‘I’ve finally honoured promise I made before Herve’s suicide’

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HIV vaccine shows promise in human trial

The “mosaic” vaccine produced an anti-HIV immune-system response in tests on 393 people.
BBC News – Health
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A 'distortion' of American promise: Tech CEOs denounce travel ban

A 'distortion' of American promise: Tech CEOs denounce travel banSeveral Silicon Valley CEOs expressed disappointment in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday to uphold President Trump’s travel ban.



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Promise Project to Hold Spring Fund-raiser on May 1

CHANGING LIVES: Promise Project will host its 11th annual Beautiful Promise cocktail party on May 1, co-chaired by Cindy Weber Cleary, Lori Buchbinder and Terry Darland. The event takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 West 18th Street, in New York from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The evening will once again feature ABC’s Bill Ritter as emcee.
Guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items such as accessories and jewelry from Versace, Valentino, Jennifer Meyer, Ileana Makri, Alexis Bittar and Chanel, as well as experiences such as “Daily Show” tickets.
One-of-a-kind items and experiences will also be available for bidding on Charity Buzz when the auction goes live on April 24, such as a private tour of MoMA and Yankees tickets, as well as a lunch with Nicole Miller and tickets to a “Shark Tank” taping.
Dana Buchman, board chair, explained that since the charity started, they’ve transformed the lives of more than 1,200 children and their families thanks to the generosity of their sponsors, board and benefit committee.
Promise Project, in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital, is a comprehensive program committed to helping impoverished children living with learning disabilities get the support they need to succeed.
 

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Once-a-week pill for HIV shows promise in animals

Trials could begin in humans after successful tests of a slow-release oral tablet in pigs, claim US researchers.
BBC News – Health
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Malaria breath test shows promise

People with the disease give off a distinctive “breath-print” that could aid rapid diagnosis, say experts.
BBC News – Health
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Joe Biden Talks About His New Memoir, ‘Promise Me, Dad’

The former vice president writes about facing the death of his son Beau, deciding not to pursue a presidential run and dealing with foreign crises.
NYT > Books

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Can Apple Unlock Promise of Facial Recognition?

Face ID will be the primary tool to unlock the nearly $ 1,000 iPhone X. If Apple can get it right, the company could popularize a technology that has had a mixed record.
WSJ.com: WSJD

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Nintendo President Can’t Promise Enough Switch Units for Holiday Season

Nintendo is well on its way to sell 10 million units of its Switch game console this fiscal year, but the company may still run into supply issues during the holiday season, admitted Nintendo president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime during Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in Los Angeles Thursday. “Certainly the demand is… Read more »

Variety

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Free Medicine Help Donated to I Am A Promise Preschool by Charles Myrick of ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx
http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.

The American Consultants Rx discount prescription cards are to be given free to anyone in need of help curbing the high cost of prescription drugs.

Due to the rising costs, unstable economics, and the mounting cost of prescriptions, American Consultants Rx Inc. (ACRX) a.k.a (ACIRX) an Atlanta based company was born in 2004. The ACRX discount prescription card program was created and over 25 million discount prescription cards were donated to over 18k organizations across the country to be distributed to those in need of prescription assistance free of charge since 2004.

The ACRX cards will offer discounts of name brand drugs of up to 40% off and up to 60% off of generic drugs. They also possess no eligibility requirements, no forms to fill out, or expiration date as well .One card will take care of a whole family. Also note that the ACRX cards will come to your organization already pre-activated .The cards are good at over 50k stores from Walgreen, Wal mart, Eckerd”s, Kmart, Kroger, Publix, and many more. Any one can use these cards but ACRX is focusing on those who are uninsured, underinsured, or on Medicare. The ACRX cards are now in Spanish as well.

American Consultants Rx made arrangements online for the ACRX card to be available at http://www.acrxcards.com where it can also be downloaded. This arrangement has been made to allow organizations an avenue to continue assisting their clients in the community until they receive their orders of the ACRX cards. ACRX made it possible for cards to be requested from online for individuals and organizations free of charge. Request for the ACRX cards can also be made by mailing a request to : ACRX, P.O.Box 161336,Atlanta,GA 30321, faxing a written request to 404-305-9539,or calling the office at 404-767-1072. Please include name (if organization please include organization and contact name),mailing address,designate Spanish or English,amount of cards requested,and telephone number.

American Consultants Rx is working diligently to assist as many people and organizations as possible. It should be noted that while many other organizations and companies place a cost on their money saving cards, American Consultants Rx does not believe a cost should be applied, just to assist our fellow Americans. American Consultants Rx states that it will continue to strive to assist those in need.

Free Medicine Help Donated to I Am A Promise Preschool by Charles Myrick of ACRX

ACRX Recognition Gallery: American Consultants Rx

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Big Cable broke its promise and you're paying for it

Big Cable broke its promise and you're paying for itThe cable industry promised consumers free apps to replace rented cable boxes. We're still waiting.



Yahoo Tech

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Cliff Avril makes good on sack promise, builds homes and school in Haiti

Cliff Avril makes good on sack promise, builds homes and school in Haiti
www.espn.com – NFL

Promise Project Gears Up for 10th Annual Cocktail Party

Promise Project’s 10th annual Beautiful Promise cocktail party, chaired by Dana Buchman, Cindy Weber-Cleary and Lori Buchbinder, will take place April 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
With ABC’s Bill Ritter as guest emcee, the event takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 123 West 18th Street in New York.
Guests will have a chance to bid on silent auction items that include accessories and jewelry from Edie Parker, Judith Leiber, Jennifer Meyer and Monica Rich Kosann, among others.
In addition, one-of-a-kind items and experiences will include four VIP tickets to San Francisco’s pop-culture musical revue, “Beach Blanket Babylon,” two round-trip tickets to any U.S. city courtesy of Jet Blue, as well as a four-week paid summer internship at Parfums Christian Dior and lunch with Nicole Miller in New York. Those prizes will be available for bidding on Charitybuzz when the auction goes live on April 18.
All proceeds from the event will go to Promise Project, which in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital, is a comprehensive program committed to helping impoverished children living with learning disabilities get the support they need to succeed.

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The Promise (2017)

The Promise (2017) Opens Friday, Apr 21, 2017

When Michael, a brilliant medical student, meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend Chris, a photojournalist dedicated to exposing political truth.

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Theranos Offers Shares for Promise Not to Sue the Company

A deal approved by Theranos’s board would give investors who pledge not to sue the battered blood-testing company some shares from founder Elizabeth Holmes’s personal stake.
WSJ.com: US Business

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Heart Failure Drug Shows Promise in First Human Trial

Cimaglermin appears to strengthen cells and improve heart function, researchers report
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Stormfront (Book 40 of “The Promise Papers”)

Stormfront (Book 40 of “The Promise Papers”)


Zach wasn’t happy when pretty Amy suddenly arrived on his remote doorstep. What on earth was he supposed to do with her? But she couldn’t go back home…so against his better judgment, he agreed to let her stay ‘just for a few days.’He managed to keep his hands off her until a deadly tornado struck, destroying his cozy cabin…and his inhibitions~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Excerpt ~ ~ ~ ~ ~”Storm’s coming, Zach.” Amy glanced over her shoulder, then pointed out the kitchen window when he came to stand behind her. “Big one, too, I think.”Zach frowned up at the turbulent sky. An hour ago, it had been clear to the horizon, but now angry clouds were boiling up like a tidal wave. This was the season for bad storms, and he didn’t like the sickly greenish cast overhead.”Go downstairs,” he ordered, and pointed to the heavy trapdoor that led down into his chilly storm cellar. “I’m going outside for a better look. Better safe than sorry,” he added when she turned worried eyes in his direction. “It’ll likely blow south of here, but I’ll feel better knowing you’re underground.”Obediently she lit the oil lantern, then watched as he tossed a thick rope over the rafter, tied a boathook to the end, and used that to hoist the big door open. His muscles bulged in the dimming light. There was plenty of food stored down in the cellar; the earthy scents rose in a tantalizing wave as she carefully descended the roughhewn wooden steps, and hung her lantern on a sturdy peg jutting from the wall. “Be careful, Zach!” she called back up, and settled down to wait. She heard him leave, and the door slammed behind him. Then, sooner than she’d expected, he came running back, and his heavy footsteps beat a rapid tattoo over her head. Startled, she began climbing the steps again…and nearly lost her footing when something sailed past her head and crashed to the dirt floor below. “Zach, what’s going on? Is everything okay?”Get back down there!” he bellowed, and hurled something else past her. “Now, Amy! Take cover!”What?”P

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Wedding Party favors Airplane Luggage Tag in Gift Box with suitcase tag 10pcs/lot Wedding gifts Free shipping in 2days Quality Promise

Wedding Party favors Airplane Luggage Tag in Gift Box with suitcase tag 10pcs/lot Wedding gifts Free shipping in 2days Quality Promise


10pcs/lot 1)100%quality guarantee 2)in stock 3)free shipping 4)real photos
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Оригинальные 925 Fine Jewelry ювелирный бренд Группы для женщин Promise кольцо стерлингового серебра 925

Оригинальные 925 Fine Jewelry ювелирный бренд Группы для женщин Promise кольцо стерлингового серебра 925


Тип украшения:Классические кольца; Назначение:Повседневные,Для вечеринок,Свадьба; Материал :Стерлинговое серебро; Цвет материала:Серебряный; Материал камня:Цирконий; Цвет камня:Прозрачный; Shown Ring Size:8,7,6; Вес нетто (кг):0.0024; Пол:Для женщин
List Price: 646.29
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New Rapid Ebola Test Shows Promise in African Clinics

Researchers say speedy detection would dramatically improve containment efforts
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Zupreem 679710 Nature S Promise Timothy Naturals Premium Food – 10 …

Zupreem 679710 Nature S Promise Timothy Naturals Premium Food – 10 …


Zupreem 679710 Nature S Promise Timothy Naturals Premium Food – 10 Pound • The best wholesome nutrition for adult rabbits. • No soy. • No wheat for healthier digestion.Size: 10 PoundIngredients: Sun-Cured Timothy Grass Hay, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Corn, Dried Beet Pulp, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dextrose, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Flaxse
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Gene Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Deadly Brain Cancer

DNA-modified virus serves as decoy to help target and destroy glioblastoma cells, researchers say
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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2 Drugs Show Promise Against Blood Cancers

Ibrutinib, obinutuzumab slowed progression of common leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Blood Pressure Vaccine Shows Promise in Rats

Experimental treatment might benefit people who forget to take meds, researcher says
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Our Promise

Our Promise


The words spoken in a vow, the thought and love invested in the speech? These words are treasures. Capture all the love, beauty and elegance of your wedding speeches, your vows and all the toasts surrounding your once-in-a-lifetime wedding. This book is a keepsake and an heirloom. A treasure you will read on wedding anniversaries and handed down to your children on their wedding day. Whitney Weston is a professional event and party coordinator with 25 years professional experience in party planning. Her games, activities and party supplies have added fun and thoughtful activities to special events and once-in-a-lifetime occasions. Creating meaningful keepsakes within the celebration has always been important to her. Enjoy your celebration and treasure it always!

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Chagas Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice

Parasitic disease is becoming more common in U.S.
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Drug Shows Early Promise for Advanced Lung Cancer

Keytruda is already approved to treat melanoma
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Promise Project Hosting 8th Beautiful Promise Party

PROMISES, PROMISES: Promise Project will host its eighth annual Beautiful Promise cocktail party, chaired by Dana Buchman, Cindy Weber Cleary, special projects editor at InStyle, and Lori Buchbinder, principal in realty group Buchbinder & Warren on April 21. The event, which will once again feature ABC’s Bill Ritter as guest emcee, takes place from 6:30 p.m to 8:30p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 123 West 18th Street in New York.
Guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items that include accessories from Tiffany & Co., Jennifer Meyer, Alexis Bittar, Kara Ross, Chanel, Lafont, Ferragamo, Burberry and The Row, among others.
One-of-a-kind items, such as a Donald Robertson drawing, tickets to a Badgley Mischka fashion show, a table at Rao’s and a visit to the San Francisco Giants’ baseball dugout, will also be available for bidding on Charity Buzz, when the auction goes live on April 14. All proceeds from the event go to Promise Project, which in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospial, is committed to helping impoverished children living with learning disabilities get the support they need to succeed.

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I Didn’t Keep My Promise

2015-03-09-1425928713-9032384-Milliesnowhat.JPG
credit: Millie Grenough

Remember way back when I promised that I’d lie in my hammock for 10 minutes at least three times a week?

Well, I didn’t.

What do now — beat myself up? Say what a slacker I am, especially since I’m the “expert” on self-care and re-wiring our brains towards healthy habits?

Nah, that’s a sure waste of energy and of my brain cells. Better to get real and ask myself:
OK, what’s the situation now and what can I do and want to do about it?

Situation now: two feet of snow in the backyard and on the streets.
What do? Funny thing. Just got an e-note from my coach colleague Jean Stetz-Puchalski:
“The snow is so deep here I can’t even get out my driveway. But the light is gorgeous, so I decided to go out and make a snow angel.”

Great idea. I haven’t done one of those angels since I was a kid. I went out and did it.

2015-03-10-1425949323-1318615-snowangel.jpg

Moral of the story?

Do what you can with what you’ve got. You know, lemons to lemonade.

As stress management researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn says,
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Translation for 2015 in Northeastern USA:
You can’t stop the snow, but you can flap your wings.

Thanks, Jean, for reminding me to “change my channel.
It took only a few seconds. Didn’t cost a cent. Gave me a true OASIS in the Overwhelm.
A super snowy thanks to you!
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Skin Patch Shows Promise in Easing Peanut Allergy

Wearable device appears to ‘educate’ cells not to react to the food allergen, researchers say
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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The Commandment with Promise

The Commandment with Promise


This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
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From France to India, Charlie Hebdo Reminds Us of the Real Promise of Free Speech

It took less than a day after the massacre of staffers, policemen, a visitor and a security guard at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris for the discussion in India to swing back towards the need for “responsibility.”

Kiran Bedi, former senior police officer, now a prominent politician, tweeted just hours after the attack by masked gunmen that killed Charb, the editor at Charlie Hebdo, and many of his staff: “France Terror-Shoot-Out sends a message: why deliberately provoke or poke? Be respectful and civil. Don’t hurt people’s sensitivities!”

Even by the thick-skinned standards of contemporary Indian discourse, Bedi’s tweet was remarkably insensitive. But it was also undeniably representative of the way the Indian discussion on freedoms of expression has developed — or been choked off, depending on your perspective. That question, “why provoke?”, needs to be more closely examined, because it has strangled so much of Indian intellectual and cultural activity — and everyday life — for far too long.

In 2006, when the Danish cartoon controversy came to a head, many writers in India felt stampeded into one kind of response or another. To support the stance Charlie Hebdo took, republishing cartoons that carried images of the Prophet Muhammad that many Muslims found offensive, was to support the principle of free speech unhindered by the threats made by the religious.

But there was little space for those who wanted to say that they found the cartoons gratuitously offensive, did not endorse them personally, but felt that those who had drawn them and published them should not be persecuted or harmed in any case. I began following Charlie Hebdo’s work then, especially its provocative covers, which took on the Pope, Jesus, Jews, rabbis, French leaders, the Prophet Muhammad, the Boko Haram victims, Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc. I found its work childish and sometimes offensive, but I admired the magazine’s determination to offend all parties equally.

As I learned about the cases it had fought in the courts, my view of the Charlie Hebdo editorial team shifted: the cartoons might have been juvenile, but the team’s belief that free expression must accommodate all forms of satire, protest and parody was deeply serious, and embedded in a tradition of speaking rude, outrageous truth to power that went back centuries in France. Charlie Hebdo’s flaws, to me, were glaring and remainded worth analyzing: it had mocked Christianity and France’s politicians with a comfortable familiarity, but its mockery of Islam, African politics and even in one cartoon, India, were filled with stereotypes. As the writer Kamila Shamsie said on Twitter: “There are conversations to be had about the distinction between ‘offensive’ and ‘racist’. But the fanatics make it harder to have them.”

“I had thought of Charlie Hebdo with some envy. . . They had, I thought, been able to exercise a freedom that many Indians had not been able to claim.”

I respect the Charlie Hebdo team for one important thing: they really did believe that nothing was sacred, that everything human and every religion founded by humans was open to being satirized. They understood the danger of placing any institutions, political or religious, or any icons, gods, prophets, prime ministers, saints, leaders, beyond the reach of human mockery. If you say that the sacred should be respected, ask whether you really mean that gods, religions and their many interpreters “must” be respected. For between that well-intentioned “should respect” (a request) and that didactic “must” (a demand, often a threat) falls the shadow of tyranny, inquisitions, bullying mobs, fearful silence, blasphemy laws. And deadly execution-style massacres.



It might be hard to believe today, but in the eight years or so that preceded the day when gunmen went into its office, calling, “Where’s Charb? Where’s Charb?” before indiscriminately killing the editor and several staffers, I had thought of Charlie Hebdo with some envy. The staffers had gone to court and won their cases; two of France’s premiers had backed them on the right to continue being offensive in the same decade when we in India had lost the right to offend. They had been able to exercise a freedom that many Indians had not been able to claim.



Despite the threats made by Islamic groups against them, Charlie Hebdo had continued to publish, with the support of its community, its courts and even for the most part, its state. I thought it had found a way to work in relative safety, that it had escaped the always-present threats of violence that had silenced and diminished so many Indian artists, writers, filmmakers, liberals, journalists, rationalists, atheists, academics, scholars and publishers, muting some, turning some into exiles or pariahs, mutating many others into cowards. I thought that Charlie Hebdo’s staff had freedoms we could only imagine, but that was before the carnage in Paris.



pk aamir khan
(Poster of Aamir Khan in Bollywood film PK torn by activists of right wing organizations who accused Khan of hurting religious sentiments of the majority community and demanded a ban on the film)


The Trap of Decency

Why provoke when the price is so high, when the innocent could be and are caught in the crossfire? Why not just stick with art or opinions that are inoffensive? These questions have come up again and again in the Indian context, and elsewhere in the world. Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons raise a related question: do creators, artists, writers, opinion-makers need to be more responsible or more sensitive given the inflammable nature of the times, the legions of those looking for an excuse to perpetrate acts of violence?

In India, many are caught in one of two traps when they try to respond to the body of work produced by Charlie Hebdo.

The first is the trap of decency, even more powerful in a country where free expression is treated as a luxury good, to be bestowed as a treat when circumstances are favorable.

For far too many people, support for an artist or content creator is conflated with endorsement, and it is genuinely hard to understand why you might defend the right of someone to create work that you might dislike, be bored by, think in bad taste, or even consider offensive.

Decency demands — or used to, in a crowded and once-secular society — that we try not to offend others, that we adjust out of politeness. The idea that you might defend an essay by A.K. Ramanujan, a book by Salman Rushdie, a series of paintings by M.F. Husain, a film by Deepa Mehta or Aamir Khan, or an attempt by rationalist Sanal Edamaruku to debunk “miracles” on principle without necessarily agreeing with or liking their work is still an alien one. Free speech debates often veer into a discussion on content — why should x have chosen this subject, why should y have written in this particular way when they had other choices — and this tendency is particularly pronounced when people are personally uncomfortable with or offended by the content in question.

The second is the trap of fear, which leads to a belief in the value of appeasement.

The fear is usually the fear of violence that might be unleashed in an irrational, unpredictable manner by either committed groups of religious fundamentalists, as in Paris, or by political goons, as has been increasingly common in today’s India. It is this fear that makes many blame the victims of violent attacks, from the team at Charlie Hebdo and the two police officers murdered alongside, to artists and writers like Rushdie or the late Husain, for the violence visited upon them. Some blame the victims openly, suggesting that they had it coming and that they should have known better than to choose incendiary subjects.

Some use more subtle methods, suggesting that artists, too, have a responsibility to act with sensitivity, to rein their worst impulses in, to refrain from offending. Often, the real fear is that the artist or writer or journalist will bring threats, or escalating discomfort, or terrifying violence, rolling in the direction of others, will threaten the uneasy balance that still allows for a semblance of normalcy in India. Without this fine balance, the country might have to discard what is left — the holding of exhibitions and literary festivals, the publishing of books and magazines, the year-round university seminars and lectures.

In this scenario, publishers who pull back books, as Penguin India did so disgracefully with Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus,” or agree to subject their books to a further process of review, as Orient Blackswan and Aleph have controversially done, are condemned only by a small section of liberals for caving in. Many others, including many writers, journalists and opinion-makers, see the compromises made as a pragmatic reaction to the pressures of the times. Many have argued that freedom of speech must be limited in India, that the creative and academic community must be prepared to sacrifice some rights for the sake of preserving the peace.

The problem with following a policy of appeasement is not just that this is ideologically dangerous, as the respected Indian historian and professor Romila Thapar pointed out in a blunt speech in late 2014:

“It is not that we are bereft of people who think autonomously and can ask relevant questions. But frequently where there should be voices, there is silence. Are we all being co-opted too easily by the comforts of conforming? Are we fearful of the retribution that questioning may and often does bring?”

Why was there so little reaction among academics and professionals, Prof. Thapar wanted to know, to the banning and pulping of books, the changing of educational syllabuses, the questioning of the actions of several organizations that act in the name of religion, if not in conformity with religious values?

Appeasement becomes a habit, and then so does silence, and the avoidance of difficult questions. The anger that could not be safely expressed by many for fear of reprisal, against, say, either Rushdie’s Islamic fundamentalist persecutors, or M.F. Husain’s Hindu right wing detractors, turns in another direction. In India, that anger is often directed at the victims — why did they have to provoke, did they not know what response they would get, and crucially, do they not see the trouble they might get everyone else into?

“It is easier to believe that a massacre was the victim’s fault, than to accept that one’s own comfort and safety depend almost entirely on not attracting the attention of fundamentalists, terrorists, thugs or the private armies controlled by corrupt and violent politicians.”

That anger, born of fear and powerlessness, is justified in many ways — personal attacks against the character of the victims, an airing of one’s own discomfort with the content under discussion. Often in FoE crises, victims are blamed, as in domestic violence or sexual assault cases, for the violence visited on them, in eerily similar rhetorical terms. It is easier to believe that a massacre was the victim’s fault, than to accept that one’s own comfort and safety depend almost entirely on not attracting the attention of fundamentalists, terrorists, thugs or the private armies controlled by corrupt and violent politicians.



This is how the artist M.F. Husain was exiled, the author U.R. Ananthamurthy hounded before his death last year, and Rushdie made to feel increasingly unwelcome in his own country. Dislike is useful; it allows people to step away from both their fear and their dismay at being unable to protect the books, art, conversations, and free spaces that they were once able to claim. And yet none of these gestures of appeasement have been effective in stemming the rise of hate speech across religious or political groups in India — in fact, the relative suppression of more moderate voices has in effect handed over the loudspeakers and the mikes to the bullies and the bigots.



salman rushdie
(Indian born British writer Salman Rushdie)


The Price of Not Offending

It is only when you stop sifting through the content, looking for possible flaws of taste or insensitivity, and stop interrogating the creative community over the purity of their intentions that you can move to more useful ground: the question of principle.

The right to offend was only one part of the principles that the team at Charlie Hebdo lived (and died) by; the other part was the principle that has most sharply divided humanity in this century, ie, the idea that all of us have an absolute right to question religion. This is where the argument that Charlie Hebdo could have somehow avoided the terror attacks by being a little less offensive or a little more sensitive falls apart.

In August 2014, Bangladeshi TV host Nurul Islam Faruqi, was visited by five men at his home in Dhaka; they tied up his family and slit his throat. Faruqi used to host religious programs, and was an imam himself. His crime was not that he used offensive or insensitive speech — he was murdered for speaking out against superstition and for his criticism of Islamic fundamentalism.

A year before Faruqi’s murder, the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar had been killed in August 2013 in India, by two unidentified gunmen. Dabholkar was not someone whose speech was either incendiary or deliberately offensive. But his work on bringing in anti-superstition laws had been strongly opposed by some members of the BJP and the far-right regional party, the Shiv Sena, which claimed that an anti-superstition/ black magic law would adversely affect Hindu culture.

Nor was Sanal Edamaruku, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, being disrespectful or offensive when he did his many exposes of “holy men” and their fake miracles. And yet in 2012, when he exposed the phenomenon of holy water apparently dripping from the toe of a statue of Christ as a consequence of bad plumbing, he faced a barrage of hate speech cases and escalating threats. Edamaruku now lives in Finland, not by choice, but out of necessity — it is not safe for him to come back home.

Responsibility cuts both ways. It is true that you cannot reason with a fundamentalist, of any religion, that there is no rational argument to be had with armed men bent on murder. But civil society and religious organizations have their responsibilities, too, and one of them is to enable and support those who want the freedom to question, to create, to debunk, and yes, even to mock. It must be kept in mind that what the team at Charlie Hebdo died for was not just the right to offend, but also the right to challenge and question everything — including religion, including Islam.

The promise of free speech goes far beyond the schoolboy thrill of being able to offend; the real promise of free speech is that we all hope to live uncensored lives, free to create in peace, and free to ask questions of or satirize the leaders, and the institutions, that run our everyday lives.

Why provoke, why defend those who are deliberately provocative? Because the bullies and the men with guns are at one extreme, and the Charlie Hebdos of this world — offensive, irreverent, deliberately pushing the boundaries of satire — are at the other. It is not necessary to follow in Charlie Hebdo’s footsteps in order to respect, or mourn the team. But if we want to live lives that are not muffled, censored and fearful, we must learn to give those who do provoke our support. If we don’t, the trammelled freedoms we have left will shrink even further.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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