Voices from Russia

Friday, 8 August 2014

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Welcomed Russian Food Sanctions saying that to be “Content with a Modest Share” Wouldn’t Hurt

00 Pelmeni. Russian food. 26.06.13

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Russian food sanctions, imposing a ban on the import of a range of products from Western countries, brought forth approval from Archpriest V A Chaplin, the Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO). He said that the ban on food imports would help Russians “to stop chasing Western standards of consumption”, which Russia can counter with visions of a social system “based on a higher truth”. Fr Vsevolod thought that the sanctions would be difficult for Russians, but he said, “We need to learn moderation, self-restraint, sufficiency in consumption, the ability to be content with a modest share. Russian people always knew the reasonable limits of consumption; since they realised what the limits were, they were far happier than those who endlessly chased consumption for the sake of consumption and growth for the sake of growth”.

He also believed that the debate on whether we’d put foreign or Russian products on our table would show us how deeply entrenched the cult of consumption is in Russian society, saying, “In these circumstances, we need to stop chasing Western standards of consumption… they’re so exaggerated that if everybody on the planet tried to follow them, half of the people couldn’t survive”. Fr Vsevolod called on VIPs in Russia to change their lifestyle, perhaps, remembering D A Medvedev’s criticism of Russian oligarchs in September 2013, when he said, “They should stop sitting on two chairs”, slamming them aping Western ways and living outside the country. Fr Vsevolod is sure that the sanctions wouldn’t only improve the Russian moral character, but it’d also contribute to the growth of the national economy as a whole, noting, “It’d be strange if Russia didn’t answer the sanctions, which I see as discriminatory, and the answer, I think, would prove useful for our economy, particularly for agriculture”. He thinks that the ban would help domestic farmers, who faced discriminatory regulation before the sanctions, observing, “Russia can produce food of the highest quality; I’d say that the policy of favouring of international agribusiness networks in recent years was deeply wrong”.

In conclusion, Fr Vsevolod submitted that the topic of Slavophiles and Westernisers was once again gaining momentum, “It’s necessary for us to make a final choice… the West or Russia… shall our nation remain independent and free in future, or, will we listen to the rants of Washington, Brussels, and Wall Street, but not to the voice of our countrymen?” He even found a “very clear” quote from the Gospel on the topic, “On this, the Gospel very clearly says, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Gospel according to St Luke 12.34). In the next few months we’ll have to keep these words in mind more and more”.

It’s worth noting that the explicit statements of V A Chaplin could contain encouragement of nationalist ideas. In his column on Slon.ru, journalist I F Davydov concluded, “In recent days, events brought out a contender for a national idea, even though this isn’t the first year that we’ve looked for it, nor have we found it yet. On the surface, it seems rather simple. It’s a piece of cake, really… Russians should live poorly. In the most ordinary, everyday, mundane sense… that’s bad! No frills and no frou-frou… no comfort and no amenities… but on the other hand… we understand that it isn’t just a matter of living poorly, for we could give the bird to Europe and we could moon America”.

7 August 2014

NEWSru

http://newsru.com/arch/russia/07aug2014/chaplin.html

This IS a “Read n’ Heed”… Crony Capitalism: Stockman is Disgusted with Own Party

00 Dirty Money Breeds Dirty Politics. 09.12

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David Stockman, a former congressman and director of the OMB under President Reagan, is disgusted with his party. He’s a participant in what I refer to as the current civil war among Republicans… the fight on the part of traditional conservatives to get their party back from extremists. Stockman understands just how far it’s ventured from its conservative moorings. He obviously finds much to condemn in liberal approaches to the economy (he eschews Keynesian economics altogether and champions his own form of extremism in a return to the gold standard). What’s interesting, however, is his ire for today’s so-called “conservatives”, who created a monster… crony capitalism… the condemnation of which sounds more like Senator Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Crony capitalism is the use of government power to achieve business success. It isn’t the reward and punishment of actors’ performance in a free market, but rather a corruption that depends on sweetheart deals in the corridors of Washington. Of course, those kinds of deals aren’t open to everyone, but only those with sufficient resources to fund campaigns, pay lobbyists, and take part in the revolving door through which various actors move in and out of government and the industry they represent (which is why Stockman also argues for campaign finance reform). The small business man is still left to his own devices. Crony capitalism means that profits are garnered through the manipulation of power and influence and not through ingenuity and contributions to the real economy. On the first page of his tome, The Great Deformation, Stockman calls it a “mutant régime”, where the economy has become a “speculative casino” that “swindles the masses and enriches the few”. It isn’t a fair capitalism, that lifts all boats, but rather it depends on handouts to the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us.

In what Stockman calls “socialism for the rich”, government is used for private purposes, profits are privatised and losses are socialised (paid for by taxpayers). This became possible due to the elimination of the Glass-Steagall Act, the onset of easy money, and guarantees of a bailout should things turn sour. Thus, actors stood to gain huge rewards while simultaneously being shielded from the consequences of failure. What Stockman refers to as “Main Street” loses either way. Whilst the financial sector grew to outrageous proportions, so has economic inequality. “The real net worth of the ‘bottom’ 90 percent dropped by one-fourth” and the growth of economic output is at its slowest since the Civil War. Real median family income declined along with the creation of full-time middle-class jobs.

There are distant culprits in Stockman’s tale, such as FDR, but given the economic golden era under his hero, President Eisenhower, the real problem lies closer to our day. Despite Republicans’ idealisation of President Reagan, for example, Stockman reminds us that, under the wrong influence of Milton Friedman and, later, Alan Greenspan, he was one of the first to argue that deficits didn’t matter. Much like his more profligate heir, President George W Bush, he engaged in unnecessary defence spending as he cut taxes. Republicans no longer saw tax cuts as dependent on a balanced budget, but they became an end in their own right (a “stunning denial of reality” that stood Republican fiscal orthodoxy “on its head”). Both contrast with President Eisenhower’s preference for balancing the budget over tax cuts, disdain of adventures abroad, and slashing defence budgets, warning us of a rising “military-industrial complex.”

Stockman further clarified, “Rather than a permanent era of robust free market growth, the Reagan Revolution ushered in two spells of massive statist policy stimulation before it finally ran out of steam”. Both “fiscal profligacy” and “Wall Street-coddling” created a “temporary spree of phony prosperity”. Stockman is thus disgusted by his party’s rhetoric of the free market (it’s not free); individual responsibility (there’s no longer a cord connecting actions to consequences for the rich and powerful); as well as its rants about the entitlement society versus the job creators. Thus, he turns the rhetoric around. The “entitlement expectation” is on the part of financiers and corporate leaders who expect the government to support them. As he told Bill Moyers, “There have been so many bailouts, there has been so much abuse and misuse of government power for private ends … that now we have an entitled class in this country that is far worse than … the welfare queens that Ronald Reagan used to talk about”. he argued that they own Congress “lock, stock and barrel”.

7 August 2014

Mary Barker

Deseret News

http://www.deseretnews.com/user/comments/865608270/Crony-capitalism-Stockman-is-disgusted-with-own-party.html#cId_28682456

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00 inflatable rat moneybags

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Editor:

“Conservatism” in the USA is now overrun with those who’d make Bismarck, Diefenbaker, Ike, Stolypin, and Franco do a double “face-palm”. They’d all toss down a good stiff double and they’d do another “face-palm”… people like Limbaugh, Norquist, Boehner, Cruz, Rubio, Coulter, and Dreher are all classic Neoliberals… there’s not a single Conservative amongst them. For instance, let’s take Dreher. He’s typical of the non-conservative “New Conservatives”. The first given about a True Conservative is LOCAL PATRIOTISM. You saw that in the authors of I’ll Take My Stand (the classic manifesto of Southern Nationalism)… you saw that in George Wallace (as a Dixiecrat, he was more Conservative than the righties I named)… you saw that in William F Buckley with his ties to Connecticut. For that matter, Bernie Sanders is more Conservative than Dreher is, he’s been in Vermont for the last 50 years, and you couldn’t blow him out with an A-bomb! Dreher, on the other hand is a typical peripatetic rootless Neoliberal… Brooklyn to Texas to the District to Greater Baton Rouge… all within five years! Yowza… I pity his wife and kids being subjected to that. NOT CONSERVATIVE, chum (I’m more “conservative” than that… you couldn’t get me out of the Northeast unless you set off the Tsar Bomba underneath me).

Dreher TALKS small government… but he was a stink-tanker in the District… the quintessential insider job. In other words, he talks the talk, but he refuses to walk the walk when it benefits him. He was with the Rutherford Institute… the founder, one John Whitehead, is a nutter who believes that the government is going to use a giant computer to oversee all the details of people’s lives (stop cars via remote control and control our thoughts, that sort of unbalanced rot). Anyone with good sense knows that such a project would require oodles of cash… cash that it wouldn’t get as it’d cut into the lifestyles of corrupt pols. It’d get just enough funding to put it seemingly in place (so the pols could all grab bragging rights), with 99.9 percent of its findings going straight into the shitter… like in the late USSR, where KGB officers wrote reports that no one read, no one acted upon, and no one cared about.

Dreher’s a sham religious “conservative”… he sure didn’t look deeply into the past of Dmitri Royster to check who ordained him! To think that Dreher slammed the RCs for being soft on paedophiles (Rod, there’s a good deal of that amongst us, too… if you had half a brain, you’d see it)… I wonder what he thinks of JP sheltering Brittain the Kiddie Porn King and of Mr Justice Mainella’s scathing opinion of Seraphim Storheim. Of course, there was Yustinian’s sudden fall from grace (a combination of sticky fingers in the cookie jar and guys coming forward that he propositioned them) and the saga of the dippy nuns in Maryland. Being linked with the New Right doesn’t make one a “religious conservative”… indeed, I’m LEFT, but I’m a “religious conservative”, as are others I know… as is His Holiness! That’s the most delicious irony… Dreher, as a member of a ROCOR parish, has to smile at HH slamming the American embargo on Cuba, American adventuring throughout the world, and the crook capitalist system.

Dreher isn’t alone… he ISN’T the worst of the lot… but he IS typical. Let him stay in Louisiana for the next twenty years, then, he could (perhaps) call himself a Conservative. Until then, he, like all of his New Right pals, is a poseur, and I’m going to say so. There isn’t a shred of truth in their pretence… they have money, I don’t, so, I know that some will “follow the money”… so be it. Conservatism is dead… the “conservatives” killed it… Slobberin’ Ronnie did… Bubba did (he was a Dixiecrat and Sam Walton pal, so, he was no “liberal”)… GWB did… and Norquist did. The corpse is beginning to stink… who’ll give it decent burial? It’s rather too much, isn’t it?

Conservatism… it doesn’t go bump in the night… the GOP made it so! Think on that…

BMD

A Growing Number of Muslims Accept Christianity in Egypt

00i Islamabad PAKISTAN Coptic Orthodox

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The website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem posted that life for Christians in Egypt improved after the 2013 military coup against the régime of President Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, the number of cases of conversion from Islam to Christianity has increased. The report noted that the exact number of cases of conversion to Christianity by Egyptian Muslims is difficult to determine, since those who accept baptism often don’t advertise their change of religion. In Egypt, Muslims who become Christians may still be victims of persecution or even killed if their former co-religionists learn of their baptism. Sedmitsa.ru posted that a recent convert to Christianity from Islam (who preferred to remain anonymous) told the Latin Patriarchate, “The government doesn’t oppress us, it comes from our families. If a Muslim accepts baptism, his family and neighbours can beat him or even kill him, as they perceive it as a betrayal of Islam”. In Egypt, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, which fell out of communion with the Eastern Orthodox Churches following the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451, currently numbers nine million believers. The Coptic Catholic Church in union with the Catholic Church of Rome has about 162,000 adherents.

8 August 2014

NEWSru

http://newsru.com/religy/08aug2014/egypt.html

50 MVDUniki Injured in Clashes on the Maidan

00 kiev. supposed cops. 08.08.14

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On Thursday, Aleksandr Pereshchuk, the head of the MVDU in Kiev, said at a briefing that clashes on the Maidan in Kiev injured fifty members of the Kiev-1 and Kiev-2 Battalions. They fought residents of the tent camp on the square whilst attempting to dismantle the barricades and tents erected by the protestors. The security forces came to the Maidan to dismantle the barricades, but ran into resistance from activists. This led to scuffles, firecrackers went off, and the activists burned tyres in several places on Kreshchatik Street. Pereshchuk noted, “Today, not one policeman nor any member of the MVDU battalions discharged a firearm nor applied undue force. However, we did have 50 members injured; three or four of them are in hospital in critical condition after activists assaulted them with thrown stones. The injured are from the MVDU Kiev-1 and Kiev-2 Battalions. Besides this, the opposition activists assaulted public works employees, taking over about seven utility vehicles”.

 7 August 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://ria.ru/world/20140807/1019193228.html

Editor:

Look at the image… these jabronies are unprofessional untrained Euromaidantsy terrorists in uniform masquerading as security troops. No self-respecting Berkutovets would’ve acted as these slugs did. Note that some don’t wear proper protective headgear and that they’re not in a proper phalanx-style formation to face a hostile mob (and protect themselves with interlocked shields). In short, look at the utter incompetence of the Uniate junta! The Galician hillbillies do it again… they’re a bunch of nasty-minded unlettered Homer n’ Jethros attempting to ram their backwoods ways on everyone else. The Berkutovtsy never had such casualties… they were real stand-up guys; they were real pros with real training, they weren’t dreamy nationalists with oddbod ideas from isolated “hollers” in the Galician back of the beyond. Jethro Bodine and Pee Wee Herman would’ve run this operation better. The junta can’t even police its own streets properly… they aren’t long for this world…

BMD

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