Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sanity Strikes the Establishment… Tax the rich? IMF Sparks a Mini-Revolution

00 Obama Tax Rates. 13.10.13


Tax the rich and better target the multinationals… this week, the IMF set off shockwaves in Washington by suggesting countries fight budget deficits by raising taxes. Tucked inside a report on public debt, worries about the American budget crisis mostly eclipsed the new tack, but didn’t escape the notice of experts and NGOs. Nicolas Mombrial, the head of Oxfam in Washington, said, “We had to read it twice to be sure we’d really understood it. It’s rare that IMF proposals are so surprising”. A guardian of financial orthodoxy, the IMF, which is holding its annual meetings with the World Bank this week in the American capital, typically calls for nations in difficulty to slash public spending to reduce their deficits. Nevertheless, in its Fiscal Monitor report, subtitled “Taxing Times”, the Fund advanced the idea of taxing the highest-income people and their assets to reinforce the legitimacy of spending cuts and fight growing income inequalities.

The IMF wrote, “Scope seems to exist in many advanced economies to raise more revenue from the top of the income distribution”, noting “steep cuts” in top rates since the early 1980s. According to IMF estimates, taxing the rich even at the same rates as during the 1980s would reap fiscal revenues equal to 0.25 percent of economic output in the developed countries. The IMF report stated, “The gain could in some cases, such as that of the USA, be more significant”, around 1.5 percent of GDP, which also singled out deficient taxation of multinational companies. According to the IMF, in the USA alone, legal loopholes deprive the Treasury of roughly 60 billion USD (1.94 trillion Roubles. 62 billion CAD. 63.4 billion AUD. 44.3 billion Euros. 37.6 billion UK Pounds) in receipts.

The 188-nation IMF said that it didn’t want to enter into a debate on whether the rich should pay more taxes. However, it said, “The chance to review international tax architecture seems to come about once a century; the fundamental issues shouldn’t be ducked”. The IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, kept up the sales pitch for a more just fiscal policy. On Wednesday, Lagarde, a former French Minister of Economy and Finance, said in a panel discussion “It’s clearly something finance ministers are interested in; it’s something that’s necessary for the right balance of public finances. There are lost of wasted opportunities”.

After the country’s highest court overturned the French Socialist government’s proposal of a 75 percent tax on the wealthy last year, French Minister of Economy and Finance Pierre Moscovici cautiously welcomed the Fund’s new direction at a news conference in Washington, saying, “If the core idea is that fiscal policy is a policy that aims to reduce inequalities, I wouldn’t know how to protest against that”. Moscovici said that it was a “positive development”, but he downplayed that it marked a “significant change” for the IMF.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which is leading the global battle against tax havens and tax evasion by multinationals, welcomed the IMF at its side. Pascal Saint-Amans, head of the OECD’s centre for tax policy, told AFP, “We’re happy to see this. There’s a place for everyone. The Fund can bring a real contribution on economic analyses”. In the corridors, however, a quiet skirmish is underway between the two organisations for the leadership of the tax-haven offensive ordered by the Group of 20 major economies. The IMF’s Copernican Revolution is still in the its early dawning stages. In its report, the IMF continued to push for a wider scope for value-added tax (VAT), a consumption tax that some say is inherently unfair, and on reductions in public spending. Oxfam’s Mombrial said, “These proposals are heading in the right direction, but a lot remains to be done”, calling notably for the IMF to do more against illegal capital flows which, according to the NGO, cost billions of dollars in fiscal revenues in developing countries.

12 October 2013


As quoted in Yahoo News


Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it simple. The Republican Party nominated Willard Romney… a man with millions in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. That means that GOP SUPPORTS the rape of the economy by multinationals and their stashing their boodle in offshore accounts so that the government can’t tax it. They’re godless Mammon worshippers, and all those who vote for Republicans toss a pinch of incense on Mammon’s altar. That means that contemporary Republicans aren’t only greedy, they’re unpatriotic to the bone, as they support those who rip up the USA’s economy for their personal benefit. Such sorts wrap themselves up in the flag. It makes me sick. It’s time to make the rich pay up… the scandal of our kids leaving college thousands of dollars in debt just so that we can coddle the Affluent Effluent has to end.

Orthodox people should reflect that Paffhausen, Lyonyo, Potapov, Whiteford, Dreher, and Mattingly all support the Greedster Right. They aren’t your friends… they all throw their pinch of incense on Mammon’s altar (what would St Polycarp say to that?)… it does put their rants in a new light, doesn’t it?



13 October 2013. Who Woulda Thunk It… Whiteford Sounds Off…

01 mirror, mirror


Click on this. Impressive, huh? Well, reality tells a different story. Whiteford’s parish is so miniscule that it can’t afford to pay him… it’s one of those strip-mall missions that just moved into a tiny edifice of its own. In addition, sources tell me that he didn’t attend a real Orthodox seminary (Whiteford is one of those heterodox retreads with an alien clerical formation). Whiteford had (or has) links to the virulently anti-Christian websites of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin on his site. That tells you where his windsock points. He stands 180 degrees removed from the social teachings of Real Orthodoxy… as HH said, the Free Market is a fraud, whilst Whiteford supports it. I’ll simply say this… experience in life has taught me NEVER to turn my back on loudmouthed rightwingers. Invariably, they’ll knife you in the back if it’s expedient. After all, the Republican Party teaches, “Greed is good” and it shut down the government for no good reason. NEVER forget that the Right believes, “Winning is the ONLY thing”. Trust me, all of the worst individuals that I’ve known were “Born Agains”… and my experience isn’t isolated.

It’s time to take back the Church from these sorts. They praise godless American pretensions, hobnob with anti-Christian “Evangelicals” (anyone with no Eucharist is no Christian), and support its greed-based “culture” through their GOP activism; they don’t embrace the Orthosphere and its REAL culture and faith. We DO outnumber them, after all…


I do NOT put myself up as a “standard of faith” or “model of behaviour”… I’m just a sinful-ginful rank n’ filer. However, I’ll stand up for the real teachings of the Real Church. It’s high time that we opposed these Republicant poseurs. They support those who’ve bombed and who want to bomb the Orthosphere countries for the profit of American multinationals (most often, they also support the Uniate opponents of Christ’s Church)… that ain’t kosher, and we gotta say so!


Syrian National Council Bails Out from Geneva-II Talks

00 Ted Rall. A Look Back at Syria. 2012


On Sunday, George Sabra of the Syrian National Council, a major Syrian opposition group with international recognition, told RIA-Novosti in a phone-call from France that it wouldn’t participate in the Moscow-backed Geneva-II peace conference on Syria, saying, “Nothing useful will come out for Syrians from attending the meeting. The decision [not to participate] was made yesterday by the general secretariat [of the council]”. Moscow and Washington proposed the Geneva-II talks as a means of putting the Syrian government and the insurgents at the negotiating table in hopes of ending the 2½-year-long civil war in the Middle Eastern country. Sabra said that his group bailed out due to the lacklustre international response to the consequences of the Syrian war, amongst which he listed mass slaughter of civilians, food shortages, and, recently, the use of chemical weapons. Sabra said that the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council would decide on further strategy after consultations with Syrians on the ground, including the Free Syrian Army rebel forces.

The Syrian National Council, formed in 2011 as an opposition government in exile, won limited diplomatic recognition from a number of countries, including France, the UK, and the USA. In November 2012, it joined the broader Syrian National Coalition, recognised by 20 UN members as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and it has Syria’s seat in the League of Arab States. Sabra said that the Syrian National Council would quit the Syrian National Coalition in case the latter goes through with its plan to participate in Geneva-II.

At the time, the BBC reported that, in a joint statement last month, eleven leading rebel armed groups, including representatives of the fractured Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamists such as the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, said that they rejected the authority of the Syrian National Coalition. Analysts said that the move was a backlash against the coalition’s willingness to participate in the Geneva-II talks, the date for which hasn’t yet been set. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voiced willingness to go to the Geneva-II conference without any preconditions. Most rebel groups say that the removal of Assad and his close affiliates is a sine qua non for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which, according to UN data, has cost more than 100,000 lives to date. On Sunday, no one at the MID in Moscow could comment on Sabra’s statement. Russia’s staunchly advocated a political solution to the Syrian crisis, whilst opposing all attempts by Western and Arab countries to blame the standoff solely on Assad.

13 October 2013




Over 8 Kees of Marijuana Found in Cop’s Car

01 stoner bear


On Saturday, the local SKP said that police seized over 8 kilos (about 18 pounds) of marijuana from a cop in Rostov Oblast. The man, a junior officer with the K-9 unit of the Rostov-on-Don police, was driving a Chevrolet Lacetti when cops stopped his car for a check. The police statement said, “Cannabis, weighting more than 8 kilos in total, was found in the trunk of his car and seized”. The officer was fired and faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

13 October 2013



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