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March 21, 2022


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The point of all this is escalation.
Before the war Nato had pursued aggressive expansion. Business interests, military industrial interests pursued expansion, so that, today, missile platforms exist in Ukraine pointed to Russia that did not exist even five years ago. Putun was correct in pointing to all this expansion of arms. And by his invasion he has inadvertently justified it.

It all plays into the hands of the military industrial complex. They are business. They sell arms. And sales have proceeded briskly for years. They would love Ukraine to become Afghanistan or Viet Nam.

The US is funding a good portion of it.

All the deaths in Ukraine could end, and their freedom preserved with a simple offer by the United States and Ukraine to dismantle and withdraw all Nato weapons from Russia 's border permanently in exchange for honoring Ukraine's border and independence.

Some will say that Putin will still continue.

But I say "Try it. What have we got to lose? The end of killing?"

Until that offer is on the table we are contributing to this killing, and to yet another endless war that only profits the military industrial complex, anxious to sell their latest weapons.

We aren't helping. We are pouring fuel on the fire.

The primary cause of all human death is human life. Human death is the inevitable fact of human life. It’s timing and circumstances are uncertain but in actuality whenever it happens it will simply be the process of causality happening in presence. Death is death. It does not have a value rating. You don’t get different points awarded for what kind of death it is. As hard as this may be to accept, the intentional killing of civilians, is no different in actuality to mass shootings, airplane crashes, cancer or suicide. What we do know is that death leads to grief, because of loss, which is driven by the confusion about impermanence.

The actuality of death provides an on-going helpful reminder of causality that can inspire a life well lived based in equanimity and kindness. Learning to be comfortable about the inevitability and uncertainty about death, helps to process the natural grieving process of the death of others in a healthy way.

I agree, Spence. Even though what you suggest goes against everything that is right and fair, even though it is basically capitulation to a shameless bully's bullying tactics, even though it amounts to a slap in the face for the brave Ukrainians selflessly fighting for their freedom and their self-respect; even though it is all of that, I still agree that that is the only way out of this mess.

It is a solution rooted in pragmatism, not principles. Which in any case is the only way to go, because a "West" that has unleashed a whole lot of misadventures that are essentially no different than what's happening now --- the most conspicuous example of this would be Iraq --- simply has no grounds for moral posturing, or of pretending to a position that is based on principles. I mean, Putin is a war criminal, sure, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, as Biden has proclaimed; but what of the war criminal sitting right at home, George W Bush? And, given Boris Johnson's recent blustering, what of Tony Blair in the UK? If Putin is a war criminal --- which I agree he is --- then those two are war criminals too, no less. The only difference between the two situations in the color of the skin of the victims of the atrocities that were and are so shamelessly unleashed.

The only way out of this mess is to wave goodbye to all notions of fairness and a principled stand, which the "West" simply has no grounds to claim, and to go in for a purely pragmatic solution, that is doubtless unfair to the brave Ukrainians, and unilaterally offer to withdraw NATO influence, permanently, from Ukraine. Hopefully that will let Putin save face, and give him most of what he wants, and stop any more of this senseless killing of innocents. It's truly horrible, unbearable, the endless killing that we're seeing day in and day out on our TV and computer feeds, and any way that "we" might end it we should embrace, whether "we" like it or not.

(The other "solution", equally unprincipled, equally based in nothing more than pragmatism, would be to somehow do to Putin what he's trying to do to Zelensky. But of course, that's a super high-risk gamble, that, if it went wrong --- as it well might --- could have catastrophic consequences, given the nature of the man who controls Russia's nukes.)

Hi Appreciative
You wrote
"what you suggest goes against everything that is right and fair, even though it is basically capitulation to a shameless bully's bullying tactics, even though it amounts to a slap in the face for the brave Ukrainians selflessly fighting for their freedom and their self-respect; even though it is all of that, I still agree that that is the only way out of this mess."

Ignoring Putin, it is clear that the expansion of NATO right to Russia's borders in the last five years is provocative to a nation that lost 20 of the 24 million lives lost during WWII.

Therefore offering to withdraw these new, expensive weapons installations, largely funded by America, over the last five years, isn't capitulation. It is an effort to de- escalate a new arms race we ourselves have led, and could be the basis of further negotiations to de-escalate permanent Russian and US/Nato offensive weapons installations in other parts of the world.

Take a broader view.

" ... Take a broader view."

Posted by: Spence Tepper | March 22, 2022 at 07:32 AM


That's exactly what I did, Spence, in very clear terms, and advocated that world leaders do as well. I don't see how you could have missed that I was indeed "taking a broader view", and agreeing with your proposed solution, given how clearly I'd worded my comment.

However, let's not pretend that that stand, that option, that you advocate, and I as well, would be principled --- other than, of course, the entirely laudable principle of stopping this senseless killing at all costs. Sure, NATO presence in US threatens Russian influence; but that's exactly like saying that the bullied child refusing to give his lunch money to the school bully threatens that bully beyond merely some loose change, by setting up a challenge to his whole bullying shtick. Ukraine is a sovereign nation, and it can do whatever the hell it wants to do, no matter whether the big bully sitting next doors likes it or not, or feels threatened by it or not. If it wants to align itself with NATO and indeed with the EU, then that is its lookout and its lookout alone. Russia and Putin have no business trying to dictate what their sovereign neighbor should do or shouldn't do, and if it wants to influence Ukraine to stay with it, then the way to do that is through negotiations, and to accept it if those negotiations don't work. That is the ONLY principled perspective to this situation. This war that Putin has unleashed is an abomination, and there can be no principled justification of this atrocity.

However, given that we live in the real world, as opposed to some utopia where principles and fairness rule --- and given, like I said, that the "West" has zero right to pretend to some kind of a moral high ground, given its own past violent transgressions against sovereign nations and their hapless citizens --- therefore the best solution that suggests itself is what you suggest. I endorse that suggestion fully, as I've already said; but let's not pretend it is a principled solution (that is, apart from the very immediate and focused and entirely laudable principle of stopping the killings there no matter what). All it is is a solution that is rooted in pragmatism, and one that is wholly unfair to the Ukrainians, because we're basically saying we're going to leave them to the mercy of the bully; but for all that it is a great solution, all things considered.

Hi Appreciative
You wrote
". It's truly horrible, unbearable, the endless killing that we're seeing day in and day out on our TV and computer feeds,"

Amen. The nightmare is unbearable to watch. Well said.

If there were a way to bring the guilty to trial for these war crimes, we must. But first and foremost, stop the killing. More killing won't. Diplomacy will m

Unfortunately, that is too costly for our President to undertake.

The simple matter of mutually offering to lay down arms is, sadly, beyond him.

So, every day the killing continues.

You may blame the child for being a bully, but day after day allowing the older kids to taunt him is also bullying. And when that bully kills a smaller child, everyone involved is responsible for it, most of all the older kids who knew better, who knew what they were doing, and their parents who let it happen.

Without the daily broadcasting of western life on TV for the last 50 years, the exchange of data on the internet etc, there would probably not much of the troubles the "west" is facing these days.

There is a battle of culture going on world wide. or in my own words we suffer the consequence of showing off the "evil of wealth" or in the words of Lao Zi, going around in wagons and being dressed in robes attracts robbers.

It lasted a while, but more and more individuals out side the western sphere, in whatever social class they are in, realise that they will never have the life as it is presented to them as in ideal on daly TV.... and ... that creates anger, resentment.

Those who have left RSSB or their own religion they were born in know that the "reason" for them to leave is to be found in the shortcomings of these religious organisations. It has been used in history by all, to excuse their wars, their killings etc.

Realizing that your country, your religion, your culture will never become global en for wever will be seen as a second or third grade regional, backward political system, religion or country, you HAVE to blame others that put "The better" before you and made you understand that you will be for ever an underdog, an no good an misfit.

Next stept is to idealize your own glorie of yore, restitution of the kalifate, the great Russia or whatever.

In the end, just have a look on the globe, the cost of development, prosperity etc is the lowest in the so called moderate climate zones, with soft earth under there feet and no or few mountains.

@ Spence : [ Ignoring Putin, it is clear that the expansion of NATO right to Russia's borders in the last five years is provocative to a nation that lost 20 of the 24 million lives lost during WWII. ]

Fair point. But, even if Putin echoes that exact argument, it's
inarguable that it takes a back-seat to his own expansionist
ambitions for the USSR. Putin's inner demons IMO are a far
greater threat to peace than NATO's proximity.

All rulers have advisors", ideologists, behind their backs. It will not be the first nor the last time that those behind the back of the ruler are infact, using their "boss" to achieve what they have in mind.

Just delve into the ideas of those Russia rulers of the past, be they Tsaar or president. and you will find that they are indeed very dangerous thinkers.

Just google the ideologist that whispers in the ears of Puttin.

They are the ones with a mission and who make their boss believe they are the chosen ones.

"today, missile platforms exist in Ukraine pointed to Russia that did not exist even five years ago. Putun was correct in pointing to all this expansion of arms."

Have we forgotten that seven years ago Putin invaded and annexed Crimea in response to the overthrow of Ukaine's pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych? It wasn't so much about NATO then as "protecting ethnic Russians" from supposed right-wing extremists.

Russia has a frightening military industrial complex of its very own. What excuse today along with NATO? "De-nazification." Again! How familiar! Russia was losing influence over Ukraine, that's all. The rest is rhetoric.

Is it okay to kill your lover out of jealousy?
"If I can't have it no one can" is the strategy in play. Nothing could be more selfish, small-minded and contrary to faith. Faith in God or faith in humanity, take your pick.

Hi Umami
It's not about Putin, believe it or not.
He is the product of a lot of forces that continue to push him forward.

We have within our power as a united alliance, to de-escalate.

So, maybe that won't work. Maybe all we can do is escalate.

But so long as we don't offer to back off we will never know. And the continuing deaths will be on our shoulders because we didn't do what we could.

No matter how bad you think Putin is, the onus is on us to shape the situation. And if we refuse to try, we can't blame him. That's on us.

Hi Dungeness
Which argument leads to escalation? And which to de-escalation?

The more we demonize Putin, the less human our own actions become.

But the point is to end the killing in Ukraine. And until we make the offer we will never know. So why not try?

If it works everyone wins.

But refusing to make the effort has no excuse and is costing more innocent lives every day.


I can only draw on my experience with women. Getting all macho about rejection only makes it worse. Chill. If one doesn't want you, another one will, and everyone will be better off.

Hi Umami!
You wrote:
"I can only draw on my experience with women. Getting all macho about rejection only makes it worse. Chill. If one doesn't want you, another one will, and everyone will be better off."

If only Putin would listen to your advice, many lives would be saved!

But I've also learned a good lesson about children. Once they are pushed over the edge, pushing them harder only leads to a meltdown. And the more they melt down, the more their expectations become irrational, until nothing can be done to connect and calm then down. Then they just need a safe and private place to shout until they lose their voice, but knowing they are being heard. Keep pushing Putin over the edge further and more will die. His judgement about others becomes more irrational every day. He is under way more pressure than he himself can handle.

The way to handle anyone who has lost control over themselves and is proving a threat to others is to change the environment around them, first, if they can't be removed to another place, by removing everything around them that threatens them. Second, by engaging in a conversation where we are listening first and foremost.

And finally, to establish common rules of conduct and treatment towards each other moving forward, with the promise of more dialogue and partnership. Like "I'l remove the missiles aimed at your country if you agree to honor Ukraine's independence.'

You don't get to 3 until you do 1 and 2 first.

I'm sort of shocked that A. We haven't done anything like this.
and B. We are pushing harder, increasing the threat.

We haven't even begun to do 1 and 2...We are also responding like children as well.

That's why Putin makes all these videos. He wants to be heard by Biden. He is crying out for help. Quoting history, shouting to everyone about America. Our leader needs to call him on the phone and let him speak, and listen. So, let's have Biden call him on the phone, and just listen, actively, for a whole day if necessary. This isn't about Ukraine. It's about Putin and Biden, Russia and America. America is Putin's boogie man. And I guess Putin is now America's.

Costs us nothing. Saves lives. If that doesn't work, if Biden can't get a cease fire from that, then sure, let's push the broken coke machine harder and see what happens then. But we already know what happens then. And it would be disastrous.

What's wrong with our thinking? Has emotion over this tragedy clouded our ability to use the tools we adults already have?

After reading Spence's’ comments I had a look at some of the Myths/facts regarding Russia and NATO myself. Unsurprisingly there is much documentation that takes an opposite view. Yet I am aware that whatever information we ordinary citizens read about is probably wildly off the mark, simply because often after the (historical) event facts come to light that were never privy to. And I also realise that any opinions, in such issues can argue quite successfully from a number of points of view. As Spence says, it may all well be to do with escalation and that NATO had pursued aggressive expansion.

As an example, I enclose the following on the NATO-Russia relations describing the myths from the facts.

Fact: NATO ballistic missile defence is not directed against Russia and cannot undermine Russia's strategic deterrence capabilities.
The Aegis Ashore site in Romania is purely defensive. The interceptor missiles deployed there cannot be used for offensive purposes. The interceptors contain no explosives. They cannot hit objects on the Earth's surface – only in the air. In addition, the site lacks the software, the hardware and infrastructure needed to launch offensive missiles.

Fact: NATO is a defensive alliance. Our purpose is to protect our member states. Every country that joins NATO undertakes to uphold its principles and policies. This includes the commitment that "NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia," as reaffirmed at the Brussels Summit this year.

Just two contrary ‘facts. The articles abound. But one thing I feel strongly about is the fact that Russia attacked Ukraine causing immense suffering and destruction. Was it done out of fear of NATO and the west or was it as some say more to do with trade and the EU? or was it just Russian dominance and control – or some other issue that we will never know of? Whatever, it’s a hugely barbaric way to settle grievances.

P.S. The other thing I find irksome is the amount of disinformation that Putin is putting out to the Russian people - according to the west' reporters in Moscow.

@Spence : [ And finally, to establish common rules of conduct and treatment towards each other moving forward, with the promise of more dialogue and partnership. Like "I'l remove the missiles aimed at your country if you agree to honor Ukraine's independence.' ]

Hm. I'm uncertain that hasn't already been tried. There have been multiple
attempts to engage Putin personally including by Biden and Macron. Also
phone calls, meetings by other interlocutors. Although details are woefully
absent, the bottom line is that Putin always rejects offers that don't include
a guarantee of Ukraine's non-membership in NATO. For decades long non-
membership even? Nope, must be in perpetuity. Clearly manifest nonsense.

The more worrisome note is that Putin continues to refuse calls for a 1-on-1
meeting with Zelensky. If Putin is a waif who wants only to engage and be
heard, this doesn't bode promise. It's not helpful to demonize Putin but the
evidence of his actions suggest disarming unilaterally and hoping for a good
outcome would be akin to turning your back to a sword wielding Red Queen.

“There's a stark divide between life and death. Nothing else is so clear-cut.”

That’s about as profound a statement as anyone can make… unless you believe in life after death. The Mystics say life carries on and you never really die—you just leave this body.

That said, Ukraine has fought back harder than Russia thought possible. Putin just put his best spy’s who worked on mapping out this invasion under house arrest for being so stupid. 😂😂😂

Nothing about suffering is funny, and I really feel for both the Ukrainian and Russian soldiers, but wow, what a miscalculation that was.

And Elon Musk challenged Putin to a duel—winner takes Ukraine. You can’t make this stuff up.

Hi Ron E.
NATO is a military organization with nuclear capability. Just last month Macron confirmed NATO has nuclear capability against Russia.

"France says Putin needs to understand NATO has nuclear weapons"

That's not unarmed defensive Missles, Ron. That's offensive capability.

And these weapons have been part of an expansion of NATO over decades. An expansion ever eastward, always supported by the West for security reasons, but amounting to a new nuclear arms race.

"in February 9, 1990, in negotiations prior to the German reunification. Baker delivered to Gorbachev the famous line ‘If we maintain a presence in a Germany that is a part of NATO, there would be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction for forces of NATO one inch to the east'.[18]

" Russian reactions to possible NATO expansion during the 1990s were however mixed.[19] During an August 1993 visit to Poland, Russian President Boris Yeltsin told Polish President Lech Wałęsa that "Russia does not oppose Poland's membership in NATO and does not perceive its membership in NATO as a threat to Russia." Under pressure from opposition within Russia, this informal declaration was retracted the following month,[20] and Yeltsin wrote that October that expansion violated the spirit of the 1990 agreement, marking the beginning of this grievance among Russian elites.[21] Similarly, in May 1997, Yeltsin signed an agreement with NATO that included text referring to new membership, but then described NATO expansion as a threat in his "National Security Blueprint" that December.[22] In a 2007 speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited a 1990 quote from Manfred Wörner to further imply that guarantees about enlargement were made,[23] and this impression was later used by him as a potential justification for Russia's 2014 actions in Ukraine and the 2021–2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis.[24][25]

"Debate within the American government as to whether enlargement of NATO was feasible or desirable began during the George H.W. Bush administration.[26] By mid-1992, a consensus emerged within the administration that NATO enlargement was a wise realpolitik measure to strengthen American hegemony.[26][27] In the absence of NATO enlargement, Bush administration officials worried that the European Union might fill the security vacuum in Central Europe, and thus challenge American post-Cold War influence.[26] There was further debate within the Clinton administration between a rapid offer of full membership to several select countries versus a slower, more limited membership to a wide range of states over a longer time span. Victory by the Republican Party, who advocated for aggressive expansion, in the 1994 US congressional election helped sway US policy in favor of wider full-membership enlargement.[28]

"Russian military actions, including the First Chechen War, Transnistria War, and War in Abkhazia, were among the factors driving Central and Eastern European countries, particularly those with memories of similar Soviet offensives, to push for NATO application and ensure their long-term security.[30][31] Political parties reluctant to move on NATO membership were voted out of office, including the Bulgarian Socialist Party in 1996 and Slovak HZDS in 1998.[32] Hungary's interest in joining was confirmed by a November 1997 referendum that returned 85.3% in favor of membership.[33]

.... "Russia was particularly upset with the addition of the three Baltic states, the first countries that were part of the Soviet Union to join NATO.[40][38] Russian troops had been stationed in Baltic states as late as 1995,[41] but the goals of European integration and NATO membership were very attractive for the Baltic states.[42] Rapid investments in their own militaries showed a seriousness in their desire for membership, and participation in NATO-led post-9/11 operations, particularly by Estonia in Afghanistan, won the three countries key support from individuals like US Senator John McCain, French President Jacques Chirac, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.[41] A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that the NATO enlargements in 1999 and 2004 contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[43]"

Moving ever eastward to Russia 's borders with offensive nuclear capability...

" Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country with a Membership Action Plan, which together with Georgia, were named NATO "aspirant countries" at the North Atlantic Council meeting on 7 December 2011.[81] Ukraine was recognized as an aspirant country after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution."


No one has offered Putin to de-escalate and cease Nato's military expansion, in exchange for a cease fire and respect for Ukraine as an independent nation.

If we don't try it, then we haven't done all we can to stop the killing.

As for Nuclear capability as a threat to Russia...
The reason this is about America and Russia, even as NATO shares nuclear weapons, they remain under US control...

"Under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey to deploy and store.[106] This involves pilots and other staff of the "non-nuclear" NATO states practicing, handling, and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and adapting non-U.S. warplanes to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs. However, since all U.S. nuclear weapons are protected with Permissive Action Links, the host states cannot easily arm the bombs without authorization codes from the U.S. Department of Defense.[107] Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga acknowledged the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons in Italy.[108] U.S. nuclear weapons were also deployed in Canada as well as Greece from 1963 to 1984. However, Canada withdrew three of the four nuclear-capable weapons systems by 1972. The single system retained, the AIR-2 Genie, had a yield of 1.5 kilotons, was designed to strike enemy aircraft as opposed to ground targets, and might not have qualified as a weapon of mass destruction given its limited yield.[109]

"Members of the Non-Aligned Movement have called on all countries to "refrain from nuclear sharing for military purposes under any kind of security arrangements."[110] The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) has criticized the arrangement for allegedly violating Articles I and II of the NPT, arguing that "these Articles do not permit the NWS to delegate the control of their nuclear weapons directly or indirectly to others."[111] NATO has argued that the weapons' sharing is compliant with the NPT because "the U.S. nuclear weapons based in Europe are in the sole possession and under constant and complete custody and control of the United States."[112]


"According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the worldwide total inventory of nuclear weapons as of 2021 stood at 13,080. Around 30% of these are deployed with operational forces,[13] and more than 90% are owned by either Russia or the United States.[14][15]"

And we are constantly increasing them...

" Moreover, nearly all the major nuclear powers—including the United States, Russia, and China—are now significantly increasing their nuclear arsenals in size, capability, or both. This growing new arms race is raising the risk of nuclear war."

NATO in Ukraine basically means US controlled nuclear weapons at Russia's borders.

.. And Ukraine is working hard to make that happen...
Essentially poking the bear...

"On 12 June 2020, Ukraine joined NATO's enhanced opportunity partner interoperability program.[nb 4][91] According to an official NATO statement, the new status "does not prejudge any decisions on NATO membership."[91]

"On 14 September 2020, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky approved Ukraine's new National Security Strategy, "which provides for the development of the distinctive partnership with NATO with the aim of membership in NATO."[92][93][94] On October 8, 2020, during a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, President Zelensky stated that Ukraine needs a NATO Membership Action Plan, as NATO membership will contribute to Ukraine's security and defense.[95]

" On December 1, 2020, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Taran stated that Ukraine clearly outlines its ambitions to obtain the NATO Membership Action Plan and hopes for comprehensive political and military support for such a decision at the next Alliance Summit in 2021. Addressing the ambassadors and military attaches of NATO member states, as well as representatives of the NATO office in Ukraine, they were urged to inform their capitals that Ukraine would hope for their full politico-military support in reaching such a decision at the next NATO Summit in 2021. This should be a practical step and a demonstration of commitment to the 2008 Bucharest Summit.[96]

"At the end of November 2020, it became known that the NATO Summit in 2021 will consider the issue of returning to "open door policy", including the issue of providing Georgia with a Membership Action Plan (MAP). On February 9, 2021, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, stated that he hoped that Ukraine would be able to receive an action plan for NATO membership at the same time as Georgia.[97] In response, Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed during Prime Minister Shmyhal's visit to Brussels that Ukraine is a candidate for NATO membership.[98]

"Zelensky and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on 31 August 2021
" On April 7, 2021, after the start of the build-up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told a press conference with his Spanish counterpart Arancha González Laya that Lithuania intends to ask its NATO allies to provide Ukraine with a Membership Action Plan (MAP):

"In the near future, we should again turn to our colleagues with a letter to consider the possibility of granting MAP to Ukraine. I am convinced, and we have already begun to discuss this issue with our colleagues from the Baltic states, NATO could repeat its proposal to provide Ukraine with a membership plan. This step will become a "strong signal for Russia", in particular, that Ukraine has chosen the transatlantic direction for itself, is appreciated and has support in the NATO countries. – emphasized Landsbergis."


Paving the way for shared nuclear weapons under US control at Russia's borders...


Nukes have had global reach since the 50's and 60's with long range bombers and ICBM's. No, gay pride parades are the larger threat. No one is saying it, but it isn't hard to imagine that Zelenskyy's Jewishness was the last straw.


"At the beginning of the war Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, gave a sermon in which he emphasized the God-given unity of Ukraine and Russia; he also denounced the 'evil forces' in Ukraine that are out to destroy this unity. Last Sunday (March 6) he sounded even less conciliatory. Invoking the intercession of two of medieval Russia’s most important saints, 'Holy Prince Vladimir' and Sergei of Radonezh, he called on God to 'prohibit and overturn the designs of the foreign pagans [sic] who want war and are gathering troops against Holy Russia.' He called on God to bless the Russian soldiers sent to protect Russian Orthodox Christians in the Donbass region (Eastern Ukraine) who have been suffering oppression and persecution for eight years. But much more is at stake than the liberation of the oppressed Russians, he said: the salvation of mankind ⁠— people are weak and no longer following God’s Law, they are no longer hearing His Word and His Gospel, they are blind to the Light of Christ. The future of human civilization itself is at stake; then the patriarch went into an angry tirade against gay parades … which he characterized as a great sin against God. In fact, he said, participation in such parades demonstrates a clear denial of God and His Truth. This is how Kirill speaks; he appears to believe that Orthodox Russia, or Holy Russia as he calls it, is engaged in an apocalyptical struggle with the Godless West about the future of mankind."

Hi Umami
Once war begins both sides claim God is on their side, they demonize each other, obscuring the atrocities taking place. And making an end of the war much harder.

Wars do not end in conquest. They end in atrocity. So let's back away from that.

But we must look at the environment of encroaching threat, the stated and potential cause of the conflict.

We are in fact in a new nuclear arms race and there is no point pretending that isn't so.

And we should take responsibility for that, because this is a moment in history when we can leverage de-escalation and save lives.

Your argument at best is that making the offer won't work.

But working with Putin, during an agreed cease fire, to de-escalate could end the killing tomorrow.

The most important question of the hour is, why haven't we offered to de-escalate? What's keeping us from putting it on the table? Are we willing to stop manufacturing and distributing new nuclear weapons around the globe?

That part is on us. And if that becomes a solution, the lives lost in our delay is in part on us.

The problem, I think, is our own pride.
The solution is offering to change our own behavior in exchange for a change from the other guys.

Humility may seem expensive, personally. But refusal to humble our own pride by opening discussion on the very points Putin has been making for years, is costing the lives of innocent people.

We have already lost the war refusing to discuss nuclear de-escalation through NATO expansion and shared US nuclear weapons. But we aren't losing any nuclear weapons sales. Those are brisk.


Really? Let me try that on the Ukranian woman I know from work. How's this? "Dear, your Russian mother's pride stands in the way of nuclear disarmament!" She's literally from Crimea and already confused whether she's Russian now or Ukrainian. Who's to blame? According to her, the politicians, not the people.

Another factor is that world frenemies on both sides have a few nukes too. They're tuned in, so every utterance of "nuclear" is a little reminder not to mess with the big boys.

Karmies, when will they ever learn?

This is very possible true what you say here...
I think actually think you are right on!!!
As far as I can see and understand all this..

Hi S*
It's odd that NATOs propose and procedure is to gain members by insisting they show efforts towards peaceful relations with their neighbors for years on end before they are allowed to join NATO.

And the reward for all that effort towards peace?

Access to unlimited weapons, troops, and even nuclear weapons.

Not surprisingly we are building more nuclear weapons now than we had before. We are stock piling more than just replacement. And most of that from the US.

So what happened to the SALT treaty, to our efforts to halt nuclear proliferation?

Well I guess de-escalation only applies to the other guys, not the US.

To acknowldge Putin's very real war crimes, to end this crisis, we must acknowledge the growing stockpile of nuclear weapons, the proliferation of weapons distributed by NATO and offer mutual and verifiable de-escalation.

It might end the killing tomorrow. It's worth a try.

And not offering this is also very telling.

Weapons on anyone's borders, particularly the possibility of nuclear weapons, would most certainly provoke any paranoid dictator into action.

But if that dictator has been stating their fear on these lines for years, shouldn't we have addressed it with some respect and cooperation, rather than dismissed it with bravado while only adding to the threat?

Wouldn't that have been a real example of peacekeeping?

One more point S*
A major rule in NATO states that no nation engaged in armed conflict with its neighbor can be admitted.

As long as Russia keeps engaging Ukraine, Ukraine cannot be accepted into NATO, so long as that rule is in force. Putin knows this, hence his actions in Ukraine.

But given Ukraine's plight and plea, NATO is moving quickly to change that rule. Which would further escalate Putin.


There are videoś in English in the link I posted..
So see and hear what this man in Kiev has to say/tell.
Fromout his Hotel room.

THIS are the things to be found on that link posted by S*
Click in the right upper corner to change language from Dutch to English.

Read ... and.... be horrified!!



Quite the rabbit hole!

@ Umami

I just pointed AT the rabbit hole and the invitation by S* to enter it.

Yes. Oh, yes. But, wow!

@ Umami

Already weeks ago I was warned / advised by one of her friends not to take [booster] vaccins as if I did I would not be alive before the end of the year. I was not able to communicated how morbide her advise was in the name of her truth and care for me.

I also sketched how the world would look like if all the law abiding citizens and those near and dear to her that had taken vaccins would be dead.

There "messiah" is in custody and will be before court for stirring up the masses and spreading fake news.


In the same vein, and not to diminish you or your careful arguments, but "poking the bear" has become associated with Marjorie Taylor Greene! Toxic...or useful...depending on the audience.

Hi Um
Regarding the triple vaccine recipients, such a myself and my son, it's been very hard on the body.

Within thirty days of receiving the vaccine I acquired both Pneumonia and Shingles (never had it before).

The Pneumonia persisted and while a round of antibiotics helped, the cough has extended for three months. My lungs showed broken glass syndrome, and while I tested negative for Covid, the doctor in the ER said they are seeing a lot of that and still believe it is in fact COVID...

So, yes I've experienced a weakened immune system. However I also believe the vaccine works. I've not had to be admitted to the hospital. So my son and I will be taking the fourth dose when that comes out as well.

"Two broken teeth, and a broken rib. You should be ashamed of yourself! Look what you've made me do to you!"

@ Spence

What do you want me to understand Spence?
That you agree with the medical fake news of the link that S* has put here and use your experience as a prove?!
That you accept the messages that is contained that you and your son are going to die before the end of the year of will suffer from long lasting AIDS?
Is that the sort of "loving kindness" you are advertising here?

Fair question, um.

This takes us well away from the Ukraine situation, and the thread topic, but as far as this, and coming from someone as well-informed as you are, Spence, and as up to date specifically on medical research, what on earth is one to make of a statement like this, where you say: "Within thirty days of receiving the vaccine I acquired both Pneumonia and Shingles (never had it before)."

I hope you're both doing well, both your son and you; but do you just mean to put that out as a random factoid, like "I won the Lotto a week after I got the booster", or "I fell and broke my ankle two weeks after my third dose", or "I was fired from my job (or I received an unexpected promotion and was made Czar of my department) within three days of taking the booster", something like that? That is to say, some entirely unrelated factoid that you were wanting to generally share? Or are you claiming that there's a connection between the two? Are you claiming that there's a connection between the booster and pneumonia, or between the booster and shingles? (Truth be told, I don't even know what shingles is. I've heard the word, I know it's an ailment, but I don't know what it is. Too lazy to look it up, just now! :---))

Plenty of uninformed people around that spout that kind of thing, but it would be disturbing indeed if someone as generally well informed as you are, were to join that chorus.

@ AR

Hahaha ... after reading your words, i had the impression that the sun shined a little brighter for a moment ..

By the way, I'm sorry, I'd got carried away with my single-point focus on that correlation that I thought was being claimed, and that I was trying to question. That question remains, and does ask to be addressed; but as far as the personal issue: I don't know what shingles is, but I do know about pneumonia. I'd contracted it once when I was very young, and a couple years back I'd had someone very close to me pass on from it (she was family, elderly, my grandmother actually, and the pneumonia came on top of a whole heap of other ailments).

In short, I do know pneumonia to be potentially a serious ailment, and at times with lingering after-effects. I do hope you've recovered from it now, Spence. And take care about the aftermath thing, that can sometimes come back and bite you if you aren't careful afterwards --- although no doubt you know about all of that better than I do, but still.

By the way, I'm sorry, I'd got carried away with my single-point focus on that correlation that I thought was being claimed, and that I was trying to question. That question remains, and does ask to be addressed; but as far as the personal issue: I don't know what shingles is, but I do know about pneumonia. I'd contracted it once when I was very young, and a couple years back I'd had someone very close to me pass on from it (she was family, elderly, my grandmother actually, and the pneumonia came on top of a whole heap of other ailments).

In short, I do know pneumonia to be potentially a serious ailment, and at times with lingering after-effects. I do hope you've recovered from it now, Spence. And take care about the aftermath thing, that can sometimes come back and bite you if you aren't careful afterwards --- although no doubt you know about all of that better than I do, but still.

Hey, um. Always a pleasure to (figuratively) hear that ever-present "Ha ha ha" of yours! Cheers, old friend.

Hi Um and Appreciative!

My point was only that my experience of the vaccine was hard on my body and likely may have reduced my immunity to other things, including the Shingles virus that is in each of us but usually remains dormant.

That doesn't change the utility or te effectiveness of the vaccine in saving lives. It is simply my experience that it may also be hard on the body's immune system.

All treatments have their side effects.

My son got very ill for a few days following both second and third doses, but after that, like me, is doing fine.

We don't enjoy taking the vaccine, but it works and is also a duty.

@ AR
Although the examples you used made me laugh as they are so funny, what you write touches also something very serious, and potential dangerous and in the long run more problematic than [blind] faith .... the gatering of data, the processing of statistical data and the interpretation.


Things are what they are,
seldom what they look like
let alone how they are presented.

Presenting medical data and understanding the same by untrainbed and un educated readers, in a globalized environment, makes easily for a very toxic cocktail.

Remember the the "shaman" that stormed the capitol.

He is not the problem, but the people that hailed him and those that were not able to put in an asylum ... the place were we keep people that believe themselves to be Napolean.

If the society is no longer able to discriminate between freedom of thought and expression and the words of delusional people, we are in serious problems.

Agreed, um. It's simply staggering, the sheer volume of misinformation that's floating around as far as the vaccines and more broadly this entire pandemic thing. It's crazy, the kinds of bizarre things that people seem to believe, not just out-and-out loons but normal people, your neighbor, your friend, your colleague, you're talking with them and suddenly you realize they subscribe to some absolutely nonsensical belief about Covid. There's two pandemics on in parallel, it seems to me sometimes, the pandemic proper and also this whole misinformation-cum-crazy-beliefs-about-Covid-and-vaccines pandemic.

Hey, Spence. Your young son as well? That's too bad.

I checked out on shingles, just now. I'd imagined it was something like arthritis, or gout, or rheumatism, or something like that. Turns out it's more like pox. That's too bad, getting that on top of the pneumonia.

I'm glad you're both better now. Take care, with pneumonia at least I do know there's a protracted period over which one needs to stay careful. (I was still in school when I'd got pneumonia, and I remember I'd had to give up on my then
recently started routine of weight training, as well as running and cycling, for like six months or nine months or something --- feels like forever when you're 13 or 14, and you feel, with an immature impatient child's mind, that you've become an effing cripple, despite constant assurances that this was only a temporary measure from my doctor [who was my grandfather actually].)

Anyway, you guys take care, and I wish you both speedy and complete recovery.

Hi dear All,

I want to wish you all well anyway anyhow always ofcourse!!
Hopefully Spence you and your Son will be totaly well soon!

Everyone has their own ways in life..
Respect is nessesary for all people.
The times in this period is difficult.
Love to you all!!

@ S*

According the people that produce the content of sites like www.frontnieuws.com, those who read those sites and certainly people like yourself that invite others to read its content, are all waiting for us to die before the end of the year

Yes everybody has his or her own life, and that should be respected ;only as long as what they have to say, is shared by the community as a whole.

So we are free to express ourselves as lovers of this or that type of dog or to express our disgust for that same type of dog,. As long as we share the idea that a dog is dog, share the same reality, there is no problem. But as soon as people create a parallel world in which a dog is no longer seen as a dog we have a problem.

In older days that problem was solved by putting these deluded people in an mental asylum for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately today we let them walk the streets and storm the institutions as we have seen in the USA..

And S*

Whatever is done by humans is both good and/or bad. So yes, humanity always suffered from their elite, the governments, their kings etc. beside enjoying the benefits of these insitutions in terms of infrastructure, scholing, health care etc etc.

Yes, there is no hospital, to be found, no dokter, no nurse that never made willingly or unwillingly a mistake from which a client had to suffer

Yes these institutions all can be blame for lack of care.

No problem as the world is run by imperfect human beings.

So yes the water runs through the banks of a river, yes that same river that gives water to the plants also destroys etc ... but there is no power that pushes that river.

There is no hidden power that pushes, the flow of events ... to suggest that such powers exist is by itself a great evil., an evil even greater than the power that is suggested that some have.

So yes many bad things were done by the Hebrews of Europe but to suggest that they were the evil power behind the downfall off Europe, is far worse than the things they did wrong as individual human beings and what made them suffer the holocaust.

So people that write those sites are creating hatred in society and are seaking for a scape goat that can be slaughtered.

@ um [ So yes many bad things were done by the Hebrews of Europe but to suggest that they were the evil power behind the downfall off Europe, is far worse than the things they did wrong as individual human beings and what made them suffer the holocaust. ]

Um, what made you go down that dismal rabbit hole? Collectively, "bad things"
could be attributed to any mass group of people and subtly fuel prejudice against
them, not just in random slime pockets of hate on the Net either. Stereotypes and
racial memes, however vile, live on long after their genesis.

There's no need for "thought police" on every corner but why even echo in
passing the mindless stupidity that daily oozes out of internet sewers...

I do not recognise myself in your post...
I do not take a vaccin.. I,my body, can not handle ´normal´meds.

Politics is not my thing.
I dońt debate things I dońt know/understand enough.
So I leave it like this.
This is enough now.


Do not make your self seen as innocent ... you have pasted here time and again links to sites that spread fake news. and you do it with intent.

@ Dungeness

Out of myself you have never found me posting a thing what you call the sewer of the internet. I do no read it so I cannot refer to it.

And if a person tells me he is interested in those sites, I just hear what he or she has to say without reacting.

BUT ... but if I am asked directly or indirectly to take a sip from that toxic drink under de guise of offering something "good" something for my welbeing, i certainly will react and make it clear to the one that offers that cup what he or she is doing.

No Um,
You dońt know nor understand me at all!
That Frontnews is heavy indeed..and I feel as a little child not understanding all these idiocy,from all sides..
If you like to put me down go ahead..but you never understood me or know me.
You are always fighting me.
I am´ unknowing.´if you believe that or not.
My gut feeling is and I am not the only one.., that things are going very dangerous these times.
That is what we all see right now.
Letś hope for the best for all of us people.


It is not about you but what you do.

And what do you do time and again?

You bring up references, to people and links that spread fake news and complot theories.
And in doing so you take side.

That in itself would no problem even. Who cares whether you are a "wappie" or not? I do not.

The point is that YOU want US, to read it and to swallow that toxic information as is presented in those links that you put here.

@ All in general and S* in particular


PLEASE, PLEASE listen to what the man has to say in the first video on that side.
PLEASE do so and hear how it works when I write

Facts are what they are,
seldom what they look like
let alone how they are PRESENTED

PLEASE hear what "presenting" is all about

Please invest if only for 5 minutes of your time.

Hear how he makes the russian, amerikans and americans seen and then compare it with the facts you know of about what is goiing on

This whole war is so ridiculously embarrassing for Russia. They’re a super power for crying out loud. It would be like if Puerto Rico seceded, and America tried to invade them and then they just kicked our ass for a month.

Or Vietnam?

Or Vietnam?

Posted by: Appreciative Reader | March 24, 2022 at 06:04 PM

Yeah… now you just went and made it depressing. 😣

Sorry. There was no need for me to have stated the obvious. As you say, it's depressing.

What's really depressing is the thought that, at that level, there's no "good guys". Certainly not the US. Most assuredly not the UK either, that, although no more than the dried husk of its past self, nevertheless is even now among the richer countries of the world basis wholely and solely basis their super brutal exploitation of other nations, back from their colonial days, not to mention their more recent colluding with the US with the ravaging of Iraq. Ditto the other European "powers", like France and Spain. As for South Africa, the less said the better. There's simply no good guys here. Every time someone points a finger at Putin and at Russia, three fingers point back to the one doing the pointing.

That said, this present atrocity, and this present danger, that is something that rightly draws our attention. Not from some moral perspective, because no one is in a position to pretend to such a perspective; but merely from the perspective of the sheer human suffering there, as well as the very real risk of this spilling over and beyond that place. It's difficult to wrap one's head around the fact that for the first time in our lifetimes, most of us, we're at very real risk of a worldwide conflict.


But yes, no point belaboring this super depressing fact again and again, after having already made one's point clearly once. Sorry; mustn't have been very pleasant, coming on top of your personal troubles, that you've spoken of here. I trust you'll be able to walk out of that latter healthier and stronger, and hopefully, eventually, happier, and with the realization that you're well rid of what, basis what you say, is truly good riddance. Cheers, Sonya, and God bless.

Last year in April 2021, my astrologer friend Mr Greenstone Lobo had published a book " 91 Predictions" Greenstone lobo is a GENIUS Astrologer. He has predicted many world events that will take place in the world in next fifty years as per his study of the science of astrology, of which he is a master. This book is available in India on Amazon for a affordable price of Rs300 only. Mr Lobo has predicted many events that have already taken place as forecast by him in his book. Takeover of Afghanistan & Invasion of Ukraine by Putin have already happened as per his book. I hope we all can afford to spend Rs. 300 to know about future events that are going to take place in the world.
Death and birth is a ongoing constant process on our planet. Millions of Animals are slaughtered in slaughter houses daily and lakhs of dogs and other wild animals die daily and are born in different parts of the world. We humans have little interest in death of wild and stray animals because of obvious reasons. Death and birth both for natural causes and war or terrorism, robbery, murder related cases keep happening in one or the other parts of the world. We grieve only if people belonging to our clan or family or same religion die or are killed, as a general rule.

Astrology is not a "science". And your friend is not a genius, all he is is a fraud and a charlatan, unless he is deluded and mentally unbalanced. Only a fool would pay good money to buy whatever trash he's peddling.

True, a formal assessment of your genius friend's claims is not possible without first examining in detail what he's saying. Just as if today I write here that I'm able to fly by flapping my arms, and that earlier today I flew over to my favorite little cafe in Milan for a quick cup of coffee simply by flapping my arms, and was back within the half hour, well then you can't honestly assess that claim without examining my itinerary in detail. On the other hand, given that we know that astrology is a crock of shit, and given that we know that no one can fly, both claims can be dismissed out of hand as either a pack of lies or else delusion, without having to waste any time examining the details.

Your concern for animals, that you've spoken of before this and that you speak of now, is commendable and well appreciated. Clearly you're a good human being. Please stop being a stupid human being, and stop being taken in by cock and bull tales of the likes of this friend of yours.

And if you must subscribe to your pet superstitions, be it RSSB or be it this astrology bullshit, as indeed you have every right to, then please keep such to yourself, and stop trying to peddle your friend's worthless book. (I'm not accusing you of deliberately being a shill. Probably you've simply been taken in. Either way, please don't try to further propagate this kind of superstitious nonsense, in this case enriching your friend in the process.)

"Mr Lobo has predicted many events that have already taken place as forecast by him in his book. Takeover of Afghanistan & Invasion of Ukraine by Putin have already happened as per his book."


I found his website. There's a predictions section, but I don't see anything beyond sports and celebrities.

Can you quote political predictions from his book, what came true already?

Hey, umami.

I checked out his website too, after seeing arun marwah's comment. Effing transparent charlatanry, is what it is, at least that is how it strikes me. Someone's working a fine shtick, and seemingly has gulled enough rubes to be making a reasonably comfortable go of it going by the google hits.

Let's not encourage this kind of bullshit and this kind of bullshitter by indulging them and giving them space.


That said, if you want to take the trouble to actually examine their claim --- which, admittedly, is the only really valid way of assessing if those claims are true --- then by all means go ahead. I've better things to do with my time; but absolutely, debunking bullshit claims is a worthy cause, and all power to you if you want to do that.

I sense deliberate charlatanry here. Not on the part of our fellow-commenter, who's been gulled but probably is sincerely misguided as opposed to deliberately out to pull a fast one; but the face that runs that disgusting website, peddling those superstitions to the gullible and what's more apparently making a living off of it, I strongly suspect deliberate disingenuousness there. Therefore, if you're going to be spending time evaluating this nonsense, then I suggest the place to start would be to ascertain clearly when those predictions had been made. It's easy enough to concoct after-the-fact alleged-predictions that hit home. And the other thing would be to look out for that other trick these guys often employ, which is vaguely worded mumblings that get retrofitted to whatever likely event might be forcefitted into that vagueness. As well as check out the misses: I mean, I could sit here and make five hundred separate predictions, and then, when maybe twenty or thirty of them hit home, as they may well might basis simple statistical probability, I go to town crowing about those twenty or thirty, while keeping quiet about the four hundred and seventy that fell flat. These are all standard tricks these con men employ.

In fact, tell you what. If you really intend to debunk this BS, then perhaps you could document your progress on an Open Thread (because it would be off-topic here; and perhaps if your investigation and debunking makes good progress then Brian might be agreeable to starting a separate thread for you) ---- anyway, regardless of whether Open Thread or separate dedicated thread, I was saying, perhaps you could document your investigation here, and we could all chip in with suggestions and maybe even take on some small bits of the checking up that you might need to do, whatever we're able. That might be both fun and instructive.

(Just an idea, just a suggestion, is all, basis what I felt you were going for. Your call, entirely, obviously, how you wish to go about doing whatever it is you intend doing, or even if you intend doing anything at all.)

What I want to say here is that everyone has to draw their very own line in life..right?
So if I do not believe in this vax , I dońt take them.
If for someone else it feels better to take them itś alright for them ofcourse.
Logical conclusion right?!
It is obvious that we all can respect choices of others.

Respect can stay even if our ideás differ from oneanother..


Please note, I didn't run out and buy the book.

swami umami predicts: "Pluto is the key."

@ S*

The problem with You is not the choice you make in your private live but the choice you go repeatedly have made here and that is putting before the audience of this blog, sites that spread fake news and and invite people to have to inform themselves there.

If you want to fill your mind with toxic material that is up to you, drink of it as much as you like, but do not offer that cup to others.

Absolutely, Pluto is the key. Western astrology doesn't see it, actually; and nor does Vedic astrology; but if you're able to actually do scientific astrology, as I've been able to by scratching the small of my back for ten years straight with eagle's talons that I've myself removed scientifically from eagle's feet, then by the power of quantum mechanics and general relativity, absolutely, Pluto is indeed the key.


But wait, does that mean no debunking thread starring swami umami? Bummer.

@ AR : [ And if you must subscribe to your pet superstitions, be it RSSB or be it this astrology bullshit, as indeed you have every right to, then please keep such to yourself, and stop trying to peddle your friend's worthless book. ]

I agree to a certain extent. Legitimate disciplines and topics worth researching
are co-opted to fuel pet superstitions. The co-opters are fond of absolutist
claims, they oversimplify, they rigidly dismiss alternatives, For instance, they
rubbish any suggestion of truth not backed by hard science. Religion? All
subjective b.s. without a shed of proof. Mysticism? Same rubbish bin. You
say there' s a discipline to find proof within your own consciousness? Fairy

On the other hand, religious fanatics are masterful co-opters as well. Prove
there is a god? No, we are the chosen ones. The Guru will prove it all to us
and whisk us up to the seventh or eighth region at death even if we loll
about for our remaining years here. What can we say? It's written in the

I'm afraid this is derailing Brian's Ukraine thread away into oblivion, but I'll permit myself one last comment --- absolutely the very last one, promise! --- on this thread:

You're being much too subtle there, Dungeness, for the likes of coarse old me to follow! I can't figure out if you're agreeing with me as far as our "scientific genius astrologer", or disagreeing, or if, as you say, "to some extent", then to what extent exactly.

As far as my approach to religion and mysticism --- and pardon me if you were referring not to me but to someone or something else, and I've now mistakenly ended up making this about me! --- I personally do not consign mysticism to the rubbish bin, you know that. As for religion being seen as subjective BS without a shred of truth, well, that view does seem reasonable to me: because if there is indeed a shred of proof, why then where is it, that proof? If I claim that I've finally found a proof of String Theory, but when asked stay coy about that proof, or make vague references to faith, then the Nobel Committee's not going to be calling me any time soon, except maybe to laugh at me; so why should it be any different for religion?


swami umami is intrigued! Meanwhile, a short video.

To all those kind people who made fun of my comment on Astrology and the book 91 predictions by Greenstone Lobo. Good luck to all of you. Your remarks do not matter to me. Entirely your choice what to read or do and beliefs. I say everything from personal; experiences. Thanks, God bless all.

Dear Arun Marwah,

I’d said, in my earlier comment addressed to you, and basis what you said about animals, that you’re clearly a good man. And I say it again, that you’re a good man, this time basis your courteous comment now even though it is clear that my words had hurt you. My apologies for causing you that hurt, Arun; but I’m afraid I stand by every bit of the content of what I’d said, although I guess I wish I’d worded it more gently.

You’re a regular enough visitor to this blog, and have seen that no quarter is given here to the superstitious nonsense peddled by RSSB types. Why would you expect any different for the astrological mumbo jumbo that your friend peddles?

There is zero scientific basis for astrology. Please understand that. There’s not the slightest doubt about it: astrology is NOT scientific, not even remotely. Astrology has been around a long long long time now, and has enough number of adherents (unfortunately!). And science has been around a few centuries as well. Therefore, had the former had any actual scientific basis, then without a doubt that would have been uncovered as well as publicized by now. Rest assured, astrology is nonsensical, baseless, superstitious claptrap, period.

Absolutely, you personally can believe whatever you want. That is your right. But to state that our words will have no effect on you is only to betray your own closed-mindedness, as you yourself will no doubt agree if only you’d look at this exchange objectively. (And, I mean, look at the double standards there --- you comment here, hoping that your words will influence us; but then you keep your own mind tight shut against any contrary views that we here express!)

I’m afraid what your friend is doing is selling superstitious fairy tales to gullible folks. Not a very honorable thing to be doing. I’ve seen his website, and the way he mashes up scientific catchphrases in order to appear “scientific” is …let’s just say, transparent, and ...not nice. Maybe despite appearances he’s only deluded, this friend of yours, as opposed to deliberately dishonest; in which case you should try to dissuade him from living off the ignorance and superstitions of ignorant folks. By all means let him conduct actual research into the subject, if he wishes to and is able to, and present his findings to the scientific community; who knows, he might actually come away with a Nobel Prize for his pains; and, if he does, then I will happily go and acknowledge him and his craft and in fact myself go and consult with him. Until that day, let’s not try to peddle this anti-scientific BS to the world at large.

Once more, apologies for hurting the feelings of a good gentle courteous man, as I clearly have ended up doing. Please try to get over these unscientific superstitions yourself if you can; but if you insist on sticking with them, then while obviously you’re free to do that, but please consider, in that case, that a rationalist platform like this is hardly the best place to peddle such wares.


Whether something can be proved or not, is just "one" way to evaluated a thing.
There are so many things that are valuable to people that cannot be proved or for which the scientific world is not interested.

Faith, although beyond the grasp of science, plays a formative role in the lives of many people and so does astrology, certainly in countries the like of INDIA.

And AR, it might be a supprise to you, but in the higher regions of decision making, behind the curtain, they refer to astrologers, numerologists and palmists etc. It has been explained to me years ago by an CEO of an accountancy organisation, that they used it to find the best person on the job. In these circles those that are available are all technical worth their money to be payed in salary. The problem arises when after accepted for the job they are not fit in the social sphere of the compagnie. Then that compagnie has a problem as people cannot be fired for that reason only if the technically do not function. He told me that they were not interested in how astrology etc worked and/or whether it was true ... for them it was just another tool in the proces of decision making. That said .. naturaly they will not scream it aloud that they are doing it ... hahahaha

So there is much more to life than proving something

Hi, um.

Agreed, there's other parameters to evaluating a thing than merely whether they're proved. Also agreed, there's more to life than proving something.

But when it comes to ascertaining the truth value of a claim, then evidence is what you do need. And I would further suggest that, when you're claiming to explain to people the reason why they're facing the life situations that they do, and what to do about it --- which is what astrologers do --- then the truth value of what you're basing all of that off, does become important.

I mean, you're yourself a firm votary of following the science when it comes to Covid treatment as well as protocols including the vaccine; and you're a firm opponent of people peddling anti-scientific BS about Covid, aren't you? (And, um, I support you fully, as far as that.) Well then, how is this any different?

To take an extreme example, some poor soul may actually be physically unwell, or may be going through a crucial career or relationship crisis, and he comes off with the message that his troubles owe to his Abradacabra constellation being in the fifth house and his Planet Venus hiding behind the Moon and the Sun, or whatever nonsensical terminology they use; a nonsensical and worthless explanation that does him no good at all, and does not suggest to him any reasonable recourse either. And when you consider that these people actually charge money for this BS, and in some cases actually live off of it, then that adds a whole other unsavory dimension to the whole business.


I agree, lots of people in positions of influence do fall prey to the influence of such anti-scientific BS. That happens with the Covid thing as well --- and I bring this up, because I know your own passion about Covid misinformation. I fully support you in that, and I bring up this allusion only to clearly explain to you the reason why I feel strongly about this sort of thing.

That some powerful and influential people, who should know better, indeed use such antiscientific BS to guide them, whether in terms of astrology or in terms of this Covid thing, is not an argument to therefore give some leeway to such antiscientific bullshit. On the contrary, it is an argument for such people to stop their antiscientific nonsense; or else, if they can't do that, then to have them removed from their positions of power and influence. And in any case, even we ordinary folks can end up dong neither, even then, and like I said, surely that's no reason at all why antiscientific BS, of any stripe, should get kid glove treatment.

"Takeover of Afghanistan & Invasion of Ukraine by Putin have already happened as per his book"


There are many tricksters in the occult, don't you agree? We could spend Rs 300 a thousand times and get nowhere. That's why I asked for quotes from the book. If Mr Lobo is authentic, his words will recommend him.

@ AR

People have to make decisions, plan their lives etc. and they use whatever tool they know of to do it to their own advantage.

If there are fields in which the outcome of science offers the best results, nobody will resort to astrology, not even those that make their living as astrologers.

There are however situations in life were there is no scientific tool or solution available.
If one lives in a rural area in India, with no medical facility at hand in the nearby 100 miles and a child is bitten by an cobra, parents will resort to their shamans, priests etc. Even if the child dies, due to the poison, then at least they have done whatever was within their power to safe the child and THAT makes the suffering better to digest.

Astrology, etc helps people more or less in the same way as we use counseling in the west.... it helps the client to think his way through a problem and make his own decisions.

Yes .. eveything that is around can be used and misused

Just think .. if we do not maintain what we have created, it will deteriorate over time. As far is I understand there is no exception to that rule. Leave a house unattended for a longer periode and it wil fall into disrepair ...but ... have a look in nature ...nowhere will you find a sign of disrepair.

Writing ... the use of the Chines "I ching" the book of changes comes to mind. The greatest of the great has used it and still do use it. Even western scientists are interested in it for its mathematical background that is beyond my understanding.

For hunger, one goes to a grocery, restaurant etc, for a broken leg to an hospital, for sending rockets to the moon we resort to science etc ....for guidance in life, for things like pupose, goals, worldviews etc there are other places to go.

An ... if you ever expressed your love to a person and that person would ask you to prove it i hope you ran away as if the devil was after you ... hahaha

Whether God exists or not and whether his existence, if any can be proved, is immaterial ... what matters is the fact that faith or the lack thereof has on the way of living for those who do. Psychologist have found that those who do, have a better and longer life.

To those who say "Astrology is not a science". India has a history of 5000 plus years of studying planets and predicting its effects on human behaviour. Thanks.

Mr Greenstone lobo started predicting on sports events like Cricket, Tennis, Football. But mostly cricket. Cricket and its cricketers are a passion with cricket lovers across the ten countries it is played in. His website contains only sports related predictions. Last year, he published a book titled 91 Predictions in which he has made predictions on political events that will happen in various parts of the world, analysed horoscopes of some important political leaders of US, Russia, India. England. Anybody having interest and or belief in astrology can order the book online and read it.

"To those who say "Astrology is not a science". India has a history of 5000 plus years of studying planets and predicting its effects on human behaviour. Thanks."


Just that. Words fail.


"Mr Greenstone lobo started predicting on sports events like Cricket, Tennis, Football. But mostly cricket. Cricket and its cricketers are a passion with cricket lovers across the ten countries it is played in. His website contains only sports related predictions. Last year, he published a book titled 91 Predictions in which he has made predictions on political events that will happen in various parts of the world, analysed horoscopes of some important political leaders of US, Russia, India. England. Anybody having interest and or belief in astrology can order the book online and read it."

Mr Appreciative Reader started flapping his arms and flying many years ago. His flying is a gift of God, but it is also entirely scientific. Mr Appreciative Reader is a genius, and he has studied the principles of levitation that have been mentioned in the books of India and China and Egypt and Mesopotamia and Greece, as well as the modern principles of flying. He has perfected the scientific theory and praxis of how to flap arms and fly. God is respected in many countries, and flying by flapping your arms is a skill that would be welcomed by the citizens of all countries.

From yesterday Mr Appreciative Reader has started a scheme by which ordinary men and women can partake of the divine wisdom and divinely ordained scientific skills of Mr Appreciative Reader. Anybody having interest and belief in God and in science can send Mr Appreciative Reader Rs 300, and Mr Appreciative Reader will flap his arms and fly one time around the world for every transfer of Rs 300 made, and thereby imbue the world with wisdom and knowledge that is directly derived from the principles of quantum mechanics and general relativity, as well as loving kindness and world peace.

"If one lives in a rural area in India, with no medical facility at hand in the nearby 100 miles and a child is bitten by an cobra, parents will resort to their shamans, priests etc. Even if the child dies, due to the poison, then at least they have done whatever was within their power to safe the child and THAT makes the suffering better to digest."

..........um, I'm sorry, but that line of argument is ...troublesome, to say the least. Rather than articulating clearly spelt-out counter-arguments across what would then become a lengthy post, let me try an argument by analogy instead, let me instead draw on your passionate views on Covid disinformation --- and again, I support your views on Covid disinformation fully --- and thereby try to present an argumentum ad absurdum that might let you see the flaws in the perspective you present here:

India is a poor country. Poor Indians don't have access to the kind of Covid vaccination and Covid treatment that the first world countries --- not all of them, not everyone in them, but many/most --- tend to take for granted.

Therefore, in countries like India, it is good to promote the use of treatment protocols that may be dodgy and ineffective. Further, rather than promoting vaccines exclusively, it is good and right that indigenous Ayurvedic concoctions that in India are claimed to help prevent Covid, as well as help cure Covid if it has set in, should be encouraged. Because that way, even if they and their children die, at least they will have the comfort from knowing that they have done whatever was within their power to save their family members, and that will make their suffering easier to digest.


um, now that I've directly juxtaposed your argument on to the Covid situation, that you are so passionate about --- and again, I fully support your passion and your in that cause --- but my point is, do you now see how this line of thinking is not just a question of factual inaccuracy, but how this line of thinking is downright dangerous? How any incidental benefits in terms of some dodgy "comfort" is far outweighed by very real harm in terms of treatment foregone, and research derailed, and very real suffering and death compounded unnecessarily?

It is not just an academic matter, this matter of factual accuracy. The people of India may be poor, they may be less educated on average than the people in the so-called First World, but they are not animals, and nor are they creatures of sub-human intelligence who are incapable of grasping scientific truths. They are just as able to understand these things, if only they were exposed to real science as opposed to superstitions. It is unconscionable that peddlers in superstition like this Lobo character should be taking away from these people the money and the time and the energy that they might otherwise have used in some way that would be of real use to them. That India is a poor country, and that people have less money there than in some other places, makes this kind of charlatanry worse, not better.

@ AR

In that storry, the version I have used here several times, The friends of Jamun have all arguments that would make the bride seen as one not to get married with. She lacked everything that would make her a DESERVING person.

Jamun did agree with his friends, and he also appreciated their concerns but HIS reason to get involved with the young lady was his [unconditional] love, something that was HIS, something he could give to whomever he deemed fit, not that she deserved it, he just gave it to her.

You are focusing on truth, prove, rational thing and the consequences that occurs when these things are lacking. That is alright nobody will argue about it, certainly I.

The point is that there is more to it than the things you focus on.

Faith, religion, Astrology etc beside the questions you have about it, have in that other cultural a place, that is appreciated by the whole of the Indian society, they value it

Whether God exists or not, whether it can be proven or not, is immaterial to the pious believer, it gives meaning an content to their lives. I do not know if you have ever been in India but if so you could have seen, that nothing goes in India without religion. That said they also handle religion in a complete different way as we do her in the west. Reason for me to state that the average western Satsangi has the slightest clue about what Sant Mat, Guru Mat, Bhakti Yoga is all about.

The same is with astrology ... you have to sit with Indians, and have them tell you what it MEANS to them, HOW they use it ..then you would understand that it is a meaningfull tool for them to navigate through life.

IT is THEIR USE, .. at least in my eyes ... that matters ... and not anything else.

Lucky you are living in the west ... hahaha and need not to consume it.


Astrology, religion, are just two tools that are used by humanity to give MEANING to their lives.; tools that can be used to give direction.

Science , as far as I understand, is another tool, with another function.

There are many people that can look upon a rose, a botanist, an artist, a lover, a farmer, a seller etc etc.... they all have different interests, interests that are not at all relate or attributable to the rose.

An yes, whatever is done by humans can be done in a positive way and a negative.

Democracy is neither true or provable it is just an tool to use, and we can only witness what is the outcome.

You're missing my point, um.

Are you, then, comfortable with what s* has linked to earlier, which would be use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in India despite these not having been clinically shown to work, and the use of traditional Ayurvedic concoctions to boost immunity instead of vaccines? Are you fine if they drink the urine of cows and cover themselves with cowdung because they believe that wards off Covid (yes, they actually do that there!), instead of going for vaccines? Are you fine if Indians, who respect their Ayurvedic traditions and their cows, do that for Covid, instead of insisting on the real science and the real vaccine?

If your answer is Yes, then I'll still not agree with you, but at least I'll acknowledge that your POV on this is at least internally consistent. Otherwise this is simply double standards, isn't it?

Think it through, um, and tell me.


hahaha ... i don't know if I would call myself internally consistent. Often people have things in mind that even in my dreams do not exist, let alone that they arise in my waking state. If people look at me in that way, that is alright but in the way I look upon people, such words never arise.

ABC ... that is or better said was a LONG answer that I later decided to delete, realizing that it would not convey to you what I would like you to understand about my point of view.

Grrrr ... I do need coffee now

And AR.

I do realize that you deserve an better answer and if you would be here with me I would certainly give it to you ... and some coffe as well .. but now I do not manage to give it.

What I'd wanted to convey, via that example of alternative and unscientific Covid pseudo-protocols in India, is how superstitions can be harmful. Sometimes they directly point to harmful courses of action. Even if not that, then they do take away -- both at an individual level, and at a collective level -- resources that might perhaps have been better used elsewhere. So that it is WORSE to be superstitious if you're poor, than if you're rich and have surplus resources that you can afford to waste on superstitions. And it is far MORE reprehensible to cheat a poor person with lies and bullshit, than it is to cheat a rich person. True, sometimes superstitions can comfort; but let's not forget, that pseudo-comfort comes with a cost, it isn't free!

But hey, not to beat this to death. Happy to drop this if you don't want to take this further.

@ Ar

In the detailed and long answer that I deleted I wanted to put before you the understanding "why" people do things.

With that approach in mind, I have a certain understanding why they used these two drugs in India and that this decision has everything to do with the circumstances and health conditions of the Indian population and NOTHING with other matters and certainly that of anti vaccers or superstition, in general. The same holds for the other examples.

So it is an understandable use of the Indian authorities but an missuse of the anti vaccers in the west to use it to sell their position.

um, I think you're conflating the descriptive with the prescriptive.

You're rightly pointing out the reasons that lead/led people to superstitions. That nuanced understanding is great. But it doesn't present a reason for continuing with superstitions. On the contrary, that understanding should be used in order to best figure out how people might be weaned away from these superstitions.

Example: Poor people without money, without good doctors, without good hospitals, turn to astrology and religion in times of grave illness even though these don't work, because this gives them some feeling of agency and provides them some mental relief. But it materially leaves them no better, and actually makes things worse, by taking away from them scant resources that they have used to purchase some real relief, no matter how little.

So far so good. But after making this analysis you seem, surprisingly, and wrongly, to be prescribing that these people should be left to their miserable and superstitious ways.

But I suggest that we use your analysis and your understanding to wean them away from the empty illusion of comfort provided by superstitions like astrology and religion, and towards real material relief and real material comfort.

Because otherwise the policy you suggest sounds very unfair: On the one hand, for advanced western countries, discourage unscientific Covid superstitions, and promote good scientific treatment and vaccines. But for poor less advanced countries, let the people continue with their ignorant superstitions, even though that makes them sick and kills them!

Why not, instead, try to make things really and materially better for them? The first step in doing which is to throw away the crutch of superstitions like astrology and religion; because those aren't real crutches offering real support, but only worthless pseudo-crutches offering the illusion of support, that serve only to prevent them from seeking real material relief.

Like I said, you seem to be conflating the descriptive with the prescriptive.

Do you see what I'm saying, um? And now that I seem to have arrived at that basic flaw, are we now agreed?

@ AR

AR i always do read your answers and do my best to understand them, although it is not always easy due to language differences.

So yes, as far as I know, I do understand your point of view. And the more detailed you write the more I turn my gaze away from what you are pointed at and more upon you, wandering what makes you so "upset", reacting so allergic to things other people believe, that cannot be proved but that are useful an valuable to them.

As I have written before, I have been most of my life very allergic to certain things that people would say, in terms of "making things SEEN" in a way that had everything to do with their personal interests and nothing at all with what they attributed to the things at hand.

My good friend has been instrumental in overcoming that allergy, by making me understand that although being right most of the times, there was no reason to be upset.

Superstition AR, is not an invention of humans, like the crow is not. The superstition exists as the crow exists and both fulfill a purpose..

If people are believe certain things, seen by you as superstitions, they do it for their own good reasons. It is their right to do it and I feel that I do not have the right to take it away. unless they address me and want to convert me.

The role Astrology has In Indian society is something most people in the west do not understand. It has to do with attributing meaning and value.

@ AR

Use as an search command in GOOGLE
astrology in Indian culture

Okay, I accept that that is your view, um, even though it isn't mine.

But I ask again: Why then do you not apply the same logic and the same reasoning and the same prescription to people who follow as well as advocate unscientific and wrong ideas about Covid and vaccines?

We can similarly describe the psychological reasons why someone denies the pandemic, or denies the role of vaccines, or denies the need for Covid protocols. And we can similarly, while ignoring the violation of Covid protocols, and ignoring vaccine deniers, instead ask why the person who's passionate about Covid care so much about that subject?

It's clear that I don't agree with you. And that's fine! We can agree to disagree, we can disagree but still remain good friends.

But in this case, I don't even fully *understand* you. Why is it that the underlying psychological reasons that push the the poor Indian make it okay for him to turn to astrology and cow urine for Covid instead of vaccines and the usual protocols; but on the other hand the underlying psychological reasons that push the presumably richer "Westerner" to deny Covid protocols and vaccines, don't similarly excuse him and make it okay for him to promote his superstions? I ask again, why are you using two separate standards here? In both cases the net result is the same, that people are being unnecessarily exposed to illness and death and continuance of the virus. So why is it fine for the poor Indian, but not fine for the Westerner? And why is it appropriate to focus on the issue itself when talking about vaccine deniers in the West, but when it comes to astrology-and-cow-urine superstitions in poor countries, then somehow the psychology of the critic ends up taking precedence over the issue itself?

I'm afraid I find this entirely incomprehensible.

I'm fine with us disagreeing, um, but I'd like to at least understand the basis for the disagreement, and the reason why you employ one standard for people dying of Covid in Europe due to unscientific disinformation, but a different standard for people dying of Covid in India due to unscientific superstitions and disinformation.

Well, according to Babylon Bee…

and then The Onion said…

I’ve been around since the beginning of time and I’d just like to point out that wars and plagues are nothing new. Russia will likely defeat Ukraine in the end—if not military then mentally. It will take Ukrainians decades to recover psychologically from this war.

And you can take the vaccine or not. At this point, it’s clear people are going to do what their own conscience leads them to do.

I think the real question is, will human beings ever change enough on a fundamental level to stop fighting, killing and hating each other over anything and everything. War is never justified and yet we seem to engage in it on the most subtle of levels daily.

When will we change.

@ AR

>> But in this case, I don't even fully *understand* you.<<

Well, I have done my best to make my point understandable and there is little or nothing in the moment that I could offer to change the situation. for the better.

I am not a rationalist and compare what humans express sometimes with a painter, a painting, the onlooker and of course the always available "experts" that make them themselves and their audience believe that a "painting" can be explained, should be explained and that they are the ones that have mastered that expertise.

For me most "paintings" are like trees, or crows, things to experience and if there is nothing to experience, i just walk on not even curious to know whether that hase a cause ..when it is not there it is just not there, what can one do, but accept.

No issues, um. Different paintings, different hues, that is all part of life. I'm afraid I find your position not just different from mine, but internally inconsistent: that is, your position as far as "Covidiots" in India seems entirely inconsistent with your position as far as "Covidiots" in Europe; and, to that extent, incomprehensible. But that's fine, let's just let it go. There is no reason why people who would be friends must necessarily agree on each and every thing under the sun, or even necessarily understand everything about each other, hm?

Cheers, old friend.

@ AR

Sitting together wit a cup of coffee we might be able to talk it through, although, when i cannot express myself in Dutch , I feel highly handicapt.

And as far as inconcsistency is concerned use the role " criminal intent" has in the proces of an trial in which a person was killed... if a matter of self defence, the judge will opt for "noy guilty"and on the other hand "first degree murder.

Those in India have a complete different approach, then those in the west. The motives of those in India are related to a health problem and the others USE an healtproblem for their contartian attitude towards everything relate to authority.

Just think for a moment ... In India the level of parasites to be found in the body is much higher that else where, due to climate and sanity circimstances, quakity of drinking water etc. Parasites in the body, affect the immune system in a negative way.
An affected imune system has more problems with fighting jet another burden on that system in terms of viral and/or bacterial infections. That makes them more vulnerable. In THIS situation, given THESE circumstances it is not that out of the box thing to distribute drugs that kill worms and parasites inorder to amegliorate the immune sustem.

To use, the possible positive effects of these drugs In India, as an prove for other situations, in the west, and for that reason accuse the scientists and the government in the west is something of an different order.

And if You would give yourself a couple of hours to delf in the role Ayurvedic medicine has in Indian and also Vedic astrology, you might develop an understand beyond what you have now.

Again, for YOU it does matter if a thing can be proved etc for ME it mosly matters how it is used by humans and the meaning they attribute to it and how it influences their day to day life.

In the end I start to understand why the sayin was developed:
East is east and west is west and the twain will never meet.

Having been around with Indian families for some ten years, I have come to understand for example that their approach of Sant Mat, their understanding of concepts used in that tradition, is so far away from western understanding that I dear to say that hardly any western Satsangi has an idea what a Sant Is, and what the mat, the way they show is all about.

One has to be born and raised in an culture to realy grasp emotional and intellectually what a concept having its roots in that culture realy is all about.

It is a weak argument and I should feel ashamed of making it but even the Dalai Lama has expressed for that same reason and even more bound to the climate and geological circumstances, that Tibetan Buddhism cannit survive outside Tibet.

I should not have done this ... hahaha but having a "soft"character .. hahaha... I had to do it.

Some people have offered me coffee while answering to my comments. Sorry, friends, Coffee is not my cup of Tea. I am very happy with plain water.

Planetary movements affect human behaviour. Planets can make some people calm, some behave aggressively because of them. pluto brought Covid in 2019-22 period just as it had brought spanish flu in 1918-21 a hundred years ago. Those who are fortunate to read the book will be astonished to know the contents. Thanks, no more comments on this topic now.

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