“The Islamic State is trying to create a religious divide and an anti-refugee backlash, so that Muslims will feel alienated and turn to extremism. If so, American and European politicians are following the Islamic State’s script.”
Source: They Are Us – The New York Times
“The House is expected to vote Thursday on H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which Republican sponsors say “would put in place the most robust national-security vetting process in history” for refugees, one that would “do everything possible to prevent terrorists from reaching our shores.”Conceived partly in response to the Paris attacks, the bill seeks to “pause” admission of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Though there are real fears of terrorism, this measure represents election-year pandering to the xenophobia that rears up when threats from abroad arise. People who know these issues — law enforcement and intelligence professionals, immigration officials and humanitarian groups — say that this wrongheaded proposal simply would not protect Americans from “foreign enemies.” ”
Source: Refugees From War Aren’t the Enemy – The New York Times
“MANILA — President Obama called on China on Wednesday to halt its construction on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, raising the contentious issue at the start of a two-day economic summit meeting at which he and other Pacific Rim leaders also discussed trade and climate change.Speaking to reporters after a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Philippines, Mr. Obama directly confronted the disputed Chinese claims over islands in the critical waterway. He urged the Chinese to stop military activities there and endorsed a process of arbitration to settle differences between Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbors.“We agree on the need for bold steps to lower tensions, including pledging to halt further reclamation, new construction and militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea,” Mr. Obama said.The United States takes no position on the territorial claims in the region of various Asian governments, but Mr. Obama has aggressively sought to defend the right of free navigation through the South China Sea, a vital route for commerce and trade. On Tuesday, he announced $250 million in military contributions to several Asian nations to support their efforts to stand up toChina.”
Source: Obama Calls on Beijing to Stop Construction in South China Sea – The New York Times
The request is like an 18 gun salute. The $250 million, is like a carefully placed shot across the bow. I support President Obama in his support of our friends and allies next to the rising magnificence of China. Their power is welcome, as long as they don’t use it to be bullies, but to be friends and arbitors.
“It’s easy to think that ISIS is some sort of evil, medieval cancer that somehow has resurfaced in the modern world. The rest of us are pursuing happiness, and here comes this fundamentalist anachronism, spreading death.
But in his book “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” the brilliant Rabbi Jonathan Sacks argues that ISIS is in fact typical of what we will see in the decades ahead.The 21st century will not be a century of secularism, he writes. It will be an age of desecularization and religious conflicts.
Part of this is simply demographic. Religious communities produce lots of babies and swell their ranks, while secular communities do not. The researcher Michael Blume looked back as far as ancient India and Greece and concluded that every nonreligious population in history has experienced demographic decline.”
Source: Finding Peace Within the Holy Texts – The New York Times
“Battening down the hatches is often an impulsive and politically expedient response to terrorism attacks. Predictably, the harrowing scenes of carnage in Paris on Friday are fueling calls to shut down borders and halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Western nations.Senator Marco Rubio, a leading Republican presidential candidate, said the United States should stop taking in Syrian refugees. Jeb Bush, another Republican candidate, suggested, idiotically, that it might be O.K. to admit only Christians. Several governors announced that their states would not accept Syrian refugees. Republicans on Capitol Hill are expected this week to push for legislation that would block President Obama’s initiative to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.”
Source: After Paris Attacks, Vilifying Refugees – The New York Times
This is a good editorial by the NYT, until the end when they write: “Surely America can offer a smarter and more generous response than Mr. Rubio’s fearmongering. In a televised interview over the weekend, he warned, darkly, that “you can have 1,000 people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence, but one of them is an ISIS fighter.” That’s nonsense. America last year admitted 1,682 Syrian refugees — an embarrassingly small number for the largest refugee crisis since World War II.”
I’m not sure what it means, or that it makes any sense. Rubio’s point is not nonsense, but perhaps it plays into what the terrorists want.
The great points before this paragraph still stand. I will add my two cents. I think the terrorists want the world to stop accepting Syrian refugees. They need these young men and their families in Syria, where they can support the war economy, and be forced to become soldiers and or terrorists. ISIS needs their population, and plenty of out of work young men. For the world to help them escape ISIS, we are depriving ISIS of these people and protecting them, as long as we don’t so mistreat these refugees, as to turn all the young men into future terrorists.
“As I said, this hard-money orthodoxy is relatively new. Republicans used to base their monetary recommendations on the ideas of Milton Friedman, who opposed Keynesian policies to fight depressions, but only because he thought easy money could do the job better, and who called on Japan to adopt the same strategy of “quantitative easing” that today’s Republicans denounce.George W. Bush’s economists praised the “aggressive monetary policy” that, they declared, had helped the economy recover from the 2001 recession. And Mr. Bush appointed Ben Bernanke, who used to consider himself a Republican, to lead the Fed.”
Source: Republicans’ Lust for Gold – The New York Times
“In California, some gun smugglers use FedEx. In Chicago, smugglers drive just across the state line into Indiana, buy a gun and drive back. In Orlando, Fla., smugglers have been known to fill a $500 car with guns and send it on a ship to crime rings in Puerto Rico.In response to mass shootings in the last few years, more than 20 states, including some of the nation’s biggest, have passed new laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.”
Source: How Gun Traffickers Get Around State Gun Laws – The New York Times