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  • #91152 Reply
    useless eater

    Hello, I am contacting you regarding a statement posted by an entity calling itself “kashmiri” dated May 9, 2023 at 02:39,the statement is as follows,

    “I can assure you that if they get diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, they will be the first ones to beg their doctor on their knees for a gene therapy treatment called Luxturna.”

    I was only made aware of this statement because of a long-time poster, the indefatigable Clark, who had cited this degenerate approvingly, as regards his competence to adjudicate on matters of science. We had been discussing the nature of “science” and how it is recognised.

    I recall your dispensation regarding a situation concerning two others,”johnkinsella” and “tatanya” where you publicly warned the offender. As far as I am aware I am aware this “johnkinsella” has departed for ever, no longer to trouble the mild souls who populate your comment threads

    “kashmiri”‘s statement is, I believe, is elder abuse or at least the first step on the continuum of elder abuse, which take can many forms. This continuum can end in many places, all of them heinous. I draw your attention to a case in recent times, when a very, very old lady was immobilised in her bed and left to lie in her own effluence for a considerable length of time because she had been “wandering about”. Or a case where acquaintances of mine opened an OAP home. We all thought them and it wonderful – that is until they received custodial sentences for elder abuse and the business closed.

    I require your opinion and your guidance in this matter.

    Do you think I am over-reacting?

    If I were to start posting similar “arguements” as “kashmiri” on these threads how would you feel about?

    #91168 Reply

    “Do you think I am over-reacting?”


    This site is not dedicated to the preservation of snowflakes. Some argumentative banter is fine. Targeted insults are generally not. Some examples:

    • “the noxius [sic] ‘kashmiri'”
    • “a deeply unpleasent [sic], highly inadequate virtual persona swimming in the filth of it’s [sic] own ignorance”
    • “degenerate”

    Sarcastic retorts (e.g. “O godlike one”) can also be unduly inflammatory and are judged on a case-by-case basis.

    “If I were to start posting similar “arguements” [sic] as “kashmiri” on these threads how would you feel about? [sic]”

    Are moderators obliged to respond to commenters’ hypothetical questions?

    #91180 Reply
    useless eater

    Dear mods-cm-org, thank you for your prompt and frank response to my query. I must admit I feel a little foolish after reading your above statement. On occasion you must feel that you are in a veritable snowstorm, what with all these snow flakes whirling about.

    “..play the ball not the man (sic)..”

    “I can assure you that if they get diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, they will be the first ones to beg their doctor on their knees for a gene therapy treatment called Luxturna.”

    I ask your forgiveness regarding my interpretion of your above quoted dictum.I am unable in the present moment to see anything in “kashmiri”‘s statement that indicates this poster was playing the ball, only that they were playing the person. I understand I must reflect on “kashmiri”‘s statement to grasp the logic of your response and this is what I shall do.

    I am new to this game of posting one thoughts to a forum, having only gained access to the internet due to becoming homeless at the end of the “pandemic”. This luxury has been provided by the hostel I reside in and has enabled me to continue my education in the various areas of my vast ignorance. Mr Murray’s writing and the readers comments accompanying them, have contributed to a greater degree to this continuing instruction.

    There is, I suppose, no way that Mr Murray and those who help him run this site will ever know the depth of my gratitude and the profundity of the insights generated by studying this place for the last several months but I would ask you to believe this, despite my failure in this case. Rest assured, I will trouble you no more with my petty, egotistical whirling, snow flake that I am.

    #91181 Reply

    I think the point is that Luxturna was not attacking anyone in particular, in order to undermine the person instead of addressing the point.

    You’re doing very well here anyway – I, for one, have appreciated your relatively recent arrival along with the perspectives that you bring.

    Generally I find it best to say as little as possible about oneself. It only gives unkind posters something over which they can make it personal. (I certainly don’t hang around here to win any popularity contests.)

    Back in the day, it was virtually a complete free-for-all here, and anyone could attack others with abandon (and some certainly made full use of the privilege). It did get rather out of hand. It could be argued that it’s gone too far the other way now, if anything – but the line has to be drawn somewhere and not everyone is going to agree.

    Anyway – it sounds like you have a long perspective, and I hope you continue to share it.

    Bear in mind that moderating is a particularly thankless job. All they ever get is complaints, and usually both sides in a dispute feel aggrieved, which is not to say all decisions are perfect. I have been ticked off more than once, and probably even deserved it at times!

    #91184 Reply
    Pigeon English

    On this comment of yours I agree about 90%.

    “Generally I find it best to say as little as possible about oneself”.

    Some people feel like or helps them to “tell us” that …….

    You Sir. are neither “useless eater” or snowflake or fascist or globalist or woke or whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are a member of at least this “community” and your comments are 50% + 1? for me and as Glenn said:

    “You’re doing very well here anyway – I, for one, have appreciated your relatively recent arrival along with the perspectives that you bring.”

    Keep strong and keep posting and forget about donation and “being fair”.

    #91207 Reply

    Useless eater, I feel I owe you a slight apology. I should have argued against the comment of kashmiri’s which you objected to, and I have now (belatedly) done so, here. However, my reason for doing so is entirely different from your own, and I concur with the moderator’s reply to you above.

    #91208 Reply

    Useless eater, I too welcome you to the site, and again slightly apologise for not including this in my comment above. Please do continue to post. For reference, the moderation and commenting guidelines are here and here.

    Why the commenting rules remain hidden in such ancient archives of the blog is not known to me; I have repeatedly suggested that a prominent and clearly labelled link be placed near the comment form, but the current blog team have never done so. But behind the scenes the blog is a bit of a mess, or at least was when I last had access to the administration interface; for instance there were admin accounts that hadn’t been logged into for over a decade, accounts for a handful of commenters who should never have been given one, and missing documents causing posts to lack certain photos and links in posts to be broken. By chance I recently discovered that there was still an account for me that should have been deleted; it is completely useless because no one knows the password – when I quit moderating in a hissy fit, I did so by entering a long and random password that I made no record of. If it’s still there, the entry below may create a link to it:


    #91209 Reply

    Yep, still there. This old blog is full of cruft.

    #91320 Reply

    If you could post my 2 comments from FatJohns AI thread, that you would have preferred me to have posted here I would be grateful.

    “DiggerUK has posted two follow-up responses addressed to the moderators, which aren’t shown because they’re off topic. Queries concerning moderation should be posted in the Blog Support forum, not in topical threads.

    #91321 Reply

    DiggerUK, thank you for posting your query in the correct forum.

    The comment which prompted moderator intervention was actually timestamped 24 May @ 16:17. It was overwritten rather than deleted, which meant it was wiped from the database (and therefore unavailable for review), but I have now been sent a screenshot. Here’s what you said:

    24 May 2023 at 16:17 | #91288
    Hello Clark, I am happy to bend to your request that I “try to sound less cocky, because it’s highly distasteful”
    I hereby assure you that I will do all can [sic] to sound more like a pussy, which is more tasteful.

    Also, can I assure you that your sound advice that “…investments can fall as well as rise. They can become worthless”… has already been well heeded by Digger Mansions.
    All our investments are in gold and gold backed securities.
    But your concern for our financial security is heartwarming. Thank you. All our love, Mr. And Mrs. D…_

    It’s a blatant digression from the subject of the thread “Beware AI (Artificial Intelligence)”, so it’s off topic.

    Your first comment (23 May @ 18:06), which started the digression but was otherwise relevant to the debate, has now been restored.

    Your subsequent messages to the moderators have been moved here (see below).

    #91323 Reply

    Originally posted: 24 May 2023 at 17:17

    Mod, your contribution seems to imply that my presence here is unwelcome. I was not bragging or trolling.

    When you say that my post added “even less to the discussion than this particular poster’s usual contributions” seems to me a warning that my criticisms are not to be tolerated. It seemed more of an ad hominem than fair comment on your part.
    I am well aware of your absolute power in these matters.

    If that is the case simply be honest and ask me to leave. Your comments seem more sinister than simply rebuking me. I don’t want to leave, but if that is the outcome, then so be it…_

    #91326 Reply

    Originally posted: 24 May 2023 at 19:30

    It is not for me to disprove if I am a paid or unpaid troll. It is for those who accuse me of trolling to outline their case.

    But when a moderator accuses me of trolling I do ask them to justify such a position. They are under no obligation to do so, because moderator’s hold privileged powers in such matters.

    It does appear possible that I am under threat of being cancelled for having disagreeable positions contrary to populist political positions.
    It would be courteous and honourable to simply ask me to leave if that is the case. I do not wish to go, but if that’s the writing on the wall, then so be it…_

    #91338 Reply

    Hi DiggerUK.

    First let me assure you that you aren’t banned and there are no plans to ‘cancel’ you. Nonetheless, your comments (as with everyone else’s) are subject to deletion if they are deemed unacceptable by moderators.

    The AI thread started to go off the rails when Fat Jon posted a quip (May 23 @ 15:21) about your reasons for being so critical: “More likely, that is how he earns his salary.”

    Normally the moderators would disallow such insinuations for infringing the rule about impugning motives, as set out by Craig:

    Fair Play
    Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others… No taunting.

    Will EVERYBODY please tackle the arguments commenters make, and not refer to their motives for making them – which you cannot know – or that people are paid, or their personality traits, or somebody else. What interests me is the arguments people put. I think most of the imputations made on all sides are probably inaccurate, but even if they were accurate they are irrelevant. A man or woman may be a one-eyed former contract killer with a cocaine habit in the pay of the state of Israel, but may still make an argument that is absolutely correct. Please address the argument, not the person. Posts which fail to do this will be deleted when seen.

    The discussion forums aren’t monitored as closely as the main blog comments, and this rule infringement slipped through the net. Your reply about savings and investments (23 May @ 18:06) was relevant to that allegation but not to the discussion topic. It is a prime example of the kind of problem that arises when commenters cast ad hominem insults. Once the focus of debate is shifted like that, it results in futile bickering – which requires even more intervention.

    We tried to apply a more laissez-faire attitude to the forums last year. Unfortunately, it resulted in even messier outcomes, with commenters flinging smears and accusations at each other and requesting deletion of entire threads, not to mention threatening legal action. The service had to be suspended while the dialogue was reviewed. The projection of extreme or absurd positions onto opponents seemed to cause the most aggravation, particularly when expressed with heavy sarcasm, which was a good predictor for escalation. That mode of interaction should be avoided by all participants.

    #91359 Reply

    I will accept your final word on this matter, whatever it is.

    But first I request you note the ease and frequency that I am labelled a denier, without any official intervention.
    Nobody ever rises to the question I constantly lay out…. simply to state what it is I am denying? I have no objection to being labelled a denier; I have got so used to the accusation that I have accepted it as par for the course, if the hat fits…..

    As to me ‘insulting’ posters by calling them “alarmist”, it is hard to know what to say about posters who present swarms of mini drones with 3 grammes of shaped explosive as a credible threat. Should they come to a neighbourhood near you anytime soon, buy a fly swat!

    As you said earlier, this is not a blog that protects snowflakes, I like that position.

    I do not accept your claim that you were too busy to intervene, I am as convinced as I need be that this was deliberate intervention because of my political position. My posts where up for minutes, others posts a lot longer. My cancellation seemed very “tout de suite”

    I view moderators as having unchallengeable powers, it is for them to choose to moderate, or to censor. My experience of your decision to discipline me was not matched by an even handed approach to other posts in my opinion.

    Your word on this matter will be final…_

    #91368 Reply


    “It does appear possible that I am under threat of being cancelled for having disagreeable positions contrary to populist political positions.”

    Face palm. I frequently see comments from you advocating political positions, therefore your political positions are not being censored. The moderator just told you, it was your contemptuous dismissal of other commenters’ positions, your lack of any credible reasoned argument that got your comments deleted rather than the presence of it. So then you wrote:

    “I will accept your final word on this matter, whatever it is. […] Your word on this matter will be final…”

    …yet proceeded to contemptuously dismiss everything the mod had just told you! Why write such things, only to immediately contradict them by your actions? Are you trying to provoke the moderators into deleting more of your stuff, so that you can cry political censorship again? Such self-inflicted pretence of martyrdom is usually the preserve of conspiracy theorists. Oh wait…

    #91370 Reply

    Mods-cm-org wrote:

    The AI thread started to go off the rails when Fat Jon posted a quip (May 23 @ 15:21) about your reasons for being so critical: “More likely, that is how [DiggerUK] earns his salary.”

    It seems that Fat Jon wasn’t so far off, because DiggerUK replied:

    All our investments are in gold and gold backed securities.

    So, DiggerUK, you are saying that you are in fact financially supported by the system that you summarily pooh-pooh criticism of, gold having no nutritional value and very limited utility beyond adornment and advertisement of one’s wealth.

    Yet you do have some concerns about that system, for instance this post. I tried to add a point of agreement to that post a few days ago, but my post was blocked by a change in site security measures which I’ve now adjusted for.

    #91399 Reply


    Thank you for outlining your concerns over the moderation decisions in the “Beware AI (Artificial Intelligence)” thread. The comments and decisions in the relevant thread have been reviewed, with a view to assessing the impression of moderation bias as well as factors that disrupted the discussion.

    « My experience of your decision to discipline me was not matched by an even handed approach to other posts in my opinion. »

    This is one of the most common complaints about moderation. When people whose posts have been moderated for infringing a commenting rule observe that the same treatment has not been meted out to others, it fuels a sense of injustice. It isn’t a direct challenge to the validity of the decision; instead, the charge is that the same standards are not being applied to other participants, which amounts to blatant favouritism. The assertion depends on a comparison with the way others have been treated, so it needs to be considered in context.

    Moderation takes place mostly behind the scenes: if it works smoothly, the typical reader won’t notice it at all. Blog comments which are suspended and annotated, rather than deleted, by moderators remain visible to their authors and to the blog team only; they aren’t visible to other readers, so the communication is essentially private. (Unfortunately the same facility isn’t available in the discussion forum, so if a moderator posts an advisory message in a forum thread, it is either visible to all readers or to none.)

    Comments which are ‘binned’ (deleted), whether on the blog or in the discussion forum, leave no trace of their presence. People who view the page after the comment has been deleted won’t find any evidence of the comment or the action performed on it (unless the culprit raises a complaint in the Blog Support forum, as here). Most readers won’t even notice the absence of a comment they’ve already read – unless, perhaps, they intended to reply to it. They’re also completely oblivious to episodes of trolling caught automatically by the pre-mod filter, not to mention the continuous streams of spam adverts.

    Commenters who don’t witness the moderation of other participants are hardly in a good position to compare and contrast the moderation decisions in order to evaluate them for bias. If you know nothing about whether or how other commenters have been moderated, it is impossible to make a differential comparison of deletion frequencies, rule citations, or attitudes.

    As it happens, the other participants in the “Beware AI” thread have each been moderated at various times – indeed, two have been subject to temporary bans and were explicitly under instructions not to inflame debates. There has already been significant correspondence with them about moderation, so they only need a reminder. When a mod notice to one participant is publicly visible, it serves as a reminder to all.

    The discussion forum is provided for constructive conversations, not slanging matches. Analysis shows that stereotypes, insults, patronising attitudes, backhanded compliments, parodies and sarcasm foster disrespect, distracting from the topic at hand, disrupting the flow of conversation and provoking retaliation. In the longer term, the bickering discourages participation and prompts complaints.

    « But first I request you note the ease and frequency that I am labelled a denier, without any official intervention. »

    Actually, the first person to use the word “denier” in that thread was you, in reference to yourself (23 May @ 12:17). You were also the first person to use the word “alarmist” (23 May @ 18:06). Those words aren’t banned and they don’t automatically consign a comment to the trashlist. However, they denote derogatory stereotypes that can be used (or misused) as personal insults.

    There are numerous examples of snide remarks in the “Beware AI” thread, from everyone involved. The thread started as an amicable discussion until the fourth comment – DiggerUK, 23 May @ 12:17 – which introduced a parodic label («a fully paid up ‘psychoslaverer’»), adopted a patronising attitude («all I can suggest is that everybody just calms down») and sarcastically endorsed a derogatory stereotype («my prized ‘denier’»). With such exaggerated terminology in place, the discussion quickly turned to ad hominems and ridicule. The comment doesn’t contain obvious infringements of the regular commenting guidelines, but it’s the first to stop discussing the actual topic and introduce stereotypes and provocative references – with predictably chaotic results. A troll would be proud of the chaos.

    Some participants think they can evade moderation by coding their message with sarcasm and expressing it politely, reversing the literal meaning when correctly construed as an insincere expression. It is fair to assume that if other commenters can detect the intended snark, so can the mods. Moderating isn’t just a matter of patrolling for bad words; it requires complex evaluation and judgement of discursive rhetoric which presently remains beyond the abilities of Artificial Intelligence.

    Every moderation system, whether a team of human experts or an AI bot, is prone some degree of real or perceived bias in evaluations, decisions and actions. The internal discussion about moderator objectivity is ongoing, and this thread will be updated with any relevant information for commenters in due course.

    #91440 Reply

    Regarding denial:

    againsttheinternet.com, Fight Like an Animal, episode #12, 22:00 to 22:40

    “The political, strategic form of climate denial, rejecting that it’s happening at all, has somewhat monopolised the term ‘denial’ so that we can no longer talk about it in a more common psychological sense, in the sense that we simply don’t process information that is too challenging. This can be observed in the ability of the human mind to completely suppress recollections of traumatic events, and it can be observed in non-human minds, in the dazed look that sometimes comes over prey animals’ eyes when they stop fighting with a predator and mentally depart from the experience of dying.”

    #91572 Reply

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    [ MOD: Kindly desist from impugning the motives of your correspondents, however craftily you try to do so. Sneaking in such suggestions still violates the rules. ]

    “My take on Wagner is that they didn’t get were they are without a ‘helping hand’ But their overseas income is phenomenal.
    If Prigozhin isn’t still running the show, who is.?


    This post, when taken together with my preceding post to Tatyana when I openly say I keep an open mind on her posts refutes the suggestion you make. It shows clearly that I am not “impugning” Tatyana in any way.
    It is a fair criticism of her post saying nothing more than what I consider to be a word to the wise…_

    #91573 Reply

    What has happened to my additional comments….they’ve disappeared…_

    #91574 Reply

    What has happened to my additional comments. They’ve disapeared…_

    #91575 Reply

    DiggerUK, you really are the Karen of this blog.

    You had nothing to say to the lengthy explanation the Mod gave you on 4/6. Nothing at all, despite all the whining you’d done, which had prompted that undeservedly full explanation. That is just plain ignorant.

    And you didn’t reply to Clark, concerning your complaints.

    Now you’re back, whining again? What the hell is wrong with you – why can’t you just suck it up like everyone else when you’ve been called out on your BS? Did you always go running to teacher when you were a kid, and never grew up past that stage?

    #91576 Reply


    Just in case it isn’t clear what I mean by your BS – you practically accused Tatanya of being a troll, of being a Russian operative. That is quite clearly not allowed here, and you’ve got the utter gall to whine about being called out on that, instead of apologising?

    I’m just wondering what sort of sense of personal entitlement you’re operating under.

    Digger to Tatanya: “You should know by now that you are suspected of possibly being a Russian troll.”

    You think it’s your job to call people out – on behalf of others too, which I’ve noticed you have the most annoying arrogance to think you’re speaking on, way too much of the time. I’ve not noticed anyone saying that you speak (or spoke) on their behalf. Funny that.

    Why don’t you confine yourself to simply speaking on your own behalf (i.e. instead of everyone else’s), play by the rules, and suck it up when you’re called out on your BS. Just like everyone else does.

    #91579 Reply

    @ glen-nl,

    *May 25, 2023 at 22:57, “Your word on this matter will be final…_”

    *Today. I have read your two posts, I make no comment on them…_

    #91592 Reply

    When stuck down a hole, stop digging?

    #91604 Reply

    On the “What Just Happened in Russia Thread” on the main board, I responded to a mods post. It has all disappeared, including the original mods post. Can those posts be moved here.
    As it includes my apology to Tatyana I would think it right to do so…_

    #91605 Reply

    All that hard work gone, eh?

    To be precise, your comment began

    “Mods have posted the following,”.

    You then reproduced the entire moderation message (229 words, 7 paragraphs), even though it’s still visible in its original location. You should have either replied to it or linked to it.

    The remainder of your comment was a single paragraph (42 words):

    “I thank them for doing so. I have to apologise for missing this information when it was previously posted, I was unaware that the veracity of Tatyana had been checked out. I hope Tatyana can accept my admission, regret and apology also…_”

    Rewriting and reposting your apology to Tatyana would have taken less effort than posting a complaint in the forum

    You’re clearly wasting moderators’ time, DiggerUK. You would be well advised to take the advice Clark offered above.

    #91613 Reply

    The original mods post on “What Just Happened In Russia” thread has been reinstalled.
    Could my response attached to it be reinstated here. Thank you…_

    #91614 Reply

    The “original mods post” was never deleted.

    Every word you typed in response to it was reproduced in my previous reply.

    You’re still time-wasting, DiggerUK, and didn’t follow the advice, so you’re now on pre-moderation for a week.

    #91615 Reply

    Thank you for posting my apology attached to my original post on the “What Just Happened In Russia” thread. I would have attached it to your original post but the “Reply” option was unavailable. The important thing here is that my apology had been made.

    I was unaware of this blog checking out Tatyana after questions were raised a while back. I am a regular visitor and I am angered with myself for missing your verifications…_

    #91618 Reply

    Moderation. It’s a shit job, but someone has to do it. It’s the psychological equivalent of clearing waste, much of it toxic.

    It’s worse at Arsebook though…

    Cloud Employee:

    “Since the company had five shifts, workstations were shared between employees. Workers say they would come to work finding pubic hair, boogers, and other bodily wastes. One former employee Melynda Johnson said that she found that the company’s sole bathroom was particularly disturbing.”


    “Moderators can develop vicarious trauma, with symptoms that include insomnia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

    Facebook content moderators in Kenya call the work ‘torture.’ – AP

    #91622 Reply

    ah, that’s where you all are…
    DiggerUK, so you’re saying “questions were raised a while back”?

    Well, I asked about your description of a Russian Troll, saying that maybe I am the one, meaning this:
    Fact #1 I’m Russian and Fact #2 some people get really angry when talking to me. These two facts together add up to a Russian Troll.
    But it turns out that in your understanding, a Russian Troll is a false identity. That is, you basically questioned that I exist as a person. In addition, a false identity created by enemies to harm you.

    Have you ever been de-humanized, DiggerUK? Do you have such experience? Were you treated as if you aren’t human? As if you are a thing, a function, an instrument, an inanimate hostile phenomenon, deserving of contempt, insults? Like your feelings don’t matter?
    It’s like you’re walking into a public place and the guests next to you start to wrinkle their noses, make witty jokes about you and urge the hosts to clean up the source of the bad smell. I assure you that so many people don’t have any moral regulator of their own inside. And when their society gives them a “legal” object, they are not shy either in words or in deeds.

    Perhaps one day I will write a memoir about this discrimination. About what it’s like to be a Russian in an English-speaking forum at the time when Theresa May unleashed the dogs of hate. About the amount of stress. About fear to wrongly construct a phrase in a language that is not even native to you. About walking on eggshells trying to explain your opinions.
    And definitely about those people who have enough empathy to recognize me as a live human being. Who were patient, understanding the enormity of the language and cultural barriers facing me. And who firmly believed that freedom of speech exists for everyone and cannot be appropriated by “legally approved” categories of people.

    #91623 Reply

    Now you say that you regret not knowing about the verification results?
    So you waited for them, the results? For someone authoritative to say that I’m real?
    I will not reproach you for not being able to recognize a human being in front of you. Many cannot. And it’s regrettable that so many walls have been built between us, and so few people have the will to overcome those barriers, or even the confidence to reach out.
    I’m just infinitely sorry that some people are so afraid of making the mistake of being human that they prefer to be inhuman by default.

    I accept your apologies, hoping with all my heart that they are sincere.
    But even if insincere, I’m still glad that you found it right to apologize.

    Still I remain Russian and people continue to get angry when talking to me. I must admit, not without reason, because my way to understand a foreign interlocutor is to give them completely truthful information, and watch how they interpret it.
    E.g, I can say that I spend most of the day in the basement and the laptop with the Internet is my only window to the world during short periods of rest from physical labor. If they imagine a picture of a prisoner chained in a basement somewhere in terrible Putin’s Russia, then we are unlikely to become friends.

    So I’m quite a Russian Troll, but not in the way that Theresa May suggests.

    p.s. it’s useless to ask the moderators whether my verification procedure included the use of scopolamine and tasers, DiggerUK. They will deny it.

    #91624 Reply

    It’s not just you that gets this treatment, Tatyana.

    Even before all this Ukraine business happened, several years back (after the unscheduled landing of MH17), people were very anti-Russian, and quick to leap to judgement.

    On one Dutch website I frequent, some people were asking for V. Putin’s daughter to be thrown out of Holland. I ventured that whatever one might think of her relatives, it was hardly fair to punish her personally, when she had clearly not done or said anything.

    Result? Why, I must be a “Russian troll” myself! I was “a Putin stooge”! I should be thrown out of Holland myself! All this on a site on which I had commented for many years.

    A Russian friend of mine has found that, suddenly, nobody will correct her English exercises on a language learning app we both use. No English speaking person apart from me talks to her anymore. Friends they had in Ukraine, on receiving contact from her expressing her concerns for them, told her that they hope she gets cancer and her and her infant daughter will die in agony. And that was one of the more pleasant conversations.

    (She is no war hawk, and made it clear from the beginning that she was frightened about what was happening.)

    I admire your bravery in persisting on this blog, and hope you continue to do so.

    #91625 Reply

    Tatyana, I have always thought you to be genuine, and found your humanity to be strong. I remember when war was imminent on the Russia-Ukraine border that you expressed fear. You wanted war to be avoided if possible. You wrote of the bond between Russians and Ukrainians, and of mixed families on both sides of the border.

    In the pandemic your humanity shone through; unlike so many everywhere, you urged caution and the need to prevent the spread. This may have counted against you with those who deny the pandemic or its severity; I think DiggerUK holds such opinions.

    War is terrible, both in its direct effects, and in the way it turns ordinary people on the “opposing sides” against each other. Let us hope for and work towards a swift resolution and a peaceful future. Heaven knows, terrible grief is growing for all humanity from ecological destruction, climate disruption and resource depletion (more matters that DiggerUK denies), and it can only be made worse if we fight each other.

    #91626 Reply

    It’s not about “who believed in what”. It’s about people who are ready to torment the one pointed out by the government.
    We here in Russia have just recovered from the USSR style, and we watch with amazement as you slide into that hole from which we just got out.

    My parents, for example, grew up in the belief that they live in the best and freest country in the world, and beyond the western border of the country there are lands where unimaginable things happen – paid medicine, paid education, the race for income, the homeless on the streets, racial segregation, monstrous stratification on property grounds and the like.
    The USSR disappeared and we discovered that the stories “about the abroad” were true, only it no longer seems monstrous, because we ourselves now live in exactly the same way.

    #91627 Reply

    So you can shout “freedom to Navalny” while we shout “freedom to Assange” and my parents shouted “freedom to Angela Davis” and I have no idea what your parents were shouting.
    These shouting exchange over the fence is in line with the confrontation. But as soon as the prospect of real contacts appears, a tough government’s reaction is activated. I remember well how they discouraged people from visiting Russia during the World Cup.
    I am subscribed to an Englishman living in Russia. He is a cool guy and shares how his views have changed here. Labyrinths built in the head. Social norms. Entertainment that seems life threatening. The generally accepted degree of frankness in communication. Be accepted into the company. Embarrassing things. etc
    He recently shared this observation – in his head there were two categories: things are either English, or incorrect.

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