Archive for December, 2014

THE WORD OF GOD – DECEMBER 31(18), 2014

December 31, 2014

Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Martyr Sebastian at Rome and his companions: Martyrs Nicostratus, Zoe, Castorius, Tranquillinus, Marcellinus, Mark, Claudius, Symphorian, Victorinus, Tiburtius, and Castulus (287).

Venerable Sebastian, abbot of Poshekhonye Monastery (Vologda) (1500).
Glorification (1694) of Righteous Simeon, wonderworker of Verkhoturye (1642).
St. Modestus I, archbishop of Jerusalem (4th c.).
Venerable Florus, bishop of Amisus (7th c.).
Venerable Michael the Confessor at Constantinople (845).

APOSTLE’S EPISTLE

Hebrews 10:1-18 (Wednesday)

1

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

2

For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

3

But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

4

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

5

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:”Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.

6

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.

7

Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come- In the volume of the book it is written of Me- To do Your will, O God.’ “

8

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),

9

then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

10

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

12

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

13

from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

14

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

15

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,

17

then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

18

Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

==========================================

Mark 10:11-16

11

So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.

12

And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

13

Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

14

But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

15

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.

16

And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

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MH17 – THE UKRAINIAN JOB

December 30, 2014

(Via Red Pill Times)            

This is one cover up that is unraveling faster by the day.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has officially confirmed the airbase workers statement via polygraph, which matches the Russian Defence Ministry’s radar data made public days after the crash.

For those who forgot, or were following western reports of youtube social media “proof,” the satellite radar data showed that a Ukrainian military jet capable of taking down the airliner with an air-to-air missile was in the vicinity of MH17 at the time of the incident.

Via RT:

The interview was conducted on Tuesday, spokesman for the committee Vladimir Markin told the media on Wednesday.

This followed a report in a Russian newspaper, in which the Ukrainian citizen, who preferred to remain anonymous, voiced his allegations.

The investigators used a polygraph during the interview, which showed no evidence of the witness lying, he added.

“The facts were reported by the witness clearly and with no inconsistencies. The investigators lean towards considering them truthful. A polygraph examination confirmed them too,” the official said.

“According to his account, he personally saw the plane piloted by [Ukrainian military pilot] Voloshin armed with R-60 air-to-air missiles,” Markin said. “He added there was no need for such weapons during regular air missions of the Ukrainian Air Forces because the rebel forces had no military aircraft.”

Markin said that the Investigative Committee will continue gathering and analyzing evidence perpetrating to the downing of MH17 and will share the information with the Netherlands-led international probe into the incident, “if they really interested in establishing the truth and send an inquiry.”

The witness is likely to be taken into protective custody in Russia because his life may be threatened, Markin said.

And if that, in and of itself, is not some pretty damning evidence, then how about Ukraine authorities actually admitting that the pilot mentioned in the anonymous testimony does indeed exist…

The Ukrainian Security Service confirmed on Wednesday that a Captain Voloshin does serve as a military pilot in the country’s armed services. But it said he didn’t fly any missions on the day the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down.

The Russian Investigative Committee invited the Dutch or Malaysian experts to check Voloshin using a polygraph, and Ukraine’s Security Service to provide the military log to the official investigation, Markin said.

“The fact that Ukraine’s Security Service has acknowledged Voloshin’s existence is already an accomplishment,” he said.

Markin suggested the air traffic controllers operating in the area on the day of the catastrophe should also be questioned, adding that they should be “found” first.

“It is clear that all this is very difficult, and probably impossible. It is much easier to call the information and evidence provided by Russia’s Investigative Committee ‘fake’,” he said.

It looks like like the Russians are the only ones who are seriously investigating the assassination of the 297 persons flying with that Malaysian airplane. I wonder why! Could it be because the other side (which includes Dutch, US and Australian governments) is full of shit? (ndM)

THE WORD OF GOD – DECEMBER 30(17), 2014

December 30, 2014

Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Food with Oil

Holy Prophet Daniel (600 B.C.) and the Three Holy Youths: Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.
Venerable Daniel the Confessor (in schema Stephen) of Spain and Egypt (10th c.).
St. Dionysius of Zakynthos, archbishop of Aegina (1622).

Mark 10:2-12

2

The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

3

And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”

4

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”

5

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

6

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’

7

‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

8

‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

9

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.

10

In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.

11

So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.

12

And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.


Luke 11:47-12:1 (Prophet)

47

Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

48

In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.

49

Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’

50

that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,

51

from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

52

Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.

53

And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things,

54

lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.

1

In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

 

DEMONOCRACY – A PHRASEBOOK

December 29, 2014

To commemorate the victims of (…) – To affirm death as a desirable strong point for political leverage

To commemorate victims of (…) from all sides of (…) conflict – To affirm death as global player. Necessary for building the sado-mazo identities, where nations compete in counting and recounting their dead on the free-market. The more victims in the past, better the position in the future, except it collides with USA or EU interests. Conditio sine qua non of contemporary democracies and categorical imperative of moral action. Commemorating, or as they say in pejorative sense: “bending over”, must be supported by global public, i.e. mass media and mass intellectuals to who mass media are accessible. Logically indefensible, morally repulsive, by laws proscribed counterfeit of the thing formerly known as “compassion”. It is strictly obligatory.

Political correctness – System of rules by which the swine or swineherd speaks the language of angels. It has a legal strength of catechism and presupposes that swine is what the swine says. Therefore, that it is not a swine.

Discrimination – Ability to pass true or false inferences based on sensory data, acquired knowledge, presuppositions, Platonic ideas and experience in general. It provides the basis for critical thought and conflicts of conscience, hence the morals in general. It is strictly forbidden.

Catholiban – from: Catholich + Taliban. The term by which liberal, cosmopolitan and of-course-left oriented Croatian speaking individual compensates for being unable to say “Chetnik rabble”.

Pluralism – Practice of expressing the identical political, religious and worldview principles in various forms (by Incompetent Reactionary)

Acceptable – Damn, who knows what’s that supposed to be.

Unacceptable – That which is not proscribed.

Desirable – That which is proscribed as obligatory

Undesirable – That which will be eradicated

Freedom – Noun denoting knowledge and skills needed to log on to Facebook

Compassion – Noun denoting knowledge and skills needed for exercise of ritual consternation.

Parliament – Band playing on “Titanic”

Homophobe – Man who copulates consequently. In some non-English languages the term has looming discriminatory overtones because it can’t be rendered in female grammatical gender.

Patriarchy – Family as a social unit not being in need of social care and supervision. It is constituted from elements denoted as “father”, “mother”, “children”. Postmodern studies had shown without the need of a proof that it breeds homophobia. It will be abolished, once it’s elements are renamed as A,B,C(a,b)

Chastity – Promiscuity

Pornography – First love

Violence – Inability to infinitely endure oppression. Strictly forbidden

Dialogue – Delaying of conclusion. Points to the infinity.

Religion – That which is acceptable

Atheism – Graduation with honors in religion instruction curricula

Lie – Truth

Truth – Lie

Public forum – Confession. Obligatory before communion. Fraudulent by it’s nature, therefore trustworthy.

Multiculturalism – Erasing of cultural differences. To be accomplished by erasing the culture itself.

Lifelong learning – Systematized unemployment. Refutation of the fact that finite human being cannot master more than one or, at best, two professions in a life time.

Euthanasia – Well deserved pension.

Anti-Semitism – Anomaly occurring in public forum when it so happens that word ‘Holocaust’ is not mentioned, or impression is made that speaker would inscribe it with small ‘h’ instead of the capital letter. It is of no consequence if the speaker’s family was eradicated in the said event, the transgression calls for irrevocable anathema.

Guilt – Breathing tax

Responsibility – Universal obligation to be guilty.

Conspiracy theory – Idea that policy and economic decisions are being made outside public scrutiny, and usually to it’s demise. Historically unfounded, commonsensical untenable, even when it is thoroughly proven.

Human rights – Another’s right, your duty. You have no rights. Applies to everybody indiscriminately.

Xenophobia – Conviction that Xena the warrior princesses’ head is too big for her to be really pretty.

LGTBQ (…) – Acronym with tendency to infinite extension in the plus, i.e. to the right of LGTB… constant. It proves intimate connection between alphabet and infinite set of numbers. In the future it will provide synergy between language and mathematics classes in elementary schools. With no need of proof it proves that any given set of letters is always greater than any given infinite set of numbers.

Sustainable development – Climbing while falling

Hate speech – Any form of applying lips and tongue for anything else save orally satisfying the representatives of governance, minorities or NGOs.

Democracy – A primitive form of Facebook

Feminism – A system of principles, rules, regulations and examples of good practice for training insecure women in police work for totalitarian state.
.
Fundamentalism – Being consequent

Mobility – Global foreclosure on real estate

Public condemnation – Confession of acceptable. Replacing what was once called “courage”

Liberal – Person accepting or approving of everything that does he or she no discomfort. A martyr among the faithful.

(from KaliTribune)

ON ACCOUNT OF THE ANGEL

December 29, 2014

“Covering her head in front of God, a woman exercises her power, right and authority.”

At first reading of this verse I thought, “Good grief, that, at least, can’t have anything to do with women today.” I was a new convert to Christianity and making a valiant effort to read the Bible “as if it were true.” St. Paul was hard to swallow, and so were angels—along with fairies and trolls! My grudging acceptance of Christianity was based on honest doubt rather than conviction. No one had proved to me that it was true, but neither could I prove it false. On that flimsy hope I chose to make what Kierkegaard called “a leap of faith over the abyss of the absurd.” It was a desperate act. I was at the end of my rope, at a loss to explain the painful contradiction between my good intentions and the reality of my life. I was no longer able to pretend success as a wife, mother of four, or writer (even though my book had been sold on first submission to a leading publisher). In truth I didn’t even know who I was, although I loudly proclaimed my manifesto as atheist, humanist, and feminist, with strong opinions on most issues. I had spent most of my young life trying to define myself by “proving” I could do anything a man could do, only better. (What man could bear children!) But inside was a black hole and I was about to fall in.

Somehow I “happened” across a Bible and read that God (whoever He or It was) created “man in our image, male and female created He them.” I read of Moses encountering a burning bush which was not consumed—and a God who identified Himself as I AM. That caught my attention. If there was a great I AM from whom all small “I ams” received their identity, there was hope of discovering myself and what it meant to be a woman. One night, under a canopy of stars in the desert, I cried out: “God, if you are there, I want to find You!” But my mind refused to accept the Bible stories of sacrificial lambs and Christ crucified and resurrected. Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” and I agreed. My ability to reason was my life! With a heavy heart I gave up on the “mindless” Christian solution. But when all seemed lost, a quiet little thought lodged in my head: “If it were true—would you accept it? And can you prove that it is not?” The question would not let go. In fear and trembling I chose to “sacrifice” my reason, accept the incomprehensible in hopes it would prove true, and live the rest of my life as if it were. It felt as if I were dying, but I saw no other way.

The proof of the pudding, of course, was in the eating. The truth of the Bible could only be tested through obedience. I determined to do whatever “leapt at me” in the daily reading of Scripture. I disagreed with St. Paul’s view of women, but he did say, “there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). Clearly we were equal in salvation and worthiness—then why different rules? Were they only cultural, not applicable to us today? Then one day I prayed, “God, You made me a woman; I want to live the fullness of womanhood as you meant it—spiritually, emotionally, every way, even if it means doing as St. Paul says!”

Soon after that, during morning prayer, I Corinthians 11:10 leapt at me. It seemed silly, but I got up from my knees, found a kerchief to put over my head, and went on with prayers. Somehow it felt right. One day I wore the scarf in my Southern Baptist church. There were glances, but no comments. Gradually it became more of a habit, both during prayers at home and in church. As the only woman with a head-covering, I felt conspicuous at times, but could not bring myself to take it off. I decided I would rather err on the side of obedience than against it. And there were the angels to consider. By now I believed in them, but why they should care about my head was still a mystery.

After I had been a Christian for thirteen years, a desire for the sacraments drew me to the Episcopal Church. It was 1979, and three-fourths of the women in the congregation wore head-coverings. I rejoiced. During the Eucharist the priest, standing before the altar, chanted: “Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee, and saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts: heaven and earth are full of Thy glory…” The glory hit me: We were worshipping God in the company of a heavenly host! Was St. Paul alluding to that?

When I learned of the Jesus Prayer and adopted a rule of prayer, it seemed appropriate to wear something on my head at all times. I sewed matching dresses and scarves which my friends accepted as my “style”—artistic and a bit eccentric. That was fine with me (and I hoped, with the angels!) I was saddened when other women in our parish stopped wearing a head- covering. They though it unnecessary and outdated, and some saw it as a sign of inferiority. Women and men were equal, and—according to current unisex fashions in clothing, life and hairstyles—practically alike and interchangeable. For nearly two thousand years Christian women had covered their heads in church, and usually elsewhere—but now we were “liberated” from that.

In 1995 I was chrismated Orthodox and was surprised to find myself again the only woman wearing a head-covering in my parish. An Orthodox sister told me, with a nod to my scarf, “We don’t have to wear that anymore.” I smiled and said, “I know, but I want to.” St. Paul had said “ought,” not “must.” It was my voluntary obedience, even if I didn’t understand the “why’s.” By now I had no intention of giving up the benefits. I felt blessed and protected, feminine, and, paradoxically, confident and free—in the presence of guardian and ministering angels.

In Orthodox worship the angels were even more in evidence. The Divine Liturgy is full of references to the various ranks of angels, emphasizing our participation with them in the joyous worship of the Holy Trinity. St. John Chrysostom (d. A.D. 407), in a sermon at the Feast of the Ascension, spoke both of angels and the veiling of women: “The angels are present here…Open the eyes of faith and look upon this sight. For if the very air is filled with angels, how much more so the Church! …Hear the Apostle teaching this, when he bids the women to cover their heads with a veil because of the presence of the angels.” Origen, another early Church Father, said, “There are angels in the midst of our assembly…we have here a twofold Church, one of men, the other of angels…And since there are angels present…women, when they pray, are ordered to have a covering upon their heads because of those angels. They assist the saints and rejoice in the Church.” Instructions for catechumens in The Apostolic Tradition, probably written in the second century by St. Hippolytus of Rome, include this: “Moreover, let all the women have their heads veiled with a scarf…” And St. Cyril of Alexandria, commenting on I Corinthians, wrote: “The angels find it extremely hard to bear if this law [that women cover their heads] is disregarded.”

The Church taught that it mattered to the angels whether women cover their heads. But why? Was the covering “a sign of submission to her husband,” as some commentaries say, or “a cultural statement of inferiority,” as one woman told me in explaining why she would not wear a veil? A friend and former dean of a Lutheran seminary in Norway, Håkon Haus, pointed to another possible reason. He looked up I Corinthians 11:10 in Greek: “Therefore the woman shall have exousia [right, power, authority] on her head for the sake of the angels.” The word exousia, said Håkon, also occurs in John 1:12: “As many as received Him, to them He gave exousia to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” I felt a light go on. Was St. Paul saying that the head-covering was an outward sign of my “authority, right, power” as a female child of God, recognized by the angels? It rang excitingly true! God asks voluntary submission and obedience of His children. I chose to wear the sign of my feminine—as distinguished from masculine—authority. But why should the angels care?

In her book, The Holy angels, Mother Alexandra writes: “The Celestial hierarchies are the…spiritual reality of ordered creation, the stable patterns in which disruption is unknown…” Obedience is characteristic of the angelic realm. Dionysius the Areopagite, influential since the fifth century, wrote of nine orders or hierarchies of celestial beings, arranged in three choirs. Seraphim and cherubim are in the first, archangels and angels in the third choir, closest to us. Without obedience there is chaos and disorder. St. John Chrysostom, in a sermon on I Corinthians, speaks of how distinction in male and female dress—and particularly the veiling of women—“ministers effectively to good order among mankind.” Taking off the veil was “no small error,” said St. John; ”…it is disobedience.” It “disturbs all things and betrays the gifts of God, and casts to the ground the honor bestowed…For to [the woman] it is the greatest of honor to preserve her own rank.” To some who argued that a woman, by taking off her covering, “mounts up to the glory of man,” Chrysostom answers: “She doth not mount up, but rather falls from her own proper honor…Since not to abide within our own limits and the laws of God, but to go beyond, is not an addition, but a diminution…” Always emphasizing the equality between man and woman, Chrysostom admonishes the man “not to dishonor her who governs next to thyself.” The issue was order, not superiority or inferiority. At Matins for Orthodoxy Sunday, we sing, “Come and let us celebrate a day of joy: Now heaven makes glad! Earth with all the hosts of angels and the companies of mortal men, each in their varied order, keeps the feast.”

The answer to my prayer nearly thirty years ago, that I might know what it means to be a woman, and to live it as God wills for me, is becoming clearer in obedience—often in little things, like putting on a scarf. The mystery of womanhood is still incomprehensible, but now I think, so it must be. I don’t have to understand fully what it means to be a woman in order to know that I am a woman and to live it. God knows the meaning and I trust Him. I don’t have to fight for my place or my right; it is given me in the glorious ranks of angels and mortals.

Fr. Basil Rhodes wrote in his Master of Divinity thesis in 1977 on The veiling of women in I Cor. 11, “Man is the head of the woman, according to Genesis and to St. Paul who compares the relationship of man and woman with that of the Son to the Father: ‘And the head of Christ is God’ (I Cor. 2:3). It would be a grave error to say that Christ is inferior to His Father. The veiling of the woman, for St. Paul, is an outward sign of the acceptance of God’s order, and His divine purpose in creation. The veil is the woman’s ‘yes’ to God, a physical, visual ‘Amen’.” St. John Chrysostom thought that Paul, in admonishing women to wear a covering “because of the angels,” meant it “not at the time of prayer only, but also continually, she ought to be covered.” Fr. Rhodes agrees: “The veil can be the constant symbol of the true woman of God…a way of life…a testimony of faith and of the salvation of God, not only before men, but angels as well.” Timothy McFadden, who is working on his doctoral thesis at Oxford on the subject of “man/woman—God/Christgod,” writes: “Members of the Godhead—and His image—are not interchangeable. As God Father and Son are equal and One in nature, so also they are unique and not interchangeable. Similarly, though equal in nature, man is not woman, woman is not man. They are distinguishable.”

In my pre-Christian days, when I sought to understand myself in light of the doctrines of feminism, I believed that men and women shared male and female characteristics, which made us pretty much interchangeable. (And if we were interchangeable, we didn’t really need each other except to conceive babies!) Today some say we have both a masculine and a feminine self that must be lived out. But how do women live out their “masculine self,” and men their “feminine self”? That presents an identity problem (another modern notion) for both men and women (not to mention adolescent boys and girls!). No doubt it also adds to the chaos and gender confusion of our times. I no longer believe we are a mixture of masculine and feminine characteristics and selves. As God in Trinity is One in essence and three Persons in function, so man and woman, created in God’s image, share a human nature, yet are distinct personal selves with different functions. As Christians we both haveexousia—power, right, and authority—as children of God, but woman’s authority is distinctly feminine, as man’s is distinctly masculine. Hers does not contradict or usurp his, but complements it. And as the Trinity would not be complete with one of the Three missing, so man and woman are both essential to each other and to the whole. Being in the holy order of God’s creation as lived in Orthodoxy calms the troubled waters of my soul. I don’t understand the mystery of Trinity—nor the mystery of man and woman—but I know I am woman, and I both want and love to live it. St. Paul wrote, “woman is the glory of man” (I Cor. 11:7), a hard verse to take for some of us. McFadden suggests that “all women may somehow participate in the glory of the Theotokos.”

Woman’s unique and God-given capacity to give birth made the Incarnation possible. The woman Theotokos is indeed the glory of all mankind, “our solitary boast,” as one writer called her. Eve, our first mother, contributed to the fall of man by choosing to disobey. Mary, the mother of our Lord—and of the Church which is His Body—made our salvation possible by obeying God’s will. If she whom we hymn as “more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim” is always seen in icons wearing her head-covering, it certainly cannot be a sign of “inferiority to men”! McFadden calls the veil a “badge of authority” between equals, perceived by the angels who maintain order among themselves. Why head-coverings matter to the angels may be unclear, but that they matter seems evident. Fr. Rhodes says, “The angels watch what we do and rejoice when we obey.” A scarf may be a small matter, but obedience often hinges on small things, small choices. My scarf is seen by men, but to me it signifies obedience to God, a way of living my womanhood. It is my feminine “I am” reflected outwardly. In putting on my head-covering I mean to say to God, “Behold your handmaiden, be it unto me according to Your word—Your will, not mine.” For twelve years I have worn a scarf at all times. I now perceive that it has been—and continues to be—essential for the pilgrim journey and salvation of my soul. The bottom line for me—and a growing number of my sisters—remains obedience. And with it comes a sense of being in our rightful place in God’s ordered universe, rejoicing with the angels. Now I gratefully say, “I am!” in the presence of the great I AM—at prayer and in church, surrounded by the angelic host, worshipping our Lord and King. To God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be the glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen!

* Angelo Babudro of New Glasgow, NS (Canada) had some insightful comments about this passage:

In her article Elisabet wrote, “St. Paul had said ‘ought,’ not ‘must.'” (referring to 1 Cor 11:10). Actually this is both a superfluous and erroneous distinction.

St. Paul said neither word, but rather used the Greek word “opheilo” (Strong’s number 3784). In addition to Strong’s definition, if we look at the use of this word in the New Testament we see it is translated as owing a debt, should, duty, ought, need, bound, behoved, and also “must” (in 1 Cor 5:10).

I checked Noah Webster’s dictionary (who often quoted the Bible and gave us a revision of the KJV in 1833), and saw that the word “ought” is defined as an obligation, a duty, or something that is necessary. So even without the Greek, the distinction she drew is extremely fuzzy.

I conclude, then, that St. Paul actually did say that a woman must/ought/should/is duty bound/owes a debt to wear a head covering. Judging from the rest of the article I would say our sister Elisabet has arrived at this conclusion as well, but I thought it was worth pointing out what seems to me quite an important error in her teaching to other women, in the hopes that she may choose to rephrase, remove, or clarify that small part of her article.

From the Spring 1997 issue of The Handmaiden, Conciliar Press.

THE WORD OF GOD – DECEMBER 29(16), 2014

December 29, 2014

Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Prophet Haggai (Aggaeus) (500 B.C.).

Venerable Sophia, nun (in the world Solomonia), wife of Grand Duke Basil III (1542).
Martyr Marinus of Rome (283).
Blessed Empress Theophania of Byzantium (893)

APOSTLE’S EPISTLE

Hebrews 8:7-13

7

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

8

Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-

9

not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.

10

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

11

None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

12

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

13

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

======================================================

Mark 9:42-10:1

42

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

43

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched-

44

where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’

45

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched-

46

where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’

47

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire-

48

where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’

49

For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.

50

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.

1

Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

THE WORD OF GOD – DECEMBER 28(15), 2014

December 28, 2014

Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed

Week of Holy Forefathers
Hieromartyr Eleutherius, bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Anthia and Martyr Corivus the Eparch (126).
Venerable Paul of Mt. Latros (956).
St. Stephen the Confessor, archbishop of Surozh in the Crimea (790).
Synaxis of All Saints of Crimea.

APOSTLE’S EPISTLE

Colossians 3:4-11 (Epistle)

4

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

5

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

6

Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,

7

in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

8

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

9

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

10

and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

11

where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

=================================================

Luke 14:16-24 (Gospel)

16

Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,

17

and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’

18

But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’

19

And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’

20

Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’

21

So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’

22

And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’

23

Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

24

‘For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ “

EUTHANASIA – THE MERCY OF THE DEVIL

December 27, 2014

by Branko Malic (via The Soul of the East)

People are able to discern good from evil. More or less everybody will recognize and condemn an atrocity exhibited on their TV screens, provided they have no stake in it. In this respect, social networks present us with a panoramic display of humanity’s certainty in its moral principles. Namely, that’s where thousands upon thousands like the photo of some little, dying “angel” and write condemnatory comments under the picture of some sadist caught poisoning dogs. Whether they are themselves good or evil is immaterial. They passed their judgments and ascertained what is and what is not good. Admittedly, the principles providing them with the capability for moral judgment are rarely explicitly defined. Yet who would doubt, for instance, the sanctity of human life and the obligation to respect its final act as unquestionable values? The virtual heart and like under the photo of the gravely ill child, as well as the hateful commentary on the dog killer, clearly prove this fact.

Or do they?

Facebook Likes

Judging by the way things are going: no, they do not. Fleeting certainties of lifeare in fact its underlying principles. But nowadays man is offered a bold and final step over their boundaries. He is carried by a gushing stream of illusory freedom, springing from the illusory affirmation of importance by its consumers, i.e. continual progress in consummation of human rights. It is the demolition of everything that once was, without second thought, accepted as good and evil, and the institution of a system defining ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’. All is good if it’s not evil, and evil itself is nothing because it’s not good. In that sense there are no limits to freedom if there are no rational reasons for them, so the final sanctuary of the irrational, a final possible evil, is brought to judgment. It is death itself and its occasional accomplice – murder. “The right to die,” or opting to end one’s life by the hand of another, becomes the demand that can’t be ignored. The right to euthanasia is slowly but surely creeping up the list of human rights advocates’ priorities. And really, why hit the brakes when the highway of freedom is infinite and every few miles we storm by that jumbo-scale billboard that shouts, “Because you deserve it!”?

Here is why. Man must wake up in the middle of the night, sits up in his sweat-soaked bed and asks himself, “If death is my right, isn’t it therefore my duty?”

Early Euthanasia Movement and the Nazi Stigma

Euthanasia is a term still bearing the burden of dark connotations, and its contemporary advocates are all too careful to avoid using it explicitly. No surprise there because, however you flip it, Thanatos arouses no pleasing sensations, even if you pin eu- to it. Also, we must not forget that “mercy killing” in the previous century had its first legal coming-out party in Nazi Germany in the form of the Aktion T4[1] program conducted from 1939 to 1941, and aimed at the “mercy killing” of children and adults deemed “unfit to live”. Bearing in mind that, alongside the lethal injection and nutrition deprivation, it also premiered in the experimental gas chambers, it is strongly believed that Aktion T4 was a sort of exercise in preparation for the death camps. The program was publicly canceled on the 23rd of July, 1941, because Hitler had to respond to sermons by the bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen,[2] who unequivocally condemned the whole affair. However, the euthanasia program continued incognito, and the bishop’s clerical cadre was cut down to size.

Hitler’s experiment in eugenics almost unintentionally “mercy-killed” the young euthanasia movement in the West. Ignoring the state of affairs across the Atlantic, the Euthanasia Society of America,[3] founded in New York in 1938, committed something along the lines of botched PR-suicide, when in the wake of World War II, it openly advocated the primary purpose of euthanasia as being the removal of “undesirable creatures”, meaning erasing those they deemed unfit for dignified life. In the clear words of its representative, neurologist Foster Kennedy[4], the overall purpose was conceived as mercy for “nature’s mistakes”, the mercy killing of “a person, who is not a person”. Such straightforwardness – seldom present among the contemporary advocates of euthanasia, as we shall see – is due to close ties between early euthanasia initiatives and the eugenics movement. In the age of the rise of Nazism and the beginning of the WWII, it proved to be a terrible advertising experiment. Euthanasia advocates had to wait for the revolutionary changes of the sixties in order to make a public comeback free from fear of lynching, although this time endowed with strict rhetorical discipline and new names for their organizations.

Lucifer Journal + Eugenics

But we must wonder, would all this fuss have taken place if not for Hitler? Eugenics,[5] or science of selection and nurture of desirable individuals was, before WWII, practically mainstream among American financial and scientific elites. The point of agreement with euthanasia advocates was the idea of systematization of acceptable and unacceptable species in a society conceived as a kind of zoo, admittedly not on the grounds of a Nazi-like Volk, but on the grounds of what we now call “quality of life” and the “autonomy of the individual”. In those days the term was “the pursuit of happiness,” in the sense of an individual’s right to accomplish material satisfaction, or enjoyment of life, as guaranteed by law. It is interesting to note, and at the same time seemingly hard to understand: wherein lies the autonomy of a sick child being killed by physician like a blind puppy? It is interesting because the accent of euthanasia movement in USA and UK before World War Two was laid precisely on “cleansing” society of infants unfit for quality autonomous life, while only since the nineteen-seventies do we find it staked as a right of conscious and autonomous individuals, mostly elderly people. But where there is a will there is a way. And where there is a way, there’s no trouble in procuring the logic. We’ll return to that later.

Arguments for Compassion

Ritual consternation over a long-vanquished “dark monolith” is an important method of morally tranquilizing a civilized people. Therefore, contemporary euthanasia advocates spared no efforts in learning the discipline of properly manipulating the public consciousness, better known as political correctness. So now we must be politically correct in thinking that “aid in dying” or “death with dignity” are something different from euthanasia, i.e. mercy killing or killing with a pinch of mercy. Moreover, advocates of “the right to die” ensure us that it is a form of palliative care, christened as “end of life care.” Also, a “gentle landing” is advertised as a procedure mostly intended for those whose lives have become intolerable because of physical and psychological suffering, and death is practically a deliverance from the undignified life. Furthermore, we must think that this “final exit” is a privilege of the elderly population. Among the agitprop materials of various initiatives and societies pushing the legalization of euthanasia, we often find life stories of elderly people whose lives became so intolerable that they had to spend considerable sums and raise hackles with their families in order to seek assisted death where it’s legally approved – in Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, American federal states of Oregon and Washington and, more recently, in Quebec, Canada.

Let’s check out two typical stories, still resonant in the public mind:

While listening to the meticulously directed outreach[6] of Sir Terry Pratchett, a writer at the London Royal Physicians Society, where in the light of his maladies – he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease – he puts forward his reasons for advocating the right to assisted death, it is patently obvious that the BBC cameras are present in order to legitimize and propagate the affair on the national level. However, on suspending the ratio, we will feel that someone is addressing our emotions, our compassion, and not in the least our power of judgment. Pratchett advocates the system, but he addresses me, man to man, moreover through the mouth of the actor Tony Robinson, who reads his speech from the screen, because he himself feels unsure whether he could endure speaking for 45 minutes; the audience is melting with sentiments of quiet joy and sadness… Here and there we can almost see an occasional tear glistening in the half-darkness beneath crystal chandeliers … The-soon-to-be-dead man gently nods his head and smiles warmly. The scene is interrupted with saccharine humor and a reasoned discussion on “my life, my choice”.

Touching, only it’s hard to pinpoint what is exactly touched. Let’s try arousing our compassion with another example.

The technocracy loves you.

Before the camera, terminally ill Canadian Susan Griffiths[7] reads her farewell message to the Canadian public, parliament, and the world, describing her diagnosis: she is faced with a progressive failure of her bodily systems and a life of complete dependence on others. No more gardening, no more going where she likes and doing what she wants. She realized that the complete loss of control is imminent, followed by a drastic decrease in the quality of her life. So why does she have to spend so much on a trip to Switzerland in order to procure assistance for dying on her own terms, in company of friends and family? She delivers her message because she wants all Canadians – nay, all people – to be endowed with the right to die in their own country, when they so desire, provided by government. Finally, the lady died with assistance, after a video compilation of her last days in the Dignitas clinic had been made as a last public farewell and testament to her bravery.[8] We are informed that before departing to nothingness, she sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat[9] with family and friends, and had “a hell of a laugh”.

Such scenes are literally gurgling with emotions. This author feels neither compassion nor understanding for these people, save for possibility of a bad taste in the mouth and acute nausea could be forms of compassion and understanding. Frankly, it is a natural reaction to emotional blackmail. This author apologizes henceforth to anyone who is able to feel touched by the above described display of emotions for his incompetence on the emotional spectrum and the over-sensitivity of his stomach.

Now, with apologies made, we can proceed to an exposure of facts and an analysis of concepts.

Euthanasia Facts and Implications

The contemporary movement for assistance in dying is a global network of organizations and foundations, working legally and legitimately on promoting the legalization of institutionalized mercy killings and aid for suicide. Euthanasia is at work only in the first case. The other, so-called “assisted suicide,” denotes situations where the physician a provides patient with information and means necessary to aid him in the taking of his own life. There is a third case, however, which often gets confused with euthanasia and assisted suicide, and that is termination of medical care. Euthanasia advocates are prone to obfuscate the differences between these three procedures, and push them into the legislation concerning so-called “terminal care,” or medical treatment of the dying. Now, wherever it has burrowed itself into legislation, euthanasia has piggy-backed on assisted suicide falsely compared to termination of medical care, and later has crept in all directions, from cases where a physician is allowed to off the patient on demand himself, to the euthanasia of those who can’t give or revoke consent, namely children.

Never and in no conceivable case is euthanasia suicide, which cannot really be legal or illegal, because suicide is an act of freedom negating any other will besides the will of a perpetrator. Euthanasia, however, presupposes legal and ethical reforms of the medical profession. An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care[10], passed in Quebec, clearly shows the direction in which the legislation will develop once euthanasia has been legalized. Chapter 3, Section 1, Paragraph 7 states:

Every institution [meaning health care institutions such as hospitals and social welfare institutions providing medical care] must offer end-of-life care and ensure that it is provided to the persons requiring it in continuity and complementarily with any other care that is or has been provided to them.

In other words, the right of the patient to die is the duty of his physician to kill him. The law formally allows health-care workers to refuse service on moral grounds and obliges the institution to provide someone who will perform it, but in practice it will probably mean pressure on those who refuse. Furthermore, the experience shows that legalizing euthanasia soon opens the floodgates and incites a whole spectrum of death-related services. In the Netherlands, for instance, the privilege of an informed and mature patient above the age of 16 years soon evolved into the “active termination of life for children”, who can be euthanized in accordance to legally approved criteria. The guidelines for this procedure are gathered in the so called Groningen protocol[11], published in 2002, where three euthanasia-approvable instances are listed: for those who have no chance of survival, those who will be unable to lead autonomous life, and those who will be unable to realize quality of life. The criteria and fine points of every individual case have been laid down by medical professionals, and exhaustive consultations with parents are proscribed. In the end the decision can be approved only after judicial evaluation. At least that’s how it looks on paper.[12]

Opponents of euthanasia, however, point out that in practice things turn out to be much messier than one should expect from civilized Northern Europeans. True enough, just after the passing of the law legalizing euthanasia, the first voices advocating, among other things, euthanasia on demand for reasons of “bad disposition towards life”, could be heard clamoring. The Dutch Minister of Health at that time (2005), Els Borst, remarked that it really wouldn’t be such a bad thing if a “suicide pill” should become available to everyone, regardless of their health.[13] Be that as it may, when we observe the results of the case-study on the reasons for eliminating 22 children (Verhagen, 2005), conducted in Netherlands between 1997 and 2002 (note that it was before the formal legalization of euthanasia), we can offer some informed assumptions. The overall reason for euthanasia (valid in 22 cases, therefore 100%) is defined as “extremely poor quality of life (suffering) in the sense of functional disability, pain, uneasiness, bad prognosis and desperation” or, in other words, “predicted lack of self-sufficiency” (100%). Further reasons are “predicted inability to communicate” (82%), “expected hospital dependency (77%), “long life expectancy” (59%)”. Obviously, in the case of 13 subjects the argument could just as well be deployed to speed up the inevitable, which served as the fundamental, and supposedly only, reason in the case of adults. However, we can see that it wasn’t valid for 9 subjects. Hence, we can assume that these toddlers could survive longer than criteria proscribes as a time frame for terminal care, if hospitalization was applied. In this respect following remark is of the essence:

The burden of other considerations is greater when the life expectancy is long in a patient who is suffering.

Clearly, justification for euthanasia grows stronger as a low-quality life grows longer. But who defines such life and how? Not the patients themselves, but the professionals interpreting their appeals or the appeals of their custodians, that is to say physicians and lawyers. In order for the law to be applicable to all, the definition of quality of life also has to be universally applicable. And that’s the point where things start to slide, as euthanasia opponents call it, down the “slippery slope” – once euthanasia practice legally commences, it can be applied to an ever-growing number of cases because the criteria may as well be applicable to all. But quality of something, as we know from logic, cannot be conclusively defined if we don’t know the substance of that which is qualified; if we don’t know what the human being is, we also cannot know what comprises quality of life.

But there’s a remedy for that, too.

Sophia’s “No-Brainer” Choice

The argument proceeding from the individual’s right to autonomy is a contemporary dogma; it’s a principle believed to be natural and inborn to each and every human animal and, consequently, devoid of any contradiction. However, its intrinsic contradiction is self-evident to anyone who would seriously consider it. Freedom of the individual transferred into law, and therefore entrusted to the state, presents some other individual with a duty. The physician per se is deprived of the autonomy of rejecting the infliction of euthanasia if he is to uphold the reformed imperative of his vocation, just as the infant he discards is not autonomous. And, henceforth, we can observe the return of the euthanasia movement to its eugenics roots: in order for a happy society to live, the unhappy elements have to die; in order for good to be absolute, evil must be abolished; for if murder would be evil, then the murderer could not be good. So if the murderer is good, then the murder is not evil.

Let’s dare to assume the following dilemma: if the surplus of patients in palliative care is a drain on the resources of those who could lead a happier life, which course of action would be rational? The greater good for the greater number. A no brainer, as some of the sincere euthanasia advocates along the lines of Peter Singer would say.[14] This champion of animal rights in their struggle against human hegemony points out that a sick and/or mentally deficient baby is ontologically below the level of a healthy puppy (licentia poetica: he says “piglet”). There is no criteria to discern, save for the level of consciousness, itself defined by the flimsy standards of natural sciences that took over from all-but-extinct philosophy and soon-to-be extinct religion.

Sophie's Choice

What to do then? What choices should the postmodern incarnation of Strytin’s Sophia from Sophie’s Choice make; the woman making her hideous choice not in the concentration camp, but at the food court in the middle of the shopping mall, with her credit card just one step from being revoked. Child or puppy? For likes of Singer, the matter is a no brainer, same as for the judiciaries who legalized euthanasia. And that brings us back to the question of Nazism and the unfair comparison of contemporary euthanasia practices with death-camp rehearsals. Namely, it is obvious that Nazis placed Strytin’s heroine before an insoluble dilemma: she had to choose which one of her two children would die in order for the other to survive. That’s really not a choice, but rather a method of suffocating her humanity, a method which ultimately doesn’t work. Forced choice is no choice at all. The National Socialists were determined to eliminate, in one way or another, everybody threatening their utopian collective as defined by race and complete surrender of the individual will to the State representing that race. But they never managed to force their victims into pleading for their own elimination.

Contemporary euthanasia legislation manages the diametrical opposite with forebodingly similar implications and a hearty potential for braving obstacles over which the Nazis stumbled. It reaches out to the individual will of every single individual against any form of community. The problem is: who is reaching out? Because the state or some other corporate entity must assure everybody’s right to be the master of his life and death, it must provide the legal framework, methods, and resources enabling the exercise of individual will. Euthanasia is therefore not throwing oneself over a moral precipice. On the contrary, it is the tossing of others into the abyss. The absolute peak of the divorce of freedom and responsibility, and the transferring of one’s own will and intimacy to another, presupposes the absolute right. That in turn demands the transfer of power over life and death of the individual to the system, because only an absolutely differentiated system can provide everybody with the exercise of his right to total autonomy. But if that’s the case, whence the assumption that death will become duty? No brainer: “Because you deserve it!”

Aspartame Logic

Hard to swallow, one could say. Though, nothing is too hard to swallow when sweetened enough. If death can be consumed to pop songs and a festive atmosphere, and moreover, if it can reap a multitude of likes on social networks, why would painlessly kicking the bucket be any worse than choosing to play one’s cards to the end? Observing public reactions to the “heroic struggle” of people like Sir Terry and Ms. Griffiths to die when and how they like, one comes to the conclusion that support by far outweighs consternation, especially in younger demographics. Admittedly, emotional blackmail takes its toll, but then again nobody really denounced their act for what it is – a smarmy abomination. Not one word of consideration for their fellow men from those two, or any other motive besides their self-love.

A message from the elite: DIE. Because you deserve it.

In contrast to mere suicides, their appeals for changing the rules concerning everybody is an act of the particular, namely: absolute selfishness. And in that sense it is a religious act. The individual raises himself on a throne as arbiter of life and death, ordering the same right provided to everyone else. Yes, you read it correctly, he orders the right. And that’s precisely where the terrible threat of legalizing euthanasia insinuates itself ever deeper. Once death has been sold, i.e. when it becomes an act which the individual can treat as a manageable commodity, there is no more reason not to transfer management to more competent parties. For the slippery slope of the euthanasia argument is the only direction it can take. And although it is currently legalized in only a few nations, we can expect its rapid metastasis in the Euro-Atlantic sphere.

We should not be surprised when, alongside the noble profession of the life coach, we witness the emergence and flourishing of the art of death coaching, perhaps even as a social service. If murder is evil only when it affects quality of life, than why would quality-murder be evil? If it benefits the fiscal discipline of the medical sector, why wouldn’t it be celebrated as an act reaping thousands upon thousands of likes? If the death of a terminally sick little angel contributes to the well being of numerous puppies seeking homes, why wouldn’t it be cheered on as an act reaping millions of likes?

Well, we aren’t going anywhere; we’ll stick around and see what happens. A right divorced from duty is logically impossible. The argument of absolute inference is a circular argument, akin to the serpent devouring its own tail. Duty is right, right is duty, and therefore if there’s no duty, there’s no right, either. To be and not to be are one and the same. What is not devoured and excreted as acceptable and unacceptable does not exist at all. Therefore, undefined principles of human life are out-of-law as such, they are outlawed. Undefined freedom is outlawed, undefined goodness is outlawed, and undefined life is outlawed. Undefined is that which is not, nor will it ever be, truly systemized. But that’s not something mystical, something transcendent. It is life as we know it. And much sooner than you think, it will be decreed unacceptable. But only with your consent, only if you want it, and always with the motto: “Because you deserve it!”

Skimming the endless debate between advocates of euthanasia and their opponents, one cannot but sense the meaninglessness of it all. Both arguments and contra-arguments are infinite, and politics is clearly prone to provide people with what they deserve. We only ask ourselves: how can we resist? We will answer the politically correct wolves in sheep’s clothing with a necessary and universally applicable reply to emotional blackmail or the order to bend one’s knee before the usurper: Get thee hence, Satan.

THE WORD OF GOD – DECEMBER 27(14), 2014

December 27, 2014

Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Fish Allowed

Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus of Apollonia (250).
Martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus, and Theoctychus of Alexandria (ca. 305).
Luke 14:1-11

1

Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

2

And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.

3

And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

4

But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

5

Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”

6

And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

7

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

8

When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;

9

and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

10

But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.

11

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

AN AMERICAN REQUIEM FOR THE UKRAINE

December 26, 2014

Kiev, Ukraine: Nov 27 – Dec 16

by No Bread & Circuses for You             Versione Italiana

Kiev of course has not collapsed yet, and it may somehow make it through it’s recent troubles relatively unscathed. But from what I’m seeing, this outcome seems less and less likely as time goes by. Still, it’s hard to wish this kind of trouble on most people. But sadly, a small, hard core group of idiots can force a whole nation to sink under the waves into the Ocean of Oblivion.

Ukraine is a country that doesn’t have much of a reason to exist. Its whole Raison d’être is defined as anti-Russia. Beyond that, they’ve rarely had a country; never been much of anything; never aspired to be something. Their only aspiration is to not be Russia. They’re the anti-Russia. Just like matter and anti-matter cannot coexist; Russia and anti-Russia cannot coexist.

News from Kiev and Ukraine

Skilled Professionals Are Leaving Ukraine.

Well, should we really be surprised? Exactly what do they have too look forward to by remaining in Ukraine? A sinking economy? Deteriorating infrastructure? Continuing dysfunctional government? A nice 2 meter deep hole with one’s name on it? A Jekyll and Hyde educational system that metastasizes every couple of years depending who is in charge? A government run by Nazis? You can have all of this and a whole lot more if you remain in Ukraine; but if this isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you’re a whole lot better off somewhere else. And the exodus has begun.

The Antonov aircraft plant ceases production.

Well, it’s certainly not the first, nor will it be the last industrial operation to shut down. But it’s certainly one of the largest industrial operations in all of Kiev. And now it’s no more, at least temporarily. Because it seems the Boeing Corporation may be interested in taking over this plant. But trying to take over of vibrant operation with a lot of orders is a lot more expensive than taking over a factory that is idle. But from the USA’s point of view, this is what the whole Ukrainian revolution was for. Ruin the economy, force formally vibrant companies to shut down operations, and let foreign corporations buy the whole operation for kopeks. And by buying into a depressed economy such as Ukraine, you can pocess a workforce that costs 50% less than a it would have cost two years ago.

Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has an accident.

Boy, that sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it? Just like Little Bobby had an accident.  (Except it’s a whole lot more serious).

Luckily, it’s not something very serious; certainly nothing close to the scale of a Chernobyl. Yet the authorities here are playing with fire. They are trying to use nuclear fuel sourced from the USA in Soviet era nuclear reactors. There have been numerous warnings stating that this could cause a disaster, but when the choices are using compatible and well tested products from Russia, or using untested products from the USA, the chance to thumb your nose at Russia was just too big for some of the idiots in charge around here to pass up. But don’t blame the current government for this one. This decision goes back to 2005, when the “Orange Revolution” government was in charge. So then, as now, go for the highly modified and untested products from the USA, screw Russia, and hope for the best.

Kiev faces power outages.

According to Kiev energy, lack of sufficient coal to power power plants is leading to some short-term problems. Kiev energy assures us that outages will only affect industrial operations and will last for no longer than two hours at a time. Surprise Surprise! They were wrong. There already are reports of numerous residential outages, often for 3 to 4 hours at a time, and often 2-3 times a day. Now that may have something to do with the nuclear power plant incident mentioned above, yet that has been no update of the original announcement. And the outages are still continuing.

Kiev schools to shut down for an additional week for winter break.

Well, no surprise here. The one week fall break magically turned into two weeks, and now the two week winter break magically morphs into three weeks. And this will apparently save Kiev 1/3 of $1 million. By the middle of January, children will have already missed two weeks of regularly scheduled school time. But don’t fret! Rest assured that they will just accelerate the curriculum to make up for lost time. Of course, your children don’t learn all that much during the regular paced curriculum. But students are sure to be motivated to learn a lot more when the pace picks up. And all this will be done by teachers who have historically been poorly paid and is now being paid even more poorly under the auspices of the new government.

Ukraine gets its own “Ministry of Truth.”

Yes, it’s 1984. And Ukraine has a new ministry. Officially, it’s known as the “Ministry Of Information Policy.” But journalists here and elsewhere are already referring to it as the “Ministry of Truth.” The term “Ministry of Truth” comes from George Orwell’s novel 1984, where the Ministry of Truth had absolutely nothing to do with the truth. It was strictly the propaganda arm of the government. So it was in the novel; so it is in Ukraine today. Journalists are up in arms about this new ministry, but really, they have no reason to complain. This is just the formalization of what’s been happening ever since the junta came to power. I guess propaganda is just fine up to that point where the government gets to give its approval or disapproval. It makes you look less independent.

Luxuries, like meat and medicines, are being priced out of the range of normal citizens.

Well, what can you say about this one? I guess one might consider meat as a luxury that you can cut back on. But medicines? While that certainly seems to be more of a necessity than a luxury, if you can’t afford them, or if it just not available, what choice do you have? I wrote a while back that not only on medicines more readily available in Moscow, they can often be purchased for 50% less. With the continuing devaluation of the local currency, these medicines will only become more costly and more difficult to find.

Propaganda trucks on the prowl.

It’s getting more than just a little bit annoying by now, but three, four, five times a day, propaganda trucks go driving by with big PA speakers on the roof, informing everybody of what they should be outraged about today. But who has time for outrage when survival is on the line. I did see the local propaganda truck parked at a nearby police station a couple of days ago, and the propaganda stopped. But the trucks are back with your daily dose of propagandist thought.

Kiev cheers the demise of “South Stream.”

Well, clueless is as clueless does I guess. Someone here in Kiev seems to believe that the demise of South Stream is good for Ukraine. And somehow this is a recognition by Putin that Ukraine is a reliable partner when it comes to gas deliveries. Poor, poor Ukraine. They just don’t get it do they? One way or another, Russia will make Ukraine irrelevant when it comes to gas deliveries to Europe.

For only 200 hryvnias (about $13), you can help the Ukraine create a siege of Moscow.

How delusional can you get? A local aspiring “entrepreneur,” or whatever he wants to call himself, recently had to give his up his hopes of a military invasion of Moscow because nowhere near 25 million Ukrainians decided to pitch in the money. There’s been no word on exactly how many did donate, or what will be done with any funds that have been donated.

Ukraine still has high hopes for liquid natural gas.

One of the earlier schemes of the Kiev junta and the US State Department involved shipping liquid natural gas from the USA to a new port to be built in Odessa, Ukraine. But it seems no one consulted with the Turks about this. The only way to get such ships into the Black Sea is through the Bosporus, and Turkey does not permit these types of ships to pass. Oh well, I guess there’s always room for another color revolution. In Turkey. But it seems Ukraine’s plans for this port are still going ahead, undeterred.

Ukrainians are starting to refuse to pay utility bills.

As if the end of November, utility debt in Ukraine already totals 11.8 billion hrynias. Translated to dollars, this is about $800 million! While some of this is likely due to some people not being able to afford to pay, some of it is definitely a boycott of the current costs, plus another 50% increase that is supposed to go into effect on January 1. And this indebtedness is only likely to grow more quickly in the upcoming months. But this is nothing new here. During the days of Kravchuk and Kuchma (Ukraine’s first two presidents), a good number of people did not pay their bills for three years or more. It looks like the good old days of post-Soviet collapse have returned.

I expect to have more about this shortly.

The EU. A day late, a ton of Euros short.

Some in the EU are now claiming “it’s only a minor misunderstanding. South Stream is just a matter of not being compliant with legislative action.” Looks like Russia was tired of being jerked around by the EU and found more willing partner to deal with.

Churches continue to go up in flames.

Astute readers are already well aware that numerous Orthodox churches in the East of Ukraine have been deliberately bombed by the Ukrainian Army. But there are other fascists at work too. A church near the Babi Yar memorial complex was deliberately firebombed on December 2nd. For those who are not familiar with the history of Babi Yar, it’s only the site of the largest two-day Nazi massacre of World War II.

Not surprisingly, petty crime is on the rise.

A friend of my wife’s father recently reported that he had a tire slashed on his recently purchased vehicles. The scam goes like this. The perpetrators look for either older men or women of any age driving in high priced vehicles. The driver stops, goes into a store, and then when you come out you find a tire slashed. Older men and women of any age will most likely need help to replace the tire. The perpetrator and a couple of buddies offer their help. While the owner and the perpetrators change the tire, another buddy grabs whatever he can from the car while your attention is distracted. So, why men? Here men often carry valuables in a small handbag and not in their pockets.

The American carpetbagger in the finance ministry gets to work.

Well, that didn’t take long did it? Here is some of the shock and awe in store for the citizens of Ukraine. No more free education and health care for you. Compulsory education is reduced from 11 years to nine years. Most students and teachers will lose access to free transportation. Most students will lose access to stipends and for the few that continue to get that, they will not be adjusted for inflation. Teachers with additional titles and degrees will no longer get extra pay for that. And many experienced teachers will see their pay drop to the level of a new graduate. Retirement age will be increased by 10 years for women and by five years for men. Those who worked during Soviet times may see an additional pension decrease because they were “working for the occupier country” during Soviet times.

On the taxation side, you’ll be asks to prove the source of your income for any purchase over approximately $800. And if the value of the hrynia continue to decrease, that $800 valuation will be even less. If you can’t prove the origin of your income, it will automatically be assumed to be undeclared income and you will pay an additional 30% for that purchase. Saving diligently or having relatives outside the country sending you funds will not be sufficient reasons to avoid the tax.

This is of course is just scratching the surface of life in the new Ukraine.

That’s the news from the past two weeks. Further dispatches will hopefully be on a weekly or biweekly basis. Until then, hope for the best, but expect the worst. Signing off from Kiev for now.

Dedicated to all the flaming idiots who pollute Mother Latvia!