The day after Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued an executive order removing county clerk’s names from marriage licenses, Kim Davis, the clerk who earlier this year refused to issue the documents to same-sex couples for religious reasons, spoke out about her thoughts behind her decision. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in…
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By Tony Myhre
That’s the word that every media outlet under the sun is emphasizing in their coverage of a small group of ranchers and extremists who have decided that knowingly entering and remaining upon a Federal facility (the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge) while it’s closed is a good idea. By the way, that amounts to a “petty misdemeanor” under Federal law.
Sure there is a lot of banter, and they have guns. Okay. But even if these ‘militiamen’ broke in to the building, or entered through an unlocked door, under Federal Statutes, it’s still just a burglary. Yes, it’s also unlawful to carry weapons on Federal property. Still not a violent act in and of itself.
So while it may not be a wise career move for me to dispute our Opinion Editor’s position, I’m going to, simply on the basis that what’s unfolding in the high plains desert of Oregon is in to no way terrorism.
Could it reach the threshold of terrorism? Yes. But at this point in time, this is a group of folks who perceive a long history of grievances against the Federal government, some based on the historical events within their own family – and some who simply align with the Mormon / LDS religious beliefs of the ideological leaders of this undertaking, the Bundy family.
As I’ve spoken to before, terrorism involves violent acts, or acts dangerous to human life. That again is based in Federal statutes. So where has it been reported that a single shot has been fired in this ‘armed takeover’ of this Fish and Wildlife Service facility? It hasn’t. Because it hasn’t happened.
These are dangerous people, with dangerous ideology, a grudge against the Federal Government of the United States,
The facility is in an area with a lesser population density than Wyoming, or Alaska. Even if there was a shot fired, there’s no one around for miles. How does this present an act dangerous to human life, if there’s nobody to get shot?
Yes, when Law Enforcement enters the area, the likelihood for an armed conflict rises exponentially. This is a group with which Federal law enforcement has some experience, and though these folks profess to be ‘ready to die for the cause’, the much more attended events at the Bundy Ranch were resolved peacefully.
Then again, they also weren’t occupying and refusing to leave a Federal facility in that case.
Brass tax – I am not delusional.
These are dangerous people, with dangerous ideology, a grudge against the Federal Government of the United States, and who have displayed a willingness to use violence, or the threat of violence to achieve the outcome that they desire.
The Bundy Ranch standoff is fresh in many people’s minds. But let’s not blow things out of proportion either. Yes, the headlines are flashy, and it gets people all worked up, which generates click-throughs and ratings – but at the end of the day – we have not reached the point of terrorism.
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By John Massey
Burundi is a country in Sub-Saharan Africa that is both adjacent to, and smaller than Lake Victoria.
It might then come as a surprise that this tiny country could become a headache for the supranational African Union (AU). Following the announcement of incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza’s run for a third term, which is in violation of Article 96 of the Burundian Constitution, protests and violence broke out.
These responses included an attempted coup d’etat on May 13th. In addition to the spike in violence since President Nkurunziza’s third mandate went into effect, over 217,000 Burundians have fled the country. This has lead to a deteriorating human rights situation condemned by the Vatican, and was met with targeted sanctions from the United States.
The AU responded on Dec. 17th, noting that in Burundi there were instances of “arbitrary killings and targeted assassinations, arbitrary arrests and detentions, acts of torture, suspension and arbitrary closure of some civil society organizations and media”, and concluded that the appropriate response was an initial deployment of six months (renewable) of 5,000 peacekeepers, though with the option to deploy more.
Predictably, the Government of Burundi was not thrilled by the prospect of its sovereignty being brought into question during a violent constitutional crisis.
The AU peacekeeping force has thus far not received the approval of the Burundian government, who called it an “invasion and occupation force”.
This presents several problems for the AU. The first is that the Crisis in Burundi may spiral into a greater regional issue, due to asylum seekers, and spread of violence.
Either the AU convinces the Burundian Government to accept Peacekeepers, deploys them of their own accord, or do nothing. As the first seems unlikely at the moment, the AU would have to choose between two options that delegitimize the AU to varying degrees.
The second problem is the fact that Burundi is the second largest contributor to ongoing AU peacekeeping missions. With over 5,000 troops in Somalia, Burundi’s continued cooperation in the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is put in jeopardy by both the violence on the home front, and conflict of interest with the AU.
Whatever the outcome, AU leaders will have critical decisions to make in the coming days that could decide just how important a role the IGO plays on the African Continent.
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–Florida State Representative Kionne McGhee believes that South Dade should be served by a new rail line like it was promised back in 2002.
–In an op-ed video for RISE NEWS, McGhee lays out why he believes that state leaders and Miami-Dade Transit have failed the people he represents.
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