So EU citizens can no longer insult the Prophet Mohammed: Obviously that isn't going to be applied to insulting Christian figures anytime soon. To the contrary, those few European countries that still have blasphemy on the books are fast doing away with it. Here is how Talha says things might look like in a (real)... Read More
The other day the Chechen social media page vk.com/karfagen was banned. This is not surprising, considering that it was genuinely extremist from head to toe, though it is perhaps telling of the Russian state's priorities that it took longer for Roskomnadzor to catch onto them than it did for it to illegally block the moderate... Read More
To be sure, supporting sharia law doesn't necessarily make you a radical Islamist who hates modern civilization. It is, after all, a cultural as well as a legal tradition. There are four distinct schools of sharia jurisprudence, with a long history of internal debate between them. Although some schools are hardline, some are surprisingly liberal.... Read More
I made this map based on Razib Khan's calculated figures of the percentage of Muslims around the world who support the death penalty for apostasy, which he compiled using data from the 2013 PEW global survey of Muslim attitudes.
A Cruel French Lesson, by Egor Kholmogorov appeared in the November 14 issue of Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of the leading Russian dailies. It outlines what is pretty much the standard right-wing conservative Russian position on the #ParisAttacks. Some context: After the terrorist strikes, many outspoken Russian liberals rushed to wrap their digital selves in the... Read More
It has the world's highest number of guns per unit of GDP, a population fast outgrowing the land's carrying capacity, is riven by ethnic and religious divisions, and its cities look something like the Counter-Strike map de_dust. Otherwise, I don't know much about Yemen. So I will not wax knowledgeable about it except insofar as... Read More
A couple of Islamist terrorists, the brothers Kouachi, murdered a bunch of cartoonists. Another terrorist, Coulibaly, went on a rampage. All three ended up taking hostages. Counter-terrorists win! Within minutes, everyone had become an expert on Charlie Hebdo's work, and the typical and inevitably dreary debate began. Some said Charlie's cartoons were clearly, stridently Islamophobic,... Read More
What striking about Syria is how so many people insist on speaking about it in profoundly moralistic, Manichaean terms. This is complete nonsense, given that its civil war isn't a showdown between democracy and dictatorship, but an ethnic and religious conflict. Here's a more realistic guide: The rhetoric: He kills his own people! He is... Read More
As far as I understand, Michael D. Weiss is one of those neocons who loves Guantanamo but has a special soft spot in his heart for those Muslims who happen to be fighting Russia or some other state that the US doesn't like much. When he isn't chumming it up with his jihadist pals in... Read More
Make of this what you will. (1) The older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, never adjusted to life in the US. "I don't have a single American friend," he said. His younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had an understanding of US teen hood / SWPL culture. He was a 9/11 "truther." That's from the Twitter account. That said,... Read More
One of the books I've been reading lately is Steven Pinker's massive door-stopper The Better Angels of Our Nature. Incidentally, I found it a very interesting read with tons of cool factoids, although it could have done with a third of its text and a tiny fraction of its liberal sanctimonious. But that's for the... Read More
I am back to writing for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel, which since my hiatus has found an additional home at Voice of Russia. The latest topic was on whether Russia, China, and the West could find a common approach to the challenges of the Arab Spring. My response is pessimistic, as in my view... Read More
And the protestations of demented democratists be damned. [tweet And even apart from all the HBD stuff, here is the most succinct summary of why democracy is never going to flourish in the Arab world for the foreseeable future.
The commentator fcomp writes: That is exactly right. You see this in EE. Beauty is so common that it's much less valued than in America. Basic market forces at work. Feminists go on about the importance of "inner beauty", but ironically, the social trends that are in their own interests to encourage achieve the exact... Read More
Here's a sampling of recent headlines from the country that loves to lecture others on freedom of speech and rule of law. Racist Tube rant woman Jacqueline Woodhouse jailed: A London Underground passenger has been jailed for 21 weeks after she admitted hurling racist abuse at fellow passengers. - BBC Girl gang who kicked woman... Read More
With the recent election of the controversial (to put it mildly) Ahmadinejad to the Iranian Presidency, it is time to look at what this portends for the future of Iran and the Middle East region in general. The first question we need to ask is whether Ahmadinejad's victory was free and fair. Stratfor believes it... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.