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Blanche aka Agatha Christie

Today we were a detective a la Agatha Christie. We were listening to the CBC at 6:45 am this morning and later in the day to CJAD. On both radio stations we heard an interview with Lucinda Chodan, editor of the Montreal Gazette on the same subject: Why the Gazette did not publish any cartoons from Charlie Hebdo. The answers given by Chodan, one in the morning and one in the afternoon had completely different facts and different tones. We emailed Ms. Chodan on her 180 degree turn and are awaiting a reply. Below are the facts in two parts:

Part 1: When asked by the CBC’s Mike Finnerty why the Gazette did not publish a Charlie Hebdo cartoon Ms. Chodan answered and we quote directly from the interview at the 1:00 minute mark: We don’t publish any photos, images or pictures of the prophet Mohammed.

The announcer pushed her further asking even today, when all the French newspapers were publishing the cartoons? Ms. Chodan responded that she contacted the Vice President in charge of all editorial functions of Post media as to what to do. The announcer then asked if perhaps the situation today changed their policy. Ms. Chodan replied, “Absolutely not.” At minute 4:53 Ms. Chodan said they didn’t publish the cartoon because of their philosophy of respect to the muslim faith.

Now imagine our surprise when we listened to Ms. Chodan interviewed on the Aaron Rand show this afternoon. When asked why the Gazette did not publish the cartoon the response was that as of last night it was supposed to have been published but there was a breakdown in communication.

Part 2: On the CBC Ms. Chodan stated that it is the Post Media policy not to publish any images, photos or pictures of the prophet Mohammed out of respect for the muslim faith. Well, on page A4 of the National Post, you can find many cartoons from Charlie Hebdo, depicting the prophet Mohammed.

The Gazette and the National Post are both owned by Post Media. So what is the policy? To publish or not? And who decides? And if the policy is not offend muslims, does it only apply to Gazette reading muslims?

Summary: Something’s amiss in America. What happened between 7:00 am this morning and this afternoon that made Chodan do complete 180 degree turn? Which version is true? Is she afraid of the Muslim community?

Having spoken to someone in the media business, whose company decided not to post any cartoons of Mohammed, we were given a stark dose of reality. The decision of the company was a conscious one as they value their employees and are not interested in attracting the ire of any radical lone wolf with a machine gun. The sad reality in our world today is that he is not wrong. It is not something beyond our imagination.

Lise Ravary, a journalist writing for La Presse, the National Post and the Gazette was working from her home today when suddenly her computer screen saver changed from her family pictures to pictures of those killed in Paris and others on al-qaida hit list. To say she was unnerved would most likely be the understatement of the year.

As always, our Prime Minister Harper got it right. The international jihadist movement has declared war on the world, on democracy, on freedom of speech and anyone who values openness and tolerance. This week it was Paris, two weeks ago Har Nof, a week before that a cafe in Australia.

Much of the other news of the past few days pales in comparison to what happened in Paris. Given that, if we do not carry on, the evil these people are perpetrating will paralyze us. Blanche, let’s get to work. There’s a hedge fund headquartered in Moscow called Blackfield Capital CJSC. Their youthful founder, 29 year old Kim Karapetyan has vanished into thin air along with $20 million. What is interesting is that none of his 50 or so employees knew anything until three, shall we say, goons, barged into their upscale offices demanding to see the owner. Everyone then realized that they had not seen him for quite a few days. He’s still MIA as is the $20 million.

Obama should be living in Russia. It’s obvious that he wants a socialist state. One wonders what he will come up with next and one is never disappointed. Today he proposed that everyone get two years of free community college. While that may sound very altruistic, it’s also delusional as the costs are prohibitive.

It is expected that 9 million students would participate saving them up to $3,800 a year. That would place the cost at $34.2 billion. The federal government would pay three quarters of that. Where’s he getting the money honey? One guess. John Q. Public.

A last word on what is really on everyone’s mind: Terrorism persists because terrorism works. Terrorism works because we let it. Below is an excerpt of an excellent, albeit long article on what happened in Paris. It gets to the heart of the issue and will hopefully, in some small measure, give you hope that all is not lost:

Terrorism works. But it does not have to. Terrorism reduces us to the sort of society that we claim to despise. But it does not have to. The ideals we espouse when times are calm—justice, understanding, rationality, proportionality, a love of peace—are the ones that we must cling to most tightly when things get scary. If we discard them, we have lost the game from the start.

We cannot control the terrorist. We can only control our response. Let that response be just, and wise, and proportional. Let that response embody the best of who we are, and not the worst. Terror is momentary. A loss of our ideals can last forever.

Good Shabbos We’ll talk…

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