Top 5 Russia Blogs

There have been a few attempts to provide a statistical ranking of the top Russia blogs. But, for some reason, everyone except the blogger who tops the list complains that they aren’t accurate.

So, I thought I’d have a go at putting together a list of the Top 5 Russia blogs and, mindful of this problem, decided to base my list purely on my own subjective opinion. Not a statistic in sight.

Here, in no particular order, is my selection of the Top 5 Russia Blogs – the most influential, the most interesting and sometimes the most controversial Russia blogs out there. Feel free to disagree in the comments…

Sean’s Russia Blog

If you’re looking for serious, but readable commentary on Russia, Sean’s Russia Blog is the place to go.

The only academic in my Top 5 and (if you count La Russophobe as a group blog) the only solo blogger as well, Sean’s Russia Blog combines academic rigour with an accessible, easy to read style. Sean’s Russia Blog is also the longest running blog in my list, having been publishing on and off since October 2004 – that’s almost as long as Siberian Light.

Oh, and if you’e looking for information about Youth Politics in Russia (or punks, for that matter), Sean knows all there is to know…

La Russophobe

For almost two years now, the burning question on everyone’s lips has been… is La Russophobe a CIA agent pushing anti-Russian propaganda, or is she just a deranged lunatic with a grudge against Russian tennis players and way too much time on her hands?

Nobody knows, but everyone seems to have an opinion.

La Russophobe burst onto the scene almost two years ago and has been spewing out a frankly stunning quantity of anti-Russian rhetoric ever since. Nothing and no-one Russian escapes her biting criticism – Russia itself, Putin, Sharapova, and any blogger unfortunate enough to get in her way. Pretty much everyone associated with Russia and in the public eye (including me) has, at one time or another, been on the end of a La Russophobe spanking.

La Russophobe could not be a more combative blogger if she tried.

But, love her or hate her, La Russophobe has become easily one of the most influential, not to mention prolific, bloggers about Russia. Day in, day out (except Thanksgiving), the vitriolic anti-Russian posts keep flowing. Offensive they may be, but they often contain enough of a kernel of truth to force Russophiles to sit back and consider just how accurate their cherished beliefs are.

Russia Blog

Russia Blog is perhaps the most pro-Kremlin of the blogs in this list, but it is also the blog that brings the widest range of voices to our attention, with commentary from experts and other bloggers, as well as its own in house editorial team of Yuri Mamchur and Charles Ganske.

One of two group blogs in my list backed by either a business or a policy organisation, Russia Blog often takes some flak for being run by an organisation associated with pro-Creationist views. But I can’t say I’ve ever really Russia Blog covering the creationist debate in Russia. A missed opportunity, perhaps?

Robert Amsterdam

I’ll bet you never knew that Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s lawyer was a blogger? And a prolific one, at that.

As you’d expect from a law firm representing Vladimir Putin’s imprisoned oligarchic opponent, Robert Amsterdam and his team generally take an anti-Kremlin line. But, in contrast to La Russophobe, he also tends to give credit where it is due and the Russian government does something right. It’s just a shame that the opportunity doesn’t crop up all that often…

Like Russia Blog, Robert Amsterdam also showcases other writers, notably investigative journalist Grigory Pasko, and produces some excellent translations of non-English language articles.

English Russia

Russia’s a big country but, if something cool happens on the 1/6th of the world’s surface that is Russia, English Russia will be there to cover it.

Mostly filled with photographs and videos, English Russia showcases Russia in its glory, in its shame, and in its epic scale.

And, sometimes we just want to read the funny stuff. Not every blog about Russia has to cover politics…

You want more?

Of course, in a list of just 5 blogs about Russia, I couldn’t cover every blog that I love reading, or give a comprehensive introduction to wide variety of Russia Blogs out there. So, if you’re looking for more reading, or if you just can’t stand the five blogs I’ve picked out, there’s a big list of Russia blogs on the sidebar. Take a look around…

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144 Responses

  1. Seesaw says:

    Yes, Sean’s Russia Blog is the best!!!

  2. James says:

    Thanks for the inclusion, Andy! The one glaring omission from this list is SL itself! Keep up the good work….

  3. Blogs encouraging politically and personally troll like attacks against others aren’t decent.

  4. W. Shedd says:

    I think it is pretty poor to include LR on this list, as bigotry and hatred simply shouldn’t be encouraged, is never virtuous, and should not be rewarded or recognized.

    Rather like including a KKK website on a list of top African-American blogs.

    I’ve never frequented that forum, refuse to link to it, and feel those that do so are essentially encouraging hate-mongering. I can’t think of a single factual point or well-reasoned discussion that “woman” has ever produced.

    You can try to explain it in other terms, but a consistently hate-filled analysis is only bigotry. Also inaccurate to compare her as the opposite side of “Russophiles” – since when did hatred and anger become the opposite and moral equal of simply liking something?

    One of the problems with the blogosphere is this idea, that spewing venom is somehow legitimate, rational, and deserves an audience. Reasoned discussion is often tossed out the window in favor of drawing attention to sensational (too often hateful) ideas. Too often it devolves into a form of yellow journalism.

    I would have much preferred seeing your own blog on the list.

    Sean deserves all the kudos he gets for slowly building his blog into an excellent resource for discussion of Russian politics and history.

  5. poemless says:

    I agree with those who have remarked that “bigotry and hatred simply shouldn’t be encouraged, is never virtuous, and should not be rewarded or recognized.” Forget bias. It is not even a matter of being pro- or anti-Russia (though why someone interested in Russia would appreciate that quality is beyond me), -Kremlin, -Putin, -etc.or not. I personally think Bob Amsterdam’s blog is a super example of how a blogger can have an explicit agenda -with which one may sympathize or not- and yet remain a reliable source of insane amounts of information and a constructive voice in the blogosphere. An asset.

    But I suppose that if your only criteria are “the most influential, the most interesting and sometimes the most controversial Russia blogs out there” the blogs you’ve chosen fit that description. Perhaps there is a distinction between the “top” blogs, and the “best” blogs. For me, the wonderful thing about the blogosphere is that it can provide 1) some alternative or improvement upon the traditional media and 2) actual debate and conversation. I personally feel the traditional media has -I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way- seriously dropped the ball on Russia. The editorial process seems to be something along the lines of “Russia is (insert negative descriptor here): how does this latest news fit into that narrative?” So why would I go on line to get more of this particular strain of confirmation bias, without either the pretense of objectivity afforded by traditional media OR the possibility of constructive debate afforded by the Internet? If some people get off on hating a whole country, fine; all of us can find something to satisfy our vices on line. We all have at some point. But why reward it? Isn’t hating 140 million people you don’t even know, purely based on their geographic location, national identity … intellectually and ethically irresponsible? Are influence, popularity and controversy ends in themselves to be admired? Would that describe Britney Spears? Sorry, just thinking aloud…

    I also think SL deserves to be up there, so don’t take all this bitter rambling too personally. ūüôā

  6. Thank you for the information. I got a job in Moscow, and I’m trying to find as much as possible information on Russia. All good read is welcome!

  7. Kolya says:

    I know it’s your own subjective criteria, but I’m with those who thinks that it was disgraceful of you to include La Russophobe among the top five Russia blogs. I’m no fan of Putin’s Kremlin, but La Russophobe is simply a hateful a and bigoted site.

    Russia Blog also does not deserve to be counted among the top five–it’s a rather bland site which too often reads like propaganda.

  8. Good to see some earnest discussion. Russia Blog has had some eye opening material that goes against the standard propaganda found elsewhere:

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=5&search=Michael+Averko

    Saying that Russia Blog is “propaganda” isn’t more legitimate than saying that Sean’s Russia Blog caters to a left bias. This includes Sean Guillory encouraging a slanted advocacy which encourages troll like activity against some views that he doesn’t agree with. I suspect that he feels a need to impress certain individuals in a way that goes against his views away from such coercion. I stay away from that site on account of his overt bias. I’ve no problems taking legitimate criticism. Such a spirit doesn’t include a moderator siding with troll like antics and adding misrepresentations of his own.

    Sean posted some crap about me saying that I dwell too much on bias against Russia. That’s like saying that he dwells too much on bigoted activity in Russia against non-Russians, youth politics and the Russian left. Besides commenting on the overt anti-Russian biases, I comment on a number of other FSU related matters.

    My knock against Russia Blog is that a good number of posted comments submissions appear to get lost in the filter. The loosely affiliated to Russia Blog Discovery Institute can be considered part of the American political establishment. This piece was apparently too problematical for them:

    http://byzantinesacredart.com/blog/2008/01/critical-review-averko.html

    Siberian Light is to be commended for covering a diversity of topics in a qualitative manner that includes a respectful attitude towards other views. Wally’s site does likewise

    There’re Russia related blogs that tend to deal with a specific issue. While not being as diverse in coverage, some of them are pretty good at what they cover. Mark MacKinnon is good at accepting different views from his own.

    I agree with the comments made about an anonymous bigot’s site which involves more than one person. Anti-Russian bigotry should be considered more legitimate than any other kind of ethnic prejudices out there.

  9. “Anti-Russian bigotry should be considered more legitimate than any other kind of ethnic prejudices out there.”

    Should be considered as no more legitimate. No Freudian slip.

  10. Sig says:

    All of the above are on my Google Reader. I tend to view LR as hilariously bad, but occasionally interesting.

    Some others I read or check on regularly…

    Russian Forces Blog (http://russianforces.org/) concerning Russian military issues (primarily strategic forces).

    Not really a blog so much as an aggregator: Global Voices Online (http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/-/world/eastern-central-europe/russia/)

    Darkness at Noon (http://darknessatnoon.blogspot.com/)

    Rule of Law (http://www.ruleoflaw.ru/)

    Sig

  11. Second resubmission (apologize if it appears in duplicate)

    Actually my personal note reads as: shouldn’t be considered more legitimate than any other kind of ethnic prejudices out there.

  12. poemless says:

    Like Robert Amsterdam’s site, I think Russia Blog is useful and informative regardless of its particular agenda. I think they’ve done some valuable work debunking “media myths” about Russia, are quite professional and polite (choosing to inform or ignore rather than badger those who perhaps don’t agree with them), and sometimes they just have fun little cultural tidbits I’ve never heard about. Despite being weirdly affiliated with the Discovery Institute, they seem pretty harmless. Though I have no idea how influential they are.

    Interesting aside re: propaganda. I think it is a somewhat “Western” notion that “propaganda” is bad in itself. I can’t speak for contemporary Russian mindsets, but back in the day, propaganda was considered a good thing, the propagation, dissemination of ideas. There is an element of bias in ALL communication, nothing is truly objective, so no sense in trying to pretend it is. The goal wasn’t to be fair and balanced, but right, and effective. So I’m hesitant to write something off on the grounds that it is propaganda, especially when it is not trying to hide its agenda. We know Amsterdam is representing Khodorkovsky. We know Russia Blog is pro-investment in Russia and improving relations. We know LR hates Russia. It’s the propaganda masquerading as totally objective (like in the NYT, BBC, etc.) that frustrates me.

    The propagation of ideas and information is fine with me; my issue starts when that turns into the propagation of hate and intolerance.

  13. Sean says:

    Thanks Andy for listing me. It’s an honor. I’m also glad that you listed Amsterdam’s blog. I think that it doesn’t get the recognition it well deserves (even when I do disagree with some of what they advocate). He must have a team of people on that thing given the amount of content. Plus the topics are stuff few of us cover. Quality stuff.

    Your opinion is respected. This post was on today’s JRL. Your mention has increased traffic to my site. I think that is a testament to your authority. So let me join the nattering chorus in saying that all of us would put you on our list. But let’s be honest, it would have been silly if Andy named himself! That would have been a little weird.

  14. Nekto from Khabarovsk says:

    I used to read occasionally LR sentations for a while back. But knowing that she erases oppositional posts reversed me from doing so.
    Good luck!

  15. Andy says:

    W Snedd said that including LR was “Rather like including a KKK website on a list of top African-American blogs”

    Oddly enough, I agree with this. I don’t agree with most of what LR publishes and, far too often, she publishes work which I find offensive.

    Having said that, she is – again, in my view – easily one of the five most influential English language blogs about Russia.

    To go back the KKK analogy – we may hate what they stand for but, in a hideous way, they were a huge factor in shaping African American history, and the way that others viewed African Americans and their rights. Not because they were nice, but because they were polarising. While they attracted their share of nutjobs, they also provoked more rational people into committing to a sane viewpoint – that African Americans deserve the same rights as other Americans.

    Sean wrote: But let’s be honest, it would have been silly if Andy named himself! That would have been a little weird.

    True. Maybe what I should do is write an anonymous Top 5 list with Siberian Light at the top and see if I can get it published somewhere else…

  16. Kolya says:

    In my book, Sean’s Russia Blog blog is definitely the top blog about Russia in English. Not that I agree with all of Sean’s views, but his pieces are consistently thoughtful and interesting, which, in turn, often elicit interesting discussions. In addition, let me parrot Sean by saying that Robert Amsterdam’s blog was a good and obvious choice. I’m not bothered if a given blog has a particular slant I don’t share, as long as the material is informative and well reasoned and its rhetoric is neither abusive nor bigoted. And it’s because of its abusive bigotry that I objected to the inclusion of La Russophobe in Andy’s list. If with this Top Five list Andy did not mean to confer an honor but merely indicate which English language blogs about Russia are the most influential, then he was probably right to include La Russophobe. After all, Time selected plenty of unsavory characters as men of the year (Stalin, Khomeini, and so on.)

  17. Andy says:

    Just to be clear, I’m not really aiming to confer an honour with this post.

    Instead, the post is aimed at outlining which blogs I think people ought to be reading if they want to keep up with the state of the English language Russia blogs today.

  18. Excerpt:

    “Having said that, she is – again, in my view – easily one of the five most influential English language blogs about Russia.”

    *****

    “She” constitutes a team of others, who might very well be professionally involved with the FSU coverage. “Influential” shouldn’t be confused with having a deserved/privileged status. Some non-Russian ethnic groups have been successful in influencing others in the limelight to de-emphasize ties to entities seen as bigoted.

    Those saying that the discussed blog in question is bigoted shouldn’t just take aim at it. Rather point to those feeding it. In Andy’s case, he has a very earnest spirit in acknowledging pertinent views. However, there’re others who are more selective in a way that’s not so objective.

    The bottom line is that there’re any number of qualitatively interesting material getting shelved in favor of that blog. This includes JRL posting material from that venue, while clearly discriminating against others (a fact that continues to be covered up in a most Soviet like manner) and JRL propping an eXile.ru article quoting the blog in question, as if the latter is a responsible source. Note that eXile.ru had once been muzzled at JRL.

    You’ve others who belittle the anti-Russian bias, while being comparatively more quick to highlight biases against others.

    —————————————————————————

    Excerpt:

    “To go back the KKK analogy – we may hate what they stand for but, in a hideous way, they were a huge factor in shaping African American history, and the way that others viewed African Americans and their rights. Not because they were nice, but because they were polarising. While they attracted their share of nutjobs, they also provoked more rational people into committing to a sane viewpoint – that African Americans deserve the same rights as other Americans.”

    ****

    Tell me about it! Since this is being raised again, let me remind you of the “human rights attorney”, who had the gall of falsely accusing me of having a “strong anti-Semitic flavor” while simultaneously and absurdly acknowledging not being familiar with my work. This was communicated here at SL. That individual clearly attempted to shut me up in the form of trying to defame me. It backfired, but not completely. There was clearly stated opposition to his attempted smear campaign. Nevertheless that individual still gets propped at some high profile venues, which continue to show a bias towards Russia unfriendly views over some perfectly valid Russia friendly ones.

    As one learned observer privately noted to a select few:

    “The Congress of Russian Americans (CRA) tried to unite
    organizations and individuals to carry on Serbian Unity Congress-type work. CRA had a measure
    of success, but, with official US policy like the “Captive Nations Resolution” (refer to: http://www.russiablog.org/2006/04/yuschenkos_wife_and_the_ugly_h.php ) which made ethnic
    Russians responsible for communism and “enslavement” of others, Russian
    Americans have been shutout from the kind of funding given to others.”

    It’s kind of “weird” how some will chastise Russian mass media for not giving a journalist having views like Politkovskaya greater play, while saying that English language mass media isn’t obligated to carry any number of views sympathetic to Russia.

    All this explains why there’s talk of putting together an effective English language media/public relations presence in the US and abroad. Hopefully such an effort will not get screwed up. I want to thank Russia Blog for posting material on this issue (pardon misspell in the below link):

    http://www.russiablog.org/2008/01/the_institute_for_democracy_an.php#comments

    It’s very clear who is and isn’t sympathetically aware of the permeating biases out there. Hopefully, their advocacy will be given the same play as that of the bigots. Constructive criticism of Russia shouldn’t be confused with highly promoted hypocritical attacks against it.

  19. Addendum to this last set of posted comments:

    “Tell me about it! Since this is being raised again, let me remind you of the ¬ďhuman rights attorney¬Ē, who had the gall of falsely accusing me of having a ¬ďstrong anti-Semitic flavor¬Ē while simultaneously and absurdly acknowledging not being familiar with my work. This was communicated here at SL. That individual clearly attempted to shut me up in the form of trying to defame me. It backfired, but not completely. There was clearly stated opposition to his attempted smear campaign. Nevertheless that individual still gets propped at some high profile venues, which continue to show a bias towards Russia unfriendly views over some perfectly valid Russia friendly ones.”

    ****

    I meant to add that the mentioned esq. has willingly appeared at LR. Yet, he has the gall to say that I’m bigoted.

    Another factor at LR is stating individuals by their name and then calling them “scumbag” in a formal post. This has happened at least twice.

  20. W. Shedd says:

    Instead, the post is aimed at outlining which blogs I think people ought to be reading if they want to keep up with the state of the English language Russia blogs today.

    Right.

    And as I said, just as I wouldn’t refer someone to a KKK forum to keep up on the state of African-American blogs, I would never refer anyone to LR’s searingly hate-filled blog.

    If you think anyone … any rational person seeking to be informed on the topic of Russia (history, politics, culture, current events) … should be reading LR, then I really have misjudged you.

  21. Andy says:

    The English language Russia blogosphere (for want of a better term) reflects in microcosm what is good, as well as what is bad about human nature. As well as well thought out arguments and quality analysis, ill tempered unpleasantries abound.

    Even blogs like this one aren’t unaffected – go to the grey box in the sidebar, click comments, and read through some of the long ‘discussions’ that took place earlier this year on Siberian Light, or check out some of the longer comments threads over at Sean’s. There’s plenty of quality debate, but mostly the discussions descend into slanging matches eventually.

    As for LR – her views are widely read and widely discussed, much as we might hate them and much as we might like to pretend they are not. Week in, week out, more people visit LR than read SL (although I’m doing my best to change that!). Check out Technorati and compare the LR profile with SL, or Sean’s blog, or Russia Blog – LR has the most backlinks.

    Regrettably LR thoroughly deserves her place in any honest roundup of the most relevant and influential Russia bloggers today.

  22. “There’s plenty of quality debate, but mostly the discussions descend into slanging matches eventually.”

    ****

    To reiterate with some examples:

    As per the above quoted: in some instances, with the host having encouraged it by taking the side of those displaying troll like manner, followed by the host’s partisan comments siding with the trolls, which reveals his own shortcomings. My “fault” on this is to take as earnest an approach as possible, unlike the behind the scene manipulative coercion that was acknowledged by someone other than myself who is familiar with the JRL crowd. This acknowledgement was stated in one of my mail lists.

    There’re numerous examples of interesting, spirited discussion falling well short of troll like antics:

    http://www.siberianlight.net/2007/07/05/sochi-to-host-the-2014-winter-olympics/

    http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2007/09/23/ukraine-the-language-issue/

    http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@219.OxwEah9XnLA@.77480649/8706

    Replying to troll like manner shouldn’t be confused with initiating it. In any event, others besides myself keep a distance away from such venues. Note those among the elitny who feeds the imperfections out there, while muting some comparatively more acceptable input.

    There’s a difference between a politically biased venue which isn’t so sympathetic to anti-Russian biases and placating itself to flawed influentially flawed others, versus an entity which is out and out bigoted; on top of not being so historically and politically knowledgeable about the FSU.

    Kudos to Andy for propping a venue like:

    http://minaev.blogspot.com/2008/01/january-11-in-russian-history.html

    “Regrettably” some questionable sources are determining what is and isn’t of interest to be put on a center stage. This doesn’t include, Andy whose approach is even handed, despite my sometimes disagreeing with him.

  23. Kolya says:

    “Regrettably LR thoroughly deserves her place in any honest roundup of the most relevant and influential Russia bloggers today.”

    Unfortunately you are correct.

  24. Doesn’t have to be that way. Fault lies with those feeding it, while overlooking some better options.

  25. Dear Andy,

    Thanks for what I take to be your kind invitation by e-mail to comment on this post. I’ve thought of a delightfully backhanded compliment to give you, so let me start with that: Any such list that excludes Siberian Light and includes Russia Blog has been prepared by someone who seriously needs to have his head examined. Not bad, eh?

    I think it is ridiculous in the extreme to claim that Russia Blog “brings widest range of voices to our attention. One can agree with their drumbeat of horrifically dishonest Russophile nationalist gibberish if one is an idiot, but not even an idiot could suggest that their contributors are anything other than a small group of people with strong business and financial stakes in Putin’s Russia, stakes that are never declared to such readers as they may have. My blog has repeatedly exposed outrageous factual errors and outright misrepresentations by Russia blog, and not a single correction has ever been issued. Now, they stand utterly discredited and nearly obsolete. Lyndon’s blog is far, far more worthy of note than theirs, and I could name many others (indeed, any Russia blog you can name would qualify). You demean yourself by recommending that anyone read it, especially a lay person unable to defend himself against their perfidy.

    I find it interesting, as well, that you would use the term “scholarly” to refer to Sean’s Russia Blog, given that Mr. Guillory is now, as I understand it, publishing content on the eXile, perhaps the least scholarly institution on the planet. But then again, perhaps by “scholarly” you simply mean the term in the common understanding, i.e. boring. Your statement that “if you¬íe looking for information about Youth Politics in Russia (or punks, for that matter), Sean knows all there is to know” reveals ghastly ignorance; as far as I know, Sean has said nothing meaningful about the trials and tribulations of Russia’s leading youth politician, Oleg Kozlovsky. And you yourself, unless I am mistaken, have been woefully remiss on that topic. I’d be glad to be proved wrong, however. To be sure, Sean knows a lot about the history of youth politics in Russia, but his unwillingness to confine himself to this knowledge undermines his value greatly.

    I’m stunned that, in discussing Robert Amsterdam’s blog, you fail to mention his recent nomination for an outstanding blogger award, the first Russia blog ever to earn such an honor. Amsterdam now dominates the Russia blogging landscape like a giant, so if someone disagrees with his perspective it’s perhaps that person, rather than Amsterdam, who needs some adjustment.

    You do quite properly note, however, the close ideological sympathy that is shared between Amsterdam and myself (without noting that I came first). Between the two of us, we have a position of unquestionable dominance in the blogosphere where Russian politics is concerned, and are steadily moving forward to influence the MSM. For that reason, no intelligent person can dispute that we are in class by ourselves.

    Yours truly,

    Kim Zigfeld

  26. “Lyndon¬ís blog is far, far more worthy of note than theirs, and I could name many others (indeed, any Russia blog you can name would qualify).”

    ****

    Much like the author of the above quoted, the former is of a more personal attack mode when compared to the latter. Overall and offhand, I believe that RB seems to cover a wider range of Russian topics than the blog it has been compared to.

    For that matter, “many others” qualify as a “far” more “worthy” write up than LR.

    RM’s blog doesn’t call people “scum bag” and doesn’t make comments that can be reasonably considered as bigoted.

    Once again, anyone (whether they’re characterized as scholars or otherwise)who utilize the earlier mentioned (in this thread) crank like methods shouldn’t be carrying the ball.

  27. Kolya says:

    Please folks, don’t be stupid enough to take her bait.

  28. “RM¬ís blog doesn¬ít call people ‘scum bag’ and doesn¬ít make comments that can be reasonably considered as bigoted.”

    ****

    RM’s should be RA’s for Robert Amsterdam’s

    —————————————————————————

    “Please folks, don¬ít be stupid enough to take her bait.”

    ****

    A point that could be addressed to Mark Ames and David Johnson for propping that entity unlike some deserved others out there.

    Like I said in Andy’s instance, it’s in the spirit of being more completely open to what’s available.

  29. Re: http://rossijskajafederazija.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/die-funf-besten-englischsprachigen-russland-blogs/

    The above link is involves a moron, whose commentary is understandably not taken so seriously by a good number.

    This is said in reply to an absurd point made at that link.

    Second attempt. Please excuse if duplicated.

    Three different blogs with a significant following have said that my contributions at their respectives sites have boosted their number and diversity of recorded visits.

    Unlike the referenced German speaker, my commentary has also been picked up by the BBC and Reuters.

    TKO

  30. Sean says:

    I think I should get an award for making the most pro-Russian (Averko) and the most anti-Russian (LR) commentators here to bash me. I think that alone should speak to my credentials. It certainly tells me that I’m doing something right.

    Sorry Kolya, I couldn’t resist.:)

  31. Sean says:

    Speak should be speaks for speaks

    ūüėČ

  32. Sucking up to the ineptitude out there serves as a reason for why the coverage isn’t doing as well as it can.

    My “bash” is fact based, whereas the Guillory reply attempts to diffuse it.

  33. BTW, SRB and LR have bashed me. As per Sean: “I¬ím doing something right.” ūüėČ

  34. Andy says:

    Sean, clearly you are the most controversial blogger in town.

    It’s surely only be a matter of time before a line drawing of you in big frilly knickers appears in the eXile…

  35. Lyndon says:

    Hmm, I thought I would refrain from commenting on this thread, but I have to agree with Sean and second his self-nomination for the hereby inaugurated Wack Job Pinata Award. Being bashed by both extremes often indicates you’re doing something right.

    Notwithstanding the surprising shout-out here, I’ve received a number of hostile comments from LR over the past year – most recently, this one (calling me a “tiny little blogger” and characterizing my analysis as “infantile” and “vaguely insane”). Perhaps if I play my cards right, I’ll find myself short-listed for next year’s Wack Job Pinata Award.

    FWIW, Andy, I think I agree with your list, with the exception of your exclusion of yourself.

  36. Lyndon says:

    PS – before anyone takes umbrage at the tongue-in-cheek use of “Wack Job” in my previous comment, let me be clear that I’m using it in this context as shorthand for “someone who is so extreme or illogical in the expression of their views that they discredit those very views.”

    Andy: The English language Russia blogosphere (for want of a better term) reflects in microcosm what is good, as well as what is bad about human nature. As well as well thought out arguments and quality analysis, ill tempered unpleasantries abound.

    Although assessments of blogs and deep thoughts about human nature seem like they should not appear in the same sentence, those words ring true.

  37. Andy says:

    Pretentiousness is my speciality!

  38. W. Shedd says:

    Check out Technorati and compare the LR profile with SL, or Sean’s blog, or Russia Blog РLR has the most backlinks.

    Andy, surely you realize that many of her 177 “backlinks” cited to her blog are links to herself!? It only takes a moment to figure that out. She has managed to get some articles with Publius Pundit, Pajamas Media, and and runs two other lower profiles blogs. All are mechanisms to provide backlinks to herself, to jack up Technorati Authority, etc.

    Based on backlinks alone, I think Accidental Russophile might just squeek into the top 5 (last time I checked, my “Authority” was 98). However, much of that is due to one of my articles getting picked up and linked by about 20 different individuals. As you are aware, the Technorati numbers are flawed and can be manipulated. Sean’s Russia Blog, which I greatly respect, only gets an “Authority” of 79, despite his superior content and roughly 30% higher daily traffic than my blog.

    I do understand your point about the possibility of something good resulting in negative attention. In general, I disagree with it, as I think bigotry begets continued bigotry. So I think your point is a complete rationalization. Sort of like Archie Bunker saying he did lots of good for them there “spics,” “spades,” “wops,” “dagos,” “gooks,” “spooks,” and “hebes” getting organized.

    Anyway, I appreciate that my objections and points were taken well. It appears a significant number of people chimed in as well. At best we can hope for a positive reaction to overcome a site that, in my opinion, dispenses venom.

  39. Sean says:

    most recently, this one (calling me a ¬ďtiny little blogger¬Ē and characterizing my analysis as ¬ďinfantile¬Ē and ¬ďvaguely insane¬Ē).

    Don’t worry Lyndon. The good thing about narcissists is that when they talk about others, they are only really talking about themselves.

    I’ll be waiting for my Wack Job Pinata Award. Please fill it with chocolate. I like chocolate.

  40. “Being bashed by both extremes often indicates you¬íre doing something right.”

    ***

    Agree, as it substantiates my point.

    ————————————————————————–

    “Don¬ít worry Lyndon. The good thing about narcissists is that when they talk about others, they are only really talking about themselves.”

    Also from the above quoted:

    “I think I should get an award for making the most pro-Russian (Averko) and the most anti-Russian (LR) commentators here to bash me. I think that alone should speak to my credentials. It certainly tells me that I¬ím doing something right.”

    ***

    I’m not an anonymous bigot or someone encouraging troll like antics which include misrepresenting someone else’s views. Pointing this out isn’t “narcissist”. Someone who credits others for ideas picked up elsewhere isn’t displaying narcissist manner.

    Checking back at this thread, I made an appropriate reply to comments made about one blog reflecting “propaganda” while another one was lauded.

    So much for private emails purporting a desire to not continue such discussion. ūüėČ

  41. A “narcissist” is also likely to change their views/tact for perceived advancement.

  42. BTW, there’s nothing “extreme” about my overall views when compared to some of the ones I reply to. Regarding extremes, there’s a saying about how political extremes often end up together. I’m not the one appearing at a venue uncritically propping Stephen Schwartz’s extreme anti-Slavic Orthodox views.

    Try dealing with the actual issues instead of diverting attentiion away from them, with questionable observations away from such matter.

    It’s also off base to confuse a reply to negatively misrepresentative comments as being “narcissist”.

  43. poemless says:

    I hate to be the person who busts out in Kumbaya, but I feel like I’ve helped feed some beast… Apologies.

    Aside from LR, what exactly is the origin of all the defensiveness? I mean, the English language Russian blogosphere is relatively underpopulated, and it seems you all have something unique and valuable (with one exception, IMO) to contribute. Is there something about the subject that brings out one’s inner drama queen? (It is Russia, not … Belgium, after all.) Is it simply about opposing ideologies? By the standards of others, I’m probably firmly in the “pro-Russia” camp, even sometimes in a (gasp! shock horror!) “pro-Putin” camp. But I still really admire people like Robert Amsterdam and Eduard Limonov just as much if not more than, say, Yuri Mamchur or Peter Lavelle. And I sleep well at night.

    BTW, whatever happened to intelligent.ru? I always feel like I’m this close to falling into the crater where that site used to be…

    Anyway, I just feel the need to suggest that there’s room enough for all of you in the E.L.R.B.

    Sean:
    “I think I should get an award for making the most pro-Russian (Averko) and the most anti-Russian (LR) commentators here to bash me. I think that alone should speak to my credentials. It certainly tells me that I’m doing something right.”

    You are. But I don’t think it has anything to do with LR or Averko. ūüôā Still, you should get some chocolate anyway…

  44. “But I still really admire people like Robert Amsterdam and Eduard Limonov just as much if not more than, say, Yuri Mamchur or Peter Lavelle.

    ****

    Far from being the only go to sources out there offering quality commentary.

    ————————————————————————–

    “BTW, whatever happened to intelligent.ru? I always feel like I¬ím this close to falling into the crater where that site used to be¬Ö”

    ****

    As I understand it, that site’s funding dried up. In some instance, sites get taken down when their on line fees aren’t kept up. I’m not exactly sure how that specifically works. That’s the gist of the answer.

    Looking forward to the well deserved chocolate.

  45. Rather earned chocolate.

  46. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Hey Guys)

    the first thing I’d like to say is that well done to Sean and also compliments to Andy on two fine blogs. I’m sorry I havent been able to read either of them much lately as I’ve been working at home, small village in the west of Ireland, and only got the internet in yesterday. I especially liked Andy’s Real Siberia series. Sean that football article is on the way now that I’m back on-line.

    I know I’ve certainly contributed to the referred to ‘slanging matches’, but the fact is there are certain commenters out there whose views are, to put it mildy, not only widly inaccurate but also disingenous and frankly revolting. One of the worst was that Chechen War One was justifed. My apologies, but this nonsense, RUBBISH, simply cries out for criticism from people like me who are heavily involved with Russia, care deeply about the place and fully appreciate the sheer evil and stupidity of such opinions. Apologism for dictatorship, murder(which is what Chechen War One was- a genocide) and defending the likes of Slobodan Milosevic, not to mention the continuous promotion of websites of ‘dubious’ content is always going to provoke reaction. Then there’s the contiuous background drumbeat of criticism, much of totally personal and baseless, of media figures. My apologies again Andy for my own contribution to some of the grief, but nonsense brings the worst out in me.
    As for LR, LR is what she is – a woman wronged by Russia and wont let go. Take no notice.

  47. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”This piece was apparently too problematical for them:

    http://byzantinesacredart.com/blog/2008/01/critical-review-averko.html

    I’m not suprised. It has to be one of the crankiest articles I have ever read on the internet.

  48. The last set of misrepresentative comments come from a trolling imbecile, who didn’t substantiate any of his points.

    He reflects a very negative factor in cyber.

    My thanks to the Serbian Unity Congress and Serbianna news wire for picking up that Byzantine Sacred Art Blog article.

    The Byzantine Sacred Art Blog is one of the best English language blogs covering Serb issues. Its owner said that the article in question was very well received in the number and diversity of views.

    So much for the idiot who didn’t substantiate any of his crank views.

  49. Seeing how former Yugoslavia was raised, here’re some other fine English language blogs covering that subject:

    http://grayfalcon.blogspot.com/

    http://serbblog.blogspot.com/

    http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/

    http://serbianna.com/blogs/

    http://eastern-european-forum.blogspot.com/

    http://djurdjevich.blog.com/

    As for troll conversations, one can reference a rather pious non-Russian Moscow based media person who confidently remarked that most Russians know nothing about Srebrenica. As the conversation progressed, it was clear that the person in question didn’t know much about the subject, while expressing incorrect assumptions. Rather than support decency, the moderator jumped in on the side of the “star”.

    The conversation in question was referenced:

    http://www.nopunditintended.com/2007/12/02/serbianna-thoughts-on-the-past-year/#more-108

    I’m glad that this venue has been relatively troll free:

    http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@940.5zcqaiz2q5y@.77480649/8706

  50. The most excellent Byzantine Sacred Art Blog:

    http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/blog/

    I’m reposting it, since it wasn’t linked in some recent comments involving it.

    Neil Clark has a pretty good blog as well. Among some other good sites, Clark’s blog is linked at the Byzantine Sacred Art Blog.

  51. Tim Newman says:

    As for troll conversations, one can reference a rather pious non-Russian Moscow based media person who confidently remarked that most Russians know nothing about Srebrenica.

    One can also reference a non-Russian based non-media person who denies that several thousand people, mainly muslim males, were systematically executed by the Serbs at Srebrenica. I wonder how many “most Russians” believe were killed.

  52. The troll factor has been brought here.

    The arrogantly ignorant one is apparently unaware of the overall evidence and non-evidence about that instance.

    In point of fact, I go into it.

    The details have been provided.

    Let’s see some earnest follow-up, as opposed to troll like antics that skirt away from the involved particulars.

    BTW, for several reasons, this is a lie if it’s being directed at me (which it no doubt is):

    “One can also reference a non-Russian based non-media person who denies that several thousand people, mainly muslim males, were systematically executed by the Serbs at Srebrenica. I wonder how many ‘most Russians’ believe were killed.”

    ****

    In point of fact, I’m on record for calling it a crime, while noting the earlier crime in Srebrenica which involved Muslim on Serb murder.

    Overall, there’s no conclusive proof of 7000-8000 Muslim males being summarily executed at Srebrenica. Based on what’s known, it’s reasonable to put that figure in a 2000-4000 range. The earlier Muslim atrocity against Serbs might’ve likely involved up to 3500 fatalities. Among otrhers, Diane Johnstone, Ed Herman and David Peterson have researched this matter.

    Vis-a-vis TM: those more learned individuals out there should keep in mind the earlier off the wall mass rape and 200,000 plus casualty figures whicgh have been shown to be bogus.

  53. Meant ot read as TN.

  54. Tim Newman says:

    The arrogantly ignorant one is apparently unaware of the overall evidence and non-evidence about that instance.

    Indeed, I am completely unaware of non-evidence regarding Srebrenica. No doubt you are well aware of this non-evidence. Meanwhile, my source of information on the Serb massacre at Srebrenica is this one. Out of interest, what’s yours?

    Overall, there’s no conclusive proof of 7000-8000 Muslim males being summarily executed at Srebrenica. Based on what’s known, it’s reasonable to put that figure in a 2000-4000 range.

    Actually, the ICTY has accounted for 4454 individuals so far. Your consistent approach to the subject has you wailing that the Serbs are being unfairly treated by the western media, because they have committed the heinous crime of exaggerating the numbers.

  55. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”The last set of misrepresentative comments come from a trolling imbecile, who didn¬ít substantiate any of his points.”

    Funny that, because here

    http://seansrussiablog.org/2007/05/22/crying-sun-the-impact-of-war-in-the-mountains-of-chechnya/

    its quite clear that Mike didnt even know when the war started, let alone the factors at play. Makes me wonder how one can confidently say that the war was justified. Seems like Great Russian Nationalist jingoism to me.
    As for the incident with Michele A Berdy, well, obviously she wouldnt know anything about Russia – she’s only worked there, in media, for 30 years, and is fluent in Russian. Clearly speaking no Russian and living on Long Island is more conducive to better understanding of Russia than living there and speaking the language. And Slobodan Milosevic? He was just misunderstood.

  56. Chrius Maximus says:

    Hey, was that an article on sports? That makes Ger – 3, Mike – 0.

  57. Newman:

    You carry on like an idiot. At this thread, I linked my reply on Srebrenica which answers that in full.

    Ever here of forensic evidence, which typically includes identifying the corpses, how they were killed and when?

    The Bosnian Civil War lasted for a good period before the one incident you concern yourself with.

    You’ve provided nothing to refute my fact based points on the subject.

    In addition, you say nothing of the earlier led Nasir Oric massacre of Serbs.

    —————————————————————————

    Trolls have a habit of selectively nit picking certain particulars to soothe their warped egos and misguided views. I can go back to what became a sewer and show the dim witted replies by at least 3 (if not more) people posting at this thread. I prefer getting picked up by Reuters and the BBC, in addition to being involved with a relatively successful email list; which has me in touch with a good number of academics and media people.

    Among others, Charles William Maynes (former Carter administration foreign policy official and one time editor of Foreign Policy) shares my view of why there was a need to militarily address the lawlessness problem which led to the first Chechen war.

    I’m also on record for saying that the Russian armed forces weren’t properly prepared and utilized in that war. This resulted in the kind of carnage that happened.

    Like Tim Newman, Michelle Berdy showed little knowledge of what happened at Srebrenica, while displaying an arrogantly ignorant attitude. This included to not acknowledge their being off in their view on the subject.

    So much for the babbling troll.

    —————————————————————————

    Not at all Chris Doss. That goes for your troll friend’s articles.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22Missives+About+Russian+ice+Hockey%22&btnG=Google+Search

    What sports articles have been written by Lavelle, Kagarlitsky and Limonov?

    The above linked piece made News Now and received a thumbs up at Siberian Light.

  58. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Among others, Charles William Maynes (former Carter administration foreign policy official and one time editor of Foreign Policy) shares my view of why there was a need to militarily address the lawlessness problem which led to the first Chechen war.”

    I dont care who you wheel out to justify your claims – the decision to attack Chechnya, with full military force, was a wrong one, full stop. As I recall you described the invasion as ”a wake up call for Russia to qualitatively revamp its amrmed forces”. Thats just sick. And worse, this rubbish is written by you, someone who’d never heard of Tom De Waal. Or Babichev. Or Baryatinsky. Or Samil. Even more hilarious, you asked if any of the deaths during the mass forced migration to Kazhakstan were ‘deliberate’, and said of the whole thing dismissively that it ‘challenged moral virtues’. You fraudulently dismiss the independence claims of both Kosovo and Chechnya and promote those of the PMR, a country run by gangsters who pay you for propoganda pieces. The simple fact is Mike neither here nor at SRB have you YOURSELF been able to justify the Russian invasion. I apologise to readers for continuing on this subject, but it is one I am reasonably versed on and it bothers me greatly to hear either Averkian or Russian bullshit.

    ”I prefer getting picked up by Reuters and the BBC, in addition to being involved with a relatively successful email list;”
    We can assume neither have picked you up since? Or will you be on about it forever, like Sergei Roy’s ”support”?
    And how many are on your list voluntarily? I mean who requested to be?

    ”Like Tim Newman, Michelle Berdy showed little knowledge of what happened at Srebrenica, while displaying an arrogantly ignorant attitude.”
    That was never the issue in MABs case. She, with a lifetime of experience in Russia, said most Russians wouldnt be aware of what happened. Again, in terms of experience and language skills, you are simply no match for her.

  59. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Not at all Chris Doss. That goes for your troll friend¬ís articles.”

    I think you’ll find that my three hobbyist articles are far better written than yours, and unlike yours tend not to descend into pointless political invective or personal attack on media figures.

  60. Third submission. First didn’t appear to go thru. Apologize if duplicate.

    Your articles weren’t better. This explains why they didn’t get picked up as much elsewhere. Unlike that article of mine, you’re full of “invective”, to go along with being full of something else. Note that Andy liked my ice hockey article. Die hard ice hockey fans especially like my piece.

    You repeat another idiotic point about Berdy. Just because she lives in Russia doesn’t mamke her an authority on former Yugoslavia. A point that was conclusively proven and one which you gloss over, while being unable to deny.

    Face it, you’re a pathetic idiot.

    Off to a Super Bowl party, which exvludes the stupid likes of yourself.

    GO GIANTS!

    Solly Wally (though I’ll probably be the sorry one at the emnd of the game).

  61. I should say first two.

  62. And duplicate.

    There’s the belief that the better athlete depreciates when playing against inferior talent. That belief applies elsewhere as well.

  63. Chrius Maximus says:

    Yup. The evidence speaks for itself. As I said before:

    Ger – 3, Mike – 0.

  64. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Your articles weren¬ít better. ”

    Yes, they are. I’m not even a semi-pro but clearly my prose is a lot better than yours, sticks with facts and is bereft of the grammatical murder you regularily commit, not to mention your tasteless and often ridiculous analogies (Jackass and Kosovo independence, anyone?. And unlike you I dont submit my articles to all and sundry looking for notice. I am fully aware that it’s a hobby for me, a pity you arent. I daresay if I’d sent them to JRL or somewhere else they may well have been published. I tend to collate facts and put tehm together, you avoid facts like the plague(Tiraspol Times, anyone?) And unlike your articles, mine do not leaving a stream of comment entrails, most of which are challenging the factuality of what you’ve written.

    ”Unlike that article of mine, you¬íre full of ¬ďinvective¬Ē, to go along with being full of something else”
    Hardly an article goes by where you dont moan about the mass media or personally attack someone.

    ”You repeat another idiotic point about Berdy. Just because she lives in Russia doesn¬ít mamke her an authority on former Yugoslavia”
    Nobody says she was. We said we agreed with her view that most Russians havent heard of Srebrenica. Once again, you are building a straw man argument. On Russia, she’d take you to the cleaners. And she’s no apologist for genocide, which is always a bonus.

    ”There¬ís the belief that the better athlete depreciates when playing against inferior talent. That belief applies elsewhere as well.”
    Perhaps in gridiron football, but not in hurling or football(soccer). You’re getting confused. Bumpy pitches cause that. I just hope your athletic prowess is a bit better than your writing.

    ”Off to a Super Bowl party, which exvludes the stupid likes of yourself.

    GO GIANTS!”
    Obviously said party excludes myself, as I’m currently in a village in the west of Ireland, not Long Island. Best of luck to the Giants though, I dont think they’ve won it very often( 4 times?)

  65. Tim Newman says:

    Ever here of forensic evidence, which typically includes identifying the corpses, how they were killed and when?

    Had you followed my link, rather than ignored it, you’d have found what I linked to was just that: forensic evidence of how they were killed and when. They identify the victims where possible, and list their names. They even detail the bondings and blindfolds found on the victims. This evidence points to a likely figure of 4454 individuals killed at Srebrenica, yet still – without even bothering to read the forensic evidence which is publically available – insist the figure is between 2000 and 4000.

  66. Tim Newman says:

    This evidence points to a likely figure of 4454 individuals killed at Srebrenica, yet still – without even bothering to read the forensic evidence which is publically available – insist the figure is between 2000 and 4000.

    should read:

    This evidence points to a likely figure of 4454 individuals killed at Srebrenica, yet still – without even bothering to read the forensic evidence which is publically available – you insist the figure is between 2000 and 4000.

  67. http://www.nopunditintended.com/2007/12/02/serbianna-thoughts-on-the-past-year/#more-108

    Big Blue! Giants win! NY rockin!

    Andy, this is one of the greatest moments American sports history.

    —————————————————————————

    At the venue which became a sewer and at a link I provided at this thread, the last point by TN is fully addressed. I also elaborated on it at a recent post at this thread.

    Here’s one of several sources I use:

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=8244

    Once again, many died in Srebrenica BEFORE the incident others and TN specifically target. The Bosnian Civil War casualties included many non-Muslims deaths. The Bosnian Civil War Srebrenica dead related to collateral damage, armed combatants and summary execution.

    I never denied that at least 8000 were killed in Srebrenica during the Bosnian Civil War. An authoritative breakdown confirming how they were killed, when and their ethnicity doesn’t refute what others besides myself have said on the matter.

  68. To reiteterate, there has been a rush to judgment in some quarters which assume that every mass grave in and around Srebrenica reflected Muslim males summarily executed.

    It has been established that this hasn’t been the case. Sometimes the specifics conclusively show this point to be true. Like the instance of murdered Serbs likely killed by Nasir Oric’s forces. In other instances, a good deal remains not so clear.

    As previously noted, some absurdly claimed casualty figures pertaining to the Bosnian Civil war were shown to be false. A point acknowledged after such figures were presented as facts.

  69. Andy says:

    Big Blue! Giants win! NY rockin!

    Andy, this is one of the greatest moments American sports history.

    Speaking as a lifelong Patriots fan, I’m afraid I must disagree…

  70. Come on Andy!

    As a long suffering Red Sox fan, I acknowledge game 6 of the 1986 World series as a historically great baseball moment (I was at that bummer).

    After the third game of the season, NY Giants coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning were getting raked big time for a poor start.

    They kept at it and prevailed.

  71. Chrius Maximus says:

    “I just hope your athletic prowess is a bit better than your writing.”

    Don’t forget that Mike can run so fast, he can make time go backward.

  72. What is Chris Doss good at besides carrying on like a jackass?

    Whoever he was quoting from is no doubt far from perfect and likely doesn’t possess much in terms of analytical skills.

    A reasonable assumption based on how Chris uncritically references that quote.

  73. Regarding the latest troll outburst from Ireland:

    Michelle Berdy showed that she didn’t know as much about Bosnia as she thought.

    When it comes to providing foreign policy analysis, she’s isn’t in my league. That goes for a number of other issues as well. These points also relate to some others.

    The Action Ukraine Report and other venues mail on an unsolicited basis. This was true of the once active Untimely Thoughts.

    Nothing was stated to successfully refute what I’ve said.

    These are repeat points showing how off the wall that troll is.

    He apparently thinks that saying something absurd over and over again will make it true.

  74. Chrisius Maximus says:

    Man, I sure hope Mike doesn’t use his Super-Running to trot across the ocean and get me.

  75. Chris Doss is a real waste of time.

    Sean’s Russia Blog has regretfully come to SL.

    None of Chris’ posts here have been serious.

    An obvious crank personality, in need of attention and something to do.

  76. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Michelle Berdy showed that she didn¬ít know as much about Bosnia as she thought.”

    Again, straw men everywhere. That discussion was about how MAB would be far better acquainted with public opinion in Russia about Srebrenica, not about knowledge of the Former Yugoslavia itself. You may enjoy repeating yourself, but all of us present at that thread know what happened. People like me – who actually study the Russian language – would look up to MAB, a woman whose expererience you are simply no match for nor ever will be.

    Inspite of much questioning, you yourself have failed to account for your heartless opinion that Russia was right to invade Chechnya in 1994, which result in perhaps 40,000 deaths and utter defeat for the Russian army. As I’ve said before, I’d love to have to you put in one of the auls during clean-up operation. Do you know what an aul is Mike?

    ”The Action Ukraine Report and other venues mail on an unsolicited basis. This was true of the once active Untimely Thoughts.”

    If you are using unsolicitied email services as your yardstick, then logically you cannot claim credit for readership, when you are – literally – forcing your opinions into people’s mailboxes, rather than being asked for it.

    ”Nothing was stated to successfully refute what I¬íve said.”

    Perhaps in a parallel universe, where logic operates in reverse.

    ”Big Blue! Giants win! NY rockin!

    Andy, this is one of the greatest moments American sports history”

    I have to say I am delighted for you about this – it was an enthralling match, especially the moment when Manning looked like he’d been caught, escaped, and threw to Tyree(?), whose catch and stretch was breathtaking. Brady looked moody and brooding all night, whereas Manning played with a smile. Was great to watch. As a long suffering Limerick hurling fan(I’ve seen us lose three finals, walked away from stadiums heartbroken so many times) I can only imagine the elation when ones team finally comes good.

  77. Chrisius Maximus says:

    Oh no! Mike has run across the ocean using his Super-Running and is already downstairs! I don’t think security can hold him off much longer! Help, somebody, help! Call Mike’s mom and make her withhold his allowance!

  78. The troll comes back with zero substance.

    He has yet to produce anything showing a keen aptitude for the sort of foreign affairs and history issues that I cover.

    Instead, he cranks out the same bullshit.

    “Captive audience” doesnt’t apply to the Action Ukraine Report and Untimely Thoughts?

    Whether some like it or not, a good number of academics and media folks appreciate my emails. Their opinions are of greater value than some witless troll, who repeatedly misrepresents what I’ve said.

  79. Chris Doss can use a good old fashioned mom disciplinarian to whup his sorry ass in shape.

  80. Chrisius Maximus says:

    Hey, how did you know what your mom and I were doing last night? I didn’t think she was the type to kiss and tell.

  81. Keep dreaming Chris Doss. Pond scum like yourself state such thoughts.

    Is Peter Lavelle still your friend?

    Does he sanction your manner here?

    plavelle@rttv.ru

    His email is a matter of record.

  82. Chrisius Maximus says:

    Hey, I just noticed that Mike doesn’t know what “captive audience” means.

  83. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”The troll comes back with zero substance”

    No, I did come back on substance, as any reasoned observer can see.

    ”He has yet to produce anything showing a keen aptitude for the sort of foreign affairs and history issues that I cover.”

    I content myself with learning the language first(something I consider of extreme importance in understanding Russia) and read history as a hobby – not long ago I read Nagorski’s book on the Battle of Moscow. Unlike you, I prefer not to mire myself in the talentless world of critique – ‘those who create, do, those who cant, criticise’.

    ”¬ďCaptive audience¬Ē doesnt¬ít apply to the Action Ukraine Report and Untimely Thoughts?”

    Information asked for certainly implies a captive audience. Unsolicited material is spam, surely?

    ”Their opinions are of greater value than some witless troll, who repeatedly misrepresents what I¬íve said.”

    No misrepresentations Mike. And you cant come up with an explanation for your dreadful views on Chechnya. You should be ashamed. Know what an aul is Mike?

  84. A repeat troll like performance from an individual who acknowledges corresponding with Chris Doss.

  85. Chrisius Maximus says:

    What Mike Averko does for a living is also on record: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CuriousGeorge.png

  86. Andy says:

    Hey, I just noticed that Mike doesn¬ít know what ¬ďcaptive audience¬Ē means.

    I do though – it’s ‘Andy’. Every two minutes my inbox beeps, and I get to read another delighful installment of dross.

  87. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Is Peter Lavelle still your friend?

    Does he sanction your manner here?”

    Mike, why dont you leave this man alone? He has I daresay no interest in you whatsoever. Do you not think this massive ranting is perhaps counterproductive? PL is hardly ‘sending’ Chris on here. Methinks you overestimate yourself.

  88. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Just one last thing Mike – if you have it in for PL so much, why dont you go and say it to HIM on his RT blog? You spend all your time complaining to everyone else about his puditry. Are you a bit frightened of him or something?

    Andy – point taken, sorry about that.

  89. Chrisius Maximus says:

    We just don’t want Andy to be lonely. We are people who care.

  90. Dublin troll:

    The record shows you to be the troll at Sean’s Russia Blog and this thread.

    On the other hand, I do substantive work which is appreciated by others who display a far more meaningful existence than yourself.

    Why don’t you and your troll friend Chris Doss stop trying to hijack meaningful discussions?

    Chris Doss has been 100% troll at this thread.

  91. Chris Doss’ shining moment in his seemingly miserable existence is to instigate trolling.

    A far cry from what I’m all about.

  92. From Chris Doss:

    “Chrisius Maximus Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 11:58 am
    What Mike Averko does for a living is also on record: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CuriousGeorge.png

    ***

    An obvious attempt of Chris trying to transfer his troubled existence unto me.

  93. Second attempt. Apologize if comes up as a duplicate

    From Chris Doss:

    ¬ďChrisius Maximus Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 11:58 am
    What Mike Averko does for a living is also on record: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CuriousGeorge.png ¬Ē

    ***

    An obvious attempt by Chris at trying to transfer his troubled existence unto me.

  94. All this relates to Guillory’s stated claim of being different from LR.

    Up to a point. He has decidedly approved of this tag team trolling by encouraging it, not saying anything against it, while not directly addressing valid critiques of how he has carried on.

    That’s why I couldn’t agree with the arm chair stated support for his blog and criticism of Russia Blog.

    There should be earnest discussion and not the kind of sleaze ball tactics utilized at this thread.

  95. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike,

    my questions are not sleezeball, and you know they arent, and I’m not trolling. I seriousy questioned your murderous opinions on Chechnya and asked why you feel the need to constantly attack media figures. This is on-topic, as the rest of the thread has been bloggers talking about bloggers and what they do.

    By the way I’m a long way from Dublin,thankfully. Dublin is in the east of the country.

  96. The disingenuous Sean Guillory promoted liar strikes again with repeat misinformation.

  97. Andy:

    What’s this trackback about:

    “Claim Blog ¬Ľ Blog Archive ¬Ľ Comment on Top 5 Russia Blogs by Michael Averko Says:
    February 4th, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    [¬Ö] The Wide Awakes wrote an interesting post today on Comment on Top 5 Russia Blogs by Michael AverkoHere¬ís a quick excerptAll this relates to Guillory¬ís stated claim of being different from LR. ¬Ö the arm chair stated support for his blog and criticism of Russia¬Ö [¬Ö]”

    *****

    At present, the ability to access that site doesn’t seem to be available.

  98. Trolls take the form of the repeated manner of specfically targetting one person in a way that

    – misrepresents what the person in question has said.

    – makes false, negative, personal remarks about an individual, not related to the topic

    Siding with such manner constitutes trolling as well.

    The troll from Ireland recently questioned my giving this email address:

    plavelle@rttv.ru

    That email is a matter of record. Chris Doss is a stated friend of Peter Lavelle.

    I think it’s a perfectly fair question to ask if Lavelle supports the troll like antics here.

    The troll from Ireland says I should “leave the man alone”. He should note the irony of that comment coming from him.

    Lavelle is in media and Doss has worked with him. It’s a valid point.

    Media criticism shouldn’t be confused with trolling.

    It seems quite apparent that some don’t want certain views to be heard for their own convenient interests.

  99. Andy says:

    Andy Рwhat’s this trackback about?

    It’s a scraper blog – they pull content from my RSS feed (and others’) and place it on a site with adsense ads. They’re hoping that people will click on the ads, so that they can make a few bucks.

    They’re really easy to set up, so if someone can set up hundreds, they can make a fairly decent amount of money off the backs of others’ work.

    They send trackbacks so they can get indexed by Google, and into the search engines – that’s where most of their traffic comes from.

    Most of my posts draw in at least two or three trackbacks like this – I try to delete them as soon as I see them, but this one slipped through the net. Gone now though…

  100. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike,

    I made no misrepresentations of you. Your views on Chechnya and other areas you allegedly claim expertise on are out there. I simply believe your views to be reprehensible, ill-informed and those of a Great Russian Nationalist. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I havent called you a troll, which is what many people in the blogsphere refer to you as. The reason I take umbrage with you is that, as Lyndon has noted, you misrepresent in practically everything you write and I dont believe you should be allowed get away with it(sadly I havent an ounce of Lyndon’s class though)
    As for being Sean Guillory promoted, Sean got tired of you taking over his blog I daresay. Get over it. Your record busting comment numbers have crank written all over them.

    Media critique is something that occupies one page at the back of the sunday papers. It is a lazy, dull, boring field. Also, what you do is not critique – you campaign. And have been doing so for years. You seem to have no interest in recognising the very obvious fact that 99.99% of people do not care how Russia is portrayed in the mass media. Would you not think you’d be better employed writing fresh articles that contain facts, and not long, whining, personal rants? And again, why dont you confront Peter Lavelle at his blog? Good grief, you never stop attacking him behind his back.

  101. You’re a troll.

    Tim Newman supports the second Iraq war. How many thousands dead as a result of it? Yet, you don’t critique him at all on that.

    Trolling typically involves such hypocritical manner.

    How about the fire bombing of Dreseden and the A bomb droppings over Horoshima and Nagasaki?

    Are you familiar with Studs Terkel’s book “The Good War”?

    While not glorying in slaugher, there was a sound basis for military action as per the first Chechen war.

    Having said this, I’ve acknowledged the flawed planning and timing as contributing factors to the casualty figures there.

    Why doesn’t Lavelle come here? I like this venue better. It appears censorship free.

    Your attitude on media criticism is indicative of someone not well versed in the issues I raise.

    Troll all you want. You’re making a fool of yourself.

  102. That’s Dresden and Hiroshima.

  103. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike,

    I’ve actually had several on-line disagreements with Tim about Iraq 2. But unlike discussions with you, we can agree to disagree and have done so.

    There was no sound military basis for the invasion of Chechnya and this has been borne out by what happened afterwards. Country ruined, thousands dead and the Russian army themselves defeated utterly. What should have happened were negotiations with Dudayev and Maskhadov and the pouring of federal money into the area. Funny enough the Russians did just that years later with Kadyrov. They neednt have levelled the country first. Not to mention rape and murder. And comparisons with elsewhere do not excuse it. We are talking about Chechnya, not anywhere else. The simple fact is, as has been proven elsewhere, you havent a clue about the Caucuses and should stick to shilling for Igor Smirnov.

    Peter Lavelle has a full-time job presenting a tv show. You’re the one with the Lavelle problem, seems to me he doesnt have an Averko problem. SHouldnt you be taking your arguments to him, rather than bad-mouthing him in emails in such a cowardly fashion?

  104. Second attempt. First didn’t seem to go thru. Apologize if duplicate.

    ****

    You’re the one with the troll problem.

    You once again misrepresent what I’ve said about Chechnya.

    You propped Lavelle’s blog at this venue. I didn’t.

    When it comes to a top rated blog, having a respectful attitude towards different views, Siberian Light is number one.

    Besides, I’m more RTTV guest material.

  105. GER O'BRIEN says:

    I most certainly did not misrepresent anything you said – that is very clear. I said you are wrong to justify Russia’s invasion, and I am certain I made a good argument as to why i believe you are wrong. God Forbid anybody naive out there actually believes your spin and heartlessness.

    ”You propped Lavelle¬ís blog at this venue. I didn¬ít.”
    No, I didnt. I said he had a blog and asked why you dont direct your criticisms to him there directly rather than backstabbing him in such a cowardly manner. Your anti-Lavelle crusade is jealousy wrapped in a cloak of concern for media freedom.

    ”Besides, I¬ím more RTTV guest material”
    An amazing boast, considering you’ve never been published in any newspapers or magazines, bar letters to the editor(except, of course, the TTT print edition). Baby steps Mike.

  106. BTW, cowards troll in a pack like manner.

    I’m not the one doing that.

    The troll once gain mislabels “critique” with “bad mouthing”.

    Note the irony in the way he has carried on.

  107. The troll lies again.

    He brought up Lavelle’s blog and hasn’t said anything against Chris Doss’ blatantly troll antics here.

    In the past year, I appeared on the BBC and had one of my articles picked up by Reuters. I did this without compromising my views, which tend to get the shaft over some others. Previous to that, I appeared as a guest on several Jay Diamond shows. This past summer, I drafted an original in thinking settlement plan for Kosovo. I’ve provided in depth analysis on why Russia’s position on the disputed former Communist bloc territories is more reasonable than America’s. In addition, I’ve written in depth articles on subjects dealing with historical and sports issues.

    That’s far more than what a number of others have done on such matter. Include Lavelle and Berdy, since the troll brought them up as comparisons.

  108. Throw in why Pridnestrovie (Trans-Dniester) has an arguably better case for independence than Kosovo.

  109. Standing up to troll antics isn’t “cowardly” unlike engaging in such manner. The former exhibits a positive attitude which should ideally (IMO) be welcomed by responsible professionals.

  110. GER O'BRIEN says:

    One BBC appearance and one Reuters article. I congratulate you on both, but you’re hardly Hunter S Thompson yet. Or Peter Lavelle for that matter. MAB writes brilliant, much-loved articles on the Russian language and Lavelle, as stated earlier, has a full-time job presenting a tv show. 99% of your work has been on blogs. Again I cant understand why you dont drop the critique stuff, which has only made you enemies.

  111. On “jealousy”, perhaps the troll is jealous in a twisted way that explains his trolling. His Hunter Thompson reference can apply to his propped Lavelle and Berdy.

    So what if Lavelle has a “full time job”. Does that somehow make him exempt?

    Some active media people get fired, with some others moving up. That point shouldn’t get distorted. It addresses another disrespectful and feeble minded point raised by the troll; in his ongoing efforts at trying to discredit me.

  112. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Jealous of what? Are you taking the piss?

  113. 99% of my work hasn’t appeared at blogs.

    As for my blog work, I’m understandably quite proud of some of it.

    This includes my SL review of Mark MacKinnon’s book, which made The Russia Journal and News Now wires. Another author has recently approached me on writing a review of his book.

  114. Perhaps you’re jealous of me fool (though you’ll never admit it). You keep coming at me in a somewhat wacky manner.

  115. BTW, someone who isn’t a fan of Lavelle asked me to anonymously post his thoughts about him in my email list.

    I declined by saying that I’m into constructive criticism and not personal crusades. I found his piece to be a bit on the personal side.

    So, **** you, you troll like beastly S.O.B.

  116. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ) Mike, you’re just ranting now)). Calm down. I’m not jealous of you, dont flatter yourself. I’m not pretending to be a journalist like you. I just dont like your opinions, and will continue to question you on them.

  117. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”So, **** you, you troll like beastly S.O.B.”

    Talk about cranky!)

  118. My comments about Lavelle don’t compare to the troll like barbs directed against me at this and another venue.

    At least this venue has a fair game attitude unlike the other one.

    I can earnestly say that my performance here against the asshole behavior is a further sign of the great ability I possess in a high profile media/public relations position. I’ve the satisfaction of knowing that some intelligent others feel the same way.

  119. Lyndon says:

    Reading these comments is sort of like watching a tragic multi-car pileup or train wreck unfold in super-slow motion. You know what’s going to happen and that it will be terrible, because you’ve seen grainy disaster videos like this before, but you keep watching out of morbid fascination. As in many chaotic situations, though, recourse to hard numbers and quantifiable things can help shed light on the crux of the matter.

    This is now the second-most-commented-on post in the history of Siberian Light. The 117 comments would make it a bit of a piker over at Sean’s Russia Blog, where this kind of thing seems to happen all the time, but still – over a hundred comments is nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps we could conclude, since the original post is about blogs, that the large number of comments is just further proof (as if any were needed) that bloggers like to talk about themselves.

    Further examination, however, reveals that blogger navel-gazing cannot account fully for the high number of comments. Here are the relevant stats: of the 117 comments on this thread so far, 58 (by my count) were posted by the most prolific commenter among us, who also has managed to make three unanswered comments in a row on five separate occasions; four unanswered comments in a row twice; and at one point posted five unanswered comments in a row!

    Although they do not always tell the whole story, simple numbers can be very revealing. In this case, they seem to reveal that the “performance” in the comments above is indeed “a further sign” of said commenter’s “great ability” in matters such as clicking on the “Submit Comment” button.

    And yes, I am aware that a comment analyzing blog comment statistics is “off-topic” almost by definition and could be seen as about as consequential as counting the number of dust motes in one’s belly-button lint. I prefer to think of it as deliciously meta.

    Do carry on, gentlemen, the all-time SL record for comments on one post is within reach!

  120. Lyndon Allin has a habit of not backing up what he confidently says. in his sense, he’s quite predictable. Let’s take this excerpt as a case in point:

    “Here are the relevant stats: of the 117 comments on this thread so far, 58 (by my count) were posted by the most prolific commenter among us, who also has managed to make three unanswered comments in a row on five separate occasions; four unanswered comments in a row twice; and at one point posted five unanswered comments in a row!

    Although they do not always tell the whole story, simple numbers can be very revealing. In this case, they seem to reveal that the ‘performance’ in the comments above is indeed ¬ďa further sign¬Ē of said commenter¬ís ¬ďgreat ability¬Ē in matters such as clicking on the ‘Submit Comment’ button.

    And yes, I am aware that a comment analyzing blog comment statistics is ‘off-topic’ almost by definition and could be seen as about as consequential as counting the number of dust motes in one¬ís belly-button lint. I prefer to think of it as deliciously meta.”

    ****

    No substantiation whatsoever in much the same manner as the German speaking troll blogger in the trackback below.

    I understand that Lyndon Allin is involved with selecting Global Voices blog material from eastern and central Europe. The selection process typifies his biased and factually challenged opinions on a number of topics. Plenty of one sided convoluted invective from Greater Surbiton and the Srebrenica Genocide Blog, but nothing of late from blogs like Gray Falcon and the Byzantine Sacred Art Blog. Deciphering Transnistria has yet to get posted at GV, unlike the faulty produced material from Fistful of Euros. Wonder why? I factually replied to some of the faulty Fistful of Euros material at GV. Of late, the GV posted comments section hasn’t been picking up posted comments.

    It’s quite clear who does and doesn’t believe and observe the idea of intelligent discussion in as non-biased a situation as possible.

  121. Seeing how Lyndon decidecd to drop by, the first paragraph of this correspondence relates to some of his questionable (put mildly) views:

    Re: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/50364

    In the spirit of offering different views, The Tiraspol Times (a far more objective source than what some often unchallenged and biased sources say to the contrary) carries Muhammad Megalommatis’ views ( http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/search/node/Muhammad+Megalommatis ) which I (put mildly) disagree with.

    In Megalommatis’ American Chronicle piece, there’s no substantiation of his claim that “Kosova” has as much a right to independence as the former Yugo republics. Kosovo was in fact part of the Serb republic in Yugoslavia and never a republic itself. In 1989, Kosovo’s autonomy status within Serbia was changed because of the increased Albanian nationalist mayhem during the years of the dictator Tito’s enforced autonomy (1974-89). If one checks back to 1988, there was a consensus among the former Yugo republics that the situation in Kosovo worsened because of the autonomy granted to it. Autonomy or not, it was never a republic separate from Serbia.

    Awhile back, I noted how in some instances greater autonomy can prove counterproductive to fostering greater human rights ( http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/8375-25.cfm ) .

    Megalommatis’ claim about how Russia will lose the Muslim world has been proven wrong. Despite Russia’s support for Serbia and a war involving predominately Muslim Chechnya, Russia is on arguably better terms with the Muslim world when compared to the leading Western nations. Unlike other European heads of state, Putin attended a major Organization of Islamic States conference; where he expressed interest in his nation becoming a member of that organization.

    Some analysts have suggested that the historical and cultural ties between Russia and Serbia are overrated. The more overrated belief is the idea that going against the Serbs puts the West on good terms with the Muslim world (reference comments made on this point by Bill Kristol and Paddy Ashdown, among others).

    When belittling Russia and Serbia, note how Megalommatis selectively chastises the use of the way “democrats” is (in his view) wrongly used. Present day Kosovo is less democratic than Serbia minus Kosovo. On that point and others, the Serbs have proven their case over the Albanian nationalists.

    *****

    I posted ther rest of it because it relates in part to Russia and GV having a seemingly (at least of late) anti-Serb bias.

    This is constructive criticism as opposed to the mischievously wanton attacks launched by some at this thread. My way of formal criticism isn’t at the level of what’s found elsewhere.

  122. What does Peter Lavelle think?

    Or does he prefer having his friend Chris Doss crank away against independently sound pro-Russian views for reasons other than seeing quality exchanges.

    A perfectly valid question since Chris calls him a friend and PL is involved with RTTV.

    plavelle@rttv.ru

    His email is a matter of record.

    Some think it insane to advocate a better product.

    So be it!

  123. Lyndon Allin had nothing to say of Chris Doss’ manner here. Wonder why?

    The Romanianphile/Moldovanphile Lyndon has righteously spoken against “Russian anti-Semitism”, while being compararively mute on the Romanian/Moldovan variant which is noticeable.

    Lyndon is prone to expressing views like how Molodva’s Gagauz aren’t really being persecuted, while expressing concern for Romanian language Latin alphabet rights in Pridnestrovie (Trans-Dniester). Of the two, there’re those who would consider the former to be the greater issue.

    Lyndon has also tryed to emphasize Stalin’s popularity in Russia, while not saying much about the pro-Antonescu sentiment evident among a good number of Romanians and Moldovans.

  124. The recently mentioned Deciphering Transnistria:

    http://www.transdniestria.co.uk/

  125. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Lyndon is right. It is like a car crash and its all been seen before. This is what happens, time and again, when Mike Averko’s views are questioned.
    A great pity, as he considers himself something of an expert on FSU issues.
    Seems he cant handle questions or critique himself. And by the way why are you repeatedly showing Peter Lavelle’s email address?

  126. The hacking imbecile strikes again. He’s doing a rotten job as a useful, make that useless idiot.

    I already explained the address posting. He must have a learning disability.

    Lyndon haasn’t been “right” for the expressed reasons, which the troll from Ireland doesn’t address.

  127. Kolya says:

    LOL, Lyndon!

    As you wrote, it’s morbidly fascinating to observe the degeneration of this thread. I stopped reading most of the comments but out of amusement watched this thread’s growth into meaninglessness. Averko has a pathetically funny compulsive addiction. You are correct, at one point he posted five times in a row! But that was not enough for him. As I’m writing this, there are seven comments under your last comment, Lyndon. Guess what? Six of them are from Averko. And once again he repeated his sad feat of sending five in a row.

  128. As another troll comes on board. Nothing to back up his way to go Lyndon bullshit. Quite a pathetic lot.

    The troll patrol at this thread reveals a very sorry aspect of the society at large.

  129. That he finds it so funny is a reflection of a most warped sense of humor.

  130. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Yes, its time to pull out. As usual, asking questions of Averko ends in his trolling and multiple comment addiction and utter failure to address any thing asked of him. A total troll.

  131. An admission of the chump losing big time. Another moderator/host from a different venue isn’t here to come in and demagogically take the side of that creep. At this thread, every post of Chris Doss’ was pure crank and the troll from Ireland never protested.

    Ditto the hypocritically blowhard antics of Kolya, with his pious denouncing of LR. He lost credibility given his own manner.

    I’ve been proven right.

  132. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Mike,
    I lost nothing here. You couldnt account for Russia’s mistake in invading Chechnya and your’re just an apologist for Kremlin fuck-ups, and an unpaid one at that. It’ll be great to see you interviewed on Russia today. I dont like to see your distortions go uncorrected, hence my coming on here with you. You are – to use one of your own words – a buttmunch.

  133. He lies again by ignoring what I said on the matter. Vintage trolling.

    Moreover, he isn’t aware of my financial situation which in any event is none of his sorry ass business.

    “Kremlin fuck-ups”? (his words). Actually, I’ve discussed them. His apparent learning disability prevents him from acknowledging them. It could be a combination of that and just carrying on like a disingenuous troll, who knowingly skirts certain particulars.

    Whatever the case, he has conculsively shown himself to be an absolute flop.

  134. That’s conclusively. This is what happens when you correspond with people of dreck ability.

  135. Kolya says:

    In his blog, Marginal Revolution, economist Tyler Cowen titled one of his posts, “Does the quality of blog comments deteriorate?”. Excerpt of the post:

    “I often have the impression that the best comments come in the first fifteen or so, after which quality declines precipitously and often exponentially. Why might that be?

    1. The truly smart people only like to make smart points on “fresh” posts. For instance more people read the comments on fresh posts (but why?), so the benefit of a quality comment is lower as the post becomes older.

    2. As time passes, the chance that a warring twosome find each other, and take over the thread, increases.

    3. There is a tendency to attack or respond to the stupidest or most controversial thing said, and the longer the comments thread runs for, the stupider this will get.

    4. As the number of comments multiplies, so does the number of independent discussion threads and the optimal number of threads is exceeded.”

    To read the whole thing, go to:

    http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/02/does-the-qualit.html

  136. Kolya contributed to the stupidity with at least one of his comments for sure.

    For others besides himself, it was okay for him to term Russia Blog as “propaganda”, as uncritical praise was heaped on another blog.

    When legitimate criticism was raised of that other blog, it was simplistically categorized as a “bash” followed by a series of disingenuous personal attacks.

    It’s worth repeating that all of Chris Doss’ posts here were of a purely crank nature. Also note the silence of those who seemngly try to give the appearance of being responsible.

    Once again, I’ve no criticisms of Andy on the conduct of this thread. Unlike other moderators/hosts, he hasn’t come in to take a questionable side (put mildly) over the other. One can either be an even handed disciplinaraian or take a completely laissez faire approach. The overtly biased moderator/host isn’t a positive quality.

    At this thread, links were posted where intelligent discussion could be found. The purpose of trolling can be to either eliminate the participation of a source for political reasons and-or to get a perverse kind of cheap thrill by saying stupidly negative remarks against an individual or individuals. Such a scenario is akin to the crank caller to a talk radio show. Caller id systems and the 7 second delay have mostly eliminated that as an issue.

  137. fleeting guest says:

    I stumbled upon this blog through a search for something else (I live in Siberia) and wow–wow. I had read this link (Top 5) and looked at LR which is just sad–so much anger and misplaced hatred–imagine what good that negative energy could accomplish if it weren’t so tainted by ego and so bent on fueling further negativity. Then I thought I’d read the comments here and I see that ego prevails in so many of the postings. It’s not uncommon, I guess–and, truth be told, there was a day when I would have also engaged in such indignant, self-righteous rhetoric. However, I learned that its productive value is so limited and that it mostly turns people off (which is the case with me now). Not everyone has done this here, but enough have for me to know that this is not a place I’ll seek thoughtful discourse.

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