Voices from Russia

Sunday, 16 July 2017

16 July 2017. Wisdom from Christian Syria

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We wish a Blessed Sunday to all our Christian friends following us! Please, attend the Divine Liturgy because today is Sunday, the day Our Lord Jesus Christ resurrected. Please, no excuses for skipping it, in Syria, we go to Liturgy even if we have no roof above the church….

16 July 2017

This is Christian Syria

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Editor:

If the people in Syria can go to Liturgy, even without an intact church building, what does that say of us who support the neoliberal (Republican and Democratic) pols who support the anti-Christian terrorists who’ve afflicted the country over the past six years? You may support the Christian Syrians and President Assad or you may support the moneygrubbing neoliberals and their “Pro-Life” running dogs, who support terrorism throughout the world. The choice is yours… choose wisely…

BMD

Monday, 29 May 2017

29 May 2017. Holy Writ on the Republican Programme and Ideology

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And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.

Acts of the Apostles 4.32–35

That sure isn’t the Republican platform and ideology, is it? They call themselves “Christian”… according to the above citation, they lie…

BMD

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dissent Denied: “Emergency” US State Law to Silence Protesters

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New laws intended to punish those exercising their constitutional right to disagree with existing legislation and policy will now see possible fines of up to 1 million USD (58.1 million Roubles. 6.9 million Renminbi. 64.3 million INR. 1.37 million CAD. 1.35 million AUD. 910,000 Euros. 770,000 UK Pounds) in the US state of Oklahoma after legislators rushed “emergency” anti-protest laws into effect. The new laws allow for increased fines on those found guilty in Oklahoma of engaging in protest actions that result in the damage of infrastructure, especially oil and gas equipment. They also include a new wrinkle, in which the state could fine those who support, or “conspire” (in the terms of the bill), with the protest up to one hundred times the amount levied on the guilty party. The new statutes allow fines for up to 10,000 USD (581,000 Roubles. 6,900 Renminbi. 643,000 INR. 13,700 CAD. 13,500 AUD. 9,100 Euros. 7,700 UK Pounds) against anyone found guilty of simply intending to destroy infrastructure. The state can assess fines up to 100,000 USD (5.81 million Roubles. 690,000 Renminbi. 6.43 million INR. 137,000 CAD. 135,000 AUD. 91,000 Euros. 77,000 UK Pounds) if protestors actually do real damage. However, the real kicker is a 1 million USD fine for any person or organisation found to be supporting an activist found guilty, including, ostensibly, human rights groups or medical, legal, and logistical assistance at the protest site.

The laws are in direct correlation with increased attempts across America to stymie any dissent against new petrochemical infrastructure, including pipelines and fracking wells. Considered a major oil and gas transfer hub for much of the USA, Oklahoma has a long history of its state government acting as a front for oil companies. According to The Intercept, the town of Cushing OK (the so-called “Oil Pipeline Crossroads of the World”) and surrounding regions saw a striking rise in earthquakes during the fracking boom due to the pumping of a toxic mix of wastewater and chemicals directly into the ground. The Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association is a vocal supporter of the new legislation.

Many are suspicious of the loose wording of the new Oklahoma anti-protest laws, however. Doug Parr, a lawyer who has represented several environmental activists in Oklahoma, told The Intercept that the statute’s claims are too broad:

Say they lock themselves to a piece of construction equipment, and a claim can be made that there were damages from that trespass. Does this statute create a civil action for a pipeline company to then go after a person or organisation that posted a bond or helped pay for a lawyer for that civil disobedience? Those organising peaceful actions of civil disobedience can now be heavily penalised if any attendee chooses to take on a solo act, such as spray-painting a message on a wall. Suppose an organisation decides they want to support a perfectly legal, no civil disobedience, action. Somebody in that crowd, who came to the protest at the request of that organisation, then jumps the fence and runs in there, and spray-paints on a storage tank, “This equipment causes earthquakes. Shut it down”. These statutes could be used to attack that organisation and impose financial liability on them.

The Sierra Club’s Oklahoma head, Johnson Bridgwater, pointed out the possibly illegal ramifications of the new laws, stating:

We don’t necessarily know everyone who’s attending the events. There’s a strong and real fear that this could be used as an attempt to crush a group or a chapter of Sierra Club unfairly.

Common Dreams identified 19 new anti-protest bills in the USA, as of April 2. Similar legislation in Colorado, North Dakota, and South Dakota aims directly at civil disobedience actions that seek to stop or limit the expansion of petrochemical operations. Many see new laws in Minnesota and other states as responses to previous protest actions blocking roads and highways after white police killed unarmed black men and women in US cities. Referring to an earlier high-profile action of civil disobedience seeking to shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline, the Sierra Club’s Bridgwater observed:

We see all of these bills as nothing more than corporate America being fearful of how successful the Standing Rock protests were.

8 May 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/business/201705081053369767-us-state-law-silences-protest/

Sunday, 23 April 2017

By Going After Assange, Trump Will Alienate The Alt-Right Forever

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The cool thing about having a predominantly lefty readership is that when I want to criticise the Democratic establishment or the liberal mass media, the people who read my stuff tend to understand the history and nuances behind what I’m talking about. I don’t get a lot of rightwing idiots coming in calling Democrats “leftists” or saying, “Rachel Maddow looks like a dude, harr, harr, harr”; I get mostly intelligent responses and understanding, along with some fair and informed criticism of my own progressivism. The shitty thing about having a predominantly lefty readership is that when I try to talk about the Anti-Establishment Left’s counterparts on the political right, people have no idea what I’m talking about because we’ve got our own echo chambers just like other groups have. When I say the Alt-Right is overwhelmingly opposed to military interventionism and régime change wars, or that it was understandable for them to hope that Trump was going to drain the swamp, bitch-slap the globalists, and stand up to the Deep State, I get a lot of pushback from people who insist that they’re nothing but a bunch of stupid racist warmongering fascists who value nothing but power and money. Moreover, when I say that they’re mostly decent people with a solid moral code who wouldn’t hesitate to turn against Trump if he steps out of line, I’ll likely get people arguing that the Trumpsters will stay loyal to their God-Emperor no matter what. Those people will be wrong, and they should spend less time in the lefty echo chamber.

Say what you will about the Alt-Right, but there’s at least as much critical thinking and a healthy distrust of authority happening there as there is in the true progressive movement. Trump is already on thin ice with them due to his antics in Syria, which drew condemnation from many key leaders of the movement. If his administration tries to arrest Julian Assange, as anonymous sources allegedly within the US government have told CNN it is planning to do, there’s no coming back from that. You can’t build someone up as a hero and then execute him months later when he’s no longer useful to you. You can’t turn on the god of all computer nerds when a major part of your online support base had its roots in 4chan. The ultimate underdog who’s dedicated his life to standing up to the monolithic might of the Deep State is one of the few people Trump’s support base loves even more than Donald Trump, and they’re already letting him know they won’t stand for it.

I had a very interesting interview with Robert David Steele yesterday, who’s politically very different from myself and whose fan base is largely on the opposite end of the political spectrum, and while we didn’t agree on everything, we strongly agreed that the time has come for the Anti-Establishment Right and the Anti-Establishment Left and all the truth-tellers in between to unify against the Deep State, which I happened to have just written about in my last article. I may cringe at Steele’s language sometimes, and he and I may never agree about Bernie Sanders being a sheepdog who sold out for a beach house, but I’ll proudly set aside our differences and fight the manipulations of the Deep State by his side, because until we overthrow the unelected Power Establishment, our ideological differences are functionally irrelevant. Until election integrity is restored and the American people have a voice in what happens to their country that isn’t nullified and neutered by unelected oligarchs, the only fight that makes any sense is against those oligarchs, and if all Anti-Establishment factions come together and put everything they’ve got into that fight, we can win. In our conversation, Steele, an early outspoken Trump supporter, told me that he and others in his movement were giving Trump until 1 May to turn away from the Deep State agenda trajectory he appears to be on, and then will commence fighting him as one of them. This was before news broke about the administration’s alleged intention to prosecute one of the greatest heroes the world has ever seen in Julian Assange.

There are many arguments to be made for why arresting Assange would be catastrophic and criminal, from the fact that Ecuador is specifically sheltering him from US prosecution for his organisation’s leaks to very legitimate fears that it will lead to the prosecutions of other journalists who leak classified information, but from a simple strategic point of view it’d also be the stupidest thing that Trump could possibly do. His popularity is already hurting, and alienating the one group that truly adored him and stuck with him through thick and thin will leave him with no allies but the fickle Neocons he’s currently catering to, and they’d turn on him on a dime the second they can spill a little more blood on a little more sand by doing so.

However, the campaign promises keep falling away and long-held positions keep reversing to fall in line with America’s unelected Power Establishment, so it looks like that may be where we’re headed. This would be very bad for Trump and horrific for Assange. Nevertheless, it’d also spell death for the Deep State and victory for the 99 Percent as we the people rise up, and shrug them off like a heavy coat on a warm day. I promise anyone who’s involved in these plots against Assange… if you harm one silver hair on that man’s head, that’ll be the end of you. You’ll have overextended yourself, and we’ll all unite against you. This’ll happen. Don’t be stupid.

21 April 2017

Caitlin Johnstone

Medium.com

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/by-going-after-assange-trump-will-alienate-the-alt-right-forever-e2efd75a50ab

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