Bring me the head of Charlie Brown!

Image credit: Grooch (January 7, 2015).  Did you know that European Court of Human Rights in June of 2014 upheld France's ban on wearing full-face veils in public, rejecting arguments that the ban undermines freedoms of religion and expression. Ironically, it did so, because the Court concluded that banning Burkas promoted social cohesion in France. How's that for satire.

Image credit: Grooch (January 7, 2015).

Did you know that the European Court of Human Rights in June of 2014 upheld France’s ban on wearing full-face veils in public, rejecting arguments that the ban undermined freedoms of religion and expression? It did so because the Court concluded that banning the hijab promoted social cohesion in France. So much for France’s commitment to free expression (or the slightest understanding of irony).

On a more fundamental level, I have always thought that Charlie Brown was a whiny little bitch. Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown, a 1986 short film, perfectly captures my sentiments.

Take a look:

Je ne suis pas charlie, and pass the Freedom Fries!


21 responses

  1. Yeah, well, France is the home of Your Betters Know Better in the name of Freedom and Security. See the Committee on Public Safety.

    They would do well–as would we today–to listen to that colonial bumpkin Ben Franklin on the relation between freedom and security and on who should make that tradeoff.

    Eric Hines

  2. Judge:
    That cartoon is proof you are recuperating appropriately (& ahead of schedule!). In light of events in France in the last several weeks, the use of the phrase “social cohesion” to describe relatins bewteen various groups in that country is somewhat misplaced, oui?

  3. Agree on Charlie but beware of Leroy. Fail to see irony. While free speech has tended to a notion of self expression that includes gestures, facial hair cases in late 60s, seems more a free exercise case in US terminology. Either way fail to see why US practice should be model of the World.. French attitudes toward religion are an historic product of role of RC Church in French history and idea of shared citizenship as central to shared public space has little counterpart in American political thought, unless you buy into the Christian America model and think Christian symbols and practices should be displayed on governmental property and uttered at governmental events.. Ah irony.

  4. Judge, you are precisely correct about the French: their current “commitment” to freedom of expression or even to freedom in general is so much B.S. They are among the most anti-Semitic and racist societies in the developed world. Their treatment of their North-African minorities may even be worse that our treatment of undocumented migrant workers. References to their historical connections to Catholicism and the origins of democracy miss the point entirely; they are the worst sort of hypocrites. The Establishment there exhibits no desire to improve their society–just complacency and arrogance.

    Other than that, I like them a lot.

  5. Hard to see how French could outdo USA in racism. The historic antiSemitism of French far right not that different from like groups in other parts of EU, though anti Islamic sentiment is probably more virulent and couple with hostility to migrants. The citizen ideal is intended to build a national loyalty not based on blood. Like most such ideals it is only imperfectly achieved.

  6. Dear repenting lawyer:
    Don’t be so cynical. There was a time–not such a long time ago–when the metaphor of the melting pot, i.e., people actually assimilating into the dominant culture, actually worked in America. Not so within the last 45 years or so. BTW, what happened about 45 years ago that caused this change? Well, it couldn’t be the onset of liberalism, could it? Nah, I’m sure that’s just a coincidence…

  7. Dear repenting lawyer:
    There is no moral equivalency with America’s racial problem. Vichy France having surrendered Jews to the Nazis for eventual extermination, including Jewish children that the Nazis themselves had not even asked for, constitutes a moral crime so great that the U.S.A.’s depredations pale in comparison.

  8. If you think the rampant anti Semitism and anti Catholicism which were standard in America well into the 50s were the hallmark of a melting pot, you might try reading some American religious history. The idea of unmeltable ethnics dates back to early 60s and was written by two of the emerging neocons., had nothing to do with race.

  9. No great fan of Vichy, though I would note the political philosophy espoused was classical conservative, blood, family, nation, faith kind of Tea Party with wine. Always easy to claim to find a greater sinner to cover for personal or national failures.

  10. Dear. Repenting lawyer:
    I don’t know how “rampant” the anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism may have been but that does not trump the primacy of assimilation over its opposite, i.e., turning an atomized society into a collection of warring pressure groups fighting for pieces of an ever shrinking pie.

  11. Thought I was saying all nations have fallen fat from God’s Grace and are in need of His Mercy, my Barth imitation.

  12. Have no idea what you mean by an atomized society or when we had one. Certainly interest groups have been around from the beginning of the Republic, fights between debtors and creditors for example or management and labor, farmers and railroads, grain elevators, and packing houses.

  13. Dear repenting lawyer:
    We are talking apples and oranges here. Prior to about 1965 people viewed themselves as having an American identity irrespective of their race, creed, color or “interest group.”. After about that time the culture changed dramatically and dictated that we celebrate “diversity” rather than unity, that is, enshrine those things which make us different rather than that which we have in common. Unfortunately, this cultural mindset continues to the present day and, taken to an extreme, portends the end of the American experiment.

  14. In other words, the judges of the ECHR are just like American judges, who proclaim undying fealty to the Constitution and then, throw it in the round file when it compels an answer they don’t like.

    I wonder if the Judge has even the slightest understanding of irony.

  15. Je suis Charlie,

    All of us are about to drown in irony (and blood). By the way, if I am the “judge” in your last sentence, I admit having about the same understanding of irony as your next Jihadi or French liberal. Perhaps that’s why I wrote the post.

    All the best.


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