Tag Archives: Russia

High Time To Impeach?

Inaug_Capitol_at_dawn2

Our Chief Executive, Donald Trump, has been under investigation, starting with the 2016 presidential campaign, when he was a candidate, for selling out the nation to the Russians to get elected.

Perhaps, in exchange, Trump was expected to ease sanctions against Russia should he get elected.

Russia’s digital black jobs and widespread high tech deceits were contrived to influence the election entirely to Trump’s benefit.

Former FBI Director Comey refused to assure Trump he was not under investigation, nor would he give Trump’s security adviser Mr. Flynn a pass for concealing talks that Flynn had about sanctions with the Russian Ambassador.

Trump fired Comey because of the Russian investigation, and said so.

After 22 months, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who picked up where Comey left off, had a lot to say about Russia’s misconduct, but reserved his most forceful analysis for 10 instances of obstruction by Mr. Trump.

Mueller wrote a road map for the U.S. Congress to consider possible impeachment.

Remember how Shakespeare wrote of a ruler’s corrupting influence on a nation state.

Hamlet said, “The time is out of joint; – O cursed spite.”

He continued, “That ever I was born to set it right!”

Our time is “out of joint” and we must very soon “set it right.” Continue reading

An American Tragedy – Donald Trump

It was about a month after Donald Trump was “elected” President by the electoral college, and not by a popular vote.

I was swimming laps at the Ida Lee pool in Leesburg, and had stopped to retrieve a kicking board from the pool deck.

Trump_king3The woman, the next swimming lane over, said, “I used to love listening to the news.”

I could think of no words to ease her dismay.

A moment passed, and she continued, “I’ve gotten rid of my TV.”

Across the nation, our friends and neighbors have found different ways to cope with a President who is a brute.

On twitter today, a friend said that she played Jimi Hendrix’s “All along the Watchtower” over and over, shouting the lyrics, “There must be some kind of way outta here” given there’s “too much confusion” and “I can’t get no relief.”

Millions deal with the psychic pain of the Trump presidency by shutting Trump out of their consciousness. Continue reading

Religion in Moscow

The Churches within the Kremlin (Photo by John P. Flannery)

The Churches within the Kremlin (Photo by John P. Flannery)

In Moscow, I saw churches and domes throughout this modern cosmopolitan city of 15 million people, 600 Christian churches in all, and I visited several sanctuaries within the Kremlin Walls (Assumption Cathedral, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, and Necropolis of the Archangel Cathedral).

When the Tsars reigned, the Churches were integral to the autocratic state, one lever of control by which to govern the masses.

Lenin fairly charged that the Church was “used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class.”

When the final revolt came in 1917, the Bolsheviks took down the Tsar, but also the Tsar’s partner, the Church, in all its manifestations, outlawed its influence, even its existence.

In 1997, Russia reformed its past prohibitions, distrusting the Church less, declaring religion part of its “historical heritage” following upon Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost (“openness”).

The most significant difference, before the Revolution, was that the Tsars made the Church a governing partner with the Nobles.

This error of making any religious institution preeminent in secular governance is not limited to the Russian experience.

As an Irish Catholic kid from the South Bronx, I saw how Catholics were treated in the U.S. when they ran for office, Governor Al Smith being the prime example, and I celebrated when JFK became President declaiming that his Roman Catholic religion would ever affect his judgment as a public servant. Discrimination against “papist” Catholics made his assurances necessary, although it’s a guarantee every candidate should make, that religion will not be allowed to interfere with governance.

When a religious sect is integral to governance, it comes at the cost of intolerance toward those who profess any “disagreeable” faith; as for the “faithful,” they are manipulated by the fear that any dissenting word or conduct may earn them temporal punishment and bar their “eternal reward.” Constantine, for example, had the skin torn off bishops who refused to believe the communion host became flesh. Continue reading