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Messages - Dylar
Every Ukrianian I know wants them out of their country. No matter what you intellectuals say about their roots the fact of the matter is Ukrainian people want their country to be free. The fact that their government has been ridden by corruption and always influenced and sabotaged by Russian power and other foreign forces is a different matter.
So the crowd wants independence? I can't think of a better argument in favor of Russian dominion.
Think of the Polish-Lithuanian state as being equivalent to Vasa Sweden (that its monarchs were also drawn from the same dynasty only makes the comparison more apt). That is to say that, like Sweden, Poland was capable of being an important, independent power so long as there was no stable, effective government in Germany or Russia. The rise of the Hohenzollern state in Prussia and the emergence of the Romanov state in Muscovy pretty much ensured that Poland was doomed as an independent power. It's instructive that the 'modern' Polish state reached its zenith in the 1920s, with Germany laid low under the provisions of Versailles and Russia still trying to overcome the effects of defeat, revolution and civil war.
So, here's the funny thing. What sparked the whole current drama in Ukraine/Crimea was a fight over whether Ukraine would remain in the Russian "sphere of influence," or whether it would pass into the hands of the EU (essentially a mechanism for enforcing and extending German economic hegemony). The more things change, baby. Let's party like it's 1939.
One thing I find fascinating about the liberal mind is how well it is able to insulate itself from the logical extensions of its cherished beliefs. And so, the liberal demands "self-determination" for every tribe that demands its own flag, without ever stopping to think that this demand differs only in quality, not in kind, from, say, "Germany for Germans."
I'd also add that the Russians have pretty much been an imperial people since the day they first emerged into conscious existence as a nation, while the Ukrainians have pretty much always been a subject people. That's one of those iron truths of history, and it's why Ukraine has no real history as an independent state: it is and has always been an appendage of the Russian Empire.
It's all grimly amusing, really, the sheer scale of the hypocrisy involved, especially on the part of the West.
Every nation, quoth obama, has the right to determine its own destiny, without interference from outside.
While the West interferes from the outside, while Russia attempts to determine its own destiny...
John Kerry just gave us, "You can't invade another country on a trumped up pretext."
Incidentally, from US CentCom's website:
I do think it makes it easier to make like metal or the Hebrew prophets and act as a witness for the prosecution (I do love that phrase!) when reviewing our own lives and behavior. I think it helps to take up what I like to call 'fail better' hobbies, things that force you to closely examine what you do in order to correct errors and improve. I'm a fly fisherman, and the cast never lies. If something doesn't work, it's because I fucked up. It's a good exercise in sublimating the ego to achieve the desired results. I imagine things like shooting sports function in much the same way.
I think there may be something to your line of thinking. Sometimes, chance or circumstance or perhaps just naivete finds me in a conversation and the little voice in the back of my head goes off and says, "This is like trying to describe the dawn to a blind man; you'll never make him understand, and it's cruel to even try."
Often, I feel that people use the word "practical" to describe folks who are preoccupied with seeking feasible or easily attainable goals and the simplest, least-effort paths to achieving those goals. In that sense, I'm not even remotely practical. I think of pragmatism as being more of an openness to compromise, an ability to recognize when good enough is good enough (and when only perfect will do), and a certain ruthlessness toward the self.
I was discussing this very thing with Mrs. crow, earlier. Hard to make something like that work, though, especially since payment is not really the burning issue.
I prefer something along the lines of ability-to-comment by invitation/application only.
This might be outright preferable to the messiness inherent in banning users.
Continue to make everything free to passive users, with only reasonable behaviour rewarded with the ability to actively participate in discussion. Or rather, removing ability to comment from existing users.
It would be nice, eh, to not need admins at all, but that's not likely to ever be an option.
Not sure how feasible this is, but this was my thought:
1. Remove posting access from all current accounts (or, perhaps, from select accounts).
2. Make the restoration of posting privileges contingent upon providing some sort of work or service to the ongoing project here.
3. Only activate the accounts of newly registered members after they fulfill step 2.
I imagine that someone among the "leadership" has some idea of the tasks that need doing. Perhaps we could compile a master list of "things as needs doin'" and let folks choose an item or items from the list. Once the tasks are completed to the satisfaction of the leadership, their posting privileges would be restored. N00bs, would, of course, have to prove themselves useful in the same fashion.