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Ukraine Mon Amor – Understanding Events in Ukraine and the Orthodox Church – Guest Post

Today [January 5, 2019] the Ukrainian church gained independence. The event is a step forward in Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from Russian aggression.

Religion is a major component of cultural identity in Eastern Europe, and central to the designs of Russia on Ukraine.

For decades there has been an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, but it was considered non-canonical and out of communion with the rest of the Orthodox world. The Russian Orthodox Church (via its quasi-autonomous “Ukrainian” sub-church) was the only canonical church in Ukraine.

Today that changed.

You hear sometimes that there are 150 million Russian Orthodox, which is goofy as there are only 144 million Russians. Even if the number includes the Orthodox in former states of the Soviet Union (many of which states are Muslim with a Russian minority), still, not everyone is Orthodox. A more realistic study puts the number at 59 million — 41% of the population of Russia. (This number does not include the small Russian populations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the other Turkic, Muslim states.)

Vladimir Putin’s Blunder: How His Bravado Backfired And He Set A People Free

One of the nicest guys I knew growing up was Danny Sullivan who was born four months to the day after me. He lived around the corner in a three decker. We were friends. One year we played on the same Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball team. We did all right. Both Danny and I played under the basket at both ends. Our job was to block anyone driving at the basket. Danny was bigger and tougher than the rest of us so he did much better at intimidating the opposing players especially since fouls were rarely called. He would go on to play college football at Boston College and professional football as a lineman in the NFL for several years protecting Johnny Unitas.

There was something different about Danny. He had a last name that was Irish, like many of us, but it was rumored that he wasn’t completely Irish. That was not unusual because there were many mixed marriages in our neighborhood between Irish and Italian. Irish and Polish, etc. What was different about Danny was that rumor had it that he was White Russian which was something that intrigued us.  We knew no others of that background. I’d learn many years later when I met a cousin of his at a Ukrainian event that Danny was in fact half Ukrainian.

Trump’s Russian Connection: Two Big Mysteries To Consider

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Trump is his hiring of Paul Manafort to run his campaign. Prior to that time Manafort was known for his assistance to and closeness to Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych who was driven from his presidency by a popular uprising of the Ukrainian people during the Maidan protests in 2014.The uprising was caused by Yanukovych’s attempt to put Ukraine under the control of Putin. When he left office he fled to Russia.

Manafort was hired by Trump to run his campaign in March 2016 a little over two years after Manafort’s buddy Yanukovych established himself in Russia under Putin’s protection. Was it surprising then that while he was his manager and after Trump has secured enough votes to be nominated to be the Republican standard-bearer that we would read in the Washington Post headlines stating: “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russian stance on Ukraine.” .

The first paragraph read: “The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.” The original language proposed to give Ukraine lethal weapons to defend itself. Part of the original reasoning stated: “Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a ‘Europe whole and free’ is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine. The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle.”

Trump’s Shutdown And The Bad Idea of Having Trump As President

I’m not sure whether the shutdown that Trump created is still ongoing but if it is that means the federal workers will not receive their pay checks this Friday. That will cause a lot of people to experience inconveniences, some great and others less so. The majority of those who are affected are those in the lower income brackets of the federal service so I suppose they are less able to go without the check than others.

That is something that should never happen. Especially when probably half of the workers affected by the shutdown are still working. One working should be paid on a regular basis and not at the whim of the employer.

There are others who are not working. This is why a shut down is a particularly bad idea. People should not be paid for working if they are not working. The queer thing about a  shutdown is that those workers who must stay home and not work will be paid as if they were working.  You can just imagine how those who must work feel about that.

It’s a Tough Deal Being God: He Had Some Hard Choices To Make: Alabama or Clemson

As a kid playing sports I depended a lot on the Almighty. I knew the Lord’s Prayer, or as we called it the “Our Father” which when I prayed I intoned the words “thy will be done.” But what I really meant by that was that His will should be done only when it coincided with my will.

When playing in a sporting event, especially baseball, I would often call upon God’s assistance by making the sign of the cross and then asking Him to exercise his will in my favor when I went up to bat. I didn’t want to strike which I had a propensity to do. I hoped He saw to it that I got a hit or at least a walk. The same thing was when playing the outfield I asked Him to help me make a catch of a ball hit out to me. I hard a particularly hard time of doing that. I just thought I was plainly incompetent.

The Big Money Game: Reaching into Kevin Spacey’s Pocket –

There was something that was not right about the arraignment in the Kevin Spacey case in Nantucket on the alleged assault by him on another who is the son of Heather Unruh. Since I can’t find his name I’ll call him FNU from the old days of writing affidavits for warrants which means First Name Unknown.

When did the allege incident occur? It was way back in July 2016 — that’s two and a half years ago. Why so long to bring it to the court? It appears as best I can tell that FNU is now twenty or twenty-one years old.  It is a little confusing to me but it seems the earliest he made the the report of the matter to the police was in October 2016 two months after the incident. His mother, a TV personality, last appeared on the air in October, 2016. Is this a coincidence or can we make something else out of it.

The Hideous Double Standard of Boston’s Media

I thought reading it: “no one raised an eyebrow when she said it but he was condemned by others for saying the same thing.”

Of course what she was saying was what any sibling should say. You have a brother or sister and you have a special relationship with them that is different from you have with others in the world. You may strongly disagree with their life choices or their politics but for most, I assume, the basic foundation of the relationship remains which is based on the love one has for their family members and especially the respect for their parents knowing they would want their children to love their siblings as the parents loved them.

This was so natural an expectation for her to have said it even though in a sense it was opposite to which one would expect from a person going into the position in life she was assuming that it passed without notice. Or, almost without notice because I did notice it and thought as I suggested above that had any an animus toward her as they did against him she would have been pilloried as he was for saying it.

Happy New Year – Will It Be A Year To Remember!

2019 – keep in mind that 100 years ago in 1919 we had the year of the color. The color was red. There were the raids that rounded up many of the Reds; there was the red blood that flower on the streets during the many race riots. It was the year after the fighting in the trenches ended. Many hundreds of thousands men who were drafted or enlisted flowed back into the job market seeking jobs that had been taken over by others.

I’mrepetition in our history whereby similarities can be found in years separated by a century. You recall September 11, 2001; that obviously brought to mind what happened 100 years earlier in September 1901 when another tragedy hit the United States.

I’m hoping we will not have another 1919 in 2019. But you have to admit the country now seems to be somewhat unstable. There is great uncertainty all around in the financial markets and with respect to our relations with other countries. The aggressor nations are honing their weapons relying on a distracted or disinterested United States.

So perhaps we are in for a traumatic time. Few remember ever celebrating a New Year’s with such trepidation. Will the center hold?