-- Will we say goodbye to free speech?
Reality bites – especially in a war
Disinformation – what it is, who promotes it, and how to combat it.
Nord Stream terrorism, UN failure, and “Official Secrets”
Secret “war-crime” warrants by International Criminal Court is mischief-making
Getting the full story about Ukraine
The west vs the rest – the world is changing
Ukraine commemorates Nazi collaborators
Do New Zealanders no longer support Ukraine?
The subtlety of neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine – ignored by our media
Where are Ukrainian refugees going? – an update
Is New Zealand covertly supporting the glorification of neo-Nazism?
Following the war in Ukraine – an update
Russian anti-war protester goes to see for herself
You can’t understand Ukraine without acknowledging its deep divisions
Once again, those Russian neo-Nazis – the Wagner group
A heartwarming story about a Ukrainian prisoner of war
Over 50 POWs killed. A military accident or a cynical war crime?
Ukraine/Russia war, an intelligence operation or a sting, Ukrainian and UK spies, and Bellingcat
Mainstream media defends poor journalism by smearing good journalism
Ukraine war – a shocking failure of our mainstream media
How is the war going?
Why should Ukraine listen to lame duck Boris Johnson?
Ukraine war – a failure of honest diplomacy and reason
British volunteer soldier in Ukraine speaks up
What about those Russian neo-Nazis?
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine – stages of denial
Confusion about neo-Nazis in Ukraine-Russia war
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Comedians are often more truthful than politicians.
Ukraine – a beginner’s guide
Why the silence on censorship?
Everything You Know About Ukraine Is WRONG
Some sense on the Russia-Ukraine war
British volunteer soldier in Ukraine tells his story
Virtue signaling over Ukraine
Fluoridation and child IQ – the problem of counting chickens before they hatch
August ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
July ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
June ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoridation group tells porkies about NZ fluoridation review
Opponents of fluoridation all at sea with new legislation
Update of NZ fluoridation review timely and useful
May ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation contribution to heavy metals in drinking water is too low to measure
April ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Hip fractures in the elderly and fluoride – contradictory evidence
March ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
An open letter to Paul Connet and the anti-fluoride movement
February ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Data dredging, p-hacking and motivated discussion in anti-fluoride paper
Censorship: Thinking you are right – even if you’re wrong
Embarrassing knock-back of second draft review of possible cognitive health effects of fluoride
The promotion of weak statistical relationships in science
Can we trust science?
January ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
I don’t “believe” in science – and neither should you
December ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Science is often wrong – be critical
November ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Hyping it up over fluoridation
September ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
August ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
July ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Even studies from endemic fluorosis areas show fluoride is not harmful at levels used in fluoridation
Canadian studies confirm findings of Broadbent et al (2015) – fluoridation has no effect on child IQ
Child IQ in countries with endemic fluorosis imply fluoridation is safe.
Anti-fluoride 65 brain-fluoride studies not evidence against fluoridation
June ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking delayed
Another study used by anti-fluoride activists actually shows community water fluoridation OK
May ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
When scientists get political: Lead fluoride-IQ researcher launches emotional attack on her scientific critics
New study touted by anti-fluoridation campaigners actually indicates fluoridation is safe
No relationship of bone cancer to fluoridation – another new study the anti-fluoride brigade will attempt to ignore
New review finds fluoride is not a developmental neurotoxicant at exposure levels relevant to fluoridation
April ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride campaigners still rely on irrelevant studies
Author confirms anti-fluoridation activist misrepresentation of her work
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 6: Incestuous relationship of these studies
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
No; a new study from Ethiopia does not indicate fluoridation is bad for your bones
Anti-fluoridationists put faith in new “strong” studies to provide evidence missing in draft NTP review
Industry-funded translation can introduce bias in selection of studies for scientific review
Another embarrassment for anti-fluoride campaigners as neurotoxic claim found not to be justified
February ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Beware of scientific paper abstracts – read the full text to avoid being fooled
January ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
December ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation science and political advocacy – who is fooling who?
Scientific integrity & fluoridation – Dr Ghali responds
Sleep disorders and fluoride: dredging data to confirm a bias
Some fluoride-IQ researchers seem to be taking in each other’s laundry
Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
Experts complain to funding body about quality of fluoride-IQ research
What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
September ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Biostatistical problems with the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Bye, bye to the collusion lie
If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help
Anti-fluoride activists misrepresent a new kidney/liver study
July ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
MH17 tragedy- 5 years on
June ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Chemical watchdog confirms suppressed report but justifies the suppression
May ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Does international chemical watchdog cherry-pick evidence to confirm a bias?
Psychology of Russiagate – an adult discussion for a change
April ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Russiagate – Some insights into its origins and results
Russiagate: Lessons for the media. But will they listen?
March ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Aftermath of the Mueller report – the media starts looking at itself
Mueller report to be released mid April – but it will be redacted
Collapse of the “Russiagate ” myth exposes how corporate media has failed
Getting out alive – why we should always demand evidence
Terrorism in Christchurch – some thoughts
“Disinformation” and the mainstream media
February ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
January ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Preempting the annual misrepresentation of NZ dental health data by anti-fluoride activists
December ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: Another study shows stopping fluoridation bad for child tooth decay
November ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Media manipulation – the tail wags the dog
Protection of teeth by fluoride confirmed – yet again
And you thought Russiagate could not get sillier.
Trump and the media – codependents wallowing in the mud
Julian Assange’s mother appeals for her son’s freedom
October ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Nuclear dangers if INF treaty abandoned could be worse than in the 1980s
Fluoridation and ADHD: A new round of statistical straw clutching
September ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
September ’18 NZ blog ranking – delayed
Flight MH17 tragedy in Ukraine – new evidence
Novichock detection and the Salisbury tourists
A more convincing take on prenatal maternal dietary effects on child IQ
Fluoridation: “debating” the science?
Opportunities and problems for grassroots activism offered by the internet
August ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Who is weaponising the vaccination debate?
Another BUK accident in Ukraine
Policing social media – who is coming next and who is behind it?
Political interference prevents investigators from considering the “bleeding obvious”
July ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Mainstream media “mob violence” over Helsinki summit
Blatant misreporting of latest OPCW report on chemical weapons in Syria
Time for a serious auditing of Porton Down’s nerve agent stocks?
June ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride campaigners exhaust their legal channels with another loss
Magical World Cup Gala Concert
May ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoridation activists buy scientific credibility using a predatory publisher
Another shonky OPCW chemical incident report on Syria
Not just another rat study
Russian sports doping scandal looking like an illusion?
April ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Mainstream media-political alliance gets vindictive
Novichock – a marketing ploy?
The “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons programme” destroyed?
OPCW on Salisbury poisoning – one step forward, two back?
Anti-fluoridationist Paul Connett misrepresents NZ data
Anti-fluoridationists rejection of IQ studies in fluoridated area.
March ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A conference paper on the maternal prenatal urinary fluoride/child IQ study has problems
The 52 IQ studies used by anti-fluoride campaigners
The real lessons from Vladimir Putin’s re-election
Why is it so difficult to get an open discussion on fluoridation?
Mary Byrne’s criticism is misplaced and avoids the real issues
Anti-fluoride group coordinator responds to my article
Where could you get a nerve agent in Salisbury?
The first casualty . .
Paul Connett’s misrepresentation of maternal F exposure study debunked
February ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride activist commits “Death by PowerPoint”
Paul Connett “updates” NZ MPs about fluoride?
Anti-fluoride activists misrepresent another thyroid study
Fake news from the White Helmets returns
RT election subversion – yet again?
January ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Yet another fluoride-IQ study
So you are saying . . . . . !
Jordan Peterson demonstrates the importance of free speech
Select your conspiracy theory and connect the dots
Whose who in the Russiagate affair – an infographic
A week of good news in New Zealand
Is “Russiagate” another deception like Iraqi WMDs?
“Fire and Fury” exposes the fundamental problems of the anti-Trump movement
Confirmation bias – we all suffer from it but how can we reduce its effect?
December ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Yet another way Russia is undermining our society
Anti-fluoridationists misrepresent New Zealand dental data – an annual event
Fluoridation means money in the pocket
Anti-fluoridation campaigners often use statistical significance to confirm bias
November ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with scepticism
Chemical weapons use in Syria UN report flawed by political bias
Anti-fluoride “expert” finds the real reason oral health has improved – and it’s not fluoride
Meat substitutes – prospects and new ethical questions
October ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
New fluoride debate falters
Political maturity in New Zealand – at least compared to the US
Flaw and porkie in anti-fluoride report claiming a flaw in Canadian study
Do we need a new fluoride debate?
September ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Endemic fluorosis and its health effects
Maternal urinary fluoride/IQ study – an update
Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring
Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
We need more post-publication peer review
Cassini plunges into Saturn tonight – a grand finale
What’s with the anti-fluoridationist promotion of dental health programmes?
Non-violence in the defence of free speech
August ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation not associated with ADHD – a myth put to rest
From Charlottesville to Boston – a lesson
Hypocrisy, irrationality and wise words from Monty Python
Are we all anti-fascist now?
Are fluoride researchers sacked for their findings?
Fluoridation and cancer
Local anti-fluoride activists tell porkies yet again
July ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The main stream media is out of touch
Don’t rely on sources – follow the evidence
Stovepiping to produce fake news
June ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Darwin, sexual selection and Putin
Fluoridation: Open letter to Democrats for Social Credit
Fluoridation: What’s happening with the New Zealand legislation?
May ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The “information war” and social media, or how to tell if you are a Kremlin troll
Anti-fluoridationists commonly misrepresent Ministry of Health data
ChildSmile – a complement, not an alternative, to fluoridation
Fluoridation helps protect adult teeth as well as children’s
Fluoridation: the truth about heavy metal contamination
Visualising the numbers – The Fallen of World War II
Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem
April ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Citing scientific studies and the arrogance of ignorance
No, fluoridation is not associated with leading causes of death
Anti-fluoridationists exploit infant deaths by fiddling statistics
Here we go again
The Putin Derangement Syndrome
Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem.
March ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Another anti-fluoridation whopper
2018 Global Atheist Convention
Fluoridation: Making sense of the Ministry of Health data
Fluoride, coffee and activist confusion
Trump didn’t invent the problems – and his opponents didn’t invent protest
Anti-fluoride authors indulge in data manipulation and statistical porkies
Be careful what you wish for
An Oscar for Al Qaeda?
February ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
EPA comprehensively debunks anti-fluoride claims of a fluoride-IQ effect
Anti-fluoridationists go to Supreme Court – who is paying for this?
Debunking a “classic” fluoride-IQ paper by leading anti-fluoride propagandists
Islamophobia or mental illness?
Tha Amnesty report – and a response from Syria
Non-fluoridated Christchurch does not have better teeth than fluoridated Auckland
January ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Debunking anti-fluoridationist’s remaining 12 reasons for opposing fluoridation
Madonna teaches us a lesson in critical thinking
New research confirms adults benefit from community water fluoridation as well as children
Premature births a factor in cognitive deficits observed in areas of endemic fluorosis?
Sources our mainstream media uses to promote their narrative about Syria
More nails in the coffin of the anti-fluoridation myths around IQ and hypothyroidism
Water fluoridation – what to expect in the near future
Fluoridation: New scientific review of fluoride and oral health
Critical thinking, not censorship, is the solution to fake news
Anti-fluoride IQ claims are false
December ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Large Swedish study finds no effect of fluoride on IQ
Fake news and the new fact-free reporting paradigm
Fluoridation: New research confirms it is cost effective – yet again
Fluoridation: members of parliament call from submissions from scientific and health experts
Fake news, human suffering and the fight against terrorism
November ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sometimes I think the world has gone mad
Leader of flawed fluoridation study gets money for another go
White Helmets confirm authenticity of acted “rescue” video
Manufacturing news, and opinion, about Syria
Why should we subsidise religious leaders and their silly statements?
Warriors, scouts, Trump’s election and your news media
US elections – who should you be angry with?
Trump’s victory – why the surprise, why the anger?
Anti-fluoride claims often not relevant to New Zealand
October ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
White Helmets dupes New Zealand government?
Voluntary media censorship is ethically wrong
Fluoridation not associated with hip fracture, heart attacks of osteosarcoma – new study
Anti-fluoridation activist Paul Connett has a senior moment about our debate
“Humanitarian” intervention and war crimes
Crocodile tears over Syria at UN security council
Anti-Syrian propaganda and the White Helmets
Shyness of anti-fluoride election candidates
Syria & the fog of war
September ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
But will it stand up in court?
Flogging a dead horse – anti-fluoridationists lose in court again
Syria UN Ambassador makes sense of the war in Syria
The shaky Syrian ceasefire agreement staggers on – or does it?
Fluoridation & democracy: Open letter to DHB candidate Andrew Buckley
When will they ever learn?
Ceasefire in Syria is exposing real nature of “moderate” rebels
What do Syrians think of the new cessation of hostilities agreement?
Dissecting pseudoscientific and political propaganda
August ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
An anti-fluoride trick: Impressing the naive with citations
Does community water fluoridation reduce diabetes prevalence?
“Filtering” out fluoride
Rio Olympics – what are those gold medals worth?
Fluoridation – freedom of choice
Is water fluoridation better than salt fluoridation?
Ethics and the doping scandal – a response to Guest Work
Being better informed – unexpected advice from The Guardian
July ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Quantifying the problem of international sports doping
Dental health – it’s not all about fluoride
The Putin diversion
The insult of low expectations
MH17 tragedy – 2 years on
Misrepresenting fluoride science – an open letter to Paul Connett
Are you really right?
June ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Why don’t feminists fight for Muslim women?
Permission to have that conversation
A cynical take on effective speakers
Richard Dawkins – speech to Reason Rally, 2016
Chemophobic scaremongering: Much ado about absolutely nothing
MH17 tragedy – new investigation launched
Fluoridation: News media should check press releases from anti-fluoridationists
Fluoridation debate: Responding to Tom O’Connor
May ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
New review shows clear economic benefits from community water fluoridation
Debating fluoridation and tyranny – Tom O’Connor responds
Attempting a tyranny of the minority on fluoridation
Writing to please the reader’s ear
Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
Public discussion of science can be toxic
Fluoridation cessation studies reviewed – overall increase in tooth decay noted
Mistakes were made – but by who?
Don’t be fooled by simple media “science”
“Do the math” – a bit like “Do the research!”
Victory Day celebration of defeat of terrorism in Palmyra
Will we be using contact lens cameras in future?
Barrel bombs, hell cannons, Aleppo and media bias
April ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Korean community water fluoridation supported by new evidence
Science and management – a clash of cultures
Anti-fluoride campaigners cherry-pick irrelevant overseas research but can’t find relevant New Zealand research
Cochrane fluoridation review described as “empty”
Anti-fluoridationists misrepresent new dental data for New Zealand children
A challenge to anti-fluoridationers to justify their misrepresentation of New Zealand research
Fluoridation decisions to be made by District Health Boards
Nadine gives a necessary message to her fellow Muslims
Anti-fluoridationists now scaremonger about silica in your drinking water
Reversed responsibility and the burden of proof
Anti-fluoridation cherry-pickers at it again
March ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: My podcast with with Howard Farran
Why is Donald Trump so successful – and will he win?
Why are our politicians so silent on Palmyra’s liberation from clutches of Daesh?
The US speaks in two tongues on terrorism
Chemistry is everywhere – even in those natural products
Life for women under Daesh (ISIS)
The toxicity of chemophobia
Anti-fluoridation campaigner, Stan Litras, misrepresents WHO
Hiding behind “experts”
The “interfaith” trap – particularly for atheists
A Chinese study the anti-fluoridation crowd won’t be citing
Misrepresentation, misogyny and misandry – these should concern sceptics
Searching articles on fluoride
February ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Big business funding of anti-science propaganda on health
Anti-fluoridationist’s flawed attacks on Calgary study
Media misleading on Syria
Stephen Fry on Twitter
Richard Dawkins and the Skeptics Conference controversy.
Is the media lying to you about Syria?
Fluoridation: Whakatane teaches us something we should already know
Chemistry – “to dupe, to cheat?”
What a pleasant surprise!
Censorship by demonisation
Once more on the IQ and fluoride myth – why ignore other factors?
January ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: Whakatane District Council makes the Hamilton mistake
New study finds community water fluoridation still cost effective
“Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis” – don’t throw baby out with bathwater
Fluoridation: Some simple chemistry
The danger of insisting on your own facts
Flight MH17 in Ukraine – what do intelligence services know?
Iron and fluoride in human milk
Hubris of the google researcher
The Harvard study and the Lancet paper
Cultural and ideological bias in scientific literature reviews
Facts, beliefs and delusions
Science – a method of investigation, not a belief system
Yet another misrepresentation of a dental health study
December ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review – the “tyranny” of the third reviewer
Christmas – “White Wine In The Sun”
Community water fluoridation still cost-effective
Democracy and expert advice on scientific issues
Fluoride and IQ – another study coming up
The hardest thing in life . .
Climate deal signed – now for the hard bit: action
Traditions and social arrangements out of step with social diversity
“Natural News” on trial in The Hague for crimes against science
Rejection of scientific studies in online discussions
Another defeat for anti-fluoridation claims about arsenic
November ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with reasoned discussion
John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda
Science is never done – some scientific terms explained
Studies show – or do they?
Should we trust science? – Wellington talk
Can world leaders learn from the Paris terror attacks?
Anti-fluoride hypothyroidism paper slammed yet again
Cyberchondria and similar “illnesses”
Onehunga and the “fluoride-free” myth
Thames voters decisively support fluoridation
Why doesn’t Putin shirtfront someone?
October ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific papers, civil disobedience and personal networks
The quackery of anti-fluoride internet trolls
Our beautiful planet: Astronaut art works
Christian co-option of karakia
Combatting anti-fluoride Gish gallopers
MH17: Final technical report
Responding to Tracey Brown on fluoridation
“The ugly truth” – Tracey Brown ticks me off
MH17 – another Boeing sacrificed for investigation.
The ugly truth about critics of “the ugly truth” in science
Many Syrians see Russians as saviours
Door knockers should pay to interrupt us
September ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride: More scaremongering using drug warnings
Putin’s UN address: “Do you realise what you’ve done?”
Obama’s United Nations address: “We Must Stamp Out ‘Apocalyptic Cult’ ISIS”
European and Māori major non-believers in NZ
Cochrane responds to misrepresentation of their fluoridation review
ChildSmile dental health – its pros and cons
Should all scientists really be militant atheists?
The Alternative Medicine Racket
The chemical party
A job with a view – but not for the clumsy
Fluoridation: Freedom of choice – and responsibility
My talk to the Reason & Science Society – an invite
Why the internet annoys chemists
Freedom of religion and belief – not a license to interfere with others
Humanitarian intervention – but when & how?
Discussing science on social media
August ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Australian census religion question – progress
In the end, it came down to the science in Denver
Subverting democratic consultation on the fluoride issue
Religious instruction scrapped from school curriculum in Victoria
Alternative reality of anti-fluoride “science”
What is life?
Anti-fluoride propagandists get creative with statistics
Fluoridation: Connett’s criticism of New Zealand research debunked
Fluoridation: Connett’s naive use of WHO data debunked
Time to give up on Sitemeter
70th anniversary of first use of atomic weapon against civilians
Connett misrepresents the fluoride and IQ data yet again
Fluoridation: Newsweek science journalism bottoms out
July ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The bureaucratic solution to a problem
Fluoridation: “Sciencey” sounding claims ruled unacceptable
Comparing the Cochrane and NZ Fluoridation Reviews
Rapid change in attitudes to marriage equality
Scaremongering and chemophobia
MH17 tragedy: 1 year on
Talk of “mini ice age” bunkum
Progress in removing religious instruction from public schools?
Fluoridation: Beliefs about safety and benefits
Climate change: Our time really is running out
Cochrane fluoridation review. III: Misleading section on dental fluorosis
June ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cochrane fluoridation review. II: “Biased” and poor quality research?
Cochrane fluoridation review. I: Most research ignored
What is causing warming of the earth?
New science bloggers wanted for Sciblogs 2.0
Gagging of scientists – a common problem?
I wish more people were aware of this
Misrepresentation of the new Cochrane fluoridation review
News media – telling us how to think
Misrepresenting the York fluoride review
Fluoridation: Misrepresenting the “saliva theory”
Something to consider
Fluoridation and horses – another myth
Science and social media in new Zealand
Monday morning proverb
Fake weight-loss study example of wider problem
Calcium fluoride and the “soft” water anti-fluoridation myth
May ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Connett & Hirzy do a shonky risk assesment for fluoride
Making mountains out of scientific mole hills
Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
RSNZ Science Book Prize winner – Tangata Whenua
Don’t put all the blame on the Germans – a lesson from World War II
The problem of “Fact-Resistant Humans”
What a nice idea
Water fluoridation effective – new study
Follow the money?
The distrust of science – a task for science communication
We always seem to ignore the causes
April ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Wise words from Carl Sagan
Poor peer review – and its consequences
Connett fiddles the data on fluoride
ADHD link to fluoridation claim undermined again
Commercial and ideological support of anti-fluoride activity
Why is Vladimir Putin so popular in the USA?
Is comfirmation bias essential to anti-fluoride “research?”
The will to find out
IQ not influenced by water fluoridation
Making sense of scientific research
The frustrations of modern technology
March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Poor peer-review – a case study
The arrogance of science?
New Zealand science book prize – 2015 Short list
ADHD linked to elevation not fluoridation
Anonymous comments on social media
More poor-quality research promoted by anti-fluoride activists
Free download – “Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits”
Are submissions on fluoridation worth it?
Social media and science – the problems and the challenge
A couple of “oldies” inject some sense into international politics
Open letter to Lisa Hansen on NZ Fluoridation Review
February ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Paper claiming water fluoridation linked to hypothyroidism slammed by experts
Dirty tactics by anti-fluoride activists in Taupo
NZ Fluoridation review – Response to Micklen
NZ Fluoridation review – HS Micklen responds to critique
Did business interests interfere with Hamilton’s fluoride tribunal process?
A perspective of distances in space
Download report analysing anti-fluoride attacks on NZ Fluoridation Review
Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility
Reality of war for civilians
Stephen Fry not pulling any punches
January ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
US meddling in Ukraine behind coup
Sunday reading – Richard Dawkins reads some of his “fan mail”
Is debating with anti-science activists worth the effort?
Six months on – concerns about MH17 investigation
Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits – now peer reviewed
Those evil chemicals
“Internet and social media misinform thousands daily”
“I just know”
The victims of terror
Fluoride Free NZ report disingenuous – conclusion
Spotting Bad Science
October ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
December ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The MH17 blame game
Science never claimed to know everything
Special pleading by Philippe Grandjean on fluoride
The inverted ethics of doxxing?
Fascinating and painless chemistry lessons
Did the Royal Society get it wrong about fluoridation?
“Do your own research!”
Dirty politics over MH17?
Cherry-picking and misinformation in Stan Litras’s anti-fluoride article
Today’s fantasy, tomorrow’s possibility
The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report
November ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
“Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
Proving anecdotes are reliable
Declan Waugh pushes another anti-fluoride myth
Severe dental fluorosis the real cause of IQ deficits?
Catch 22 in Ukraine
Let’s rely on anecdotes instead!
Standing up to junk science in New Zealand
Declan Waugh claims it’s “clear as day”
Unusual photo of Moon and Earth.
Criminal investigation of MH17 tragedy – where is it at?
There is something about those climate records that keep getting broken
Putting politicans in their place on climate change
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
Curiosity’s historic comet photo
When science deniers turn to science
Fluoride debate: Second response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan
Fluoride debate: Response to Daniel Ryan’s critique – Rita Bartlett-Rose
Fluoride debate: A response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan
Fluoride debate: The scientific evidence against fluoridation – Rita F. Barnett
Another legal defeat for NZ anti-fluoridation activists
Anti-fluoridation propagandists promoting shonky “review”
How to change your Mind – and why it is good for you
The science and politics of climate change
Science and belief
September ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”
The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms
MOM “a thousand times better than cricket”
Activist’s anti-science adverts found misleading – again
Don’t you get tired of this?
It’s time we did something about sugar
Crude dredging of the scientific literature
Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent”
MH17 – Preliminary report leaves most conspiracy theories intact
Do you prefer dental fluorosis or tooth decay?
Emotion Drives Decision
Ingested fluoride, dental health and old age
August ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sad news – Victor Stenger has died
Making money out of fanatics
Dirty politics on the Royal Society fluoride review
Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research
The Mind of the Science Denier
Open letter to Jane Nielson – a “fluoridation convert.”
Accidental Renaissance – or intuition?
Tactics for science denial
Natural News comes out with a load of heavy metal rubbish on fluoride
July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
I am still waiting for my cheque
An answer to the anti-fluoride critics – in one image
Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site
Informed parents know water fluoridation is good for their children
Making political capital out of the deaths of innocents
Elected officials must ignore activists and listen to own voters
The irony of some peer-review and citation complaints
Ken Ring pontificates on climate change
Anti-science US Congressman on House science Committee!
“Creative” reporting of fluoridation science
What happens when fluoridation is stopped?
June ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Controversial IQ study hammered in The Lancet
New group challenging the anti-science brigade
Fluoridation: what about reports it is ineffective?
Approaching scientific literature sensibly
Declan Waugh’s misinformation on fluorosilicic acid
A healthy attitude towards quantum mechanics
An open letter to Declan Waugh – new mechanism for fluoride toxicity?
Toxicity is in the dose or concentration of fluoride
Councils and scientists targeted by anti-fluoride activists
Lugansk – a modern Guernica?
Inna Kukuruza – “her eyes spoke to the whole world”
Connett’s hypocrisy on fluoride & IQ
May ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Confirmation blindness on the fluoride-IQ issue
Where do teeth come from? The stork theory
There is research and there is “research”
Fluoridating water does not lower IQ – New Zealand research
Fluoride and IQ – once more
Another anti-fluoride myth in the making
A balanced debate
It’s all the fashion in Ukraine
Fluoridation: What a difference a year makes?
Wishart misrepresents fluoride science to advance his extreme ideology
Fluoridation: emotionally misrepresenting contamination
April ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review, shonky journals and misrepresenting fluoride science
Ingested fluoride is beneficial to dental health.
Anti-fluoridation advertising deceptive
Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
The first victim!
An outdated tax anomaly – charitable status of relgion
Declan Waugh scaremongers over fluoride – again
Arrogance of ignorance?
Pandering to anti-fluoridation campaigners
International cooperation in space serving humanity
Is anyone listening?
March ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific cooperation despite political posturing
Fluoridation returns to Hamilton City.
European border changes over 5000 years
Dental fluorosis: badly misrepresented by FANNZ
What makes something right or wrong?
How do we know what is true?
Cherry-picking and ring-fencing the scientific literature
Fluoride and heart disease – another myth
Graphic information in science
Corporate backers of anti-fluoride movement lose in NZ High Court.
Terry Pratchett making sense
Fluoride and the 5 easy steps of a conspiracy theory
February ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Pseudoscience in your supermarket
Another god debate
Repeating bad science on fluoride
Truth about those science fairs
Quality and selection counts in fluoride research
The precautionary principle
How can scientists use social media?
Curiosity sees a familiar “evening star.”
The fluoride debate – what do the experts say?
January ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Entertainment is brain exercise
Download The Fluoride Debate
Determining scientific knowledge by petition
Fluoride debate: Final article – Ken Perrott
Fluoride debate: Paul Connett’s Closing statement
The good(?) old days of scientific writing
Most of us missed this one
False balance and straw clutching on fluoridation
Who is funding anti-fluoridation High Court action?
Astro-turfing for scientific credibility
Losing trust in religious leaders
Conspiracy theorists misuse analytical evidence
All things bright and beautiful
December ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride debate: Ken Perrott’s closing response to Paul Connett?
Putting vaccination risks into context
Fluoride debate: Arguments Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 8. Paul
Alan Turing receives royal pardon
The true meaning of Christmas
Where is the heat going?
Fluoride debate: Response to Paul’s 5th article
Back to the moon!
Fluoride debate: Arguments Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 5. Paul
Census 2013 – religious diversity
Fluoride debate: Response to Paul’s 6th article.
Testing the God theory
Fluoridation debate: Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 6.
November ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
‘The particle at the end of the universe’ wins Winton Prize
Fluoridation debate: Why I support fluoridation – 2nd reply to Connett
Psychics have it easy these days
Fluoride Debate: Why I support fluoridation – 2nd response from Connett
From dental neglect to child abuse?
Fluoride Debate: Why I support fluoridation – response to Connett
Fluoride debate: Why I support fluoridation – Response from Connett
Word of wisdom, and otherwise
Have local climate pseudosceptics come to the end of the road?
Fluoride debate: Why I support fluoridation
Sin is relative
Fluoride debate – I get email
Fluoride debate Part 1a – response to Connet’s response: Perrott
Fluoride debate – some housekeeping
Fluoride debate Part 1a – response: Connett
October ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride debate Part 1: Perrott
Fluoride debate Part 1: Connett
The fluoride debate – introduction
The origins of ethics and violence
What’s really true?
Anti-fluoridation porkies – Mullinex’s rats
Science and faith
NZ climate change “sceptics” abandon appeal
Christianity has hijacked human values
Fluoridation: Hangout with the University of Waikato
The universe – it is bigger than you think
Our Far South – time we learned about it
Christian ethics and Peter Singer
Fluoride – friend or foe: a lecture
Cyber bullying of science
Fluoridation: the hip fracture deception
September ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Tim Minchin – an inspirational speech to graduates
Jon Stewart interviews Richard Dawkins
Anatomy of an anti-fluoridation myth
NZ experts deplore anti-fluoridation misrepresentation of science
Helping kids to wonder
Fluoridation – the IQ myth
When politicians and bureaucrats decide the science
Welcome counter to scientific and health misinformation
New “evidence” for global cooling?
Phobos eclipses the sun – as seen by Curiosity
Dentists you can trust?
Activists peddle chemical misinformation for fluoridation referenda
August ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cherry picking fluoridation data
Anti-fluoridationist astro-turfing and media manipulation
Anti-fluoride activists attempt to silence science
Crazy ideas and “supernatural” phenomena
Experts speak out on fluoridation
Fluoride sensitivity – all in the mind?
Earthquakes and twitter
Cyber-bullying – what’s with sunscreen?
Anti-fluoridation study flawed – petition rejected
News media influences public trust in science
The “consensus message” in communicating science
Hamilton – the water is the problem, not the fluoride!
Topical confusion persists
Celebrate your curiosity – one year on
July ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Is this the way to reorganise science?
The limits of science and a world record
Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride?
Are you qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell?
The Galileo fallacy and denigration of scientific consensus
A new Cosmos
Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit on track
Is fluoridated water a medicine?
Debunking anti-fluoridation myths
Source of moral authority has shifted
Fluoridation – an organised campaign to misinform.
Hamilton gets its fluoridation referendum
Not your usual rocket launch
Fluoridation – topical confusion
Communicating climate science – Michael Mann comments
Fluoridation and conspiracy theories
Richard Dawkins learns about the Bible
Fluoridation – the violation of rights argument.
June ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The victim mentality of conspiracy theorists
Poisoning the well with a caricature of science
Fluoridation petition – for Hamilton citizens
The importance of books for kids
Fluoridation – it does reduce tooth decay
Stop feeling guilty
Getting a grip on the science behind claims about fluoridation
Is fluoride an essential dietary mineral?
Will Hamiltonians finally get a voice on fluoridation?
Scientists, political activism and the scientific ethos
Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?
When science is under attack
Tactics and common arguments of the anti-fluoridationists
Hamilton City Council reverses referendum fluoridation decision
Global warning in science fiction
May ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peter Singer on effective charity
The science of consciousness
Collapse of Arctic sea ice
An eReader breakthrough?
Singing about the periodic table
Black cat in a dark room – and the role of science
A New Zealand climate change pseudosceptic apologises!
Pseudosceptics are at it again – misrepresenting and attacking climate scientists
Chris Hadfield’s 5-month Space Mission in 90 Seconds
Confusion and distortion – has global warming stopped?
“Incontrovertible” is it, Rodney?
Video coverage of astronauts’ return to earth next Tuesday morning
A beggar’s market?
The limits of philosophy
April ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
‘The Unbelievers’ and science
A global warming hoax meme is born – in New Zealand too!
Friday follies – what happened to the “official AGW hypothesis?”
Fiddling with census figures for religion in New Zealand
The beginning (of the universe) for beginners
Terrorism and the West’s obsession with oil
Marriage equality, retribution and moral progress
A sombre night in Boston
Moving into the mainstream – on the coat tails of the “New Atheists”
Thatcher, Monckton and Pinochet
Potty Peer in Waikato
New Zealand Blog ranking Montage
What is global temperature?
I was wrong about Lord Monckton
New “Hockey Stick” but same tired old denial
March ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
April Fools and Agenda 21
Christchurch from space
A war between religion and science?
Climate contrarians/deniers are cherry picking again
Dishonesty of intelligent design “research”
Something for all those lapsed catholics
Dawkins’ new book
Our world from the International Space Station
Creationists prefer numerology to real scientific research
Talking sense about morality
Extreme confirmation bias in action
Greedy Lying Bastards
Those arguments against marriage equality
Census 2013: That religion question
Climate change is not simple
February ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A sensible Christian perspective on Peter Singer
No immutable truths, no eternal dogmas
Global climate – and your grandchildren
Entertaining – and the science is good
The truth about the hockey stick
Origins of religious ethics and violence
Sean Faircloth, Director of Richard Dawkins Foundation, visiting NZ
The Russian meteor – what we know
Should we be prepared?
Does religion blur understanding of evolution?
The “dynamic duo” of science?
A day for cheap shots
Science as the best, possibly only, way to truth
The reality of cancer
Education should never validate ignorance
“Divine commands” and personal conscience
January ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Is your region warming?
No cause for alarm – if you cherry pick
The political alarmism behind climate change denial
Can philosophers, or anyone, tell us what is “right” and “wrong”?
History of science – for Kiwis
What a shock!
Who is guilty of misusing science?
Deconstructing climate change, and its deniers
Amazing photos of Shuttle Endeavour flight deck
Australia’s “New Normal?”
Going beyond the evidence
A time for hypocrisy
Historians and sociologists just as human as scientists
December ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A problem with logic
Historians and sociologists lecture scientists – about science
Wonders of Life coming – we hope
A dose of reality
Pulling the wool over the eyes of the faithful
Scientists and philosophers discuss morality and meaning
Christmas present from NASA
At last – Moving Naturalism Forward videos
Getting the Book Invented
Sense on evolutionary psychology.
Does science have a cognitive privilege?
Sceptical humility and peer review in science
Cancer – an emotional rollercoaster
Sceptical arrogance and evolutionary psychology
And now for a bit of drama
Agreement polar ice sheets are melting
November ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Regarding women as animals
Christmas present for nerds – what about science books?
Time for philosophical honesty about Darwin
Religion in schools – a sensible approach
Climate change deniers don’t understand expertise
The arrogance of supernatural privilege
Morality and non-human animals
More damage from megastorm Sandy
Capturing kid’s minds with emotions
That particle again
Who were Stalin’s victims?
Reports from the Moving Naturalism Forward workshop
The elephant in the US elections
October ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sex, Death And The Meaning Of Life. Episode 3: Meaning
Who are these “credible experts”?
The mini-iPad and original sin
Death – part 2 of a series
Beer, anxiety and depression – their origins
Why (some) Christians support discrimination
Sex, Death And The Meaning Of Life – Sin
Moving Naturalism Forward
A concise summary of climate change – science and politics
From evolution to belief
Are you offended yet?
This has to stop
Sneaking in the magic man
Naturalism and science are incompatible
None so blind
A Kiwi makes it to Mars!
September ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The most important place you didn’t know about
A useful map of the human body
The paradoxes of theological gullibility
The internet – Yeah, right!
US air traffic on a typical day and on September 11, 2001
Finish the sentence . . .
People saying stupid things on the Internet
Another anti-science attack on Mann fails – but the lies continue
Secularism – its internal problems
Politics and economics of Arctic ice loss
Internet silos become ideological ghettos
Climate change denier’s false “deep distress” fools no-one
Changing that light bulb while in denial
High Court ruled on integrity – not science
New Zealand climate change denial defeated
I don’t know!
Making giant flowers out of fireworks
Moral evolution in today’s society
August ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Drifting moral values
Subjective morality – not what it seems?
Objective or subjective laws and lawgivers
Neil Armstrong by Buz Aldrin
The science philosophy “conflict”
Making sense of religion, science, and morality
Kiwi science fiction with a message
Science – the greatest story ever told
A sundial on Curiosity?
Scientific shift work
Cynical evangelisation of children
Curiosity requires patience
Going for gold – on Mars
A load of science
July ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
NZ Blog Rankings FAQ
So scientism = non-theism?
Saying it with flowers
What really happens in religious instruction classes?
What Is Life? From Schrödinger to Watson to Venter
Their mission – values or advancement of religion?
The story behind the High Court action
Ethical enquiry or moral instruction?
Scepticism, denial and the high court
William Lane Craig’s philosophy – the condensed version
So you think science has a problem?
Peter Singer on the misrepresentation of Peter Singer
Human values are secular
End of life decisions
Why the Higgsteria?
Cost of scientific research – and political naivity
The creationism controversy – a summary
Is there room for religion in science?
June ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific knowledge should trump “belief”
Seven Minutes of Terror
Australian census confirms healthy trend
Science is messy – for girls too!
Print-on-demand books – what’s the hold-up?
How to write a best-seller!
Sharp increase in “nones”
A disciplined discussion
What did Galileo ever do to you?
Gnu bashing once again
The prejudiced journalist
Do atheists need religion?
Mixing values and Jesus in secular education
The Scamtific Method
May ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific knowledge – reliable but not certain
Weather extremes and climate change
“Web monkeys” and science presentation
Dementia – There’s an app for that!
Give them enough rope . . .
Why won’t Inland Revenue subsidise my life expenses?
Human morality is evolving
So you’re considering switching to eBooks?
Welcome to the Anthropocene
Naturalism in science
“Lose” your faith, gain your life?
What’s in store for eBook readers
Heartland ignorant of public relations – let alone science
Belief and morality
What has science ever done for us?
April ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with philosophy
Puddles and “fine-tuning”
Great science talks in Auckland
Science denial is a diversion from the real problems
When the “best explanation” is the worst explanation
Toss out the moderator for a better discussion
Jesus heals – but not cancer!
Emotional time for Shuttle fans
Catholic popes victims of sexual abuse!
Who is committing fraud here?
Morality and the “worship” of reason
The silliness of a self-proclaimed “investigative journalist”
Moral behavior in animals
Conservatives, liberals and purity
The trouble with physics?
Is God incredible – or what?
Science and the folly of faith
March ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Another lousy photo of the sun?
The Sand Creatures
A fuzzy photo of the sun
The “public square” myth
Yes, please try this at home!
Whanganui District Council comes to senses
“Good faith” science – and its enemies
Climate change controversy in context
Shy climate denier in “science team” reveals himself.
The chickens are hatching
February ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The size of things
Theological pretzel twisting
A universe in an eBook (or app)
Souvenirs for scientists
Heartland Insitute gets mail
Heartland’s climategate – and Mann’s book
Bioluminescence in space!
Defeat for imposed prayer
ID research and publications
Theological mental gymnastics over evolution
“What, me worry?” – distorting climate change data
Free will – problems of definition
January ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The scientific method – what about the philosophical method?
In the front lines of the “climate wars”
Who is funding the climate change denial groups?
Our fingerprints are all over it!
The [in]compatibility of science and religion
Comprehending reality – Should we give up so easily?
Nothing is something
Who drives the science/religion conflict?
Choosing your religion
Open letter across the barricade
New book formats
The argument from authority (or lack thereof)
December ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peter Jackson – Satan’s Little Helper”
“Other ways of knowing” and their result.
Slaughtering some sacred seasonal cows
Reacting to a death with respect and hatred
Christmas present ideas: This Hell would be useful!
Higgs and homeopathy
Christmas gift ideas: Aussie wisdom
Christmas gift ideas: The human mind – a history
Christmas gift ideas: Evolution of gods, morals and violence
Christmas gift ideas: Working on Mars
Christmas gift ideas: One for the kids
Christmas gift ideas: Why we deny climate change
Christmas gift ideas: Thinking of our grandchildren
Christmas gift ideas: How We Know What’s Really True
Christmas gift ideas: Kids – it’s OK to be different!
A debunking handbook provides lessons in science communication
November ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Finding out about the astronomers who found the universe
Climategate 2.0 and “toecurling” journalism
It’s crowded up there
Creative science writing
Royal Society’s science book of year Winton Prize winner.
Reclaiming ‘intelligent design’
A lesson in human logic
Is Keith Ward really that naive about science?
Demolishing Craig on morality
Cultural effect of The Big Bang Theory
Answer simple question – win an iPad
New Zealand in good company. Pity about the USA
October ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
What’s your number?
Concern over William Lane Craig’s justification of biblical genocide
Outsourcing moral decisions to justify genocide
New Zealand happy – some preachers upset!
The never ending battle
Having it both ways
Ranking human conflicts and tyrannies
Dawkins responds to a stalker – Craig gets his debate
Avoiding possible catastrophe – even if you are confused
You CAN be good with God!
Big money behind local climate change deniers?
Historians of science sometimes miss the wood for the trees
Approaching morality scientifically
Ethicists have problems with ethics!
The climate change denial machine
How do you know that?
How We Know What’s Really True
Problems with pdf eBooks – metadata issues
September’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Compulsory payments for advancement of religion – let’s get rid of that.
Some recent recommended science books
Art in science
Where have we been?
Rings around Uranus
William Lane Craig’s “logic”
Science and the “supernatural”
Empathy for colleagues
Approaching a Middle East peace
Atheists aren’t shrill – just disgusting?
What’s this about cosmic rays and global warming?
Making life from the primordial soup
A fight-back – or simply spite?
Evolution and education – advice for teachers
That’s what I like to see in a young woman!
A reminder of reality’s magic
August ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Religious theology of secularism
Martydom of the priveliged
Another book for the kids
Secular democracy and its critics
2012 Global Atheist Convention – Melbourne
Hitler objects to atheist charge
440 FOI requests in one day! From one person!
There is something about Wellington
Some things for the kids
The blinkered view of politics?
I get email
NZ blog rankings update
Is Monckton good value?
The reality of scientific research
Monckton messes own nest
July ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Videos on morality
Pat Churchland on the science of morality
Breivik’s terrorism and science
Terror in Norway
Atlantis returns home – viewed from ISS
Background Briefing for Mockton’s NZ visit
Science has the real debate
Bias in the history of science
Seven years of discovery
Your chance for a free book
That hacking scandal
Are scientists hostile to religion?
Galileo’s modern critics
Debates in the philosophy of science
Does science lead to secularism?
June ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Personal attacks on climate scientists
A silver lining to Expelled?
Galileo’s revolutionary contribution
Science, religion and respect for meaning
Protecting yourself against bullshit
Clarifying some myths in the history of science
Early history of science
Converting beliefs to “truths”
Ideology and violence
Painless science writing
May ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Waking from a coma!
American Imams supporting evolutionary science
A secular bible
Daniel Dennett on conflict between religion and science
Visible signs of the rapture
The Magic of Reality for young people
Don’t drink the punch!
Working on Mars
A non-theist feast down under!
The chances of Royal Weddings arising randomly…
Designer spin II
What’s special about religious “knowledge?”
Climate change lectures in Auckland
April ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Exposing the pretense of Christian unity
Is there a role for science in morality?
Philosophical justifications for morality
Answering questions on morality
Problems with philosophers and theologians
More on the science of morality
Selling the family silver!
Craig brings some clarity to morality?
Foundations of human morality.
Church rejects power of prayer!
Limits of logic
Something to celebrate
Advocating or explaining secular moral values?
March ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
What is Life? Another Great Debate
The Galileo myths
Beauty, mystery and science
Christianity gave birth to science – a myth?
The implausibility of reality
Is atheism bad for science?
Myths within a myth
Thank goodness for eBook Readers
Theistic science? No such thing
The ethics of exploitation
Blogging for New Zealand
Science Under Attack?
Acceptance of science – dangerous for some
Making sense of Ring gate?
February ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
From “Grand Design” to “On Being”
A human response to Christchurch quake
Alan Turing documentary
Taking the census seriously
The future of books – and Santa?
On being philosophical about science
The secular Egyptian protest a good start for a successful revolution
Shonky climate-change denial “science”
Reinterpretation “research” on climate change
A hymn for Darwin Day
Celebrating Alan Turing’s life and achievements
The scientific study of religion
January ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Converging evidence on climate change
eBook “singles” – and the problems
Marie Curie Lecture Series – 2011
Comparing blog visit statistics
Shoddy reporting on “god genes”
The god gene – or is it a meme?
Certainty is useless – a scientific concept
The nature of the science-religion conflict?
“Other ways of knowing” – some sense at last
Culture and the scientific renaissance
Sharing a chemical moment
The moon and the ISS
Secular News Daily – useful source
New views of eclipses
Deriving “ought from is” scientifically?
December ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Science and morality – a panel discussion
A physicist comments on science and morality
A philosopher comments on science and morality
Telling right from wrong – unreligiously
Another local climate change denial meme
Wine and the Watchtower
It’s that time of the year
A handy app for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad
A philosopher’s Christmas present
Painted into a corner?
Real science – warts and all
WikiLeaks and climategate
2011 – International Year of Chemistry
The “You Can’t Trust Science!” agenda
NASA and old lace
November ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cutting off your nose for Christmas?
“Other ways of knowing” purpose?
What is the problem?
A victory for secular ethics
The Hitchens – Dembski debate
The joys of eBook readers – the Sony PRS-650 Touch
Secularism is important
Dawkins answers questions
Telling right from wrong?
Can science shape human values?
Some book ideas
The ISS – a decade of growth
October ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The human mind – a history
Check out those climate change claims on the internet
Waking up to morality
Four signs of a stroke
Can the “supernatural” be of any use?
Are ebooks taking off?
Some pesky delusions
Strident, militant atheists?
Why we deny climate change
Attitudes will change. Life will get better
Your computer is the enemy!
Death by stoning for adultery!
Scientific misconduct and skepticgate
Breaking away – an interesting case study
Sam Harris on The Daily Show
Move over – old fellow!
Hawking’s grand design – lessons for apologists?
Arrested moral development.
September ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Treating statistics sensibly
Not about Einstein
Bus adverts a human rights issue
Check out your ancestors
Trust the experts – if they say what we want
The Bible – a book review
A scientific consensus on human morality
Pope Benny’s speech – graphically
Putting the Pope in his place
Popes cunning straw mannery?
Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind
Mind change – a moral choice?
Putting the IPCC in its place?
Mapping modern science
An unnecessary being?
What is matter? What is materialism?
New science blogs in New Zealand
The Grand Design – neither God nor 42
Earth and Moon from Mercury
The Challenge of the Human Brain
August ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fallout from Hauser affair spreads
A lesson for NZ critics of climate science?
Nicholas Stern to present Robb Lectures
So you want a conversation?
The myth of the noble scientist
The heart of PZ Myers
After NIWA, God?
Marc Hauser replies – acknowledges mistakes
Hauser misconduct investigation – Full text of Dean’s statement
Fallacy of Fine Tuning
A desperate plea to be noticed?
A stormy future?
A sympathetic take on Marc Hauser and the “scientific misconduct” issue
A paper by Marc Hauser retracted – Harvard Magazine
Climate change is complex
A nice little tool for printing blog posts
“God of the surprises”
Recognising good science bloggers and Big Blog Theory winners
It’s politics, not science
July ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Suzan does a mini- Monckton
Evolution of gods, morals and violence
Is and ought
The new science of morality
Science, faith and limits of knowledge
Liability of scientific denialism to political conservativism
Evolution and the Holocaust
Life on the building site
Theological critiques of billboards required
Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying
Ways of not knowing
The changing face of science communication
A regular climate science podcast
Climategate – Journalist withdraws and apologises
Making room for faith in science?
Getting straight on marriage
“Climategate” smears found false – Mann cleared
NZ Atheists Swap Buses For Billboards
June ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Religion in public life – two approaches
Ridiculing ridiculous science commentary
Truth getting it’s boots on!
A question of expertise and credibility
Climate scientist’s’ register?
Kids – it’s OK to be different!
Twinning with Venus
Avoiding grown-up discussion
A competition for Aussie science blogs
Apologies would be nice
Historic shuttle launch photos
Australians concerned about tax exemption for cults
Pseudoscience and anti-science nonsense
Science on New Zealand TV
Hot science blogs
May ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Journalists create world’s first artificial news story!
Don’t trust Monckton!
This is scary!
Theological intrusions into science
God, stop ‘playing science’
Why Don’t We Go To Church?
The heart of opposition to climate science
Last chance – almost!
What’s that about global cooling?
Are you threatened by clarity?
Supporting good science communication
We don’t know!
Monckton and Shimkus get silly together
The Dawkins Delusions
Climate change and the integrity of science
Secularism in Australia and New Zealand
Natural selection or domestication?
April ‘10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Thinking of our grandchildren
Science, values and ethics
Avoiding tax – supernaturally
Climate scientist sues newspaper for false reporting
Climategate, Lord Monckton and Monty Python
Climate change deniers wallets threatened
Climategate summed up
Superstition – inevitable?
Libel Reform campaign continues
RIP Antony Flew
Officially a fake scandal from science perspective
Dangerous science denial
You have to laugh!
A more transparent approach
Orbital debris, the ISS, moon and sun
A space nerd’s Easter
Getting to the truth – gradually
March ‘10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Climate scientist Phil Jones exonerated
The origins of science?
The rickety bandwagon of climate change denial
Are religious scientists worried about their brethren?
The climate change denial industry
Can science answer moral questions?
Periodic Table of of science blogs
Creationism, climate change and scientific denialism
Open Letter from U.S. Scientists on the IPCC
From Melbourne to Copenhagen
Are science and religion compatible?
Chris Mooney interviews Michael Mann on “climategate”
Science bloggers talk teaching
Great photo of the Solar Corona
Clear science communication
Institute of Physics in hot seat
Climate science for you and me
February ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Richard Dawkins – wrong again!
Freedom of information and responsibility
This game looks familiar
Anti-science lies being exposed – slowly
Deniers distort Phil Jones
New Zealand has bigots too
Belief and social identity
Etiquette for the office global warming denier
NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – February ‘10
Climate change confusion – a conspiracy of sorts
WARNING! People might find us out!
One for the kids
Get your climate change science on the run
Can science solve all problems?
Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”
Self-exposure – a journalist out of depth
A photographer’s dream
Get in line – who is the odd one out?
I want one of these!
The ISSS used for teaching
Overdosing on water
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CO2 emissions, birth & death rates by country, simulated real-time
I thought the award for mistakes was mine!
Atheists provoke a reaction
Climate change deniers’ tawdry manipulation of “hockey sticks”
Journeys to the Ice – New SciBlogsNZ blogger
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NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – January ‘10
Monckton requires religious certification for scientists?
No gods required
Lynch mob mentality
Understanding the “multiverse”
A good climate change book
Beware the retired scientist?
Philosophers aren’t so bad!
NZ blog ranking – RSS subscriptions 2009
The dogma of paradigm shifts
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Belief, knowledge and science
The Unconsidered Life
“A plot to rule the world”
George Monbiot on ClimateGate & the climate denial industry
Testimony of non-believers
Becoming an atheist
The global warming debate summarised
Justifying child abuse
Sack all those scientists? yeah, right!
NZ Atheist Bus Campaign reaches fund raising target in under a week
NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – December ‘09
Bus adverts and the 2011 NZ census
Are they sceptics or deniers?
New Zealand’s denier-gate
Environmental movement needs pragmatism
The global warming conspiracy?
New Zealand’s climate change deniers’ distortions exposed.
Remove support for child abuse
Deniers in denial over climate information
Richard Dawkins in Auckland – update
Being good – no gods required
Peer review – an emotional roller coaster
Climate change deniers live in glass buildings
Richard Dawkins in Auckland next March
“Climategate” – the smoking gun?
Awesome pictures from the Enceladus flyby
Those “climategate” emails
An Introduction to Evolution
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Galileo and Hollywood
The rules of science
Twittering in space
Morality – from the heavens or nature?
This Hell would be useful!
Einstein on Galileo’s contribution
Why Evolution Is True
Richard Dawkins in Wellington next March
The clash of science and politics
RIP – Theo van Gogh
Judging the internet – and books
A Universe From Nothing
Defending science and reason
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The Galileo Lectures
Lamenting loss of funerals
Galileo, Darwin and the new enlightenment
New bird designed!
BCA libels Simon Singh?
A victory for Simon Singh
The Earth and Moon – from Mars
Why We Are Atheists
Books in prisons
It’s all in the brain
Battle of the bus ads
Stars, earth and water
Humanity’s most important image
NZ’s largest science blog network goes live
Sustainability and ethics
NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – September ’09
The naked emperor
From the keyboards of scientists…
Depressed? Anxious? Aren’t we all?
Saving the planet with condoms
Get in the sack!
Charles Darwin – Art & science
Evolution of human morality
Science communication in New Zealand
“We’re sorry: you deserved so much better”
New Hubble images
Chemistry for kids
The philosophy wars
Bright future for books
Brian Greene’s big idea
Global warming is real – climatologists
Behe’s “objectionable” interview reinstated
NZ blog ranks – August ’09
Carl Sagan’s challenge ignored
Behe’s “objectionable” interview
Religion in the public square
NZ scientists twittering
Biocentrism or eccentrism?
Dawkins bashing season upon us?
That ‘no’ vote
NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – August ’09
The Big Bang Theory and sexism?
NZ science bloggers – new opportunity
Evidence, not lawyers
Social networking for scientists
From stones to atoms
Theistic mental gymnastics
“Smacking not an offence”
NZ blog ranks – July ’09
“Knowledge” from ignorance
Beware the Spinal Trap
The Atheist Camel Chronicles
Atrocious Science Clichés
Killing off Darwin?
Bible a favourite for atheists!
Science-religion conflicts. Who’s responsible?
NZ blog sitemeter ranking – June ‘09
Different ways of knowing?
This much I know
The facts of evolution – and jealousy
NZ blog ranks – June ’09
The entropy fib
Don’t encourage them!
Wave goodbye to email?
Do you believe in a god?
NZ Evolution Survey
The purpose of purpose
Kiwi Science Blogging
A NZ blog ranking tool
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Morality and politics
NZ blog sitemeter ranking – May ’09
That’s telling them
Beyond the shouting
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NZ Blog ranks – May ‘09
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Hand of God
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Public hearing for Salinger case
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The greatest show
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Richard Dawkins in Auckland
Human Morality V: The secular conscience
Ranking NZ blogs with sitemeter data
Human Morality IV: Role of religion
Good luck Jim
Human Morality III: Moral intuition
Human Morality II: Objective morality
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Whether we like it or not
Answering the big questions
Do whatever it takes…
Another chance to ignore our true religious diversity
The necessity of science
Why is science important?
Clamping down on science communication
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NZ Bloggers Badge
Middle east conflict in the NZ blogosphere?
PZ needs an iPod
Where is Galileo?
Belief not the same as truth
With God, anything can be permitted?
Where did we come from?
Hitchens in the lions’ den
How bacteria communicate
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For Christian readers
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Dawkins on the Big Screen
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Blog traffic to aim for?
Police ignore non-religious
NZ blog ranks – March ’09
Ranking methods for NZ blogs
Saturn opposes Uranus
New Zealand popular science books
Babies and bathwater
Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the Viability of Hope
Out of touch with reality
Stalinist behaviour at creationist blogs
“Scientific” debate on the internet
Intelligent design science publication policy?
Scientific investigation of morality
Creationism’s tactical blunders
Hidden religious agendas
Rating NZ blogs
Meditating on one’s own beliefs
How we all subsidise creationists
Theme testing – feedback welcome
Beware of science!
Only 25% of Americans oppose evolution
Pinker on morality
Cosmological cranes – not skyhooks
Darwin Is The 1000th Steve!
Human genetic history
Darwin, art and entanglement
The Lotto “miracle”
Psychological abuse of children
Mass atrocities require idealism
78% of Britons support Darwin?
Dawkins to appear at Auckland Writers & Readers Festival lineup
Bad science, bad theology
The Antony Flew controversy
Science and democracy
Darwin Week discussion topic?
We are “fine-tuned”
International Year of Astronomy
Science & Islam – doubt
My favourite podcasts
Neurons and free will
Science & Islam
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The ghetto of apologetics “science”
Missing fossils? From water to land
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A rational universe?
“Scientism” in the eyes of the beholder
The dogma of “paradigms”
Dogmatism of the “supernatural”
The wedge undermines Christianity
Fine tuning of the universe?
Dissent from science
No God? No Worries -Yeah right
Ex-Muslims speak out
Comment policy in flux
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
What is your purpose in life?
The immorality of conspiracy theories
Thoughts after watching “Expelled”
Denial not acceptable
Atheists not allowed to criticise Hitler!
Thanking those who deserve thanks
Society’s fear of science
Lysenko and the creationists
Being good for goodness’ sake
Global warming misrepresentations
The alternative to science?
A tale of two elections
Climate change: the science – public disconnect
Climbing into Dawkins’ boots
A naturalistic approach to human morality
Candles in the dark
“Probably” no God – probably acceptable
Belief – a curse?
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The materialist label
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What a view!
The Archbishop’s straw man
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Science in popular culture
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Lying to children
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Dawkins’ prayer for his daughter
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Does religion threaten human rights?
A new science-bashing campaign?
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“It’s a miracle!”
What is the Large Hadron Collider?
What is theistic evolution?
Embarrased by Darwin
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Design – it’s everywhere
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Evidence should trump “legal muscle”
Being politically correct about Mars
Top 100 Cutting-Edge Science Blogs
Science blogging in New Zealand
Darwin’s theory – or “Finding Nemo”
Our secular heritage & its future
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Help from your enemies?
Allan Wilson: Evolutionary
“Biblically correct” child abuse?
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Climate change and New Zealand
Is ID getting anywhere?
Intelligent design as a scientific idea.
Are ceremonies important to religions?
Send this DVD to our schools
Prayer refusal leads to discipline
I didn’t come from a monkey!
Most Americans do accept evolution
Culture wars come to New Zealand
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Paradigms and dogma in science
Isn’t God convenient?
Dogmatism around science – the “supernatural.”
Scientific knowledge – not “just a belief!”
Evolution of New Zealand
Remarriage not an option
“Coming out” for evolution
Climate change controversy
Appealing to spirits
Dembski, peer review and supernova
Teaching science in faith schools
Let’s ban cluster bombs
Improving performance of your brain
Phoenix has landed!
Do you believe in God?
Exploiting the vulnerable
Good luck Phoenix!
Driving the wedge into Christianity
Dissent from Darwinism list – further analysis
Evolution – a theory or a fact?
Lets say the sun is pulled around the earth by horse-drawn chariots
Helpful applications for blogging
Darwinism and that dreaded E-word
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Lawrence Krauss – Richard Dawkins discussion
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Humanist and anti-human trends in modern religion
The Pope visits New York
Expelled for supporting evolutionary science
The Darwinian behaviour of creationists
Richard Dawkins in Inverness
Expelled – no integrity exhibited
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Losing one’s faith
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The real climate change swindle?
Religious education should include secular humanism
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Arthur C. Clarke dies
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Einstein’s “Cosmic Religion”
Fine tuning argument
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali to get EU protection
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From faith to hatred
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New Secular Philosophy blog
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Gaza: Stop Blockade and War
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My own miracle?
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Atheism and religious diversity IV: Values, morality and spirituality
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Atheism and religious diversity I: Diversity in New Zealand
Bringing the supernatural into science
Hoping for justice
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For the glory of God
Faith – against all evidence
Intelligent design – a war on science
Dawkins responds to his critics
Moons of Saturn
Now I’m to blame for Stalin!
Human rights for the non-religious
A value in religious mysticism
From superstition to religion
Darwin descendent at AAI Convention
From faith to reason
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God’s not as popular as we thought
Using your brain
Neuron bombs in Pakistan
New Zealand supports evolution
Why do we believe?
Lies and misinformation
Thank God or Thank Goodness?
Sources of evil?
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Intelligent design at the shopping mall
Society’s ” Christian values”
The Atheist Blogroll
Stand with Burma petition
Most ideas in science are wrong!
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My senior moment!
Isaac Newton and intelligent design
Agnostics – what do they stand for?
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Theology of the Emperor’s New Clothes
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The Enemies of Reason
Science and the supernatural
Religion and Schools
Limits of science, limits of religion
Humility of science and the arrogance of religion
Richard Dawkins and the enemies of reason
What do we teach our children?
The Trouble with Islam
Crimes of Communism and Christianity
Intelligent design/creationism: Postscript
Intelligent design/creationism IV: The religion – science conflict
Intelligent design/creationism III: The religious agenda
Intelligent design/creationism II: Is it scientific?
Intelligent design/creationism I: What is scientific knowledge?
Religion and children
Religion and morality
Questions science cannot answer?
Do religious leaders believe their religion?
Debating science and religion
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“Let There Be Brights”
What is religion?
Solution to climate change?
Faith and terrorism
“Let us pray . . . “
♦ Would we recognise the second coming?
♦ “I’m an atheist, but ……”
♦ Returning to the “dark ages”?
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♦ A national anthem recognising diversity?
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♦ Dalai Lama visit
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¶ Helen Clark’s diplomacy
¶ Blogs discussing religious diversity
¶ Destiny of Christian privilege?
¶ Trends in religious belief in New Zealand
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¶ Science, art & pumpkins
¶ Religious Diversity Statement
¶ Should we teach creationism?
Al Jazeera TV is running an few-year-old doco on Lockerbie. May find it on line. Only 10 mins left.
This should be it and Al Jazeera has more Lockerbie stuff. http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/2012/02/20122286572242641.html
What are you doing?
Are you really this desperate to create an escape hatch to the inevitable results of the investigation? Is it not enough that you stoop to using RT?
Maybe you should slow down a little and ask yourself just how many kook sources you are prepared to link to on you own blog. You’d never do this for anything else.
Globalresearch.ca (also under the domain name globalresearch.org) is the website of the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky.
While many of Globalresearch’s articles discuss…
Cedric, if you were not so interested in diverting attention from the point of my article and the letter describing the status of the non-dissemination agreement you would have noticed a few things.
1: My link to the global research article was simply a link to rumours which have been circulating ever since the agreement was signed. Look at the date on the article. I agree it is flimsy evidence for the claim. After all, official announcements coming out of Kiev (this time from the Prosecutor General) are hardly known for rationality and truthfulness these says – even if some people treat them as the “official story.” 🙂 There is so much corruption in that country I have learned not to be surprised even when the claims are outrageous.
2: I have not commented on the basis of such rumours – even though they have circulated widely. Especially in Malaysia where understandably people are rather peeved at their exclusion. Otherwise you would have seen something here back at the end of August. I do realise that the MH17 is being cynically used by politicians promoting all sorts of conspiracy theories and political agendas so tend to look at these rumours a bit more critically than perhaps you do (after all you have promoted a rumour of an “official version” of the people behind the tragedy based on nothing more than politically motivated rumour).
3: My concern, and hence this article, arose when I saw the letter from the Australian DFAT. Particularly when I noted it’s reproduction in a Dutch newspaper site. There is currently a lot of concern in the Netherlands, and elsewhere, at the tardiness of the Dutch-led investigation and even one court case by the families of 20 victims against the Dutch government specifically on this. I am not expressing anything new with my concern.
Now you wish to divert attention away from the hard evidence of a letter from the Australian DFAT by concentrating on a source which is not the basis for my story. You want to concentrate on a rumour instead of evidence. I guess that is how you determine your “official story” – as long as the rumour is one promoted by the USA, NATO or the clowns in Kiev – sources I would label as “kook.”. You don’t give a stuff for the almost 300 innocent victims of this tragedy.
“Cedric, if you were not so interested in diverting attention from the point of my article….”
Oh stop it. I’m pointing out the source you are using. That’s hardly a “diversion”. It’s vital. Having a minimum standard of where you choose to get your information from is basic stuff.
“My link to the global research article was simply a link to rumours…”
Your link to “global research” was simply…..a link to globalresearch which is a kook site, plain and very simple.
There’s no avoiding that. Since when is it a good idea to peddle rumours?
What possessed you?
After all, official announcements coming out of Kiev (this time from the Prosecutor General) are hardly known for rationali….
You want to comment on official announcements from Kiev?
Here’s an idea.
Link to an official announcement from Kiev.
Don’t send your readers to a kook website.
I have not commented on the basis of such rumours – even though they have circulated widely.
Yes, Ken. Rumours do circulate widely. That’s what rumours usually do. Rumours will always circulate thanks to people like you.
Shame on you.
You are still diverting, Cedric. I guess the letter embarrasses you. And I am sure my reference to Vladimir Putin’s comment upsets you. 🙂
Actually, your idea of quoting announcements from Kiev is quite a good idea. They have some real charming ones on the humanitarian aid convoys from the RF. I should put those quotes alongside the official statements of the OSCE monitors at the border who observed the activity of the Russian and Ukrainian border and customs officials checking the trucks.
But then again, who is going to be surprised after seeing all the videos of the parliamentary punch ups and beating up of politicians we are so used to. That place is a huge and dangerous mess.
“You are still diverting, Cedric.”
No, I’m not.
Read simple English. You linked to a kook website.
Your source of information is garbage. Anyone can see that site for themselves and it’s history. 9/11, vaccine denial etc. This is genuine Alex Jones territory.
I guess the letter embarrasses you.
If it makes you feel better to tell yourself that then go with what you feel.
Create any strawman you like.
It’s says much more about you than it does me.
blah, blah humanitarian aid convoys blah, blah parliamentary punch ups blah blah place is a huge and dangerous mess
Not that you are diverting or anything.
The “Straw Man” Fallacy
Well, Cedric, you were the one suggesting quotes and links to official statements out of Kiev, not me.
I linked to a Dutch Newspaper which made the letter available. Now do your dirty work to discredit it – or will this violate your intention to avoid the letter? I have no intention of discussing a link to what I clearly defined as only a rumour – I am not that naive in approaching reading or understanding media.
Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.
You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well, Cedric, you were the one suggesting quotes and links to official statements out of Kiev, not me.
Actually Ken, what I said was…
“You want to comment on official announcements from Kiev?
Here’s an idea.
Link to an official announcement from Kiev.
Don’t send your readers to a kook website.”
It’s good advice.
You should take it. I’d give the same advice to Andy.
You want to comment on NASA, Andy?
Here’s an idea.
Link to an offical announcement from NASA.
Don’t send people off to some kook website.
(and for bonus points, don’t shop around some kook website and copy some graph or photo that they in turn borrowed from NASA, then pretend you went to NASA all by yourself)
“Now do your dirty work to discredit it –”
I don’t do “dirty work”, Ken. I’m not the bad guy here. You are.
You are the one that is linking to some kook website. It’s never ok to do that. This is what you have been reduced to.
You don’t have any alternative sources. It’s not going to get any better. It’s RT all the way to the bottom on a permanent, downward spiral.
“I have no intention of discussing a link to what I clearly defined as only a rumour –”
A rumour you decided to circulate. That’s how rumours work, Ken.
“I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source you are getting stuck into at the moment.”
Sure. That’s a real problem for you. A 9/11 Troofer or a Birther would say the same.
“Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of Washington and the Hawaian Birth Registry is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source of Prison Planet you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.
You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.”
“Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of the US Governement, the 9/11 commission report and the NY Port Authority is garbage. Although some people wear political blinkers and rose-tinted glasses. I personally don’t see any difference between those sources you rely on and the specific source of 9/11Truth.org you are getting stuck into at the moment. I always put my brain into gear when reading such sources – never take things on faith or trust.
You have an example of this more intelligent approach to Internet information staring you in the face but you choose not to read it. You are just attempting to divert.”
No need to change a thing. One conspiracy theory looks remarkably similar to any other run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory. The same source material, the same rationalisations. That’s why I only ever need to switch the labels around and leave everything else intact to make my point.
The investigation is going to be concluded. I’m going to go out on a very tiny limb and say you are not going to like it.
It not goihg to fit with what you “know”.
Therefore, you are going to have to react in the way that all conspiracists before you have reacted.
Hence the escape hatch.
Diversion again, Cedric. You are just not going to admit that here we have some letters and documents from a Dutch newspaper, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the Australian DAFT. That is the only material worth discussing and you will avoid it like the plague because it will expose your bias.
Still, let me take you up on another diversion of yours. You say:
Now why say that and what evidence can you possibly base that on? I actually have no pet hypothesis on this matter to defend – unlike you. I have not lumped for any of the conspiracy theories that are circulating – unlike you. And I look forward to the final report next year, and any legal case that might be pursued, with interest.
I have no political or ideological irons in the fire – unlike you.
I don’t claim to “know” which of the three parties is ultimately responsible for the tragedy – unlike you.
I have had only 2 bitches about this whole incident.
1: The way that governments, politicians and ideological people have promoted a rumour which is no more than a politically motivated conspiracy theory – and fooled a lot of their own people in the process. A rumour with no evidential base. This is extremely dangerous – brainwashing at a time of intense geopolitical conflict.
Yes, I direct my complaint mainly at the government’s and politicians of the EU, NATO, USA and Australia. Even NZ. I also direct that complaint against some of the news media of the Russian Federation (especially lately) – but note that at the highest government levels they have not resorted to any conspiracy theory – in fact, as I noted, they have been urging other government not to cynically use these tragic deaths to further their own geopolitical aims.
2: My perception, which is also held by many people – especially in the Netherlands and Malaysia – that the investigation team have been dragging their feet, unwilling to collect evidence like witness accounts, unwilling to contact and negotiate with local authorities to recover bodies and wreckage. The slowness, the delays and the unwillingness to make contact and negotiate has seriously delayed a proper investigation and caused a lot of resentment – especially among the victim’s families.
So how can you deduce from that my dissatisfaction with the conclusions of the final report? Do you know something I don’t – about the thinking of the investigation team and my thinking? Or is this just silly Internet bravado.
I wrote about the interim report – my only criticisms is that I didn’t think it went far enough. I was quite happy with what they did present and what they concluded. But for the life of me I cannot see why they were so hesitant with the primary radar material which would have indicated if there were any non-commercial planes in the area. They had had it for a long time. My only thought is that they were hesitant to broach that issue because of political sensitivities as it may have been the first indication that at least one government had been telling lies. Or a demonstration of unwillingness to look at all the evidence.
The investigators are going to have to face the question of political sensitivity eventually – otherwise they cannot produce a credible report. There are three political parties central to this and one them at least will have to be condemned.
So, Cedric, why should I need an “escape hatch?” Surely it is people like you who have already committed to a conspiracy theory without waiting for evidence who will be thinking along those lines.
What the hell will you do if the final report does not support your conspiracy theory?
That is the only material worth discussing and you will avoid it like the plague because it will expose your bias.
Building strawmen like that simply reflects badly on you. Nothing to do with me. If it makes you feel better to rant on about bias and make me somehow the topic of conversation then…go ahead.
I can’t very well stop you. It’s your usual M.O.
All I can do is pity you.
What you are doing is stupid.
You are just not going to admit that here we have some letters and documents from a Dutch newspaper….
Quick question: How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?
Now why say that and what evidence can you possibly base that on?
Because that’s the formula.
You’ve got no other viable choice.
Conspiracy theorists are forced to do it all the time.
The investigation is going to come out.
It won’t fit.
You will therefore have to go into damage control and explain it away somehow.
They did it with the Warren Commision.
They did it with the Dover trial.
They did it when Wakefield got himself struck off.
They did it with the 9/11 commission.
They did it with Muller and his Berkley study.
… the investigation team have been dragging their feet, unwilling to collect evidence like witness accounts, unwilling to contact and negotiate with local authorities to recover bodies and wreckage. The slowness, the delays and the unwillingness to make contact and negotiate has seriously delayed a proper investigation and caused a lot of resentment .
Yep. The escape hatch is ready and waiting for you to pop into at a moment’s notice. Dirty politics over MH17? Oooo, spooky.
Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage.
Sure. Anyone can see that. Sure.
Only the investigation is going to be released and they’re not going to “see it” that way at all.
There’s no mechanism, Ken. There never was. You’ve been led up the garden path.
“Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial.”
You are ranting and still diverting, Cedric.
Reread my last comment.
Reread my last comment.
It hasn’t magically improved since the last time I read it, Ken.
If it makes you feel better to say that I’m ranting then so much the worse for you.
What you are doing is following a predictable pattern.
Conspiracy theoriests use the resources they do because they have nowhere else to go. You have RT, some guy in his mother’s basement making daft statements about combine harvesters, kook websites that will peddle any conspiracy they can get hold of and….Dutch newspaper articles.(??)
Quick question (again): How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?
Do you read Dutch? More power to you if you do, but seriously, by what means did this come to your attention? It’s not exactly something that happens every day around here. Never seen you mention Dutch media articles before.
Anyone can see for themselves that information coming out of NATO, Kiev and the USA is garbage.
Sure, Ken. Sure.
Is Obama in on this?
It seems, Cedric, that neither has you comprehension or ability to remove your blinkers and rose-tinted glasses changed.
Yes, I have used Dutch and Malaysian sources before – extremely logical on this specific topic. You should try it some time as the NATO, US and Kiev regime sources you rely on are becoming rather a joke in your hands. Be a bit adventurous. Get out of your comfort zone.
If it makes you feel better to say that I’m ranting or that I’m blinkered or wearing rose-tinted glasses then go with that, Ken. It says nothing about me and simply reflects bady back on you.
Yes, I have used Dutch and Malaysian sources before…
English comprehension fail.
Quick question (for the third time now): >>>>>How<<<<< exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?
Seriously, do you even read Dutch?
The investigation report is going to be released. We both know how you are going to react to it. There's no other option for you. You've got no choice except to follow the conspiracy theorist playbook.
You should try it some time as the NATO, US and Kiev regime sources you rely on are becoming rather a joke in your hands.
Sure, Ken. Sure.
Is Obama in on this?
I don’t read any newspapers myself in the old-fashioned sense. But as a result of what I pick up on the internet I regularly access articles from newspapers around the world. No, I don’t wear blinkers.
It is perfectly logical on the MH17 issue that one would read particularly Dutch and Malaysian sources if one is following the investigation and events around that. In fact, many news reports in other sources are duplicating the Dutch and Malaysian reports.
As you apparently restrict your reading to the “official” NATO and US sources you are unaware that even Dutch newspapers often have English language versions of their news. On top of that I find Google translate very useful although it does appear to mangle Ukrainian.
As you apparently restrict your reading to the “official” NATO and US sources you are unaware that even…
That’s not what is happening.
Why you have this twisted need to misrepresent me all the time?
I never do it to you.
I don’t watch RT.
I don’t pay attention to some guy in his mother’s basement squinting and military satellite photos in the Ukraine.
I don’t link to kook websites.
It’s not just for MH17.
It’s for any topic.
I don’t watch Fox.
I don’t pay attention to some guy in his mother’s basement squinting at NASA satellite photos of the Arctic.
I don’t link to Prison Planet or Whatsupwithmybutt.
Newspapers? I’ve seen anti-flouride nutters use newspaper articles too many times. I’d think long and hard about ever linking to one. I might do it for something trivial and light-hearted though. Maybe.
I have a minimum standard about where I get my information from. I don’t just get it from any Tom, Dick or Harry. I have no desire to scrape the bottom of the barrel…on any topic. It’s just basic common sense.
I could declare open season and just trawl through absolutely everything available on the internet. Only then, what am I really doing? What’s the filter that protects me from myself swallowing some crap or other? Sure, I’m a smart guy. I have supreme confidence that I know how to spot a sneaky story. I wasn’t born yesterday. Only, the kooks have that mentality too.
Out of stubborn habit borne of bitter experience, I use a methodology that has a clear and simple mechanical difference….just in case I might have managed to fool myself.
I’m only human, after all.
Getting sucked in by a narrative on the internet can happen to anybody.
(Not to you, of course. You’re superhuman and have some special power that guarantees that you can’t be fooled because you are so very smart.)
I, sadly, don’t have your special gift. And naturally, you’d never expect me to just meekly trust you on an issue. Which leaves me with my modest, humdrum methodology of…not…scraping the bottom of the barrel. I have no interest in breaking Scopie’s Law
…you are unaware that even Dutch newspapers often have English language versions of their news.
You didn’t link to an English language version. You linked to the Dutch.
If you actually used the English language version, then…..link.
On top of that I find Google translate very useful although it does appear to mangle Ukrainian….
It mangles a lot. I’d never rely on that. Way too much room for error. It doesn’t meet my minimum standard.
So….can I get some simple, direct answers now?
How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?
“Getting sucked in by a narrative on the internet can happen to anybody.
And isn’t this what happens a lot in politics? Many people seem to have been fooled by a “narrative” about the MH17 tragedy which is nothing more than an politically motivated rumour, without any evidential support but with all the confidence that political true believers have.
Such “narratives” are outright dangerous – and in this case it is being actively promoted by political leaders. In this case the person in the street ends up being a victim because they are being manipulated for political ends.
Frankly I think it is disgusting when people have been so fooled they will actually attack anyone who doesn’t go along with their delusion. They will resent anyone who is open-minded enough to actually not commit to an officially endorsed conspiracy theory. Anyone who is more interested in evidence than satisfying prejudice.
Cedric, you talk about “minimum standards” – yet you you are upset because I refuse to accept a conspiracy theory of yours which has no standards and no evidence. bugger the evidence, that is your last consideration in this case.
So, let”s put it back on you:
How exactly did your confident scenario for the shooting down of MH17 come to your attention? Were you “helpfully” guided to it by any chance? Because it certainly is not based on evidence (hell, we don’t yet have proper evidence) and careful consideration. Only political bias. And there is a lot of that around.
And isn’t this what happens a lot in politics?
Isn’t this what can happen to anybody on the internet?
Many people seem to have been fooled by a “narrative” about the MH17 tragedy…
Scare quotes. Useful things.
Andy does the same thing.
There’s narrative but, on the other hand there a “narrative”.
There’s official sources but, on the other hand, there’s “official” sources.
….about the MH17 tragedy which is nothing more than an politically motivated rumour…..
You, of course, could not made such a terrible mistake. There is something mysterious and special about you. Weaving and dancing in and out of every single Tom, Dick and Harry blog out there with never a concern that you’ve simply got it wrong. Somehow, you can’t be fooled. So ,naturally, you can just go to whatever information source you fancy.
Some basic mechanic that acts as a really, low bar to filter whatever sites you come across so as not to imitate Andy inadvertently?
“Cedric, you talk about “minimum standards” –”
Yes, I do. Sadly, you don’t.
You’re quite shy about your methodology. You never speak of it in any real detail.
The intelligent person has ways of exerting their own “quality control.”
Yes, mysterious ways. Not that people who have been completely conned wouldn’t say the same thing.
They are not scared of looking at information from other sources and making up their own minds about what to accept and what to reject.
They most certainly are not. They fearlessly check out Prisonplant and bravely link to 9/11TruthOut. They refuse to be censored.
An intelligent purpose does not hand their quality control over to others.
Never. No, never.
I actually do make a distinction between good and bad sources of information – every night I watch local TV and I know it is an extremely bad source of information – but I process it, use quality control.
Of course you do. Plenty of crap on RT but…it’s ok. You are a special snowflake. You can glean the good stuff. It’s those other people that get suckered in by those other RT stories.
I have no trouble sifting out the rubbish (and there is a lot of it) from the useful.
Perish the thought. You do your own research, right? You don’t need no minimum standard. The internet is your oyster.
I refuse to accept a conspiracy theory of yours which has no standards and no evidence. bugger the evidence, that is your last consideration in this case.
I’m not the one linking to conspiracy websites and RT, Ken.
I don’t need to put scare quotes around the word “official” any more than I need to put scare quotes around “NASA”.
So, let”s put it back on you…
You haven’t put it on yourself yet.
Still waiting here.
Why is this so horribly difficult for you?
(…for the fifth time….)
How exactly did this Dutch newspaper article come to your attention? I don’t read many Dutch newspapers myself. Were you “helpfully” guided there by any chance?
Alex Jones: Attacked by Fox
Cedric, your comments are a waste of time and space. They are not getting anywhere.
You don’t have a viable methodology. You simply refuse to use any kind of objective filter at all. That should be a big, red flag to you and to any other casual observer.
You’d never behave this way with something else.
You’ve changed and not for the better.
RT and it’s ilk are not your friends.
They’re not anybody’s friends.
It’s bad when Andy uses them. It doesn’t smell any better when you do the same thing.
I never do that. I have minimum standards.
Nobody can accuse me of being sucked in by RT because I treat them as a joke. As filters go, it’s airtight. If less people paid attention to RT, people like Orly Taitz would be starved of oxygen.
I feel no queasy need to build an escape hatch.
I look forward to the investigation report and comparing it to the sources I mentioned at the very beginning.
You? You’re going to have to follow the same ol’ traditional pattern that conspiracy theorists always do.
In March of 2011, Anthony Watts appeared to stake his entire stance on the reliability of surface temperature data on a single upcoming study: the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST), an independent temperature record to be constructed using over 39,000 unique stations. On March 6th, Watts said on his blog:
“… I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong. I’m taking this bold step because the method has promise. So let’s not pay attention to the little yippers who want to tear it down before they even see the results.”
However, when BEST’s results confirmed the reliability of preexisting surface temperature records, Watts backpedaled. Apparently, he was only willing to stake his claims on an independent study if it came to the conclusion he wanted.
This is where Judith Curry comes in. She was the only climatologist who worked on the BEST project and has a long history of making statements against mainstream AGW science – which she proceeded to do again after BEST finished its results. She said that BEST’s results were “way oversimplistic and not at all convincing in my opinion.” (Why she accepted the results beforehand, don’t ask us.) When PBS did a show about physicist Richard Muller being, as he has put it himself, a “converted skeptic” on the basis of BEST, she said, “Centering this show on the faux conversion of Richard Muller set this story down a certain path that turned out to be unfortunate.” This essay was endorsed by WUWT.
Lately Watts has degenerated into boringness, repeating the same tired arguments and making Al Gore jokes on LOLWUWT.”
No better, still a fail, Cedric.
Try to be specific to MH17.
It is specific, Ken.
You are following a shop-worn pattern. You are a conspiracy theorist. You are doing the same thing as all the others. The sources you use are the same. The way you justify the use of those sources is the same too.
It’s not your conclusions that matter; it’s your methodology.
‘There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.’ Soren Kierkegaard
Labels without content are meaningless, Cedric.
I have advanced no theory, let alone a conspiracy theory. My crime from your perspective is to keep an open mind, wait for the evidence instead of thoughtlessly adopting the conspiracy theory advanced by NATO, the USA and the Kiev regime as you have.
Oh, and not wearing blinkers, being able to handle the different news sources and assess the information intelligently.
“Labels without content are meaningless, Cedric.
I have advanced no theory, let alone a conspiracy theory. My crime from your perspective is to keep an open mind, wait for the evidence instead of thoughtlessly adopting the conspiracy theory advanced by the Bush administration and the New York Port Authority as you have.
Oh, and not wearing blinkers, being able to handle the different news sources and assess the information intelligently.”
Ken, from your post, this quote from you jumped out at me: “Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”
However, before I can take issue with your contention that Vladimir Putin holds a “moral high ground,” it is necessary for me to have a clear understanding of what your definition of morality is. This is because if you and I hold opposite understandings of that concept, we could be saying exactly the same thing and talking past each other.
For example, Vladimir Putin believes that his invasion, occupation, and eventual territorial annexation of Crimea was a moral act. He has said this. I, on the other hand, believe it was immoral and that territorial expansion by force through the invasion of another sovereign country has no place in this century. It appears that he and I hold conflicting definitions of the concept of morality. That being the case, if he were to say to me that he holds the “moral high ground” in Crimea, I would have no idea what he meant and we would talk past each other.
Therefore, before we can proceed, it is necessary for me to have a clear understanding of what your idea of morality is before I can take issue with your comment. To help me toward this end, please allow me to ask you this question: Do you believe that the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?
David Fierstien, while we are doing definitions, what is your definition of “invasion”?
David, my comment was clear. On this specific issue of the MH17 tragedy Putin has warned against governments and politicians using it for their own political purposes. I believe those doing so are showing a complete disregard for the victims and their families and they should be condemned. Their actions are basically immoral on this specific issue.
So, yes, on this issue Putin stands out as occupying the moral high ground when compared with Tony Abbott, Obama, Cameron, etc.
Of course my statement was specific and clearly indicated to be. It has nothing to do with Crimea and its annexation. That is just a diversion. I have not raised that issue – you have. I have not commented on that, you have. I have not said Putin holds the moral high ground on Crimea (nor have I said he doesn’t). It just has nothing to do with the MH17 tragedy or his statement on that.
So really I must ask you – are we talking past each other on the MH17 tragedy. Do you not agree that cynically using that tragedy for political purposes is immoral?
You ask me if I think “the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?” I have to ask – what Russian invasion of Crimea? I am not aware of any invasion. The recent annexation did not involve an invasion as the armed forces of the Russian Federation were already there under a long standing agreement in place since the independence of Ukraine. The existing RF forces clearly provided some sort of guarantee against the spread of the Maidan occupations behind the coup to the Crimea but that was not an invasion.
I think any discussion of the annexation would require clarification of these sorts of terms (eg “invasion”) and also a discussion of the historical and political context – eg the illegal transfer of territory by Nikita Krushchev, the composition and wishes of the Crimean population, the political changes occurring in Ukraine, the expansion of NATO forces since the end of the USSR and the importance of the Crimean naval and other military bases to the strategic interests of the Russian Federation (and the importance of their losses to the strategic interests of the USA and NATO).
When countries act on their political and strategic interests one does not usual think in terms of morality. However, I have not discussed this topic, which is very wide, on my blog which is not political. My comments in Ukraine have really been restricted to the humanitarian aspects such as the senseless bombing and murder of innocent civilians in the Dombass region and support for a peaceful resolution of the underlying problems.
Q: “So really I must ask you – are we talking past each other on the MH17 tragedy. ”
A: No we weren’t, since our discussion on the MH17 tragedy hadn’t yet begun. I was going for small steps here, Ken.
Q: “David Fierstien, while we are doing definitions, what is your definition of “invasion”?”
A: In the example given, Crimea, invasion would be defined by the use of armed force in the annexation of territory from an area recognized by the world as a separate and sovereign nation, in this case Ukraine. Was not armed force used? Is not Ukraine a separate sovereign country independent of Russia?
The use of uninvited force within a host country, by a separate country, has no place in the 21st Century. I am critical of this behavior when my country does it and I am critical when other countries do it.
Your answer, as I understand it is Yes. The invasion of Crimea was a moral act. You and I hold separate definitions in the use of this basic human concept. It is not likely that that we could reach any sort of consensus through a discussion of this topic.
David, you put words I did not use into my mouth. I specifically said when countries act on ther political and strategic interests one does not usually use the word moral. In fact their considerations are often completely selfish and cynical. Clearly in this case the RF support for the changes in Crimea (which after all were overwhelmingly supported by the residents) had strong motivations connected to the military security of the RF and to their strategic interests in an ongoing geopolitical conflict. A conflict where their interests had been violated during the 90s by US and NATO inroads (in violation of agreements made before the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Europe).
Both sides had completely cynical interests in Crimea. In this case NATO and USA lost out and the RF prevented another unfriendly advance of armed forces right up to their border. That is a cynical geopolitical view but at least in this case it also was supported by the locals who were opposed to the illegal coup in Kiev and the takeover of local regional buildings by he Maidan forces (which includes some very unsavoury political groups).
It was very unsavoury and very complex – and “moral” is hardly the word for it on either side. Personally I hope in future Ukraine and RF can settle this specific conflict legally. Unfortunately, though, the whole situation in Ukraine is so bad economically and politically and the place so corrupt this may not happen for a while. The U.S. and NATO also has not given up their geopolitical interests and action on the Ukrainian mainland,
Personally I see the use of words like “invasion” as completely inappropriate (at this stage anyway) in the Ukrainian situation. The RF was obviously prepared to send in their own military forces (as shown by the Duma resolution) but has not considered it necessary (beyond the limited role of their forces legally on their Crimean bases) and the Duma resolution has since been withdrawn.
The involvement of the RF in Ukraine is probably similar to the U.S. involvement in Syria – I would not use the word “invasion” in either case. That word is more correctly applied to what happens when the U.S. went into Vietnam and Iraq, or the USSR went into Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
However, all this is a diversion from the real source of your disagreement with my article. The concept that on the MH17 tragedy, at least, Putin was occupyng the moral high ground by asking that governments and politicians not use the tragedy for their own political interests. Those that have done so have shown a cynical and inhumane disregard for the innocent victims of the tragedy. Their actions have actually been offensive and immoral.
David, it might help you to understand where Ken is coming from. His previous statements and rationalisations on what is “really” happening is interesting, to say the least.
(That Obama person, he’s a tricksy one.)
The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
Thanks for those links, Cedric.
David, if your are interested you can find all I have written on the Ukriane issue here https://openparachute.wordpress.com/?s=Ukraine
As you can see, about 15 articles mainly concentrated on the humanitarian issues with a few articles on the MH17 tragedy. I don’t think I had written anything specifically on Crimea. As I said, it is a complex issue.
Crimea belongs to the Greeks, oops, I mean the Romans.
Dang, make that anyone of the Ostrogoths or Alans or Huns or the Avars.
What? Oh, OK, they were just passing through.
So then…, the Greeks it was, the Byzantine variety not those argumentative Hellenistic types of earlier times.
But no. It was the Khazars, yet they had their butts kicked by the Polovsky.
Ah, then were the Russians, the so called Kievan Russian state. Briefly. In the context of this discussion who do they represent? Ukraine or Russia?
Who cares, like spit on a hot plate they were sent off in 1242 by the Mongols (of various flavours) anyway. The Golden Horde. Then followed 200 glorious years under the Tartar Khans.
In 1475 Mehemmed II captured Caffa in the Crimea from the Genoese (the Genoese – wtf??! ) ushering in Ottoman control.
In 1642 the Crimea found itself within shouting distance of the expanding boarders of Lithuania. Phew, close call that.
Back to the Russians (Muscovy variety for sure this time), Sevastopol established in 1783.
But the true owners of everything turned up in 1854 and Sevastopol passed into British hands. Rule Britannia! (for 18 months).
In the Soviet union Crimea found itself firstly an autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic then an oblast (provence) of the Russian SFSR and after 1954, the Ukrainian SSR. Finally an autonomous republic in 1991, within, but distinct from the Ukraine, an historical blink of an eye.
Perhaps David would like to inform as to who has the ‘moral’ authority, political and ethnically, over the area.
To be completely honest with you both, I am not well versed on this issue. Most of my knowledge of this comes from American media, CNN & MSNBC. I will take a closer look at this question. I am lost on this comment of yours: “The involvement of the RF in Ukraine is probably similar to the U.S. involvement in Syria . .” since the U.S. has no intention of annexing a portion of Syria your comparison has little merit. The U.S. may be assisting in an overthrow of that regime, but to my knowledge it is not for territorial gain. And this, the original sticking point: “Putin was occupying the moral high ground by asking that governments and politicians not use the tragedy for their own political interests.” Another interpretation is that Putin made the statement because a global condemnation of the situation which he helped to create, (i.e., a war zone over which MH17 flew and was inadvertently shot down) would have put his territorial expansion in a brighter global spotlight. Nobody wants this when committing immoral acts. (Regarding the question of the “morality” of the invasion of Crimea, it would have been acceptable to say it was not immoral.)
Regarding Obama, he may shoot from the hip sometimes, occasionally he gets it wrong, but I would never call him weak. He knew he was in for the fight of his life to get Universal Health Care passed in this country. Hillary Clinton tried in the ’90s and failed miserably. He showed a great deal of stamina and resolution.
“Perhaps David would like to inform as to who has the ‘moral’ authority, political and ethnically, over the area.” In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation, unless other rules apply to Ukraine. Did you not know this Richard?
In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation, unless other rules apply to Ukraine. Did you not know this Richard?
Translation: Whoever wields power within the boarders has authority.
Glad that’s been cleared up for us.
David, I should explain my comparison of the RF involvement in Ukraine with that of the USA in Syria.
This was reference to Ukraine proper not Crimea.
The RF has not got an official presence of its armed forces in Ukraine except for those that are there as part of the Minsk agreement and have the task, together with the official Officers of the Kiev government’s armed forces in trying to get withdrawal of heavy equipment from the front line. The OSCE helps in this.
There are plenty of Russian nationals of the RF fighting as volunteers or mercenaries on both sides in eastern Ukraine in the pro-autonomy militia and the volunteer pro Kiev brigades or National Guard, together with local Ukrainians. There are also nationals from other countries – even the USA, France, Spain fighting on both sides. Officially the RF does not have its own forces in Ukraine (except Crimea) although I imagine it may have some in advisory or technical roles. In that respect I imagine the USA may unofficially have some of its own specialists in Syria in the same role as they have a declared aim if regime change in that country and are known to be supplying arms.
The RF government does not officially supply arms to the eastern Ukraine militia although I would not be surprised if some equipment unofficially gets across the border with the full knowledge of the RF government. Some of this may be supplied by the RF government. Most of it is probably supplied by other political and nationalist forces within the RF. There are huge arm dumps across the former USSR (including Ukraine) which is probably the source of most weapons used in the area. Given the huge corruption in both countries I imagine that there is plenty of money diverted into such arm trade. In fact I have seen reports that the RF is concerned about rogue elements in East Ukraine who are gun running back into Russia proper.
The supply of arms by the US to rebels in Syria is a more or less open secret. Interesting (I think) the US has often diverted arms from the ex-Soviet arms dumps in Eastern Europe into such hot spots so as to provide some sense of deniability. U.S. support for rebel and terrorist groups in the Middle East has often backfired as their arms and training has often been turned around and used against the U.S. Itself.
So hence the similarities of Syria and Ukraine.
Yes, the U.S. does not wish to annex part of Syria, but nor does the RF wish to annex part of Ukraine mainland (although some of the nationalist fighters and civilians in the Eastern area would like this to happen). The RF has cancelled its original legislation giving the government permission for military intervention. Again and again the RF government has stressed they support a unitary state in Ukraine while at the same time supporting constitutional reform and satisfaction of the language and local government demands on the people in localities. (This is a concern for other ethnic minorities besides Russians – for example Hungarians).
There is a huge problem with propaganda deriving from the geopolitical struggle when discussing this area. I personally think that many people when the hear the words “Russia” or “Putin” just can’t think straight. They climb out of their trees and repeat the party line they have drummed in them. Thus words like “invasion” and “territorial gain” get used inappropriately. I often think this knee jerk reaction is a bit like a racist response.
The Ukrainian people in the Donbass region are really suffering at the moment and our political and media leaders try to ignore that. They claim the humanitarian assistance coming from the RF is illegal and even an invasion. Seriously, claims are made that these convoys are carrying arms, etc. Meanwhile innocent people suffer.
Their plight concerns me, just as the plight of the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families concern me. That is why I say that a political leader who advises other politicians and governments not to make political capital at the expense of these victims is occupying the moral high ground – however you spell their name or however deplorable there other actions may be.
I tink I would put the Malaysian PM in this moral have go ground too becuase he has refused, so far, to go along with the lynching mentality over the MH17 tragedy.
Regarding the statement “In the 21st Century, the authority within the borders of a sovereign nation lies with the political authority of that nation.” That sounds great but it is not the practice, unfortunately. The leaders of the RF have pointed out how hypocritical it is of their critics to say this when they had interfered in the former Yugoslavia and even created a new nation there.
The same people also welcomed the overthrow of a constitutionally elected government in Kiev and the illegal installation of an unelected junta. Even overnight discarding the agreement on early elections and consitutional reform they had helped achieve. If that agreement had been put into effect Ukraine today may have the same corrupt leaders they currently have but 5000 deaths would have been avoided – and Crimea would not have been lost. That cynical behaviour on the part of the US and the EU achieved nothing but misery.
Ken, your comment: “The RF has cancelled its original legislation giving the government permission for military intervention.”
And again: “Seriously, claims are made that these convoys are carrying arms, etc.”
My replies: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/10/satellite-images-russian-military-ukraine-border
And again: “http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/258069/speedreads-russias-troop-buildup-near-the-ukraine-border-is-making-everyone-nervous
Try this again without the quotation mark. Even so, this stuff is not hard to find.
David, I cannot understand the relevance of your links. They refer to movement of armed forces of the RF – within the RF!
They are not evidence of an invasion or of intention to grab territory. More evidence of the tension in Europe and military activity within eastern Ukraine.. That coincide with the movement and stationing of armed forces and equipment from the U.S. and NATO alongside the borders of the RF. Why are people who think this way not linking to reports of NATO armed force movement toward and along the RF border as evidence of a “NATO invasion!”
The military movement and exercises within the RF are what one would expect from a country which has faced the unilateral expansion of NATO right up to its borders in violation of international agreements when the former USSR withdrew forces from Europe.
Unfortunately this is the sort of thing that gets used to support chants of a “Russian invasion” and leads me to think that when the words “Russia” and “Putin” are uttered it causes people to lose the ability to think rationally.
Ken, forgive me for jumping from issue to issue, but this is essentially the same subject, Russian aggression against the Ukraine. (And this situation, in my view, is ultimately responsible for the downing of MH17.) I wanted to speak to an error of fact that you had previously made. Your quote: “You ask me if I think “the Russian invasion of Crimea was a moral act?” I have to ask – what Russian invasion of Crimea? I am not aware of any invasion. The recent annexation did not involve an invasion as the armed forces of the Russian Federation were already there under a long standing agreement in place since the independence of Ukraine.” My response to that quote is that actually, under the terms of a 1997 agreement with Ukraine, Russia was allowed to have up to 25,000 troops in Crimea. However, during the events of February, 2014 those numbers exceeded 25,000. This was a violation of the Ukrainian-Russian treaty agreements. This was, therefore, by any definition of the word, an invasion.
David, I am aware of the agreement and the numbers allowed. Everything I read on this at the time reported the limit was not exceed. Some extra troops were sent but the current numbers were well under the limit so it wasn’t exceeded. RF government spokespersons specifically addressed that question at the time.
Do you have any authoritave links that says otherwise?
I hope you’re not one of those people who has a problem with al Jazeera. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/03/ukraine-offers-talks-with-russia-over-crimea-20143713572524931.html
No, I think Al Jazeera is one of the better news sources, although not so good on Ukraine unless they have their own reporters in place on the ground. However, all news sources must be approaxhed intelligently and critically. There is a lot of crap reporting of Ukraine, and elsewhere.
David, I do not consider an unnamed “Ukranian border guard official meanwhile reported on Friday, that there were an estimated 30,000 Russian troops” as at all authorative. The numbers quoted by the Crimean authorities sound more like the figures I remember of about 12,000 troops with another 6000 arriving during the crisis. Hence remaining under the agreed limit. No, I do not have links to that handy. But this does not look at all like an “invasion.”
Ok, you don’t accept an unnamed Ukranian border guard official who was keeping track. Just so we can move on, I will, begrudgingly, allow you to reject this as an invalid source. However, Russia was in violation of the Russian-Ukrainian Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet which did allow for those 25,000 troops to remain on their bases. Leaving the bases was a violation of the treaty.
Moreover, Russia was clearly in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. in which they agreed to:
1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
4. Seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, “if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used”.
5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine. (whatever “refrain” means)
6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.
Again, violation of these treaties, particularly troops leaving assigned bases to carry out aggressive military action against the host country constitutes an invasion.
Just so we can move on,
I will, begrudgingly, allow you to reject this as an invalid source.
How begrudgingly gracious.
PS your link is spectacularly uninformative. Are the bulleted points above your opinion or Iryna Yeroshko’s opinion?.
” . . bulleted points above . .”? Are you referring to the terms of the treaty? If so, they are no one’s opinion. They are agreed upon terms of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, signed by Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. Please forgive me if that wasn’t clear enough. And yeah, I am a gracious guy, but my magnanimous modesty usually prevents me from making a show of it.
David, I know I use the word “clearly” myself too much. But I think Daniel Dennett warned about its use as it often an indication that things are far from clear.
I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses. I am sure the military personnel based there would often travel throughout the country let alone the peninsula. Christ, many – if not a majority – probably lived off their bases with their families. It’s hard to find anything aggressive in the actions of the RF personnel because they played such a background role. One example from my memory that might qualify is their helicopter action to protect a power plant in a village just outside the Crimea region.
The context must be examined. At the time a coup had taken place in Kiev. This was part of illegal and violent occupations occurring throughout the country where local administrations were being threatened and replaced. In February elements of the Maidan demonstrators had captured arms. This action was occurring in he South and the East and was being threatened in Crimea Local anti-Maidan forces took direct action to prevent it.
The Ukrainian armed forces in their Crimean bases were effectively leaderless and complained bitterly about Kiev ignoring them and refusing to give them orders. Many defected to the Russian forces and Crimea – after all many of them were Russian and Crimean. Ukrainian and Russian armed forces trained alongside each other, they were not enemies (until 1992 they effectively belonged to the same country). To be confronted with a situation of an illegal government in Kiev, no orders from the centre, etc., you can understand what an impossible situation it was for them. To cap it all off the local population wanted them to defect and wanted to leave a Ukraine. Even for completely cynical reasons the defectors got an immediate pay rise, better pensions and a higher standard of living with the possibility of a little bit less corruption in their lives.
Perhaps we should be saying that the RF forces acted very responsibly. The outcome was very peaceful – what would have happened if the Maidan units has managed to seize power in Crimea as well? I suspect a bloodbath.
As for the Budapest Memorandum – I think this is straw clutching despite your use of the the word “clearly” again. This agreement itself could have been cited by the Russian Federation if they had in fact intervened militarily. Let’s face it. When nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine this was done as part of a policy of non-proliferation and in a way that the state to which the weapons were withdrawn to, the Russian Federation, would provide guarantees against the actions of hostile States and alliances of the time – the US and NATO.
An interventionist Russia could have justified their actions using the agreement and cite the illegal overthrow of an elected government as a result of the intervention of US and European governments and money. They could have cited the attempts at imposition of a unilateral EU association agreement on a government who insisted on trilateral negotiations to produce a fairer agreement.
And so on.
The fact remains there has been no invasion. The annexation of Crimea took place with the declared support of its residents along the same international law used by NATO in the former Yugoslavia. I agree the procedure was inadequate but the situation was dangerous and proper negotiations were impossible as the government had been illegally overthrown. As I have said before, I hope that the two countries can come to a mutually satisfactory agreement on the situation of the Crimea in future without interference from the US and NATO who have been trying to achieve a strategic advantage in the area in the mistaken belief that the RF was too weak to prevent them.
Ken, before I proceed I want you to understand why I feel the issue of Crimea should be on the table when discussing the downing of MH17. That flight was shot down over a war zone in which pro-Russian rebels are in conflict with the central government of Ukraine. If I am wrong on this basic fact, let’s correct it now. I am fairly certain that the pro-Russian rebels are supported by Moscow. Actually you have implied this also: “The RF government does not officially supply arms to the eastern Ukraine militia although I would not be surprised if some equipment unofficially gets across the border with the full knowledge of the RF government.” (This page – time-stamp | December 22, 2014 at 11:12 am |). Therefore, since MH17 came down over a conflict zone in which Moscow was probably involved, it would make sense to look at the larger picture of a Ukrainian – Russian conflict in order to put this tragedy into context. That is why I feel that the events of early 2014 in Crimea are a valid issue of discussion.
So, I have contended that what happened in Crimea was a “Russian Invasion.” And you have contended – and I don’t want to put words in your mouth – that the Russian Troops restored order. So I must ask, if Russia had completely altruistic motives wouldn’t they have handed the territory back to Ukraine after all issues had been settled in Kiev?
I have supported my contention that this was an invasion by pointing out that Russia violated the BSF Treaty that it held with Ukraine.
You have asked: “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses.”
My response is that according to paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs”.
According to paragraph 2, Article 8 of the same Agreement, “Military units shall conduct exercise and other combat and operative training within the limits of training centers, training areas, positioning and dispersal areas, firing ranges, and, except forbidden zones, within the designated airspace as agreed with Ukraine’s competent authorities”.
Now, I have been on U.S. Military Bases in foreign countries, and I can tell you for certain that once you leave that base, you are on foreign soil. If you leave that base armed you had better have permission from the host country. And that is what paragraph 2, Article 8 says: “. . . as agreed with Ukraine’s competent authorities”.
If you could, Ken, could you tell me which authority in Ukraine gave these Russian troops permission to leave their bases while armed? The fact is that the moment they left their bases they walked onto foreign soil (correct?), armed (correct?), in violation of Treaty (yes, correct), and they did in fact invade the country.
I know you won’t like it if I say this was a “clear” violation of the Treaty, but I will say that you will have to put an enormous amount of spin on this to tell me it wasn’t a treaty violation.
You have said: “Ukrainian and Russian armed forces trained alongside each other, they were not enemies.”
This is a great opportunity to bring up a joke making the rounds at the final accord’s signing ceremonies in Sevastopol which illustrates the suspicion, wounded pride, and confused allegiances wrought from Ukraine’s separation from its Slavic big brother Russia six years earlier: A Russian and a Ukrainian find $1,000 on the street. The Russian turns to his buddy and says, “Let’s split it like brothers!” The Ukrainian shakes his head and responds, “No thanks. Let’s split it 50-50.”
You have also said, “To cap it all off the local population wanted them to defect and wanted to leave a Ukraine.”
This is reminiscent of an occurrence that happened in my country. I have a dear friend in South Carolina who still calls that occurrence The War of Northern Aggression, evidence of the bitter feelings that remain a century & a half later. Of course I call it the Civil War. (And rest assured, negative feelings from the South toward Lincoln were probably stronger than Crimean feelings toward Kiev.) In that war, England supported the South. Only a few decades earlier, in 1812, England tried to invade the United States. I bring this up because there are some similarities.
In justifying your denial of the existence of the Russian Invasion of Crimea, you say, “The annexation of Crimea took place with the declared support of its residents. . .” This is irrelevant to Russia’s involvement which was a clear treaty violation and an invasion.
Regarding my previous discussion on Russia’s treaty violation, I should also note that Paragraph 5, Article 15 of the same Agreement reads: “Movements related to activities of military units outside of their areas of disposition shall take place following an approval by Ukraine’s competent authorities”. This would speak more directly to the position that Russia violated the treaty BSF Treaty.
David, you are unwilling to consider the morality of politicians who cynically make political capital out of the MH17 tragedy and say that can only happen after placing the Crimean issue “on the table.” I think that is a diversion because whatever the rights and wrongs of the Crimean issue or the wider issue of the conflict one can easily see the immorality involved in using the plight of the victims and their families in this way. It is completely disrespectful.
But as you insist on demanding consideration of Crimea one could, for example, point out (as I have tried to), that to consider the issue of Crimea in any sensible way, that one must also put on the table the whole political crisis in Ukraine at the time. You avoid that. But you talk about “Ukraine’s competent authorities.” Could you tell me who these were? Are you suggesting that the RF should have considered leaders of an illegal coup “competent” and ignore the legally elected leaders and government? That the competent authorities in Crimea should have been ignored?
The EU and US did exactly that. Overnight they gave “competence” to an illegal junta – despite the EU having been centrally involved in achieving an agreement for early presidential elections and constitutional reform. That in itself probably results from their involvement in formenting and feeding that political crisis.
I actually feel that regarding the February 21st agreement the RF leadership, particularly Lavrov, also occupy the moral high ground whereas the U.S. and EU definitely acted immorally. If that agreement had been allowed to take place Ukraine would still have been a chaotic and corrupt country. But they would have been economically and financially much sounder. There would not have been over 5 thousand deaths of innocent civilians. There would not have been the shelling and bombing of cities, towns and villages in the east. And the MH17 tragedy would not have occurred.
But that tragedy did occur in the real world and the reaction of political leaders and governments to it is a moral issue. I certainly cannot respect any leader who lies about the event and makes political capital out of that tragedy.
David, when you quote from treaties etc., it would help to provide a link. I don’t think the minutia of such treaties are important in this discussion as it is straw itching to use them to define such a obvious thing as an “invasion,” but I personally like to check such things out – as you are probably aware with my approach to the scientific studies are quoted.
My partner would say it is because I am a Virgo but that is just rubbish. 🙂
Were there records of other planes downed the same day? http://fortruss.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/meet-pilot-who-shot-down-malysian.html
Thanks for that link soundhill1. I notice there are a couple of reports presenting evidence supporting the different scenarios circulating at the moment. I also saw a report in a Russian source that the Dutch investigators will produce another interim report by the end of this month but can’t find confirmation at the official site.
The video of the interview is also circulating – this one has English subtitles.
Ken, in your comment above you say, “David, you are unwilling to consider the morality of politicians who cynically make political capital out of the MH17 tragedy and say that can only happen after placing the Crimean issue “on the table.””
Actually I didn’t say I wouldn’t consider the morality of certain politicians unless the Crimean issue was on the table. I said, “I feel that the events of early 2014 in Crimea are a valid issue of discussion,” and I also explained why. I hope you don’t think I was issuing an ultimatum or holding any other topic hostage.
Ok, you want to talk about the morality of politicians. Who holds the moral high ground? Morality . . . ethics . . . Tell you what, let me present an exercise in ethics.
The following is purely hypothetical. Any similarity to any person living or dead is purely coincidental:
Mr. X lives in a small neighborhood. His neighbor hates him. They never got along. One day, Mr. X killed his wife. Her body was found in his front yard, mangled, cut up . . . it was horrible. The police came, removed the body. Of course, as any fan of the ID Network can tell you, the spouse is always the first suspect. As far as the police were concerned, Mr. X was the primary suspect; however, this was confidential information because an investigation had not yet taken place. Now Mr. X’s neighbor, who really did not like Mr. X, began to publicly accuse Mr. X of being the murderer. And since they lived in a small neighborhood (and since Mr. X was known to have abused his former wife, whose name was Georgia) the rumors were rampant.
Now here is the ethical dilemma: Which of these two men held the higher moral ground? Was it Mr. X who murdered his wife, or was it Mr. X’s neighbor who accused him of it, although there was no proof of it yet?
Tough question. Got an answer?
It looks like Mr X was insane. Insane people can be hated by their neighbour. Or if the neighbour were suffering from early dementia he may be showing the characteristic suspicion, and be a stressor on Mr X.
Early reports of the MH17 downing were that it was by mistake. Now we have been told again, “wrong plane”.
Here we do not just have neighbours but other “interested parties” getting in on the spoils.
Again, David, that is a diversion. Your hypothetical situation is completely irrelevant.
What we have here is a plane shot down killing almost 300 innocent civilians. At this stage we do not know who or what caused the destruction (tell me if you know something I don’t). We have possible scenarios and, as I have said, the three groups most likely to have accidently or intentionally been responsible are the armed forces, or elements of the armed forces, in the separatist eastern regions of Ukraine, the Kiev regime (including the voluntary batallions) and the Russian Federation. We could spread the net wider as the US and NATO had ongoing exercises in the Black Sea at the time and we know some of the Ukrainian planes attacking civilians in the east have taken off from Romanian airports. But I think the three parties I mention are the most likely.
We could speculate – for example considering which forces had which weapons and what weapon appears most likely to have caused the damage we see in the on-line photos of the wreckage. We could also listen to testimony of witnesses. I suggest the last people to listen to are the governments and leaders of countries who have irons in the fire – Ukraine government, leadersip of seperatists, the RF government and the US government. Some of these have advanced hypotheses which can only be described as wild and dishonest because they supply absolutely no evidence (and I point my finger at Obama and the US here).
In this situation, having no irons of my own in the fire, I am happy to say “I don’t know. I won’t seriously speculate (although I am of course interesting to some extent with the ideas that are advanced). Let’s proceed to investigate rapidly and transparently.” In my consideration of the available information I think that is the wisest approach and anyone lumping firmly for one scenario or another demonstrates, to me, unwarranted political bias. Even worse, when those people refuse to allow consideration of anything not fitting their bias I cannot see that bias as innocent.
Now, two leaders (among many others – for instance the majority of the G20) have refused to support either of the touted scenarios – The RF president and the Malaysian PM. Putin went one step further by warning other leaders not to make political capital out of the tragedy. To me that means on this question he is occcupying the moral high ground – irrespective of anything else he has said or done in his life.
My simple statement about what seems to be an obvious fact in no way can be considered an endorsement of any other postion or action of Mr Putin or the Malysian PM. Just as my statement that Obama’s behaviour over this issue was disgusting and disrespectful, should not be considered as a condemnation of anything else that man has said or done in his life.
Just a small footnote – my assessment of Putin has varied over the years. I was disgusted with the evident constitutiuonal manipulation to get his a 3rd and 4th presidential term. Having since read more about the disastorous situation Russia was in during the 90s I am perhaps less critical. I have recently been searching for something objective about his life and history to read and you know what – it just isn’t there! This guy is so demonised it seems impossible to find anything which isn’t hysterical. As I said, the word “Russia” and “Putin” seem to cause most people’s blood pressure to rise and destroy their ability to think straight. I think that is why some people are upset with my observation about the moral high ground but can’t explain why.
Before I begin, please allow me to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I hope you do the holidays up right and have a great time enjoying the people in your life.
It won’t surprise you to know that my assessment of Putin is quite the opposite yours. What you may find surprising is that I actually thought he was pretty cool at first – he invited McCartney to perform in Red Square after all. That’s why it was so disappointing to see what an asshole he is. (Of course Obama had to outdo Putin and invite him to the White House where he presented McCartney with the Gershwin Award.)
You are correct, I brought up the issue of Crimea, and there is a reason for that. (Bear with me, I’ll get to that.) And you have said, “When countries act on their political and strategic interests one does not usual think in terms of morality.“ (Time-stamp: December 21, 2014 at 7:39 pm ) So if Putin annexed Crimea for strategic reasons, he is an idiot as well as an asshole. I mean look at the suffering of his people. In the 21st Century, when you behave like an international prick, your people suffer. Are you learning, nations of Planet Earth?
I don’t know how things are in New Zealand right now, but in the U.S. things couldn’t be better. Gas prices haven’t been this low for over a decade. Russia, on the other hand, in all its aggressiveness, is no friend to oil rich Azerbaijan as evidenced by its vote in U.N. General Assembly resolution 68/262 which affirmed the United Nations commitment to recognize Crimea within Ukraine’s international borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum. Great strategy, Putin. And he’s had his military into Georgia. This guy is definitely not a progressive thinker. (I knew a very nice man from Georgia who absolutely hated Putin for what he had done there.)
So what does this have to do with the downing of MH17? Here’s my point. You are focused on who pulled the trigger. I would like to address the situation in which this tragedy took place. You are focused on asking from which branch a particular ember in a great forest fire came. I would like to look at the cause of the fire. You are looking at one symptom. I would like to look at the cause of the disease. And I maintain (using the forest-fire analogy) that Putin has fanned the flames of that fire; therefore, he holds no high moral ground in any of it.
Now, I agree with you that we should hold off judgment as to who exactly pulled the trigger. Let the Dutch investigate and find out. Maybe they will tell us, maybe they won’t. I’m not obsessed with exactly who pulled that trigger. (I’m not the one putting up videos with actors accusing Ukraine.) I’m concerned about why the trigger was pulled in the first place.
And let’s get real here. When Putin said we should hold off judgment until we know for sure who did this, he probably didn’t know who did it. But he probably did suspect that his own people may have been responsible. It is impossible for me to believe that he wanted the world to withhold blame because he holds a higher moral ground. That is a highly naïve interpretation, Ken. (Actually it’s hard for me to believe that you are that naive. But I do know there are people who find it difficult to admit when they were wrong.) The fact is, Putin wanted everyone to hold off judgment because he didn’t want to get blamed for it. It’s that simple. He’s not a saint in this.
One more thing, this Holiday, drink one for me & I’ll drink one for you. Cheers!!
Thanks fòr the Christmas greetings David. The same to you.
We will obviously disagree about politicians like the Malaysian PM and RF president. No problem. However, that should not stop us agreeing on what us acceptable behaviour in the way the MH17 victims are respected. That’s just a matter of human decency.
Regarding the context for the Ukrainuan problems it is interesting you refuse to even acknowledge the illegal coup and role of Svoboda, Pravi Sector, etc. In the terror . Why is that? To me that seems vitally significant.
This was your comment with which I originally took issue: ” . . . Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, . . . But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”
i have contended that your interpretation of his comment is naive. From your comment above I gather that you disagree with my assessment. Ok, that’s where we stand. You refuse to budge.
I don’t recall making any comments regarding the Malaysian Prime Minister.
Regarding the internal political problems of Ukraine: These difficulties had little to do with your original comment with which I took issue.
However, I have acknowledged that there have been political problems in Ukraine. My acknowledgement of Ukraine’s problems supports my position that Putin holds no high moral ground in his dealings with Ukraine.
When Kiev was in chaos, Putin annexed Crimea. Russian military assisting in that annexation was a clear violation of paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine which states: “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs”.
Russian military interfered with Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Putin violated the Treaty. The disorder in Kiev was irrelevant to the terms of the Treaty. Putin does not hold any high moral ground in its dealings with Ukraine.
David, what do you say about Yanukovych’s election in Ukraine, his ousting by armed uprising and his invitation to Russia to protect him in Crimea? https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9F9pQcqPdKo#t=6005
Perhaps this discussion should be seen as just another example of the attitude that I am criticising so i will try to present it in its essence.
I empathise with the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families. It is important to me that we determine what actually happened and do our best to prevent future events like this. We should also bring to justice anyone responsible for crminal events leading to the tragedy.
So i am critical of actions aimed at inhibiting an objective, full and transparent investigation. I am critical of a lynching mentallity based on a pre determination of the results of this investigation – an ignoring of the investigation or even the need for one.
That disgusting and cynical use of the victims for political purpise is not only inhumane, it is dangerous as it promotes a cold war mentallity.
That is my argument in essence. So, David, can you respond to that? Do you support cynical poltical use if these victims or do you support their righrs to a proper investigation and bringing to justice anyone criminally involved?
Now a separate issue – my presentation of the argument.
I could make the argument more specific by naming names – politicians and media who have adopted this lynching approach for cynical political ends. But i think we know who they are.
I could also give examples of leaders who have refused to do this. Leaders who i would describe as occupying the high moral ground – on this specific issue. You might be surprised at the length of that list.
And i could try reinforcing my argument by pointing out that at least one of those politicians is a person my readers love to hate. A person who is demonised by our media. Rightly or wrongly. If “even he” can accept and demonstrate, even promote, the empathetic and humane approach i advocate does this not put to shame those who don’t.
I guess , though, the brainwashing is so strong that some people dò not see that irony. The word itself sends them off at a tangent which unfortunately provides support for a inhumane and cynical usung of innocent victims for political purposes.
Ken, you have asked the question: “That is my argument in essence. So, David, can you respond to that?” I will do my best to answer your comment.
1.) “I empathise with the innocent victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families. It is important to me that we determine what actually happened and do our best to prevent future events like this. We should also bring to justice anyone responsible for crminal events leading to the tragedy.”
Answer: I don’t disagree with this statement and I don’t recall saying anything to the contrary.
2.) “So i am critical of actions aimed at inhibiting an objective, full and transparent investigation. I am critical of a lynching mentallity based on a pre determination of the results of this investigation – an ignoring of the investigation or even the need for one.”
Answer: I don’t disagree with this either. However, while I have been critical of, as you say “a person who is demonised by our media” based on his pattern of past behavior behavior (which includes among other things, Treaty violation, aggression in other countries including Georgia, and I didn’t even get to his treatment of local Russians living in the area of the the XXII Olympic Winter Games), I don’t believe I named him or any of his minions as being the actual “trigger-pullers” in the MH17 tragedy. I did accuse him of helping to set the stage in which the tragedy occurred. It’s only my opinion, but it would be hard to deny that there is some truth to it.
3.) “That disgusting and cynical use of the victims for political purpise is not only inhumane, it is dangerous as it promotes a cold war mentallity.”
Answer: While I don’t disagree with the essence of what you are saying, the emotionally charged way in which you say it (words like cynical, inhumane, and earlier, lynch mentality) can get in the way. I remind you of something you said to me on another website: “OK, David, I can see you have strong political views and feelings about this. However, these in themselves don’t provide grounds for making decisions of such magnitude. In fact they obstruct your ability . . .” In my opinion, your language here is a bit over the top.
4.) In your second comment, this statement is where I have the problem: “If “even he” can accept and demonstrate, even promote, the empathetic and humane approach i advocate does this not put to shame those who don’t.”
Answer: Again, I don’t think we are going to agree on this. His statement was neither empathetic nor humane, but it’s nice that you see it that way. His request to hold off on the judgement of exactly who was directly responsible for shooting down that plane was self-serving in that he knew he would be blamed for it, or was being blamed for it, and he was being critical of those blaming him. He was defending himself.
David Fierstien wrote of Putin: “based on his pattern of past behavior behavior (which includes among other things, Treaty violation, aggression in other countries including Georgia,”
“Russia only sent troops and tanks to drive Georgian forces out of South Ossetia after President George Bush failed to put pressure on Georgia’s president to stop his attacks on the breakaway territory, Vladimir Putin said” “Putin made clear that Russia could easily have occupied Georgia and toppled its president, Mikheil Saakashvili. “Our forces were 15 kilometres [nine miles] from Tbilisi. It would have taken four hours to capture Tbilisi. We didn’t have that goal.”‘
David Fierstien wrote: “his treatment of local Russians living in the area of the the XXII Olympic Winter Games”
London, Beijing and Rio also did forced relocations for their Olympics. It’s not nice.
But here it is being used for the current political capital.
33 USA States do not allow homosexual marriage. 75% of Russians do not believe in it. I can’t help feeling the issue was being used as a political tool focused on Putin’s winter Olympics.
David, you have now actually ageed with my comment – even if a little reluctantly. I think some things should flow from that agreeement. Such as criticism of politicians and governments who make political capital out of the tragedy (eg Obama, Cameron and Abbott). Condemnation of forces who inhibit the investigation (Eg those shelling the area and preventing recovery of bodies and wreckage ). Expressing concern at secret agreements possibly limiting publication of information. And urging more speed in the investigation and response to families.
One should not allow one’s specific political beliefs or hangups prevent that.
Divergence of discussion into the diversity of political beliefs and hangups should not prevent this.
Soundhill1, I watched about 45 minutes of Mr. Putin’s speech but couldn’t find the time to watch it all. I found it interesting. I’ll try to set aside a few hours tomorrow to watch it all.
Your comment: “But here it is being used for the current political capital.” What you call political capital I would call criticism of an injustice. Nothing wrong with that.
And I would be the first to admit that there are a lot of horrible things in U.S. history that are indefensible.
David: Your comment: “But here it is being used for the current political capital.” What you call political capital I would call criticism of an injustice. Nothing wrong with that.”
People in the way of Olympic developments in Sochi, London, Beijing, Rio were relocated. But more is being made of it in Sochi seemingly as part of an orchestrated attack. The orchestrated attack seems to be including the seeming attempt to make Sochi a venue to promote normality of and participation in homosexuality, not just about legalising marriage. If some enterprise was promoting come to Socchi games because of sex interest in general I think it would be right to stop that, too. Would that be classed as intolerance? Sex tourism in the world is a fact and may frequently be exploitive of youth.
I wasn’t really aware of a Sochi Olympic / homosexual connection. Either it wasn’t broadcast here or I missed it.
Ken, from your comment above regarding items we can agree on: “Condemnation of forces who inhibit the investigation (Eg those shelling the area and preventing recovery of bodies and wreckage ).”
My response is that according to international monitors, that would be the pro-Russian rebels: “Borodai insisted that rebels had not interfered with the crash investigation, despite reports to the contrary by international monitors and journalists at the crash site.”
It is good to see that you finally agree with me in my condemnation of the pro-Russian separatists.
If rebels were guarding the area why would they put their own soldiers at risk by shooting into the area as farmers reported was happening?
Your AlJazeera article is also reporting the discredited phone taps.
Much of the USA story has been manufactured, pictures of BUK.
Note also The Ukrainian farms have have had explosive mines laid. There will be starvation.
David, of course I condemn both sides for any inhibition they were each responsible for.
At the time both sides agreed to a ceasefire in the area and the UN Security Council demanded it. In practice it did not hold – one can speculate why.
You seem to rely on a vague sentence in an Al Jazeera report. I suggest you look more deeply. I personally don’t attempt to to deny both sides may have contributed to the failure of the ceasefire but I do not accept the unattributed claims made by much of the mass media at the time blaming only the rebels. I believed this was largely hysterical and false. At the time I wrote this post –
Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site – which includes a video of a press conference from the local authorities which I think provided a much needed balance.
The international monitors, the OSCE, produce their own reports and I suggest you read this rather than rely on vague newspaper reports which often distort or completely misrepresent the OSCE official statements. The OSCE were the first international group to get to the crash site very quickly, as they were on the ground and had good contact with the local authorities. Other international groups who tried to get access via the Kiev government found things extremely difficult and were inhibited from access for a long time. The usual trick that Kiev uses is to deny access because they “cannot guarantee safety.” (The same argument the used with the early humanitarian convoys). But the Malaysian MP, for example, must have seen through that trick because he negotiated with the local authorities and managed to get access quickly and get the black boxes.
I have seen a private report from one OSCE observer describe the difficulties encountered by groups attempting to travel from Donetsk to the crash site. This involved going through quite a few checkpoints controlled by the local militia, the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian National Guard units. This report described how the national guard check points often turned the observers back and knew of attacks underway when the Ukrainian army did not. In that situation it is easy for the Ukrainian army to claim they were inactive while the national guard was actively shelling the area. These national guard units are usually controlled and financed by the local oligarch and the pro-fascist parties like Svoboda, the Radical Party and the Pravi Sektor.
The crash site has evidence of craters from bombardment by the Ukrainian side.
On balance I see the Ukrainian side has been the most obstructive both regarding access and in providing information to the joint investigation team. Despite Poroshenko’s claim in Australia that they have satellite photos and other evidence “proving” a ground attack by the local militia cooperating with the RF forces and equipment they have not provided this information to the investigation team – at least publicly. They do not appear to have providing the traffic control radar readings. They have refused to respond to questions from the Russian investigators.
I have seen a news report attributed to the Ukrainian UN ambassador that the Dutch Investigators will produce a new interim report by the end of this month. Their last report mentioned the material supplied by the Russian Federation but nothing from the U.S. or Ukraine. If the new report does not mention anything submitted by them people will be asking why
“Creating Famine Conditions
Beginning in the late spring the Ukrainian army set landmines across the grain fields needed to support the area for human and livestock consumption. The landmines set in grain fields aren’t in contested areas. They are not marked and the locals weren’t told to stay away by the Ukrainian army.
These are the fields where farmers make their living and produce the grain needed for bread. One of my neighbors hit a mine trying to harvest his wheat. It destroyed his tractor and he was lucky to be thrown clear. He woke to see his tractor burning. In early summer another neighbor on his tractor was used for sniper practice.
The Ukrainian army burnt grain and corn fields that were under their control. This continued throughout most of the summer as noted across many articles.
The scorched earth policy was geared at creating the current situation which will soon be mass starvation and the sicknesses associated with it. Tens of thousands of acres could not be harvested.
To make the point a few short weeks ago Kiev’s appointed Governor in the occupied Lugansk region stated bluntly that Kiev’s humanitarian blockade of Lugansk and Donetsk was geared to reproduce the effects of the Soviet Union’s 1932-33 famine in which millions across central and southeast Ukraine perished from starvation and sickness.”
And Amnesty International’s response to the current attempts to relieve this illegal situation:
Soundhill1, regarding your sources: The first source you cite, this http://www.ukrainewar.info/kiev-forcing-death-starvation-relocation-donbass/ also has on its front page the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors who performed brilliantly as interviewers and witness. My point is that your first source lacks unbiased credibility.
I have never known Amnesty International to have a political ax to grind. I consider AI to be both a reliable and a respected organization and I greatly admire the work they do. However, the point of this article is the blockade of humanitarian food and supplies, from the Ukraine side, to people who need it in pro-Russian controlled areas. I assume the point of this article is to point a finger of blame at the Ukrainian side, for what happens in a war, and demonstrate what horrible people they are.
I don’t blame the Ukrainians for the blockades. You may recall U.S. efforts to send humanitarian aid to starving Somalians in the 1990s. Much of that food went to local war lords, and in the end the U.S. effort was counter productive. And from the webpage you provided, this is exactly the reason given by the Ukraine side:
“After stopping one of the convoys Vladimir Manko, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 battalion, told the Ukrainian media:
“We don’t have any control on the other side. It turns out that we’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them.” ”
You may not agree with it, but the Ukrainians are right to blockade. I don’t like it either. On the other hand, if Vladimir Putin occupies this lofty moral high ground, as Mr. Perrott contends, one would have to believe that he would be the first in line to offer humanitarian assistance to either side.
They used actors to protect the source.
I’m looking at the “mistake” shooting concept. This originated very soon after the event. That the wrong plane had been shot. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html
And now we have the “mistake” concept appearing again, though no mention of Putin’s plane this time.
Here are the comparison pictures of Putin’s plane and the off-course MH17 which could have been mistaken at the several KMs the pilot talked about.
The Ukrainian Army and their “volunteers” which AI speaks of. Burning the crops, laying mines, blockading relief food. All with the same objective. An excuse given for the blockading that relief was being diverted. We don’t hear to where or in detail by whom. Could even be the “volunteers”.
“After stopping one of the convoys Vladimir Manko, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 battalion, told the Ukrainian media:
“We don’t have any control on the other side. It turns out that we’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them.” ”
AlJazeera reported that housing blocks were being bombed and military barracks untouched. This is an attack on the people, not the military. “We’re feeding them”. Definitely not. Where is the evidence?
do you have the al Jazeera link?
Here is a link to a Telegraph article and video on that particular aid convoy http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/11308143/Ukraine-football-stadium-acts-as-aid-centre-as-humanitarian-crisis-looms.html This source may be more ideologically desirable for David 🙂
The NF brigades or volunteer brigades who are stopping the convoys are pro-fascist – surely David doesn’t want to accept them as reliable? 🙂
I think the issue of humanitarian aid is another question which decides people morally, not politically. Whatever one’s politics it is surely immoral to prevent aid to the people in the east who are really suffering at the moment – a fact recognised by international human rights and aid bodies and the UN. Whatever David thinks ideologically of the Ukrainian oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, or of the Russian Emergency Ministry and public bodies involved, the humanitarian aid missions are surely extremely important and it is immoral to prevent them.
Regarding the downing of MH17, I think we know where we all are at this point. It might be best to wait for the next Dutch report.
Ken’s quote: “This source may be more ideologically desirable for David” as a reference to the UK Telegraph. Why would you think the Telegraph would be more in line with my ideology than al Jazeera? I hope you aren’t generalizing in any way, which sometimes happens when emotions are stirred.
David, I did use an emoticon to indicate it was a dig, not a serious claim. Just a response to your reference to “source lacks unbiased credibility” in another comment.
Personally I find The Telegraph often posts information which other similar sources suppress, even though it is considered as quite an extreme source. I wouldn’t use it as a reliable primary source – but I do regularly check it out. I personally see rejection of information because of them soce can be a knee jerk cop out.
I agree we should await the next official report from the joint investigation team – that is certainly occupying the high moral ground compared with those like Obama and Abbott who claim knowledge they do not have for their own politcal ends.
But there are concerns about the tardiness of this investigation and the possible veto right that the Kiev regime appears to have (which is the point of this post). I personally see their next interim report (if it occurs) as a bit of a test as surely they can not ignore the primary radar data any more and their conclusions about this will either reject that evidence or, in effect, reject the reliability of information from Kiev. They after all claim they had no military planes in the air that day but the radar data submitted to the investigation by the RF show there were such planes in the voncinitynat the time.
Meanwhile, it is perfectly understandable that the news media will report, or should report, any new information that comes to hand – especially in the absence of official information. Provided governments do not seize on such unverified information for political purposes as happened in the US, Europe and Australia immediately after the tragedy.
Ken, your quote: “David, I did use an emoticon to indicate it was a dig, not a serious claim. Just a response to your reference to “source lacks unbiased credibility” in another comment.”
This is my comment to which you are referring: “. .the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors who performed brilliantly as interviewers and witness. My point is that your first source lacks unbiased credibility.”
I stand by that statement. I seriously doubt the unbiased credibility of any news organization that would carry the story to which I was referring. Now, this video is out there in the public domain. It’s there for everyone to see. And it is MAJOR news if it is true. You once commented that al Jazeera is one of the better news sources. We agree on that. Show me the al Jazeera, CNN, anybody reputable who is willing to carry this story. It simply lacks credibility. Let’s be honest here. You know that.
And I’ll be honest. Frankly, I am disappointed in the American Press. If they had done their jobs correctly, the Iraq War never would have happened. But they didn’t, for fear of looking “unpatriotic” in the face of an extreme right-wing media that labeled any questioning mind the “liberal biased media.” The American “Free Press,” as it was during the Bush Administration, makes me want to puke.
Now, on the other hand we have Tass, only now, after all these months, putting out satellite images of a Ukrainian Jet shooting down MH17; this on the heels of Putin’s statement, the one on which you and I lock horns, the one in which he asks the world to hold off judgment as to who exactly pulled the trigger.
Ken, I agree with much of what you have said. No problem. But it is your unwavering commitment to the idea that Putin holds a moral high ground by asking the world to hold off judgment that I find so offensive. Either you said it in haste and are now unwilling to admit that you made a mistake, or you actually believe it. In either case it is not a scientific approach.
You are a scientist. The genius of science is that it NEVER claims to be in possession of an absolute truth. And yet you claim, in the face of common sense, that Putin made this statement because he is a morally superior human being. Ken, I said this to Paul Connett, and I will say it to you: This is not how science works. His admission (and he’s got you beat there) that he “has a tendency to overstate” the facts is the other side of the coin to your denial that you may have made a misstatement. It’s ok. Let it go. The truth will set you free.
The only qualm that I had in your original post was this idea that Putin held a higher moral ground because he wanted the world to hold off judgment as to who was responsible for this tragedy. That statement was nonsense and you won’t admit it.
Then we got into Putin’s treaty violation with Ukraine. You said, “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty. Perhaps you could point me to the specific clauses.” So I showed you exactly how Russia was in violation of the BSF Treaty with Ukraine, and you failed to acknowledge that.
The problem here, as I see it, and as any objective reader would see it, is your inability to admit any misstatement, which stems from an unwavering commitment to your own words, and an unwillingness to acknowledge truth from a divergent point of view. Nothing can be gained from a dialogue when this mindset exists.
As I have said before, let’s wait until the Dutch report surfaces and then we can go from there.
Yes, David, I thought you were biased at the time, about that video. You asserted it was a “bogus” story, that the interviewers and interviewee were “actors.” You had not seen the video interview but declared the source lacked credibility! And now you stand by your statement! And “seriously doubt the unbiased credibility of any news organization that would carry the story!”
Now, I don’t know specifically the news organisation or TV programme you specifically refer to. I saw the article and video on RT (which I find a very useful and generally accurate news source) and an article on The Telegraph (I think). I don’t recall seeing it on Al Jazeera.
However, it is biased to either reject a news item out of hand and make such derogatory claims about an interview which you did not watch, or to accept news items as gospel in themselves just because they confirm your biases. As I have continually said we must apply some critical thinking and intelligence to any news item – whatever its source.
As for this news item in particular – the Ukrainian soldier giving the evidence has moved to Russia as he doesn’t feel safe in Ukraine with his story. The Russian Investigation Team has recorded his evidence, checked with a lie detector, and asked Kiev if they could follow up by interviewing members of the Ukrainian military still in Kiev, including the alleged pilot (who incidentally was decorated by Poroshenko 2 days after the crash).
I don’t know if Al Jazeera or CNN reported this news but have found they, and similar agencies, often do not report important news about Ukraine – unless they actually have their own reporters on the spot they will often report the version from Kiev instead. For example the attack on civilians in Lugansk I mentioned in my article Inna Kukuruza – “her eyes spoke to the whole world” was reported accurately by the CNN because they had a reporter and cameras on the ground, but Al Jazeera reported the Kiev version that the explosion was caused by rebel weapons! One has to be open-minded and critical in reading any news source.
Of course the information regarding Voloshin may be worthless in the end, but the Russian and International Joint Investigation Teams are surely obliged to seriously consider this evidence, together with all other witness statements.
You refer to Tass,“only now, after all these months, putting out satellite images of a Ukrainian Jet shooting down MH17.” I think I know the specific item you refer to – it was quite widely reported, but gererally accepted as probably fake. It originated from someone in the US who had sent it to an engineer in Russia who had put up his own theory and was then picked up by a Russian news service. The timelien was presumably dictated by the US citizen who had the “evidence,” and the Russian engineer it was sent to. I am sure the government of the Russian Federation and Mr Putin had nothing to do with it.
It was never promoted by the governement of the Russian Federation who have acted very responsibly by providing the evidence they had quickly and openly to the Dutch investigation but have never claimed support for one theory or another. This constrasts sharply with the irresponsible behaviour of leaders like Obama, Cameron and Abbott who do not seem to have handed over the evidence they claim they have, have certianly not made it public, but are claiming final knowledge of a complicated theory. They might change the details from time to time but they are consistent in blaiming Putin!
Now, David, regarding my statment about “moral high ground” which seems to have caused you to climb out of your tree.
I: I have not said that Putin “is a morally superior human being.” I have not claimed that so could you please withdraw and apologise for asserting I have?
2: I have not claimed to be in possession of an “absolute truth” – far from it. In fact I am criticising those who do claim they know something for a fact when the obviously don’t. I have refused to blame any particular party for this tragdy and condemned those who do without caring about evidence. These people show by their behaviour to have sacrificed morality for politicals. They occupy the moral low ground on this issue.
3: My specific statement regarding includingt reference to Putin was:
4: I think your knee jerk reaction to the word “Putin” prevented you from reading and understanding this statement. It says nothing about Putin’s values in general or about any of his actions beside his warning not to make political capital out of the tragedy. Whatever one thinks of him on other matters a rational perosn should be able to see the point I made and, I believe, accept it.
5: The point I made was not a mistatement. I stand by it and believe that as you have not been able to show it wrong (in fact you accepted the essence of this statement), perhaps you should be the one to let the issue go.
Finally, David, your reference to the Crimean bases treaty. I think we in the end agreed the annexation was not the result of an invasion. You now seem to want to consider the minutia of the treaty to see if any of the text was violated. I have not failed to acknowledge your quotes from the treaty – just raised 2 aspects:
1: I asked for a link to the treaty so I could read it for myself. Presumably as you quote from it you can provide a link? This would help if you wnat a specific discussion.
2: I asked who you considered to be the competent athorities for the purposes of the clauses you quote. You did not reply. But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid). Even Ukrainian personel on their own bases were not receiving communications from Kiev. The region was alert to similar illegal occupations from the Maidan forces and local authorities were acting to prevent this. I also asked if you would consider the local Crimean authorities competent for the purposes of the clauses you quoted.
I am quite happy to acknowledge I am mistaken on this David, but it requires more justification from you than you have been willing to provide. I do not see the Junta which took power in violation of the February 21 agreement as competent. I have yet to see the specifics of the bases agreement for myself because you have not porovided the link you used. And I personally think that Obama, Abbott and Cameron (and similar politicians) have acted immorally by adopting a lynching mentallity, claiming a party guilty without evidence, and using the tragedy, and the plight of victims and their familes, for their own selfish political purposes. In contrast the leaders of Malaysia and the Russian Federation (and probably most other political leaders internationally) have refused to blindly follow the lynching party and I think that is morally commendable.
Journalists have a difficult time. The current AlJazeera Inside Story program has a guest who went to prison in Ethiopia where it is a crime to look at both sides, to talk to the opposition. In USA 6 journalists have espionage cases against them. Journalists are a threat to political agendas. A lot of “news” may be manufactured. What about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=km5CJo9JkDI
Regarding journalist’s difficulties:
In Ukraine half a dozen have been shot.
Hundreds of Russian journalists have been prevented from entering Ukraine or have been expelled.
One freelance journalist working in the east of Ukraine, Graham Philips, has been expelled from the country twice, banned for 3 years from re-entry but has now returned via the Donetsk border crossing which the Kiev forces no longer control. He has reported from the Donbass region, often from the front line, and was recently injured.
In The Godfather III, Al Pacino’s famous quote is, “Just when I thought I was out . . . They pull me back in.” Wow, I know what that’s like. I was seriously hoping to hold off on further comment until the Dutch report was made public . . . or wasn’t made public. And now this, your comments, which cannot be left unanswered.
The first three paragraphs of your first comment appear to be a misunderstanding. You say, “You had not seen the video interview but declared the source lacked credibility! And now you stand by your statement!” Of course I saw the video, Ken. Looking back on my original quote I see where you got the idea that I didn’t see it. (My quote: “The first source you cite . . . also has on its front page the bogus story of “the actual pilot” who shot down the aircraft, although I didn’t see the video with the actors . . .”) I am afraid I will have to apologize for not being clearer. I meant that I didn’t see the video on the link that Soundhill1 provided. I was commenting on his link, and the video isn’t on that link. I wouldn’t have commented on the video if I hadn’t seen it (just as I would have believed that you wouldn’t have commented on a Treaty that you never read – more on that later).
The next issue you raise really is my major disagreement with your Post: “Now, David, regarding my statment about “moral high ground” which seems to have caused you to climb out of your tree. (By the way, I love that phrase.)
I: I have not said that Putin “is a morally superior human being.” I have not claimed that so could you please withdraw and apologise for asserting I have?”
Ok, this is what you said: “Many wild accusation have been made against Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, over this incident. But he at least retained the moral high ground when he warned governments and politicians not to use this tragedy for political purposes.”
And this is what it means: “Moral High Ground: If people have/take/claim/seize, etc, the moral high ground, they claim that their arguments, beliefs, etc, are morally superior to those being put forward by other people.” http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/moral+high+ground.html And I contend that a people’s beliefs, arguments, values, etc, make them “who they are” as people, whether that be superior or inferior. So if someone has superior beliefs and values, they are morally superior.
Now, I don’t know what you think I meant when I said it was your contention that Putin is a morally superior human being, but I said it in the context of this Post; in fact I said it on this Post, and I said it in reference to your quote. You were comparing him to other political leaders. In that context and by the definition of “moral high ground” you were saying he is a morally superior human being when compared to other political leaders (Obama, etc.) on this issue. That’s what I meant and that’s how a normal reader would have understood it – in the context of this post where my statement actually exists. I didn’t mean that you were saying he is morally superior to every other person on Earth, I meant it the way you meant it. Therefore, I don’t think I will withdraw and apologize for asserting that you said Putin is a morally superior human being, because, as demonstrated, that is certainly what you meant. It seems that your knee jerk reaction to anyone even remotely appearing to attack Putin has prevented you from understanding my statement. Why is that?
Your next point: “2: I have not claimed to be in possession of an “absolute truth” – far from it.” So I looked at what I said, and while I didn’t exactly say that you are in possession of an absolute truth, I can see where it may have been implied. So I’ll tell you what, I will step onto the moral high ground here and retract the statement. My bad.
Now, regarding the treaty violations perpetrated against Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Your quote here: “ I think we in the end agreed the annexation was not the result of an invasion.” No we did not agree on that. You are not correct. The last thing I remember saying on this issue is that when armed Russians left their bases and stepped onto Ukrainian soil in violation of the BSF Treaty, they invaded the country.
Your next sentence reads: “You now seem to want to consider the minutia of the treaty to see if any of the text was violated.” I don’t know how much you know about international law, but the minutia of any treaty IS the treaty.
Then this: “1: I asked for a link to the treaty so I could read it for myself. Presumably as you quote from it you can provide a link? This would help if you wnat a specific discussion.” My response to your request is that when you asked for a link to the Treaty, I thought you were joking. Prior to that request you said, “I can’t for the life of me see how the RF was in violation of the Crimean bases treaty.” (Time-stamp: December 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm )
How on earth can you possibly comment on whether a treaty has been violated when you’ve never actually read the Treaty? Would you please answer that?
Your next point: “2: I asked who you considered to be the competent athorities for the purposes of the clauses you quote. You did not reply. But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid). Even Ukrainian personel on their own bases were not receiving communications from Kiev. The region was alert to similar illegal occupations from the Maidan forces and local authorities were acting to prevent this. I also asked if you would consider the local Crimean authorities competent for the purposes of the clauses you quoted.”
Here you are referring to Paragraph 5, Article 15 of the BSF Agreement which reads: “Movements related to activities of military units outside of their areas of disposition shall take place following an approval by Ukraine’s competent authorities”.
Your point here, I believe, is that since there were no competent (legal, acceptable) authorities in Kiev to consult, there was no violation of the Treaty.
In the First place, whether a competent authority existed or not, it is irrelevant to the fact RF military proceeded without necessary approval. Approval was required for movement of RF troops and it was not given.
In the Second place, the fact that a competent authority may or may not have been available is still irrelevant to violation of Paragraph 1, Article 6 which reads: “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs.”
You will note the last seven words of the Article, “. . refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs.” Without a doubt, RF military assistance in the annexation of Crimea, which existed within the sovereign borders of Ukraine, was an interference with its domestic affairs, and was therefore a Treaty violation. I don’t know how you can spin that any other way.
And finally, in the Third place your quote: “But the problem is that an illegal coup had taken place in Kiev (something you continually avoid).” Not only is this irrelevant to my problem with your contention that Putin is a morally superior human being, but I don’t know how you define what an illegal coup is. In my country, for example, if the Colonists had lost the Revolutionary war, the attempt of the First Continental Congress at independence would have been called an attempted illegal coup by history. George Washington would have been labeled a terrorist against the British Empire. I will not presume to debate the rightness or wrongness of a coup that took place in Ukraine.
In the First place, whether a competent authority existed or not, it is irrelevant to the fact RF military proceeded without necessary approval. Approval was required for movement of RF troops and it was not given.
David, you are beginning to look ridiculous, here is what you are missing:
If one party to an agreement is illegally usurped then the other party to the agreement has no obligation to the usurper, certainly no obligation to seek seek approval from them.
I will not presume to debate the rightness or wrongness of a coup that took place in Ukraine.
No, but you are only too happy to debate morality of Putin’s or Russia’s actions. I never fail to be surprised at how selectively many in the USA apply their moral judgement in matters of international politics.
Thank you for your comment, Richard. Your quote: “David, you are beginning to look ridiculous, here is what you are missing:
If one party to an agreement is illegally usurped then the other party to the agreement has no obligation to the usurper, certainly no obligation to seek seek approval from them.”
Please show me where in the BSF Agreement does it specify that the agreement is null and void if a change of authority occurs. To my reading it speaks of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent nation, as being one of the parties in whose domestic affairs the Russian Federation agreed to refrain from interfering. Can you show me something different?
Was the overthrow of Yanukovich not supported by any non-Ukraine entities? Say a branch of ISIS mobilised forces in NZ to overthrow our government. Would the existing govt be able to expect USA help?
David, there seems to have been confusion regarding the interview and testimony of the Ukrainian witness. My real point was that one should not reject the witness out of hand. The investigation teams have a responsibility to hear the testimony of all witnesses. The Russian IT at least finds the witness credible in this case and hopefully the Dutch team will listen to that evidence. I would like to think that Kiev would cooperate and allow Voloshin to provide testimony but suspect they won’t.
Regarding the moral high ground. I suppose a simple interpretation is to believe, as you say, that on this specific issue Putin, and most other leaders, are morally superior to Obama, Cameron and Abbott. But to be clear, my comment really has nothing to say about Putin although I recognised the mere mention of his name is, sadly, a provocation to some readers. No, I was simply saying the moral “high ground,” the morally correct approach the MH17 tragedy, was to refrain from insulting the victims and their families by promoting a lynching mentality and making political capital out of the tragedy. In that respect the Malaysian PM, Putin and probably most political leaders, occupied the moral high ground. Obama, Cameron and Abbott did not. And still don’t. Their behaviour on this specific issue has been disgusting.
Putin is a separate subject, an interesting one considering his demonisation, but a separate one.
Regarding the Crimean military bases – no I have not seen the text of that treaty. I have asked you to link to the version you are using twice – with no response. Yes, I could hunt it down myself but really am not interested enough in the minutia. I thought we had agreed that no invasion took place because you withdrew your original claim that troops from the RF in excess of the agreed ceiling had been brought in.
However, you now seem to justify your claim of an invasion by reference to violation of minor details in the treaty. Given the situation in the country, no competent authority in Kiev and the attitude of the Crimean authorities, who the RF troops passively supported by preventing invasion of the Maidan groups, that is something which should be argued out in a court of law, perhaps. But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.
In this crisis the word “invasion” has been used continuously in very inappropriate ways. Each of the 10 humanitarian convoys from the Russian Emergency Ministry have been called “an invasion” by spokespersons in Kiev and some NATO and US spokespersons. That is just laughable – have they not heard of the boy who cried wolf? But of course the motivation is to cover up the real nature of the problem in Ukraine.
Regarding the coup in Kiev – it was clearly illegal according to the constitution, and not just its minutiae. There were clear clauses relating to the authority of the president, the grounds and procedure for any impeachment, etc. that were violated. Force was used, politicians and law enforcement officials were beaten and hospitalised. Even the speaker of the Rada was forced to resign – his resignation came from his bed in hospital where he had been placed by the beatings of fascist groups. Forced resignations by Svoboda, Pravi Sector and Radical Party thugs were common.
You simply cannot talk about competent authorities without considering this context.
Interference in domestic affairs is, sadly, a reality of international relations. I am afraid people using this terms are usually in the position of those who throw stones but live in glass houses. One picture I have is that if the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine directing traffic in Kiev during violent demonstration in that city. Or the participation of US and EU policies in those demonstrations.
There has been a fierce geopolitical struggle in Eastern Europe – one that the RF has until recently been losing.
David, Ken has twice asked you to link to the Treaty with no response from you. You raised the content of the Treaty in order to justify your argument, the onus remains with you to support your own assertions.
Have you read it?, or only relied upon the filtered interpretations of others as to its content and obligations?
Thanks, Ken. I think I will withhold further comment until we see what happens with the Dutch investigation.
I would like to, however, address one comment you made twice above. “In that respect the Malaysian PM, Putin and probably most political leaders, occupied the moral high ground. Obama, Cameron and Abbott did not.”
The idea here, the speculation on your part, that you believe “most of the world’s leaders” side with Putin. Now I realize you are speaking about the MH17 tragedy, specifically. However, you also brought up the Crimean issue above, and you said, “But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.” I think you will find you are in a small minority here. And I think your idea of a moral high ground on this one is not in line with yours.
Take a look at how the world’s leaders feel about the Crimean Invasion by the RF. Take a look at the voting in UN Resolution 68/262 and compare the number of votes approving to the number of votes rejecting.
However, you also brought up the Crimean issue above, and you said, “But it certainly doesn’t look like an “invasion” to me.”
David, rewriting history doesn’t work on the internet, leave that trick to Fox News.
You brought up the Crimean annexation, not Ken.
David, I agree most of the world leaders by far have condemned the Crimean annexation.
However, my comments of the morality of positions refers specifically and only to the MH17 tragedy where I believe that most world leaders have refused to join the lynching hysteria promoted by Obama, Cameron and Abbott.
Speaking at a press conference in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein, Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch National Detective Force, said there was conclusive evidence that a missile from the Russian-made Buk 9M38 missile system downed the passenger flight on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
The Buk was returned to Russian territory the next day, said Paulissen, presenting the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), a Dutch-led group of prosecutors gathering evidence for a potential criminal trial into the downing of MH17.
“We have no doubt whatsoever that conclusions we are presenting today are accurate,” he said.
If you have been sincere in your condemnation of this act, and after waiting for a conclusive report, I hope you will no longer defend the Russian Federation, for whatever bizarre reasons you may have, and accept & acknowledge the guilt of Russian backed separatists for their part in this terrible tragedy.
David, I am currently reading this presentation (it outlines preliminary results so cannot be seen as conclusive – although this scenario appears to be the one the JIT criminal investigators had latched on to from early on. Whether it will stand up in a court of law is another matter.)
I am also watching the technical presentation from the manufacturers of the Buk missile system and a Radar expert (I think from the same company or an affiliated on). These technical experts also feel their data is conclusive – even citing statistical significance.
As I have often said on should approach these matters intelligently and critically. To do otherwise, to use the tragedy for political purposes, is surely insulting to the victims of this terrible tragedy.
I plan to post brief comments on both of these later today – and will post links to these in my article.
At this stage I cannot make a sensible comment on either of these bits of evidence – you should know, David, that I do not make up my mind or come to conclusions on the basis of brief press releases. That would simply be confirmation bias, wouldn’t it?
But I look forward to a fruitful discussion with you of these two reports later today.
David I just had the feeling those presenters looked like they were putting on their masks before the start. Then that long screed about how great they were. I didn’t get any further.
I found some of the responses to questions intriguing. Their statement, for example, that they were placing the technical information from Almaz-Antey “on file” but had to balance it against the thousands of other pieces of information they had.
So technical information (which the experts claimed could be definitive and certainly should be analysed critically) is worth nothing against the thousands of (possibly manipulated) wire taps and interpreted conversations provided by a secret service with an incredibly low reputation. Oh, of course, then there is the assurance from the US on their satellite information which won’t be released because it is classified!
No wonder the spokesperson looked shifty and uncomfortable when he answered Paula Slier’s question.
I think the basic problem is in the composition of the JIT – including a party (Ukraine) which should rightfully be considered a suspect (and giving them veto power).
I think the alternative joint investigation by Russian and Malaysian experts may be out this month. That could be interesting.
Anyway, the investigations are far from over – and there may never be a resolution. Although another coup overthrowing the current extremely unpopular Ukrainian government may free things up.