Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
It is necessary to crush once again the infamous thing, as Voltaire liked to say. This religious intolerance that accepts no mockery, no satire, no ridicule. We citizens of secular and democratic societies are summoned to condemn a dozen caricatures judged offensive to Islam. Summoned by who? By the Muslim Brotherhood, by Syria, the Islamic Jihad, the interior ministers of Arab countries, the Islamic Conferences - all paragons of tolerance, humanism and democracy.
So, we must apologise to them because the freedom of expression they refuse, day after day, to each of their citizens, faithful or militant, is exercised in a society that is not subject to their iron rule. It's the world upside down. No, we will never apologise for being free to speak, to think and to believe.
Because these self-proclaimed doctors of law have made this a point of principle, we have to be firm. They can claim whatever they like but we have the right to caricature Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha, Yahve and all forms of theism. It's called freedom of expression in a secular country ...
For centuries the Catholic church was little better than this fanaticism. But the French Revolution solved that, rendering to God that which came from him and to Caesar what was due to him.
French Muslims threatened to sue.
Posted on Friday, February 3, 2006 - 17:53
However the owner of France Soir, Raymond Lakah, reacted swiftly by dismissing the publication's managing editor Jacques Lefranc.
Franco-Egyptian Lakah said he decided to remove Lefranc"as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual."
"We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication" of the cartoons, the statement added.
However the French paper was unrepentant in its Thursday edition, asserting that"faced with religious intolerance and censorship it is time to come to the defence of secularism."
There was no word in the paper on the fate of Lefranc whose name was still listed as managing editor.
The French government earlier said the decision to reprint the dozen caricatures was the"sole responsibility" of France Soir, while also reaffirming its commitment to freedom of the press.
According to a Danish paper, the employees want their editor back reports our reader, Lizbeth.
Posted on Friday, February 3, 2006 - 17:52
Posted on Friday, February 3, 2006 - 18:05
Read and feel better.
Posted on Friday, February 3, 2006 - 18:03
Unfortunately, as Ann Jensen argues by attempting to force Microsoft to reveal its codes, the EU wishes to punish the goose that is laying the golden eggs to the delight of those hoping to benefit :
Sir, Jon A. Hall of Linux argues (Letters, November 18) that European companies should not be alarmed by a recent decision by the European Commission that threatens to obliterate Microsoft trade secrets representing millions of dollars of research and development investment, since few of them are ever likely to find themselves in Microsoft's shoes. This line of argument is surely a dangerous call to inaction. Not only is any company with a 30-40 per cent market share potentially vulnerable to Brussels' new approach, but also - and more importantly - we are all likely to suffer the effects of a European competition policy that punishes innovative and successful companies.
The first wave was the early generation of ‘techies’ who cooperatively established the technology and culture of the Internet. They were largely apolitical. The second wave were the innovators and dotcom entrepreneurs who created industries from scratch. They were largely anti-political and libertarian. The third wave, strongly represented in Tunis through NGOs, is that of the Internet social activists, under the loose umbrella of “civil society”, who are highly political and often seek a state role in the Internet. What is manifest is the shift of energy from the second wave that sought to push the envelope to the activist third wave that seeks to redress problems and grievances.
Yes, the Third wavers are internationalist progressives. Those who moved the Marxist slogan, from each according to his ability to which according to his need, into the global arena. It is a small wonder that tyrants are their best friends:
This syllogism is shared by the anti-authoritarian left with the political right and traditionalists who are deeply suspicious of information medias’ role in modernism and hedonism, and with most governments wishing to control information media. China’s Vice Premier minced no words when he declared in Tunis that “For the Internet, we need effective measures to fight against…anything that harms state security.” Together, this is a formidable grouping. Its NGO members are well-connected electronically and instantaneously into a world-wide activist network of a kind that never existed before. They exhibited at the summit effective collaborative skills. They can run electronic circles not only around governments that are in their way - from Tunisia to the US - but also around traditional media firms.
These supposed"do gooders" began with medicine and forced Pharmaceutical companies to give up their patents to AID medications. Dying people trump patents, they argued successfully. The production of the generic antiviral are about to move to China where they can be produced for a penny a piece. I wonder where will the investment for the next generation of AID drugs come from now that drug companies learned that Viagra is not only profitable but its patent is safer.
In any case, having established a precedent the unholy alliance moved to appropriate computer software and Internet control. Only the fat cats such as the Americans and Microsoft will lose, they argue. Wrong. Just as with Communism, the pie will shrink and the process empowers the wrong people.
Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2006 - 11:50
Tobacco pipe carving is almost a cottage industry in Denmark. Several Danes are noted pipe carvers and responsible for some of the more interesting and pleasing designs over the last 40 or so years. A couple of shops I've used are:
1. FF Pipes
2. ABB pipes
Service is good, shipping is fast, and the prices are reasonable.
Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2006 - 02:25