Voices from Russia

Sunday, 10 November 2013

10 November 2013. A Point to Ponder… Justice Elena Kagan on Religious Neutrality in the Government

00 The Real Jesus. 10.11.13


Firstly, let Justice Kagan speak:

Here’s what our… our country promises, our Constitution promises. It’s that, however we worship, we’re all equal and full citizens. I think we can all agree on that. That means that when we approach the government, when we petition the government, we do so not as a Christian, not as a Jew, not as a Muslim, not as a nonbeliever, only as an American. What troubles me about this case is that here a citizen is going to a local community board, supposed to be the closest, the most responsive institution of government that exists, and is immediately being asked, being forced, to identify whether she believes in the things that most of the people in the room believe in, whether she belongs to the same religious team as most of the people in the room do. It strikes me that that might be inconsistent with this understanding that when we relate to our government, we all do so as Americans, not as Jews, not as Christians, and not as nonbelievers.

Hear, hear! It’s time to stuff a rag in the collective mouths of the religious zanies, and I speak as a believer myself. We have a secular state… that’s how the US Constitution intended it. There’s no religious test allowed in our country, full stop. That’s why the law can’t follow the moral or doctrinal dictates of this or that religious confession. “This land was made for you and me”, as Woody Guthrie sang. It wasn’t made for a little religious clique to ram its potty nostrums down the throats of the rest of us. God WILL bless America… but only if we respect ALL races, ALL life stances (not just the religious one), and ALL legit POVs. “All races, all religions, that’s America to me”, as Paul Robeson sang.

Keep the religious nutters and their goofy notions out of the government. It’s what God demands of us…


Click here for the full article from whence I pulled the quote


Friday, 4 October 2013

Millions of Poor Americans to Be Out of Medicaid

00 Tea Party. Moloch. 04.10.13


A significant effort to extend health coverage to Americans will leave out millions of uninsured… just the very kind of people the programme was designed to help. Not only are these people uninsured and impoverished, but they’re also unlucky to live in Republican-controlled states that’ve declined to expand Medicaid, an insurance scheme for the poor. About half of the country’s population, with about 68 percent of poor uninsured blacks and single mothers, live in the 26 states that rejected Medicaid expansion.

Dr H Jack Geiger, a founder of the community health centre concept, explained, “The irony is that these states that are rejecting Medicaid expansion… many of them Southern… are the very places where the concentration of poverty and lack of health insurance are the most acute. It’s their populations that have the highest burden of illness and costs to the entire healthcare system”. This disparity introduces the unpleasant racial issueheated healthcare law discourse into the . Surprisingly, race was rarely (if ever at all) mentioned in high circles’ disputes in terms of Medicaid.

Every southern state except for Arkansas rejected Medicaid expansion. Opponents of the expansion claim that they’re against it strictly on economic grounds, and that the demographic situation of the South… with poor blacks being the vast majority of the uninsured… makes it easier to make race “the topic of the day”. The law intended all Americans to have health coverage. For lower and middle-income earners, there are subsidies on the new health exchanges to help them afford insurance. An expanded Medicaid programme was supposed to cover the poorest American citizens. Overall, about 30 million uninsured Americans were to be eligible for financial aid. However, last year, a US Supreme Court ruling on the health care law allowed states to choose whether to expand Medicaid or not. Those states that preferred not to expand Medicare left about eight million impoverished and uninsured people without any medical assistance at all, excluding illegal immigrants and foreign-born residents.

3 October 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Comment from the Original VOR Post:

What an ANTI-SOCIAL nation! Everything revolves around $$$. Sink or swim… you’re on your own. Exceptional country?

Vera Gottlieb

Editor’s Note:

I agree with Ms Gottlieb. Pre-repentance Scrooge was actually more generous… he did accept the union workhouse and the Poor Law. The Republican Party has a lotta goddamn gall. They shut down the government… in order to smash what they consider “socialism”. The GOP is chock fulla beans… single-payer healthcare was the brainchild of Prince Otto von Bismarck… AS A WEAPON AGAINST SOCIALISM. It shows you how dirt ignorant and downright stupid the Republicans are. The German healthcare system is one of the best in the world, and it’s utilised single-payer insurance since the last quarter of the nineteenth century. It served the Empire, it served the Weimar Republic, it served the Third Reich, it served the Bundesrepublik and DDR… it still serves today.

The Republicans aren’t only liars; they’re malicious and cruel, as well. There’s money for Medicaid expansion… stop the useless foreign wars and end the free ride for the rich. Slobberin’ Ronnie started it… after 30 years of Voodoo Economics, the top Five Percent are at 275 percent of their 1981 income in real terms (adjusted for inflation)… the rest of us are at 85 percent of the 1981 level in real terms. I think that some class warfare has gone on… the rich against the rest of us, and the Republicans are the willing whores of the moneyed class.

For Orthodox people here in the American diaspora, it means that Rod Dreher, Victor Potapov, Terrence Mattingly, James Paffhausen, Patrick Henry Reardon, Joseph Honeycutt, Alexander Webster, John Whiteford, and Josiah Trenham (and all those like them) are enablers of evil. They all support the Republican Moloch. HH doesn’t approve of the Republican War on the Poor… neither does Bart, for that matter (Pope Francisco gives a hearty “Amen”). The Church is FOR government single-payer healthcare. After all, HH IS friends with Gennady Zyuganov and Fidel Castro… he’s NOT friends with grasping filth like Mitch McConnell, Darrell Issa, John Boehner, and Rand Paul. Reflect on that…


Sunday, 26 August 2012

26 August 2012. A Meditation on the Coming Labour Day…

Together we Win

Unknown Artist

circa 1942-43


This poster dates from the most socialist government we ever had in the USA… the New Deal of FDR. In other words, the greatest victory ever won by the USA was won by its most socialist administration. Am I being catty in saying that none of the Grand Olde Phony administrations did as well? America was strong as long as it had a somewhat more equal distribution of income. That’s why the USA is cruising for a bruising… the present imbalance is evil, and it will destroy itself, if it’s not stopped or reformed. Think on that…


Here’s something to ponder, with Labour Day coming on…

On this Labour Day, American workers again are facing hard times… persistent high unemployment and a concentration of wealth and economic power not seen since the 19th century. This growing inequality, not surprisingly, has coincided with organized labour’s decline. Today, the country’s union membership rate is below 12 percent, the lowest in more than 70 years. However, that trend isn’t driven by the hostility of workers toward unions… in poll after poll, a majority of non-union workers say they would like to join a union if they could… but rather by the hostility of some employers and state and local governments.

Since the 2010 midterm elections, legislatures in dozens of states including Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin have moved to eviscerate collective bargaining rights, pass so-called “right-to-work” laws, or make it more difficult for unions to collect dues. Anti-labour politicians, pundits, conservative foundations, and other ideologues cynically use the economic downturn to scapegoat workers and their unions. These attacks serve to reinforce the increasing concentration of wealth, diminish the flow of purchasing power needed to revive the economy, and deny workers a voice in their workplaces. Anti-labour forces in Michigan are even attempting to deny voters the opportunity to enshrine the right to collective bargaining in their state constitution.

As the unions that represent working men and women are systematically crippled, the corporate money that has flowed untrammelled into American politics since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision gives the wealthy more influence than ever over public policy and legislation. This isn’t the country that most of us want, nor does it comport with the justice that our Jewish traditions teach us to pursue. That is why an overwhelming majority of delegates to this year’s annual plenum of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs passed a resolution strongly supporting collective bargaining rights in the public and private sectors. As the resolution reminds us, “religious commandments in the Torah and Talmud relating to the employment of workers are imbued with respect for labour rights”.

Ki Teitzei, the Torah portion read in congregations around the world on the Shabbat before Labour Day this year, commands employers to be fair and honest in their dealings with employees (Deuteronomy 24.14-15), and it obligates Jews to practice mutual aid (Deuteronomy 22.1-4). The massive protests in defence of workers’ rights in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the past two years prove that we’re stronger together than any one of us on his or her own. On this Labour Day, let’s rededicate ourselves to rebuilding the broad solidarity that has always been the foundation for a fair, decent, and strong society.

Stuart Applebaum

26 August 2012



This is written from a Jewish standpoint, but the teachings of most major world religions (and of secular humanism, too) on social justice conform with this. A living embodiment of this was John Cardinal O’Connor of New York. He was fiercely pro-life in all aspects… protection of the unborn, universal access to all to the healthcare system, state aid to the elderly and poorly-off, opposition to promiscuous capital punishment, being against warmongering and excessive “defence” expenditures, and (last, but hardly least) supporting economic justice for working people. That’s why the loudmouthed rightwing “Pro-Lifers” fail the test. The only thing that they care about is the illegalisation of abortion. Since that’s so… they’re NOT Pro-Life!

If you want to be Pro-Life… be pro-union… be against the perpetual wars and the constant feeding of the war machine… be against the death penalty for crimes against individuals… be for a secure social safety net… be for universal single-payer healthcare… not just ranting for the end of abortion. By this standard, the loudmouth RC bishops (and the Orthodox clergy who piped up in their support) who blustered about “birth control” aren’t Pro-Life, and that’s that (the real reason for their upset is that over 90 percent of all Catholic women use artificial birth control). However, under these standards, HH IS Pro-Life, and we should follow his lead, not that of Rod Dreher, Freddie M-G, Terrence Mattingly, Patrick Reardon, et al.

Either you are for a fair social system or you aren’t. It’s quite that simple. Orthodox people… here’s the sad part… rightwingers have tried to hijack our Church. It’s our duty to stand up and say, “NO!” Remember, Christ was incarnate in the family of a carpenter, not that of a priest, lawyer, or professor… reflect on that, if you will.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 26 August 2012

Albany NY

Monday, 2 July 2012

2 July 2012. Ann Coulter Backstabs John Roberts… NOT a Wise Move

Ann Coulter‘s backstabbed Justice Roberts in public… and without any warning. She’ll regret that in future, to be sure. 


Read this. Note this, in particular:

Coulter stressed the historical problem with whisking through these “blank slate” type “stealth” nominees. It appears in Roberts’s case, according to Coulter, that he was more career-driven and wanted to be on the high court more than anything else. One of the ways he accomplished this, writes Coulter, was by keeping his personal opinions to himself throughout his career up until his confirmation. Coulter recently tweeted, since Justice Roberts sided with the liberal half of the court on the recent Obamacare decision, Roberts would “go down in history as the Warren Burger of the 21st Century”.

Queen Ann shall regret ever having written such twaddle. It’ll turn John Roberts not only against her, but also against all conservative pundits (who’ve done nothing but savage him since the ACA decision). In any case, John Roberts has read the tea leaves, and they tell him that Mittens is going to lose big-time in November. That’s why he refused to let the Court be used by the woollier elements of the GOP. If they wish to repeal the ACA, they’ll have to muster the votes to do so. By the way, they don’t have them now… and they never shall, for the demographic changes in the American population (brought about by the greed of American libertarian entrepreneurs) shall guarantee that the GOP as we know it is a dead duck.

Texas will be the bellwether, as Hispanic births outnumber Anglo births by 50 percent. When Texas flips, you may as well bury the GOP outside of Born Again precincts. That can’t happen soon enough for me.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 2 July 2012

Albany NY

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