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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Introducing the Samizdata Awards!

It’s that time of year. Everything slows down and between the overeating, disappointing presents and family rows we have the opportunity to take stock and reflect on the year that has (almost) been.

And that means an opportunity to give a thought to those who have done the most in the fight against evil and communism. To this end I am introducing – on no one’s authority other than my own – the Samizdata Awards.

I propose the following categories. But please feel free to propose your own. We are libertarians after all. We believe that growing the awards pie is more important than how that pie is distributed. So:

  • Second-best Man of the Year
  • Post of the Year
  • Meme of the Year
  • Comment of the Year
  • Fascist of the Year

I was going to have a “Man of the Year” but I think that one’s has been taken. “I need ammunition not a ride” may not have the poetry of “We’ll fight them on the beaches” but its galvanising effect was – and is – identical. But I am expecting some keen competition to be runner-up. My nomination is Toby Young. He does Daily Sceptic. He does the Free Speech Union. He does a podcast with James Delingpole. Indeed, he is still on speaking terms with Delingpole which shows unusual fortitude or possibly unusual greed.

Come to think of it I think “Fascist of the Year” is also spoken for. But who is the Reichsmarshall to Putin’s Führer? Nominations include Nadine Dorries, the FBI, anyone fired by Elon Musk and the University of Cambridge. But I am sure you can think of some of your own.

In the Post of the Year – and I apologize for the lack of levity – I propose this. It changed my mind on something and at my age that is a rare pleasure.

I think it only fair to point out that there will be no glitzy awards ceremony. There will be no tacky, gold-plated statuettes. There will be no expensive clothes, hairdos or coke habits. There will be very little vapidity or hypocrisy – deaths due to nuclear power little. At best we’ll have some recognition for those who’ve done some good; at worst an ever more fractious comment thread involving Paul Marks on some completely unrelated subject – probably Bitcoin.

46 comments to Introducing the Samizdata Awards!

  • Steven R

    No coke habits? I’m out.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Merely the expensive ones.

  • Mr Ed

    Paul Marks’ comments are the ‘Kevin Bacon game‘ of comment, there is always a connection between the topic, and say, the deranged philosophy of Fichte or some other villain whose posionous ideological legacy lingers long after his name is all-but-forgotten.

    And I won’t mention the Haig Convention!

  • Snorri Godhi

    Second-best Man of the Year: for all his flaws, I should think Elon Musk.

    But what about Woman of the Year?
    (Watch your language, Patrick!)
    I should think Kari Lake.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    I think Kari Lake was certainly exciting. She allowed the more excited and adolescent among Conservatives (I have described more of them than I want to admit is true, based on their comments on Conservative-type sites) to want to change their trousers in the middle of the day.

    But I think she will be truly interesting in 2023.

    Losing the race for governor, in Arizona, with what Mark Steyn has called the “Pussy Republicans” er, um, “having her six”? Is as surprising as shedding loose stool after eating nothing but cherriess and metamucil all day. Losing the first case before an Arizona judge? Cherries and metamucil the next day.

    If her case is strong, and she is willing to go all the way up to the Supreme Court with this fight won’t make her governor. But it will make her Woman of the Year for 2023, and a Player, one way or the other in 2024.

    By the by, Snorri, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    My Woman of the Year?

    Karine Jean-Pierre.

    She is one of the best White House Press Secretaries ever. She is the perfect White House Press Secretary ever.

    The woman before her was always much too much more intelligent than her boss. Karine Jean-Pierre matches Joe Biden, missing brain cell for missing brain cell.

    She has been an effective distraction for the Fox News and Fox commentators types, more effective than her predecessor.

    Once more Conservatives have got caught up in that silly game called “We’re not as bad as they are.” KJP has certainly helped.

    I would have said Liz Truss, but she was only Woman of the Week, but one of the better reasons to assert that the best of the Tories “lack all conviction”.

  • John

    My woman of the year is Admiral Rachel Levine.

    It is important to carry the fight to our enemies by forcing them, clockwork orange style, to confront their own idiocies. No-one personifies this madness better than the Admiral, particularly in her official photo alongside man/woman/dog Sam Brinton before his Arnold Layne tendencies become too much for even the Biden administration to pretend to ignore.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I changed my mind: Giorgia Meloni should probably be WotY 2022.

    Unless you want to wait & see how she actually does when in charge.

  • SteveD

    Fascist of the Year = Xi.
    Nobody else comes close.

  • Patrick Crozier

    But he ended lockdown!

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    Impressed as I am by Giorgia Meloni’s speeches, I do want to wait to see what she does in office before calling her WotY.

    When Time magazine named FDR, Hitler and Mussolini Man of the Year (Men of the Year?) in 1938, they had all got up to enough to warrant the nomination.

    But that’s just how I roll.

  • Meme of the Year + Fascist of the Year all in one

  • Paul Marks

    The problem with James Dellingpole and with many other people (including, sometimes, myself) is that having discovered that the international establishment lie, lie about many important things, and that many people die because of the lies of the international establishment – he jumps to the conclusion that the international establishment are lying about EVERYTHING (Bin Laden being beyond 9/11, Putin invading Ukraine – everything).

    In reality even a serial liar tells the truth much of the time – which is why the approach of many of my friends (and sometimes myself) does not work, the approach being to find out whatever the international establishment (governments, the media, the corporations – they are all much the same “educated” people with the same international totalitarian agenda) are saying – and then reverse it.

    The international establishment are serial liars, and they most certainly have an evil aim (objective), but they do NOT lie all of the time, they do NOT lie about everything.

    So one can not find out the truth by just finding out what the international establishment are saying and reversing it – the job of finding the truth is much harder work than that.

  • Paul Marks

    I agree with Snorri.

    Man of the year – Elon Musk.

    Spending 44 Billion Dollars (a number I can not really grasp – try and visualise it) to buy Twitter – is “putting your money where your mouth is” to a whole new level.

    Women of the year – yes Kari Lake. This lady has exposed the fact that both the election system (at least in some States) and the court system are totally corrupt, that is the truth.

    This may be a bitter truth, but it is a truth that must be grasped – the first step of getting out of a terrible situation is to accept that one is in it. One must give up one’s illusions “they will not be that blatant in election rigging” or “the courts are honest” before one can start the climb out of the terrible situation.

    American philosophical “Pragmatism” (long before Marxism became important in the United States) teaches that objective truth does not exist, and that all that matters is the policy objective. A key objective being to maintain The System – yes, for all their Progressive movement Collectivism, the philosophical Pragmatists (falsely seen as the successors of the Common Sense School – in reality they were the opposite as they denied objective truth), has a “conservative” streak (with a small c), they did not wish to destroy The System (the universities, the churches, the government..) they wished to control these things – empty them of their traditional content as a weasel does with an egg leaving an empty shell to be filled with their own vision (much in the way both Thomas Hobbes and Rousseau openly say in their works that they are redefining words, such as, “law”, “justice” and “right” – removing the traditional meaning of these words and substituting their own).

    The evil fruit of this false philosophy was seen in such Supreme Court decisions as “Buck V Bell” where 8 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices agreed that it was lawful for a women to be violently attacked by the agents of the state and sterilised – neither the women or her first (and sadly only) child was actually of very low intelligence, but that did not matter to “Justice” Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior (a Pragmatist) and his chums – they might say “three generations of imbeciles is enough” but they did NOT care if their victims were “imbeciles” or not – what mattered to them was The System. The System must be maintained – for only by The System could future “progress” (left carefully undefined) be made.

    Natural Law, Natural Justice, the principle upon which both the Common Law and the Constitution of the United States was based, was just an object of contempt to Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr – as “modern philosophy” had “proved” there was no such thing. In reality this philosophy was not really modern at all – it went back to Thomas Hobbes and long before.

    In the 1930s (yes as long ago as that) this was finally settled – in 1935 the blatant violation of the contract law (and the Constitution of the United States) by the Federal Government when it “voided” the gold clauses in public and private contracts finally came before the Supreme Court. And they, de facto, ruled, by five votes to four, that the government could rob people of their gold and tear up contracts private and public, whenever they felt like it.

    As one of the dissenting Justices pointed out – this was the death of justice and law in the United States, a place called the United States might carry on for a long time (perhaps many decades), but at its core the Republic was dead – and the decay would spread from the dead core of the United States out into the wider society over time.

    The System, the institutions, remains – but it is emptied of its moral content – it is a void.

    Does something move in the void? Are the beings that the “Biden” (Mr Joseph Biden is not really in charge of it) Administration pushes an example of its work?

    The religious and the non religious will disagree on this point – with the non religious pointing out that there is much evil in every human being (most certainly including me) so that one does not need an external cause for evil – and the religious replying that “the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince so many people that he does not exist”.

    But whoever is correct on that, we can all agree that evil is at work – the void that is the American government (and the international “The System” generally) is NOT empty, for there is evil there – even if it is evil just from human beings themselves.

  • Paul Marks

    How did we get here – how did things go from, say, a few “intellectuals” sitting around Saint-Simon in France two centuries ago and imagining a world society where every aspect of human life would be controlled by the public power – but a public power that did not shoot banker and big business types, but was actually ruled by them, and all in the name of “science”. To a situation where these ideas are becoming reality?

    I do not know – I do not know exactly how we got closer and closer to this nightmare. But we must do everything we can to roll things back. And, yes, that means “The System” may well have to go – as it is utterly corrupted.

    “Paul Marks – you will die in the evil times that will hit if The System goes”.

    So be it.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I apologize for changing my mind again:
    Woman of the Year should be Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
    Thanks to King Charles for reminding me in his Christmas speech.

    But Giorgia and Kari do deserve honorary mentions.

    Incidentally, Kari Solmundarson was quite a Viking warrior. Kari Lake does not look physically impressive, but she has got the warrior spirit.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    Spot on, Snorri Godhi!

    For 2022, and many many years before that.

  • Fraser Orr

    I understand that my view is not popular, but I do not understand the unadulterated love for Zelenskyy. Surely he has at best a mixed score card? Certainly it was brave to stay and fight when he could clearly have left with a plane load of cash, and surely we all enjoy the schadenfreude of the pathetic performance of the Russian military. But he is certainly a tyrant too. Not in the same league as Putin, but a tyrant nonetheless. How can we celebrate with unalloyed adulation a man who shut down all press who oppose him, ban opposition parties, arrest opposition politicians, impress all young men into his army, even if they try to do the sensible thing and leave with their families, impose brutal censorship, and in his latest move (as if he is trying to screw with every human right he can think of) banning a whole denomination of a Christian church, a very large and ancient religious tradition, and threatening to arrest and imprison all who would dare to worship God in a way he doesn’t approve of.

    Then turning up to our congress dressed like a hobo, demanding billions of dollars and telling us it is for our own good? And watching the bleating sheep of the congress people clapping along like some meeting of the Politburo, hoping and praying that they are not the first ones to stop clapping. While he demands that we engineer a coup d’etat against a madman with thousands of nuclear weapons?

    His situation is complicated, all out war does require some compromises. But at what point do we notice that that the pigs in Animal Farm are sitting in the house looking very much like the humans they all fought so hard against? As his country is in burning ruins, in what sense can he find anything except a political victory, as he ships old Boxer off the the glue factory?

    There are some things to admire about him, but he certainly doesn’t get my vote for man of the year.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: let me paraphrase Nixon and say that any government that pursues libertarian ends entirely by libertarian means, is soon to be overtaken by totalitarians.

    That takes care of most of your first paragraph: I only need to add that the schism between the Putinist and non-Putinist branches of the Orthodox Church, predates 2022.

    As for your subsequent paragraphs, i do not think it worthwhile to address them.

  • Martin

    If we’re using the term fascist to mean ‘bad’ I’d say Biden wins that award. He probably also deserves man of the year mind you, because despite the fact that I despise him and everything he stands for, and despite not having a high opinion of America for many years (the Trump interlude temporarily allowed me to regain some of my youthful, naive enthusiasm for the country), the extent to which he and his allies pulled off the midterms was very impressive in a frightening way. They cheat, gaslight, fail upwards at every turn, yet they prosper and their enemies are the ones accused of lacking patriotism, being Nazis, and generally being socially beyond the pale. As dispiriting as it is, we at least know that the US is unlikely to save the rest of the west from leftism, and we must look to our own devices

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    If only Zelenskyy had hired a wittier speechwriter, he might have come up with- I need a Gun, not a Getaway!

  • Paul Marks

    With President Z. one must make a distinction between what he did AFTER Mr Putin’s invasion and what he did BEFORE it.

    Yes lots of things have been done since the invasion, banning political parties, persecuting churches, closing down independent television and radio stations – but this is in the context of a nation, the Ukraine, fighting for its life – and I do not remember the people who condemn President Z. for what he has done since the invasion condemning Mr Putin for doing very similar things in Russia over many years.

    There used to be independent television and radio stations in Russia (under President Yeltsin) – it was Mr Putin who got rid of them (ditto all the other bad things). And Mr Putin was attacking rich men as “oligarchs” (throwing them in prison, stealing their companies, and even murdering them) long before Z. was doing any such things.

    However, it is also true that President Z. was doing bad things BEFORE the invasion – for example persecuting political opponents and stealing the dissenting media of “oligarchs”. But to nothing like the level that Mr Putin had long done.

    I would not have voted for Z. in 2019 – but it is not up to me, I am not Ukrainian. And it was a fair and free election in 2019.

    Neither Russia, or sadly America, can honestly say that it has fair and free elections. The Ukrainian election of 2019 was fair and free.

    Does one have to copy the internal policies of Mr Putin in order to defeat Mr Putin?

    Unlike the late President Richard Nixon (who Snorri cites) I would say “no” – indeed that copying the policies of Mr Putin (taking over the media, persecuting opponents as “oligarchs”, and so on) just gives ammunition to the opponents of President Z. in the West, and undermines the Ukrainian cause.

    But, again, it is not-up-to-me – I am not the President of a country fighting for its independence.

    President Z. is fighting for the independence of his country – that is the “bottom line”.

    Win the war against Mr Putin first – and then reverse the present emergency policies. So that the next Ukrainian election can be as free and fair as the election of 2019 was.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Does one have to copy the internal policies of Mr Putin in order to defeat Mr Putin?

    The real question is:
    Does one have to copy the internal policies of Mr Zelenskyy in order to defeat Mr Putin?

  • Yes lots of things have been done since the invasion, banning political parties, persecuting churches, closing down independent television and radio stations

    The Ukrainian govt has banned the Moscow controlled branch of the Orthodox Church because it is an adjunct of the Russian State. Likewise political parties who have been pro-Russian, a bit like Britain banning the British Union of Fascists in 1940. Ukraine is fighting a total war.

  • Fraser Orr

    Ukraine is fighting a total war.

    The ends justify the means is the cry of every tyrant through history. And how far are you willing to accept it?

    If Zelenskiy determined which Ukrainian military officers had some Russian ancestry and then kidnapped their children to ensure loyalty; or if he rounded up everyone with a Russian last name into an intern camp; or if he tortured captured Russian troops and sent a video of them crying for their mamas back to their family in Russia; or if he executed them for “war crimes” with only a drumhead trial; or if he got some nuclear weapons from the pathetically supine Biden and fired them at a Russian city of innocent civilians?

    Of course he mostly hasn’t done any of those things but he has done all the things that lead up to those types of things some of which already shock the conscience. At what point is “total war” no longer an acceptable excuse for you? At what point do you say “total war” does not justify the imposition of a more and more brutal, merciless, totalitarian regime? When do you say “too far Zelenskiy, too far”?

    I think there is this idea that “the war will be over by Christmas”. But it won’t be. This conflict will grind on for at least a decade. A lot of people are making a lot of money from it, and I think it is no coincidence that it happened immediately after the weapons gravy train in the Middle East was winding up. And that is mainly because the Americans have done exactly the wrong thing at every single turn.

    Like I say, Zelenskiy is not Putin, but at best he has a mixed scorecard. That is why he doesn’t get my vote for Man of the Year.

  • Paul Marks

    A few minutes ago I was reminded that the Ukraine has one of the lowest Covid injection rates in Europe – and that this was true BEFORE the Russian invasion.

    I do not know whether this very low rate of Covid injections in the Ukraine was due to President Zelensky – but if it is, he may well have saved a lot of lives.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser Orr seems to be increasingly detached from reality. (One could say the same about Paul Marks, though not necessarily in this thread.)

    How can one possibly judge whether “the end justify the means”, until “the end” is reached??

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    A mutual friend has described Paul Marks as a “conviction politician”.

    His focus is intense in some matters, less so in others.

    I personally think it is more damaging to not have enough focus on any area at all.

    I do have thoughts on Fraser Orr … that I will leave unstated here.

    We are still in the Twelve Days of Christmas, after all. In fact, I think that those who got boxes brought to them yesterday have not yet opened them all.

    Has anyone here listened to the Moment of Truth podcast on iTunes. It is a wonderful change from the Balls & Strikes BS you get from the usual “Conservative” podcast. There is a lot of Wankerism in Conservatism, as well as breathless puruit of the Next Messiah.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Now, about some of the other categories.

    –Fascist of the Year: Xi has got a good claim to honorable mention, at the very least.

    –Post of the Year: Perry’s post (Patrick’s nomination) was as instructive for me as any post that i remember reading on Samizdata, or in fact anywhere — but perhaps we should have a non-Samizdata Post of the Year (nSPotY) award, and i submit 2 nominations.

    My nominations are heavily biased towards recency: I might have read more important posts earlier in the year, but don’t remember them.

    Without further ado:

    A. Sam Bankman-Fried’s Mum is a Professor at Stanford Law School, and yet she is so insane as to think that we punish criminals because we are angry at them.

    B. Serious mental illness can be reduced by drastically cutting down on the carbs.

    –There is (to me) an obvious link between my 2 nSPotY nominations: I do believe that Barbara H Fried is insane because of her Californian-academic diet.

    –Non-Samizdata Comment of the Year, for me, is the comment that introduced me to Georgia Ede’s website (where i found post B).

  • bobby b

    Other posts here have commented upon “how can they believe such shite with a straight face”, dealing with progressives’ ability to fall into line with facially untrue crap (such as whether woke protests insulate from covid spread.)

    The progs now live entirely within a BAMN (by any means necessary) paradigm. It doesn’t matter to them if you can spread disease in a woke protest – that protest serves higher principles than those served by the Jan 6 crowd. So, they have no issues with the contradictions.

    Reading the comments here, it occurs to me that the BAMN delusion isn’t limited to the woke. A person can fight for a good cause and still be a schmuck. Unless you’ve chosen sides.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    I have known a few of that kind of Schmuck you describe.

    So admirable in so many ways, but you have to look at them like the Italian cop working in Sicily looks at the map on Italy in the 1964 comedy Sedotta e Abbanondonata : with your hand over Sicily.

  • Snorri Godhi

    My last comment here has disappeared.
    Since it was less offensive (in my opinion) than comments that i posted before, i can only surmise that it’s a technical problem.
    If not, please let me know.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    I am still seeing your comment Snorri

    Never apologize for speaking accurately.

  • How can we celebrate with unalloyed adulation a man who … impress all young men into his army, even if they try to do the sensible thing and leave with their families,

    Would Churchill be your man of any year of WWII ? Sir Winston inherited conscription, which the UK government introduced when he was not even a member of the government early in 1939 (as a foreign-alliance political necessity; the French were not going to play without it), but he kept it going, and had little respect for those Brits who ‘did the sensible thing” by taking themselves off to the US or Eire. Even after the war, Brits were still doing ‘national service’ into the 1950s and early 1960s, seeing action in Malaya, Korea, Kenya and so on.

    Conscription is not as libertarian as Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, where all the soldiers are volunteers and only they vote, but much freedom has been preserved by people who were not flawless. One may un-‘unalloy’ one’s adulation without wholly withdrawing it.

    at what point do we notice that that the pigs in Animal Farm are sitting in the house looking very much like the humans they all fought so hard against?

    We notice that as if and when it is so – so not at present.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    You could say that the freedom to be flawed is worth fighting for, and conscription into a period of mandatory service, which does not always mean combat, is a price worth paying for that freedom.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Niall Kilmartin
    Would Churchill be your man of any year of WWII

    Probably not. If anyone involved in the war was to take that accolade I think he’d more likely have mud on his boots and a rifle in his hand. Certainly Churchill’s results may have been a net good, though it was American industry that won the WWII not fancy speeches in parliament. But that does not at all mean that he could not have achieved these results in a manner more friendly toward liberty. The alternative to the government forcing people to do things they want, like fighting wars, is the government, or the people as a group, convincing people to do what they think best. The solution to propaganda and misinformation is truthful information, or effective rhetoric, not censorship, the solution to politicians with evil intent is politicians with honest intent shining a light on the evil intents of their opponents. And as to shutting down churches, I mean I don’t even really know where to start with that.

    One may un-‘unalloy’ one’s adulation without wholly withdrawing it.

    I think you need to do more than unalloy it, perhaps you can substitute a less genuflecting word than “adulation”. I can certainly understand that people may think that Zelenskiy’s actions are a necessary evil, but man of the year? Mindless bleating sheep clapping in congress? A press and a public entirely unwilling to even question him, or ask what he is doing with all those weapons and money? A seemingly entirely reckless disregard for an assault on a nation with a massive nuclear arsenal? No desire whatsoever to negotiate a settlement? Allowing a shockingly dangerous call for regime change, leaving no way out but armageddon? A press that is so jingoistic that everything Russian is terrible and everything Ukrainian is holy (except their church of course.) It is like the ridiculous cartoonish portrayal of Japanese and Germans during the WW2. It is both embarrassing and terrifying to watch.

    Tyrants do not easily give up their “emergency powers”. I guess we will eventually see, though not for a long time since this war is far too profitable to stop any time soon, and it continues entirely at the discretion of the US government, who no doubt are very happy at the massive contributions from arms manufacturers. As I said before, are you not at least curious about the coincidence that this war started at the very time there was a need to pick up the slack in Raytheon’s sales pipeline caused by the end of the Middle East conflict?

    We notice [the tyranny of Zelenskiy] that as if and when it is so – so not at present.

    I ask you the same question I asked Perry above. When do you say “too far Zelenskiy, too far”? You are a religious man, so is shutting down Churches and threatening to arrest priests not enough for you?

    Just one comment to @Snorri that struck me today. I am not at all suggesting that this affects either your judgment or mine, but I thought it interesting nonetheless. My memory is that you live in one of the Baltic states (apologies that I do not remember which). And given the two competing interests here — the potential invasion of Russia there were we not to resist his advances sufficiently, against the danger of resisting to the point where nuclear weapons get involved. The former affects you and the latter me (living outside a major American city as I do.) Like I say, I don’t mention it to suggest that that fact affects either your judgement or mine, I just thought it was an interesting side note.

    As I said at the start, I know my view on this is not popular.

  • I know my view on this is not popular.

    It’s one-sided-ness matters more to me. To the narrative, we’re all as unpopular as their lies and force can make us.

    perhaps you can substitute a less genuflecting word than “adulation”.

    ‘Adulation’ was YOUR word, Fraser. It is a disingenuous form of argument to attack a critic who does you the courtesy of engaging with your own words and attempting to meet you half way, by then pretending your words were their words. And it must force a harsher form of debate between us – unless you care to apologise for that particular solecism. Meanwhile, do by all means feel free yourself to substitute a less misrepresentative-of-that-view word than ‘adulation’.

    I have never ‘adulated’ Zelensky, and I am hardly alone in this. In comments earlier this year, Paul Marks, for example, more than once remarked that he would not, in the 2019 election, have voted for Zelensky, so was pleasantly surprised when Zelensky lived up to the demands of the moment – and made a difference – by saying, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” Politics is full of people who fall far below the level of events – and of people who meet them on one occasion and fail on others. I can simultaneously defend Boris as man of the 2019 Brexit year and detail (if anyone here still needed it) how dismally and steadily, step-by-step, he was not man of any pandemic year. Zelensky lived up to the moment, when others would have been cowards; as the Ukraine’s chosen representative at that moment, he had it in him to represent or betray them. He can certainly be man of the year for representing them (how often do our politicians do even so much?).

    A seemingly entirely reckless disregard for an assault on a nation with a massive nuclear arsenal?

    It’s called courage, Fraser – and BTW, since when was defending your country against invasion reckless? I guess that makes Churchill very reckless in rejecting the ‘peace’ Hitler offered in 1940 – and both of us a bit reckless in not cringing to the narrative now. I live in Scotland, where there is no first amendment and it’s just a very little, little bit reckless to write stuff like this. Were I Ukrainian, I’d be ashamed to lack the recklessness you complain of.

    Then turning up to our congress dressed like a hobo, demanding billions of dollars and telling us it is for our own good? And watching the bleating sheep of the congress people clapping along like some meeting of the Politburo, hoping and praying that they are not the first ones to stop clapping.

    If you re-read The big guy takes a big percentage, you will appreciate I share your contempt for Biden and for many in congress. What I don’t understand is your simply complaining when Zelensky, despite his need for aid from them, shows less than cringing respect for your politicians either, as they vote a ton of pork for themselves and their corrupt schemes, and a bit over for him and his under-attack country. During WWII, Churchill was sometimes very angry with Roosevelt in private but always showed a public face of friendship, and that can be defended. However I find it odd that you write as if you simply mind Zelensky’s style to your ballot-harvested politicians. Even less do I think you should mind his telling them it was for the US own good. After Biden fled Afghanistan, it is for the west’s own good that someone is teaching tyrants that their aggressions can endanger them, not just their victims.

    [Lastly, Perry has replied to you about the church issue. I have enough knowledge of religion in the Ukraine not to blink when I read about ‘autocephalous’ churches and so on – that is, I know the long sad history of the communists not only murdering Christians but also converting churches into fakes – additional organs of political oppression – and of Ukrainians seeking to escape from these back into reality in religious as in secular organisations, and so on. (And this history grew out of an older history of the conquering Tsarists corrupting religion into a means of rule too.) It is an empirical question whether Zelensky’s suspicions of a given church hierarchy being a crude Putin front are true or not. History means it is not a ridiculous suspicion. Time will tell.]

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: the reason why i think that you are detached from reality is that you do not accept that the risk of nuclear war would be even greater if NATO did not support Ukraine now, by any means short of a direct attack on Russia.

    Just as the risk of a world war became greater due to Chamberlain’s appeasement.
    And the risk of a major terrorist attack on the US became greater after Clinton’s withdrawal from Somalia.

    PS: no, Fan of SC, you could not see the comment that i was referring to, when you wrote yours at 11:10pm. You can see it now.

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns


    I was looking at the wrong comment.

    If a moderator on a blog found the comment you referred to as offensive you would have been better off repudiating the blog entirely. There’s too much of that Hairy Whitemouse “you mustn’t say that!” going around.

    Regarding Russia, and the possibility of nuclear war, I think that Winter Actual is a Reality that has to be prepared for, and the idiotic energy policies by governments in the EU and in Britain (and in the United States) have been and are the greatest dangers to those countries’ citizens (and illegal immigrant guests). Dwelling so on possible Nuclear Winter is not quite silly, but not very sensible either.

    Unless you have the time waste doing so, and more people than not have less time to waste than they think they do.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Niall Kilmartin
    It’s one-sided-ness matters more to me. To the narrative, we’re all as unpopular as their lies and force can make us.

    I find this a curious point. I think there is perhaps no argument more one sided than that public debate in support of Zelenskiy. No-one has more one sided support than he. So I think Zelenskiy has enough supporters that my small contribution to the other side of the debate hardly moves the scales much.

    ‘Adulation’ was YOUR word, Fraser. It is a disingenuous form of argument to attack a critic who does you the courtesy of engaging with your own words

    I think this is a little harsh. Your response was to say “unalloyed adulation” was more than he deserved and suggest less alloyed adulation. I certainly understand your rhetorical turn of phrase here. My only point here is that we’d need to back off more than “less alloyed adulation”. It wasn’t really meant as a substantive point more along the lines of “you are heading in the right direction, keep going”. I try not to engage in these “debates about the debate” too much, but since this evidently pissed you off, and I’m a big fan of yours, I thought it worth pointing out my rhetorical strategy here.

    What word would I use to describe Zelenskiy? Brave, certainly, as you say yourself, but tyrant for sure. So there are pros and cons to the man, and this is my complaint, his bravery is certainly alloyed with tyranny.

    It [reckless disregard for the threat of nukes] is called courage, Fraser – and BTW, since when was defending your country against invasion reckless?

    When it leads to the destruction of everything that is important about your country perhaps? When it leads to the death of most of your population and the torture of radiation sickness for the rest. And that is only with a narrow nationalistic view. It could also lead to the destruction of world civilization. I have already called Zelenskiy brave, but “brave” and “reckless” are not mutually exclusive, in fact they are often bedfellows.

    Defending your country from invasion is certainly something both necessary and admirable, but to make demands that can inevitably lead to the destruction of civilization? That is not sensible. And when his recklessness puts my children’s lives at risk, I assure you I will vehemently object to that recklessness.

    What I don’t understand is your simply complaining when Zelensky, despite his need for aid from them, shows less than cringing respect for your politicians either

    Not for those morons in congress, but for the American people. For people like me whose taxes he is demanding. I don’t strongly object to his dress, I understand it is his marketing ploy, but I didn’t much care for either that or his demanding attitude to my money. As to congress, I’d say that that performance was their nadir, but I doubt that is true, there are more depths for them to plum no doubt.

    Lastly, Perry has replied to you about the church issue.

    I read your thoughts on this, and I am a little aghast. Are these churches storing weapons? What crime have they committed except expressing views that Zelenskiy doesn’t like? You yourself recognize that free speech has gone to hell in Scotland and the west more broadly, why would you think that this most egregious example is not horrifying. If we (or they) are to fight a war then let them justify their actions and accept and address criticism. One of the low points in American jurisprudence (IMHO) is a decision called Schenck vs USA in which Oliver Wendel Holmes makes his famous statement about “fire in a crowded theater”. In this case a bunch of people objected to the United States entry into World War 1, and were charged with violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. They didn’t give military secrets to the Germans, they just objected to the government policy of war and conscription. The men spent several years in jail for objecting to US Government’s policy. If there is a principle reason for free speech it is surely to allow us to complain about the government’s action. Even if we disagree with the Church’s views, even if we feel they are unduly influenced by the Russians, who here can possibly advocate for silencing, censoring and arresting them rather than answering them?

  • Steven R

    But Fraser, the rights of the individual always take a backseat to “compelling government interest” in times of war. It’s been that way ever since things like Common Law and the idea of rights as limitations on government have existed in political thought. It sucks, but it’s reality. War changes the relationship between government and mere citizens.

    The biggest problem is we no longer need declared and legal wars for government interest to take precedent. Government declares war on something and the courts follow through. Look at how the War on Drugs and the War on Terror have gutted the Fourth and Sixth Amendments.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In related news, a Swedish admin. court has closed 2 religious schools.

    I await Fraser’s protest against Swedish “tyranny”.

  • bobby b

    Having reviewed a few charts that break down which American taxpayers pay what percentage of our expenditures, I’m guessing that I’m on the hook – me, personally – for about $1200-$1500 out of that $100,000,000,000.00 we’ve sent Ukraine’s way since February. My kids will pay less. Fraser Orr will pay more.

    It would be interesting to see that same breakdown for taxpayers in the other various NATO (and affected non-NATO) countries.

    I’d guess that level of coerced personal financial involvement might affect how we in the US view things over there.

    Don’t get me wrong – we need to be supporting Ukraine. But given the illicit US-Ukraine money pipeline of the past several years, we’d be stupid to ignore where that money might actually be going and to not insist on controls and accountings. That includes watching, and being a bit cynical about, the characters and history of the recipients.

    (ETA: I think I read something wrong. I think my own number is closer to $3000.00. SG, what’s your number? 😉 )

  • Snorri Godhi

    As i have previously remarked, one of the reasons why i think that American intellect has deteriorated, is that Americans are concerned about the money that “Biden” has been sending to Ukraine, but not about the money that “Biden” is forcing Americans, allies, and others to send to Russia (by raising energy prices).

    (That contribution, too, could be calculated, but i have not yet got around to doing so.)

    Not that American allies are doing any better in the intellectual department, since none of them have raised the issue with “Biden”.

    –As for your worries about Ukrainian corruption: I think it unlikely that there is enough margin of error for Zelenskyy to allow some of the money to be wasted.

    Given the Biden family’s previous involvement in Ukraine, i’d be more worried about corruption if the US were to apply the controls and accounting that you call for.

    –To answer your question: Estonia, like Latvia and Poland, is contributing much more than the US to Ukraine — as a percentage of GDP. And that is before we start to factor in the cost of hosting Ukrainian refugees.

    I myself have sent a small additional contribution every month. (Plus, i use the refund on the beer bottles (10c/bottle) to help Ukrainian children. That makes the beer taste better.)

    –Finally, i note that you are shifting the terms of the debate, since nothing that you wrote appears to support Fraser’s position.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri has a habit of insulting me, “detached from reality” (an insult without evidence) being the latest in a long line of insults.

    If we ever meet I will ask him about this habit of his.