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13 hours ago, Grr-owl said:

In case anyone is interested in some issues relevant to this discussion, here's a couple of links to carefully composed and constructed articles:

https://www.aspi.org.au/report/cyber-enabled-foreign-interference-elections-and-referendums

https://www.aspi.org.au/report/mind-your-tongue

Regarding the 'Mind your Tongue' article, please keep this in mind about the Australian Strategic Policy Institute:

Funding[edit]

ASPI was established by the Australian Government in 2001 as a company limited by guarantee under the 2001 Corporations Act.[5] ASPI receives partial funding from the Department of Defence "with other sources of revenue including sponsorship, commissioned tasks, a membership scheme, sale of publications, advertising and event registration fees".[6]

The share of ASPI's funding provided by the Department of Defence decreased from 100 per cent in the 2000-01 financial year to 43 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year. Other government entities are the next-largest source of funding, and it receives funding from a large number of private companies for specific areas of analysis or individual reports. ASPI also accepts sponsorship from companies. ASPI's 2018-19 annual report stated that it received some funding from the Embassy of Japan and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, as well as from state governments and defence companies, such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Thales Group, and Raytheon Technologies.[7][8]

It is also funded by the Australian and foreign governments such as the United States State Department as well as by military contractors.[9][8]

 

Reception[edit]

ASPI has been described[by whom?] as one Australia's most influential national security policy think tanks.[11] Its work has been described as impressive by the Australian Financial Review[8] and groundbreaking by the Australian National Review.[12]

The institute has drawn praise and criticism from serving and former Australian politicians. In February 2020, the ASPI was criticised by Senator Kim Carr for taking funding from the United States Department of State to track Chinese research collaborations with Australian universities. Former foreign minister Bob Carr said it had a "one-sided, pro-American view of the world".[8] It[who?] also said that the institute had many supporters in the Australian parliament.[8] ASPI responded by saying that it "doesn’t have an editorial line on China, but we have a very clear method for how we go about our research".[13][14]

In October 2018, the Australian Digital Transformation Agency criticised an ASPI report on the Australian Government's digital identity program. The Agency stated that the report "was inaccurate and contained many factual errors", which "demonstrate a clear misunderstanding of how the digital identity system is intended to work".[11] The author of the report responded to the criticism, saying his concerns were acknowledged in private despite being publicly rejected by the agency.[15][clarification needed]

I

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27 minutes ago, demonstone said:

I wouldn't waste your time, Jaded and Hardtack.  P2J is clearly an adolescent attention-seeking troll getting his jollies by continuing to post such risible nonsense in the hope of getting a reaction.  

Yes, that's what I was thinking. I asked him a while back how old he was. From his posts, I figured he was about fourteen. Even the conservatives among the rest of us can usually mount a cogent argument.

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43 minutes ago, Jara said:

Yes, that's what I was thinking. I asked him a while back how old he was. From his posts, I figured he was about fourteen. Even the conservatives among the rest of us can usually mount a cogent argument.

Surely p2j is the same poster as jakovichscissorkick and whatever other pseudonyms he was posting under. If he is trolling, he's remarkably consistent, I'll give him that. I get strong boomer vibes.

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4 hours ago, dieter said:

Regarding the 'Mind your Tongue' article, please keep this in mind about the Australian Strategic Policy Institute:

Funding[edit]

ASPI was established by the Australian Government in 2001 as a company limited by guarantee under the 2001 Corporations Act.[5] ASPI receives partial funding from the Department of Defence "with other sources of revenue including sponsorship, commissioned tasks, a membership scheme, sale of publications, advertising and event registration fees".[6]

The share of ASPI's funding provided by the Department of Defence decreased from 100 per cent in the 2000-01 financial year to 43 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year. Other government entities are the next-largest source of funding, and it receives funding from a large number of private companies for specific areas of analysis or individual reports. ASPI also accepts sponsorship from companies. ASPI's 2018-19 annual report stated that it received some funding from the Embassy of Japan and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, as well as from state governments and defence companies, such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Thales Group, and Raytheon Technologies.[7][8]

It is also funded by the Australian and foreign governments such as the United States State Department as well as by military contractors.[9][8]

 

Reception[edit]

ASPI has been described[by whom?] as one Australia's most influential national security policy think tanks.[11] Its work has been described as impressive by the Australian Financial Review[8] and groundbreaking by the Australian National Review.[12]

The institute has drawn praise and criticism from serving and former Australian politicians. In February 2020, the ASPI was criticised by Senator Kim Carr for taking funding from the United States Department of State to track Chinese research collaborations with Australian universities. Former foreign minister Bob Carr said it had a "one-sided, pro-American view of the world".[8] It[who?] also said that the institute had many supporters in the Australian parliament.[8] ASPI responded by saying that it "doesn’t have an editorial line on China, but we have a very clear method for how we go about our research".[13][14]

In October 2018, the Australian Digital Transformation Agency criticised an ASPI report on the Australian Government's digital identity program. The Agency stated that the report "was inaccurate and contained many factual errors", which "demonstrate a clear misunderstanding of how the digital identity system is intended to work".[11] The author of the report responded to the criticism, saying his concerns were acknowledged in private despite being publicly rejected by the agency.[15][clarification needed]

I

No problems. Well aware of these. Doesn't mean their wok is biased or wrong; simply means you need to take into account their characteristics as an organization, as is advisable in every instance when it comes to media.

Skepticism is good. Cynicism is not, and neither is prejudice. Judge things on their merits.

 

Edited by Grr-owl
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17 hours ago, dieter said:

The West is 'Christian', and all of its catalogue of atrocities, Christian Russia included. Where's your sense of history, man?

In reality.

The West is pluralistic. Descended primarily from Protestantism, with a slug of Catholicism remaining, but with a big chunk of secularism driving it, and that's the most important bit if the discussion is about colonialism, capitalism, freedom of expression and what not. Russia is not Western in any sense.

https://books.google.ae/books/about/Dominion.html?id=CWyGDwAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

https://books.google.ae/books?id=YhWtCJSSv2cC&dq=civilization+the+west+and+the+rest&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi31emTks_tAhUipnEKHapYDfYQ6AEwAnoECAIQAg

 

 

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18 hours ago, dieter said:

Most of those who flee - like Solzhenitsyn - agree that we are way worse than them because we pretend we are free and democratic. Mister Gulag actually returned to Russia cleansed of his illusion that we had a better system.

I'll check this out. 

Though as you argue elsewhere that Russia is the West, perhaps what Solzhenitsyn really did was document how awful life was in the West, went to the West, then returned to the West cleaned of his illusion that the West was better. 

???

To argue that life in the USSR was better than life in the West during an equivalent period is just a fantasy.

In any case, as long as nobody tells me what I can write or draw or read or watch, I'll argue that life in the West is better than elsewhere, even given the litany of atrocities.

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29 minutes ago, Grr-owl said:

No problems. Well aware of these. Doesn't mean their wok is biased or wrong; simply means you need to take into account their characteristics as an organization, as is advisable in every instance when it comes to media.

Skepticism is good. Cynicism is not, and neither is prejudice. Judge things on their merits.

 

I beg to differ that it doesn't mean their work is biased or wrong: they are the mouthpiece of the organisations which feed their brain cells, which pay their wage. Surely you're not naive enough to believe that any organisation partly funded by the US State Department and various bomb manufacturers is going to have independence????

And, in my life, I've learned that a little cynicism is necessary. I agree wholeheartedly about prejudice. 

And, it's hard to judge things on their merits when you are constantly lied to.

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29 minutes ago, Grr-owl said:

In reality.

The West is pluralistic. Descended primarily from Protestantism, with a slug of Catholicism remaining, but with a big chunk of secularism driving it, and that's the most important bit if the discussion is about colonialism, capitalism, freedom of expression and what not. Russia is not Western in any sense.

https://books.google.ae/books/about/Dominion.html?id=CWyGDwAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

https://books.google.ae/books?id=YhWtCJSSv2cC&dq=civilization+the+west+and+the+rest&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi31emTks_tAhUipnEKHapYDfYQ6AEwAnoECAIQAg

 

 

Certainly not since Lenin rode his chariot to the Kremlin. Russia was Christian enough before that:

In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.

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33 minutes ago, Grr-owl said:

I'll check this out. 

Criticism of the West[edit]

Once in the United States, Solzhenitsyn sharply criticized the West.[101] In his commencement address at Harvard University in 1978,[62] Solzhenitsyn said: "But members of the U.S. antiwar movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there?"[102]

Solzhenitsyn criticized the Allies for not opening a new front against Nazi Germany in the west earlier in World War II. This resulted in Soviet domination and control of the nations of Eastern Europe. Solzhenitsyn claimed the Western democracies apparently cared little about how many died in the East, as long as they could end the war quickly and painlessly for themselves in the West. Delivering the commencement address at Harvard University in 1978, he called the United States spiritually weak and mired in vulgar materialism. Americans, he said, speaking in Russian through a translator, suffered from a "decline in courage" and a "lack of manliness." Few were willing to die for their ideals, he said. He condemned both the United States government and American society for its "hasty" capitulation in the Vietnam War. He criticized the country's music as intolerable and attacked its unfettered press, accusing it of violations of privacy. He said that the West erred in measuring other civilizations by its own model. While faulting Soviet society for denying fair legal treatment of people, he also faulted the West for being too legalistic: "A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities." Solzhenitsyn also argued that the West erred in "denying [Russian culture's] autonomous character and therefore never understood it".[62]

Solzhenitsyn was critical of NATO's eastward expansion towards Russia's borders.[103] In 2006, Solzhenitsyn accused NATO of trying to bring Russia under its control; he claimed this was visible because of its "ideological support for the 'colour revolutions' and the paradoxical forcing of North Atlantic interests on Central Asia".[103] In a 2006 interview with Der Spiegel he stated "This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc."[97]

Solzhenitsyn criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq and accused the United States of the "occupation" of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.[104]

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19 minutes ago, dieter said:

I beg to differ that it doesn't mean their work is biased or wrong: they are the mouthpiece of the organisations which feed their brain cells, which pay their wage.

We have this thing called science. It includes techniques to guard against bias. If you want to pick on the research, then come up with some evidence that it is wrong. Argue against it, for sure. That is your right. But gimme evidence.

Debate is good and constructive. 

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13 minutes ago, dieter said:

Criticism of the West[edit]

Once in the United States, Solzhenitsyn sharply criticized the West.[101] In his commencement address at Harvard University in 1978,[62] Solzhenitsyn said: "But members of the U.S. antiwar movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there?"[102]

Solzhenitsyn criticized the Allies for not opening a new front against Nazi Germany in the west earlier in World War II. This resulted in Soviet domination and control of the nations of Eastern Europe. Solzhenitsyn claimed the Western democracies apparently cared little about how many died in the East, as long as they could end the war quickly and painlessly for themselves in the West. Delivering the commencement address at Harvard University in 1978, he called the United States spiritually weak and mired in vulgar materialism. Americans, he said, speaking in Russian through a translator, suffered from a "decline in courage" and a "lack of manliness." Few were willing to die for their ideals, he said. He condemned both the United States government and American society for its "hasty" capitulation in the Vietnam War. He criticized the country's music as intolerable and attacked its unfettered press, accusing it of violations of privacy. He said that the West erred in measuring other civilizations by its own model. While faulting Soviet society for denying fair legal treatment of people, he also faulted the West for being too legalistic: "A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities." Solzhenitsyn also argued that the West erred in "denying [Russian culture's] autonomous character and therefore never understood it".[62]

Solzhenitsyn was critical of NATO's eastward expansion towards Russia's borders.[103] In 2006, Solzhenitsyn accused NATO of trying to bring Russia under its control; he claimed this was visible because of its "ideological support for the 'colour revolutions' and the paradoxical forcing of North Atlantic interests on Central Asia".[103] In a 2006 interview with Der Spiegel he stated "This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc."[97]

Solzhenitsyn criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq and accused the United States of the "occupation" of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.[104]

I'm not sure why you bring all this up. No doubt he's right on some points, and certainly deluded on others; I love bluesy rock n' roll for instance. In any case, I'm not arguing ....

Let me put it this way: Let's say it's hot out, 40 degrees or so. You have to go out and there's two cars in the driveway. Identical Datsun Sunnys. They are beaten up and broken in exactly the same way. The tires need some air. The window winders don't work. Everything is the same except for one thing: one has airconditioning and the other doesn't. Which one are you going to take to the shops?   

To argue that life in the USSR was better than life in the West over the equivalent period is just absurd.

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24 minutes ago, dieter said:

Certainly not since Lenin rode his chariot to the Kremlin. Russia was Christian enough before that:

In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.

It's not the West, mate. No Orthodox country is Western.... 

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8 minutes ago, dieter said:

Yep, and look at the state of the world. Look at Trump and his attitude to 'Science'. 

Education is the answer, and once the neo-liberals are gone, we might get some of that.

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32 minutes ago, dieter said:

Certainly not since Lenin rode his chariot to the Kremlin. Russia was Christian enough before that:

In 1914 in Russia, there were 55,173 Russian Orthodox churches and 29,593 chapels, 112,629 priests and deacons, 550 monasteries and 475 convents with a total of 95,259 monks and nuns.

It was Christian throughout the communist period. The impulses and idea that drove both are the same - uncritical acceptance of ideas. Dogma. The desire for a savior.... etc...

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40 minutes ago, dieter said:

I beg to differ that it doesn't mean their work is biased or wrong: they are the mouthpiece of the organisations which feed their brain cells, which pay their wage. Surely you're not naive enough to believe that any organisation partly funded by the US State Department and various bomb manufacturers is going to have independence????

And, in my life, I've learned that a little cynicism is necessary. I agree wholeheartedly about prejudice. 

And, it's hard to judge things on their merits when you are constantly lied to.

Maybe it's a good idea to stop looking for things to believe?

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29 minutes ago, Grr-owl said:

It was Christian throughout the communist period. The impulses and idea that drove both are the same - uncritical acceptance of ideas. Dogma. The desire for a savior.... etc...

There are other takes on that. It involves the origin of Socialism, and, as Mister Solz. noted, the communists who took over Russia weren't mainly not actually the Rus.

In the meantime, there is only a schismatic difference between so-called Western Christianity and its Constantinople based 'rival.

Do you, for example, see the Greek Orthodoxians as 'Western'?

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2 hours ago, dieter said:

There are other takes on that. It involves the origin of Socialism, and, as Mister Solz. noted, the communists who took over Russia weren't mainly not actually the Rus.

In the meantime, there is only a schismatic difference between so-called Western Christianity and its Constantinople based 'rival.

Do you, for example, see the Greek Orthodoxians as 'Western'?

No. The culture is fundamentally not western. I reckon that case could be made creditably made in relation to most of Italy and Spain and Portugal, too, even though they are Catholic. One of the major reasons that Europe will fail, but I don’t want to go into that.

I’ll take the Souvlaki, though...

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