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Author Topic: Moving the Winter Olympics...  (Read 13995 times)

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Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #175 on: August 22, 2013, 12:01:27 PM »
Yes. Because that's preferable to telling the victims of that hatred to shut up and suck it up. That's how issues like this tend to work: if you choose to be a bully, you don't get to claim you're being oppressed because other people call you out for being a bully.


Alright I'm going to agree to disagree. Politics don't work that way. At least not in Russia. But we have a different opinion on this matter and we cannot change each other on that.

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #176 on: August 22, 2013, 12:03:20 PM »
"Oh somebody has a different opinion, let's complain about it and boycot them."

I beg your pardon, but I believe you haven't exactly been the defender of 'differing opinions', here.

And then.... Comparing Putin to Hitler is just idiotic and shows you know nothing of what's going on in Russia, which is fine, but keep your opinion to yourself then.

Please stop acting like the world is oppressing poor Russia by treating its gross civil rights violations opinions as invalid while also treating everyone else's opinion as invalid because it doesn't line up with your opinion (which is apparently "deal with it").

I don't defend the law, I defend the people that agree with that law. Because what you are saying is that 130 million Russians should shut up about their homofobia and suck it up, so that a handful of gay athletes can come to Russia for the Olympics.

Especially since this is a bald-faced oversimplification of the issue. The discussion of boycotting the Olympics does have something to do with the athletes but also the spectators and also worldwide concern for the civil rights of people who are gay and actually live in Russia.

Again, we've heard this all before from defenders of this or that unjust law around the world. Apartheid? "How dare you judge us!" Saudi Arabia's draconian Wahhabism? "Outsiders will never understand!" Segregation in the States? "The South is the South, it's just our ways."

Every one of those situations was changed or is being changed thanks in part to outside pressure. Demanding that Russia be exempt is silly.

Quoted because thank you.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #177 on: August 22, 2013, 12:04:30 PM »

Alright I'm going to agree to disagree. Politics don't work that way. At least not in Russia. But we have a different opinion on this matter and we cannot change each other on that.

Fair enough.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #178 on: August 22, 2013, 12:06:42 PM »
It's interesting, reading some of Dashenka's comments and people's - particularly CJ's - responses to them.  Sort of ties in to the "democracy is the worst form of government except all the rest" thing.

It could be argued, as Dashenka seems to be, that if 51% of a democracy vote for gays (or blacks, or people called "Kythia" or any other demograph) to be stoned to death then the government has a real obligation to put such legislation in place.  Of course that doesn't exempt them from external criticism but it does muddy the waters a little as to what's the moral thing to do for the politicians of hypotheticalland.  Should the wishes of their electorate really be subsumed to the opinions of other nations, and does it matter whether the opinions of other nations are morally right or wrong?

I'm not really making a point, here.  Just letting you all know what I'm musing about currently because I love the sound of my own voice.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #179 on: August 22, 2013, 12:11:26 PM »

It could be argued, as Dashenka seems to be, that if 51% of a democracy vote for gays (or blacks, or people called "Kythia" or any other demograph) to be stoned to death then the government has a real obligation to put such legislation in place.  Of course that doesn't exempt them from external criticism but it does muddy the waters a little as to what's the moral thing to do for the politicians of hypotheticalland.  Should the wishes of their electorate really be subsumed to the opinions of other nations, and does it matter whether the opinions of other nations are morally right or wrong?

Thank you.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #180 on: August 22, 2013, 12:15:00 PM »
It could be argued, as Dashenka seems to be, that if 51% of a democracy vote for gays (or blacks, or people called "Kythia" or any other demograph) to be stoned to death then the government has a real obligation to put such legislation in place.

Most democracies have constitutions and/or rights charters in place and are signatory to international treaties meant to prevent that, though. In the short term those tools can't necessarily stop ridiculous laws... but they can provide the means to force the proponents of such laws to actually mount an argument for them. (And if it turns out a majority of an electorate have been scare-mongered or otherwise deceived into supporting such laws, it's the stage of actually making the argument that tends to expose that.)

The current Russian constitution states, for instance:

Quote from: Russian Federation's Constitution, Article 19.2
2. The State shall guarantee the equality of rights and freedoms of man and citizen, regardless of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, property and official status, place of residence, religion, convictions, membership of public associations, and also of other circumstances. All forms of limitations of human rights on social, racial, national, linguistic or religious grounds shall be banned.

Which should hopefully provide some local leverage against the anti-gay laws.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 12:16:57 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #181 on: August 22, 2013, 12:16:39 PM »
Thank you.
We call this tyranny of the majority, as in, it's tyrannical.  This is one of democracy's greatest weaknesses, and, as Cyrano says, many democratic nations have laws in place to prevent it -- because they are, effectively, laws that are democratically created that serve only to undermine the very democracy that created them.  When the majority aims to disenfranchise minority groups in a democratic system, I don't think it is fair to call it a democracy any longer; it is not rule by the people if the people are silenced.

Banning 'gayness' because it makes people uncomfortable is not something that should be celebrated a righteous result of democracy; these kind of laws are the exact opposite, in fact, in that they stifle the democratic process.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 12:24:16 PM by meikle »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #182 on: August 22, 2013, 12:27:24 PM »
Thank you.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with that position.  I haven't actually decided yet.  Just that it seemed to be the one you were arguing from.

Most democracies have constitutions and/or rights charters in place and are signatory to international treaties meant to prevent that, though. In the short term those tools can't necessarily stop ridiculous laws... but they can provide the means to force the proponents of such laws to actually mount an argument for them.

But that just pushes the question back a stage (that=constitutions).  The US constitution can be amended, and there is precedent for amendments to cancel out previous ones.  Ours - the UK - is even easier to amend, given parliamentary sovereignty.  It just means a "deeper" law has to be amended as well in order for the politicians to abide by the wishes of their electorate.

International treaties is a good point though.  As a concrete expression of the desires of external forces which internal ones have agreed to, and that can't be changed unilaterally.

I dunno.  I'm not sure what I think.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #183 on: August 22, 2013, 12:32:13 PM »
Banning 'gayness' because it makes people uncomfortable is not something that should be celebrated a righteous result of democracy; these kind of laws are the exact opposite, in fact, in that they stifle the democratic process.

It's not being banned. Read the law first. You can be gay, even outside. You cannot parade around with it.

Russia's too big to be governed like a democracy but that's a different discussion.


I'm not saying I necessarily agree with that position.  I haven't actually decided yet.  Just that it seemed to be the one you were arguing from.

I know but you said what I have been trying to say a bit shorter and simpler :)

Offline Rogue

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #184 on: August 22, 2013, 12:40:35 PM »
I really don't understand your problem.

Some facts:
There aren't a lot of gay people in Russia.
The vast majority of the Russians doesn't agree with homosexuality so,
The government made a law to 'protect' the children,

I just have to speak up at this comment, though I was asleep during the majority of the debate sadly.

This is like saying that there have been more people choosing to be gay in the past half century and that being gay is "trendy".

Fact 2 makes Fact 1. The fact that a majority of Russians don't agree with homosexuality means that there are a vast majority of homosexual Russians that weren't brave enough to be true to their feelings OR truly believe that what they are feeling is wrong.

This law makes that even worse (as you know from your vehement "I don't agree with this law") and the idea that this "Protects" the children makes the children believe that this is wrong and when they look back on it, they will hide any tendencies they have towards the same sex. This is how this is.

Now, as has already been pointed out, change happens because people speak out about it. So people will speak out about it! And some will boycott the Olympics because of it. I've wanted to go to Russia since I was small (because I think it's gorgeous and there is soooo much history), but much like I will not be stepping foot in Egypt or Greece or any of the countries I really want to see but are dangerous for me at this moment, I would not go to Russia! Even with Democracy in place, laws change because people are vocal about how wrong they are and people's minds change. It's why Gun Laws (as you keep mentioning) are such a BIG deal in the US. There's enough conflict WITHIN our borders that we don't need outside pressures to fix them.

Until there are laws to protect the competitors and their families and supporters, I think that it should be moved because any competitors that do not feel safe should not be forced to compete there to complete their life's dream, to win a medal on the world's largest stage. Because I don't know if you know this, but most Olympic competitors have been training since they were children. THIS is the culmination of their life's work and their lives shouldn't be in danger to compete, even if they will anyways because it's worth it to them.


Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #185 on: August 22, 2013, 12:44:36 PM »
But that just pushes the question back a stage (that=constitutions).  The US constitution can be amended, and there is precedent for amendments to cancel out previous ones.  Ours - the UK - is even easier to amend, given parliamentary sovereignty.

Sure. But amending a constitution is typically -- often by design -- a much more painful process than simply passing a law. In order that if one tries to write such a law into the constitutional framework of a state, one has to make an extremely persuasive argument for it in the long term. (I'm actually not sure what this would look like in the UK, because I didn't think the UK really has a written constitution so much as an accretion of common law and custom around the disposition of monarchical power by Parliament. Wouldn't that in fact make it harder to change? I'm not sure.)

Sometimes tyranny of the majority will win out regardless, of course, for some considerable span of time. Slavery and then segregation in the States managed it for very long periods of time due to White supremacism being embedded so deeply in the cultural DNA that it took generations to prise them loose. The American Constitution even still has an Amendment on the books legitimizing the enslavement of convicted felons: that was originally a post-Reconstruction sop to the South to allow them to press-gang blacks into de facto slavery via convict leasing, which is primarily how the South industrialized during the early Twentieth Century (a system of which today's prison-industrial complex is the spiritual heir).

Other kinds of attitudes can persist for even longer spans of time. Modern India has officially repudiated the caste system as being oppressive, for example, but it's still entrenched in much of the country; it will probably take more than just a few decades to uproot something that's governed a country's life for more than three thousand years. That a thing has been in place for thousands of years doesn't mean one should never challenge it, but usually means change will come relatively slowly.

So you are never going to have a 100% success rate at all times and places. But no matter how entrenched, challenging those kinds of injustices remains worthwhile and having Constitutions written to facilitate those challenges remains useful. It's particularly so when the injustice being proposed isn't part of some deep-rooted cultural consensus but is rather part of a short-term surge, an attempt by opportunists to take advantage of their electorate by using scapegoating to distract and deceive them. I suspect this is what is happening in Russia right now. All the more reason to challenge it.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #186 on: August 22, 2013, 12:50:56 PM »
TimeyWimey,

I agree with everything you say.


This law makes that even worse (as you know from your vehement "I don't agree with this law") and the idea that this "Protects" the children makes the children believe that this is wrong and when they look back on it, they will hide any tendencies they have towards the same sex. This is how this is.

That is the whole point of the law.

But overall, the fact that we want to ban or boycot the Olympics with a law like this in place, is that the fault of Russia (for having this law in place) or the IOC (by willingly and knowingly decide to hold it in Russia?)


So you are never going to have a 100% success rate at all times and places. But no matter how entrenched, challenging those kinds of injustices remains worthwhile and having Constitutions written to facilitate those challenges remains useful. It's particularly so when the injustice being proposed isn't part of some deep-rooted cultural consensus but is rather part of a short-term surge, an attempt by opportunists to take advantage of their electorate by using scapegoating to distract and deceive them. I suspect this is what is happening in Russia right now. All the more reason to challenge it.

When homosexuality becomes more accepted and more Russians are open about it, which WILL happen in time, this law will be banished again.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #187 on: August 22, 2013, 12:53:08 PM »
When homosexuality becomes more accepted and more Russians are open about it, which WILL happen in time, this law will be banished again.

Yeah, not going to happen by magic though. That sort of thing comes about by deliberate action. But we've been through all that.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #188 on: August 22, 2013, 12:55:03 PM »
From the inside yes. Not from the outside. The more every country screams and boycotts the law, the more Putin will feel he is right.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #189 on: August 22, 2013, 12:55:32 PM »
But overall, the fact that we want to ban or boycot the Olympics with a law like this in place, is that the fault of Russia (for having this law in place) or the IOC (by willingly and knowingly decide to hold it in Russia?)

I'm gonna go with "Russia", since the IOC awarded the Olympics to Sochi ... let's see ... six years before the law was enacted.

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #190 on: August 22, 2013, 12:59:04 PM »
I'm gonna go with "Russia", since the IOC awarded the Olympics to Sochi ... let's see ... six years before the law was enacted.

True but who was in power in Russia 6 years ago? And was it really all that different back then?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #191 on: August 22, 2013, 12:59:21 PM »
On my phone so forgive my brevity. UK constitution is unwritten, yes. Composed of acts, privileges of the monarch and traditions (called conventions) acts of parliament take precedence over other things. Net result is that UK constitution is, in essence the sum of all our laws. New law banning gays and amending previous laws no harder, in legislative terms to enact than any other law. Hence easier.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #192 on: August 22, 2013, 01:00:23 PM »
From the inside yes. Not from the outside. The more every country screams and boycotts the law, the more Putin will feel he is right.

Well again, what usually works is a combination of both, and the louder a country screams "we don't care what anyone else thinks!" the less likely that is to be true. And FWICT Russia very, very much wants to be a world-respected power to whom people listen and whose actions they hold in regard; Russia's sense of having an exceptional mission as a civilization actually strikes me as being a lot like America's in this way, and a big part of the humiliation of recent years has been the loss of Russia's voice on the international stage. So it could actually be quite possible to shake Russian conviction on this point with international action, although there will of course be lots of tough talk about how "you don't understand us!" and "how dare you judge us!" and "you'll never change us!" and so on. Just par for the course with something like this, as I've already said.

But yes, obviously it will need to happen from inside too. The two things tend to be symbiotic.

(I don't know that this is really coming from Putin, incidentally. Although one certainly couldn't put it past him to be coordinating the scapegoating campaign behind the scenes.)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:05:44 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #193 on: August 22, 2013, 01:13:08 PM »
True but who was in power in Russia 6 years ago? And was it really all that different back then?

Unless you're claiming that the fact Putin was president then made it obvious that this law would be passed, then yes, because there was no such law then.

That the noxious sentiment that inspired it was already present is immaterial.

Offline Rogue

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #194 on: August 22, 2013, 01:21:32 PM »
TimeyWimey,

I agree with everything you say.

That is the whole point of the law.

But overall, the fact that we want to ban or boycot the Olympics with a law like this in place, is that the fault of Russia (for having this law in place) or the IOC (by willingly and knowingly decide to hold it in Russia?)

When homosexuality becomes more accepted and more Russians are open about it, which WILL happen in time, this law will be banished again.

I'm just going to point at what Avis said and leave it at that. This is a BRAND NEW law that came into effect YEARS after this was decided. It's not like they were choosing to hold the Olympics in the South before 1965 and expected it to be safe for black competitors. It's they were expecting a safe place where people would be prosecuted if they tried to harm someone who was foreign and gay rather than being able to point to a law and say "They were breaking our law."

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #195 on: August 22, 2013, 04:14:37 PM »
Who decides that? You? The IOC? The human right organizations?

You cannot decide what is morally equal or not. Hate to bring it to you but you can't.
Yes, yes I can. A law which denies equality under the law, foments violence, and denies fundamental human rights is far worse than (to use one of your examples) a law allowing and limiting the hunt of predators to alleviate strain on endangered pray populations. They're not even really comparable.

Just because you and a lot of other countries in the western world don't agree with a law, for you is enough to boycot the Olympics?
No. Because this law makes it more dangerous for an already-oppressed minority to simply live their lives, I think that it should be condemned and we should not enrich its supporters. This is not disagreement, this is threat minimization.

Sorry but to me that is arogance and in a way ignorance.

"Look at us... we are the best and everybody should do as we do..."

It doesn't work that way.
So because nobody does everything perfectly, we're not allowed to decry blatant injustice? Exactly how is anything ever supposed to get better, then? For the record, no, my country is not perfect. Which is why I've been vehemently denouncing my government's actions for years and fighting to get it turfed and replaced with one that actually represents my values. That's how it works.

EDIT:
Russia's too big to be governed like a democracy but that's a different discussion.
I come from a nation almost as physically big. Most of the other people who disagree with you come from a nation twice as populous. So yeah, I'm gonna call bullshit there, too.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 04:16:50 PM by Ephiral »

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Offline Rogue

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Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #197 on: August 23, 2013, 02:11:46 PM »
The censoring on that makes me really really pissed off... Just saying.

On another note: http://rt.com/news/mutko-gay-propaganda-law-comment-666/

This article kinda makes me think that those who are participating in the Olympics will be protected.... Though I'm not entirely sure.

This law is still wrong in every way, even if it's not as bad as we think it is (I mean this is a sports official, of course he's not going to want it be as bad as it might be.)

Offline meikle

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #198 on: August 23, 2013, 06:21:27 PM »
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/putin-bans-rallies-olympic-sochi-25-months

Quote
MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning demonstrations and rallies for two and a half months in Sochi around the 2014 Winter Olympics.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 06:23:14 PM by meikle »

Online Dashenka

Re: Moving the Winter Olympics...
« Reply #199 on: August 23, 2013, 06:41:11 PM »

EDIT:I come from a nation almost as physically big. Most of the other people who disagree with you come from a nation twice as populous. So yeah, I'm gonna call bullshit there, too.

Russia   17,098,242 km2 (6,601,668 sq mi)
Canada   9,984,670 km2 (3,855,100 sq mi)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_area

Almost as big ye?? So unless you're from Antarctica... what's the bullshit now? Get your facts straight next time.

And yes America is more populated but the population is a lot more unified than Russia is :)


As for the rest, I've already agreed to disagree.


http://bigstory.ap.org/article/putin-bans-rallies-olympic-sochi-25-months


If I had to quote every stupid law in the world, Elliquiy needs a bigger server. Rather pointless.