Free Republic 4th Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $23,279
26%  
Woo hoo!! And the first 26% is in!! Thank you all very much!!

Posts by billakay

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Los Angeles: 'Artsakh Avenue' named in honor of Glendale's Armenian Community

    10/15/2018 9:05:30 AM PDT · 3 of 11
    billakay to CondoleezzaProtege

    Nice gesture. I believe that eventually, Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh will be recognized as truly Armenian territory.

  • Kavanaugh backs Trump on jailing and deporting immigrants for crimes committed years earlier

    10/14/2018 5:10:21 AM PDT · 90 of 92
    billakay to Moonman62

    In legal terms, a naturalized person is no longer an “immigrant”. A green card holder, or “permanent resident” is the definition of “immigrant” under US law, and there is no requirement that such a person ever naturalizes. They can live their entire life as an immigrant if they wish.

  • Feds Force Suspect To Unlock An Apple iPhone X With Their Face

    10/01/2018 9:59:59 AM PDT · 55 of 59
    billakay to Red Badger

    No, actually. The iPhone uses a “dot projection” 3D scanner to digitize your face. The face must actually have depth to unlock the phone. I guess a wax model might do...

  • Ukrainian Soldiers Tell of Fighting in Europe's Forgotten War

    08/28/2018 4:08:05 AM PDT · 16 of 24
    billakay to CondoleezzaProtege
    ...the quality of life should be so much better for the *majority* of people...

    On this you are right, but the quality of life is steadily improving and has been for quite a while. The Russian middle class is quite vibrant in terms of real purchasing power.

    Again and again the people of Russia are confronted with the faustian bargain of selling their souls to the State in exchange for some security.

    This is quite dramatic. Have you been in Russia at any point in the last ten years? Most people don't have reason to think about life in these terms, because the state simply doesn't bother them.

    The Kremlin has since raised the pension age, so you don't even get that anymore until you're dead.

    This is factually incorrect, the pension age question has not yet been settled...even though it needs to, as the Russian pension ages have not been adjusted since the end of the USSR, even though life expectancy has dramatically increased.

    Ukraine has a long way to go in escaping the legacy of being under the Imperial and Soviet thumb of its neighbor, but at least right now: there is true *freedom of religion.* The Kremlin can't even afford its (non-Orthodox) Christian people that. And Ukrainians have more travel mobility in neighboring Europe.

    What does "true freedom of religion" mean? There are Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Baptists, other Protestants, etc. living in Russia without any issues whatsoever. If you are referring to the issues with the JW and other cults, good for them, it is not a bad goal to keep these types of corrosive influences out of a nation. Most of the people these laws target are immigrants who specifically come to Russia to spread this garbage, and every nation has the right to control who immigrates to it.

    Aside from that, what does freedom of religion give you if the average person has virtually no economic opportunity, no way to build a future? This is the real Ukraine.

  • Ukrainian Soldiers Tell of Fighting in Europe's Forgotten War

    08/28/2018 3:57:14 AM PDT · 15 of 24
    billakay to tlozo
    The quality of life has gotten worse for the old people in Crimea. Prices have risen 3 times what they used to be with fewer vacationers showing up spending money each year.

    Pensions have also increased 3 or more times. In fact, they are now at the average Russian level, and, I believe, indexed to local prices, which were a bit higher than neighboring Krasnodar because of logistical issues (lack of a bridge). Anecdotal reports from people who have been there this summer suggest that prices are settling to the Krasnodar level, now that the bridge is open. I didn't make it there this summer, so I can't speak first hand.

    Are you arguing russia is not corrupt? This claim would require an enormous amount of intellectual dishonesty.

    Of course, Russia still has corruption, but it doesn't touch the average person nearly as much as westerners imagine it might.

    Depends what you are comparing. I know that life in pre-war Donbas was better than on the Russian area right across the border from Donbas.

    The regions right across from Dosbas are Rostov and Krasnodar...both thoroughly modern regions, so, this claim is hard to swallow. I myself have been living in Krasnodar region for over a year, and it is quite easy to live to a western standard if you have a reasonable profession.

  • Ukrainian Soldiers Tell of Fighting in Europe's Forgotten War

    08/27/2018 10:11:45 PM PDT · 13 of 24
    billakay to Leo Carpathian

    Sure. Everyone with actual on-the-ground knowledge of life in Russia is automatically “Putin’s stooge” if they challenge the narrative. The more people who actually experience modern Russia, the less the tired, Cold War-esque narratives work.

  • Ukrainian Soldiers Tell of Fighting in Europe's Forgotten War

    08/27/2018 10:08:28 PM PDT · 12 of 24
    billakay to tlozo
    Do you mean in Crimea (not Ukraine anymore), where the quality of life is vastly improved after the people got lucky enough to escape their corrupt government? Or in Donbass, where they weren’t so lucky to get a clean break, and have to suffer shelling and attacks by their own government for having the audacity to want a better life?

    There is pretty much no honest way to claim that life in Ukraine is better than in Russia. This claim would require an enormous amount of intellectual dishonesty.

  • Ukrainian Soldiers Tell of Fighting in Europe's Forgotten War

    08/27/2018 1:45:32 PM PDT · 5 of 24
    billakay to rbmillerjr

    The Crimeans most certainly did (and thus aligned), and the people of the Donbass also most certainly do. The quality of life they can achieve under a free, stable Russia is exponentially better than anything they can have under the Ukrainian regime. In Russia you can raise a family in peace, and have a good quality of life. In Ukraine it is almost impossible.

  • "Drop one little nuke on Kyiv": Russian TV panelist on war with Ukraine

    08/25/2018 10:00:01 AM PDT · 8 of 15
    billakay to Jim Noble; AC86UT89

    It would be horrifying if that incompetent, corrupt, evil regime had nukes today.

  • New Article: Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be President? Junior CA Senator May Run In 2020.

    08/20/2018 6:02:05 AM PDT · 53 of 68
    billakay to Cboldt
    I fully understand your argument about statutory citizenship. However, what I think you are improperly conflating is the difference between "natural law" citizenship and "constitutional" citizenship (e.g. 14th Amendment citizenship). I would argue that statutory law is almost universally required to clarify and provide uniformity in these matters.

    I'll leave you with one point: the Naturalization Act of 1790, the first statute dealing with rules for US citizenship, specifically provides that children born abroad to two US citizen parents are not only US citizens, but natural born US citizens...indeed the only time this term has ever used in statute. So, it seems that there may be room for more discussion around the argument that "natural born" == "natural law" citizenship, somehow.

  • New Article: Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be President? Junior CA Senator May Run In 2020.

    08/20/2018 5:09:35 AM PDT · 47 of 68
    billakay to Cboldt
    ...even if citizenship attaches at birth, that person is naturalized without any ceremony.

    I think you are ignoring the fundamental difference between "born" and "naturalized". Take, for example, the wording of the citizenship clause of the 14th amendment:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    I would take this to mean that birth and naturalization are mutually exclusive categories.

  • New Article: Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be President? Junior CA Senator May Run In 2020.

    08/20/2018 5:03:52 AM PDT · 45 of 68
    billakay to Cboldt
    Rogers v. Bellei and a host of other legal precedents run contrary to your conclusion.

    Rogers v. Bellei covered the special case of a child born abroad to a single US Citizen parent.

    Why did you go to the consular officer in the US Embassy, Moscow?

    For the (quite practical) reason that the children need US Passports. Again, the Embassy did not naturalize the children. The officer simply reviewed the (Russian) birth certificates (of the children) as well as our (parents) US Passports, and provided a document that states that "yes, these children are Americans", and subsequently accepted the forms for their passports. The document provided (CRBA) can be used in place of a US-state-issued birth certificate for any and all purposes.

    Natural born citizenship has no need for resort to any consular's office.

    If you believe this, I would suggest that you attempt to apply for a passport without any evidence of date/location of birth and/or parentage. You will not get very far.

  • New Article: Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be President? Junior CA Senator May Run In 2020.

    08/20/2018 12:10:12 AM PDT · 20 of 68
    billakay to Electric Graffiti

    Damn straight they can :)

  • New Article: Is Kamala Harris Eligible to be President? Junior CA Senator May Run In 2020.

    08/19/2018 11:56:19 PM PDT · 18 of 68
    billakay to Electric Graffiti
    You are claiming that anyone not born to two US citizens on US soil is somehow a “naturalized” citizen? This claim is patently absurd. If the parents are both US citizens, the soil dosent make a difference.

    My two youngest children (twins) were born last July on the territory of the Russian Federation. My wife and I are both US citizens. They were, at the moment of their birth, US citizens (natural, non-naturalized), the fact of which was certified by a consular officer in the US Embassy, Moscow. They were each immediately issued a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America” (CRBA), and a US Passport. At no time was a request for naturalization ever requested or considered.

  • Russian premier Medvedev warns U.S. against crossing red line on sanctions

    08/12/2018 11:06:15 PM PDT · 28 of 29
    billakay to rbmillerjr

    He was (not long ago) intentionally released from Russian prison, and his daughter has no restrictions on travel to and from Russia. If the GRU or anyone else wanted to kill him, they would have done it long ago. Killing with a very unique chemical weapon on foreign territory knowing the what the response would be is just irrational. Putin, and the Russian leadership is nothing if not rational. This entire thing is a false-flag by the UK, and I can’t quite figure out why our people are going along with it.

  • Russian premier Medvedev warns U.S. against crossing red line on sanctions

    08/12/2018 2:53:01 AM PDT · 26 of 29
    billakay to Mariner
    Amen! We need to see the “evidence” that the poisoning of the Skripals was a (Russian) state action. The nonsensicality of the claim itself makes it necessary! Without that, these sanctions are absolute madness.

    The Aeroflot sanctions alone will hurt a lot of American citizens who have family abroad. In my opinion, ALL sanctions need to be re-evaluated, and most removed.

  • Vanity - Tourists can't even come visit?

    08/11/2018 1:41:29 AM PDT · 75 of 80
    billakay to Cementjungle

    It’s an odd situation. I would think it would be unusual for a visa to be denied after an “approval”. I hate to ask, but is it possible she was “less than forthcoming” about some detail and they found out? Do you know what rule she was denied under?

  • Vanity - Tourists can't even come visit?

    08/10/2018 1:09:51 PM PDT · 73 of 80
    billakay to Cementjungle

    Weird! What did they tell her?

  • Russia warns of 'horrible' conflict if Georgia joins NATO

    08/08/2018 10:56:07 AM PDT · 47 of 96
    billakay to Zhang Fei

    That 1/5 is also known as Abkhazia, which from the perspective of Russia is not occupied, but has their own government. The Georgians refuse to recognize the secession, but the reality is that they are independent.

  • Russia warns of 'horrible' conflict if Georgia joins NATO

    08/08/2018 10:52:34 AM PDT · 45 of 96
    billakay to SgtHooper

    Continually poking someone for 20+ years isn’t strength, it’s stupidity. Poking then condemning the eventually push back is even more stupid. NATO should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact was.