While the offing (not to be confused with the recent American tradition of outing) of Russian dissenters has no real effect on us here in the States, perhaps one should step back and view the larger picture here. If President Putin has actually ordered the offing of his critics, the question is "Why?" My guess is that we shall soon witness the attempted rise of the Big Russian Bear, complete with rigged or no elections, dictator, dispensing of the Constitution, and increased strongman posturing to return to the international stage in superpower status.
Remember, this country was presumably our ally, leading up to the invasion of Iraq.....only to find out later that they were up to their neck in the double-dealing Oil for Food Scam. Now, we know they are building nuclear facilities for the Iranians, who have pledged to kill us. How is your comfort quotient with the Russians doing about now?
How would this be possible for a country with high unemployment, a crappy economy, nothing anyone wants to buy, except for nuclear technology and unstable, aging nuclear weapons, and oil. Funny how you never hear much about Russian oil. OK, so the government has oil revenue from an oil industry that has been nationalized. That would enable the government to have a good amount of liquid assets to purchase whatever they need for the military. You know there's no trickle down economics there, so that the Russian people benefit from the oil revenue. But, my guess is the big money is coming from the oil rich terrorist countries of the Middle East, purchasing as much weapons grade nuclear material as fast as they can, along with old Cold War era nukes. Obviously, the Russians are now experimenting with other weapons of mass destruction, as evidenced by the recent poisonings in the UK. That does, and will, affect us, and the world in general. You know this isn't going to work out well for the Russian civilians, but it isn't going to work out too well for the rest of us either. Better watch closely how this all unfolds.
More on the Traveling Imams
Powerline (http://powerlineblog.com/archives/016093.php) has a good compliation on the Traveling Imams Story. My take on the whole thing, is they set out to terrorize the other passengers and flight crew just by their behavior. The airline acted appropriately under the circumstances, although I would not have had a problem with Federal Air Marshals, or even the passengers beating the crap out of those guys. This only requires use of the "reasonable person test." A reasonable person would see the TI's acting like hijackers, and either alert the flight crew, or spring into action and disable them. Also using the reasonable person test, a reasonable Muslim cleric (although I have no proof there is such a creature), would not draw attention to themselves in that way, knowing that there is a very good chance they will either get: (a) the crap beat out of them by other passengers, or (b) removed from the airplane. The fault in this instance is squarely on the TI's who chose to terrorize their fellow passengers.
Well, there was more I was hoping to muse upon this morning, but Cowboy is home today, and that means constant interruptions, so rather than turn the dogs on him, I'll just not bother trying to do anything other than be available to carry and fetch (should he be repairing something), or turn myself into a human gate (should he decide to move the cattle), or whatever else is required for his project du jour.