lot of talk about the Holocaust without a single mention of the fact that even if you believe the story, it allegedly took place miles away in Poland and this has nothing to do with it.
I was going to post, but after skimming through the comments and not finding a single one putting the record right on this I decided not to waste my time.
I feel that the increasing amount of these pieces and the unrestrained shrillness of the propaganda contained indicates a growing success rate of Revisionist research and our efforts at reaching out to the public. We are breaking through and the “holocaust” Industry apparatchiks are becoming very uneasy.
There is something that is brewing through the growing public awareness of the obvious evil that is Israel, its lackey the US government, and the coercive self-absorption of supremacist Jews reflected in the media and academia, as well as the growing awareness that all governments generally lie more than they are truthful. These examples are producing an increasing reluctance to accept positions as passed off by them. “Holocaust” Revisionism, while not yet in mainstream favor, is being discussed more and more in the mainstream. Awareness via various routes is bringing about an upswing in interest in spite of the attempted repressive measures.
I also believe the French terrorist attack has brought attention to the stifling of free speech under the notorious Fabius-Gayssot act, which has now infected most of Europe.
With all of this going on I can see a serious effort to impose harsh censorship and arrests of Revisionists in the US. It is here where the fight will reach perhaps a critical mass. Passage of repressive US legislation resulting in a US Supreme Court ruling in favor of Revisionists could be a watershed moment. But then, who and what is the Supreme Court? Time will tell.
*** Out walking this morning. I’m reversing my schedule. For some years I have walked in the evenings but it has become difficult. By the time the evening is here, after working at the desk all day and doing errands, I’m rather too tired to walk well. Sometimes I have been walking only a couple three times a week. I’ve walked each of the three last mornings. When I get back, I lie down for a bit.
This morning after returning from the walk I was thinking about my book, Moral Decay. Thinking I have to tell Hernandez that we need to “tag” the book online. A program where we (he) install a connection to subjects touched on in the book, for example gas chambers, bullfighting, Zen, God, the Devil, taboo, Saigon, Guevara and so on. There can be a lot of such references. Then when folk search for any of these subjects on the internet, they will find connections leading to many, many sources, including in this instance Moral Decay.
Okay. And then for reasons I do not know the brain began recalling the first books I read when I was a child. I didn’t read many. But when I was ten there was The Lost Continent of Mu, probably by James Churchward. I was unable to read it myself, but my mother and I would sit at the kitchen table in the room that originally was a goat pen and she would read it to me in parts. I had chosen the book myself at the library based on the title. She thought it was a little crazy, but she read for me.
A couple years later I read a lot of Joseph Alexander Altsheler who did books for young people about American frontiersmen at various places and times. I still remember the name of one of his characters, Henry Ware.
And then the brain recalled in the late 50s at the main New York Public Library on Broadway reading Suzuki. Don’t recall why I chose to go in that direction. Later on I would read Alan Watts on Zen. Watts was an Englishman and in Japan after the close of that war. Watts visited Suzuki, who was rather a teacher for him. I remember the scene as Suzuki, an old man now, sitting on the floor in a small room. When Watts entered the room to greet him, Suzuki drew his robe across his face in a silent expression of shame.
It would be interesting to recall the life that surrounded, or contained, these books. Not so much the books, but the life itself. How it was affected. Not likely now. Too long ago.
*** Mike Bauer calls to ask if I had started the book he sent me, Hitler’s Revolution: Ideology, Social Programs, Foreign Affairs by Richard Tedor. I did start the book but had to lay it aside for lack of time. It’s interesting for me to find a brief discussion of Nationalism vs. Liberal Democracy on page six where Tedor writes: “It would be interesting to question why, after the victorious Allies established democratic governments throughout Europe in 1919, this state form became practically extinct there in 20 years. Russia, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Greece, Spain, Slovkia and soon thereafter France adopted authoritarian regimes.”
It is an interesting question.
*** Patrick J. Buchanan, in his column “The Rise of Putinism”, http://tinyurl.com/kshggar appears to echo what I found surprising in Richard Tedor’s Hitler’s Revolution. All the new leaders referenced below have two things in common: they are all “strong men,” they are all “nationalists.” Not “liberals.”
Buchanan begins with the election of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, commenting that he is “the most nationalistic leader of postwar Japan. He is rebooting nuclear power, building up Japan’s military, asserting her rights in territorial disputes with China and Korea.”
“Xi Jinping is another. Staking a claim to all the islands in the South and East China seas, moving masses of Han Chinese into Tibet and Uighur lands to swamp native peoples, purging old comrades for corruption, Xi is the strongest leader China has seen in decades.”
“Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist party who was denied entry into the United States for a decade for complicity in or toleration of a massacre of Muslims is now Prime Minister of India.”
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan … has declared cold war on Israel, aided the Islamic State in Syria, and seems to be reigniting the war with the Kurds.”
“Hungary’s Viktor Orban has said he sees in Russia a model for his own ‘illiberal state.’”
“The National Front’s Marine Le Pen wants to bring France into a new Gaullist Europe, stretching ‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’.”
And so it goes? Was Hitler a mere “traditionalist”?
*** Late Sunday afternoon. I’m loafing and there is a Big Band show on PBS. The first segment that comes up shows Tex Beneke singing Chattanooga Choo Choo. It tugged at the heart. He didn’t sing all that well, but it didn’t matter. Some kind of attachment in the heart to a time long gone by, almost the beginning as it were.
Then the brain saw an image of the record player my parents bought when I was fourteen years old. I saw the big wooden cabinet with the handle on the side that you would crank to play a record. I played Sing, Sing, Sing by Artie Shaw over and over again. And there was The House of Blue Lights by Ella Mae Morse. I could not get enough of her voice. Those were the days.
Until next month then.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Bradley R. Smith|
|Title:||News and Notes|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, no. 212, February 2015, pp. 3f., 9-11|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 18, 2015, 6 p.m.|
|Comments:||The printed version accidentally has three entries in this article which had already been printed in Smith's Report no. 210. They were removed from the online version (both html and pdf).|