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Open mike 08/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 8th, 2023 - 68 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

68 comments on “Open mike 08/01/2023 ”

  1. Hunter Thompson II 2

    He said one of his primary goals was to stop "wasteful Washington spending".

    [Newly-elected Speaker of the US House of representatives, Kevin McCarthy]

    I thought Washington ran on wasteful spending, so good luck with that.

    Maybe he just means they should keep wasteful spending but transfer it to other parts of the USA.

    • joe90 2.1

      Maybe he just means they should keep wasteful spending but transfer it to other parts of the USA.


      • Peter 2.1.1

        One of the political catchcries of the past few years has been about 'defunding the police.' Naturally there is enough wriggle room in those actual words to turn them into anything anyone wants. Like turning Jan 6 into a 'tourist visit.'

        Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has done many fine impressions of a cretin, wants to pare back staff in the IRS. Recently they weren't staffed well enough to do their core job:

        "The IRS did not even begin auditing Trump’s taxes until 2019, on the same day the committee began asking the agency about them. This is outrageous, and it must be investigated…

        So what happened here? It’s possible that the IRS was aware of all the controversy around Trump’s taxes and simply didn’t want any part of it. That’s inexcusable, but it’s not nefarious.

        A more troubling explanation is possible—even likely: that Trump used the levers of government to shield himself from scrutiny."


        My pick is that any cuts to staffing in that department will be more than taken up with person power she wants utilised to turn Hunter Biden into a criminal.

    • Mike the Lefty 2.2

      I'm sure "wasteful spending" won't include spending on the military.

      • Scud 2.2.1

        Nope, but they will be guaranteed to keep salami cutting the both GI & VA Bills!

      • woodart 2.2.2

        too many backhanders given to american polies for that to happen.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.2.3

        Weirdly, it might – many of the MTG etc crowd are Putin lovers, and are prepared to cut the US military for his sake.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.4

        I always remember from way back the fact that one B52 bomber cost twice the Peace Corps budget

        I have met quite a few wonderful American PC people in my travels working wonders for poor third orld people and much enhancing Americas reputation. If only they had canned a couple of dozen B52’s and diverted the cash into more PC work…..

  2. PsyclingLeft.Always 3

    China is marking its first Lunar New Year since 2020 without Covid-19 domestic travel restrictions and more than 2 billion people are expected to travel over the next 40 days.

    But the abrupt changes have exposed many of China's 1.4 billion population to the virus for the first time, triggering a wave of infections that is overwhelming some hospitals, emptying pharmacy shelves of medicines and causing long lines to form at crematoriums.


    Is this a….."Well you wanted it. Enjoy" thing? Seems to have gone from one end to…for many, a final end. kinda wonder if its a thinning out. Well….IMO

  3. joe90 4

    The attempted coup continues.

    • Maurice 4.1

      It is all one dimensional chess! There will be many starting to realise that there is no way to exit the "great game" ….

    • Adrian Thornton 4.2

      I think you are confusing riot with "coup"…maybe go ask all your new pals in the US security state what a coup actually looks like….I would list US backed coup’s but the list would be too long more like …”chickens coming home to roost” as once said….

      "coup d’état, also called coup, the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group. The chief prerequisite for a coup is control of all or part of the armed forces, the police, and other military elements.'

      "riot, in criminal law, a violent offense against public order involving three or more people. Like an unlawful assembly, a riot involves a gathering of persons for an illegal purpose. In contrast to an unlawful assembly, however, a riot involves violence."

    • Adrian Thornton 4.3

      See joe…here is an actually coup, going on today, right now, one that will actually badly effect the poor and working class….guess it just wasn't part of your twitter feed……

      "The US ambassador in Peru, Lisa Kenna, worked for the CIA for 9 years, as well as the Pentagon. One day before the coup against elected left-wing President Pedro Castillo, Kenna met with Peru’s defense minister, who then ordered the military to turn against Castillo."


  4. joe90 5

    The loudest voices, always.


    Longtime Republican activist Matt Schlapp is facing backlash after a new report alleged that the chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU) groped a male staffer working on Herschel Walker's Senate campaign.

    Following Thursday's report in The Daily Beast, social media users took to Twitter to criticize Schlapp, the lead organizer of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), for anti-gay views that he's helped promote and spotlight over the years at the world's largest and most influential gathering of conservatives.

    "This story is rock solid," journalist Michelangelo Signorile tweeted on Thursday. "Schlapp has allowed the most horrific anti-LGBTQ bile at CPAC. Another GOP hypocrite."


  5. Adrian Thornton 6

    So the sad result of the GOP speaker action this week is that it has now become clear that certain elements within the GOP are more anti-war than anybody within the Democratic party…this is how far to the Right the Liberal (left) has become.

    McCarthy’s Speaker Deal Could Stymie Defense Spending Next Year

    "The emerging deal Kevin McCarthy is discussing to make him speaker of the House could make agreements on new defense spending impossible next year"

    Imagine the Squad pushing for real progressive change and holding power to ransom to get it??…but of course we all know that would never happen, nope just a bunch of boot lickers, who as it turns out, really seem to appeal to other knee bending book licking Liberals…yuk.

    • joe90 6.1

      Oh look, the only socialist in the village thinks a corrupt petro-state with nukes bolted on should be allowed unopposed and with impunity, to revert to it's cruel, imperialist expansionism and invade it's sovereign neighbour, commit war crimes, impose a brutal and barbaric rule of occupation on civilian populations, engage in the indiscriminate killing of those they can't subjugate, loot the place and then demolish what's left.


      • Adrian Thornton 6.1.1

        "the only socialist in the village"…well I wouldn't say that, but I will say you sure as shit ain't one.

    • lprent 6.2

      I have absolutely no idea why you think that the left should be "anti-war" when all of the historical evidence is that they are not.

      After all the USSR that purportably leftish federation invaded Poland and Finland without any cause apart from naked imperialistic greed. Our second world war government was Labour. The US was run by

      What has been clear, the USSR aside (it seems to always been more imperialistic and authoritarian than left and (as someone of polish descent) was also impossible to distinguish from czarism, is that left governed states are not interested in imperialistic wars. Where imperialism is defined as annexing territory or setting up protectorates.

      Left governments are very resistent to imperialist attacks. They tend to follow previous treaties that they have signed.

      Historically imperialistic states like the Russian Federation or the USSR or Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy ignore the treaties, invade and annex.

      Conservative right states are generally notable for tending to be isolationist.and often run down military capabilities

      So the US and UK are signatories to a treaty guaranteeing Ukrainian security support Ukraine act in support. Other signatories like the China do what is in their equivalent guarantees.

      Whereas Russia violated their guarantees of Ukrainian security going so far as to start implicitly waving nukes in their pronouncements. Plus of course they attempted to annex parts of Ukraine.

      I think that you are confusing leftist with being a a dumbarse pacifist. Which in my view just makes you the village idiot incapable of seeing anything except your rather strange ideas that is totally divorced from reality.

      The best defence against bullies is not to roll over, suck your damn thumb and hope it all goes away. It is to ally with like minded and deal with the ambitions of brutes collectively.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.2.1

        No one who knows me has ever accused me of being, or even supporting pacificism as an ideology (though I do in principle, and in a perfect world of course) …no, I am all for armed revolutions and national defence in the right circumstances.

        The problem with you, is that you are so wrapped up in your one dimensional western world view, that it is you and not I who obviously believe we live in a perfect world, well you must do, because that is exactly the world view you are presenting ….a mythical world where Superpowers will just shrug their shoulders in regards to their perceived boarder security…except it is not a perfect world iprent, so no matter how long and how loud Russia and the most serious geo-political, Russia and Ukrainian experts from all sides and from all around the world (including Bidens own CIA director Williams Burns) have been saying that NATO expansion to Ukraine was Russia’s Red Line (rightly or wrongly), and they have all have been ignored for decades…with devastating but predicted results.

        This war could have been easily avoided had there been serious negotiations around the Minsk accords which as Merkle has made quite clear, were never under serious consideration, but only used to buy time to arm and train Ukraine (by NATO as a NATO fighting force)….now you tell me, if China were arming and training the Mexican army, do you think America would stand by…or France/UK or any other Superpower in the world who were in the same circumstances?

        The other major problem with you and so many other here on TS, is you don’t seem to get the idea that to understand is not to condone.

        Lastly, if you really think the US or the UK give even one single shit about the Ukraine or the lives of Ukrainians then you have even less geo-political insight than I thought…they are merely geo-political pawns to the West because of their position on a map and nothing more…that is the tragedy.

        BTW, I agree with most of the first part of you comment about the Left/Right…not all, but we’ll leave that to another time.

        • Francesca

          Bravo Adrian , but once again pearls before swine

          • Francesca

            And by the way I'd take LPrent's advice re bullies .He knows what he's talking about

            • Adrian Thornton

              Yep he sure does.

            • Brigid


              "The best defence against bullies is not to roll over, suck your damn thumb and hope it all goes away. It is to ally with like minded and deal with the ambitions of brutes collectively."

          • Temp ORary

            It looks more like pig-shit on an oyster shell to me; Francesca. But at least better than the unformed excrement of the initial comment (@ 6.0). "Yuk" indeed.

            • In Vino

              'unformed excrement'? Or maybe you meant uninformed? Either way, the excrement remains upon you own keyboard. Try to be more careful please.

            • Adrian Thornton

              Temp ORary..Argue my points if you can…but I suspect you’re far too lazy…if that is the case then maybe don’t bother commenting at all until you have something interesting or constructive or funny to add…it might be interesting to see if any of those three are within your reach…probably not.

              • Temp ORary

                Adrian Thornton, as far as I can discern from your original comment (@ 6.0) you are annoyed at "the Squad" for not preventing USA military aid to Ukraine. I didn't click on the link you provided, (because it was munged and I don't trust you) but the phrase seems to refer to a paywalled Bloomberg article by Tiron et al. What is not evident is what 8 of 435 USA congress members particularly have to do with that. It's not like their attempt to hold the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act ransom to the passage of the Build Back Better Act wasn't defeated by more Republicans crossing the floor.


                But moving on to your reply to lprent (@ 6.2.1). Again – lots of munged links that I am not disposed to click through. But your argument seems to rest on the perception of Russia being a superpower – which it just isn't. The USSR back last century; sure, but not the present-day Russian Federation. Very dangerous and possessing nuclear weapons; yes, but lacking global influence. In a similar way that the British Empire was once a superpower, but the 2020's UK really isn't (let alone France!) – despite its nuclear armed military and pretensions to the contrary.

          • lprent

            Thanks for your contribution Francesca.

            Bravo Adrian , but once again pearls before swine

            All I can say to your contribution is that at least Adrian does attempt to come up with an argument . Better than someone like you who found that being specialised as a dumb critic suited you.


        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Putin just says anything to justify his imperialist invasion. Nato? Also justified with anti-satanism, restoring claimed historic lands, denazification, defending speakers of the Russian language…?

          Can you show anywhere NATO interest in invading Russia? While Russia has invaded and brutally oppressed multiple neighbours, creating the interest in joining NATO by many former Russian colonies.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Are you actually being serious?…NATO’s primary objective has always been one of antagonism toward Russia…and remember here that Russia had seriously tried to get NATO membership in 1954 a year after Stains death and before the formation of the Warsaw Pact, but of course they were turned down…now I wonder who was behind that refusal?…could it be having an enemy is better for business than having a friend?

            Molotov's Proposal that the USSR Join NATO, March 1954

            Operation Unthinkable – Churchill’s plans to invade the Soviet Union

            Anyway, as I explained, Russia is acting exactly as predicted by most serious observers…and exactly as how every other Superpower would have reacted..now I will also state yet again, that me pointing out this undeniable fact does not mean I condone Russia's actions…just understand cause and effect in geo-politics…something that obviously seems to escape you.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              Can you show anywhere NATO interest in invading Russia?

              Reading your reply, seems your answer is no.

              Exploration of a plan in 1945 by Churchill to fight the soviet conquest of central Europe is not NATO planning to invade Russia (wasn't NATO, and that plan didn't seem to involve invading Russia, only non-Russian territories that Russia had claimed conquest of – and where Russia subsequently spent decades oppressing and murdering the locals).

              Molotov being denied membership of NATO in 1954…is not NATO showing interest in invading Russia either.

              Countries join NATO by signing a voluntary agreement. Countries joined the USSR by being invaded by Russia.

              Glad you don't condone Russia's actions in relation to Ukraine.

              • mikesh

                If Ukraine joined NATO and the latter then installed missiles on Russia's border one can understand Russia seeing this as a hostile act. Compare this with 1962, when Kruschev attempted to install missiles on Cuban soil, and note Kennedy's reaction to that.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  If Ukraine joined NATO and the latter then installed missiles on Russia's border one can understand Russia seeing this as a hostile act.

                  If..And…Sounds like a reason to have diplomacy and discussion with Ukraine (and try this – better relations), not a reason to launch an unprovoked pre-emptive bloody war. While you justify with "cos NATO" – Russia also justifies with naked empire building, fake "denazification", "desatanisation", and anti-LGBT.

                  Perhaps if Russia stopped invading all her neighbours, former Russian colonies would be less keen to join a defensive alliance?

                  • mikesh

                    If it happens it will probably then be too late for Russia to do anything, because it will not just be Ukraine that they will have to fight but the whole of NATO, so a pre-emptive strike is justified.

                • lprent

                  Basically that is a completely bullshit rationalisation for a pre-emptive invasion. Not to mention demonstrating that you are a gormless lazy fool who sucks up propaganda and doesn't research – yet again. Perhaps you'd actually do some study for a change. So I'll provide the some basic links for your education.

                  Have you ever actually looked at the process to join NATO? It has a lot of conditions, requirements and processes to go through.

                  This is political in that any exiting member state can veto. The downside is that getting obnoxious without a reasonable cause could cause the recalcitrant member to be evicted (you'd should look at the history with Turkey and Greece inside NATO).

                  But more importantly, in military terms. The aspirational member has to be able to work within the NATO military frameworks and doctrines. That is a hard and often long process.

                  Here is the potted history of NATO-Ukraine relations and NATO-Russia relations (and a clearer version of the latter).

                  The process usually takes decades and involves a lot of work. Aspirations to join simply aren't enough, and Ukraine hadn't demonstrated that it was ready in either a political (relatively unstable) or military (not doctrine compatible) way to do so.

                  In 1994 both Russia and Ukraine joined a help program Partnership for Peace which is about establishing trust between NATO and other countries. That was currently the only formal precursor to NATO members that Ukraine was involved in.

                  If that is your apparent only criteria for readiness for acceptance into NATO – then the Russian Federation should try invading itself.

                  At the time that Russia invaded, Ukraine had long held aspirations to join NATO. In 2002, Ukraine has applied for a precursor for aspirants to membership – MAP. However it withdrew from that in 2010 both for internal political issues in Ukraine and because they had problems with adjusting their force structures to something that could work within NATO.

                  However their military structure simply wasn't going to be accepted under the NATO Article 10 membership process. That was why they hadn't started any formal attempt to enter NATO.

                  In 2005, Ukraine joined a relatively informal process "Intensified Dialogue", which was a process that just looked at helping aspirants for NATO membership in how to adjust their armed forces to fit within the military mutual defence of NATO. In the 17 years since, there has been little progress in that process.

                  Even if Russia withdrew back to pre-2014 borders. It would still take a decades for Ukraine to be able to join NATO. It's current military structure even after all of the doctrine and weaponry updates under Russian military pressure still won't fit within a NATO military structure. It will take decades to achieve that.

                  Ukraine finally did formally request NATO membership in September 2022 – seven months after Russia invaded. The application was only accepted because

                  If memory serves me that was after Putin announced that Russia was going to unilaterally annex parts of Ukraine, and in a act of aggressive intent included parts that Russia wasn't even in control of. Which

                  By comparison Finland and Sweden were militarily compatible with NATO forces. Consequently their NATO membership application last year, triggered by Russian Federation imperialist aggression, are getting close to the point that acceptance may actually happen this decade.

                  Basically NATO is very picky about membership. Its biggest recruiter has been the behaviour of the Russian imperialism. Both you and the propagandists of the Russia Federation are essentially complaining that Ukraine was aspiring to join NATO. Not that NATO was actively trying to recruit Ukraine.

                  The only formal relationship that NATO had with Ukraine prior to the invasion by Russia, was the same as one that Russia also had with NATO.

                  If Ukraine joined NATO and the latter then installed missiles on Russia's border one can understand Russia seeing this as a hostile act.

                  Your argument is complete crap. There were no NATO missiles installed in Ukraine. There were no no formal military treaties like that between Cuba and the USSR in 1961 or Turkey's membership in NATO.

                  Any deeper military relationship between NATO and Ukraine was decades in the future. It would have required that Ukraine wanted to change its military forces to ones that would fit within the NATO military framework.

                  Sure there were some strong indications that was their intent after 2014 – like adding their intent into the Ukrainian constitution in 2019.

                  But that was after the Russian Federation had forsworn its guarantees from the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and invaded and unilaterally annexed Crimea after a fake 'referendum'. It was probably pushed further by the Russian Federation fomenting and supplying a insurrection with equipment and 'off-duty' troops in a portion of eastern Ukraine. Russia was actively pushing Ukraine to any allies it could find against their neighbours agression.

                  Please educate yourself, and stop presenting the kind of psuedo intellectual self-mastubation that you seem to love on this topic.

                  • mikesh

                    Russia apparently has been moving military equipment towards the Finnish border, a development which seems to have stemmed from Finland's decision to join NATO.

              • lprent

                Countries join NATO by signing a voluntary agreement. Countries joined the USSR by being invaded by Russia.

                I think that you're kind of confused. Perhaps you should look at the extent of the Russian Empire in 1914 on the eve of World War I.

                And the size of the USSR in 1922.

                There wasn't much (if any) added territory from conquest. In fact I remember that the USSR lost territory to Poland and some other areas.

                After WW2 the USSR gained some territory. But it wasn't much, and I believe that the successor states to the Soviet Socialist Republics that obtained those still retain them. But it wasn't large amounts of territory except in Finland and Poland (?).

                The Soviet Union took over areas formerly controlled by Germany, Finland, Poland, and Japan.

                UncookedSelachimorpha: I suspect that what you are trying to talk about were the nation states that joined the Warsaw Pact after that formed. In which case you should look closely at Albania, Romania, Mongolia and Yugoslavia and their history with the Warsaw Pact. It directly contradicts your assertion.

        • lprent

          they are merely geo-political pawns to the West because of their position on a map and nothing more…that is the tragedy.

          I guess that you have absolutely no truck with the idea that a nation state or its citizens have any opinions of their own. Which when you look through your response is essentially your only working argument.

          You really are such a sycophantic apologist for imperialism aren't you?

          Ukrainian experts … have been saying that NATO expansion to Ukraine was Russia’s Red Line (rightly or wrongly), and they have all have been ignored for decades…with devastating but predicted results.

          It may be Russia's red line, however the demand to join NATO hasn't been initiated by Russia or the US. That is simply geopolitical gobbledegook almost entirely from practitioners of that ancient imperial intellectual tradition. Most of them have been concentrating on the tug of war between super-powers and, like you, seldom deign to look at why actual nations join military alliances.

          Nation states have been wanting to join it for mutual military security. Usually pushing really hard for it. There are states who haven't wanted it like Switzerland, Finland, Sweden and others for various reasons. But what you clearly don’t understand is that it is quite hard for states to join because of Article 10 and the military interoperability and doctrine requirements. There have been some seriously long wait periods between application and agreement to join. It is expensive as hell to get ready to join. It constrains the budgets of applicants to get up to standard and usually does some nasty things to the career prospects of military officers and staff.

          But none-the-less states keep persisting on trying to join and going to great effort to join. Usually against the advice of many if not most policy makers in the US. That is because the US is a major partner in NATO, but not the only one. NATO itself has had a explicit open door policy since 1991 after requests from states exiting the USSR, but also that was how it formed originally.

          In my view, geo-politics is pretty simply an excuse for simpletons to ignore the wishes and the intent of the states to determine their own destiny and their citizens to chart their own course. Basically it is an excuse for snobs to avoid looking at then little people… Does that sound like you? It does to me.

          You haven't mentioned once anywhere that I am aware of, any reason why Ukraine, or Estonia or Kosovo or any of the other current of previous applicants have endured the trauma of applying for and pushing through to membership of NATO. All you ever talk about is Russia, USA, occasionally deign to mention Germany and the UK, and infinitesimal political or military groupings inside Ukraine.

          Coming to think of it – that is also what you do for local politics as well. You really do sound like a aristocratic intellectual snob.

          if China were arming and training the Mexican army, do you think America would stand by…or France/UK or any other Superpower in the world who were in the same circumstances?

          Of course they do just stand by. That literally happens all of the time. You should just look at where the sales of arms actually happens, and the degree to which armed forces training happens between militarises. The problem with you is that you assume that the nations only sell arms and only train in places that are very friendly to them or with whom they have treaties. That isn't the case. It just happens more frequently. But if you look at what happens on the ground, you'll find military cooperation and the sale of arms has some pretty weird combinations amongst countries that are not in direct conflict with each other.

          You find (for instance) Turkey arming itself with S400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia. That makes the US cranky, but doesn't stop it. Similarly places like Uzbekistan that tend to be in the Russian orbit have some pretty active NATO training and various types of equipment sales going on. Along with

          This war could have been easily avoided had there been serious negotiations around the Minsk accords which as Merkle has made quite clear, were never under serious consideration,…

          Peter Schwarz in your link about Merkle is a idiot.. The timeline literally walks the time line backwards from a completely unsupported assertion that the US instigated a coup in Kyiv in 2014. Now I understand that this assertion is a a religious article of faith amongst the geo-politically unhinged. But I have seen no credible evidence of it.

          Nor have I seen a single instance of you or any of your idiotic religious brethren who has even managed to advance explanation about why it is rational for the US or even any significant faction in the US to have wanted it. All I see are waffling assertions and Russia propaganda directed internally. I can understand why Russia wants to con their citizens…

          However all of the historical evidence indicates that it was Russia who was trying to instigate a presidential coup over the intentions and without the support of parliament. That can be summed up with this. Note the timeline. The parliament had overwhelmingly approved in early 2013, Russia put pressure on to not approve an agreement with the EU, the president didn't approve later in 2013. Then public protests against the decision of the president broke out. Russia then invaded.

          In November 2013, a wave of large-scale protests (known as Euromaidan) erupted in response to President Yanukovych's sudden decision not to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), instead choosing closer ties to Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union. In February of that year, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) had overwhelmingly approved finalizing the agreement with the EU.[26] Russia had put pressure on Ukraine to reject it.[27] These protests continued for months; their scope widened, with calls for the resignation of Yanukovych and the Azarov Government.[28] Protesters opposed what they saw as widespread government corruption and abuse of power, the influence of oligarchs, police brutality, and violation of human rights in Ukraine.[29][30] Repressive anti-protest laws fuelled further anger.[29] A large, barricaded protest camp occupied Independence Square in central Kyiv throughout the 'Maidan Uprising'.

          n January and February 2014, clashes in Kyiv between protesters and Berkut special riot police resulted in the deaths of 108 protesters and 13 police officers,[20] and the wounding of many others. The first protesters were killed in fierce clashes with police on Hrushevskoho Street on 19–22 January. Following this, protesters occupied government buildings throughout the country. The deadliest clashes were on 18–20 February, which saw the most severe violence in Ukraine since it regained independence.[31] Thousands of protesters advanced towards parliament, led by activists with shields and helmets, and were fired on by police snipers.[20] On 21 February, an agreement between President Yanukovych and the leaders of the parliamentary opposition was signed that called for the formation of an interim unity government, constitutional reforms and early elections.[32] The following day, police withdrew from central Kyiv, which came under effective control of the protesters. Yanukovych fled the city.[33] That day, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Yanukovych from office by 328 to 0 (72.8% of the parliament's 450 members).[34][35][36][32]

          Yanukovych alleged that this vote was illegal and possibly coerced, and asked Russia for help.[37] Russia considered the overthrow of Yanukovych to be an illegal coup, and did not recognize the interim government.

          The only countries that supported Yanukovych were Russia, who invaded Crimea and possibly Belorussia. There were assertions of CIA influence – almost entirely from Russian sources. But the evidence is flimsy at best. What has been released or stated tends to show Washington foreign policy dithering

          … but only used to buy time to arm and train Ukraine (by NATO as a NATO fighting force)….

          Prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine used to buy from Russia, most of their new military equipment and spares and do a lot of training with Russia. They also brought from NATO countries and did training with NATO.

          That I can see of your paywalled link about NATO exercises refers to a exercise held last year – hardly relevant. Why did you bring it up? As a stupid distraction or because you couldn't find anything more relevant? But lets ignore that…

          But that Ukraine was buying more hardware from NATO and doing more of their training with NATO forces since 2014 is a direct result of having Russia invade and annex Crimea, plus supporting both the DPR and LPR secessionist republics with military hardware and 'volunteers' from the RF military.

          Are you trying to say that that Ukraine should have been buying weapons and having exercises with a country that had just invaded and annexed part of their territory and was actively promoting a two secessionist micro-states? Are you insane?

          … the Minsk accords which as Merkle has made quite clear, were never under serious consideration,…

          The Minsk agreements were attempts to get a ceasefire in place. A ceasefire is literally a conflict frozen in place. I guess that Peter Schwarz doesn't understand what the word means or what a agreement to have a ceasefire means and why that is in the first point of the agreement.

          Sure, Minsk II had some provisions for having working towards some kind of peaceful resolution. However the prerequisite of having a working ceasefire never happened.

          Neither the Minsk I or Minsk II resulted in a ceasefire. Minsk I just resulted in the conflict heating up.

          There was a slowing of conflict after Minsk II. But there were numerous reported violations initiated from both sides with claims from both sides and independent observers but there was never a cessation of fire. Nor claims by both sides and independent observers of violations of the ceasefire parts of both.

          This was unlike any ceasefire agreement that ever actually succeeded in working its way to a a peace agreement or a long-term freeze in hostilities like the intra Korean border. Consequently neither side stood down forces, nor stopped improving their military position.

          I really wish that you'd make some kind of effort to mount a coherent argument. I only have limited time to write answers.

          As you can see, I had to break my quotations of points from your comment up to answer your points. I also note that you only designed to answer exactly one point from my comment. The breakup was because you don't separate your points. The ones worth dealing with are all dropped into a unwieldy paragraphs with lots of crap links all jumbled together. Generally without a connecting argument.

          Could you please try to do better. It is exhausting dealing with an argument as confused as you are giving.

          • mikesh

            In a democracy the normal way of getting rid of an unwanted president is through the ballot box. Although, as you rightly point out, an early election was offered but never held – what were the protesters afraid of; that Yanukovych might be re-elected? Fleeing Kyiv was not a reason for dismissal so his dismissal was clearly unconstitutional.

      • mikesh 6.2.2

        In WW1, Germany invaded Belgium, not because they had any particular beef with the Belgians, but because they needed to pass through Belgium in order to attack France. Belgium declined a German request to allow its army passage; hence the invasion. I think that as WWII approached, Russia, observing the rise of Nazi Germany, thought that Germany’s armies might "pass through" either Poland or Finland, with or without the permissions of those countries, to attack Russia. One might argue that this does not justify Russian invasions of Poland and/or Finland, but that is largely a matter of opinion, and Russia obviously thinks otherwise, particularly as it sees itself as surrounded by inimical states in any case.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.3

      "anti-war", in the sense of being pro-brutality, pro-authoritarian, pro-imperialist, pro-torture, pro-kleptocracy, pro-violence…etc etc

  6. Temp ORary 7

    This Stuff article on contemporary and historical polyamory in Aotearoa is quite interesting. Especially in the references to pre-colonial Māori relationship patterns (with the caveat that, as always, this depended on; time, place, iwi & hapū):

    …Dr Byron Rangiwai, an associate professor of healthcare and social practice at Unitec.

    “Monogamy was of course an imported concept that came with Christianity,” he says.

    “There are examples of Māori, particularly rangatira, having multiple partners. The term rangatira also included women, particularly in iwi such as Ngāti Porou.”

    Tāwhiri*, a tikanga scholar and “novice in polyamory”… feels the stakes are higher in disclosing his polyamorous relationship. As someone trying to create systemic hapū-wide change, “if I get caught up in a scandal or something then all of my goals that existed, and collective upliftment are jeopardised”, he says.

    “The irony is that that’s sort of an indication of how colonised we have become because it’s harder for Māori to practise our own relationship tikanga.”


    However, it does omit to mention those who are unable to be in a relationship with the nature of a marriage, for bureaucratic purposes. Work and Income can be harsh with solo parents, and others, in committed heterosexual monogamous relationships – even retrospectively cutting benefits, and saddling the poorest with unexpected debt on a reduced income.

    Where a; Couple with 1 or more children, gets $283/ week (each after tax before accommodation, or other, supplements – $566 total), a; Sole Parent, gets $440.96, and a; Single Jobseeker, $315 ($536 total for jobseeker couple without children – the extra $30/ week doesn't far towards meeting child costs!).


    However eagle-eyed the system may be in detecting and designating monogamous heterosexual couples as de facto marriages (unless they can be proved not so – which isn't the easiest), it is strangely myopic when it comes to; homosexual, bisexual and polyamorous relationships. Thus solo parents have a (presumably unintended) incentive to form polyamorous relationship clusters. The 3 nights together a week "rule" is widely understood to be a threshold for a relationship for WINZ purposes, though I don't know what legislation or regulations back that up. It certainly seems to run counter to section 21 (prohibited grounds of discrimination) of the NZ HRA, though there is always section 21B:

    To avoid doubt, an act or omission of any person or body is not unlawful under this Part if that act or omission is authorised or required by an enactment or otherwise by law.


    • joe90 7.1

      contemporary and historical polyamory in Aotearoa is quite interesting

      That's what happens when you swap your old gods for a new one.

      • Temp ORary 7.1.1

        Ngā Atua (eg Ranginui) weren't exactly gods in the European sense – or at least no one expected them to answer prayers. More like anchors to oral histories that varied by iwi. Ngā Tipua (eg Taniwha) were more like personifications of the environment, but were given offerings to appease them in some situations, say when passing through their land.

        But anyway; "swap", is a bit too simple and intentional for how the religious/ political/ military colonization of Aotearoa happened. The hundred years between the Marsden mission in 1814 and WWI were complex, and while there hasn't been as much open warfare in the last century – that was differently complex. Too much to get into now.

        While some Māori did end up embracing the new god (eg the Rātana and Ringatū churches; to which maybe 10% of Māori belong), many stopped having any committed religion at all. Tagata Pasifika are more likely to be churchgoing than Tangata Whenua in my experience. Though it may have been expedient in the past to profess adherence to Christianity, there were a lot of bad experiences with church authorities abusing their positions that produced disenchantment with such confidence men. Though my whānau may be more decidedly atheist than most. Plus there are the new American evangelicals and Destiny that seem to be gathering adherents (and their money).

        Unless you mean that the new god was money? In which case, it'd be hard to disagree; Joe90.

  7. Stephen D 8

    One wonders what influence Key has on Luxon when it comes to foreign policy.

    Damien Grant makes an interesting comparison between Neville Chamberlain and Key vis a vis Hitler and Xi.

    ”It is collectively accepted that Hitler deceived Chamberlain. The problem, Gladwell asserts, is that Chamberlain looked for clues in the body language and behaviour of the Nazi leader and when his words matched that behaviour Chamberlain assumed Hitler was being honest.”


    • Tony Veitch 8.1

      Luxon refuses to be interviewed by me, . . .

      I wonder why? Attempting to control the narrative? Unable to handle pointed questions? Afraid of scrutiny?

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        Without reading, perhaps insistence on a journalism qualification? Or knowing how skewed anything written by a rampant Actoid like this guy might be? Any comms person would protect a party leader.

  8. when simon dallow finally gets the push will his job be advertised or will another right wing hair and teeth job with a mystery career be shoe horned into place?

    [You have been making attacks on Simon Dallow and asking for his resignation or being fired for at least 4.5 years now here. You provide no link nor reason and you make no political point whatsoever. You do this again and I’ll accept your resignation from TS’s commentariat. This is your warning – Incognito]

  9. Sacha 10


    • Temp ORary 10.2

      It's a nice quote; Sacha, but the link is to a twitter page that no longer exists. What is the context, and where is the evidence?

      Going by the name, I imagine that it originates from a self-proclaimed media analyst in Australia – but that doesn't narrow it down much. Hope for the future seems overly optimistic to me, but certainly better than despair.

  10. joe90 11

    SRODS strikes again.

  11. joe90 12

    Geography and politics.

  12. joe90 13

    Iran shows it will kill anyone who stands against the regime.

    The executions on Saturday of two young men in Iran, one a karate champion, the other a volunteer children’s coach, in connection with nationwide protests have sparked outrage around the world.

    The total number of people now known to have been executed in connection with the protests that have swept the country since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody on September 16 has reached four.


    • Adrian Thornton 13.1

      You do know that having a CNN link to a story on the Iranian riots is about as useful as having an PressTV link on Jan 6th riots….why don't you try finding some serious news sources to link us too on these important stories, instead of this endless stream of US propaganda…that way we can all become better informed..it's would be a win win for everyone, including you.

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