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Posts from March 2022

paving stones from the hands of those who rose against the army, stones where the bells had fallen

Shared Article from Poetry Foundation

The Museum of Stones - Audio Poem of the Day | Poetry Foundation

By Carolyn Forché


The Museum of Stones

These are your stones, assembled in matchbox and tin,
collected from roadside, culvert, and viaduct,
battlefield, threshing floor, basilica, abattoir–
stones, loosened by tanks in the streets
from a city whose earliest map was drawn in ink on linen,
schoolyard stones in the hand of a corpse,
pebble from Apollinaire’s oui,
stone of the mind within us
carried from one silence to another,
stone of cromlech and cairn, schist and shale, horneblende,
agate, marble, millstones, ruins of choirs and shipyards,
chalk, marl, mudstone from temples and tombs,
stone from the tunnel lined with bones,
lava of a city’s entombment, stones
chipped from lighthouse, cell wall, scriptorium,
paving stones from the hands of those who rose against the army,
stones where the bells had fallen, where the bridges were blown,
those that had flown through windows, weighted petitions,
feldspar, rose quartz, blueschist, gneiss and chert,
fragments of an abbey at dusk, sandstone toe
of a Buddha mortared at Bamiyan,
stone from the hill of three crosses and a crypt,
from a chimney where storks cried like human children,
stones newly fallen from stars, a stillness of stones, a heart,
altar and boundary of stone, marker and vessel, first cast, lode and hail,
bridge stones and others to pave and shut up with,
stone apple, stone basil, beech, berry, stone brake,
stone bramble, stone fern, lichen, liverwort, pippin and root,
concretion of the body, as blind as cold as deaf,
all earth a quarry, all life a labor, stone-faced, stone-drunk
with hope that this assemblage of rubble, taken together, would become
a shrine or holy place, an ossuary, immoveable and sacred
like the stone that marked the path of the sun as it entered the human dawn.

— Carolyn Forché, The Museum of Stones (2007)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Camp X-Ray, March 2022)

Meanwhile in the United States of America in 2022, the U.S. government has released Mohammed al-Qahtani from Guantanamo Bay after imprisoning him without trial for 20 years. They released him because he is suffering from debilitating schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. A U.S. Navy doctor now believes he has been tortured so severely and for so long that he is now too mentally impaired to function outside of a psychiatric institution or ever stand trial.

It is now the March of 2022. George W. Bush’s administration did this to human beings for seven years. Barack Obama said he would end it when he was first running for President — and then he got elected and his administration kept on doing the same thing for eight more years. Donald Trump’s administration kept on doing the same thing for four more years. Joe Biden’s administration has kept on doing the same thing for the last year and shows no sign of stopping. Mohammed al-Qahtani has finally been released into psychiatric care after 20 years of indefinite detention and torture without due process. There are still 38 prisoners who the U.S. military is holding indefinitely, forever, unless and until somebody in the U.S. military and government change their minds, in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The United States government continues to do this, and they call it the Law of War.

Shared Article from nytimes.com

‘20th Hijacker’ Is Returned to Saudi Arabia for Mental Healt…

Mohammed al-Qahtani had spent 20 years at Guantánamo Bay, where he was tortured so badly that he was ineligible to be tried at the war crimes court.


Routes Around Damage: BBC on the Dark Web

If someone is trying to exploit their control over local Internet access to prevent you from accessing the news from the BBC, here is how to use Psiphon or Tor Browser or other circumvention and dark web access tools to route around the damage and get uncensored access. Screen shot and text below:

Advice on accessing BBC News

Published: 4 March 2022
Updated: 4 March 2022

To access the BBC, circumvention tools can be used, such as the Psiphon app (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac).

The Tor Browser also has a dedicated BBC site, on this URL: https://www.bbcnewsd73hkzno2ini43t4gblxvycyac5aw4gnv7t2rccijh7745uqd.onion/

Please note the BBC site for Tor works only on the Tor Browser or a similar browser, such as the Onion Browser (for iPhones).

If you find it difficult to get the two applications above from AppStore or Google Play Store, please send a blank email to get@psiphon3.com or gettor@torproject.org, respectively. You will then be sent an email with a direct and safe download link.

Как получить доступ к новостям Би-би-си

Для доступа к Би-би-си можно использовать инструменты обхода цензуры, такие как приложение Psiphon (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac).

Браузер Tor также имеет специальный сайт Би-би-си по этому URL-адресу: https://www.bbcnewsd73hkzno2ini43t4gblxvycyac5aw4gnv7t2rccijh7745uqd.onion/russian

Обратите внимание, что сайт Би-би-си для Tor работает только в браузере Tor или аналогичном браузере, таком как Onion Browser (для iPhone).

Если вам трудно получить эти два приложения из AppStore или Google Play Store, отправьте пустое электронное письмо по адресу get@psiphon3.com или gettor@torproject.org соответственно. Вам будет отправлено электронное письмо с прямой и безопасной ссылкой для скачивания.

Порада, як отримувати новини ВВС

Щоб отримати доступ до BBC, можна використовувати інструменти обходу, такі як додаток Psiphon (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac).

Браузер Tor також має спеціальний сайт BBC за цією URL-адресою: https://www.bbcnewsd73hkzno2ini43t4gblxvycyac5aw4gnv7t2rccijh7745uqd.onion/ukrainian

Зверніть увагу, що сайт BBC для Tor працює лише у браузері Tor або подібному браузері, наприклад у браузері Onion (на iPhone).

Якщо вам складно завантажити дві вищезазначені програми з AppStore або Google Play Store, надішліть порожній лист на адресу get@psiphon3.com або gettor@torproject.org відповідно. Потім вам буде надіслано електронний лист із прямим і безпечним посиланням для завантаження.

— BBC, Advice on Accessing BBC News. Accessed 12 March 2022.

Triple Order of Freedom Fries

The Russian army is besieging Mariupol and attacking crowded civilian targets like mosques and hospitals. Inside Russia, Russian anti-war protesters are in the streets; the state is arresting thousands of people daily and pursuing a ruthless campaign of censorship on dissident information sources and dismantling the last remaining fragments of a free press freedom of the press, using — natch — laws for controlling misinformation or fakes in news and social media. The U.S. government unconscionably continues to shilly-shally and delay issuing visas for Ukrainian refugees trying to flee the war and come to the United States.

Many people in the West are righteously outraged about all this. As well they should be. Many people have taken that outrage and fed it into an utterly histrionic campaign of moral panic, inappropriately directed against Russian people, Russian culture, Russian things and even Russian animals according to the most ridiculous and flatly despicable dictates of War Logic. War Logic curdles every humanitarian impulse into a theatrically stupid and racist campaign for the collective humiliation and punishment of supposed enemies who in fact have nothing to do with the war or the government that oppresses them, or the nation that they are somehow or another vaguely associated with.

For example, here is a Democratic Congressman claiming to represent the State of California:

Shared Article from Fox News

Eric Swalwell floats kicking Russians out of US universities in …

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said on CNN Thursday that kicking Russian students out of U.S. universities should be "on the table" in response to Russ…

Hannah Grossman @ foxnews.com

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said on CNN Thursday that kicking Russian students out of U.S. universities should be “on the table” in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin launching an invasion into Ukraine.

Frankly, I think closing their embassy in the United States, kicking every Russian student out of the United States … should … be on the table. … Vladimir Putin needs to know every day that he is in Ukraine, there are more severe options that could come, Swalwell said on CNN Newsroom.

— Hannah Grossman, Eric Swalwell floats kicking Russians out of US universities in retaliation to Putin invading Ukraine
Fox News, 24 February 2022

These options aren’t severe for Vladimir Vladimirovich. They’re severe for innocent Russian college students who have nothing to do with this terrible war, simply because they are Russian nationals. This is a despicable proposal for collective punishment as well as a wildly counterproductive effort to further isolate Russian people from cultural contact and exchange with the West. Swalwell ought to be ashamed of himself, and censured by his colleagues.

Here is a cowardly decision by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to cave in to demands that they shut down performances by a 20 year old piano prodigy who vocally opposes the war on Ukraine for no reason other than the fact that he ought to be punished for being a Russian national:

Shared Article from Montreal

Montreal Symphony Orchestra drops Russian piano prodigy from con…

A young Russian pianist set to perform with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra this week has been struck from the schedule after protest, though the orch…


A young Russian pianist who was set to perform with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra this week has been struck from the schedule after protest.[1]

However, the orchestra maintained its praise for 20-year-old Alexander Malofeev, who has been outspoken against the invasion of Ukraine, where he said he has some family members.

The OSM feels that it would be inappropriate to receive Mr. Malofeev this week, wrote a spokesperson for the orchestra, Pascale Ouimet, in a statement.

We continue, however, to believe in the importance of maintaining relationships with artists of all nationalities who embrace messages of peace and hope. We look forward to welcoming this exceptional artist when the context allows it.[2]

. . . The orchestra at first declined [to cancel Malofeev’s performances], saying Malofeev had spoken openly against the invasion. But it ultimately decided it was the right call considering the serious impact on the civilian population of Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion, Ouimet wrote.

— Selena Ross, Montreal Symphony Orchestra drops Russian piano prodigy from concerts amid backlash
CTV News, 8 March 2022.

No word yet on how many civilian lives have been saved by halting a Russian adolescent’s piano performances in Montreal. Nevertheless:

The orchestra’s statement on Tuesday said it wanted to reaffirm its solidarity with the Ukrainian people and is making a donation in support of them, and also urges the public to do the same.

But OSM musicians and their conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, stressed that they still have an excellent collaboration with Malofeev, according to the statement.

I was very pleased to be working in Montreal for the first time with the extraordinary young pianist Alexander Malofeev, Thomas said.

It is regrettable that political situations have made it impossible.[3] I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with him in the near future.

In two Facebook posts, Malofeev has decried the war, first writing on March 2 that the truth is that every Russian will feel guilty for decades because of the terrible and bloody decision that none of us could influence and predict.

On Monday, however,[4] he added that he’s upset by the hatred going in all directions, in Russia and around the world, and that he still believe[s] Russian culture and music specifically should not be tarnished by the ongoing tragedy, though it is impossible to stay aside now.

— Selena Ross, Montreal Symphony Orchestra drops Russian piano prodigy from concerts amid backlash
CTV News, 8 March 2022.

It is of course a self-serving lie to lament how impossible it is to let a Russian pianist play the piano in Montreal. There would be nothing simpler; they were already planning to do it, and they are putting on the concerts anyway with the rest of the (non-Russian) performers. The OSM made a decision to discriminate against a Russian piano performer for no other reason than the fact that he is a Russian national.

Here is the International Cat Federation (FIFe) taking a stand against cats bred in Russia:

Shared Article from web.archive.org

Fédération Internationale Féline :: FIFe News

Bob Schwartz - http://www.fotografics.it @ web.archive.org

The FIFe Executive Board is shocked and horrified that the army of the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Ukraine and started a war. Many innocent people died, many more are wounded and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are forced to flee their homes to save their lives. We can all witness the destruction and chaos caused by this unprecedented act of aggression.

On top of that our Ukrainian fellow feline fanciers are desperately trying to take care of their cats and other animals in these trying circumstances. . . . The Board of FIFe feels it cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing,[5] so it decided that as of 01.03.2022:

  • No cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside Russia, regardless of, which organization issued its pedigree.
  • No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia, regardless of, which organization these exhibitors hold their membership in.

These restrictions are valid until 31.05.2022 and will be reviewed as and when necessary.

— International Cat Federation / Fédération Internationale Féline, Statement regarding the situation in Ukraine
FIFe News Page, accessed 12 March 2022.
Quoted in Vanity Fair (3 March 2022) and the Washington Post (3 March 2022)

I would say, You are issuing international sanctions against cats for being bred in Russia. But these are people who would issue sanctions against cats for being bred in Russia. Then issue a statement that they could do no other, because in the face of the Russian army’s atrocities they cannot stand by and do nothing.

This is not a sane or intelligent response to the atrocities committed by Russia’s military and government. People look back on ridiculous exercises like Freedom Fries and Liberty Cabbage and persecuting Dachshunds as a sort of condensate of black farce from the passions of war; sometimes they wonder that people could seriously do ridiculous shit like that. Of course they could. We are exactly the same people as the people who did this before. The spirit of war is the marshalling of passionate outrage into collective hatreds; War Logic makes ignoramuses and contemptible bullies of us all. It makes everything worse, mutilates the analytical mind and deforms the passions into the patrolling of imaginary opposing camps; if it has any significant effect at all it is always to ratchet up conflict, punish the innocent and make global culture and politics more brutal and dangerous. Don’t do that. You don’t have to. You’ll look like like a demented fanatic and a preposterous, illiberal tool after even a moment to reflect.

  1. [1][By Ukrainian-Canadian protesters who are demanding a boycott of Russian cultural products. –R.G.]
  2. [2][Sic. –R.G.]
  3. [3][Sic. –R.G.]
  4. [4][Sic. –R.G.]
  5. [5][Somebody wrote this and published it on the World Wide Web. –R.G.]

our pockets full of coins

Listening to: The Waltz We Were Born For, by Walt McDonald (1999), via W.F. Strong’s Stories from Texas.

Shared Article from kutkutx.studio

Think There’s No Poetry In Texas? Think Again


The Waltz We Were Born For

I never knew them all, just hummed
and thrummed my fingers with the radio,
driving five hundred miles to Austin.
Her arms held all the songs I needed.
Our boots kept time with fiddles
and the charming sobs of blondes,

the whine of steel guitars
sliding us down in deer-hide chairs
when jukebox music was over.
Sad music’s on my mind tonight
in a jet high over Dallas, earphones
on channel five. A lonely singer,

dead, comes back to beg me,
swearing in my ears she’s mine,
rhymes set to music that make
her lies seem true. She’s gone
and others like her, leaving their songs
to haunt us. Letting down through clouds

I know who I’ll find waiting at the gate,
the same woman faithful to my arms
as she was those nights in Austin
when the world seemed like a jukebox,
our boots able to dance forever,
our pockets full of coins.

— Walt McDonald, The Waltz We Were Born For (1999)

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