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Mass Effect 4 rumors

by CWS

April 19, 2015

So, one of the many Mass Effect Facebook groups posted a link to this story yesterday. I'll quote some of the relevant text here for discussion and analysis, but with a very strong disclaimer that all of this is 100% unsubstantiated, and a purely anecdotal allegation.
C.J. Havens @ NerdCore, Inc. wrote:

The Next Mass Effect Context:
The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity. As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes. Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.

Collect Resources to Fuel your Growth:
Scour solar systems and planets within the Helius Cluster to find valuable resources and blueprints of long forgotten alien technology that will allow you to craft better equipment and weapons, such as improving your leg armor to allow you to jetpack jump, or upgrading your cryo-beam (laser cannon) to target enemies or do area damage around you to clear out close threats. As you build your arsenal and resource infrastructure, you will be able to explore deeper into the increasingly dangerous and resource-rich solar systems of the Helius Cluster.

A Capable Crew:
Throughout the story, you will recruit seven distinct crew members to fight by your side. Each crew member has a unique personality and specific abilities that open up strategic options as you choose which two of them to bring into each mission. For example, Cora has the ability to deploy a biotic shield that protects everyone in the bubble while still allowing you and your squad to fire out of it. Your crew will grow alongside you as you explore the Helius Cluster, and you can choose how you upgrade your crew’s weapons, gear and abilities to increase their individual combat effectiveness. Create the perfect squad to react to any situation and to support your preferred gameplay style.

Your Crew, Your Story:
Your crew members aren’t merely hired guns – they are part of the living universe in the Helius Cluster that develops in response to your actions and choices. Increase each crew member’s loyalty by pursuing missions that are important to that specific character. For example, when a Krogan colony ship has been stolen by one of the outlaw factions leaving the colonists stranded without resources to survive, your Krogan squad mate, Drack, is determined to strike out against them. If you take the mission and help him track down the outlaws’ hideout to return the ship to its rightful owners, Drack’s loyalty toward you and your squad will increase and Drack will unlock a brand new skill tree.

Explore each individual’s backstory and develop your relationship with them through conversations and unique missions. True to Mass Effect, what you choose to say will directly affect your crew’s loyalty and relationship with you, and will open up different conversations and narrative opportunities at the end of the game depending upon how you approach each encounter.

Deployed Strike Team Missions:
The Helius Cluster is 1000s of light years across, and you can’t be everywhere at once. As you develop more colonies, resource bases and settlements, you have to be able to keep them safe. Spend resources to recruit mercenaries and develop an AI controlled Strike Team that you can deploy to take on randomly generated, time-sensitive missions. Strike Team missions take many forms, including settlement defense and Remnant artifact recovery, which will take real-time to complete. Send your Strike Team out on a mission while you continue playing the main game and they will return, 20 – 30 minutes later, having gained rewards such as XP, currency and equipment based on the success of their mission. Spend money and resources to train your Strike Team and acquire better gear for them, which will increase their success rate and allow them to take on more difficult missions for greater rewards.

Active Strike Team Missions:
When you encounter a Strike Team mission in the Single-Player mode, you can leave your Strike Team at their base and decide to tackle the mission yourself with your Multiplayer roster of characters. You also have the option of tackling the mission by yourself, or recruiting up to three friends to play with you. The more friends you bring, the greater the challenge and the greater the reward. These missions will play out using the Next Mass Effect’s multiplayer Horde mode (more details on this later). These missions will include a variety of thematically appropriate objectives, like defending a Settlement against Khet attacks, or recovering a Remnant artifact off of a planet before an outlaw gang gets there first. By taking an active role in strike team missions, you can earn special Single-player rewards in addition to the usual multiplayer specific characters, weapons, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment which can be customized between missions. Additionally, players who join another person’s Strike Team mission will receive bonus in-game currency and multiplayer XP for helping others with their missions.

Multiplayer “Horde” Mode:
The next Mass Effect’s “Horde” multiplayer pits you and up to three of your friends against waves of enemy troops on various battlefields throughout the galaxy. Players fight together to survive increasingly difficult enemy attacks and accomplish objectives, like disabling a bomb near a colony base or assassinating a target. Progress through multiplayer missions to gain XP and earn new multiplayer specific weapons, characters, weapon mods, and pieces of equipment, which can be customized between matches. Multiplayer play will also earn you APEX funds (in-game currency), which can be used to purchase items and gear in the Single Player game.

Establish Settlements:
Search solar systems for rare habitable planets to establish a settlement that could serve as a base for humankind’s new home in the Helius Cluster. As you build permanent settlements, you will make strategic choices on where to focus your new base’s resources. For example: Recon Settlements will clear fog of war from the space map and give the player more strike team missions to choose from, while Mining Settlements will periodically supplement the player’s supply of crafting materials.

Dialogue:
Building upon the rich history of strategic dialogue that has defined the Mass Effect series, you can make meaningful choices in every conversation you have with characters that impact the way your game evolves. The next Mass Effect adds deeper control over your conversations through a greater ability to interrupt and change the course of the conversation as it is happening. During certain conversations, you will be able to take action based choices, such as the option to pull out your gun and force someone to open a door instead of convincing them to do it through conversational guile. Action based choices give you more options for how you approach dialogue with characters in the game and can lead to more extreme outcomes on the story as it evolves around the decisions you make when interacting with a huge cast of NPC characters.

Seamlessly Travel Through the Next Mass Effect Universe:
As you pilot your space ship, Tempest, across the 100s of solar systems that are seamlessly connected in the next Mass Effect, you will encounter new planets filled with valuable resources, intelligent life, conflict, and alien technology that all give you opportunities to increase the power of your character, your ship and your team so that you can build them into a force that perfectly suits your gameplay style. Transitions between activities, like flying your Tempest (space ship) across a solar system to land on a mineral rich planet, then jumping into your Mako (land vehicle) to explore the surface of planet, all happen smoothly without loading screens.

Customize and Share Your Experience:
Discover new things in Andromeda Galaxy, like alien artifacts and natural wonders, that serve as trophies and decorations that you can use to modify the look of your character, Tempest (Space Ship) and Mako (land vehicle). Customize the way your squad and your character look with clothes and aesthetic modifications that you unlock throughout the game. Photos you take from the far reaches of the galaxy can be used to decorate your starship or sold to certain characters.

Remnant Vault Raids: Find and activate Remnant Monoliths to unlock Remnant vaults. Explore abandoned Remnant ruins to find and locate a powerful artifact, but once you remove it you will trigger the vault defenses that will arm traps, activate defense robots and even change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. Fight your way out of the vault and you will be rewarded with valuable loot, including powerful gear, crafting resources and Star Keys that can be used to unlock massive orbital facilities in space that grant permanent stat bonuses.

Optional Elite Remnant Vault Raids are scattered around the Helius Cluster located in special orbital facilities that are unlocked by Star Keys. Similar to the standard Remnant Vaults, you enter them to retrieve a special artifact which will trigger the vault defenses that arm traps, activate defense robots and change the architecture of the vault itself to stop you from escaping. However, Elite vaults ratchet up the difficulty of the encounter with increasingly powerful defense robots and traps, as well as roaming outlaws and deadly Khet patrols that are also in search of the elite artifacts. Elite Remnant vaults will test the limits of your combat and puzzle solving acumen, but with greater difficulty comes greater rewards. Gain rare loot, narrative acclaim and huge rewards for completing these daunting challenges.

Khet Outposts:
As you explore planets throughout the Helius Cluster, you will encounter Khet Outposts. These outposts are optional combat experiences where you enter the outpost and fight off waves of enemies. Destroy Khet outposts to earn XP, rewards and thwart their growing power in the region. Your allies will reward you with praise and increased narrative options as you fight to remove the Khet presence from the region.

Drive and upgrade your Mako (land vehicle):
Explore the surfaces of 100s of planets in the Helius Cluster in your versatile land vehicle, the Mako. Whether you are looking for a place to set up a colony, searching for a Remnant vault or attacking a Khet Outpost, you will enjoy getting there in your Mako. Equip and upgrade your Mako in dozens of ways, like adding turbo boosters, upgrading your shield generator or adding a Hostile Detector to your radar to create the ultimate planetary exploration vehicle. Finally, get your Mako looking the way you want with a custom paintjob.


As I pointed out at the beginning, there is currently no way of knowing how much of this is accurate, if any of it is at all. And it's also worth remembering that even some of BioWare's own official pre-release statements about ME2 and ME3 turned out to be...less than accurate. But for my money, if any of this is true, it sounds pretty damn sweet.

Star Wars: Battlefront III

by Loki Kola

April 17, 2015

Also, this:

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DEUS EX: Mankind Divided

by CWS

April 8, 2015

Oh man.

Oh man.

Oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man.

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Now I understand Volrath's reaction to the first Advent Children trailer, way back when.

GODZILLA 2016

by CWS

April 1, 2015

HOLY SHIT!!!!! :shock: :o :shock:

(This is unrelated to the upcoming sequel to the recent Gareth Edwards Godzilla film.)

X-Men: Apocalypse

by CWS

March 25, 2015

I guess it's not too early to put up a thread for it, is it? No, it's not.

Just announced today, by director Bryan Singer: Jubilee's going to be in it. And hopefully as a main character, and not the lame-ass cameos she got in the first two movies. This makes me ecstatic. Maybe even X-static. :ugeek:

The confirmed cast at present:

Charles Xavier / Professor X: James McAvoy
Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: Michael Fassbender
Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence (who apparently is bowing out after Apocalypse :| )
Moira MacTaggert: Rose Byrne
Henry "Hank" McCoy / Beast: Nicholas Hoult
Pietro "Peter" Maximoff / Quicksilver: Evan Peters
En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse: Oscar Isaac
Scott Summers / Cyclops: Tye Sheridan
Jean Grey: Sophie Turner
Ororo Munroe / Storm: Alexandra Shipp
Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler: Kodi Smit-McPhee
Jubilation Lee / Jubilee: Lana Condor
Warren Worthington, III / Angel (Archangel?): Ben Hardy
Elisabeth "Betsy" Braddock / Psylocke: Olivia Munn

It's also being rumored that Hugh Jackman will make yet another appearance as Wolverine, but that hasn't been confirmed (yet).

President Obama: "Hey, here's an idea...let's make voting mandatory!"

by CWS

March 19, 2015

I paraphrase. Somewhat.
Breitbart News wrote:

Obama Floats Mandatory Voting: ‘It Would Completely Change the Political Map’
by Breitbart News | 18 Mar 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. President Barack Obama wants to add one more: voting.

Obama floated the idea of mandatory voting in the U.S. while speaking to a civic group in Cleveland on Wednesday. Asked about the corrosive influence of money in U.S. elections, Obama digressed into the related topic of voting rights and said the U.S. should be making it easier — not harder— for people to vote.

Just ask Australia, where citizens have no choice but to vote, the president said.

“If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country,” Obama said, calling it potentially transformative. Not only that, Obama said, but universal voting would “counteract money more than anything.”

Disproportionately, Americans who skip the polls on Election Day are younger, lower-income and more likely to be immigrants or minorities, Obama said. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls,” he said in a veiled reference to efforts in a number of Republican-led states to make it harder for people to vote.

Statistically speaking, Obama is correct. Less than 37 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2014 midterms, according to the United States Election Project. And a Pew Research Center study found that those avoiding the polls in 2014 tended to be younger, poorer, less educated and more racially diverse.

At least two dozen countries have some form of compulsory voting, including Belgium, Brazil and Argentina. In many systems, absconders must provide a valid excuse or face a fine, although a few countries have laws on the books that allow for potential imprisonment.

At issue, Obama said, is the outsize influence that those with money can have on U.S. elections, where low overall turnout often gives an advantage to the party best able to turn out its base. Obama has opposed Citizens United and other court rulings that cleared the way for super PACs and unlimited campaign spending, but embraced such groups in his 2012 re-election campaign out of fear he’d be outspent.

Obama said he thought it would be “fun” for the U.S. to consider amending the Constitution to change the role that money plays in the electoral system. But don’t hold your breath.

“Realistically, given the requirements of that process, that would be a long-term proposition,” he said.

So let me see if I've got this straight. We should make voting mandatory, under penalty of law. But we absolutely cannot allow any sort of voter I.D. laws, because that's racist for some reason, and the Justice Department under Eric Holder has actually taken action legal against states attempting to implement such laws, at Obama's direction. So this would be enforced...how, exactly?

Answer: It wouldn't be. And that's the point.

If he's going to be this open and obvious about enabling, supporting and advocating massive election fraud on a scale previously unheard of in this nation's history, why doesn't he just whip out his pen and his phone and simply declare that Democrats win every election from now on, the end. It would save us all the hassle of having to show up for what would clearly be a contrived farce.

This man's mindset is totalitarian, and he's no longer even making the slightest effort to pretend otherwise. The same can be said for his party, all of his supporters, and the American Left in general.

Gotham

by CWS

March 12, 2015

I must confess that I haven't been watching Gotham. I should probably go back and remedy that.

Because as surprise character introduction scenes go...? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. :o :shock: :o

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Tony Abbott: F*&%-up Extraordinaire

by snowman1989

March 11, 2015

I could have mentioned this guy on What the F&%$, but really, this living, breathing wrecking ball of a person deserves his own thread. :lol: He's the current Prime Minister of Australia, although how he got to that position is a subject that still leaves me in a disbelieving stupor. You think Obama's bad? Try having someone like this as leader of your country, representing your nation on the world stage.

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The World cries tears of laughter. Australia quietly cries tears in a corner.



This is a guy who has gained power by destroying his opponents in Parliament. But that is his only talent. He is, as I said above, a living, breathing wrecking ball, who is hard at work demolishing Australia's standing in the world and obliterating foreign goodwill. Just ask Indonesia, where protesters are returning the $1 billion in aid that Australia gave when the country was hit by the Boxing Day Tsunami because he butted in on the Bali Nine controversy, in the most assholish way possible. Or what about Russia, where his attempt to "shirtfront" Putin (an total prick, but an infinitely more savvy and powerful man) backfired when Putin just sent a fleet of warships off the coast of Brisbane during the G20. Hell, just ask Britain and Australians themselves what they thought when he knighted the Duke of Edinburgh... ON AUSTRALIA DAY. :o

I could not make this shit up if I tried. :oops: I could go on for weeks about him, because his list of astonishingly bad gaffes is a mile long... my god, he's going to kill ANZAC Day next. The 100th anniversary of Gallipoli is coming next month, and I just KNOW he'll fuck something up spectacular! He'll start a fucking war at this rate! :shock:

Leonard Nimoy: R.I.P.

by CWS

February 27, 2015

In case you weren't aware, Leonard Nimoy died this morning.

I assume I don't need to tell anyone who he was.

ISIS/ISIL/IS: Goals and Atrocities of The Self-Declared Islamic Caliphate

by CWS

February 17, 2015

The Atlantic has published an exceptionally thorough and comprehensive examination of the so-called Islamic State, the roots of their ideology and their ultimate goals. It's too long to quote here and I strongly disagree with several of author Graeme Wood's conclusions, but nevertheless, I would urge everyone to take the time and effort to read it. It's extremely informative, and more than a little bit sobering.

This will also serve as the dedicated thread for all future discussion pertaining specifically to ISIS, going forward.

Live-action Teen Titans TV series...

by CWS

February 2, 2015

It sounds like this is for real. o_o
Quote:

Titans TV Series Roster Reveal
By Andrew Steinbeiser
02/02/2015


A leaked script from TNT’s Titans series has potentially revealed the lineup for the DC Comics television adaptation of the Teen Titans franchise.

Heading the team, unsurprisingly, will be Dick Grayson. According to the pilot’s script, Dick will begin the series as Robin following a recent split with Batman, but will eventually grow into the mantle of Nightwing as he did in the comics. Dick will set up the Titans’ shop in Boston, which is a departure from the Titans’ New York City roots.

Joining Dick from Gotham City will be Barbara Gordon. In this version, Barbara will be Oracle in everything but the name. According to Nerdist’s report on the script, Barbara will be in a wheel-chair and operate as the Titan’s information source, but she will not officially go by the Oracle moniker. This will be Barbara’s first time as a member of the Titans in any medium.

Next are Raven and Starfire, who have been anchoring member of the Titans since Marv Wolfman’s and George Perez’s New Teen Titans series. According to the script, Raven will carry the Rachel Roth alter-ego that Geoff Johns introduced during his run on the Teen Titans. The script didn’t provide any illuminating details on Starfire, other than that she wouldn’t appear until the Pilot’s finale.

Finally, Hawk and Dove will round out the Titans’ initial roster. Hawk will be Hank Hall and Dove will be Dawn Granger, the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths version. The report says that Hawk and Dove will be romantically involved with one another, as they were in the comics series.

Missing from the roster were other Titans stalwarts Beast Boy and Cyborg. While it's possible that they could join the series eventually, according to the report, their inclusion remains uncertain at this point. Beast Boy seems like an eventual possibility, but it's likely that Cyborg will remain off the table. Warner Bros. probably won't want contrasting versions between a television Cyborg and the big screen version that will appear in Zack Snyder's Justice League and solo Cyborg film.

Can't help but notice that the proposed starting roster is overwhelmingly female...also not sure about the inclusion of Hawk and Dove, though the rest sounds pretty promising.

RIP Monty Oum

by Zanth

February 2, 2015

Rooster Teeth announced today that Monty Oum passed away this weekend. He was a hell of an animator and very creative. If you haven't seen it, check out RWBY, which is the creator for. So very good.

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Casting the Mass Effect movie

by CWS

January 11, 2015

This isn't the sort of thing I usually devote much thought to, and in fact I deliberately refrain from doing so. However, I'm bored and there hasn't exactly been a ton of discussion around here lately, and for some reason it has been on my mind (probably having something to do with me being a slavish ME fanboy), so I figured I'd go ahead and toss it out.

Obviously I'm not trying to predict the actual casting of the eventual Mass Effect movie, whenever that does come to fruition, assuming of course that it eventually does. But purely for the purpose of my own entertainment, and possibly/hopefully that of others, I'm going to go down the cast roster and name some actors and actresses who I personally think would be a good fit for some of the characters. Anyone else is also invited to offer their own comments, supporting or competing suggestions, should they feel so inclined.

Oh, and I'm only applying this to the human and reasonably human-like characters; for the "more alien" characters such as the turians, salarians, quarians, krogan, geth, etc. I think the ideal approach would be full-CGI with the already-established voice actors, or something very similar to that, anyway.


Charlie Hebdo massacre

by CWS

January 8, 2015

In their latest bloodthirsty attack against Anyone Who Dares To Think About Anything We Find Displeasing, three mask-wearing, heavily-armed Islamic supremacist cowards stormed a newspaper office in Paris yesterday and murdered twelve people.
CBS/AP wrote:

Gunmen Kill At Least 12 In ‘Terrorist Attack’ At French Satirical Newspaper
January 7, 2015 1:30 PM

PARIS (CBS News/CBSDC/AP) — Three masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people, including its editor, before escaping in a car. It was France’s deadliest postwar terrorist attack.

CBS News’ Elaine Cobbe reports that, according to witnesses, two armed and masked men walked into the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and opened fire in the entrance hallway, killing people as they saw them. The gunmen reportedly sought out members of the newspaper’s staff by name during the rampage through the 2nd floor office, which lasted between five and 10 minutes, according to witnesses.

Security forces were hunting for the gunmen who spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on the weekly newspaper, located near Paris’ Bastille monument. The publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed have frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims.

President Francois Hollande called the slayings “a terrorist attack without a doubt,” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.”

France raised its security alert to the highest level and reinforced protective measures at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. Schools closed across Paris, although thousands of people jammed Republique Square near the site of the shooting to honor the victims.

Top government officials held an emergency meeting and Hollande planned a nationally televised address later Wednesday evening.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which also left four people critically wounded, and was condemned by world leaders as an attack on freedom of expression, but praised by supporters of the militant Islamic State group.

Clad all in black with hoods and carrying machine guns, the attackers forced one of the cartoonists arriving at the office building with her young daughter to open the door with a security code.

The staff was in an editorial meeting and the gunmen headed straight for the paper’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier – widely known by his pen name Charb – killing him and his police bodyguard first, said Christophe Crepin, a police union spokesman. Minutes later, two men strolled out to a black car waiting below, calmly firing on a police officer, with one gunman shooting him in the head as he writhed on the ground, according to video.

Ten journalists and two police office were killed, Crepin said, including one assigned as Charb’s bodyguard and another who had arrived on the scene on a mountain bike. Among the dead were Bernard Maris, an economist who a contributor to the newspaper and was heard regularly on French radio, and Georges Wolinski, a celebrated cartoonist who also worked for Paris Match magazine.

“Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo,” one of the men shouted in French, according to a video shot from a nearby building and broadcast on French TV. Other video showed two gunmen in black at a crossroads who appeared to fire down one of the streets. A cry of “Allahu akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great”- could be heard among the gunshots.

The video showed the killers moving deliberately and calmly. One even bent over to toss a fallen shoe back into the small black car before it sped off. The car was later found abandoned in northern Paris, police said.

Luc Poignant of the SBP police union said the attackers switched to another vehicle that had been stolen.

A reporter for Britain’s Telegraph newspaper in Paris told Sky News that the first two officers to arrive, who were apparently unarmed, fled after seeing gunmen armed with automatic weapons and possibly a grenade launcher.

Corinne Rey, the cartoonist who said she was forced to let the gunmen in, said the men spoke fluent French and claimed to be from al Qaeda. In an interview with the newspaper l’Humanite, she said the entire shooting lasted perhaps five minutes.

The Guardian reports a witness in the office building said one of the gunman asked where Charlie Hebdo was located.

“Then someone opened the door to our office and asked where Charlie Hebdo was. He had a rifle. We backed away. Afterwards he left, we heard gunfire. We went to the windows, there were two men running with guns, speaking in bad French … They were shouting outside, and shooting again. Afterwards I saw someone leaving the building with his hands covered in blood,” the unnamed witness said, according to The Guardian.

The security analyst group Stratfor said the gunmen appeared to be well-trained, “from the way they handled their weapons, moved and shot. These attackers conducted a successful attack, using what they knew, instead of attempting to conduct an attack beyond their capability, failing as a result.”

Both al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have repeatedly threatened to attack France. Just minutes before the attack, Charlie Hebdo had tweeted a satirical cartoon of the Islamic State’s leader giving New Year’s wishes:

Charlie Hebdo has been repeatedly threatened for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and other sketches. Its offices were firebombed in 2011 after an issue featured a caricature of the prophet on its cover. Nearly a year later, the publication again published Muhammad caricatures, drawing denunciations from the Muslim world because Islam prohibits the publication of drawings of its founder.

Another cartoon, released in this week’s issue and entitled “Still No Attacks in France,” had a caricature of a jihadi fighter saying “Just wait – we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s wishes.” Charb was the artist.

“This is the darkest day of the history of the French press,” said Christophe DeLoire of Reporters Without Borders.

The last tweet from the magazine came less than an hour before the reports of a shooting. It was a picture depicting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, with a message wishing him, “Best wishes.”

“The motive here is absolutely clear; trying to shut down a media organization that lampooned the Prophet Mohammad,” CBS News security consultant and former CIA deputy chief Mike Morell told “CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose. “What we have to figure out here is the perpetrators and whether they were self-radicalized or whether they were individuals who fought in Syria and Iraq and came back, or whether they were actually directed by ISIS or al Qaeda.”

Morrell added a warning that law enforcement and intelligence agencies would need to “worry about copycat attacks, not only in France but in the rest of the world, and I would even say in the broader world to include the United States.”

The New York Police Department released a statement, saying it had a detective stationed in Paris and “will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

“There are standing contingency plans in place to adjust police deployments based on any unfolding situation in the world. That includes how we use and where we position and deploy specialized police resources, said Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.

In the winter 2014 edition of the al Qaeda magazine Inspire, a so-called chief describing where to use a new bomb said: “Of course the first priority and the main focus should be on America, then the United Kingdom, then France and so on.”

In 2013, the magazine specifically threatened Charb and included an article titled “France the Imbecile Invader.”

An al Qaeda tweeter who communicated Wednesday with AP said the group is not claiming responsibility, but called the attack “inspiring.”

CBS News national security analyst Juan Zarate also noted on “CBS This Morning” that “France has been dealing with the problem of French foreign fighters flowing into Syria and Iraq and coming back into France.”

He says it may be more likely, however, that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was carried out by “self-radicalized individuals, individuals who take their prompt from the propaganda of these groups and took it upon themselves, perhaps, to attack.”

Zarate pointed to the attack by young French Muslim man Mohamed Merah, who shot up a Jewish community center in the country’s south in March 2012, as an example of this sort of violence.

“France is not new to this, and the perpetrators could be a wide spectrum of individuals who were inspired to attack fellow French citizens,” said Zarate.

President Obama said he has reached out to Hollande to express his sympathies for the attack in Paris Wednesday. In remarks before a meeting with Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden, Obama called the shootings “cowardly and evil.”

“The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom of speech, freedom of the press,” Obama said.

He continued, “A universal belief in freedom of expression is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.” The president promised the U.S. would stand with France and said that U.S. counterterrorism was providing assistance to the French to help hunt for those responsible for the shooting.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country stood united with France,

“We stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never be able to take us off those values,” Cameron said in the House of Commons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the attack as a “cynical crime,” and pledged cooperation in fighting terrorism,

Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the “hateful act,” and urged Muslims and Christians “to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism.”

On social media, supporters of militant Islamic groups praised the move. One self-described Tunisian loyalist of al Qaeda and the Islamic State group tweeted that the attack was well-deserved revenge against France.

Elsewhere on the Internet, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie was trending as people expressed support for weekly and for journalistic freedom.


In a related story, libertarian cult figure and noted isolationist crackpot Ron Paul was quick to blame France's foreign policy for the attack in what is surely a strong contender for the most delusional public statement on international affairs he has ever issued.

Two graphical arguments for term limits.

by CWS

January 8, 2015

I'll just leave this here.

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And these don't even touch on their egregious and abusive legislative records.

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