True North Humanist Perspective - June 2014

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Understanding what motivates the reenergized Russian Bear

and how the West is blindly plunging on to ultimate disaster

On the ‘Authoritarian' label: Putin and the fraud of American Exceptionalism

'Russia is a functional democracy (albeit not a liberal one) with a popular president. She has a great degree of public debate over many issues. She has 4 or 5 major political parties running in every election. Russia’s economic success since Putin’s recentralization of the state is undeniable, suggesting that his policies were basically correct under the circumstances.'

By Mathew Raphael Johnson

Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson is a contentious and idiosyncratic scholar of Russian Orthodox history and philosophy. His research interests focus on Russian political theory and religious ideas, concentrating on the central role of nationalism, Eurasianism and the Orthodox tradition as forms of rebellion against globalism and liberalism. He received his master’s degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, writing his thesis on Hegel's concept of alienation. He soon completed his doctorate at the University of Nebraska in 1999 as a recipient of the Sennen Fellowship, focusing on anti-modernist social philosophy. His dissertation surveyed Michael Oakeshott’s critique of positivism.

13 May 2014 It’s difficult to prove that Russia is authoritarian in the normal sense of the word. Russia’s president is legitimately popular. He was freely elected. There are many parties who oppose the Kremlin and hundreds of privately owned newspapers. This is not the normal definition of authoritarianism, which usually does not permit multiple parties. The term itself is vague and could be applied to many leaders of democratic countries, FDR and Woodrow Wilson among them (Wilson banned all criticism of World War I).

What Putin did was re-centralize government agencies that had collapsed in the early 1990s. During World War II, the federal government took over the economy for war production. This is not considered authoritarianism, but a response to an emergency. Abraham Lincoln clamped down on dissent during the Civil War, and yet, due to the extreme stress of the times, this also is not considered authoritarianism. It was a necessary move begun at a time of chaos and collapse — Russia is no different. The Western corporate-owned Moscow Times wrote in 2012:

President Vladimir Putin remains the country’s most popular politician, and an increasing number of Russians approve of his work as head of state, a poll released Thursday showed. Sixty-seven percent of respondents backed Putin’s decisions and leadership in July, as opposed to 64 percent in June, pollsters from the independent Levada Center told Interfax. Forty-one percent said they trusted Putin, a 4 percent rise over the previous month.

It is far from clear that Russia is authoritarian. What is occurring is that Putin is correcting the course laid by Yeltsin. Privatization of Soviet assets in the early 1990s led to a collapse in the Russian economy, and a default on its debts in 1997. Authors Bernard Black et al, in 1999, wrote about the privatization of the old Soviet economy. (More)


The Santa Barbara mass shooting, Elliot Rodger

and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome

When an entire social structure has been erected to reinforce the lie that white folks are "normal" and "Others" are "deviant," it can be very difficult to break out of denial. (More)


Christian in Sudan sentenced to death by Sharia court

'I'm just praying,' husband says

By Salma Abdelaziz, Catherine E. Shoichet, Daniel Burke and Ed Payne


16 May 2014 KHARTOUM Sudan (CNN) — Hours after a Sudanese court sentenced his pregnant wife to death when she refused to recant her Christian faith, her husband told CNN he feels helpless.

"I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do," Daniel Wani told CNN on Thursday. "I'm just praying."

This week a Khartoum court convicted his wife, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith.

Ibrahim is Christian, her husband said. But the court considers her to be Muslim.

The court also convicted her of adultery and sentenced her to 100 lashes because her marriage to a Christian man is considered void under Sharia law.

The court gave her until Thursday to recant her Christian faith -- something she refused to do, according to her lawyer.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, a sheikh told the court "how dangerous a crime like this is to Islam and the Islamic community," said attorney Mohamed Jar Elnabi, who's representing Ibrahim.

"I am a Christian," Ibrahim fired back, "and I will remain a Christian."

Her legal team says it plans to appeal the verdict, which drew swift condemnation from human rights organizations around the world. (More)


Boko Haram burst onto the world stage

by kidnapping 300 girls to sell as slaves

Boko Haram is Muslim and spreading terror in Northern Nigeria

In southern Nigeria a secular gang is in league with the oil companies

Boko Haram and how it grew 

By Gary K. Busch
17 May 2014 — The kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram has outraged the world; particularly after their captors promised to sell the girls as slaves. They are portrayed as Muslim fundamentalists seeking to impose a harsh Sharia Law over the whole of Nigeria. They have murdered over a thousand Nigerians in the past few years and are acting with utter impunity against the pathetic forces arrayed against them by the Nigerian State.
The last sentence highlights the reality of the problem – it is not the rise of Boko Haram that is the problem but the willing inability of the State to confront them and the concomitant complicity of several major political forces in the country in the formation and sustenance of Boko Haram for their own domestic political aims. The complicity of ‘legitimate’ Nigerian political forces in the activities of Boko Haram is a guide as to why the president, Goodluck Johnathan, is afraid to move against Boko Haram in anything more than a token resistance.
Boko Haram emerged around 2002 in Maiduguri led by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. In 2004 it moved to Kanamma, Yobe State, where it set up a base called ‘Afghanistan’, and used to attack nearby police outposts, killing mainly police officers. It t started as a cell of the Muslim sect called ‘Jama’atul Ahlus Sunna Lid Da’awatis Jihad’ but advertised itself as ‘Boko Haram’ from the Hausa word ‘boko’ meaning “animist, western or otherwise non-Islamic education” and the Arabic word ‘haram’ figuratively meaning “sin” (literally, “forbidden“).
The jihadists claim to have been trained in eight different countries namely Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Egypt and the Niger Republic. They travelled as a group and received basic and advanced training. As proof of the success of their training they sport a mark (tattoo) showing proficiency. The mark is in the form of a sword held in a hand. Those who went through the training regard it as the ‘license to kill for Allah’. They included Ali Baba Nur, Asari Dokubo, Jasper Akinbo, Mohammed Yusuf, Salisu Maigari, Danlami Abubakar, Cletus Okar, Ali Qaqa, Maigari Haliru and Asabe Dantala.
The South-South states have their own ‘terrorist’ problems with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and those who terrorise the oil industry in the Delta. The terrorists of the Delta were similar to those in the North without the religious baggage, as MEND and the Delta militants were created and funded by the political elites of the South-South for their own ends. In many cases the actual leadership of these two groups, Boko Haram and MEND, were trained together in Libya at the same terrorist school in Benghazi.

The earliest groups to form were MEND and the Delta militants. They were funded by the South-South governors of Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa states and their political allies to make it difficult for the forces of law and order (the ‘Kill and Go’ police and the Task Force) to interfere with the stealing of oil in the region; known in Nigeria as ‘bunkering’. Every day the Nigerian economy loses between 150,000 and 320,000 barrels of oil. These are stolen by ‘bunkerers’, who have small tanker vessels which load the oil in the Delta and tranship this stolen oil to offshore tankers which deliver this stolen oil to other West African states. In addition to the theft of crude oil, other inland illegal tanker trucks load the imported refined products and drive these into neighbouring countries for black market sale. At $100 a barrel that amounts to around US$30 million a day for crude oil and around US$8 million per day for gasoline (PMS) and diesel. In short the bunkering of oil and refined products in the South-South brings in an illegal $42 million a day or over US$12 billion a year. (More)