Another Way to Know When You’re Winning an Argument

The Digital Apocalypse has been temporarily postponed. Last week, President Trump (peace be upon him!) threw down the gauntlet at the oligarchs of Silicon Valley.

And not a moment too soon. He told them that the censorship has got to stop. Now. Or else they run the risk of being turned into public utilities and then they’ll have to show how they manipulate their algorithms. Or they’ll be subject to anti-trust legislation and forced to be broken up. This would be financially ruinous for the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter, et al.

The official reason reason for the crackdown on conservative and alt.right sites was because of “hate speech”. This is nothing but censorship by another name and it’s prompted because the left is losing it big-time. They are definitely losing the argument, just like they lost the 2016 election. Let’s not forget that Trump brilliantly used social media to offset the 2-to-1 advantage in spending that Hillary Clinton had.

Not only did she outspend him but she had an even more significant advantage in “earned media”, that is the fawning cable and broadcast news coverage. And yes, Google did manipulate the algorithms at certain opportune times to make it look like all the tech-nerds were hip to Hill. As for Corporate Media, the overwhelming percentage of reportage concerning Trump was overwhelmingly negative while Clinton’s was just the opposite. Worse, negative stories about her were assiduously buried.

There were many reasons why Trump won the Presidency but one major reason was because he didn’t play the political game as it has always been played. He overturned the tables and shattered the rice bowls of the political class. This can’t be said enough: 2016 was a game-changer and it was set in motion by Trump’s brilliant control of social media.

The political mandarinate still hasn’t quite figured it out yet. That’s why whenever we turn on MSNBC or CNN we are able to laugh at how clueless the various hosts are. They are so inbred, so inoculated from the real world, that they can’t understand how the President shatters their sacred shibboleths day in and day out. What drives them to rage is that nobody besides them seems to care. Hence the outrage they displayed at the recent McCain “funeral”.

They live in a bubble, an echo-chamber if you will: a thin corridor of land between Northern Virginia and New York. The incestuous world which they inhabit is a modern Versailles. Everything is hunky-dory —for them. For everybody else, not so much.

They operate much like the palace eunuchs who populated oriental courts during the Middle Ages. Unlike those poor creatures, they are prettier and more presentable to the public and as long as they maintain their looks and their ratings don’t go completely down the crapper, Corporate Media will continue to pay them their seven-figure salaries. I suppose that the higher-ups do so because they view them as a loss-leader. Perhaps there’s a significant tax break for corporations that have a “news division”; you know, a public trust or something like that.

In any event, they have no incentive to change –at least not yet. But change they will. Events will force them too. Regardless, they’re not that smart

That’s the pretty boys though. They thought that Hillary had it in the bag. Their self-appointed role was to make sure that nobody on the right (and extreme left) stepped out of line and got anywhere near the levers of real power. That’s why Bernie was royally screwed out of the nomination. That way she could cross the finish line without breaking a sweat and if she went into a seizure or soiled her pantsuit, they were there to make sure it didn’t get reported. If on the other hand, Donald Trump had made an indelicate comment ten years ago, well, that’s another story.

The Inner Party however was never as assured of Hillary’s victory as they the talking heads were. We can reasonably infer that fact given what is being spilled out about their ineptitude and corruption on a daily basis. That’s why they aren’t going to take any chances with the mid-terms. So they’re calling on the lords of Silicon Valley to pull out all the stops in order to stifle all contrary opinions.

(Read this for example, to understand what it is that we are up against:

Diamond and Silk, Stefan Molyneux and Alex Jones of Infowars were merely the first shot. David Horowitz of Frontpage (a neoconservative) was next in their cross-hairs. Paul Joseph Watson, Faith Goldy and Lauren Southern were likewise taken down. Unfortunately for Silicon Valley, their ham-handed attempts at shutting them down have backfired miserably. So much so that it’s obvious to all what was going on.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

And that’s why the Trumpster is declaring war on them. Even the Republicans in Congress are finding their cojones and screwing up the courage necessary to call them to account. So far, only Jack Dorsey of Twitter is starting to play along. Trump’s very real threat of discontinuing his Twitter account is probably causing Dorsey some anxiety. It’s still too early to tell if Facebook and Google are going to come to the table and spill the beans. In any event, it’s a divide-and-conquer strategy and so far Trump is winning.

Now this is where it gets really ironic. Because of American sanctions against Venezuela, Abby Martin of Empire Files, a hard-core leftist has been shut down as well:

I imagine The Jimmy Dore Show will be next. This is an example of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Admittedly, Jimmy Dore and Abby Martin are honest, anti-war leftists so it’s clear that as far as the Establishment is concerned, the only good progressives are pro-war progressives. If they have to be thrown under the bus, who cares? (Wasn’t it Lenin who said that in order to make an omelet a few eggs have to be broken?)

We’ll find out which way this is going to play at as time goes on, of this I’m sure. Right now, I’m betting on the Trumpster. And the First Amendment.

And yes, get on your knees and thank God for the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. If it wasn’t for them and the aura that surrounds their memory, the Establishment and their progressive minions would have found a way to get rid of the Bill of Rights by now. So yeah, that’s another reason we can thank our lucky stars that Trump was elected.

And remember this: the only remedy for “offensive” speech is more speech, not less.


  1. In the case of David Horowitz and Robert Spencer, MasterCard came after them to curtail their ability to receive money. A source of cover used by financial and big tech actors is the Southern Poverty Law Center hate list.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yeah, the $PLC is going to go down as well.

      Seriously, NGOs and “non-profits” have done more harm than good when all is said and done. the SPLC, ACLU and the ADL in particular. The ACLU was definitely a communist-front organization.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Apropos of nothing at all, I came across this little tidbit of info on how the election of Trump has changed the political dynamic in DC for the better:

  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says


  4. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    Tucker Carlson can hardly imagine why, in America, a judge has the indiscriminate right to ban the release of videos the public needs to see; in fact, has a right to see? Mr. Carlson is a conman and a deceiver. This all stems from the upcoming prosecution of David Daleiden and Sandra S. Merritt, indicted on criminal felony charges of tampering with a government record — specifically, creating phony California driver’s licenses for the purpose of falsifying their identities. Daleiden was also charged with trying to buy human organs, which is a misdemeanor in CA. They invested hundreds of hours and an undisclosed amount of money wining & dining administrators of Planned Parenthood, using every manipulative lie & trick in the book, attempting to illegally purchase aborted fetus and by-products of the process. And when not even one administrator even vaguely took the bait, they edited the hundreds of illegally filmed videos of these interactions to make it appear as if the at least some of the administrators might be amenable to criminal sales for personal profit. Only when the raw footage was seized and reviewed in its entirety was it clear that the “edit” was a gross, purposeful misrepresentation of PPH, with the single intent of deception.

    Why did Judge Orrick issue a permanent injunction against release of the video in question here? 1) He indicated that it was filmed in 2015 by members of Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress who had forged documents to falsify the true identities to gain admittance to a restricted event, and had also signed agreements of non-disclosure; but more importantly, 2) he indicated that he was concerned that, when a similar tape was released to the Congress in 2015, it was nearly immediately leaked. November 27, 2015, Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CO and murdered three people. The psychiatrists who found him “unfit to stand trial” – a state that continues to this day – indicated his familiarity with the leaked tape. Judge Orrick stated in his ruling, “[With the increase of death threats, and increased threats of violence & harassment] the desire of the National Abortion Federation to have its members protected from unwarranted harassment was paramount.” His opion was upheld on appeal to Federal Court of Appeals. WAT? says wide-eyed Carson – and for a big of a discussion as we had on your site, perhaps it just slipped your memory, Mr. Michalopulos?

    And pardon me for bursting your self-created bubble, but Mr. Putin, who alone is the vanguard of the Soviet Russian abortion system – for which he answers to no one, up to, and including the Russian Orthodox Church – must be choking on his kvas thinking, “I’d put up with this nonsense for about two days… Vámonos!” Don’t deserve to throw stones at PPH when you would go to Liturgy with their champion.

    This is winning?

    • Mr. Carlson is a conman….

      If I may George:

      Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
      (Exodus 20:16)

      Or as I like to say: “Calm down bro, and eat a Snickers bar!”

      God bless Abe Vigoda, and Betty White!

    • Sorry but if there is a lie being told it is you who are lying about the videos of Planned Parenthood selling body parts. The videos were NOT highly edited. The original released videos were, of course, edited for time. Almost immediately after PP made these ludicrious accusations of the tapes being edited in a biased way, the said tapes were released in their entirety. Please stop spreading lies.

      • M. Stankovich says

        I personally watched hours of raw video released by Judge Orrick with my research students and the students of 2 colleagues that were full-length, before and after many of the points in the edited tape. You?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        There are many problems with Michael’s arguments:

        (1) Just because Michael watched hours of raw video released by Judge Orrick does not make him any more or less of an expert than you are. I binge watch “Grays Anatomy” but it doesn’t make me a doctor.

        (2) Mr. Putin is NOT the vanguard of the Soviet Russian abortion system “for which he answers to no one, up to, and including the Russian Orthodox Church.” The law has been in place longer than he’s walked on the planet (100 years) and he answers to the Russian people. What he HAS done is pass the “family friendly” legislation that we’ve discussed on this site.

        (3) Judge Orrick is a Democrat campaign bundler and left-wing political activist. OF COURSE, he’s going to create a smoke screen by talking about “death threats” and “increased threats of violence” so he can shut down a meaningful review of the tapes.

        (4) That Orrick’s opinion was upheld on appeal means nothing. Less than 10% of cases are overturned.

        (5) The Orthodox Church teaches that the taking of a life is murder and that life begins with fertilization. To support abortion on any grounds, for any reason, flies in the face of the Church. Capitalizing through monetary gain on the tissue of a murdered child is particularly distasteful to those of us who value life as the Church does.

        (6) Bob, you were absolutely right about the tapes being released in their entirety.

        * * *
        There has got to be a name for those who cherry pick the teachings of the Orthodox Church. To call the people who do this Orthodox is a misnomer. We should reserve the Orthodox name for those who accept Orthodox teachings in its entirety. We could everyone else semi-Orthodox, or like a copy of a designer purse, a “knock-off” Orthodox Christian. In other words, a watered down version of what God intended.

        • Constantinos says

          Dr. Stankovich seems to be more cranky than his usual irascible self. I don’t know what his problem is- and frankly I don’t care. He shouldn’t be taking his problems out on other posters. Everyone has problems. What makes him think he’s so special?
          He can be most petulant at times. It’s very unseemly for a man who knows the most important people in Orthodoxy( or so he thinks). Frankly, I don’t care who he knows. It certainly doesn’t make him a saint.

        • Gail,
          All your points are fine, except (2).

          I remember when a flood of Russian orphans to the United States was completely shut down, because Mr. Putin did not want any orphans to go to our country. The MP, and his Church also approved. Seems we lack morals, and not Christian enough to receive Russian orphans, and of course politics. If Putin wanted abortion cut 50,70,90 percent he could, but he has not, and I don’t pretend I know the answer.

          Amazing that one guided trip visiting Russia’s many beauties, has left you an apologist for Mr. Putin. Greece is a beautiful country to visit Gail, and proud of my Greek heritage, but I am no ones bootlicker. Mr. Tsipras is a atheist, communist pig, and has no love for Orthodoxy in Greece. BUT, at least he does not hide it. Mr. Putin is a very dangerous thug, and a Orthodox opportunist at best. He also enjoys very shinny boots.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Dino, the reason Putin stopped adoptions to the west was because homosexual couples were adopting many of them and molesting them.

            This of course gave the western medua Another excuse to hate on Russia.

            • Great! Then he should not have a problem saving babies from being murdered, by his own people, and government. If he wanted to.

              If Holy Russia is as Holy as you say, there should be no blow back from the Russian people. What an idea that Mother Russia might attempt to make amends or attempt forgiveness for her horrid past sins, of the 20th century. The worse mankind has seen.

              Again the point is not about orphans. The point is Putin gets want he wants, and he wants to allow abortion. George I say this as a friend. Putin, and/ or Russia will let you down in the end my brother.

              Power has completely corrupted an already corrupt, and evil Putin. This same power will again destroy Russian Orthodoxy, worse I fear, all of Orthodoxy, more than any bullet or fire bomb ever could. Orthodoxy cannot and should not be fire-starter, or a warmonger, but you speak of war drums! This is Orthodoxy? Count me out. I prefer a bullet to the head.

              The issues with EP, MP, GOA, Ukraine,ETC, is an issue we should first cry over, then pray over. This is not a sporting event to be discussed like some kind of fantasy football league and blog. I fear this jurisdiction team sport of Orthodoxy, we play here is a blasphemy to Orthodoxy. I want no part of. I remember well the words of Misha, long ago. We are fleas on the tail of a dog. Why risk scandalizing ourselves, brother against, brother?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dino, I both love and respect you as a brother. So please take the following critique in that light.

                Let’s start with first principles: I “do not put my trust in princes or sons of men in whom there is no salvation.” I’m not looking for “salvation” from Putin or the Russian people –only from Christ.

                Having said that, God in His infinite wisdom has set up the nation-state as the preferred method of government until the Restoration. Some governments are good, some not so good. As for myself, I much prefer a patriotic, Christian, European nation-state which treasures its culture, history and people. Russia checks off all three of those qualities. We here in America are busy trashing our own history.

                I also love a country where the people are sane enough to know that there are only two sexes, not 38. Check again. It makes life so much easier. I also like a culture which doesn’t view homosexuality as the highest ideal. Again: points to Russia. (And Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, etc.) And I really love a country that doesn’t think hordes of Third-world rapists going around and assaulting the native women is a good idea.

                As far as Russia is concerned: game, set, match.

                I’m more concerned however in what you said earlier about the fact that Putin is “evil” and he is not a real Christian. You give bonus points to Tsipras of Greece who you correctly mention is a vile atheist and poor excuse for a human being. I would add to that “traitor” because he clearly has an antipathy for the people he rules over. But that’s a quibble. Your point is that at least Tsipras is honest about his evilness.

                Let’s put our cards on the table: how do you know that Putin is not a Christian? Can you see inside his heart? This is a dangerous thing for you to say. Consider: I have rightly been castigated because I called Obama a “wicked Mahometan”. Could I see in his heart, that he didn’t love Christ? (Although in fairness to me he did tell George Stephanopoulos in an interview about how much he loved the Muezzin’s call to prayer and his “Muslim faith”. And then there was the fact that he –like the Southern Baptist Bill Clinton–did everything in his power to keep abortion legal –even partial-birth abortion.) Still, I was wrong to judge Obama’s heart. Period. Full stop. (Deeds are another thing.)

                I also wonder about how you can say that Putin can just snap his fingers and make abortion illegal. I’m sorry, I’m not seeing it. Anymore than the most Catholic countries of Western Europe or Latin America could (back when Catholicism meant something). It’s not that easy. Unfortunately, abortion is a woman’s choice and because we men in the West (as well as Russia) want free and easy sex, no woman –even the most devout–is going to want to give up that “right”.

                And then, let’s not forget that the American oligarchy will fight tooth-and-nail to keep abortion legal just so they can keep the numbers of blacks and Hispanics down. One out of three abortions that are performed are performed on black women. This means that even though blacks make up 12% of the American population, they account for 34% of the abortion. Think of this as a preemptive death penalty or slow-motion genocide. Take your pick.

                Dino, my brother, believe me I know what I’m talking about. Speaking as someone who was active in the pro-life movement (to the criticism of my extended family and many in my GOA parish), I’ve not only talked the pro-life talk, I’ve walked the pro-life walk. Until the sexual roles are returned to normal (i.e. before Hugh Hefner and Germaine Greer came upon the scene), any entreaties to ban abortion will fall on deaf ears. I wish that wasn’t the case. As for Russia (and Israel, Poland, and other saner nations), there are restrictions on abortion that would make me jump for joy if we could enact them here.

                We live in a fallen world. You have to pick your poison. As a committed pro-lifer and someone who is proud of his European heritage, I choose Russia as a model for national renewal. There is absolutely nothing in Western Europe to lend itself for national survival. In fact, quite the opposite: What the EU nations are doing is nothing short of national suicide. Thanks, but no thanks.

                If Putin is a scoundrel, opportunist or secret atheist; if he’s a divorcee that has a mistress or two, that’s between him and his God. It’s not mine –or yours–to judge. I’ll end with this parable, about the two sons who were asked by their father to do his will. One said “yes” but he didn’t, while the other said “no” but he did. Jesus asked his audience: “which brother did his father’s will?”

                As for Europe, short of a savage and genocidal race war, it cannot be redeemed. It will turn into a northern Maghreb where Sharia will rule the day. Jews are already fleeing Europe (lucky for them, at least they have Israel to go to). We here in America have a chance but only a fleeting one to salvage our culture. Let’s tend to our own knitting. The Russians aren’t our enemy but they will be if our neocon establishment keeps on provoking them. I for one would rather they be our friend. Is that so much to ask for?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Dino, see what I mean? I just found this on D C McAlliester is being threatened with gang-rape and murder because she put out a pro-life tweet.


                  Then there’s the fact that the GOP office in Wyoming was torched, a GOP candidate for Congress in California was stabbed and the Bernie Bro who attempted to massacre several GOP Congressmen last year is being memory-holed.

                  Let’s pray for America instead of obsessing of those wascally Wussians.

                • George,
                  I believe you understand, you and I are usually on the same page on most topics. You have even changed my mind a bit on topics such as removing Confederate statues, and The last Russian Tsar.

                  I would be a fool to say I know anyone’s heart. I also cannot prove if Putin is a Christian, or not. What I do know is Putin has been in power for nearly 20 years, and he controls Russia with a bloody iron fist. That is a long time, not a snap of finger, as you say, at all. If you or I were in his position, for 2o years, I am sure we would have put tight restrictions on abortion. He is content that it is a woman’s choice.

                  Before becoming ruler of Russia, he was part of one of the most ruthless government agencies the world has ever known. He also has all the goods on all bishops of the former Soviet Union. So in reality he is the man pulling their strings as well. Anyway you know his history.

                  If you like this type of a co-mingled religion, that is your right. My roots, if you will, have proven more than once, that bishops on political puppet strings, are even more dangerous than the politicians themselves, as they have “god” on their side to back them up, and get little resistance from the devout believers. Putin has all his bases covered, indeed my friend.

                  If blood is shed because the spiritual leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and long gone Constantinople can’t get along. I’m done. I’ll take my chances alone, and pray for Christ’s mercy.

                  At least before we could blame all our self afflicted sins upon Islam, or The Communist. No longer my brother, as it may end up Orthodox brothers killing each other, in the name of….

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Dino, you’re absolutely right about Putin being part of one of the “most ruthless organizations of all time” (i.e. KGB). No question. I never said he was a choirboy.

                    But let’s be clear, Bush 41 was leader of the CIA for several years. His own father (Sen Prescott Bush) was involved in a coup that failed against FDR (it was put down by Gen Burton Smedley). While the CIA is not nearly as ruthless as the KBG (even in its worst days), the fact remains that the CIA has done untold damage around the world since its inception. How many foreign governments has the CIA helped overthrow? What the collateral damage of such an action?

                    Nor should we forget that JFK may have signed his death warrant when he said that he “would break up the CIA into a thousand pieces”. (At one time, I was a lone-gunman partisan, now unfortunately I’m open to the possibility that JFK was executed by the Deep State.)

                    What we’re talking about here is manners and style, not substance. The Russians are brutish when they act, we Anglo-Saxons are more refined and elegant. The end-result however is the same.

                    Now, here’s where I become a hypocrite: I was a Cold Warrior. I still think that Communism was the worst, most brutish, and evil governmental system ever devised by the mind of man. With the death of the Christendom (i.e. the Great War), it fell to the United States to uphold liberty and the rule of law. If I had been president during that Cold War (ca 1946-1989), I too, would have unleashed the CIA to overthrow pro-Soviet regimes. I still think it was a mistake for Truman to circumvent the Congress when he initiated hostilities on the Korean peninsula. I also don’t think it was wise of JFK to buckle under pressure from Cabot Lodge and assassinate the Diem brothers in Vietnam. These are quibbles though as I think that during this “long, twilight struggle” it was up to the American President to carry the torch of freedom. In war, mistakes are made.

                    However the Cold War came to an end in 1989. Ronald Reagan’s strategy for fighting the Cold War was “we win, they lose”. Well, they lost. We won. Eisenhower was right: we should have pulled up our tents in Europe and gone home. There’s nothing wrong with peace and prosperity. But now that Russia has thrown off the shackles of Godless Bolshevism and are reclaiming their Christian heritage, we insist on poking them in the eye. And worse, we insist on harping on the supposed moral failures of Putin, Medvedev, Alexis, Kirill, whoever.


                    • George,
                      Remember the movie Forrest Gump, when he was a kick off receiver, for Alabama, and ran up, down, all around the field, and finally out of the stadium? No one could catch up with him. Well I’m out of breath you little Kounellaki.

                      Ok, now let’s back up. My original point to Gail and later you was Putin can change the abortion policy if he wanted to, and then you took the ball(topic) and ran with it, rambling up and down about everything except the question of whether Putin could or could not, radically change Russia’s abortion policy, finally you left the building like Forrest, harping about about poking the bear, and moral failures. Problem is these are policy failures, not moral failures, that affect lives, and Orthodoxy.

                      The morals, and culture overall in Russia are more traditional because the Soviet Union had set them and most of Eastern Europe back 25 years from the rest of Western Europe and America. Russia also rediscovered Orthodoxy, which was a positive influence upon their society. Once they catch up, and finally get some real money to there middle class, they will become just like the west. Same as Greek immigrants that built Churches in America, and lived their lives around the church. Now we see them beginning to empty, used mainly for baptism, marriage, and funerals. Greek interests are spread thin, with so much the Western world has to offer.

                      Lemme put it this way. If Trump does not build a wall, nor get us out of the Middle East, in my book he is/was a failure as President.

                      So laying the cards on the table. You and I both know, if Putin wanted abortion sanctioned 90% he could have done in his 18 years in power. As I said before, he is covering all his bases, and in that regard as the leader HIS nation is a failure in my book. A book that is not worth much.

                    • Correction: I meant Putin is the failure not his nation. I really miss the old hour long period to correct post errors. Anyway God bless brother and forgive me , just my opinion.

                  • Estonian Slovak says

                    Dino, I’m glad you modified your opinion of the Tsar-Martyr. If I remember correctly, you blamed him for all the evils of Communism. Do we really want to go down this road? If we want to play the blame game, can’t we speculate that if Hitler and Stalin hadn’t gotten slapped around by drunken, abusive fathers, millions of people might not have died? Or what about the fact that a Serbian assassin started WW I by shooting the Austrian Archduke? Using this reasoning, can’t we blame England and France for WW II and the Holocaust? They could have stopped Hitler at Munich, you know.
                    You know, since you want to sit in judgement, what do you do for a living…You’re going to take your chances alone? What will you do, turn Protestant, or give up altogether? My father did that. One or two corrupt priests in Russia caused him to lose his faith. I suppose if you want a politics free church, you could go to the Greek Old Calenderists?
                    I don’t know you. I’m a nobody. I even share some of your misgivings about the President of Russia. Forgive me for offending.

                    • Estonian,
                      I have no idea what I will do, or go to, if multiple Patriarchs are blessing the bullets, bombs, and promoting wholesale killing of each another’s flock, ever again. But! I will leave the Orthodox Church, if it came to that. Don’t care what I’m labeled.

                      If we don’t/won’t draw a lines in the sand, what and who are we? Whom are we following, Christ or Satan?

                      How far our bishops/Patriarchs have come since the days they gladly offered their necks, to Nazi gallows and firing squads, before turning over their Jewish brothers. Now bishops and Patriarchs are ready to go to war with one another?

                      Ignorance is bliss. Somedays I wish I never came upon this blog.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      This too, shall pass, Dino.

                      As I am hearing from sober Catholic websites, the massive exposure (albeit with attendant scandal) is how the Lord is fixing to clean up the mess in that body.

                      Correct spiritual formation would be the ideal. Short of that, repentance and restitution would ve better. Last resort is complete exposure.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Mr. Michalopulos,

                  It seems to me that you have done nothing but demonstrate what has become a sign of the times: there is no objective truth; morality and ethical behaviour in any given society is predicated upon the variables of person(s) and a subjective “assessment” of the impact or “grievousness”; and in an explainable paradox of the longstanding instruction, “You are unlikely to be indicted for silence.” a continuous avalanche of words.

                  As near as I can tell, you and your balalaika warriors are the ones obsessed with Russia and Putin; injecting something about “Holy Russia” and its religious revival, its “leadership” role in world Orthodoxy, and for heaven’s sake how many times will post shirtless Putin on the horse? Last night I was reading an interview of Met. Hilarion (Alfeyev) from earlier this spring, and he was specifically asked about new research that indicated that, 1) while Russians who identified as “Orthodox Christians” had doubled since 1991 to 71%, only 6% attended church weekly, and 2) 2/3 of Russians polled indicated that they did not want the church to influence decisions of the state. Met. Hilarion offered comments similar to what were made by Patriarch Alexei II: there is a justified distrust of the clergy for undermining its moral authority under the Soviet system. They were infiltrated, they became informers. But he also made the interesting observation that the “free” ROC made a conscious choice to demonstrate its “rebirth” not so much by church attendance or outreach to its own flock in the traditional sense, but by restoring its property. He pointed out that in 1988, the Russian Orthodox church had 6,000 parishes. Now, they have 36,000 parishes. Most of these churches are either the churches which were destroyed and were built again, or are churches which were in ruins and were restored. Some are newly established communities. But they do not necessarily – according to two internal studies and two US studies – reflect a needfor more churches. The ROC has received a a tremendous amount of criticism for building churches in a self-aggrandizing spirit that is likened to “Build them and they will come,” while neglecting their traditional role in in Russian society, providing to the poor and needy, and caring for the orphans and widows. The point is to say that the construction of churches is not an indicator that the church is more influential on the society as a whole, or that the church is “growing.” And for the record, let me note that the “family friendly” changes in the Russian law to which reference has been made a number of times – and which had signidicant influence from the ROC – includes “radically new legislation” that Pat. Kyrill supported as “returning to traditional values” and supporting the family besieged by the influences of “the world.” I offer one example that is outright lunacy: the Russian Duma, in mid-2017 near unanimously voted to de-criminalize domestic violence in all but the “worst circumstances.” I have yet to track down the full text of the legislation, but it is explained as a “civil offense: it is unclear as to whether the police will respond to calls to intervene in an “in-progress episode” and what they can or cannot do under the new law; and rather than facing a judge and the possibility of incarceration, there will only be “?administrative fines.” The intent of the law is to support the internal integrity of the family to solve their own problems. Nearly 400 representatives supported this law and only 3 opposed it. Is it possible that some of that vodka and cigarette money twisted “Holy Russia’s” arm? Nah.

                  You began these comments by saying, I “do not put my trust in princes or sons of men in whom there is no salvation,” and, try as you might, like the poor folks who inadvertently were transporting Jonah in a stormy tempest of the sea, there you are toting some very costly luggage. “If Putin is a scoundrel, opportunist or secret atheist; if he’s a divorcee that has a mistress or two, that’s between him and his God. It’s not mine –or yours–to judge.” Madonna Mia, Mr. Michalopulos! Toss him overboard: “Tête haute! Ne pas avaler! Bonne chance!” Then go wash your feet.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Dr S, there is such a thing as objective truth. I firmly believe that. However we are fallen men living in fallen world. Thus, our perception of truth (facts, reality, etc.) is fundamentally flawed.

                    • Our perception of truth is not flawed. These emperors have no clothes and you can’t dress them.

                      The fundamental flaw is the willingness to overlook truth and to overlook the sins of men some of us worship.

                      The latter is a violation of the first commandment of God. We must not worship leaders other than God.

                      The former is a violation of the ninth commandment of God. You can mask this as perception if you like, but omission or overlooking is the same as lying. Try skipping an income line on your tax return. We must not lie about others or skip inconvenient truths about others.

                      The hard reality, Mr. Michalopulos, it is not our perceptions, but violations of God’s laws we are talking about here.

                      These violations are not a perception problem. They are stacking up. If you worship a man or men, and they violate God’s laws or some of God’s laws and you then lie for them or omit, or ‘perceive’ differently, there are like three clear violations of God’s laws in there.

                      In fact, I think the best sermon any Orthodox priest could give today would be a recitation of the Ten Commandments.

                      When does it end, this layering of violating God’s laws?

                      I submit it ends when you stop labeling it as a perception problem and realize all these violations of the Ten Commandments.

                      Kyrie Eleison.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Truth is absolute. Facts exist in and of themselves. 2+2 will always equal four. We are still fallen men, each and every one of us. Just as we cannot apprehend God or even describe beauty, that doesn’t mean that either have no reality. They do.

                      At the risk of getting Platonic here, whenever I think of “dog” I think of a German Shepherd. You may think of a Labrador Retriever. They are all equally “dog”.

                      If we can be so variant in something as simple as a dog then we can be sloppy in our apprehension of truths. Otherwise, I see no essential quibble with you.

                    • There is no such thing as flawed perceptions.

                      Only violations of God’s Ten Commandments

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Anon, I’m a fallen man. I know that I misperceive things.

                    • Is there objective truth shown in communications and brotherhood, with Orthodox Patriarchs? Bishops? How are they so far apart in their visions of One Holy and Apostolic Church?

                      All objective truths are stretched to veil our sins, from their true reality. How else do we sleep at night and wake in the morning and NOT turn our face in shame to our reflection staring back at us?

                      Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos; everything is distorted and turned around-Elder Thaddeus

                      Perhaps His All-Holiness, and the other Patriarchs should open their hearts to the words of Isaiah 2:4

                      And he shall judge among nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

                      Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God: for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      If I might offer several points to consider, as this was my original observation.

                      I have money riding on the guess that generation will be remembered by tattoos: on the right arm will be the single word “Obfuscation,” and on the left arm will three words, “I am outraged.” The former exists because rarely, if ever, did anyone admit a mistake or error, and apologies were unheard of; the later had absolutely nothing to do with morality or ethics, but served as a mechanism of intimidation and shaming, so “triggering” that it prevented one from looking the accused in the eye. Also to consider:

                      1) Fr. Alexander Schmemann believed the real sin of Pilate was not that he turned over the Righteous One to be crucified, knowing Him to be innocent, but rather in his statement, “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38)

                      2) One of the last things said over each and every one of us without exception, as our remains rest in a box momentarily awaiting the ground from which we were taken, is to reassure and remind us of the very Nature of our God: “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteous, and Your word is the Truth.

                      My original point was to suggest that, my observation is that it is relatively simple to believe and accept the most preposterous, ridiculous, and unlikely “proposals” and speculations that flow by here. Secondly, it is even more likely to be believed if it is scandalous, derogatory, scurrilous, vilifying, and ruinous; in fact savoured, and its off to google for more details, all the better if it pertains to the ordained clergy. And as St. Chrysostom would say, “Again Herodia rages, again she is furious, and demands the head of John on a platter.”

                      What is painfully, miserably, frustratingly, and disappointingly the corollary is that, more often than not, you cannot sell the truth. And more often than not, you will wish you had not tried.

                    • If Father Schmemann is correct, then our greatest sin might end up becoming like the mob, at the Praetorium screaming, “Crucify Him!”

                      Back then the high priests crucified the most Innocent, The Truth, using un-Godley men, courts, and armies to do their dirty work. Will we do the same?

                      Why do our Patriarchs cling to armies, governments, and non-believers? What will be gained by this marriage? History will be repeated, except this time we will crucify ourselves, regrettably not to Christ, bit against Christ! Lord have Mercy!

                      What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6:15)

        • M. Stankovich says

          The ridiculous part of addressing the many problems with my argument is that you suggest an underlying “motivation,” despite my clarification to Fr. Alexander Webster that my intention was to challenge the vulgarity of fighting immorality with immorality. “What fellowship does light have with darkness?” (2Cor. 6:14) Fairly straightforward.

          1. The tapes we viewed – released by the court – were the full, raw, unedited, master recordings. Accompanying the raw recordings were annotations indicating the location of the complete conversation from where the edited conversation was taken. It certainly did not take an expert to determine that, for example, the sentence, “You would think by binge watching Gray’s Anatomy, I am competent to perform heart surgery” easily becomes, “By binge watching Gray’s Anatomy, I am competent to perform heart surgery,” directly from your own mouth. Equally as important as what the PPH staff said was the relentless manipulations, coercion, and attempted manipulation of the defendants.

          2. Your undermining of the legal system of the legal system – up to and including the US Circuit Court of Appeals – is childish. I will not waste my time arguing that the tape (singular) was achieved in a manner that is immoral & unethical because the principle is wasted on you. Likewise the fact that it has no bearing on this case whatsoever and the the Court of Appeals has ruled it serves no purpose released prior to this trial than to be inflammatory.

          3. As for your comments regarding conception, life, abortion, the sale of aborted fetus for medical research, etc. and the Church. Duh.

          4. Don’t play me with this la-di-da about Putin and the law and all the other crap you’ve been throwing out there as rationalizations to somehow, some way, “click-your-heels-together three times, it was a misunderstanding” to portray Putin as different than his words: “Abortion is a woman’s choice.” You know as well as me that if Vladimir Putin stood with Patriarch Kyriil on the steps of the Patriarchal cathedral and announced the universal availability of effective contraceptives; true, effective, and meaningful assistance to single-parent families (“family friendly” is a joke – Russian assistance has been compared to the 3rd world); and women’s and female single-parent working mothers wages actual living wages (female single-parents, more often than not, are forced to live with their parents because they receive no support from the father of child(-ren) and cannot afford to live on their own), abortion could end TODAY. Who could stop Putin? The 100 year old law. Please.

          As to your last comment, who’s to say? Stressful to imagine. But in considering the “name,” it reminds me that I’m taking an advanced guitar course at the community college on Tuesday afternoons, and every two weeks you have to perform in front of the class. Today, I’m doing Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” acoustic. You know, “I been drinkin’, I been drinkin’, and I get filthy when that liquor get all up in me, I be thinkin’, I be thinkin’…” Gotta have a name, Miroir, miroir sur le mur…

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      Dr. S, please read again your post here. Whatever your intentions, the post reads, at least to me, as a defense of the indefensible.

      The Planned Parenthood organization is an abomination to which no conscientious Orthodox Christian may give quarter. Legal arguments aside, the unconscionable immorality of the nearly 1000 murders of preborn children that PP commits daily–with U.S. taxpayers dollars to defray the cost, no less–ought to be self-evident. Let their fellow travelers on the radical left engage in juridical sophistries. Our role is to declare, “Thus sayeth the Lord!”

  5. M. Stankovich says

    Fr. Dean,

    εὐλόγειte ὁ κύριος!

    My response is consistent with what I always say regarding these matters: what is immoral and unethical according to the natural law and the Scripture is always immoral & unethical regardless of the perpetrator and to what extent it is conducted. The only reason I commented at all was to correct Mr. Michalopulos’ contention that this constituted an example of “censure,” which it certainly does not.

    In this case, Tucker Carlson presents a complete fabrication of the details of a judge’s order, insinuating that it was “indiscriminate,” and that no reason was given for this order. Indeed, how is this possible? It’s not. The judge’s written order is online. Who knew? Well, apparently neither Mr. Calson nor Mr. Michalopulos. Quelle dommage.

    It would seem to me that my closing comment, regarding my indignation at the hypocrisy of the elevation of Mr. Putin as a champion of the church, when he is openly pro-choice and the first & last word on abortion in Russia, sufficiently describes my position on this atrocity. My “defense” in the comment above was of the Truth. “For you love truth” [ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀλήθειαν] (Ps. 50:8 LXX) David acknowledges in his shame, and there is no moral or ethical justification for deceit, dishonesty, or lying. I was not defending the indefensible, but rather attempting the make the point that the reliance on what is immoral and unethical to topple what is immoral and unethical is like water through your fingers.

  6. George Michalopulos says

    This is an example of how the news we consume is curated:

    Rather than come out and say that Obama State Dept officials were caught playing sex games with Russian operatives/babes at The Ritz-Cartlton Hotel in Moscow and that The White House new about it, they create an elaborate back-story about all the hot young Russian and Ukrainian expats living in Washington (“the Russintonians”) and the insane party scene in DC.

    Then the reporter gets to the meat of the matter, which is reporting that it was Obama officials who behaved inappropriately and that they got their lurid ideas about Trump hiring Russian prostitutes to pee on Obama’s bed at that same hotels.

    This is an example of projection. It also explains why and how they make up their stories about Trump in the first place.

    So why did I put this story here? It’s a twofer: it not only exonerates Trump it also shows an example of how subtle our form of censorship is. If it can’t actually memory-hole a story that goes against their preferred narrative, they’ll find a way to bury it through a clever headline and several paragraphs of misdirection.

  7. George Michalopulos says

    Yet another example of how the Tech Billionaires of Silicon Valley censor the news: