I had read Saker’s “Moderation Policy (UPDATED Sept. 26th, 2017)” only a day or two before coming across a Saker article on Off Guardian. I visited the Saker website (whose name I’m not clear on. Is it “The Saker – a bird’s eye view of the vineyard” or just “The Saker”?), because I came across a reference to it by someone (who I assumed was progressive) who recommended it. I have been to it before, but for some reason I didn’t bookmark it. When on Saker’s website during my recent visit, I noticed the notice that Saker had updated his (I assume Saker is a he) moderation policy and was curious about it and so I read it. It was awful. On and on he goes, as do many sites where the effort to control visitors’ behavior seems to be an obsession of those who own those sites. There’s no pleasure in reading through a long list of dos and don’ts. You basically have to ignore them (not all of them of course) both in order to function and for your own peace of mind. The alternative is to determine to not break ‘any’ of the rules dropped on your head – by moving on. Do those website owners realize that that’s the position that they put us in? But all of that is merely annoying. When I came across Saker’s hate-on for homosexuals, I did a double-take. It’s not mere disagreement or disapproval. See my exchange with a few people on Off Guardian, including Vaska, below.
Vaska notes, irrelevantly, that: “The paid and unpaid ideologues of neoliberalism use the state-approved and indeed state-engineered prioritizing of GLBT rights in the West as well as Israel to buy for their states a moral cover for imperialism…” I’ll buy that. And it’s entirely beside the point. You can’t ditch human rights, sometimes, just because others use them for evil ends. What a dumb argument! She also states, to me perhaps but I don’t know, that: “We do not support racism of any kind and completely deplore RI’s attacks on Jewish people.” I don’t know what she’s referring to and she doesn’t say. I have seen in RI, which I have issues with, awful stuff. I also came across an article by Charles Bausman titled “It’s time to drop the Jew taboo.” Is that the article that Matt, below, refers to when he mentions a “deeply anti-semitic” article on RI? I don’t know, which is why I asked him. If I had to guess, Vaska has scared him off from replying to me. Is Bausman’s article deeply anti-semitic? Not at all. He and others are pointing out something that needs pointing out. If you have Jews (or members of any religion) greatly over-represented in Hollywood, banking or the military (outside of Israel), then there’s a problem. That’s because members of all religions (except, I suppose, in the case of religions that have few adherents in total) should be found, randomly, in every field or industry looked at. I couldn’t care less if Jews are found in Hollywood (which is actually Hollywood/CIA/Pentagon/NSA) or banking or whatever – depending. If they are there because of the machinations of Nazi Israel, then yes, I have a problem with them. And when you find them over-represented in various fields and industries, that indicates something nefarious. That indicates that something undemocratic is happening. Pointing that out isn’t wrong. What’s Vaska’s position here? I don’t know. She thunders but doesn’t say much.
The Saker doesn’t give a damn about human rights. You can’t have the kind of moderation policy he has for his website and be pro human rights. And if he’s saying that Putin shares his views, then the same goes for Putin. But I don’t know enough about that. Is Saker’s mention of Moscow a reference to policies by its mayor or by Putin? One thing’s for sure, When I pay attention and get attacked for it, that pisses me off. Saker could have said more about Moscow. Then we’d know more. So, I bring it up on a progressive website, namely OG, in the comments section of an article by Saker, and instead of educating us, Vaska simply states: “let’s remember that the USSR was the FIRST country in the world to decriminalize homosexuality, several decades before any other country in the world followed suit…” Okay. So then how does Moscow have a law against homosexuality? Instead of explaining themselves, Saker and Vaska just rant. They are awful. She actually implies in her intrusions into an exchange that I’m trying to have with someone else that I am an imperialist, which she knows I am not. I have a fair number of posts on Off Guardian that make it crystal clear that I’m against the US-led Corporatocracy, imperialism and colonialism. And there isn’t anything anywhere, written by myself, that has me expressing racism. Vaska power-tripped on me, attacking me – accusing me of attacking Saker – and dispensed with honesty in doing so. Why? I’ll still visit Off Guardian, but I will be ignoring Vaska, as well as articles by Edward Curtain (who disappeared me on his website when I called him on being a poor public intellectual, in relation to his pro Camelot propaganda, which Off Guardian likes) and Eric Zuesse (who attacks Christianity but that’s okay with Off Guardian and Vaska who absolutely will not tolerate any attacks on Jews.)
My view of homosexuality can be found in my blog post titled “Is it about homosexuality or loyalty?”
March 18, 2018
Has anyone here read the Saker’s ‘About’? Its awful. Progressives should be careful endorsing, or seeming to endorse, that anti-homosexual ranter.
2 upvotes 3 downvotes
March 18, 2018
I’ve gotten tired of warning people about this. Many alt-media websites, most of which are uniformly pro-Kremlin, like to re-post articles from various pro-Russian nationalist websites. I can’t find it now, but there used to be a “sites you should read” section here, which included Russia Insider, a website which published a deeply anti-semitic article that was condemned by other pro-Russian websites.
Many so-called “progressive” websites are not actually progressive at all. They’ll republish anything by anyone, as long as it’s anti-West.
2 upvotes 5 downvotes
March 18, 2018
We do not support racism of any kind and completely deplore RI’s attacks on Jewish people.
We aren’t pro-Kremlin. Or anti-Kremlin. We are pro-truth. And sadly most of the most dangerous lies are coming from the extreme neo-liberals and neo-conservatives currently controlling most of western foreign and domestic policy. Should the situation change OffG would reflect that change as accurately as possible.
We aren’t going to debate our policy here, please don’t reply to this thread with any further attacks on us which simply divert the discussion.
3 upvotes 1 downvote
March 20, 2018
Matt, Can you give me a link to the “anti-semitic” article on RI? I think RI carries some interesting stuff, but it’s dodgy. The first thing that jumped out at me was the ra, ra, ra Russian military. Bravado is awful (foolish prophecies about certain victory) and progressives know that militaries, besides being the means that a nation (big enough) employs to defend itself, are also a racket and bad for economies. Ergo…
0 upvotes 1 downvote
March 18, 2018
I’ve just read all the way through the Saker’s ‘about’ and there is only one very ambiguous and minimal reference to gay rights. It hardly amounts to a ‘rant’. Nor does it really indicate what he thinks. It is entirely possible that he is merely objecting to the obsession with identity politics that has come to dominate so many NGOs, which is perfectly reasonable; I have very dear gay friends who also dislike this as they feel that it receives far too much attention and is therefore counter-productive. I also have a very close gay friend who thinks it is entirely reasonable for traditional Christians to object to homosexuality; in his view, we are in danger of turning a witch-hunt of gay people into a witch-hunt of conservatives, which is every bit as unacceptable.
I suspect, from what I have previously read, that the Saker shares the opinion of many Russians about homosexuality – let it be legal, as long as it does not threaten family and social stability. That may not satisfy some gay rights campaigners, but it is not an unreasonable position, given the greater stress placed on communal harmony in that country. People who live in the highly individualistic and materialistic West (and I am one of them obviously) forget that for most of human history survival itself was entirely dependent on cultivating social harmony and unity. That is the origin of all intolerance, as disruptive forces threatened the group, so there are very logical reasons for conservative attitudes, even if we do not share them.
Ultimately it is simplistic to suppose that there are only two possible positions – violently pro or violently anti ‘gay rights’. Even the notion of a singular ‘gay rights’ is a distortion. The reality is that there are myriad options in between, particularly as there are very different attitudes to how people should express their sexuality in public in general, whether one is gay or straight.
In any case, just because he holds one opinion that some may disagree with, it doesn’t invalidate his ideas about other matters. I for one am always glad to read his articles, which are reasoned and insightful.
The world will never heal so long as we are inclined to react hysterically when we encounter people who have obviously good intentions, but may feel differently about some cultural Shibboleth or other.
Liked by 4 people
7 upvotes 1 downvote
March 20, 2018
The notion that “gay rights” — and let’s remember that the USSR was the FIRST country in the world to decriminalize homosexuality, several decades before any other country in the world followed suit — are a key indicator of progressive values is the product of liberal, neocon ideology. The paid and unpaid ideologues of neoliberalism use the state-approved and indeed state-engineered prioritizing of GLBT rights in the West as well as Israel to buy for their states a moral cover for imperialism, an absolutely conscience-free turbo-capitalism, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of entire countries (Iraq, Libya, the attempted destruction of Syria, etc.) they finds recalcitrant or resistant to their demands.
Those who do really care for the rights of homosexuals and lesbians to any extent at all, instead of attacking an individual who, as far as anybody knows, has never discriminated against or harmed any gay person, will use their energies and ethical convictions to attack the thoroughly unethical practice of ALL NATO-sphere societies of maintaining full trading relations with countries such as Saudi Arabia and the like, to whom, in complete and openly cynical defiance of any morality at all, they blithely sell weapons of mass destruction, too.
Everything else is hot air and moral posturing — in the interests of the neoliberal empire.
Liked by 1 person
2 upvotes 0 downvote
March 20, 2018
This ‘is’ on The Saker’s blog:
6) New! Any comment stating or implying that homosexuality is a “normal and natural variation of human sexuality” goes to trash; this blog has decided to emulate the city of Moscow and has therefore banned any types of (virtual) “gay-pride” (aka homosexual dysfunction) “parades” in the comments section, also for the next 100 years. Simply put: take your propaganda of homosexuality elsewhere
I find it incredible that for pointing that out on a supposedly progressive website, I am accused of attacking someone. I think I’ll just ignore you from here on. I don’t need the bloody grief.
0 upvotes 0 downvotes
The following is a screen capture of the above exchange. I don’t know how to increase the size of the image, but you can use your computer’s zoom to see it clearer: