Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

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Sasha Cohen, Queen of the North, the Maccabee Princess of Ice and Snow

November 12, 2010

Sasha Cohen, the Maccabee Princess of Ice

Biography
Born: October 26, 1984
Birthplace: Westwood, Calif.
Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
Training Town: Aliso Viejo, Calif., and Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
Skating Club: Orange County FSC
Coaches: John Nicks and Rafael Arutunian
Choreographers :Lori Nichol and Nikoli Morozov

Sasha’s Favorites
Sports figure: Lance Armstrong
City: Barcelona, Spain
Season: Summer
Author: John Steinbeck
Magazine: People
Movies: My Fair Lady, Baraka and Bridges of Madison County
TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl and Sex and the City
Gadget: iPod
Drink: Coffee
Quote “Life’s tough, get a helmet.”

Sasha’s Three Things
– (Three things that) People would be surprised to find out about me… I’m always at the library, I love to run errands, and I’m interested in almost everything.
– Three people I’d like to have dinner with… Lance Armstrong, Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey
– Three things I hate doing… Waiting, getting up early and scheduling things way in advance
– Three things I love doing… Cooking/baking with friends and family, seeing theater and sleeping
– Three celebrity crushes… Clive Owen, Gerard Butler and Denzel Washington
– Three things I must have when I leave the house… Phone, iPod and wallet

Sasha’s Favorite Organizations
– Figure Skating in Harlem
– American Heart Association
– Boys & Girls Clubs of America
– Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
– Girls Inc.
– Make a Wish Foundation
– The Shaka Franklin Foundation
– PS Arts
– Public Libraries Literacy Programs
– Ronald McDonald House Charities
– Soldiers’ Angels
– Special Olympics

SASHA COHEN’s star quality shines brighter today than when she won a silver medal for the United States with a gutsy performance at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

She is an icon of her sport but also holds worldwide influence in other realms including fashion and nutrition, leading the way in promoting a healthy physical and mental daily regimen that stretches across all demographics.

“I concentrate on living in the now,” said Sasha, who was born Alexandra Pauline Cohen. It is the same philosophy that has molded Sasha’s life since taking a hiatus from competitive skating following her impressive win at the U.S. Championships and medal wins at the Olympics and the 2006 World Championships.

And it is a philosophy that continued to motivate Sasha as she looked toward competing at the 2010 U.S. Championship. Needing the challenge that competitive skating provides, Sasha took a break from touring and her other professional demands — her credits including commercials, movies and prime time television — to return to to competition in the 2009-10 season. She was fourth at nationals.

Sasha studied a semester at the intensive The New York Film Academy at Harvard University during her break from competitive skating. She has also taken speech classes and a variety of other acting classes, many from Hollywood’s top coaches. She is routinely given scripts to peruse.

Sasha is as much an ambassador for her charities, including the Figure Skating in Harlem organization, where she serves on the board, as she is for her sport. Recognizing that young people are influenced by what they see in public, Sasha thrives on being a positive role model.

Her autobiography “Fire On Ice,” published by HarperCollins after her thrilling appearance in Torino, is a testament to Sasha’s disciplined lifestyle.  The book sold out of its hardback printing while soft cover was in high demand well before its release date.

Good things don’t fall into Sasha’s lap but she makes good things happen. Sasha is living the moment but is in complete control of her life — she wouldn’t have it any other way.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus

– Sasha Cohen.com, http://www.sashacohen.com/sasha.html

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The Romanovs, a Family of Saints

November 5, 2010

The Romanovs, a Family of Saints

This post is in honor and memory of the Romanov family who were murdered by the Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918. They have been canonized as Saints by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and as Passion-bearers by the Russian Orthodox Church. This new family of Saints includes St. Nicholas II, his wife St. Alexandra, along with their four daughters St. Olga, St. Tatiana, St. Maria, St. Anastasia, and their only son St. Alexei. Their new feast day is on July 17.

Sometimes common sense gets lost in the attempts by professional, accomplished historians to write and publish the premier text on certain key 20th century events, such as the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Indeed, even Karl Marx himself, who was baptized and raised a Protestant Lutheran, predicted that a Communist Revolution in the Russian Empire would never be successful and that the most likely candidate was, in fact, Germany, his own native country. Regardless of the numerous, carefully detailed explanations offered by the academics, the ingredients of this real-life story still read like a fictional tragedy straight out of Kafka or Tolstoy. Consider the cast of characters:

MARX: a failed, bitter, angry Communist intellectual and journalist from a recently converted dynastic family of Rabbis, who courted and married a beautiful, blonde German girl of noble blood, but then managed to publish almost nothing, except a small book called ‘The Communist Manifesto’ written mostly by his friend and life-time patron Frederick Engels.
RASPUTIN: a dirty, lecherous Russian peasant with strange, occult powers that appeared to miraculously heal the Czarevich Alexei of his terminal illness, historically known as the Mad Monk.
LENIN: a stern, politically fanatical, Russian intellectual from a upper-class background with a completely shaven head and a well-trimmed goatee who was sent back to Russia from a defeated Germany on a mysterious black train to instigate a Revolution against the Czar.
TROTSKY: a naive, ambitious, internationalist, anti-religious son of a hard-working Jewish farmer from the Ukrainian Shetl, originally named Lev Bronstein.
STALIN: a Georgian Socialist Revolutionary expelled from Orthodox Seminary for spreading Marxism, historically known as Uncle Joe, or the Gorgeous Georgian.

I have a secret conviction that I am destined for a terrible trial, that I shall not receive my reward on this earth.

– Saint Nicholas II

These days the general understanding of the Romanovs, especially that of Nicholas II, is that he was both a brutal Jew-hating dictator and an inept ruler who was destined to lose control of the Russian Empire. In reality, he was deeply Christian man far more concerned with his wife, his chidren and his religious faith, than with the diabolical schemes of Protestant German intellectuals. All things considered, the Romanovs were just as much the pawns of history as any other common family. Needless to say, the greatest tragedy about the Bolshevik Revolution that seems to get lost in the historical milieu is the fate of the Russian people, who went from being ruled by a classical autocracy to a fanatical, anti-Christian (and anti-Jewish) dictatorship who violently persecuted and oppressed their own people most of all. The now indisputable historical facts speak for themselves:

Soviet Persecution and Imprisonment Facts
– In 1917, there were only 28,600 total prisoners within the Russian Empire, which was the largest prison population ever known in the history of Orthodox Christian, Imperial Russia.
– After the Communists murdered the Romanovs and took over the government, the prison population slowly exploded into the hundreds of thousands. By 1927, a mere 10 years after the Bolshevik Revolution, there were over 300,000 Soviet prisoners, ten times more than Czarist Russia ever had.
– Then, between the years 1929 and 1934 the prisoner population increased by twenty-three times, placing the total prison population in the millions. – In comparison to Czarist Russia, 14 million Soviet prisoners passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, while an additional 6 to 7 million were forcibly exiled to remote regions of the USSR.
– A 1993 study reveals that a total of 1,053,829 prisoners died in the Gulag between 1934 to 1953. – In reality, Czarist Russia imprisoned very few of their imperial subjects, while the Communists arrested, convicted, and sentenced millions of innocent people to a life of brutal enslavement and inevitable death.

Soviet Anti-Jewish Facts
– In the summer of 1919, nearly all Jewish properties, including synagogues, were seized by the Soviet authorities. Numerous Rabbis and other religious leaders were threatened with violent persecution.
– In the mid-1930s, Stalin had any remaining Jewish leaders arrested and executed, while the Yiddish schools were forcibly shut down.
– By the late 1940s, the Communist party had abolished any and all Jewish organizations, while only a few synagogues were left open and kept under strict surveillance by the KGB.

Soviet Anti-Christian Facts
– Within five years after Lenin and the Bolsheviks had seized power, 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and 1,200 priests had been executed by the Soviet authorities. – Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the vast majority of the Russian Orthodox Clergy, along with many of its most devout believers had been shot dead or sent to the Gulag.
– Between the years 1927 and 1949, the number of Russian Orthodox Churches dropped from 29,584 to less than 500.
– From 1917 to 1935, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. 95,000 of these priests were eventually put to death by the Soviet authorities. By tradition, individuals believers that have been officially canonized by the Church are considered by the living Christian authorities to be in the Kingdom of Heaven. Those observers who believe that the Romanov family were arrogant, elitist tyrants who looked down on the Russian people do not know their history and should take the time to look up the many historically accurate summaries of the Romanovs who are now some of the newest Orthodox Christian Saints in Heaven.

Perhaps an atoning sacrifice is necessary for the salvation of Russia. I shall be that sacrifice. May the will of God be done!

– Czar Nicholas II

Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra did anything but spoil their children, and were adamant that all of them become as well-educated and intelligent as possible. Except for the expensive outfits worn only on public occasions, they had very few personal possessions that they could call their own. Priceless gifts and diplomatic offerings were taken away and kept as additions to the Imperial collection, which was originally meant as an everlasting heritage for all of Russia. From the beginning, Nicholas II and his wife insisted their children see themselves as having been born with special burdens which included numerous God-given responsibilities and duties they had to live up to and not as superior individuals born to rule over the unruly masses. The loving relationships they formed with the common peasants who were an integral part of the Imperial staff proves this to be the case.

For many reasons, the canonization of the Romanovs means that, even if the Russian Orthodox Church doesn’t canonize every victim of Soviet persecution, those who aren’t so well-known will still have an entire family of Heavenly advocates who already know first-hand what it was like to be murdered by a tyrannical regime based upon principles violently hostile to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Likewise, if the Romanov children are anything like they were before their execution, they would probably tell you that their personal Sainthood matters far less than the well-being of every single nameless, faceless victim of the International Communist Empire who never cared for them at all.

A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. – Stalin

A lie told often enough becomes the truth. – Lenin

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus. God Save the Queen!

Even More Romanov Ikons
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