The Saturday Evening Post: January 13th Edition

So hear we are now, at the end of another week.  Allow me to present you with a recap of this week’s news.  I hope you enjoy it.

You’re a Better Man than I, Gunga Din! (7:45)  More fallout from the Hindu Temple thing.  Key word:  narcissism.

Speaking of Better Men:  Gonzalo Lira, Rest in Peace (1:15) We found out yesterday that Gonzalo Lira, Jr, died.  He had been imprisoned in the Ukraine for the better part of a year.  He managed to escape in August but as he was close to crossing the Hungarian border, he was apprehended.  Subjected to torture on several occasions, it is unclear if he died in prison due to continued torture or from lack of proper medical care (a lifelong smoker, he had respiratatory issues).  Lira, for those who may not know, was a Youtube sensation originally known as “Coach Red Pill.”  He moved to the Ukraine where he married a native woman and had two children, a son and a daughter. For whatever reason, he chose to remain where he provided excellent (and often caustic commentary) on the Russo-Ukrainian war.  His daily videos presented the other side of the war, thereby infuriating the Kiev regime as well as the State Department.  I particularly miss his Roundtables; somehow, he was able to scarf up all sorts of people and have fascinating discussions about many things, not just the Ukrainian war.   

Are We Being Subject to Predictive Programming? (12:58) Lately, I’ve come across a concept called “predictive programming,” which is best defined as “a formal method for program specification and refinement.”  It used to be known as “a Practical Theory of Programming.”  The term was invented by Eric Hehner and it involves game theory and complicated mathematical equations (which I won’t bother you with). 

I have a slightly different definition:  predictive programming is “the willful inclusion of a mental narrative in order to create a physical outcome.”  It’s happened before with Birth of a Nation.  Are we seeing a reprise with the upcoming Civil War?  

Whatever Happened to the Ukraine? (10:20) I can’t say it any better than Alistair Crooke:  “Today, we might refer to it as one’s ‘legacy’. In the Iliad it is definitional and gives mortal leaders the chance to live on after death with honour and glory. For Team Biden, Ukraine was supposed to be their Troy. Russia, like Hector, was tricked into a fight and (and as Team Biden had hoped) is killed under Troy’s walls.”

Just War:  Gaza Ain’t It.  (11:33) There are at least four qualifications for a war to be just:  Russia meets them; Israel doesn’t.  

Germans to the Front!  (22:30)The fighting prowess of the Germans has always been legendary.  On the heels of the Dutch farmers rising up and the French “Yellow Jacket” rebellion, patriots the world over are hoping that the German farmers won’t let us down!  Onward!   

 

Comments

  1. BTW, please note that my video presentation doesn’t strictly follow the script. Before I put it to bed, I found out about Gonzalo Lira’s unfortunate murder and I put everything aside to give his memory the respect that it deserved.

    Also, I conflated Gaza with the Ukraine because at this point they’re pretty much one and the same thing geopolitically speaking.

  2. Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling
    Sung by Peter Bellamy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16knXiCQQV8

    [Video – 05:34]

    Lyrics: https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/gungadin.html

    Bellamy sounds just like a broken-down British soldier
    It don’t get more authentic than this…

  3. July 13th, George? Too much Bourbon…!!!
    At this time of the year you need an Islay Malt.

    • Brendan, I’ll remember that! BTW, 13 years ago, my two sons and myself went to the “Scotch Experience” on High Street in Edinburgh. We learned a lot about the different regions of Scotland and their particular whiskeys.

      *sigh* A high point in my life.

  4. The people of countries with oppressive regimes are waking up and rising up to throw off their oppressors. Whether by mass protests on foot or by mechanized protests in trucks or tractors, whether in the ballot box or by demonstrations in capital cities, they are making true the phrase “vox populi, vox dei“. Witness the Sri Lankans, the Spaniards, the French, the Argentinians, the Dutch, the Poles and now the Germans. Next it will be us Americans because rebellion against dictators is in our blood and, by God, we’re not gonna take it any more!

  5. George Michalopulos says
  6. Does anyone know if Gonzalo was Orthodox, at least nominally? With a ukrainian wife it’s possible. Just want to know if we can include him in a Panikheda.

    • Anonymous II says

      I don’t know if he was or wasn’t, but I think there’s a lot of things we could say about this situation – – I can’t believe the Biden Administration allowed the Ukraine to indefinitely detain a US citizen on charges of disagreeing with the government of the Ukraine. This death could have easily been prevented by one phone call from the State Department. In fact, a two-sentence email would have done it.

      This administration was aware that a US citizen was being held in the Ukraine and tortured, and they made the active decision to allow the Kiev government, which is totally funded and supported by the US, to do this.

      The question then is: why wouldn’t the US do this to people in the US? This is a US citizen in a country that is not only an ally, but a country that only exists because of US taxpayer subsidies. It is not, by any stretch, a “sovereign nation,” given that it is entirely beholden to the United States for its existence.

      In any normal circumstances, the Ukraine would simply assume that a US citizen journalist COULD NOT be imprisoned and tortured. This is to say: there is a 100% chance that the Kiev government asked the US government what they should do with this guy, and the US government told them to lock him up in a gulag.

      This means that the US government does not protect their citizens.

      Still, there’s something strange about the situation – – why he didn’t leave with his family out-of-country, why he didn’t go to the US embassy, why he didn’t report from the Russian side of the conflict, why his commentary – which really didn’t need to be filmed in Ukraine (honestly, they could have been filmed anywhere) – and other anomalies. But it is what it is.

      This said, RT posted a very good piece here: https://www.rt.com/russia/590587-gonzalo-lira-death-ukraine-zelensky/

      • Anon II, the only thing that makes sense is that the present regime is not interested in preserving the rights of citizens it disdains.

      • Vice-President Biden to Kiev:
        “Don’t sack the prosecutor? Don’t get the money!”

        President Biden to Kiev:
        “Don’t free the American journalist? Don’t worry!”

        Oddball to Moriarty:
        “Don’t hit me with those with those negative waves!
        It’s beautiful [money] an’ it’s gonna be there!”

      • Don’t you find it a bit ironic that Russia is criticizing another country for persecuting dissident journalists?

      • “I can’t believe the Biden Administration allowed the Ukraine to indefinitely detain a US citizen on charges of disagreeing with the government of the Ukraine.”
        –Not sure why you can’t believe this. The principles and policies that guide the elites who rule us are not the same principles/policies that guided American elites 30 years ago. The governing culture is very different now.

        “The question then is: why wouldn’t the US do this to people in the US?”
        –Many in American government would love to harass those who disagree with them, and many of them do so with impunity. Look at the J6 fiasco, the “worst insurrection ever” if one is going to bother calling it an insurrection….. In order to have red lines of decency and good governance that American elites agree they won’t cross, you have to have a critical mass of powerful people who have a shared vision of what the country should be like… and these people have to tacitly agree on these so-called uncrossable red lines. That critical mass doesn’t exist anymore.

        “This means that the US government does not protect their citizens.”
        –I think more and more in the future, we are going to see the American elites using the litmus test of “do we like and agree with this person” when deciding whether to bother trying to protect him/her.

  7. George Michalopulos says

    I found out last night that Fr Moses Berry, a man whom I had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions, reposed in the Lord.

    Hopefully, we will write more about this fascinating man in the very near future. In the meantime, here is a story from orthochristian.com: https://orthochristian.com/158198.html

  8. An American citizen is falsely arrested, held without trial, tortured while in prison, and dies there. The administration says nothing. The media says nothing and politicians on the left and right say nothing. The silence speaks volumes.

  9. “…the Kiev government asked the US government what they should do with this guy, and the US government told them to lock him up in a gulag.”

    I’ll go ya’ one better: It’s entirely plausible that the micromanager of the Ukrainian puppet government, none other than the vindictive Victoria Nuland, U.S. under secretary of state, made a hotline call to Kiev, and in a fit of rage, ordered the execution of Gonzalo Lira. Here’s why I say so:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzR—YDDIQ

  10. Michael Bauman says

    I knew Fr. Moses for 50 years. We were on the same train to the Church for the early part of that time. His smile and laugh was from the inside out and were a blessing in themselves.

    In 1973-74 we were together in a Christian community in Detroit. The Bill Cosby movie “Uptown Saturday Night.” came to town. Keep in mind this was not long after
    the riots of 1967 and 1968.

    We hopped a bus to go down town to see it together. It was in a beautifully maintained art deco theater with a large capacity (at least 1000) and full. I⁸⁸⁹ was the only white person.

    I was very glad to be with him. He laughed at me for my reactions, heartily, but his laughter was healing — seeming to abolish my shame and fear rather than deepen them.

    I was able to visit him in Ash Grove and have a private tour of his museum: The Ozarks Afro-American History Museum. The artifacts are largely from his own family–a rare thing in itself.

    I happened to talk with him on the days he was in the hospital to have each leg amputated due to the one thing he never subdued: diabetes. He was relaxed and cheerful unafraid.

    The last time I talked to him was not long before he reposed. The cheerfulness was gone, the strong voice gone but still unafraid. He told me “I don’t think I am getting out of this one. I don’t have much longer. ”

    A simple man with a heart filled with mercy and love. May his memory be eternal may he continue to intercede for us.

  11. I don’t know how everybody else feels, but I surely do miss Misha on this ‘blog. Misha’s astute insights inton geopolitical events used to raise our mutual conversation to a higher intellectual level. I know that he has his own podcast now, but I think that the written word is a more effectual medium for him to communicate. Misha, come back to Monomakhos!

  12. I missed this at the end of last year as it seems it wasn’t posted anywhere in English until Helleniscope translated it:

    https://www.helleniscope.com/2024/01/16/the-phanar-ready-for-contacts-with-churches-on-the-pan-orthodox-problem/

    Has Bartholomew repented? Maybe. We can’t judge the inner workings of someone’s heart.

    My own personal opinion: he realizes he has fallen out of favor with quite literally almost the entire Orthodox world. The more pessimistic side of me thinks that this is a directive from Francis to “clean your own house first” in preparation for unia. Cause as of right now no one is following him.

    I have to imagine he has at least intellectually realized that compared to 5-10 years ago he no longer has any power within Orthodoxy and the rest of the Churches have either soured on him, or have become very blase about him and his role as EP.

    Meanwhile, here in the States, the Antiochians & ROCOR appear to be growing closer together all the time:

    https://www.helleniscope.com/2024/01/16/antiochian-and-rocor-leaders-strengthen-ties-in-new-york-meeting/

    The AOB is still dead in the water and is somehow still headed by a bishop that no one trusts. maybe we are seeing the slow formation of a parallel AOB, one that is likely not to include the Greeks.

    • I don’t understand the English translation of Bartholomew’s statement, to say nothing of the Greek original. What the patriarch is trying to say in his convoluted “episcospeak” is beyond my ability to comprehend. I wouldn’t trust the man even if I were able to parse his arcane language. I don’t trust the man at all. As far as I’m concerned he can don sackcloth, cover himself in ashes, and fall on his knees before the other patriarchs, especially the Russian patriarch and the true Ukrainian metropolitan begging for their forgiveness for betraying them. If Bartholomew doesn’t have the respect for his brothers to debase himself like Christ, then I would suggest that he simply abdicate his throne in disgrace and hurry off to a monastery to repent until his dying day. Perhaps then the Lord will have mercy on his soul.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      The EP has always been open and ready for contacts with other churches on the “Pan-Orthodox” problem. This is not a new thing. It is a reiteration.

  13. Robert Schnelle says

    18 January 2024

    Dear Mr. Michalopulos,

    I noticed your comments about the Hamas Terror-War in your post for 11 January 2024.

    “Just War: Gaza Ain’t (sic) It. There are at least 4 qualifications for a war to be just: Russia meets them; Israel doesn’t.”

    Just War theory? Just War Theory has the following elements:
    1) Last Resort: This is obvious for anyone who is not a Jew Hater;
    2) War Waged By Legitimate Authority: Check (If you accept Israel as a state.);
    3) Have The Right Intentions: Israel’s intention is to re-establish peace and to protect her citizens.
    4) A Just Cause: Again, this is obvious for those who don’t hate Jews;
    5) Probability Of Success: I admit that this is problematic;
    6) Proportionality: An historic response to a modern Shoah by terrorists who insist not only that they raped 12 year old Jewish girls to death in order to incite a permanent state of war with Israel – but that they are going to do it again at the first opportunity;
    7) Avoid Civilian Casualties: Israel does this too, too much while Hamas exists to inflict civilian casualties on Jews – and on their own Jordanian and Egyptian constituents.

    Please explicate how Israel’s response to the Hamas Shoah event violates just war theory.

    Robert Schnelle

    • Mr Schnelle, thank you for your considered response. I would like to address several of your points if you don’t mind (although not necessarily in order):

      One of the conditions of just war is proportionality. The Israelis acted completely out of proportion to the initial Hamas-led assault. According to preliminary reports, 1,200 Israelis were either killed or kidnapped. Since then, over 25,000 Palestinians have been vaporized. That is not proportional by any stretch of the imagination. Compare this with the Russian SMO: in two years of conflict, the number of Arab civilian deaths dwarfs the number of Ukrainian civilians killed –all of whom died as a result of collateral damage.

      This last sentence answers the question as to whether the Israelis were intentional in their response. As for the litany of atrocities, beginning with the “40 beheaded babies” it is clear that we have been lied to incessantly. Because of this, we have to take much of what we are told with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to the rapine of Israeli women (which, if true, should be condemned without equivocation). Indeed, some of the Israeli hostages have reported that they were not tortured or abused. (We also know that several Israelis were killed by “friendly fire.”)

      Both Russia and Israel are legitimate governments, so I grant you your premise there. I do not grant you your premise that those who criticize Israel are “Jew-haters.” I certainly am not. Neither however do I accept your premise that Israel can commit war crimes by continually wrapping itself in the mantle of the Holocaust. (Using this logic, the Russians could commit all manner of war crimes given their own tragic history of invasions from the West. Would we like it if the Russians regularly bombed Berlin, Budapest or Sofia simply because those were the capitals of some of the Axis powers?)

      As to your assertion that this was a “last resort,” I beg to differ as I have no choice but to suspect that this operation was abetted by certain elements in Israel as a “false flag.” I for one, cannot believe that the Israeli defenses (or Israeli intelligence) is so incompetent as to not see what was coming down the pike. We know that they were informed by the Egyptian intelligence services that Hamas was planning “something big.” Why then, did they wait seven hours to mount a counter-attack? I’m sorry but that beggars the imagination.

      As to the respective actions of occupiers and occupied, according to the UN Charter, the occupiers have a duty to provide more than subsistence-level resources to those whom they occupy. The Israelis have been incredibly stingy with allocation of electricity, food and water. It’s not for nothing that Gaza is known as the “world’s largest open-air prison camp.” As for the occupied, again, as per the same Charter, they have a moral duty to fight for their independence.

      Speaking as a Westerner, what particularly angers me is the “recommendation” by the Israelis that we should take the millions of Palestinians into our own countries. The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven if you think about it; as we are told by the Israelis themselves that these people are nothing but “sub-humans” and “savages.” If so, then why should we take them in? Thanks, but no thanks.

      Nor does the hypocrisy end there: we Americans are castigated –rightfully so–for the Indian Removal Act of 1838, wherein tens of thousands of Amerindians were ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homelands. But the Israelis are allowed to do the same thing with the Palestinians? Some Israeli leaders are even invoking the possibility of an outright genocide. Does anybody else see the irony here (or is it just me)?

      Finally, it cannot be forgotten that Hamas was actually set up by the Israeli government in a divide-and-conquer strategy, to subvert the PLO. It seems to me that if the Israelis could take the time to set up and fund Hamas, they could have come to an agreement about a two-state solution. It is now clear that they never had any intention of doing so. In any event, I now realize that that ship has sailed so now we are left with two and only two solutions: either the removal of the Arabs either through attrition or genocide or the destruction of Israel.

      That last sentence answers the condition as to whether there is a “probability of success.”

      • There is a third option – a secular non-ethnic state,
        within the boundaries of the old British Mandate,
        in which one person gets one vote: ie a democracy.

        Why not call it: The South African Solution?

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