Refugee crisis

Discussion in 'Off Topic International' started by -frog-, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    Just read that the "coffin money" (aka bereavement benefit) amounts to 5 million rubles (roughly PLN 400k).
    And they bought a white Lada with that?
    Does it have golden handles?

    You could buy a brand new Mercedes EQE for that here. And you'd still have a lot left for a lot of additional equipment.
    Or an entry model of BMW X5 (with still some money left for extras).
    And they bought a Lada... with golden handles.
     
  2. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Lucky those with many sons, they could buy entire fleets of Ladas.
     
  3. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    I think of it as a whim, as they've got one step higher on the social ladder.
     
  4. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    They (and to some extent still some of my and your countrymen) are savages.
    In all of the civilized world the fact that you can use public transport to commute is considered of an advantage.
    It's the poorer ones, from areas that are not so well communicated with the city, that have to rely on cars.
    I guess it was Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who was the first Polish PM to get to work on a bus.
    The Civic Platform and its leader Donald Tusk are also well known for using and promoting public transport.
    Mr. Tusk was widely known for using low-cost airlines to commute to Brussels while he was the President of the European Council. Or to go there by train (even though the office alone would enable him to have a private jet rented by the EU). Or to shop for groceries - both in Brussels and in Sopot, where he lives.

    In post-Soviet space the "mashina" (car) is something of a cult item. A golden idol.
    Same with our right wing government - they use the state resources to the maximum.
    Former PM Szydło had a car accident when a government column hit a small city car (while travelling without the required light and sound signals). There were 3 cars in the column, 3 drivers and 5 or 6 security officers. She was going home for weekend (then switched to flying military planes, which was source of another scandal).

    So I am also convinced that one should really perceive that Lada as a status symbol.
    And not just another piece of junk (that you will buy another few of in the coming decades).
     
  5. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    My position is that no side is innocent, Vasco. I know that I'm in danger of being labelled a relativist, but I'm old. Do you think that I'm proud of the US sending and spending in yet another war? Proud of my tax dollars going to overthrow governments and fight proxy wars? Knowing that hundreds of thousands of innocent people get crushed in these tectonic clashes of world powers?

    Now, from your perspective -- and from Frog's -- I can understand your concerns. This reality is immediate for you all. And as for us spiritually -- and often and physically -- fat Americans, we just send billions of dollars and weapons to Zelenskiy's government. Maybe he's a hero or maybe he's an asshole: history will judge. I don't approve of any of this war bullshit.

    Seems that this war crap is built into our DNA. And nothing really ever changes. Perhaps I'm a fatalist; just going on my own experience. For some reason we love to kill "enemies."
     
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  6. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Are you a Trump supporter?
     
  7. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Join the fine club:
     
  8. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    I voted for Biden, Vasco. I'm a Democrat. My dearest dream is that Trump will not try to run for president again. Why? Because he is a negative influence on my country (USA). As an old fart I am something of a moderate; old farts don't want radical changes to the left or the right.

    When Kennedy was assassinated I was being baptized in church. I was on the McGovern side of a debate in our school during the 1972 election. In 1973 and '74, during the second Nixon administration, I really started to follow politics. I liked President Carter because he an was ex-Navy nuclear submariner (in other words, he had a very high IQ). Then in 1981 had to register for service, begin to go to uni, etc. Then various jobs and women.

    Now I really don't want to vote anymore, but I'll drag myself to vote like a zombie, because that's how I was raised. But there are many traditional liberal Democrats who don't blindly believe in the party's current directions.
     
  9. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Steven Seagal? Really? I know about him, but he's not exactly an intellectual thought leader. I remember being surprised when I saw photos of him when I visited the Kok Tobe skyline tourist attraction. It struck me as odd at the time. But heck, he was famous. I took a picture of it. And you'd be surprised at the Western celebrities who take or took lots of cash for appearances around the world including ex-USSR nations.

    Here's a funny one:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-15197717

    They're actors and they will do anything for a payday.
     
  10. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    So then you're just a regular weirdo, for believing all that "no side is innocent" crap?

    You're probably ignoring that, no matter what one could have accused the Ukrainian govt of, the russian invasion couldn't have been a solution to that. And it wasn't even designed as a solution.
    It's just a regular aggression by a mad dictator and by a society sick with imperialistic nostalgia.
    Add in a lot of war crimes to that and a planned genocide of Ukrainians.
     
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  11. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    It's true that I'm a weirdo (in the sense that my beliefs, my ancestral background, education and experiences are weird [these days they'd say that I'm autistic, perhaps, but that's more excuse-making]). I am against relativism; I support attempts at more objective perspectives.

    This war is obviously not a good thing. Many people are dying every day that the conflict continues. So this war needs to stop now. Full stop. Stopping it now benefits everyone -- soldiers, politicians and citizens (not in that order).

    But... I wouldn't call it genocide. I don't know, maybe as a German type that word has a different meaning for me.

    "The war needs to stop." That's my official statement.
     
  12. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Let alone the killing of Ukrainians, the deportation of Ukrainian children to russia, while putting them for adoption by russian families is an act of genocide.
    Didn't you come across the russian idea that Ukraine shouldn't exist? That it lacks its own history? That the Ukrainians should be destroyed?
    Such declarations are all over their media, by their most famous current pundits. Browsing this forum should be enough.

    You can't get away with this.
    When you're blaming the Ukrainians for defending their country, or the other countries for helping them, that's shameful.
    The only one that can stop it is Putin.
     
  13. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    I don't blame Ukrainians for defending their borders; perhaps I can't articulate my feelings about this war very well. So apologies, but I don't see things in black and white sometimes. I'm against war and human suffering. War dehumanizes us... it reveals the worst, darkest aspects of our humanity. Often things best left hidden.

    You consciously don't capitalize Russia and Russian in your post. What about the Russians who are against the war?

    But I'm curious: what do you see as the best way to stop the war? Surely it's got to be a compromise, and both sides don't seem keen on that. I can't see Putin agreeing to abandoning Crimea, Donets and Luhansk regions. We are six (6) months into the war and Russia is chewing up the Ukrainian East and South like PacMan. As Russia and the new Russia-aligned republics advance, slowly but surely (and at great expense), the West is going to need to decide how much they're willing to risk open war with Russia. That's what both sides are calculating now. What a wonderful time to be alive. Go on vacation while you can...
     
  14. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    No, Uncles. You're wrong. War can also reveal heroism, love, sacrifice.
    It's time to stop this "oh, we shouldn't do war" wank. When people are being attacked, killed, injured, their lands and property stolen, their lives destroyed, how can you preach them to quit fighting?
    You can't preach universal love to rape victims.

    I didn't use to capitalise nationalities in English. But I've started to capitalise the others after russia attacked Ukraine.
    If I were to speak about opponents to war or about children, I would capitalise the words.
    Many lowercase russian today, it's a form of moral condemnation.


    First of all, russia is not winning.
    The best way to stop the war? I'm not sure there's a "best way", except in fiction - Putin wakes up one day, discovers universal love and pulls out his nazis from Ukraine.
    But the age of naivety is over.
     
  15. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    So do I.
    Capitalization is a sign of respect, not only for grammar of the English language, but also for the object we're describing.

    What about the Russians (capitalized!), who are against the war - hmmm... have you seen any here?
    I see only ruSSians, supporters of the bloody regime.

    We (I and Vasco) perceive the whole from a lot closer a perspective.
    Our countries (Poland and Romania, respectively) border Ukraine, and we've witnessed the whole closer.
    I live some 40 miles away (Google Maps say 65.5 kms) from the Polish/Ukrainian border. I could reach the border in less than an hour, it takes me almost two hours to reach the outskirts of Warsaw (even with Warsaw being accessible via an expressway, while there's just a narrow national road running towards the border).

    Even before this war broke out Poland had a huge Ukrainian population living here (plus seasonal workers, who usually came to support our farmers). Most of us know Ukrainians. I rent an office in an office building in the centre of Lublin. There are 4 Ukrainian companies, and 4 Polish ones on my floor. I never saw a nazi-Ukrainian, although two guys from our floor went back to Ukraine to fight, they perceived that more in terms of a duty towards their families, than a crusade against nazi ruSSia.

    We've heard the stories of people running away from bombs, bombs falling on residential estates.
    Victims of mindless, brutal terror.

    There is not a single excuse for what the ruSSian hordes are doing in Ukraine.
    The good news is, it seems that they're starting to loose this war.
    The balance has shifted. Ukraine is still unable to launch a large scale counter-offensive, but what it does in the South is amazing - using pinpoint attacks against enemy infrastructure, or partisan units they were able to virtually cut-off the entire northern bank of Dnipro from supplies. I guess they will not attempt to slaughter Kherson together with its inhabitants (a thing that ruSSia did with Mariupol), but wait till holding this city will prove beyond acceptable in terms of its cost for the invaders.
     
  16. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    That's what my Prussian-German family thought in 1944-45. And in WW1 as well. That's all I heard about growing up. (Everyone needs to read Heinrich Boll and Jaroslav Hasek, and a bunch of other stuff.) <sarcasm>It's almost as if our ancestors discovered that war wasn't a good thing, overall/net result.</sarcasm)

    Vasco, my friend, I'm interested to know the origins of this moral authority. It's a secular or religious thing that we simply know a priori? And I am not joking, because I've been looking for a moral authority my entire life, and haven't found anything. I feel that I know what's "right," but most of this is based upon what my family taught me. It's not encoded in my DNA and it's not a gift from any gods, IMHO. But I'm always open to evidence either way.

    Of course, if I'm getting laid I'm susceptible to the lady's influence but that's informative about human nature.

    You write like Lermontov :) He famously wrote that "People have been fed on sweets for too long. It's time for bitter medicine" or something similar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  17. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    "There is not a single excuse for what the ruSSian hordes are doing in Ukraine."

    See, this kind of language undermines your message. I understand what you are saying, but it's the presentation. It reminds me of that famous lyric in the Beatles song "Revolution:"

    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow


    Meaning it's hyperbolic, and not likely to elicit sympathy exactly because it is so "over the top."

    This is why I hated being an editor in the 1980s. I can't read stuff without wanting to modify it. It's my autism, I reckon.
     
  18. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure it's autism and not regular rudeness?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  19. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    The West has long since downplayed the Moscow mobsters and terrorists.
    In my opinion the shooting of MH17 should have marked the turning point in Russian relations with West.

    Why isolate Libya over Lockerbie, and let Russia get away with the crime committed (everyone agrees) by the launcher no. 332 of the 53rd AA Missile Brigade of Kursk?
     
  20. -Shai-

    -Shai- Well-Known Member

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