We humans support about 4,300 religions and 7,000 living language cultures around the world, and representatives of most are here in the United States beneath the magnificent umbrella of a working secular democratic republic as designed by the Founding Fathers.
Americans true to that spirit have the freedom to worship as each sees fit.
Some like Lauren Boebert flat out lie or live in their own delusions with insufficient confrontation or insight.
Two terms I have found helpful with relation to observing fascistic religious extremism: “Civilizational Narcissism”, Mobarak Haider’s term related to his view of the Taliban in Taliban: Tip of a Holy Iceberg, and “Malignant Narcissism“, which may be regarded as the political interpretation of “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” much characterized by “messianic delusions of grandeur” and represented by autocratic personalities worldwide.
Around the web (Twitter, lol, sometimes here on FB), I’ve been using #MaligNarcs and #PolitCrims to signal these archaic dimensions in leadership.
Christian Fanaticism, Christian Violence
The above mash-up, most appropriate for this day in the America (or #Jan6), has come off Alejandro Amenábar’s film Agora, as fine an exploration of the tension between faith and reason and between the lust for power and the imposing of a delusional, narcissistic, and sadist will on others possessed of more quiet, certain, and thoughtful virtues.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who faces a primary election Tuesday, says she is “tired” of the U.S. separation of church and state, a long-standing concept stemming from a “stinking letter” penned by one of the Founding Fathers.
Speaking at a religious service Sunday in Colorado, she told worshipers: “The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.”
Integrity is derived from the Latin word “integer,” meaning whole. A person of integrity is complete, undivided. Sincerity, decency, trustworthy are synonyms of integrity. It’s on our shield because it is the quality that makes possible all the good that we do. Because everything we do requires that we be believed, whether that’s promising a source that we will protect her, telling a jury what we saw or heard, or telling a congressional oversight committee or the American people what we are doing with our power and our authorities. We must be believed.
For cause, I believe the Federal government of the United States of America better than supposed by a constituency often less educated, sophisticated, and specialized–or broadly elevated–for understanding its departments, duties, missions, and relationships. Few Americans have privilege and time, much less specific ambition and curiosity, for personally exploring the administrative machinery of the nation in the advancement and defense of the same.
What if Seymour Hersh’s report and analyses prove true?
The truth won’t change the barbaric, criminal, and untrustworthy character of Putin’s regime.
The truth won’t weaken the strength of America’s defenses nor the argument for inclusive, liberal, open democracies and related rule of law as the much better alternative to the ways of capricious tyrants and totalitarian systems.
The truth may force Germany and the German People to revisit the sordid and twisted political discourse of the 1930s and 1940s just to check the conclusions–and then measure the strides made by modern Germany against the feudal and primitive forces and ideas of a deeply defeated generation followed by an as astonishingly renewed and powerful German state.
The truth may be a fait accomplis, and here we are.
Whatever the truth may be, it’s too late with Russia in Ukraine–and positioned elsewhere for assault or heightened threat–for either the invention of or leveraging of a supposed casus belli. It has already in its surreal and psychopathic fashion picked its fight with NATO. However, Tsar #PutinFullTonto may be as ill in body as he appears to be sick in the head, and how far his madness takes his whole circle remains unknown.
Janus, the god of the gate looking in and looking out, might suit the passage made by former President Donald John Trump in relation to his appointing as his first campaign manager the world’s most notorious flack for dictators–and then or now–as his legal troubles mount beyond his managing–a lead lawyer for his team (for a short term) with a clientele in Venezuela.
Russia Paid Off European Politicians In Relation to Ukraine and Violence Elsewhere
Since Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s overseas aggression has reached a fever pitch. Yet Russia can still rely on the occasional friendly voice in Europe: Last November, for example, far-right Italian local legislator Stefano Valdegamberi penned an op-ed decrying the EU’s decision to designate Russia a terrorist state as “a serious mistake” that “foments conflict by denying historical truth.”
But what Valdegamberi didn’t mention was that he had long been collaborating with a secretive Russian lobbying group with a direct link to the Kremlin. Since at least 2014, that group had designed plans to channel cash to European politicians to help it legitimize Russia’s occupation of Crimea and promote pro-Moscow policies inside EU countries.
America Has Lost Its Objectivity Over “Spy Balloon”, Says Chinese Pundit–And He’s Right
Influential commentator Hu Xijin blamed American “politicization” and “hype” for preventing the incident from escalating, saying that competition to look tough on China meant that the United States “has already lost its objectivity.”
In the normal course attending diplomatic incidents, investigations ensue, and with “spy data” presumed already transmitted, there would seem not much point in destroying the technology involved in the overflight. Of course, there was Gary Powers too, so Biden did what ranting Republicans appeared to expect in the way of “tough” leadership. It was not a good decision nor display of national air and space defense–the object should have been addressed and turned or interdicted on or just past arrival in American air space.
China has already apologized for the incident–“On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the balloon was theirs, but called it a “civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological purposes,” that had gone off course. And the ministry expressed rare “regret” for the incident.” Beijing should now follow up with details regarding the research mission and its technology, in general, while the U.S. Navy attempts retrieval of the drowned payload.
The Silencing by Removal of Ilhan Omar From the Foreign Affairs Committee
Omar herself had asked (same article), “‘Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the (National Rifle Association), or fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?'”
Conservative and liberal Americans have now to ask this question: what else is off the table?
Who hasn’t an ox?
Our American system relies on compassion, education, intelligence, open discourse, earnest problem-solving abilities, and respect, not religious or tribal hate.
Apparently, some Jews–not this one although I have become with experience very much an American of Jewish descent–believe Ilhan Omar’s election and voice should be nullified where it most counts, and suspicion, for that is what is expressed by, “. . . pretends not to be an antisemite”, put in place of of argument, education, and reason. The only lesson imparted: don’t mess with the Jews, even if and when they are wrong.
Here, Anna From Ukraine in her daily broadcast lets the world know how war with Russia has been experienced and weathered in her nation.
My view: for those who believe in human dignity and freedom–especially freedom from autocrats, dictators, tyrants, perhaps as well deeply impersonal bureaucracies and systems, and one might also add for Moscow corrupt and criminal systems–courage, endurance, faith, and resilience matter. In the realpolitik between states, alliance, commitment, determination, and ferocity seen as well as off-stage matter too.
This one analysis by French international affairs and security analyst Nicolas Tenzer sets a certain, different, high, and independent standard for diplomatic community and lay readers alike.
The reality is that Moscow is not in a position to seek a balance with the democratic world. It does not set itself limits that could prefigure any compromise, even one that is not very acceptable to us, and the search for a give-and-take on the basis of which a more or less lasting peace could be envisaged. An allegedly “prudent” approach to Russia would be the worst form of imprudence—the history of the last twenty-three years bears witness to this—and any prospect of negotiations a fool’s game. To continue to hold such a discourse about the end of the war in Ukraine is a serious mistake, because it is part of the Russian hope of reaching a compromise, even if it is less than its initial ambitions. To make such remarks would be to do exactly what Moscow is looking for: to present itself as a supposed partner with whom it is possible to reach an agreement, to believe in its signature—which is constantly flouted—and to suggest that the Russian regime is not an absolute enemy. This would again trivialize its crimes. To pretend to give any credence to Russia’s supposed interests as expressed by the regime would be to question the fundamental principles enshrined in the international treaties drawn up in the aftermath of the Second World War. There is certainly no possibility of stability with a power that seeks instability through destruction.
Russia and its culture and language are in no danger as regards their contributions and sustained presence in the world. All that is at stake for Russia is a political criminal–one Vladimir Vladimirovich “Vovo” Putin, in fact, a murderer of ordinary Russians–his associates and cronies and as yet unknown criminals in the transnational crime trades.
Putin’s “Malignant Narcissism” with its “messianic delusions of grandeur” has his coconut set to defend his projection of heroic courage, a cover for early deep humiliation. He neither defends nor represents the interests of a modern Russia but rather the medieval psychosis he shares with similar criminal former KGB and sordid mafia. That’s it. Challenge the thesis, but I believe he won’t stop until stopped. Cancer, internal rivalry, uncooperative FSB and other security might suffice, but for now–for the west and for the world–“containment” will have to do. Putin has got a world in his head that no longer exists in either any shared nor viable fashion. He has only plundered Russia and led her into the void.
Malignant Narcissism: Links & Terms of Art for Exploration
We’re not going to be stuck with “authoritarian” knuckleheads in office in the United States of American or anywhere else in the Atlantic Alliance or, for that matter, in the world, but the transition from the world of medieval belief, fear, and greed requires of both constituencies and governments a modern update related to comprehending retrograde politicians and political missions. In modern parlance, the holy (and secular) grail of characteristics desired may be “high-integrity, responsible, and responsive” governance with improving “Qualities of Living“–village x city x region–the worthy cause of power.
At the moment, the EU/NATO fold has within it disappointing reversions–examples: Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Viktor Orban; Donald John Trump–to feudal-medieval society in which the power of the leader becomes conflated with the existence of the state while related associates, family, and personally favored figures own and rule the businesses and industries hosted across the land–and the general population be damned. For such “leaders”, continuance in power and “unlimited narcissistic supply” are all that matter.
Related for Exploration: Narcissistic Mortification; Covering/Splitting; Gaslighting; Psychological Manipulation; Narcissistic Supply.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the church received official privileges including the right to import duty-free alcohol and tobacco. In 1995, the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery, which is directly subordinated to the patriarchate, earned $350 million from the sale of alcohol. The patriarchate’s department of foreign church relations, which Kirill ran, earned $75 million from the sale of tobacco. But the patriarchate reported an annual budget in 1995-1996 of only $2 million. Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated by the Moscow News in 2006 to be $4 billion.
During this period, the church has been silent about genuine moral issues, such as Russia’s pervasive corruption and the indiscriminate killing of noncombatants in Chechnya. As Kirill begins his reign as patriarch, there is little reason to expect this to change.
In the Feudal-Medieval Mode, there is no potion as toxic as that which couples belief and piety in the common spirit with financial, martial, and political power in an aristocracy of thugs: only in still medieval Russia has Kleptocracy an Emperor and a most loyal (and enriched) Patriarch, both formerly KGB and therefore today criminal FSB.
As has become too much my habit, reference follows, and while I read all that I cite–and have read or perused all that I have cited, and this for age or martinis–little stays with me but principles. For Putin-Kirill as an Infernal Dyad, the two appear to share the deepest relationship in corruption, crime, fascism, malign narcissistic covering, persecution of minorities, especially the LGBTQ set, profit from “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco, and God (whose existence each seems to be disproving), only knows what else fills their pockets out of the shadows in which the two actors more authentically reside.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolded, Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church, had an awkward Zoom meeting with Pope Francis.
The two religious leaders had previously worked together to bridge a 1,000-year-old schism between the Christian churches of the East and West. But the meeting, in March, found them on opposing sides of a chasm. Kirill spent 20 minutes reading prepared remarks, echoing the arguments of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that the war in Ukraine was necessary to purge Nazis and oppose NATO expansion.