Kyle Kulinski on Malala Yousafzai and why she deserved to win the Nobel Peach Prize.
'My husband kills kids with drones': Michelle Obama's viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign http://t.co/bC8AmRoDuN pic.twitter.com/4CMkw8jPXa
They have retweeted this several times today already. The comparison is terrible on so many levels, not least of which is RT’s lack of coverage of Russian violence against Muslims around the world:
Thousands of Russian nationalists planned to march in Moscow on Monday in an annual show of anger against the presence of Muslim migrants that has previously spilled into violence.
The city-sanctioned demonstration was to take place through the same blue-collar region on the city’s outskirts that saw riots break out three weeks ago over a stabbing murder blamed on a citizen of Azerbaijan.
Organizers hope to bring up to 30,000 people out on the streets in a show of Slavic pride.
In many countries in Eastern Europe, current violence against Muslims is intimately linked to anti-immigrant sentiment as well as historical developments. In the Russian Federation, people from the Caucasus and Central Asia—both Russian citizens and foreigners— suffer the highest proportion of bias motivated violence.
Incidents of personal violence have in some cases been a response to the war in Chechnya and associated terrorist attacks.
At the same time, comprehensive reporting on attacks against migrants from these areas remains unavailable, as the victims tend to fear police abuse or arrest and are least likely to report bias-motivated attacks. Attacks on immigrants from these regions are generally perceived to be motivated by racism, but sometimes have an overlay of religious hatred and intolerance: many people from the Caucasus and Central Asia are Muslims. In a particularly horrific case in August 2007 that seemed to bridge these different aspects of intolerance
The mullah’s moderate approach, and the Kyrgyz migrant’s arrest on Islamist charges, suggest several clues for understanding Islam in Russia. First, we should acknowledge the constantly shifting resonance of Islam and politics in Russia. Second, along with Evangelical Christianity, Sunni Islam is one of the fastest growing religious faiths within Russia, and Muslim converts have increasingly come from ethnic backgrounds that extend beyond the “traditionally Muslim” groups of the Middle Volga, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Third, Sunni and Shia Muslims in Russia, especially (but not only) migrants, are increasingly monitored and arrested throughout the federation. Fourth, dangers of street level, haphazard Russian nationalist aggression, augmented by official policies against selected Muslims, could stoke a backfiring cycle of serious violence that could then create the very polarization and extremism that most rational government officials have been trying to avoid.
(For diverse perspectives, see also: Geraldine Fagan Believing in Russia; Hans-Georg Heinrich, Ludmilla Lobova, Alexey Malashenko, eds. Will Russia Become a Muslim Society?; Sergey Markedonov The Rise of Radical and Nonofficial Islam Groups in Russia’s Volga Region; Shireen Hunter Islam in Russia; and Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, ed. Religion and Politics in Russia.)
Some Russian nationalists argue that forceful repression of Muslims is the only way to “stem the tide” of Muslim migrants and extremism. However, street violence and official crackdowns have only exacerbated the intertwined interethnic and interreligious tensions. In 2006, in the town of Kondopoga, Karelian republic, a brawl in a café involving Chechen migrants and local Russians turned into a massive civil disturbance lasting several days, in part because of Russian nationalist calls over the Internet for reinforcements against “the Muslims.” Several other “mini-Kondopogas” ensued. The more recent, better-known Manezh Square Moscow riots in 2010 pitted Russian soccer fans and nationalists against those perceived to be from the North Caucasus after a young fan was killed by a man from Kabardino-Balkaria. In 2013, further injuries were incurred when interethnic riots broke out at the Biriulovo market on the outskirts of Moscow, with police seeming to condone Russian youth violence as they arrested many sellers from the Caucasus.
Such disturbances are sometimes fueled by Islamophobic slander against Muslims, and they have sharply increased a climate of mutual suspicion in Muslim and Russian Orthodox communities. This is the context for terrorism that has led to escalating security measures in the North Caucasus and the Middle Volga regions. Muslim youth Jihadists, termed “brothers who have gone to the forest,” are allegedly creating underground cells using impassioned Russian converts as well as local and migrant activists. The recent firebombing of four Russian Orthodox churches in the republic of Tatarstan may mark another stage in the cycle.
Muslim and Russian Orthodox elders jointly have condemned the bombing as a “provocation” to turn Tatarstan into another Chechnya. Religious leaders also worry that police overreaction may be a function of enterprising police copycat accusations of crimes or of central authorities’ quota-like expectations of arrests. Three additional terrorist bombings in the southern Russian town of Volgograd in the lead up to the Sochi Olympics have intensified everyone’s security concerns.
We’ve been talking a lot about drones lately, including the very cool and much less terrifying Amazon Drone, but it is not some kind of alien humanoid warrior bee. Too bad sci fi fans. :(
Speaking of drones, here’s something I didn’t know about. The surprising history of the worlds first drones, or remote controlled vehicles used in warfare, have their origins in the first world war. The first remote controlled objects go even further back, but make no mistake about it, these things were extremely primitive and extremely hard to control.
Unmanned remote-controlled aircraft have been around longer than most people think. The Kettering “Bug,” for instance, was developed during World War I. It was a bomb-carrying unpiloted biplane that flew on a pre-set course to its target.
Once its autopilot was set, the plane was on its own. Prototypes were built and successfully tested, but by the time the Bug made its first flights the war was over. Nevertheless, it was the precursor of the modern cruise missile.
amazon.com is testing delivering packages using drones, CEO Jeff Bezos said on the CBS TV news show 60 Minutes Sunday.
The idea would be to deliver packages as quickly as possible using the small, unmanned aircraft, through a service the company is calling Prime Air, the CEO said.
Bezos played a demo video on 60 Minutes that showed how the aircraft, also known as octocopters, will pick up packages in small yellow buckets at Amazon’s fulfillment centers and fly through the air to deliver items to customers after they hit the buy button online at amazon.com.
The goal of the new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less, the world’s largest Internet retailer said. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take “some number of years” as Amazon develops the technology further and waits for the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with rules and regulations, the company added.
The administration in Yemen announced today (Wednesday) that attempts by Al Qaeda terrorists to harm several targets in the country have been stopped.
According to reports, Al Qaeda operatives had intended to inflict considerable damage to key oil pipelines in the country. The organization additionally planned to take control of several cities and ports across the country. Security forces deployed throughout Yemen are at a heightened state of alert due to the threat of terrorist attacks within the country, and considerable numbers of forces have been employed in order to ensure the defense of key sites.
Tensions have been high in the Arab country in the wake of US and international concerns of large-scale, imminent attacks orchestrated by terror organizations in retaliation for the death of Sayid al-Shihri, a high-ranking figure within Al Qaeda.
More than 20 western embassies were closed throughout the Arab world in the wake of instructions by the US State Department issued last week, based on reliable intelligence pointing to an attack by Al Qaeda. The US and UK embassies in Yemen remained closed, and non-essential personnel working at the embassies were evacuated out of the country on Tuesday following instructions from the US State Department and the UK Foreign Office.
AP via Talking Points Memo
The FAA released a statement in response to questions about an ordinance under consideration in the tiny farming community of Deer Trail, Colo., that would encourage hunters to shoot down drowns. The administration reminded the public that it regulates the nation’s airspace, including the airspace over cities and towns.
A drone “hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air,” the statement said. “Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane.”
Under the proposed ordinance, Deer Trail would grant hunting permits to shoot drones. The permits would cost $25 each. The town would also encourage drone hunting by awarding $100 to anyone who presents a valid hunting license and identifiable pieces of a drone that has been shot down.
He (Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel) dismissed the FAA’s warning. “The FAA doesn’t have the power to make a law,” he said.
Good luck with your one-man war on the government chief.
Some really interesting pockets of The Crazy are cropping up in Colorado:
Deer Trail’s town board will vote Aug. 6 on an ordinance that would create drone-hunting licenses and offer $100 bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles.
“We do not want drones in town,” said Phillip Steel, the resident who drafted the ordinance. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”
Even though it’s against the law to destroy federal property, Steel’s proposed ordinance outlines weapons, ammunition, rules of engagement, techniques and bounties for drone hunting.
Drone-hunting licenses would be issued without a background investigation and on an anonymous basis. Applicants would have to be at least 21 years old and be able to “read and understand English.”
Please RT if you agree!
ICYMI: David Sirota thinks Trayvon Martin = Anwar al-Awaki and President Obama = George Zimmerman. http://t.co/3IusAIGp74 Pathetic.
Correction: Correct spelling in David Sirota graphic should read, “mansplaining drones.”
And the winner is…
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Its publications carry the slogan “Training Champions for Christ since 1971.” Some of those champions are now being trained to pilot armed drones, and others to pilot more traditional aircraft, in U.S. wars. For Christ.
Liberty bills itself as “one of America’s top military-friendly schools.” It trains chaplains for the various branches of the military. And it trains pilots in its School of Aeronautics (SOA)—pilots who go up in planes and drone pilots who sit behind desks wearing pilot suits. The SOA, with more than 600 students, is not seen on campus, as it has recently moved to a building adjacent to Lynchburg Regional Airport.
Liberty’s campus looks new and attractive, large enough for some 12,000 students, swarming with blue campus buses, and heavy on sports facilities for the Liberty Flames. A campus bookstore prominently displays Resilient Warriors, a book by Associate Vice President for Military Outreach Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert F. Dees. There’s new construction everywhere you look: a $50 million library, a baseball stadium, new dorms, a tiny year-round artificial ski slope on the top of a hill. In fact, Liberty is sitting on more than $1 billion in net assets.
The major source of Liberty’s money is online education. There are some 60,000 Liberty students you don’t see on campus, because they study via the internet. They also make Liberty the largest university in Virginia, the fourth largest online university anywhere, and the largest Christian university in the world.
More than 23,000 online students are in the military—twice as many as students who live on campus. Liberty offers extra financial support to veterans and those on active duty, allowing them to be credited for knowledge learned in the military and to study online from a war zone.
Liberty has been turning out “Christ-centered aviators” for a decade. In fall 2011, Liberty added a concentration in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, aka drones), making it one of the first handful of schools to do this. Now at least 14 universities and colleges in the U.S. have permits from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones, and many institutions, including community colleges, offer drone training.
Originally at Sojourners
FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted to Congress Wednesday that drones are already being used over U.S. soil. While the use of surveillance drones domestically — both by local and federal law enforcement agencies — has been long anticipated and ushered in by a lobby with a powerful congressional caucus of supporters, Mueller’s admissions highlighted the lack of legislation currently in place to govern the use drone technology at home.
Mueller told a hearing that the FBI had used drones to aid its investigations in a “very, very minimal way, very seldom… Our footprint is very small, and we have very few and of limited use, and we’re exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use,” he said.
Mueller’s acknowledgment is only the latest in a series of disclosures about the domestic use of drones. In 2010, it was revealed — and has since become common knowledge — that Border Patrol surveils both Canadian and Mexican borders with unmanned aircraft.