INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND PERSONAL STRUGGLES

This Ukraine/Russia confrontation remains complicated. There is no way to discuss all related issues and how those issues are being interpreted. So I’ve decided to take one or two aspects of it at a time. I wanted to leave room for some personal updates since a few have asked how my family and I are doing. 

In my last blog I stated the reasons I trust the main sources I use for information on how the fighting in Ukraine is progressing. The three military men I most frequently watch or read, Scott Ritter, Douglas Macgregor and Richard Black, have proved their patriotism in battle. They also have nothing to gain from their analyses of the events in Ukraine from contracts from weapons manufacturers or MSM outlets. 

I ended the blog just briefly raising some questions as to how the news about Ukraine as it appears in the Western MSM leaves one with questions. So I want to explore that issue more broadly in this blog before moving on to the personal update. What I am addressing are claims that seem to be mutually exclusive. That is, if one report is true, then there are certain other claims that cannot also be true–at least without some meaningful explanations.

BACKGROUND.  I will first go back to before the Ukrainian crisis to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 as an example of what I mean. Many people recall John McCain saying, “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” President Barack Obama, in his last press conference as President, said Russia could not “change or significantly weaken the U.S.” He said compared to the U.S., “Russia is a smaller and weaker country.” He continued that Russia doesn’t produce anything anyone wants except gas, oil, and arms.   (https://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/16/obama-says-russians-cant-change-us-or-weaken-us.html) These kinds of statements were what one typically heard about Russia in those days. Russia’s economy was said to be no bigger than that of the state of Texas, and its GDP was miniscule. 

Yet, after Donald Trump was elected President, we were told, “Russia did it.” It was as if Putin directed the election of the president of the United States from his Kremlin office. How does a man whom they had said runs a small, weak, “gas station” kind of country control the results of the election of someone to the highest office in the country that claims to be the most powerful on earth? Now, the Mueller Report indicated there was no proof that Russia interfered, but my point is that we had been hearing how weak, small, and economically insignificant Russia was, and then almost all of the mainstream press quickly turned and joined the politicians who said Russia had covertly changed the course of American history. If one holds to both those understandings of Russia some explanation is definitely needed. Otherwise, this is cognitive dissonance on a national level. 

REPORTS ON THE FIGHTING IN UKRAINE. I have noticed this same tendency in reports about the war in Ukraine. From the very beginning of the “invasion” of Ukraine, the majority of Western news outlets have said that Ukraine is winning. It doesn’t even seem close. Russia is struggling with very low resources in terms of ammo, tanks and even personnel. I have read reports that Putin has cancer, and that the Russian people are on the verge of throwing him out of office if he doesn’t hurry up and die. Volodymir Zelensky, who some have compared to Churchill, is the master leader. Ukraine is  the model of integrity and courage, and Russia is corrupt and in danger of falling apart. The 8 years Ukraine shelled and killed people in the Donbass got “whited out” even by some scholars and authors I trusted. That the U.S. was moving missiles to Russia’s border did not imply any evil intent. Russia overreacted. The invasion was “unprovoked.” 

On the other hand, if claims Ukraine has been and is still winning are true, then why is it that we see Mr. Zelensky constantly pleading for more money and weapons? On October 13 C-SPAN, showed a video of Zelensky saying he needs: 1)$38 billion to cover next year’s budget; 2)$17 billion to rebuild critical infrastructure; 3)$2 billion to rebuild electrical infrastructure; 4)”not less than” $5 billion for gas and coal purchases. This $55 billion is in addition to the billions which supposedly have already been sent. 

At the same time, the German publication, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, stated that Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal told the EU that Ukraine needs the 9 billion euros ($8.8 billion), which was approved in May. Ukraine needs that money right now. Shmigal said they needed the money not only for weapons, but to pay wages and pensions. He stated, “The most important thing for us is that it comes as soon as possible. We need it so our financial system can survive.” So while Zelensky is telling the U.S. that they need billions more, the Ukrainian Prime Minister is going to the EU appealing for billions as well. Yet we are supposed to believe Ukraine is winning and Russia is almost out of ammo and only has outdated tanks left. Usually the side that is dominating is not the one desperately in need of money to replenish its stock of destroyed weapons or fund infrastructure that has been destroyed. Russia’s ANNUAL defense budget is $51.3 billion, and they aren’t begging anyone for help. How are they doing that with the tiny economy they supposedly have?   

I am not saying there is no explanation for this seemingly contradictory information. It could be that all the money the U.S. supposedly is sending to Ukraine is not getting there. Also, some real journalists, not in the MSM, suggest that a significant amount of those billions could be going to weapons manufacturers for weapons that will not be ready for quite some time. That would explain the $16.95 billion explosion in profits at Raytheon alone. 

Or, reporters could check on Scott Ritter’s claim that he has seen a large number of these weapons available on the black market. Then again it is possible that some of that money is making its way back to those politicians who keep voting to support authorizing the funds. Connections with defense contractors could explain how, according to Col. Macgregor, Liz Cheney went from being worth $7 million to $40 million after 3 of her two year terms in office. But neither the political leaders nor the mainstream press seem interested in resolving or explaining anything. Ukraine is winning and still needs massive amounts of weapons and dollars. Accept that as the facts. 

On the Russian side of things, I have previously mentioned my own personal experience here. I don’t see any great rise in prices;  stores are well-stocked, and I hear and see the weapons at the artillery base here; I see the soldiers (many more than usual) in town when I go for my walks, and they seem in good spirits. Living here does not lead one to believe this is a country about to collapse under the weight of military defeat. 

As far as the attitude of the people here toward Putin, I keep up with the polls of how Russians think about him. I primarily use Levada as the poll I follow. I have two reasons: First, they are not pro-Putin so no one can say it is one of Putin’s polls. Sometimes I read their commentary on the results and sense that they really do not like what they are reporting when it is good news for Putin. Second, in the last two elections which I have checked, the results turned out to be within about 2% of what the Levada polls had predicted.

At the end of September Putin’s approval rating was down to 77% from 82% in the previous poll. So he still has almost twice the approval rating Biden has in the U.S.  Further, the dissatisfaction I have heard about Putin here is primarily about him not being aggressive enough in attacking Ukraine. I don’t know anyone who wanted this war with Ukraine. Nevertheless, they know the leaders in the U.S. have made it clear this war is not about helping Ukraine; this war is about the Americans wanting to tear down Russia.

The Russian people are not just trusting Putin more. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishushtin’s approval ratings are also up from their usual mid-50s before the invasion to ranging from 66% to 72% since February. The Government of Russia before the invasion had a 50% approval rating. Now it is between 68-71%. Rather than bringing Putin and his government down in the eyes of the Russian people, as Joe Biden promised, America’s actions have given greater stability to Putin’s support. 

The last I’ll say on Ukraine for now concerns the reason I believe the U.S. is involved. It surely is not to save Ukrainian lives or to protect their borders. Russia and China stand in the way of the unipolar power that the U.S. craves.  The Rand Corp. is a research think tank that frequently offers analyses to the U.S. Department of Defense. Several of Rand’s reports indicate there MUST be regime change in Russia to achieve the desired global supremacy. Putin must go. And many have been suggesting for some time that a proxy war in Ukraine is the best way to accomplish his removal. 

PERSONAL SITUATION. My two kids here are doing well overall. Gabriel had a skin problem that finally cleared up. My little girl had bronchitis which kept her out of school for two weeks. Next week is fall break, and hopefully everyone will be full speed after that. Emotionally they seem to be doing fine. They mention their mom from time to time but it is always in a positive and cheerful way. They have fond memories of her. 

My experience has been more complicated, as you might expect. It has now been over 14 months since Oksana passed away. I am getting back into life as I mentioned before. I remember from my days as a psychology major in my university studies reading Elizabeth Kubler Ross on the 5 stages of grief. Acceptance was the last one. From a very different perspective the Protestant missionary Elizabeth Elliot wrote a book on her husband’s murder. She, too, said acceptance is the goal toward which the grieving person must strive. To be honest, despite my undergraduate degree being in psychology and having a couple of theology degrees, I still had no clue what it meant to accept Oksana’s death. 

In my opinion, there is so much about grief that one does not understand until you experience it. Only now do I believe I am accepting her death. I don’t keep saying or thinking, “if only Oksana were here.” I realize I’m on my own. I mentioned in my initial blog on my grief that one of the main problems I have had is with guilt. I said then I don’t mean I had cheated on her or did bad things to her. None of that! It was the guilt of wishing I had treasured her more. I wish I had gotten up and gone with her when she went to the market or shopping. There were so many things I could have done better. Acceptance, in my opinion, means you internalize the fact that this is the way life is. I had to accept my imperfections as a husband before I could accept her death. Then I changed the focus to the times, events and joys we did share together. 

I have also been better with realizing sadness is not sacred. There is no value in feeling sad. It sounds weird, but it is like I felt obligated to continue being sad. To laugh again would be disrespectful. As an Orthodox Christian, I do not believe Oksana is sad. So I have tried to focus on things that do give me joy. My children are my main source of joy. As I’ve said, my son is a teenager. I don’t get many hugs from him. When I was 14 years old my dad didn’t get hugs from me! We do have good chats, however. On the other hand, my little girl loves giving me hugs and telling me she loves me. I focus on that. I know that sounds syrupy, but it is the truth. 

The passing of time has also allowed me to get my mind back into the things I enjoy. I had lost my powers of concentration, but that’s better now. I mentioned I’m studying Russian with my priest’ daughter. She’s a great teacher, and I feel very comfortable admitting the things I just do not understand or can’t remember. I put the Russian lessons away for so long after Oksana died. Finally, some things are coming back. Furthermore, my tutor’s boyfriend is a Lieutenant in the Russian army and is in Ukraine, so we share our worries and our prayers with each other. 

Also, I’m back to reading things I enjoy. I’m reading my favorite author G.K. Chesterton again. And I started reading the “children’s books” by C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. Wow, I must have the mind of a child because those books are so enjoyable and relaxing. 

I also get support from people at my church. Most of them don’t say that much because they know my Russian is not that great. But they let me know they are glad to see me and are praying for me. There are two older Russian gentlemen who come to me every Sunday I am there and give me a big Orthodox hug. They start talking to me, and even though I do miss some words, I can appreciate they are letting me know of their prayers and best wishes. Their genuine smiles do a lot for me. 

In my blog, “A Grief Experienced,” I used C.S. Lewis’ book, A Grief Observed to talk about his and my grief. That book was immensely helpful to me. So many things he said I knew exactly what he meant and how he felt. There was one thing that he said, however, I did not understand at all. He said he didn’t want to forget his wife. How could you forget her??? Oksana was always on my mind! No way I could forget her. But I read the book again, and I realized he had more time between her death and writing that book than I had had. 

For so long after Oksana died, I would walk by places that would bring back such memories of our shared joy that would just devastate me as I walked without her. There was a little playground outside an apartment complex that we would walk by when we first moved to Russia. Gabriel was 8 and Marina was barely 2. They would both go to that playground, and we would watch them laugh and play for a few minutes. After she died, I would walk by and fight that memory. The kids are older, and Oksana is gone. I couldn’t keep the memory away, and it was so painful. 

With the passing of time, I can keep the memories away. That is a part of acceptance in my opinion. You can control your thoughts. But as I was walking and reflecting on that, I realized what Lewis meant. The memories are painful, so you push them away. But you don’t want to push all the memories away. How do you push away the pain and not push her from your memory? You don’t want to forget her. Just realizing that has helped me to cope with it thankfully. 

Nevertheless, even though I am making progress, it is still lonely being a single parent in a foreign country. I constantly second guess myself. One friend told me to just go get me another Russian wife. I laughed and told him that apparently the Russian ladies are underwhelmed by me: there is no line of  prospective Russian brides outside my door! It is good to laugh. On a serious  note, however, I wonder how I will do living life here in Russia as my kids get older. For a number of reasons, I feel so detached from my American homeland. I can’t wait till we can visit again, but I don’t see how I could live there–after all I’ve seen from living on the outside.  

I can’t solve that dilemma now. Again, I keep reminding myself that I am a person of faith.  What I have to do now is something else Elizabeth Elliot said that I believe I have mentioned before. She said, “Just do the next thing.” When the worries of the future start stabbing my mind, I change my thoughts: what time do I have to wake the kids up tomorrow? Do I have my grocery list ready? Sounds trivial I know, but sometimes the deep things in life are beyond our capacity to bear.

35 thoughts on “INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS AND PERSONAL STRUGGLES

  1. The description of doing the next thing is very healthy. Looking at a question that spans an unknown amount of time and that we can not control or fathom is not practical or helpful. But being in the present doing the next thing and being with God today IS the way through. God help you 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A year ago, I was rejected by a family member whom I had supported and trusted since I was born. The shock and pain of this was like he had died. I was horribly depressed and barely functioning for months. I finally stopped trying to make it “add up” or make sense. It never could. My solution was that I gave it to my angels every time it started gnawing at me (about 50 times a day at first). I asked God and my angels to sort it out because I could not. And that has been the saving of my sanity and my heart. I’m still sad when I think about it, but it does not break me like it did before.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this. You had some really helpful reflections on grief. I especially liked your thought of how you wished you had treasured Oksana more. As I grow older (67 now) and look back on my life, that is what strikes me the most deeply. I wish that I had paid closer attention, been more present, less distracted, but above all I wish I had been more grateful. But we have more life ahead of us, God willing, and can strive to do better.

    I’m so glad my friend shared your blog with me. I really enjoy reading it. I’ve been quite concerned about the war, and have noticed the glaring inconsistencies in the news here in the US. I don’t watch MSM at all, but even following alternative news sources doesn’t give you a clear picture of what is really going on. It’s good to hear from someone actually in Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it. I guess there are some lessons we just don’t learn till later in life. I’m 68. But I’m glad your friend recommended my blog and you are open to hearing about how life in Russia really is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a wonderful post, Hal! I am so happy for you. Fr. Freeman regularly states that the Christian should concentrate simply in life and “do the next good thing” is how he recommends doing that. I know you read his blog and his book on shame, coming out next Spring (I believe), may address some of what you are going through. What he has said so far concerning it resonates with me in the loss of my father and brother, anyway. If you cannot get it in Russia for some reason, let me know and I’ll mail you a copy when I get it.

    As for the cognitive dissonance of the West, that has been on display for decades, unfortunately, and is only getting worse with the elevated levels of hubris in this country. A friend of mine has a military-focused blog that I comment on from time to time. The group there, which includes a number of military veterans, cannot even contemplate scenarios that are outside of the MSM narrative. As an example, he asked the group if Russia would use nukes if the Ukraine won to the extent that they were ready to actually invade Russia! I answered (although I noted that it was a very fantastical scenario) and turned the question around: would the US/NATO use nukes if Russia broke through to the Dneipr River and took Odessa? The result was a series of indignant posts stating things like “their army is untrained” and “they have no weapons”. Any factual information that rebuts these viewpoints was ignored. Needless to say, they never offered any answer my question.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it is what it is. I’m just hopeful that, when the likely Russian offensive begins–and is successful, as I at least expect it to be–the West doesn’t overreact too badly. But if my experience is typical (and from what I’ve heard from others, it is), the reaction could be very bad.

    Like

      • If it happens, I would have to admit I was wrong about the military situation, obviously. There are plenty of things that can happen; war is not really something of which one can guarantee the outcome.

        Regardless of the outcome, I will be happy when peace, repentance, and reconciliation “break out”. I don’t know that all of that will happen in my lifetime, unfortunately.

        Liked by 2 people

      • LOL. When will the US admit that they were wrong to topple the Iranian govt in 1953? Or admit they were wrong in Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc? When will folks like you admit that the US is straight up evil for ALL that they’ve done in Ukraine, going back more than a decade? Or admit what a nightmare it was to use nuclear weapons in WW II? The US just lost to a bunch of Afghan farmers armed with sticks and stones. Care to admit that? Yah, didn’t think so. Much better for you to keep your head in the sand, listening to the lies of US media, and worshipping Raytheon, Northrop Gruman, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Byron. I would like to have Fr. Stephen’s book when it comes out. Right now, I can’t even get a letter sent here. Biden issued an order that no mail or packages can be sent to Russia. My brother had me a box of books ready to go and the local postmaster said they had gotten the word they can’t. I was appreciative of the message I got from Fr. Stephen assuring me of his daily prayers. I’m still amazed that two distant cousins raised within an hour of each other knew absolutely nothing of each other until we both became Orthodox!

      Yes, there are those still stuck in whatever the MSM says. I do see some changes, however. I have heard from some who are not really pro-Russian at all who are doubting the whole “narrative” being showered on the American people. And they are not all of one stripe. I’ve been quite surprised at some private messages as well as FB responses. Oh, I saw Tulsi Gabbard on Mike Huckabee’s show this week. I thought, “Now that’s interesting. She’s been a liberal Democrat and he is far to the right Republican, but she has seen through the maze and he has seen the domestic issues should not keep people from being united on this point. And she’s a military person. So the stubborn, ‘My mind is made up, don’t confuse me w/ the facts” approach is still there. But I do see some cracks in the wall. I’ve followed Ritter for a long time–before this event. Since I was in the USMC he has been on some sites I visit. But now I’m seeing him all over the place! He is on so many different i-net sites I don’t see how he has time. He and Douglas Macgregor are being given more and more opportunities to speak and write.

      The other hopeful sign I see is I think Zelensky’s pleading is now becoming counter-productive. Kevin McCarthy will probably become speaker of the House after the elections. He is no fan of Russia, but he has issued some strong statements about how the U.S. has gone too far in funding Ukraine. He made it clear that will stop. Someone around him at the press conference that I didn’t see or identify (I was also tending to my daughter) said, “The United States ought to be funding Odessa, Texas before it sends money to Odessa, Ukraine!!! I heard some howls of agreement. Even one statement I read by Biden seemed to brush Zelensky off. I think he’s gone too far. And I know you don’t see it there, but one interview he gave–oh my gosh, he was stoned. Slurring his words, making no sense. Whew. Many American people who started out wanting to help in the military cause are now saying they didn’t want to adopt Ukraine! It is not the 51st state!

      And I don’t see it getting better for the pro-sanctions people. Ukraine has no energy resources. All the natural gas they were getting is what they siphoned off from Russia sending it through them to Europe. That is over. Now that Russia has taken out so much of the electrical/power grid…they are in trouble. And I don’t know if you see the riots in Europe, France, Germany and even POLAND. So there are some bright spots. Despite what the “naysayers” keep proclaiming.

      Always good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just saw this. https://en.news-front.info/2022/10/29/klitschko-has-asked-the-west-for-blankets-and-generators-to-help-ukrainians-survive-the-winter/?utm_source=yandex.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=yandex.com&utm_referrer=yandex.com Now they know how it feels. They’ve been doing this to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for 8 years. And that mayor, Klitschko, now saying they are going to freeze was one of the main supporters of killing and freezing Donbass. “Whatsoever a man sows….”

      Like

      • And you honestly think Google is going to tell you the truth? They let you see what they want you to see – all part of the MSM.

        Like

      • Anonymous, you miss the point. The Donbass was under siege for 8 years. The people were under siege. Ukraine is now suffering the same type of siege, even if there are some differences in the manner of it. War, no matter how defined, is still war.

        I said earlier that I would be happy to see a sudden peace happen. I don’t want to see anyone–European, American, Ukrainian, or Russian freeze this winter (as has been forecast). I pray for a quick resolution to this conflict.

        Like

        • I’m just deleting all “Anonymous'” posts. Clearly this person’s purpose is not about discussing facts or finding out information or sharing anything meaningful. And I don’t like the attitude toward my readers. He or she cleverly omit any information that allows WordPress to block. Those are the marks of a troll. It’s been going on quite a while. I had a person on Facebook last time disagree with me in a very respectful manner. He also had lived in Russia and understands what it is like. He had had a bad experience with the government here. We had a good discussion. So its not I don’t tolerate those who disagree. I won’t tolerate disagreement from people who just want to fuss and have no idea what the situation here is like–not do they want to learn anything about what it is like.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hal, how could you know about my purpose and intentions? You and others may have seen me discussing various claims, asking questions, and citing facts backed up by sources.
            As for my attitude, I apologize if I offended anyone. English is not my native language so I may be missing some subtle points. Anyway, I didn’t insult anyone.
            Hal, I feel that you are being very unfair to me.

            Like

            • Lol. You just called Hal and us, his readers, idiots. We can clearly see that you are engaged in pro-Ukrainian propaganda. Not as rabid, with profanity and curses, as usual, but in fact – propaganda. And you say, Hal, I didn’t do it, look into my honest eyes, Hal, Hal, why are you hurting me, Hal! Lol again.

              Hal, God help you on your way and blessing on your family. And you’re doing an important thing. Even if you contribute to reducing enmity in several souls, these are immortal souls for whom Christ was crucified.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. You will have a wonderful life in Russia. I have long tried to understand the difference between Western civilization and Russia. The principal difference lies in the fact that Western civilization was built on the principle of subordination. You either accept the rules of the game or you don’t accept the rules of the game. Basically, the strong eat the weak. It is not necessary to delve into the history of the Crusades, witch hunts, the colonial period of history, etc. This is only a projection and reflection. While Russian civilization has always been built on the principle of mutual enrichment and interpenetration of different cultures and religions. Aystroyalsya on the principle – the strong sacrifices for the sake of the weak. One French diplomat of the Middle Ages very accurately said about the Russians, at the time of the development of new lands. He said – the Russians in front of us have a great advantage in the development of new lands. For us, the natives are always savages, and we are enemies for them, while a Russian person among any people can pass for his own. Russian culture accepts anyone, gives him its experience, and vice versa learns from him. You will never be a stranger in Russia. The only thing that makes you so is the remaining Western perception and worldview. This effect, by the way, is very well reflected in modern politics. In Western politics, the development of a political system occurs through counter-strike. There must always be confrontation and struggle. There must be several parties, several politicians who must fight each other, and the winner begins to dictate the terms of the game. There must always be confrontation and struggle. This is a sign – “freedom and democracy.” While in Russian culture the system was always built through the interpenetration and mutual enrichment of various interests. If you are able to strengthen the system and influence its development, then the system will accept you and fit you in, regardless of your political views, interests, religion, etc. There is no need for confrontation, you need mutual reinforcement and consideration of interests. This difference in system embedding campaigns is clearly visible on the map. Growing up one big country with many cultures, religions, languages, peoples, etc… Europe is a lot of small states. Now we see this difference in modern politics. The West wants to impose its rules of the game on others, creates a confrontation, taking into account that the one who has eaten must dictate his own terms. Russia, on the contrary, is now talking about mutual dialogue, about equal treatment of all countries, taking into account all interests, etc… (the principles on which Russia has always been built). Again, these two principles and approaches clashed in the worldview. By the way, this is why opposition is impossible in Russia (as it is understood in the West). In Russia, anyone who can strengthen the system unconditionally integrates into it without any opposition (no matter who he is). The system accepts it. The West demands to have confrontation and that there be struggle, competition, and only then does it call it freedom and democracy. In the Russian system, if you need to fight and carry out confrontation, then this can only be done against the system itself and the state. Because the system and the state builds all the rest into itself without any opposition (if this strengthens the system). Therefore, the demand of the West – that it is necessary to have opposition and struggle, inevitably leads to the fact that the struggle comes with the system itself and against the state. The system takes it into itself without a fight (if it can strengthen the system), and if it weakens the system, then naturally the system does not take it into itself. It is foolish to demand from the Russian civilization those mechanisms that are used in the Western system. We are now seeing how these two systems oppose each other. To be honest, I’m more impressed by the Russian system. It seems to me that she is one step ahead and has gone further in the evolutionary path.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for those excellent observations. As I was reading your comments I thought of something a professor I knew wrote: “Every virtue carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction.” As one who loved sports I learned good, healthy competition can stir one on to be better and improve. That is a virtue. But the current understanding of democracy in American politics has destroyed any virtue there ever was in competition. The Founding Fathers seemed to have been aware of the dangers in the system they were establishing. Some of them hated the term “democracy.” One called it “mob rule.” John Quincy Adams saw the dangers of foreign intervention and trying to settle the disputes between other nations. He made it clear that America should stay out of European conflicts. He stated we must not become despots lest we lose our soul. America, in my opinion, has lost its soul. Thanks again for stimulating some thoughts!

      Like

  6. Pingback: November 1, 2022 – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

  7. You mentioned you like Chesterton a lot. I would appreciate hearing which of Chesterton’s books/essays you particularly like, perhaps outside of the well-known ones.

    Like

    • I only have the more well known ones here in Russia. I could not move all my books. So I just decided to go back and re-read. The Everlasting Man is my favorite. I started with it. Then I read Heresies and Orthodoxy. Love both of those equally well. I just started his work on St. Thomas Aquinas this week. Kind of funny. I write a note inside the folder when I read a book. I read Aquinas in 2000. What about you?

      Like

Comments are closed.