Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The So-Called Republican “Pledge”… Hot Air and Gusty Wind… It’s Nothing but 1994 Redux… With Two-Timin’ Newt Posing as a Choirboy, Yet Again

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Here’s the end result of today’s “release” of the so-called “Pledge”… MUCH ADO SIGNIFYING NOTHING. Newt Gingrich praises it… he dumped two of his wives without a second thought… and he speaks of spiritual revival… isn’t there a SLIGHT contradiction there?


All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.

Dr John Arbuthnot

The so-called Pledge with America is pure moonshine. Here is what the “conservative” (corporatist neoliberal) commentator David Frum said earlier this year:

No illusions please… This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there… would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat. There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or… more exactly… with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes, it mobilises supporters, but by mobilising them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say… but what is equally true… is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed… if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office… Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.


Let’s keep this basic. There is no way that we can “simplify” government. A complex urbanised industrial society such as ours is cannot be run as though it were a small rural agricultural township in the Upper Midwest or New England. To speak bluntly, bureaucracy is a necessity. The only question is whether it shall be government bureaucracy or commercial bureaucracy. The latter has been tried (since the ‘80s), and it has proven itself a failure. We need a return to the New Deal (FDR saved capitalism, but the fat cats will never admit such). Why? I’ll tell you “why”… the current crop of businessmen is greedy and grasping Sam Walton types… they’re not in the mould of Endicott and Johnson who saw to it that their workmen (and their families) had excellent health care, adequate housing, and fair treatment. In fact, my Nicky’s father was a doctor in Endicott-Johnson’s service, providing health care to the company’s employees. None of the loudmouth Tea Party “conservatives” is doing likewise, so, all decent people must conclude that they are hypocritical bastards not worth supporting in November.

Don’t forget, Newt Gingrich served his first wife with divorce papers whilst she was sick with cancer, and he ditched his second wife for one of his female staffers. Let’s see, Glenn Beck is a Christian apostate, a Catholic who converted to Mormonism (magic specs, golden plates, Reformed Egyptian, “garmies”, and gods on other planets, anyone?)… Sarah Palin is an unreconstructed wild n’ woolly Holy Roller. Why are decent Christian (Orthodox/Catholic/Reformation Protestant) people having anything to do with such manifest frauds? In short, the “Pledge” is total GIGO from stem to stern… it’s a product of the 24-hour news networks hunger for “news”. It has no more reality than the Jabberwocky or Mr Ed (in fact, they have MORE reality than the so-called Pledge does)… Think on that.

Vote against the Tea Party in November… DON’T waste your vote!

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 23 September 2010

Albany NY


Greek Government Halts Funding for EP Orthodox Centre at Chambésy

The Centre tossed Bart’s notions of an “all-Orthodox Council” on the rubbish tip… in public, for all to see. After all, Bart went hat in hand to Peredelkino to save his project… it failed. I think that he traded this hot-air establishment for the Centre’s aid in reopening Halki.


Due to the economic crisis and the difficult situation in Greece, the Greek government halted funding for the EP’s Orthodox Centre in Chambésy (Switzerland). Thus, the centre is on the verge of closure; formally, it continues to exist, but it doesn’t actually do anything anymore, for it now has a drastically reduced staff, according to the Bulgarian website Двери в Православие (Doors to Orthodoxy). Up until now, the centre’s staff was preparing for a [notional] all-Orthodox Council, a dearly cherished notion of Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis of Constantinople. Many of them had extensive experience in inter-Orthodox cooperation and participated in meetings of the preparatory committees of the proposed Council. The Chambésy Centre also hosted a graduate school in theology, which in conjunction with the Faculties of Theology in Lausanne and Geneva, trained specialists in Orthodox theology, amongst its graduates were many who became prominent in the Church. The Orthodox Centre in Chambésy has three church buildings, a chapel, and has five parishes (Georgian, Arabic, Greek, Romanian, and French) attached to it.

22 September 2010



Editor’s Note:

Stokoe had a note on this… of course, he got it all backwards. No doubt, one of the main items on the agenda when Bart met with KMG in Peredelkino was funding for this centre. To make a long story short… His Nibs refused to fund the place and Bart has had to shutter it. In short, His Holiness delivered a blunt NYET to Bart’s airy-fairy plans for an “all-Orthodox Council”. That is, the MP publicly shafted Bart, yet again. Remember how Kirill Mikhailovich made Bart cool his heels in Moscow when he went off to the Optina Pustyn for a couple days (right in the middle of Bart’s trip… if that wasn’t a clear signal to all that Bart was a suppliant, you’re DENSE and VERY slow on the uptake)?

Stokoe and oca.org shall have to shut their mouths about Chambésy… it has no real existence. On the other hand, it has as much reality as the one million members of the OCA claimed by Kondratick, Schmemann, and JP… pathetic, isn’t it?


23 September 2010. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Greek PM to Testify on Crook Land Deal on Athos with Vatopedi Monastery…

Filed under: Greece and Greeks,Orthodox life,politics — 01varvara @ 00.00

In politics, there are things which you do, but you don’t talk about them, and there are things which you talk about, but you don’t do anything about them.

Konstantinos Karamanlis

former Greek Prime Minister (2004-09, New Democracy Party)


The guy in the shorts and the trainers is ex-PM Kostas Karamanlis (1956- ), of the pro-American New Democracy Party… a crook land deal on Athos with Vatopedi Monastery brought down his government. Yep… you heard me right… a crook land deal on Athos. The guys from To Vima broke the story last year… in the Orthodox homelands, journalists go after the truth in stories about the Church. If some of the lower form of clergy hiss at them, “You’re not being respectful… it’s not churchly! You have to be quiet for the good of the Church!” Well… that would only ENCOURAGE them to dig deeper! Look at the way the Der Spiegel guys went after the Wonder after Alfeyev waffled in some of his answers… and that’s the way it should be! When the press comes calling in Russia… Kirill Mikhailovich stands and delivers. Here, in the USA, bishops and clergy refuse to tell the truth and they get away with it because there’s no press or government pressure to toe the mark. I say, “If there are sticky-fingered clergy on the Mountain… EXPOSE THEM! THAT’S what’s ‘for the good of the Church'”. After all… it’s about time that we supported the honest clergy and ran the rascals out. Job Osacky did NOT go to an early grave in vain… remember his lonely (and courageous) stand.


Editor’s Postscript:

An interlocutor tried to whitewash the whole affair… sorry, wearing a riassa doesn’t give you a GET OUT OF JAIL, FREE card. Here’s what I wrote back:

I don’t buy it… my Greek sources tell me otherwise… there are scoundrels in riassas… I’ve met them at Jordanville, for example… sometimes, [clergy] in the Church are WRONG. Karamanlis is an American bum-kisser… Greece doesn’t need him or his party (PASOK is just as bad). In short… there IS sin on Athos… they’re NOT angels in the flesh. That’s why we pray for our monastics… when they go crook (as they did here), it’s a mess.

Hiding the sins of clerical miscreants “for the good of the church” is EVIL… and that’s all that one can say. Satan laughs when we do so…


More Feedback on this Piece:

I got a bit of feedback on my line above about “hiding the sins of clerical miscreants”… here’s something typical:

Best line you’ve written in any of your posts (and that’s saying a lot).

My reply to that person was:

As for your compliment, it’s how I feel… if we “enable” crank clergy, it scandalises people, drives them away from Christ, and straight into atheism. I’ve seen it too many times. Velencia has a good deal of company, sadly enough. We mustn’t be quiet! I’ll be able to stand before God and say, “I WASN’T quiescent!”

This appears to have touched a nerve… oh, none of the replies were negative. That means that clerical shenanigans aren’t uncommon… and that says something about us as “Church”… none of it good, I fear.


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