My View: There Are Not “Two Sides” on Ukraine

I do not like censorship. I believe that free speech, within certain limits, is an integral part of any democratic nation. That said, I struggled last week with a decision to moderate comments from a couple of readers. One such reader has been disrespectful to other readers, and both promote blatant lies and conspiracy theories in their comments. I did not make that decision lightly nor happily, but after much inner debate (those conversations between me, myself, and I sometimes get volatile!), I decided it was the right thing to do. I am obviously not alone in making this decision, as fellow blogger Diane Ravitch writes in her latest post.  Thanks, also, to Bob Shepherd for pointing me to Ms. Ravitch’s blog!

Diane Ravitch's blog

As regular readers know, I have received and posted several comments complaining that I don’t write posts showing “both sides” or “different sides” on Ukraine. They disapprove of my support for Ukraine and my criticism of Putin.

In some cases, the commenters have included links to articles or videos claiming that Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine because…he felt encircled by NATO, or he needed to protect Russians in Ukraine, or Ukraine is overrun by Nazis, or some policy analyst warned that NATO’s expansion would provoke Putin. Other commenters claim that I should not post anything sympathetic to Ukraine unless I post equally sympathetic commentaries about places where the U.S. brutalized the local population or where other nations are suffering.

Let me explain. This is my blog. It is not CNN, FOX, MSNBC, or a network station. The articles I post are my choice.

My choice is to…

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40 thoughts on “My View: There Are Not “Two Sides” on Ukraine

  1. I recently had to ban one person, and delete a number of comments by another. I hated doing either, but when someone is adding to a conversation, I like that. Until they start trying to block conversation, or repeat themselves ad infinitum, then action becomes necessary. It is not easy, at least not for you or I, but lines do have to be drawn. As I said on a post the other day, I want readers and commenters to feel safe on my blog. Discussion is one things. Threats and hatred are another.

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  2. Thank you for sharing!!.. There are many who will shout, ridicule and in some cases threaten in and effort to silence or drown out the voices of others while having a discussion with others… I would not hesitate to block them… while I may stop in and share my thoughts, i will always respect another’s home and their visitors…. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May the love that you give
    Always return to you,
    That family and friends are many
    And always remain true,
    May your mind only know peace
    No suffering or strife,
    May your heart only know love and happiness
    On your journey through life.
    (Larry “Dutch” Woller)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, I get many different opinions from people and most are completely respectful in their presentation. That doesn’t bother me in the least, for I want to learn from others, to encourage civil discourse and an exchange of ideas. In all these years of blogging, I’ve only run across maybe 5 that I felt I had to exclude due to their rudeness and disrespect. Thanks so much for that beautiful poem, Dutch!

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    • PS – I posted the following on Diane’s blog.

      “Diane, thanks for your post. No country, including the US, can claim a clean slate. When imperfect people in leadership positions do not live up to our ideals, it needs to be pointed out, learned, remedied and avoided going forward. The Pentagon Papers revealed the US knew it was losing the Vietnam War for years and several presidents of both parties put American soldiers in harm’s way. That is just one example.

      But, that does not give a hall pass for an autocratic acting leader in Putin to invade another country. Putin is a KGB trained professional in the art of disinformation. With social media, it is like shooting fish in a barrel to him. A Russian TV director once said on NPR Putin controls even the subject matter on drama and comedy shows aired in Russia – the director noted Putin lets small government criticisms appear in the shows, but requires pro-Putin references on bigger issues.

      To the Russian trolls that spend so much time influencing Americans, Brits and others, nirvana is hearing an elected official repeat their planted story which goes from a conspiracy website to an opinion host to a news host back to opinion hosts and then to the elected official.

      Believing anything Putin says is a fool’s errand. The same goes for the conspiracy parrots here in the US. Dr. Fiona Hill, who testified before Congress on the Ukraine extortion phone call and is one of the foremost experts on Russia, noted to the Senators who were parroting conspiracy stories during her testimony Russian influence is happening in front of our eyes.

      Thanks again, Keith”

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  3. Totally agree with Diane’s post and your decision! Yes, hateful comments have no place and you can post whatever you want on your own blog! Others don’t dictate that, and there truly is no 2 sides when dealing with a madman! UGH!
    Hugs and love, my friend! ❤

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  4. It is only natural, that we may all feel strongly, over certain issues in the world right now, and, we are, more than, allowed, to, express our opinions, freely, on our own sites, but, as we visit the sites of others, we should have the, common courtesy, to, state what we want to say, in a, less, repulsive, less, offending way, because it’s not our own sites that we are, posting our opinions on. Respect the owners of the sites I pay visits to, that, is one of the, rules I set and follow, for myself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your comments are always thoughtful and respectful and I welcome them always! Yes, we can disagree, and I welcome opinions that differ from my own, but I cannot tolerate people being disrespectful of others, name-calling and the like. And the conspiracy theories just really have no place here.

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  5. I have no problem removing contentious commenters from my blogs. I don’t mind respectful debate bringing up different aspects of the issues; but some people just want to be jerks & I won’t put up with that. I understand your position totally, Jill.

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    • I have long tried to create an environment where people could feel comfortable airing differing opinions, so long as the discourse is civil. After all, I cannot expect everyone to agree with me on every issue, and I try to be fair and open-minded. But of late, some of the comments have been so disrespectful, calling other readers ‘stupid’ and the like, and promoting blatant lies that can be disproven in 100 different ways. I really don’t want Filosofa’s Word to turn into a battlefield, so … I’m deleting comments when I feel it’s necessary. Sigh. Too bad it had to come to this, though. Thanks for your understanding!

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  6. it still boggles the mind that anyone could think bloggers need to show two sides on an issue. We are not journalists…we are posting opinions for crap sake. stick to your guns and just delete those trolls who want you to do things that are morally repugnant.

    Liked by 2 people

    • True. I do, however, try to promote civil discourse and the idea that we can all get along even if we disagree on some issues. But the Russian war on Ukraine … there just aren’t two sides there! Some issues are like that … sigh. I have deleted a number of comments recently that were either disrespectful or so full of b.s. that they raised my blood pressure. I refuse to turn this blog into a bloody battlefield!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: My View: There Are Not “Two Sides” on Ukraine — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  8. Plus, we must remember too here in the West that enemies of democracy—e.g. Russia, China, North Korea, and several Islamic nations/groups—have continually stepped-up their cyber-attacks and social-media disinformation and/or blatant, audacious lies as well as creating fake profiles on the major social-media platforms where that ghost-person is PAID by those anti-democratic countries either directly or veiled indirectly. It is now common practice of oppressive, autocratic totalitarian regimes in this Age of global communications technology.

    As a result Jill, we… as in you and I, Diane Ravitch, and all lovers of true democracy… must be that much more diligent in our acute awareness of these viral bacteria and hone, refine our critical-thinking and analysis skills than ever before! We can do it, certainly, if we never budge from our Constitutional core principles. For they will try (in futility) to KEEP dividing our country, Republican vs. Democrat, White vs. non-Whites, Genders vs. Genders, etc, or Religious Believer vs. Secularist, ad infinitum… because that’s their M.O., “Divide and Conquer” as I published in my February blog-post:

    https://professortaboo.com/2022/02/08/enemies-the-art-of-wordfare-cannon-fodder/

    Bottom-line Jill? They cannot win, they will not win as long as we keep unveiling their repugnant, ancient antiquated tactics. 🙂

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    • Hmmmmm … good point. And it makes me wonder about our friend Orca Flotta … I wonder if she is one of those who is paid to spout blatant lies in favour of Russia. Her latest comment, which I did not publish, was that there were no civilian casualties in Ukraine, and that the Ukrainians were actually rushing with open arms to greet the Russians who they say are ‘rescuing’ them. All anyone has to do to dispute her words are pick up a newspaper or turn on the television, but still she persists.

      As for them dividing the country … I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that ourselves and it seems we didn’t even need any help … just a madman in the Oval Office for four years. But yes, to the point, we must be extra-vigilant, which is why I always verify information in a number of places before accepting it as fact. As Pogo used to say in the cartoon … “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

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      • …”makes me wonder about our friend Orca Flotta”…

        Indeed. She/He uses the exact same tactic as all bold-face, infamous Liars throughout history, and there are multitudes. This makes recognizing their techniques easy to detect as well as confirm. When you examine these notorious liars they all have the same language and same cognitive, psychological pathology. Case and point, what do all the following lies and liars below have in common? There are at least two traits…

        • Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, lied for 18 days and finally confess to the USSR and other nations the true nature of how horrific the Chernobyl explosion actually was on Ukrainian inhabitants nearby. Putin and Orca Flotta follow the same playbook of outrageous lies & propaganda.

        • From 1945 until 1967 President Johnson was just one in a line of U.S. Presidents included in the damning Pentagon Papers along with Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, who misled the nation about the United States’ direct involvement in Vietnam and lied about the real losses of U.S. soldiers.

        • Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels were the poster boys of lies during the rise of the Third Reich. Their Nazi propaganda and blatant lies, spread fear and hatred, but also they lied audaciously to the German people about how the war was REALLY going for the Nazis—horrible bad. The German people believed them hook, line, and sinker!

        • Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant, made a fortune off of lying to people. In fact, he was so good at deception that the government named a type of fraud after him: the Ponzi scheme. The most notable modern scam-artist and liar: Bernie Madoff (2008-09) and his infamous Ponzi schemes in New England.

        • Then of course Richard M. Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

        The PROBLEM today is that gullible people on social-media won’t take the necessary time to verify and confirm the information, propaganda, lies, etc, nor do they seem to possess or use critical-thinking & analysis skill-sets. The latter is a baffling mystery to me.

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        • Grrrrr, I loathe HTML-coding on WordPress! Sorry Jill, I apparently did not place a closed-quote code after your statement: “…our friend Orca Flotta…” Would you mind correcting that please?

          My bad. 🙄

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        • You are quite right … throughout history these sort of lies have been told by politicians and others. Social media has some value, but it’s biggest downfall is this … lies and disinformation spread at an alarming rate, and if the lie meshes with what a person WANTS to believe, then in that person’s mind, it isn’t a lie — even when it makes no sense whatsoever. People don’t take the time to check multiple sources, to do a bit of homework and find out the facts … much easier to simply absorb and spread the rumours, the lies. Sigh.

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        • A lot of those “gullible people” do not want the truth, no matter what. They think it is their right to attack everything sane, because their own personal worlds are insane. In a recent conversation I had by text with a Trucker Convoy supporter, all he wanted to do was tear down the people who were trying to protect him from Covid. He could not articulate why, other than he wanted the choice to contract Covid to be his choice, the rest of the world be damned. He had no social conscious, no sense of social responsibility. I countered every argument he through at me, and in the end he admitted he was already vaccinated, and in private he wore his mask, but in public he wanted to pretend he was on the side of his version of “Freedom”! How stupid can you get. Sit at home cowering in fear, because his friends might discover his cowardice. It boggled my mind.

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          • And I would actually support the trucker’s right to contract COVID … BUT … it is not his right to expose his family, friends, and anyone he comes into contact with. That is what these damn fools don’t understand … if they want to die, that’s their privilege, but they do NOT have the right to cause others to die. In my book, we call that murder! Sigh.

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            • Yup. The thing was, he had already done those things, behind the backs of his friends. But he didn’t have the guts to tell them. He adopted their anger, and spread their anger, all the while not living their anger. When he confessed, it was like, Holy, Shit, man. Why aren’t you using all that passion and energy for good, man! You could be making a real difference in this world! That was the last text in that conversation. He never texted me back!

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          • Wow. I can believe that malignant kind of thinking and vocalizing Rawgod. I saw it and heard it every single day at the inpatient Psych/A&D hospital I worked for years. I honestly have enormous pity for them because they make their own lives so much harder, so much unhappier because of that flawed reasoning. (SMH) 🤦🏻‍♂️

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            • They do. But they seem to enjoy it at some level. Or at least they “think” they enjoy it.
              Is thinking you enjoy something as good as really enjoying it? Is there a difference?

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              • Yes, that is the definition of masochism, delusional denial, and hypocrisy if internally you are miserable from it. Saw this type of Narcissistic personality disorder on a daily basis at my Psych/A&D hospital. Addicts manifest this behavior too frequently during the use/abuse.

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                  • Sanity is just an illusion.

                    Yes and no. It is pretty well known that anyone, no matter their socioeconomic status, can snap or deteriorate into degrees of insanity and/or personality disorders. It is those particular degrees that fall outside of the norm, outside the median range or teeter on the edge of that line of abnormality, which is indeed quite common in our societies. Much of society accepts these teetering mentally-ill patients as part of a (fairly?) normal society.

                    However, without proper awareness, knowledge, and training of mental-illness (their full spectrums) this acceptance—which often gets intentionally ignored by more stable, reasonable people—can be risky, even disastrous if not addressed immediately or quickly enough. Otherwise, as we’ve seen over and over and over ad infinitum in our American society… horrible atrocious behavior, actions and knee-jerk reactions occur with terrible consequences. IMHO, too many in society would rather do the “ostrich head in the sand” game than be part of the solution, the appropriate HUMANE solution.

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                    • What you say is true, PT, but Social Normality does not translate to sanity. Right now, we call ourselves sane, by socially-established norms. Can we get along with people without csusing too much harm to anyone? To me that is not sanity. Sanity is saving the planet from destructive climate changes. Sanity is having no nuclear weapons available for a wacko to threaten the world with. Sanity is no elite class where less than 1% of the populstion owns more than 99% of the world’s economic power. And so on. We call ourselves sane, but really we are riding a razor’s edge that can turn into disaster in more ways than we can count, but there are only a few ways to create a safe place for every living being on our planet. That would be sanity, and we are far far far from it.

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                    • You raise some profound questions Rawgod as well as solicit ideas to work harder together as a species; in peaceful, civil collaboration, to be more patient and thoughtful in our engagements with others.

                      What can we, as the human race & supposedly most prolific species on the planet (relatively speaking of course) LEARN from other animal species which have survived FIVE (5) Mass Extinction events over the past 450-million years! As it turns out we can learn a TON and implement within our own interactions & behaviors from the BEST of the animal kingdoms! Here’s one of my own all-time favorite scientists about this very subject:

                      The now late Dr. E.O. Wilson of Harvard University has shown us Primates—though only a very tiny portion of today’s 7.9+ billion humans on Earth—that we can learn and implement many beneficial aspects of animal Superorganism behaviors and methods of Eusociality, to name only TWO insect behaviors that have withstood all of Earth’s FIVE most violent Mass Extinction Events, with the sixth happening now in Climate Change & Irreversibility.

                      The simple questions are… will we do it? Will it be soon enough?

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