Another Time Out

As is the case every couple of months or so, things have started to heat up again, so we at Monomakhos have decided to call a “time out.” The issue this time is with the so-called DC Nuns.

Partly this is being done because I like the Abbess very much and don’t want to see her or her sisterhood defamed in any way. Another reason is because I want to protect the identities of certain people who are only tangentially involved (or were so in the past). The third reason is because the issues raised were merely a ruse to accuse His Beatitude of misfeasance, thereby justifying his illegal ouster. Fourth, it is because there was too much back-and-forth of a personal nature between several of our correspondants. I didn’t like it and it was getting rather testy. Finally, if we’re really concerned about proper monastic obedience, I’d say that the OCA would do well to tend to its own knitting and investigate the recent schism at the monastery of St John Maximovitch in Manton, California, which is actually one of ours.

Monomakhos is about the bigger picture, whether it be politics, culture or religion. In other words, are we going to be a Republic or a mobocracy? Are we going to have monasticism in America or clericalism? Are we going to be free men or clients? The fact that when a person delves into the minutiae of a subject and finds that things aren’t all that simple or black-and-white is of little interest to me. As my hero Ronald Reagan said, “I prefer to pain in bold colors, not pale pastels.”

This being the case, I will continue to moderate all commentary and strike those responses which I judge to be too personal or reveals personal information about third parties that are not germane to the topics. So if you’re wondering how come your comments haven’t been posted yet, it’s probably because it had something to do with the monastery in question or the now-disproven allegations used by the Synod to remove Jonah, that’s why.

P.S. If the Synod has any other information for removing Jonah that is not baseless and shows evidence of actual wrongdoing or misfeasance on his part (as opposed to the letter they hastily put out the day of his removal), then this is the time to bring it up. You owe the people the truth and not a railroad job. If there were no justifiable reasons, then you must apologize and restore him to the primatial dignity.

Thank you, George


  1. While we’re on the topic of getting back on track:
    Has anyone heard anything regarding the meeting on Monday? No details regarding His Beatitude’s Salary or future? No real details regarding the special assembly other than “We’re going to have one… soon.”

    • Elijah,

      The “word on the street” is that the synod will do nothing to compensate +Jonah beyond its already declared date of the end of October. They are still insisting that he check himself into a psych facility for at least 6 months of in-house observation. Only then would they reconsider him for an assignment or other considerations.

      For those who think this synod will release him to another jurisdiction, that is most unlikely. The OCA has never released a “retired” bishop to another church no matter if he checked himself into a funny farm or not.

      The safe money bet is that the synod will continue to act in what is in their best self- interest as they interpret what is best for them is best also best for the rest of us. That is how they view the church. Forgiveness, clemency, charity, these are not ideas that appear to be part of the current vocabulary in the OCA synod when it comes to +Jonah however they hand it out with generosity when it comes to +Benjamin, Becker or Burke.

      Even the Holy Synod of Russia asked for clemency when it came to the Pussy Riot girls. I guess they haven’t figured out how to run a church like the leaders of the OCA.

      • Nikos, is there anything we can do to help Met. Jonah?

      • Harry Coin says

        So I’m guessing you were never really a priest. Anyone who has been close to a family with a member struggling with mental health problems, particularly problems other than age, wouldn’t ever use the phrase ‘funny farm’. Without places like that, and people working there who make Job look impulsive, well, many now living wouldn’t be. There’s nothing funny about it.

        Now we are learning that serious shocks and abuse while young leads to major mental health problems and grave life disruptions later on. Strangely we people are slow to accept this, while those who work with animals closely know there are critical times while young brains are forming during which good treatment leads to a normal life and fear or mistreatment then has noticeable lasting effects.

        One could imagine a ‘cycle of abuse’ where those given to a certain sort of problem, influenced while young, later target those similarly situated.

        A reason for folks on all sides of the ‘gay’ or ‘booze’ or ‘sad’ or ‘acting out’ or ‘just plain nuts’ issue to support ‘anti-bullying’ campaigns.

      • Week 6 (I think)
        No apologies from the synod for conspiring against and slandering Metropolitan Jonah.
        No requests from the synod for forgiveness.
        No repentance by the synod.
        No resignations from the synod.
        No tithes to the OCA from me.

        • Theodore,

          This OCA synod lives in such a self-serving delusional world of their own making that they can’t even utter the name +Jonah when they talk about him. Now he is the “former Metropolitan. There will be no apologies, or forgiveness, repentance nor resignations because they will always think they are right. Always.

          So now we must choose the next Metropolitan of the OCA from this same group. And each day we will have the opportunity to read the egotistical musings of Chancellor Jilly on the one hand giving us HIS OPINION about the daily scripture readings, and on the other justifying his work. Well his work as the hired gun to get +Jonah has been paid by our assessments to Syosset. I am with you. No more money for the OCA. Sadly if that means no money to my parish because it is tied into a tithing system to the diocese and then to the OCA that is the sad consequence of sin because no sin is done in a vacuum.

          When money begins to dry up on the parish level and parish priests feel the pinch it may only be then that the bishops living in their ivory towers of self-delusion will finally get it, or when they look around and see that they may be leaders but they no longer have anyone to lead.

          The OCA is in a death spiral and the next tainted Metropolitan will not change anything since he will carry the mark of the beast of corruption in the takedown of +Jonah.

        • Also, last I checked, no reply to +Jonah about an assignment or release. No phone call saying “we are delayed”, nothin’. They are just letting him hang out in the air. Can you imagine? How cruel and unprofessional. Funny how one gets better treatment from people who don’t even believe in God. Our bishops give Christianity a bad name . . . .

          • George Michalopulos says

            …hence the rise in atheism. I shudder to be a bishop on Judgment Day. How many have fallen into the pit of atheism because of them?

  2. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    You should probably be aware that the monastery has now released several documents related to the investigation at their website.

    • Care to post a link? I can’t find a hint of them.

      • Lil Ole Housewife says

        Dear CQ,

        Go to:

        Posting is called Documents for Investigating Committee. You will see, if you mouse over the text, certain things you can right click upon and get another document. Most of them are in English, but some of them or not. YOu must pay careful chronological attention. THen, the whole is clear.

        • LOH,

          I would be interested in your analysis of the documents in question. What do you see being communicated. What is the significance of the chronology that you mention?

    • Thomas Mathes says

      I am puzzled by the documents provided by the nuns. The first document is from Bishop George of Mayfield (ROCOR) requesting that they produce “canonical releases from your former bishop in the Church of Greece.” In spite of supplying several documents from their former monastic community in Greece, the nuns never offer any document of canonical release from their former bishop, his eminence Cyril, Metropolitan of Thessaliotis & Phanariophersala. Why do they never provide what Bishop George requests?

      • Thomas,

        I think you missed the point. Bishop George’s e-mail to the nuns reads that he was “told by Fr. Mark Arey of the GOA.”

        What!!? Last I checked, wasn’t ROCOR NOT under GOA? All of a sudden Fr. Mark Arey goes and gets involved in the internal affairs of another church? Since when was Bishop George Fr. Mark Arey’s lackey? That doesn’t seem strange to you…hmm? Just the way Dn. Chrysavgis got involved with Bp. Melchizedek. That is also in one of the documents released by the nuns BTW.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Yeah. Noticed how Rev Dn Chryssavgis called Fr Hopko immediately upon learning that then-Rev Fr Mel Pleska was a candidate for bishop (saying that he represented the EP)? Even before the ACOB, I guess the GOA felt it had veto power over the other jurisdictions.

        • Thomas Mathes says

          George P,, The ROCOR bishop’s email indicates that ROCOR did not have a document certifying the canonical release of the nuns by their bishop in Greece; otherwise, he wouldn’t ask the nuns to supply it. Further, his email would imply that Metropolitan Jonah did not send this document to ROCOR, probably because he did not have it either. You read his email as a GOA official pushing a ROCOR bishop around. I read his email as diplomatically worded. Between the lines I read that the GOA official did not ask for the document; rather he told the ROCOR bishop that the nun’s metropolitan in the Church of Greece never released them. I reason so because if the Church of Greece needed to know whether the nun’s Greek bishop released them, they would not have contacted a ROCOR bishop in the USA via the Greek Church in the USA; rather, they would have contacted Metropolitan Cyril in Greece and his chancery where a record would have existed if Metropolitan Cyril had given them a canonical release.

          • Thomas Mathes-

            Let us reason together:

            Bishop George’s email of May 30th 2012 sent to Abbess Aemiliane well over a full year after they were canonically enrolled into ROCOR on 24th May 2011 states:

            Gerontissa, Fr. Mark Arey of GOA just told me that the Church of Greece wants them to confirm that you and your nuns (and priest?) have canonical releases from your former bishop in the Church of Greece.

            In other words: an un-named person in a foreign jurisdiction in another country, The Church of Greece contacted another person in another diocese also not in their jurisdiction (Fr. Mark Arey) to find out if one of their own Bishops in their own country followed the correct canonical procedure over two years after you had been canonically received into the OCA, first by Jonah, and then by ROCOR.

            This raises several questions:

            1. Who in the church of Greece is asking these questions through Fr. Mark Arey?
            2. Why is it their concern to get into the affairs of the OCA and subsequently ROCOR?
            3. If they felt that their concerns where valid, why did they go through the GOA and not to the Bishop in question in their own church (Kyrillos) and to the Hierarchs of the OCA and ROCOR respectively?
            4. Who are Fr. Mark Arey or Dn. John Chrysavgis to the reigning Hierarchs of autonomous churches, that they should answer to them?

            The interference in another hierarch’s diocese is a serious matter, and this is not the first time the EP has done this or attempted something similar.

            What you are implying is that not only was their canonical paper work not in order, they have shown it was, and the fact that they had an antimens and chrism which was confiscated from them by ROCOR is PROOF POSITIVE that they were canonically accepted into ROCOR – unless ofcourse you want to imply that +Hilarion or whoever it was that issued them the antimens and chrism is an incompetent fool and gives out those types of things willy nilly.

            Mind you, you’re implying it, not me if you insist that He (+Hilarion) received the nuns without them having their paper work in order. Is that what you wish to express?

            • Thomas Mathes says

              George P., You are attempting to avoid my initial question: Why didn’t the nuns post the canonical release from Metropolitan Cyril? Bishop George requested this document, but instead of providing it, they give him several documents from their former monastery that were irrelevant to his request. If they did not have the canonical release from their metropolitan in Greece, that would raise questions about their canonical acceptance into the OCA and ROCOR, would it not? You are correct about the implications. I respect bishops but they can make mistakes. Metropolitan Hilarion is not infallible. He might have accepted them without all their paper work in order. Same with Metropolitan Jonah. But again the real question is: Why don’t the nuns post their canonical release from Metropolitan Cyril, their former bishop in Greece? That is the question you and the nuns continue to avoid by bringing up other issues to distract from it.
              You have also avoided my analysis of Bishop George’s email. In answer to point 1: No one in Greece is asking the question. That was a polite way for Bishop George to frame his request. In answer to point 2: If the nuns do not have canonical release from the Church of Greece, the Church of Greece is not interfering. Besides, how is a question interference in another diocese’s affairs? No action was threatened. In answer to point 3: Metropolitan Hilarion has a worldwide ministry as head of ROCOR; this would be something he would delegate, and besides Bishop George is a hierarch of ROCOR. In answer to point 4: Bishop George doesn’t seem concerned that a GOA priest contacted him, rather than a bishop; and so, I’m not concerned about that either. 0uiet wasting time with sideshows, and get back to the original point.

              • Thomas Mathes,

                The first Hierarch of ROCOR (Met. Hilarion) by his own signed and sealed letter which releases the nuns indicates that ROCOR did indeed receive and had received all canonical paper work


                “…when you were released to the jurisdiction of His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah, such reference was made a condition of your future foundation, as it was when you entered ROCOR….”

                A bishop can not release someone that he never received. Metropolitan Hilarion verifies this very fact when He writes to the Abbess that a canonical letter of release is not required for Fr. X since he was never received!!

                Thomas Mathes, are you going to tell me that two different first hierarchs, first, Metropolitan Jonah and then Metropolitan Hilarion willfully, knowingly acted uncanonically in their acceptance of Abbess Aemiliane and the sisters with her in Christ, because that is what you are implying with your line of reasoning. Metropolitan Jonah could not have accepted them if the paper work was not in order and furthermore, he could not have released them to ROCOR and Metropolitan Hilarion could not have accepted them without the appropriate paper work. This is the thang by the way…METROPOLITAN HILARION. They were under Metropolitan Hilarion’s omophor, NOT Bishop George’s. It was a Holy Archiepiscopal Monastery. Do you understand what that means? Whose signature was on the antimens?

                You’ll notice that Bishop George’s title is:

                His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York.

                however, there is someone else with almost the exact same title:

                His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops

                You’ll notice, they don’t wear the big white hats. Someone else does. When Abbess Aemiliane received a formal request to comply from her ruling Bishop, she did. She complied with what ever her ruling Bishop (Met. Hilarion) asked of her. This is something else that the documents show.

                I question whether or not Bishop George ever had the right to ever relay such a request on behalf of anyone without the blessing of Met. Hilarion. Unless Met. Hilarion told him “do it” he acted wrongfully and in disobedience to his first Hierarch and allowed somebody from outside his jurisdiction to interfere in the internal affairs of His Hierarch’s church.

                0uiet wasting time with sideshows, and get back to the original point.

                This is the show pal. You don’t like it, go to another carnival.

                • Thomas Mathes says

                  George P. If so, why didn’t the nuns reply with what you have written instead of a bunch of documents that were irrelevant to Bishop George’s request? Since he is a vicar bishop of the Metropolitan’s diocese, I would imagine that Metropolitan Hilarion would delegate some matters to him such as this question about the nuns’ canonical release from their former Metropolitan in Greece; otherwise, what is the point of having a vicar bishop? Still I’m curious why the nuns have not posted the canonical release from their bishop in Greece; but I gather they will not, and so at your suggestion, I’ll move onto a different carnival.

                  • All of what I have responded is from the documents the nuns released Thomas Mathes. READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.

  3. George is there any legal maneuver that would prevent the Synod of the OCA from holding an election for a new primate under the present circumstances?

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’s a good question. I’d like to think that there are some serious canonists out there who would be willing to comment on this blog about just such an occurrence.

      • Lil Ole Housewife says

        Perhaps our most accomplished Canon Law expert in the OCA is Father John Erickson, former Dean of Saint Vladimir Seminary.

      • DC Indexman says

        George M. — The story now is that the DC Nuns and their Monastery have been accepted into the Georgian Orthodox Church: thus fully restoring them canonically.

        Can you please explain?

    • Rebecca M. says


      He resigned. Get over it.

      • George Michalopulos says

        If only.

      • Rebecca, he resigned under duress, a duress occasioned by false pretenses. There is no “getting over” such a travesty without seeking to rectify it.

      • Rebecca M. says:
        August 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        He resigned. Get over it.

        Yeah, don’t you wish!

      • M. Stankovich says

        Ms. M,

        Please take no offense to this cheap convention:

        Are you Joe Fester?
        Are you the real Fester?
        All the the other Joe Festers are just imitators.
        Would the real Joe Fester
        Please stand up
        Please stand up

        Thanks for playing “Chum in the Water!” the new game show sweeping the Orthodox internet!

        Whereas you appear under siege for the relatively benign observation, “He resigned,” you knew what was coming! But, for heaven’s sake, who am I to question provocation! Anyway… What were we discussing? Oh, dirty tricks, right! Here’s what I would have said:


        (And please allow me the latitude, where necessary, to paraphrase):

        Presiding Bishop: “Tell us a little something about… the traditions & regulations of the Church.”

        Bishop-Elect: (reads in a loud voice, among a few things) “I promise also to do nothing through constraint, whether coerced by powerful persons, or by a multitude of the people, even though they should command me, under pain of death, to do something contrary to divine and holy laws, nor to…”

        Another Bishop: (you know who) “Straight up, wait up, hold up, let me bring you back to the subject. What you mean, “coercion?”

        Bishop-Elect: (reads in a loud voice, among a few things): “Punking me properly.”

        Another Bishop: (you know who in a loud voice) “Consultation”

        PdnNJ: (reads in a loud voice) “Dead to rights.”

        Another Bishop: (you know who in a loud voice) “And “duress?”

        PdnNJ: (reads in a loud voice) “Dead to rights.”

        Presiding Bishop: “We cool?”

        One & All: “We cool.”

        So, Ms. M., as near as I can tell, it’s just a big misunderstanding of the words “duress” and “coercion.” If you play it this way, the creepy Chancellor comes around dressed like Mort the undertaker from the Lower East Side (and you know what I mean!), explains that “if you were any more ‘dead to rights,’ pal, you’d be having lunch with James Carville. Seriously, me and the boys would just as soon you leave on the vertical – I got a bad back.”

        Holy cow! I should be negotiating hostage releases.

        • That reminds me of the saying about monkeys and typewriters, somehow. Anyhow, it’s SO therapeutic, right?

        • Well, [invoking editorial privelege here: no name calling], while scrolling through this thread, I happened upon my pen name in your above comment, and I don’t know why I was personally singled out for inclusion in that diatribe (or, after glancing it over, even what it is all about, means, or implies). But it does make me think that you are really “losing it.”

          • I think it means Dr. Stankovich shouldn’t leave his computer logged in around an unattended patient.

            But that’s merely my uninformed amateur opinion.

          • Wow, George! I didn’t think I was “name calling” there. However, I do respect your right and responsibility of exercising editorial privilege as you believe necessary. But I also think that it was not nearly as derogatory as M. Stankovich singling out me by my pen name in his fictitious diatribe above.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Now seriously, simply because a bit of fanciful writing goes over your head, you find it necessary to conclude it “derogatory” or suggestive of a sort of psychic “descent?” As Hamlet so aptly put it, “Words, words, words…”

              This, PdnNJ, was what is referred to as a “Proof of Concept,” nothing more, probably a little less. You snidely said this week – and I might add not even directly to me – you have taken to ignoring what I write because it is “attention-seeking b s.” Well, champion of true virtue, apparently I have your attention. As I have said many times, if you have an issue with me, bring it. To me. Secondly, Rebecca M. did not deserve your scorn. ὁ διάκονος – you were called to serve, not scorn. Diatribes can be lessons in forms of respect. Mine at least are free. Like a monkey at a typewriter.

            • PdnNJ! I think we should all take a moment and express our appreciation for M. Stankovich’s finally having got some help with his writing. I’d say he should have characterized his post as “Fancy Writing,” rather than fanciful writing, but that’s a minor flaw. It’s too bad he couldn’t have got help sooner; he might have made more friends for his profession/occupation thereby. Look at all that formatting! I wonder if it’s in a frame on the wall of the residence. Too bad he reverted to type with his “Now seriously” note. He did admit to coveting your attention—that should count for something, no? Did you really “scorn” Rebecca Matovic? Do you know what he means by his “free” diatribes? Surely you haven’t been charging for yours, or?

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                August 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm

                PdnNJ! … Did you really “scorn” Rebecca Matovic?

                No, Your Grace, I did not, and do not, scorn Rebecca Matovic
                (and any other commenter here, for that matter).

    • Word is that the special AAC will be held in Parma because there it can be held within a church. Reportedly, it’s so that rabble-rousers like me won’t be tempted to disrupt the proceedings.

      I can only speak for myself, but I believe that if they want to desecrate a church with this robber council, that’s their problem. They need to worry less about what supposed miscreants might do, and worry more about what they have done to the OCA, her flock, and the innocent Metropolitan Jonah.

      • Metropolitan Jonah supporters need to go to Parma.
        There is no other choice, I guess.
        There are many of us.
        We need to do our best, so we won’t blame ourselves for the rest of our lives.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Veronica, I’ve always wanted to see Paris in the springtime and Parma in the autumn. It’s a done deal: Benjamin as “metropolitan” and Garklavs back in as Chancellor.

          • I love people with good sense of humor!

          • Lil Ole Housewife says

            Let me help.

            Parma cathedral website:

            Airfare range from BWI: United Airlines \US Airways US Airways \AirTran Airways\American Airlines

            $139 Total $171.40 $175 Total $196.60 — — —
            $139 Total $182.20 $185 Total $228.20 $203 Total $246.20 $36

            So basically, anyone from Baltimore or Washington (Dulles airport fees similar) could fly for less than 140 bucks round trip. Maybe Christians in Parma or Cleveland could give us rides and put us up.

      • Wow, I was told all these years that one couldn’t use the church for “any other activity but prayer” ?

        • Rebecca M. says

          Don’t you hold your annual parish meeting in your church? That’s standard IME.

          Also, the Cathedral on 2nd Street in NYC is awash in photos of old AACs being held in the church. It was SOP until the AACs turned into big hotel-style conventions.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Nice try, Rebecca. Most parishes to my knowledge hold their annual meeting in their parish halls. That makes sense as things can get boisterous.

            We know what’s going on here. This is just a hastily-convened conclave reminiscent of Tammany Hall’s smoke-filled rooms. No one in their right mind is going to fly from Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Boise, for a one-day trip to Parma (of all places!).

            We can call it “The Parma Put-Up Job.”

            • Rebecca M. says

              ” Most parishes to my knowledge hold their annual meeting in their parish halls. That makes sense as things can get boisterous.”
              Maybe it’s a northeastern thing or maybe an urban thing, the three parishes I’ve been a member of held their meetings in the church.

              “We know what’s going on here.”
              Yes, we do — the administration is trying to do the special AAC in an efficient, money-saving manner.

              “No one in their right mind is going to fly from Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Boise, for a one-day trip to Parma (of all places!). ”
              Of course, if you say “Cleveland” and look at the geographic center of gravity (so to speak) of the OCA’s parishes/population, it seems a lot more reasonable.

              • Something tells me this godforsaken council is going to be very much a “northeastern thing”.

                Why don’t they just hold the thing at the Syosset chancery? Then at least a fraction of the OCA faithful might have a chance to see the “million-dollar garden” that all of us paid for.

          • With the number of people showing up for AAC’s the OCA might be able to fit into 2nd St Cathedral again. Would that make you happy Rebecca? Be careful what you wish for you just might get it, just like our new OCA brought to you my your pals Stokoe and Wheeler.

  4. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    I appreciate this time-out, George.

    It provides the leisure for me to continue my search for Harry Reid’s imaginary friend.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I imagine we will find his imaginary friend guarding Harry Reid’s imaginary principles.

    • Not to mention finding what taxes, beyond social security and medicare taxes, Mitt Romney’s income tax returns show,….the ones he is so virtuously keeping secret.
      Does anybody think that Senator Reid would go out on such a limb, knowing that the I.R.S. has the exact record? Oh, that’s right, he COULDN’T know that. Not an old senator from Nevada.

      • Dear Bishop, you shouldn’t be concerned that Mr. Romney paid little or no taxes. When you reach a certain level of wealth, you become a “job creator” and therefore exempt from taxes.

      • Chris Banescu says

        Then Senator Reid (unless he is blatantly lying and viciously slandering Mitt Romney) and his accomplice (if one really exists), are each guilty of a federal FELONY!

        “Any officer or employee of the United States who makes an improper disclosure of a tax return or return information (defined in IRC 6103(b)) may be guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.”

        • Mr. Banescu commented about one politician “viciously slandering” another politician–that brought a chuckle. Thanks. 🙂

      • Michael Bauman says

        I think politicians these days are prefectly at home lying their brains out (maybe thats why so many politcians don’t appear to have any) because they know that the vast majority of folks will believe them. Hitler didn’t invent nor did he patent the tactic of the big lie. Lies get people elected all the time and get people defeated all the time. Lies, disinformation and mudslingging have been an important part of American Presidential politics since Adams-Jefferson. And we should forget about the myth of the objectivity of the press there is no such thing, never has been. Just back then, they were more honest about their bias.

        Couple of questions:

        1. What does it matter how many taxes Obama paid, or Romney paid as long as the filed legally? (Something quite a few of Obama’s advisors and Cabinet did not do previously).

        2. Are we supposed to be envious of those with wealth and vote for those who say they don’t have it (even if that is lie)?

        If we want to “get money out of politics” we cannot have a truly competitive electoral system. We’d have to go with some form of monarchy, a dictorship or citizen lottery combined with strict term limits.

        Personally, I kinda like the citzien lottery idea for all levels of government and civic administration–replacing civil service. But a 4 year limit on the previously elected positions and a 10 year limit on the administrative positions that and bring back the draft for the military or simply make it 2 years complusary military service starting at age 18 unless one is a conscientious objector or has significant health problems.

        We’d have to amend the Constitution but, hey, given the overall ig-nor-ance of the Constitution by most politicans in power anyway, we might not even have to do that.

        Outlaw lobbyists and there you go–money is out of politics at least above the table. It would also be a real effecitve way to limit the size and scope of the federal government. It would either be wildly capricious or the folks would gradually learn that keeping it real simple was the only way to achieve stability and continuity.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        If there were a legal way for Romney to pay little or no taxes and he did not use it, he is too stupid to be president. I do not see how any rational person could support an administration that has been as much a failure as the Obama administrations. By every logical and fair standards he is an utter failure as president. Not only that he is dangerous because of his refusal to follow the constitution by ruling by executive orders when he cannot get congress to pass the legislation that he wants. If we followed the principles of our constitution, he would be removed for office for abuse of power. As an Orthodox Christian, I can never vote for any candidate who openly rejects Christian morality by supporting abortion and same sex marriage.

        Archpriest John W. Morris

      • Daniel E. Fall says

        What we would find is quite easy to back into, if one will, but really ugly for Mitt.

        We would find that Mr. Romney, a great American perhaps a great taxpayer for sure not, probably and I say probably socked money away into foreign coffers to avoid US taxation, which reduced his tax burden probably to somewhere around (and I guess) say 11%. And who could blame him, he was “unemployed”. Those are his words. If he was paying taxes on earnings of 22 million at 11%; he’d be paying a whopping 2 million and some change, which would only leave the struggling unemployed fellow bringing home a little under 20 million for that year (or something like that). But that isn’t the banana Reid wants to expose.

        The real banana, are you ready monomakhos friends?

        We would also find Mr. Romney, that great capitalist, capitalized on a company that processed aborted fetal materials…Stericycle. This has all been backed into via SEC filings already, but is a lot quieter than the tax return releases would be… And Obama is the pro-abortion guy eh?

        I guess this is really going to break Fr. Morris’ heart because he for sure can’t vote for Romney after realizing Romney profited by abortion. Obama only said he was personally against abortion; not personally profiting by it! And Obama only said the government should follow the law, not utilize the law for personal gain. Frankly, I think Mitt is smart for investing in the waste processor, but I wouldn’t because I’m a Christian. Oh, wait.

        I suppose Steve Baldwin, former Republican Whip of California Assembly is probably biasing me. Or, perhaps it is the 75 million dollars Bain invested in the waste processor, or maybe that Romney, via his corporations, at one point was the largest shareholder of the processor. Or maybe the estimates that Bain made 50 million in profits from the waste processor. I dunno. I dunno how much of that was from burning babies…they burned other stuff, too.

        Mitt made a fortune in medical waste-a chunk of that was, ahemm, abortion waste.

        Oh, the hypocrisy of all the clerics who have bashed Obama. You guys will have blood on your hands if you vote for Mitt I think.

        Again, if you can’t post this George, I’d understand. Just one man’s opinion.

        Worse of two evils on abortion? Winner Mitt Romney (can’t have it both ways)

        Content reference..

        • George Michalopulos says

          Please, Mitt wasn’t my cup of tea but to accuse him of criminality is the sign of desperation. Besides, I’d take a good capitalist over a time-serving hack who never met a payroll any day as president.

          Your juvenile reasoning is one reason why I think the income tax is immoral. There’s way too many ways to get out of it. Another reason: only some people are forced to pay it. Ergo: if only some are forced to pay it, should they only vote?

          And the ultimate moral quandary regarding the income tax: by what right should a non-productive person have the ability to vote?

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            George says to Daniel Fall: “Your juvenile reasoning is one reason why I think the income tax is immoral.”

            George, one may quarrel with your inference, but your premise is right on the money. That is to say, it may be the case that the income tax is immoral, but I don’t think the question is related to what is certainly true of Mr. Fall’s logic.

            You have been taking quite a bit of guff in recent days from several Orthodox correspondents who appear to confuse sobornost with collectivism.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Thank you, Fr. I’ve come to the sad realization this late in life that collectivism is not only evil, but it’s the greatest evil of all. It is through collectivism that tyranny extinguishes liberty. (It’s another question entirely whether we even deserve liberty. To go down this despondent path though means that we deserve the jackboot on our throats.)

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                Very good observation Fr. Patrick. It is in line with the same nonsense we hear about sharing all things in common is actually a precursor of Communism. Some people (including some Orthodox) really believe that Christ was a crypto-Marxist.

                • Mike Myers says

                  Father Jacobse, do you think the resurrected will be buying and selling in the Kingdom of God? How do you think God feels about the juggernaut of monetizing and making a commodity of everything on earth, up to and including human souls? Do you think Jesus was a mad dog capitalist?

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Mike, I’ll jump in here: no, I don’t think Jesus was a “mad dog capitalist.” Nor do I think he was a Fabian Socialist, Menshevist, Bolshevist, Fascist, Collectivist, or democratic pluralist, either.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      What’s my ideology, Mr. Bauman? I find accusatory remarks such as these astounding, since it’s so obvious how blinkered you and Jacobse and many others here are by . . . rigid ideology. Projection has gone mad among many of you. What you write betrays how trapped you are in concepts that can’t think your way out of. You remind me of the fundies who in their painfully strained gropings toward achieving a reasonable facsimile of dialogue often resemble tape recorders more than sentient human beings: a button gets pushed and out comes some specious cant by rote. The talking points. It’s funny actually.

                      You demonize “secularized socialism” as if there wasn’t a secularized capitalism. As if this profoundly anti-Christian and godless ideology didn’t call all the big shots here and didn’t lay claim to running the whole world. There’s a name for it: the neoliberal Washington Consensus, and it’s been blighting the planet for decades now, unjustly funneling almost all the profits from spectacular gains in worker productivity to a few at the top, and enslaving everyone else to debt or increasingly worthless currency. Leaving social devastation everywhere.

                      Many of y’all are its useful idiots, in the classic sense of the term. You do seem comfy enough in the role, but it sorta surprises many of us. We can’t help but wonder seriously if you’ve ever read what the man you claim as Lord had to say about Mammon and trusting in wealth and related iniquities in the NT. It is endlessly fascinating, trust me.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, still, when all is said and done, more people live better where markets are freer than in socialist states. As bad as things were under the so-called Robber Barons of the late nineteenth century, hundreds of thousands of immigrants flooded these shores rather than Haiti, Mexico, or West Africa.

                      I guess that’s really what eats at you. All your pretty words can’t minimize the actual truth of the matter. Existential experience trumps ideological wordplay any day of the week.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      You clearly have a deep well of this hollow crap George. More Americans live better than the people of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, France, do they? Hardly. To name only a few. And we’re talking about today, not the end of the 19th century, when this largely empty continent needed population and a workforce and therefore, unlike crowded old Europe, consented to let them immigrate. That’s your trademark non sequitur fallaciousness.

                      At the end of the 19th century there weren’t any social democratic nations. Today, people from all around the world would love to get into these wealthy social democratic countries if they could, but next to none of them can legally. You make no sense and your assertions are absurd.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, you obviously understand nothing about demographics. You’re right that many more Americans live not as well as Belgians, Swiss, etc. What you fail to understand is that the countries you cite are racially homongeneous. None of them had a legacy of slavery and its attendant pathologies which continue to drag down by hook or crook, the African-American population.

                      Furthermore, you fail to see however is that America is racially diverse and –more importantly–we have been actively importing more pathology from the Third World since 1965. The vast number of illegal aliens is one major reason why the native American working class (blacks and whites both) have fallen into the two bottom quintiles.

                      But don’t worry! Western Europe is rapidly catching up with us as they’ve imported great swaths of non-Europeans into their borders, who –thanks to their general welfare state-mentality–are bring their assorted pathologies with them and make them normative to the host country.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      Proportionately far more immigrant workers in Europe, from outside the EC, than is the case here, and this larger proportion includes competent estimates of undocumented aliens, which they have in Europe just as we do. This has been true for decades. You haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.

                      America has “imported pathology” since the early 19th century, to use your invidious and sleazy language. And yet it has consistently been an economic engine of middle class expansion and reasonably just sharing of the pie until the mid-70s. What changed was decisions made at the “top” to extract almost unprecedented productivity gains and channel them obscenely and unjustly to fewer and fewer at the “top.” And then burden most of those lower down the food chain with debt, in the place of just compensation for their productivity, or increasingly debased currency and purchasing power, so they could consume long enough for “market expansion” elsewhere. At which point they are cut off and left twisting in the cold, dry wind, as is happening now. With no jobs and no prospects of jobs, the economic base of one nation after another off-shored and/or in the hands of transnationals who don’t give a damn about anyone or anything but their bond yields. It’s not as if there isn’t a vast amount of worthwhile, crucially important, meaningful, profoundly productive, beneficial, sustainable, human-nurturing work crying out urgently to be done everywhere, however. Vast need for that. It’s just that the mindless and soulless Market deity is deaf, alas, to these cries, prayers and entreaties. It doesn’t hear them because IT’S AN IDOL, YA CLUELESS IDIOTS! WAKE UP!

                      This is the fruit of the current epically failed regime of neoliberal charlatans, and their devastation of one nation after another who allow it. We’re next on their hit list. Morons like you illustrate the old saw about democracy: Democracy is that theory of government which holds that the common people know what they want, and deserve it good and hard. Feeling the love, y’all? Prove this saw wrong, while you still can. Time’s almost up.

                    • That’s right. Christ told us to observe the lilies of the field.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Mike, you are conflating the excesses of capitalism, a capitalism that is un-Christianized, with all of the possibilities of capitalism. Yes, the capitalization of everything is a grave problem, but that is not solved by any sort of government action or collectivism. It is solved by realizing the sacred and living in acord with that. That is part of what Orthodox asceticism is meant to do-our poor attempt to live sacramentally in the recognition that “God is everywhere present and fills all things.”

                    No one here has said, that I’ve seen, that capitalism is inherently Chrisitan. Little human activity is. All I have said is that capitalism can be Christianized. It will be messy and uneven because many will fail to do it or refuse to do it. However, it can be done and perhaps that is something the Church needs to look at more closely and specifically–not unlike the work of the Fathers on digesting Hellenic Philiosophy.

                    The outcome would not be the twisted expression of capitalism that prevails today but it would be a far cry from the secularized socialism that is often held up as a better choice.

                    It would allow for both the freedom of unique people and recognize the community aspect of what it means to be human.

                    Like so many other issues we face these days, it is an anthropological one. The Church needs to express the anthropological truth she has been given in a more prophetic and forceful way.

                    We do not futher this process if we fall into the false dictomies of modern political ideology. We must go beyond them–including classical conservatism. Frankly, I think that is, in part, what Fr. Hans attempts to do.

                    Bring your criticisms, but not your ideology.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    I can’t say what heaven will be like Mike, but I can see that the servant who took his talent and created more received a greater blessing than the one who hid his in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30).

                    In the modern world you get two options: free markets or centralized planning. Command economies tend to cause catastrophic moral collapses of their own, witness the Soviet Union, the demographic winter facing Europe where it’s an open question whether Christian civilization can even survive, or the decimation of the black family in America because of welfare (a form of centralized planning).

                    Freedom and free markets go hand in hand. Freedom is the preferred state of man since God created man to be free. Whether man has the moral prowess to handle the freedom responsibly is a question every generation faces anew.

                    However, to justify a command economy because man is prone to moral failure makes sense only if you first believe the false promise that centralized planning can create a facsimile of heaven on earth. It can’t of course but liberals have a very difficult time grasping this point until they’ve done their damage. Even then some can’t let go of the illusion.

                    Back in the 1930s and 1940s the American intelligentsia (led by Walter Duranty and the New York Times, see: The mendacity of Walter Duranty) believed that the Soviet Union’s command economy was the wave of the future. All tears, sorrow and suffering would be wiped away. Many in Western Europe got caught up in it too. It would not collapse until Solzhenitsyn published the Gulags in the 1960s.

                    That cultural divide continues today with ideas like yours.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      One shallow cliche after another, a tissue of distortions and pseudo-pious cant, confusions of cause and effect, ludicrous oversimplifications, hollow posturing and shameless propaganda typical of wingnut ideologues and crypto-fascists, exceptional in your case only because its mouthpiece hides behind a collar. At least Fr. Coughlin railed against a genuine philosophical and ideological foe. You and people like you insidiously misdirect the attention of people of goodwill, away from the real problems to a long-gone ideological phantom. Your trust in the wisdom of “markets” is transparent idolatry, absurd and utterly refuted empirically in an embarrassing number of overdetermined ways. Guys like you are a joke. No sense of intellectual shame, no intellectual conscience.

                      “I can’t say what heaven will be like Mike, but I can see that the servant who took his talent and created more received a greater blessing than the one who hid his in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30).”

                      Please. Although I readily believe you when you admit you can’t say what heaven will be like, I doubt very much the implicit self-congratulation that you of all people are “creating more.” You, a priestly apologist for neoliberal tyranny and the money thugs who’ve gutted and off-shored America’s productive base of domestic manufacturing, responsible for the utter decimation of tens of millions of jobs and now taking a hostile bead on the middle? Hard-core materialists in practice as well as in theory. Ye shall know them by their fruits: real unemployment close to 1 out of 6 working-age and work-willing Americans, underemployment about 1 in 3 or 4. To cite only the most germane indices of the social pathology they’ve catalyzed in this country. I take it you believe yourself to be “creating talents” by hacking out rhetoric that helps to enable epically failed economic charlatans, in the name of “freedom” & “free markets,” daring to profane the liberty of the children of God by conflating it with covetousness and the associated idolatries. You’re plainly delusional. Look in a mirror: note the trajectory of your career and the diminution of the responsibilities delegated to you, and wake up. You cannot serve God and Mammon. Choose, double-minded one.

                      “In the modern world you get two options: free markets or centralized planning.”

                      Flatly false, comic-book level, simple-minded sloganeering. Is the EC a centrally planned economy? It is not. Up to now overseen by serious adults, however. So far they’ve managed to materially provide for the health, education and welfare not only of their own citizens but 10s of millions of immigrant workers, too. It’s also not run by foolish libertarian ideologues and short-term-profit-mad reductivists of the type enabled most bizarrely and inepty by priestly apologists for the unrighteous Mammon such as yourself, or worse yet, by acolytes of the creepy, ultra-sinister Ayn Rand, as is increasingly the case in this country. Although I have to admit that the EC appears to be buckling under the pressure and getting with the neoliberal program of unjust wealth extraction and concentration into fewer hands, particularly now that it is being colonized by Wall Street banksters. Perhaps they will end up taking the inchoate nihilism cultivated so assiduously in the American petri dish of laissez-faire short-term-“profit”-at-all-externalities-cost to dizzying new heights of social destructiveness. If so, they will have guys like you to thank for clearing their path with the help of such comically specious cant.

                      “Command economies tend to cause catastrophic moral collapses of their own, witness the Soviet Union, the demographic winter facing Europe where it’s an open question whether Christian civilization can even survive, or the decimation of the black family in America because of welfare (a form of centralized planning).

                      Pathetic special pleading and ridiculous oversimplifications. Really poor stuff padre. Not worth my time to comment further on such sorry static. I feel like I need to wash my brain out with bleach after reading you. Michalopulos just makes me howl.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Lots of finger wagging here Mike but your ideas are fuzzy. Maybe you could focus a bit more.

                      Europe is on the threshold of a demographic collapse, Socialist nirvana, beside being financially unsustainable (can’t keep borrowing forever), also contributed to the European forgetting of the roots and thus purpose of their own civilization.

                      No amount of scolding can hide this crisis any longer.

                    • Chris Banescu says

                      Mike’s hate-filled, vile, and defamatory attack on Fr. Hans, shows forth the irrational hatred and delusion that drives many leftist/progressive ideologues. It’s impossible to engage and substantively discuss issues with such deranged individuals who distort reality to the breaking point.

                      George, I thought these kinds of despicable and malicious posts that savage another and add nothing meaningful to the discussions were supposed to be moderated. What happened?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Every now and then, I fail. Sorry, Chris.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      So, I add nothing meaningful to the discussion, eh! Yeah, I got a lot of nerve, daring to confuse y’all’s blind dupes with the facts and the reality on the ground, instead of going along with supine submission to your fraudulent wingnut talking points and assorted hollow blatherings. You’re pretty funny. What do you do for a living, Banescu? Paid to think up desperate disinfo for Chevron, or BP maybe, contra anthropogenic global warming? Something like that? Wouldn’t surprise me. You seem like the type to me.

                      Regardless, perhaps you’re intellectually competent to demonstrate precisely where and how I’ve “distort[ed} reality to the breaking point?” You and Fr. Jacobse evidently have no answer to the facts I point out, so what’s left but sputtering indignation? Not much, evidently. Anyway, I’m all ears. Refute me.

                      Oh, one more thing: one gets a real big kick out of your stock responses re: “finger wagging” and “fuzzy ideas,” Jacobse. This is just too rich, coming from you. Especially the fuzzy ideas thingy. Very amusing.

                    • I don’t care for Mike Myer’s acerbic tone, but he brings an interesting perspective to the otherwise homogenous, sometimes suspect world-view presented here.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Yes, he can be quite amusing.

                    • Harry Coin says

                      Mike: All the folk who agree with you gladly purchase products made overseas in places where folk are willing to work for less money, stealing good local manufacturing jobs from their own neighbors because they can buy more stuff with the same amount of money that way. If folk who agreed with you cared about the things you care about, not just sort of ‘vent ho online’, but really cared enough to do something about it, they would create no market for such job stealing products and they would then avoid the blight you identify entirely.

                      But, the people who agree with you don’t do that. They go for the best price they can find all other quality things being equal. I bet you do too.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s an interesting point Harry. Thanks for pointing it out. I myself try to always patronize mom-and-pop establishments (I’m a quasi-disciple of Wendell Berry) but I don’t always succeed. Besides my wife completely undercuts me.

                      Where the free market breaks down is with overseas trade. While it is a net good to have as much overseas trade as possible, high tariffs protect domestic manufacturing. In reality, there has never been a completely autarkic regime in the US before the 20th century or a completely laissez faire overseas trade after. It’s always been a mixture of both.

                      Forgive the ramble.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      “. . .All the folk who agree with you gladly purchase products made overseas . . .”

                      I’m game to engage you on the topic, but first of all I’d need some higher resolution on this “folk who agree with you” remark. I presume you agree that one does not “agree with” or disagree with facts, as such, only with opinions. Once facticity is established, it becomes part of the solid basis for further discussion, correct? So, of what I said, what precisely are you accounting as fact and what opinion, please. Without clearing that up to begin with, discussion seems pointless and merely bores me to death — at least it does in this joint.

                • I get the idea some think it’s a good thing no one advocates cenobitic monasticism as good Gospel example for society, right? Cenobitic monasticism is just Marxist, radical fascist crap, right?

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    No your Grace, sigh, cenobitic monasticism is neither marxist nor fascist. It is radical (not really the norm) and when healthy, an example of a voluntary community formed with a focus on God and God alone without reference to any political ideology. The disciplines of the community such as sharing all things in common are done as an offering to God and to strengthen each person’s path toward salvation. They are for the Glory of God.

                    Fascist and Communist ‘communities’ tend to be concentration camps and Gulags in which the path of martyrdom is all too readily available: or indoctrination camps for the youth. These ‘communities’ are neither voluntary, nor are they focused on God, they are made especially for the enemies of the state or to glorify the nihilist state–much like the Japanese internment camps in the U.S during WWII and (excuse the slight hyperbole) government sponsered education these days.

                    While such forced ‘communities’ often yield extraordinary examples of the Christian faith, it is illogical to equate such anti-God violence with the monastice communities engaged in unseen warfare for the benefit of us all.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    You’ve got it backwards Your Grace. Marxism and fascism have nothing to do with monasticism. Don’t confuse the moral justifications used to defend Marxism and fascism with the Christian obligation to help the poor and each other.

                    • Roboacolyte says

                      You people are so concretized in your view;you didn’t realize that Bishop Tikhon was being ironic.This blab blog makes me nauseous .

                  • Chris Banescu says

                    Apparently the clear distinction between “VOLUNTARY choice” vs. “coerced action under threat of punishment or death” is completely lost on Bishop Tikhon?

                    It is communism who stole the moral precepts and language of Christianity and twisted them beyond recognition, with deadly and horrific results! The principles and exhortations of Christ, reflected by Scriptures and taught by the saints, specifically and continually talk about VOLUNTARY choice by individuals to practice humility, charity, and love our neighbors, and use the blessings God gave us to help others. This is how we show that we are Christ’s disciples and confirm that we are doing the will of The Father!

                    Communism co-opted and twisted these teachings to preach instead an atheistic/materialistic philosophy based on hatred of other, envy, and greed for both material possessions and power. To use force and terror to implement that which the human conscience was meant to do voluntarily and in love is demonic. To purposely ignore the enormous differences and conflate them together to indirectly justify Marxism is under condemnation!

                    • Why, Chris Banescu! Who directly or indirectly justified Marxism?
                      After hearing from Chris Banescu on that question, i ‘d like to poll the contributors here to ask them if they think that the Soviet Union and China and the Iron Curtain countries understood and practiced Marxism. Did they not, rather, practice totalitarian, fascistic dictatorship? Was not THEIR “dictatorship of the proletariat” a farce in which the proletariat played no part whatsoever? Was not their vaunted “socialist ‘ economy just state capitalism in Marxist disguise?
                      Chris says that communism stole the moral precepts and language of Christianity. I don’t think they stole any Christian moral precepts: Which ones did communists steal?

                      All I said was that coenobitic monasticism is an ideal form of Gospel Christianity, and that governments and politicians whic advocate principles which oppose the principles of coenobitic monasticism may do so, but they should not call their principles “Christian.’
                      A poor attempt to avoid that point, Mr; Banescu.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      State capitalism in disguise, indeed, your Grace. Frankly, that bete noire, the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” has always seemed a very, very bad idea to me, which is to say that things could have been even worse in the U.S.S.R. than they actually were, if it’s true as you claim that this chimera didn’t take shape there. I’m not quite so sure as you about that.

                      Anyway, it is a tired old ploy to point screaming at Stalin — a textbook red herring. Look today at FInland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Canada, even the U.K, among others we could list. All social democracies, all thriving polities compared to our own, from whence few wish to leave and in which many would love to live. Fact. Essentially socialist economic arrangements. Fact. Our social fabric and the social contract that used to hold it together are unraveling horribly. It’s only the historically contingent fact that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency that permits the charade to continue. We merely export the consequent inflation and the destructive feedback from commodity speculation, for now. That will change soon.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Marxism, wherever it has been practiced, becomes totalitarian no matter what variety (Russian, Chinese, African, etc.). The Marxism of the classroom however, continues to capture the minds of the gullible even though it leaves them with the unpleasant task of having to maintain the academic fiction in the face of real world facts.

                      The distinction you should be drawing if you want to distance Stalinism and other Marxist inspired brutality from the purity of Marxist theory would be the one Christopher Hitchens and other fellow travelers were so fond of making: Trotskyism vs. Stalinism. Hitchens got a lifetime of mileage out of it.

                      The distinction doesn’t work in Africa of course since Trotsky lived in Russia, but it’s still enough to keep the illusion alive for true believers. Maybe we could posit Trotsky against Idi Aminism?

                      On the other hand, we could all become European Socialists like Mike Myers thinks we should. Why not follow the secular European West who embraced the materialism of the European East without all the bloodshed of the Russian Revolution but nevertheless managed to self-sterilize and pass the cost of building their socialist paradise to their diminishing posterity. Keep that up and the grandchildren will probably be bowing the knee to Mohammed and his Allah.

                      Why Myers thinks we should sink into even more debt and have the next generation pay for our socialist fantasies he has yet to explain. He believes that an inviolable and seamless moral congruency exists between Christianity and Socialism that should be self-evident to everyone. That’s why any objection to his thesis is met with paragraphs of vituperation instead of clear reasoning. But that’s also the clue that a lot of fuzzy thinking is going on.

                      Nevertheless, even the Europeans are beginning to discover the error of their ways (except for France who just elected a Socialist and is speeding towards bankruptcy at warp speed, but then France always has trouble governing herself). To Thrive, Euro Countries Must Cut Welfare State

                      Margaret Thatcher had it right: The trouble with Socialism is that sooner of later, you run out of other people’s money.

                    • Criminy Crickets, Mike! What universe are you living in? I lived in Great Britain when I was growing up, and I had to contend with not a little envy and jealousy of my identity as a “Yank.” Brits are proud folk and proud of their heritage, but the large unemployment rate was always a big concern there. Of course, a lot has changed since then, and I’m not sure how those rates compare now (it’s getting bad here, too). I also lived in Belgium for two years as a young adult–one of the most spiritually oppressive and dreary places I’ve ever been (some lovely people, though), worse even than England. The young American couple I worked with got an absolutely fantastic deal from the gov’t there when their first child was born. Free formula, free diapers, ob/gyn services at a fraction of the cost here–Belgium was so desperate to increase the younger population for exactly the reasons Fr. Hans mentions. Again, hopelessness was the predominating sentiment of the young people I knew there, and I was on a major university campus. Have you ever looked at the suicide statistics of some of those nations you mention compared to here? Most of them are quite a bit higher (especially I know Belgium ranked as having one of the highest rates when I lived there, too.) The epidemiological data on suicide is quite interesting–Russia and Eastern block European countries have by far the highest suicide rates of anywhere.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      I have little idea what your point is, Karen. Are you implying that human societies must be organized sociopolitically in such a way as to mimic the red in tooth and claw aspects of the wild kingdom of nature, that humans must be locked into a Social Darwinist struggle of all vs. all for survival, in order to foster the happiness of their people? This is more and more the deal in this country, true enough, where increasing numbers are free to go without a job, health care or a future, and so are their children. Is that your notion of why God created human beings in His image, as a Christian, to live like that, and to attempt to force others to live like that? What are you saying exactly? Belgium may be a spiritually dreary place, as you testify — I’ve never been there. Have been to England. But at the moment I’m interested mainly in this contention:

                      “. . . Belgium was so desperate to increase the younger population for exactly the reasons Fr. Hans mentions.”

                      Exactly the reasons? This sounds like you think he’s some sort of epidemiologist of spiritual malaise or something and that he has these extremely complex phenomena figured out. I have no real idea what he’s talking about, myself, so maybe you can explain his ideas to me. He’s always accusing others of fuzzy ideas, which is interesting because that is precisely what I think of his writing. I find him utterly stuffed with wooly cliches.

                      Anyway, what is he claiming is the reason for the low birth rate in Europe, exactly? — since you are agreeing with him and claiming he’s exactly correct. I’m a little slow, so help me out here, if you would.

                      Interestingly enough, as you note, many Orthodox countries are very heavily represented at the top of the suicide rates per 100,000 — Russia is second only to Lithuania — but those at the bottom are predominantly Muslim, and Catholic countries tend to have very low rates, too. What are we supposed to think about that? Again, I’m not sure what your point is. Maybe you can clarify it.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, this is all pretty talk. Before I go any further in deconstructing your arguments, I must ask: do you believe in Darwinism? A Yes or No will suffice.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      I was a bit stumped by the relevance of that intro to Fr. Jacobse’s homily upthread, wherein he expounds briefly upon God’s economics for the benefit of quite benighted ones such as myself:

                      “I can’t say what heaven will be like Mike, but I can see that the servant who took his talent and created more received a greater blessing than the one who hid his in the ground (Matthew 25:14-30).”

                      Attempting to do justice to his undoubted wisdom, I was just poring over the whole thing once more, asking myself precisely what he meant by citing our Lord in this rather sordid context. Reading him is often a lot like trying to apprehend a feather in a hurricane, with me in dogged pursuit of some welterweight thought as it’s blown about by fierce blasts of cliche, amid landmarks of genuine solidity, those occasional allusions to the spiritual greats. One assures oneself: there must be something of his own here, something at least sorta weighty to justify invoking such lofty company, surely. And so one soldiers on, seeking it, in faith.

                      Then it hit me: Jacobse takes the parable of the talents literally! That’s why it’s here. I’m often struck nearly speechless by his literal-mindedness and his rigid, black or white take on things, that clunky concept mongering for the team, and how his mind gets all bogged down in the narrow ruts of far-right wing prejudice and empirically debunked Reagan-era nostrums and old Republican wives tales. But it had not occurred to me that he could have meant something so banal …

                      So I have to ask the good father now: Do you mean to teach that our Lord commanded us to make lots of filthy lucre and invest it for a hefty killing? Isn’t that rather, oh, I don’t know . . . Calvinist?

                      “Marxism, wherever it has been practiced, becomes totalitarian no matter what variety (Russian, Chinese, African, etc.). The Marxism of the classroom however, continues to capture the minds of the gullible even though it leaves them with the unpleasant task of having to maintain the academic fiction in the face of real world facts.”

                      Except the post-war European variety, of course. Not that “Marxism” as such is practiced there, but I assume Fr. Jacobse sees these countries as basically socialist in economic arrangements. This is highly debatable, as none have command, or planned, economies, of course, but their technocrats have tended until recently to take rather more seriously than some Marx’s acute diagnosis of the inner contradictions and dark heart of late capitalism, and they’ve made real attempts to ameliorate the inevitable social pathologies to which its ever worsening crises give rise. Now, I appreciate that to those who confuse the Gospel with the “miracle of compound interest,” this can seem like blasphemy. Pace, Father Jacobse.

                      “The distinction you should be drawing if you want to distance Stalinism and other Marxist inspired brutality from the purity of Marxist theory would be the one Christopher Hitchens and other fellow travelers were so fond of making: Trotskyism vs. Stalinism. Hitchens got a lifetime of mileage out of it.”

                      I’m admittedly impressed by the bead Marx took on the MO of late capitalism — as a diagnostician, that is, and a critic. But as a therapist, the man was a disaster. Or more accurately, his followers have been a disaster — he himself wasn’t a “Marxist.” His anthropology was relatively shallow, feeble and uninspired; materialists always have this problem. So, your attempts at tarring me here with some sort of guilt by association are just false accusation, and not terribly bright. I’m not a commie, nor am I a Marxist, nor a “Marxist.” I recognize his genius as a critic, however. As do most informed people. The thing is, what to do with these insights? This has proved a perennial problem ever since. Wall Street has found a heretofore untried approach: take his dark foreboding prognostications about the dark side of capitalism as if they were the Lords of The Universe’s owners manual for the management of the global economy, and then run with them as if they were directions. As we’re about to see soon enough, a very bad idea. Not what he intended, probably.

                      “The distinction doesn’t work in Africa of course since Trotsky lived in Russia, but it’s still enough to keep the illusion alive for true believers. Maybe we could posit Trotsky against Idi Aminism?”

                      This bon mot sails right over my head, I confess. Gnomic to be sure, but opaque. Or possibly just confused and more or less meaningless. One can’t be sure. I’d ask for clarification but I feel sure of disappointment, somehow.

                      “On the other hand, we could all become European Socialists like Mike Myers thinks we should. Why not follow the secular European West who embraced the materialism of the European East without all the bloodshed of the Russian Revolution but nevertheless managed to self-sterilize and pass the cost of building their socialist paradise to their diminishing posterity.

                      Very, very wooly stuff, here. How exactly is the secular European West more “materialistic” than America? You can’t be serious. As practicing materialists — whatever may be in their heads “in theory” — who’s more materialistic these days than we are? China, probably. Russia, from what I hear. But the Europeans definitely have a long way to go to catch up with us in practice. And anyway, whatever you mean, what is its link with “self-sterilization,” or low birth rates? Causal mechanism, please. Unless this is just some sort of incommunicable intuition, or perhaps magical thinking that I’m expected to take on faith from a member of the clergy.

                      “Keep that up and the grandchildren will probably be bowing the knee to Mohammed and his Allah.”

                      Maybe we can come back to this after Fr. explains the mechanism he has in mind. If he can. Which I doubt.

                      “Why Myers thinks we should sink into even more debt and have the next generation pay for our socialist fantasies he has yet to explain.”

                      We got into debt in the first place because of the 12-year-long Viet Nam war, Father. Its calamitous financial consequences were why Nixon closed the gold window, unilaterally shelving Bretton Woods and taking us off the constitutional gold standard and instituting wage and price controls, all quite literally overnight over a weekend. Very, very desperate measures indeed. With what was to become the world’s reserve currency no longer tied to gold but to oil instead, and backed up by our vast arsenal and willingness to use it, we’ve been in an ongoing phase of late capitalist crisis ever since, the one now ending. Debt owed to ourselves wouldn’t pose such a huge problem, but, unfortunately, Reagan’s and Bush’s subsequent wars, and Bush’s tax cuts, were paid for by China and Japan, mainly. You appear to pretend to understand economics, but you clearly don’t have a clue.

                      “He believes that an inviolable and seamless moral congruency exists between Christianity and Socialism that should be self-evident to everyone. That’s why any objection to his thesis is met with paragraphs of vituperation instead of clear reasoning. But that’s also the clue that a lot of fuzzy thinking is going on.”

                      I do think there is a seamless consilience, if not congruency (sic), yes. But only among Christians. For highly developed and spiritually advanced human beings only. Not suited for greedy, warmongering, lie-loving, brutally selfish and short-sighted quasi-simians, no.

                      “Nevertheless, even the Europeans are beginning to discover the error of their ways (except for France who just elected a Socialist and is speeding towards bankruptcy at warp speed, but then France always has trouble governing herself). []

                      “Margaret Thatcher had it right: The trouble with Socialism is that sooner of later, you run out of other people’s money.”

                      Not at all inappropriate, citing silly old Maggie to supply the coda for your odd sermon. You know, father, I honestly wonder whether you’ve missed your real calling: Maybe you’d be much more at home on Wall Street. They never run out of other people’s money there for very long. And they “make it” the old-fashioned way — they steal it.

                      Get an honest job.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      George, dunno if I could answer your question yes or no. Depends on what you mean by “Darwinism.” Evolutionary biology’s been through some radical revisions in the past century. A revolutionary new way of understanding the genome could shake things up big time. Are you familiar with Crick’s central dogma? It may be wrong, or inadequate. Evolution and heredity may be vastly more complex and interesting than “Darwinists” thought. Check out James Shapiro.

                      Not sure believe is the word I’d use for the way I think about these things. So, two problems with your request: we may not be on the same page re: the meaning of “Darwinism” and much about that isn’t really in the domain of belief, unless you’re referring to the bigthink theory stuff as it gets more remote from high resolution molecular biology and mechanisms and into wooly speculations, where belief is closer to the right word, or philosophy. My default tendency is to be quite skeptical about such speculations. But don’t know all that much about it, since I’m not a molecular biologist, and therefore not a competent judge. Anyway, why do you ask?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Evolution: random mutations arising from an abiogenic origin leading to more complex life-forms by completely materialistic means.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      Such a definition of evolution would be regarded as inadequate by any molecular biologist today, because it is far too simplistic. Genetic variations are now know to arise for many reasons, some of which are clearly very far from being random or “abiogenic.” So NO, I don’t “believe” in that. Try again. Recall that in 1859 we knew next to nothing about genetics and heredity, and absolutely nothing about molecular biology.

                    • Mike Myers says

                      Oh, and another thing, Karen. If abortion rates may be admitted into evidence as an index of spiritual malaise — and I think a good case could be made that they are more relevant here even than suicide — then the US is a spiritual basket case compared to Western Europe. In 2008, the last year the CDC had statistics from every state, the rate was about 20 per 1,000 births, down 33% from the high of 30 in 1981. That compares to averages of 12 per 1,000 in Western Europe, 17 in the Nordic states and 43 in largely Orthodox Eastern Europe. The nation with the highest reported rate of abortion is Orthodox Holy Mother Russia, at 73 (2010). China’s probably even worse, but I don’t think we have data.

                      A world capital of abortion if not the capital just happens to be the world capital of capital itself, the world headquarters of the neoliberal “free market” favored by God Himself, according to the good Rev. Jacobse: NYC, at nearly 800 per 1,000. Again, as I often repeat here, cited just in case the facts matter to some in this joint, as opposed to cliches, hollow cant and partisan propaganda. Or waving red, white and blue ostrich-feather-plumed pompoms.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      Glad to see you are alarmed by the abortion rate Mike. Not often we see that from the liberal side. Here’s a breakdown of the New York abortion rate by zipcode.

                      The dominant areas for abortions are in the liberal trendy areas and the black areas. The first is understandable because of ideology, the second because Blacks are targeted by the abortion industry because the breakdown of the black family makes them especially vulnerable. (Those that championed the destruction of the Black family are the same ones who profit from its demise.)

                      Your point about America and abortions is a good one however. We are much more liberal in our abortion laws than Europe. (Many Europeans don’t have kids at all, Americans tends to abort theirs.) Not sure what this has to do with free markets though since the defense, promotion, and profiteering of abortion comes almost exclusively from those who also prefer socialism.

                    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                      A flurry of words Mike, most of which I will ignore except for this:

                      Then it hit me: Jacobse takes the parable of the talents literally! That’s why it’s here. I’m often struck nearly speechless by his literal-mindedness and his rigid, black or white take on things, that clunky concept mongering for the team, and how his mind gets all bogged down in the narrow ruts of far-right wing prejudice and empirically debunked Reagan-era nostrums and old Republican wives tales. But it had not occurred to me that he could have meant something so banal …

                      You forgot racist and homophobe. 🙂

                      Seriously though, yes, I do take the lesson of the parable literally. I’ll overlook the editorializing (trust me, we get it, you don’t like Reagan) to point out that that the parable speaks of talents as a concrete entity. You are to take what God has given you and use it for benefit and increase, especially for the good of others, that is, according to the law of God for the good of the neighbor.

                      All work has a sacred dimension to it Mike, even the work you don’t like.

                      Where do you work? Do you understand that the business you work for has to create value in order for you to get paid? And that you, as an employee, have to create value that exceeds the cost of your employment?

                      If no value is created (if the initial investment does not result in increase), then the business goes broke and fails. The only place that does not happen is government, but even government is dependent on the creation of increased value in the private sector because that is where the money comes from to keep the government running.

                      And if you didn’t get paid, you wouldn’t have a computer to attack the very system that made it possible for you to buy one.

                      If you don’t believe this then the only option is to move towards centralized planning. That always ends up diminishing the standard of living for some and creating poverty for others. The Socialist states you admire so much have avoided this only by extensive borrowing. That is coming to an end. Watch Europe closely.

                      Here’s something to help you get up to speed:

                    • Chris Banescu says

                      Speaking of the “enlightened” socialist states of Europe…

                      The Mass Murderer in Norway was just “punished” with a whopping 21 YEARS (yes that’s only 21, no extra zeros were mistakenly left out) for the cold-blooded and indiscriminate MURDER of 77 innocents. That’s a mere 3.27 months of jail time for each murdered victim. Those European socialists sure know how to “protect” their citizens!

                      Norway Killer Is Ruled Sane and Given 21 Years in Prison

                      OSLO — A court on Friday sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who admitted killing 77 people, to at least 21 years in prison after ruling that he was sane when he carried out his country’s worst peacetime atrocity. The sentence was the most severe permitted under Norwegian law, but it can be extended at a later date if he is still deemed to be a danger to society.

                      His 10-week trial ended in June. Defense lawyers had sought a prison sentence, arguing that Mr. Breivik was sane when he bombed buildings in downtown Oslo, killing eight people, and then headed to Utoya Island, where he shot 69 people to death at a summer youth camp run by the Labour Party. Prosecutors said that he was mentally ill, that he was not criminally responsible and that he should be hospitalized instead. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors planned an appeal.

                      Who in their right mind would wish to emulate such moral decay and corruption.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Mike, regarding abortion rates. Again, as most liberals, you avoid looking into demographics. Consider: in the US we have had a grand socialist experiment with 12% of our populaton –African-Americans. Trillions of dollas in transfer payments have been doled out to –whether in direct monies or in-kind transfers (such as “projects,” Section-8 housing, Head Start, etc.).

                      Yet one-third (1/3) of all abortions in the US are performed on black women. In other words approx 15% of the female population is responsible for 36% of all abortions. And yet the reason that 2/3 of all babies that are born to black females are illegitimate are very often the only means of income to them (SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, Section 8).

                      I’d say there’s a whole lotta despair in that quarter.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    To quote Fr. Stephen Freeman from his blog:

                    “Generosity is more fundamental than fasting (people seem to pay great attention to the latter and little to no attention to the former). I have occasionally been told that modern welfare states have made tithing a thing of the past because our taxes now support the poor, etc. Taxes, no matter how well spent, are never a matter of offering, they are not eucharistic in nature. They are the object of coercion: no one voluntarily pays more than they forced to. What Caesar does with what belongs to Caesar is of no spiritual consequence to us. It is what is offered to God that constitutes a priestly existence.

                    Generosity is fundamental – but it only lays a foundation. St. Maximus the Confessor taught that “man is a microcosm”: we are the entire universe gathered into personal form.”

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                I agree. Collectivism/Communism is a great evil, which I am sad to say is alive and well in modern-day Progressivism. Further, pure and unregulated Capitalism is also alive and well in the Republican Part via the Tea Party.

                Nobody seems to care about the Middle Class/ small business man and woman any more. In my home town of Clearwater, Florida I recently discovered that the Middle Class is virtually non-existent. Just the very rich and the working poor. This model is quickly becoming the norm in the rest of America.

                We see this with our current selection in Presidential candidates. Neither Obama or Romney are for the Middle Class, and both want to “fix” what they perceive as America’s problems off of our backs. Come Nov. 6 I want to see and know how many Americans will not vote for President.


                • George Michalopulos says

                  Peter, that’s an interesting observation you made, about Clearwater, Fla. The stratification you observed didn’t happen overnight. It was due to the massive importation of illegal aliens, together with the feminization of education, which resulted in the devalorization of masculine labor.

                  Charles Murray just wrote an excellent book about the collapse of the white working class. It’s the same in Britain. The attendent pathologies that Moynihan pointed out in 1964 (and which drummed him out of polite society for awhile) are being replicated in the larger white population.

          • Daniel E. Fall says

            I never accused him of criminality George.

            Show me where I did.

          • Lots of liberals met payrolls.

            • George Michalopulos says

              True enough in the old days, Your Grace. The vast majority at present seem to work for government, foundations, Hollywood, or in some derivative industry.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          At this point, I still believe that almost anyone would be better than Obama. He cannot run on his record because his record is one of complete failure. So he runs what is turning out to be one of the nastiest campaigns in American history, not based on his accomplishments, but based on tearing down his opponent. If his best appeal is “I am not as bad as the other guy.” that is pretty poor. I still cannot remain faithful to my personal moral standards as an Orthodox Chrisitan and vote for a man who is the most radically pro abortion president in US history, defends federal funding for Planned Parenthood, has a foreign policy that has only done harm to the Orthodox Christians of the Middle East, had adopted policies that seriously endanger our religious freedom, and has endorsed same sex marriage.

          Fr. John Morris

          • George Michalopulos says

            I never thought I’d say this, but Hillary Clinton would have been a far less destructive president than Obama. There’s no way we’re ever going to crawl out of the massive debt that he and his party imposed on us during his first two years. No way. All we can hope is that the debt won’t be monetized and that the rest of the world is in worse shape so that the USD will continue to be the reserve currency. On the very day that the Chinese and the Russians decide to switch to another currency, America will collapse in a cataclysm. It won’t be pretty.

          • Daniel E. Fall says

            Good priest. May I suggest you listen to your own words?

            You are suggesting Obama a worse abortion advocate than an abortion profiteer.

            I have listened to you for the last time..

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              The accusation that Romney profited from abortion has been disproven. The issue is not what he did or did not do a long time ago. The issue is what will he do as president. We already know that Obama is radically pro-abortion. Romney, on the other hand, has come out in support for the right to life. We need to stop giving tax payer’s money to Planned Parenthood, which, by the way, has endorsed Obama. Once again that is enough for me. If Planned Parenthood supports Obama, I cannot in good conscience vote for him. The issue in this election is Obama and what he will do if he does not have to worry about being reelected. I shudder to think what radical programs he will put through by executive order if he is re elected. God help us.

              Archpriest John W. Morris

              • Michael Bauman says

                There is also the issue of intent. Even if Romney profited from the abortion related activities of one company, was his intent to support and further the killing of babies. I doubt it, but I’d be open to proof that he was.

                BTW to the extent that we continue to allow abortion, we all profit from it to some degree. We are all culpable and all have blood on our hands because we have failed to stop it.

                On the other hand Obama and his left-hand gal Friday Sebelius are rabidly pro-abortion, not just passively “for choice”. They have shown it throughout their political lives. Obama voted against the law in Illinois that would have required hospitals and doctors to render all medical aid to babies that survive the initial attempt to kill them instead of just sticking those children in a broom closet and letting them die (as was done).

                There is no valid comparison between Romney and Obama. The attempt to equate the two is illogical and frankly, despicable.

                • Brian Jackson says

                  You’re perhaps correct, Michael, that we’re all complicit in our culture’s permissiveness in regard to the massacre of the unborn. I know I am, and that I do not do or pray enough against this evil. May God forgive me. However, even beyond inent or “not doing enough” there is another unwitting way in which we are complicit. There are therapies that have been developed as a result of abortion, and most who utilize them really have no idea– even physicians usually (almost always) are unaware. For example: vaccinations. Many physicians are ignorant of the fact that the production of many vaccines against many viral illnesses depend upon the use of cell lines derived from aborted fetuses. These vaccines include those against Varicella (chicken pox) and Rubella (German measles, a component of MMR), as well as some of those against Hep A, Hep A/B combination, Polio, and Rabies. One used to be able to procure vaccination in a single dose form against either Measles or Mumps, but Merck has seen fit to end development of these morally-produced vaccines in favor of the combination MMR, which, because it contains Rubella, is developed via use of cell lines derived from aborted fetuses. There are morally-produced versions of Hep A, Hep A/B, Polio and Rabies which utilize non-human embryonic cells for development, but the one for Hep A alone is not currently approved for use in the United States. Same with Rubella: Japan has produced a vaccine against Rubella which does not utilize cell lines derived from aborted human fetuses, but it is not yet approved for use in the United States. I don’t know to what extent Merck might be able to interfere with approval of these alternatives in our country…

                  In any case, my point is that technologies and therapies derived from the use of aborted human fetuses is part of our American culture already in ways most of us have no inkling. I believe that we can repent as a nation, but repentance requires that we make ourselves aware of these facts. I honestly believe that a majority of Americans– heck, even a majority of physicians– would reject these vaccinations if they were fully informed.

                  BTW– not that being a psychiatrist necessarily implies I’m free of delusions– I am a physician, and I know well what I am saying. My wife and I have made a decision to refuse any vaccine which does not have a pro-life alternative available. We have educated no small number of doctors about this issue in regard to vaccines, and initially we are always greeted with disbelief (no, these facts are not shared with us in medical school). Those physicians who have taken the time to take our information seriously are EASILY able to discover the truth simply by reading the drug information accompanying the vaccines and then following up by looking up the various cell lines derived from aborted human fetuses: WI-38, MRC-5, and RA273 (in addition to a few other fetal cell lines utilized in other therapies: HEK-293, WI26 VA4 and PER C6). Without knowledge of the extent of the sin, repentance is incomplete.

                  • Daniel E. Fall says

                    Thanks for sharing this information.

                    Just exactly how does it work? Does a single aborted fetus provide the cells for a million vaccines?

                    I don’t understand with stillborns and other such birthing disasters why they’d need to use aborted fetuses.

                    My asking is sincere; hopefully it won’t be met with criticism, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

                    • Brian Jackson says

                      Why would I criticize you for asking questions? I appreciate that you read what I wrote and that you want to know more.

                      A virus requires a cell in which to reproduce, and so a constantly dividing cell line which can be maintained in the lab for long periods of time is required to culture an attenuated (weakened) form of the virus for use in vaccines. In some cases, chick or monkey embryonic cells may be used. Clearly, based upon Japan’s development of a Rubella vaccine using cells of nonhuman origin, human cells are used in some cases when they do not need to be. It has been years since I read the articles from decades ago which documented the origin of the cell line utilized in Rubella vaccination production. If I recall correctly, the process was initiated with a series of abortions (“therapeutic” abortions done in cases where the mother was infected with Rubella during the pregnancy) followed by analysis to determine if the fetus actually had been infected with Rubella. The first few abortions were fruitless since it turned out the babies were entirely healthy. I don’t recall how many abortions down the line finally led to an aborted child who was indeed infected with Rubella. This poor child’s cells were then utilized as the origin of a cell line in which the attenuated Rubella virus was cultured for vaccines. So that’s how it works. To answer your second question: these cell lines can be utilized for many years to produce vaccines, without requiring new abortions. Some misrepresent this to state that aborted babies are put into our vaccines, but, as you can see, this is not precisely true, although the package inserts do indeed warn that residual components of human diploid DNA and proteins may in fact be in the vaccines.

                      This is so far outside my line that I fear my knowledge of why stillbirths, etc., couldn’t be used is likely limited. (Of course, this presumes that the use of cell lines from stillborn children is morally acceptable—a presumption with which I do not agree.) However, if I may venture to speculate…it seems that the desire would be to, as much as possible, use cell lines derived from apparently healthy persons. Who knows why a stillborn child has died in many cases? This uncertainty would likely make this an undesirable option. Not to mention…use of such tissue would require some written permission from the parents, and I cannot see very many parents making themselves highly approachable during the intense grief they would be experiencing during a stillbirth.

                      But this is not where use of fetal cell lines ends. The use of this immoral technology is now so common that one may purchase these cell lines for one’s research from such cell repositories as Coriell Laboratories, and no one can keep track of all the research going on right now using these lines—all for ostensibly therapeutic and educational purposes. It’s so well accepted and considered a moral non-issue by researchers that many do not see any need to inform patients and consumers in an explicit way—and I believe that most Americans would recoil and avoid these products if there were only informed honestly and explicitly. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Neocutis? It’s a manufacturer of “rejuvenating” skin cream. Neocutis utilizes cell lines derived from aborted fetuses in its products. Have your heard of Senomyx? It’s a company specializing in research and development of flavor enhancers…but some of its research involves a model of taste receptors derived from human cell line HEK-293 (HEK stands for human embryonic kidney). A Catholic organization, Children of God for Life, was the primary coordinator of a recent successful boycott against Pepsico and its associated products due to Pepsico contracting with Senomyx. I remember when I and others initially wrote to Pepsico’s executives, we received dismissive answers telling us they did not put babies in their products. They were clearly “responding” to a strawman, but what at first I thought was callousness, I now believe to have been ignorance. After much denial, Pepsico eventually severed its relationship with Senomyx, and its executives seemed to have not been aware of that ghoulish aspect of Senomyx’ work. (Not meant specifically to criticize you, but this is one reason I am inclined to be merciful toward Romney in regard to Stericycle. We absolutely need medical waste management companies, and when I think of medical waste disposal, I don’t think right away of aborted fetuses, but rather of all the other things my staff dispose of daily in my own hospital. So even if it turned out Romney had a decision-making role in investing in Stericycle, this does not necessarily imply he must have known of this aspect of Stericycle’s work, any more than buying Pepsi last year necessarily implied that I approve of use of fetal cell lines in flavor enhancement research.)

                      I think that’s enough for now. My lunch time is over. I hope I’ve answered your questions, Daniel.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      You are a succinct, careful, and thoughtful writer, Dr. Jackson. In fact, I am quite surprised no one has solicited your obvious talents. I could be wrong. I recall a dialog from my past that went something like:

                      Dean Schmemann: So, you have read the Parable of the Talents?”

                      The Intimidated: Yes, Father.

                      Dean Schmemann: You can sing and you can write?

                      The Intimidated: Yes, Father.

                      Dean Schmemann: So, we agree?

                      The Intimidated: Yes, Father, we agree.

                      Dean Schmemann: I knew we would!

                      (Gives the blessing. I kiss his hand, he my head) Am shown the exit.

                      And holy cow, look at all those thumbs-up! OK, hold on… 2+

                    • Brian Jackson says

                      M. Stankovich: You remind me of Proverbs 27:17.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Dr. Jackson,

                      Perhaps you would be so kind as to check the accuracy of my translation of the Septuagint version of the phrase you quote: “Buy him [the man] a drink, buy one for his dog also [as well]” In the ballpark?

                  • Brian, God bless you for speaking the truth here! Thank you for sharing.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Thank you Brian, this is makes it even worse than I thought.

                    Lord have mercy.

          • phil r. upp says

            Fr. John,

            I don’t know what campaign you’re watching, but Obama is none of what you mention. Romney and Ryan will fail miserably. The GOP has no shot at winning anything.

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Daniel, the story you are circulating about Romney isn’t true of course but that aside, it’s good to see someone like yourself finally challenge the liberal dogma that unborn children are disposable commodities.

          Be careful! Keep this up and soon people will be calling you a racist and homophobe! 🙂

  5. Mobocracy? I would think that, being Greek, you would use the proper word: Ochlocracy. 😉

    And thank you for putting the discussion back on track!

  6. Regarding +Mel.

    Can anyone go over these documents (26-31) and (objectively and truthfully) explain to me what the nuns are saying and why they think +Mel was not canonically released?

    • Lil Ole Housewife says

      Will our Metropolitan serve the beginning of the Church Year?

      Κοντάκιον τῆς Ἰνδίκτου Ἦχος δ’

      Ὁ τῶν αἰώνων Ποιητής καί Δεσπότης, Θεέ τῶν ὅλων ὑπερούσιε ὄντως, τήν ἐνιαύσιον εὐλόγησον περίοδον, σῴζων τῷ ἐλέει σου, τῷ ἀπείρῳ οἰκτίρμων, πάντας τούς λατρεύοντας, σοί τῷ μόνῳ Δεσπότῃ, καί ἐκβοῶντας φόβῳ· Λυτρωτά, εὔφορον πᾶσι τό ἔτος χορήγησον.

    • John Christopher says

      They are saying that he was canonically released from Elder Dionysius’ monastery, but he obtained a release document from another source and used this latter document–not the Dionysian one–as the basis for his election in the OCA. Why? Because he didn’t want his association with the Dionysians to hurt his chances of election. (That’s an allegation, not a fact proven by the tranche of documents.)

    • Priest Matthew says

      I simply don’t have time to do justice to this incredible response by the Holy Monastery, but hopefully someone will step through it line by line – as it deserves – and explain it for those who cannot understand it. I wanted only to say that it truly is an incredible document…

    • It looks like the new Orthodox prayer app is more important. Sorry.
      I am so out of here.

  7. ChristineFevronia says


    Six monks fled Manton over a month ago, seeking refuge at St. Herman’s Monastery in Platina. Their story is compelling and shocking.

    Yesterday, lightning struck near the Manton Monastery of St. John. A fire grew rapidly. The remaining monks still living there with Abbot Meletios were evacuated yesterday at 4:00, and were given just half-hour. They removed a few icons from the church, the relics of several saints, and a few personal belongings. They stayed for awhile in Manton and then dispersed. They are staying around the state with family members. They had to leave all their farm animals and their many cats behind, and took the two dogs to a vet in nearby Redding.

    At noon today, fire overtook the monastery property and the outbuildings were destroyed. Two fire crews were trying to hold the fire at the main building.

    And what does the OCA have to say about this? It is so absurdly par for the course. On the OCA website, there is a blurb dated yesterday that says: “A web team member’s call to the monastery went unanswered, indicating that the monks may have sought safety elsewhere… Anyone with additional information and/or updates is kindly requested to send them to”

    Are you kidding me? Doesn’t the “web team” talk with synod member Bishop Benjamin? Oh, and let’s browse the Diocese of the West’s webpage to see if there is any info there… Hmm. Nothing–and it’s been a day and a half since the fire broke out.

    I pray for the monks who fled Manton who have taken up residence at St. Herman’s in Platina (going from OCA to Serbian Orthodox overnight…) They left everything behind that was “home” for them. And now I pray for all the monks who chose to remain there with Abbot Mel under Bishop Benjamin.

    A lightning bolt straight from the sky, burning the monastery grounds… May God save us all from our sins and transgressions.

    I am heartbroken for Fr. Jonah. He received a blessing to start that monastery, and grew it from the ground up. He took in both beautiful and ugly souls. Under his care, that monastery was something miraculous. Then Fr. Jonah was sent to the Diocese of the South, then Syosset. Now he has nothing… no title (except honorary), no monastery to call home, even. What he began, the Lord has finished. And now, there is another task for him to do–perhaps something even greater than we can all believe at this point when he has been labeled insane, his monastery has burned to the ground, and he has been sent on his way, a true beggar. May we all greet him with the Love of Christ as we see him walk down the difficult and lonely path God has set before him.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Perhaps this is God’s judgment? Lord have mercy.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        It is my understanding that the two main living quarters have been saved by the firefighters, and perhaps also the chapel. Sure would be nice to have the OCA issue a statement! The fire is not contained and has already burned 12,000 acres. We all simply do not know what is happening there and as the fire is still raging, we can only pray for God’s will.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      I’m truly gobsmacked by the lack of response. Nobody at the diocese headquarter picked up the phone to see how the monks were faring?

  8. Last Wednesday on the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated an early morning Liturgy. I was present along with a small, warm group of friends and supporters. It was a beautiful, very healing and uplifting Liturgy. Afterwards I asked if anything new or hopeful had come out of the Synod’s discussion on Monday, August 13. The bishops did not even consider the question of the Metropolitan’s financial support or a canonical release.

    Why would the Synod or Chancery want to keep Metropolitan Jonah in the OCA when they do not want to pay him or retain him as a bishop? No one should be kept in that state of inertia or paralysis. No one who is so evidently and clearly sane should ever be told to check himself into a psychiatric facility- and for someone to be told this in such a way trivializes and mocks the complicated and painful ordeals of those who actually suffer from real impairments or illnesses. No one should be abused and slandered like this.

    The lack of resolution and basic Christian compassion for the Metropolitan and his family is greatly distressing. No Orthodox Christians can rightfully treat their brother in this manner.

    • It’s a means of retaining control over the situation. The last thing they want is for Jonah to be somewhere else, in good standing, and free to speak, eventually, about what exactly happened here. As a practical matter, shutting him up in a mental health facility kills two birds with one stone — first, it makes him inaccessible and, second, it provides a foundation for discrediting anything he may say later (i.e., “after all, he was committed to that institution for a while and really is a nutter, you know?” type of thing). It also has a precedent in this specific jurisdiction, unfortnuately, so it’s a familiar enough pathway “available” in terms of being on the table/script for something like this.

      To be honest I’m also shocked that George hasn’t written yet about what the nuns released last week. It’s an incredible documentary trail, to be honest. And unfortunately it paints a relatively nasty picture of what is really going on here — a quite nasty one, in fact.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        What is your understanding of the documents they released having to do with Bp. Melchizedek?

        • It’s hard to tell.

          The suggestion from the post at the DC Nuns website is that there was something about the nature of his release from the Church of Greece.

          Melchizedek was long associated with Petras and the elder Dionysios. Yet according to the timeline one can piece together from the “DC Nuns” website, it was in November 2008 that he requested to be “deleted from the Monastic Roll of Petra” because he said he was living at the time at the monastery in Petrilia. It’s not clear what a deletion from the monastic roll really is — it’s a very odd wording, and seems quite abnormal for a monk to switch from one monastery to another so informally without an arrangement among the abbots — perhaps there was one, but it is not mentioned in that letter.

          Then, only the following month, on December 8, 2008, Jonah sent a letter to Dionysios at Petras requesting the elder to bring the formal release papers of the DC Nuns and of Melchizedek with him to HB’s enthronement ceremony. This letter is most odd in style for Metropolitan Jonah — he normally writes in rather succinct sentences, yet this letter is almost all one, long run-on sentence. It appears to my eyes to possibly be a translation of something written in another language or style — but in any case it is quite odd in style for something that HB would have written himself. It’s possible, for example, that the “form” of the letter was recommended by the people in Greece — the letter is a curious mix of formality and informality.

          This is followed a few days later, on December 13, 2008, by the formal decision of the assembly of Petras to release Melchizedek, which also notes that he was still on the monastery’s rolls as of that date, and the actual letter granting such release of the same date. Both refer to HB’s letter of December 8, 2008.

          Subsequent to this, in March 2009, the Metropolitan of the COG diocese based in Karditsa issued a release letter, releasing Melchizedek from the Diocese and from the Monastery of Korona, copying the Monastery of the Theotokos referenced in Melchizedek’s letter of November 2008.

          I am certainly not an expert in Greek Orthodox canon law, and certainly not regarding the situation of how a monastic is released from a monastery into that of another jurisdiction. The Abbess characterizes the process in the post on the Nuns’ website as requiring letters of release from the abbot of the departing monastery and acceptance from the abbot of the receiving monastery, with notice to the governing Metropolitan. However, there is no way of telling whether this is true or not unless one is an expert in the canonical laws that govern these things for the Church of Greece. It would appear odd to me at least if a hieromonk could be released from the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece by anyone other than the prevailing Bishop — in other words, it would seem odd to request the release from only the abbot of the Monastery, rather than the Bishop (or perhaps in parallel). Thus, the documents that are dated from December of 2008 are fine as far as they go, but seem odd in not involving the Bishop. The letter from the Metropolitan in March 2009 references a letter from HB dated January 2, 2009, which is not included in the DC Nuns set of referenced documents, which apparently requested the release of Melchizedek from the Metropolitan. So, it’s possible that HB requested the release both from the monastery and from the Metropolitan — if the references are true, then this appears the most likely case, although we do not see what the letter of January 2, 2009 actually said.

          The oddest aspect about the whole thing from the documents we have been provided there is that there does not appear to have been a formal request to switch monasteries (release and acceptance) for Melchizedek, at least not as far as we can tell, because at least as of December 2008, he was still on the rolls at Petras, which would seem to indicate that he had not been released from that monastery to another one in Greece, or simply released to be a diocesan priest of that Diocese. But it was odd that the letter from the Metropolitan did not mention Melchizedek’s affiliation with Petras at all.

          There’s also the business about the email from Melchizedek to Dionysios of November 2008, describing some difficulties he appeared to be having in being considered for the OCA episcopate due to his affiliation with Dionysios and Petras. However, it does appear that as of the following month, Melchizedek was still on the rolls at Petras, and no mention is made of him having been released from Petras to serve at another monastery, or as a diocesan priest apart from a monastery.

          So the whole thing is a bit odd. Of course, there’s a suggestion that Melchizedek was trying to distance himself from the elder, and that this may have colored his views of the DC Nuns (and this has been suggested by others over the past few years as well), but there isn’t that much in the documents about that other than the email.

          • KB-

            Thank you for your very comprehensive and systematic analysis of this aspect of the situation.

            It makes one wonder how many other bishops on the Synod and how many members of the MP were aware of possible irregularities in Bishop Melchizedek’s canonical status prior to his election and consecration yet still allowed his election, elevation and consecration to move forward.

            Perhaps he and others (+Benjamin: Re – possible cover up at Manton) need to be suspended from active duty pending an independent investigation into this and other matters.

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Ah, thanks! I see that this is something that needs to be looked into further. Obviously the nuns seem to think that this is significant.

          • John Christopher says

            First, these are only *some* of the documents related to the issue at hand. Incomplete evidence often leads to faulty conclusions.

            Second, some of the documents, especially the document from Metropolitan Jonah dated Dec 8, 2008, are of questionable value or authenticity.

            Third, the documents are carefully chosen by the nuns to support a narrative.

            Fourth, that narrative, which is of limited value since it is naturally and obviously selective, is as follows:

            1) Bishop Mel *was* canonically released by the monastery of his repentance in Dec 2008. Period. The documents chosen by the nuns make this abundantly clear.

            2) Later on, in March 2009, Bishop Mel was canonically released by the Metropolitan of Karditsa. According to the Metropolitan of Karditsa, this was done at the request of Metropolitan Jonah.

            These are the only facts established by the documents. The nuns *allege* that the second release is improper and scandalous. Much more information is needed to substantiate that claim. But it’s not entirely clear that such information will help them or Metropolitan Jonah, unless, of course, one believes the Metropolitan of Karditsa is lying about all the details in his letter of release, including the fact that it was requested of him by Metropolitan Jonah.

    • Anonymous poster who went to Dormition Liturgy, where did this Liturgy take place? Thank you for recounting it so beautifully. I agree that the bishops are behaving shamefully.

      Well, Metropolitan Jonah may be swinging in the breeze, but at least he’s hanging in there. I hope more people will report on what he’s up to these days.

  9. cynthia curran says

    True, also there are difference in income among white people. Jews usually today have high income while scot-irish West Virginia and Kentucky have the lowest incomes. Same in Europe Germans have higher incomes than British. British have a white population that has some of the highest out of wedlock births and criminal behavior as well. Granted, Sweden may also have a high out of wedlock birth but its related to taxes its cheaper not to be married. And Swedish couples whether legally married or not stay together better than the English Also, George is right immigration will effect poverty rates in 1970 San Diego County had only a 6 percent poverty rate versus today around 12 or 13 percent. Granted, there are other factors but their is usually a higher poverty rate in San Diego County among the foreign born versus the native born.

  10. cynthia curran says

    San Diego is also a county with a low Afro-american population in fact is lower today in percent than in 1970. San Diego Afro-American about 5 percent and Hispanic about 31 to 32 percent and Asian around 13. So it does better than let’s say Houston or Dallas which have more Afro-Americans and Hispanics on poverty stats or graduation stats.

  11. Mike Myers says

    Correction: these numbers are abortions per 1,000 women, not 1,000 births.

  12. Mike Myers says

    OK, ic. So woe is you if you don’t preach your trite sermons on free enterprise and that market idol to which you guys are always bending your knees. But I’m very curious just what you think is the root cause of this Great Recession. You certainly appear to want to be taken for a well-informed savant of economics. (Ever studied the subject?) While you’re at it, explain the steady decline in real wages, adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, since the mid 70s and the shocking concentration of wealth at the very top of the income ladder in the US. Is socialist incursion behind the destruction of manufacturing and the metastasis in the proportion of the American GDP represented by the FIRE sector over the last 4 decades, especially in the Financial segment? Explain these things to me, padre.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’ll tell you exactly what’s caused this most recent recession: deficit spending. If you want to discuss WHY we have deficit spending, we can do that too.

      • So George, you’re saying that Bush’s deficit spending was the cause of the current recession. I heard Obama supporters blame Bush, but never a conservative. I’m confused (as usual.)

        • George Michalopulos says

          Quite right. Deficit spending in the agreggate will lead to recessions. No way around that, whether the party in power is Silly, Stupid or Evil.

          To be sure, if the deficit is smallish and the economy is growing then the impact of red ink will be minimal. Kind of like getting a mortgage to by a house as opposed to a loan to go on a weekend bender in Reno hoping to make money shooting craps. But gov’t grows and its list of clients grows. This is the essence of vote-bying. And gov’t loses all restraint. It’s one thing to fund a dedicated project like the TVA or the Hoover Dam which will have tangible benefits down the road, it’s quite another to fund Spanish language commercials in Mexico telling people to cross the border and get on Welfare.

          • Mike Myers says

            George, this is simple-minded. You’re ascribing all the blame quite falsely to the public sector. You ignore entirely the private sector contribution to recession.

            The macroeconomic consequences of public sector deficit spending are complex, there is no black and white here. As even you appear to recognize, some of this deficit spending can be and has been prudent and fruitful investment. Other kinds are just black hole waste.

            The other huge factor, that you conveniently ignore, evidently because it doesn’t gibe with your ideology and talking points, is supply and demand in the private sector, and the impact of the inequality in income and wealth that has been widening since the 70s, on that. Take off the blinkers.

            And then there’s the obvious fact that “government spending” by the public sector is money spent on … products and service in the private sector. The wingnut propaganda that tries to separate these two sectors into separate moral universes is pure BS, obviously. But that’s another show.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Mike, no one is blameless. Although I am at a loss to see how the “private sector” can be blamed because the Leviathan state has dragged them into subsidizing the public sphere. “Crony capitalism” exists, I most assuredly agree with you here. However it’s not possible to escape the tentacles of the state anymore. As much as I’d love to “live off the grid,” I can’t, nor can anyone for that matter.

              At that point, we should not be surprised that people like George Herman Kaiser of Solyndra infamy uses the gov’t for his own ends.

          • Got any data or evidence to back that up? Or any reputable economist anywhere who agrees?

            To me it doesn’t make a lick of sense. The federal government has run a deficit for all but five of the last sixty years. Recessions have occurred intermittently occasionally here as they have in every industrialized country. I’ve not noticed the slightest correlation between deficits and recessions.

            • George Michalopulos says

              OK: Weimar Germany. They monetized their debt. Look where it landed them.

              I said “in the aggregate.” It’s not possible to keep on running up deficits ad infinitum. Notice I also said “productive.” It’s one thing to run a manageable deficit for a dedicated real-world project (i.e. Hoover Dam) that will employ men in the short term and then provide an economic windfall down the road. Big difference between that and just giving people money to not do anything and then to compound it by giving money to corporate fat-cats (i.e. “stimulus”) for no other reason than they helped you get into office.

              The key word is “managable.” We’re beyong that, now we’re heading into “ruinous” territory.

              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

                I don’t think that’s what “in the aggregate” means, and it is theoretically possible to run a deficit indefinitely without incurring a recession if one assumes other growth factors will outstrip the accumulation of debt. Supply-side theorists did that in the 1980’s and 1990’s, telling people not to worry about the deficit because revenue from the “new economy” would dwarf existing debt over time. This actually happened in Britain in the 19th century. For the details, see this article on debt and sovereignty.

        • Michael Bauman says

          ….and Obama kept adding to it.

      • Mike Myers says

        I’m calling your bluff. Deficit spending on and borrowing for what? Let’s see what you know about the macroeconomic facts. Let’s see if you can perform at the minimal level of laying out the numbers for Federal expenditures in the basic categories, since Nixon. This isn’t rocket science. You are both claiming to understand this. Prove it, with the numbers.

        And it’s interesting that both of you completely ignored these questions, which I repeat for your convenient reference:

        While you’re at it, explain the steady decline in real wages, adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, since the mid 70s and the shocking concentration of wealth at the very top of the income ladder in the US. Is socialist incursion behind the destruction of manufacturing and the metastasis in the proportion of the American GDP represented by the FIRE sector over the last 4 decades, especially in the Financial segment?

        The truth is, I ask rhetorically, not expecting anything substantive or informed from either of you partisan hacks. What could you say?

        The contribution to the Federal treasury from the upper deciles of income and particularly from the ultra-wealthy, who derive by far the greatest benefits from this society and its economic system, have been plunging for 40 years. Much of the money they have been extracting is invested or spent offshore rather than invested here in the US. It’s primarily a tax policy issue and the problems have been accumulating for decades. Neither of you has much clue what you’re babbling about. You parrot talking points you hear on Faux news like tape recorders and demonstrate little insight into the macroeconomic facts.

        Setting aside the private sector macroeconomic distortions and injustices I ask about above — and about which I expect crickets wrt to any substantive reply — there are two sides to the public sector problems, fiscally: Revenue and Spending. I take it that both of you have little problem with the vast expenditures on War, since Johnson — it’s the rest of the Federal spending that you dislike, presumably. I take it that neither of you has any problem with the plunge in Treasury revenues, proportionate to those from lower income Americans, from upper income Americans since Nixon. My question to you both is simple: if so, WHY? The deficit and the borrowing to cover it can be more than accounted for right here. If you are going to go on pretending to be honest men you must explain why you insist on closing your eyes to these facts. Give an account for this. I’m all ears.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Gov’t borrowing for anything. Surely you see that our national debt is $16 trillion and rising. And this doesn’t include the unfunded liabilities. Perhaps $76 trillion if not more.

          You can’t keep on dancing around these figures forever Mike. Even the Emperor of Japan had to put out a radio broadcast on Aug 6th, 1945, admitting that “the war had not gone to our liking.”

    • Fr, Hans Jacobse says

      Mike, you’ve got to get away from the ideological cant, seriously.

      George is right — deficit spending. The trillions in borrowing distorts real value. It separates value from the work required to produce it. Add to that a very loose monetary policy and everything gets distorted.

      The laws of economics, like the laws of nature, can only be cheated for so long. Better wake up Mike. All of Europe and the US can go the way of Greece if we don’t change our ways.

      Listen to the interview I posted upstream. Grasp that and you will grasp the nature of the problem.

      • Harry Coin says

        Giving rise to the deficit spending we see 1/3 of the world’s population in China willing to work for way less than it costs to make things here. Unemployment here goes up, while teachers unions pension funds and public employee unions pension funds and university employee unions pension funds and investors got rich owing to way lower manufacturing costs and steady prices.

        We printed money, borrowed money to pay unemployment and swell the size of government. But, sooner or later there just isn’t enough money here to keep sending over there owing to the lack of work here. Politicians that promise more, more more are selling you promises and hope you’ll get mad at the fellow not making similar promises. But if you vote for more, you won’t get more, you’ll get less, just as they do in Greece.

        We kept that up long past when it was sane to stop because China bought our government debt, the same folk doing the work, so we could spend past our means. Now we owe them big money so we really can’t erect tariffs and trade barriers to level the work safety and other human rules that allow their labor costs to stay low compared to ours. Others will tell you that tariffs and import taxes don’t work.

        Well, the fact they’re doing the work there and we’re not is what’s driving this whole equation. Our government allows it to continue because they buy our government debt. Right up until … they stop, or worse, sell it to the same folk we hope to sell it to. Then we can be like Greece — want to buy some of their debt? How’s that working out?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Yup. And buckle your collective seatbelts when the dollar loses reserve currency status. Even way before then, the massive debt will force the government to monetize the debt. Mayhem in the streets.

        • As of 2011, China held 8% of the total U.S. public debt, according to the US Dept of Treasury.

  13. Mike Myers says

    . . . A flurry of words Mike, most of which I will ignore . . .

    A prudent decision, father.

  14. cynthia curran says

    Well, anyways, unlike some on the right I studied some of the websites of Occupy while they make some valid points about things they usually have a lot of violence like a bloody Mickey Mouse in regards to their protest in Anaheim. Also, interested in Anarchists killed almost hundred years ago, Some of their images can be disturbing,conflicts of people and police.