Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 22:56:26 EDT in Soetoro
“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.”
— Barack Obama, March 24
Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”
That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.
The East Europeans know they inhabit the battleground between the West and a Russia that wants to return them to its sphere of influence. Ukrainians see tens of thousands of Russian troops across their border and know they are looking down the barrel of quite a zero-sum game.
Obama thinks otherwise. He says that Vladimir Putin’s kind of neo-imperialist thinking is a relic of the past — and advises Putin to transcend the Cold War.
Good God. Putin hasn’t transcended the Russian revolution. Did no one give Obama a copy of Putin’s speech last week upon the annexation of Crimea? Putin railed not only at Russia’s loss of empire in the 1990s. He went back to the 1920s: “After the revolution, the Bolsheviks . . . may God judge them, added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine.” Putin was referring not to Crimea (which came two sentences later) but to his next potential target: Kharkiv and Donetsk and the rest of southeastern Ukraine.
Putin’s irredentist grievances go very deep. Obama seems unable to fathom them. Asked whether he’d misjudged Russia, whether it really is our greatest geopolitical foe, he disdainfully replied that Russia is nothing but “a regional power” acting “out of weakness.”
Where does one begin? Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan were also regional powers, yet managed to leave behind at least 50 million dead. And yes, Russia should be no match for the American superpower. Yet under this president, Russia has run rings around America, from the attempted ingratiation of the “reset” to America’s empty threats of “consequences” were Russia to annex Crimea.
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 22:46:59 EDT in Guns
In conservative states, "nullification" laws are becoming popular—but they're likely pointless.
(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
Last Friday, Idaho passed a law declaring that the state does not have to abide by federal gun laws going forward. The law, which criminalizes the enforcement of federal gun laws, passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate and takes effect immediately.
Under the new law, state law-enforcement officials could also be fined up to $1,000 and charged with a misdemeanor for enforcing federal gun laws.
"This is an important first step for Idaho," Tenth Amendment Center spokesman Mike Maharrey told BenSwann.com. "Getting this law passed will ensure that any new plans or executive orders that might be coming our way will not be enforced in Idaho. Then, once this method is established and shown to be effective, legislators can circle back and start doing the same for federal gun control already on the books."
Both Alaska and Kansas have passed similar "nullification" laws. Kansas approved the Second Amendment Protection Act last April, and Alaska enacted a similar law in June. A ProPublica investigation from last spring found that at least 37 other states have introduced similar bills. Under the Kansas law, residents could "manufacture and sell semi-automatic weapons in-state without a federal license or any federal oversight." The law also made it a felony for federal authorities to enforce any law that conflicts with state law.
Idaho's Legislature—which enjoys a Republican supermajority in both its chambers—has become home to many state laws that attempt to circumvent federal law. Earlier this month, the state tried and failed to pass a bill that would have outlawed federal environmental regulations. And in 2011, Idaho tried to declare the Affordable Care Act null and void. Since then, Gov. Butch Otter has come under attack from his fellow Republicans for softening his position on Obamacare.
Writ large, many conservative states are exploring creative but arcane ways to circumvent federal law. One growing conservative cause at the state level, the Article V movement, would attempt to call a convention of states to make laws in lieu of federal oversight.
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 22:31:17 EDT in Islam
The Muslim Issue
A Saudi Arabian slave owner was trying to sell his ’26-year castrated black slave imported from Africa’ through social media in 2012.
by M. A. Khan, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Imperialism, Forced Conversion and Slavery.
One of the most controversial aspects of Islam is its doctrine of slavery. It incites controversy because slavery in the modern world is clearly considered a contemptible practise. In Islamic doctrine however, it isn’t. For centuries, abolitionist groups from the West and non-Western world lobbied strenuously to see slavery become abolished in Western colonies from Africa to India and beyond. The formal abolishment of slavery in Muslim countries was not enacted in all of Islam’s one thousand three hundred years or so history at the time, until the intervention of the West. Saudi Arabia finally caved in and formally abolished slavery in 1962 only upon continued Western imposition.
Although slave trade was banned in Niger by French colonists a century ago, the cultural practice of slave ownership was not banned until recently in 2005. In Islamic culture, Islamic doctrine sanctions a tripartite model of slavery that encompasses Enslavement (domestic and industrial labor), Slave trade and Sex-slavery. Prophet Muhammad himself who didn’t participate in any of these practices prior to taking up his Islamic mission, inaugurated this tripartite model into Islam. He set the template for his followers by selling female slaves off in exchange for weapons and horses, making slaves of common folk whom he captured in warfare, and making a concubine of beautiful widowed Rayhana the same night he murdered her relatives and husband’s entire Banu Qurayza tribe! Prophet Muhammad said that Allah has ‘made war booty legal‘ for the Muslim, and that Muslim men are allowed to do as they please with their female war captives including having sexual relations with them against their will.
Islam does not permit men to rape their male captives, but there is absolutely no limit to the number of female sex-slaves a Muslim male is allowed to keep. In obedience to Allah’s set principles in the Quran, many Sultans who ruled over conquered territories had harems bursting with concubines in the thousands. Moulay Ismail had 4,000, Akhbar had 5,000, and the harem of And al-Rahman III (d.961) in Cordoba contained over 6,000 concubines, to name a few. Concubinage was sealed into the DNA of Islamic culture. Prior to these Sultans, leading Muslim men during Muhammad’s time kept numerous sized concubines – women acquired as ‘booty’ from jihadi onslaughts. The Prophet never dissuaded them from such practice. Islam is pretty clear on whether or not slavery is lawful. It is lawful. Islam only forbids the enslavement of born Muslims.
At first blush, Muslim apologists approach the issue of Islamic slavery by saying that Islam never really approved of slavery, that the Prophet temporarily endorsed slavery only because he sought to abolish the contemptuous pre-islamic practise gradually. Thus according to Muslim denialists, Islam regulated slavery which already existed among the jahiliya people, but it did not endorse it. After Britain gained control over India, it took less than a century (1757- 1843 when the Indian Slavery Act V was passed) to ban Islamic slavery there. Islam after having spent centuries conquering infidel lands and enslaving the infidels, never sought to abolish it from there, or anywhere else.
Omniscient Allah after having looked into the future, never thought to pre-empt the British Empire and give to Polytheist Indians, a taste of the dignity that comes with freedom from slavery – that man everywhere truly desires. Also, contrary to apologist accounts, historical records show that due to the advent of Islam, slave-trade after a long hiatus, suddenly became introduced to India where although slavery previously existed, chattel slavery didn’t! There was not a single slave market in India pre Islam.
Previously wealthy Middle class Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh Natives of the Indian subcontinent who were abducted as war captives during Muslim rulers’ numerous jihad campaigns to expand Islam’s imperial domain, were instantly reduced to slave status and sold at the new slave markets, to common Muslim households at home and abroad in neighbouring Iraq and Khurasan which were “swelled” with (non-Muslim) slaves. In Africa too, chattel slavery was not the norm until Islam, over the course of centuries, established it. Slavery in traditional African societies generally took the form of indentured servitude, which is a stark contrast to the global enterprise ran by Arab merchants, that demanded village raids to procure slaves for supply to the Muslim world, where slaves dutifully commenced a new life of service to their Muslim masters who purchased them.