Since I was asked to share my thoughts about Charlie Hedbo, well! Here they are.
* I think the timing makes for some dark comedy, since Merkel in Germany was just recently huffing and pouting about the Pegida marches. How dare people question or even reject the value of importing a foreign culture into their culture! They're racists - bigots, even! Of course, one group of dead journalists and cops later has made that response a bit more muted. Maybe people are right to be worried about the influences of a foreign culture and, yes, even a foreign religion. Maybe they even have a point. Of course, the cost of admitting as much is a bit too high - those terrible nationalists, those right wingers, justified even in part? I think many would prefer minarets in Berlin to that.
* Of course, the reality is that Germany - and all of Europe - needs immigration because they're all committing collective demographic suicide. Cut off the immigration from muslim lands and they'll either have to find another immigration source (and likely re-introduce the same problems in a different form) or, God forbid, structure their societies in a way that encourages people to have more children - and along with it, healthy families. That's not happening. Feminist groups would be torn between A) screeching that massive amounts of benefits state-paid day care and such would be necessary to even vaguely encourage women to have children, and B) screeching that the very idea of thinking WOMEN should have CHILDREN is utterly barbaric. LGBT groups would throw conniption fits and demand front-row consideration and react with colorful hostility to the idea that a man and woman having sex and, eventually, children is in any way "the norm" or even "ideal". They would rather die as a culture than admit certain realities, or even possibilities.
* As for France itself... really, fuck Charlie Hebdo. They should be allowed to print whatever they want, but they didn't become saints, or even martys, just because they got gunned down by radicals. The saints and martyrs are the cops who tried to protect them, and us for tolerating their antics, as we should - but just as Larry Flynt didn't become a role model just because we (rightly) tolerate him, Team Hebdo didn't become heroic during this. And, just to be particularly blunt about that - when one of their number was threatened by the gunmen, she opened the fucking door. Someone should run a comic showing all these Je Suis Charlie people at a rally in a bar before a bunch of masked gunmen with turbans and korans burst in demanding to know which one of them is Charlie, at which point they all point at each other and yell "Il est Charlie!" That's closer to the truth.
* A bit more about Charlie Hebdo. They're the worst kind of Cult of Gnu atheists, who mock not because it's funny, but because they want to reduce their targets to reviled jokes. It's hate speech - and still I defend them, because I think the West rightly enshrines freedom of expression as a right, and hate speech of their variety is covered. Hell, I'd even be against passively censoring them and keeping them entirely out of circulation by the decisions of private businesses - I think we should bite certain bullets on that front. But they're not heroes, and I'll even say their insulting of religions, including ones other than my own, are deplorable acts. I hope some muslim papers run some good fucking strips about their deaths, and their supporters see it. Nothing is sacred, remember?
* Finally, the Pope. Ha! Figures the one time he unequivocally says something I agree with is the time he pisses everyone off. I know I'm supposed to fit the mold of the stereotypical right-winger and enthusiastically endorse pissing off muslims, but the fact is I have no interest in intentionally provoking them - to a point. I even respect them - again, to a point. Really, they do less damage than the secularists when you really sit down and start taking stock of things.