Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

21 July 2015. Get With the Programme! The Mother Church Declared the First Sunday of September “Respect God’s Creation Sunday”… Hey, What About Us?!?

00 squirrel... somewhere in russia. 210715

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The Mother Church laid aside the first Sunday of September to honour God’s creation and to raise awareness of environmental concerns. I’d say that a good way to “English” this intention is “Respect God’s Creation Sunday”. Let’s follow the Russian Church’s good example (click here for the patriarchia.ru post on it)… let all OCA, ROCOR, and MP parishes CELEBRATE this day! Let’s plant trees! Let’s lay out gardens for the next spring! Let’s gather stuff for compost… that’s great for gardens (shovel in a load or two of horseshit, too, and let me tell you, your plants will grow up to heaven next summer!)… let’s clean up our parish property and sidewalks (and do so for older folks who live nearby, too)! Last of all, the first Sunday of September falls on a late summer weekend… hold a parish weenie roast! The fast is over on 28 August… so, you can fire up the grill and put some burgers, dogs, and corn in the husks on the fire.

It’s time for us to get our priorities straight and stop the goofball rightwing stuff. Let’s follow the Mother Church in this… HH thinks it a grand idea… that’s good enough for me. Get your mind right and get with the programme!

BMD

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Famous Singer and Social Activist Pete Seeger Died in the USA

00 Pete Seeger. 30.01.14

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The famous American folksinger Pete Seeger died at the age of 94. A performer and social activist, he was at the forefront of contemporary American folk music; many called him the “conscience of America” ​​and “folk hero”. His record company Appleseed Recordings said that Seeger died of natural causes in hospital in New York. Seeger gained fame not only for his songs, but also for his leftist political views and environmentalism, being an early anti-Vietnam War activist, and later opposed the Iraq War. He once went to prison for refusing to testify before Congress about his ties with Communists {no… he ALMOST went to gaol… a higher court overturned his sentence: editor}. Reuters reported that despite his advanced age, Seeger performed until recently. In January 2009, he gave a concert to honour US President Barack Obama‘s inauguration. In May of the same year, he celebrated his 90th birthday at a concert in New York, attended by 15,000 spectators. A representative of Appleseed Recordings noted, “Like a ripple on the water’s surface, Seeger’s music went through the whole Earth, carrying a message of nonviolence, peace, and justice, as well as equality for all”.

Seeger was born in New York on 3 May 1919, the son of music teachers. His father was a specialist in ethnic music, and his mother was a cellist. Thanks to his father, he became interested in folk music. He once admitted in an interview that he and his father visited a music festival in North Carolina, and he “fell in love with the banjo“. His musical career began at the dawn of the 1940s, founding The Almanac Singers. In 1949, he was a founder of The Weavers. These groups’ influence led to the well-known music of Bob Dylan and other figures in the American folk music revival of the 1960s. The Weavers number one hit was Goodnight, Irene. By 1952, they sold over 4 million records. In 1997, Seeger won a Grammy for the album Pete; in 2009, he won it again for his recording At 89. One of his most famous songs was Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, which became an anthem of the anti-war movement. He founded the environmental group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, focused on cleaning up the Hudson River, and he wrote several children’s books. Seeger’s wife Toshi, whom he married in 1941 and with whom he had three children, died last year.

 28 January 2014

Rossiya-24

http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=1226181

Editor’s Note:

I’ve concentrated on the Russian reaction to Pete’s death… as he was very popular there, along with Paul Robeson. Anything else is easily obtainable on the web. However, don’t forget that there are those who’re identical in spirit to the McCarthyites who persecuted Pete. They’re concentrated amongst Republicans (especially neocons and libertarians (how ironic!)), but Interventionist Democrats are likeminded cruds, let me tell you. Pete fought Red Channels, HUAC, Joe McCarthy, and J Edgar Hoover… we have to fight the TSA, the Department of Homeland (In)Security, PRISM, Gitmo, and the whole perverted legacy of Slobberin’ Ronnie and the Bushies. The fight goes on… and Pete’s here with us… I dreamt I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you or me … I never died, said he...

BMD 

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

23 October 2013. RBTH Infographics. What Russians Think About the Greenpeace Case

00 RBTH Infographics. What Russians Think About the Greenpeace Case. 2013

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A public poll suggests that about 60 percent of Russians believe that the reaction of the Russian authorities to the action of Greenpeace activists was appropriate. Only 17 percent think that the reaction was too harsh and only 8 percent said it was to light. VTsIOM conducted the poll amongst 1,600 people from 42 Russian federal subjects at the end of September.

15 October 2013

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.ru/multimedia/infographics/2013/10/15/what_russians_think_about_the_greenpeace_case_30815.html

Monday, 1 April 2013

1 April is International Bird Day… and that’s NO April’s Fool!

00 A Little Bird Told Me

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Click here and here for image galleries devoted to International Bird Day

1 April is International Bird Day, which marks the beginning of their return to northern parts from their wintering sites. On 19 March 1902, various countries agreed to the International Convention for the Protection of Birds Useful to Agriculture came into force, which more than a dozen states signed. It entered into force on 12 December 1905. On 18 October 1950, in Paris, diplomats signed the International Convention for the Protection of Birds, which replaced the previous document.

1 April is also associated with children’s events centred on birds, arranged in 1894 by a teacher from a small American town of Oil City PA, Charles Babcock. Soon Bird Day was widely-held as a national holiday throughout the USA. Bird Day found support in Russia, where the festival has a long tradition . On old Russian calendars, one finds such holidays as the Day of the Return of Migratory Birds, Day of Capturing Birds (St Gerasimos Day, 4/17 March, The Return of the Rooks), Day of the Swallows (St George Day (23 April/6 May), also known as St George Spring). On 22 March, Russians baked pastries in the shaped of larks, to mark the return of the birds, and with them, the return of spring. At Annunciation, people released birds from cages to go back into the wild.

For many years, Russians have attracted birds with artificial nests, birdhouses, and feeders. Famous traveller Peter Simon Pallas said that Russian peasants made cylindrical boxes made of bark to attract starlings. In the Ukraine and Belarus, traditionally, people fastened wagon wheels on poles to attract storks. In 1879, the official newspaper Правительственный вестник (Pravitelstvenny vestnik: Government Gazette) published a proposal to establish special niches in houses and on roofs under tiles in southern Russia to attract rosy starlings. One of the first books in the world devoted to the protection of birds, The Universal Protection of Birds, and the Implementation of its Principles by Baron Hans German Karl Lyudvig von Berlepsh was published in 1900 in St Petersburg. The Church took an active part in promoting the protection of birds by publishing environmentally-themed books.

During the Revolution and Civil War, people forgot Bird Day, but in 1924, naturalists at the Central Biological Station in Moscow, sought its revival, as one of the professors at the station, Nikolai Dergunov, was a keen bird enthusiast. In the same year, Smolensk Oblast activists also celebrated Bird Day. The next year was the first official Bird Day in the USSR; naturalists installed birdhouses in the Leninskie Gory (Lenin Hills) (now, Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills)) in Moscow. In 1927, Bird Day excitement infected all of Moscow. Over 5,000 children placed over 1,000 birdhouses. By 1928, Bird Day became popular throughout the country, and about 65,000 enthusiasts put up 15,000 birdhouses.

The magazines Юный натуралист (Yuny naturalist: Young Naturalist), Листки БЮН (Listki BYuN: Leaves BYuN) {a play on words in Russian, лист (list) can mean either “leaf” or “page”: editor}, Живая природа (Zhivaya priroda: Nature’s Wildlife), and others actively propagated the idea of Bird Day. Since the early 1930s, utilitarian ideas of nature gradually replaced noble environmental impulses. Sadly, the cheerful children’s party was forgotten. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Bird Day had a brief revival. In Moscow, Pyotr Smolin was an active promoter of it, being youth section chairman of the all-Russian Society for the Protection of Nature (VOOP). However, soon, the state turned the spontaneous, popular, and joyful celebrations of Bird Day into boring, mandatory measures. Thanks to the efforts of enthusiastic birders, the all-Russian public organisation Russian Bird Conservation Union (SOPR) (created in 1993), revived the holiday in 1994.

The theme of the holiday is the conservation of bird species diversity and the preservation and increase of their populations. This day marks the first return of migratory birds from their wintering sites. The rooks are the first to come, then, the wild geese, ducks, cranes, and gulls arrive. In April, the thrushes, robins, greenfinches, chaffinches, finches, and buntings return. Traditionally, at this time, in anticipation of the arrival of the birds, people hang birdhouses and build artificial nests. Birders warn that if birds go extinct, it’d cause an environmental catastrophe, with unpredictable effects upon human civilisation. They tell us that such obliteration of fauna would cause irreparable damage to biological diversity.

More and more countries are involved in the annual selection of the “Bird of the Year” . National social and professional organisations concerned with the protection of birds take part in this “election”. Typically, the choice of the award-winning bird is due to different reasons… a bird is popular in this-or-that country, with close-links to a national culture, or it’s a bird species under threat of extinction, to draw attention to its species preservation, or it’s a bird chosen to demonstrate the diversity of bird life. Clearly, the Bird of the Year reflects the success of national response measures to avian protection and successfully promotes the achievements of environmental organisations and the success of their programmes.

Besides this, the Russian Bird Conservation Union annually elects a “Bird of the Year”. The requirements are simple… the bird’s range should cover all or most of Russia, and it should be a recognisable species in need help and attention. Ornithologists and ecologists select the spotlighted Bird of the Year, and they conduct seminars, publish literature and brochures on this kind of bird, to promote conservation and care of them. Thus, in 1996, the “Bird of the Year” was the Corncrake, followed by:

In 2013, for the eighteenth time, the Union of the Russian Bird Conservation time selected a “Bird of the Year”. It selected the regal White-Tailed Eagle.

1 April 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/spravka/20130401/929177981.html

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