While the Olympics were taking place in Sochi, Russian president and autocrat Vladimir Putin was starting to invade Ukraine. Last Wednesday, Putin put 150,000 troops on high alert for battle near the border with Ukraine. On Saturday, the upper house of the Russian parliament (Duma), the Federation Council, unanimously approved Putin's request to use force in Ukraine and deploy additional troops to the Crimean peninsula.
Putin claims the troops are being sent there to stabilize the socio-political situation in the country. However, many believe that Putin is deliberately stirring up unrest, in order to justify sending in the military. Masked men dressed in black carrying AK-47s have been spotted in the streets, but it's not clear whether they are real protesters or a plant from Putin to create the appearance of a crisis.
Putin originally became Russian president as part of the new, non-communist era Russia, but has proven that he is not a real reformer, reverting to many of his KGB thug ways. Putin worked for the KGB for 16 years under communism. His grandfather was a cook for previous communist leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Putin's father is described as a "model communist." Putin has said he spent the best part of his life with the KGB, which made it a difficult choice to leave the KGB when the organization turned on Soviet president and reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. more >>
It is said if someone wants to understand a person's true priorities, just look at their checkbook. The late Fast and Furious star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last November, is a good example. Walker had it all; with fame, fortune and good looks on his side, but that was not what defined him. Walker used his hard-earned money to make the world a better place through his humanitarian aid organization, Reach Out Worldwide, but his generosity did not stop there.
The story is told that some years back, he was in a Santa Barbara, California jewelry store and overheard a young soldier, Kyle, who had just returned from Iraq tell his fiancé, Kristen, he could not afford the ring she liked. Later, Walker called the store manager and put the ring on his tab. After his death, Kristen told CBS News Los Angeles the look on Walker's face "transformed" when Walker heard Kyle was an Iraq War veteran.
Walker's heart was in the right place. As the scripture goes, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." If only the same could be said about the priorities of the Obama administration which stores treasure in social programs at the expense of the active duty and retired veterans in my family and yours. more >>
To make sense of Ukraine's political turmoil, one has to understand events, and "elections" outside the USA. Few Americans can stay focused for long when countries with too many U's and K's in their name quarrel. We just change the channel to ESPN.
So here's my attempt to sum it up.
Ronald Reagan's steadfast stands for liberty and against repressive, Soviet-style regimes has, over the decades, led to a widespread yearning for freedom. Aided by the flow of information from the Internet and the example of free-market capitalism's ability to raise the standard of living for all who are willing to give up socialism's false promises, more countries are pushing for free-market democracy. more >>
The New York Times has finally found a victim of Islamic aggression in Nigeria worth reporting on: homosexuals. In a big spread complete with pictures appearing last week, the NYT's Adam Nossiter wrote "Wielding Whip and a Hard New Law, Nigeria Tries to 'Sanitize' Itself of Gays."
While it's all well and good to expose the persecution of any group, why does the NYT remain silent about the much more endemic and savage jihad to "sanitize" Nigeria of Christians-a jihad that has seen countless Christians butchered and countless churches destroyed?
A 2012 meeting of Nigerian church heads concluded that "the pattern of these killings [of Christians] does suggest to us a systematic ethnic and religious cleansing." more >>
If five years of the Obama administration has taught us anything, it is that presidents do not need Congress to further their agenda. All they need is to surround themselves with "yes men" who share similar disrespect for the Constitution and its founders. It also helps to have a trusty pen and phone, as President Obama brags.
There is something to be said, though, about precedence. Shortsighted Republicans who handed on a silver platter to the executive branch unparalleled power by way of the Patriot Act and TARP, should stop whining about what Obama is doing. What one administration does in moderation, the next will do in excess, especially if they are liberal.
Of course, there is a vast difference between executing the Patriot Act after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Obama mass-producing executive orders in the name of social justice and social engineering like a president, gone wild. more >>
News in the Middle East is rarely uplifting. On a daily basis, a roiling brew of fanaticism, insurgency and hatred boils over into country after country, yielding death and destruction.
In a region beset with such turmoil, it is highly unusual to come across someone who rises above the fray and – without a trace of cynicism – offers a message of hope. Thankfully, just such a voice was heard in Jerusalem this past weekend.
Reverend Canon Andrew White is an Anglican priest from Great Britain who is affectionately known as the "Vicar of Baghdad." A large silver cross graces his chest; he walks with a cane and speaks with a faint impediment because of his personal battle with multiple sclerosis. more >>