Voices from Russia

Monday, 29 November 2010

Orthodox Rock Group Сыновья России (Synovaya Rossii: Sons of Russia) to Hold a Free Concert in Moscow Next Monday

Russia, My Russia: A Prayer for the Russian Nation (here, “nation” is NOT a synonym for “political state”… it stands for “ethnic group”)


Next Monday, 6 December, Hierodeacon Rafail Romanov and his band, Сыновья России (Synovaya Rossii: Sons of Russia), will hold a free concert at the Pushkin Concert Hall in Moscow.

“They create sacred music in a modern idiom, that’s what their fans say about them. The music of the Sons of Russia helps you to come closer to the Orthodox faith and to be cleansed spiritually, it’s a good thing all around”, as one of the organisers told our Interfax-Religion correspondent.

The group’s repertoire includes songs with a variety of lyrics… some come from sermons and prayers; others use words of ordinary folks, they come from the people. Deacon Rafail wants his songs to make you think about eternal questions, about life, about its meaning, he wants them to reflect the full range of human suffering and joy; to show our desire for principled belief, and a genuine concern for the motherland. He wants to express his feelings about the spiritual condition of man, his vocation to have faith, and to give meaning to life through a love for both mankind and God.

Organisers of the concert received support from the Moscow municipal authorities, the MP Synodal Department for Youth, and the Orthodox youth movement Георгиевцы (Georgievtsy: George’s Group). Everyone is welcome to come to the concert, admission is free, and the show begins at 17.00

29 November 2010




Deficit? What Deficit? TAX CUTS!

Filed under: Alaska,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00


Here’s the world of the Tea Party… any questions?


There is a need to rectify the situation. However, the funds should be adequate to the situation. Savings should come from, for example, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s reasonable to reduce tax rates for companies that invest in production, and conversely, it’s right to increase the rates on companies that continue to pollute the environment. The state should encourage lending to small and medium business to create new jobs. It’s better to act through trusted financial institutions, instead of throwing taxpayer money into the insatiable maw of the big banks. Those megabanks have only one object… speculation on transactions with derivative instruments, ignoring the real economy.

They [free market policies] were never based on solid empirical and theoretical foundations, and even as many of these policies were being pushed, academic economists were explaining the limitations of markets… for instance, whenever information is imperfect, which is to say always.

The United States has deregulated and it has been a disaster in most parts of the country. Electricity prices are going up, there are black outs, brown outs, companies has gone bankrupt, the Government has had to bail out companies, Enron manipulated the energy prices. I think we would have to say it has been a disaster. You also can criticise and say it wasn’t done well. That’s true, but the other part is that it’s extremely difficult to do well. If you undertake the policy of privatisation, there’s a very substantial risk, no matter what are your intentions, that it won’t be done well. That brings me to a general view. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, says an American expression. The likelihood that, as a result of privatisation, you will have lower prices, more efficiency, higher quality, and more reliability is close to zero.

Joseph Stiglitz

2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Read these two posts before proceeding further:



To all of you who voted for the Tea Party thinking that you were voting for fiscal and fiduciary probity…


The GOP does not have any intention to shrink the government or reduce the deficit… none whatsoever. If the Bush tax cuts for the megarich continue over the next decade, it will increase the deficit by FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS (125.636 trillion Roubles 3.054 trillion Euros 2.572 trillion UK Pounds). As the FY 2009 Budget was 3.52 trillion USD (110.727 trillion Roubles 2.687 trillion Euros 2.264 trillion UK Pounds), the increase in the deficit would be the same as adding a further YEAR of expenditures, without any additional inflow of revenue. Another way of putting it is that rescinding the Bush tax cuts would be the same as cutting expenditures by 10 percent, no small beer. With all the bleating from the country club, one would think that ending the Bush cuts would be equivalent to restoring the tax structure of the Roosevelt New Deal years. It isn’t… not by a long shot.

Military spending is up by 230 percent over 2000, and most of that increase isn’t due to the hellishly expensive colonial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Inflation has been nowhere that figure, so a reasonable person would conclude that Bush inflated defence industry spending whilst cutting taxes for the oligarch class. That was recklessly irresponsible and fiscally imprudent, but John Kyl, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner (and their rich sugar daddy backers) approved of that combination… and they still do! Instead of shrinking the deficit, they would redirect spending from the social safety net to payola to their favoured defence contractors. They all support mind-numbingly expensive strategic arms programmes and a failed ABM scheme that has never worked over the thirty years of its development.

In re the last item, am I being nasty if I mention that any elements of such a system forward deployed in Eastern Europe would be vulnerable to strikes from Russian Iskander theatre missles based in Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus? Let’s see… the Iskander has a range of 500 kilometres (310 miles), with a speed of 126 kilometres (78 miles) per minute, giving us a flight time of a little less than four minutes… hmm… that means that no ABM could lock onto them for it takes longer than that to acquire, identify, and target an incoming missile. In short, DoD wasted the BILLIONS spent on ABM systems over the last thirty years… but the contractors and congressmen did very well, indeed! We should scrutinise Messrs Kyl, McConnell, and Boehner closely… let’s see if they have ANY links to the defence industry (don’t forget what Ike said concerning the “Military-Industrial Complex”… he was NO “commie zombie”).

Do you want to shrink the deficit? Firstly, end the colonial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and bring the troops home, that’s 150 billion bucks (4.711 trillion Roubles 114.48 billion Euros 96.39 billion UK Pounds) right there. Secondly, cancel the Bush tax cuts for the rich, that’s 400 billion bucks (12.564 trillion Roubles 305.4 billion Euros 257.2 billion UK Pounds). Thirdly, shrink the Marine Corps by one-third; it was the only service not cut after the Cold War. That’s a result of the USMC’s PR and lobbying organisation, one of the best in the District. Such a cut would yield 14 billion dollars (439.616 billion Roubles 10.685 billion Euros 8.996 billion UK Pounds)… these three items alone are 564 billion dollars (17.71 trillion Roubles 430.445 billion Euros 362.426 billion UK Pounds)… no chump change. Fourthly, end the ABM programme… it hasn’t worked for thirty years… spending on it for another thirty would be just as pointless.

Note well that the GOP supports both the “Global War on Terror” and the “War on Drugs”… both are fraudulent and both lack any grounding in the real world. As for the latter, I agree with the late William F Buckley… draconian drug laws don’t do any good; all they do is inflate the prison system, and balloon costs for prisons, guards, and administration. Drug abuse is a public health problem… that’s where it belongs. The so-called “War on Terror” is oxymoronic. You can be at war with a given state, you can be at war with a given group, but you can’t be at war with a concept. It’s something that doesn’t go bump in the night. Trying “terrorists” in American courts for actions committed outside of US jurisdiction is lunatic and hubristical. It perverts the letter of the law, the ideology behind it, and the bedrock beliefs of all previous generations of Americans (and most current Americans, too). “If we don’t like what you do, wherever you do it, we’ll drag you to the USA, and we’ll try you in our courts”. That’s a recipe for disaster. Ending both of these spurious “wars” would save billions (not to mention the fact that it would starve corrupt pols and cops of their boodle… the real reason for the “drug war” in the first place).

In short, the Tea Party/GOP/neocons are nothing but shills for a soulless and godless self-centred laissez faire unregulated “free” market. They aren’t interested in reducing the deficit… not one little bit. All they want is power… rather, that’s what their rich backers want, and Kyl, Boehner, and McConnell are the willing stooges of their oligarch sponsors. Don’t listen to their bleats of patriotism and religiosity. Look at Joe Miller… he has refused to concede the election to Lisa Murkowski as a true patriotic gentleman would. That’s what Richard Nixon did in 1960… he did it because he loved his country so much that he refused to put it through the upset of a long recount and court fight. Richard Nixon was right… Joe Miller is wrong… and Joe Miller is the poster boy of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. Note well that Mr Miller is a loud “Christian” (in reality, he’s an American Sectarian)… and that he had his goons handcuff a reporter. That’s the ugly reality of the Tea Party.

We can have the prosperity of the New Deal and Eisenhower years, or we can have the “trickle upon” economics of the Tea Party. I would observe that the latter has failed three times… during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, at the time of the Great Crash of 1929, and right through to the Great Meltdown of 2007. Lightning has struck THREE times in the same place, bringing this disordered fancy down. What does that tell us about the intentions of those pushing the teabagger agenda? What does it tell us about those who fall for its lies and distortions? I think that the answer is obvious.

Oh… Russia has followed the advice of Professor Stiglitz, and it has weathered the Great Meltdown better than the USA has. Somehow, I think that Professor Stiglitz’s conclusions are more pertinent than those made by Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck… even though he’s only a dusty economist, not a flashy and “exciting” media presenter. Pass me the jug… take a swaller yourself… people ARE funny, aren’t they?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 29 November 2010

Albany NY

Westminster Abbey Choir will Perform at Christmas Festival of Sacred Music in Moscow

Westminster Abbey Choir


Sistine Chapel Choir shall not appear at the event for unknown reasons…

On 9-23 January 2011, the Moscow International House of Music will host a Christmas Festival of Sacred Music. “This forum, which commemorates the Nativity of Christ, could play an important role in introducing audiences to the age-old traditions of Christian music culture. Its concerts will take place on the stage of the Svetlanovsky Hall”, a spokesman for the House of Music told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Friday. Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias has given his blessing to the festival. The spokesman told our reporter that the festival organisers were negotiating with the Sistine Chapel Choir of the Vatican. “The choir won’t appear, we don’t know why”, they said.

St Stepan Dečanski Choir singing Slava vo visnjim Bogu

The festival will open on 9 January with a performance of the Moscow Synodal Choir under the direction of Honoured Artist of Russia Aleksei Puzakov. On 14 January, a Serbian choir will present a programme in honour of King St Stefan Uroš III Dečanski, and the Sretensky Choir of Moscow shall appear on the festival stage on 19 January.

Sretensky Choir of Moscow singing С нами Бог

The choir of Westminster Abbey, led by conductor James O’Donnell, will take the stage on 21 January. Worldwide, this choir is known as one of the best groups of its kind. It plays a leading role in the daily services of the abbey, and participates in many royal, state, and national festivals.

Westminster Abbey Choir performs Gabrielli

A performance by the S V Popov Academic Choral Arts Choir of Moscow will close the Festival; also on the programme of the final concert is the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, led by Vladimir Spivakov.

Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi, sung by the S V Popov Academic Choral Arts Choir of Moscow, the soloist is Dinara Alieva (she’s a Muslim… nothing wrong with that… want to supersize that order of Crow Supreme, teabaggers?)

The final concert of the festival is dedicated to the idea of uniting believers from different faiths in a common service to God through the arts, emphasising the themes of goodwill, compassion, and peace.

Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, other parts of the work are accessible from the You Tube page.

Vladimir Spivakov is including works with spiritual themes on the evening’s programme, all of which come from different religious traditions, including A Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky, a Russian Orthodox believer, and Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein, who was a practising Jew, but who wrote this piece for the Church of England, composing it using texts from the Psalter in Hebrew. In addition, the concert will present the Christmas Oratorio composed by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, which utilises texts from Orthodox worship and the Bible.

26 November 2010



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