Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Multimedia Presentation. To the New Year 2011! s Novym Godom!

Editor’s Foreword:

In Russia, gifts are given on the New Year‘s, a secular holiday, rather than Christmas, which is a more low-key religious celebration. I think that this is a good idea, for two reasons. Firstly, it allows us to keep Christmas as a “holy day”… no small beer, that. Secondly, as New Year’s is a secular holiday, it means that all the kids get a visit from Ded Moroz and Snegurochka, no matter what faith their family follows (or whether they follow no faith at all). I think that it’s grand that there’s a holiday that EVERYBODY can share and take part in… now, that’s what LOVE is truly all about. If you can’t kiss your atheist neighbour on the New Year’s, wish them well, and pour them an adult beverage… there’s something wrong with you. Before you can love God and the spiritual things, you have to love humanity and the earthly things… God made them, too!

The music vids are an eclectic mixture of serious and light-hearted stuff… just like at the mall! Oh, Richard! Get me the smelling salts… all the konvertsy just fainted away with that one. Lighten up… God wants you to be child-like, not childish… think on that one.

BMD

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My best wishes on the New Year… whatever path you follow. Know that I walk by your side.

BMD

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A Photo Essay. Cutting Down the 2010 Yolka for the Kremlin…

Filed under: Christmas,patriotic,popular life and customs,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Here’s a link to an RT video on this year’s yolka:

http://english.ruvr.ru/rtvideo/2010/12/18/video_37155260.html

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Here’s a vid of the 2007 Yolka…

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Here’s the 2008 yolka…

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A Photo Essay. Faith in a Penal Battalion…

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The first three images are of the Orthodox chapel, and the fourth is of the Muslim prayer room at the Disciplinary Battalion in Mulino. Most of those sentenced to it are “sent up” for bullying other conscripts. The Russian Army is serious about ending the Dedovshchyna (literally, “Rule of the Grandpas”), where older conscripts bully younger ones. As you can see, the Army is also serious about the soldiers’ spiritual health too. Fie on all the phonies who pooh-pooh the current revival in Russia… they’ve got more faith there than we have here… a picture IS worth a thousand words. Also… if some Renovationist nutter tries to tell you that they have “peek-a-boo” ikonstases in  Russia… look at the photo! THAT’S what common. Don’t forget… the revival started in ’85… during the Sov times. That’s one of the reasons why the Church doesn’t condemn socialism. It’s revival started under the aegis of a socialist government, and the Church hasn’t forgotten that.

BMD

Private Bradley Kept in Inhumane Conditions… “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”… I Think Not!

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

This is the sort of solitary confinement cell that Bradley Manning is confined to… in virtually all other countries, such solitary confinement is considered cruel and unusual punishment. What idiots! They have to be “enlightened” by the Roberts Supreme Court… Citizens United told us that the amount of rights that you have is directly proportionate to the size of your bank account. Note well that the GOP is committed to spreading this form of “freedom” by force of arms… America is no longer what it was…

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Read this:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-17/bradley-manning-wikileaks-alleged-sources-life-in-prison/

Take a note of:

He spends 23 hours a day alone in a standard-sized cell, with a sink, a toilet, and a bed. He isn’t allowed sheets or a pillow, though First Lieutenant Brian Villiard, an officer at Quantico, said he is allowed bedding of “non-shreddable” material. “I’ve held it, I’ve felt it, it’s soft, I’d sleep under it”, he told The Daily Beast.

For an hour every day, a television is wheeled in front of his cell and he’s allowed to watch TV, including news, though usually local news, Coombs told The Daily Beast. He is allowed to read the news as well.

He lives alone in a small cell, denied human contact. He is forced to wear shackles when outside of his cell, and when he meets with the few people allowed to visit him, they sit with a glass partition between them. The only person other than prison officials and a psychologist who has spoken to Manning face to face is his attorney, who says the extended isolation… now, more than seven months of solitary confinement… is weighing on his client’s psyche.

If Russia, China, or Iran were to hold a prisoner under similar conditions the denizens within the beltway would scream and have a hissy fit! The Republicans would be the loudest… however (as Chukcha the Wise would say)… the GOP had no problem with secret prisons in Eastern Europe for the torture of “terrorist” suspects, did it?

This young man is supposedly “innocent until proven guilty”… he’s being kept in conditions of isolation worse than those of a Sov Siberian GULag! At least, you had human contact there… here… there’s NONE.

I am ashamed that my country has fallen as low as it has. If you had told people in 1960 that we’d have to carry photo IDs (and that the cops would have the legal right to demand that you present it on demand), that there would be security cameras on every corner, and that you’d have to empty your pockets every time that you went into a government building… they’d look at you like you had two heads. That’s what has happened… we’ve become a police state. The kids don’t know how free it once was… even in the Cold War years.

It hasn’t been the Left that caused it… mainly, it’s been “conservatives” who’ve been in the forefront of restricting freedom… in the name of “freedom”. You see, as Citizens United told us, our freedom is proportional to the size of our wallets. That’s why this poor fellow is suffering… he doesn’t have any power or influence… and his family doesn’t have it either. So… he can rot in solitary confinement.

America was different prior to the time of Reagan… we CAN have it back! Are you willing to pay the price, though?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

19 December 2010

Albany NY

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