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Open mike 27/12/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 27th, 2022 - 125 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 …

125 comments on “Open mike 27/12/2022 ”

  1. Ed 1

    Mick Wallace is a courageous politician who dares to ask questions few others do.

    The attack on Nordstream was a terrible attack on European vital infrastructure, it was an act of Environmental Terrorism – A disastrous release of methane. Why is the EU showing so little interest in finding out who did it.? Are they afraid that they won't like the answer..?

  2. Stephen D 2

    Interesting read to the war in Ukraine. More historical than contemporary.


    “Few conflicts have been so shaped by the chief actors’ sense of their own national story as the Ukrainian war that began in February. It is the competing grand narratives of the past, not just in Russia and Ukraine, but in Germany, France, Poland, the Baltics, the UK, the US, and even the global south, that make this war so hard to resolve”

    • aj 2.1

      History is everything. Much of that Guardian article is pretty superficial.

      In this 38 minute interview with Aaron Maté, Nicolai Petro discusses "the overlooked influence of Ukraine's far-right nationalist movement and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent admission that the Minsk Accords — the international formula for ending the post-2014 Donbas civil war — "was an attempt to give Ukraine time" to prepare for a conflict with Russia, rather than make peace. Petro is the author of the new book, "The Tragedy of Ukraine."

      Petro is the Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence and Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island, in the United States. He also served as the US State Department's special assistant for policy on the Soviet Union under President George HW Bush.


      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1

        I'm sure people being shelled, tortured, raped, looted by Russian invaders, will be very interested to intellectualise over what Classical Greek Tragedy can Teach us About Conflict Resolution.

        This guy is full of shit – victim blaming and saying parties within Ukraine bear similar responsibility to Russia – the latter being the only one of the two that launched a war and brutal invasion of its neighbour. He discusses the minutiae of internal Ukrainian events, while brushing over Russia's internal repression, dictatorship and repeated pattern of interference and military assault of its neighbours.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.2

        Tried to put this in my reply…

      • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.3

        Well, that's almost 40 minutes of my life I will never get back.

        The only notable thing about this interview with professor Nicolai Petro, is the weird leading questions from sour Putin apologist Aaron Mate. Mate kept trying to push this dry bones professor to agree with his propaganda talking points.

        The good professor pushed back on Aaron Mate's propaganda talking points. Admittedly very weakly, but push back he did.

        That Western Ukraine is fascist
        @ 7:48 minutes "I don't define everyone in government as a neo-nazi or fascist. That's not correct."

        That the people of the Donbas, wanted to join Russia.
        @ 32:00 minutes "It is not fair to say that they wanted to be part of Russia"

        Whether "The Ukrainian state will ever exist again"

        @ 36:10 minutes "Well it exists today. And I think there will be a Ukraine, certainly in the foreseeable future.

        P.S. I thought Aaron Mate’s Dramatic headline to this interview was slanted and laughably misleading as to what was actually discussed.

        “How Ukraine’s far-right, with NATO backing, block peace”

        • adam

          I thought Aaron Mate’s Dramatic headline to this interview was slanted and laughably misleading as to what was actually discussed.

          Isn't that just Youtube at the minute. It's a bullshit place hard to get clicks if your considered not corporate enough.

          • Jenny are we there yet

            Hi Adam,
            Are you saying, Aaron Mate deliberately put up a more dramatic headline than the actual content warranted, because he knew the Facebook algorithm would direct pro-war conspiracy theorists like aj to it?

            • adam

              Nope, what I saying is that people are making OTT titles to get clicks.

              Like this one "Does The Fusion Breakthrough Live Up To The Clickbait?"

              talking about fusion break through/kinda/sorta

              or this one "Betty White and Joan Rivers Lay Into Each Other"

              Two female comedians being legends.

    • Ed 2.2

      A more balanced and nuanced view from Bomber Bradbury. The cause of this war is not just Putin and Russia ( as some posters on this site want to claim), but…..

      let’s not ignore the coup in Kazakstan, the Wests involvement with the Ukrainian coup and the years of shelling and conflict in the Donbas that all lead up to this nor should we ignore the war mongers selling weapons being accelerants here.


      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        the years of shelling and conflict in the Donbas

        You have mentioned this a few times now. Just for a sense of context, can you provide firm count of the death toll on both sides of this conflict in the Donbas, for say the 3 or 4 years prior to the invasion this year – and the same count for this year 2022 after Russia invaded in order to 'protect' said civilians?

        • Ed

          I would imagine numbers are highly contested by both sides.

          • RedLogix

            Would you accept a UN document – or does is it only Russian sources that you believe?

        • weston

          The figures before Russia came in were 14000 according to the UN report which from mem i think came out in 21 .This number is often attributed though to just the deaths from DPR /LPR but this is not the case if i have my facts right The 14000 includes all the protagonists including the nationalist forces although the bulk of them were from the Donbas because of course for a long time outgunned .

  3. joe90 3

    Just a coincidence.


    Russian siloviki may be setting information conditions to justify the nationalization of oligarchs’ resources to sponsor Russia’s war effort. Wagner financier Yeveniy Prigozhin attended the funeral of a deceased Wagner Group mercenary in St. Petersburg on December 24, where he stated that Russia needs to confiscate luxury possessions and accommodations from elites who ignore or do not support the war effort out of fear of losing their privileged lifestyles.[7] Prigozhin added that these affluent individuals support a vision where ”Western curators” dominate Russia in return for the sponsorship of their lifestyles and compared today’s Russian oligarchy to Ukraine’s or to 1990s Russia. Prigozhin ignited a scandal regarding the burial of the Wagner serviceman in recent weeks to push his political objectives — such as the legalization of Wagner in Russia — and his statements advocating redistribution of wealth at the funeral gained significant traction on the Russian internet.[8] Wagner-affiliated milbloggers widely supported Prigozhin’s criticism of Russian officials and praised his support for the war effort.[9] Prigozhin may be using such populist proposals to elevate his authority in Russian society or influence a return of stricter nationalization measures.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin also indirectly attacked Russian oligarchs on December 22, however, stating that Russians who drain Russia’s money from abroad and do not have a connection with the country “represent a danger” to Russia.[10] Putin claimed that while the vast majority of Russian businessmen are patriots, there are some who do not share the sentiment. Putin concluded that “everyone strives not only to stay, to live and work in Russia but to work for the benefit of our country.” Putin previously nationalized big businesses in the early 2000s to consolidate his authoritarian kleptocracy and may be attempting leverage nationalization to coerce elites to support his war in Ukraine or seize their property to fund military expenses.[11]


  4. lprent 4

    I have done a caching change to the site that I am unsure of.

    Let me know of any weird effects…

  5. Ed 5

    I find I learn a lot more about issues like the Ukraine if I avoid both Russian and NATO propagandists. I read writers without clear ideological connections to either side.

    One I follow M.K. Bhadrakumar. He was an Indian diplomat whose

    diplomatic career was devoted to assignments on the territories of the former Soviet Union and to Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Other overseas postings included South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, and Turkey.

    He writes mainly on

    Indian foreign policy and the affairs of the Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific.


    His most recent piece is as insightful as ever.

    The whole point is that the western commentariat largely forgets that Russia’s core agenda is not about territorial conquest — much as Ukraine is vital to Russian interests — but about NATO expansion.


    • Incognito 5.1

      What people learn in echo chambers is the sound of a pandemonium of parrots flying into each other and climbing up the walls in desperation to get out but unable to find the rabbit hole that sucked them in in the darkness of their cognitive dissonance.

      • Ed 5.1.1

        Echo chambers like the Washington Post, CNN and the Guardian.

        I agree.

        • Incognito

          Echo chambers come in all styles & sizes.

          What is the sound of one gum flapping?

          • Jester

            I agree. Even blogs like this one, TDB, Kiwiblog and Whaleoil or whatever it is now, are often echo chambers, and if some one dares to swim against the tide or criticise the supported team, they are often moderated with a threat to be banned if they do not discontinue.

            [You nailed it, almost! Undoubtedly, you will be able to support your serious accusation with at least three fine examples here on TS. If not, I will let you out of this echo chamber and give you the freedom that you crave so clearly. For now, you’re in Pre-Mod, where we can look after you and give the care and attention that you clearly need – Incognito]

            • Incognito

              Mod note

            • Ed

              What are your sources Jester?

              Really recommend Indian Punchline.

            • Jester

              And exactly as I said I'm now being banned (or threatened to be) or moderated or whatever. Do you seriously think that Kiwiblog is not an echo chamber for the blue team? As this is for the red team?

              I can't be bothered looking back through comments for examples that you would discount or not satisfy you anyway.


              • Incognito

                It doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what you claim and can back up or not here on TS. I don’t give a toss about KB or any other blogsite.

                FYI, the main reason for your Mod note was not the echo chamber bit but the moderation and ban threats for those who criticise ‘the red team’. This is blatant BS as many a Post and comment here is (highly) critical of the Labour Party, the Labour-led Government, or of MPs, Ministers, or even the PM, for example. The kaupapa of this site is robust debate and informed and founded criticism is an essential part of that. Otherwise how would we have constructive debate and about what?

                You say that you can’t be bothered. I say that you know that you cannot support your accusation.

                Whether I would discount any attempts or not is moot and a cop out.

                The worst outcome for you would have been a temporary ban for wasting Moderator time. However, you have chosen to leave permanently, i.e., you are not banned but you took a permanent self-ban, which saves me having to put your details in the Black List.

                Goodbye to you too.

              • Ed

                Yes, Jester you are correct.

                It is ok for some to insult, smear, abuse and slander, but if you, I or the others who speak, question the narrative in even the most diplomatic language, we can expect moderation and threats of banning.

                Free speech.

                What a joke!

                [This is just wonderful! Parrots in an echo chamber parrot each other to become self-martyrs. This Mod parrot has the same response: provide at least 3 fine examples on TS of threats of moderation and banning when “speak[ing], question[ing] the narrative in even the most diplomatic language”.

                You parrots seem to think that free speech means absolutely no rules, no boundaries, and no consequences. You seem to think that free speech is unconditional. You are a blot on free speech!

                Obviously, you knew this was coming, so you will be prepared and have your examples handy. However, to avoid you further abusing your commenting privileges here – after more than 10,000 comments over almost 12 years here on TS , not counting all your aliases – and taking your ideas of free speech too far, I put you in Pre-Mod – Incognito]

                • Incognito

                  Mod note

                  • Ed

                    I can't be bothered looking back through comments for examples that you would discount or not satisfy you anyway.

                    Ban, censor and silence me if you want to.

                    [See you back on April Fools’ Day for making false accusations about censoring on TS and wasting Moderator time – Incognito]

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Those can be echo chambers, I agree.

          But you betray your bias by not including an RT or a Sputnik etc in your list.

          • Ed

            At the start I mentioned both Russian and NATO propaganda. Living in New Zealand, I am exposed to mucH more NATO and UkraniN propaganda obviously, given our mainstream media filters.

            What more independent sources do you rely on for news from Ukraine and Russia?

            • Stuart Munro

              It's a nice trick, confuting western news with Putin's propaganda, but it is profoundly disingenuous.

              Perhaps you don't understand quite what it is that you are doing. Take a pro-western source, like Radio Free Europe. They report fact. They gather it, and verify it, it is news, not propaganda. It is true that they may not exert themselves to find true pro-Kremlin stories – but they are not obliged to. The same rules are supposed to apply to parliamentary debate here in NZ – the opposition is entitled to reveal unpleasant truths, but gets no sympathy when they lie.

              Now consider the abundant Russian propaganda. It does not adhere to anything approaching journalistic principles, on the contrary, much of it is made from whole cloth, shot within Russian borders with actors or 'celebrities. These things are not equivalent – the Russian sources are compromised, and if you don't treat them critically you'll be compromised too.

              And you call for independent sources. Who do you imagine independent journalists are? The ones supported by foundations that facilitate opaque funding streams? Or the genuine independent journalists that sell to wire services like AP or Reuters? Your sources of choice seem to be the former – not much independence happening there.

              • Ed

                To understand how western media propaganda works, I recommend you read Naom Chomsky to comprehend how our leaders manufacture consent through the corporate mainstream media.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I guess you imagine I haven't read Chomsky Ed – I expect I was reading him before you were born.

                  But you really don't seem to understand how Russian propaganda works, which is how they invariably make you their patsy.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2

      I read writers without clear ideological connections to either side

      Just had a look at his twitter feed. For someone so unbiased, everything resembles verbatim kremlin propaganda. And he is continually retweeting 100% kremlin propaganda, bought and paid for (i.e. TASS, RT). Plus tweeting Russian Ministry of Defence press releases, links from kremlin official website etc.

      No echos there. It's like an anechoic chamber, it is.

    • joe90 5.3

      I avoid both Russian and NATO propagandists.


      One I follow M.K. Bhadrakumar.

      Who happens to be a prolific spreader of Russian propaganda via his own publication and pro-Kremlin rags Globalresearch and RT.

      • Ed 5.3.1

        Looks like we disagree on this.

        • joe90

          What's to disagree about.You're a consumer of Kremlin propaganda.

          • Ed

            Are you able to debate without hurling smears, abuse and slander?

            If your arguments are strong, rely on evidence- not abuse.

            I note you use this system with many who disagree with you I this subject.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              without hurling smears, abuse and slander?

              You seem to be confusing what appears to be a statement of fact ("You're a consumer of Kremlin propaganda"), with abuse and slander.

            • joe90

              Are you able to debate without hurling smears, abuse and slander?

              You don't debate with folk unwilling to condemn a terror state that bombards, launches missile attacks, and drops incendiaries on civilian populations with the sole purpose of murdering people in their beds.

              You smear, abuse and slander them.

  6. Barfly 6

    Well I am personally happy that Russia is losing this war quite horribly Putin's ineptitude combined with his hubris and his Generals incompetence has seen Russia lose the its best trained and equipped troops and the majority of its quality ground equipment. Sanctions have crippled Russian efforts to refresh almost all modern arms. Ukraine and the west have been successfully boiling the frog for a while now laugh

    • Francesca 6.1

      I've been hearing that for a good long time, and yet despite massive support,( an unprecedented nearly 50 billion dollars,) US provided surveillance, satellite intelligence,thousands and thousands of various pieces of armory and lethal weapons, years of Nato training and arming, additional mercenaries ,and sanctions designed to cripple Russia's economy, Russia is still standing and is still fighting in Ukraine

      How long do you think its going to take?

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1.1

        unprecedented nearly 50 billion dollars

        So about 2.5% of what the US spent on the Iraq invasion to date then. And around 2% of the estimated cost to the world economy from Russia's brutal invasion.

        Estimates of Russia's expenditure to date are in the range of $80b$300b

      • Bearded Git 6.1.2

        I heard the US has already committed 100 billion for the Ukraine war on BBC radio the other day. Not sure how much of this has been spent.

      • Sabine 6.1.3

        The US and the west will run out of money to give long before Russia will loose.

        Or let me put it this way, the US American will run out of patience with their government giving their tax dollars away on a war that is no more winable then Afganistan or Iraq, or Somalia for that matter.

        So the question is, will the US break apart first or Russia. My money is on the US.

        from 2021 https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/27/politics/blinken-tapper-the-lead/index.html

        and the follow up on this from 2022

        The other question is who of the victorious and glorious 101st keyboard brigades in the west is happy to send their kids into the killing fields to feed the hunger of the cannon? Someones got to do the dying. I guess we will find out soon. War is a racket, and the poor as always will pay the bills.

      • Jenny are we there yet 6.1.4


        27 December 2022 at 3:49 pm

        Well I am personally happy that Russia is losing this war…..


        27 December 2022 at 4:05 pm

        …..How long do you think its going to take?

        Francesca, Russia has already lost, it's only a matter of time.

        But Francesca if you asking; How long will it take for the war to end?

        The war in Ukraine will continue as long as Putin keeps attacking and Ukraine keeps resisting.

        My estimation is that the Ukrainians will never stop resisting.
        Even if the West stops backing Ukraine with modern arms and equipment, the Ukrainians will continue to fight a gorilla war against the Russian invader. In that case the war will follow the trajectory of the Vietnam or Afghanistan war. With the same result, the war will drag on for years, until Russian withdrawal.

        So how long will the war last?

        It depends.

        How long will Putin keep attacking?

        • Jenny are we there yet


          On a seemingly completely unrelated matter; I was reading the history of the First King Charles.
          King Charles the First was charged with treason against Parliament. But one of the more peculiar of the other related charges brought against KC1, was continuing the war after it was lost. A charge even the Royalist army generals supported.

        • Francesca

          But Jenny , haven't you heard ?

          The Russians are on the run , they've run out of missiles several times over, they haven't got the men or wherewithal to keep on going , their economy has been in tatters since Obama's time , Putin is dying, has been for years, a palace coup is imminent, since 2014 at least, Russian soldiers are surrendering, dying of cold,without weapons or food or cold weather gear, China and India have turned against them, told Putin off, thrown away the key.And all this since about March 2022.With all their generals killed and only untrained 50 year old conscripts thin on the ground, no more missiles , I would have thought the far superior Ukrainian army, with right and Nato (synonymous)on their side would have been in Crimea by now, let alone Moscow.Whats the hold up?

          • Jenny are we there yet

            You are making a straw man argument. I have never claimed any of those things.
            In my opinion the Russian Federation has more than enough military capacity and potential to continue attacking Ukraine indefinitely.
            So what?
            Despite America's huge military capacity and potential eventually the US withdrew from Vietnam. The US had the capacity to carry on the war in Vietnam for another decade, easily and possibly even indefinitely.. Some commentators in the US argued that if the US had just "Stayed the course" the US would have eventually won in Vietnam. Afghanistan proved that theory wrong.
            Americans thought they would win in Afghanistan, if they just, "Stayed the course". The Afghanistan war became the longest war in US history and the US still lost.
            As long Russia keeps attacking the Ukrainians will keep resisting.
            Like the US in Vietnam and Afghanistan, the RF despite their huge military resources and potential will eventually withdraw because to continue will have no point.

  7. Visubversa 7

    What the current contraversy about "Drag" has at its roots.

    "once they donned blackface, white men could “sing, dance, speak, move, and act in ways that were considered inappropriate for white men.” When men appear in drag, they can sing, dance, speak, move, and act in ways that some people still consider inappropriate for men. If we have moved past blackface, it’s hard to understand why we cannot move past drag."


    • Francesca 7.1

      That's an excellent piece .I've always felt that drag is a colossal piss take at the expense of women .Hypersexualised , soft porn, male fantasy projections should not target children .

      • Visubversa 7.1.1

        Absolutely – we managed to learn how to read without the assistance of some bloke calling himself "Suzi Slutski" or similar and dressed in nightclub gear at 10am. You have to wonder why children should be taught not to trust the evidence of their eyes and ears when it comes to the sex of the people they might meet.

  8. Sacha 8

    Doesn’t need to be overcomplicated.

    • Ed 8.1

      The war started in 2014.

      Did you know that detail?

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        No Ed, I'm really stupid.

      • Jenny are we there yet 8.1.2


        27 December 2022 at 10:51 pm

        The war started in 2014.

        Did you know that detail?

        I did actually.

        Godwin's law, short for Godwin's law (or rule) of Nazi analogies, the longer a dispute goes on the probability of a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches 1.


        Putin’s excuse for invading Ukraine is Godwin's law writ large.

        [link added. Take a few days off for repeatedly ignoring the requested conventions here. – weka]

        • Francesca

          Ok, so all those who compare Putin to Hitler ,the childish Putler etc, have by Godwin's law also lost the internet debate

        • mikesh

          That's not "Godwin's Law". Godwin's Law uses analogies to Hitler, or the Nazies, in debates which have nothing to do with either. Ed made a statement about Nazies in Ukraine, which was intended as astatent of fact, and not analogous to anything, though of course any statement of that type may be contested.

        • weka

          mod note.

    • Francesca 8.2

      From one of the comments below the tweet

      "If Ukraine keeps fighting there will be no Ukraine .After Russia is done ,Hungary,Poland and the rest will take back their part of what remains"


      Doesn't need to be complicated

      • Ed 8.2.1

        And another comment below states that Ukraine ….

        had been shelling the Donbas for 8 years. Does anybody think that he would not start shelling again if the Russians left tomorrow.

        • Sacha

          Yes, I'm sure they just love attacking their own citizens.

        • joe90

          had been shelling the Donbas for 8 years.

          Russia has spent 8 years trying to steal one of Ukraine's most valuable economic resources; the estimated 60 billion tonne coal reserve that's vital to Ukrainian industry.

          • Ed

            Your source? I thought we were expected to provide links for unsubstantiated claims.

            I know you are aware there was a coup d'etat in 2014, in which the democratically elected government of the Ukraine as removed by far right agitators, supported by the neoconservative cabal in the U.S.

            Context is essential to understanding.



            • RedLogix

              I think we can glean from the tenor of this article the necessary context to understand where your Prof. Sotirovic is coming from.

              • Ed

                There was a coup d'etat in 2014, in which the democratically elected government of the Ukraine as removed by far right agitators, supported by the neoconservative cabal in the U.S.

                You can keep shooting the many messengers, but historical fact is just that.


                • RedLogix

                  You can use whatever labels you like – but the whole story of the Maidan Revolution is a lot more complex than the idiot simplification you want us to believe.

                  No-one here should be fool enough to think all sides were lily-white in their motives and conduct. A nation struggling to emerge from being an exploited colony of the Russian Empire was notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional – as all ex-marxist states are. At the same time successive Ukrainian govts from 2002 onward had sought better economic ties with the EU – a trend that is also undeniable on the facts.

                  Yanukovych's democratic mandate evaporated when he backed away from this movement to escape this Russian noose around their neck. And no amount of Western meddling would have made any difference if there had not also been a critical mass of ordinary Ukrainian people willing to openly protest and risk death for this cause.

                  Of course Poots immediate response to these events was not negotiation, not diplomacy but to invade and annexe Crimea – and act of such egregious bad faith that it inexorably set us on the path to the the present slaughter.

                  Maybe somewhere in your imagination you are still protesting the Vietnam war, or perhaps still grieving for the fall of the Soviet Union – but this juvenile narrative in your head that – everything Russian = blameless and wonderful; and everything Western = vile and corrupt – is as cartoonish as would be the converse narrative.

                  Of course typing out anti-US, anti-Western narratives on the internet has long been a certain path to collecting hard-left purity points. Triple score if you hang trigger words like 'neo-conservative' and 'hard-right' into the mix. And what is more in this western liberal democracy you hate so much, we typically indulge you in this. Here we are almost a year into this and here you are still getting a free pass to repeat whatever nonsense and disinformation you like.

                  When of course – as you know full well – the same privilege would not be accorded to you if you lived in Russia. (Which if you were sincere in what you tell us – you would have already moved there and be telling us first hand how wonderful it is.)

                  • Incognito

                    Here we are almost a year into this and here you are still getting a free pass to repeat whatever nonsense and disinformation you like.

                    What do you suggest? Censoring, cancelling, banning, something else? If anything, on what grounds, i.e., grounds that contravene TS Policy and/or are deliberate nonsense and misinformation beyond reasonable doubt?

                    When of course – as you know full well – the same privilege would not be accorded to you if you lived in Russia.

                    This seems to suggest that it is ok to give out free passes and commenting privileges even to peddlers of nonsense and misinformation.

                    There’s a lot of confusion and internal conflict in your comments lately that evolve around free speech.

                    • RedLogix

                      I suggest you might have read more into that than intended. As you well know I have consistently argued for free speech (within the usual bounds and consequences).

                      This seems to suggest that it is ok to give out free passes and commenting privileges even to peddlers of nonsense and misinformation.

                      Well take for example Ed's claim below at 12:28pm – that Russian language is banned in Ukraine. Obvious nonsense and easily debunked. As far as I am concerned the correct response to disinformation is to provide the evidence and counter the argument. Nowhere have I suggested our resident crew of pro-Poots tankies should be banned or censored.

                      On the other hand it is also reasonable to point out that Russian law at present, convicts and sentences people to prison for the offence of merely calling the Ukrainian 'Special Operation' by it's proper name – a war. Actually criticising the war is likely to attract an attack of Russian gravity from third floor window.

                      I am genuinely not sure why you should think this inconsistent.

                    • Incognito []

                      My comment was an invitation to you to elaborate and clarify and you obliged, so thank you.

                      It is still unclear to me what you suggest [we do] with commenters such as Ed who “repeat[s] whatever nonsense and disinformation [he] like[s]”. For example, how many times does the commentariat have to debunk his claims, especially the same claim that’s allegedly (!) easily debunked, before a Mod steps in?

                      Russian law is irrelevant here on TS and as such, I have no interest in it. What I am interested in is upholding the principles of free speech and the kaupapa of this site.

                    • RedLogix

                      Russian law is irrelevant here on TS and as such,

                      Well yes. I was only pointing out Ed's gross hypocrisy, running apologist lines for a regime that absolutely crushes free speech, while exploiting his privilege here for the same – to the max.

                      Maybe I should have just left this obvious contradiction unstated.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, it is (gross) hypocrisy, but that is a very low threshold for anything. Spreading nonsense and disinformation is much more serious and this has my considerable attention and interest and yours too. So, what do we (…) do about it, if anything, except for calling out, countering, and/or debunking? That’s the real question, IMO.

                    • Ed

                      I have no right of reply to RL’s fraudulent allegations against me.

                      Jester and I have been censored and silenced for daring to question the neocon narrative.

                    • Incognito []

                      I have no right of reply to RL’s fraudulent allegations against me.

                      Not until you’ve dealt with your Mod note and you’ve been wasting Moderator time and I’m getting impatient.

                      Jester and I have been censored and silenced for daring to question the neocon narrative.

                      Nope. Jester chose to leave on his own accord. You were both modded for making unsubstantiated accusations about censoring and silencing here on TS. Plenty of commenters here flip their lids about neocon, neoliberal, and neo-what-have-you – Jester and you are not special cases at all and by no means ‘activist heroes turning into martyrs’. If you think you’re fighting some kind of ‘holy war’ here like the anti-woke crusaders then you are seriously deluded.

                    • Sacha

                      If people are not conversing in good faith, they are better off gone .

                    • Incognito []

                      Making up false accusations about censorship on TS almost guarantees self-martyrdom aka stupidity. The Venn diagram of such commenters and commenters not debating in good faith is two circles with a large overlap. This makes it easier for the Mods 😉

                  • Ed

                    I am unable to debate this point quickly with you as I have been put into moderation.

                  • mikesh

                    Yet the Ukraninian people, knowing that Yanukovich was "pro Russia", nevertheless elected him president.

                    As I understand matters, Yanukovich tried to obtain a deal with Europe, but latter kept putting obstacles in his path. I don't think they really wanted Ukraine in Europe – hardly surprising really given Ukraine's for corruption – but it's my guess they were negotiating to keep the Americans happy.

                    Also it's my understanding that the separatists were not originally looking to separate from Ukraine altogether. What they wanted was for a federal arrangement which would give them some leeway to live in accordance with their own Russian culture. It was the illegal ousting of Yanukovich that triggered that sentiment. However the fascists weren't having any of "that sort of nonsense" and started a war against them.

          • Francesca

            Well just maybe the counterfeit Ukrainian govt in 2014 shouldn't have sent the tanks in to eliminate Russian Ukrainians .Not a good way to make friends and influence people

            • Ed

              Or banned their language.

              • RedLogix

                Another nonsense.

                Ukraine’s language law, which has been implemented in phases, establishes Ukrainian as the country’s sole state language. The law requires Ukrainian to be primarily used in business, school and media settings. However, it does not ban the use of Russian or other languages.

                Most Ukrainians speak both and continue to do so perfectly legally. The laws referred to established Ukrainian as the official state language. Most nations have similar laws.

                • Ed

                  I am not sure I can answer you.

                • Francesca

                  You're kind of fudging the law changes in Ukraine .Regional language status was granted to Russian and other minority languages in 2012., recognising the preponderance of Ukrainian Russians in certain regions.

                  It was the Party of Regions who got this bill through, under Yanukovich who had been voted in largely by the Eastern and the Southern regions, obviously a majority at that time

                  That meant Russian could be used in courts , schools and govt institutions in regions where those minorities exceeded 10%.

                  This was changed in 2019 when Ukrainian was made compulsory in all areas of public life including political parties.

                  Exceptions were made for the official languages of the EU, and some minorities, but Russian , Yiddish!!! and Belarusian were expressly excluded., which drew criticism from the Venice Commission and Human Rights Watch , and several EU members

                  Ukraine could have become a federation with semi autonomous regions but instead chose to fan the flames of nationalism, a point not missed by many Jews


                • Francesca

                  We have three official languages and Russia has 24, Serbia 10,Canada 2.all in recognition of the various resident minorities.Ukraine has a sizeable Russian minority, the largest outside Russia.I get that Ukraine has been squeezed over the centuries with constantly changing borders, and the larger Empires dominating.But nationalism , such as it expressed itself during the second world war has a very ugly and dangerous side indeed , one that the US that other ugly empire is only too ready to exploit for its own purposes


            • Stuart Munro

              *citation required.

              And let's have a reputable source for a change, if you please.

              • Francesca

                Can’t tell if you’re wanting a citation from me

                Wikipedia too Kremlinesque for you ?


                and lets have a reputable source for a change please
                You’ll have to issue a list of what you consider to be reputable , can be very subjective
                What a wanker … if you please

                • Stuart Munro

                  Charming as it always is to be called a wanker by a preening faux leftist that idolizies genocidal dictators, and refreshing as it is to see you dig deep enough to find a source not entirely comprised of the pathetic Kremlin fictions you typically prefer (Wikipedia! but a great leap forward in your case rofl), it was not your untenable claim about Russian language that I tasked you to support – that particular fiction having been thoroughly debunked upthread by another commentor.

                  Well just maybe the counterfeit Ukrainian govt in 2014 shouldn't have sent the tanks in to eliminate Russian Ukrainians .Not a good way to make friends and influence people

                  It is distasteful to lie as you do, but it shows your quality I suppose, that you are incapable of recognizing the legitimacy of the government of Ukraine.

                  The assertion you needed to support however was that that government had sent in tanks to eliminate Russian Ukrainians. We understand of course, that a person that lies as often as yourself is wont to lose track, and await your withdrawal and apology – your enthusiasm clearly got the better of you and your respect for fact proved unable to restrain it.

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