Moscow (AFP) – It was the year that ended centuries of royal rule, brought two revolutions, ushered in Soviet domination and changed the course of Russian history irrevocably.
A century later, the country seems unsure how to treat the tumultuous events of 1917 that saw it hurtle from the abdication of the last tsar Nicholas II to a Communist dictatorship in a matter of months.
During seven decades of Soviet rule the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks was celebrated with pomp by the Kremlin and the tsarist regime was demonised.
But after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 there was a u-turn that saw the royal family canonised and public opinion increasingly view the upheavals not as a triumph but as a tragedy that sparked generations of bloodshed and suffering in Russia.
Some 500 conferences, round tables, exhibitions and art festivals are planned to mark the centenary — but so far, at least, there are no signs that there will be any major fanfare.
“Russian society needs an objective, honest and profound analysis of these events,” Putin said in a speech last year.
“The lessons of history are needed primarily for reconciliation, to strengthen society,” he said, adding that it is “impermissible to let the splits, malice, resentment and bitterness of the past into our life today.”
A former Soviet-era intelligence officer, Putin has turned himself into what many see as a kind of modern tsar and surrounded himself with a new super-wealthy elite.
His mantra has been restoring stability, strength and unity to the country after the upheaval that followed the end of the Soviet Union, and returning Russia to the conservative values of the past.
Following mass anti-Kremlin rallies in 2011-12 and the ouster of the Russian-backed leader of Ukraine by protesters in 2014, authorities have been increasingly wary of any popular revolt that could impact their grip on power. Read the rest of this entry »
[Check out the book “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” at Amazon.com]
When the Grand Jury indicted abortion doctor Dr. Kermit Gosnell in 2011, it wrote: “This case is about a doctor who killed babies… What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy—and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors… Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”
Filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer (FrackNation, Not Evil Just Wrong) have spent the last few years investigating the case and raising money for a feature documentary about the man they call “America’s biggest serial killer.” Now, in Gosnell, McElhinney and McAleer report their shocking findings, taking readers inside the grisly case the mainstream media hesitated to cover. What really happened in Gosnell’s Pennsylvania clinic? And perhaps more importantly, how did Gosnell get away with infanticide for decades?
Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former Dictator and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90.
Fidel Castro ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost 50 years before Raul took over in 2008.
Fidel Castro, Cuba’s former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, his brother Raul has announced.
— Danny Rivero (@TooMuchMe) November 26, 2016
…The U.S. was among the first to formally recognize his government, cautiously trusting Castro’s early assurances he merely wanted to restore democracy, not install socialism.
Within months, Castro was imposing radical economic reforms. Members of the old government went before summary courts, and at least 582 were shot by firing squads over two years. Independent newspapers were closed and in the early years, homosexuals were herded into camps for “re-education.”
In 1964, Castro acknowledged holding 15,000 political prisoners. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans fled, including Castro’s daughter Alina Fernandez Revuelta and his younger sister Juana.
— CNN (@CNN) November 26, 2016
Still, the revolution thrilled millions in Cuba and across Latin America who saw it as an example of how the seemingly arrogant Yankees could be defied. And many on the island were happy to see the seizure of property of the landed class, the expulsion of American gangsters and the closure of their casinos.
Castro’s speeches, lasting up to six hours, became the soundtrack of Cuban life and his 269-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly in 1960 set the world body’s record for length that still stood more than five decades later.
As Castro moved into the Soviet bloc, Washington began working to oust him, cutting U.S. purchases of sugar, the island’s economic mainstay. Castro, in turn, confiscated $1 billion in U.S. assets…(read more)
MORE: Cuban-Americans in Miami react with cheers, song, and dance about Fidel Castro’s death. pic.twitter.com/gEUxzRmrpj
— Breaking Now! (@BreakingNowThis) November 26, 2016
— David Beard (@dabeard) November 26, 2016
New footage has been released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office which reveals the horrific scenes inside the Orlando gay night club where a mass shooting took place.
A police bodycam captured the moment officers entered Pulse and worked to secure the area.
The massacre’s perpetrator, Omar Mateen, 29, from Port St. Lucie in Florida, opened fire in the early hours of Sunday, June 12, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others.
He entered the nightclub wielding an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun and at around 2 am he exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the club before heading back inside and taking hostages. Read the rest of this entry »
Two people have been injured following a shooting incident that caused the closure of a Wisconsin mall Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
“We don’t believe this is related to terrorism. This was obviously not a mass shooting. This is an incident where we had young people…who were in a dispute and one of them pulled out a firearm and unfortunately shot a gun in the middle of East Towne Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.”
— Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain
Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain told the paper that one of the victims was transported to a local hospital with leg injuries.
“We don’t believe this is related to terrorism,” DeSpain said, “This was obviously not a mass shooting. This is an incident where we had young people … who were in a dispute and one of them pulled out a firearm and unfortunately shot a gun in the middle of East Towne Mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.”
The mall ordered stores to close and evacuate in the aftermath of the incident. The mall was secured shortly before 3:45 p.m. local time, police said. Read the rest of this entry »
This is one of the more insightful essays from a non-conservative writer about conservative gun owners we’ve seen all year. A refreshing sight. It’s unfortunate that the irrational, anti-democratic, reactionary urge for massive government control by the increasingly radical anti-gun left–and the increasingly irritable impatience of the strident pro-gun right (of which I proudly belong) predictably leaves little room for any hope of mutual respect. Sophia Raday’s article is a step in the right direction, exposing and addressing the false accusation of heartlessness. For this alone, conservatives should be grateful.
Perhaps Raday unnecessarily mythologizes the protective instincts of conservative gun owners. And needlessly refers to Hollywood stereotypes about Good and Evil that trivialize the subject. But her main points are well-reasoned, and valid. I’d prefer the word ‘realist‘, than pessimist, myself. But these are minor disagreements. Maybe pessimist is the right word. To her credit, Sophia Raday’s effort hints at an under-explored potential for honest dialogue between opposing camps.
Parting question: does a person actually have to be married to a member of the opposing camp, in order to reach these conclusions, and this level of understanding? I hope not!
Sophia Raday writes:
“How can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?” President Barack Obama asked on Friday.
I can answer that question. I’m in the progressive camp, but I’m married to my political opposite, a Republican police officer and soldier. We’ve had eighteen years to compare notes on many political issues, and out of all those arguments, I have gained an understanding and a measure of respect for the conservative worldview.
When something as horrible as the shooting in Oregon happens, progressives want to pull some shred of meaning from it. So let’s do something already, we say, in increasingly exasperated and angry tones. Let’s learn. Let’s change things. But we might be more effective in getting something done about mass shootings if we actually understood the opposition. Researchers studying conflict and extremism believe you can get a lot further in negotiation with an adversary if you acknowledge what is sacred to them. And believe it or not, gun-rights advocates—at least by virtue of their politics—are not heartless.
It must be understood that gun-rights advocates, like many conservatives, tell a very different story about the world than we progressives do. In their narrative, the earth is an inherently dangerous, often hostile, and definitely competitive place. Unlike us, they do not take as given that deep down, all people are basically good. They believe there is evil in the world, that there will always be evil in the world and that evil must be consistently and stalwartly confronted. In their story, it’s up to every one of the good people to stand up against malice. Otherwise, evil gets the upper hand. So, when a mass shooting occurs, their view of American society as overly permissive, and therefore an insufficient bulwark against ever-threatening evil, is only confirmed.
Liberals scratch their heads at the NRA member’s passion for firearms. People like Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin—whose post-Sandy Hook letter refusing to enforce any additional gun regulations is now going viral—seem like callous monsters to us. We find it odd and twisted to be so attached, so passionate about an amalgamation of metal and explosives whose raison d’tre is destruction. What we don’t get is that for conservatives, and Second Amendment defenders especially, the supreme virtue is self-reliance. The unconscious story underlying much conservative thought is a tale of good versus evil. Think of movies such as the Dark Knight, or Braveheart, or Star Wars. The virtuous individual must draw on his own talent and courage to defeat evil within and without. Read the rest of this entry »
The More You Politicize Guns, The Weaker Your Case Becomes.
David Harsanyi writes: After the horrific mass shooting at a community college in Oregon, President Obama made an impassioned case that gun violence is “something we should politicize”—and why should this be any different:
“This is a political choice that we make, to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.”
Everything in that statement is wrong. What happened in Oregon is tragic, and the nation should comfort families and look for reasonable and practical ways to stem violence, but there is only one murderer. Now, if government somehow bolstered, endorsed, or “allowed” the actions of Chris Harper-Mercer—as they might, say, the death of 10,000-plus viable babies each year or the civilian deaths that occur during an American drone action—a person could plausibly argue that we are collectively answerable as a nation.
“For the liberal, every societal problem has a state-issued remedy waiting to be administered over the objections of a reactionary Republican. But just because you have a tremendous amount of emotion and frustration built up around a certain cause doesn’t make your favored legislation any more practical, effective or realistic.”
Then again, when the president asserts Americans are collectively answerable, what he really suggests—according to his own broader argument—is that conservatives who’ve blocked his gun-control legislation are wholly responsible. The problem with that contention, outside of the obvious fact that Republicans never condone the use of guns for illegal violence (in fact, these rampages hurt their cause more than anything) is that Democrats haven’t offered a single bill or idea (short of confiscation) that would impede any of the mass shootings, or overall gun violence. This is not a political choice, because it’s likely there is no available political answer.
For the liberal, every societal problem has a state-issued remedy waiting to be administered over the objections of a reactionary Republican. But just because you have a tremendous amount of emotion and frustration built up around a certain cause doesn’t make your favored legislation any more practical, effective or realistic. It doesn’t change the fact that owning a gun is a civil right, that the preponderance of owners are not criminals, or that there are 300 million guns out there.
And if it’s a political argument you’re offering—and when hasn’t it been?—you’ll need more than the vacuousness of the “this is bad and so we have to do something.” That’s because anti-gun types are never able to answer a simple question: what law would you pass that could stop these shootings?
On August 28, the NRA presented ATF and FBI data showing Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has fallen “51 percent.”
“The overarching message is simple—more guns, less crime. Americans have purchased “170 million new guns” since 1991, and violent crime has decreased as gun ownership has increased.”
This information squares with the findings of a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study covering the slightly shorter period of time from 1994 to 2009.
For those years, CRS found that Americans purchased approximately 118 million firearms, and the 1993 “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate of 6.6 per 100,000 fell to 3.6 per 100,000 by the year 2000. It eventually fell all the way to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.
That is more than a 50 percent reduction in “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide.”
Then, in 2009—the year the CRS study ended…(read more)
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.
It’s not like this hasn’t been documented multiple times. Here are just a few examples of our coverage of the gun rights/gun control debate, civil rights, and crime statistics, followed by external links.
“If you break it, you own it. That’s the supposed rule that Democrats imposed on the Bush administration as it allowed Iraq to descend into bloody chaos. If George W. Bush owned the Iraqi disaster, Barack Obama owns the implosion of America’s position in the Middle East.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 23, 2015
[VIDEO] Interview with Florist Debbie Dills: ‘Recognized the Haircut’, Police Tip Led Directly to Roof’s Capture and ArrestPosted: June 19, 2015
“He said that he took it from his mom. And he told me his mom didn’t know he had the gun… Yeah, it was his gun but his mom took it from Dylann.”
A friend of Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof spoke with Greta Van Susteren tonight. He told Greta Dyllan took the gun from his mother that he used in the mass murder. He said Dyllan’s mom didn’t trust him with it so she took it away.
Carol J. Williams reports: Only six years ago, President Vladimir Putin visited the Polish port of Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity movement that threw off Soviet domination, and reassured his Eastern European neighbors that Russia had only friendly intentions.
Putin spoke harshly that day of the notorious World War II-era pact that former Soviet leader Josef Stalin had signed with Adolf Hitler — an agreement that cleared the way for the Nazi occupation of Poland and Soviet domination of the Baltics — calling it a “collusion to solve one’s problems at others’ expense.”
But Putin’s view of history appears to have undergone a startling transformation. Last month, the Russian leader praised the 1939 nonaggression accord with Hitler as a clever maneuver that forestalled war with Germany. Stalin’s 29-year reign, generally seen by Russians in recent years as a dark and bloody chapter in the nation’s history, has lately been applauded by Putin and his supporters as the foundation on which the great Soviet superpower was built.
Across a resurgent Russia, Stalin lives again, at least in the minds and hearts of Russian nationalists who see Putin as heir to the former dictator’s model of iron-fisted rule. Recent tributes celebrate Stalin’s military command acumen and geopolitical prowess. His ruthless repression of enemies, real and imagined, has been brushed aside by today’s Kremlin leader as the cost to be paid for defeating the Nazis.
As Putin has sought to recover territory lost in the 1991 Soviet breakup, his Stalinesque claim to a right to a “sphere of influence” has allowed him to legitimize the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and declare an obligation to defend Russians and Russian speakers beyond his nation’s borders.
On May 9, the 70th anniversary of the Allied war victory was marked and Stalin’s image was put on display with glorifying war films, T-shirts, billboards and posters. Framed portraits of the mustachioed generalissimo were carried by marchers in Red Square‘s Victory Day parade and in the million-strong civic procession that followed to honor all who fell in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON (WJLA) — A thriving D.C. business is the target of self-described ISIS militants.
For the past five months a barrage of phone calls and internet postings have threatened employees. The callers vow to carry out mass murder.
ABC7 News is not identifying the business nor any individuals because of the sensitive nature of these threats.
The business is Jewish owned and some of the threats are anti-Semitic while others are racial or homophobic.
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have employees worried. Read the rest of this entry »
Why is Obama bringing up Australian gun control laws?
For The Federalist, David Harsanyi writes: While answering a few questions on Tumblr this week, President Obama informed participants that “our levels of gun violence are off the charts.” He claimed that it was incomprehensible that congress hadn’t reacted to overwhelming public opinion and passed legislation to expand gun background checks, adding that nations like Australia had long ago enacted sensible gun control laws to stop mass shootings:
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing it, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has brought up Australian gun control laws. He did so after the Navy Yard DC shooting, as well. Actually, on the left, Australian laws are frequently cited as a way to limit shooting rampages — perhaps get rid of them altogether. A few years ago, Nicholas Kristof, after mischaracterizing the law, recommended that it should be the “road map” for United States policy.
What are they talking about here? Longer wait times? Banning “assault weapons”? Not really. In 1996, after a ghastly massacre at Port Arthur, the Australian government passed firearms regulations that banned ownership of almost all semiautomatic weapons, all self-loading rifles and shotguns, and instituted strict restrictions on all sale of ammunition for the weapons.
[Check out another David Harsanyi book “The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy”, also available at Amazon.com]
A person can own a gun if they can demonstrate to the state that he has a “genuine reason” for having one – and “self-defense” is not considered a legitimate basis for ownership. Australia proceeded to run a buyback program that lasted nearly a year, in which time the government ended up paying citizens for 640,000 prohibited firearms. It was, in other words, a massive confiscation of guns. Read the rest of this entry »
“I saw myself as a highly intelligent and magnificent person who is meant for great things.”
“I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though…”
“Becoming a multimillionaire at a young age is what I am meant for.”
“It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.”
“I am like a god.”
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”
Answers after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Ann Coulter writes: Instead of always taking incoming fire, how about Republicans start sending some back? It’s great that they stopped HillaryCare, but if they had actually fixed health care by forcing health insurance plans to be sold in a competitive free market, there would have been no opportunity for shyster Democrats to foist Obamacare on us.
It’s fantastic that we caught the Boston Marathon bombers, but why don’t Republicans fix an immigration system that brings foreign terrorists and mass murderers to our country? Let the Democrats explain why we couldn’t make room for a Danish surgeon because we needed another Chechnyan terrorist.
And it’s terrific that Republicans have managed to block sweeping gun bans after every mass shooting over the past few years — opposition to new gun restrictions has more than doubled since Newtown — but how about they actually do something to stop the next mass murder?
All these shootings are united by one clear thread: They all were committed by visibly crazy people, known to be nuts but not institutionalized.
Mental illness was blindingly clear in the cases of Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Maj. Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood), Jared Loughner (Arizona shopping mall), James Holmes (Colorado movie theater), and a dozen other mass shootings in the past few decades.
But in every instance, Democrats’ response was: Let’s ban high-capacity magazines! Let’s limit private gun sales! Let’s publish the names of everyone who owns a registered gun!
The push to “do something, anything,” has nothing to do with preventing deaths.
Charles C. W. Cooke writes: Earlier in the year, as the gun-control movement tried clumsily to transform an abomination into a cudgel, the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker distilled its problem into a single sentence. “Nothing proposed in the gun-control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Parker contended plainly, “and everybody knows it.”
This was abundantly clear at the time, and it is even more so in retrospect. And yet I must nitpick ever so slightly with Parker’s excellent contention, for it is missing the crucial word “almost.” Almost everybody knows it. The public seems to know it. Legislators seem to know it. But, judging by the abundance of vexed anniversary columns, a significant cabal of journalists and activists have never got the message. A year later, their cry is as it was at the outset: Why won’t we act?
Yesterday, Michael Bloomberg delivered a speech in which he utilized what I have come to regard as the Newtown Template. Having established the tragedy in the audience’s mind — December 14 “will mark a very somber anniversary,” Bloomberg noted, correctly — he went on to claim that “unlicensed sellers of firearms” were “illegally flooding the Internet with weapons,” causing “a massive online, unregulated, second-hand firearms market that threatens public safety.” Then, for good measure, he took a swipe at the government for “doing nothing.”
In the wake of the D.C. shooting, some lawmakers are pushing for new regulations on firearms. But legislation should never be passed in the heat of a crisis.
Nick Gillespie writes: Monday’s horrific mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard left 12 victims (plus the shooter) dead and more than a dozen people wounded. It has raised immediate, impassioned, and understandable—if ultimately misguided—calls for increased levels of gun control now.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a longtime proponent of assault-weapons bans whose effectiveness is questionable at best, announced that the killer was armed with a “military-style assault weapon” and asked, “When will enough be enough?” She argued for restricting sales of AR-15 rifles even though the shooter was not armed with that weapon. Read the rest of this entry »
Translation into standard English: “Obama lost big on gun control the last time he tried to use the actions of an insane murderer politically. He was humiliated and enraged by the betrayal of his subjects. And we haven’t figured out yet how to cynically exploit this shooting. So, he just made a rote statement of concern and then got back to his usual crap: lies, blame-dodging, etc….