Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sergei Yolkin’s World: Docs vs Cops…

Docs vs Cops

Sergei Yolkin



On 26 May, riot police in the centre of Athens clashed with protesting doctors and state hospital staff who were trying to force their way into the Health Ministry building. Police fired gas canisters to disperse the protesters, but there were no injuries or arrests because of the fracas. Greek doctors are protesting against planned salary and pension cuts, as well as reductions in healthcare spending. The government also plans to merge some hospitals, abolishing all redundant and overlapping positons. Greece had to agree to these budget cuts in exchange for a 110 billion Euro (4.39 trillion Roubles 156 million USD 96 million UK Pounds) loan from the EU and the IMF.

26 May 2011




15 June 2011. On This and On That… A Little Chat with My Loyal Following

Give me coffee… or else! I’ll take a slug of good stuff in it, too, if you please… I don’t bloody care if it’s before noon… just DO IT!


A while back, I mentioned that this is the “deadest” time of the year, as far as readership levels go. It doesn’t matter if I post much or little… the patterns appear to be immutable. Weekly, Fridays and Saturdays are my “low points”, and, as far as the whole year is concerned, June and July are the doldrums. It doesn’t’ concern me when readership and hits plummet 25 to 35 percent… it happens every year. I think that’s a common phenomenon affecting everyone, both large corporate media outlets and small fry like me. I don’t know about you… but Nicky and I tend to be out and about more this time of year. So far, this year, we’ve gone to Western Massachusetts and driven the Mohawk Trail… that’s a nice motor. No… there are no “attractions”… it’s just pretty greenery and stunning scenery, and that’s quite good enough. Since all of you have “lives” too, you’re not at the old machine as much, either. It’s the nature of things. It’s a time for family cookouts, lazy motors in the countryside, and fireworks on the Fourth of July (or on Dominion Day, if you’re “north of the border”). When it gets colder, you’ll be back at the same ol’ street corner, I’m sure of it.

I’ve been a little crumbly lately… nothing serious. It was just an ear infection, but it was a major pain in the arse, not life-threatening or painful in the least. It DOES get one down, and the temporary loss of much of my hearing was an EDUCATION. We DO depend on our hearing for so much. Therefore, I wasn’t posting as much, so, there are some stories in my files that are going up in short order… they’re still relevant, and I’ll put them out into the public, properly “Englished”.

The major story that’s still developing (that’s why I’ve declined to post for a while on it) is the collapse of the OCA and the ROCOR. The OCA is a “deer caught in the headlights” insofar as the Winnipeg situation is concerned, and the OCA hierarchy is under a virtual gag order from their lawyers. A friend reported to me that the lawyers have muzzled the bishops; they have to be careful of what they say so that some lawyer won’t accuse them of muddying up the waters further. Sad, ain’t it? Unlike the Roman Catholics in this country (legally, there’s no “Roman Catholic Church in the USA”), the OCA is organised as a unitary legal religious non-profit corporation… and I’d remind the Winnipeg magistrate that all OCA parishes pay an assessment to that religious corporation… which means that there IS a national body that has legal existence, therefore, it has legal liabilities, as well. The RCs were able to limit their damages from the paedophilia scandals, for they have no higher legal organisation than the diocese in the USA and Canada. On the other hand, the OCA and the ROCOR (and all other Orthodox bodies) DO exist as legal entities… therefore, the national bodies ARE liable for the actions of their component parts (parishes and dioceses have links to the parent body, as they pay dues to it; thus, they are subordinate members of the organisation, and legally bind that corporation through their actions). It’s also not going to look good when it comes out in open court that the OCA used two frauds (Webber and Jensen) as “psychologists”… neither one has professional incardination.

As far the ROCOR is concerned, I read the latest missive from the Holy Synod, and it was HOLLOW. It was an attempt to place a brave face on a bad situation. It had no vision of the future, either in the near or long term, and it attempted to airbrush the past. It’s not as desperate a situation as that facing the OCA, but one can see that the structure is rotted through and unstable. After all, the ROCOR is a frankly temporary body according to its very charter documents… it was only going to exist until “communication was restored with the Mother Church”. Now, that communion is restored between the MP and the ROCOR, there’s no longer any need for this organisation, and it shows. No doubt, there are going to be “Metropolitan Districts” abroad on the model of the UOC/MP, the bodies in Latvia, Estonia, and Byelorussia, and the Kazakhstan Metropolitan District. However, they won’t be the ROCOR per se; they won’t be the ROCOR under a different name. That’s why the First Families are fighting it… they’d lose their little sinecures, situations, and titles… Lebedeff wouldn’t be able to push around people in So Cal any more, for instance. Yet, it’s in the same predicament as the OCA… both bodies can see the end, it terrifies them, and they’re so frightened that they’re immobilised. Moscow could help matters by telling American clergy on the QT that the Centre would cover their pensions… that would increase the pressure on the existing bodies, perhaps, enough to topple them. Then, the Centre could step in and put things right. I wonder what the fall of the OCA will do to the Blunder… he’s been their only passionate advocate at the Centre, after all. Don’t forget… when an Orthodox liturgy was served at Sancta Maria Maggiore, Mark Golovkov celebrated it, NOT THE BLUNDER. That’s not conclusive, but it’s a Lenin’s Tomb moment… and it doesn’t bode well for Hilarion Valeryevich, I do daresay.

I don’t have a crystal ball… I don’t have clairvoyance. Nevertheless, there’s as much faith in the OCA and the ROCOR as there’s faith in the present political system in the USA and Canada… that is, not much at all. No one believes in the “old verities”, and soulless careerist pols run things, both secularly and ecclesiastically. It’s why the NDP is rising in Canada… it’s not the PCs or the Liberals… it’s why the PCs won the latest election there (they only garnered a minority of votes, but the declining Liberals and rising NDP split the opposition vote). Oh, one last thing before I go… Winnipeg is in Manitoba… and the NDP runs the government in Manitoba… that is, arguments successfully used in front of a Neoliberal “conservative” judge in Maryland won’t fly in NDP Manitoba. Just thought that I’d mention that…

Have a wonderful summer, and get out there and enjoy it! Pass me the jug… that was THIRSTY work…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Albany NY 

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