"And according to your links, only one side's sources are capable of providing reliable information on this conflict: the Russian ones".
My views are based on a careful study of reports and opinion from all sources: USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, India, China... I also notice which sources are consistent, logical, and fit with the facts. And which sources seem curiously identical to the statements of their governments. It is quite easy to work out who is telling the truth.
"Must I really remind you that Obama has not managed to make himself a "president for life" yet, and is scheduled to exit during the next elections?"
Not really. With an approval rating like that, he couldn't get enough votes. Anyway, he will be replaced by another carbon copy sock puppet, just as he himself replaced Dubya. The Americans and British make a big song and dance about their holy ritual of electing a new leader every few years, but what is wrong with a president for life? Isn't a good president for life better than a succession of uncoordinated nonentities, all reversing each other's minor decisions for visual effect while continuing to follow the same plan? Plato thought so, anyway.
"Must I really remind you that Obama has a credible opposing party, even if they look like the other side of the same pancake?"
You contradict yourself. If they look "like the other side of the same pancake" - as they do - they are NOT "a credible opposing party". As Gore Vidal put it, the USA is ruled by a single party with two right wings. After Democrats made a huge effort to elect Obama, they found to their horror that things went on exactly as they had under Dubya.
"Must I remind you that the US electoral system, while it is a horrible mess and reliable collapses into a two-party system with minimal differences between the parties (no other reason than game theory needed), produces reliable alteration of the persons holding power?"
Must I remind you that a "reliable alteration of the persons holding power" is meaningless if they all carry out the same policies and obey the same masters?
"Must I remind you that the private-owned mass media of the US, while helpfully serving commercial interests, are not subject to direct state control?"
That is one of the neatest tricks the USA (and other "Western" nations) has perfected. As you say, there is no formal censorship - and yet, as if by magic, the MSM presstitutes publish exact replicas of what they are told by Washington, London, Paris, Berlin - yes, and now Kiev - without ever allowing a hint of contradictory facts or opinion to see the light of day? If you want to know how it's done, read the books (e.g.) "Disciplined Minds" and "Why Are We the Good Guys?" In a sentence, everyone from the most junior reporter to the chief editor knows what kind of stories will lead to fame, favour and fortune - and which will lead to a cardboard box in a back alley.
"Must I also remind you that the US underwent the same process which Putin is enjoying, when Bush was president and 9/11 happened? The process of leaders gaining popularity via war is nothing new to human society. The popularity goes away with time and wearines, though".
Putin's rating has not fallen below 60% since 2000. When, pray, are time and weariness going to set in?
"Additionally, need I remind you that the US population has (mostly) never seen Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan as serious threats, or even threats to their fellow countrymen. Meanwhile, state-controlled media has effectively created an illusion in Russia, that Ukraine is not governed by representatives chose by its very people. As for the separatists, they prevented people in districts occupied by them from voting altogether".
If, as you claim, "the US population has (mostly) never seen Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan as serious threats," why did they support the infliction of over 2 million deaths and countless more injuries, massive homelessness, and destruction of their infrastructure? Is it because they don't care, or is it because they actually no power at all over what the government in Washington does in their name?
All your arguments are based on the arbitrary, and unsupported, assumption that Russians (including Putin) are bad and untrustworthy, whereas Americans (including Obama and Bush) are good and trustworthy. Needless to say, the very mention of Bush and Obama blows that theory out of the water. Try experimenting with objectivity one day, and see if you like it. Consider that, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote in "The Gulag Archipelago", "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being".
Maybe, from a psychological point of view, it's a return to medieval times when a knight or nobleman on horseback automatically had the right of way. If he trampled a peasant, or swept him into the ditch and broke his neck, well that was just tough - and essentially the peasant's fault for getting in the way.
When you're a cyclist or a pedestrian, do you ever get the feeling that car drivers look at you in that way?
More realistically... why was this police officer alone in the car, yet expected to respond to messages? Either he should be accompanied by another officer (best solution), or equipped with entirely hands-free equipment so he would never have to take his eyes off the road.
Of course the real abuse in this case is that the prosecuting authorities have discretion as to whether to indict. It is disgraceful that an official should decide that there should be no prosecution, and that's it. But that is the current system; it needs to be changed.
2. Hello! This is Russia - which, in case you hadn't noticed, is different from the USSR
Not really. In the eyes of most of the world, the names may have changed, but you still act the same.
As previously mentioned, I am not Russian. I am merely a person who tries to learn the facts and evaluate them logically and as dispassionately as possible.
"Now I know you are a hard core Russian".
Gosh, that will come as a big surprise to my family and friends. In fact I am a British citizen (Scots-Irish), with a degree in history and a conservative libertarian bent.
I don't know where you come from, but your English comprehension seems poor. I stated that when the Soviets invaded Hungary and those other nations, the invasion was sudden and utterly overwhelming. Within hours or days there were Russian tanks and soldiers everywhere, and the local government had disappeared and been replaced.
As for the situation in South-East Ukraine, there is no need to drag in fictional Russian forces. Surely you can think for yourself of cases from history when hastily-formed citizen militias defeated professional armies? How about the American War of Independence? Vietnam? The Jews who - starting as a small minority of the populace - defeated the British armed forces and founded the state of Israel? Or, indeed, the Ukrainian and Russian partisans who struck powerful blows against the invading German forces in 1941-4?
"Ukrainian media can now outdo Goebbels in bending the truth".
As can the BBC nowadays, sadly.
"Putin... has reaped significant benefits from this already. His popularity ratings have rosen signigicantly [sic] since the war started - unfortunately the natural reaction of people during a war is to rally behind their leaders".
That would be why, after years of war against many nations, Obama's approval rating is 43%. No, Putin's approval rating is sky-high because he speaks for Russians and acts in their interests. (And, incidentally, Russia is not engaged in a war at the moment).
Obama's rating is in the toilet because Americans know very well he does not represent them and couldn't care less about their interests (except for the 1%, of course).
"...rolling tanks, armoured personnel carriers, rockets, heavy field guns, anti-aircraft guns, and airbourne troops into another country is just like what they did in Czecheslovakia or Poland or Hungary or a dozen other countries over the last 50 years..."
Sorry, that's utter rubbish.
1. If Russia had been "rolling tanks, armoured personnel carriers, rockets, heavy field guns, anti-aircraft guns, and airbourne [sic] troops" into Ukraine, it would have been subdued within a week at most - just as Czechoslovakia (sp) and Poland and Hungary were subdued, despite being far better organized than Ukraine today.
2. Hello! This is Russia - which, in case you hadn't noticed, is different from the USSR. Of course, if you are desperate to have a Hideous Giant Foreign Enemy at all times, and you can't do better than Mr Putin, have at it. But do remember that he can push a button and destroy all life on earth, so the USA has no advantage whatsoever in that regard. And do, please, remember that he is human and can get angry or make mistakes. So please - for all our sakes - don't push him too hard. If you are one of those Rapture nutcases, please just go and kill yourself, and leave the rest of us out of it.
Yes, because anyone who speaks Russian (or Ukrainian) obviously wouldn't know anything about the situation in Russia or Ukraine. Better listen to armchair pundits who never leave their easy chairs in New York.
As Ukraine is under military assault by Russia at the moment, they should abandon any complaint monitoring for the time being.
That turns out not to be the case. The Ukrainian army - which is rapidly running out of effectives who are willing to lay down their lives for billionaire Nazi oligarchs - has been severely mauled by the militias formed to defend the area around Donetsk and Lugansk. As Americans would form militias to fight for their homes if an army trundled into their state and began bombarding city centres.
It has often been mentioned that most (if not all) of the equipment is Russian. Doh... all the ex-Soviet republics had large amounts of Soviet (i.e. Russian) weapons, vehicles and aircraft. The Ukrainian armed forces use them exclusively - and the militia have some (more every day) that they grabbed from local arsenals, or acquired after the Ukrainian troops ran away, surrendered, or went for a brief holiday in Russia.
Now some of the militiamen may have been trained in Russia, or by Russians. Thanks goodness the USA never trains armed rebels in nations like Afghanistan, Syria, Libya... or gives them sophisticated military equipment and training. The difference is that the militias in Ukraine are defending their homes, families and friends against unprovoked attacks by full-scale military forces. They talk Russian because, to all intents and purposes, they ARE Russian - like almost everyone in Crimea.
...Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia...
Whose brilliant idea was that?
I imagine Facebook management, on the grounds that their people would be much less likely to be killed. Ukraine is a very dangerous place at the moment - cities are being bombarded by heavy artillery and fired on with medium rockets, people whose faces don't fit are being burned alive.
"Officers were also concerned that they were going to have NCOs and shift leaders riding their back every moment of a shift".
Tough. If the rank and file are so concerned about having their freedoms infringed, maybe they should think of ways to influence those among them who take unfair advantage of their authority and beat up, or kill, innocent civilians. If they didn't do that regularly, citizens wouldn't have to monitor them more closely.
Just like children, if police officers don't behave they will have to more closely watched. It's entirely up to them.
No, because there is no irony. Slashdotters would like to see police officers' words and actions exhaustively recorded and available for public scrutiny. That's because we feel that many police officers cannot be trusted to behave decently, or to tell the truth.
On the other hand, most of us probably feel that the general public should not be subject to surveillance.
Your difficulty is that you have failed to notice that there is a difference between citizens and those whom they employ - public servants such as police officers.
"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty".
- Thomas Jefferson