What’s really going on in Ukraine?
Well, based on all the various media reports I’ve seen, this video seems to be a fairly accurate representation of complexities of the movement known as Euro Maidan and the lead-up to the violence and tragic deaths of last week. It’s an honest and objective look at what was a very volatile situation ~
Recent developments are very encouraging. Accusing President Yanukovych of massive human rights violations and abandonment of his duties, the Ukrainian Parliament unanimously voted to impeach him. And ~
In one of the greatest political reversals of all-time, Yanukovych was stopped leaving Ukraine on a Donetsk tarmac while his imprisoned rival, Yulia Tymoshenko (below), was set free from prison by parliament and whisked to a waiting crowd of more than 100,000 people on Kyiv’s Independence Square who listened attentively to the ex-prime minister.
The biggest unknown now is: what will Vladimir Putin do in response to what is plainly a defiant rejection of Russian involvement in Ukrainian affairs (Yanukovych was essentially a Moscow puppet) by the majority of Ukrainians? The future is still uncertain as Reuters reports ~
“We all know Putin likes to meddle,” said Alexei Tsitulski, a 25-year-old protester from the Crimea. The region used to be Russian territory and was given to Ukraine in 1953 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was from Ukraine.
“If he decides to try to take over regions like Crimea or anywhere else in the east, we’ll go there to fight. We’re not going to let Ukraine be split.”
Such comments, echoed by other protesters, underline how high the stakes are as Putin looks for ways to save face in the geopolitical struggle over Ukraine that had appeared to be going his way until the past week.
And then there’s the gas…
Although happily, the pundit quoted in this Zero Hedge post turned out to be 100% incorrect in his predictions thus far.
The best and latest news about the unrest in Ukraine has come from Kiev Post.
Ukraine’s priests provide protest inspiration, key link to pre-Soviet era ~ The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been a critical source of support for Euro Maidan.
Random links of interest, concern or curiosity from the past week or so, that deserve at least a SHORT mention:
Maryland Legislators Stand Against LGBT Activists to Protect Children ~ A bit of good news on the radical homosexual front; pushing back against legislation banning change therapy ~
“Change therapy bans are a flagrant violation of a client’s right to self-determination,” says Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The teens we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions, nor do they want to engage in such behavior. They have asked for our help because they are greatly benefiting from change therapy. Their self-esteem and their relationships have improved.”
The Minimum-Wage Executive Order Is Unconstitutional ~ this order is incompatible with the expressed and implied will of Congress. Yet another illegal action by a president who continually mocks the oath he swore to uphold the Constitution.
An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 people are currently being detained in North Korean political prison camps, the Korea Institute for National Unification says, based on satellite imagery and first-hand testimony [...]
Testimony about one detention facility revealed that it was equipped with a water tank, long needles that are driven under prisoners’ fingernails, and shackles used to hold people upside down, the report states.
One evil bastard(!) – but then we’ve known that for years. So I’m skeptical that the U.N.’s motivation is entirely altruistic, although glad that they’re finally acknowledging the truth.
Australia on their renewable-energy mandates: “We’re kinda’ over it” ~ Wouldn’t it be nice if the O’Ministration ditched the emotional appeal and pseudo-science and faced reality as well? Instead, we’ve got ~ Secretary of State John Kerry reporting for duty in the war against climate change.
Sex and Lies in Current TN School Textbooks ~ Warning: if you graduated before Clinton was in office your head might explode after seeing what they’re teaching fourth graders now.
NHS accused of covering up high death rates at string of hospitals ~ In Great Britain; just one more ugly consequence of government controlled health care. Coming soon to a town near you
On John Maynard Keynes and the Hollow Man Phenomenon ~ How the early 20th century (and extremely amoral) economist poisoned our entire financial system. Very enlightening – as is almost everything from Ann Barnhardt.
US Supreme Court set to review case of German homeschooling family that Obama admin wants deported ~
The United States Supreme Court has scheduled Romeike v. Holder for review conference February 21. The court is expected to rule on whether or not to take the case and announce the ruling in its February 24 orders.
Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~
[Hey! Isn't that the NSA's motto?]
With an ethics-be-damned approach to winning elections at any cost, is it any wonder that the Left opposes voter I.D. laws?
Unrepentant Battleground Texas Now Subject to State Investigation ~ Hopefully O’keefe’s video will lead to the Texas Attorney General’s involvement in the case.
This story is rather disconcerting…
Gee, this shiny new training facility looks an awful lot like Hometown, U.S.A. doesn’t it? Just what sort of scenarios do you suppose our troops are prepping for?
Well, as Colonel John P. Petkosek, commander of the U.S. Army Asymmetric (“asymmetric” – as in military vs. civilians?) Warfare Group “explained” in bureau-speak ~
This is the place where we can be creative, where we can come up with solutions for problems that we don’t even know we have yet…This is where we’ll look at solutions for the future–material solutions and non-material solutions…The things that we do here at this facility will have a direct and lasting impact on our entire army.
Sounds like typical progressive gibberish to me – with a heavy dose of sinister thrown in.
U.S. Army Builds Replica City to Practice Invasion ~ Clash Daily has more information. And more questions.
Ukraine is boiling over again as EuroMaidan supporters clash with government thugs in Kiev (hundreds injured; more than 20 dead in the last 24 hours) ~ Ukraine in Flames…
Venezuela, nearing meltdown – is also being oppressed by a power-hungry despot…
And in that bastion of liberalism, Ann Arbor, Michigan ~ U-M Students Hold All-Night Protest Over Minority Enrollment (2-18-14) ~
University of Michigan students plan to hold an all-night protest over what they say is low minority enrollment and inclusion on campus.
Last month, this same disgruntled bunch was threatening “physical action” if their “demands” weren’t met. Naturally, the compliant P.C. university immediately caved in to the extortion.
[Never mind that special/separate treatment based on race is unconstitutional. Ann Arbor is pretty much a firmly-established reality-free zone.]
In stark contrast, at the very same time, people are fighting – risking their very lives – for freedom from tyranny in Kiev ~
Students in Venezuela are being murdered in the streets of Caracas while protesting lawlessness, a collapsing economy, suppression of free speech/free press – not to mention police brutality – all brought about by an out-of-control corrupt government ~
Meanwhile, at the University of Michigan, protestors are demanding…
not even that favorite French virtue; equality,
no, these privileged college students are demanding equal outcome.
I seriously wonder whether these self-absorbed, entitled young people could even find Ukraine and Venezuela on a map!
As American conservatives, sometimes we’re so focused on exposing the creeping tyranny within our own borders we don’t always notice aggressive despotism in other hemispheres. But what’s happening in Venezuela right now should jar us out of our domestic concerns long enough to realize how fast things can go from bad to worse.
After Hugo Chavez assumed room temperature last year, Nicolas Maduro succeeded him as president of that troubled country. And, as Glinda said about the Wicked Witch of the West, he’s much worse than the other one I’m afraid~
Video via Fausta’s Blog
Although the Obama administration is presently more subtle in its totalitarian maneuvering than this blatant oppression in Venezuela, we’re fools if we don’t see the ominous parallels between the two situations.
Venezuela president orders expulsion of three US diplomats
Venezuela on the edge of collapse? ~ from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air ~
Before Chavez, Venezuela was a successful petro-state with a significant middle class and stable economics. Then Chavez created a command economy, expropriated private property, and ruled by whim for most of his term as president/dictator. He managed that through brute force and a cult of personality, but his successor only has brute force to use.
This could get ugly quickly. Perhaps the American media might get interested in this story sometime soon, enough to report not just when the bullets fly, but why Venezuelans are marching in the streets and their government is at least tacitly allowing violence to drive them off.
Frank Beckman, a talk show host on WJR-AM (760) – Detroit, is obviously as fed up with the deceitful tyrant in the White House as I – and many of you – are. The following editorial was published in the Detroit News on February 14th
(Emphasis mine) ~
Dear Mr. President: America never needed to be transformed
Our founding fathers were brilliant men who crafted a system of government that led to the greatest demonstration of collective freedom and economic growth in world history.
The Constitution on which our republic was built has stood the test of time for nearly 250 years, and has insulated the United States from the sort of tyranny witnessed by power hungry rulers throughout history.
In five short years, under the direction of one man, President Barack Obama, the work of our founders and very basis of our free nation run by a government with three equal layers of power is threatened with dismantling by a president, who promised just before his first election, that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America. Give Obama this — he’s a man of his word. When the founders established our nation, they envisioned a country run by the rule of law, based on a Constitution which separated federal power into the three branches of our government, executive, legislative and judicial. A system of checks and balances was established so that no one element of the federal government could gain unfettered autonomy. They explained their ideas while trying to convince the American public about the wisdom of the new Constitution in a series of newspaper editorials known as the Federalist Papers.
The so-called Father of the Constitution, James Madison, emphasized the importance of the separation of powers in Federalist No. 47 when he wrote, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
The current president’s continued actions to change the congressionally adopted legislation known as Obama-care could not more aptly fall under Madison’s warning.
Obama has changed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) according to his own caprice no less than 10 times and this week added the threat of criminal prosecution for some of those who would dare to exercise their First Amendment rights and point out its negative impact.
No tyrant can eventually gain total control without threats, and throughout history those threats have been represented by the barrel of a gun.
With the latest Obamacare implementation delay, the self interest of some companies may be best served by reducing payroll to fewer than 100 employees.
But these medium-sized employers have now been warned that if they seek to fall under that threshold to avoid the costly requirements of the ACA, as are now required — under threat of the felonious crime of perjury, which carries a jail term — to certify to the IRS that Obamacare was not a motivating factor in staffing decisions.
Aside from the obvious political conclusion that the administration does not want to be blamed for job losses in an election year and that Obamacare is a drag on jobs and the economy, this clear threat carries even greater implications.
This is how tyranny works, as exemplified by numerous authoritarians of the 20th century, from Joseph Stalin to Adolf Hitler to Saddam Hussein: Threaten your political opponents into submission under the fear of being jailed, all for the purpose of expanding power and maintaining political strength.
The president’s actions should frighten us all.
Random links of interest, concern or curiosity from the past week or so, that deserve at least a SHORT mention:
Global Warming: Don’t Confuse Us with the Facts ~ Just prevent the collection of any credible data. How deceitfully convenient. By allowing the degradation of our weather-measuring systems, the administration can simply make up their own “facts” to suit their agenda.
Ravi Zacharias at University of Pennsylvania ~ “Is Truth Real? A Conversation on Science, Ethics, and Philosophy” ~ I didn’t hear about Tuesday’s live-cast until it was over, but luckily a video of Dr. Ravi Zacharias’ entire talk is available HERE. It’s 3 hours long, but TOTALLY worth it (in fact I plan to listen again this weekend). Wonderful apologetic for Christianity, especially the Q & A with the mostly-misguided students. (It’s tragic, but enlightening, to see the extent that relativism – and historical revisionism – have messed with some of these kids’ minds.)
Things that make you go “hmmm…” ~ NAACP requires marchers protesting North Carolina voter ID law TO SHOW PHOTO ID
Replace the Speaker ~ Heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! Johnny Boehner’s got to go!
He may have done a u-turn on amnesty, but that’s only temporary. After raising the debt ceiling yet again this week, Rep. Boehner has clearly shown himself to be much too fiscally irresponsible – not to mention cowardly – to be Speaker of the House.
Easy cause to support; just click on the link and sign the petition.
Clarence Thomas: Northern liberal elites more racist than southerners ~ The Supreme Court justice is no stranger to racism; he’s been Uncle Tomed more times than he can count, which makes his remarks all the more credible ~
“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school”
Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution ~ The lawless Left is just winging it! (And they’ll continue to do so with impunity unless we stop them.)
Washington Redskins write scathing response to lawmakers who want team name changed ~ Congress seems to think they have nothing better to do than bully an NFL team about their 82 year-old nickname. The Redskins decided that they needed a reminder ~
Senator Cantwell should be aware that there are many challenges facing Native Americans, including an extremely cold winter with high energy bills, high unemployment, life threatening health problems, inadequate education and many other issues more pressing than the name of a football team which has received strong support from Native Americans.
Walgreens Fires Druggist For Refusing To Violate His Religious Beliefs ~ For six years, the retail chain didn’t have a problem accommodating Dr. Hall’s religious belief with respect to birth control prescriptions. Last August they apparently changed their policy – and fired him. Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, has filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf.
Kenya is rapidly becoming more and more dangerous for Christians as Islamists spread their special brand of jihad diplomacy southward through the African continent.
In the wake of the Nairobi mall massacre last September, the bullet-riddled bodies of Sheikh Ibrahim Omar, and three other men were found on the outskirts of Mombasa, Kenya’s main port city, victims of a drive-by shooting. Those responsible for the four deaths were unknown, although odds are it was a retaliatory action; it’s believed that Omar had links with the Somali group al-Shabaab (the Westgate Mall murderers), which is tied to al Qaeda.
The day after the killings, Muslim extremists decided to enact revenge on random targets – including the local Salvation Army Church – which they torched.
The October assault on the church came just one year after the church experienced similar vandalism to their building. But instead of responding to the latest attack in kind, the Christians are following Jesus’ example ~ Twice Burned, Mombasa Salvation Army Church Responds With Christ’s Love ~
For the last sixty years, the Salvation Army Church and her Muslim neighbors have enjoyed a peaceful co-existence with deep friendships and mutual trust developing between the faith communities. This trust, however, is being threatened as protests, violence and misguided attacks against Christians have been perpetrated by radical Muslims in revenge for the drive-by shooting death of Muslim cleric Ibrahim “Rogo” Omar as he left the Musa Mosque on October 3 [...]
Open Doors recently visited church leader, Salvation Army Major Nzioka, to offer fellowship and encouragement. As they gathered in the burned church, evidence of the attack surrounded them; fire-scorched walls, broken windows and charred scraps of furniture.
“My family and I were asleep,” Nzioka recalled, “but were disturbed at about 1 am by loud wailing and calls of ‘Allah Akubar!’ I immediately sensed danger. I woke my family and told them we must leave immediately.”
A Muslim neighbor stepped outside to offer assistance and quickly usher the family into her home. “She told us she had been trying to get my phone number to warn me because it was ‘going to be bad’ and we would be in grave danger,” he continued. “She gave us some refreshments as I tried getting police help … but they did not respond until the next day. By this time, the mob had vented their anger at the church. May the Lord God bless that kind lady for risking her own safety to give my family refuge.”
While lamenting this new wave of religious-inspired violence, Nzioka reflected that, “This church has been here since 1948, and we have not had problems with neighbors of Muslim faith. We have respected each other’s faith, families and property. They are the ones that saved our lives that night.”
Despite the millions of dollars worth of damage, the faith of the Mombasa Salvation Army congregation is unwavering ~
“These attacks, instead of discouraging or pushing Christians away from church,” exclaimed Major Nzioka, “are making us more prayerful and causing us to review our individual commitments to the Lord! Indeed as the Lord said, ALL things, good or bad, do work together for the good of His people.”
Major Nzioka shared a scripture close to his heart, Psalm 116:1-6. “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome with trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’ The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”
It’s been four months since the assault and the church continues to respond with care and commitment toward their Muslim neighbors, a testimony to their Christian faith and love.
Romantic love is nice – but transient.
God’s love is boundless – and eternal.
Thank You, Father, for the testimony of the Salvation Army Church as they live out Your forgiveness and love in the midst of their tragic circumstances. Continue, Lord, to grant resilience and longsuffering, looking to You for the strength to continue serving You each day.
Thank You for the love and concern they have received from their Muslim neighbors; we pray that You will bring many out of the darkness of Islam into a saving knowledge of Christ’s love. In the name of Jesus who has already won the victory, taking even the evil intent of men and turning it into good for Your church. Amen.