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Everything posted by MSC

  1. He probably fears both, but the latter more, so you're mostly correct. Although since the state started trying to crack down on foreign and independent news sources, downloads of VPNs in Russia have increased dramatically and Russians living outside of Russia are attempting to keep another information back channel with friends and relatives back home. As it stands; Russian resistance to Putins Regime is something it is difficult for us outside of Russia to get reliable information about, since the state will want to not only crush said resistance, but pretend like it doesn't exist as well. Outside of Russia we have heard about protests and mass arrests, but what are we not hearing about? How many figures in authority have spoken out and disappeared? Have their been violent protests? Are their any regional governments who are at odds with the Kremlin over this? Etc. There is probably a lot more going on than it is possible for us to hear about at this moment in time. They are attempting to rebuild the iron curtain. Putin, as a dictator, will be actively setting into motion the implementation of further isolating Russians from the rest of the world. Putin is already starting to mistrust the military and his advisors, while his growing paranoia will present and express itself far differently to say someone like Donald Trump, it is still growing paranoia. It's kind of like a bad guy paranoia feedback loop. You do some fucked up shit, you get more paranoid about being held accountable for that fucked up shit, so you do some more fucked up shit to try to avoid accountability but then just end up even more paranoid and the process repeats itself over and over until a breaking point is reached and you've done so much fucked up shit to everyone that you can no longer trust that a single person won't want some form of revenge or satisfaction from you. Oooooh. Attacking the credibility of members of the military... dumb move. That will come back to bite them in the ass I bet. Not a good comparison. Economic sanctions and confiscation of goods and property are completely different from killing these people. I support the former, not the latter. My support of the former does not suggest or imply that I would support the latter.
  2. He does fear the Russian people holding him accountable. Most of what he does, the cries of "fake news" from "western media", are less for convincing the international community, and more for convincing Russians within Russia. It's a pity that at 69 he looks so healthy. I'm currently holding faith in the fact that nobody is out of reach of the tragedies of nature... if either the Russian people or a health problem could just make him disappear or hand him over to the ICC that would be great. Another Dicktator bites the dust. (I MISPELLED NOTHING! 😆)
  3. Ohhh... so it's more like a highlander thing than a cult then? There can be only one... to which all the chocolate belongs! Nah, can't do that. My wife would kill us both.
  4. I thought he was already sniffing up all of Putins farts as they came? We are already feeling some of the impact now. Gas prices have shot up where we are and probably will some more. We are still comparatively better off than Russia and especially the Ukraine. I'm willing to bare the cost, if Russians feel it tenfold and it gives more light to Ukraine at the end of the tunnel. I'd pay 1000% more if I knew it would save and spare Ukrainians from their current waking nightmare. Especially their children. As a parent; I can't even imagine what people are going through there. That alone scares me. It's Ukraine today, but where tomorrow? The Berlin wall keeps moving. How long before Putin decides to try his luck at pushing another front? His troops are already doing war games now on the islands of North Japan, engaging in maneuvers training in beach defense. One thing I also fear, is what China may be planning. If I was president Xi, at least a small part of me would be wondering whether or not making moves on Taiwan, could be done with less media attention if it runs concurrently with Putins invasion of Ukraine? Btw I've had a few drinks tonight, so I apologize if I sound more dramatic than usual 😆
  5. Ahhh yes, the whole "it's obvious" spiel. Usually a lame attempt to try to make someone feel stupid for daring to disagree with or challenge someone's claims.
  6. https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-zelenskyy-kyiv-europe-evacuations-665fd06b92852547d7b27627b99509a6?dc_data=2260831_samsung-carnival-us&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=taboola_news&ui=8594a598-1013-4c9c-b601-dd642e5d9b5a-tuct943396f If this turns out to be true, then Russia has a lot to answer for. This is just cruel and barbaric at this point. How exactly is this justified? Ukraine won't remain neutral so you kill, torture and rape them in their home? If anybody says something along the lines of "Oh well they should have surrendered early then this would not have happened." I sincerely hope you get banned. I've no patience for victim blaming bs. It almost feels as if Putin is actively trying to provoke NATO into action so he can turn it around and claim he's actually being victimized by the west.
  7. Putin is no Pussy cat and he certainly is not imaginary. I'm finding it very difficult to take you at all seriously. You don't really seem to have the slightest idea as to what you're talking about and I'm not the only one who has picked up on that. Thank you for sharing your opinions on this matter. They tell me everything I need to know about you. I don't think we have anything more to discuss. I don't care for your ifs and maybes in regards to Hitler and Churchill and I think your suggestion of capitulation and submission to Putin, after the deaths of innocent children at the hands of the Russian Army, hint at the complete lack of a spine and complete disrespect to victims of war crimes. Ahhh now I see. Thank you. Although the Good, The Bad and the Ugly is okay. I enjoyed it 😆 I don't know, Churchill was sincere enough for me in wartime. Hitlers speeches were very sincere, it doesn't make them good speeches though and being sincere about wanting to exterminate jews certainly doesn't win you any awards with me... except maybe an award for being the world's biggest shit.
  8. Probably... to both questions. I'm unfamiliar with the phrase "all front" in this context. Could you expand on what you mean exactly?
  9. He was a politician. So of course he was a lying windbag. That's not news. He was still right about Hitler. Take my head out of the tigers mouth of course. I'm certainly not going to speak to it.
  10. - Winston Churchill (Fictitious line from the movie Darkest hour) To be clear, he never said this exactly. However I find the phrase at least to be meaningful in this situation. What he apparently did say, was that you cannot reason with cynical immorality or from a position of weakness.
  11. Agreed. Something we can both agree on. +1 On the slightly better news, reports are coming in that the Russian Army has formally given back control of the Chernobyl facilities to Ukraine and the troops that were stationed there and nearby are heading back to Belarus.... wonder how many of them need treatment for radiation poisoning? These are early stage reports coming from the Ukrainian government and the USA so there is a small chance this may not be the case or it may be a Russian ruse. That being said; Removing Putin would leave a power vacuum, dangerous for its own reasons but at this point the devil we know is still the devil.
  12. Ahhh good. There is the bush I was beating around. Literally for all we know, some of the slaves they owned were clarences ancestors.... although from what I've heard of Jefferson, he could be too. Think key and peele did a sketch about it too. Personally, I sometimes just wonder whether or not Clarence Thomas uses judicial philosophical views held in bad faith as a bad faith smoke screen for blatant corruption. I mean the man can't even write a book without it becoming a conservative best seller. The scary thing to me; is that Thomas has had such an Influence on the court, that his methods of originalist interpretation are now being adopted by the other conservative justices and judges on other courts. A lot of his past students and mentees are a stones through away from an SC nomination themselves. Kavanaugh also utilizes a lot of it too. There is little doubt in my mind that unless judicial reform takes place, we'll be dealing with Thomas like justices and verdicts for quite awhile. That said, the continuation of more of that, is also likely to bring on louder calls for reform and further erosion of public faith and trust in SCOTUS.
  13. I can't help but wonder how the founding fathers would react to Thomas being on the Supreme Court at all. I've got a funny feeling that they would have nothing progressive to say about it whatsoever. I sincerely hope the irony of that is not lost on Thomas. If he were a true originalist, he'd never have sought the nomination in the first place. I believe the court needs a diverse set of voices, but I'm pretty sure the founding fathers had only old white men in mind for a Supreme Court justice seat when drafting the original constitution.
  14. No need! I can screen shot to save you opening the file.
  15. Fucking hell! That's a new low. Although now that I think about it, I do remember reading a prediction that this would come down to attrition. Russians are falling back on the age old strategy of punishing civilians with starvation in the hopes of forcing the leadership to surrender. 😕 or even forcing the civilians to usurp the leadership and surrendering just for food. A small silver lining, although I'm not sure if it has been confirmed, is that a number of the soldiers in the Russian Army are sabotaging their own equipment and vehicles in an attempt to stay out of the fighting. I'm beginning to wonder if the Ukrainians ought to set up loudspeakers and broadcasting systems to blast the Russian army with the facts of the situation across the entire warfront and on Putins regime. Taking advantage of their distance from the propaganda bubble back in Russia could cause desertion and disobedience among their ranks to increase. I can't really say how effective it would be but might be worth a shot.
  16. - https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/30/impeach-supreme-court-justice-clarence-thomas-00021480 I highly recommend reading the rest of the text in the link. I highlighted and shared the portion that shares the statute related to the topic. I find it an enjoyable read, even if it was just an opinion piece. I'm just glad it referenced the statute tbh. I find it fascinating. If Thomas were a judge on any other court and something in regards to his wife came onto his docket, he would probably recuse himself. After reading this, even on the Supreme Court he would have an impossible task of convincing any but the most deluded that he would not need to recuse himself for that. I just don't see how you could argue away reasonable suspicions of impropriety there. The chief justice role is more so meant for an office of a senate court judge and for leading and presiding over hearings in the SC itself. That's why he presided over both of Trumps impeachment. Obviously I know you already know that Inow, I'm just trying to be thorough and descript for the sake of others reading who might be thinking the chief justice doesn't seem to have much of a real difference in roles than the other judges. After reading what we wrote. Why 18 year term limits though? Not disagreeing just wondered what the reasoning is on the number. All that drives my 10 year ideal is the uniformity of a new court for every decade. SC judge: "I'm so impartial that I can decide on whether or not I can be impartial in a given case... because I'm impartial." 😆
  17. It is worth asking. I don't think he would fall back on a nuclear option or escalate conflicts if he lost the support of Belarus. Ultimately putin wants to desperately cling to power in Russia. He does not want to lose it. So long as his life and power in Russia are not in the crosshairs, he'll practice tactical self restraint. He will still draw up plans to undo or mitigate the loss for sure. But losing Belarus will not be the backed into a corner moment for Putin that we all fear. It will stress him out and make him sweat and that could be dangerous for a whole lot of reasons. I don't even think he'd do it if NATO did directly intervene in Ukraine either. I think he's bluffing. He's not stupid. He knows using the nuclear option is also a threat to his life and power. I don't think he'll use it until he is convinced that he is imminently about to lose his grip on Russia and all of the protection from his enemies that gives him. Most leaders know that using nuclear weapons is only ever going to invite those same weapons being used in retribution. No winners, just losers. This mentality is what makes Putin so dangerous. If he starts to lose a game, he'll freak out and flip the table over so nobody gets to play, win or punish him for losing. The nuclear option is not about winning. It is about mutually assured destruction. If I go, you go. However, if Russia has the technology to effectively defend itself from multiple nuclear attacks, then I'm really not sure of anything I have just said. Not really. Now those industries will have just went underground and are no longer paying any taxes and cannot be regulated at all. Taxes that could have funded addiction therapy programs. Would have just been better to pass more regulations for those businesses to have maximum loss limits and other methods of protecting addicts. There may be less drunks or gambling addicts in public, but behind closed doors, who can say? More alcohol is being bought per capita today than during the Soviet era. If I assume that you are correct, and that there are less drunks in public spaces, then I can only conclude that more alcohol is being either consumed at home or stockpiled. I lean more towards the former rather than the latter.
  18. A copy is in your war games thread, but I have it downloaded so can put a copy here too. rus.pdf
  19. Man wait until you see the spikes in their alcohol consumption per capita under Yeltsin and Putin..
  20. My God! You mean to say that he saw people going around exercising their rights? Well they had some nerve! Better put a stop to these rights by making them illegal! Let's just be honest, if you can't be a good cop on camera, why the fuck would anyone trust you to be a good cop off camera? I've literally heard of cops speaking in favour of ending internet anonymity using the whole "but if you've got nothing to hide." argument. Why doesn't the same apply here. If you are a cop with nothing to hide, why would you care? Most of them have their own body and dash cameras now, and CCTV is everywhere and our phones are listening to everything we say. You take that shit away now, where is the law and order? I can't decide which is worse; that this is so unconstitutional or just so stupid and idiotic!
  21. He also used to be a left leaning black nationalist. Not once in the 30+ years he has been an SC Judge, has he recused himself. Not a once. He won't anytime soon either. Thomas's story is a very confusing one. He'll make a bit more sense to you after I explain... but despite knowing his history, I still find who he is today perplexing and at times, positively aggravating to say the least. He was born in the 40s in Georgia. I forget the name of his birth town, I only know he loved it there. While he was still young, his family moved to Savannah Georgia. This was while things were still segregated. His first experience of racism, according to his own words, actually came from other black people. One of the things said of him by people there "he's so dark, if he was any blacker, he'd be blue.". Prior to the end of segregation, class divides in black communities was much more of a factor than it tends to be today. Within his all black community there, the darkness of his skin in comparison to others was a sign of being lower class within the black community while having a lighter skin color was usually perceived as being upper class. Thomas fundamentally believes that white people are incapable of not being racist. He has often espoused support for racial separatist ideology. Believing that black people must be the leaders of their own communities. As a judge, he is a strict originalist when it comes to constitutional interpretation. In stark contrast to myself as a pragmatist and instrumentalist. It must be said, understanding Clarence Thomas is something that I don't think many people, including myself, are very good at. I'm only familiar with his upbringing and how influential that was in the formation of his belief system. However what I think influences him most today, is his relationship with his wife. Of which, I know little. I often wonder how we would answer the question were it put to him "How have black people benefitted from having you on the Supreme Court for 30 years?" I'll probably need to do more research now because this thread has repiqued my curiosity on this subject. I suppose I'll start with his wife's upbringing first. I think he should recuse himself. I don't believe he will though. Unfortunately the Supreme Court justices have sole discretion in deciding whether or not they can remain impartial and they customarily close ranks when it comes to that. It's an extremely difficult area of law to make the SC judicial guidelines legal requirements. If you or I were a lawyer, even the appearance of impropriety could have us disbarred. Unfortunately as it stands, failure to recuse yourself from cases where you may have a personal inability to remain impartial, is not a crime, the appearance of impropriety, is not a crime. Therefore you can't really impeach a SCOTUS judge for not recusing yourself. It's a tremendous oversight in the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances in the USA. I don't really know how it can be remedied without enough support in the legislative and executive branches to make changes to how a Supreme Court Judge can behave on the bench. Sometimes to me, it feels like the checks and balances system can sometimes lead to situations where the other branches cannot check and balance the other, without doing so in a way that may also require a check and balance on that. In my opinion, the least that could be done is the ending of lifetime appointments for SC judges. I feel that there has got to be a more democratic way and more public inclusion on who gets to wield so much power for such a long time. Thomas has been on the court for 30+ years, a lot of changes have taken place in that time. The voters who picked George Bush, who nominated Thomas, are not all the same voters today. Is there a good reason why the voters of today should not have any say in who sits in each of those SC seats presently? Not just for Thomas but for all the rest too? Even a public vote once a decade is better than someone having that much power well into senility.
  22. For no other reason than to destroy the OP with witty retorts. You guys got to have all the fun! @swansont I don't know why but this had me in stitches, really! Also if believing chocolate is better than vanilla, makes you a cult, that's fine. More chocolate for the cult!
  23. From what I can gather, it is not true. In fact, per capita consumption has risen under both Yeltsin and Putin and is much higher than it was during the Soviet Era. While Putin is responsible for more aggressive policies in tackling alcoholism, the increase suggests it has only sent drinking culture underground and out of sight. It's lower than what it was between 2000-2005 but still higher than it's lowest point between 1980-1990. Putin has been in power since the year 2000 and was in power when alcohol consumption was at its highest. I think the perception that it has gotten lower, can be explained by the fact that it's not happening in public spaces as much. At least, that's what my interpretation of the attachment is. I may have misread it, so you can check for yourself and correct me where I'm wrong. rus.pdf
  24. I was being sarcastic tbh. Different now yes, but once similar. The biggest differences I'm picking up on are cultural. No Scottish person would have missed my sarcasm. In all seriousness though; you have my sympathies for your current lot in life. I don't think it is that anyone was lied to, just given the truth at varying levels of complexity. If I had a dime for everytime I heard a teacher say "forgot what I said about that last year" because this year I was ready for a more detailed account of the subject... it's annoying but it's how education works. No need. You held your own respectfully. I owe you the apology for doing a little temperament testing. Good news; you're not as hot headed as I am 😆
  25. I very much doubt that is a course of action which will allow for any sort of "winner". Nobody will win a nuclear war. We'll all lose. I agree to some extent; although worsening conditions and the presidential job having become much more difficult and complex within the last century definitely adds to the perception they have been getting worse. I kind of feel bad for Biden. He inherited governance over a very chaotic geopolitical landscape, domestically and on the international front. The one thing I really don't like about opinion polls, is a tendency to blame the executive branch for things largely beyond its control. If that tendency didn't exist, I think opinion polls would be a little bit kinder and fairer. Now, getting back to Russia and the Ukraine. I see some historical similarities in the Kremlins motivations in attacking Ukraine, to the Soviet unions attitudes toward west Berlin before the wall came down. In East Berlin you had rampant poverty and hardship for its citizens while the people of West Berlin seemed to be enjoying the fruits of democracy and capitalism. It's kind of difficult to convince your people that the grass is not greener on the otherside, when they can take a peak over a wall and see that it is not true. In my opinion, and just my opinion, Putins Oligarchy sees western democracy as a threat, not to Russia directly, but to the minds of the Russian people. It has been said before, Russia is a sleeping bear, slow to rouse but strong and ferocious when awake. This is why in the past, many rulers have done their best to keep an iron grip on their power and their illusion of power over the people of Russia. I think it can probably be said of most countries, that the biggest threat to their governments, comes from within the borders, not beyond them. Ukraine is on the brink of joining the EU, if it were to somehow defy the odds and force the Russians to give up their "special military operation" coughinvasioncough... it will attempt to either join or make treaties with NATO to secure promises of more direct help in the event of another Russian offensive. This is why, I believe, the war in the Ukraine has not even gotten close to an end yet, it may very well have some cold periods, but it could be months to years before the conflict is truly over. From Putins perspective, any border Russia shares with western democracy is a threat. Mostly for the reasons stated above, however in the case of conventional warfare, Putins Oligarchy wants as much distance as it can get, between Moscow and it's enemies to the West. Russias disruptive foreign policy, is born of its recognition of its geographical weaknesses in fending off a military invasion from its enemies. As it stands, a strong force setting off from the Scandinavian territories, could theoretically make to and take Moscow and the Kremlin, long before reinforcements are roused, readied, and sent from Eastern Russia. Putin is an extremely dangerous man. His advisors are too afraid to tell him the truth about how the conflict in the Ukraine is really going. Which he is now aware of and this makes him even more mistrustful. I don't really know what to make of his implicit nuclear threats, but I don't take them lightly. I think in a direct confrontation with NATO, if he felt his power was truly threatened and on the brink of being lost, I think he would genuinely fall back on the nuclear option, and release Armageddon. Ultimately, I think the people with the most power to stop Putin, while keeping the world away from midnight, are the people of Russia. Медведи, просыпайтесь и деритесь*
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