by baldilocks

In the last few days, it has been reported that the government of the Chechen Republic (Chechnya) is putting homosexuals in “concentration” camps.

“Concentration camps” for LGBT people have been allegedly opened up in Chechnya where men have been tortured and killed because of their sexuality, Novaya Gazeta reported. The allegations came after a few eyewitnesses and survivors said in interviews with the Russian publication that they were arrested and detained at one of the secret prisons in Argun, a town in the Chechen Republic, Russia.

Around 100 gay men have been reportedly detained and at least three killed in the past week in Chechnya by the police. The “concentration camps” are being used to force homosexuals to commit that they would leave the republic, according to Novaya Gazeta.

The officials in Chechnya started torturing the homosexuals after a Russia-based NGO for LGBT rights — GayRussia.ru — applied for a gay rights march in the capital of Grozny [the Chechen capital], reports said.

Meanwhile, Chechen’s President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a key ally [sic] of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been accused of setting up the camps to torture gay people. He has denied the allegation saying, “It’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.” The Chechen government suggested there are no gay people in their country.

And this is the key phrase in the report:

The Muslim-majority nation of Chechnya falls under Russian federal powers and follows traditional Muslim values.

A few pertinent facts:

  • Chechnya is 95% Muslim and is, basically, owned by Russia. The two entities have a bloody history that goes back centuries.
  • Muslims non-pitchers have been persecuting homosexuals for who knows how long.
  • Remember Beslan?

In the past couple of days, I’ve seen people act all surprised about this report and even wonder why President Trump doesn’t do something about it. Really? Perhaps they think that he should lob a few Tomahawks on what is, essentially, Russian soil. Yeah, that will fix everything.

Please, people. Is it too tough to do the barest bit of homework before you virtue signal?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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gay flagBy John Ruberry

Details will continue to roll in and the numbers will change, but as of this writing, 50 people are reported dead in the worse mass shooting in American history, yes even worse than Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and San Bernardino.

Here is what we know this morning: The shooter, who was killed about six hours ago by a SWAT team, was Omar Mir Seddique Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida. He entered an Orlando, Florida gay bar and shot dozens–in addition to the 50 murders, another 53 people have been wounded. Mateen, as US media outlets feel compelled to report, is a US citizen, but his parents were born in Afghanistan. Mateen was born in New York.

The killer was carrying a handgun and an AR-15 assault rifle. The FBI says that Mateen may have “leanings to radical Islamic terrorism.”

This human filth was a registered Democrat,

Mateen will certainly disrupt the liberal narrative that hate crimes are right-wing phenomenon and that domestic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. The last mass shooting in America, in case you forgot, was in San Bernardino, California, when a US born Muslim and his Pakistani wife killed 14 people at a holiday party seven months ago.

France was hit by two mass shootings last year–in both of those tragic incidents the perpetrators were Muslims. In the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the magazine’s repeated use of profane images of Muhammad was cited for reason for the murders. and in the much deadlier November Paris attacks, gunmen were heard shouting “Allahu akbar.”

The Islamic State terror group hailed the Orlando murders.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Obama with Jammeh and one of his wives.
The Obamas with Jammeh
and one of his wives.

By John Ruberry

The world has a new Islamic republic. On Friday Gambia’s strongman president, Yahya Jammeh, declared the impoverished west African nation that is almost completely surrounded by Senegal, a Muslim state. Other such nations are Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Mauritania–none of which are well-known for freedom or prosperity.

Jammeh promises freedom of religion to the citizens of Africa’s smallest non-island nation.

Jeffrey Smith, a senior advocacy officer at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights told Al Jazeera that day, “Gambia is not a country of laws but is rather ruled by the whims of Yahya Jammeh.”

Jammeh seized control of Gambia in a bloodless coup in 1994 and while there have been elections since then, of course in the African tradition he has won each with resounding majorities.

What of those whims that Smith mentioned?

Jammeh detests gays. In speech given earlier this year the despot warned them, “If you do it [in Gambia] I will slit your throat,” adding, “if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

In 2007 Jammeh announced that he had developed an herbal cure for AIDS, sometimes he even administers his crackpot treatment to the afflicted.

Freedom of the press is limited in Gambia and the nutjob’s opponents often “disappear.”

Jammeh claimed in 2010–without citing evidence–that both the first Atlantic flight and the first Eastern European flight ended in Gambia.

Despite the dictator’s eccentricities and his terrible human rights record, President Obama welcomed Jammeh and one of his wives to the White House last year.

Is Jammeh Gambia’s answer to Idi Amin?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

gay flagBy John Ruberry

Like it or not, same-sex marriage is the law of the land. As a conservative with libertarian leanings, I favored civil unions for gays for years, in essence, marriage in all but name. What is now called traditional marriage reaches back into pre-history–social norms should not be thrown overboard so quickly.

As for the other side of the gay marriage debate, the media focus has been on what Friday’s US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in favor of what some call marriage equality means for observant Christians who oppose it.

But what about Muslims? The Daily Beast managed to find a few Muslims who favor gay marriage, but it’s safe to say that followers of Islam overwhelmingly oppose it.

And I believe that Muslims considering emigrating to the United States–and for that matter, other Western nations–might want to consider staying home instead.

Other than our high standard of living, there is much in America for Muslims not to like. Arranged marriages are not only rare but are frowned upon. Dogs, beloved members of many American families, are viewed as only slightly better than pigs in Islamic society only because of their hunting and protection skills. As for those pigs, most Americans eat pork. Women in the United States wear whatever they want–or in some cases, how little they want. And the great majority of Americans drink alcohol–and advertisements for intoxicating beverages can be found almost everywhere. We can change our religion if we like–or, as has been happening more frequently, choose no faith at all. While somewhat controversial, religious satire is common in the USA. For the sake of brevity I’m stopping here.

Bridgeview, IL
Bridgeview, IL

And since Friday–two men, or two women, can marry each other in a government-sanctioned marriage from Portland, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Guam too.

Despite President Obama’s ridiculous claim that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” there is very little Islamic about America.

And the roughly three million Muslims in America won’t be able to change that.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

On Thursday a federal grand jury indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert for breaking banking laws and lying to FBI agents. Prior to his entry into politics, Hastert was a teacher and a state champion wrestling coach at Yorkville High School 50 miles southwest of Chicago. The charges are rooted in a sexual affair with a male student at that school–the over $1 million the man nicknamed “Coach” in Congress was apparently hush money to keep the man quiet.

Amid the reports of the bombshell Hastert indictment was news that legislation authorizing a $500,000 statue of the former speaker for the grounds of the state capitol was introduced earlier this month by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who is also chairman of the state party. According to AP, Hastert, citing the ongoing state budget crisis, declined the offer. Or more likely, he saw his indictment on the horizon.

Madigan’s proposed 2016 Illinois budget includes a $4 billion deficit–despite constitutional requirements that the state budget must be balanced. But Madigan, who was arguably the most powerful Democrat in state government even when Illinois had a Democratic governor, somehow found money–or maybe he didn’t–to put the Coach in bronze.

Worse, Illinois’ public worker pensions are unfunded by an astounding $110 billion.

Democrats are not serious about cutting spending in Illinois.

As for Hastert, his speakership was of the Illinois-kind. House Republicans who played Denny’s game were rewarded earmarks–and that reckless spending contributed to the end of the GOP majority in the House in 2006.

The Coach also played footsie with Illinois Democrats–and he was a leader in the bi-partisan graft machine dubbed the Combine by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.

So in a way, while Hastert is deserving in a twisted way of the honor of $500,000 statue, preciously scarce taxpayer funds should not be squandered on this monument.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

IndianaBy John Ruberry

When Indiana governor Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday, the Hoosier State became the 20th state to enact such a law.

More from the Weekly Standard:

The first RFRA was a 1993 federal law that was signed into law by Democratic president Bill Clinton. It unanimously passed the House of Representatives, where it was sponsored by then-congressman Chuck Schumer, and sailed through the Senate on a 97-3 vote.

The law reestablished a balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases (a standard had been used by the Supreme Court for decades). RFRA allows a person’s free exercise of religion to be “substantially burdened” by a law only if the law furthers a “compelling governmental interest” in the “least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

So the law doesn’t say that a person making a religious claim will always win. In the years since RFRA has been on the books, sometimes the courts have ruled in favor of religious exemptions, but many other times they haven’t.

This law protects a bakery owned by devout Christians from, let’s say, not baking a wedding cake for a gay union because it violates their religious belief that marriage should be reserved only for one man and one woman, but this law does not permit to exclude gays as customers in all cases. What that business receives is protection from a discrimination lawsuit.

White River, Indianapolis
White River, Indianapolis

As for that gay couple, they can always find another bakery–that won’t be very hard to do–and the newlyweds can write a nasty Yelp review about the first one while on their honeymoon. Interestingly Yelp is one of those businesses considering a boycott of Indiana because of the its new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  But just three weeks ago with great fanfare, Yelp opened an office in Chicago. Illinois, yep, you guessed right, has an RFRA law on the books.

In a statement released on Friday, Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppleman said:

[It] is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.

I guess Stoppelman needs to write a snarky review about himself.

As for Gov. Pence, he’s not helping his case. This morning on ABC’s This Week, Pence was asked six times if the new law will allow businesses to completely refuse services to gays. He couldn’t answer.

No matter: This Hoosier hysteria is misplaced.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.