Savas Strikes Again!

A Preemptive Blunder

savas-200x200I’m backlogged on my OCA stuff. The Beatles piece was supposed to come out two weeks ago, closer to the actual anniversary date. I’ve got a couple of other articles ready to go. But things like the following keep setting me back.

His Eminence, Savas Zembillas, GOA Metropolitan of Pittsburgh, outdid almost everyone else. He launched a missile over the bow of the Arizona religious freedom bill that the GOP-controlled legislature before it was passed and vetoed by Gov Jan Brewer the other day.

Like many conservatives, I’m both outraged and conflicted. I very much believe in the freedom of religion but I believe in States’ rights as well. It’s an open question whether the First Amendment trumps the others. Democracy is a messy business but Constitutional republicanism has ways of sorting these things out over time.

To be sure, we have been critical of His Eminence in the past. Politically we’re 180 degrees out of phase. That doesn’t bother me in the least. I respect a hierarch who is willing to take off his mitre, roll up his sleeves and engage the culture.

His Eminence has done that in the and for this reason, he has my respect (although I’d respect him more if he was as diligent with his Episcopal Assembly committee as he is with his Facebook postings). That goes for His Grace Demetrios Kantzavellas and His Eminence Benjamin Petersen as well.

A main reason I respect such engagement is that I believe that these bishops understand that once you take off the mitre and get in the arena of ideas, you can’t put it on again when things get tense and expect people to be remain obsequious.

At least I think that they know that. There are no time-outs while I adjust my omorphorion or get flustered because somebody made a faux pas like forgetting the proper order of the Dyptichs. Once they enter the arenas there are only two possible outcomes: either the lions eat you or they become tamed.

We Christians are called into the arena knowing full well that we may not come out alive, and that includes laity and bishops. We all bear the name of Christ and all are called to defend His Church. Today the arena is a legislative chamber or courthouse, soon it will be a prison or wall. Enough of the regal tomfoolery and excessive courtly titles.

OK, got that? I don’t dislike His Eminence. I certainly don’t disrespect him. I had the pleasure of talking on the phone to him once when he was Chancellor of the GOA several years ago. (It’s a long story.) He probably doesn’t remember me but I remember him. He struck me as a man’s man.

That’s a compliment, by the way. There was none of the flowery talk that some bishops use when as stick a shiv in somebody’s back. It was a straightforward conversation and even though I didn’t necessarily agree with the outcome, I respected his directness.

Tough Times for Progressive Bishops?

What Met. Savas said in the recent Facebook postings however, is to my mind beyond the pale. On so many levels it contradicts Christian teaching as well as being unAmerican. Worse, it makes false analogies between race and sexual deviancy. And the fact that he uses bigoted expressions against Southerners is scabrous to the extreme.

Make no mistake, the situation in Arizona is over — for now. The Supreme Court may take it up and as we saw with the Little Sisters of Mercy and other religious rights cases they may strike down Governor Brewer’s veto. The Orthodox Church has bigger fish to fry.

Unfortunately, His Eminence’ preemptive blunder will come back to bite all Orthodox. Leaving aside the fact that his sentiments contradict the plain text of Patriarch Bartholomew’s recent Christmas encyclical on the sanctity of life and so-called gay marriage on almost every point, has he bothered to consider the practical ramifications?

Consider this: What happens to a GOA parish when it refuses to rent its parish hall to a homosexual couple for their reception? What will Bp. Savas say?

I know many GOA parishes (and other jurisdictions as well) will probably cave. The fact that the vast majority of GOA parishes have to put on annual food festivals to pay their priest and support East 79th Street means that they struggle to make ends meet from year to year.

And then there’s the fact that not a few GOA (and OCA) parishes are led by not-so-closeted homosexual priests and lay leaders.

The Coming Clash Between Progressives and Traditionalists

More disturbingly, as we saw from the kudos that Savas’ comments generated (and as we saw in Sprecher’s Facebook posting many weeks ago), a significant percentage of Orthodox laymen are extremely sympathetic to the homosexual cultural agenda. For them it’s a no-brainer: Rent out the hall to Kosta and Tyrone or Gleb and Percival for their reception. Why not?

But what about the resolute few priests and/or parish councils that will refuse to buckle? They will be sued. Will Savas then come to their rescue? With what money? Does he not see how chaotic this situation will become and how it threatens the money he needs to operate?

This is only the tip of the iceberg. What would happen to an Orthodox priest serving an Arizona parish who announced from the ambo that he was gay? Could his bishop remove him? Not if you read the Arizona law carefully.

In reality, the Arizona veto is more wicked than we can imagine regarding the matter of the average church. The renting of parish halls will cause a split right down the middle of many parishes: those who are for the renting to a gay couple and those who are against. The split will probably be 80/20 one way or 40/60 the other.

Extended families will be affected as well. Money will definitely dry up as morale is depleted (look at the OCA today). Then again, some parishes will quietly rent out their facilities on an infrequent basis so that the precedent will have been set. Such discreet actions will make it harder for more traditionalist parishes to fight when the time comes when they will have to make a decision.

What then?

Met. Savas Exposed and Widened the Fault Lines

The fault lines were first exposed when the former priest KillianSprecher indicted the Orthodox Church for its correct understanding of the passions. The adulation that greeted him was shocking to behold. The width and breadth of the congratulations was embarrassing and led me to despair of a resolute Christian witness in any conflict with the world.

It was as if Shem and Japheth had joined their brother Ham in celebrating their father’s nakedness instead of hiding it.

I’ve always believed that the people are the ultimate guarantor of the Faith; I now seriously doubt that the people of God are up to the task. We can thank cultural Marxism for that. It has poisoned the well of public discourse to such an extent that ordinary people have lost all moral discernment. And it seems to reach to high places.

In accepting the culturally Marxist view, Savas has made it difficult for others to uphold the Orthodox tradition. I’d like to think that he hasn’t thought these things through and that like most Liberals, he’s emoting rather than thinking.

But that’s why we have Tradition and that’s why we believe that the Holy Spirit is the Author of that Tradition. We’re not relieved of the burden of thinking but we are relieved of the burden of having to find out the difference between good and evil ourselves.

Our debased culture has made it possible for ordinary people to ignore the distinctions or be unaware of them. The world doesn’t care. It never has. But that’s why we have a Church and that’s why we have bishops — to rightly divide the word of truth.

When bishops can’t do that, then judgment will fall upon our heads, the righteous as well as the wicked.

The Facebook discussion (click link below for more):


View the complete discussion.

About GShep


  1. Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

    Another unintended consequence of anti-discrimination laws: They make people stupid. After all, intelligence is all about discrimination — being able to tell the difference between things. Anti-discrimination laws force people to ignore obvious differences between categories of people, so the more such laws we pass, the stupider people get.

    Now we have people arguing that there’s no difference between being black and acting gay — that both should be treated exactly the same. Never mind that at least three of the world’s major religions condemn acting gay as unnatural and immoral, while none say the same about being black.

    Never mind that the First Amendment guarantees us the “free exercise” of religion, which for Christians has always meant not participating in public acts that cause others to stumble by making it appear that we condone immorality. That’s why the early martyrs accepted death rather than eat meat sacrificed to idols or emperors. They knew such meat wouldn’t hurt them, but they also knew eating it to save their lives would testify against truth to other people.

    And why else do gays insist that everybody go along with their immorality, except to show that sodomy is not sinful?

    I wonder what Bishop Savas would say about Christian carpenters and jewelers refusing to craft idols for pagan customers. How about Christian publishers refusing to publish attacks on Christianity? That’s essentially what gays are demanding. If they have a right to force Christians to participate in their wickedness, then so do Jews, Muslims, atheists, and Satanists.

  2. Christopher Jones says

    The discussion on the Facebook page has continued, with several more posts by Metropolitan Savas. You should update your version of the “complete discussion,” George.

  3. It is shocking to see how Met. Savas does NOTHING to respond to or correct the multiple malicious and defamatory attacks of the Christian faith, moral principles and traditional teachings of the Orthodox Church. He offers only SILENCE in response to these sickening smears, leaving the impression that he agrees (or at least is not bothered in the least) by such extreme and non-Scriptural points of view.

    In stark contrast, Met. Savas does challenge and ridicules the Orthodox posters on his wall who offer more traditional, moral and conservative Christian responses. In effect supporting the narrative that the radical progressives on his wall are the “reasonable” individuals and the conservative Orthodox are the “radicals.”

    Met. Savas’ failure to speak up and properly “divide the Word of Thy Truth” may be due to his sympathizing with some of the progressive militants’ criticisms of the Christian Moral Tradition (based on his posts he does seem to equate being gay with being black or jewish, hence any laws supporting religious rights are akin to “persecution” of homosexuals). Or it may be due to his cowardice. His silence is scandalous nevertheless!

    See for yourself what I mean:

    • Thomas Barker says

      The rise of the sodomites, disturbing as it is, has at least one consequence of benefit. It reveals which clergy have bent the knee to Baal and which remain faithful to Jesus Christ. That is valuable knowledge indeed.

    • Michael Bauman says

      I gave up on Met Savas when he used a messianic psalm in reference to Obama after Obama’s first election. Met Savas is a creature of the ideological. I find nothing to respect in that.

    • Bishop Tikhon says

      Please, Thomas, give us some samples of the valor of all the other GOA Metropolitans, or EP Metropolitans! Or does their silence mean they are in solid agreement with Metropolitan Savas?

  4. Other Matthew says

    Savas is too busy trying to be a rockstar (just like our president) to try to be a real Bishop or “rightly divide”.

  5. James Bradshaw says

    Dn Mitchell writes: “Never mind that at least three of the world’s major religions condemn acting gay as unnatural and immoral, while none say the same about being black.”

    From Reformed pastor John Piper:
    “Our worlds were so close and yet so far apart. His mother, Helen, loved the same Christian radio station my mother did—WMUU, the voice of Bob Jones University. But there was a big difference. The very school that broadcast all that Bible truth would not admit blacks. And the large, white Baptist church four miles from Jesse Jackson’s home wouldn’t either. Nor would mine … Our fundamental and evangelical schools—and almost every other institution, especially in the South—were committed to segregation.”

    Sure, Christians played a part in overturning these sentiments, but one can’t deny that Christians also played a role in furthering them in America, not in spite of their religion but often because of it.

    • It is a frequently used ploy to point out the failings of professing Christians, who have entered the great whore and live for bread alone as an indictment against Christianity as a whole.Still, there is AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY, with many saints and martyrs who by their deeds and selfless obedience to God prove the Truth of the Word of God, with many miracles. It is convenient, but also disingenuous to condemn all, good and bad, with the same brushstroke based on the poor judgement in some, but not all, professing Christians. This indictment against all for the works of some is meant to justify the condemnation of all Christianity The Christ knows His sheep and they hear His voice. It is obvious Mr. Bradshaw has used this ploy to condemn all. Not at all even clever of him..When the Christ returns, will He find Faith on the earth. I say. yes..

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “Sure, Christians played a part in overturning these sentiments, but one can’t deny that Christians also played a role in furthering them in America, not in spite of their religion but often because of it.”

      It can be denied, because only Orthodox are Christians in the strict sense of the word. Sickness, suffering, and slavery/serfdom are the normal fallen human condition, positive gifts from God for the long term potential good of man in the economy of salvation. Thus, in Orthodoxy, we have glorified “Uncle Toms” like St. John the Russian. The world seeks to change itself, “social justice,” or whatever worldly name they give to label they give to their passions for worldly things, and gets nowhere (full civil rights in a country where there are no more civil rights, just as in the Roman empire, the citizenship was made universal exactly when it bestowed maximum burden and minimum privilege, further illustrated in the TPTB now seeking to throw citizenship at the illegal aliens, whether they want it or not):

      The Orthodox Christian seeks God’s aid to change himself, to slay the dragon within, staining the armor of God with the blood of his old man, through theosis:

      Yes, all of Orthodoxy, and the reason for all of existence can be summed up as a My Pretty Pony music video.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Mr. Bradshaw: Dan Mitchell was referencing the bedrock teachings on anthropology of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Mr Piper is part of a long line of preachers who preach the mind of the world rather than truth.
      It is the same tradition your friend in Uganda follows BTW.

      And please—-STOP with the silly, illogical and just plain untrue conflation of segregation and homosexuality.

      To the extent that Calvinism forms the “Reformed” Christianity it can be ignored as Calvinism was declared an official heresy by the Orthodox in the 17th century.

      Marriage is not a “right” for anyone. Only our abuse of it and refusal to take it seriously has allowed it to deteriorate into such an unholy concept.

  6. Michael Kinsey says

    Babylon the great will be thrown down with violence. This successful bullying, violence against traditional Christian morality, will not disappear.It will exponentially, multiply as the most effective means to serve yourself and live for bread alone, and eventually tempt God. Almost all will follow after the beast, and receive it’s mark. Violence as the only effect means to gain seeking will become universally employed by all nations. This is the end consequence to the destruction of authentic Christian morality, with all nation becoming the hold of every foul and detestable bird, one of which is homosexuality.
    But, the Royal Law stands, and all will answer to it, to the last jot and tittle. There is no escape from the free willed choice of those who will follow the beast, as their violence will destroy many. It has an end, Glory be to God, The kingdom of heaven will be given to the Saints, and those who follow the beast will perish. Do not enter into the great whore, and live for bread alone, which will cause a headlong rush to destruction, as occurred when the demons entered into the swine in the village of the Gererine.
    Some will read this and focus on proper punctuation, mis spelling and grammar, finding fault where ever they can. This gnat straining is always coupled with the camel swallowing of such things as the homosexual agenda. This has been my experience here, concerning many of my posts.
    My daily experiences of the present culture is of a very violent, vicious people who know they are losing ground in the quality of their lives spiritually and materially, plus individual freedom. They give up, and join in the predatory pursuit of their fellow man. This nation will become, one big Andersonville Civil War prison.

    • William Harrington says

      There is much you have said that is the truth, however, there is much that is surely prelest. “Some will read this and focus on proper punctuation, mis spelling and grammar, finding fault where ever they can. This gnat straining is always coupled with the camel swallowing of such things as the homosexual agenda. This has been my experience here, concerning many of my posts.” Are you truly so deluded as to discount all who disagree with or try to correct you? This is your pattern and not simply on small matters. The greatest gift anyone can have (and I hate writing this because I feel that I am not worthy to teach anyone on spiritual matters) Is humility. It is only through a humble mind that we can be open to learning. I am sad for you for my daily experience of our culture, away from the news and the screaming of ideologues, is of very hard working people who will, and do, go out of their way to help others. ‘Course, I live in a part of the country where cowboy boots are still part of the working attire. Strangely, the goodness of these people exists even though my wife and I are the only Orthodox Christians within an hours drive. For others on this forum, being fortunate enough to be Orthodox is certainly no reason for pride.

  7. Michael Kinsey says

    There is authentic Christian witness in these posts .Dn. Patrick’s post is most discerning of a most ugly reality Christianity faces. He stands, and is no hireling.

  8. Tom Kanelos says

    I am politically 180 degrees from Met. Savas and anyone who follows his Facebook page knows this. We spar frequently and get into even more heated discussions in private. But I know him well and it is incomprehensible that he would pressure a parish to rent a hall to a homosexual couple for a wedding reception. It would not happen.

    An even better solution would be for the average parishioner to donate properly to their parish so there would be no need to peddle the Church to the community at large. Right now we go to the community at large for money to run our parishes (festivals, banquet halls). Lets can this and go to the community at large to teach them about Orthodoxy. Get rid of the banquet halls and you will get eliminate the problem.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Tom, you’re misconstruing my argument. I never said that HE would order a GOA parish to rent the hall or the nave for gay nuptials, I simply asked on what basis could he (as its archpastor) refuse the rental/use of a parish to a gay couple? Freedom of religion? Just struck down by Brewer’s veto as well as his own equation of homophobia = segregation.

      • Tom Kanelos says

        It is good to know that was not the intention of your comment. I definitely got the impression it was so I am happy you clarified.

    • Michael Bauman says

      To those who think that the Feds would never force a religious community to rent to a homosexual couple: think again. If the IRS determines that the rental of the hall is a business enterprise compulsion will occur. Anyone trust the IRS to follow the law and the Constitution? They have threatened churches with the loss of their tax exempt status if the homilies are “too political”. Course that dosen’t apply to churches holding pro Obama rallies from their sanctuaries on Sunday.

      If the parish has ever once rented to anyone from the community at large for functions not related to the work of the Parish–that can mean it is a business enterprise. Especially if it was for a reception for other or non-Christian couples.

      We no longer rent to the community at large as we used to.

      The homosexual activatists demand celebration. Silence is not enough.

      Met. Saves agreeing will have a chilling effect for many.

      • Nate Trost says

        Going to call Michael Bauman out on this claim:

        They have threatened churches with the loss of their tax exempt status if the homilies are “too political”

        Citation needed. I think you seem to forget the whole business during the 2012 election cycle where the pastors of over 1,500 churches did the pastoral equivalent of standing up in the pulpit, intentionally violating the law regarding politics and non-profit entities, and giving the IRS the middle finger with both hands with no consequences whatsoever.

        I am so very interested in seeing your list of churches which have been so threatened by the IRS for revocation of tax-exemption due to political activities. Because I have a list of well over a thousand churches that actually willfully violated current law, because they stated they were doing so publicly.

        Reality: No, the IRS doesn’t even attempt to enforce the laws on the books when churches publicly dare them to, much less conduct illegal campaigns against Christianity. This was not unnoticed by the right in the last election, even if you were personally unaware.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Nate there have been several but the one I am most familiar was right here in Wichita. The Pastor was clearly exceeding the IRS guidelines as to what constitutes approved speech in his pulpit and on the church signs.
          However is was no more than what many black pastors do.

          He got a letter and a visit and was told what would happen if he didn’t stop preaching the way he was –loss of tax exemption.

          It was widely publicized locally. The man was effectively silenced and retired from preaching.

          And this was over abortion.

          Nate it is a real threat. If you don’t want to see–be my guest.

          • Nate Trost says

            If Mark Holick is your example then you really need a better one. The IRS investigated but didn’t revoke anything. Spirit One imploded because that tends to be what happens in tiny independent non-denominational churches run by volatile pastors who get themselves arrested for the most juvenile behavior.

            I should add, even the Spirit One audit happened under the Bush Administration. Under the Obama Administration, due to an ongoing case that was decided in 2009, the IRS doesn’t even audit churches. After almost five years of no revised rules, it clearly hasn’t been a priority. To put it mildly, this does not help make the case for an environment of increasing religious persecution.

            So, again, reality: under the Obama Administration, you can go rent yourself a church building and go put up a giant neon sign proclaiming Obama to be a homosexual Muslim Marxist, anyone voting Democrat is going to hell, and if you don’t vote for Candidate X demons will possess your children, and you aren’t getting a letter from the IRS.

        • Michael Bauman says

          They will go against small individual churches not against a block of us. The law shouldn’t be on the books.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Specifics: the year 2007, the church: Spirit Church of Wichita; the pastor Mark Hollick; the main crime publicizing the financial and political links between Kathleen Sabelieus, the Kansas abortion industy led by Dr. Tiller and calling for her defeat at the polls.

          Linking Kathleen to the abortion industry was quite easy. To her unborn babies are not human. Publicizing the truth was not to be allowed.

          Pastor Mark is an easy person to dismiss: white, angry and pugnacious wound tighter than is good. Yet nothing he spoke was untrue.

          I don’t care how many times the IRS does not proceed against churches, the fact that they can and have is a threat. It is one of the reasons my parish is working diligently to build a strong endowment. To be free of such threats.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        RE: “To those who think that the Feds would never force a religious community to rent to a homosexual couple: think again.”

        Yes, think again:

        “So the couple filed a complaint with New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights, alleging the Methodists unlawfully discriminated against them based on sexual orientation. . . The Methodist organization responded that it was their property, and the First Amendment protects their right to practice their faith without government intrusion. But Lustberg countered that the pavilion is open to everyone — and therefore the group could no more refuse to accommodate the lesbians than a restaurant owner could refuse to serve a black man. The state revoked the organization’s tax exemption for the pavilion area. Hoffman figures they will lose $20,000. ” Don’t know the final outcome of this particular case, but this HAS happened and WILL happen.

  9. Diakovos Kristophorous says

    Uniformed hysteria works in today’s political culture. It looks like even our bishops fall prey.

    Most people who were against this bill didn’t even know what it was about … funny, this one was a short read.

  10. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    To which other GOA Metropolitan should anyone turn to hear of guidance different from that of Metropolitan Savas? Or do they all agree with him?
    Any indication that the GOA or the EP is discontent or at odds with Metropolitan Savas’s attitudes?

  11. Engaged observer says

    The very fact that Met. Savas get his news from (and links to on his Facebook page) is concerning enough. is one of the most wanna-be (if not outright) anti-Christian, pornography-loving, abortion-loving, pseudo-intellectual “news” sites out there.

    This is an excellent piece on’s love-affair with pornography:

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Engaged observer! Ever hear of the logical fallacy called “Poisoning the wells?” You seem also to be unaccountably (pseudonymously) reckless with the Commandment not to bear false witness—living dangerously, in other words.

  12. oh my. no wonder there is no united Orthodox Church. such animosity and viciousness.

  13. Metropolitan Jonah Sermons says

    Sermons and studies on Romans being hosted on the Holy Archangels Foundation website at

    Click on a category, then click on download

    Note dates. This is a huge collection of his recent sermons and colloquia in DC

  14. Ladder of Divine Ascent says

    Well, well, Russian Duma has voted to invade Ukraine, Putin has crossed Obama’s red crayon scribbled lines:

    “Within hours, Putin asked the Russian parliament for approval to send forces into Ukraine. The vote endorsing his request was unanimous, Obama’s warning drowned out by lawmakers’ rousing rendition of Russia’s national anthem at the end of the session. Russian troops now control the Crimean Peninsula.”

    Obama Skips National Security Team Meeting on Russia, Ukraine:

    Interesting times that will test the value of those weakly worded NATO agreements, but already seems Obama has better things to do, photo ops of him running up and down the hallways of the WH with the VP, and other “stuff.”

    1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership
    between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine:
    14. NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity and its status as a non-nuclear weapon state, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and in the continent as a whole.
    15. NATO and Ukraine will develop a crisis consultative mechanism to consult together whenever Ukraine perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security.
    16. NATO welcomes and supports the fact that Ukraine received security assurances from all five nuclear-weapon states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, and recalls the commitments undertaken by the United States and the United Kingdom, together with Russia, and by France unilaterally, which took the historic decision in Budapest in 1994 to provide Ukraine with security assurances as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

    The Russians have ideas about what the boundaries of Ukraine should look like, minus all the lands given to it by the Soviets (that’s against international law? All modern borders are supposed to be fixed, unchangeable by force, an ideal that Russia can counter with the precedent of Yugoslavia/Serbia being carved up by NATO) :

    Flashback to Sarah Palin in 2008:

    As CBS recounts, in October 2008, after Russia’s invasion of neighboring Georgia emerged as a foreign policy flashpoint in the homestretch of a heated campaign, Palin told an audience in Nevada, “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

    Just as amusing was the response to Palin’s comments by foreign policy experts, Foreign Policy magazine, which said, “As we’ve said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario.”

    • If a people wish to have freedom and democracy, the first thing they might do is respect the free and fair election that brought their present leadership into power (Yanukovych) which was certified by the UN, the EU and the OSCE as being legitimate. The next thing they might do is to not attempt the violent overthrow of this legitimate government. Yet another thing they might do is to abide by the agreement for early elections they brokered with the government and the governments of their neighbors. Not driving the duly elected president from the country by violence and threats of violence to him, his family and his entourage would be another positive step. Yet another show of good faith for people motivated by a yearing for “freedom and democracy” might be to refrain from rescinding legislation making Russian a second official language in Russian speaking areas.

      Of course, this would be too much to ask from fascists and western ideologues, but not from simple people yearing for democracy and freedom. Such aspirations should surely be respected, while those of fascists and Western ideologues should be resisted with force.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Nothing we can do about it beyond the symbolic; and not much there that amounts to anything, either. But Russia has been good at manufacturing disasters for itself, and surely many disasters are going to follow on this.

      It will be interesting to see the theories of those who believe that Orthodoxy gives them some particular insight into Russia and its politics. It is going to be very telling to see how the Russian Orthodox Church reacts to this. (I’ve already written my bet on a little piece of paper and put it in the drawer.)

      I’ve always wondered why, when the totalitarian pressure is loosened on the Chinese, they explode into all sorts of useful activity, including vast entrepreneurial activity, while with the Russians the opposite seems to be the case.

      No doubt there are those who have chafed under the post-1945 international rules that do not recognize the right of conquest. But woe to central/eastern Europe, as ever and always.

  15. GOAPriest says

    I am surprised that anyone is surprised by this. Just another miserable, guilt ridden white liberal who happens to be an Orthodox hierarch. We don’t believe in an infallible hierarchy or even one that is indelibly righteous. History is littered with the stories of bad, heretical and immoral hierarchs. That is not to say it isn’t sad and unfortunate, but since the Lord warned us about wolves in sheep’s clothing, and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Body the Church well in advance…it would seem things are moving along according providence.

    • Michael Bauman says

      ….and all bishops die

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Well, unaccountable GOAPriest, thanks for the truisms, although I don’t think that amongst the Orthodox the appellation “Guilt Ridden’ is pejorative at all; in fact, it’s a compliment! To think that an Orthodox presbyter would blame someone for being guilt-ridden is almost surreal!
      ‘Guilt-ridden! What next?

      • GOAPriest says

        Well, questionable former OCA Hierarch, thanks for all the hot air…not really.

        • A very “Peckish” comment GOAPriest.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Sorry to disappoint this GOAPriest (I think it’s somebody else, not a priest at all), but while I am always questionable, and known for it, I most definitely am not a former Bishop. I am a Bishop still, though retired, formerLY Bishop of San Francisco, etc. And as for hot air, don’t call it “all that hot air,” please, I’ve got lots more of it….really. So, Mr. Goapriest, that’s that!

          • Aaron Little says

            “Sorry to disappoint this GOAPriest (I think it’s somebody else, not a priest at all), but while I am …”

            I’m sure he will lose sleep over what you think. Having said that, I think you’re somebody else as well, not a bishop at all.

          • GOAPriest says

            Using a pseudonym online is a fairly common practice, get over it.

            And yes, by most accounts, your behavior has been questionable. Divulge the contents of anyone’s confession lately? As a tonsured “monastic,” now retired, you belong in a monastery…not online writing nonsense day and night…get thee hence post haste.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              GOAPriest! I agree that using a pseudonym online is a fairly common practice. So what? So is twerking! It shouldn’t even be considered by an Orthodox Christian concerned with the Truth.
              To answer your question about Confession, no, GOAPriest, I have never divulged the contents of anyone’s confession here or anywhere else. TAke it back, please, or you’ll be exposed as bearing false witness. I can take it personally, but I’m concerned that it may be damning YOU.
              I’m eighty-one years old, and I have a vast experience leading men, whoever you are, and I am acquainted with the virtues of obedience. I was told to select three possible new names and go off to Pennsylvania to be tonsured a monk there. I obeyed. I’ve never been a good monk or an example of a good monk, it’s not one of my talents nor has it ever been one of my aspirations.
              I have to say that your concluding maidenly instructions seem quite inappropriate. I’d keep my identity secret after that one myself, it’s so puerile and pompous. i pray that one day you will join the Orthodox Church and find Peace. Or maybe you’ll find a husband and have some wonderful children by him… (“GOA Priest!” What an idea!!) Time to go shopping now. The Iranian new year calendars must be out, and I’ll go to my favorite Persian bookstore in Westwood to pick up a couple, if possible. They still use the ancient calendar of the Magi (Zoroastrian priests of Christ’s time). Today’s the 21st of Esfandiar (Pisces). Oh, when selecting a pseudoNYM, as you call it, try and use a name, rather than an occupation you may covet. I am hence; how’s it over there,thence? By the way, I don’t give thumbs ups or thumbs downs. They are extremely ambiguous. Does thumbs down mean, ‘I hate that writer” or “I disagree with what that writer wrote” or “I’m uncomfortable learning that”, or “I need a win, bad?”
              Finally, being a monk, as I’m pretty sure Monk James will agree, means a life of being informed what you are supposed to be doing and are not doing. It’s a mostly American Orthodox SPORT.

              • Heracleides says

                All this coming from the man known at one time or another as Lee Roy, Stephen, Tikhon, and Artakhshassa. You just have to love the hypocrisy.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Heracleides Pompikos! You’re missing something! You and everybody posting here know exactly who I am when I post here. I am neither full of fears for my self-concept or of the opinions of others. YOU, however, and GOAPriest are totally unidentified. You shoot from shelter and then run underground with the others. I stand up for myself. You and GOAPriest won’t even stand up for yourselves. All the names you list for me are legal and identify me, a real person, except “Artakhshassa the Great,” which everyone knows is me AS YOUR LATEST MESSAGE DEMONSTRATES. So I’m an Iranophile. No one knows who “GOAPriest” is: someone told me he thinks it’s Protodeacon Eric Wheeler. As for you, Heracleides Pompikos, I do not have the slightest desire to know anything more about you than what I already know. Ugh! Barbara Drezhlo is more honorable and straightforward than you! You didn’t have to inform us of your affection for hypocrisy, but I disagree with your stated opinion that you feel compelled to LOVE it. But whatever happened to your little cartoons?

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Here’s more for those who are interested:
                  LEE R H FITZGERALD
                  CAPT USAF RET
                  649 ROBINSON ST
                  LOS ANGELES CA 90026-3612

              • GOAPriest says

                I was told to select three possible new names and go off to Pennsylvania to be tonsured a monk there. I obeyed. I’ve never been a good monk or an example of a good monk, it’s not one of my talents nor has it ever been one of my aspirations.

                Well that clears things up…just as hierarchically challenged as the GOA bishops you rail against. Self-righteous phonies come in all stripes and colors.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  GOAPriest! Madame, I have never ever here or anywhere else “railed” against or otherwise denigrated ANY GOA bishops. Put up or shut up! You are one nasty woman, I must say!! How do you dream up such things. Are you a substance abuser in addition to your known Lesbian proclivities?
                  That valley girl who poses as “GOAPriest” did say something with which I heartily agree: “Self-righteous phonies come in all stripes and colors.”
                  “GOAPriest” she calls herself. What an idea! The GOA does NOT ordain women!

                  • GOAPriest says

                    You are a tragedy who was unfortunately consecrated a Bishop. Truly pathetic.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      I’d be ashamed to identify myself, too! I’m still praying that the instance identifying herself as “GOAPriest” will one day become Orthodox and find Peace.

                  • Aaron Little says

                    “You are one nasty woman, I must say!! How do you dream up such things. Are you a substance abuser in addition to your known Lesbian proclivities?”

                    Seriously people, are you going to tell me that this is an Orthodox bishop writing such things (in the midst of Great Lent no less)? George, as a host, you need to seriously consider the message you allow be sent to those non-Orthodox reading the contemptible bile spewed by this Tikhon. Shame on the pair of you.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      “Aaron Little!” Aren’t you the person who once wrote to me: “Why is it that invariably most topics on this blog end up revolving around either you or Mr. Stankovich?”
                      By clicking on “View all comments” after your name above, I discovered that 100 per cent of your comments here “REVOLVE” around me. So, I believe that you have answered your own question. I hope you have some thoughts about the topics considered here and will be able to put your obsession with me behind you. By the way, i feel no qualms of conscience whatsoever relative to how i address instances that do not exist except as masks.
                      I know, I know. You want me to act as Fr. Sergius Bulgakov complained about Russian bishops acting; “Holy Icons, dispensing Orthodox LORE.” Too bad.

  16. Francis Frost says

    Here are some comments form Russian public figures about one more invasion of Russia’s neighbors:

    Echo Moskvi reports that Sergei Aleksachenko (Russia’s deputy finance minister and deputy head of Russia’s central bank wrote on his web blog .

    “When I read the statement made by Matvienko, in the Federation Council authorizing deployment of Russian military forces in Ukraine, I realized that our country is ruled by a crazy maniac . He does not care that tens or dozens of young Russians will die. He is not bothered by the fact that to Russia is opposed by the international community, nor does he care that Russias citizens look like cannibals to other countries,.
    When I read the consent of the Council of the Federation, I realized that there is not one person left who has honesty or conscience . When I read that in our population, 25 % believe that in the Ukraine, a State coup took place , 29 % believe that there’s anarchy and banditry and that 27 % of our population is enraged by the current developments of the ” civil war “, I finally understood that the Russian authorities had actually achieved their goal: Russians raised in a slave mentality , who just want to chew gum .
    God! How ashamed that I am a citizen of this country , ” – writes Aleksashenko .

    Sergei Aleksashenko
    Aleksashenko, former deputy minister of finance of the Russian Federation and former deputy governor of the Russian central bank, was a scholar-in-residence in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Economic Policy Program.

    19:47 , 2 March 2014
    Shevchuk opposed to ” fratricidal carnage ”

    Yuri Shevchuk
    Photo: Petr Bystrov / Kommersant
    Yury Shevchuk issued a statement against Russian troops in Ukraine, called on authorities” to do everything possible to prevent a fratricidal slaughter .” The text was published in the blog of the musician on the site of radio station ” Echo of Moscow” .

    ” Calm down demons and freaking armchair pseudo intellectual , militant radicals on both sides, that the deployment of troops finally untie the hands of those who again want fraternal bloodshed , this Viagra to continue at all of you will be standing … If , God forbid , the war in 2014 and will flow through the veins of Russia and Ukraine, the two hundredth , then 2017 will be another revolution , and we will get is the final universal ” kirdyk ” , “- wrote Shevchuk .

    “Where is the policy ? Where the negotiators ? Where is the public diplomacy ? Where is our Ambassador ? Why didn’t “smart , bold , joyful deputies to the Russian people ” come to the Maidan , the parliament , in December last year, and fearlessly speak , why did they not then sing their verses … Olympics … And now , as usual, they hide behind the troops , our boys, our blood, ” – said the leader of the group DDT subscribing ” loving Russia and Ukraine ,
    Yuri Shevchuk . ”

    Shevchuk – is not the first famous Russian musician to express extreme concern about the developments in Ukraine. Boris Grebenshikov,founder of the ” Aquarium”, previously called for problems to solved peacefully and appealed to the Russian authorities. On the night of March 2, Zemfira posted on its official website its own version of Ukrainian band “Okean Elzy” supporting the Maidan protests. February 28 Andrei Makrevich. spoke out against inciting conflict in Ukraine by the Russian authorities

    AND While Putin sends Russian boys to fight and die carrying one more occupation of Russia’s neighbors, Russia itself continues to decay ever more rapidly,

    Russians, be horrified at yourselves!

    Russia’s problems are many and varied – low life expectancy and falling population figures, soaring rates for crime, alcoholism and drug abuse, not to mention ubiquitous corruption. In a country rich in natural resources, half the population lives in poverty. Andrei Konchalovsky takes us through the horrifying facts and figures and argues that things can only change when Russians themselves learn to be horrified by them.
    I chose my title for a reason. There’s a famous saying by Marx, that ‘to inspire courage in a nation, you have to make them horrified at themselves’.
    For many years now I have been appealing to my fellow-Russians to be horrified by many facts and conditions of Russian life, in order to gain courage and the desire to desire. To desire to change oneself and the life around oneself.
    I have long since been dismissed as a Russophobe who holds his people in contempt. That is nonsense – if it were the case then you could apply the name of Russophobe  to Chekhov, Gorky, Herzen and Chaadayev – great Russians who wished to awake Russia from its sleep, and not just constantly find others to blame for its own woes.
    The Russian people are not a corpse, to be spoken only good of. They are a living people, full of energy and talent, who have just not yet completed the historical journey that leads to wellbeing and success for each individual. So let’s look for a moment at what is horrific in Russian life today. And anyone who wants to hear good things about themselves can go and read President Medvedev’s speeches or Afanasyev’s folk tales.
    Life expectancy and population loss
    Today I would like to remind you of a few startling facts and figures showing that according to many social indicators Russia is on a par not with Europe and not even with Asia – in terms of levels of corruption, life expectancy, investment in science etc. we are comparable to Africa!
    ‘The figures for suicide, poisoning, murder and accidental deaths in Russia are comparable with death rates in Angola and Burundi.’
    I will go further and say that it is not we that should feel insulted by such a comparison, but the Africans. They at least have an explanation for their lack of development: they had four centuries of exploitation and extermination by racists and colonisers, whereas over the last three centuries who colonised us Russians and treated us with contempt but ourselves?
    We often ignore statistics, and it is true that it can be difficult to grasp the reality behind dry figures. But the scale of the tragedy being played out in our country is so great that I urge you to give it your full attention.

    Museums of Russian vodka seen throughout Russia convey a simple message: drink and have fun. Yet alcoholism has remained one of Russia’s major social problems. With consumption of 15 litres of pure alcohol per head, millions of Russians ruin their health and die early (photo:, jimjimovich’s photostream).
    Russia’s death rate: the last 20 years saw the deaths of more than seven million Russians. This converts to a death rate 50% higher than in Brazil and Turkey, and several times the rate for Europe.
    In terms of population, Russia loses each year the equivalent of a district similar to  Pskov, or a city the size of Krasnodar.
    The figures for suicide, poisoning, murder and accidental deaths in Russia are comparable with death rates in Angola and Burundi.
    Global tables of male life expectancy put Russia in about the 160th place, below Bangladesh.
    Russia has the highest rate of absolute population loss in the world.
    According to UN estimates, the population of Russia will fall from its present 140 million to 121-136 million by 2025. 
    The family in crisis
    Other statistics reflect the crisis of the family in Russia. Eight out of ten elderly people in residential care have relatives who could support them. Nevertheless they are sent off to care homes.
    Between two and five million kids live on our streets (after World War Two the figure was around 700,000). In China, a country with a population of 1.4 billion, there are only 200, 000 homeless children – 100 times less. That’s how important children are to the Chinese! And surely the welfare of children and the elderly is the foundation of a healthy nation.
    Eighty percent of children in care in Russia have living parents. But they are being looked after by the state!  
    We head the world for the number of children abandoned by their parents.
    All these figures bear witness to the erosion of the family in this country.
    Crime and corruption
    Crimes against children: according to data published by the Russian Federation Investigative Commission, in 2010 there were 100,000 child victims of crime, of whom 1700 were raped and murdered (theses figures are higher even than those for South Africa). 
    ‘Four or five children are murdered in Russia every day’
    This means that four or five children are murdered in Russia every day.
    In 2010, 9500 sexual offences were committed against underage victims, including 2600 rapes and 3600 cases of non-violent sexual relations (the last eight years have seen a twentyfold rise in sexual crime). Only South Africa has a higher rate of such crimes.
    Drug addiction and alcoholism. Thirty thousand Russians, equivalent to the population of a small town, die annually from drug overdoses. 
    Seventy thousand Russians drink themselves to death each year.
    According to WHO statistics, Russia gets through the annual equivalent of 15 litres of pure alcohol per head of population. And bear in mind the fact that alcohol consumption of more than eight litres per annum per head of population constitutes a threat to a nation’s survival.
    Corruption: the scale of bribery in Russia has increased tenfold, and the goings on in a London court battle between two oligarchs have made us the laughing stock of the global business world.  The impunity of our judicial system is such that a criminal charge has been instigated against Sergey Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in prison in 2009. In Europe such a thing last happened in the 17th century!
    Russia comes out as one of the world’s most corrupt places (154th out of 178 countries) in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Index, where it is listed next to Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.
    Looking at all these figures one can safely talk of a decline in national morality – and it is our rulers who are ultimately responsible for this state of affairs.
    ‘It is shameful that in a country with such rich natural and aquatic resources over 50% of the population should be classified as poor.’
    And now, did you know that:
    –       in the last 10 years 11,000 villages and 290 towns have disappeared in Siberia;
    –       average population density in Siberia and the Russian Far East is two people per square kilometre;
    –       average population density in Russia’s central regions is 46 people per square kilometre;
    –       average population density in China is 140 people per square kilometre;
    –       average population density in Japan is 338 people per square kilometre?
    It is shameful that in a country with such rich natural and aquatic resources over 50% of the population should be classified as poor.
    All these figures send me into a state of shock. I am sure that all the facts are known to Putin. I wonder what effect they have on him.
    And it will only get worse…
    The tragedy is that I believe things will only get worse; we still haven’t touched bottom, and the Russian people has still not reached the stage where it can feel horrified at itself and finally gain the courage to ask ‘Where are we living?’. We no longer notice the stink in hallways and public toilets. We are used to people being murdered around us. We are accustomed to the fact that people all over Russia are literally fighting for their lives.
    Journalist Anatoly Yermolin was born in Kushevskaya, a village in Southern Russia which was the scene of a mass murder in 2010. He wrote of this incident: ‘If twelve people hadn’t been murdered in one go, if there had been five incidents with two people killed in each, no one would have paid any attention to it, as is normally the case in our country’. But surely it is obvious that Kushevskaya doesn’t just belong to the Krasnodar region – it’s part of Russia as a whole! Local mafia boss (and district councillor) Sergey Tsapok and his gangsters are the people you put into power by voting for them at local elections! Everybody everywhere knows who the local hard man is, who has connections with the police and the prosecutor’s office.
    The Kremlin is only pretending to fight corruption when it sacks Interior Ministry generals and middle level bureaucrats by the dozen. In the old days they would have been shot – now they get to spend a ‘well-earned retirement’ in Dubai or the Cote d’Azur!  Do our rulers really believe that is the way to end corruption? But then you all elect to your local council candidates with the words ‘I am a thief’ branded on their foreheads, and then wonder why corruption rules!
    ‘Russia today is facing a demographic and moral catastrophe, the like of which it has never seen before.’
    I wonder: will it take the extinction of half the nation and the shrinkage of Russia to the Urals, for the people (that is, the mass of the population, not a tiny group of thinking people) to wake up and demand of their rulers not pleasant, reassuring news stories and the usual promises, but the truth, and in the first place an admission of how bad things are.
    That, as you may remember, was what Stalin was forced to do in the face of a German invasion in 1941.
    It is also what Khrushchev was forced to do in 1956, when the Bolsheviks realised they might be called to account for decades of terror.
    Russia today is facing a demographic and moral catastrophe, the like of which it has never seen before.  
    There are many reasons for this, the chief one being the irresponsible economic policies of the 1990s that overwhelmed people accustomed to feudal rule, without any experience of either private property or capitalism, and who in seventy years of Soviet rule had lost any potential entrepreneurial spirit.
    So what is to be done?
    As the writer and cultural commentator Mikhail Berg has written (I quote from memory): ‘We live in one country, but we are two nations. There is a tiny handful of thinking people who demand freedom and fair elections, and the enormous ‘slumbering’ mass of ‘ordinary’ Russians. And between them lies a huge gulf of fear, fear of the most acute and dangerous kind, and social distrust…We can fight the ‘party of swindlers and thieves’, we can blame the Russian bureaucratic mindset that has messed up the whole of Russian history, but we can’t escape the fact that a definite majority of the Russian population has not changed its basic mentality for centuries.’ And I would add to that – your oppressors come from your own ranks.

    Homelessness and juvenile crime have remained serious problems in Russia. Pictured is a Russian youth detention center in a remote part of the Urals. The boys, many under 12, are doing time for crimes. Mostly they are there for thieving, but there are a fair number of murderers too (from ‘Alone in four walls’, a documentary film directed by German filmmaker Alexandra Westmeier).
    So I don’t know what is to be done, apart from trying to shake people up and make them horrified at themselves. Yulia Latynina thinks me not only a pessimist, but a de-motivator. I think one can motivate someone who is conscious and wants to be saved. But what if he is unconscious or in a lethargic doze? Sometimes, to bring someone round, a doctor will slap their cheeks. 
    I know what you will say to that, but I know that if a third of the people who will read these words agree with me, Russia would be a different place.
    ‘I don’t know whether Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has it in him to proclaim the equality of all before the law. If he does have it in him, he will win himself a prominent place in the Pantheon of Russian history. If not…’
    I am convinced that Russia needs a leader with the daring of Peter the Great, who would tell people things they haven’t heard for a long time. The truth will be bitter, for it is difficult to accept that the reason why Russia cannot move forward is because it doesn’t want to admit to itself how far it lags behind Europe in terms of developed civilisation. Only a clear and inspiring message – let it be harsh, so long as it is invigorating and sincere – can provide an impetus for the nation to awake from its feudal torpor.
    Only if that happens can one hope that the nation’s instinctive wisdom will prompt it to take the hard and possibly unforgiving road which is the only way to drag our country out of the pit in which it currently languishes. I don’t know whether Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has it in him to take such a suicidal step, to take the bull by the horns and proclaim the equality of all before the law. If he does have it in him, he will win himself a prominent place in the Pantheon of Russian history. If not…
    I am a Russian and I miss my country, because I don’t see it! I don’t see a country of which I want to be proud. I see a crowd of unhappy, frustrated faces and people alienated and afraid of one another. I want to be proud of my country, and instead I am ashamed of it. When did I last feel any pride in Russia? I don’t remember! But I know for a fact that if the truth, the truth about the situation our people find themselves in, were to be shouted loud and clear to the whole world, I would feel even more pride than if our hockey team were to win gold at the Olympics.

    About the author
    Andrei Konchalovsky is theatre and film director and scriptwriter. His films are known and loved in Russia and other countries and have received numerous awards from various international film festivals.

  17. It should be said that by acting as an agent provocatuer in the Ukrainian coup, and thus helping to unleash the genie of Ukrainian nationalism from its bottle, the US has given Putin every reason to do what he has done. The Foreign Policy magazine boffins doubtless never imagined a US administration could be that stupid. But then, this is the administration that funded Islamist insurgents in Syria because they found Assad distasteful. May God preserve the world from any further damage by these idiots!

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      What utter rot. “Provocateurs” are the hoary old staple of the Russians, from the Bolsheviks onward to today. They’ve never invaded or killed anybody without blaming somebody else.

      But yes, the bad weather, the poor Russian economy, Islamic fundamentalism, every sort of disorder in the world: it’s the fault of the United States! You wonder why people come here to live!

    • In November, President Yanukovych, the duly elected leader of Ukraine by an election certified as free and fair by the UN, the EU and the OSCE, had to make a choice. Would he take $650M in aid from the EU and impose austerity measures on his already bankrupt country which needed about $13B to stay afloat, or would he take $15B in loans and other assistance from Russia? Given the paucity of resources, the conditions attached and the experience of other less developed countries in the EU, he chose Russia.

      Since then pro-Western activists have been demonstrating and rioting in Kiev and other Western and Central Ukrainian cities. Eventually it got so bad that they were throwing Molotov cocktails at police, burning them alive, and kidnapping police. No doubt the government and other pro-Yanukovych activists did nasty unpleasant things including acts of humiliation and torture.

      Most disturbingly, neo-Nazis and other fascists were part of the mix. The pro-Western, fascist parties Svoboda and Right Sektor were at the spearhead of the violent activity and seizures of facilities. This element is fiercely anti-Semitic and anti-Russian. Some Western politicians from the EU and America actually took part in the demonstrations against the Ukrainian government. Money from the West was pouring in through NGO’s to aid the protesters as well.

      The protesters/rioters started occupying government buildings and started brandishing weapons as they attacked police. The government began to fire on protesters/rioters, killing around 70-80 or so.

      Finally, a deal was reached by neighboring governments, the protest leaders and the Yanukovych government that early elections would be held in December 2014 and a new cabinet would be formed quickly. It seemed as though peace was emerging.

      Then Yanukovych was forced out of the country by violent threats and attacks on him, his entourage and his family. The mobs seized the government in a coup d’etat and began passing laws to de-legitimize the use of the Russian language in Russian speaking areas, etc. The West, which had encouraged the whole movement through all possible means, including constant media propaganda, recognized the new government immediately.

      In Crimea, a part of Russia which was transferred to Ukraine during the Soviet period, Russians were nervous about the leadership and its attitude toward them. There are major Russian military facilities there and the Crimea has a majority Russian population.

      President Yanukovych has called on Russia to act, though has stopped short for now at asking for outright military action. Russia has effectively occupied the Crimea and the Russian government has authorized President Putin to use whatever military force is deemed appropriate not only in the Crimea but also in the rest of Ukraine.

      There is no longer a democratically elected government in the Ukraine thanks to the West and the Ukrainian rioters. Russia has intervened to protect its military bases and its people in the Crimea. Massive defections are occurring there from the Ukrainian military and police forces, including the newly appointed head of the Ukrainian navy, now the head of the autonomous Crimean navy.

      Moreover, quite a few cities in Eastern Ukraine have had their government offices taken over by pro-Russian “demonstrators” and some have declared autonomy from the government in Kiev. Referenda are being proposed, etc.

      This is all as it should be. I would guess that both Crimea and significant parts of Eastern Ukraine will become either permanently autonomous or independent, or formally join with Russia. This will be done through popular referenda which will give at least a democratic veneer to the proceedings unlike what happened in Kiev which was pure unadulterated lawlessness.

      Lesson: Don’t corner a bear unless you plan to kill it and have the ability to do so.

      What can the West do? The Germans have already come out against kicking Russia out of the G8. No one in his right mind would put American or European troops on the ground for this. Europe needs Russian gas. It will all blow over, just like the dust up Georgia started and Russia finished.

      The propaganda coming from the West, however, has been truly amazing. Demonstrators funded and egged on by NGO’s and spearheaded by neo-Fascist organizations like Svoboda and Pravy Sektor (whose leadership says things like, “I have spent my life fighting Jews and Russians”) stage a coup d’etat in violation of an agreement between all parties upon which the ink is not even dry. They proceeded to attack the use of the Russian language in Russian speaking areas. I myself watched the “Sieg Heil!” type three-fold salutes (“Slava!, Slava!, Slava!”) of leaders/rioters in Maiden Square, followed (perversely) by a girl reciting “Hail Mary” in Ukrainian.

      This is the “democratic revolution” driving out the “dictator”.

      Those who made their beds will have to sleep in them. I just hope a clear border gets drawn which solidifies over time and peace breaks out again, for everyone’s sake. Russia will have a friendly or neutral near abroad, regardless of who does or does not like it because the Russians see it as an existential necessity given their history. If anyone wants to displace that, it will cost them a fierce war (which they will almost certainly lose).

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Ah, the “West”! ‘Nuff said!

        Never the twain shall meet!

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        The west and the U.S. Instigated this. Why are we surprised that Russia acted this way? It act just like America acted when the Soviet Union did the same thing in Cuba back in 1963. However, in 63 Russia was the bad guy, but now Russia is still the bad guy. Huh? No Russia acted correctly and is in the right. America and the west better stop poking the bear because this bear bites back, and bites back hard.


        • George Michalopulos says

          Exactly. How many times did we invade Haiti, a pissant, miserable little island in the last twenty years? Twice.

          • Nate Trost says

            When the US went into Haiti in ’94, it was with the authorization of a UNSC resolution (UNSCR 940) that was adopted with 12 aye votes (including Russia’s) to none, with Brazil and China abstaining.

            In 2004, the US was working in concert with UNSTAMIH which was established by UNSCR 1542 (which was a unanimous aye vote with no abstentions).

            If you’re going to attempt to whitewash Russia’s abrogation of international law and violation of their own treaties with the Ukraine with false equivalence theater, you should probably try and find a better example than one which is literally the worst one you could have picked.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Also, I think we need to have Congressional oversight hearings on provocateurs such as Victoria Nuland and why she and others inserted themselves into the Ukraine, abetting mob rule and deciding who among three factions should be elected president.

          How would we like it if the Russians instigated militias, the Tea Party, and others to overthrow the legally government of the US?

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Yeah, it’s a good formula. You claim that the neighboring country is oppressing that portion of its population that you claim is your “ethnicity”. Their safety is imperiled! So you march into their country; only for the safety of your population. Agents provocateurs and foreigners may claim what they like, but it’s all their fault anyway. Then you call for a plebiscite, for goodness sake!

          I couldn’t care less whether Crimea is Russian or Ukrainian, or why the Soviets turned it over to “the Ukraine”. Not a smart move. The situation is simply going to be a big problem for Russia, because invading other countries is no longer comme il faut. There will be a lot of unintended consequences.

          This blaming of the action on the US and the West is just part of the propaganda. It’s too bad that the propagandists are here, too. In my opinion, this blaming of one’s own nation for everything one doesn’t like in the world, and everything that happens in it, is more a psychological disturbance than anything else, whether it comes from the left or the right. There are resentments and perceived grievances that lie behind that sort of thing, most often.

          So George, we’ll just wait for the “referendum” in Crimea and it will be all right. We should call this a special type of gerrymander!

          • George Michalopulos says

            That’s all well and good. The fact remains however that a mob overthrew a legally elected government. Misha is right: there is no legitimate government in the Ukraine at present. Hence it’s in a state of anarchy. Legally, anybody could invade at this point, even NATO.

            • Isa Almisry says

              Indeed. The Rada fell short of the constitutionally mandated number to impeach the President. Hence, he remains the President with all that that implies.

              If the West keeps on insisting that Russia speak with the legitimate government of Ukraine, Putin can say in all truth and honesty, “it has taken refuge with us.”

              Revolutionaries don’t get to break the rules and then demand others obey them.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                And did the legitimate government of Ukraine from its Russian refuge invite its hosts to take Crimea? How much of its national territory does a legitimate government have to give away before its legitimacy is called into question?

                We won’t be seeing much of this “legitimate government” again, whatever happens.

                • Isa Almisry says

                  “And did the legitimate government of Ukraine from its Russian refuge invite its hosts to take Crimea? ”
                  That could be unconstitutional, and he could be impeached for that. I guess the Rada could try again.

                  But I doubt the Neo-Nazis in charge are going to bother. So much for the Constitution.

                  And with that the Rule of Law: every man can do what is right in his own eyes.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              George, this statement is just simply weird. Who can possibly argue with someone who holds the position that NATO could now “legally invade” Ukraine?

              Let’s get to the point, at least the point that most concerns me personally as it relates to Monomakhos. Is there something about Orthodox Christianity that bears upon the Russian action in Ukraine and one’s attitude toward it? If one becomes Orthodox, is one invariably going to become a partisan of (or even especially interested in) Russian expansionist activities (or any of its political activities, for that matter)?

              It’s hard for me to express exactly what I mean. Why do you unleash your efforts in support of this particular action, and gather every possible pretext, up to and including blaming it all on the “West” and the US? Does this have something especially to do with Orthodox Christianity?

              If not, no big deal, it’s your baby here. If it does, I’d sure like to know what it is!

              As for Russia, my only real observation is that it is going to find this meal very hard indeed to digest as time goes by.

              • Michael Bauman says

                TimR. There is pressure to become involved in the political events and accept the prevailing ideology concerning those events whether Russian, Greek or Arab. Very little of it had anything to do with being Orthodox. For you, just try to ignore it and stay on track with being a catrchumen — that’s enough.

          • Daniel E Fall says

            So, let me get this straight.

            The consensus theory on Monomakhos is that the (insert Fox News, or rather Rupert Murdoch, adjective here) US administration stirred up trouble in Ukraine in order to let Putin annex Crimea and solidify a warm sea port and arresting people was impossible so snipers got called in and 80 protesters were shot.

            I’ve got another theory for you. Sarah Palin was a good vice presidential candidate so they kept her silent for the first 6 weeks.

            Or how about the treaties were mistakes and now that Putin recognizes the fragility of his only warm water port (and one that could be bombed easily), he is having second thoughts.

            The logical person really only has to recognize Putin is doing what he strategically must and no, the US wouldn’t have wanted to play this chess game.

            Keep ’em coming. This is better than Conan O’Brien.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          We have to go further back into history, Peter Papoutsis, to find the precedents for what Russia is claiming today.There are, of course, fools and evil men enough on both sides, today as always, and the history of fallen man may be summed up in this jingle: “I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal,’ to be sure However, even a Hilary Clinton can get it right once or twice in her life: the precedent for today’s Ukraine/Russia brouhaha are definitely Hitler’s. Putin, LIKE NETANYAHU, follows Hitler carefully. Just as Netanyahu in going after the West Bank emulates both Hitler’s profession of need for “Lebensraum’ and “historic borders and people” in Sudetenland, and threats from Poland, so, too, Putin acts toward Crimea.
          In THIS matter (but not all matters, of course) Putin and Netanyahu are the Bobbsey Twins being true to Uncle Adolf’s legacy. By the way, we show no signs of taking over Cuba or demanding a plebiscite there. And George, Haiti, far from being a “pissant, miserable little island”, is NOT AN ISLAND AT ALL. Did you forget that there is a Dominican Republic?

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Peter, you should be the press spokesman for the Kremlin: “Russia invaded Crimea to secure its assets and military bases.” That would at least be speaking the truth. To this point, I thought it was only unknown local forces without any insignia on their uniforms working to protect the safety of the population! I will give the Russians credit though: they haven’t dressed anybody in Ukrainian uniforms, shot them, and dragged them to Russian territory.

            I confess I am taken aback by the apologists for Russia’s actions we have so quickly and readily at hand here. Why the felt need to construct the necessary rationalizations right off the bat?

            Obviously, the Russians should have kept the Crimea in the first place. But then, it’s not the “first place” anymore.

            We’ll see how it goes. I think there will be many unintended consequences for the Russians, so I don’t think that it’s a work of genius. It is really sad, though, to see these discredited totalitarian-style propaganda ploys play out again: “we have no intent to absorb Crimea; wait, we will reluctantly do so at the insistence of the mighty Parliaments of the Peoples in Moscow, and the patriotic masses of Crimea, threatened by the Ukrainian anarchists”, and so on. If you really buy this stuff, more power to you, I guess.

            But history tells us (or rather, it suggests): those who support the party line– stay nimble on your feet!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Tim, I have to agree with Peter here. The invasion of Russia to secure its assets was an unintended consequence, one unfortuntely not seen by us. The gentleman’s agreement that George H W Bush, Jim Baker III and Brent Scowcroft worked out in order to expedite the dissolution of the Soviet Union was undone by the permanent government that is now controlled by the neocon aristocracy in the State Dept.

              It was so unnecessary to poke the Russian bear in the eye when by all accounts they have been liberalizing and more importantly, posed absolutely no threat to the United States at all.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                They’ll keep liberalizing after a fashion, I expect.

                Do we have an aristocracy again? You’ve always wanted one back, George. 😉 Careful what you wish for!

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Thanks, Tim. What toppled the; Soviet Union was the Computer age and uncensorable communications and open communication borders. Soviet Union was already toppling when Reagan was elected: Gorbachev and others recognized it. finally. One of the funniest contests I’ve observed in my lifetime is that between Reaganites and Roman Catholics over who could get the most credit for “beating” (what a LAUGH!) Russia. Oh yes, the basis of the toppling was not ALL the information revolution, Russia’s childish adventures in Afghanistan lost the Russian public’s backing of the government, and the only plus for Russia was America’s creation of the Taliban there.
              And, Tim, we DO have an aristocracy again and its one without a “glass ceiling.” Michelle, Sarah, Ann….They are the Republican elite. Young Americans see that and more and more of them wonder about it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                You know, it’s all rather easy to take the simplistic view of history being guided by “inexorable forces” and in retrospect, we can see that the Soviet system was a flawed one, one destined to implode, etc. But history isn’t as neat as we’d like it to be. Our economy was in the crapper thanks to the horrible economic policies of Nixon’s wage and price controls, Ford’s ineptness, and Carter’s extreme idiocy. All that on top of the explosion of the Federal gummint under LBJ who gave us both guns and butter.

                It was Reagan who revived our economy and pushed the USSR over the bridge, economically speaking. He brought down that empire without firing a shot.

                Getting back to my original point, history is studded with examples of smaller, weaker, powers overthrowing larger ones. The Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens is a prime example. The Israelites under Joshua who wiped out the Canaanites is another. Then there were the Goths, Vandals, and Huns who brought down Rome in the West.

                One reason I’m totally against provoking Russia (too late for that, I know) or wanting to escalate this any further is because (1) the first casualty in war is the truth and (2) the best plans don’t survive first contact with the enemy.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Is there anybody who actually predicted the end of the Soviet Union, I wonder? Not that it would eventually fall, etc., but anyone up until it actually happened who predicted that the East European communist regimes would be gone by the end of the 80s, and the Soviet Union shortly thereafter?

                  I can’t think of anyone. My wife and I were in Russia in 1987 for several weeks, and while freedom of movement in the cities was easy, and people were pretty open in private discussions, one still knew this was a very oppressed society.
                  One had no foreshadowing of what was to come within only two years.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Ah, The True Believer:

                  “It was Reagan who revived our economy and pushed the USSR over the bridge, economically speaking. He brought down that empire without firing a shot.”

                  My grandmother, an intelligent and well-read woman, daughter of a learned Lutheran pastor from Germany went to her eternal reward believing the moon landing was a hoax. I hold out no hope of ever dislodging the above Article of the Republican Symbol of Faith from George’s icon corner. Now I’ve resolved to get out my old copy of Angus Wilson’s “Such Darling Dodoes”, Gale, and re-read it for the first time in years.
                  (And don’t forget this: “You know, it’s all rather easy to take the simplistic view of history…”)

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    There were countless factors, and I have no doubt at all that Mr. Reagan and his policies played a positive part in the eventual unraveling of the Soviet Union. There is no more truth in totally discounting that part than in exaggerating it.

                    As for your grandmother, it is always interesting when otherwise very intelligent people hold an anomalous view such as you describe. In my experience, this is almost always related to the conviction of a conspiracy of some kind, and often the person is otherwise unremarkable in his or her views.

                    I had an experience of this just this past week. There was a Lenten supper after the Presanctified liturgy, with a presentation by a very nice lady who is a missionary in Albania. At one point afterwards, there was a discussion about political issues in Albania, Greece, etc. One older lady (older than me that is), with whom I have had amiable chats, suddenly began talking about the Rand Corporation, the CIA, etc., as an explanation of some point or other, in what I would call a tone of conspiratorial certainty.

                    My immediate thought is that she would be quite at home here at Monomakhos! 😉

                  • Daniel E Fall says

                    Almost every economist in the world knows that the reason for increased US debt was caused by the ideological ‘tax cutters’, and that Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush all increased public debt as a % of gdp, while their Democratic counterparts decreased it, until Obama, that is…

                    US debt facts for friends-a different statistic on just absolutes, not related to gdp…

                    Reagan took office 934 billion
                    Reagan left office 2.7 trillion (tax cuts caused this) A 3x increase or so
                    George HW Bush left office 4.2 trillion (ditto) A 1.5x increase in 4 years
                    Clinton left office 5.7 trillion (that’s right a gain of only 1.5trillion in 8 years under Clinton’s rosy economics he had), a .25 increase in 8 years
                    George W Bush left office 10.6 trillion (more tax cuts) a 2x increase in 8 years
                    Obama to date 17.5 trillion (still have the tax cuts) a 1.7 increase to date)

                    The president that increased the public debt the most during his 8 years in office was clearly Reagan, and since Obama hasn’t got enough power and the economy was in the tank; he hasn’t tried to slow the train.

                    Someday, someone will listen to Bruce Bartlett on the abject failure of Reagonomics. He was one of the authors. His criticism is too much for Republicans to hear though, that the tax cuts were too deep. And gawd, if the Tea Partiers hear that, well, what then?

                    I’m a Bartlett fan because he called Rick Perry an idiot, but I digress.

                    Russian public debt 308 billion, or about 2% of the US.
                    Russian debt per gdp is 12.2% while the US is about 70%, so yeah our economy is bigger, but our debt seems outta line.

                    I wonder what Reagan would be saying these days, barring age, etc.

                    American is going to need a tax hike-send the tea party packing.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      The deficits under Reagan-Bush II were never as big and never as comprehensive as those we are experiencing now.

                      From Washington to Bush = $10 trillion.

                      Five years under Obama (so far) = $7 trillion.

                      It’s delusional to believe otherwise.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    Expressed as a % of GDP, the deficits in the second Obama term are likely to be less than the second Reagan term. I think you misremember the economy-relative size of the Reagan deficits and have repeatedly failed to understand the reasons why the deficit temporarily exploded for non-structural reasons as a result of the financial crash.

                    I also note, without humor, that once again you assign the last fiscal year of the Bush presidency to Obama to pad his numbers. That is not honest, nor ethical.

                    From Washington to Bush = $10 trillion.

                    It is utterly ridiculous to use a current debt number as if it were cumulative over 200 years of history. Also without relational context to the size of the economy. The US isn’t even at the highest debt/GDP ratio in its history. There’s a certain irony in your simultaneously complaining about debt levels whilst sneering at Ford and Carter and the 70s when the US debt level was pretty much at an all time modern low.

                    It’s not like the data for the trends is hard to parse:

                    Year GDP-US $ billion nominal Population-US million Gross Public Debt-fed percent GDP
                    1970 1075.9 203.302 35.40 a
                    1980 2862.5 226.546 31.76 a
                    1981 3210.9 228.670 30.98 a
                    1982 3345 230.815 34.00 a
                    1988 5252.6 244.110 49.52 a
                    1989 5657.7 246.399 50.69 a
                    1990 5979.6 248.710 53.62 a
                    1991 6174 251.802 58.28 a
                    1992 6539.3 254.933 61.20 a
                    1999 9665.7 277.966 57.99 a
                    2000 10289.7 282.162 54.70 a
                    2001 10625.3 284.969 54.30 a
                    2008 14720.3 304.094 67.84 a
                    2009 14417.9 306.772 82.37 a
                    2010 14958.3 309.350 90.44 a
                    2011 15533.8 311.583 95.05 a
                    2012 16244.6 313.874 98.81 a
                    2013 16797.5 316.129 99.54 a
                    2014 17332.3 318.400 103.23 e
                    2015 18219.4 321.363 102.71 e
                    2016 19180.6 323.849 101.73 e
                    2017 20199.4 326.348 100.31 e
                    2018 21216.3 328.857 98.80 e
                    2019 22196.1 331.375 97.63 e

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      “Expressed as a percentage of GDP” are weasel words. Even using those words, the employment numbers and actual GDP during both Reagan terms were huge. We are now in a “recovery” that feels like a recession. Obama has nothing to show for his addition of $7 trillion to the national debt. Reagan presided over the greatest expansion in the economy in the second half of the twentieth century.

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    ““Expressed as a percentage of GDP” are weasel words.”
                    Don’t even have to go there: just point out that Senator Present called raising the debt ceiling “unpatriotic,” but President Hussain now expects it on demand.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    George Michalopulos, you continue to have a bad habit of saying things you believe are true without bothering to check whether or not they are, in fact, true.

                    Reagan presided over the greatest expansion in the economy in the second half of the twentieth century.

                    Wrong. Clinton and Kennedy/LBJ have him beat for eight-year stretches:

                    John F. Kennedy, 5.4%
                    Lyndon B. Johnson, 5.0%
                    Bill Clinton, 3.8%
                    Ronald Reagan, 3.5%

                    In terms of economy size in 2009 dollars Clinton and Kennedy/LBJ versus Reagan:

                    Dec 31, 2000 12.68 trillion (34.9%)
                    Dec 31, 1992 9.40 trillion

                    Dec 31, 1988 8.60 trillion (32.6%)
                    Dec 31, 1980 6.49 trillion

                    Dec 31, 1968 4.62 trillion (50%)
                    Dec 31, 1960 3.08 trillion

                    “Expressed as a percentage of GDP” are weasel words.

                    Apparently, in your world, suggesting that there is a difference between you owing a debt of a million dollars and Bill Gates owing a debt of a million dollars is “weasel words.”

                    Obama has nothing to show for his addition of $7 trillion to the national debt

                    You repeating the same number more times doesn’t make it any less incorrect. Once more, let us do some simple addition:

                    FY 2014*: $649 billion (call us 50% through FY14, so $325 billion)
                    FY 2013: $680 billion
                    FY 2012: $1,087 billion
                    FY 2011: $1,300 billion
                    FY 2010: $1,294 billion

                    Total $4,686 billion

                    So, being off by almost $2.5 trillion is close enough in your world?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You forget the “expansion” that occurred under JFK/LBJ included a little war in SE Asia. Under Reagan, there were no wars and a bigger expansion.

                  • Daniel E Fall says

                    Actually, a big part of the USS Gerald Ford would be part of Obama’s debt numbers because the ship wasn’t financed through tax increases by any President, so it is debt financed. The cost is about 17 billion, and costs 7 million a day to operate when it finally gets into service in 2016, several years behind schedule due to budget constraints. 7 million a day is like 2 billion a year to operate, but that won’t kick in until the final year of Obama.

                    So, thank Obama’s for the USS Gerald Ford if you credit him for the debt. It is actually an amazing vessel.

                    The most interesting part of my federal debt post was about how Russia’s numbers are so much lower than ours, but nobody nibbles or seems to find it interesting that our debt is so much higher than theirs.

                    And George, if you don’t look at debt against some rational base; it is meaningless. If you compare the debt of Washington and Bush, the economies are vastly different. If you compare my household to GE against a base of revenue; how is that weaseling (sic). Fact is, Bartlett’s suggestion that Reagonomics is an abject failure and that Bush cut taxes too far is about the only fiscal wisdom the Republican party has had come out of it in the last 14 years. I’m not suggesting necessarily that Reagan’s tax changes were inappropriate, but he did add significantly to the debt for his time. And the reasons are very simple indeed-tax cuts. At some point, the debt cryers need to answer with reality; tax. Otherwise; they are empereors sans clothing.

                    And the Republicans will almost certainly pick Paul or Perry over Christie; both whom would return us to George Washington ideals in the day of the 17 billion dollar aircraft carrier. But they won’t beat Hillary, perhaps Jeb Bush could promise more tax cuts and pull it off by blaming the Democrats for buying votes with free health care.

                    Anyone catch this bit at all?

                    When will a politician run on reducing the debt by paying the bills?

                • Nate Trost says

                  If you’re going to wax on about the problem of simplistic views of history and things not being as neat as we’d like to to be, then you probably shouldn’t describe a few decades of US economic performance as “bad until Reagan showed up, then good, because Reagan fixed it.”

                  Because in the macro picture isn’t even remotely close to an accurate summary. When handwringing over the inflation of the 70s, it’s usually conveniently forgotten that Volcker was appointed by Carter in ’79. The harsh fiscal medicine imposed by the Fed had nothing to do with Reagan. A second Carter term would have seen the same end of inflation (and to be fair, would have seen the same harsh recession caused by the inflation-breaking Fed policies).

                  There is a certain additional irony in swooning over St. Reagan at the altar of the 80s economy, considering that’s when things started stagnating for the non-rich.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I can tell I’m older than you because I remember the 70s very well. It was the only period in our history in which Carter was able to pull off the impossible: high inflation with stagnant wages. A new word was coined: “stagflation.”

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    President Jimmy Carter did not ACHIEVE “high inflation with stagnant wages.” That is an outright calumny. In our Republic, no President runs the economy or controls wages. He was vilified for being a devout Baptist Christian, ridiculed in a ‘Christian country” (!) and in a nation “under God” for admitting to a cardinal sin: Lust, yes, Ridiculed. I guess people did not want an American president to witness “in front of the children.” Habitat for Humanity has done more for individual American families than anything done by the Nixons, Bushes, Reagans or anyone else. And, by the way, Carter was president in only ONE period in our history in which he could ‘pull off” or ‘pull down” anything at all. Did you think there was another period of history in which he could have done better (“It was the only period in our history in which Carter was able to pull off the impossible.” Carter was proficient in what we would now call “Rocket” or Nuclear science. High Intellectual abilities make some people hate you. They can’t wait to see you stumble. President Obama is worse off: he’s not only brilliant intellectually, he’s both black and elegant.
                    A more dramatic contrast than his with President Bush in intellect snd elegance can not be even imagined! Go anyplace in the world and mention the name Jimmy Carter and you will be pleased to hear no anti-American remarks whatsoever. He was and is a great credit to The United States of America.

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    ” Habitat for Humanity has done more for individual American families than anything done by the Nixons, Bushes, Reagans or anyone else.”
                    You will notice, Your Grace, that President Carter was out of office (i.e. not in the government) when he was doing these things.

                    Btw, Carter used to be the best ex-president. Now he has turned into just a bitter old man.

                    Back in his saner days, Chris Mattews would freely admit that the Carter administration was a nightmare, and it was from that head: rule by memo. High Intellectual abilities sometimes makes you a pin head.

                    Lots of Soviet emigres told me that Carter got them out, and they supported Reagan. They weren’t ungrateful, they just weren’t fools.

                    “In our Republic, no President runs the economy or controls wages.”
                    Please do tell the President: he thinks he can do that by fiat. And acting on that, the Democraps give him a standing ovation.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Someone else please explain to Isa the difference between:”run the economy” and “be one of many non-controlllng influences on the economy.’ I can’t express it without getting diversion in response. I would like to move on sometimes, really. Employers, not presidents, ***control**** wages, but not the standard for a minimum wage. Thanks in advance. and Goodnight!

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    No one needs to explain a thing to Isa, your Grace, as he worked for a year in DC on the House Floor and saw first hand (on the floor and elsewhere, e.g. cocktail parties) how the governments no-so-invisible hand grasps a hold of the economy. Although that was quite tame compared to what DC is grabbing nowadays.

                    And the market price of labor, not Employers, are the ones who ***control*** wages. That is, when DC isn’t dictating them.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    I wouldn’t assume ANYTHING about anyone who worked ANYWHERE in any capacity, even for only one year, in the House of Representatives. I spent 1966-71 in the Pentagon and lived in the River House in Arlington across the street from it. I’ve met not few participants, elected and not elected, in the Congress. I don’t understand at all how anyone like you could claim no one needs to explain anything to you, isa. That’s really over the top in the world of the egotistical! I”m trying to imagine invisible government hands grabbing the economy in the Capitol. And what, exactly, is the District of Columbia ‘grabbing nowadays?” You know, Isa, there are men who have been elected to Congress while knowing next to nothing and who left years later knowing no more. Anyhow, I asked someone to explain language, not the Congress, to you. “Market price of labor” takes a verb in singular and could hardly be “the ones who control wages.”
                    As for ‘when DC isn’t dictating them.” (Who’s “them?” Some kind of notes, perhaps?)
                    See what I mean? First the President is controlling wages, then it’s the District of Columbia! Frustrating diversion after diversion!

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    Your Grace noticing that President who cannot control wages, controlling wages?

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Isa relies on Fox News. This explains a lot.
                    There are hundreds of employers who control wages. The President of the United States is legally enabled to execute wage measures for government employees and government contractors, including overtime wages. This has a certain influence on wages in the private sector, but not a CONTROLLING influence. Fox News is notorious for putting the worst possible construction on any actions of President Barack Obama. Anybody who doubts that must have been unconscious for the last 6-7 years!

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    “Isa relies on Fox News. This explains a lot.”
                    LOL. No, Your Grace, Isa does not-indeed the vast majority, if not all, Fox viewers do not “rely” on Fox News. However, Isa does enjoy watching the Pavlovian ad hominem reaction.

                    But if one must have their news larded with bias, there are plenty of places to go:
                    Pravda on the Hudson
                    The Capitol oracle of ignorance
                    The World Wide Web of Deceit
                    All Hussain Cheerleaders 24/7 and the Now Barack Channel
                    Channel kNow Nothing
                    and that cesspool of stupidity

                    “Fox News is notorious for putting the worst possible construction on any actions of President Barack Obama. Anybody who doubts that must have been unconscious for the last 6-7 years!”
                    Is that what Your Grace has seen, or parroting what one has been told?

                    Fox bent over backwards (except perhaps Hannity, but then he was joined at the hip with Colmes) giving him the benefit of the doubt during the ’08 election, through to the Porculus. Starting with that (if not before), it’s not Fox’s fault that Hussain has done only blameworthy acts for the most part-he does get praise for the rare act deserving it.

                  • Timothy Wearing says

                    Sorry guys, since Obama has been Prez., the deficit of the U.S. has been cut in half and going down rapidly. Obama inherited a huge deficit from Bush and when he took office, the U.S. was on the verge of a deeper DEPRESSION than 1929. Why? Two wars and massive spending by the Bush Admin and Wall Street Banks who took billions from the U.S. middle-class via mortgage fraud; Bush’s no regulation policies. Now, after 6 years of Obama, the GOP wants everyone to believe he’s been a terrible Prez and only the GOP can save America. Look at the real facts and numbers.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      A near-doubling of the actual National Debt means that the “deficit has been cut in half”? How is that possible?

              • Isa Almisry says

                “And, Tim, we DO have an aristocracy again and its one without a “glass ceiling.” Michelle, Sarah, Ann….They are the Republican elite. Young Americans see that and more and more of them wonder about it.”
                And what do they wonder about the Kennedys? And the incestuous cliques of Hollywood and and the rest of the Left coast cross-breeding with the equally inbred Blueblood ruling class on the Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC axis.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Oh, Peter, I remember the Cuban missile crisis. When has the U.S. or the Ukraine or anybody else installed missiles in the Crimea?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Your Grace, I don’t remember the Missile Crisis but I do know about our constant incursions into Central America, Haiti, the Caribbean, etc., in order to secure American interests. (For the record: I wasn’t against them in principle.) And anyway, the Soviets got what they wanted when Kennedy stared them down: the removal of the American Jupiter missiles from Turkey.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                And likewise, when Reagan couldn’t get rid of that awful, disrespecting Noriega, he had to go cut a deal with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, so he’d buy arms and planes from us and give Reagan unappropriated funds with which to punish that snotty brat Latin American. So Ayatollah Khomeini got exactly what he wanted out of the U.S.A., through Reagan’s unutterable wisdom, and he was happier than the Soviets in finding such an easy mark, such a pushover (also the one that did nothing about Al Qaeda’s bombing of our Marine Barracks.
                What was the purpose of missiles in Turkey: who needed appeasing there?

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  I wouldn’t assume ANYTHING about anyone who worked ANYWHERE in any capacity, even for only one year, in the House of Representatives. I spent 1966-71 in the Pentagon and lived in the River House in Arlington across the street from it. I’ve met not few participants, elected and not elected, in the Congress. I don’t understand at all how anyone like you could claim no one needs to explain anything to you, isa. That’s really over the top in the world of the egotistical! I”m trying to imagine invisible government hands grabbing the economy in the Capitol. And what, exactly, is the District of Columbia ‘grabbing nowadays?” You know, Isa, there are men who have been elected to Congress while knowing next to nothing and who left years later knowing no more. Anyhow, I asked someone to explain language, not the Congress, to you. “Market price of labor” takes a verb in singular and could hardly be “the ones who control wages.”
                  As for ‘when DC isn’t dictating them.” (Who’s “them?” Some kind of notes, perhaps?)
                  See what I mean? First the President is controlling wages, then it’s the District of Columbia! Frustrating diversion after diversion!

                  Oh snap, the OCA Bishop against the great champion of the OCA Isa going at it. love it!!! Let the games begin!


                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Peter A. Papoutsis, in what sense is Isa A. ‘the great champion of the OCA?” And do you really come from a Greek background? 100 per cent?

      • Isa Almisry says

        Right on all counts.

        Two maps which I think are interesting:
        The regional strength of Svoboda, the Neo-Nazi junior partner in this junta
        For those who can’t read Ukrainian, its strength is 10.44% across the country, but a third of the votes in the Uniate oblasts. Only in the neighboring oblasts and where the Uniates have moved East (i.e. Kiev) does it get out of single digits-except in the Diaspora, where it gets 23.63% support.

        And a little reminder of how and by whom Ukraine obtained its territory:

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Is this brouhaha, then, just a battle between ‘Neo-Nazis” and “Neo-Bolsheviks?” I can’t believe how simple everything is believed to be since when I went to school! Isa and others have everything figured out and get all nervy when challenged about it. What do those Yellow Path (or whatever the “Neo-Nazis” of today’s Greece are called) people in Greece have to do with the ‘Neo-Nazis” of Ukraine, if anything?

          • Isa Almisry says

            “Is this brouhaha, then, just a battle between ‘Neo-Nazis” and “Neo-Bolsheviks?” ”

            “Isa and others have everything figured out and get all nervy when challenged about it.”
            Someone’s nervy, but it’s not Isa, Your Grace.

            “What do those Yellow Path (or whatever the “Neo-Nazis” of today’s Greece are called) people in Greece have to do with the ‘Neo-Nazis” of Ukraine, if anything?”
            Don’t know what you are speaking of here, Your Grace. Do you?

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Isa, I just got an email informing me that the Nazi-adoring and -imitating group in Greece calls itself the “Golden” Path, NOT the “Yellow” Path as I mistakenly wrote, That’s of what I was writing, and asking if they were related to what their enemies call Ukrainians, namely, “Neo-Nazis”. But if you still can’t figure it out,that’s ok.

              • Dear Vladyka,

                I suppose you refer to the Golden Dawn group in Greece which was fortunately led from secrecy into the light and discredited. The majority of those on the central square in Kiev or among the fringe groups in the Crimea show no resemblance whatsoever to this group.

                I pray to God to end all violence in the ukraine in all areas and that no single soul is forced to make a nationalist choice that would have a negative impact upon brotherhood. Too late as the referendum in the Crimea has already been held. But there is still hope. where there is prayer

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  I know they are not related to anything Ukrainian, “Yo,” but Isa Almisry, a tireless advocate for V. Putin’s policies and deeds, quoted me asking about that very thing” ‘“What do those Yellow Path (or whatever the “Neo-Nazis” of today’s Greece are called) people in Greece have to do with the ‘Neo-Nazis” of Ukraine, if anything?” and then he commented, nastily, “Don’t know what you are speaking of here, Your Grace. Do you?”
                  I agree with your prayer, but I’m afraid that V. Putin is just getting going. He’s actually running out of Russians you know, and is apt to do anything in response.

                  • Isa Almisry says

                    “he commented, nastily, “Don’t know what you are speaking of here, Your Grace. Do you?””
                    Isa commented truthfully.

                    as for:
                    “a tireless advocate for V. Putin’s policies and deeds”
                    not my fault President Putin is on the mark on so many things, and Your Grace is left with defending the not only hapless but hopeless, present occupant of the White House, both in the international arena and on the home front.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      I admire Isa Almisry’s ability to channel Vladimir Putin so well when speaking of the President of the United States of America! I’ll have to click on “View all comments,” though, to find where in the world Isa thinks I’ve been defending President Obama in the international “arena” or on the home ‘front.” (Let’s invent some new figures of speech: the old ones are just about dead except to the tyro.) I wonder if Isa raids Putin’s speeches and press releases in order to acquire some content for this or that anti-President Obama slur?
                      I rather insist on courtesy in all references to the President of the United States of America, but do not consider that to be anything like defending him! I sometimes wonder what pathology makes the use of ordinary courtesy toward the President of our country impossible in public to some…”present occupant,” just highlights the pathology. as if refusing to say “the American President” will keep the demons at bay! We all must pray for each other and try to understand there might be a moving rationalisation for some pathologies. I recognize that this will incite some to a ‘You TOO!” response dredged up from playground days. but, that’s life.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “I wonder if Isa raids Putin’s speeches and press releases in order to acquire some content for this or that anti-President Obama slur?”
                      I come from Chicago, Your Grace, and have known of Hussain before he became Senator “Present,” let alone Senator Candidate (we were both at the U of C, and lived for years blocks from one another), back when he was dreaming about his father. (I remember someone once remarked that he never read autobiographies/mémoires, as he preferred his fiction straight) So I wouldn’t have to go to the near or far abroad to get facts on the Teleprompter-Reader-in-Chief, let alone “slurs.”

                      “I rather insist on courtesy in all references to the President of the United States of America”
                      Alas! Senator “President”/Candidate and his ilk evidently had used up all the courtesy before “W” was in office, as they had none. Perhaps the courtesy President Bush shows by his silence on his successor’s handling of the job will build up some more.

                      “I sometimes wonder what pathology….”
                      I am aware of the incidence of psychological pathology among those in the psych industry – I worked 5 years in the locked ward of a psych hospital, and observed it up front (and the rate is quite high) – but I must admit, Your Grace, that I do not know the rate of incidence of pathology among internet psychologists. Perhaps you might enlighten us.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      I understand that it is the Bush family that originated the custom of speaking of President George W. Bush as just “W”, pronounced Dubya by them, thus distinguishing him from his father..
                      However, I don’t believe anyone in President Obama’s family ever spoke of him as ‘Hussain”, which is the habit of Isa Almisry and his ilk. Anyone? .
                      Mr. Isa Almisry, however, seems to be of the opinion that use of the appellation ‘W” for President George W. Bush was somehow derogatory?

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “However, I don’t believe anyone in President Obama’s family ever spoke of him as ‘Hussain””
                      I don’t believe they ever spoke of him as Barack either, Your Grace. What ever happened to Barry Soetoro?

                      “Mr. Isa Almisry, however, seems to be of the opinion that use of the appellation ‘W” for President George W. Bush was somehow derogatory?”
                      No, Isa Almisry has the knowledge that Hussain, unlike “W”, is thin-skinned, Your Grace.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      I’ll leave the historical evaluation of President Barack Obama to the historians; however, I’d like to point out that i sometimes worry about living this long, into my eighties, beyond the optimum “three-score and ten” of Scriptures. I’ve had to behold the falling asleep of so many friends and relatives. Just in the past year i’ve lost dear parishioners here: two of them born within a day of my own birthday, and a couple days ago, the young daughter, Anastasia, of ever-memorable Graf Ilarion Alexandrovich Woronzoff-Dashkoff. Why am I still here,” I am sometimes tempted to pray… One thing for sure though, I am grateful that it has been given me to behold, twice, the election of Barack Hussain Obama to be our President and to live during his incumbency. He’s a fine, elegant Afro-American with a family as elegant as he. He speaks very clear and correct (!) American English, and has not taken us into any war of imperialism, and finally got a health care plan through a difficult congress that was characterized by one matushka just yesterday, on Facebook, like this: “but I gotta say, I love that our health insurance now costs $0, vs 1250 per month, and that my kids’ prescriptions no longer cost $100 per month X 3 kids, but are now free. And that we are no longer paying $30 copays, nor are we paying 70/30 with $1000 deductible. Cover Oregon was a beast to navigate, but finally, we are all covered…and we are thankful.” I am sad to behold the spectacle of a purportedly quasi-Orthodox president of the Russian Federation exerting force to overpower his Orthodox brethren in Ukraine, and deliberately adding a page to the anti-Russian book of Ukrainian polemics in the process.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      I’ll leave the historical evaluation of President Barack Obama to the historians

                      Preface to a enconium of plaudits for the darling of the Left. Is it topos?

                      “He’s a fine, elegant Afro-American with a family as elegant as he.”
                      Yes, resembles another elegant family.

                      “has not taken us into any war of imperialism”
                      due to his incompetence, not lack of desire.

                      “finally got a health care plan through a difficult congress”
                      a pathetic one, stuffed with a supermajority of Democraps

                      “Cover Oregon was a beast to navigate”
                      She should contact the press: they are still reporting that Cover Oregon still had failed to sign up a single persons, after wasting millions on it.

                      The leading paper in Oregon, the Salem Statesman, on September 30, 2013 had a cartoon which showed an aging hippie woman at a cafe, getting on the “CoverOregon” version of Obamatax the first day, remarking how easy and quick she got on, with an elephant in the room with a sad countenance, with a newspaper saying “House tried for 41st time to get rid of Obamacare.” The elephant wonders” I wonder what that feels like.” It is no where to be found any more. It seems Sebellius has hired Winston Smith and put him in charge, and scrubbed it clean off the net.
                      What the hippie would have seen was this:
                      She better check that she doesn’t get the bait and switch that woman in WA got. You know, the one that Hussain gave the shot out to, to show how great Obamatax was, only to find out this-

                      CoverOregon has just wasted, er, spent another million on advertising, as the regime is scrambling to illegally extend the deadline a month.

                      If Your Grace likes his sanity, he can keep his sanity.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Why did Isa Almisry disparage the comments of a Priest’s wife about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)? This (to me) young, intelligent, attractive and pious modern Arab-American woman has seven children, some of them grown, and is model Christian wife full of good will and love ot others. She married into an Arab/Estonian family, also very pious.
                      I think that Isa may be someone born abroad who fears Afro-Americans. That’s all right. i remember an older Russian man whom i visited at Queen of Angels hospital who kept hiding under his hospital bed because he was afraid of the hospital staff.
                      Here’s what she wrote, again: ‘ “but I gotta say, I love that our health insurance now costs $0, vs 1250 per month, and that my kids’ prescriptions no longer cost $100 per month X 3 kids, but are now free. And that we are no longer paying $30 copays, nor are we paying 70/30 with $1000 deductible. Cover Oregon was a beast to navigate, but finally, we are all covered…and we are thankful.”
                      I’m glad to know of this positive impact of ObamaCare on a large, not well-to-do family of a Priest If news of it infuriates Obsmaphobes, well, that’s life!
                      Mr. Almisry’s closing reference to sanity, though, has me worried. It seemed inappropriate, so i’ll say a prayer or two. (I can “keep’ my sanity!)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Your Grace, Obamacare is nothing but an elaborate bait-and-switch. On those few occasions when it does work, the vast majority of the recipients (the priest’s wife you mention excepted) have seen their medical bills skyrocket and/or experienced a dearth in their coverage.

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      I think that Isa may be someone born abroad who fears Afro-Americans. That’s all right.

                      LOL. You’re quite the dealer, Your Grace, from a stacked deck with only race cards in it.

                      No, Isa was born in Chicago-you know, Hussain’s hometown-but has lived in Africa.

                      IOW, His Grace is wrong yet again.

                      “Here’s what she wrote, again…”
                      Ah, yes, the mantras. As if they will make facts go away:

                      Although the extension allows more time for people to sign up for health care coverage without facing a federal penalty at tax time next year, it doesn’t mean Cover Oregon has worked out all the glitches.

                      Laura Sandgren thought she did everything right with plenty of time to get health care coverage through Cover Oregon by April 1, but like others, she’s run into problem after problem. Now, she still isn’t sure whether she’s enrolled….
                      She originally applied in mid-February but got a packet of possible plans back with wrong information about her address and income. When she called Cover Oregon, she was told to work with a Cover Oregon community agent. They reapplied online together March 7. They both thought she was set to get coverage by next month.

                      When Sandgren called to verify this week, a Cover Oregon representative told her she’s not enrolled as she thought.

                      “He said, ‘You have no coverage. I don’t even show you signed up for a plan,’” Sandgren said. “I did everything I was supposed to do, and I’m not sure what’s going on. I left a message with my community agent panicking.”

                      The agent was able to call “advanced support” and said Cover Oregon found Sandgren’s record and will be sending it to the insurance company. However, with no paperwork to show for it, Sandgren is still worried something is wrong.

                      At least with Wednesday’s extension announcement, she doesn’t have to wonder if she’ll be penalized if the state doesn’t have her application by next week, but she’s still worried about getting the health care she needs.


                      So the pious lady might think she has coverage-God grant!-but there is no certainty of that. The disparagement was for the lying politicians, not the nice lady they lied to.

                      It might be the reality versus wishful thinking thing that is throwing Your Grace.

                      One can only keep what one has already.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Excuse me for repeating the Priest’s wife comments on the Affordable Care Act like this:

                      “but I gotta say, I love that our health insurance now costs $0, vs 1250 per month, and that my kids’ prescriptions no longer cost $100 per month X 3 kids, but are now free. And that we are no longer paying $30 copays, nor are we paying 70/30 with $1000 deductible. Cover Oregon was a beast to navigate, but finally, we are all covered…and we are thankful.”

                      But i should have mentioned that her husband, a Priest and the father of her seven children, has been employed most of the time during their marriage,and before it, as a hospital administrator, and is not likely to be taken in by what George Michalopoulos calls a ‘bait and switch” scheme.

          • I’m at a loss to discern who the “neo-Bolsheviks” might be. Russia is a mixed market capitalist economy, not a socialist state. The first priority of “neo-Bolsheviks” in such a state would be to overthrow the government and nationalize the means of production.

            There is a lot of abysmal ignorance out there regarding what a Soviet or a Bolshevik is. It is not synonymous with “authoritarian”. Otherwise, we would be calling the King of Saudi Arabia or the late Tsar Nicholas II “Bolsheviks”. Obviously this is incorrect.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Right, Misha. Bolsheviks are majoritarians. And you are right, The USSR never ever practiced Marxism, and its economy was totally that ot State Capitalism. But this refutes all the lingo of the Right, so it can’t be accepted.

              • Isa Almisry says

                “The USSR never ever practiced Marxism, and its economy was totally that ot State Capitalism. But this refutes all the lingo of the Right, so it can’t be accepted.”
                Don’t guzzle the Kool-Aid like that, Your Grace. You can choke.

                Marxism: a theory with no practice in reality.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Thanks, Isa, intelligently argued, as always.
                  Your masterful reasoning:
                  “Don’t guzzle the Kool-Aid like that, Your Grace. You can choke.”

                  Somehow, in order to inspire such animosity, I must have really “pushed your buttons.”
                  That’s OK, there’s a whole group of readers and writers here on Monomakhos who have suffered the same and respond in the same way. You are not alone.

                  I gather, too, that Ukrainians and possibly Poles must have likewise pushed your buttons or hurt you or insulted you so hurtfully that you are unable to see anything positive in Ukraine except it would be Russophilia.

                  Unfortunately, your dictum: “Marxism: a theory with no practice in reality,’ is totally unacceptable to those who fear and hate our President, our liberals, our Democrats, etc.
                  They see Marxism being realized every day in the minimum wage, TAXES (!!!), the Affordable Care Act, the separation of church and state and in the very person of President Barack Obama.

              • Vladyka,

                Bolsheviks were not a majority even within the revolutionary left. They appropriated the title after having won a debate over the application of Marxist theory in which they happened to be in the majority on a particular, isolated issue. They kept the appellation for its psychological effect. They cared nothing for representative government, shutting down the national assembly elected after the Revolution after only a few days.

                Yes, Russia was a socialist state, Marxist in that sense. However, Marx felt that a period of capitalism was necessary before socialism could take hold. Lenin jumped from late agrarian – early industrial straight to socialism. One could argue that that made the Soviet government less than Marxist.

                It was not state capitalism though. There was next to no private enterprise. China practices a measure of state capitalism with private ownership mixed in with tight government regulation and high taxation. Yet it was illegal to operate a taxi or rent out a room in Soviet Russia.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Misha, I think anyone with the most elementary knowledge of the revolution in Russia learned that Bolsheviks were not the majority and that their name was misleading, Misha, but I consider that in adopting the name “Bolshevik” they demonstrated their majoritarianISM All know they used the name for its psychlogical effect. All know they cared nothing for representative government. All know that Denmark, Sweden, Norway and other countries including Russia are called socialist and are socialist, but hardly any intelligent person today calls any of those countries “Marxist,’ (and not “Marxist in that sense’).
                  The only capitalism allowed in the Soviet state was thst practiced by the STATE. OF course, there was no private enterprise, there was only state enterprise!! State capitalism, Misha, precisely does not allow private enterprise.

                  • Vladyka,

                    Once again you have waded in over your head. State capitalism is a situation where an authoritarian state allows private business but controls it through heavy regulation and taxes. China is a good example. They call it “Chinese communism”. In reality, it is a one party totalitarian system that is smart enough to realize that socialist economics really don’t work very well. So, they allow limited capitalism – private businesses which due to the level of control and taxation are really little engines for the state economy.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          We have ways of dealing with “uniate oblasts”….

          A “uniate oblast” has got to be something bad, right? Sure sounds like it!

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            “Uniate oblast” is a product of Isa Almisry’s thought, Timor..

          • An oblast is like a state or province within a country. Uniate refers to those Eastern Rite Catholics who are heirs of the Unia, a diabolical arrangement whereby some Orthodox fell under Rome. Yes, it is a negative phenomenon.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Yes, I got the idea, really. Sort of like a Neoplasmic osteoblast, a malignancy that needs to be ruthlessly excised.

              It clarifies the Ukrainian situation, though. The Devil is on this side over here, God on that side of the line over there. God’s folks are 97% for exorcism, er, excision.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              I’m not sure a “blast” is the same as an ‘oblast.” Misha, are you? Or were you being facetious?

              • Vladyka,

                I think Tim was being facetious. The “blast” in “osteoblast” comes from a Greek verb meaning to germinate. “Oblast” in Russian comes from “ob” (“concerning” or “against”) and “vlast” (“power”, “authority”).

          • Michael Bauman says

            Sounds like a kidney or bladder tumor.

  18. Ladder of Divine Ascent says

    “The US Secretary of State spoke today of the unacceptability of invading a sovereign country on phony pretexts in order to assert one’s own interests in the 21st century. But no, he was not speaking about the United States, as one might have thought.”

    United States. Office of Facts and Figure (1942 poster):

  19. How long will it be, before those who champion gay right within the Orthodox church start refusing communion to those who oppose the progressive modernist view of Orthodoxy.? It already has started. I was physically attacked by a co worker while employed at Raphael House of Portland. His rage against me was, ( his words). was my refusing to be dominated, The priest at the Holy Apostles Mission was just as inhumanly bent on forcing me to be submissive to him, as this absurd worker of iniquity. I told the priest, straight out,, this discussion is over, in a genuinely manly manner. These spiritual cretins don’t like being stood up to. I received my baptism in Platina, frying pan into the fire. ..

  20. Michael Kinsey says

    I posted an answer to a question asked. I cannot find it. My reply may still be there, I just can’t find it. I will repost , just in case., someone feels the demonic does not already know where the Holy Place is. The Holy Place mentioned by Jesus Christ and the Prophet Daniel concerning where the abomination of desolation is set up is the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.. The Chapel is at present Holy, because this is where the Holy Fire is received in the city where the Sign of the Cross appeared over the city in the Days of St. Cyil of Jerusalem.. There is no rival on earth to this. The Holy Fire has a function that equates with the Piilar of Fire that appeared in the desert protecting the Israelite s. It’s Holy function is Transfigured on the Mount as Moses and Elijah appear. These are the 2 Prophets who will not taste death until they see the Coming of the Victorious Lord Jesus Christ. They are killed by antichrist and ascend to heaven, only to return with Him.
    The most accepted interpretation of the Holy Place by most of professing Christianity is a 3rd Jewish Temple placed on the temple mount.. It is incorrect which I can prove using the Holy Scriptures.
    It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to become an acceptable recompense for sin, after the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, which fulfilled the Royal Law in Perfection., thus enabling our eternal salvation.
    The idea that the Only Holy One would again inhabit a 3rd Jewish temple to receive a useless sacrifice of the blood of bulls and goats is foolishness. This would create a kingdom of heaven which is divided against itself by maintaining 2 different ways to eternal salvation. I am the Truth , the Light and the Way, and Jewish ritual animal sacrifice done on the temple mount. are not Holy Scripture, Only in part. That which is in part is done away with, when that which is Perfect is come.Which is Holy Scripture..No on will match this wisdom with another, different Holy Place. The Jews reject Jesus Christ, and are hostile to His Church. They have become elitist, the refined essence of the antichrist. If everone is looking to the Jewish temple , they will not see and understand, when rev 13 vs 13 appears in the Holy Sepulcher, where it ought not to be.If , this is the truthful definition, I am a prophet, with the commensurate total lack of outward authority.. If you receive this, you receive a prophets reward, same as me. Isn’t God neat, setting this up like this. We all get the same. lol


    Didn’t know where to put this. It appears that some type of agreement has been reached on whatever type of council is being scheduled for 2016. The rub is that each autocephalous church will be limited to 24 bishops attending and each church, not each bishop, will get one vote.

    I’m not an expert, but I don’t think that one can call this a “Great and Holy Synod” under those circumstances. It may have no more validity than the synaxis that purported to change the calendar early in the twentieth century.

    Perhaps, God willing, it will never materialize anyway.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      I DID look at that link, and I find no mention of any “zakarpattia” there. There’s a zakarpat’ska oblasna derzhavna administratsia, to be sure, but no “Zakarpattia.’ at all. That double “t” looks so peculiar. And the adjective “zakarpat’ska” mentioned there does not imply any such entity as ‘Zakarpattia.’ Whatever is over, beyond or behind the Carpathian mountains or the region of the Carpathian mountain might be a Carpathia,or even a Carpatia, but….zakarpattia?

      • Isa Almisry says

        “I DID look at that link, and I find no mention of any “zakarpattia” there.”
        Then Your Grace doesn’t know Ukrainian. Or his blindness is worse than at first sight.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Now (and for the very first time) Isa Almisry provides, finally, a DIFFERENT link, which indeed contains reference to the word “zakarpatt’a” . I do NOT know or nor have I ever claimed to “know” Ukrainian. I get by in Russian, but not in Ukrainian. Thanks for that link which is a very long summary of the Western Ukrainomane’s ideas of where Ukraine and “Not-Russia” are! It’s a classic, guaranteed to raise the hackels of many American and other Carpatho-Russians (as they call themselves). Why do we never hear of Carpatho-Hungarians, or -Croats, or -Austrians, or -Germans, or -Romanians, or -Romany? How about “Beyond (or Behind, or Under) Carpathian Russians, etc? Are western Ukrainian territories important because you visited there for a time?
          For those who would like to experience wonderful Ukrainian singing, here’s a link to a YouTube video of a great Ukrainian chorus and orchestra doing a song with lyrics by Taras Shevchenko

          • Isa Almisry says

            “Now (and for the very first time) Isa Almisry provides, finally, a DIFFERENT link, which indeed contains reference to the word “zakarpatt’a” . I do NOT know or nor have I ever claimed to “know” Ukrainian. I get by in Russian, but not in Ukrainian.”
            The other links-the first ones-indeed contained reference to the word “Zakarpattia.” That Your Grace cannnot see them is not my fault, nor my problem.

            A simple look at the map page at the Ukraine’s embassy in the US would have solved your problem Your Grace
            That is, if you can read English.

            • Isa Almisry says

              This is interesting: from Svoboda (i.e. the junior partner-for now-running Kiev)’s platform:

              Specify in the Constitution of Ukraine that the succession of modern Ukrainian state was established in Kievan Rus’, continued by Galicia-Volhynia, Cossack Hetman Republic period, Ukrainian People’s Republic, West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Carpathian Ukraine and the Ukrainian state, which was restored by the Act of June 30 1941, and that independent Ukraine emerged as a result of over three centuries of national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people.


              June 30, 1941 was when the Fascist Bandera declared his state.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              I was told that Isa Almisry intimated that I might not be able to read English.
              Please let him know that , of course, I am unable to read English. I don’t understand sycophancy relative to that little Russian thug, Vladimir Putin, either.

  22. cynthia curran says

    Well, the biggest culprit is now automation and robotics. Not only is manufacturing being killed by going overseas but automaton and robots have killed lots of jobs. i predict in 5 years few manufacturers will go overseas because it will become cheaper to do it with automaton and robots. Office work, Telephone and so forth have been killed by automation.

  23. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

    A general email today by James Kushiner, Executive Editor of Touchstone magazine and an Orthodox layman, offers useful insights on the issues surrounding “gay” “rights” by Professor Robert George of Princeton University and Kushiner himself:


    ‘This week’s controversy over World Vision’s announcement that in the US it would hire employees in homosexual “marriages” points out just how divisive “gay marriage” remains. The policy was quickly reversed after strong protests.

    ‘This is an issue that will not go away–unless those opposing this latest “advance” of the sexual revolution surrender, die off, emigrate, or go to prison. Because of the overwhelming “pro-gay” views of the media, Christians will be publicly marginalized and their voiced opinions reckoned as hate speech.

    ‘What about Christians and “hatred” of “gays”? What follows is an unpublished portion of a new Salvo Magazine interview by Marcia Segelstein of Robert George of Princeton University, who is also a Touchstone senior editor.

    One conservative Christian recently wrote that in the battle for traditional marriage, “Christians too often chose intolerance over charity when it came to how they treated gays.” Have we, as Christians, demonstrated a lack of love for gay people?

    No, we’ve been falsely accused of showing a lack of charity and a lack of love because that was very convenient to the arguments of the other side, a very effective tool. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people of all faiths who’ve been involved in the protection of marriage have gone out of their way, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church goes out of its way, to proclaim the truth that all men and woman are precious. Human beings have a profound and inherent dignity, an equal dignity, as creatures made in the very image and likeness of the Divine Creator and Ruler of the Universe.

    This has never been something hidden. It has been frequently affirmed and re-affirmed, yet there are those who wish to refuse to hear it because it’s politically useful to their cause to depict Christians as mean-spirited or bigoted or hostile to people just because they don’t like something about them. It’s a slander. And for us to pretend that the slander is true is itself a sin against the truth. I’m all for confessing error and wrongdoing where error and wrongdoing have been committed. But I see no point in confessing sins that one has not committed, especially when doing so is the precise objective of those who wish unfairly to tar people or a movement as bigoted or hostile.


    ‘It may be that such confessions are intended to win points from the homosexualists, but something darker is at play here, I think. The social and psychological force being used against ordinary citizens who have merely believed and acted as have their fathers and mothers and ancestors for millennia on this matter comes from evil. I say that because evil is aggressive and parasitical on the good, deriving its only sense of meaning from its activity of destroying a created good. “Gay marriage” depends on the institution of marriage in order to be considered as something real (which it is not).

    ‘To refuse to affirm a lifestyle, or to say that it is morally wrong, is not a crime. Rather it an exercise of moral conscience. To attempt to force someone to subvert their moral conscience is not activism. It is evil. That’s a moral judgment on my part, made not from hatred but from, I pray, a godly fear of evil–and a love of the good. We must never surrender, but rather overcome evil with good.’