Radicalized By Kavanaugh’s Fate | The American Conservative

Red Pill – Blue Pill
“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

“The Kavanaugh fight has been primarily a bitter contest among American elites. Kavanaugh, recall, is a Yale Law graduate, and a favorite of the Federalist Society. The men and women now being trained at Yale Law (and Harvard Law, and similar elite institutions) are going to be running the country. They and their allies in the elite media. This is hardly a controversial observation to make. What is now very clear — very clear — is that when they are in power, they will use it to crush people like me.”

Source: Radicalized By Kavanaugh’s Fate | The American Conservative

In which thoughtful conservative, author the The Benedict Option, and avowed “Never Trumper” Rod Dreher admits that he is among those being “red-pilled” by the insanity and absurdity of the anti-Kavanaugh witch-hunt:

“[Christine Blasey Ford] has been playing a game with the Senate Judiciary Committee, trying to dictate the terms of her testimony. Yesterday [September 25th], when the Republicans on the committee designated a female veteran sex crimes prosecutor to conduct their questioning for them, she hollered foul. You would think that someone interested in getting to the truth of the matter would welcome that kind of questioner. But no, Blasey Ford’s reaction gave away the game. She wants to be interrogated by older Republican men, so the focus isn’t on what she says, but the identity of her questioners. It was never about a traumatized victim trying to bring the truth out. It was always about destroying Brett Kavanaugh by any means necessary…

Again: this is not about getting at the truth. This Thursday event, from a left-wing perspective, is what we used to call a “show trial.” It is meant to illustrate a political verdict already reached…. If Amy Coney Barrett had been the nominee, the Left would be painting her as a gibbering religious fanatic bent on imposing Catholic sharia on America. This is as clear as clear can be now. There is no lie they will not tell, no smear they will not employ, to destroy Brett Kavanaugh. He is no longer, in their eyes, a human being, but a symbol of all they hate.

“I look at him, and what’s being done to him, and see my sons, and even my daughter. If they were nominated for a position like Kavanaugh’s, I would want them to have a fair hearing. I don’t think that’s possible any more in America, not for the kind of people identified by the cultural Left as the Enemy. And make no mistake, if my daughter grows up to be a believing Christian and a social conservative, she will be the Enemy, as sure as my sons will be. These cultural elites would eagerly destroy the character of my children, as well as myself and most of my friends, to pursue their political goals.”

He continues,

“The friend of mine who knows Kavanaugh personally has always been a Never Trump Republican. He too is the product of an Ivy League education, and is part of the American elite, broadly speaking. Based on our conversation last night, this process has changed him. It has radicalized him. It has red-pilled him. It’s doing the same thing to me.

“I have no more trust in or affection for Donald Trump or the Republican Party than I did before the Kavanaugh hearings. In fact, if I had to choose, I would rather have the Democrats running economic and foreign policy than the Republicans these days. But I have been driven by the liberal elites into believing that whatever their sins and failings, the Republicans are the only thing standing between me (and people like me) and the destruction that these highly ideologized left-wing elites would happily wreak on us, for the sake of their idea of Justice.

“I have been a registered Independent since 2008, and do not like in any way, shape, or form Donald Trump and the GOP. But after what has happened, and continues to happen, to Kavanaugh, I genuinely fear the Democratic Party and the elites — especially the academic and media elites — who guide it. I am hearing from conservatives like me who have been alienated from the GOP because of its own fecklessness, and because of Donald Trump, who have been red-pilled by the Kavanaugh persecution, and who now intend to vote Republican purely out of self-protection, for as long as we can manage it.”

The graphic above, like the “red-pill” meme, is taken from the 1999 film The Matrix. In the film, the main character Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill by rebel leader Morpheus (pictured), with the words of the caption. If nothing up to this point has accomplished it, it seems to me that the Kavanaugh hearings are offering that choice to many Americans, as they seem to have to Dreher and others:

A choice between comfortable illusions of a sunlit, rose-tinted Liberal utopia in which the buzzwords of the Left are dreamily realized, and everyone lives happily ever after in a secular paradise of “diversity,” “tolerance,” “multiculturalism,” and “equality” (all as defined by the Left, of course) – but with the shadow of the guillotine and the re-education camp looming behind the walls of the Matrix – or the grittier world of… well… reality. Of truth.

And the truth, unfortunately, is that the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the hard Left; they are in full SJW mode, and the issue is not truth – no matter how much they protest that it is – but power. This is how revolutions begin, folks: with attacks not only on traditional values, but on the very structures of society, of government, of jurisprudence. These are the neo-Jacobins, the neo-Bolsheviks, the neo-Red Guards.

As I have said before, if unsubstantiated allegations become the basis for destroying an individual’s personal and professional reputation, career, family – life – we are all at risk.

And as I have also said, more than once, as I watch the trajectory we seem to be on: I fear for my country.

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh, gender, and justice

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A female friend of mine – and one who has posted some things pretty critical of Judge Kavanaugh in the past – posted this on her Facebook timeline today:

“Here is my story, and here is my opinion.

“In this day where media makes sure everyone’s business is publicly aired, where police forces use lethal force in uncalled-for situations, we have lost sight of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’

“Then we have situations where men I revered in my youth have been revealed to be less-than-perfect (Paterno, who I feel must’ve known something despite having the best interest of most players at heart, and ‘America’s dad’ Bill Cosby), and it breaks my heart to admit that no one is wholly evil or wholly saintly.

“But we have been on a bit of a ‘witch hunt,’ haven’t we?

“I mean, if a young lady is going to a man’s hotel room, there is some understanding of what could happen, even if she says no. (I am thinking back to the show-business ‘auditions’ that led to many accusations a couple of years ago.) In the case of Cosby, indeed, she did not consent to having her drink drugged, although during the ’70s quaaludes were quite the norm. All incidents must be viewed in the historical context of the times in which they occurred.

“Women should be believed.

Shame on any woman who is less than honest when revealing her story. False accusers should be prosecuted, and they open themselves to financial loss due to slander.

“When I was a freshman in high school I put myself in a compromised situation. I entered into it willingly, and it got out of hand. I did not know to stop the situation until it had progressed too far.

“Did he know he had pushed beyond my comfortable limit? No. Should he have been prosecuted? Surely not.

“Four years later, as a freshman in college, I received counseling. I had never felt myself a victim before then, and I surely could have bought into the victim persona … but I chose to recognize that my identification and labeling of the situation as an ‘assault’ afforded me the ability to address the negative emotions around the event, get the counseling I needed, and acknowledge that he had no intention of violating me. I forgave.

“Nearly every woman I know has been touched in a way that was an ‘assault,’ and they should get counseling as needed. Many of the men who have committed these assaults sincerely did not know they were violating the women. We must consider the context of the situation.

“If you have been assaulted, in any way … if you feel bad about a situation, even if you put yourself in it … get the counseling you need. And I encourage you to forgive, for carrying the anger will ultimately do you more harm than it ever will the person who assaulted you.

“I am here for you if I can help.

“And men, if you think, in light of the ‘redefinition’ of assault, that you may have violated a woman, consider reaching out to apologize. I am pretty sure she hasn’t ‘forgotten.’

“We are all in this together.”

Amen.

The only thing I would add is this:

If we get to the point – and we are heading there at warp speed – where an as-yet-unsubstantiated allegation (I am not ruling out the possibility that it may be substantiated, at some point in the future, but that has not happened yet) can not only potentially derail a nomination, but ruin a person’s personal and professional reputation and put his family through the ringer, we as a society are heading for a very bad place.

Yes, we must believe women. We must believe them no less, but also no more, than we would believe a man.

As Alan Dershowtiz – certainly no member of the alt-right! – has put it, “neither men nor women were born with a gene to lie or tell the truth.” Men and women alike lie; men and women alike misunderstand one other’s intentions; men and women alike misremember facts and events.

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Believe women? Yes, but: the idea that we should believe Christine Blasey Ford simply because she’s a woman is as absurd as it would be to suggest that we should believe Brett Kavanaugh simply because he’s a man.

One of the most basic and foundational principles of American jurisprudence is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Not until accused: until proven guilty. The burden of proof, rightly, rests on the accuser, to prove guilt; not on the accused, to prove innocence. But there are many striving, in the context of the Kavanaugh hearings, to turn this principle on its head.

If this becomes the “new normal” – if an accusation becomes seen as tantamount to proof – we are all at risk. And if not us, then our fathers, sons, husbands, nephews, friends: pick your relationship. As I say, we are well along that road already. Do we really want to go down it any further?


Actually, there is one more thing I want to say. As my friend noted, “it breaks my heart to admit that no one is wholly evil or wholly saintly.” Mine, too. But that is, sadly, the human condition.

As my dear late mother used to say, “There’s so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill-behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us.” This does not mean that there should not be consequences for one’s actions, if indeed they are proven to have occurred. It does mean that, as the Christian faith has always understood, “there is none who is without sin; no, not one.” And that is not going to change, short of the Second Coming.

Again, that is not an excuse! It is, rather, an honest and open-eyed statement of fact. We are prone to say, in the aftermath of something we don’t like, “Shouldn’t people do (or not do) this…?” or “Shouldn’t there be (or not be) that…?” Yes, in a perfect world, they probably should, and there probably should be. But we are not perfect people, and we don’t live in a perfect world. In fact, we are so imperfect that we can’t even agree on what a perfect world would look like!

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to improve ourselves to the greatest extent possible. We should! (In fact, improving ourselves is probably the biggest single step any of us can take toward improving the world.) It does mean we should be cautious and realistic about the chances of improving everyone else… and cautious, also, about attempts to impose such improvement on others, according to our own vision of perfection.

Efforts to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven, or a secular version of it, by our own efforts typically – historically – end badly, from the English Civil War to the French Revolution, from Stalin’s Russia to Hitler’s Germany, from Chairman Mao to Pol Pot, and beyond.

I say again: is this a road down which we want to go?

“Building, Dwelling, Thinking” – Heidegger

“Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. Let us think for a while of a farmhouse in the Black Forest, which was built some two hundred years ago by the dwelling of peasants. Here the self-sufficiency of the power to let earth and...

If I may follow on with the architectural theme from this morning:

“Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build. Let us think for a while of a farmhouse in the Black Forest, which was built some two hundred years ago by the dwelling of peasants. Here the self-sufficiency of the power to let earth and heaven, divinities and mortals enter in simple oneness into things, ordered the house. It placed the farm on the wind-sheltered mountain slope, looking south, among the meadows close to the spring. It gave it its wide overhanging shingle roof whose proper slope bears up under the burden of snow, and which, reaching deep down, shields the chambers against the storms of the long winter-nights. It did not forget the altar corner behind the community table; it made room in its chamber for the hallowed places of childbed and the ‘tree of the dead’ — for that is what they call a coffin there: the Totenbaum — and in this way it designed for the different generations under one roof the character of their journey through time. A craft which, itself sprung from dwelling, still uses its tools and frames as things, built the farmhouse.” 

— Martin Heidegger, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” in Poetry, Language, Thought

I do not know enough about Heidegger to say anything about his philosophy in general; but I will say that – in my opinion – he is square-on in this!

Seven Misunderstandings about Classical Architecture | Quinlan Terry

I try to practice as a classical architect today, and I enjoy it. There are many ways in which classical architecture is misunderstood…

Source: Seven Misunderstandings about Classical Architecture | Quinlan Terry

In which a currently-practicing classical architect – a sadly rare breed, these days – discusses seven common misconceptions concerning classical architecture: Pastiche, Functionalism, New building types, Materials, Cost, Tradesmen, and Politics. A most interesting treatment!

Though he is obviously trying to simplify as much as possible for a general audience, I confess that I got a little bogged down in some of the technical aspects, and had to resort to a dictionary more than once. Alas, my education in classical architecture, as in many other realms, is not all I could wish! Nonetheless, I had no trouble grasping the essence of what he was saying, and I am quite sure that will be true with any reasonably educated, or simply well-read, reader.

He makes many good points, some of them of a strictly architectural nature (which means, the interrelation between humans and the buildings in which they live and work), while others might be seen to have a more general application. Here is one of the latter:

” I think the working man is misunderstood by everyone, not least himself. There is, after all, no fundamental difference between the tradesman, the architect or his employers. They are all men made in the image of God with needs and aspirations. But I have noticed that we are all far less covetous when we are working on a job we enjoy; at the end of the day we can go home and think about it and return the next day to take the work a little further. I have heard this from so many tradesmen, that it must be true; it is the boredom of repetitive work, work which requires nothing from you, that makes for an empty mind. The empty mind is a dangerous thing because it soon gets filled with a host of other thoughts which no industrial expert can control…”

And then there is this:

“It is often said that there are political implications in the classical style… The truth is that it does express the society that uses it, just as man’s or woman’s face expresses what is in their heart, but this does not mean that it takes sides… [He goes on to list a startling variety of groups and philosophies, throughout history, who have utilized elements of classical architecture.] Although the spiritual, political, material and temporal influences are crystallised in wood and stone, and expressed in classical forms, the classical grammar remains neutral; like the paint on the artist’s palette.”

As someone who tends to the conservative and traditional, socially and politically as well as philosophically, classical architecture has an obvious appeal to me. I value such elemental ideals as timeless beauty, stability, permanence, order, and craft. As Architectural Revival puts it,

“Create places our ancestors would recognise and our descendants will be proud of. Stand for Beauty, Tradition, Heritage, Identity, Order & Craft.”

It is true, however, that the elements and ideals of classical architecture are not limited to any particular political, economic, or social philosophy. They transcend such matters, cutting to the heart of the human spirit. This should not be surprising, if we recall that Beauty is, along with Goodness and Truth, one of the classical Three Transcendentals: all of which are interrelated, and all of which are gifts of, and indeed expressions of, the One Who perfectly embodies all three – that is, God Himself.

But whether you follow that line of metaphysical reasoning or not, the fact remains that the beauty and value of classical architecture transcends any particular use to which humans may put it, or context within which we may place it. The ancients did not create the classical standards of beauty, proportion, etc.; they discovered them. The appreciation of them is innate to our human nature, for it is grounded in Nature itself.

[Which, of course, is another way of saying the created order, which both stems from and leads to the Creator… and there I go, getting all metaphysical again! But what do you expect, of a Christian cleric?]

And this is why classical architecture continues to have such aesthetic appeal, and continues to give us such feelings of satisfaction, completeness, and pleasure when we gaze upon it, whether the building in question was erected thousands of years ago, or just last week.

What the New Pagans and Christians Have in Common | Intellectual Takeout

What the New Pagans and Christians Have in Common

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three major principles that traditional Christianity and paganism, broadly speaking, share in common…

Source: What the New Pagans and Christians Have in Common | Intellectual Takeout

A very interesting article / essay, which raises (in my opinion) some very good points. Inter alia:

“It has become commonplace among many Christians to quickly denounce these neo-pagan rituals and the people who participate in them. They see the increasing visibility of paganism as a fruit of secularism and a sign that the West is descending further into cultural darkness.

“But sometimes I wonder if this paganism — in some of its manifestations — has more in common with ancient Christianity than with many the whittled-down and demythologized versions of Christianity that are known as ‘mainstream.'”

He goes on to list three points of commonality (please read the article for further explication of these points): 1) recognition of the importance of ritual, 2) a holistic view of life, and 3) a reverence for creation.

I agree; in fact, I have made similar arguments, repeatedly and in a variety of fora, for literally decades.

The failure of what post author Daniel Lattier accurately describes as “whittled-down and demythologized versions of Christianity” – I would add, overly-intellectualized and, indeed, quasi-Gnostic versions of Christianity – to embrace these principles is, I firmly believe, one of the reasons why it is losing ground both to secularism and to other forms of spirituality which do.

Please note that we are not talking about syncretism, here; we are not talking about blending doctrine, or paganizing Christianity. We are talking about basic, underlying principles that are common to both, because they stem from the human religious impulse itself: an impulse which is one of God’s gifts to us, as humans.

In this context, I very much liked one of the comments that followed on Facebook, where I found the link to this post:

Any assertion that changing seasons, folk rituals, astrological observance, herbal remedies, local festivals &c were “pagan” would have been met with bemusement in the Middle Ages.

“Such things were not pagan but human. Who doesn’t notice the seasons and stars? Who doesn’t have local legends and traditions? Only the deracinated postmodern man.”

Just so. And I am quite sure that the likes of Tolkien and Lewis would concur!


 

N.B. “Deracinated” is not a word in common parlance today. Here is its definition:

  1. to pull up by the roots; uproot; extirpate; eradicate.
  2. to isolate or alienate (a person) from a native or customary culture or environment. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/deracinate

An apt term, I think, for the context!

Glories of the West: Oktoberfest in Bavaria!

Trachten- und Schützenzug (Folk-costume and Riflemen) parade in Munich, Bavaria, 2016.

Oktoberfest began on the 22nd of this month (September). Although originally specific to Bavaria, it has become associated with all things German – at least in American minds! – and is celebrated pretty much worldwide, wherever people live who claim German blood. But Bavaria (Bayern), and Munich (München) in particular, remains the epicenter.

Originally held on the 12th of October, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, later to become King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, it was enjoyed so much that it became an annual event. Before long, it was moved to September, to take advantage of the longer and warmer days, but it kept the name it had picked up: Oktoberfest.

Although the Royal horse-races that were the original highlight of the event are no longer held, and the once-annual agricultural fair is held only every three years, Oktoberfest is still more than just its “beer and boobs” reputation (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with either…).

The parade of folk-costumes shown in the above clip – held on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest – originated in 1835, and became an “official” and regular part of the celebration in 1950. Since then, it has been expanded to include crossbowmen in medieval clothing, riflemen, folk dancers, flag-throwers, bands, carriages and floats, horses, and even goats, cows and oxen.

Tracht (plural Trachten), or folk-costumes, are the traditional or “national” costume of the region; descending from the working clothes of country folk, they are now proper attire for such festivals as Oktoberfest, and a few other festivals such as the late-summer Viehscheid (cattle drive) that celebrates the ceremonial return of the cattle (and their herders) from the mountain pastures, where they have spent the summer fattening up on the lush Alpine meadows, to the lowland towns where they will spend the winter.

Learn all you need to know (and then some!) about the wearing of this traditional attire at the “Great Big Guide to Bavarian Clothing.” Just be sure to click on the buttons near the bottom, to continue on to the next page. As this site notes,

“In recent years, traditional Bavarian clothing has had something of a revival and is now more popular than ever… It’s not just at the world-famous Wiesn [the “field” or “meadow” on which the Munich Oktoberfest is held] that lederhosen and dirndls are worn… Many towns and villages have local festivals at which locals don traditional outfits, as do they for special occasions such as Christmas or weddings.”

John F. Dausch notes that

“In 1887 the tradition began of opening Oktoberfest with a procession through town of the proprietors and brewers to the fair grounds on the Theresienwiese, (“Queen Theresa’s Meadow”), or Wiesn, for short. A young lady portraying the Münchener Kindl (the child monk, Munich’s symbol) leads off, followed by the mayor’s open carriage, after which, riding in flower-bedecked wagons, the proprietors, brewers, servers, concession workers, and kegs and kegs and kegs of beer.”

Here is a video of this parade of brewers and breweries (note – 35 minutes):

Beer is not sold, however, until the Mayor of Munich has tapped the first keg:

This year, he succeeded with only two blows of the mallet! John Dausch notes,

“In 1950, Munich’s mayor Thomas Wimmer introduced the tradition of officially tapping the first Oktoberfest beer barrel exactly at 12:00 o’clock on the first day of the fair, and then announcing loudly, ‘O’zapft is!’ – Bavarian dialect for ‘It’s tapped!’ From the Schottenhamel tent, where this ceremony occurs, word goes out to a team which fires a cannon twelve times, only after which beer is served at Oktoberfest.”

This year, Oktoberfest runs from September 22nd – October 7th, 2018. Some day, I hope to be able to attend!

Ryan Hunter’s speech at the 45th annual Congress of Russian Americans Forum in San Francisco | Orthodox in the District

Ryan Hunter speaking at the Russian Center
Ryan Hunter delivers his speech at the CRA Forum on Saturday, 8 September 2018 at San Francisco’s Russian Center. Photograph by a participant and appearing on his blog.

The increasing public veneration of the Imperial New Martyrs in Russian society is an integral part of the comprehensive, multifaceted vision of a gradual re-Christianisation of Russian society and culture in the wake of the Soviet system’s collapse.

Source: My speech at the 45th annual Congress of Russian Americans’ Forum in San Francisco | Orthodox in the District

Notwithstanding my ambivalence toward the ever-burgeoning influence of information technology – and in particular, social media – within our present society, it has benefited me in a number of respects, over years. One of those benefits has been the fact that it has enabled me to virtually “meet” and interact with quite a number of people I would probably have never come into contact with, otherwise.

One of these is the individual who delivered the speech that is the subject of this blog post, and which is linked above and elsewhere throughout this post. Ryan Hunter is a  brilliant and articulate young scholar. A recent graduate (BA, History, 2016) and current MA candidate (European History) at Stony Brook University, his intelligence, perspicacity, and perspicuity have already garnered him considerable respect and recognition, as his invitation to speak at this conference demonstrates.

Among the numerous points raised by my erudite young friend, that it might behoove some (perhaps many) of our political leaders and media “talking heads” to consider, is this:

“None of the former Soviet states today maintain atheistic, single party communist dictatorships, and — regardless of the exact state of rule of law, due process, or democracy in any former Soviet states — none of the various political leaders in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) can aspire to anything even remotely approaching the totalitarian level of political control or terror held by Lenin and Stalin.”

The idea that the Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin is simply the Soviet Union “lite” does not bear either historical or objective contemporary scrutiny. Yes, the Federation has its own national interests, and no, they are not always congruent with ours.

And yes, political, intelligence, and other operatives of the RF doubtless act, and doubtless under orders from the government, to protect those interests – as do our own, for the same reason. We live in a house with sufficient glass in its makeup, that it ill-behooves us to lob stones at Russia!

But alongside and despite all this, it is incontrovertible that the political and social changes in Russia, in particular, and the former USSR in general, since Soviet days are dramatic and, in the vast majority of cases, positive. As Ryan continues,

“Think of all the progress that has been made in Russian and American commercial relations, developing business ties, and above all the laudable work of so many citizen diplomacy groups in overcoming negative stereotypes, biased news coverage, and misguided ideological prejudices between ordinary Russians and Americans.

“Think, also, of those who, even now, sadly seek to bring to Western countries the murderous communist ideology which inflicted untold suffering on tens of millions in Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and indeed worldwide.”

Sadly, some of these occupy positions of prominence among the political, academic and media “elite” here in the U.S. – and some of those are among the harshest critics of the Russian Federation.

I have commented elsewhere on the irony that the same political party, and indeed some of the same people, who were willing to appease, accommodate, and apologize for the Soviet Union in its attempt to achieve worldwide Communist hegemony now squawk like plucked chickens at the thought that today’s Russia may have legitimate national interests, and the right to pursue them. Interesting, that!

At any rate, as Ryan continues,

“We certainly need a new spirit of mutual respect, rapprochement, and détente today, but I believe that it is vital that we hail what progress our two countries have made in the last five decades.”

Indeed! And perhaps we could even begin to grow away from this foolishness of considering Russia as always and automatically our enemy.

Of course there will be times when our interests are far from congruent! (Imperial Russia played the “Great Game” for a long time before the Communist Revolution.) But that is the case with every nation, even long-time allies: every country has its own interests, and rightfully so; the trick is dealing with those sometimes conflicting interests diplomatically, rather than confrontationally, wherever possible.

It would not hurt us to recognize, for instance, the historic and cultural reality that Russia feels safer when surrounded by buffer nations, balancing those nations’ equally legitimate desire for sovereignty with the Russian need for security, in a way that does not require us to push our sphere of influence right up to the Russian border.

Russia is not quite the superpower the Soviet Union was during the Cold War; but then, we are not quite the superpower we were during that long conflict, either. Both the numerical strength of our military, and our technological edge, have slipped in the years since the 1990s, and so has our political and economic strength in the world. And poking the Russian bear is likely to push it into a closer embrace of the Chinese dragon, which would be very much to our detriment.

Russia may or may not ever be a close friend and ally; but there is no reason to view, or treat, her like an adversary. To conclude with the words with which Ryan concluded his speech,

“May this centenary year [of the murder / martyrdom of the Romanovs] be a Providential source of healing of divisions and wounds between friends, families, neighbours, and nations and peoples, especially Russia and the United States, and Russia and Ukraine. May the witness and prayers of the Imperial New Martyrs, and all their co-sufferers, be with us, in every city and country, and may they bring much-needed healing of the traumas of historical memory, the bitterness of ancient conflicts, and resentment of past wrongs. May we strive to build a world worthy of their legacy as they intercede for us all before the Throne of God!”