Putin pardons American-Israeli woman imprisoned for drug trafficking

By seinfeld - updated: 1 week, 1 day ago - 25 messages

Putin has just done an ethical thing for a very unethical person. Her name is Naama Issachar (26 y/o). You do the math who is unethical now.

New York Post article: https://nypost.co...
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks, 2 days ago

It is "very unethical" to possess marijuana?
By user76124 - posted: 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Good thread, upvoted
By seinfeld - posted: 3 weeks, 2 days ago

They found hash in her checked luggage. So yeah, technically speaking, that counts as drug trafficking/smuggling.

Drugs are bad, m'kay.
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Is alcohol as bad as marijuana?
By seinfeld - posted: 3 weeks, 1 day ago

That's beside the point b/c no one is above the law, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Refer to Statute 229.1 of the Russian Criminal Code: http://www.consul...

Furthermore, in US, hash is considered a schedule I controlled substance. Wiki: https://en.wikipe...
Updated 2 weeks, 6 days ago
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks ago

I am not going to disagree that she broke a law in Russia- that is pretty clear. You called her actions "unethical".

Ethics and law are not the same thing. Marijuana causes an infinitesimally small amount of human harm and suffering, worldwide, compared to alcohol. Hopefully we can agree that there are many people who have used marijuana once or only a handful of times in their lives, in the privacy of their own homes, then stopped. How is marijuana a bad thing in that situation?
Updated 3 weeks ago
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks ago

And Putin pardoning her was effectively placing her above the law, just because of where she was born. Isn't that unfair to everyone else that has been imprisoned in Russia for similar acts? I don't see how that is an "ethical" action by Putin. Generous, yes. And politically a reasonable thing to do. But certainly not fair.
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks ago

And marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance by federal law. But a number of states have legal marijuana now, and the federal government largely ignores it. It is literally a billion dollar business in the state of Colorado now. Last time I was there, the fabric of their society had not yet fallen apart.
Updated 3 weeks ago
By seinfeld - posted: 3 weeks ago

Dude, she willfully put drugs in her checked luggage, no one forced her! She probably knew she might be breaking some drug-related law of some transit country; Russia in this case. Yup, that's unethical. So dumb!

"And Putin pardoning her was effectively placing her above the law, just because of where she was born." I dare you to tell this to Yafa Issachar (Naama's mom) or any mother whose child is imprisoned in another country. So, you don't think that leaders of sovereign governments should be able to pardon arrested/imprisoned foreigners, huh? Pardons can be granted in many countries when individuals are deemed to have demonstrated that they have "paid their debt to society", or are otherwise considered to be deserving of them. Putin was able to reunite an American family, but you're still unhappy. Would you rather she stayed imprisoned in Russia for the next 6 years?? You don't sound like a true patriot to me. Besides, that's exactly how Western media always tries to downplay any positive contribution by Putin. If Naama tried to smuggle PCP or LSD instead, CNN/BBC would criticize Putin for using Naama as a pawn to "strengthen ties with Israel" or some BS like that. I guess there's no pleasing some people.

It's not like cannabis is legal everywhere in US. On the federal level, cannabis is considered illegal within the United States. On the state level, things are different. There's no consensus. However, cannabis is legal in Canada and Uruguay. Perhaps, you should write a letter to your congressman or smth.

"... the fabric of their society had not yet fallen apart" ... the keyword here is "yet". Time will tell. If Colorado is as progressive as you make it sound, why don't they legalize prostitution next? jk :) Besides, consuming alcohol doesn't cause hallucinations if you do it casually whereas cannabis does. There's one notable exception: absinthe (90-148 proof) due to thujone. Alcohol causes hallucinations during alcohol withdrawal though, i.e. delirium tremens. Both weed and alcohol can get you arrested with DUI.

This discussion is turning into demagoguery. I'm not interested in debating on what is worse - cannabis or alcohol. I don't make laws. What's relevant here is that Putin has done an ethical thing to reunite American-Israeli family. US should appreciate that. However, Putin is vilified as a KGB 'bogey man' in the West, so your sniggering is completely understandable. Could you tell me about the last time any US president pardoned a Russian citizen?

Don't do drugs!
Updated 2 weeks, 6 days ago
By coolby - posted: 3 weeks ago

The discussion, from the start, has been about your use of the word "ethics" and where it applies.

You continue to use "unethical" as if a person making a personal decision to consume marijuana is without question unethical. I just don't get that. It is not the correct use of that word. It is illegal.

Re: the quote- what are you responding to? I said the pardon was an understandable thing for a politician to do. I was only responding to your claim that his action was "ethical". Ethics speak to right and wrong; fairness; accepted values. Treating a human as if they are above the law is not fair. Putin put this foreign national above the law, for political reasons, and that is not fair. Please address that specific statement. You ignored it.

"True patriot"? Why does me being a true patriot matter? I never made that claim and it is not relevant.

So 8 years of legality and 266 million dollars in tax revenue from the industry in Colorado does not change your opinion. What would change your mind about its legality? Anything? And Prostitution is legal close by, in parts of Nevada. It is also legal in parts of Europe, where life for an average citizen is superior, on average, by just about every measure, than in your country. Likely better than my country too. Perhaps harm reduction is better for people than criminalizing everything that is commonly accepted as "wrong".

That's the thing. Laws do not determine if alcohol or marijuana is worse. You equated laws with ethics. They are not always the same thing. Alcohol is by almost every measure profoundly more harmful to human health than marijuana. I've never used marijuana and never will. But there is no debate to be had there. Yet the law allows one and not the other. I don't know how one can think that makes sense, from an "ethics" perspective. From a deterrent perspective, sure. But not from ethics.
Updated 3 weeks ago
By seinfeld - posted: 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Let's review the definition of "ethics" one more time. From Wikipedia:
"Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology.

Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, JUSTICE AND CRIME. As a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy also is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory."

Putin was acting in accordance with the Russian Constitution (Article 89):

Russian and US presidents are allowed to pardon individuals under certain circumstances which would not otherwise violate interests of his/her country. So, Putin never intended to put Naama above any law. If your child was imprisoned for trafficking drugs through Russia, you'll be singing a different tune. You might even have to appeal directly to Mr Putin, regardless how morally objectionable and abhorrent you find him.

"So 8 years of legality and 266 million dollars in tax revenue from the industry in Colorado does not change your opinion." Thanks for showing us your true colors. Now we know what kind of person you are. You're the kind of the person who thinks that it's ok to legalize certain hallucinogenic drugs so long as they help make a quick buck for state budget at the expense of public safety. Hence, I don't think you're in position to question anyone's ethics in this discussion. Some people may find your fiscal pro-cannabis argument really hard to stomach. Has the current governor of Colorado considered other possible tax revenue streams? Why resort to something as ethically questionable as cannabis? No wonder there is ongoing moral decay in America.

"You equated laws with ethics." I'm not sure how you arrived at this conclusion. I know the difference between the two. The "law" consists of a set of rules and regulations, whereas "ethics" is a set of guidelines and principles that inform people about how to live or how to behave in a particular situation. Hence, Putin acted ethically when he decided to reunite an American-Israeli family. This came as no surprise to anyone, since 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz AND victory over Nazi Germany. Putin attended Auschwitz Commemorations ceremony in Israel last month. Naama's pardon was sheer catharsis! Benjamin Netanyahu, Naama, Yafa and Putin shared a very touching and lovely moment. It was epic! I bet she repented. She'll never make that mistake again.

Take care!
Updated 2 weeks, 5 days ago
By coolby - posted: 2 weeks, 5 days ago

The fact that ethics can pertain to "Justice and crime " does not equate to "if it is legal, it is ethical". It translates more (but certainly not exactly to) "laws can speak to and attempt to set a standard pf ethics for society".

Once again you are making a claim that is unrelated to what I am pushing against. Did I say Putin's actions were illegal? I did not. His actions were unfair to Russians that are caught with marijuana. You claimed they were "ethical". Finally, you have presented something that supports that claim. He was reuniting this woman with her family, which may speak to ethics. The Auschwitz anniversary and fact that his presidential powers allow it do not really speak to ethics. The law overall prohibits it for Russians. It seems more consistent to point out that his pardoning was unfair to others, and inconsistent with Russian laws that do attempt to speak to ethics (the whole "drugs are bad" thing).

"Singing a different tune". How on earth can you read into what I say so much?! I have not supported nor disagreed with Putin's choice to pardon this person. Only discussed whether or not they were ethical.

I personally don't support or see value in using marijuana. But I think its legalization can, in addition to state financial gain, reduce a ton of harm in the US (we have the highest incarceration rate in the world) and acknowledges that the drug (like alcohol) isn't going to be erased from society anytime soon. Can you tell me what is so morally reprehensible about legalizing a very very very rarely hallucinogenic (less so than alcohol) substance? 8 years is not a quick buck. It is fewer otherwise non-criminal citizens imprisoned for tiny drug infractions. It is safer access to substances that could otherwise be more harmful due to additives. It is an opportunity to raise tax revenue for education and health measures so that consumers can make educated decisions about marijuana instead of knowing nothing about it.
Updated 2 weeks, 5 days ago
By seinfeld - posted: 2 weeks, 4 days ago

"Finally, you have presented something that supports that claim. He was reuniting this woman with her family, which may speak to ethics." ... Huh? Do you not read what I post, my dude? lmfáo :) See my earlier reply from 2/2/20 -> "Putin was able to reunite an American family, but you're still unhappy."

What makes you think that Putin's pardoning Naama is somehow "unfair" to [imprisoned] Russian citizens? Is it any less fair compared to Trump's 17 pardons with respect to millions of currently incarcerated Americans? By pardoning this American-Israeli woman, Putin has effectively made Trump's administration look politically biased against all currently imprisoned Russian citizens in US jails. Making your "enemy" look evil and biased wasn't Putin's main objective of course, just a nice bonus lol. Besides, I don't remember US pardoning any Russian citizen... EVER. Please, don't try to hide behind your silly whataboutism shield again. It's perfectly acceptable to draw parallels and make analogies in order to expose hypocritical US government's agenda against Russia. It's a two-way street, remember? I guess some people don't like to hear truth about themselves.

Anyway... Naama broke drug-related Russian laws while in transit through Russia. So yeah, she was arrested and placed in custody for a jolly good reason. In US of A, TSA and ICE would have done precisely that! Mind you, Trump never pardoned Maria Butina (Russian journalist). Maria was imprisoned for political reasons. She was no drug mule like this Israeli woman. Did Trump pardon Maria? No. Did she deserve to be pardoned? Possibly.

I like the fact that you've never tried cannabis. Excellent! Thumbs up! I just wanted to mention that not all people appreciate the smell of weed in public places. By legalizing cannabis, CO has inadvertently put babies and children at risk of yet another form of second-hand smoke, as if tobacco wasn't bad enough. Personally, I detest the smell of weed and tobacco. Many people don't want to inhale that sh!t. <sarcasm>However, cannabis is making such a huge buck for CO's state budget, so I guess we'll just have to put up with that minor inconvenience.</sarcasm> I've never been to CO but I bet the ubiquitous smell of weed would put me off from visiting certain college towns with poor AC :)

I neglected to mention that Putin had done an extraordinary thing for Russian people: he saved Russia from its further POSSIBLE partitioning back in 1999-2000. Total surface area of Russia is comparable to that of Pluto and almost twice as small as that of the Moon. Putin is truly a planetary figure. The most prolific Russophobic a-hole of all time, Zbigniew Brzezinski, proposed to split Russia into 6-8 countries.

WRT alleged journalist assassinations: UK government always pulls "highly likely" card against Putin. Yeah, we know their cheap dirty tricks.
Updated 2 weeks, 4 days ago
By seinfeld - posted: 2 weeks, 4 days ago

The more I justify Putin's actions (which speak louder than words btw) w.r.t. "Naama's Affair", the more I make you look like a petty person. Why can't you just appreciate what this man has done for that family? Are you that callous and unsympathetic? It's people like you that make relations between US and Russia impossible. You still have that "Cold War" mentality. You're living in the past, man. You're living in the past.
Updated 2 weeks, 4 days ago
By coolby - posted: 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I didn't think about the reuniting of the family earlier, my apologies. It is a fair point.

Putin's pardoning of the citizen is unfair, and Trump's actions are unfair. They are both unfair to citizens that have not been pardoned. You can draw comparisons between the two, but I don't really care about Trump's actions. I'm going to agree with you every single time when you claim an action of Trump's is unfair, poorly thought out, unreasonable, unethical, or corrupt. You can make the argument over and over that Putin's actions might pale in comparison in terms of whose are worse. But that doesn't make Putin's actions ethical per se. It simply makes him less bad. My initial claim is that Putin's actions were not ethical. Reuniting a family has some value with regards to ethics, I would say. But it certainly isn't ethical from a "fairness" standpoint.

Cannabis cannot be smoked legally in public places. That is illegal. The relatively few babies being put in harms way for second hand smoke from marijuana (which pales in comparison to tobacco secondhand smoke) is likely mitigated by all the families not being torn apart because mom or dad smokes or consumes edibles sometimes. The state did not legalize and does not endorse smoking in public.
By seinfeld - posted: 2 weeks ago

Not a Putin's fan, huh? Just to clarify, if Putin never pardoned her and she had to spend 7 years in Russian prison, you'd still call that out as being somehow unethical against this American-Israeli lady, correct? I'm sorry to disappoint you but this World doesn't revolve around 'coolby'. So, no matter what Putin does, he'll remain an unethical person to you regardless of any counterevidence. I think you have something personal against this man. Look, corrupt pardons are indeed unethical. However, I fail to see any form of corruption in this case. FYI: Naama never set foot on Russian soil prior to her arrest. She was arrested in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo International Airport. Her situation was slightly different but still just as bad.

"Cannabis cannot be smoked legally in public places. That is illegal." So, cannabis is NOT entirely legal then. In this case, it's a moot point. Also, it's not like parents' next-door neighbors couldn't smoke cannabis in their PRIVATE property every now and then. Smoke travels through vents, under doors, and through electrical outlets pretty fast. Eventually, it gets inside baby's lungs.
Updated 1 week, 5 days ago
By coolby - posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

The point still stands that this individual served less of her sentence as determined by Russian law and thus was treated more favorably than most Russian citizens. To clarify: I think it was a good thing that she was pardoned. She should never have gone to prison in the first place, for myriad reasons. But from an ethics standpoint, she was not treated fairly as compared to how Russians would have been treated. She was favored. Pardoning her thus was not an "ethical" thing.

I cannot legally drive my care on the sidewalk in the USA, so therefore driving is not "entirely" legal as well? I mean, sure, but it's legal to drive it elsewhere and thus widely considered "legal". Of course legalization of a substance is going to have some degree of regulation/limitations. That is very common.

Once again I'm going to argue for harm reduction with regards to marijuana. Usually (not always) going to be better for baby to get a little marijuana smoke in their lungs instead of having incarcerated parents that are otherwise upstanding citizens. This is also a relatively minor issue. Think about the smoke output from marijuana smoke. It is far less than other causes of secondhand smoke, like cigarettes. And users rarely chainsmoke or use many times throughout the day as is the case with marijuana. Additionally, many consume edibles and do not produce any secondhand smoke.
By coolby - posted: 1 week, 6 days ago

And I preferred Tolmachevo to Sheremetyevo. They had ****ring dispensers in the male bathrooms. Made me laugh.
By seinfeld - posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

So, I take it you have a problem with the whole institution of clemency/pardoning in democratic societies. You find that practice unethical and barbaric somehow, correct? Help us understand the source of your loathing and frustration. Look, if Russian citizens were actually against Putin's decision to pardon Naama, there would've been a massive protest and some kind of petition to keep her locked up in jail. However, nothing like that took place; in fact, Russians wholeheartedly supported Putin's decision to pardon her LOL. This is how constitutional democracy works: if citizens are okay with a government's decision to pardon a certain individual (citizen/foreigner), then so be it. That said, I don't believe I need to continue justifying the ethical aspect of Putin's actions w.r.t. Naama's Affair. If you can't understand it by now, then we can only feel sorry for you. I think you're simply preconditioned to think that he's an evil guy who wants to destroy the West... hmmm seek help?

"I cannot legally drive my care on the sidewalk in the USA, so therefore driving is not "entirely" legal as well?" In all honesty, I'm afraid that wouldn't be a fair analogy. You're comparing apples and oranges. A much more appropriate analogy would go something like this:
It's perfectly legal to smoke tobacco cigarettes in public places except where there's a sign which explicitly forbids smoking near a certain public building, e.g. within 20 feet (= regulation/limitation). Be assured that even if you were to step 20 feet away from the building, that wouldn't make smoking cannabis any less illegal. So yeah, if recreational use of cannabis was truly fully legal, then the legality of smoking [weed] would be on par with smoking cigarettes in public places.
"... be better for baby to get a little marijuana smoke in their lungs instead of..."| just stop right there! I think you've said enough. Are you out of your mind? Seriously, dude, rewrite this part. That sounded really f'ed up. You're talking about babies after all.
Updated 1 week, 5 days ago
By seinfeld - posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

I bet edible panties would make you roll laughing on the bathroom floors of Tokyo :)
By coolby - posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

I fully support the existence of clemency and pardoning in democratic societies. But it is inaccurate to label it as "a very ethical thing for a very unethical person" in the case you posted. It is not particularly ethical (it is more unfair than anything). But it is generous. And it is politically prudent. I further contend that possessing or consuming marijuana is mostly unethical in the context of its illegality, but using the drug on its own is not particularly ethical or unethical.

I agree that the smoking analogy is also appropriate, regarding legality, as they are both smoked substances. I don't understand why "full legality" must meet the exact regulations (which themselves are ever changing and relatively new in the USA) of cigarette smoking. Things that are "fully legal" may have many different levels of regulation. That is why I brought up driving. I apologize if that was confusing, cigarettes would have been better.

Infants grow up in cities that are nearly constantly at poor air quality- a result much much much worse than occasional marijuana secondhand smoke. Equivalent volumes of marijuana secondhand smoke may be almost or as harmful as cigarette smoke (we don't know for sure given lack of studies), but it's not like people chainsmoke it (as with cigarettes) or cannot escape it (like growing up in a smoggy city like hundreds of millions of people). My point was this. The consequence of growing up with one parent incarcerated has been shown to have tremendously poor outcomes for the child. Exposing a child to marijuauna smoke is not good parenting, but it would take a lot more deliberately poor parenting than just that to be as bad as if the parent was altogether absent (in prison).
Updated 1 week, 5 days ago
By coolby - posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

They didn't have them, but the bidets are second to none. Have you been?
By seinfeld - posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

"But it is generous." ... Indeed, generosity is a virtue; it's a virtue between the two extremes of miserliness and being profligate. In the context of virtue ethics, Putin's decision to pardon Naama was praised by Russia, Israel, and US. Let's review the definition of "virtue ethics", shall we?

"Virtue ethics (or aretaic ethics) are normative ethical theories which emphasize virtues of mind, character and sense of honesty. Virtue ethicists discuss the nature and definition of virtues and other related problems which focuses on the consequences of action. These include how virtues are acquired, how they are applied in various real life contexts, and whether they are rooted in a universal human nature or in a plurality of cultures."

Putin is a politician. All politicians are supposed to be prudent. He's also supposed to have Russia's best interests at heart. Was he not supposed to act prudently with respect to Naama's Affair in your opinion?

Trafficking drugs is both unethical and illegal. How did you not catch that? However, you decided to invoke a "straw man" defense (= logical fallacy) by saying stuff like "It is 'very unethical' to possess marijuana?" AND "using the drug on its own is not particularly ethical or unethical". I replied by saying "that's beside the point", but you digressed and went down that rabbit hole anyway. From wiki: "A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be "attacking a straw man"." You can accuse me of engaging in whataboutism but I'll accuse you of using a straw man argument... tit-for-tat ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

Updated 1 week, 2 days ago
By seinfeld - posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

That's weird. I guess we used different bathrooms. I only went to those which had a squatting stickMAN on their doors ;) (sorry, couldn't resist)
Updated 1 week, 2 days ago
By coolby - posted: 1 week, 1 day ago

The definition you provide of virtue ethics is consistent with Putin's pardoning being unethical. The consequences of his actions are that people were not treated as equals. The foreign national was treated as forgiven, whereas Russians that have done the same thing are not.

To answer your question: I think Putin was supposed to act prudently, and by pardoning Naama, he did act prudently. I agree that it was a reasonable choice for him to pardon her. BUT I don't think that was fair to Russian citizens that have been incarcerated for the same thing. Doing something that is politically prudent and something that is ethical are not necessarily always in agreement.

I did not invoke a strawman with the question "is it very unethical to possess marijuana?". That is a question. I was asking so that I could understand more about your claim, as it seemed like that's what you were claiming was unethical. A strawman in that context would have been me assuming that's what you think is unethical without you stating it, then arguing against it. I didn't do that until you made it clear that it was indeed your claim that it is very unethical to possess marijuana.

I fail to see how the ethics of possessing marijuana is besides the point. It is absolutely central to your claim that Naama is an unethical person- because if possessing marijuana is ethical, there is nothing that she has done wrong (other than breaking Russian law).