Respect, Lies, and Power Politics

I was pondering the question of “What is the basic value difference between them and me?”

It isn’t as big a question as it seems. I’ve often wondered about “them” and “me”.

But it has been clear to me most of my life that I’m not like “them”. “They” are different.

In this particular case I was wondering about some recent events. Obama and his recent pronouncements on “Climate Change”. He has no clue what so ever about the underlying science nor the history of the process. He can’t. Not enough time, and certainly not enough technical training and skill. So at best he is duped, at worst he is using it ‘for effect’. Ukraine and how they are being ‘played’ by Putin. Obama and his new ability to ‘be more flexible’ for Putin now that he is no longer standing for election. The list goes on.

What is THE core value that is different between “that sort” and me? (And folks ‘like me’ on these points)

After a fair amount of pondering, I think the answer comes down to one word: Respect.

A Story

Somewhere around the 1990’s I was working at Apple Computer. One of the frequent things discussed was the “Law Of Mutual Superiority” in computer programming. It states “Anything you can program, I can improve; anything I can program, you can improve.” It is also very true. It works because each of us has a different point of view and different strengths. When I write a program, it is strong where I am strong, and weak where I am weak. Someone else has other strengths and other weaknesses. When they review my work, their strengths will arrive where I am weak and they will find ways to make improvements. Similarly, my strengths will arrive where they are weak and I can improve their work. Over a couple of decades, this law has proven sound.

We would regularly review code each other had written, and we regularly improved the work of each other.

It takes a certain centeredness, a certain acceptance of yourself, to go through such a code review without feeling some resentment. Yet once you are used to it, it is easy and a positive thing to ‘learn new tricks’. That takes a certain respect for your own skills AND a respect for the skills of others. Even those who you may think are less skilled than yourself. It really does deflate your ego a little, but you learn that each of us is superior in some way to each other.

So one day, my boss and I went to a local food joint. The soda jerk behind the counter took our order. They were identical in all ways except I ordered a “Coke” and he ordered a “Diet Coke”. Our order was called. We walked up to the counter and there were the two baskets with a BBQ Pork sandwich in each, and two glasses of dark soda. “Which is the regular and which is the diet?” I asked. The minimum wage server looked at both, and said “That one is the diet”. I noticed that he had looked, and was not saying based on prior knowledge of what was poured. “How did you know?” I asked.

By that simple question I acknowledged that the ‘soda jerk’ was superior to me on this point. I had respect for their skill, and I had humility for my own skill in that area. So I asked. And I learned. “That one has foam”, he said. He knew that the sugar caused the bubbles to make a more persistent foam, while the sugar free lost the foam quickly. He was superior to me then, on that point. By respecting that fact, I learned a new skill.

Lies and Politics

Those of us on the Skeptic side of the Global Warming issue are very familiar with the deception and flat out lies of the “other side”. I’ve often wondered “Why?”. Why do they spend so much time and effort on deception? Often rather stupid and transparent deceptions that fool few. Why so much time on character assassination and “attack the messenger”. Why so much hate and vitriol and so little examination of facts and reality.

Similarly, one can look at the Ukraine today and see Russia playing a game of lies. They have clearly infiltrated a load of special forces folks, and are fabricating an issue to split Crimea and East Ukraine off so it can be absorbed by Russia. It is so blatant as to be painful. So why bother with the lies? Why do it?

I think it all comes down to a question of respect.

To lie to someone, you must hold them in low respect. You must believe that they will not figure it out, so are a bit stupid. Or that they may figure it out but do not matter. That they are just not very important nor deserving of respect.

While “people like me” are very aware of the fact that they owe respect to even a lowly minimum wage soda jerk, simply because they ARE an expert in what they do. Far superior to me in that area of expertise. We would not tolerate the lie of “Global Warming” as to do so requires a lack of respect for the truth, and for the ability of others to see through the deceptions in it. The disappearance of the Medieval Warm Period, the re-write of the hot 1930’s, the cognitive dissonance of the California drought of the ’70s during the ‘little ice age returning’ scare and claiming a similar drought today is due to ‘global warming’.

In short, power abuse depends on a lack of respect for the folks being abused. In the case of “global warming”, that is all of us. The regular folks. In the case of Putin and Russia raping Ukraine, that is a lack of respect for “The West”. (Though, frankly, given our stupidity on things as diverse as “global warming” and driving industry to China via a variety of stupidities; I do kind of see why they would have little respect for us.)

If you respect someone, you do not steal their stuff (or country), nor do you “make stuff up” and lie to them (or cook the temperature record).

A Speculation

I would speculate that Socialism does not respect the people. They are just tools to be used by the “intelligentsia” to advance the social narrative. You see this theme throughout the Communist, Marxist, Socialist, Progressive, whatever-name-today power politics. It assumes that the ‘special’ folks who make it into the government know better what to do than the ‘average guy’. That they are fodder for the government machine to mould. That they do not deserve self determination nor the respect that comes with it.

Just like Putin does not respect the rights of the country of Ukraine to a free self determination.

Just like the IPCC does not respect the rights of the people of the world to do what THEY think best.

Just like Obama does not respect the right of America to chart a course of its own away from the rest of the nutcases on this planet; nor the right of the People to do what they want with their own property and with their own path through life.

Just like the global “Climate Science” community is driven by an irrational “green” desire to command what others may do, rather than to respect their right to decide for themselves what they want.

In Conclusion

When you see lies and deception, you know that lack of respect is near.

When you see a government abusing their own people, or the country next door, you know lack of respect is near.

The question is:

“How do you get fools to recognize that they need to respect those around them?”

The law of mutual superiority is hard to learn and internalize, and clearly unheard of in the halls of power politics. Nor in “climate science” enclaves. But it would sure help if they learned it…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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51 Responses to Respect, Lies, and Power Politics

  1. David A says:

    Solid message through out. I sometimes think the Obama’s of the world have a strong inferiority complex. An inferiority complex would explain the need to make himself appear taller, by attempting to take off the head of those with whom he disagrees.

    Te recent correspondents dinner, was an example of that. Obama could not help but ridicule his opponents, at a function where some self ridicule is expected, and being gracious is also expected.

    George Bush, as much as I did not agree with some of his policy, was a respectful human.

  2. philjourdan says:

    Lack of respect. Contempt. They go hand in hand. just as Putin has contempt for Obama, so Obama has contempt for the human fodder that create the wealth of a nation. You are dead on that socialism has no respect for the individual. History is filled with examples of the “ends justify the means” of socialism. The famous quote of Stalin’s (whether real or made up is immaterial) where he said “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic” defines socialism.

    Obama’s climate progrom is not about saving the planet. It is not about reality. It is about obtaining more control over the every day lives of Americans for the government. While that may not be the goal of all the alarmist scientists, it is the goal of all the bureaucrats that give them the money.

    The lies about what is happening are necessary for the narrative. And the lack of respect is evident in how badly they lie and do not care who knows it is a lie.

  3. The Ukraine situation is more complex than we’ll be reading in the news. As I understand it, for a long time the Russian speakers have been treated as second-class citizens, and their language and culture have been under a degree of suppression too. As in Northern Ireland the roots of the conflict go way back, and I don’t know enough about the history to make a constructive comment on that. What is obvious, though, is that the Crimeans largely welcomed the split from Ukraine and that it is also popular in Russia in general. Putin is playing to his home crowd, not us. He probably also figures that no-one in Europe will actually do anything against it since they are too dependent on Russian energy imports to impose any meaningful sanctions – and he’s probably right.

    We aren’t going to know what deals are done between governments, but there will be a sanitised version put out that will sound acceptable if we are well-enough versed in doublethink. The Russian troops did not wear any insignia, so can be regarded as local militia if you try hard enough. Despite that, though, looking at the unforced celebrations in Crimea makes me think that this was a genuine local uprising that was given a little “help”, rather than something that was totally invented to steal some land. It will be interesting to see whether the Crimeans do in fact have a better life as part of Mother Russia than they did under Ukraine.

    There are also some other splits in process that I can’t see the point of. The Basque region here in France and Spain, the Catalonia region of Spain, and of course Scotland. There I don’t see much evidence of them being better off as separate countries, so I wonder who wins if they do so. What lies are being told to encourage the separation, and is it just that the local politicians become bigger fish relative to the pond they’re in?

    We’re seeing a growth in “publicity management” in politicians’ lives. These people make sure that only the right things are made public and the rest is hidden – to me that shows also a lack of respect for the truth. The mantra still seems to be that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. It’s pretty hard to decide what is the truth any longer, unless it’s something you’ve personally measured or experienced or a trusted friend has done that.

  4. craigm350 says:

    Chefio mostly agree but nitpick when it comes to Ukraine no respect has been shown by the EU or USA either who had the likes of McCain (an abrassive, disrespectful sob in the mould of Mann imo)
    at rallies in Kiev – imagine a senior Russian political figure joining an occupy rally in NYC. Not the way to keep the lid on a situation unless you are looking to stir the pot. So I would charactarise it as a lack of respect by *all* sides for the pawns who get in the way of their geopolitical chess games and we have a full on PR lie fest by them and their media cronies. The lesson is however in showing how independence=chaos (Egypt, Syria, Libya etc). So don’t be naughty pawns and respect the scraps our kings and queens throw.
    Personally I would not be surprised if an ‘understanding’ already exists between the three main fire stokers on how they will share the spoils of Ukraine.
    As with socialism, Capitalism, the big govt kind, respects nothing either. An old saying is things must turn upside down before they will right – history teaches me that when the old regime flee they agitate from afar and eventually claw/crowbar thier way back in. Respect is quite an alien concept to them, arrogance a welcome friend. All we have is 50 shades of bs thrown at us and told we have a choice – of bs.
    No respect indeed.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    Ukraine has a complicated history. Crimea even more so. Sometimes larger, sometimes smaller. Belonging to many different “countries” (empires) over the years.

    What makes it kind of sad to me is, as you pointed out, it is a mutual lack of respect.

    When Ukraine was part of the USSR, there was an ongoing attempt to make it more Russian. Many of those Russian speakers got moved where they are “for effect”. Yet further back, Ukrainian and Russian are sister languages. Much is mutually intelligible between them. In some ways, Ukrainian is “old Russian”.

    So for a long while, the USSR was pushing Russian down their throats (literally!). After the breakup, Ukraine didn’t toss out the folks who had been moved in, but did say “Stay here, you become Ukrainian, and that means speaking Ukrainian.” Is that really wrong? Any more wrong than the USSR saying “You use Russian as part of the USSR”?

    Sad, really. It would be like if the British still spoke olde English. Then the USA insisting that folks in Britain speak American as we are in NATO together; then the folks in Britain breaking free and insisting the flood of American Ex-Pats speak ye olde English. Then the USA deciding to take a chunk of downtown London to the coast for a strategic port facility and to “free” the people to speak American… The reality is that the two are “close enough” to be seen as almost the same language. Almost the same culture.

    So did Ukraine oppress the Russians in the country of Ukraine? No more so than the USSR Russians oppressed the Ukrainians. Oh Well….

    BTW, part of the land “taken back” by Russia had been a “gift” to Ukraine under the USSR and in fact had been Russia for a very long time. IIRC, that’s the Crimea region. Other bits were not Russia, just had a load of Russians moved in under the USSR. Probably part of why Europe is not all that upset about it. Russia just taking back a political gift that has run out of currency and reforming what it was under the last Tzar. (Though they don’t seem all that interested in giving Germany back their Eastern few hundred miles, nor moving Poland back to the borders now inside Russia, nor…)

    But yes, all sides show a complete lack of respect for each other, for constitutions and laws, for human self determination, for property rights, for ….

  6. Gary says:

    I think you have it nailed, but the next question is why will some people not respect others? Is it a personality defect (narcissism)? Did they fail to learn how to play nice in pre-school? Is it greed? Answer that and you then can figure out how to “get fools to recognize that they need to respect those around them.”

  7. agimarc says:

    “Stupidities.” Great word. Heard it first from my Granddad many years ago. Don’t see it used a lot. Cheers –

  8. Zeke says:

    EM Smith says, “Somewhere around the 1990′s I was working at Apple Computer. One of the frequent things discussed was the “Law Of Mutual Superiority” in computer programming. It states “Anything you can program, I can improve; anything I can program, you can improve.” It is also very true. It works because each of us has a different point of view and different strengths.”

    I enjoyed contemplating this Law and found it quite easy to confirm with many examples from my own life. Chief goes on to apply the Law of Mutual Superiority by showing that it is broken by certain types of political and economic systems which do not respect the individual’s ability to provide for himself, to better himself, and to best direct his own property, intellect, and moral capacity.

    But I think in the case of Russia, there is another Law at work. There is the law of the progressive, which allows that naturally, Putin will arm himself to the teeth, run oil pipelines the length and breadth of the country, move to control energy in Europe, interfere with Middle Eastern countries for the sake of pipelines, invade neighbors, even target various minorities in his country, and progressives will never ever say a single word about it. No Progressive stance applies to anything Russia does. But what is the name of this Law? :) :D

  9. Respect is also vital to personal relationships, and my Lady and I had seen it absent from far too many marriages. We tried to teach this, but many people (and as you note, many countries) are just not going to think in those terms.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  10. Zeke says:

    Keith D says, “Respect is also vital to personal relationships, and my Lady and I had seen it absent from far too many marriages. We tried to teach this, but many people (and as you note, many countries) are just not going to think in those terms. ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle”

    Conjugial love is one of God’s ways of breaking a man’s supreme self-love, which otherwise holds all others in contempt (except those who favor him or benefit him) and desires to rule. He also desires to carry off the property of others out of love of himself and love of the world. Every man is a little Caesar, a little Roman Emperor, unless he is broken by love for another. This is why all progressives also desire to kill conjugial love on the earth, because of the stupidity and arrogance of selfish man is easy to manipulate, but love is able to fulfill duty and act intelligently and wisely for others. But conjugial love is hardly known in this day. It is one of the great protections against the hells, which are now being loosed on the earth. Its pleasures exceeds the pleasures of lust as a fragrant and beautiful garden exceeds a filthy dump – but minds are closed to this today. And it is He who provides that other. It is a gift.

  11. John Robertson says:

    Respect for self is necessary .
    If you do not value your own work and judgement, you have no criteria to judge the actions of others.
    The vile projection of the Progressive emoticons, is the best clue to their self loathing and despair.
    A rational discussion of the available facts, current data and unknowns, is impossible with an emotionally deranged activist.
    The right and the good is a recurring theme in my discussions with persons alarmed over Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
    They are the Right and therefore good as they care, truly care(honest for true) about mans effect on the planets atmosphere.To question their talking points is to violate their perfect self image.
    As the costs are now coming home to hurt, the hole in the ordinary consumers pocket is ever growing, yet fools and bandits continue to squander our reserve wealth and cripple the ability of the productive to build more.
    The parasite load is overwhelming, negotiation is possible with a parasite?,..
    Seems from the historic evidence a parasite load of 1:10 is workable, may even allow civilization to flourish.
    The current ratio is much reduced, Canada brags about 1/4 of its economy being government, but can not make the connection to our ever falling productivity or the ever expanding debt.

  12. larrygeiger says:

    Selfishness. I want what I want and I want it now.
    Follow the money. Follow the money. Follow the money…
    To me what you are calling Respect is so close the top of Maslow’s hierarchy that it’s almost non-existent. The two traits I list are near the bottom and fully functional most all of the time.

  13. Jim Bennett says:

    I think you are off base in your interpretation of events in Ukraine, especially after around a hundred people were cornered and burned alive by right wing thugs in Odessa over the weekend. Who do you think the terrorists are? The west is supporting an illegal junta in Kiev, not an uncommon tactic for us in the world, sad to say.

  14. Paul, Somerset says:

    Rival football fans from the local Odessa team Chornymorets (“Black Sea”) and the visiting team from Metalist of Kharkiv joined together in a pre-match march for Ukrainian solidarity. (Kharkiv is in the supposedly “pro-Russian” east according to those who lazily repeat Putin’s propaganda about a divided country entering a civil war.)

    The role of football supporters has been vital in events in Ukraine. The supporters of Dynamo Kiev protected the original Maidan protestors. It was when the fans of their bitter rivals, Shakhtar in supposedly “pro-Russian” Donetsk also hit the streets to protect those protesting against Yanukovich’s corrupt government that the latter realized the game was up and fled to Russia.

    In Odessa the fans’ joint march of solidarity came under fire, quite literally, from helmeted men using small arms and petrol bombs, who hadn’t a clue what to do when their victims fought back. They rather stupidly took refuge in a tall building, which is inadvisable when you’ve started a fight using petrol bombs.

    Here is the BBC account, compiled from eye witnesses:

    A linguistic detail: Pravy Sektor gets translated as Right Sector, because it fits people’s agenda of wanting to dismiss Ukrainians as right-wing thugs. But “pravy” only means “right” in the sense of “true”. It is the same root as the title of the notorious Communist Party newspaper Pravda, which famously translated as “Truth”.

    One simple reason for how so many Russian-speakers came to live in Ukraine was the artificial famine of 1932-3, in which between 3 and 7 million Ukrainians living on Europe’s most fertile soil starved to death under Stalin’s direction.The devastating effect on subsequent birthrates among ethnic Ukrainians is unquantifiable, but the subsequent influx of ethnic Russians to fill the vacuum, particularly after a further famine in 1947, is undeniable.

    It’s this artificial famine, induced by Moscow’s demands for collectivization, which underlies everything now happening in Ukraine. If you ignore it, as western media currently do, you’ll never understand why Ukrainians act as they do, and you’ll just end up accepting the propaganda broadcast by Russia Today and Putin’s internet trolls, and idly repeated by most western media.

  15. Jim Bennett says:

    A mob of football fans beating people jumping from a burning building. Sounds like thugs to me.

  16. p.g.sharrow says:

    Let me see, A group of people are making and throwing petrol bombs from the 3rd floor windows and set themselves on fire! They try to escape their gasoline soaked area fire, out the windows and their suffering earlier targets in the street are none to gentle with them! Hard to believe the people on the ground are not sensitive to the plight of others.
    These people are fighting communists, something they have been doing for a 100 years, Every time the communists win they kill or imprison their opponents. This is serious business to these people. pg

  17. Jim Bennett says:

    And who are we supporting? Either thugs or crooks, why do we have a dog in this propaganda war? Its a replay of a Costa-Gavras movie.

  18. Sera says:

    “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Someone had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    With the breakup of the Soviet Union the Ukraine had the most powerful military in the Area, more weapons and atomic bombs then even Russia. The Americans and the Russians made a treaty with the Ukraine that if they disarmed, the Americans and the Russians would guarantee the territorial integrity of the Ukraine. They did disarm and now the Russians want back in control. To do so the locals have to demand the Russians return to protect them from the nasty NATO westerners. Eastern Ukraine is old Russia. and western Ukraine is the “Marches” an area that the eastern European Empires fought over or crossed over while playing the “Game of Thrones” Easy to conquer but hard to hold as the winters on those plains are brutal. The Soviet Union held the Ukraine by having the Ukrainians do it as a Soviet. That is why Ukrainians had all that power when The USSR collapsed and Russia was left with only Siberia. The Russians want all of Tsarist Russia back, For now.
    Nato protects Eastern Europe now but Ukraine is a bridge too far. Russia and the Americans have a treaty with the Ukraine to protect them from invaders and that is a problem. pg

  20. Peter Azlac says:

    The problem goes well beyond a lack of respect by the political and Green ‘elites’ for their ‘subjects’ fueled by arrogance and contempt for those they claim to represent. It is clear from statements made by Putin that he has contempt for the concepts of democracy as displayed in the EU and USA, and in many respects rightly so. He is fired up not by pushing for Russian expansionism but rather by promoting the Russian ‘soul’. In this respect one must understand the unique historical place of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russian society and the strong historical links between Russia and Ukraine as a birthplace of Russian society. The current situation is not caused by Russian desire for territorial expansion but by lack of EU and USA respect for Russian society and security by promoting the various groups currently in charge in the Ukraine to join the EU and NATO.

  21. David A says:

    Alec, maybe, although as noted, historicaly Russian has not respected their “subjects” including many within the Ukraine. However PGs comment is worthy of considering things in a different light…
    “With the breakup of the Soviet Union the Ukraine had the most powerful military in the Area, more weapons and atomic bombs then even Russia. The Americans and the Russians made a treaty with the Ukraine that if they disarmed, the Americans and the Russians would guarantee the territorial integrity of the Ukraine. They did disarm and now the Russians want back in control.”

    This is the best case I have heard for protecting the Ukraine. The next nuclear power may reasonably have little trust in US protection, and thus proliferate, instead of diminsh their nuclear capacity. On the other hand did the US support a EU future for the Ukraine, and was that against another or a part of the same agreement with Russia?

  22. David A says:

    PG, I had a , for me, new though on the arctic flushing thread here,,,David A says:
    6 May 2014 at 11:05 am
    Anyway, right or wrong, it is nice to have new thoughts. Does this appear reasonable to you, and is it discussed much in the scientifc literature?

  23. p.g.sharrow says:

    @David A; this is kind of the wrong thread but, yes Geology and modern mapping demonstrate this teeter tottering of land forms. One of the best examples that I can think of, is the Sierra Nevada and the Great Central Valley with it’s coast range of seabed material atop the western edge of this tilted granite block. From Redding to Bakersfield this bulldozer blade is being pushed against the Pacific plate by the North American plate. Tilting it, with Great volcanic cauldaras at each end and to the east vast beds of small volcanic cones and lava flows from magma upwelling in it’s wake. pg

  24. David A says:

    Well just thinking further on that, if we have 100K years of ice, the patterns of overlaping tectonic plates would likely ajust, over time, to a point where the lateral forces are less inhibited by the vertical forces….? So when the vertical forces are suddenly reversed (geologicaly suddenly) then they would create tremendous resistance to the lateral movement, possibly resulting in fewer but larger earthquakes, or resulting in new stress fractures and fault lines.

    As earthquakes have disparate compositions of both P and L waves, perhas this is part tf the reason for those differences.

  25. philjourdan says:

    @p.g.Sharrow – that has always been my question. Why now and not 20 years ago during the breakup. In this country, you can acquire land through “continuous use” after 20 years. Ukraine passed that even after the USSR became history.

  26. Judy F. says:

    Hmm. One thing that comes to mind about lying, is that it often isn’t related to respect, but comes from fear. A child will lie to its parent “I did not pinch my brother”, not out of respect, but out of fear of punishment. So too an employee might tell his boss that the project is coming along well, even if it’s not, for fear of being fired. I think that you are correct in saying that lying is related to a lack of respect, but only if between equals with no fear of reprisal. So then we wonder why this administration is constantly lying to us. Is it a lack of respect, or out of fear? One wonders what would make the president and his people fearful. It could be fear of a loss of power and position; a fear of loss of “face”; a fear of being wrong etc. Most likely, in this administration’s instance, it is indeed a lack of respect for others and the Constitution, as well as an overwhelming sense of entitlement.

    However, there seems to be a lack of respect in so many areas any more. The recent Supreme Court case regarding prayer before meetings comes to mind. It used to be that if someone would pray before a meeting or gathering, even if you weren’t of that faith or belief, you would respectfully stand and reflect on what they were saying or pray in your own way. Now, people seem to get offended and sue. What happened to respect for others? And don’t get me started on the language that I hear everyday with no respect for old ladies or young children who might hear. Call it manners or call it respect, we are worse off as a society for its lack.

  27. Wyguy says:

    Oh Judy, Judy, Judy (my Cary Grant voice) I think you have a great insight, right on.

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    philjourdan says:”Why now and not 20 years ago during the breakup.”

    Now, is when the stars have properly aligned. Now, is when the head Oligarch has his opportunity to reshape his part of Europe to suite his vision. Now, is when Barack said “after the election I will have greater flexibility” GOD says the the time for these events is Now. Now, is as good a time as any. 20 years ago the U.S. had an invincible image in the world, and Russia was a broke 3rd rate power. Now, they are no longer broke and the ObamaNation is working to make America a 2ed rate power in the eyes of it’s rivals. WWIII is raging across the world as Muslim princes vie to be the next world rulers. Why shouldn’t the Russian and Chinese try to get in on this opportunity for expansion and power. pg

  29. David A says:

    The Bear may be out of hibernation.

  30. philjourdan says:

    @p.g.sharrow – I do not disagree with anything you said. I merely pointed out that some of the excuses are shown to be lies based upon the history. They are the crutches for the action, not the impetus for the action.

  31. John Robertson says:

    The last line of getting fools to recognize the need to respect…Um there is a reason they are fools.
    The 5 Laws of Human Stupidity, has a neat diagram defining both fool and bandit.
    Basically you cannot take preventive action to protect yourself from a fool.
    Nor can you negotiate.
    Consequentially failure to recognize the fool you see every morning can give rise to some very violent and antisocial behaviour.

    Those of us with life experience, work skills and loving families seem better able to accept the existence of the fool, within our nature, without obsessively seeking to control the activities and behaviour of everyone else.
    My own call is frightened functionless people are driven by their terror to inflict it upon the rest of us.
    They want us to see their terrors and acknowledge the existence of these horrors.
    Fear of life and fear of death seem to go together.
    Derisive laughter as a response to the certain faith that the sky must fall may have tipped some, of those who must lead,into madness.

  32. A C Osborn says:

    Chefio, I think Putin read Tom Clancy’s last book “Command Authority” and thought “what a good idea” and implemented it as quickly as he could.

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    Your post got me thinking about an old axiom:
    “If you want to see if a person is a good person, watch how they treat those who have no power.”
    The wealthy business man who is kind and respectful to the waitress in a waffle house is probably a good person who can be trusted. The person who is rude and abusive to the “little people” is invariably dangerous and not to be trusted. As a friend once told me while I was talking about office politics with him, “If they do that to others they will do it to you!”

    It is more than a lack of respect, it is how they judge their own worth vs others. There are those that try to give the other guy a hand up so they both are in a good situation and there are those who will try to push the weaker guy down to improve his relative position.

    I often could not make sense of things that happened in office politics or real world politics until I realized that approximately 3-4% of the population are sociopaths, and probably another 3-4% have sociopathic tendencies which they may or may not be able to channel into constructive directions. Once you merge that concept with the idea that certain personality types tend to self select into certain job paths and careers it is not difficult to visualize that people who stay in government or gravitate to similar power positions, must be good at some aspect of politics, and are those who are comfortable in those positions are very likely to be closer to the sociopathic personality type than they are to the care giver and nurturer you would expect in some other career choices.

    If that is true, then it is not so much that they do not respect others it is simply that they are functionally incapable of empathy and compassion as most people see it and they simply do not care in the least how what they do impacts others. The sociopath sees others as game pieces to be played not as other individuals like themselves. The recent book, The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout gives a good look at these professionally successful sociopaths and how they think and behave. In my professional life I have encountered at least 3 and I suspect another 3-4 of these personalities.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jim Bennett:

    We are looking at different things, that’s all. You are looking for right and good and bad and thuggery. I’m just looking at an existing country (Ukraine) with a signed treaty with Russia that specifically calls out Russia will have no territorial claims on Ukraine. Regardless of who is the ‘thug’ and regardless of who is ‘right’ and regardless of what is ‘fair’. Russia does not respect their contract with Ukraine, nor the country of Ukraine.

    Similarly, Russia is clearly blatantly lying about not having a military presence in East Ukraine and not having designed this from the start. Regardless of who is abusing whom or who has what justified complaint about whom. Both sides have started a pissing match with each other at different times. That doesn’t change the fact that Putin is doing a power politics move and a political lying fest.

    I have no dog in this fight (and agree that the USA has little interest here and ought to have little involvement – Europe ought to deal with it; but they won’t…) Yet I find it offensive that Russia does not respect the territorial boundaries of Ukraine. (By their reasoning, California ought to go join Mexico and it would just fine if the Mexican governors annexed a few key counties of Texas too…) Basically, you either respect the political organization of a country, or you don’t. Justification of the “don’t” doesn’t change what it is.

    @Judy F:

    Good points… but isn’t that fear coming from a lack of respect by the parent to the child? Via the threat of punishment (power does not need to respect those punished…) My kids rarely lied to me for the simple reason I respected their personal dignity and discussed what was right in terms of repairing misdeeds, not just punishment for not respecting my mandates… Mutual respect smothers the need to lie, IMHO.

    @A.C. Osborn:

    Hmmm…. another book I need to read now… ;-)

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Yeah, the “muck” from the bottom of the Pacific that has built up and made California is a very rich process…

    For fun, look up the Farallon Plate and then ponder just how much stuff cooked out of that and made the mineral deposits and topology of North America. Maybe even a chunk of the oil.

  35. M Simon says:

    the next question is why will some people not respect others?

    PTSD. If you look at the worst leaders (Stalin, Hitler come to immediate mind) the PTSD from child abuse is obvious. With Obama the PTSD is evidenced by his pot use in youth. And why? It is pretty obvious his mother didn’t love him.

    The cure will start when we stop abusing drug users. Esp heroin users. Dr. Lonny Shavelson found that sexual child abuse was in the history of 70% of female heroin users and 50% of male users. I have had users claim in blog comments that in their experience it was 100% for female users.

  36. M Simon says:

    Its pleasures exceeds the pleasures of lust as a fragrant and beautiful garden exceeds a filthy dump

    But that is not taught in this age. Or any other for that matter. I knew a lady once. I could bring her into that state when ever she would let me. Did she strive to make herself into a person who could experience that nearly all the time? Hell ( an actual condition) no. It would mean giving up the illusion of power. And she – like most – preferred the illusion of power to the reality of bliss. Go figure.

  37. M Simon says:

    It used to be that if someone would pray before a meeting or gathering, even if you weren’t of that faith or belief, you would respectfully stand and reflect on what they were saying or pray in your own way.

    Well look at it from the other side. I went to a public school that was 50% Jewish. We were FORCED to attend Christian assemblies and sing the praises of HeySus. For a long time I hated Christians because of it. Now I merely dislike them.

    No prayer is a form of respect those who think they are dominant have difficulty practicing.

    Now a funny thing. Jesus discouraged public prayer. So maybe I just hated pretend Christians.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    The comment I posted on this thread several days ago apparently got consigned to the moderation black hole for some reason.

    [Reply: Not really. I was just way too busy to do my duty of servicing the blog. A push on a load of management audit mandates to finish at work (we passed!) along with some spousal time demands (final ‘confirmation’ as a Catholic) along with a couple of birthdays and a wedding announcement and… So nothing about you. All on me. -E.M.Smith ]

  39. Jason Calley says:

    Respect? I do not respect my refrigerator. I may make use of it, I may be glad to have it, but I do NOT respect it. After all, it is a mere machine, a sort of robot for cooling food. No “person-hood” equals “no respect”.

    Now, suppose that you are a national level politician — which is almost identically equal to saying, “suppose you are a powerful sociopath.” Do you respect the average citizens? Of course not. You may (may!) respect other similar politicians (just a little!) if you still have a touch of empathy left in you — but do you respect the average herd? They are mere machines, a sort of robot whose only purpose is to be useful to you and to what you desire. Do you lie to them? Of course! That is the safest way to manipulate them. There may be times when the truth would work, but the truth is a dangerous thing to give out. Consider any transaction between two or more people. How often will the person (or people) with less accurate information be at an advantage? The answer is “almost never.” Whenever a sociopath is dealing with you he will prefer to give you a lie over the truth, because the truth is powerful and may be used against him later. He would rather be the only one who knows the truth, while you are foundering under a misapprehension.

    Respect, lies and power politics. National level politicians cannot respect others because they see others as machines, not people. They lie because truth is power and why give away power?

  40. Truthseeker says:

    What a fantastic essay that hits at a very real truth. A must read for everyone.

  41. Curious scenario we have here.
    Starting with the realization that individuals have different approaches to decision-making in their vocations and their beliefs and that it is a better person who can understand this and, in fact, learn from the realization and from the “other” person, we move eventually to the Ukraine situation, where, I believe, the above revelation has become lost.

    IMHO, one would have to be wearing rose-coloured glasses not to see that the US (UN, NATO), is instrumental in fomenting this Ukraine trouble and forcing Putin to take the steps he has chosen.
    I do not expect much credence to be attached to my point of view because there is considerable bias exhibited, regarding Putin, in the original article and in the comments.

    So I am just respectfully suggesting that the respect for others that the article promotes, is lacking in regard to Putin and Russia. With the result of a serious distortion of the interpretation of events.
    Patriotism is a huge thing in America. However, as you, EM, clearly outlined in the examples of global warming and destruction of the US manufacturing capacity, do understand the potential imperfections in the US behaviour. It seems to me here that, patriotism is slanting the perceptions of the US overseas involvement(s).

    Quote: “Similarly, one can look at the Ukraine today and see Russia playing a game of lies. They have clearly infiltrated a load of special forces folks, and are fabricating an issue to split Crimea and East Ukraine off so it can be absorbed by Russia. It is so blatant as to be painful.” This is clearly taking sides without due attention to the facts, and without respect for another country.

    Thanks EM, for this opportunity to present my views.
    With sincere respect, Ken.

    Reference – Ukraine: Washington’s Hysteria Towards Russia Hides US Regime Change

  42. Jason Calley says:

    Hey Ken! Actually, I lean more toward your take on this than the popular US view. I think that the Ukraine revolution was coordinated by the US. On the other hand, I suspect that Russia was glad to see it happen because it gave them a good excuse to retake Crimea. Heck, the problems there may even be part of deal between Putin and Obama. “OK, so Putin, you want Crimea back? If you don’t do too quick a sell off of US Bonds and crash the dollar, we’ll set up a good reason for you to get Crimea. We’ll complain and moan but won’t stop the deal. You win. We win. The only people who get thrown under the bus are the Ukrainians, and who cares about little people?” Of course I could be wrong…

    As Obama said, “After my election I have more flexibility.”

  43. @ Jason, Hi. Thanks for your supporting comment.

    A VERY complex situation, one in which it is important to get the basic facts right.
    As you suggest, there may be a deal in the wind, as surely, hopefully, neither side really wants to start a serious war.
    I believe, or would like to, that Russia genuinely cares about the Russians in the Ukraine, substantially in Crimea. It has a naval base there. However, if it comes to protecting the “mainland” integrity the choice might not be there.

    The initiating factor was probably the reluctance of Ukraine to join the EU and its banking and government control system. The US, as the world’s enforcer, were very much involved in creating and dealing with the ensuing unrest. I believe that, outside of the US, this belief is generally held.

    A major complicating influence is the gas supply and distribution.
    The US dollar and economy also plays a huge part in the ongoing battle for political supremacy. It seems that the US likes playing with fire and has unnecessarily and seriously risked its already shaky economy by interfering in other people’s affairs.

    Nothing simple here, and a GREAT deal at stake. Only time will tell who is right about what.
    So, not a great deal of point in us debating all this. It’s basically academic. But as social commentators, and in my case, activist, it is reasonable to be involved and offer an opinion.

    There is a real need for some “peering through the looking glass, not at it!”

  44. BTW, EM, apologies for swinging away from the theme, perhaps more than a little.
    I am usually critical of comments that do this, it seems that I may be just as bad.

  45. Whether a true indication or not, Euronews here has said that Putin has an 80% approval rating in Russia. Not many Western politicians achieve this level of popularity in their own countries.

    As Ken says, nothing is simple here.

  46. p.g.sharrow says:

    It was known and published that Putin had hired and trained a 20,000 man security force for the Olympics.He bragged about it and the Billions spent on it to provide a “Ring of Steel” of security for 200 miles around the Olympic venue. He did it with the assistance of the then Ukraine government officials that were pushing for reunion with Russia, something that the Western Ukrainians hated, a revolt ensued. I am sure many different factions have their fingers in this, but. The western factions are a rag tag bunch of groups that want to be European connected. The eastern group are a well trained, well equipt, uniformed but unmarked army that covers their faces so no one will discover their true identities and discover their true origin. One of them bragged to a reporter that he was Russian, they were all Russians, and they were there to reclaim the area for Mother Russia. The eastern Ukraine was the place of origin of Russia. Putin’s private army to reclaim the homeland. pg

  47. Coldish says:

    Yes, I too go for respect, especially where it is due. And in two current situations Mr Putin merits (IMO) considerable respect and gratitude. In Syria he has tried through the United Nations Security Council to restrain the western powers from escalating the civil war which has afflicted that unfortunate land, while in Ukraine, after watching a violent foreign-backed coup against an elected government in a neighbouring country, he has, in contrast to most other interested parties, been doing his best to calm the situation. Well done, Mr Putin!

  48. philjourdan says:

    @E.M.Smith – Congratulations on the wife! So now you can tell us how mixed marriages work out. ;-)

  49. Gail Combs says:

    Ken McMurtrie says….
    Actually I thought this situation was coming when I read where the Winter Olympics were being held. Everyone at WUWT thought I was nuts at the time.

    If we take it that Putin is not dumb, (he isn’t) he is well aware that CAGW is a real crock. He is also aware that if the earth cools even as much as we had in the late 60s, early 70s, Russia is in a world of hurt food wise. On the other hand the Ukraine was the breadbasket of Europe and therefore a desirable piece of real estate. (It also has mineral wealth and a seaport)

    You can then add in the fact that the Ukraine was within Russia’s “sphere of influence” aka primary trading partner. So the EU’s move to annex the Ukraine (with all that food) is NOT going to go down well with Russia.

    So as you said a complex situation with the Ukraine being a toy tugged between two or more dogs.

    To satisfy my curiosity, I went and had a read at Luboš Motl site just to get a feel for what information isn’t in our local propaganda rags. I suggest others do the same.

  50. Ref Luboš Motl site, great article.
    Thanks Gail,

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