Obama’s Soviet Mistake

They say if you live long enough, you’ll be surprised by events. I’d say that’s what’s going on here. The United States repudiated classic liberalism in favor of socialism. The irony is that in Russia, it is socialism that is being repudiated. Do they know something we don’t know?

P.S. Save your criticisms of Putin. He isn’t a choirboy. You can’t rise to the top of a political system that has been brutalized by seventy years of Bolshevik terror. Just debate the merits of Mr Lerma’s argument, please.

(Hat-tip to Archpriest John Morris.)

Source: Pravda | Xavier Lerma

Putin in 2009 outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama but failed miserably in Russia with Zyuganov who only received 17% of the vote. Vladimir Putin was re-elected as President keeping the NWO order out of Russia while America continues to repeat the Soviet mistake.

After Obama was elected in his first term as president the then Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January of 2009. Ignored by the West as usual, Putin gave insightful and helpful advice to help the world economy and saying the world should avoid the Soviet mistake.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Putin said regarding the military,

“…instead of solving the problem, militarization pushes it to a deeper level. It draws away from the economy immense financial and material resources, which could have been used much more efficiently elsewhere.”

Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O’bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like “fast and furious” and there is still no sign of ending it.  He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia.  Obama’s fools and Stalin’s fools share the same drink of illusion.

Reading Putin’s speech without knowing the author, one would think it was written by Reagan or another conservative in America. The speech promotes smaller government and less taxes. It comes as no surprise to those who know Putin as a conservative. Vladimir Putin went on to say:

“…we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.

 The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.

There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.

Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt – are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.

During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself.”

President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don’t they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

“We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success.”- Vladimir Putin

The red, white and blue still flies happily but only in Russia. Russia still has St George defeating the Dragon with the symbol of the cross on its’ flag. The ACLU and other atheist groups in America would never allow the US flag with such religious symbols. Lawsuits a plenty against religious freedom and expression in the land of the free. Christianity in the U.S. is under attack as it was during the early period of the Soviet Union when religious symbols were against the law.   

Let’s give American voters the benefit of the doubt and say it was all voter fraud and not ignorance or stupidity in electing a man who does not even know what to do and refuses help from Russia when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead we’ll say it’s true that the Communists usage of electronic voting was just a plan to manipulate the vote. Soros and his ownership of the company that counts the US votes in Spain helped put their puppet in power in the White House. According to the Huffington Post, residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the Unites States. We’ll say that these Americans are hostages to the Communists in power. How long will their government reign tyranny upon them?

Russia lost its’ civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once “Land of the Free” remain the United Socialist States of America?  Their suffering has only begun. Bye bye Miss American Pie!  You know the song you hippies. Sing it! Don’t you remember? The 1971 hit song by American song writer Don McLean:

“And, as I watched him on the stage my hands were clenched in fists of rage.

No angel born in Hell could break that Satan’s spell

And, as the flames climbed high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw…

Satan laughing with delight the day the music died

He was singing, bye bye Miss American Pie

Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

Them good ol’ boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing…

This’ll be the day that I die

This’ll be the day that I die

So, the question remains:

How long will America suffer and to what depths?

 

Xavier Lerma

Contact Xavier Lerma at xlermanov@swissmail.org

His popular articles can be seen at http://xlerma.wordpress.com/

Hyperlink to Pravda is mandatory if you republish this article.

 

Comments

  1. George,
    “You can’t rise to the top of a political system that has been brutalized by seventy years of Bolshivist brutalism.”
    That sentence doesn’t make sense; you probably intended to add “by being a choirboy”.
    But since when do Russians have choirboys anyway? It’s an English thing! :0)

  2. Excepted from a Financial Times article earlier this year: (Putin unveils plan to boost Russian military)

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fb3f248e-5bba-11e1-a447-00144feabdc0.html

    “Vladimir Putin has promised a near-doubling of Russia’s defence spending over the next decade as he seeks to bolster his credentials with the military two weeks before presidential elections on March 4.”

    “Mr Putin’s proposal would lift defence spending from roughly 3 per cent of GDP in 2011 to between 5 per cent and 6 per cent over the course of the decade, according to Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist at Deutsche Bank in Moscow.

    Mr Lissovolik said it was unclear how Russia would finance the planned increases. “They would come on top of a high level of social spending and huge infrastructure needs,” he said. “This leads to a dilemma about where to cut the other spending, or whether they can raise the efficiency of the budget overall.”

    Generally, if I’m going to post a screed based on older material (in this case, a Putin speech from 2009), I try to do cursory research to make sure that later speeches, events or actions do not make it look dated at best, ludicrous at worst.

    The author of this blog shouldn’t care if I disagree with his opinions, especially political ones. I know I wouldn’t.

    The author of this blog, if he is intending it to be a serious source of insight into what is going on in the OCA (the only reason I visited in the first place), might want to care that posting anti-Obama screeds based on source material that appears to have no basis in reality could reflect poorly on perceptions of anything he posts relating to the OCA. To me, this post demonstrates a lack of discernment in selecting source material and furthermore, a disinterest in researching support for source material that is most disheartening.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Nate, from the very inception of Monomakhos (over two years old now), I have indicated more than once that it is a web-journal of politics, culture, and religion. As for religion, I mean specifically high church Christianity and not only Orthodoxy.

      • Black Friday Revisited says:
      • Tymofiy Hawrysh says:

        Abandon your prayer rule, and in return the Lord will abandon your soul.
        Venerable Nilus of Sora

        Make it a practice to never begin work without prayer.
        Schema-archimandrite Zosima

        Prayer is communion of life. Abandoning it brings on to the soul an invisible death.
        St. Ignaty Brianchaninov

    • Well, Nate, then change the channel.

    • George, what I wrote below was definitely worded crudely and part of it almost certainly false, so I want to retract it. It’s hypocritical for me to castigate you constantly for inaccuracies and inadequate support for assertions (to be charitable) and then to carelessly and thoughtlessly commit such huge blunders myself, in another thread.

      In “The Death Lobby,” Kenneth Timmerman quoted National Security Council staff member and former aide Gary G. Sick:

      Brzezinski was letting Saddam assume there was a U.S. green light for his invasion of Iran, because there was no explicit red light [despite months of cross-border attacks between Iran and Iraq]. But to say the U.S. planned and plotted it all out in advance is simply not true. Saddam had his own reasons for invading Iran, and they were sufficient. (an excerpt from the NSC staffer’s memoir, quoted by Timmerman on p. 76)

      Wikipedia excerpt (forgive me for being lazy here, I don’t have the book in front of me) — “. . .According to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s memoir, the United States initially took a largely neutral position on the Iran–Iraq War, with some minor exceptions. First, the U.S. acted in an attempt to prevent the confrontation from widening, largely in order to prevent additional disruption to world oil supplies and to honor U.S. security assurances to Saudi Arabia. As a result, the U.S. reacted to Soviet troop movements on the border of Iran by informing the Soviet Union that they would defend Iran in the event of Soviet invasion. The U.S. also acted to defend Saudi Arabia, and lobbied the surrounding states not to become involved in the war. Brzezinski characterizes this recognition of the Middle East as a vital strategic region on a par with Western Europe and the Far East as a fundamental shift in U.S. strategic policy.[10] Second, the United States explored whether the Iran–Iraq War would offer leverage with which to resolve the Iranian Hostage Crisis. In this regard, the Carter administration explored the use of both “carrots,” by suggesting that they might offer military assistance to Iran upon release of the hostages, and “sticks,” by discouraging Israeli military assistance to Iran and suggesting that they might offer military assistance to Iraq if the Iranians did not release the hostages. Third, as the war progressed, freedom of navigation, especially at the Strait of Hormuz, was deemed a critical priority.[10]”

      I wrote, stupidly:

      “. . .What have the Iraqi people done to Americans to deserve what we (mostly) did to them and their nation? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing whatsoever. And yet we’ve been systematically destroying their nation, barbarically, for 20 years — children suffering probably worst of all during much of this time. This destruction transpired after Carter/Reagan had goaded Saddam

      To have used the word “goaded” was shockingly stupid and careless and inaccurate. I should have reread this post before I sent it weeks back and then just deleted it, along with a couple of others in that thread. No evidence for “goaded,” in spite of the speculation here and abroad. That Brzezinski let Saddam assume his invasion of Iran had a “green light” from the US (according to Gary Sick — I don’t know what if anything B. has had to say about this) is very far from being the same thing as goading him to do it, obviously. What probably happened is a result of the Carter Administration just trying to cope with events.

      I do not want to contribute to the static and lies. So please allow me to retract that unintentionally erroneous characterization of the NSC Iran expert’s statement in his memoir. And I don’t think we’ve been actively, intentionally destroying Iraq, consciously. But the result of modern warfare and long-standing sanctions can certainly appear systematically destructive. The more I see in this world, the more suspicious I am of violence and war.

      The rhetoric here was also careless and stupid:

      “… into invading Iran 30 years ago, which led to a brutal stalemate, and after a million human beings had already died on both sides [in Iraq and Iran] and after millions more had been maimed and psychologically brutalized [consequences associated with the first and second Iraq wars, by the US — ], their lives and their children’s and friends’ and loved one’s lives ruined. . .”

      I’m far from being a “blame America firster.” There’s clearly plenty of blame to go around in this world. Finally, I regret referring to our actions in Iraq as a war crime. Most of this just stems from nausea with the maddening impact of modern mass warfare and violence and their horrific effects on civilians and on our service members.

      The Lord taught us to pray that our Father’s will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. We should all be praying fervently to God for President Obama and everyone else who’s now in civil and military authority here in the US. Isn’t that the teaching of the Orthodox Church? Isn’t it what you pray every Sunday in the Liturgy?

      Please forgive me for my sloppy language and misstatements, and for any offense I may have given as a result. Please pray for me, a sinner.

      I want to wish a Blessed Nativity, Advent and Chanukah to you all.

  3. Sean Richardson says:

    As long as Americans can vote themselves a raise, with other people’s money, they will … it’s the nature of a democratic system (and perhaps its greatest short-coming) … but, some say, “You can’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer”

  4. Michael Kinsey says:

    There are not jobs, if they want to eat, they have to depend upon the Government. I don’t believe in forced starvation because the are the economic losers. The real cause is at the top, with fractional reserve banking, and fiat money. This system sucks all the wealth to the top, while instituting economic slavery and Jim Crow overt slavery.The corporations run and own the political system. so there is no address available to the poor.

    • Archpeiest John Morris says:

      The real problem is that the policies of the Obama administration have turned a recession into a great recession. He has crippled small businesses with excessive legislation. He has harmed by economy by not allowing us to find enough energy to meet our needs or to makes ourselves energy independent by stopping important projects like the Keystone pipeline to bring oil down from Canada so we will not have to buy it from the Middle East or Venezuela. Obama care has threatened small businesses by making it more expensive to hire people. The man knows nothing about the private sector and has almost destroyed our economy by his statist solutions to every problem. Right now, he is about to go on an extended vacation when he needs to stay in Washington and work with the leaders of both parties in Congress to work out a solution to the tax problems that will take place if Congress does not do something to solve the problems that will take place once the Bush tax cuts expire. Obama’s major problem is that despite his reelection, he is incompetent. Either that or he is stupid, or is deliberately trying to ruin our economy.

  5. Back in the days when the far left had influence the problem they saw with America was Americans. Ignorant Americans voted for Nixon, and, amazingly and inexplicably, for Reagan. Back then it was the far left that quoted Pravda approvingly.

    Now its the days of the far right having influence, and once again the problem with America is Americans. Ignorant Americans voted for Clinton, and, amazingly and inexplicably, for Obama. Now comes the far right quoting Pravda approvingly.

    Pravda has always propagandized Russia’s superiority to America on behalf of whoever was in power in Moscow.

    Americans have always been practicalists, not ideologues. We’ll try anything, but we’re not bound to anything, and when what was tried fails Americans move on…and ideologues blame Americans first.

    Same as it ever was.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Not even close. Back then if they didn’t write the party line they could wind up in the Gulag. Today they write freely. If what they say is incorrect, take them down.

      • This is not news, George, it is pro-Putin propaganda at the expense of both Obama and Americans. It’s audience is Russians, not right-wing Americans who agree that Americans are the problem with America.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          You can read it that way if you want. Or you can come to the realization that Obama’s regime is anti-American as well.

          • Michael Bauman says:

            Anti-American; anti-white; anti-capitalist; anti-Christian; anti-freedom. Anti, anti, anti, anti.

    • The modern Pravda has English editorials from all over the spectrum. See, for instance, this article from their legal editor: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/14-02-2012/120505-wall_street-0/

      • I hope nobody thinks Pravda.ru actually has anything to do with the Soviet era state news organ. That died when Yeltsin took over. The modern Pravda.ru is more like a Huffington Post with a lot of Russian content, complete with the odd dollop of Russian nationalism, Alex Jones style conspiracy mongering and tarted-up linkbait (as I said, HuffPo). It’s a crummy web tabloid, and like HuffPo, much of the “op-eds” are basically blog cross-postings.

        In the case of this particular blogger, if I have to point to more than the simple fact that he has a category for posts on his blog site labeled “Bilderberg”, I don’t know what else to tell you. Although I was richly, richly entertained by Xavier Lerma’s fervent conviction that the 9/11 truthers were themselves a conspiracy orchestrated by…George Soros. Wow, talk about through the looking glass people!

        Be careful, once you start approvingly linking these types of people, you’re only one short hop step and jump away from displacing the threat of the lavender mafia with the real danger: the conspiracy to install the first Lizard Person as a bishop over the faithful.

    • lexcaritas says:

      Americans are not bound to anything, CQ? Until they have sold their birthright and enslaved themselves, but then the bondage will not be able to be broken.

      lxc

      • Lex,

        My point is simple and salient, when your ideology makes you declare that the problem with America is Americans, you’ve lost sight of the truth (da pravda).

        Americans wish to pay down the national debt. Americans wish to have a strong and vibrant economy. That is why Americans voted to return to the age of Clinton and rejected a restoration of George W. Bush.

        It was George W. Bush who best summed where the American people are vis-a-vis right wing economic prescriptions: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, we won’t be fooled again.”

        • George Michalopulos says:

          CQ, this is nonsensical. Want to go back to Clinton-level tax rates? How about Clinton-level spending levels? Can’t have that though, can we.

          • You should recall that the “pay-go” rules were repealed by the GOP, and that the GOP has held the House for all but two years since then.

          • No, apparently we can’t go back to Clinton-era spending levels. Because to have major impact, the areas to target would be: Medicare and the defense budget. In the category of non-defense discretionary spending, we actually are headed back towards Clinton-era spending levels.

            Of course, if you’re going to wave your fist at Obama for not reigning in Medicare and the defense budget enough (amusing, since that he would do it at all was a GOP line of attack in the election), it’s worth remembering that Romney threw his own running mate’s efforts towards Medicare cost containment under the bus to try and shore up the elderly vote. Which made his whining about Obama “buying” the election extra amusing. And, once again, instead of proposals for even modest reductions in defense spending, much less a ~$320,000,000,000 (yes, that’s circa $320 billion, adjusted for inflation) annual reduction to Clinton-era levels, he proposed what would have amounted to $200 billion additional in annual spending over current levels. When you consider *that* proposal in the light of the fact that *all* non-defense discretionary spending is about $650 billion annually, the whole thing really descended towards farce. Somewhere along the line “fiscal conservatism” was redefined from a philosophy of caution in maintaining sustainable government finances to advancing conservative ideological agendas through fiscal means, regardless of debt or deficit implications.

            • It’s also worth remembering that the largest growth in Medicare spending has been the GOP’s purposefully unfunded “Medicare D” prescription benefit.

          • By the way, I think you made a clever argument while missing the point.

            Americans know they were far better off under Clinton than under Bush.

            And Americans were not happy at all with Obama.

            So what did the GOP offer to America? Did it offer a repudiation of a single Bush policy? Nope. It offered to double down on every single one of them.

            Americans made a sane and informed choice. The sooner the right wing grasps that the better everyone will be, because America needs a sane conservative presence, not one blinded by its own propaganda.

            • George Michalopulos says:

              You forget that Americans got “happier” under Clinton when he singlehandedly delivered them an overwhelming GOP majority in 1994. It was under this unprecedented tsunami that Welfare was “ended as we know it,” the bugget was balanced,” the Kyoto Protocols on global warming were NOT enacted, and Clinton ended his presidency on a high note. (Had the Kyoto protocols been enacted, the 2000s would have been a “lost decade” for America. Instead, GDP grew and unemployment fell under Bush from 2002-2007.

              • Ignorant partisan polemic, George.

                Decades last 10 years, not 7. A decade beginning in 2000 would thus ended in 2010, not 2007

                Presidential terms last 4 years each, not 4 years for the first term followed by 3 for the second. A term beginning in 2004 would thus ended in 2008.

                Now let’s talk about 2007. 2007 was a disastrous year for Main Street. The bubble economy was still inflating thanks to bad loans and the fraudulent securities to which they were transformed, securities sold to institutional investors which were largely funds managing the retirement accounts of millions of Americans. That bubble masked what was really going on, which is that the wheels were coming off. That you would choose to count to 10 from 2000-2007 and say that American was having a banner year when Main Street was being destroyed is testimony to your ideological myopia.

                There’s a lot to be said for the Clinton left’s appetite for spending being constrained by the GOP Congress. The pay-go rules worked to constrain spending, and it is testament to the partisan nature of those rules that the GOP rescinded them the moment there was a Republican in the White House. In that case partisan gridlock worked for America, but that ceased to be true in 2000 when the right-wing was in charge of literally every branch of government.

                You haven’t managed to find a single Bush-era policy that the GOP would not double-down on again, which means you right-wing ideologues haven’t learned anything from the catastrophic effects of your policies the last time around.

                Americans made a sane choice. The sooner the right-wing accepts that the better off the nation will be.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  I completely disagree with you. My libertarian side approved of Medicare Part D because it introduced free-market reforms into the buying of prescription drugs, including portability and competition. My conservative side however warned me that even if the gov’t allows the free market to function, it’ll find some way down the road to screw it up.

                  As for “doubling down” on Bush-era policies, Obama dragged Bill Clinton out of retirement two years ago to argue with the Pelosi Congress that we could NOT (that’s “N-O-T”) allow the Bush era tax cuts to expire, because “raising taxes during an economic downturn would make it worse.” (I forget, which party does Obama and Clinton belong to?)

                  You’re being trite by stating that a decade has ten years, therefore Bush could not have saved us single-handedly from a “lost decade” like what happened to Japan and Europe during the Aughts (that would be 2001-2011 technically speaking). We could and should thank the Senate which voted 97-1 back in 99 from signing on to the Kyoto Protocols. Bush merely continued that sane policy.

                  As for “Main Street being destroyed” I find myself in some agreement with you. However things started unravelling for Main Street back in the Clinton years when his Treasury Secretary (Rubin) started playing fast and loose with the Fortune 400 and sacrificing Main Street on the altar of Wall Street. Also, you choose to ignore the insidious role played by the Clinton Administration which stopped banks and mortgage lenders from exercizing prudence. To add insult to injury, it went further and forced banks to make imprudent loans. To avoid the inevitable losses, these same banks turned around and sold these worthless loans to secondary institutions.

                  To his credit, Bush actually tried to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae but that execrable excuse of a human being Barney Frank and the Congressional Black Caucus did everything in their power to prevent any type of oversight. To be fair, it may have been too late for Bush to do anything as the problem was out of control but that’s a hypothetical.

                  Bottom line? Mixed bag. I can’t approve of several of Bush’s policies but I can’t tell you that the economy was worse since by every metric (unemployment rate, GDP, deficits) the economy was in much better shape than it is presently. Those are facts. Whether Bush merely prolonged the GDP growth by kicking the can down the road or expanding credit, thereby making things worse for Obama is an argument for another day. It’s certainly possible. That being said, the Keynesian insantity that has been unleashed on America since Feb 2009 with Stimulus I, GM/Chrysler Bailout/Stimulus II, Obamacare, makes it clear that in 2016, China will overtake us as the largest economy on earth. And worse, that we may lose our reserve currency status.

                  Even if we assume that absolute worst of Bush, saying Obama’s policies are better are like saying Bush was evil because he was a chicken thief, therefore let us replace him with an armed robber.

                  • You open with ” I completely disagree with you.” then write ” I find myself in some agreement with you.” Those statements coherently coexist only if both are false.

                    My point remains: The American people made a coherent and logical decision in re-electing Obama over Romney. Those who declare that the problem with America is the American people are simply and completely in error.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      I agreed in part with what you said, not entirely. I apologize for my language, it was sloppy of me. I should have said “I disagree with you on X, Y, and Z.” Then at the later point should have written, “in this instance however, I find myself agreeing with you.” Sometimes my fingers outpace my cerebrum.

              • Nate Trost says:

                > George Michalopulos says

                Instead, GDP grew and unemployment fell under Bush from 2002-2007.

                “So, other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

                Leaving out that small detail of the largest post-Depression recession earns a great big Orson Wells slow-clap. You were tantalizingly close towards construction one of the most beautiful examples of a tautology I’d seen in ages, only to fail to stick the landing.

                Had the Kyoto protocols been enacted, the 2000s would have been a “lost decade” for America

                This could use some *serious* citations considering, you know, we actually now have a decade to judge the impact of Kyoto on major industrial countries that actually ratified it, to say nothing of actually benchmarking against what some of the potential estimations were of the effects on the US economy. Of course, if by 2050, we’re having to consider relocating the entire eastern seaboard, a “lost decade”, much less a mild drag on GDP growth might look like a bargain.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Nate, what was the unemployment rate under Bush 43? Pick a year, any year.

                  • Nate Trost says:

                    Last I checked, he was still President for most of January 2009:

                    Employers slashed their payrolls by 598,000 jobs in January, marking not only the biggest monthly cut since the recession began in December 2007, but the biggest since 1974, the Labor Department reported today. The unemployment rate rocketed to a more than 16-year high of 7.6 percent from 7.2 percent in December. The government also revised earlier job loss numbers to shower deeper cuts in November and December. About half of the 3.6 million jobs lost since the start of the recession have been lost in the past three months, indicating the economic slowdown is far from over.

                    According to BLS, I have unemployment at 4.2 percent in January 2001. Needless to say, that is not going out in style.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      So what was the unemployment rate for calendar year 2008?

                    • Nate Trost says:

                      Again, via BLS:

                      2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3

                      Or, if like Pringles, once you pop you just can’t stop:

                      2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
                      2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
                      2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
                      2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
                      2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
                      2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
                      2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
                      2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
                      2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
                      2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 8.9 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
                      2010 9.7 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.4
                      2011 9.1 9.0 8.9 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.0 8.9 8.7 8.5
                      2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.1 7.8 7.9

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      So in other words, in every month that Bush was president the unemployment rate was in the mid-5% range. His worst month was Dec 2008 when it climbed to 7.3%.

                      Remind me again what it has been since Obama’s been president? You really want to write home to Mother about Obama’s vaunted “recovery”?

                    • Nate Trost says:

                      George Michalopulos said

                      So in other words, in every month that Bush was president the unemployment rate was in the mid-5% range. His worst month was Dec 2008 when it climbed to 7.3%.

                      No, his worst month were the weeks of January 2009 before Obama took office, as I explained. Perhaps you have already forgotten, at that point, we were losing something on the order of 150,000 jobs a week.

                      So George, if Bush went from 4.2 to 7.8, that scores him at -3.6% relative over two terms. You are, apparently going to argue to me with a straight face, that this is somehow a more laudable achievement than Obama going from 7.8, to (yet to be determined but probably something like), 7.8 at the end of his first term, that 0.0% relative is somehow worse than -3.6% And that’s not even taking into account the circumstances which consisted of an employment freefall that didn’t magically stop on Inauguration day and continued merrily trucking downward to 10% in the fall of 2009. If we generously apply Mitt Romney’s principle of giving a new President six months to settle in, by those criteria Obama is at like +2.0%. Which in relative terms makes Bush look even worse, even if you apply the same grace period to Bush.

                      It’s like you want to argue that STS-107, Shuttle Columbia’s final mission was a stupendous success. Just ignore that little problem right at the end. And how incompetent was NASA taking whole months to put the thing back together again afterwards? It didn’t even look the same!

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      OK, so lemme get this straight: were Bush’s policies (deficits, TARP, etc.) bad or good? If bad, how are Obama’s –which are infinitely more expensive–better?

                • Oddly, George, you chose not to release my earlier and more substantive post, which is still “awaiting moderation,” but did release two later posts. How do you make such decisions?

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

          All the progress under Clinton can be attributed to the fact that the Republicans took control of Congress and forced him to adopt policies that “ended welfare as we know it,” and balance the budget. unlike Obama, Clinton had the sense to know that he had to work with Congress not against them the way that Obama had done. Obama does not know how to lead a nation. He only knows how to make demands and act like an angry 2 year old when he does not get his way. We saw his true character in the debates. He is a self-absorbed egomaniac who is unfit to govern because as Bob Woodward’s latest book shows he cannot work with others or make the compromises necessary to govern a nation a diverse as our nation.

          • Isaac Crabtree says:

            Father, forgive me. If you can show so much common sense about politics as a conservative, why be a liberal when it comes to the Holy Tradition? Why not be as common sense conservative about that?

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

              I am not a liberal when it comes to the Holy Tradition. When it comes to the Holy Tradition of the Church there is no one more conservative than I am. I believe in and teach every single doctrine of the Orthodox Church. I accept without question every dogmatic decision of the Ecumenical Councils. I follow the official service books of the Antiochian Archdiocese faithfully. .If anyone wants to change the essential parts of the Divine Liturgy, I will lead the fight against them. However, I also recognize that in addition to the Holy Tradition of the Church there are practices that can and have changed through the centuries. Not everything that was done in the 19 century is Holy Tradition. I do not consider pews in the Temple, what I wear outside of the Church, or even an Evening Divine Liturgy a matter of Holy Tradition. These things are customs not Holy Tradition. The Church has made many changes in the Typikon and text of the services through the centuries. None of the Holy Fathers ever wore a rasso, much less a Kamilavka. Most historians agree that our modern iconostasis is a 13 century development. Orthodox Bishops did not begin to wear the Saccos and Crown until after 1453. There have been several versions of the Typikon. I understand that on Mt. Athos each monastery still has its own Typikon. It was not until the invention of printing that allowed the Church to standardize its services and Typikon. Sometime in the past we shifted the all the services of Holy Week forward 12 hours so that we do almost everything in the evening so people can attend who have to work or go to school during the day. The Church has changed some things, but there are also some things that cannot change. The Holy Tradition, that is the doctrine of the Orthodox Church, cannot change because the Holy Spirit led the Church to preserve the truths taught by Christ to His Apostles, articulated by the Holy Fathers and proclaimed by the Ecumenical Councils. That is Holy Tradition. If we change or abandon Holy Tradition we would no longer be Orthodox. However, throughout the history of our Church customs not related to Holy Tradition have changed, and probably will continue to change until Our Lord comes again. Our Faith is not so fragile that an Antiochian Priest wearing a clerical shirt and collar when he goes to the grocery store will destroy the Holy Tradition of the Church. If the Church can shift its entire cycle of Holy Week services to make it easier for the faithful to attend, we Antiochians have not committed a terrible heresy by using the order from the Divine Liturgies of Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday as the pattern for a feast day Evening Divine Liturgy to allow the faithful to observe feast days when they cannot come in the morning because of school or work. Finally, if we have ancient liturgical texts that clearly state that the people sat during parts of the services, putting pews in an Temple will not destroy the sanctity of Orthodox worship. Have you ever been to New Skete? The innovations tolerated by OCA there make us Antiochians look like the most fanatical Greek Old Calendarists.
              We are Eastern Orthodox, we are by nature not legalistic about non essentials. Different practices according to different traditions concerning Pews, cassocks outside of the Church, and even Evening Divine Liturgies are not essentials of the Orthodox Church.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                I just thought of something important to the discussion of clerical dress. A few weeks ago, I was doing some research on this subject. I found a 19th century decree from the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instructing clergy in non-Orthodox countries to dress as a gentleman according to the culture of that country. The first Orthodox clergy in America wore suites and ties just like any other American gentleman. Even St. Raphael wore secular attire. http://orthodoxhistory.org/?s=roman+collar There is a picture of him in a bowler hat and suite. There is a picture of the first Priest in Vicksburg dressed in an ordinary suit of the type worn at the beginning of the 20th century. Later Orthodox clergy in America began to dress as clergy of the Roman Catholic or Episcopal Church, with the horrible collars we have to wear today.
                In Greece married Orthodox clergy dressed just like every other man except that they wore dark colors. Only during the 19th century did they begin to wear the rasso. The Holy Synod of Greece only made wearing of the rasso mandatory during the 1920s.
                The canons require clergy to dress as clergy, but do not define exactly what a priest should wear. That is because the dress of clergy has changed through the centuries. Ultimately, it is the Bishop who decides what his clergy should wear outside of the Church. I obey my Bishop and am therefore obeying the canons.
                Naturally, all clergy must wear the proper vestments during services. However, among the different Orthodox traditions there is some variation. For example, the Russians have a rectangle shaped thing worn at the knee the meaning of which I am not sure. I also understand that the epignathion that I have worn since ordination as a sign of the authority to hear confessions has a different meaning in the Russian tradition. Antiochian clergy only wear a cross if they are an Archpriest or an Archimandrite. So even when it comes to vestments there are different traditions in the Orthodox Church.

                • Father Morris seems to become more and more obsessed with clergy apparel! Neither his own health nor the falling asleep of his Patriarch can overcome this obsession.
                  I always encouraged clergy to wear podriassnik and riassa (anteri and rason, or “exorason’) on the street to identify themselves to the Orthodox as Orthodox clergy and, secondarily, as part of evangelism. I always said that they were free to wear mufti (or as the Russian Church once prescribed, the dress of American gentlemen), but i discouraged them from trying to look like Roman Catholics, Lutherans, or Episcopalians, as they do when they wear so-called “clergy suits” (not part of the Russian Church’s decree at all) or the clergy shirt (which is really a mini-cassock). I realize its very important to some Orthodox that their clergy will get just as much respect from the world as the clergy of any other faith and say nothing against it.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                    Your Grace:
                    I am not obsessed with clergy attire outside of the Church. Others, however seem to be. My point is that we should not judge a priest’s Orthodoxy by unessential externals like long hair and beards, cassocks on the street or if he has pews in his Temple. What makes a man a priest is what is in his heart not what he wears. I dress as my Bishop tells me to dress. Orthodoxy is a matter of doctrine not externals. Some people are too obsessed with externals and too judgmental of others who do not agree with their personal preferences on the subject. I would never judge a priest who wears a cassock where I do not, and do not think that I should be judged because I do not wear a cassock where another priest wears a cassock.

                    • I don’t believe ANYONE has judged a Priest’s Orthodoxy here at any time as you keep claimiing they do: “by unessential externals like long hair and beards, cassocks on the street or if he has pews in his temple.” If I am mistaken, please point us to one post which judges a Priest’s Orthodoxy by such things. Please point us to one post which even HINTS that what makes a man a priest is what he wears. Please give ONE instance where ANYONE said Orthodoxy was a matter of externals or even HINTED that it was. YOU brought up hair length, and please do not deny it. YOU brought up pews, and please do not deny it.
                      If I say, as I have a right to do, that in my opinion it is better if a Priest wears obviously Orthodox streetwear rather than obviously Roman Catholic and Protestant streetwear, I am not judging any Priest who chooses to wear Roman Catholic or Protestant streetwear, and the only reason I would even mention my opinion is because YOU brought the matter up (and keep bringing it up). You seem to have an obsession with these matters. And please do not oppose DOCTRINE to externals. One opposes doctrine to opinion, and either may concern the external or the internal. Try to understand that, please! No one is saying non-essentials are essentials. That would be madness.
                      But, and, please, again, pay attention: there are many “externals” and “non-essentials” that are GOOD and even conducive to salvation, that belong to those ‘WHATSOEVERS’ to which the Apostle refers. He never said “Whatsoever is essential doctrine and not external, think, think, on these things,” did he? No matter if every Orthodox Cathedral in the world would have pews, it would still be GOOD to worship God without them.
                      Making the sign of the Cross is not essential, but it is GOOD. Hierarchs blessing with dikiri and trikiri is a matter of non-essentials and externals, as are pectoral crosses and baptismal crosses, yet those items have, all of them, meaning, value, and significance EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ESSENTIAL, Get it? You keep referring to people negatively “judging”Antioch and Antiochians when they do not.
                      You give others the impression that Antiochians are terribly self-conscious and/or self-absorbed and super-sensitive.

                    • Does not St Basil the Great write about many of our oral traditions (e.g., the oil of gladness, crossing ourselves, etc) as those things that, while not written down (and by extension dogmatized), should be so guarded:

                      “For instance, to take the first and most general example, who is thence who has taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East at the prayer? Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of the chrism, and besides this the catechumen who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition? Nay, by what written word is the anointing of oil itself taught? And whence comes the custom of baptizing thrice? And as to the other customs of baptism from what Scripture do we derive the renunciation of Satan and his angels? Does not this come from that unpublished and secret teaching which our fathers guarded in a silence out of the reach of curious meddling and inquisitive investigation? Well had they learnt the lesson that the awful dignity of the mysteries is best preserved by silence.

                      And further:

                      “Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us “in a mystery” by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay; — no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in its very vitals;
                      St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, Chapter 27

                      I think Isaac Crabtree and Vladyka have it right.

                    • I note with some happiness that Fr. Morris has come around to my way of thinking. Here it is: ” I would not want to try to discern what is essential and what is not essential in the general practice of the Church. I suppose that I could celebrate the Divine Liturgy in jeans and a t shirt, but such a thing would be unthinkable. In Orthodoxy we never reduce our worship to mere essentials, but always do the maximum.”
                      Whew! It took several posts, but it worked!
                      I wonder when the exact moment was. Was it sudden? Pauline?
                      Thanks be to God.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      Your Grace:

                      I really do not want to get into another conflict with you. We always seem to have trouble communicating. On the advice of my spiritual father and my Bishop, I will not get into any more debates with you. However, since you addressed me directly, I will respond to your latest posting.
                      You wrote: I note with some happiness that Fr. Morris has come around to my way of thinking. Here it is: ” I would not want to try to discern what is essential and what is not essential in the general practice of the Church. I suppose that I could celebrate the Divine Liturgy in jeans and a t shirt, but such a thing would be unthinkable. In Orthodoxy we never reduce our worship to mere essentials, but always do the maximum.”

                      That has always been my way of thinking.If you thought otherwise, you did not understand me. I am Eastern Orthodox. Please be assured that I take our worship very seriously. I follow all the rubrics in the Liturgikon and strive to be faithful to correct Antiochian liturgical practice. I always watch other priests serving the Liturgy at our conventions to see if I have unknowingly gotten into any bad practices. I watched the video of the Liturgy from Beirut very closely to see if I was doing anything different and was please to see that there was no significant difference between what they do there and what I do in my parish.
                      Our major disagreement has had nothing to do with liturgics, but have been over other matters. As I wrote above, I wish no further controversy with you. I will be glad to discuss matters with you, but refuse to get into any further arguments with you.
                      I do have a question. I recently watched a video of a Liturgy in the Russian Catholic Church in Rome. It shows someone walking backwards censing the Gospel during the Little Entrance, the way, we Antiochians have someone walking backwards censing the Gifts during the Great Entrance. Is it a Russian custom to cense the Gospel during the Little Entrance? I realize that they are Uniates in Rome, but they claim to strictly follow Russian traditions.

                    • Rev. Morris writes this: “I do have a question. I recently watched a video of a Liturgy in the Russian Catholic Church in Rome. It shows someone walking backwards censing the Gospel during the Little Entrance, the way, we Antiochians have someone walking backwards censing the Gifts during the Great Entrance. Is it a Russian custom to cense the Gospel during the Little Entrance? I realize that they are Uniates in Rome, but they claim to strictly follow Russian traditions”

                      Answer to Rev. Morris’s most provocative question: No one but a deacon or a priest may swing a censer when censing is prescribed—in the Russian Churches (nor may any but a Deacon or Priest intone litanies). Yes, at a Hierarchical celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the Deacons cense toward the Gospel at the moment the Arch- or Protodeacon elevates it, facing East and intones ‘Wisdom, Attend (and any prescribed processional verse) and then, when the Protodeacon turns to face the Hierarch, now blessing with dikiri and trikiri and singing, the Deacons cense toward the Hierarch as he bows to the East. Yes, the Russian Catholics (uniates), unlike the Ukrainian or Byzantine or Greek Catholic Rite Roman Catholics, do often serve more strictly in accordance with the Russian edition of the Jerusalem Typikon than even the Russian Orthodox themselves do! There are NO specifically “Russian” traditions observed in the services of the Russian Orthodox Church at all. As Father George Florovsky of blessed memory used to teach, “The Russians received EVERYTHING from the Greeks: it’s too bad the Greeks didn’t keep more of it!” Even “eagle” rugs came to Russia with the Greek missionaries and other clergy that evangelized and taught the land, although they’ve generally disappeared in Grecian and Arabo-Grecian usage mostly. I don’t believe that “someone (!) walking backwards while censing, could be a subdeacon as in the very “developed” usages of some Ottoman Patriarchates.
                      I apologize to Rev.. Morris’s spiritual father, but, after all, he asked me!
                      By the way, I made NO COMMENT whatsoever on any DIVINE LITURGY served during the obsequies for ever-memorable Patriarch Ignatius. I commented on a rather singular scene which appeared to be an Orthodox funeral service not a Divine Liturgy, where a rather at-a-loss-looking gaggle of klobuked hierarchs standing with the backs to the Altar and looking all in different directions. The only two people who seemed focussed at all were the poor Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who looked like he was concentrating very hard on NOT being distracted by the amazing and unsuccessful attempts at order. I can sympathize with him. A parishioner once attended a funeral in an Antiochian church out here, and she said she didn’t ‘know WHAT” to do when, in the Church, a lady “down front” began to play tunes on a large concert HARP!!!!!, She obviously was not supporting any singers or chanters at all.
                      I told her that the Antiochians had SINGULAR customs of their own and recalled how the organist used to play a Bach “postludium” at St Mary’s Antiochian Church of Brooklyn. As the people “recessed.’
                      I judge no one: no Priest, and no person’s Orthodoxy whatsoever. Why, i never even say of myself, “I’m PROUD to be Orthodox” as some do, even putting it on a bumper of their cars, and not make distinctions between essentials and adiaphorae in the Church, as Rev. Morris now admits, thank God!

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                    Your Gace:

                    Do you really think that anyone in Vicksburg, Mississippi or most American cities would recognize someone in a rasso and stovepipe hat as Orthodox? If you do, you are sadly mistaken. They would think that I am a member of some strange cult. We are not in Athens or Moscow. We are in a country where our religion is a minority that most Americans consider a religion for foreigners. This is partially our own fault, but it is also because the Episcopalians and other American sects have tried to put us in an ethnic ghetto because they consider us competition. Movies like The Deer Hunter and My Big Fat Greek Wedding did not help because they merely reinforced the stereotype of Orthodoxy as a religion for foreigners not real Americans.

                    • There is, unfortunately, a distinct “reverse side”. When I see a man in Western clerical garb, outside of a church setting, I do not reflexively recognize him as an Orthodox priest. I am not joking.

                      Clerical attire is an “issue” for some, but my purpose is not to debate one side versus the other. I just felt impelled to point out something that Fr. John overlooks.

                      Whatever be a person’s opinions, the Orthodox style of clerical attire is a splendid conversation trigger that can bear good fruit. So is the “backward” sign of the Cross that I make when dining among non-Orthodox people. So is the often different date for Pascha. So is the Slavic three-bar cross worn around my neck. So is the icon hanging from the rear view mirror in my automobile. So is . . .

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                      To Bishop Tikhon Above

                      ]Your Grace:

                      You constantly judge me and others. Go back and read some of your posts. On another thread you posted some rather insulting comments about one of the Liturgies celebrated during the funeral rites of our late Patriarch that sure sounded to me like criticism of our Antiochian practices. Perhaps you do not actually realize how your sarcastic comments come across. When you state that something like not having pews is GOOD, you imply that having pews is bad. When you characterize how I dress as Roman Catholic, you are making a judgment that I am not acting like a good Orthodox Priest, although I am dressing the way that my Bishop tells me to dress. You are others are constantly making snide remarks about us and our Antiochian practices. The way you come across may be unintentional, but whether or not you realize it, you come across as an arrogant person who thinks that he is the sole judge on what is and what is not Orthodox. If you think that I write too much about cassocks, you do not have to respond in a way that sounds like that you think I am committing a terrible heresy by wearing a clerical shirt and collar.
                      You wrote, “Hierarchs blessing with dikiri and trikiri is a matter of non-essentials and externals, as are pectoral crosses and baptismal crosses, yet those items have, all of them, meaning, value, and significance EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT ESSENTIAL,” I disagree. If something is mandated by the rubrics of the service books and universal Orthodox practice, it rises above the category of “non-essentials” and becomes part of the Holy Tradition of the Church. These things are not dogmas, but they are very close. I would not want to try to discern what is essential and what is not essential in the general practice of the Church. I suppose that I could celebrate the Divine Liturgy in jeans and a t shirt, but such a thing would be unthinkable. In Orthodoxy we never reduce our worship to mere essentials, but always do the maximum. There is a Greek term that means worship fit for God. Our worship must be fit for God and must follow the full tradition of the Church to the best of our ability.

                • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                  Fr.John,
                  I agree with most of what of you write above EXCEPT for the evening liturgies.What is wrong with people who work observing Feasts by attending Vespers?If one has the opportunity to commune on Sundays,surely that should suffice.Plus every Feast ends up falling on Sunday sooner or later,except Ascension.
                  Plus,Fr.,not everyone works in the daytime.My son,my only chanter works nights.So he’s available for Sunday and Festal Matins and Liturgy.I often do Vespers acting as Chanter,the fact that I have a deacon helps.Just one priest’s opinion.Mentioning New Skete makes me want to head for some of the “creature”(whiskey).

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                    There is nothing wrong with people who work attending Vespers, but my point is that I cannot get enough people in the morning to hold a Divine Liturgy. I cannot do a Divine Liturgy by myself. We should observe a major feast day with the Divine Liturgy, if at all possible. In any case, we all must follow the instructions of our Bishop on such matters.
                    Let us be honest with each other. It is almost impossible to follow the full instructions in the Typikon in the typical parish setting. It would take at least two or more hours just to do a complete Matins as described in the Typikon. We all abbreviate. Russians sing, “Blessed is the man…” on Saturday evening not the complete 1st Kathisma as mandated in the Typikon. I may be wrong, but I think that we are the only Orthodox who sing both Psalms, “Lord, I have cried…,” completely during the Great censing during Vespers. From what I have seen most Orthodox only chant the first two verses and then go to the Stichera, leaving out the rest of the Psalms. We all modify the Typikon to meet our particular parish situations. To me is seems strange not to celebrate Matins on Sunday morning, because it is obviously a morning service, but I do not judge the Russians because they celebrate it on Saturday evening. The Bridegroom Matins during Holy Week is obviously a morning service, because it seems strange to chant, “Let us complete our morning prayer…” in the evening.

                    • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                      Fr.John,
                      I agree again with most of what you say.In our Serbian parish,we begin Sunday and Feast Day Matins at 9:00 AM and finish at 10:30 just in time to start Liturgy.We follow the Greek custom of starting Liturgy immediatly after chanting the Great Doxology.In the Matins,we manage to get in one whole kathisma and the canons complete with the katavasias in that hour and a half.True,there are still omissions.We normally don’t do the second kathisma,nor the complete polyeleos.Also my son and I use mostly Russian style chant which perhaps makes the service go by faster.
                      Holy Friday and Holy Saturday are the only times we do Matins in the evening,i.e.Thursday and Friday.This last year,we actually did the Holy Saturday Matins at about 6:15 PM shortly after ending the Good Friday Vespers.It was the first time that service had been done in the parish,if it had been done by previous Serbian rectors many years past,I don”t know.Given the lack of manpower,we did cut portions of the service,also for the same reason,we didn’t do the full procession,but rather a mini-procession inside the church.I’m happy to say the everyone who came for the Good Friday Vespers stayed for the Holy Saturday Matins,so it”s just as well that we didn’t lay too much on them for the first time.
                      Of course,the fact that people often have to drive a distance to go to church is another reason to run such services together.

                    • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                      This is in response to Fr.John above.I was a deacon for three months.I believe at least once an older deacon visited our parish and served at Liturgy,making me the second deacon.I’m pretty sure I did cense the Gospel at the little entrance.Now that I think about it,there was another new deacon as well,so the two of us held censers,while deacon #1 held the Gospel.I was second deacon once or twice at Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville,NY for non-hierarchal liturgies;not only did I cense the Gospel at the little entrance,but read the epistle as well.
                      However,in the Russian usage,an acolyte may carry a censer,but is NEVER permitted to swing it.It appears that the Greeks have no such restrictions.I saw the great entrance in a Greek Old Calender church where a woman was not only holding the censer at the great entrance,but swinging it as well! No,she didn’t enter the altar;I believe the priest placed it on an outside stand first;or maybe he managed to carry it together with the chalice and diskos;I can’t recall.
                      Your mention of Russian Uniates leads me to respond to Antonia as well.You might see someone who APPEARS to be an Orthodox with hair,beard,ryasa,kamilavka,etc;but he might in fact be a Uniate priest.There is a very Eastern Ukrainian Catholic church in a suburb of Toronto.It is headed by a married Ukrainian Catholic Mitred Archpriest.The church is old calender,has no pews,and a full cycle of services,every Saturday evening Vespers,every Sunday Matins lasting two hours before Liturgy and Vigils on Feast Day Eves.The church LOOKS to be more “Orthodox” than the Serbian parish that I serve,but I could never serve there as I’M NOT a Uniate.Wheras,Bishop Longin would have no problem with any CANONICAL Orthodox cleric serving with me in my parish.So I agree with Fr.John;externals don’t prove the Orthodoxy of a priest or of a church.

                    • Archpriest John Morris says:

                      To Archpriest Andrei Alexiev

                      Do Serbs do the Bridegroom Services of Holy Week? They are Matins, but we do them in the evening.
                      We do have an altar server walking backwards swinging the censor towards the Gifts during the Great Entrance. When the priest hands the censor back to the altar server, he swings it twice at the priest. All other censings are done by a deacon, priest or Bishop. However, an altar server carries the censor during a procession.
                      In reference to another comment below, Antiochians do use the eagle rug. The man being consecrated a Bishop stands on different parts of the rug during the service. We also keep an eagle rug at foot of the Bishop’s throne.
                      You are right. What is important is what we believe, not externals. Uniates can dress themselves up to look like the most conservative Orthodox, but they are not Orthodox. They are Eastern Rite Roman Catholics.

                    • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

                      In response to Fr.John below,I’m sure there are Serbian churches that serve Bridegroom Matins.We don’t because I live almost 30 miles from the church,my son is my only chanter,and we have few enough people coming to the services we DO have I.e.;Holy Thursday Matins through to the Paschal Liturgy.The biggest departure from traditional order of services is that we do the Paschal Liturgy seperate from the Matins at 10:30 AM.

                    • Further to Fr. Alexiev:

                      Whether churches in the Serbian dioceses in the USA and Canada should serve Bridegroom Matins during Holy Week versus what they actually do are two distinct things.

                      Taking a step back, as a matter of broad practice — albeit with exceptions — for decades Holy Week services in most Serbian parishes usuallly start with the “Reading of the 12 Gospels” on Thursday night, often exclusively in exaggerated intonations of Old Church Slavonic. Then two Great and Holy Friday services where the masses are afforded an opportunity to place wads of cash on the Holy Shroud.

                      Thereafter, a “midnight” service on Holy Saturday evening that stops short of Divine Liturgy. This, in particular, is an ignorant, mind numbing, and spactacularly improper practice that should be eradicated. It persists because its a small “t” tradition, derived from Baba’s School of Theology, Ecclesiology and Pita Making. Those brave parish priests who have tried to correct this are roundly criticized and bludgeoned by their Church Boards into submission to revert to the “right way” of doing things. Because if Baba did not do it 60 years ago, its not right. The bishops defer to Baba and seem to care less.

                      In the last 20 years or so, some “advanced” Serbian parishes have come around to unction services on Holy Wednesday. But it is common that many parishes do not, operating under the astounding myth that such a service requires 12 priests.

                      For years, few celebrated a Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday and many that did served a St. Basil Liturgy, but without the Old Testament readings. Recently, however, some are doing so.

                      Any kind of service on Great and Holy Monday and Tuesday are virtually unheard of in the Serbian dioceses.

  6. Gregg Gerasimon says:

    George,

    As a timely example of President Obama’s cult of personality, he was recently referred to as “our lord and savior” at the soul train awards:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/jamie-foxx-obama-lord-and-savior-furor-soul-train-awards_n_2199439.html

    Those who support this cult of personality will probably say referring to him as such is not a big deal, but truthfully it’s downright dangerous and demonic. Sad part is, a lot of the electorate seems to view him that way. So much for a Christ who suffers a divine humiliation on the cross. Many people still want a Christ with earthly power. Aaah, the joys of life in post-Christian America.

    • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

      To Alexander above,
      Sir,did you not read my whole post?If I can’t get people for the 12 major feasts,outside of Christmas and Pascha,how the Sam Hill do you expect me to bring them in for Bridegroom Matins?I also only have the one Chanter/Reader,my son.If the church were next door or even 10 miles away,instead of 27,and if they paid me a full time salary,and if I have extra readers,we might have a go at it.
      You might find a Greek parish with the full Holy Week cycle and then find out the church committee to be made up of rich Masons who tell the priest “Jump!” and expect him to respond,”How high?” Or you might find an OCA parish where they likewise do the full cycle and then find out that the priests is a gay-friendly liberal and half the choir are his gay buddies.
      You know no matter what we priests do,someone out there will shoot it down.I’m sorry to rant,but you got my Ukrainian-Polish-Scottish blood up.

      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Fr Andrei, as far as I’m concerned priests such as yourself are doing a stellar job. You and your son are doing the best they can with what resources the Lord has provided. Is it ideal? Nothing in America re Orthodoxy is ideal but you’re doing far better than the Episcopal Assembly is and a thousand times better than Syosset is doing.

        • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

          Further,to clarify,there is NO Holy Saturday evening service,except
          the 11:30 PM Nocturnes(Mesonyctis,Polunoshnitsa).Paschal Matins begin promptly at 12:00 Midnight.As for a seperate Liturgy on Paschal morning,many OCA parishes still do this,evidently,at least one local OCA Romanian church here in Michigan does as well.
          IF I had my druthers,I’d go with the custom that some Serbs,Romanians,and Western Ukrainians have of starting everything at 4 or 5 AM on Pascha and going right through to the Liturgy.I’ve read,and I think Fr.John Morris will back me up,that in some churches in the Antiochian Patriarchate in the old countries do begin Paschal celebrations at 6:00 AM on Pascha morning.During WW II,because of night time blackouts,many churches had to do the same.

          • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

            To clarify my clarification,there IS an evening service proscribed for Holy Saturday;it is the Vesperal Liturgy of St.Basil the Great which is supposed to begin at 4:00 PM,making it the latest liturgy of the year.If we want to be “letter of the law” about the time of the Paschal liturgy,perhaps we should apply this to the Holy Saturday liturgy as well.
            In my case,my “staff” consists of “one tired fat boy”(my son’s description of himself).This last year,my son in fact read all 15 of the Old Testament lessons for the Holy Saturday liturgy before going to work at a restaurant in the afternoon and then coming back to do the Paschal services.This year,we have the grandson of a parishoner visiting us from Montenegro,so he may be able to tackle some of the Holy Saturday readings,thus giving my son a slight break.

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

              Actually if you follow the Typikon literally, the Vesperal Liturgy for Holy Saturday begins immediately after the Lamentations service. It is true that it is actualy the ancient Pascha Vigil and probably was celebrated on Saturday evening, but now we celebrate it on the morning of Holy Saturday, because the texts refer to Christ’s descent into Hades in the time between His death and Resurrection. All of the Holy Week services were shifted forward so that we do the Matins services for the next day so that the people can attend. For example, we do Matins for Holy Friday in the evening (The Service of the Passion Gospels)

      • Carl Kraeff says:

        Dear Father–You really do not have to insult the GOA or the OCA to make your point. I understand the frustration that you feel (I am the son of a priest), but please….

        • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says:

          Dear Carl,
          No insult intended against either the GOA OR the OCA.I realised after I started typing that you are probably refering to my earlier post.I do have a problem with both the Masons and the gays pushing their agenda in the church.If that makes me insulting or uncharitable in your book,so be it.
          Back when I left the OCA for ROCOR after finishing seminary in 1976,the issue of Masons in the church was the hot-button topic for me.I know both ROCOR and the Serbian Church have had problems with Masons too,it existed in Tsarist Russia as well.It is believed that the Tsar-Martyr’s cousin,the Grand Duke,Nicholai Nicholaiovich was heavily involved in Masonry.A lot of the more liberal- leaning Russian emigrees were as well.
          As far as the gays go,I’m sorry but I cannot squander almost 2000 years of Christianity to “get with the times”.I believe based on what you’ve written elsewhere that on this point at least you would agree.Like our editor,I have my own battle fighting off HETEREOSEXUAL temptations.My brother,who is an agnostic at best,asks me what I want to do.Perhaps,if I weren’t concerned for my soul,having already endangered it sufficiently,I’d be into chasing wild women and drinking single-malt scotch.I’m restrained in this not because I’m any type of righteous man,but rather in the knowledge that at age 60,I’ve probably lived at least three quarters of my life.

  7. cynthiacurran says:

    Persoanlity, Obama is a poltiican and from the Black Left favors taxing the rich. But unlike some on the right I enjoyed Grover Norquist falling from Grace since the man wants high immirgation levels with his tax cuts, low taxes and cheap labor Norquist. More children of legalized illegal immirgants on the free and reduce lucnhes while Grover opposes closing loopholes. Obama knew a real communists as a teenager but like to be in office he did the terrible spending his first two years before Republicans can in to restricted him. He’s keeping the low interest and allowing foreign investors to buy property to keep the housing values up, wow, fabian Obama can’t do too many thinks socialistic since the Repbulcians have the house.

  8. Michael Bauman says:

    Actually, Obama’s agenda is even worse than the old Soviet agenda because it is more sophisticated and his power was obtained with the consent of the governed.

    But just in case you folks who might want to allow homosexuals to be considered normal have missed this: http://gawker.com/5941037

    Pedophlia is already claiming its right to be part of the mainstream.

    We’ve become a nation of 2 year old, banning our rattles and whinning “It’s not fair” is we are denied anything we want. Plus we turn around and cry out to the traditional moral understanding that still makes an attempt at keeping us in line: “I hate you”

    Illiterate, simpering tantrum throwing narrcisists.

  9. Daniel E. Fall says:

    Well, just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone calls Obama a Communist. His Treasury Secretary came right off Wall Street. He is less a Commie than Ike.

    Funny, I had heard Obama was a Muslim terrorist. Could he be a Muslim Communist terrorist? Oh boy, now that’d be really something!!!! He’d have to be a Muslim Communist terrorist magician because half of America voted for him. Oh yeah, just the gift taking half.

    Yes, George, there is a competition between Santa Clauses in the US government and this time the Santa that gives to the poor won. It ain’t half either…insert foot in mitten.

    Get over it.

    A few Republicans this past week actually showed the cajones of leadership by finally rebuking the treasonist pledge to an outsider. That is what your editorial really ought to be about….but the facts are difficult when you don’t agree with sound reason.

    The unfunded liability of the Bush Santa Claus tax cuts has cost enough, not to mention the unfunded two wars, and the unfunded Medicare Part D.

    At some point the unfunding part ends and someone has to actually pay the bill instead of crying redistribution foul bullkaka.

    Need some cayenne or are you hot enough without it?

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Obama was reared by a family that despised tradtional America. He was influenced by communists (one a known pedophile), Muslims, anti-colonialist ideology and domestic terrorists. He defies any easy label other than that his policies are designed and crafted to, as he said, fundamentally change America.

      His economic policies have a flavor of populism, state sponsered capitalism (aka fascism) and the worst of Keynes. Again no easy labels here.

      So far none of the change he has wrought looks anything like what I want or hope for, for myself and my family and my faith.

      He is an essentially fatherless man who’s mother invented a father for him and in which fantasy Obama invested his heart. The combination makes for a dangerous and likely tryannical ruler. Whatever label you choose to put on him, that of a man commited to the defending and protecting (as his oath requires) the Constitution of the United States is not one. Rather he is commited to dismantling the rule of law that the Constituion is built upon.

      • Archpeiest John Morris says:

        Obama is either incompetent or he is deliberately trying to destroy our country. Right now we are facing a major economic disaster on January 1, when the Bush tax cuts expire. What is Obama doing? He is going around making speeches denouncing the Republicans who will not cave into his demands and then planning a lavish vacation in Hawaii, that will cost the American tax payers $4 million. He should be in Washington, bringing the leaders both parties in Congress together to work out a solution to this crisis.

        • Michael Bauman says:

          My vote is on his will to destroy. Maybe he will be too lazy to do it.

        • Nate Trost says:

          > Archpeiest John Morris said

          Obama is either incompetent or he is deliberately trying to destroy our country.

          You missed a possibility. That possibility being “I am a man who gave an approving nod to a blog entry written by a conspiracy theorist who considers as a colleague a guy who believes in the secret subjugation of the human race by reptilian aliens. My judgement may be suspect.”

          Right now we are facing a major economic disaster on January 1, when the Bush tax cuts expire.

          The economic disaster being the potential for a mild recession? If the US budget deficit is really that critical a problem, how is that but a small price to pay? Because the tax sunsets + sequestration + existing Budget Control Act agreements add up to one big correction in the national balance sheet.

          What is Obama doing? He is going around making speeches denouncing the Republicans who will not cave into his demands

          His prime demand, of course, being that the GOP actually lay out, in explicit detail for all the voters, its own demands for entitlement cuts. Instead of you know, having Obama spell out possibilities in which case all of a sudden they are “his”. I can’t imagine how he learned his lesson not to do that. Maybe it was the Nth instance of such when Romney, in one of the milder episodes of dishonesty in his breathtaking campaign of whoppers referred to the defense sequestration agreed to by the House GOP as “Obama’s Defense Cuts”.

          Obama laid out his opening bid. Some in the GOP have come up with proposals, for example Sen. Corker. However, he’s in the Senate, the ball is really in the House GOP court and at the moment they seem to be intent on channeling the acting of William Shatner and staggering around like James T. Kirk in a pain field because !Obama! rather than actually doing the job of governance and putting something on the table. Because, you know, they might have to be accountable to voters for that. We’ll see if the House gets as far as even doing something like taking up a variant of Corker’s proposal before they all go off on their vacations. Speaking of vacations…

          planning a lavish vacation in Hawaii, that will cost the American tax payers $4 million

          The cost of the vacation the Obama family would be taking in Hawaii would probably break $10,000. Which is a lot of money, but they are rich from all those book royalties.

          The cost for the President of the United States to go anywhere is an overhead cost of seven figures and recurring expenses of at least six figures daily depending on destination. Whether it is a state visit or a personal vacation is irrelevant. Although with modern technology, and the modern media cycle, the President never really gets to take a vacation.

          Three words in regards to the cost: security, security, security.

          So I’m not sure what you are arguing:

          * Perhaps the President of the United States should be barred from taking any personal time while in office?
          * Perhaps the personal time of the President of the United States should be subject to approval by his opponent party which was just humiliated when he defeated them in an election?
          * Perhaps when taking personal time the President of the United States should be barred from utilizing any govermental security? Given your propensity for bombastic statements, I would love to see the what you’d write if such a bill were proposed for a President-Elect Romney!
          * Perhaps when on vacations, the President of the United States should not be allowed to perform any official duties, so official staff don’t have to travel with him (for bonus yucks: “the football” gets to belong to the Secretary of the Interior during vacations)
          * Perhaps the United States of America should not insist on being the worlds preeminent superpower, committed to an ideal of national exceptional-ism that gives it the right to intervene wherever, however, whyever it sees fit. Because when you do that, you tend to require massive security around your chief executive.

          I’m not sure you’re familiar with how much money goes towards security.

          I always eyerolled at liberals who carped at Bush spending all that time at Crawford, because you never get away from the job. However, I would be pleasantly surprised if the total price tag for treating Crawford as White House II during the course of his presidency came in at under $200 million, because of the realities of the operation of the United States Presidency.

          But now Obama is the second coming of Versailles because he takes a vacation to a state he grew up in. Uh huh.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Nate, are you familiar with the expression “let them eat cake”? I know Marie Antoinette didn’t say it (I believe it was one of Louis XV’s mistresses) but I get the feeling that you live in some rarefied bubble where everybody’s happy and gainfully employed.

            As for myself, I live in a state where the unemployment rate is half that of Nevada’s and construction is going on at a healthy clip, but even I see genuine suffering and economic privation. Although I thank the Lord that I’m employed I know that all I certainly am not gloating like you.

            • Nate Trost says:

              Gloating? Where am I gloating? If you’re going to accuse me of something it might as well be showboating.

              Apparently I live in a rarefied bubble where I actually know how much things cost and why things cost what they do. I could be unemployed, living in a cardboard box, posting from leeched Starbucks wi-fi and it wouldn’t change my analysis or my slams of poor critiques one iota. If you think it’s outrageous that the security, continuity of government and communication requirements of the executive office of the United States requires multi-million dollar expenditures any time you want to move the person occupying that role, well, then you’re welcome to come up with suggestions.

              Of course, it’s a lot less outrage inspiring if line item costs for the Obama vacation are things like “Hotel rooms and transportation for Secret Service advance teams” instead of say “dipping live peacock in molten gold for Sasha’s bedroom ornament”.

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

              Nate:

              The Republicans in the House have sent several budgets to the Senate. Harry Reid will not even allow a debate on the House proposals or for the Senate to make changes in the House proposal so that a conference committee can meet to reach a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the budget. Meanwhile, Obama refuses to do his job which is to bring the leaders of both parties in Congress together to get a budget passed and take action to avoid an economic catastrophe on January 1. Obama is a do nothing president. He does not do his job. Clinton worked with Gingrich, Reagan worked with Tip O’Neil and Bush worked with the Democrats to get legislation through Congress. Obama does nothing except give speeches and take vacations.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

            Obama is not doing his job. His job is not to make speeches in toy factories attacking the Republicans. His job is to get the leaders of both parties in Congress together to resolve our financial problems. I do not begrudge the man taking a vacation. However, he should not take one when the nation is facing a major financial catastrophe. The Republicans have made several proposals and passed several budgets in the House, but Reid will not even allow debate on the budget proposals from the House, nor has he allowed the Senate to make revisions to the House budget proposals so that they can meet together and work out the differences and pass a budget. . As a result our nation has not had a national budget since Obama took office. Now Obama wants Congress to give him a blank check to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval, which is clearly unconstitutional. Once he has that power, he is no better than a third world dictator. His reelection has destroyed whatever faith I ever had in the political wisdom of the American people. Any one would have been better than Obama. I would have voted for Daffy Duck over Obama.

            • Nate Trost says:

              I do not begrudge the man taking a vacation. However, he should not take one when the nation is facing a major financial catastrophe.

              His vacation is a few months away from when the Treasury would run out of wiggle room on the debt ceiling. So I disagree with this assessment.

              As a result our nation has not had a national budget since Obama took office.

              This is factually incorrect. There was indeed a traditional budget for FY2010. For FY2011, while the process was a bit irregular, the “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act” was still a significant piece of fiscal year fiscal legislation. On top of that, even with the gridlock we still have had authorization and appropriation legislation passed, it hasn’t been nearly as simple as just a series of continuing resolutions.

              Now Obama wants Congress to give him a blank check to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval, which is clearly unconstitutional. Once he has that power, he is no better than a third world dictator.

              Nonsense. It doesn’t significantly change anything about the fiscal operation of the United States Government, or remove any of the control Congress has over the purse strings. It does remove the ability to arbitrarily hold the entire world economy hostage at random times not necessarily in sync with the legislative budget cycle. I wish I could say I lost faith in the political wisdom of the American people when they promptly didn’t kick out the Tea Party House contingent for acting like a pack of psychopathic children over the debt ceiling debacle, but I’m already far too cynical to expect that much.

      • Nate Trost says:

        > Michael Bauman said

        He defies any easy label

        Centrist Democrat whose first term could be argued to be to the right of Nixon and Reagan?

        Because, you know, if we’re going to argue this on facts, that’s where it’s going to end up. If we’re going to argue this based on wild inaccuracies you’ll have to hold on so I can write your biography that includes the section where you were raised by wolves and have an innate distrust of anyone who lacks a sufficient amount of facial hair.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Nate, that’s completely ahistorical as well as insulting to Michael. Nixon held on to and expanded the Great Society programs of LBJ. He froze wages and prices even.

          • Michael Bauman says:

            George, its difficult to insult me since whatever people think, its probably better than I am. At this point there is more order, virtue, and safety in any wolf pack than in American culture.

          • Nate Trost says:

            You’re confusing me by complaining that I’m making ahistorical claims (i.e. Obama couldn’t be considered to be to the right of Nixon and Reagan) and then turning around and expressing your unhappiness that Nixon doubled down on LBJ. But if you’re going to think I’m wrong and then proceed to actually make my arguments for me, I can probably call it a night and go to bed and let the rest of the posts write themselves.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

            I agree. Besides Watergate, Nixon was a big disappointment. He did not govern as a conservative. He did not handle the economy well and finally adopted Keynesian economic policy complete with wage and price controls because of the inflation caused by the 1960s . He expanded affirmative action, which became reverse discrimination against white males especially in the academic world where I was at that time. He even toyed with the idea of a guaranteed annual income for everyone whether or not they worked. Ford was not much better. Remember the “WIN” whip inflation now buttons. Carter was also a disaster. It took Reagan to put the economy on the right track. One would think that we would learn that Keynesian economics do not work, but Obama and his advisers are returning to the old discredited ideas. Was it not Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result? That is what Obama is doing. He is going back to the old discredited policies of Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society. The results will be the same, inflation and years of economic distress.

        • Michael Bauman says:

          Nate how did you know? You must be a great staretz.

          But seriously, national healthcare, nationalization of much of the auto industry, gay marriage in the military, suppression of religious liberty, abortion, and a generally ignoring of the Constitution and the rule of law. If that is a centrist democrat, I’d hate to see the horror of a liberal one.

          • Nate Trost says:

            national healthcare

            Yes, Nixon did introduce national healthcare, but just for old folks. Obama mostly swiped the Gingrich House leftovers from the 90s.

            nationalization of much of the auto industry

            Penalty flag for gross misuse of the term “nationalization”, 15 lookups of stock ticker for GM and Chrysler and review of current ownership stakes, second down.

            gay marriage in the military

            Federal Law still does not recognize same-sex partnerships or allow them benefits.

            suppression of religious liberty

            What a farce. Please, please detail these suppressions. Other than The Pill. If anything, that several Catholic Bishops haven’t been indicted by a Grand Jury of criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges is, if anything, a reminder of how coddled Christianity still is in America.

            generally ignoring of the Constitution and the rule of law.

            Go on….

            • George Michalopulos says:

              If you honestly believe that defrauding the bondholders of GM & Chrysler was moral then we’ve descended to the level of Hugo Chavez indeed.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                Don’t forget that the so called bail out of the auto industry really was a pay back to the United Auto Workers whose excessive demands led to the meltdown of the American auto industry. Now the UAW controls the auto industry in the old industrial heartland and the bond holders lost their investment to benefit the unions which contributes millions to Obama and other Democrats. That sort of thing used to be called bribery but today we consider it normal politics. It is interesting to note that at the same time the auto industry in Mississippi, a right to work state, was thriving and actually building new plants.

                • Thomas Sm says:

                  What you say about the auto bailout is absurd, but I know I have heard it on (and only on) neocon media (talk radio and Fox). The auto bailout was a travesty precisely because it did not protect many American jobs in the end – most of the plants were shipped abroad and parasitic “investors” (hedge funds) reaped the profits. I suggest you read this: http://www.drudge.com/news/162160/romney-made-millions-outsourcing-25200-uaw and you can find Greg Palast’s original story or interviews with him concerning this online. The Romneys personally benefitted financially from this – and some of the posters here nonetheless probably saw it as a duty to vote for him.

                  Unions are almost powerless in the US. Why make a bogeyman out of them? Even if they were evil, they could not a cause of the country’s problems, lacking membership and influence. They donate a tiny proportion of election contributions. Besides, it is hard to see, even from a conservative, patriotic perspective, how they are a particularly harmful interest group in modern America. Who owns the economy? -Largely, the few megabanks and their subsidiaries. -Who has supported free trade, free immigration, and outsourcing? -These same absent “investors” and the politicians they’ve bought.

                  It’s not the unions who are the problem. It’s the banks – the anti-Christian usurers.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

                    Look at what union thugs did in Wisconsin, and Michigan. Look at the disaster that is California which is largely caused by excessive pensions won by public employee unions who use their funds to elect politicians who are sympathetic to their cause. That used to be called bribery. Unions and businesses should both be forbidden to contribute to political campaigns.

  10. Ivan Vasiliev says:

    A rather surreal experience reading this post and comments. I’m not sure what to think.

  11. cynthia curran says:

    Well, most of the commie stuff on Obama is that his father was attractive to far left and he was a strong anti-colonial Keyian. Obama’s granfather’s friend Frank Marsahll Davis had a communist party number. Read Paul Kengor’s the communist. Third John Drew that knew Obama when he went to college in California stated that Obama was interested in the more radical type of Marx thinking in college but went to the Midwest Academy that taught a fabian means of socalism where the state doesn’t own property but industries are control by communties-the community organizing. In the states particulary after Ronald Reagan and even in Western Europe the old style of socalism didn’t work so a gradual take over by community groups like Acorn was the preferred methind-Stanley Kutz book radical in chief. But the US System different in Europe means that Obama will appear more moderate. Granted, people can debate whether you should tax people at 39 percent or 33 percent if you make 250,000 but Obama and Democratic Parties lumped the guy at about a million with George Soros. There was a lot of envy most folks that shared this envy were Hardcore Democratics but some moderate Reublicans were brought in.

  12. cynthia curran says:

    Well, some times Glen Beck or neo-con David Horowitz get too emotional but their background information on Obama is correct. Neo-Con Horowitz was a real red diaper baby whose parents in the 1930’s looked like nice progressive people for decent wages for workers or civil rights for blacks they were communist members that praise what Stlalin was doing even when he had an alliance with Hitler and the Horowitzes were Jews. David also was apart of the new left and knew Billy Ayers when he wa in the weather underground.

  13. George Michalopulos says:

    Send it again. I honestly can’t remember, please forgive me. However be forewarned: I have deleted several comments which had ad hominem attacks against other correspondents. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to hit the “delete” button several times.

    Word to the wise: keep things general as possible. Don’t engage in ad hominem attacks. If you’re going to mention a person’s name in an unflattering light, make sure you have the truth on your side. Failing that, make sure that at least your unflattering comment already exists in the public record. I.e. I don’t know whether Lindsey Lohan is a flake (she may have a genius level IQ for all I know) but I do know that she’s constantly in the papers because she crashes her car and consistently flunks a breathalyzer.

  14. cynthia curran says:

    Well George, Bush, Norquist and others in the neo-con period tried to get the economy going by a lot of immmirgtion both legal and illegal to increase consumer demand.. Obama took advantage of this after the housing crash since minorites hispanics, blacks and asians tend to vote more Democratic anyways. Minorities hard hit by crash since hispanics were heavily employed in construcation. Obama copies the lost decade of Japan by high spending projects and low interest rates to get housing values up in the hardest hit markets like California, Nevada, and Arizona and Florida. Banking investors and foreign investors buying off the surplus property own by the banks usually to convert into renters.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      I agree. Luckily Bush 43 had his hat handed to him in 2006 when he tried to push through McCain-Kennedy Amnesty.

  15. cynthia curran says:

    Well George ,Bushes tax cuts were ok but he had way too many ties with the government of Mexico. The Mexican government from Reagan onward favors allowing its citiznes to come to the US to work and send billions of dollars home. This in the long term has lead to the demographic changed of America and the main reason why Republicians and some honest Democratic politicians have trouble with making e-verify the law of the land since business interest and people with false id’s want the status quo to go on. The housing mess was cause partially by giving into the demands of the govenment of Mexico since a high portion of the bad loans went to heavily hispanic areas in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Texas and New Mexico have tiighter loading laws were you have to have at least a downpayment its why they were spared.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Of course. The Bush family has long had contacts with the kleptocrats that run Mexico.

  16. cynthia curran says:

    This is on the left, some are the left are getting pretty crazy Oliver Stone even states than Lenin or Stalin were not that bad.

  17. Thomas Sm says:

    1. Obama is not a socialist and his programme is not socialist
    2. Socialism is not wrong, not un-Christian (Marxism is, but is only a type of socialism)
    3. Classical liberalism is directly antagonistic to Orthodox Christianity, if not all formal religion (unless you count Freemasonry)

    Obama is a slightly left-liberal controlled by Wall Street. Public expenditures are very high because we are in a long-term inflationary recession. There is little to tax and many necessary expenditures due to the recession. Note his economic team is pretty much the same as Clinton’s, but with different results, not because of different ideology (they all work for Goldman Sachs first and foremost) but because of different conditions. Obama speaks of good social-democratic/statist conservative policies like heavy infrastructural projects, but he has had years to get started on these and hasn’t bothered. The proposal to return to Clinton-era tax rates is not exactly communism, unless you think Eisenhower was a Trotskyite.

    One other bit of truth – Russia was doing very well in the 2000s under Putin but is not doing so well now. They are enacting a horrible neoliberal programme – closing mass numbers of universities and hospitals. They have already monetised most social benefits, like health care for pensioners, which, in practice, predictably meant they have gotten partial subsidies in place of full services. And where is the money going? Maybe into those tax cuts Pravda is bragging about…only taxes were not high to begin with.

    I am really disappointed to see Orthodox Christians appearing to be odd disciples of Glenn Beck claiming Obama is a Muslim Commie (wow, everything you hate at once?) who hates everything about America (is Orthodoxy typical America?). I don’t like Obama and I never voted for him, but you have to keep a rational perspective if you want to advance your beliefs in society. Otherwise, by mischaracterising your opponents you misestimate them. And, lo and behold, you can’t beat them.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Obama is not a socialist? How do you define socialism to arrive at that?

      Where do you thing modern socialsim comes from? It comes from Marxism which is a utopian fantasy in rebellion against God. The secular/humanist vision of government is little different whether it is socialist, fascist, Islam or anarachy.

      Classical liberalism is antithethical to Orthodoxy

      All political ideology is antithetical to Orthodoxy with the possible exception of monarchy. I don’t understand your point and if you make a statement like that, you need to justify it.

      The early Christians held all things in common in small, local communities but that soon passed away.

      Modern socialism is a creature of the state that requires people to ‘share’ at the point of a gun since all state power is coercive in nature. I don’t see how that is in accord with Traditional Christianity which includes such statements from St Paul as: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” and “A workman is worthy of his hire.” as well as the call for charity when there is suffering but never coerced.

      IMO, most of the modern politicians on the federal level are statists. They love the power. Statism’s ideological opponent is individualism which enslaves just as throughly as statism but in a different way. Both make our passions king with little to check them.

      There can be no just polity without a recognition and a devotion to God. The country has turned away from such a central understanding and we will suffer the consequences regardless of whether a particular politican is a socialism, a fascist, a communist, a muslim or whatever. It is folly trying to contend over which wall-paper color we want on our prison walls.

      God draws us together in community while preserving and accentuating our unique personhood.

      Statist ideologies (socialism, fascism, communism, etc) deny the unique personhood of particular human beings while the individualists deny the importance of the community.

  18. cynthia curran says:

    Well, that’s true in MISS actually a lot of folks in Evangelical Protestantism dislike is far worst for Roman Catholics. There is very poor information on the middle ages giving very high numbers of the Catholic church killing 6 million even the crusades The Catholic church didn’t killed even closed to that. Killing people for Religous faith in the middle ages was not that closed either I have a figure of between 3,000 to 60,000 on the Cathars. In the east the Paulicans are another group some of the figures seem high too but a lot of protestant historians just blame the Catholic church and the popeand, the Empress Theodora in the 8th century seems to not be held accountable in 19th century records for the Paulicans demise.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says:

      In Mississippi 55% of the people are Baptists. Most Baptists are too ignorant to know the difference between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. If someone or something looks Catholic to them, they think it or the person is an evil servant of the Pope. To them the Pope is the anti-Christ or at least close to the anti-Christ. If they do know something about Orthodoxy, their preachers tell their people that we are not really Christians, but instead are a bunch of idol worshiping pagans.

      • Many other groups, notably “fundamentalists”, act in the same manner. My family always has been banned from joining any religiously-affiliated homeschooling group within reasonable driving distance because we are considered not to be Christian. Until she was twelve, and mature enough to understand and shrug it off, I shielded our youngest child as best as I could from the sometimes comical (when taken with a sense of humor) discrimination displayed openly against me by other homeschooling mothers. Until then I also chose not to explain to her why the other children were unfriendly to her. Thirty miles away, the situation is different, and Orthodox families “have permission” to join a homeschool support group without having to commit perjury and sign a heretical statement of faith.

  19. cynthia curran says:

    Well, Orthodox civilzations were prior to Classical Liberalism. Russia finally did away with serfdom in the early 19th century, from what I hear maybe I’m wrong Byzantium had a problem with the land aristorcracy and the workers of the land. Some periods where there were more small farms and other periods where there were large estates is not prefer to the modern market system with its faults. Maybe, the advantage was that if you were a shoemaker then your children would do the same thing.

  20. cynthia curran says:

    As for monarchy, well Constantine interesting enough considered his government to be a Republic. Granted, it was a lot different from the days of Cicero and Julius Caesar. In fact in the Justinian Code, Justinian still address the senate as conscript fathers and there is a consulship until 541 for Private Citizens. The consulship of the late Empire was mainly an honor and you put on the games for the public. In his consular diptych in 523 Justinian mentions about becoming consul in the prior time which are the years between 38 to 40 going back to the Roman Republic. In imperial times some relatives of the imperial family would become consul earlier.

  21. cynthia curran says:

    we must consider, the whole Torah in our judgments. the poor can give a pigeon, in place of the lamb. but you cannot force the wealthy to give an AdomHeifer, in lou of a lamb. and tithing should never be construed, as a forced tax. but should be considered, as a privelage and honor. nor should any government have, beyond a 10% forced tithing otherwise they are a tyrany. and all tithing should be paid to the states, and the states pay their tithe to the federal goverment.
    Comment by jimmie c boswell Comments from a Jewish site on the welfare state. I think the problem with conervatives we look at just tax cuts but to get those tax cuts we may need to look at the local level and go to the national level. For instance, cities now are forced to not have limits that a number of people can have in an apartment or a house because of the ACLU. In states like California years ago illegal immirgants who are low skilled were able to find a place to stay but if there was a limit some would have gone home, and would not have formed a family where the taxpayers would have to shell out for emergency healthcare and free and reduce lunch programs. People think i;m against Mexicans or Central Americans but only a small percentage 10 percent of them are able to get to the US to send money home. It would be better if their countries developed their economies instead of the 30 year old remittances game.

  22. cynthia curran says:

    Well, actually Nixon was pushed into the wage and price controls by the Democratics, he should have resistance. As for affirmative action Nixon probably felt guility about blacks and Mexicans being limited in their job opportunites when he was growing up or as a young adult but I agree this didn’t help most of them but some in the middle or upper middle class. Ford tried to keep the employment going and was against bans on coal mining. Third, Reagan is made too much of a hero of the right, his immirgation policy legalized about 3 million and changed California from purple to Blue. Today, Nevada, Florida, and Colorado are being effective by Regan’s decision about around 1986 where sanctions against employers hiring such people were watered down. And some will blame prop 187, most Mexicans in California prior to 187 were already voting Democratic more than whites.

  23. cynthia curran says:

    Why all the emphasis on working in a factories. Forbes stated according to indeed.com that welders and machinists on average now make less than 40,000. Yet, the way Pat Buchnan on the right and those on the left talk you make 60,000. You can make more money as a Rn Nurse. Engineers and technical folks are the ones that make money in today’s manufactoring, the Blue collar guy doesn’t make as much ,a few machnists and welders do at 60,000 but rebots are taking these jobs away faster than these going to China.

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