Voices from Russia

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Russian Anti-Gay Law isn’t Draconian: American Response is Snowden Payback

00 Buzzfeed Infographic. The Anti-Gay World. 01.02.14

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Apparently, the USA doesn’t care about dozens of anti-gay nations, only Russia… after Snowden went there, and where gay sex has been legal since 1993. The No Agenda podcast with Adam Curry and John C Dvorak singlehandedly broke the story that American propaganda about supposedly horrendous Russian anti-gay law is bullshit. The legislation is not draconian. In some ways, Russia is more progressive than the USA on gays. The faux outrage only started after Snowden went to Russia. It’s about political payback, not justice for LGBTs.

An astonishing 129-page White Paper (Russian Federation Anti-Gay Laws: An Analysis and Deconstruction) looks at the so-called anti-gay Russian legislation (as the American media labels it). No Agenda debunked it, so, the White Paper author, Brian Heiss, researched the topic. He produced a thorough report, leading to a further discrediting of the thesis. The entire anti-gay and anti-Putin propaganda stems solely from the US government; it’s payback for the embarrassing fact that Snowden uses Russia as a sanctuary from the American government. This is a tremendous humiliation to the US State Department. Creating this false narrative about anti-gay Russian sentiment is part of a seemingly never-ending attack on Russia and its Olympics. Their goal is twofold:

  • We must punish Russia for its “disobedience” (for not handing over Snowden)
  • We need to humiliate Putin (for not handing over Snowden and for cocking a public snook at the USA)

Heiss is gay and works promoting diversity, he initially started his research to prove Curry and Dvorak wrong, then, discovered they were quite correct. You should know that Curry’s daughter is lesbian, and he, his wife, his daughter, and her girlfriend were on a float in the recent Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade. He’s no bigot (and whilst he likes to play the fool, he’s anything but). Heiss said, “The fact that both Adam and John are true supporters/allies of LGBTs made it impossible to dismiss their analysis superficially; so, that Sunday afternoon with great confidence, I became a man on a mission… to completely disprove their analysis. This white paper is the product of that mission. I invite you to read this paper and join me on this journey; a journey which included many twists and turns, a range of emotions and enlightenment, all of which I experienced and have tried to represent in my writing”.

Excerpts from the White Paper:

  • The law never mentions or uses the word gay, lesbian, homosexual, or any other LGBT identifier
  • The law focuses on children; its title is “On Protections of Minors from Propaganda of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations”. The messaging and strategy to bring the ban on propaganda from the law of several regions to national laws is part of a larger family values push, based on the successful anti-same sex marriage push in the USA
  • Statistically, you’re far more likely to be the victim of an anti-LGBT hate crime in the USA than in Russia
  • In Russia, your boss can’t fire you from your job for being an LGBT person, in the USA, they can
  • Since 1993, gay sex is legal in Russia; in 12 US states, gay sex is a crime
  • US President Obama said, “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them”. His policies prove he has nothing but patience

The law itself is nothing like the hysteria we hear in this country. The text of the law bans adults from initiating contact with minors/children who don’t self-identify as LGBT for the express purpose of encouraging the minor/child to explore non-traditional sexual relationships where there wasn’t interest before. There’s nothing in the legislation that prevents a minor/child who doesn’t openly identify as LGBT to seek resources on their own as they come to terms with their sexuality during the difficult period of adolescence (any of us who identify as LGBT experienced that). In fact, nothing in the legislation prevents LGBT youth resources to give services to minors who seek such services themselves. Although there’s much confusion over what the anti-“propaganda” law means, not even its strongest proponents argue that it amounts to criminalisation of homosexuality.

31 January 2014

Bob Morris

Politics in the Zeros

http://polizeros.com/2014/01/31/russian-anti-gay-law-isnt-draconian-us-response-snowden-payback/

Editor’s Note:

The Church in the motherland has a nuanced view of homosexual people… as does most of the Church here. Note the term I used… “homosexual people”, not “homosexuality”. HH said that the Church respects all human choices, INCLUDING THOSE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION, but that it reserves the right to call sin a sin. That is, the Church accepts homosexual people, but it doesn’t bless homosexuality. The Church is against same-sex marriage, but some sources I consulted said that it could accept the state allowing a legal union between two people, but that the Church wouldn’t and couldn’t bless it. As one source wrote:

What the state does is one thing; what the Church does is another. We coöperate… sometimes, we agree; sometimes, not. It’s a vast improvement over 1937

I asked the same sources about Scott Lively, the loudmouthed rightie who claims to be a big influence on Putin and HH. One friend wrote:

He’s not been at the Danilovsky, Chisty Pereulok, or Peredelkino at all. No one’s seen him with Putin at all. His assertions are interesting, to say the least.

I urge all Orthodox Christians to take great care with this topic, especially online and in public. The konvertsy hold acrid views that aren’t in concord with real Church teachings, but they’ve terrorised many into silence. DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. Oppose them, if you must (to defend this-or-that person)… otherwise, steer clear of these demented toddlers and their crackbrained assemblies and overheated online fora. We have a bishop or two who’ve sold out to them, and I wouldn’t want to see any of you hurt. Remember how Podmo and Rose (I reread Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future recently… Rose was as nutty as a fruitcake) sandbagged Lazar Puhalo (Puhalo wasn’t entirely in the right, but he did fall into the snare that they laid for him)… these people have no scruples… don’t give ’em a pretext to cosh you. The konvertsy are ploughing their own furrow; in the end, they’ll leave us, just as Brookline did, just as Podmoshensky did, just as the St Edward the Martyr lot in England did, just as the Osborne clique did, just as the Pashkovsky faction did. It’s what schismatics at heart do, kids. We’re not good enough for them. Yet, I reiterate, and I put it in ALL CAPS:

DO NOT ARGUE WITH THEM

That’s not what Christ’s Church is all about. Let the “warriors” like me fight them. However, note well that I don’t haunt the commboxes of their websites, nor do I post on some of their better-known fora. I’ve learnt that it does no good (and the plug-uglies complain to their pals in the higher clergy, and YOU get clobbered). I’d recommend that you do likewise. Oh, one last thing… Russia has allowed transsexual people to “change the sex” on their legal documents since 1997. I asked my sources on that one, and this reply sticks out:

The Church has nothing to say about the state’s requirements for passports and propiskas. We’ve had no need to rule on it, so, we haven’t. The Church doesn’t define something unless it’s in contention, and it isn’t. It doesn’t relate to eternal salvation, so, it’s on a far back burner.

Now, I call THAT good sense… please, don’t believe the rubbish about the Church calling for the criminalisation of homosexuality. There’s been nothing on patriarchia.ru or in the ZhMP… that is, there’s nothing official in the works, not now, not later, not any time at all. Keep focused, pass the jug… and DON’T ARGUE WITH MONOMANIACAL IDIOTS. Your life will be so much more peaceful…

BMD

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Protest Songs: Pete Seeger Died

00 Pete Seeger 02. 01.02.14

Click here for the vKontakte Pete Seeger Fan Club

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On 27 January 2014, the great American folksinger Pete Seeger died in a hospital in New York of natural causes at the age of 94-years-old. Seeger was as emblematic of leftist America as Kid Rock and Ted Nugent were symbols of the American right. He sang ballads of life in Appalachia and other folk songs of the common people with guitar and banjo, even though he was flesh-and-blood of an influential WASP family. His father was a composer and folklorist who lost his job at the University of California, Berkeley due to his pacifist convictions, his mother was a violinist, a graduate of the Conservatoire de Paris. He was one of the few musicians who were big names with sincere peer appreciation, being a colleague and friend of Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, and Bruce Springsteen. Seeger was an ancestor of the present American folk music scene; he became the most significant singer-songwriter in the country, ending as the moral tuning fork of the nation. In the end, Seeger almost single-handedly taught his country to listen carefully to the music and to the words, never ever being untrue to himself. However, Seeger’s political activity meant no less than his music did, his iconic performance of We Shall Overcome became a symbol of America’s workers, migrant workers, students, poor, downtrodden, ripped-off, and abused. We could continue to praise this departed titan of folk music and poetry, this political activist and peace advocate, with a poetic obituary… instead, why not retell a couple of old stories?

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00 Pete Seeger 03 1942. 01.02.14

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Pete Seeger and Communism

At seventeen years old, Seeger joined a communist group in the USA. He started his career as a musician by playing guitar for a travelling puppet theatre, raising money for the benefit of needy migrants. Seeger’s first group, The Almanac Singers wasn’t so much a group as a “singing newspaper”… living up to their name, they sang topical political songs, focusing on unions, solidarity, workers, and students, and other things that couldn’t help but attract the authorities’ attention. The Weavers were more traditional, they had a more diversified repertoire of folk songs and love ballads, and even appeared in tuxedos, but after 1953, their recordings disappeared from the radio and vanished from the shelves of music stores. Prior to becoming the “moral tuning fork of the nation”, Seeger fell under the shadow of McCarthyism. In 1955, the House Un-American Activities Committee summoned him to testify about his beliefs. Seeger refused to talk to them, but offered to sing for them.

Characteristically, six years earlier Seeger resigned from the Communist Party in protest against the policies of Stalin, but he didn’t really write a commentary on communism until 2007, when he wrote a song about the Soviet leader, Big Joe Blues. “I’m singing about old Joe, cruel Joe. He ruled with an iron hand. He put an end to the dreams of so many in every land”. By the way, Seeger had real links with the USSR, not merely faith in the teachings of Marx and the Workers’ International. In the 60s, he visited the country three times; he was a friend of the Soviet people. According to legend, Seeger wrote the words for one of his most famous songs, the anti-war anthem Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, after being inspired by a lullaby in Sholokhov’s Quietly Flows the Don. Marlene Dietrich, Roy Orbison, U2, and a raft of other artists recorded versions of this song.

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00 Pete Seeger.  01. 28.01.14

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Pete Seeger and Axes

Editor’s Note:

The author is playing on words; as a musician, he knows that the jargon amongst musicians for an electric guitar is an “axe”… a little bit of punnishness, isn’t it?

BMD

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A bit of popular history will help us to understand Seeger’s spirit, even though it doesn’t focus on him. For the first time, on 25 June 1965, a young Bob Dylan took the stage with an electric guitar at Newport in his hands and began to sing Maggie’s Farm. The audience responded with shouts and murmurs of, “You sold out!” To understand the situation’s gravity, you need to know that at twenty, Dylan already enjoyed much fame, and for those more sedate times, such public behaviour was indicative of extreme displeasure. Then, with a twinkle in their eye, witnesses told how, in a moment of catharsis, Seeger was backstage… he flipped out, and chopped off the wires to Dylan’s amplifiers with an axe. For the rest of his set, Dylan had to finish using an acoustic guitar. Then, of course, Seeger excused himself by saying that he didn’t deliberately chop off the wire, he just wanted to chop something (why was there an axe backstage?). In general, it wasn’t that Dylan betrayed pure acoustic sound; it was that an electric guitar is too loud for people to hear the words behind the chords… and the words are much more important. By the way, during the song John Henry, about a mythological black railwayman, Seeger wielded a hammer on stage, and when he sang a song about lumberjacks, he used an axe to chop a huge log, previously rolled out onto the stage. Vladimir Pozner has very fond memories about how they dragged heavy logs into the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall during Seeger’s concert in Moscow.

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00 Seeger Letter. 01.02.14

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The music doesn’t begin until 0:50… be patient

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Pete Seeger and Presidents

In his lifetime, Seeger saw seventeen American Presidents, and, after a while, he was able to address them directly. At Harvard, he was a classmate of John F Kennedy, although they never really got on. There’s an old chestnut about them… Kennedy was the most famous graduate of Harvard… Seeger was the most famous student ever kicked out of it (tied up in social justice, Pete left college two years before graduation). In his youth, the singer was familiar with Eleanor Roosevelt and even performed at the White House in a concert organised by the First Lady in support of American soldiers in 1941. He dedicated the famous song, Dear Mr President to President Eisenhower, Woody Guthrie wrote it, but Seeger popularised it. In 1966, Seeger released an album of incredibly caustic anti-war songs Dangerous Songs!?, dedicating it to President Johnson. Perhaps, the first president who recognised him as if not a nice guy, at least not an enemy of the country, was Bill Clinton. He called him a public figure and “unusual artist who dared to sing things as what he saw them”. Seeger spoke at President Obama‘s inauguration, who said the following words of respect after Seeger’s death, “He reminded us of where we came from and showed us the way forward. For this, we should always be grateful to Pete Seeger”.

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00 The Dream Hasn't Died... Pete Seeger. 09.12

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Pete Seeger and Mass Protests

Until the last years of his life, Seeger continued to take part in civic activities. He was an early anti-Vietnam War activist, and later opposed the Iraq War, opposed the Franco régime in Spain, fiercely fought for civil rights, and championed environmentalism… he founded the environmental organisation Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, to clean up the Hudson River. Seeger never relinquished an opportunity to support protesters, if he felt them to be moral and ethically correct. Three years ago, the Occupy Wall Street people got Seeger’s backing… the 90-year-old singer took part in a march of solidarity with Occupy members. However, the most incredible event in recent years didn’t focus on Pete himself, rather, it involved one of his songs, in a place far beyond the limits of the American continent. Imagine… the most famous mass murderer in the modern history of Norway sits in a prison in a Oslo suburb. Despite the carnage caused by Anders Breivik, the court found him sane, and sentenced him to an unprecedented long term in a Norwegian prison. The window of his cell overlooks the square in front of the prison. What exactly goes on there, Breivik can’t see, but he can hear what goes on. One time, thousands of people gathered to sing Rainbow Race by Pete Seeger… a song that the killer hated and derided as an example of “Marxist propaganda”. I don’t know how Breivik felt at that moment, but those thousands of people sure overcame the anxiety in my heart {do you see how the author returns to the theme of We Shall Overcome? Now, that’s a neat trick: editor}.

31 January 2014

Gleb Gavrish

Disgusting Men/Отвратительные мужики

http://disgustingmen.com/pesni-protesta-umer-pit-siger/

Editor’s Note:

On one side, you have Pete Seeger… on the other, you have Wet Willy Romney, Franklin GrahamSlobberin’ Ronnie, Sarah PalinRod Dreher, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, Glenn BeckAnn Coulter, and all the other shitbirds like them… somehow, all the Righties lumped together can’t equal one Pete Seeger. We’re all the richer for having such a chelovek amongst us.

Вечная ему память… this land WAS made for you and me…

BMD

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Famous American Folksinger Pete Seeger Died: Author of Famous American Anti-War Songs Died at 94

00 Pete Seeger. 01.02.14

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According to the New York Times, Pete Seeger, perhaps, the most influential American folksinger, died at the age of 94 from natural causes. Seeger was born in New York in 1919. In the late 1940s, he was a member of The Weavers, a successful folk ensemble. Since the 1950s, he sung songs about social justice on stage, including anti-war songs. One of them was We Shall Overcome, which became the anthem of the American black civil rights movement. In 1961, his début concert in the USSR was at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. In 1965, Seeger returned to Moscow, giving a concert in the auditorium of Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityVladimir Pozner mentioned Seeger’s first concert in Moscow in his memoirs, Parting with Illusions. Seeger wrote the famous anti-war anthem, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? He won many awards, including multiple Grammy Awards for Pete (1997), At 89 (2009), Tomorrow’s Children: Pete Seeger with the Rivertown Kids and Friends (2011 Best Album for Children).

 28 January 2014

Viktoriya Ivanova

Izvestiya.ru                                        

http://izvestia.ru/news/564698

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