Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

3 April 2012. The Metropolia Wasn’t Just a Precursor of the OCA…

Bishop John of Cleveland… he liked cards and cigars… a real human being, no?

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Metropolitan Iriney Bekish of New York (1892-1981), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America, later, the so-called OCA. Schmemann and Meyendorff threw Metropolitan Iriney into the Ss Cosmas and Damian Nursing Home for the last years of his life… a sad ending…

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3 April 2012. Gleanings From My Mailbag…

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Editor’s Foreword:

I’m in plain type; my interlocutors are in italics…

BMD

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That’s why I don’t care for konvertsy… “swims with the tide”… “that doesn’t prevent him licking up to the Greeks when he wants to”. You just described the typical Angliochian to a tee. I know why they support Renovationism… that’s what passes for “traditional” amongst a certain set of academic Anglicans. What we mean by Tradition, and what prideful former Anglican academics mean by “tradition” are two diametrically opposite things.

You see, if you already “know”, you won’t learn. They’re all “scholars”, dontcha know! As for me, I’ve learnt tons since I started my site. It requires research, and that means that one learns, especially, if one is on the track of the truth. If all that you’re doing is mouthing your oddbod opinion and pious platitudes, you sink deeper into prelest with each post. Sad, ain’t it? They’re on the hell-bound train, and not only do they not know it, they insist that we join them! Note this well… all of the American Angliochians have ties to Gleb Podmoshensky one way or another (often through his disciples Paffhausen and Freddie M-G). They hate sodomy (supposedly)… and their guru’s a sodomite… a known and notorious one at that!

Live and learn, eh?

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I don’t know how some folks can skip over the Cross and just have the empty tomb. Seems like you’re missing something awfully important! Another place where the “evangelicals” went off the road…

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Isn’t there ENOUGH scandal with a priest suing another priest in the first week of the Lent? The fact that the jerk sued me too isn’t as important as his having the brass balls to drag another priest to court… during the first week of the Lent! Bozhe! If he did that in Hunkie PA… he’d get a visit from a delegation. “Father… withdraw the suit… what’s that? You won’t? It’s your life”. When the court opened, the miners would be there in force to testify against him, to tell the judge how this hard-headed priest wouldn’t listen to reason… that’s the po-nashemu way.

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Only TWO versions of the Holy Bible, if back-translated into Hebrew and Greek are so accurate that the back-translation will be identical to the Original. What two versions are they?

The latter is so accurate that, despite its Orthodox scholarship and origins, Russian Baptists, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals all consider it the only acceptable translation. This is so despite the more-Protestant versions available to them (from US Bible Thumper translators, natch!).

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Look… if Iggy gets to me, I just walk out into the narthex. That’s all. I was taught that one didn’t make a “scene” at services. You see, the Church is open to EVERYONE, as His Holiness says. One of the biggest gay activists in Russia is also a communing Orthodox Christian, and that’s the way it is. There’s all sorts in the Church in the homeland… so, if it’s good there, it’s good here, too. We probably disagree on all sorts of things, but that’s not where it’s at for me. I’m Orthodox… you’re Orthodox… and that’s what’s on the table at present. As for anything else, if we end in agreement, that’s good. If not, them’s the breaks. We do have SOMETHING in common, dear, and it’s NOT “small beer”. As they say in England, “Keep your pecker (nose) up!” Hmm… that DOES have a somewhat different meaning in American English, doesn’t it? Be good, and keep your wits about you…

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In the days before they started to use hotels, when the bishop came for a pastoral visit, he’d stay at the priest’s house. Bishop John of Cleveland liked to play cards and he liked to smoke cigars.

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I attend services every 2 to 3 weeks, partly because the priest’s a prick, partly my Nicky has an odd work schedule (he’s in healthcare). However, we NEVER miss Easter. FULL STOP. That’s what’s Christianity’s all about. “The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath”. Take heart, Reardon et al aren’t with us for the long haul. They don’t have the soul and heart of a blokadnik… and that’s what’s needed to get through this rough patch that we’re in. Be good.

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When his wife died, whilst he was serving as a priest in McAdoo PA, Metropolitan Iriney walked all around the small town in the rain until the small hours.

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I’ve been covering Romney’s flop to the Far Right. All the European observers are seeing an Obama blow-out this fall. That is, the GOP crash will make ‘64 look pale. Interestingly enough, the only “real” Republican in the race, Ron Paul, has no chance (he’s an old-style Bob Taft Republican). The oligarchs are getting ready for a kamikaze mission… what do they know that we don’t? There is such a thing as a “death ride”… and there’s no way the GOP can win this year (not after Limbaugh insulted all women). We’ll win… but at what cost? The oligarchs CAN wreck the economy after the election…

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Then, I realised that a large number of the konvertsy priests I know or know of are simply lacking in manners. “Please” and “thank you”, especially to parishioners who devote much of their time (let alone cash) to the parish, isn’t said. They’re haughty, too. They think that their seminary educations put them into a different sphere… although this mostly comes from SVS grads. Most of the ethnic priests I know (even if they graduated from SVS in the Schmemann era), even if only ordained in the past several years, aren’t above doing whatever’s needed around the parish, fixing a plumbing problem, cutting the grass, etc.

They also often remind me of Romney… unable to “relate” to the average parishioner. If your service attendance isn’t exemplary (the Church doesn’t keep track as schools or employers do!), you’re worse than the heathen. They don’t consider non-9-5 work schedules, family responsibilities, etc. If you’re not at every Presanctified, your soul’s lost (I exaggerate some, but not much!). My priest suggests people come to one, if they can. The Christian life consists of more than just being in church for every single service and sacrificing family life to that! Simple human kindness does a great deal. That’s lost on so many of the konvertsy (priests and laity) who think nothing of banging people over the head with how holy they are.

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I’ve found SERIOUS flaws with this study {a statistical study just released by the so-called “Episcopal Assembly” praised to the skies by the OCA: editor}. It’s an EP-financed piece of shit. I’m going to post on its inaccuracies. For instance, there’s only one scholar involved, and it was based on self-reportage, with no checking using controls or objective markers (such as circulation of church newspapers). Here’s a teaser… supposedly, the OCA’s lost 40 percent of its membership in less than 10 years, and the GOAA’s gained 40 percent. Also, it gives a figure for Alaska that’s only 40 percent of a figure given in a respected American academic survey of nine years ago. Again, this was based on reports of clergy, NOT baptismal or parish records. In short, it’s GIGO.

Do tell X that this is utter BS and NOT to be trusted. It’s the sort of goofy shit that Dickie Wood ran up whilst he was in Moscow (remember how he claimed that he earned a kandidatura in a year?). It’s part of the EP’s war on the MP. It comes out of the bootless “Episcopal Assemblies”, which are nothing more than a vehicle for the dissemination of the EP’s claim to the entire diaspora. You may pooh-pooh that, but I’ve seen how the EP (and its rightwing US political puppeteers) uses these phoney “Assemblies”. Be good… and don’t accept the coin until you bite it!

I’m not accepting any coins… not being offered any either! What’s interesting is that the OCA keeps going down, even below 90,000. Will that be on their site? The Episcopal Assemblies are useful to us because we can completely counter and stop the EP there. Remember it must be consensus. We now have power that we didn’t have before… and it works! The thing is what happens to the CIA-run EP after Bartholomew. Emmanuel’s even worse.

The OCA figure’s utterly inaccurate. It’s an EP fantasy. I’d say that the OCA is about a little less than its last accurate count of 115,000… perhaps, it’s at 100,000… there’s been a loss, but not as bad as the crank EP figures indicate. The last accurate GOAA estimate was 340,000… it didn’t gain 136,000 (40 percent) in five years! Also, Orthodox in Alaska aren’t 12,000 people, but 30,000 according to an objective American academic survey (the figure in the present study came from carpetbagger konvertsy clergy). This is a lie any way you look at it, and, no, I’m not optimistic about ANYTHING that the EP’s involved in. They’re TROUBLE… they still haven’t named a successor for Metr Nicholas of ACROD… they expect the fall of the OCA, and expect that the two ex-ACROD bishops in the OCA will allow it to fall into their hands.

You’re a pessimist. We can defeat the EP. That’s one of the reasons that we’re getting two new bishops a week. We’re going to swamp them.

That’s not the way it is in the USA. Yes, we’ll win overall, but shall we win HERE? That’s what matters to me, personally.

That’s not the way it is in the USA, precisely because the whole situation’s ruined by the OCA. That’s why we need a united Russian Church. My latest test for converts is whether they like Putin or not. The US-manipulated EP hates him because he makes Russia stronger. Whatever the corruption around him, he’s still better than anyone else is.

Yes… I agree on Putin. If they can wrap their heads around that, they’re on the road to seeing that the Church does NOT bless the West and its hubristical greed (“personal responsibility”). As for the OCA… that goes back to Schmemanndorff. We’re still paying for their sins. Most of us had nothing to do with it, but we’re paying for not nipping it in the bud, as the Mother Church did. Don’t forget, Meyendorff was the “brains”, the Edgar Bergen. Schmemann was only a “rainmaker”, his Charlie McCarthy. Ivan Feofilovich was colourless, but he was the Lenin of the OCA. Aleksandr Dmitrievich was a colourful Trotsky, and as irrelevant in the end. They were both quasi-Marxists, after all, more so than the contemporary KPRF. We have a fight here. The EP is the GOAA… the GOAA is the EP. The Phanar itself is NOTHING… but they have Langley behind them. No wonder that Aleksei and Kirill cooperated with the (intelligence branch) of the KGB… it was the only way to preserve the REAL Church. I can’t say that one too loudly, can I?

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It’s a rum go, isn’t it? I’ve not seen the like. Truly… Schmemann was a boastful liar, Meyendorff was a scheming academic, Herman was a po-nashemu power-broker, but none of them truly plumbed the depths that we’re seeing now. JP’s an out n’ out liar. Yet, since he’s a salesman in a riassa, he fools the superficial. What I’ve heard is that there are factions at the Centre ready to pull the plug. If JP missteps, it’s off the cliff time, folks.

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I aims to please… and I pass on whatever I think may be useful. We’re all in this together, and none of us is an “island” (you can always tell the “loners”… there’s always something oddbod in ‘em, isn’t there?). Hmm…. when the Renovationists start questioning Renovationism… now, that’s something to write home about. The OCA’s a ripe persimmon, ready to fall, but to whom?

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You know, something else I’ve noticed is that konvertsy priests are very impatient with those with non-9-5 M-F work schedules. I’ve heard stories of people being told offhandedly to get different jobs… in this economy! I have friends who were nurses and the regular day shift was something for people with lots of seniority. Everyone else got nights and weekends!

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Yes… equating “clergy” with “Church”. Yet, the Church can survive without priests, but it can’t survive without babas! I’m going to be 58 on 8 April, does that make me a “young baba?” Remember, no priest messes with the babas.

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Today, I was chatting with a friend after church. Her family “came to their senses” and left a crazy convert parish, complete with WASP konvertsy priest, and are now investigating my “normal” parish. It essentially boils down to nothing more than a difference of opinion on something very minor. Essentials of the faith aren’t in question. Are konvertsy priests so insecure that they can’t tolerate a difference of opinion on ANYTHING? She asked about various things and was admittedly surprised when I told her how things work in a “normal” Orthodox parish.

Your occasional comment about not having to be friends with people to agree on something really hit home with this friend’s situation. When did people become unable to maintain a friendship if they disagreed about something? When did rudeness become more common than politeness? I was at a funeral this past week and was astonished when I saw the way some young people were behaving! It’s all about themselves, and if something wasn’t to their liking, they thought nothing of making a public fool of themselves with a temper tantrum.

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I’m a socially-conservative One Nation (that is, Disraeli, please, not Gladstone) socialist… so, all the rightwingers take pot-shots. It comes with the territory. Fuck ‘em all and have a smile, I say. As X said, “Pay them no mind… I don’t”. A little perspective and a shot of Bushmills work wonders. You’re as bad as I am! Join the club… the Church is no different from the outside world… full of rotters and drones, oddbods and squiffs, quite a few ordinary dogsbodies, and a few saints (these NEVER look “holy” and are persecuted by the rotters and oddbods). Pass the jug…

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We live in “interesting times”… ergo, take a care, ask questions, and take the least-objectionable alternative. You won’t find “perfection” anywhere… full stop. It looks as though the present edifice’s ready to collapse, but I mean that in historical terms. It could stumble on for a bit, like the old Ottoman Empire, propped up by the self-interested. Keep your wits, know when to laugh and when to crack open the jug, otherwise, you’ll get pissed off and leave. It’s one of those “interesting” periods in the history books. Remember the old saying, “Happy is the land that has no history”. Keep the Bushmills handy… when a priest does something crazy, cross yourself, pour a shot, and you’ll feel better. If needed, repeat… but not too often, now. Be good and love life… God IS going to ask you what you did with HIS gift…

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BMD

3 April 2012

Albany NY

Government Concerned About US Financial Aid to “Democratic” Movements in Russia

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The Russian government’s concerned about the scale of US financial aid to various groups and movements in Russia. Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax that the issue could pose a problem in Russian-US relations. He said that Russia “repeatedly voiced this concern at various levels”. Washington responded by providing certain data. However, the scale of financing leaves Moscow worrying, the diplomat said. In the middle of March, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul unveiled President Obama’s plan to set up a fund to support civic society in Russia, and said that the proposal was already in the hands of lawmakers, pending approval

3 April 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_04_03/70514993/

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A “shower of money” is flowing to the pro-American “spontaneous opposition” in Russia. The Obama administration’s waiting for a green light from Congress to allocate another 50 million USD (1.46 billion Roubles. 37.5 million Euros. 31.3 million UK Pounds) for the so-called “democratisation of Russia”. US Deputy Secretary of State Philip Gordon said that, since 2009, the USA spent more than 200 million USD (5.85 billion Roubles. 150 million Euros. 125.2 million UK Pounds) on the development of democracy (sic) and civil society (sic) in Russia. Another 50 million USD will go to Russia through a specially-created fund. This is only the “clean money”, reported by the Congress in the budget, America also sends in “other money”. Moscow researcher Oleg Popov said that the list of American organisations that fund opposition groups in Russia is quite long enough. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), established in November 1961 during the Kennedy administration, “assists” organisations in Russia. The Moscow Helsinki Group and the Yegor Gaidar Economic Policy Institute cooperate with this effort. One of the key people in the US organisation is “retired” from the American special services.

Russian human rights activists receive their pay from the National Endowment for Democracy, headed by a former NATO commander, Wesley Clark, well-known for his atrocities in Serbia, and by former US Defence Secretary Frank Carlucci. Madeleine Albright is a manager of this group, and Elliott Abrams is involved with it, he’s the author of the false story that Iran cooperated with drug lords in South America. Otto Reich’s another “democratiser”, who co-authored the fairy tale, along with Wolfowitz and Bolton, that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. In the same list, we see Freedom House, headed by former CIA chief James Woolsey, whom Russians well remember, as he called Russia a fascist country. The parliamentary opposition parties in Russia claim that they don’t receive money from the West. They say that they’re opposed to “imported democracy” in Russia. As for the “spontaneous opposition”, which is led by former leading lights of the Yeltsin era, they’re ready to cooperate with the devil.

23 May 2012

B Vlahović

InoSMI.ru

http://inosmi.ru/social/20120323/188913463.html

Editor’s Note:

Rightwingers scream that they won’t support single-payer healthcare if it includes things that they don’t agree with. If that’s a reasonable argument (and it isn’t, by the way), then, I could ask for a refund from the government on the funds used by it to wage aggressive war throughout the world and to undermine the governments of Iran, Russia, and Byelorussia… governments that are more “democratic” than the KSA, Bahrain, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan… all of which the USA upholds and defends unstintingly. Where’s the money to “democratise” the KSA? Where were the US protests when the Emir of Bahrain used tanks to crush a popular revolt? Why did the USA support Radical Islamists in Afghanistan against Secular Modernists? Yes… why?

In short, the USA’s position is full of more holes than a Swiss cheese. If you pour money into the Koch Brothers’ boodlebags, you’re “democratic”, and worthy of support… but if you use your resources for your own use, not giving American political and economic fatcats their “vig”, you’re evil. Look at how Libya dismantled its Socialist state at the American’s behest… what happened to the Libyan people?

That’s why no foreign state should allow American Sectarian missionaries in their borders. They’re a Fifth Column intent on spreading the lie of Benevolent Capitalism… for, you see, if you’re prosperous, that means that God favours you and that you’re part of the “elect”. If they’re there, they should get the boot, especially Mormon nutters. If you’re an Orthodox Christian, the USA’s doing its best to knife the Church in the back in the Rodina (the USA supports the Rusantsov schismatics and the Uniate poseurs)… don’t cooperate with such efforts, don’t support rightwing nutters such as Paffhausen and Potapov. His Holiness stands for morality and social justice… the rightwingers pretending to be Orthodox (especially Paffahausen and his konvertsy claque) don’t… they support the godless “Me First” ideology of the Republican Party, spitting on Our Lord Christ and His Church.

I hate how some use “religion” as a substitute for Imperialism… and that’s that.

BMD

3 April 2012. Rush Opened His Mouth… And All the Women Voters Moved to Obama… The Democratic Party Should Subsidise Him, He Pisses Off Three For Every One He Convinces

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Read this. It’s the best sense on the topic that I’ve read so far. Note this:

The partisan gender gap has been evident in every national election since 1980, when Ronald Reagan essentially settled for a tie with Jimmy Carter among women, while crushing him among men by nearly 20 points. …

A new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states shows that Barack Obama actually trails Mitt Romney by 1 point among men. However, among women, the president is ahead by 18… giving him an overall lead of 9 points, 51 to 42 percent, in the battleground venues. …

This is very likely a result of the prominence that contraception and women’s health issues have assumed in the public debate since February, when Republicans revolted against the Obama administration’s efforts to make birth control a mandatory component of health insurance coverage. The way Republicans conducted themselves during that fight… Foster Friess’ aspirin comment, a GOP-convened House committee hearing made up entirely of male witnesses, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” attack on Sandra Fluke, and the reluctance of top Republicans to loudly condemn him for it… has made it easy for Democrats to claim that they are engaged in a “war on women”. Romney’s own statement last month that “we’re going to get rid of” Planned Parenthood if he’s president and the mandatory ultrasound bill that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell recently signed after a high-profile battle have had the same effect.

This may be a case of history repeating itself. The last Democratic president to stand for re-election, Bill Clinton in 1996, owed his re-election to a massive and decisive gender gap. His campaign against Bob Dole is generally remembered as a sleepy, suspense-less affair, one that Clinton led wire-to-wire and ended up winning by a healthy 8-point margin. And yet, among men, Clinton actually lost to Dole by a point, 44 to 43 percent. It was women, who sided with Clinton by 16 points, who accounted for his lopsided victory. Without the 19th Amendment, Dole would have become the 43rd President of the United States. …

Meanwhile, though, Clinton increased his share of the women’s vote by 10 points. There was no obviously gender-based issue like contraception to account for this, but it seemed that women reacted with particular hostility to the GOP Congress that was elected in ’94 and to the face of that “Republican revolution”, House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In 1995 and ’96, Clinton portrayed himself as the chief defender of the social safety net, attacking Republican efforts to cut Medicare spending and shift federal programmes back to the states. The lopsided gender gap that Clinton opened up in ’96 has persisted by varying degrees in the three elections since… a 22-point difference between the parties in 2000, 14 in 2004, and 12 in 2008. We’ve always known that it would play a role again this year, and it may turn out to be a decisive one.

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That’s interesting… all of the GOP’s bellicose rhetoric is meant to appeal to “angry white men”. Does this mean that besides becoming a regional and confessional oddity, the Republicans are going to be a party of “sore white men” outside of its redoubt in the Sectarian South? If so… the 2012 election may prove to be realigning. As for me, I hope that Rush Limbaugh continues his ignorant anti-woman rants and raves. Let him increase them! They’ve woken up a lot of people, and they’re going to wake up more before the election occurs. He’s the best weapon that the Democrats have in their arsenal.

Interesting, ain’t it? One of the loudest and most dirt-dumb misogynists out there has done more than anything else has to awaken women to the dangers inherent in the Republican courtship with the Radical Christian Right. Crazy world, ain’t it… “For a want of a nail, the kingdom was lost”. The Republicans themselves crafted the coming Obama Landslide by not shutting up Rush and the loud “Christian” element. This has scared most women and most honest decent people… we’re going to mark our ballots for the President to avoid a Neo-Fascist theocratic dictatorship all-too-reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale. Oh, one last point before I go… the majority of voices in the blogosphere and in the commboxes are masculine, giving the impression that the Republicans are stronger than they actually are. Why? I don’t know… but the gender imbalance does mean that a skewed and inaccurate picture’s out there. I think that the GOP’s falling for its own propaganda, always a dangerous thing.

When reasoned argument fails, elemental fear does turn the trick. Keep spouting your rubbish, Rush… you’re the ace in the hole of President Obama. Delicious irony, isn’t it?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Albany NY

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