Voices from Russia

Monday, 10 July 2017

10 July 2017. A Point to Ponder from Bishop Lazar

00 russia new year 03 puhalo 180417

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The following encapsulates the evil programme of American neoliberalism (both Republican and Corporate Democrat). Note well that Orthodox konvertsy dance in glee about Trump’s Golden Calf (and call themselves “pro-lifers” to boot)…

To boast of being “pro-life” while acceding to the removal of health care from millions of people, many of whom, children in particular, will die from lack of adequate health care, is surely one of the most gross and egregious hypocrisies of our epoch.

It says it all about the neoliberals (and Orthodox konvertsy), doesn’t it?

BMD

Saturday, 8 July 2017

8 July 2017. A Thought on Healthcare in the Age of Corporatist Bloat

This is from 2012… Obama had many faults, but he (at least) signed the Affordable Care Act (do remember how Hillary (I think intentionally) flubbed it in the 90s)…

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This says it all about Republican compassion and caring… and about the Clintonistas too…

I lay in the hotel room hearing my uncles discuss the price of feed corn and it occurred to me, not once but several times, that I am a fortunate man and thank you, Lord, for Medicare A and B and a good group health policy and for savings to cover any shortfall. The 23 million people who may lose their health insurance in the next few years if Congress does as the man wishes will face some high barriers between them and any sort of eye surgery. This doesn’t come under the heading of Kindness.

Eighty percent of evangelical Christians who cast ballots last fall voted for a man who seems as far from Christian virtues (humility, kindness, patience, etc.) as Hulk Hogan is from the Dalai Lama. These people pray for guidance. So apparently, Jesus got the story wrong. The rich man came to Lazarus who was covered with sores and asked for a tax break, and the rich man was rewarded and Lazarus went to hell. Do unto others as you’re glad they don’t have the means to do unto you.

Remember… the Clintons brought us NAFTA, “welfare reform”, and the repeal of limits on Wall Street. Any ordinary person who voted for Hillary Clinton was a boob, full stop. Upper-Middles? They voted their class interest. They profited under the Clintons the last time and anticipated more good times under Hillary. As for us, they not only don’t give a good goddamn, they never did.

The rest of the article from which I took the excerpt is here.

BMD

Sunday, 16 April 2017

G A Zyuganov: The Bright Resurrection is a Celebration of Unity in Hope; It Calls Attention to Eternal Ideals and the Meaning of Life

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Dear brothers and sisters, comrades and friends!

Easter Sunday is a day of triumph of life over corruption; it’s a festival of hope, unity, and spirituality. In our hearts, we have faith in the triumph of the forces of good over evil and light over darkness. We have love for our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbours, and we have hope for a better future for them. On this beloved national holiday, we again think of Russia in the context of the future for every family, of the world’s history, and of Holy Tradition.

A century ago, we preached equality and justice in Russia, striving for the highest ideals, creating a like-minded fraternity dedicated to sacrificial service to high ideals. It bore fruit, which allowed our country to become a world superpower, it allowed working people to live in a more just society, ruled by the equality, conscience, honour, and dignity of those whose sweat and blood created all the Earth’s wealth. However, there were those like Pilate and Judas and those who retreated when the rooster crew. We had our own “Holy Week” and frigid February; we had Pharisees, hypocrites, and frauds. No matter how hard crafty and nimble scribes pervert and defame what happened a century ago in Russia, history itself suggests that the Great October Socialist Revolution was the people’s choice; it soared through the thorns to the stars. It carried out the greatest transformation of society in the world, crushing injustice and exploitation, bringing in a society of equality and dignity. The Great October Revolution gave the world an example of what happens when the people make history. It was a triumph, an all-Russian celebration, a worldwide aspiration and regeneration of mankind. Today, some complain that the Leninist “struggle of the oppressed class to create heaven on earth” didn’t succeed. However, in the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, the state we eventually created not only existed “to create a paradise on earth but to keep society from becoming a living hell”.

Seven decades of the life of the new society proved the correctness of the choice made in October 1917. Our revived state created a high science, advanced industry, humane art, and gave equal access to everyone to health and education. It enabled every citizen to develop their talents and vocation, wherever they lived, uniting all the peoples into a single family, honouring tradition, venerating elders, respecting motherhood, and caring for children. The working-class became the bulwark of society, and honest and inspired labour became its pride and honour. As St John Chrysostom once said:

Hard work isn’t punishment or torture; it’s a salutary correction against injuries from sin.

Soon, we’ll celebrate the anniversary of the Great Victory of our people over the forces of evil in the world. We’ll return to the streets and squares with portraits of our unforgettable fathers and grandfathers, who, trampling down death by death, put their lives on the altar of victory, enabling our future. They live forever, forever young, next to us, and we, along with the heroes of Aleksandr Tvardovsky, let us remember them all as if in prayer:

Remember us, in retreat,

Fighting, by hour and by year,

Fallen, the Missing,

With whom we saw at least once,

Earlier Mourners, we meet again,

Those who we gave a drink of water,

Pray for us.

In that memorable epoch, the Workers and Peasants Red Army was the mightiest force from the taiga to the British seas. Thanks to Russian spirit and Soviet patriotism, our country not only survived, it won over an unprecedented attack of the forces of evil, from fascism, bringing liberation to the peoples of Europe, and by their example and support helped to break the chains of colonialism and the ruthless exploitation of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The fact that the UN had 50 member-states at its establishment and now there are almost 200 is evidence that the victory won in 1945 strengthened the authority of the Soviet state and contributed to the liberation of peoples and the establishment of independent sovereign states.

Then, there came temptation, betrayal, the “thirty pieces of silver”, unbridled aggression against our historical memory, wild Russophobia, and anti-Sovietism. Home-grown Maidans sprang up amidst unbridled dancing on the remains of the Union. Cold-blooded shifters came to power, “putrefied men”, as early Christians called those sorts, people who talked, but did nothing, and “base rulers… who did bad things in the name of good… who deceived people, to bind them to evil”. They used sly substitution, permissiveness became “freedom”, disorder became “legality”, and mob rule became “democracy”. Honour and conscience became anachronisms; patriotism became a dirty word. Democracy morphed to into plutocracy; their ideal of life was profit and enrichment at any cost, they worshipped the “golden calf”, “in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not” (Second Epistle of Apostle St Paul to the Corinthians 4.4), drying up all-too-many hearts and souls.

Nevertheless, there comes a sobering-up. Moreover, the battle continues for the eternal ideals of goodness and justice. The voices of those who aren’t willing to put up with unbridled injustice, unrighteousness, and a law only for the élite grow louder. More and more people realise that the way out of the crisis is to return our country to the path of building a just and equitable society and carry out constructive policies in favour of the working majority. We believe that the triune life-giving formula for the revival of power proposed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill… Holy Rus, Great Russian statehood, and Soviet justice… is correct! That’s what can unite and gather us in the name of unity, in the hope of a happy future.

We consider it extremely important to convey the ideas of friendship, fraternity, and high culture in the unique Soviet experience to the broadest number of people, especially our youth, to revive the “red gene”, to combine the best traditions of Russian statehood and Soviet patriotism. We’re confident that, as in October 1917, a resurrection of hope and deeds in the name of the people will come, in the name of honour and justice, for peace, true democracy, and a harmonious world order, with the dignity of our citizens coming with the revival. This is the essence of our time. We believe in it. Moreover, our cause is just and fair. Therefore, the victory will be for all of us. The poet Aleksei Khomyakov outlined our global vocation:

Your light gave it Destiny:

A store for world heritage

High sacrifice and pure affairs;

Preserving for us Holy Brotherhood,

A life-giving vessel of Love

And the flaming treasure of Faith

And the truth, in the even-handed court.

Holy brotherhood and pure affairs, ardent faith and truth, justice and equality, solidarity and humanity… these great values and high goals traditionally lie at the basis of both the Christian faith and the Communist ideal. In the name of them, we must combine all our efforts and thoughts. Yes, decent elements that believe in the timeless ideals of justice, equality, and dignity must fulfil our hopes for a just world order, brotherhood and peace for all peoples, and true democracy! Greetings on this Easter Sunday to the clergy and believers of the Russian Orthodox Church and all Orthodox Christians! I wish you peace, joy, and new achievements on the path of the revival of our Motherland.

15 April 2017

G A Zyuganov

Head of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma

Chairman of the TsK KPRF

KPRF.ru

KPRF official website

https://kprf.ru/party-live/cknews/164285.html

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Race in America: Blacks More Likely to Be Wrongfully Convicted Than Whites

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A study released on Tuesday indicates that racial bias in the USA makes African-Americans much more likely to be wrongfully convicted of drug crimes, sexual assault, and murder than white defendants are. The National Registry of Exonerations (NRE) examined cases spanning from 1989 to October 2016, and out of 1,900 people convicted and later exonerated of crimes, black Americans made up 47 percent, a figure over three times their share of the population in the USA. African-Americans are also seven times more likely to be wrongfully convicted of murder than whites, according to the study and are 12 times more likely to be convicted of drug crimes than white Americans. The report noted further discrepancies in murder convictions:

African-American prisoners convicted of murder are about 50 percent more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers. Part of that disparity is tied to the race of the victim. African-Americans imprisoned for murder are more likely to be innocent if they were convicted of killing white victims. Only about 15 percent of murders by African-Americans have white victims, but 31 percent of innocent African-American murder exonerees were convicted of killing white people.

Samuel Gross, University of Michigan Law School professor and senior editor for the group tracking exonerations, said:

In the murder cases we examined, the rate of official misconduct is considerably higher in cases where the defendant is African-American compared to cases where the defendant is white. Unconscious racial bias, overt discrimination, and institutional racism often play a factor in wrongful convictions.

NRE released a separate study noting that 2016 was a record year for exonerations in the USA, with the most since 1989. There were 166 exonerations, an uptick from 2015’s 160 cases. Harris County in Texas, which includes Houston, showed chiefly drug convictions and was the source for most of the exonerations in the state. There were many instances of people pleading guilty to drug possession, only for crime reports to reveal months and years later that there were no controlled substances in the seized material. There were 52 exonerations for murder across the country, along with 73 exonerations of drug possession and other non-violent crimes. Illinois had the most exonerations in 2016 after Texas, with 16. There were 14 exonerations in New York and 9 in California. The “San Antonio Four”, four Latino women convicted of child sex crimes in the 1990s were the highest-profile exoneration of last year. In the majority opinion, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Newell wrote:

Those defendants have won the right to proclaim to the citizens of Texas that they didn’t commit a crime. That they’re innocent. That they deserve to be exonerated… these women have carried that burden. They’re innocent. And they’re exonerated.

8 March 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/us/201703081051360908-blacks-more-like-convicted-crime/

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