Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
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09-05-2014, 02:37 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(07-05-2014 08:58 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  So it is a simple fact, that for peace to be guaranteed in Europe - sovereign borders must remain untouchable and holy.

See that quote above, Cjlr? It states unequivocally that secession must never be allowed. No matter how badly a region feels like an oppressed minority, they must subject themselves to the will of the ruling majority at the national level. See that it got 7 likes? That attitude is very common. In the US, the same thing happened last year when the WH got a petition to allow Texas to secede. Obama's answer was 'No, not under any circumstances'. Not even if Texans were unanimous. Not even if Texas agreed to buy back all Federal property at double fair market value. If Texas tried to leave, it would lead to a civil war because the federal government would rather see bloodshed then let them have their freedom.

I have pointed out that, as of today, on paper, the one that is calling for local autonomous rule, something that originated with Western classic liberal federalism, is actually Russia. And it's the West that has taken the position, like the @TheGermansarecoming that this must not be tolerated.

This very issue is, in fact, the single central point in every post I've made; it always comes down to one group forcing another to do something against their will.

You're throwing up ridiculous strawmen, like suggesting that I somehow endorsed Russia's military action (I didn't) that I'm "just peachy" with one country militarily overthrowing another (I'm not). Read my OP again. I never made any comment about Russia's military actions. My OP says "it was Russia that said". I was VERY clear that I was commenting on the official positions on paper that Russia and the West laid out--not what was actually happening on the ground. As I acknowledged, I don't know what happened on the ground. However the media's official explanation doesn't make sense since the US would have called for election monitors.

(09-05-2014 11:09 AM)cjlr Wrote:  I can't decide whether your misunderstanding is deliberate, and thus dishonest, or inadvertent, and thus stupid. It is chronic either way.

For once we agree. Yes, why ARE you constantly "misunderstanding" everything I write? When I point out that Putin, like Thomas Jefferson, is calling for local, autonomous jurisdictions, and it's the West, founded on this very Federalist system, who are against it, somehow you insisting this observation means I somehow favor military action and one country invading another.

I've said, without wavering, that I believe every human being has a right to exercise free will, without being forced to do something against his will through threats of violence or coercion. Every time I've gotten into a debate it's always boiled down to this one issue. So is your constant misunderstanding deliberate or inadvertent?
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09-05-2014, 02:57 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2014 03:09 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 02:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 08:58 AM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  So it is a simple fact, that for peace to be guaranteed in Europe - sovereign borders must remain untouchable and holy.

See that quote above, Cjlr? It states unequivocally that secession must never be allowed. No matter how badly a region feels like an oppressed minority, they must subject themselves to the will of the ruling majority at the national level. See that it got 7 likes? That attitude is very common. In the US, the same thing happened last year when the WH got a petition to allow Texas to secede. Obama's answer was 'No, not under any circumstances'. Not even if Texans were unanimous. Not even if Texas agreed to buy back all Federal property at double fair market value. If Texas tried to leave, it would lead to a civil war because the federal government would rather see bloodshed then let them have their freedom.

Yes. That's nice. Other people think other things. Imagine that.

(09-05-2014 02:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I have pointed out that, as of today, on paper, the one that is calling for local autonomous rule, something that originated with Western classic liberal federalism, is actually Russia. And it's the West that has taken the position, like the @TheGermansarecoming that this must not be tolerated.

This very issue is, in fact, the single central point in every post I've made; it always comes down to one group forcing another to do something against their will.

You're throwing up ridiculous strawmen, like suggesting that I somehow endorsed Russia's military action (I didn't) that I'm "just peachy" with one country militarily overthrowing another (I'm not). Read my OP again. I never made any comment about Russia's military actions. My OP says "it was Russia that said".

There's rather a gaping hole in that patented "logic" of yours, friend.
Actions speak louder than words.

You began thus:
(07-05-2014 08:00 AM)frankksj Wrote:  What is the world coming to when, before Crimeans voted on seceding from Ukraine, it was Russia that said they would respect the will of the people and honor their choice, and it was the west who was adamant that no matter what the outcome of the vote, even if the Crimeans were 100% unanimous in a decision to secede, the will of the people and their right to self-determination would NEVER be tolerated.

You rapidly diverged from reality with such statements as:
(07-05-2014 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(07-05-2014 10:39 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Russia invaded a province of a neighboring nation with non-insigniad troops, expelled the local government, put pro-Russian warlords in charge of local services with support from Russian special forces, then held a vote for separation from Ukraine while Russian troops marched the streets and pro-Russian militias held government buildings. Interestingly, that vote had an extraordinarily high turnout in Sevastopol, over 60%; but less than 10% in parts of Crimea that still support Ukraine. This is a pattern that can indicate election fraud. In any event the measure passed, Crimea separated from Ukraine, and is now in the process of being annexed by Russia.

This didn't happen.

This is, as it happens, laughably false. You doubled down on falsehood:
(07-05-2014 11:13 AM)frankksj Wrote:  IF Russia had done this, then the West would have rightly said that the UN should place election monitors in Crimea to ensure that the vote on succession was fair and unbiased. And, given Putin's very public stand that he would respect the will of the Crimeans, it would have been politically impossible for Putin to resist UN election monitors. So the vote would have been an obvious “no” if, as you claim, Crimea was actually “invaded by warlords” who overthrew their local government. But the opposite happened. The West didn't call for a monitored, fair vote. They said that no matter what the outcome of the vote they would NEVER respect the Crimean people's right to self-determination. That stance was, effectively, an admission that the West knew fully well the people of Crimea wanted to join Russia and viewed Russia as a protector—not an invader.

This was likewise pointed out to you:
(07-05-2014 01:47 PM)John Wrote:  I'm not by any strech an advocate of the acting regime in Ukraine, nor the previous one for that matter, but blatant partisan misinformation like the end of your OP drives me nuts.

(09-05-2014 02:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I was VERY clear that I was commenting on the official positions on paper that Russia and the West laid out--not what was actually happening on the ground. As I acknowledged, I don't know what happened on the ground. However the media's official explanation doesn't make sense since the US would have called for election monitors.

It's been explained to you why that didn't happen, notwithstanding the OCSE observers who tried to enter Crimea were turned away with gunfire.

Seeing your inanity, I weighed in, and you promptly accused me if "ignoring" your point.

You then went on a bizarre tangent about oil, with such winning statements as:
(08-05-2014 09:44 AM)frankksj Wrote:  I pointed out the undisputed historical fact that, without exception, every time an oil producing country has tried to sell oil in another currency, the US has fabricated some "crisis" to justify invading the country or sanctions to block the sale.
And even better:
(08-05-2014 02:47 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Can you name one time since the US adopted a fiat currency that an oil producing started selling oil in non us $ that did not result in the US invading the country, or blocking their sale of oil with sanctions?

Which is, not surprisingly given track record of your ever-so-insightful "questions", not only completely false but irrelevant.

You went on to say there was a magical unilateral right to alter political situations, despite this being inherently incompatible with fair democratic processes. This featured such transparent fabrications as:
(08-05-2014 02:47 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You're now saying that it's a crime to even have a vote about seceding?

Which, once more, is just a thing you invented for your self-congratulatory blowhard rhetoric.

Which brings us back to...
(09-05-2014 02:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  When I point out that Putin, like Thomas Jefferson, is calling for local, autonomous jurisdictions, and it's the West, founded on this very Federalist system, who are against it, somehow you insisting this observation means I somehow favor military action and one country invading another.

My comments were in light of your ignoring fundamental facts of the situation in Crimea.

I pointed out to you some time ago that all foreign parties advocate an open and democratic resolution.

(09-05-2014 02:37 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I've said, without wavering, that I believe every human being has a right to exercise free will, without being forced to do something against his will through threats of violence or coercion. Every time I've gotten into a debate it's always boiled down to this one issue.

And what has been pointed out to you, innumerable times, is that agreement in principle does not preclude disagreement on any number of details, and that such is inevitable. Since, once more, different people believe different things. Likewise, all interaction is at least socially coercive given that unenforceable rules are meaningless; the right to free will you believe in is not unrestricted, and necessarily requires force to maintain.

Now, most sane and reasonable people are able to come to some understanding of others without spewing out sanctimonious condemnation. They are likewise able to refrain from spewing comical mischaracterisations with every other sentence.

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09-05-2014, 03:17 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
As a purely theoretical abstract used only for the purpose of exposing underlying assumptions or principles, let us assume all votes are completely uncoerced and unbiased democratic votes with absolutely no internal or external interference or pressures and completely reflect the true sentiments of the voters involved.

Suppose New Mexico votes 90% in favor of leaving the United States and joining Mexico. The Mexican public votes 90% in favor of accepting them as a new mexican state. The other 49 US states vote 90% in favor of not letting them leave. There are no further facts or information available. You must make a decision based on that information alone. Do you allow New Mexico to join Mexico or do you force them to stay as part of the US?

Although it seems silly, I think the concerns the scenario raises and the implications of those decisions are somewhat enlightening. What does to mean to decide they cannot leave? What if one county on the border of New Mexico and the US wants to stay? Does New Mexico then have the same obligation to allow every county in New Mexico to make their own sub-decisions? If so, what about a town in the middle of the state? Are we obligated to allow them to stay an American island in the middle of Mexico? What about an individual. What if the rest of the country has contributed a disproportionate amount of money toward infrastructure improvements in that state? Do the people just get to take the stuff the rest of the country paid for with them?

If we go the other direction and don't allow New Mexico to leave, what about the concept that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed? Why stop at states? Why not force governments to stay in the UN against their wishes? Why not force an EQ country to forever be in the EU? How is a state any different than an individual, or neighborhood, or town, or county that wants independence?

The question seems far less simple than it appears at first glance.

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09-05-2014, 03:32 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2014 03:37 PM by Chas.)
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 03:17 PM)djhall Wrote:  As a purely theoretical abstract used only for the purpose of exposing underlying assumptions or principles, let us assume all votes are completely uncoerced and unbiased democratic votes with absolutely no internal or external interference or pressures and completely reflect the true sentiments of the voters involved.

Suppose New Mexico votes 90% in favor of leaving the United States and joining Mexico. The Mexican public votes 90% in favor of accepting them as a new mexican state. The other 49 US states vote 90% in favor of not letting them leave. There are no further facts or information available. You must make a decision based on that information alone. Do you allow New Mexico to join Mexico or do you force them to stay as part of the US?

Although it seems silly, I think the concerns the scenario raises and the implications of those decisions are somewhat enlightening. What does to mean to decide they cannot leave? What if one county on the border of New Mexico and the US wants to stay? Does New Mexico then have the same obligation to allow every county in New Mexico to make their own sub-decisions? If so, what about a town in the middle of the state? Are we obligated to allow them to stay an American island in the middle of Mexico? What about an individual. What if the rest of the country has contributed a disproportionate amount of money toward infrastructure improvements in that state? Do the people just get to take the stuff the rest of the country paid for with them?

If we go the other direction and don't allow New Mexico to leave, what about the concept that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed? Why stop at states? Why not force governments to stay in the UN against their wishes? Why not force an EQ country to forever be in the EU? How is a state any different than an individual, or neighborhood, or town, or county that wants independence?

The question seems far less simple than it appears at first glance.

"New Mexico" does not have any will or desires, only people do.

If those people want to be Mexican, they can leave and go to Mexico. They just don't get to steal the territory from the owners.

For the U.S., the question was settled 150 years ago at Appomattox Court House.

It really is simple.

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09-05-2014, 03:46 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
I'm genuinely lost. You quoted Phaedrus as saying: "Russia invaded a province of a neighboring nation with non-insigniad troops, expelled the local government, put pro-Russian warlords in charge of local services with support from Russian special forces, then held a vote for separation from Ukraine while Russian troops marched the streets..." You then quoted me as replying "This didn't happen", and you then replied to my reply saying "This is, as it happens, laughably false. You doubled down on falsehood." You are saying that my "This didn't happen" claim is false???? Look, the fact is that no news outlet, not even the right-wingers at Fox, ever reported what Phaedrus said. Phaedrus' characterization is more extreme than any news outlet reported.

(09-05-2014 02:57 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There's rather a gaping hole in that patented "logic" of yours, friend.
Actions speak louder than words.

There's no logic hole. I never claimed one way or another whether actions or words were more important, nor did I claim to know the actions. I only commented on the words. Whether actions speak louder than words doesn't mean you cannot comment on the words.
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09-05-2014, 03:54 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 03:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  For the U.S., the question was settled 150 years ago at Appomattox Court House.
It really is simple.

Spoken like a true caveman. djhall's post was incisive and brought up a lot of valuable points and food for thought, such as the source of state authority, something intellectuals and philosophers have debated for years.

It's very revealing that your response is it's all non-sense and this is a simple matter that was properly "settled" during the US Civil War, where millions of people of slaughtered each other and half the country was left in economic ruin to prevent a secession.

So, whenever there's a disagreement over a complex issue, like secession, your answer seems to be "It's simple. Both sides should fight and kill each other, and whoever is the last man standing is the one who was in the right". ie "might makes right".

To me, it's most definitely NOT that simple. Just because the North had the military advantage and the power to leave the South a steaming pile of rubble does NOT mean that they were right to do so.

I wonder if you carry you're "it's simple" to other disputes, like in marriage. If a husband and wife are fighting and can't agree on a resolution, do you also advocate they both just get knives and try to kill each other and whichever one is alive at the end is the one who was in the right?
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09-05-2014, 04:12 PM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2014 04:34 PM by djhall.)
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 03:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  "New Mexico" does not have any will or desires, only people do.

If those people want to be Mexican, they can leave and go to Mexico. They just don't get to steal the territory from the owners.

For the U.S., the question was settled 150 years ago at Appomattox Court House.

It really is simple.

I'm not sure that simplifies the matter instead of making it more complex in moral and governance theory terms as opposed to practical terms.

""New Mexico" does not have any will or desires, only people do." This statement seems to raise questions regarding the nature of New Mexico, if it is something more than simply the aggregate of its citizens, what the relationship is between those citizens, whether it is worthy of recognition separately from that context, and which takes precedence, the state or the aggregate citizens of that state.

"They just don't get to steal the territory from the owners." I agree. I just question the clarity of exactly what gets to claim to be "the owners". Why aren't the owners the people who live there? Or their state? If we are going to go with their country, why not go with a larger political grouping? Why doesn't New Mexico properly belong to the UN and the world? That would be bigger than simply the US to approximately the same degree as the US is bigger than New Mexico... Granting supreme ownership to the federal level above the others seems rather arbitrary without a more cohesive theory of personal, local, regional, national, and world governing authority,

"For the U.S., the question was settled 150 years ago at Appomattox Court House." Yes, it was, but it was settled mostly on "might makes right" or at least "might makes what is" grounds. I earlier quoted the relevant supreme court decision which blatantly stated that we don't have the right to secede, but we do have the right to revolt, and the legitimacy of any revolt is determined by whether or not the revolt can successfully defend itself. That is an eminently practical decision, but not really one representing elegant moral and political philosophy.

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09-05-2014, 04:31 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 03:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I'm genuinely lost. You quoted Phaedrus as saying: "Russia invaded a province of a neighboring nation with non-insigniad troops, expelled the local government, put pro-Russian warlords in charge of local services with support from Russian special forces, then held a vote for separation from Ukraine while Russian troops marched the streets..." You then quoted me as replying "This didn't happen", and you then replied to my reply saying "This is, as it happens, laughably false. You doubled down on falsehood." You are saying that my "This didn't happen" claim is false???? Look, the fact is that no news outlet, not even the right-wingers at Fox, ever reported what Phaedrus said. Phaedrus' characterization is more extreme than any news outlet reported.

That's exactly what happened.

According to everyone involved, including the Russians.

Did you not read the citations I provided for you?

(09-05-2014 03:46 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(09-05-2014 02:57 PM)cjlr Wrote:  There's rather a gaping hole in that patented "logic" of yours, friend.
Actions speak louder than words.

There's no logic hole. I never claimed one way or another whether actions or words were more important, nor did I claim to know the actions. I only commented on the words. Whether actions speak louder than words doesn't mean you cannot comment on the words.

Since the "words" you refer to are utterly inapplicable to Crimea, one wonders why you've spent so much time spouting misinformation about Crimea.

If you wish to make a point, make it without piling on falsehood and inaccuracy.

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09-05-2014, 07:43 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That's exactly what happened. According to everyone involved, including the Russians. Did you not read the citations I provided for you?

Uh, yes, I did read the citations. Your citation quotes Putin as saying "Russia didn't acquire Crimea by force but created conditions with special forces for Crimeans to decide. [We had to do it so] there would be no tanks, no nationalist military units and heavily armed people with radical views... to protect people from even the slightest possibility of weapons being used against civilians... All the people that are in the eastern Ukraine are local residents... And the main proof is that they've taken their masks off - literally. It's their home, and they have nowhere to leave to."

Now you take that quote and say that Putin admitted that: "Russia invaded a province of a neighboring nation with non-insigniad troops, expelled the local government, put pro-Russian warlords in charge of local services with support from Russian special forces, then held a vote for separation from Ukraine while Russian troops marched the streets..."

Read Putin's quote. Read the paraphrased version you endorsed. Seriously, they sound like the same thing to you? Putin is saying that troops (who were already in Ukraine) acted as peace-keepers and blocked all use of force to allow free elections (which I agree is probably bull-shit) but you then claim that he himself admitted "invading" Crimea and intimidating the people. You really do use your own language.

(09-05-2014 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If you wish to make a point, make it without piling on falsehood and inaccuracy.

I have. You keep dodging it. My point is the same one that djhall asked quite eloquently. If a region, through a fair and democratic process decides to secede despite objections from the national government, in principle should the national government allow this, or engage in civil war? Obama, @TheGermansAreComing et al have unequivocally stated 'no, it is not allowed'. So your question about how to negotiate details, like what happens to property within the region owned by the national government, is a moot strawman when the position of the national government is that secession is never allowed no matter what and it will go to war to stop it. Sure, if both the national and regional governments accept the will of the people in the region there will be prickly details to iron out. But that's NOT MY POINT. That's simply a smoke screen to avoid the actual point.[/align]
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09-05-2014, 07:50 PM
RE: Putin the new Thomas Jefferson, the west the new Stalin?!
(09-05-2014 07:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(09-05-2014 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  That's exactly what happened. According to everyone involved, including the Russians. Did you not read the citations I provided for you?

Uh, yes, I did read the citations. Your citation quotes Putin as saying "Russia didn't acquire Crimea by force but created conditions with special forces for Crimeans to decide. [We had to do it so] there would be no tanks, no nationalist military units and heavily armed people with radical views... to protect people from even the slightest possibility of weapons being used against civilians... All the people that are in the eastern Ukraine are local residents... And the main proof is that they've taken their masks off - literally. It's their home, and they have nowhere to leave to."

Now you take that quote and say that Putin admitted that: "Russia invaded a province of a neighboring nation with non-insigniad troops, expelled the local government, put pro-Russian warlords in charge of local services with support from Russian special forces, then held a vote for separation from Ukraine while Russian troops marched the streets..."

Read Putin's quote. Read the paraphrased version you endorsed. Seriously, they sound like the same thing to you? Putin is saying that troops (who were already in Ukraine) acted as peace-keepers and blocked all use of force to allow free elections (which I agree is probably bull-shit) but you then claim that he himself admitted "invading" Crimea and intimidating the people. You really do use your own language.

When troops of one nation enter the territory of another nation, without permission, in order to seize assets and enforce their will, we generally call that "invasion".

I say "we", but apparently you don't agree. Oh, well.

(09-05-2014 07:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(09-05-2014 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  If you wish to make a point, make it without piling on falsehood and inaccuracy.

I have. You keep dodging it.

I have done no such thing.

(09-05-2014 07:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  My point is the same one that djhall asked quite eloquently. If a region, through a fair and democratic process decides to secede despite objections from the national government, in principle should the national government allow this, or engage in civil war?

Indeed. In your trite and reductivist fantasyland, this is clearly evident.

In reality, things are never so simple.

Pointing out the inadequacy of your vacuous superficial pronouncements is not "dodging" anything.

(09-05-2014 07:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Obama, @TheGermansAreComing et al have unequivocally stated 'no, it is not allowed'. So your question about how to negotiate details, like what happens to property within the region owned by the national government, is a moot strawman when the position of the national government is that secession is never allowed no matter what and it will go to war to stop it.

You may notice here that GermansAreComing and cjlr are distinct users. You may also notice that neither of us are president Obama.

Your blithering on at me regarding what other people think is in what way relevant or meaningful?

The same nebulous "West" you insist refuses to recognise secession contains Canada, the UK, and France among others, who have all explicitly recognised the right to and legitimacy of secession referenda within their territories. So there's that.

(09-05-2014 07:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Sure, if both the national and regional governments accept the will of the people in the region there will be prickly details to iron out. But that's NOT MY POINT. That's simply a smoke screen to avoid the actual point.

That's a point your original statements - characteristically shallow and insufficient generalisations - made no admittance of. It's nice that you finally recognise that.

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