Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Greek Orthodox US Senatorial Candidate in Illinois Stands Tall and Does the Right Thing! Three Cheers for Alexi Giannoulias!

Filed under: Barack Obama,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Here’s the best characterisation of the Tea Party I could find… being against a house of prayer… how much more bigoted can you be?


This is about every single religion and remembering what this country was founded on. You can’t just say things when they’re nice and flowery. You have to say them when it’s the right thing to do.

Alexi Giannoulias

Democratic candidate for the US Senate in Illinois

Firstly, read this:


Look at what one of the Tea Party bastards said of President Obama, “He is thinking like a lawyer and not like an American, making declarations without America’s best interest in mind”. I was unaware that catering to religious hatred and bigotry was in “America’s best interest”. Let’s be frank… the reason why the Tea Party is focusing on the mosque is that they don’t want you to see the obvious. They are responsible for the wars now tying the USA down in peripheral and pointless theatres. They are responsible for the economic depression ravaging the country. They are responsible for the massive deficits of the Bush II administration that sparked off the current crisis. They are responsible for secret prisons in former Soviet states where torture was commonplace (and they are unrepentant about it, too, they defend such passionately). In short, their record SUCKS. They don’t want you to see it, so they holler about a mosque. A mosque is a house of prayer, you boobs!

Here’s what Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, one of the Muslim leaders in Russia, said:

We believe that the murder of even only one person is the same as if you murdered all of mankind. We oppose all forms of terrorism and extremism; Islam condemns terrorism in the most absolute terms…

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev said:

We’ve avoided intense conflict with Islam because we have common ground for a conversation, a general concern shared by all faithful Muslims and Christians.

Look at a quote from the above article:

Republicans called it the “9/11 Mosque” and the “Ground Zero Mosque”, falsely describing it as if a place of worship were being built in the crater left behind when the Twin Towers crumbled. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott started running a TV ad in Florida that said, “Mr President, ground zero is the wrong place for a mosque”.

These lying sacks o’ shit! They know that isn’t true, yet they put it on the airways in a deliberate attempt to sucker punch the American public. Mr Scott owes all Americans an apology for his bald-faced lie… a lie that he knew was false when he uttered it.

Then, we have Alexi Giannoulias, the only person in this mess to stand tall and to be loud n’ proud. Look at the quote at the head of this post. It’s clear… it’s unambiguous. Either everyone has the right to freedom of worship and assembly, or none of us have it. It’s why building the mosque… and building a new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, too… is the right thing to do. If the nativist haters and bigots win this one, who’s next? Think on THAT… reflect well that JP is in bed with the Tea Party and the neocons. Don’t forget… on a night when he could have stood side by side with a bishop of the UOC MP in New York, he stood by the First Profit of the Mormons instead (yes… I know that it’s “First Prophet”… my usage was deliberate).

It’s not pretty is it? It’s not easy, either. However, it’s clear… we can’t be part of the Tea Party, for it runs counter to what grounded Orthodox believe in. I agree with Patriarch Kirill’s negative critique of entrepreneurial capitalism. That means that I must reject the Tea Party, for the teabaggers preach that “greed is good”.

There are still nearly three months until the election… God willing, the impetus of the haters will be spent by then.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Albany NY


“Not Married? You’re Fired!” The President of a Large Dairy Wants to Give the Godless the Boot by the Pokrov

Editor’s Foreword:

I wasn’t going to translate this when I first read it last week, I thought it an oddity… but there is a good deal of search activity on Mr Boiko-Veliky, so, I searched out the “original” article and translated it in toto.



Yesterday, the Internet exploded as bloggers reported that a large company had adopted an Orthodox code of behaviour. The “ticking bomb” was the publication of a so-called address to the staff of a dairy. In particular, its president, Vasili Boiko-Veliky, promised to fire any employee who had an abortion. Those couples living together who don’t get married before the feast of the Pokrov on 14 October will suffer the same fate.

As you know, Russia is a multi-confessional country, and Ruzsky raion, where Mr Boiko-Veliky’s dairy is located, doesn’t have a homogenous population. In particular, many Dagestanis live in Ruzsky raion. However, apparently, Muslims, Jews, and Catholics at the plant aren’t affected. On the other hand, shall those who accept [Orthodox] baptism receive benefit? There’s another question, how will the personnel office identify those sinners that procure an abortion?

Here’s the text of the policy that caused such a stir:

To encourage proper behaviour amongst our employees, the Board of Directors decided:

  1. All employees of our enterprise, both during normal work hours and afterwards, shall take a course on “Basics of Orthodox Culture”, as approved by the RF Ministry of Education, during the coming academic year; this is required.
  2. All staff working in agricultural holdings and other enterprises of our company, in the case of pregnancy, shall retain their average monthly salary in full, until the newborn child is one year old.
  3. All employees who have or facilitate an abortion are subject to dismissal.
  4. All employees who are living together, but not formally married, if they do not formally marry by 14 October 2010, the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, are subject to dismissal.
  5. Newly hired staff, if they are living together as a couple, but not formally married, must legally marry during their probationary period, that is, during the first three months of their employment.

We rung up Mr Boiko-Veliky for a long awaited telephone chat to clarify some of the detail. We asked, “Don’t you think that this is a violation of the Labour Code?”

He replied, “We won’t cut people, we’ll cut out positions. The law doesn’t prohibit that”.

We went on to say, “Are you saying that you’ll only hire Orthodox believers?”

He said, “There are no formal restrictions, but basically we want those who are baptised, whose life goals coincide with ours, who wish to take part in the Transfiguration of Orthodox Russia. If an employee is not baptised, the requirement that they marry their partner doesn’t apply. However, abortion would lead to automatic dismissal. How would we find out? We wouldn’t spy on people, but there are no secrets around here, everything’s known eventually, in full. We are not proponents of inflexibility, but extreme situations (the fire of our sins can scorch us) call for radical action.


Fr Vladimir Vigilyansky, spokesman for Patriarch Kirill:

The demands of (Mr Boiko-Veliky) are even more excessive than those of the Pharisees in the Gospels. They brought the woman caught in adultery to Christ, and he said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. This reply silenced the Pharisees. It isn’t Orthodox to use punitive measures to treat with sin. Everyone has a right to a private life. The clergy can call on someone to repent, but they cannot use threats and punitive measures. That’s crooked (перегиб), and it can drive people from the Church and Orthodoxy.

Anatoly Kucherena, barrister, member of the RF Public Chamber:

Firstly, I would remind the authors of this policy of Articles 14, 19, 28, and 37 of the RF Constitution, and there are other applicable statures, including the RF Labour Code. Probably, it’s OK if the head of a large enterprise has a personal attachment to something, that is, the beliefs, moral and ethical principles, and guidelines that he lives by… that’s his personal affair. However, to compel his subordinates to do likewise, to give them orders to follow his idiosyncratic preconceptions and approach, at the least, is ridiculous and unwise. No one can force someone to marry, it’s a religious and spiritual human choice, and Article 28 of the Basic Law, which affirms freedom of religion, guarantees such freedom. People in the workplace are individuals, they have different religions, and they come from different nationalities. I think that if (Mr Boiko-Veliky) tries to implement the requirements he set forth in the near future, there’ll be a lot of work for barristers in Moscow and Moscow oblast.

Pavel Lungin, cinema director (known for his film Island):

It’s absolutely outrageous and illegal. It doesn’t deserve any more comment than that.

Leonid Mlechin, journalist and historian:

From my point of view, this is a direct violation of the Constitution and laws, which do not allow discrimination on religious or even on some other grounds. I believe that the procurator’s office should look into this “document”. Furthermore, if someone actually was fired, we should be able to take the managers to court. This never happened even in old Russia. Then, there were certain limitations associated with religion, well, for example, some Muslim nationalities weren’t allowed to serve in the forces and Jews weren’t allowed to live outside the Pale. However, it was spelled out in legislation. On the other hand, if we were to have real respect for other religions, we would let Muslims take a day of rest on Friday, and allow Jews to take off Saturdays.

12 August 2010

Yelena Novoselova

Galina Bryntseva

Российская Газета (The Russian Newspaper)

As quoted in Interfax-Religion


Editor’s Afterword:

Do you hear what I hear? Yes! It’s a trumpet fanfare! Kiddies… Interfax has earned yet another Big Green Weenie Award. Their version in English is an abortion and unworthy of the title of translation… in fact, take a look:


Crazy world, ain’t it? Here’s the jug…


Mosque and Church in Southern Manhattan… Let’s Have Both!

Filed under: Christian,church in society,Islam,patriotic,politics,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

The Tea Party screams loudly about a mosque not even on the WTC site… it says NOTHING about a lovely little Orthodox church destroyed on 9/11… both of them tell me that the Tea Party is without merit… full stop. (Thank you to my friend who sent me the link… I CAN’T catch everything)


Firstly, read this…


I think that both St Nicholas Church, which IS at the WTC site, and the mosque, which is not, should both go forward.

Here’s something that all Orthodox Christians should ponder. Not one of the loudmouth Tea Party jerks spoke up for the good folk at St Nicholas. NOT ONE. Let’s repeat that… these big time “Christians” said nothing and did nothing to help a small Christian group that lost its building on the WTC site. Sarah Palin said nothing. Rush Limbaugh said nothing. Anne Coulter said nothing. Glenn Beck said nothing. None of them said anything; none of them made this a national cause célèbre. They’re ready to make political hay over a mosque that’s not even on the 9/11 site, but they won’t help Christians who lost their Church as a result of that day’s events. I find that DISGUSTING.

Anyone who supports the nativist bigots of the Tea Party after this is deliberately blind. They lied to you about the mosque’s location… they haven’t helped an Orthodox parish that suffered because it was located on the WTC site. Let me say that I thought that the Tea Party pukes were low and that I couldn’t think less of them.

I was wrong.

Have nothing to do with these hateful nativist bigots. They are the enemies of Christ and His Church, full stop. Pray that God helps us… these partisan opportunists won’t, that’s for sure.

It takes all kinds…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Albany NY

Slovak Crack in the EU Edifice

Slovakia refused to contribute to the Greek bailout; its example may be tempting for other EU members…

The Spanish newspaper El Pais called Slovakia’s decision to refuse to contribute to the European Commission stabilisation assistance package to Greece “surprising and unexpected”. In private, journalists use less restrained terms. They talked about the “audacious” and even “bold” behaviour of the youngest member of the Euro zone; in fact, Slovakia only acceded to it in 2009. Besides that, in the main Euroclub, the EU, it’s also one of the newbies. Now and again, the foundation of a permanent and integrated European structure emits threatening and crackling noises, they don’t seem to frighten the natives. After all, scandals, as a famous saying has it, “happen in the best of families”. However, this time, the crack seems to be more extensive. We know how noisy it was when the EU tired to harmonise measures to rescue Greece from the brink of financial collapse. After long debate and wrangling, they finally agreed to tender Greece a stabilisation package of 110 billion euros (4.316 trillion Roubles 141.801 billion USD 91.008 billion UK Pounds). Slovakia agreed to pay 812 million [euros] (31.854 billion Roubles 1.047 billion USD 671.804 million UK Pounds) as its share, the centre-left government coalition led by the leftist Direction-Social Democracy Party (SSD) under Prime Minister Robert Fico approved this arrangement. That coalition fell in the June 2010 parliamentary elections, and Mr Fico’s successor as Prime Minister, Iveta Radičová, the leader of the neoliberal centre-right Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS), said, “Today, our finances are as tight as ever. Why should we foot the bill for someone else’s financial indiscipline?” These words struck the European Commission like lightning from a clear-blue sky.

{Actually, the SSD IMPROVED its showing, going from 29 to 35 percent of the vote, holding 62 of the 150 seats in the Národná Rada. Its coalition partners suffered, giving the neoliberal “conservatives” the chance to cobble together a (shaky) governing coalition under the centre-right SDKÚ-DS. Indeed, the SDKÚ-DS LOST votes, going from 18 to 15 percent of the vote; they lost three seats in the NR, going from 31 to 28. To be blunt, the Slovak voters rejected their lunatic neoliberal nostrums, but they were skunked by parliamentary manoeuvring. Note well the evil self-centredness and prelest of the neoliberals in Ms Radičová’s remark, “Why should we foot the bill for someone else’s financial indiscipline?” She only got the chance to form a government because some voters wanted to punish Fico’s coalition partners and a there was a “toss the rascals out” syndrome due to the crisis (sound familiar?). Betcha that the SSD does better in the next election and the right-wing poseurs will be thrown out after they try to shred the Slovak safety net (shall the same thing happen here in the USA? I fear that people have to learn the hard way and will be hurt badly by the oligarch-loving Tea Party before they toss them out too): Editor}

Olli Ilmari Rehn, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Policy, expressed “regret” in the face of such a blatant violation of the principle of solidarity. Brussels hasn’t decided whether it shall impose sanctions against the rebels, they hope that by September, when the leaders of the Euro Zone meet for a summit, they will change their mind. However, other people will have to make up the shortfall. Another impetus for the foundation of integration were quarrels over the unexpected proposal of Janusz Antoni Lewandowski, the EU Commissioner for Budget Affairs, to introduce a “European tax”, which would be a tax on air travel and on the transaction and sale of quotas for harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Supposedly, this would bring direct payments into the EU treasury.

If some of the smaller countries are showing interest in this, the “old sweats” of the Euroclub, Germany and France, not to mention the arrogant British, claim it’s a violation of their sovereignty and, more generally, they complain about the untimely introduction of new taxes in a time of crisis. Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was more open to the idea, but even he expressed frank derision of its chances. According to Sr Rodríguez, Madrid is “following all such ideas with interest”.

Sergei Utkin, the head of the Department of European Integration of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, told VOR, “However, I don’t see a trend for a split [in the EU]. This matter concerns workflow. Really, it’s a question of principle. If everyone agreed to participate in the Greek bailout, they should all take part in it. However, if the Slovak government suddenly goes into open opposition of the plan, I don’t think this will have any long-term consequences. With regard to Lewandowski‘s initiative, they are unlikely to support his ideas. This isn’t the time to impose new taxes”.

Now, political analysts are wondering whether the Slovak move would prove an infectious example for other EU members… including the new ones. This “audacity” of the latest member, as we saw, can’t persist. Meanwhile, in late July in Brussels, negotiations began on the entry into the EU of its latest new member, Iceland, which two years ago was on the edge of bankruptcy. According to one commentator, the EU enlargement process is like riding a bike. The cyclist doesn’t collapse as long as he continues to pedal. Well, in Brussels, apparently, they “pedal away” with remarkable persistence.

16 August 2010

Oleg Severgin

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Many observers fail to notice the evil core of the neoliberal movement due to the religious rhetoric that it uses. Take, for instance, the Slovak refusal to pay their fair share of the Greek bailout (due to its slippery right-wing régime). That means that someone else has to pick up the slack, at a time when all parties are hurting. A theologian would call that a sin against charity, at the least… it’s cupidity and selfishness on top of that. THAT’S what the Tea Party enshrines as “good”… woe to those who call good evil and evil good. It gives a new spin on Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Palin, and all the rest, doesn’t it?

Remember, Star-Kist wants tunas that taste good… not tunas with good taste. In other words, don’t just talk about God… do His work! Taking away the bread of the poor and using it to enrich the oligarchs isn’t God’s work… if you can’t see that, I can’t help you… and neither can anyone else (including the Almighty).


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