Voices from Russia

Thursday, 21 August 2014

25 Percent of Military Households Rely on Food Banks

01 See no Evil

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Editor:

Here’s my modest suggestion… in the contemporary USA, two incomes are necessary to raise a family due to the draconian anti-family programme of the US Republican Party (they have the brass balls to call themselves “pro-lifers”). When the economy crashed in 2008 due to the stresses upon it by the unfunded Bush wars and notional giveaways to the Affluent Effluent, many spouses of military personnel lost their jobs. As this situation arose due to the crank policies of the Republican Party, we should raise a special tax on all Republican politicians/lawmakers (including GOP-appointed judges on all levels) and Rightwing pundits… we should levy a 20 percent surcharge on their incomes “to support the troops”… I think that you’d hear some loud yelps. Here’s the Vaseline, Antonin n’ Willy n’ Rush n’ Paul… note well that they enjoy fucking others, but hoo boy, when it hits them… you get my drift…

BMD

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Recently, an exhaustive hunger report concluded that 25 percent of military members rely on food banks. After compiling four years of data, Feeding America (FA)… the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity… released its largest and most comprehensive study on the topic and found that one in seven people rely on food banks to get their basic nutrition needs. Perhaps one of the most stunning figures was that in 2012, almost 620,000 of the households who relied on FA services had at least one member now in the military. That’s 25 percent of all American military households. These figures included military members serving full or part-time in either the Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard.

However, the Pentagon was quick to take issue with the study’s methodology in measuring the number of struggling military members. Military.com reported that officials said that surveying households instead of individuals and using those figures against military data creates an inaccurate picture. Navy Commander Nathan Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, told the news outlet, “Without performing appropriate statistical adjustments to match the survey sample with the military population, it’s impossible to accurately calculate an estimated percentage of military households served by the Feeding America’s programs based on the survey data”. Christensen also told NPR that military pay and benefits compare favourably with the private sector, and that service members can always seek counselling should they face financial problems.

However, advocates say that troops are often too ashamed to draw such attention to themselves within the confines of the military, which is why getting help from food banks is often more appealing. Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, told NPR, “The reason they go to the food bank is it’s anonymous” . Back in 2011, the FISH food bank in Lakewood WA, located near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), started to see a “surprising” increase in the numbers of military members in need of help. While JBLM offers a housing allowance to families who live off-post and programmes to help struggling families, some say it’s not enough. Frances Anderson, whose husband was on active duty at the time, told KING 5 News, “My husband is embarrassed because he doesn’t feel that we should have to be here. The economy is terrible. I just tell the people on post that I need help and they just look at me like I’m crazy”.

Find out how you can get involved with Feeding America’s efforts here

19 August 2014

Eleanor Goldberg

Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/19/military-families-food-banks_n_5691790.html

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Respect for Truth No Longer Exists in the West

00 Uncle Sam. Change Lawless America. 15.02.14

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The Western media proved for all to see that either it’s a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or it’s a brothel, selling war for money. The conclusive evidence is the media story of the supposed Russian armoured column that crossed into the Ukraine, but the rag-tag junta forces purportedly destroyed it… but I’d say that ISIS would eliminate the junta forces in a matter of minutes. British reporters fabricated this story or a CIA operative working to build a war narrative handed it to them. The no longer reputable BBC hyped the story without investigating it. The German media, including Die Welt, blared the story throughout Germany without concern at the absent evidence.  Reuters, also with no investigation, spread the story. Readers tell me that CNN broadcasts the fake story 24/7. Although I can’t stand to watch it, I suspect that Fox “news” has also rode this lame horse hard. Readers tell me that my former newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, which has fallen so low as to be unreadable, also spread the false story. I hope that they’re wrong. One hates to see the complete despoliation of one’s former habitat.

The media story is preposterous for a number of reasons, obvious to any normal person. Firstly, the Russian government made it completely clear that its purpose is to de-escalate the situation. When other former Russian territories that are part of the contemporary Ukraine followed Crimea in voting for independence and requesting reunification with Russia, President Putin refused. To underline his de-escalation, President Putin asked the RF Gosduma to rescind his authority to intervene militarily in the Ukraine in behalf of the former Russian provinces. As the Russian government, unlike Washington or the EU governments, stresses legality and the rule of law, no Russian military forces will enter the Ukraine prior to the Duma renewing Putin’s authority so to do.

Secondly, the story is obviously false because if the Russian government decided to invade the Ukraine, Russia wouldn’t send in one small armoured group unprotected by air cover or other forces. If Russia invaded the Ukraine, they’d do it with a force capable of rolling up the rag-tag Ukrainian forces, most of which are irregular militias organised by Nazis. The “war” would last a few hours, after which the Ukraine would be in Russia’s hands, where it resided for hundreds of years prior to the USSR’s dissolution and Washington’s successful efforts in 1991 to take advantage of Russian weakness to break apart the constituent provinces of Russia herself.

Thirdly, the story is obviously false because not a single Western news organisation hyping the story presented a shred of evidence in its behalf. What we witness in this fabricated story is the total lack of integrity amongst the entirety of the Western media. They’ve broadcast a story world-wide, totally devoid of any evidence to support it. The White House issued a statement saying that it can’t confirm the story, but the White House continues to issue accusations against Russia for which the White House supplies no evidence. Consequently, Western repetition of bald-faced lies has become truth for huge numbers of peoples. As I have emphasised in my columns, these Western lies are dangerous, because they provoke war.

The same group in Washington and the same Western “media” are telling the same kind of lies that they used to justify Washington’s wars in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction), Afghanistan (Taliban = al Qaeda), Syria (use of chemical weapons), Libya (assorted ridiculous charges), and the continuing US military murders in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The city upon the hill, the light unto the world, the home of the exceptional indispensable people is the home of Satan’s lies, where truth is taboo and war is the end game.

17 August 2014

Paul Craig Roberts

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/authors/20140817/192086909/In-the-West-Respect-for-Truth-No-Longer-Exists.html

Editor:

There was no Russian armoured column in the Ukraine. The narrative as given paints a picture totally at odds with Russian military doctrine. Russian forces go on the offensive only after a short but intense preliminary artillery/rocket bombardment, with tactical air assets striking the enemy rear, and with helicopter forces seeking out enemy reinforcements and landing spetsnaz at key transportation junctures and strategic assets (bridges, dams, canal locks, power plants, etc). Whoever dreamed this up was either on crack or a PR flack utterly devoid of military knowledge. Therefore, it wasn’t NSA or DIA… too many uniformed sorts there. It wasn’t Langley either… they’re cutthroats, but they’re competent cutthroats. It smells like a PR asswipe like Jen Psaki… the asshat narrative not only doesn’t follow actual Russian doctrine, it flies in the face of the fact that General Shoigu pulled forces behind the actual border zone to prevent incidents and provocations.

It’s much like the airy-fairy accusations tossed about at the time of the Crimea referendum. There were already 16,000 Russian military personnel in the Crimea. They didn’t receive reinforcements… the only possible route of such was over the Kerch Strait via ferry or via airlift from Rostov Oblast. No American recce satellite noticed any movement, for there wasn’t any. NONE. The only overland route was in the hands of the junta (the Perekop Isthmus). If satellite imagery, radar, ELINT, SIGINT, or HUMINT had detected any movement, the USA would’ve shouted it from the rooftops. Reflect on this. The commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Admiral Berezovsky, rallied to Russia. Many thousands of Ukrainian soldiers rallied to Russia. NOT ONE junta soldier fought in the Crimea. They all just gave up or they willingly rallied to Russia. Why, Admiral Berezovsky is now an assistant commander of the ChF-MF! NO Russian or opolcheniets rallied to the junta. NONE!

Tote it all up… the junta greedsters slashed pensions… the junta greedsters jacked up food prices and utility rates into the stratosphere… the junta greedsters called a war three times (mobilisation), and virtually no one showed up… the junta greedsters boasted that they’d be in Lugansk and Donetsk by the end of July, and it’s 20 August… the junta greedsters committed economic hara-kiri by ending trade with Russia… the junta greedsters have controls on the media more onerous than those found in the Third Reich.

The junta isn’t long for this world… however, it won’t go quietly, or without bloodshed, the exact historical parallel is the end of the Guomindang on the mainland. Shed a tear for the suffering people of Novorossiya, Malorossiya, the Lvovshchina, and Podkarpatskaya Rus… they don’t deserve this. May God see and judge this… may there be an extra-cold corner of Hell for those who put this putsch, junta, and war into motion. It’s too much of a muchness.

BMD

The Cost of Living in the Ukraine Shot Up… Where’s the Fun?

empty pockets no money

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Prices in the Ukraine continue to shoot up. It’s all becoming more expensive, not only food and goods, but also public utilities rates and other services. That is, the people’s standard of living continues to fall. The IMF stated that in the first seven months of 2014, cumulative inflation exceeded 12 percent, and by the end of the year at this rate, the index might exceed 16 percent. These are official figures; real inflation is much higher. Gas prices went up, but even with the increase, urban residents have no hot water, and the chances are that when winter begins, there’ll be a cutback in gas for heating. Therefore, industry and the service sector face falling sales, so, in a few months, we’ll probably see a wave of bankruptcies and unemployment would rise. The unemployment rate this year may exceed 10 percent, although the government doesn’t consider it critical. Nevertheless, the trend is disturbing. The cost of living is going up, and this is true of virtually everything. For instance, most insurers raised their rates by 20-30 percent, as the volume of premiums collected was less due to businesses closing in a number of regions. In general, one can expect insurance rates to go up by 30-50 percent this year.

All of this is taking place as part of the signing of the European integration and assistance from the IMF. Economic benefits, except for possible trade with Europe, are very vague, but apparently, no one wants to point up the negative effects, even though they’re obvious. In fact, such changes involve lowering the standard of living for the sake of illusory prospects of a “European” living standard in 10-30 years. However, no one has yet seen an example of successful integration into the EU. On the other hand, the junta is kowtowing to the requirements of the IMF, and this means they’re reducing the social budget and increasing the tax burden. The junta intends to reduce the budget primarily through slashing social programmes, and it intends to lay a more onerous tax burden on ordinary citizens and small and medium-sized businesses. The economic crisis has only just begun, and we can’t expect a stabilisation in general in the short-term. In this regard, what will happen in 2015, when the gas reserves will be gone, and the IMF and the EU will demand further austerity measures of the junta?

19 August 2014

Russkaya Vesna

http://rusvesna.su/economy/1408439711

Editor:

Note well that the first thing that the junta did was to smash its boot into the faces of working class people without pity as they slashed pensions 50 percent. The junta members aren’t as corrupt as V F Yanukovich was… they’re MORE corrupt than he was! They’re all liars in the American crapitalist mode, which is why the American neocons love them. In short, they intend stealing the Ukraine blind for the benefit of the American greedster class, and they expect a “cut” as middlemen. Their motto is, “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing”… which is the Anglo American motto. It’s why the USA is supporting them… besides lusting to rape the Ukraine for the Koch brothers’ benefit. However, I believe that ordinary Ukrainians are already tired of “austerity”, the terrible bloodletting in Novorossiya (much worse than the media reports, but the public gets the word anyway (mostly, from the many deserters)), and the unbridled greed and thievery of the junta (“Rabbit” Yatsenyuk is the worst, followed by Turdchinov and Avakov… Yuliya is lying low… what does she know that we don’t?). The last 23 years have been a continuing Khokhol joke, but ever since the coup it’s moved from mere incompetence to a surreal disconnection from reality. God do help the poor folks in Novorossiya, Malorossiya, the Lvovshchina, and Podkarpatskaya Rus.

I expect a countercoup… or a Svoboda putsch. It does bid fair to be “interesting”… and I do agree with the Chinese, “interesting” times are hell on ordinary folks…

BMD

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mother Cathedral

00 St Michael Cathedral. Sitka AK. 19.08.14

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St Michael Cathedral is a great example of Old Russian church architecture. The greatest Orthodox Missionary in Alaska, Bishop Innokenty Veniaminov, designed it. He came to Sitka in 1834, returned to Russia in 1838, and became a bishop in 1840. He was the first Bishop of Alaska, and upon his return to Sitka in 1841, he began planning the construction of the cathedral. Bishop Innokenty laid the cornerstone in 1844 and hired carpenters and craftsmen to build it. The building used spruce logs with an outer layer of clapboard, and sailcloth covered the ceilings and walls for insulation and acoustics. The history of St Michael Cathedral began when a ship carrying the St Michael icon sank, along with all its valuable cargo, 30 miles short of its destination. Thirty days after the Neva sank, the undamaged crate carrying the icon washed ashore at Sitka and local residents found it On 20 November 1848, Bishop Innokenty consecrated St Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The building is laid out in the form of a cross, with three altars dedicated from left to right to the Mother of God “of Sitka”, St Michael the Archangel, and St Innokenty.

Bishop Innokenty learned how to speak the Tlingit language, and the Tlingits loved him, as he went all-out to understand their way of life and spiritual needs. He provided them with medicine and vaccines. Today, 90 percent of the cathedral congregation is Tlingit, as well as other native groups. The music in the liturgy is sung a capella (unaccompanied voice) in English, Slavonic, Tlingit, Aleut, and Yupik. Bishop Innokenty eventually returned to Russia and became the Metropolitan of Moscow and all the Russias. The Church canonised him a saint in 1977.

On 2 January 1966, tragedy struck the cathedral. A fire in Sitka’s business district in the middle of the night eventually spread to the church. Scores of local people rushed to the cathedral, where they formed human chains to remove most of the treasures… original artworks, icons, and religious objects, at the risk of their own lives. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed the structure, the clock built by Bishop Innokenty, Bishop Innokenty’s library, and bells. The Icon of the Last Supper above the Royal Doors in the main altar also perished in the blaze. Immediately after this tragedy, concerned citizens made plans to rebuild the cathedral in its original form, beauty, size, and style. They formed the Sitka Historical Restoration Committee, including many prominent citizens. It took 10 years to rebuild due to the difficult conditions peculiar to Alaska. The original plans were extant and they used them in the reconstruction. The replacement was completed and consecrated on 21 November 1976. The generous support of thousands of people in Sitka, throughout Alaska, and Lower 48 states made all of it possible.

The National Parks Service designated St Michael Cathedral a National Historical Monument and the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops named it an architectural and historical monument. To this day, its clergy serve a full cycle of liturgical services to accommodate the needs of Orthodox believers in Sitka, and it’s the “Mother Cathedral” of the Orthodox Church in America.

20 August 2014

Junjun Ablaza

Manila Bulletin

http://www.mb.com.ph/mother-cathedral/

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