In his Kremlin defense of Russia's annexation of Crimea, Vladimir Putin, even before he began listing the battles where Russian blood had been shed on Crimean soil, spoke of an older deeper bond.
Crimea, said Putin, "is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus."
Russia is a Christian country, Putin was saying.
This speech recalls last December's address where the former KGB chief spoke of Russia as standing against a decadent West: "Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation."
Heard any Western leader, say, Barack Obama, talk like that lately?
Indicting the "Bolsheviks" who gave away Crimea to Ukraine, Putin declared, "May God judge them."
What is going on here?
With Marxism-Leninism a dead faith, Putin is saying the new ideological struggle is between a debauched West led by the United States and a traditionalist world Russia would be proud to lead.
In the new war of beliefs, Putin is saying, it is Russia that is on God's side. The West is Gomorrah.
Western leaders who compare Putin's annexation of Crimea to Hitler's Anschluss with Austria, who dismiss him as a "KGB thug," who call him "the alleged thief, liar and murderer who rules Russia," as the Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins did, believe Putin's claim to stand on higher moral ground is beyond blasphemous.
But Vladimir Putin knows exactly what he is doing, and his new claim has a venerable lineage. The ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers who exposed Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, was, at the time of his death in 1964, writing a book on "The Third Rome."
The first Rome was the Holy City and seat of Christianity that fell to Odoacer and his barbarians in 476 A.D. The second Rome was Constantinople, Byzantium, (today's Istanbul), which fell to the Turks in 1453. The successor city to Byzantium, the Third Rome, the last Rome to the old believers, was — Moscow.
Putin is entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today and command post of the counter-reformation against the new paganism.
Putin is plugging into some of the modern world's most powerful currents. Not only in his defiance of what much of the world sees as America's arrogant drive for global hegemony. Not only in his tribal defense of lost Russians left behind when the USSR disintegrated.
He is also tapping into the worldwide revulsion of and resistance to the sewage of a hedonistic secular and social revolution coming out of the West.
In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia's flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity. His recent speeches carry echoes of John Paul II whose Evangelium Vitae in 1995 excoriated the West for its embrace of a "culture of death."
What did Pope John Paul mean by moral crimes?
The West's capitulation to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicide — the displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values.
Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum writes that she was stunned when in Tbilisi to hear a Georgian lawyer declare of the former pro-Western regime of Mikhail Saakashvili, "They were LGBT." "It was an eye-opening moment," wrote Applebaum. Fear and loathing of the same-sex-marriage pandemic has gone global. In Paris, a million-man Moral Majority marched in angry protest.
Author Martha Gessen, who has written a book on Putin, says of his last two years, "Russia is remaking itself as the leader of the anti-Western world."
But the war to be waged with the West is not with rockets. It is a cultural, social, moral war where Russia's role, in Putin's words, is to "prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state."
Would that be the "chaotic darkness" and "primitive state" of mankind, before the Light came into the world?
This writer was startled to read in the Jan-Feb. newsletter from the social conservative World Council of Families in Rockford, Ill., that, of the "ten best trends" in the world in 2013, number one was "Russia Emerges as Pro-Family Leader."
In 2013, the Kremlin imposed a ban on homosexual propaganda, a ban on abortion advertising, a ban on abortions after 12 weeks and a ban on sacrilegious insults to religious believers.
"While the other super-powers march to a pagan world-view," writes WCF's Allan Carlson, "Russia is defending Judeo-Christian values. During the Soviet era, Western communists flocked to Moscow. This year, World Congress of Families VII will be held in Moscow, Sept. 10-12."
Will Vladimir Putin give the keynote?
In the new ideological Cold War, whose side is God on now?
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
There are more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year with a significant number of those in New England. We hear of the seriously ill who are dealing with pain and neurological issues severe enough to impact work, school and family life or the extreme cases where people are hospitalized, disabled or bed-ridden. You probably know you should seek medical attention if you are bitten by a deer tick. But unless you have — or a family member has — contracted Lyme you may not have heard of the difficulties patients have in finding a doctor to treat them or getting their insurance company to cover their care.
You may ask yourself, "How do people get so sick?" Doesn't a couple of weeks of antibiotics cure Lyme? And if Lyme is so bad, why don't I hear more from the government or medical experts about Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme can become a formidable foe when it is not treated early. Like syphilis, it is a corkscrew shaped spirochete. Once it bores through your skin it likes to set up camp in your joints, brain, nervous system and heart. As it reproduces it can change its DNA to hide from your immune system. Lyme often takes full advantage of immune system weakness such as allergies, auto-immune conditions or weaknesses caused by high-stress lives fueled by coffee, fast food, sugar and not enough sleep.
When untreated over time it can cause a wide variety of symptoms that mimic other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, MS, ALS, Alzheimer's, or fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome which makes it difficult to diagnose.
But why would people have difficulty finding treatment? We haven't yet learned the most effective way to test for Lyme or to treat persistent Lyme infections. The official CDC guidelines reflect a very conservative approach to testing and treatment that does not work for everyone. This leaves doctors and patients alike in a difficult situation. The CDC guidelines recommend a short-course of antibiotics for all patients: new cases, people who have been undiagnosed for some time, and those for whom treatment has failed before. Most doctors follow the CDC guidelines as they do for other diseases. However, some doctors noticing that not all of their patients get well, seek additional training and treatment options to better help their patients. Some doctors or their family members have experienced persistent Lyme themselves and they may dig even deeper into the latest research and treatments. But even those doctors say we just don't have all the answers about Lyme and we need much better testing and more research to better understand this illness.
The official CDC position is that treatment cannot fail and they therefore do not track the percentage of persistent infections or uncured cases. With the prevalence of Lyme in New Hampshire, it wouldn't take much digging and you would likely find someone in your town that is struggling with persistent Lyme. I have personally been dealing with the disease for nearly three years after an initial two-week course of antibiotics did not kill off all of the bacteria. Six months and a series of escalating symptoms later, my primary care doctor gave me a referral for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis which turned out to be persistent Lyme.
What few people know is that on a national level the decisions about how to define, test for and treat Lyme disease and recommendations for what research to fund are made by a small group of people at the Infectious Disease Society of America. Most of these panel members have ties to insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, vaccine companies or research labs that all have a big financial stake in the outcomes of this work. In the midst of this growing public health crisis, there are physicians who have been working on-the-ground treating hundreds, even thousands of patients and have much to add to what does and does not work.
However, the Infectious-Diseases panel members have used the power of their position to exclude physician input or research that conflicts with their viewpoints. Thus the treatment guidelines remain narrowly focused and do not reflect this growing body of knowledge. This situation leaves physicians and innocent patients — adults and children alike — in limbo without access to the most recent knowledge. Health insurance companies often deny or cut off treatment based on the CDC guidelines and patients with persistent infections are left to pay for what care they are able to find and can afford. Though the CDC does not recognize the chronic Lyme diagnosis, some New Hampshire residents have been rejected for coverage by disability and life insurance companies.
One piece of good news is that with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies can no longer refuse to write policies for Lyme patients.
In Lyme, we may have met the perfect enemy. It has a brilliant delivery system in the deer tick which is so tiny it often goes unseen, and that has a painless bite. It adapts easily to the weaknesses in individual immune systems and can present with such complex and changing symptoms that it is easy to think it is something else. It does not care about disagreements in the medical community or battles with insurance companies. It just does what bacteria does best, spread and reproduce, something it is doing very effectively here in New Hampshire. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
We don't have to stand still while waiting for the CDC to act. If you find an attached deer tick, remove it carefully with tweezers and send it to be tested. (No hot matches or Vaseline since it can cause the tick to empty its stomach contents, delivering Borrelia or other infections directly to you.) Testing for the bacterium in ticks is over 99 percent accurate while testing for antibodies in people can produce many false negatives. The University Massachusetts in Amherst is the closest place to send your tick. If you get a bull's-eye rash from a tick bite that equals a positive diagnosis. Make sure you get treated.
New Hampshire doctors can further their training by studying with the International Lyme & Associated Diseases Society to expand their knowledge. New Hampshire Lyme patients can find resources from Lyme 411, a Laconia-based support group.
To help stop the spread of this infection, the state of New Hampshire could offer free tick testing, track persistent infection numbers (including the number of people who have become disabled, or taken leaves of absence from work or school) in order to better understand how this disease is impacting New Hampshire residents. Finally, the state of New Hampshire, on behalf of New Hampshire residents, could press for better national policy and more research. If we focus on public health as a top priority, we will find ways to better prevent and treat this infectious disease.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:09
To The Daily Sun,
In last Friday's Letters to the Editor, I find fellow townie, Henry, telling everyone to check out a report on MSNBC. Right, that's his idea of an unbiased, honest source of news and information. Personally I think it a swamp of foul-mouthed, hate-mongering, jerks. Just my opinion, but they just have to keep firing one after another of their anchors and hosts because of this.
Now what I really want to write about is Russia taking over the Ukraine. Yes so far it's only the Crimea. But just wait. No way Obama and crew could have seen this coming, right? So how come Sara Palan did a few years ago? Be that as it may, what is Obama going to do about it? Nothing.
He can't do a thing. Why? Because Europe is dependent on Russian oil, while Obama and progressives do everything in their power to keep America from being able to compete on the world's oil market.
Readers, oil was called "black gold" for a reason. It's a commodity just like any other commodity and creates wealth. Wealth creates power, and power is influence. Influence can shape world events like whether Putin can invade and subjugate the Ukraine. Well that ship has already left. Putin has power Obama none.
Sure we have the finest military in the world. The problem is we have no options politically. What progressives do, and have always done, is create an all-or-nothing, option-wise, situation for us here in the U.S. They did it before World War I , they did it before World War II, and after Vietnam and they have done and are doing it again.
Reality is, despots like Putin, respect only power and are swayed only by power and can be deterred only by power. Power used properly can prevent wars, lack of power invites wars. Progressives have never learned that history lesson maybe because they spend so much time revising history to suit their personal agenda.
All this just goes to show what we conservatives have been saying all along, Obama is unfit to be our president. He had no experience in business, banking, management, foreign affairs, plus he had zero accomplishments in his state government, the U.S. Senate nothing to recommend him. So how, and why, is he our president? Because liberals were so excited to elect the first black president they voted for the color of his skin, instead of the content of his character. And they call us racists?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:04
To The Daily Sun,
In reference to Tony Boutin's letter published March 29, I would like to thank him for making me laugh out loud harder than in a long time.
The letter he wrote confirms what I have long known: He can write, but he cannot read. Perhaps someone will read my past letters he refers to and explain to him how badly he misread them. He acknowledged my statement on brains so, Tony, get out of your La-Z-Boy recliner, go outside and take a deep breath. I hope this will give your brain a chance to function again.
Since the rich create jobs, put it to work, you could have the IRS looking for you. Oh, take that crow out of your mouth, you have to remove feathers and cook it first.This will be my one and only response to anything Tony Boutin has to say.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:56
To The Daily Sun,
The New Hampshire renewable energy program does nothing more than tax electricity, both residentially and commercially, with absolutely no measurable impact upon our environment.
Our politicians have noticed a massive revenue source exists in the electric sector and are taking full advantage of it through fining electricity companies. Yet, what our politicians are spending this so-called "FINE" money on seems illegal. Tens of millions of dollars that have been collected are not being spent on renewable energy strategies like most would think. They are being directed at other state programs that have nothing to do with energy ... let alone renewable energy. For this reason alone — the states renewable energy policy fails in its reason for existing.
Politicians camouflaging our tax dollars for their intended uses upsets me to my core because I do believe in programs that allow New Hampshire citizens to better insulate their homes, to get better windows, to grab a few solar panels, to upgrade their heating systems, among other things to conserve energy, under a true defined renewable energy program.
New Hampshire residents know better. It's time our politicians understand it, too.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:51