Voices from Russia

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Ho, Hum… Tempest in a Teacup Department… “Russian Orthodox Church” Under Fire Over Stalin Calendar

Unknown Artist. Long Life to the Stalin Cat! contemporary


Editor’s Note:

One of the reasons that non-stories such as this have tread is that all Russia is on holiday until Monday. Every year, Russia “shuts down” from 1 January to the Monday closest to 10 January. It’s like France in August. Nothing happens… so, of course, 24/7 news agencies are frantic for SOMETHING to report. The guy responsible for this calendar got the shitcan back in July… ergo, it’s a dead story. As for Andrei Kuraev, he’s become a crankish figure, only taken seriously by the Western media apparat (he’s a new Yakunin… only half the brains, but twice the chutzpah). Kuraev lost out to Vsevolod Chaplin, Varsonofy Sudakov, and Mark Golovkov in the turf war that followed HH’s accession in 2009 (Kuraev doesn’t have the savoir-faire of a Kliment Kapalin, who managed to hang on to cred despite being out of favour with the Gundyaev Mafia). He and the Blunder were the biggest losers (remember, the Blunder’s only a “Patriarchal Vicar”… a vicar bishop with a bigger title, that’s all) in the reshuffle after Aleksei Ridiger’s death. They were bright stars in the early 2000s… much dimmed as of late (justifiably so)…

Oh, should I mention that this story (like the Pussy Riot non-event) has no cred in Russia? Don’t get your knicks in a knot over an obvious media non-event. When will they ever learn? Silly wabbits…

O Tempora! O Mores!



This week, the MP came under heavy criticism on the internet this week over a 2014 wall calendar published by a revered monastery’s printing-house featuring portraits of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin. The publisher flogs the black-and-white calendar, entitled Stalin, costing 200 Roubles (USD. CAD. AUD. Euros. UK Pounds), as “a great gift for veterans and history fans”. Historian Mikhail Babkin brought it to public attention on his blog on 7 January. One person wrote in one of nearly 200 comments under Babkin’s post, referring to the millions who died because of Stalin’s farm collectivisation and political repression, “Disgrace, shame, and insult to all those who perished”.

Stalin severely persecuted the Church, but it’s enjoyed revival since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. A Church official said that the head of the printing-house got the boot in July once authorities found out about the incident, but only after the delivery of the calendars. A Church spokesman, Vakhtang Kipshidze, told Reuters, “The Church was subject to the most severe repressions during Stalin’s rule when he ordered the deportation and execution of thousands of priests. Releasing such a publication in a Church establishment … is morally unacceptable”. However, reflecting the sympathy for Stalin still felt by many Russians who credit him with victory in World War Two, and giving their country superpower status, Kipshidze added, “Nonetheless, one should work on the assumption that both in the Church and in Russian society there are differing views on the role Stalin played in Russian history and everybody has the right to hold to their own views”.

Critics of the Kremlin accuse President Vladimir Putin of burnishing Stalin’s image and celebrating the USSR’s modernising achievements to prop up national pride. Since returning to the Kremlin in mid-2012, Putin also seeks to appeal to conservative voters to boost his authority; increasingly, he promotes the Church as a standard-bearer for national values. In turn, the Church faces growing criticism from critics who say that it fosters excessively-close ties to the Kremlin and seeks too powerful a role in secular life. Andrei Kuraev, a {disgraced: editor} cleric and religious activist, wrote on his blog, “This is business. The Church uses its resources to make money. This is where the trouble is, not in Stalin pictures”.

9 January 2014

Maria Tsvetkova

Gabriela Baczynska




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9 January 2014. Why It REALLY Took So Long for the Russians to Get a Permit to Build Their New Church

00 La Tour Eiffel de l' Orthodoxe Russe. 09.01


One of the Cabinet wrote this:

You know that one of the reasons the first plan for the Paris Russian church building failed was because the Russians insisted on some modifications to another nearby structure; the French wouldn’t cooperate. This is a secret photo from the original Russian design team.  😀


Damn… I wish that I’d come up with this one. I got stoned and I missed it…

Smile, son! It’s a joke…



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Millionaire Steve Forbes’ Cynical Campaign to Keep Working People Down

00 Political cartoon. He doesn't see. He doesn't hear. He keeps quiet (when he's paid enough). 02.11.13


What do you give to a man who has everything? Like a man such as publisher Steve Forbes, worth a reported 430 million USD (14.3 trillion Roubles. 467 million CAD. 484 million AUD. 317 million Euros. 261 million UK Pounds). What do you give him if you’re his beloved-but-on-the-ropes Republican Party? How about a cynical campaign to defeat a US federal government minimum wage increase? That’s what Forbes calls for in his column in the 18 November edition of Forbes magazine. To keep from getting “smacked around by President Obama and congressional Democrats“, instead of “passively taking a hit”, Republicans should gin up their spin machine to portray a minimum wage increase as a job-killer. Hold House hearings, he said, and parade out people who’d say that they were hurt by the last minimum wage increase. Do they really think those House witch hunt hearings still have any credibility?

In case they do, here’s a big red flag for Forbes and any Republicans who might listen to his advice… the public doesn’t buy your argument. A recent national survey conducted for the National Employment Law Project (NELP) by Hart Research Associates finds just 25 percent buy the claim that raising America‘s wage floor so working people can live in decency costs jobs. Indeed, the public’s right. Recent respected academic research determined that raising the minimum wage doesn’t result in job loss… even during bad economic times. Forbes, a two-time unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, is on the wrong side of the public in many ways. The NELP-commissioned survey shows that 80 percent of the public… including 62 percent of those in Forbes’ own party… supports raising the minimum wage to 10.10 USD (336 Roubles. 11 CAD. 11.40 AUD. 7.50 Euros. 6.20 UK Pounds) an hour and adjusting it for inflation in the future, as President Obama and congressional Democrats propose.

An increase in the minimum wage is overdue. If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1969, it would be around 10.70 USD (356 Roubles. 11.60 CAD. 12 AUD. 7.90 Euros. 6.50 UK Pounds) an hour today instead of 7.25 USD (240 Roubles. 7.90 CAD. 8.20 AUD. 5.40 Euros. 4.40 UK Pounds) (or the scandalous 2.13 USD (71 Roubles. 2.30 CAD. 2.40 AUD. 1.60 Euros. 1.30 UK Pounds) for tipped workers). If it had kept up with the growth of workers’ productivity, it would be 18.72 USD (622 Roubles. 20.40 CAD. 21 AUD. 13.80 Euros. 11.40 UK Pounds). Meanwhile, if it matched the wage growth of the wealthiest 1 percent, it would be 28.34 USD (942 Roubles. 31 CAD. 32 AUD. 21 Euros. 17.25 UK Pounds). The stagnation of the minimum wage is digging a deeper and deeper hole between the Steve Forbes’s of this country and the rest of us. For the first time since the Great Depression, middle-class families have lost ground for more than a decade. In fact, America’s working families are earning less today than 15 years ago. This loss hasn’t been about productivity… no, America’s workers are more productive than ever. It’s not about education… in fact, wages for college grads outside the top income brackets have stagnated or even declined.

What’s happened is that the wealthiest people in America sucked up all the pay raises. Since 1997, all income growth went to the wealthiest 10 percent. Most of those increases went to the richest 1 percent. Raising the minimum wage is the right way to begin closing the economic chasm between America’s wealthy and regular working people. Lifting the wage to 10.10 USD an hour would benefit 30 million workers, pump 32 billion USD (1.07 trillion Roubles. 34.75 billion CAD. 36 billion AUD. 23.5 billion Euros. 19.5 billion UK Pounds) into the economy and add 140,000 new jobs… all without increasing the national deficit. It’d have particular impact on the lives of women… who’re two-thirds of minimum wage earners. Not to mention that it’s the right thing to do. Does anyone who works hard and plays by the rules in this wealthy nation deserve to live in poverty, forced to choose between paying for rent or food or the heating bill? Most people in the country think not. However, with his 430 million USD, Steve Forbes is living a very comfortable life as he plots to deny others the basic decency of a hard-earned wage they can live on.

8 January 2014

Richard Trumka

The Guardian


Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it focused and sweet. All those who support the Republican Party and its feckless greedster policies spit on the Lord Christ and the justice that He stood for. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter how loudly you scream “Jayzuss” or how much you roll on the floor. If you support the Republicans… you’ll face me (and many others) on the other side of the barricades. The time for compromise is over…

One last thing… the most vicious and grasping crapitalists are Born Agains, Pentecostalists, and Mormons… NEVER turn your back on them, or you’ll truly regret it (do notice which Orthodox hobnob with such feral and godless sorts… shitbirds of a feather DO flock together)…



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France OK’s Russian Church Near Eiffel Tower

00 Russian Orthodox Cathedral Centre Paris. 02. 28.11.12


The Russian Embassy in France said that the French government gave permission for a new Russian Orthodox church to be built near the Eiffel Tower, a project blocked since 2010. The plan dates back to 2007, when the late Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger of Moscow and all the Russias visited France and said that he wanted a bigger Russian Orthodox presence in Paris. Russia acquired a prime parcel of land in 2010 near the Eiffel Tower after the French state-run meteorological office sold its headquarters on the Left Bank. However, plans for a church topped with five golden domes enveloped in a canopy resembling a veil ran into opposition from Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who called the design “mediocre architecture conceived in haste”. Nevertheless, a Russian diplomat in Paris said that the plan now has the go-ahead, saying, “We’ve received confirmation of the permission to build the church”, without specifying when work would start. A Région Île-de-France official, which includes Paris, confirmed this, saying, “Permission is granted”. The Russian ambassador said that Russia’s now working on a new plan for the church, which should be ready in January. It’ll incorporate new technology, and the materials will include titanium and carbon. Paris is home to several Russian Orthodox churches but only one, Three Holy Hierarchs is part of the MP.

25 December 2013

Agence France-Presse


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