Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Among all the people killed today in the heart of Paris, in an unprecedented attack against the freedom of speech, there were a few fellow cartoonists of assumed bad taste. " Cabu " was one of them, when I was a child and later a teenager, I was inspired by his main character, a dreamer in love with the out-of-reach daughter of the Principal.

" Wolinski " was such a famous cartoonist too. All his life was about peace & love (granted, often through much, much obscene sex!). I can't believe he was killed

Tribute to these 4 fellow provocative cartoonists, and all the people who were killed and injured today by idiots and obscurantism


  1. Very well put...there are no words to adequately describe the horror of this.

  2. Yesterday was indeed a sad day for not only France, but all those who believe in Freedom of Speech.

  3. An extremely repellent and obscene act. I find ironic though, that France isn't really that big a supporter of "freedom of speech", having laws forbidding criticism or "slander" of select, favored groups, including Muslims, that can include civil fines and even imprisonment. There are laws criminally punishing "holocaust denial" or any advocacy of anything related to Hitler or the Third Reich. Brigitte Bardot was tried and fined for criticizing Muslim slaughtering rituals of animals as unnecessarily cruel. Freedom of speech means just that: ALL speech, not just all speech EXCEPT speech that we especially despise and ALL expression, not just expression that's "acceptable"...

    1. Sometimes it's difficult to draw the line in a democracy indeed; And there is much debate when a judge decide to condemn someone for his outrageous statements.

      Regarding Brigitte Bardot, she was not condemned precisly for criticizing Muslim slaughtering, she was condemned for writing in her open letter to the President "...and we are fed up to be abused by this "population" which is destroying our country".

      Basically it's forbidden to "call for hate" (appeler à la haine) but you are free to question or mock all institutions and religions and make fun of fanatics, without fearing for your opinion.

    2. Basically, if it's "forbidden" to "call for hate" (as you refer to it), it's a restriction on freedom of speech. If the principal of "freedom of speech" doesn't protect ALL speech, no matter how repellent, racist, sexist, homephobic or xenophobic, it doesn't really protect any speech. Remember, I'm not saying such speech should be protected from public opprobrium, just protected from government action against the speaker. Libel and slander are civil violations that are legally actionable but do not incur the threat of incarceration or judicially imposed fines (generally). If someone's speech offends you, protest it! Freedom of speech is a double-edged sword. Killing someone for expressing an opinion, no matter how it infuriates you, is the act of a barbarian. And that's my opinion...

    3. I'm against protecting racism and the new nazi speeches that seduce the youth over the Internet.
      Killing someone for expressing an opinion is illegal, and so is calling to kill someone for expressing an opinion

    4. So yes, there is a limitation in freedom of speech, and this is the complex duty of the judge - not the Government - to apply it. In my country (sorry to be a bit self-centered : ) , it is rooted in the principles of the "Lumières" since the end of the 18th Century. In real life, if people from different origins and of different beliefs want to leave together, they have to obey some basic rules to avoid civil war and anarchy, you can't speak out of this fragile box.
      Of course the line is always difficult to draw, and there is much debate in society everytime someone has to pay a fine for what he is saying to people (recently Dieudonné for accusing the Jews of being the cause of all problems). But at least we can debate it, and we should fight for this fragile privilege : )

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    6. "Fragile privilege" indeed. Does the Judge NOT work for the government? Not subjecting someone to criminal charges or fines is NOT "protecting racism". It's exposing it. It's not the government's job (or duty) to protect us from unpleasant people or ideas, as though we were children without the intellectual wherewithal to see what's right or wrong, like fragile little flowers. The ability to debate over such things is neither fragile or a privilege. It's a right and needn't be fought for. Why should some ignorant anti-Semite be fined for saying something insulting about Jews? Do the Jews of France need protection from such people? Do French Muslims need protecting from Brigitte Bardot and her opinions? Exposing oneself to the public as an ignorant fool (or a racist, Nazi sympathizer or whatever) is its own punishment, one that the public will exercise, not the State. Remember that the higher a monkey climbs, the more he shows his ass. If freedom of speech is limited, then it's not really a right, it's only a privilege granted by the State and subject to change at any time for reasons of its own.

    7. The Judge does not work for the Government indeed, and he sometimes send a few politicians to jail. The seperation of powers is another fragile balance to look after.

      I believe that in some cases the State has to protect some minorities. If someone is calling to burn mosquees or kick out the Jews, he will show his monkey ass indeed, but not only. It has concrete consequences on society. I don't want this to be legal just for the intellectual self-gratification to name it "freedom of speech" in some warm parisian salons.
      I feel the discussion is getting theorical and we could go on and on for pages like this when basically we have both expressed our different points of views : )

    8. I agree that this discussion has apparently reached a stalemate, but I would like to point out that I never called for the threat of actual violence to be protected. That may not have been clear. Here (the US, and, I suspect, in France), public threats of violence are not protected as "freedom of speech or expression" and can be criminally actionable, as it should be.

      I'm also unclear on who, exactly, the judges work for there. By that I mean who pays their salaries? If they are employed by a government agency, then they're government employees, just as the police and prosecutors and public defenders are all government employees. All law enforcement personnel, including judges, work for the government, don't they and their salaries and pensions are paid for by the taxpayers? Judges don't always work on BEHALF of government, or governmental interests but they are part of the government, aren't they? Perhaps things work differently there. If I misunderstood, then the mistake is mine. No offense intended. Our judges often send politicians to jail too and block or overrule many governmental or political actions, but, like the politicians, they're public employees. That's what I meant.

      Anyway, I've had my say and any continued philosophical debate is likely to be less than fruitful. Thanks for your respectful discourse.


  4. I am so sorry to hear of this, I had no idea this magazine even existed but it sounds like such a tragic loss for you and the whole of France. My thoughts are with you all in times like these.