The wicked game of religion, politics, wombs, and the lust for power

From renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour: “Frank Schaeffer once produced propaganda films that helped launch the Christian right [and the anti-abortion political movement]. Now he feels regret for what he calls an ‘anti-family’ movement.”

This is Amanpour’s recent interview of Frank Schaeffer.  20 minutes.


At the moment it has 350,000 views and 5,000 comments since posted on May 4, 2022.  And, from the dozen I looked at, they’re actually reasonable comments, not loony crap like a lot of comments in popular media.  I guess that’s because loonies don’t follow serious journalism.  If you like it, share the link and help reality catch on at least a tiny bit before the November 2022 and 2024 elections.  Thanks.  https://youtu.be/25JyC5Whhvc

Christiane Amanpour’s show, Amanpour & Company, is almost entirely interviews with people who are either subject-matter experts or the subjects themselves.  She just did the first ever interview with the head mucky-muck of the Taliban, wanted by the FBI, never did a TV interview before.  He is a masterful liar.  It was disgusting.  He can pee on your head and politely tell you it’s raining.  But I mention it to show that Christiane can get people to talk on air that others can’t, or she’s the first.  I have great regard for her service to humanity by airing interviews that we really need to hear.  It is a CNN show, but aired also on PBS.  The full show is also available by podcast, and individual interviews on YouTube.  Each show usually has 2 interviews, one by her and one by one of her team, who are also among the best-in-class.


Oh, Red Viburnum in the Meadow – Ukraine’s Second Anthem

For the love of Ukraine.

Слава Україні. Героям слава.
Slava Ukraini. Heroyam slava.
Glory to Ukraine. Glory to the heroes.

Слава в калині.  Slava v kalyni.  Glory to the kalyna.

Viburnum opulus, red viburnum, Ukrainian: chervona kalyna

This is an “epic length” post, loaded with inspiring pictures and music videos, factual information, a lot of history, and a lot of love.  Take it as a “time-out for Ukraine” for an afternoon, or a little day to day.  Of course, you should always scroll down if you are bored.  There will be something less boring ahead.  I promise.

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Speaking at the 2022 Grammy Awards ceremony by video from a bunker, Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said:

“The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters. But alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.

“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound on our land. We are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story.

Sunflower, national flower of Ukraine and major crop

“Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any — but not silence. And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is destroying — Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others — they are legends already. But I have a dream of them living and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”  — from NY Times April 3, 2022, Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to Grammys audience in a prerecorded video.

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“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes”

In a comment on my previous post (introducing the new video “Ukraine is a World of Love” by Alicia Kishe), a friend wrote, “It was painful watching the video of Alicia. The beauty and sweetness I saw … and Putin blowing it up.”



By the way, folks, be happy for Alicia Kishe.  I happen to know from experience of her elsewhere that she is thrilled to see Views and Likes and Subscribes.  Please reward her.  It will mean a lot to her.  For a little extra fun, here is Alicia’s latest self-made 19-second home video, posted April 26, 2022, titled, “I Just Dance.”  Stop by and give her a Like and good wishes:


Cracks me up.

My reply to my friend’s comment got out of hand, so I moved it to this new post instead of a comment.

Friend, I believe that you speak for many people who get struck by the video that way, but most would not say so out loud as you have, for fear that they would be admitting that they did not “get it” in the expected or “appropriately” sentimental way. That kind of expectation just adds to the pain.  The only “appropriate” way is to try, as one is able, to keep an open mind.  That can be hard to do in pain.

You got me thinking more about the ways Alicia’s video can affect people, and about the overall situation in Ukraine and my relationship with it.

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The Putin Circus and a child’s love of her homeland in song

Please share this funny Putin video if you like it.  That’s why I post them.  So you can share them.  This is the YouTube link to share: https://youtu.be/t-wFKNy0MZQ if you are not foolish enough to share the link to the blog post you are looking at.  Doesn’t matter.  I’ll never know.  But I do not mind at all being a fool for the glory of Ukraine, in silly ways and others.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you … below the comedy here, there’s also the April 24, 2022 world premier official music video of the Ukrainian very young lady Alicia Kishe, accompanied by her father Timothy, singing the song she wrote, “Ukraine is a World of Love” sung in Ukrainian (a language that gets more beautiful the more you hear it) with English subtitles.  I think some people will like it; fools like me and otherwise.  Please share it when you get done adoring it.  Then adore it some more.  Let Alicia be Ukraine to you for a while.

TURN ON CAPTIONS (CC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE VIDEO WINDOW) TO SEE THE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.  It works best if you watch it at the YouTube site.  For a special treat, run them in full screen mode.

Vladimir Putin – Putin, Putout (The Unofficial Russian Anthem) by Klemen Slakonja

[The name Vladimir means “ruler of the world” or “ruler of peace.”]



Enough of the funny stuff.  Now for the heart-melting beautiful stuff, what you always come here for, of course …

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Girls just want to have fun (and boys want them to)

While researching the story of a famous Ukrainian song that has inspired endless versions around the world, from the ancient folk chant to epic orchestral and chorale concert works, to the latest rock, hip-hop, metal and electronic synthesis and LED and laser light shows (you’re going to love it if I ever write the post), I stumbled across this bit that said inside me, “Hey, shut up and have some different fun.”  It has nothing to do with the Ukrainian song.  It’s just a distraction.  A good musical distraction is worth its waste in gold; i.e., no waste at all.

Music is not real except as a miracle.  It is impossible.  It can’t be done.  But it happens anyway.  The more I explore it, the more impossible it seems.

It’s like learning about oneself, in a sense.  Like the beauty in any other kind of nature, beauty in music does what it does to us because of who we are, and yet it shapes us, too.  In this case, it “does me” in humor, too.

Enjoy this break from and into reality.  Watch it in full screen for best effect.

(Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/BKezUd_xw20)

Explore more Salut Salon music in their YouTube channel.
And visit their website.

(I wonder if they could be booked at the Upper Jay Art Center?)

From the Salut Salon website:

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Long Live the Dead

Watch this 97-minute Netflix documentary now released for free viewing in YouTube (or catch it on Netflix if you have it), “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”  It is about the 2014 Maidan (or The Maidan Revolution) by fearless, relentless, unstoppable, unarmed, non-violent protesters against ruthless militarized police forces and brutal mercenaries in Kyiv, Ukraine when the president sold out to Putin instead of signing an agreement with the European Union as promised to a People yearning to build upon the freedom they claimed when they declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 (is this still a sentence?).

This is a story that we can learn from, if we are to defend our freedom when our time comes, and it seems to be coming sooner than I ever believed it could.  Democracy in the United States is at greater risk than ever.  I know people don’t get it, don’t think so, can’t believe it.  They just don’t know, because, like Putin’s duped citizens, they can’t.  Some others may have to die because of it, if we are to succeed.

Watch this documentary and see what the dead can do when they know the truth and fight for it, when their courage inspires victory for the living, when they find out just how fragile democracy can be, and how precious, and give their lives for it.

Don’t waist your brain energy calling me pessimistic.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  Whether I am pessimistic or not, the warning must go out.  Whether my efforts are pessimistic or not, I must continue, especially because so many others will not prepare for the trouble we so likely face.  The Autocracy Party has just about all the guns, and the willingness to use them for delusional reasons.  Are you ready for that?

I am preparing for the fall of democracy in the United States.  You should, too.  You have nothing to lose by being prepared, and a free nation to gain.

My truly optimistic take on it says that with preparation and dedication to protecting our civilization, we can succeed.  Otherwise, we go into something like a Dark Age.  An optimist looks ahead and sees ways to succeed, not ways to act in the future, or to hope to do, but ways to act now for the sake of the future.  Preparation is optimistic.  It says there is a way, so take it.  Optimism is not merely about hoping for the best.  In fact, that’s just stupid in many instances.  Hope can be stupid.  I am preparing, not hoping.

Now, in 2022, Putin wants to take away from Ukraine what they earned in the past, what death bought for them in 2014.  Watching this documentary, you’ll see why they will NEVER let him take it from them, and they will continue fighting from the grave that they do not fear.

Me neither.  My grave is not something to fear, except by our enemies.


Slava Ukraini!  Glory to Ukraine!  Learn from them to never give up!

Long live the dead.

Olena was wounded on February 24, 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.  She and over forty-four million Ukrainians and other residents there need our help.  Helping them helps us.  It may even save us from ourselves.

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022 color pencil

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022. (Color pencil derived from photo.)


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Anna Vorosheva wants help getting back to hell

Whether or not it is optimistic that we continue, we must continue.  –Hong Kong rebel.

Ukraine festive banner vertical cr2 enh 172x200In this recording from the BBC World Service Newshour podcast of 20220324, you can hear Anna Vorosheva, a 45-year-old resident businesswoman of Mariupol, Ukraine, talk about seeking ways to get back to the hell she survived.  She describes what she lived through in ways you rarely hear, with details we all should hear.  Her passionate explanation for going back she puts into one word: conscience.

Audio (7 minutes):

She wants help getting back:Mariupol condition 20220314b



#STANDWITHUKRAINE (https://war.ukraine.ua/support-ukraine/ … official Ukraine website) says, “You can save lives, no matter where in the world you are.  A simple donation. A few clicks on your keyboard. A message to the right person.  Everything you need to help Ukrainians in their fight for peace and freedom – in one place.”

https://war.ukraine.ua/support-ukraine/


To the women …


The dead fight.  People dead in streets.  They fight.  They fight in me.  I am not dead yet.  –Unidentified woman near Mariupol, Ukraine.


Sing “We will lay down our souls and bodies for our freedom …”

This title is a line from the Ukraine national anthem.  Today, “our freedom” is not only the freedom of Ukraine.  Today, Ukraine lays down her souls and bodies for freedom everywhere.  She is on the front line of the fight for humanity.

Slava Ukraini!  Glory to Ukraine!  Gloire à l’Ukraine!
¡Gloria a Ucrania!  Ruhm der Ukraine!

What is happening in Ukraine is happening to humanity.   Are we still human?  Have we died yet?  The national anthem of Ukraine says that her glory and freedom have “not yet perished.”  Nor has ours, I hope, for we are all Ukraine.


You may have to wait a bit for Ukraine national websites
to load from my links.  There’s a war on.

#STANDWITHUKRAINE (official Ukraine website) “HOW CAN YOU HELP? The most important thing you can do for Ukraine now is to READ and SHARE verified information about Russia’s attack on Ukraine. “

I was greatly impressed that the nation of Ukraine says that the most important thing we can do for them now is to read and share information.  Think about that.  Act on it.

Good teachers always say that they learn by teaching.  Learn by sharing.  It really works, especially when you verify the source.


The glory and freedom have not perished.  And so they cry out so often, “Glory to Ukraine.”  So might we, to lift her up, to honor her sacrifices on the front lines of war on humanity.

(If you have trouble with this YouTube version, there is an audio-only version at the end of this post.)

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/ZEFB2Y2QDcw

Gloria all’Ucraina!  ウクライナに栄光を!  Rûmet ji Ukraynayê re!

Full Definition of Glory: Great beauty and splendor. Honor, admiration, or distinction, accorded by common consent to a person or thing; high reputation; renown. That quality in a person or thing which secures general praise or honor.  Victory.

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We don’t know — Arctic methane says so

We don’t know how long we have.  The more we heat up the planet, the more we reach “tipping points,” where “positive feedback loops” that we set in motion become Earth’s way of consuming itself.  Our models for predicting effects of human-caused climate change do not — cannot — take into account the potential for the feedback loops running out of control, beyond reach of any mitigating efforts we may make.

So, what, then?

We have to simply stop feeding carbon into the air.  Just stop, in every way we can, as much as possible, everywhere, and punish those who resist.  They don’t call it “an existential threat” for nothing.  Why treat it as less?

Lesser efforts, lesser objectives, raise the risk beyond our ability to measure, as shown below in the new PBS Nova episode, “Arctic Sinkholes.”

As the authors explain, the craters look like sinkholes to the naked eye, but they are not sinkholes.  They are massive, explosive and incessant methane leaks from the arctic permafrost.

The rate of increase in the arctic temperature is twice that of the planetary average.  The permafrost — ground frozen continuously for at least two years, but also thousands of feet deep for millennia — is thawing, and opening big methane vents at alarming rates.

We don’t know how many there are, or will be.  We don’t know their ultimate effect.  We don’t know if our feeble efforts to stop killing our planet can begin to take into account the effects of thawing permafrost.

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Telling the Times; Carl Sagan and many others warned us of the shining city in a ditch.

Call this scribblement pessimistic if you must, but calling it so does not change anything.  Optimism begins with noticing, not with self-delusion.  It may begin with noticing self-delusion, too.  I want to point out some things we’ve been told about the soul of a nation and democracy in peril.  I want to tell of their telling, and tell of my seeking, and suggest yours.

If, however, a reader wants to use their idea of pessimism as an epithet, read on and enjoy your conviction.  Just give yourself the benefit of the doubt by reading.

Call this scribblement didactic if you want.  That doesn’t change anything either.  Try responding to something in it, optimistically.  Try acting on it, even if only in words.  That would be a change.

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