Voices from Russia

Thursday, 16 June 2011

16 June 2011. A Russian POV. The Monument for Labour Flooded in Omaha NE… A Parable of Our Time, No?

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Above is the Monument for Labour in Omaha NE USA by the American sculptor Matthew Placzek. It portrays the dignity and strength of the working people who built the USA with their sweat and labour. At present, the monument is flooded out by the rising waters of the Missouri River. It’s an apt parable… today, working people stand with their backs to the wall, as the oligarchs demand “givebacks” and move works sites to compliant “conservative” states with “Right to Work” (actually, “right to fire arbitrarily”) laws or to foreign parts where local juntas allow American investors to brutalise and beat the workers… since it’s out of sight of self-centred and greedy “respectable” people in their McMansions in the exurbs, they smile drooling grins of approval at “outsourcing” and “globalisation”. Yes… we’re being “flooded out”… but the water’s not over our heads yet. It’s not the final round… remember Black Lick and remember the sit-down strikes… American workers are “down”… but they’re not “out”. Michelle Bachmann and Dropout Scott Walker would do well to learn that… y’know, the cops are workingmen, too, and they know that they have to go back to their neighbourhoods after it’s all over… that’s why the cops’ll refuse to follow the orders of the Political Class sooner or later. That’ll be an education and it’ll happen soon, I’ll warrant (it almost happened in Wisconsin, recently).

Do you want Door Number One (riches for a few) or Door Number Two (a modest sufficiency for all)? We can have one or we can have the other, but we can’t have both. Choose well…

BMD

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16 June 2011. Some of My Favourite Things… Yokosuka Navy Curry… Good Eats in Any Language!

How ’bout a lighthearted romp through Westernised Japanese cuisine… I knew that you wouldn’t mind…

陸軍におけるカレー

Yokosuka Navy Curry

8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 litre/4 cups beef stock
  • 400 grammes/1 pound beef, cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (200 grammes/8 ounces)
  • 4 small onions, thinly sliced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 30 millilitres/2 tablespoons lard
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 30 millilitres cornstarch dissolved in cold water
  • salt/pepper, to taste

Method

Melt the lard in a large pot over medium heat. When it has liquefied, add the beef, and brown it well, tossing it frequently to ensure an even result. Remove the beef and reserve it. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions, and cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring them often, until the onions are translucent. Add the beef stock, bring it to the boil, and reduce the heat to low. Return the beef to the pot, adding the curry powder and soy sauce, stirring the mixture well to combine everything thoroughly. Cover the pot, and cook it for 40-50 minutes, stirring it occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Make a slurry of the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, whisking it thoroughly to remove any lumps in the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the curry to a boil, add the slurry, and stir the curry until it thickens. Reduce the heat to low, put the cover back on the pot, and cook it for a further 10 minutes. It’s usual to ladle the finished curry over cooked Japanese medium-grain rice. The yield of 8 servings assumes that you’re going to serve this in deep soup plates over the rice. This isn’t eaten with chopsticks, kids… it’s ALWAYS been eaten with a spoon. This came into Japanese naval usage in the 19th century, as the Royal Navy had adopted it as part of its culinary routine. The RN was the premier navy of its time, and the Japanese sent young men to learn from it. Officers of the formative IJN, such as Togo Heihachiro, studied in England and sailed aboard RN ships, so, certain practises of the Senior Service become part of the IJN tradition (moreover, the JMSDF continues them today).

NB:

Many Western sources add garlic to the recipe… I haven’t found it in my Japanese sources. I’d leave it out if I were you. You’re eating NIHONGI curry… NOT Indian curry… there’s a difference.

Приятного аппетита. Bon appétit.

The Degeneracy of Anarchic American Sectarianism: How It Underpins the So-Called Tea Party

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

Michele Bachmann says certain things that sound crazy to the general public, but to anybody raised in the environment of the evangelical right wing, what she says makes perfect sense.

Frank Schaeffer

******

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the non-existence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it, “I refute it thus”.

Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson

******

Before going further, we should define some terminology. “Sectarian” invariably means a member of one of the Radical American Sects, often labelled “evangelicals” in post-1970 discourse. Of course, they have nothing in common with traditional European Evangelicals (called “Lutherans” in the USA)… that’s why I refuse to use the colloquial tag for them. “Neoliberal” connotes what some circles in the USA (and the West in general) miscall “conservatism”. I must make this clear at the outset, for I’m going to use traditional European usages, not the loose and distorted forms common in American media discourse. Again, this is going to be longer than usual… the topic can’t be compressed into 800 words without distortion, I fear. I use Radical in its (correct) French sense, that is, Bourgeois Free Market Laissez Faire Anarchy. Be careful with the words “freedom” and “individuality”… their meanings for Christians (and Secularists) is antipodes away from what they mean for Radical Sectarians (sadly enough, called “Christians” in common discourse).

Read these:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/06/us-economy-decline-recovery-challenges

http://www.energybulletin.net/node/23259

http://beta.news.yahoo.com/michele-bachmanns-unrivaled-extremism-040316943.html

Look at this:

Three arrested, accused of illegally feeding homeless… Orlando police say they violated a city ordinance restricting feeding. Get that? Create dodgy financial products and become a millionaire. Set up a soup kitchen and get arrested. The US looks more and more like the mirror image of the USSR.

One of the great ironies is that the ultra-rich capitalist American class, who loudly proclaim the joys of the “free market” and globalisation, have contributed to the very decline of the USA.

Firstly, I’m going to say something that’s going to puzzle some of you. The Tea Party has little to do with economics per se… it has little to do with government policy as such. Rather, it’s a manifestation of American Radicalism and of Radical Sectarianism… don’t forget, the victory of a set of visionary rebels against their legitimate ruler was the background for the birth of the so-called USA. The Constitution is nothing but a warmed-over rehash of Enlightenment Encyclopaedist ideas. There were Three Great Godless Revolutions… the American, the French, and the Russian. All of them set up Secularist States… all of them set up Radical régimes opposed to Legitimacy and Conservatism. Trust me, Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson were anathema to Burke and Dr Johnson! Truly, the only reason that this confused conglomeration of idealism and backroom skulduggery ever survived is that there were no enemies on the American continent able or willing to suppress it. After all, we’re talking in terms of Early Industrial Revolution technology, which was still dependent on wind and animal power for the most part.

The Tea Party is nothing more than the noisome blossom of the American Sectarian Movement, which got involved in politics in the late ‘70s. We all remember the Christian Coalition and the Moral Majority… if one looks closely, the ideology of the Tea Party has NO difference with the previous agendas of these defunct organisations. That is, the Tea Party makes no sense as a purely political movement… it’s not even (at base) a smokescreen for the oligarchs, although some (such as the Koch brothers and Murdoch) do try to use it as such. In essence, the Tea Party argues for the restoration of the societal anarchy that was regnant in the USA prior to the Progressive Era and TR, and the New Deal and FDR. No argument for anarchy (Free Market Neoliberalism) can ever be Conservative… it has nothing in common with Bismarck, Burke, or Stolypin. One MUST understand that if one embraces American Radical Sectarianism, one has to embrace intellectual, societal, and economic anarchy.

Mind you, I’m not talking about Syndicalism or Anarchy as Leftist movements… rather, I’m speaking of a radical abandonment by society and the state of the regulation of private and public behaviour of individuals and corporations. Furthermore, Sectarianism can NOT exist under Conservative conditions… for Legitimacy would favour either a Church by Law Established (such as in England or Spain) or a consensus-driven Entente Cordiale of Traditional Churches (as in the contemporary Russian Federation). Conservatism frowns on religious conversion… for it rightly sees that one can’t change one’s religion easily or completely… that’s why the best converts are “converts from nothing”, for they have no religious baggage (they do have baggage, only it’s not spiritual, thank the Good God). No, the Sectarians are NOT Conservatives… indeed, they require not only societal anarchy, but also personal ignorance, in order to grow and flourish. Most followers of these Sects aren’t aware that the tenets of their conventicles are airy-fairy concoctions of the last 200 years… they aren’t in the Christian Mainstream at all.

Don’t be confused… many Sectarians are seemingly intelligent folks… many have training or an “education”. However, their ideology blinkers them; they can’t make full use of their faculties due to the limitations that their Radical beliefs force upon them. The two words most distorted in this endeavour are “freedom” and “individuality”. A Conservative society does NOT believe in human perfectibility or mankind’s inherent goodness (it’s all too conscious of the Fall), and, consequently, it doesn’t think that human beings will make good choices unless they’re guided in the right direction by the State, the Church, and the Narod. Ergo, the state must regulate and constrain people’s “natural instincts”; the Conservative believes that the effects of the Primeval Fault taint our human instincts. On the other hand, the Sectarian MUST have conditions where there’s no constraint on the freedom of individuals… otherwise, people wouldn’t abandon their present confessions in favour of the touted New Doctrine. That is, the economic lunacies of the Sectarians flow from their religious ideology… if one doesn’t understand this, one will misunderstand their mindset completely and utterly.

As Sectarianism REQUIRES anarchic spiritual conditions to grow and flourish, it requires a similar tolerance of non-regulation in the societal, economic, and state spheres, as well. For if a ground for regulation is admitted, in any field, by any authoritative institution, the very ground of Sectarianism collapses… its very Urgrund is undercut; there isn’t any ontological underpinning for the Sectarian revolt against Revealed Truth. In other words, the Sectarian MUST embrace Laissez Faire Radicalism… otherwise, obviously, their rebellion is revealed as the juvenile tantrum that it is. Look at Michelle Bachmann… her extremism is an attempt to justify her conversion from a traditional church to one of the Radical Sects (the same is true of Glenn Beck and Tim Pawlenty). Don’t ever mistake such people for Christians… I don’t care how much they holler about “Jayzuss” or how much they jump up and down. There’s a historical Church… there’s a historical Christianity… and the Sects are outside of it all. If a group lacks historicity, it also lacks all grounding in the Truth that is Christ. Sadly, such scummers have arrogated the name “Christian”… many good people confuse Christianity and Sectarianism, as a result. Mind you, I believe that Secularism and Christianity do have differences… and that they’re honest and real. However, I also believe that Sectarians make many needless enemies… leading many to despise Christians and Christianity, when we we’re not involved in the least (likewise, we shouldn’t judge all Secularists on the behaviour of one or another extreme individual or group).

That is, one concludes that the Tea Party’s stance against regulation isn’t political in the least… rather, it’s a necessary component of their nutter religious beliefs. Of course, the world of the Tea Party is nasty and brutish, in the worst Hobbesian sense, for they want NO REGULATION WHATSOEVER. If there’s regulation, that means that there’s AUTHORITY… and the Sectarian rejects that. Don’t let their talk of morality, conservatism, and freedom fool you… if they embrace Sectarianism, they embrace REBELLION… they’re not Christians; we Russians would call them samobogtsy… Self-Gods. We say, “Our Father, Which art in Heaven”… they say, “I have Jesus in my heart… He’s my Personal Saviour”. Even a child can see the difference… the Sectarian looks in a mirror and worships… themselves! The Historical and Real Christ isn’t good enough for them… so, they make up something that suits them better. Of course, it’s not true, not in the least, but that’s never stopped anyone before, has it? This Big Lie in spirituality taints everything else in their lives… it’s the rotten little chancre at the centre of their souls. That’s why the Tea Party isn’t primarily a political movement… and it’s why all those who call themselves “conservatives” should look closely at the Sectarians… do you wish to be allied with such nutters? Truly?

I’m not going to ramble on in refutation of these loonies. I agree with Dr Johnson, “I refute it, thus”… you turn the light on these sorts, it’s obvious that they’re nothing but cockroaches scurrying from illumination. Which one do you want… do you want your inheritance in Christ and True Religion… or, shall you settle for a gaudy mess of pottage and support the Tea Party and Radical Individualism? Choose well…

Remember the words of Aleksandr Esaievich as you ponder your choice:

Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 16 June 2011

Albany NY   

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