For Kosovo

And our men and women in uniform around the world. . .


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February 17, 2008  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

The Gipper Would Have Been 97 Today

Happy birthday, Ronald Reagan.

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February 06, 2008  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Young Conservatives Meet Mitt

Romney and YCLWR.jpg
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Looking just past Romney's outstretched arm, you'll see four members of the "Young Conservatives of Our Neighborhood" club who attended the Romney rally today. Now that Fred Thompson is no longer in the race, the YC's are trying to persuade me that Romney is the one candidate who can unite fiscal, social and foreign policy conservatives. That's yet to be seen, but my boys and their cohorts are quite persuasive.

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January 23, 2008  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Beautiful Baby Wearing

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photographer: xthylcaine


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January 19, 2008  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2008 Photo Contest

I know a lot of y'all are both avid photographers and avid breastfeeding supporters. Combine those passions and participate in the WBW 2008 photo contest! Deadline February 29, 2008. Details here.





What are we looking for?

We need stories that illustrate support for breastfeeding. We are looking for any photo that TELLS A STORY of support. It may be a who, a what or a where! You may be the person who provided the support or the person who received the support.

Illustrate the kind of support you provided or that you received in a photo. When taking photos, think globally and locally! We encourage you to submit photos that reflect different ethnicity and that include breastfeeding children, from a newborn to a child of 2 years or more. Support takes place in different environments, so the support you illustrate may be in a home, in a museum, in a marketplace or in a field.

(Note: I don't know the photographer of the above picture, neither do I know where I found it to give proper credit. If you do see it elsewhere online with credit to the photographer, please let me know so proper attribution can be given. Thanks!)

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January 12, 2008  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

We Remember


vetsday07_lo.jpg


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November 12, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Friends in Moscow

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October 07, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Crocodile in Moscow, Penguin in Kyiv

"Diving out of the window has become a habit for the crocodile, called Khenar, with concerned neighbors saying it was the third time he had used that method to flee. . . The crocodile lost one tooth in the latest fall but was otherwise unscathed. . .

Emergency services put the crocodile in a local aquarium to recover from his fall. Within a few hours his concerned owner came to pick him up and the crocodile was last seen lying on the back seat of his owner's car."

--Reuters

This story reminds me of Andrei Kurkov's novel set in Kyiv, Death and the Penguin It was my favorite bit of modern Ukrainian literature, possibly because I recognized so many landmarks and the quirkiness in the novel seemed so true to the Ukrainian friends I had. So reading about the crocodile living in someone's flat? Truth is sometimes as strange as fiction.

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August 11, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Women, Know Your Limits!

Women, Know Your Limits!. Thanks to the kittens are so soft crowd at True Womanhood.

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June 20, 2007  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Memorial Day, 2007

LittleSoldierSmall.jpg


Little Soldier

Little soldier, little child
You're still too young to know,
The impact of the battlefield
Or how its memory lingers so.

Playing war is now a game,
Its truth you can't conceive
Should you defend, until its end
Our freedom to believe.

In God, in man, in liberty
With rights for one and all,
Little soldier, little child,
That day you'll stand as tall.

Written by Maureen Kuehne
Copyright 2003

Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund

Project Linus

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May 28, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Etic and Emic

Learned something new today. . .

The terms and ideas connected to etic and emic were developed by SIL linguist Kenneth Pike. While I'm learning these terms in the context of anthropology, it is interesting to see how the ideas developed from a linguist whose chief interest was understanding languages and people, for the purposes of the Gospel.

"But culture had to be viewed in relation to the people who utilized their units within that culture. What was crucial to them? What kind of ‘native reaction’ made one item relevant and another one not noticed? These items forced us to look at the analogue of ‘phonemics’ in anthropology, and we needed to build on our experience with phonemic analysis. So I took the word phonemic, crossed out the phon- part meaning “sound”, and generalized my use of the new emic term to represent any unit of culture, at any level, of any kind, which was reacted to as a relevant unit by the native actors in that behavior. In the same way, I created the word etic from phonetic. . ."
--Kenneth Pike


This is the second time recently that I've been in a situation in which the idea of understanding people's ideas from their points of view (emic), and trying to communicate to them on their terms has been presented as a. . . novel. . . idea. While I haven't had the terms etic and emic before, the concepts are not new to me.

Perhaps having been involved in missions and cross-cultural communications is part of my "why, of course" assumption. But I don't think that is it, because the idea of understanding another's cultural context isn't limited to just the missionaries I've known, but has been a common idea among the Christians I'm around in general.

Are health care providers, drug counselors, students and those in academia really as new to the idea of valuing the understanding culture from the other person's perspective? Isn't it obvious that sort of cultural understanding is needed when trying to communicate or provide care?

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May 26, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ну, погоди!

Memories of Ukraine, just for my boys.

Ну, погоди!

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May 12, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Praying For The Persecuted, Clarifications

I posted about the martyrs in Turkey last week, and have received an update with some clarifications:

A preface from Turkish World Outreach:


We received a few emails saying some elements in "A letter to the Global Church from the Protestant Church of Smyrna" were exaggerated. However, since none of the messages stated what was thought to be exaggerated, we did not send a retraction. Instead, we contacted the pastor and his wife who prepared the message and shared the negative email messages we had received. The spouses of the men who were slain reportedly say they want people around the world to know what took place, and the real objections appear to be from foreign workers who understandably feel threatened by unwanted exposure to their mission
work. In addition, some people felt the graphic details of the torture the men experienced (though apparently factual) should be omitted. The following corrections were sent by Pastor Bocek and his wife, and we have made these corrections in the attached text. Thank you for your prayers.

---------

Dear Friends,

We are amazed at how quickly the Global Church communicated the message of our friends' deaths. Thank you for your continued prayers for Semsa, Susanne and the Church in Turkey.

We need to make a couple of corrections on the letter we sent out.

First, if you forward the letter again, due to sensitivity issues please take all the details of the torture off, replacing it with "They were brutally tortured for 3 hours" and ask your friends who you have forwarded the previous email to do the same. Also, later in the article where it says their throats were slit "from ear to ear, practically decapitated" we are not sure of the actual size of the cuts, so please delete those words from the letter as well. We won't know actual details until autopsy reports are made public; news reports and articles we were basing our information on were possibly exaggerated.

Second, my faulty estimating mistake put the word "thousands" when in fact there were only about 800 people at Necati's funeral.

Third, I made mistakes in names. Susanne Geske (not Susanne Tilman),
and Tilmann not Tilman.

If you can make those changes, and pass on the information I'd appreciate it.

As a wonderful follow-up, we know for a fact that three people in the last week have committed their hearts to Christ in response to the sufferings our friends went through: John 12: 24-25 I tell you the
truth, unless a kernal of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds. The man who loves His life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.


Blessings,
Darlene Bocek

for The Protestant Church of Smyrna


Further clarifications, via Emeth:

From —– —–, the pastor of Diyarbakir Church

30 April 2007
Diyarbakir, Turkey

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet you in the peace and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May the Lord abundantly bless you, your families, your churches, and your work.

We know and appreciate very much your heart for us.

Brothers and sisters, in the last ten days we have experienced very painful moments, which words cannot begin to express. Our painful experience has shown us that our lives are as the Lord describes: “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” For this reason we have understood one more time how holy and close to the Lord we
should live our lives.

We have also understood that our society is easily given to emotion and that in such painful moments some people, whether intentionally or not, report certain events inaccurately and we have not prevented this or have not been able to do so.

When the Malatya massacre happened we, the brothers from Diyarbakir, besides those already on the scene at the time of the crime, were the first to get there. When we got to Malatya our brother Ugur was still alive, but his condition was critical. Around 5:30 PM Ugur entrusted his spirit to the Lord.

Dear brothers and sisters, that painful moment has slowly come into perspective for us so that now we have begun to see some things as we should. For example, it appears that those who murdered or arranged for the murder of these brothers are getting what they hoped for. By means of our reactions we may unwittingly help them. If we do not bring the facts into the light, these people will end up getting what they desired.

Brothers Tilmann, Necati, and Ugur were murdered in a bloodthirsty way. This is a fact. But there are also some inaccurate claims about this massacre and one of these is the extent of the torture. According to rumors brother Tilmann was stabbed with a knife 156 times. Brother Ugur had countless knife wounds, it has been said. These rumors, however, are unfounded. At the
morgue we wanted to put brother Tilmann’s body, which was in a plastic bag, into the coffin, but the officials and police did not like this. “It is sinful to do it this way, we should wrap the corpse in a shroud,” they said.

I accepted this idea and did what was right in their eyes. I asked them for a shroud (white cloth) and the officials moved Tilmann’s body out of the plastic bag, which they placed to the side. I took advantage of this opportunity to examine brother Tilmann’s body as far down as his stomach. I did not see any knife wounds. Only Tilmann’s throat had been slit 8-10 centimeters and there was the stitched autopsy incision down the middle of Tilmann’s chest. Unfortunately there are very different rumors circulating about brothers Tilmann and Necati. It has been said that their noses, lips, and ears were cut. These rumors do not reflect the truth. I telephoned our brother —– —– in Adana because I knew he had seen brother Tilmann’s body. I asked him about the knife wounds on brother Tilmann’s body. He said to me, “Brother, I came across three or four knife blows in the chest area. I didn’t see his back. On his face I can’t say there were knife wounds, but scratches, maybe from hitting his face when he fell down.” I knew that Ihsan
Ozbek from Ankara had seen bodies. I asked him which bodies he had seen and he said, “I saw the chest area of both Tilmann and Necati. I saw purple from bruising on Necati’s lips and chin, but I did not see knife wounds. I looked at brother Tilmann’s chest, but I did not see knife wounds.” These are the statments of those you saw the bodies of these two brothers.

It is true that our brothers were knifed and tortured. But it was not to the extent of statements such as “too many wounds to count, beyond description.”

Apparently —– —– looked more carefully than brother Ihsan and I did. He saw three or four knife wounds in the chest.

No one saw brother Ugur’s body because on the night of the same day the murder happened, around midnight, his family took his body for burial.

I believe that brother Ugur had knife wounds similar to those of our other two brothers. It has been said that Ugur was stabbed all over his body, including his genitals. I do not believe this. You may ask why I don’t beleive this. I think someone stabbed this much would die on the spot. Ugur would not have been able to remain alive until 5:30 PM if he had been stabbed so much. That nothing abnormal happened to Ugur can be understood from the fact that exaggerated statements have been about our other two brothers, too.

Therefore we reach the following conclusion: yes, these brothers were tortured, but not to the extent that has been explained.

We are sons and daughters of the truth. Unfortunately unfounded news reports and media exaggerations have now gone out all over the world. Our brothers and sisters and people sensitive to such news have been misinformed. We do not intend to offend anyone. But whether the true facts are, let us report them without exaggeration. Let people everywhere think about the plain facts.

Who started these exaggerated facts about the Malatya massacre? We purpose two possibilities:

1) Those who perpetrated the crime planned this the spreading of exaggerated facts from the beginning and the murderers were simply tools for these people who had planned to blow the murder into exaggerated proportions. The goal of those who planned this murder and the exaggerated claims was both to frighten the Christians living in Turkey, causing them to shrink back and be timid, and to humiliate Turkey as a country that invites and causes such bloodthirty massacre, thereby damaging Turkey’s chances of entering the European Union and making matters worse in the country. Furthermore, the planners of this massacre wanted to give the government and our people the impression that Christians distort and exaggerate everything.

2) In every situation we see that the media either totally disregards something we say or totally exploits it. We investigated the bloody clothing that was submitted to the public as the underclothing of our brothers. None of this clothing belonged to our brothers. That clothing had been taken off the bodies of people shot to death weeks earlier. But what did the media do? They took this clothing and presented it as freshly removed from the bodies of our brothers. Is there anyone who does not yet know about the exaggerations and sometimes boldfaced lies of the media?

Therefore, brothers and sisters, if we do not explain the true facts to you our hearts will not find peace. I have written this report because I have read exaggerated or unfounded facts in news both home and abroad. The true facts are those in this report.

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

—– —–, the pastor of Diyarbakir Church

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church --Tertullian

Continue to pray for the Church around the world, Turkey and elsewhere.

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May 06, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Making Memories and Pysanky

Each spring in Ukraine, several of us American women would get together with a Nadiya, an artist who focused on traditional folk art mixed with modern media, for an afternoon of writing pysanky eggs. It is meditative to sit, work, create together.

On Easter itself, we would see people with krashanky (solid-dyed, usually red, hard boiled eggs) and paska (a decorative, holiday bread) in baskets, bringing them to be blessed by the priests.

I miss Ukraine, and the seasonal changes and traditions. Even when traditions were not my own, they became part of the rhythm of our lives.

This year the boys and I will cook hard-boiled eggs. We will decorate them, and every red egg will remind me of babushka and Ukraine.



(Lil' Miss or Laura or Dawn. . . if you are reading this, do you have any photos of making pysanky together?)

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April 02, 2007  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Mommy Carries A Bomb, Not A Baby

I don't know whether to be enraged at this or weep.

(Via E.O.)

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March 31, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Happy Independence Day!

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of the Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us;

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rules into these Colonies:

FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


Did you know that many of the Founding Fathers were Presbyterian? Do you want to sign the Declaration, too? You don't have to be Presbyterian to do so, but it doesn't hurt.

I had a collection of US flags on the table this morning, and when I got up I directed the boys to bring them outside to decorate our front yard. It took them longer than I expected, so I went out to check on them. They were standing at the end of the driveway seranading the neighborhood with "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. . ." I'm not sure how many of our neighbors had that patriotic inspiration this morning--the guy across the street working on his lawn mower did, though.

(Thanks to the Hucksteads and Kim/Hiraeth for the links.)

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July 04, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Memorial Day 2006

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.


One week ago, my 18 year old brother-in-law kissed his mom and girlfriend goodbye, gave us all hugs, and went off to Paris Island for boot camp with the Marines.

He's just one of many young men and women through this country's history who have gone, given their youth, and sometimes their lives for this country and its ideals.

In Memory.

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May 29, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Bob Dylan's Birthday

Bob Dylan is 65.

I remember the first Bob Dylan song I ever heard was when I was in 4th grade. My teacher, Mr. Earley, brought in his vinyl and played it for the class.

Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past.
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on.

Well, I got up and walked around
And up and down the lonesome town.
I stood a-wondering which way to go,
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
And walked on down the road.
It was a normal day.

. . .

Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand
I seen a man, I said, "Howdy friend,
I guess there's just us two."
He screamed a bit and away he flew.
Thought I was a Communist.

Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave,
"Let's go and play Adam and Eve."
I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'
When she said, "Hey man, you crazy or sumpin',
You see what happened last time they started."


This was during the early 80s. Height of the Cold War. We lived in Arizona, near the Mexico border. I don't remember anyone ever telling me about a Red Dawn scenario, but I did figure that if Commies ever did invade the US, they'd come up from Mexico.

Mr. Earley used to play guitar with Bob Dylan in California.

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May 24, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Buddha's Birthday

This morning the radio mentioned that Buddha's birthday is coming up and then played Gandalf Murphy and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. The song? I Made Buddha Cry.

Just a snapshot of my life.

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May 17, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Paris Tulips

Paris Tulips.jpg

(Via Paris Daily Photo, via Tim and Jo)

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May 16, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Three Alligator Deaths / One Week

In our neck of the swamp, the water table is low, the temperature is rising, and the alligators are mating.

That has led to three alligator-related deaths in a week. Very unusual.

Considering our neighborhood has several small lakes, it is not uncommon to see alligator snouts barely above water. Hubby has tried to point several gators out to me the past week--I'm usually too slow to see them as we drive by.

Obviously, we're keeping the kiddos away from the shoreline and in after dark.

In related news, R7 jumped into the pool the other day and then freaked out when he saw a snake was swimming, too. J9 thought he saw a wild cat right at the edge of the woods behind our house. And neighborhood lore is that a two year old who lived two doors down from us died a half-dozen years ago from a poinonous snake bite.

And here we are, safe in suburbia.

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May 15, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Gas Temperature Map

Gas prices as hot where you are as they are where I am?


Related:
Comparing Gas Prices
Comparing Gas Prices, Take 2


(Via Seven Realms)

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April 25, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ah, Dreaming. . .

You Belong in Paris
Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth.
What City Do You Belong In?

(Via Oh Stephanie of Little Faith)

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March 07, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Moscow Market Disaster

You've heard of the roof that collapsed at a popular Moscow market, right? At least 50 people died, likely quite a many more. Thankfully it was in the early hours of the morning, before it was crowded with shoppers.

This has really hit me emotionally. I've never been to Moscow. But I picture my favorite rinok in Kyiv, and my favorite butcher among the rows of carcasses, the little old ladies who set aside the most appealing of the turkeys for our Amerikanski Thanksgiving, the produce lady who would give bananas to the street kids and gypsies. . .

One year ago, we were preparing to leave Ukraine. Cleaning and repairing our flat. Disbursing our goods. Trying to figure out shipping. And hardest, saying goodbye to so many people. (And so many memories and places.)

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February 23, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Again, He Says. . .

Liberalism has become a philosophy of Western suicide.

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February 10, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Cartoon Controversy

BlindIslam.jpg


The other cartoons that at the heart of this uproar? Check out Human Events.

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February 04, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Maybe I'm Not Culturally Sensitive. . .

. . .but this story is just about the final straw before I once again join the ranks of vegetarians.

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January 29, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Dinner and Google

I tried to resist interrupting dinner, but I jut had to google something in the midst of our conversation. We were talking about world population, food, and such, and I needed to know which country had the most arable land by area.

It took a little longer than expected to find the answer. The first search came up with arable land as a percentage of country land mass. The top three?
Bangladesh
Ukraine
Denmark

Yeah, I'm a bit surprised, too.


But arable land by area?
United States
India
Russian Federation

Okay. Back to dinner.


The conversation evolved to Christianity and capitalism. Which led to Hubby pulling Novak's "The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" off of the shelf and J9 begging to read it. . .

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January 28, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Remembering Rachel

"A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted,
because they are no more."


Thirty-three years of nearly unrestricted abortion in America.

Forty-two million abortions performed since that time.

Every abortion involves a a mother and her preborn child.

Most involve a father, grandparents, siblings.

We mourn for the loss of life, the loss of hope.

And we remember.

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January 23, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Taking Russian Foreign Policy Seriously

And Putin wonders why it is so hard to take Russia and Russian foreign policy seriously:


Speaking with Pravda this week, [Russian Liberal and Democratic Party politician Vladimir]Zhirinovsky chastised Rice for calling on Russia to "act responsibly" in supplying natural gas to Ukraine.

The fascistic pol attributed that "coarse anti-Russian statement" to Rice being "a single woman who has no children."

"If she has no man by her side at her age, he will never appear," Zhirinovsky ranted on. "Condoleezza Rice needs a company of soldiers. She needs to be taken to barracks where she would be satisfied.

"Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention," he added. "Such women are very rough. … They can be happy only when they are talked and written about everywhere: 'Oh, Condoleezza, what a remarkable woman, what a charming Afro-American lady! How well she can play the piano and speak Russian!'

"Complex-prone women are especially dangerous. They are like malicious mothers-in-law, women that evoke hatred and irritation with everyone. Everybody tries to part with such women as soon as possible. A mother-in-law is better than a single and childless political persona, though."


Whatever.


(Via Drudge)

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January 14, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ну, Дед Мороз, погоди!

I've been feeling so sentimental about Ukraine the past month. Maybe because one year ago we were in the midst of the Orange Revolution. Maybe because I'm feeling more settled now, and "safer" to start missing Ukraine.

The holiday season has seemed so different. I really got used to preparing our family / American friend Christmas for December 25th. Then celebrating New Year's with our Ukrainian friends. And then a religious observance of Ukrainian Christmas. This year everything seems so. . . rushed.

My dear friend Laura has just returned from serving over three years in Ukraine. We are hoping to have her join us for New Year's. Have some familiarity, continuity, for us both.

One of the things I'm missing is the Christmas music I got used to in Ukraine. This song (though another version, which I can't find to play online) has been going through my head all week. I keep trying to change the radio station to find one playing it, but they are all playing American traditional music. It's a song from a children's cartoon series about a wolf and rabbit (and it may be an older folk song, I don't know.) The version I heard on the radio all the time in Kyiv was a pop one done by the groups "The Leperchauns". The music video for it was fun, too.


НОВОГОДНЯЯ ПЕСЕНКА. из мультфильма "Ну, погоди!"


Расскажи, Снегурочка, где была?
Расскажи-ка, милая, как дела?
За тобою бегала, Дед Мороз,
Пролила немало я горьких слёз!

Припев:
А ну-ка, давай-ка плясать выходи!
Нет, Дед Мороз! Нет, Дед Мороз!
Нет, Дед Мороз, погоди!
Ждёт моих подарочков ребятня,
И тебе достанется от меня!
Наконец сбываются все мечты,
Лучший мой подарочек, это – ты!

Припев:
А ну-ка, давай-ка плясать выходи!
Нет, Дед Мороз! Нет, Дед Мороз!
Нет, Дед Мороз, погоди!

Проигрыш.
Ну, Дед Мороз! Ну, Дед Мороз!
Ну, Дед Мороз, погоди!


I'm missing Ukraine.

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December 23, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Hurricane Katrina / Uncle Chuck's and Aunt Gayle's Stories

My Uncle Chuck and Aunt Gayle are from New Orleans. They were caught in Katrina. Here are their stories, as published in the Natchez Democrat:

Couple recounts stories of escape, reunion from aftermath: Gayle's story

Couple recounts stories of escape, reunion from aftermath: Chuck's story

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December 22, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Cool and Creepy

Bill Gates is using his charitable giving to fund some very interesting research. Some of it cool. Most of it pretty creepy.

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December 10, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

For Family Honor, She Had to Die

"Heshu Yones, a West London teen, fought off her father for a frantic 15 minutes. She ran from room to room in her family home one Saturday afternoon until he cornered her in a dingy bathroom, held her over the tub and slit her throat.

The father, a onetime Kurdish freedom fighter from Iraq, told authorities that his only daughter had to die. The 16-year-old had sullied the family name, he said, by dating without his permission."

--Christine Spolar, Kurdish Media


(Via Religion of Peace?)

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November 28, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Veteran's Day 2005

LittleSoldierSmall.jpg


Little Soldier

Little soldier, little child
You're still too young to know,
The impact of the battlefield
Or how its memory lingers so.

Playing war is now a game,
Its truth you can't conceive
Should you defend, until its end
Our freedom to believe.

In God, in man, in liberty
With rights for one and all,
Little soldier, little child,
That day you'll stand as tall.

Written by Maureen Kuehne
Copyright 2003

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November 11, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

With a Heavy Heart

Remembering 9/11.

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September 11, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Songs of New Orleans

Even before the hurricane and flood, Aaron Neville's Louisiana 1927 brought tears to my eyes.


Listen online to Songs of New Orleans, thanks to NPR.

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September 09, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Something Postive


From Musing Rebecca

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September 03, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Old Times There, Are Not Forgotten

The Pontalba Apartments
My first home that I remember.

Jackson Square Art Colony
Where I was nurtured by my artist mother.

Jackson Square
Where I rode my tricycle and fed the pigeons.
The ice cream man was my friend.

Le Petit Theatre-Vieux Carre
Where I had my fourth birthday.

Cafe du Monde
Breakfast of beignets, with cafe au lait for Mom and chocolate milk for me.

Metairie, Louisiana
Where Grampie and Maw Maw live, my second home.

Waveland, MS
Where we went crabbin' and had our little pink house on the corner.

Gumbo and Crawfish and Pralines
Food of my childhood.

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September 02, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Dirges in the Dark

So, Bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die


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September 02, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

New Orleans and Katrina

NOLA View

Updated info on New Orleans

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August 29, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Bisbee Blues Festival

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Pat Gahn, my sister's balladeer


First Annual Bisbee Blues Festival
August 20, 2005
City Park, Old Bisbee
Sponsored by the Bisbee Arts Commission

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August 20, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Solidarity with our British Friends

To the British readers of Le Sabot & TulipGirl, we just wanted to join with a lot of other American bloggers in expressing sympathy for your losses on 7/7. And also our admiration for the way Londoners responded to the attacks. Our family is praying for those injured, and that the terrorists responsible will be quickly brought to justice

union jack.jpg


(Sentiments shared from Hubby, of Le Sabot.)

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July 08, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Thank a Midwife!

Today is International Midwives' Day.

I've had great midwives through the years, and want to thank them here.


Carol Wolfson and Cheryl Hollifield, Florida

Veronica Wagner, California

Alisa Voss, Texas

Tavish Brinton, South Carolina


Many thanks to you, and may you and your families continue to be blessed as you serve and nurture mamas.


(Via The Mommy Blawg.)

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May 05, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Exclusive Breastfeeding and HIV

A Zimbabwean study finds HIV-positive mothers are less likely to transmit AIDS to their infants if they breast feed exclusively.

. . .

They found that babies fed a mixed diet including animal milk and solids were three times more likely to die of AIDS than those fed nothing but breast milk. Babies where breastfeeding was predominant were less likely to die.

. . .

"Our findings indicate that for these mothers, delaying introduction of all non-breast milk foods will substantially reduce the risk of HIV and death for their infants," Humphrey said.

From UPI / Washington Times.
More details on the study.

We discussed this a year ago, when similar results were released.

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April 29, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

How Do You Do This?

Last night Hubby had to teach the boys how to flush an American toilet.

We're back in the States.

Posting may continue to be light.

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April 14, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Welcome, Babies!

Congrats to proud parents, Joe and Jane Missionary (and big brother, Junior!) on their daughter Joy!

BABYJOY.jpg


And congrats to Little Miss Reformed, on her niece Little Baby Tulip. Lil' Miss is the type of aunt every parents wants for their child--doting and loving and spoiling. Baby Lil' Tulip even looks like Lil' Miss! See the cute tulip hat!?

BABYTULIP.JPG

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March 23, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Spices in Any Language

Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages are amazing!

Not only can you look up your old, familiar spices to find out what they are called in many other languages, but the search function operates in other languages, too!

Today I discovered that the Шалфей I bought is sage. *grin* I wish I had discovered this three years ago. . .

Not only does this site provide the names of spices in various languages, but also the botanical names, photos, illustrations, uses of spices, cultural info and recipes. An amazing resource for the gourmand, or simply curious.

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March 22, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Memories of Adak

I had a vivid dream the other night. Spring had softly begun. The snow was melting, the sky was clear and there was a slight warmth to the air. Trees were in a light mist of green—promises of leaf buds.

I woke up this morning and it was grey. And cold. Snow was falling hard, and I could see the roads below our flat were covered in white, unplowed.

I was so disheartened.

But my trail of thoughts led back to when I was a child and I enjoyed the winter and cold and lived in Alaska. I have few family photos with me here in Kyiv, and none from that time. But I was able to google some great photos that brought back a lot of good memories. I couldn’t find any pics of the house where we lived, but lots of places and things I remembered.

adak-wright-road-to-nsga2.jpg


adakforest1.jpg

Adak National Forest

No tree taller than my dad.


wa07.jpg


eaglepair.jpg


reevesplane.jpg

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leaving on a Reeves plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

sitkin.jpg

(All photos were linked from this site about Adak.)

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March 15, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Cross Cultural Comedy

Crazy Japan Pictures

If you posted the happy, humming elephant family picture please let me know. That's how I found this site today. (*blush* Can't remember.)

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March 10, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Change and Hope in Lebanon

"It was our Boston Tea Party. . . . People feel empowered for the first time; they are feeling that their voice matters - that they can say things. . . It is not yet victory, but for the first time in a very long time, people are feeling, 'I can make change.' And there is a real sense of fraternity and unity." -- Lebanese political analyst Nawaf Salam

Our voice matters. We can make a change. What I'm hearing from Lebanon so much echoes the feelings in Ukraine during November and December, during the Orange Revolution.

That feeling of empowerment was something new, something different--a hope that just wasn't here for so long.

Honestly, I don't understand the intricacies of what is going on in Lebanon. Life here in Ukraine is still absorbing my attention and energy. But I hear bits and pieces like this, feel hopeful, and pray.

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March 10, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

March 8th -- Women's Day

Today is Women's Day, a left-over Soviet-style Hallmark holiday, marked by the giving of chocolates and flowers.

I had some notes jotted down in last year's journal that I wanted to share on this holiday. I've been meditating lately on our identity in Christ and being complete in Him. One thing that struck me was how that impacts our single sisters in Christ, and the church's perception of single women.

I didn’t experience “singleness” as an adult. I met Hubby and wanted to marry him at 17. Four years of living at home, love and courtship, we were married.

The back home movement in GNAP* has, in some ways, excluded single women. I appreciate the emphasis on valuing woman as mothers and wives.

However, I’ve seen such a strong desire to rebuild the family and give honor to mothers, that those who are not married especially (but also those who are married but do not have children) are in a sort of limbo. There is talk (and action) of single women remaining with their family of origin and ministering from there. And though no one would actually say it--and in fact, would vehemently deny it--the message often communicate is that a woman’s worth comes only from marriage and bearing children. That a woman is not complete without these things.

This attitude seems to go against our wholeness being found in Christ, being part of the Church as a whole, and our worth as Christ’s Bride.

And like the Soviet-style Women's Day holiday, it sometimes seems there is much noise but in the end, is the church really showing respect to women, if we are subtly snubbing our single and childless friends?


*Generic North American Protestantism

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March 08, 2005  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

If You Had 10 Million Dollars. . .

Call me twisted, but I find it fun to pore over 990PF tax forms. I was involved with a great non-profit organization in Texas for three years as a volunteer, and a year as an intern. One of the things I dabbled in was grant writing.

And so Slate’s articles on philanthropy during the last year caught my eye and attention.


The Ninth Annual Slate 60
The 2004 Slate 60 list


One of my daydreams is to be on the board of a charitable foundation. I like to plan which charities I’d support in the short term and long term. I have all sorts of ideas—scholarships, foreign missions, political causes, environmental/economic partnerships, pro-life groups. . .

If you had 10 million dollars that you must give away this year, what groups and charities would benefit?

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March 07, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

For the Older and Wiser Among Us

Prime Time Missions Conference
April 25-29

Mission to the World and Ridge Haven Conference Center are sponsoring the first Prime Time Missions Conference for ages 50 and up.

It will be held at Ridge Haven from April 25-29, 2005. Shelton Sanford, pastor of Westminster PCA in Rock Hill, SC, will be the keynote speaker. There will be testimonies from people who have served in MTW's Second Career program, seminars, and opportunities for cross-cultural experiences. There is a $100 discount for the first 50 to register before March 25.

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March 03, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

States We've Been Meme


Bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.


Or, see the map.


(Via Cindy)

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March 01, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Cool New Blog

The CounterTerrorism Blog

(Via Le Sabot)

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January 11, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Iran and the Internet

stop.censoring.us is a website that focuses on internet censorship in Iran. We have several Iranian friends here in Kyiv, and hearing their stories of growing up in Tehran has really opened my eyes to the oppression in that country.

I take for granted freedom of speech, freedom to put online my thoughts and feelings and rants. In Iran, however, that is not the case as stop.censoring.us reports:

"BBC Persian reports that Saeed Mortazavi has personally and directly ordered the major ISPs . . .to filter Orkut and blogging service websites.

. . .

Mortazavi has been directly involved in the recent arrests of technicians and journalists related to a few reformist websites and is said to be responsible for torturing them.

He is also the judge who has shut down almost all reformist newspapers and magazines during the past six years. . .


(Via SlashDot, via Instapundit)

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January 10, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Disaster Relief

From byFaith Online Magazine e-mail:

Mission to the World is spearheading relief efforts for victims of the recent Tsunami in Asia. MTW is in the process raising funds to help those in need. It is also planning to send response teams through its Disaster Response Ministry (DRM). The DRM is a mercy ministry of the Medical Missions Department of MTW, created with the specific purpose of deploying trained and equipped teams to areas of disaster and need in different parts of the world. To read the MTW appeal letter, to donate funds and/or to volunteer to be a part of a response team go to MTW.org

Honestly, I'm not going to be blogging about the tsunami. It's just too much for me right now. It's too big, too horrible, too overwhelming. I'm limiting what I read about it, what I pictures I view, and how much I think about it.

And while I know many, many people are suffering, I am very thankful that the people we personally know who live and minister in that part of the world are safe.


Update: More about the MTW Minutemen at Wittenberg Gate.

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December 30, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Yushchenko / Yanukovich Debate

I didn't watch the debate on Monday. My Ukrainian is rustier than my Russian, and our tv cables aren't working at all. I knew, however, I could rely on Dan to give a summary of Monday nights' Yushchenko / Yanukovich debate.

If you've been listening to Разом нас багато, you might recognize the line Ми не козли or "mi nye kozli." We're not goats!

Yanukovich called the protesters who had gathered in Independence Square, one of the foulest names in this culture. Here's my favorite part of the debate:

"Are you ready to apologize to the ten million active opposition supporters for calling them 'goats'?" asked Yuschenko. "I mean, maybe you could say they're only ten million, but they're still Ukrainians."

"I called them goats in the biblical sense, in the sense of betrayers," answered Yanukovych, which made Yushchenko laugh. . ."

Read Dan's thorough debate commentary here.

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December 22, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Orange Revolution Accessories


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As Disco says, When you revolutionize--accessorize!

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December 21, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Busy Saturday

Saturdays are one of our busiest days. Today Hubby teaches two English classes in our home (and I keep the boys somewhat quiet and occupied.) Later, we'll be having some people over for hot cocoa and cookies, and prayer. Then, they'll be off to do some things to help bring more community awareness of the church.

I had planned to make cookies with the boys last night, and then realized that I'm out of eggs again. I found a no-egg recipe for hammentashen that looked suitable for cookie cutter-ing. We'll see. . . I'm almost tempted to buy four score of eggs.

On the Ukrainian election front, Pora's "Train of Friendship" and "Movement of Liberty" is currently progressing through southern and eastern Ukraine, promoting truth in campaigning and unity in Ukraine.

Polish supporters of Ukrainian democracy are knitting a giant orange scarf. I wish I could find pictures of it.

Chocolatier Willy Wonka supports Yushchenko. Err, wait. That's Poroshenko.

Jane's confirmed Russian spetznas troops were/are in Ukraine.

And the Yushchenko/Yanukovich debates are scheduled for Monday.

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December 18, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Bits and Pieces

Today is the last day to bid on Angel's Tak Oranges original painting with proceeds going to charity. Even if you don't buy it, click on the link and be inspired by the story and photos of the creative process.

Dan warns about some money-for-Ukraine scams and has a list of solid MSM articles about what's going on here.

Check out this brand-spankin' new blog, originating from Kyiv. Little Miss wonders, Is Yushchenko Really a Believer?

Klitschko beats Williams.

Ukrainian politics--it's not about the Left or the Right. . . To borrow Disco's phrase, it's a mix of politico-economic tribalism and Pragmatic Kleptocracy. Read more.

Foreign Notes writes more about the US money that was involved in the Ukrainian election. My take? If US money wasn't involved, then it should have been. . ..

And wow, I'm flattered! Included in the same category as the Big Daddies, like Instapundit and Atrios. *blush, blush*

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December 14, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

So You Want To Spend Christmas in Ukraine?

I've been looking for this information, and only just now have it, thanks to Dan. The desired deadline is past, but I don't think it's too late to contact them about being involved as an Election Observer. The following is from Orange Ukraine:

Continue reading "So You Want To Spend Christmas in Ukraine?"

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December 14, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Yushchenko's Poisoning

While it's old news that Yushchenko has been poisoned, today the Ukrainian Rada re-opened investigations.

Nikita Demosthenes has written extensively about Yuschenko's poisoning and chloracne. Read here and here.

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December 13, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

From the Archives. . .

Hubby has some of my favorite photos that capture Kyiv in his archives.

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From our kitchen window during our first winter in Kyiv.
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December 13, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Orange Revolution Timeline

Thanks to the Kyiv Post, here's a Timeline of the Orange Revolution.

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December 10, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

From Georgia

GeorgiaGoodOleBoys.JPG
"When a person knows freedom, they want other people to be free."

(via Le Sabot)

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December 09, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Update

The Tent City will remain through the run-up to the Ukrainian elections on December 26th, but the protests are more low key, now. Orange ribbons are still seen everywhere throughout the city, as people return to a more normal rhythm of life. Things are not "over" but definitely have shifted focus.

Activism has shifted from protest mode to campaign mode. Dan at Orange Ukraine has the scoop on Yushchenko's campaign strategies.

Wikipedia has expanded to include a new section--WikiNews. I think this has great potential, depending on how it's executed. Here's their news page on the Ukraine Political Crisis. (Via EuroPhobia)

Hubby has some new photos up along with news and analysis.

Things are so hopeful!

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December 09, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Going, going, gone. . .

As I post this, there are only four hours left to bid on this painting inspired by the Orange Revolution. All proceeds will go to charity.

Update from Angel:

Hi! I have terrific news!!!!!! Thanks to the auction $217.50 will be donated for the people on the square! Here is a bit of the email from the winning bidder:

Angel,

I'm looking forward to receiving your painting (saw it on tulipgirl.com). My wife and I are moving to Kiev for work next spring and the painting will be going with us.


Thanks to all who bid in support of Ukraine!

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December 07, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Who's Doing What in Kyiv

Neeka has been spending time with Crimean Tatars.

And Scotthas met the Egg Guy.

Dan and Lesya have been down at the tent city, "They'll easily make it until the 26th." They participated in a multi-religious rally and prayer time. Hubby also has photos illustrating the support the revolution has among the religious.

Maidan reports just how close things came to military force on November 28th.

Hubby has been in the center tonight. Keep checking his blog for updates.

And, on a personal note, our local grocery store has been out of eggs for about a week. It puts a cramp in my plans to make Christmas cookies with the boys. I'm curious whether it is related to the strike, which I am willing to forego eggs to support. Or, if it is simply a breakdown in the distribution system for this chain. It's been known to happen even without a revolution going on--in October toilet paper was out of stock for two weeks. . .

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December 07, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Orange Babushka

orange lady.JPG This is one of my favorite photos of Ukraine, ever.


Hubby has a whole slew of new photos up.

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December 06, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Just In -- Supreme Court Has Ruled!

Our friends Lena and Seryozha just came over. At 5:58 the Supreme Court decision was read. The Supreme Court has ruled that:
1. The election from November 21 is invalid.
2. There will be another run-off election, between Yushchenko and Yanukovich.
3. The election will be held before the end of December.

We were all jumping up and down and so excited. This decision is wonderful and right. And honestly, I am so happy and amazed at how things are turning out. We're celebrating!

As soon as I find this from an English news source, I'll provide a link.

Update: Here's the story from the Kyiv Post Some excerpts:

Ukraine's Supreme Court on Friday invalidated the official results of the disputed presidential runoff election and ruled that a repeat vote must be held.

Presiding Judge Anatoliy Yarema said the rerun should be held by Dec. 26.

. . .

The court's ruling is binding and cannot be overturned.

Yushchenko has pushed for a quick rerun of the runoff, saying it may come as early as Dec. 19. He has rejected outgoing President Leonid Kuchma's call for a completely new election, which was widely seen as a bid to field a new candidate more popular than Yanukovych.

Tens of thousands of opposition protesters who had massed in central Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in anticipation of the decision cheered, waving blue-and-yellow Ukrainian and orange Yushchenko flags and chanting "Yushchenko! Yushchenko!" The crackle of fireworks could be heard in the distance.

. . .

"This is a great victory of all people who have been standing at the square, a great victory for Ukrainian democracy," said Mykola Katerinchuk, the Yushchenko lawyer who wrote the appeal.

Read the rest here.


Update: Read the text of the decision at obdymok.


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December 03, 2004  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Backgrounder

One of the best overviews I've seen for Ukraine's history and politics is at Wikipedia.

Also check out:
Wikipedia: Ukraine
Wikipedia: Verkhovna Rada
Ukraine Constitution in English
Ukraine History Timeline
Map of Ukraine
Three Language Map

And, if you can get to a library or bookstore, Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine by Anna Reid is a very moving and readable history of Ukraine.

(Especially for Helena. *grin*)

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December 02, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Who is Victor?

Check out Dan's character sketches of Victor Yushchenko and Victor Yanukovich over at Orange Ukraine. Great for both background and "big picture" info.

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December 02, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Art for Democracy II

Support Democracy in Ukraine -- All Proceeds Donated
razom_art.JPG

created by Angel


Painting inspired by and painted while listening to:
"РАЗОМ НАС БАГАТО - НАС НЕ ПОДОЛАТИ!
Музика: гурт ГРИНДЖОЛИ & радіо "Західний Полюс" Повстанська пісня


Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!

Фальсифікаціям. Ні!
Махінаціям. Ні!
Понятіям. Ні!
Ні брехні!
Ющенко, Ющенко!
Це наш президент.
Так! Так! Так!

Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!

Ми не бидло
Ми не козли.
Ми України
Доньки і сини
Зараз чи ніколи
Годі чекати
Разом нас багато
Разом нас не подолати

Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!"


(Dan has the translation online.)

More art for Ukraine

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December 01, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Worries about Using Force Tonight

From Hotline:

"All the officers of the department of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyiv were called to the department for 23.30. All the employees received an order to come in winter clothes and with weapons. They will receive other instructions at the meeting."

Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, especially in Kyiv. I'm concerned that possibilities of violence may increase, with the new agreement reached and confusion about what it means. And that Kuchma et al may be desparate enough to use force.

I rejoice, however, that it appears that all parties involved have agreed to not use force in resolving this. Thank you for your ongoing prayers.

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December 01, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Just In, Big News

From Le Sabot:

"From the press conference at Marinskiy Palace. From what I'm hearing, President Kuchma announced:

1. All parties have signed an agreement. It was a "genuine compromise." There is going to be a revote, though I don't think the type has been decided yet.

2. There is going to be an expert working group to look at the legal issues of the election. They will follow the recommendations of the Supreme Court.

3. All sides are renouncing violence.

4. The protesters are going to stop blocking government buildings.

5. There will be constitutional reform during the upcoming period.

From the quick bit I saw on the TV here, everyone was smiling, including the "sick" Yanukovych. With only the above info, it's hard to say what the significance of this is. I need to know what kind of constitional reform. To date, that phrase means a weakening of the president in favor of the PM. We'll have to see what it means here.

A lot of the activists here at this spot aren't happy about the agreement. There's always an undercurrent of mistrust that he's too timid, so I'm taking this with a grain of salt. But it does seem like an ambiguous step at best.

Unrelated note: Channel 5 is announcing a massive removal of official documents from the Ministry of Internal Affairs office. They had footage of voting slips in the back of dumptrucks."


Related news articles:

Ukraine's Opposition Agrees. . .
Rumors of New Election in a Month
Yushchenko wants New Vote Dec 19
Snow Truck Smuggles Documents
Blockade Lifted, Agreement Signed

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December 01, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Yushchenko: How to be Victorious

In tonight's speech to the Ukrainians gathered at Independence Square, Yushchenko stressed that the two main ways to gain a victory are:

1) love, warm-heartedness and unity

2) people should stay on Maidan untill Supreme Court and Verkhovna Rada declare precise date of revoting


(Via Maidan News)

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December 01, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

No Compromise, No Separation

Yanukovich is no longer Prime Minister.

The Rada has dismissed the government.

Yushchenko has refused to compromise, when it means betraying the protesters, and has stopped negotiating with Kuchma et al for now. Key in this: Refusing a revote where neither Yanukovich nor Yushchenko is allowed to run.

The separatist movement seems to run out of steam.

All these are good developments.


In other news. . .

According to Ukraine, Oh My! "Tuesday, at midnight, Kuchma's constitutional term of five years as President ended. Theoretically, Ukraine is without a president."

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December 01, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink

 

 

Lyudmyla makes Teresa look Good

Not-quite-First Lady Lyudmyla Yanukovych, recently ranted in Donetsk :

«Dear friends, I’m fresh from Kyiv, I can tell you what’s going on there. It’s simply an orange orgy there! So, there’s rows and rows of felt boots – all of it of American make! See! And mountains of orange oranges. And the background is “Orange sea, orange sky…” [a line from a popular kids song – tr.] Gosh! It’s just… It’s a nightmare! And look here guys: those oranges ain’t just any oranges – they’re loaded. People take an orange, eat it – and take another one. See! And the hand keeps reaching, keeps reaching for it. I was on my way here, there was news. They said – people in the square are getting poisoned, on a mass scale. Frequent hospitalizations. They bring people in with meningitis! What have we come to! And they keep standing, keep standing! Eyes simply glazed over! Just like that!»

Excuse me a moment.

Bwa haha haha haha!

Yeah. Riiiiiiiight.


However, please pray for the general health and continued peacefulness of the protesters. The weather is frigid, and it's been snowing a lot. Some people have been sick, but there are medical clinics set up as well as ambulances available.

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November 30, 2004  |  Comments (22)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink

 

 

Photos from Kyiv, Nov 28 - 29

From Maidan

From Le Sabot

From Neeka

From Orange Ukraine

From International Support for Ukrainian Democracy

Crocodile's Collection

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November 29, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Art for Democray

ukraineart.jpg

by Maia, at House of the Dog

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November 28, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine News Sources

It's been amazing to see the outpouring of interest in and support for Ukraine and her people. The big daddies are keeping it in front of their readers on a daily basis--especially Instapundit, but also Andrew Sullivan, NRO's The Corner, PowerLineBlog and Hugh Hewitt.


Over at LoboWalk, Daniel's Ukraininan wife Anna has started translating news stories into English. Hooray!


The following are some helpful links, but is in no way an exhaustive list.

UkrBlogs, in and out of Kyiv:
Hubby, at Le Sabot
Neeka's Backlog
Foreign Notes
obdymok
Orange Ukraine
Ukraine, Oh My!
LoboWalk
The Argus
Fistful of Euros
Daniel Drezner
The Periscope
SCSU Scholars
A Step at a Time
EuroPhobia


UkrNews in English:
Kyiv Post high integrity
PORA News
Maidan News
Ukraine Now
Ukraine Observer
ObozRevaTel
Mirror Weekly
Google News - Ukraine
EinNews - Ukraine
Hotline News

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November 28, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Please Pray Now. . .

There are several reports of Kuchma planning on declaring martial law and possible attempting to raze the tent city at 8pm local time. Please pray that peace will prevail, Kuchma will not use violence, and the protesters will remain level-headed.

And Yushchenko has issued this statement,

"Ideas of force resolutions are appearing from time to time. Mr. President, I'm appealing to you: God forbid the government should resort to force. You will confront unimaginable power, and these 500 thousands, who are standing in this square, will grow tenfold."

"If any preparations for resolution by force come to light, we will break off negotiations immediately."

"I would like to appeal to people who wear the military uniform. Remember one thing - weapons always speak in unison with the truth, they never work against your own people."


Update: As of now, my Ukrainian friends who are following the news or have been in the center have not seen any actions against the demonstrators or tent city. Maidan continues to report concerning developments.

As Neeka says, "many believe that all these rumors are based on the very real threats that keep being averted through pressure and negotiations."

However Chairman Volodymyr Radchenko of the The Council on National Security and Defense of Ukraine says the use of force against the protest participants is "impossible."


2 am update here, from Hubby.

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November 28, 2004  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink

 

 

Babushki of the Revolution

". . .We were told that she went up to the guards in front of the entrance, guards in full riot gear, masks and shield, in ranks twenty deep. She went up to one and said, “I am a babushka [translated roughly as “grandmother” but used for every older woman grandmother age] from the village. I came here to find out how you are. Are you fine? Are you hungry? Maybe your parents are somewhere worrying about you?

“Babushka has come from the village with some warm socks for you. Maybe your feet are cold and you need some socks?” She talked to this fellow in this way and won him over. He lowered his shield to expose his face and he was grinning at her while she spoke to him.

Today, she was supposed to come over and see us. She likes to do this especially since she has a new grandson she dotes on. But today she can’t be bothered with that sort of thing. She is part of the revolution. Getting out of bed this morning, she went to the store, bought bread and sausage and is on her way down to make sure that the protestors are fed and taken care of.

Before she left, she called her husband in the village. She had been planning on going back home and letting him come to take part but, when she called, she told him “There is nothing for you to do here. There are enough men here already. A woman’s touch is what is needed here to help take care of the people down at the square. So I will stay here. You don’t need to come.” (This is terribly un-PC but that is the way she is and the way of life is in the village.)

Read the rest.

I'm tired of people outside of Ukraine trying to frame what is going on here as a "US/EU vs. Russia" thing, and so condescendingly refusing to see this is all about Ukraine. It is Ukrainians who have risen up, joined together, and finally have hope that things here can change.

The above story is from ForeignNotes who lives here in Kyiv, and is about his mother-in -law. This is the real story of this rally. Each day, a million individual gestures of freedom and unity are joined together to make up the big picture on the Square.

I sure wish ForeignNotes would allow anon comments. hint, hint.

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November 27, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink

 

 

Rada Says Election not Valid!

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has declared the November 21 election to be invalid! They have also voted no-confidence in the CEC. This is reported by the ever-reliable The Kyiv Post. (No registration required right now--that should be a permanent change, imo.)

These votes are non-binding, but still, are hugely significant!


Update: Just got an e- from our friend Pasha, "Hi, here is some info. You might have heard of it! Did you watch our parliament conference live on different chanels? There're some good results but did you see corruption and desire to leave some power in the hands of Yanukovich's "region party"... As soon as I find the info in English, I'll link to it.

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November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

New and New-to-me Ukraine Sites

Orange Ukraine, Helping to pull 48 million chestnuts out of the fire. is a brand new blog to watch. It's authored by former Peace-Corps volunteeer and freelance journalist Dan McMinn, who lives in Kyiv with his Ukrainian-born wife. Keep checking back--Dan really understands the situation here.

Photos from Kyiv and around the world are being collected by Crocodiles Ukrainian Election 2004 site. It was especially neat to see the pics from Chicago, where my Mom lives and where I attended my first political rally (skipping school, naturally.)

AidUkraine is run by a Ukrainian in diaspora and has some good info. Note, they are asking for donations. And while it looks legit, I cannot personally vouch for this group..


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November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Conversation in a Taxi

On our way home from Thankgiving Dinner yesterday, our taxi took us near the center, but not close enough for the boys and I to see the heart of the demonstration. We did see many people walking to and from the rally, all wearing orange, waving flags, and sometimes chanting "Yu-shchen-ko!"

J8, budding politico that he is, was sure to ask our taxi driver, "Are you for Yushchenko?" Of course he was, and that opened a whole conversation.

"It'll be much better for our country when there isn't corruption," Oleg said. "We need to be more like Europe." Oleg has a friend in Canada and has thought of moving there with his daughter, but he needs money, a job there--and he just can't leave his mother here in Ukraine. Sadly, we know a lot of Ukrainians who have wanted to leave--the corruption here has been too oppressive and until now, escape seemed the only solution. Now there is hope that things really can change.

The boys kept injecting their own comments and cheers for Yushchenko, as Oleg and I talked. We drove past the Central Elections Committee building, and Oleg pointed it out and told me what it was like the other day when there were so many protesters. We saw a group of 30 or so people waving flags and cheering in front of a government building that is quite a ways from the center. While Maidan and Khreshatyk are still the center of activity, it seems obvious that the demonstration is growing and spreading.

Oleg asked me why I supported Yushchenko. "Look at the economic plans he had in the past--the dollar/grivnia exchange rate has been constant since we moved here. His past plans were responsible for that, so I think his plans for the future will be sound, too. I really believe he is a true reformer."

At one point Oleg asked if anyone in the US knew what was going on here. "The world is watching," I went on to tell him about all the people I've heard from (online especially) who care about what is going on here. He was visibly moved knowing that people around the world are watching--and care.

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November 26, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Parallel Gov't Issues Decrees

Yesterday, November 25th, Victor Yushchenko's parallel government issued its first decrees, focusing renewal of democracy in Ukraine and on safety issues for the Ukrainians who are protesting corruption in government.

Read them here.

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November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Emergency Parliament Solution?

"Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. . . gathered with parliament faction leaders to discuss the possibility of convening an extraordinary parliament session to unblock the current political crisis. . . . (Lytvyn) believes the current predicament can be resolved "independently" and is seeking to determine the role of parliament during the emergency."

(Via the ever-reliable Kyiv Post)

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November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Negotiations?

From Victor Katolyk, translated from the very reliable korrespondent.net.

"korrespondent.net The negotiations between Kuchma, Yanukovych, and Yushchenko will be held at 18:00 in the presence of international mediators. Yushchenko refused to hold eye-to-eye meetings with Kuchma or Yanukovych.

The negotiations will be mediated by Xavier Solana, Jan Kubish, Alexander Kwasniewski (President of Poland), Valdas Adamkus (President of Lithuania) and, possibly, other European and Russian diplomats."

Please pray that these will be fruitful, and that in negotiating an outcome, the people of Ukraine will not be subject to compromises that dash their hopes of freedom.


(Via Fistful of Euros)

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November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Support Ukraine Buttons

Amy has designed a series of buttons to show your support for democray in Ukraine on your website. Thanks, Amy!


democracy_logo5.gif

Also, Nathan at Registan have also designed several buttons to show support for Ukraine.


mapflag-button.jpg

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November 26, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink

 

 

A Thousand Words

This PORA associated blog is worth checking out for the great photos, even if you don't speak Ukrainian.

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November 25, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Sign and Pass Along

From PORA, A Letter of Freedom and Solidarity:

"To all CITIZENS of the FREE WORLD,

Now, while you are reading this letter, 48 million people in one of the largest countries in Europe have a unique chance to make their choice and change a corrupt ruling regime.

This autumn 2004 is the moment of truth for the Ukrainian nation

We know that the choice of the Ukrainian people is clear.
They are tired of years of corrupt and untrustworthy government. They are exhausted by permanent lies and lawlessness. They want prosperity and stability for their children. They want to live in a democratic country. They value freedom of expression and freedom of the press They want to join the European community. They want their choice to be heard and respected.

But we also know that they can be robbed of this choice, as happened during parliamentary elections in 2002, during the elections in Mukachevo and in multitudes of small towns all over Ukraine. We recognize that the People’s choice could be disgraced and replaced by the will of a small oligarchic group. And once again millions of Ukrainians will be deceived

We started this letter of freedom and solidarity to defend free and fair election results.

If you believe in freedom, if you care about the future of Ukraine, sign this letter to prevent falsifications and to protect the thousands of young Ukrainians who have created a national network of volunteers and started PORA ("It's Time!"), a civic movement aimed at ensuring and protecting fair and democratic election of the President of Ukraine.

We need your help because the regime will be afraid to break the rules in front
of because only UNITED we can win.

There is no alternative to public action:
1. Check our website www.pora.org.ua/en
2. Sign our letter of freedom and solidarity
3. Make a difference: join PORA Campaign and contribute to campaign
4. Forward this letter to your friends

There might not be other chance.

It is TIME to act, TIME to struggle, TIME to win

The letter was signed by: Show All

If you want to sign this letter please send your name, organization you represent and your email to info@pora.org.ua"


(Via Le Sabot Post-Moderne)

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November 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

$21 Million Dollar Bribe?

Serhiy Kivalov, head of the Central Elections Committee, reportedly received a bribe of $21,600,000 to proclaim Yanukovych as President of Ukraine.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

"The struggle is just starting!"

These are the things that have been announced in Kyiv in the last hour:

1. "The struggle is just starting!" declared Yushchenko.

2. In response to the announcement made today by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine that Yanukovych won the election Yushchenko calls for nation wide strike.

3. The Committee Of National Salvation, responsible for the rescue of democracy in Ukraine, has been formed.

4. Ukrainian military officers and ensigns support Yushchenko.


Frequently Updated News Sites / Blogs

Le Sabot Post-Moderne
Kyiv Post high integrity news source
Neeka's Backlog
The Periscope
EuroPhobia
Maidan News English
Pora News
Fistfull of Euros

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Prayer for Ukraine

Before this evening's Yushchenko speech, preachers came to the camp and prayed for the activists.

This is a song we regularly sing in church, "A Prayer for Ukraine". Please continue in your prayers for Ukraine and her people, and a peaceful and just resolution.

Молитва за Україну

Моя молитва нехай лине
До Тебе, наче фіміам.
І серце лине без зупину
В чудовий Твій небесний храм.

Боже, я молю за Україну,
Боже, молю тебе за людей,
Ти їх прости,
Ти їх спаси,
І милість Твою нам яви.
Боже, я знаю,
Що Ти будеш з нами
В храмі Твоєму під небесами
Радість і мир Ти дарував,
Життя для людей віддав,
В Книгу Життя нас записав!

В Своєму Слові Живому,
Ти для людей ведіння дав,
Щоб люди всі молились Богу,
Що на Хресті за нас вмирав.

And thanks to Maureen, here it is in English.

A Prayer for Ukraine

My prayer does not go unheard,
To you, our incense rises.
And my heart is heard without difficulty
In strange lands, in Your heavenly temple.

God, I pray for Ukraine,
God, I pray to you for its people.
May You forgive them,
May You save them,
And may Your favor on us rest.
God, I know
That You will be with us.
In Your temples under heaven
Joy and peace You're giving,
Life to the people You're showing,
Us in the Book of Life You've written!

In Your Living Glory,
You to the people have given power,
So that the people all pray to God
Who in Christ was reconciled to us.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

What's Going on in Ukraine?

"I am just a little Ukrainian. But the whole pyramid of Ukraine is built on top of little people like me. I should be home working in the soil, but instead I'm here in the (Independence) Square. And I'm not leaving until we have real democracy." --Nikolai


If you are just starting to follow the news of what is going on in Ukraine, check out this Q&A from the BBC.

But to get to the heart of the matter, Oksana Zabuzhko's essay is a must-read.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Conflict Avoidable?

Europhobia has compiled and excellent by-the-hour summary of what's been going on today. Honestly, I'm surprised in many ways at the direction things are going. I really thought that the overwhelming demonstration from the citizens of Ukraine would keep the current authorities from declaring Yanukovich the 'winner."

PeaceYulia.jpg Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko Photo via KyivPost.Com
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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Evening Roundup. . .

Our phone has been on the fritz again today. I'm not sure whether it's just our line being tempermental, it's the weather, or it's the Kyiv circuits. The mobile phone circuits have been overloaded from time to time, too. and though the webcam doesn't show it, we've had snow flurries off and on all day. It makes me all the more thankful for those at the rally who place freedom and democracy over comfort.

So, I've finally been able to call Hubby and skim around online to see what's going on in the center.

Lots of reports of unstability, in spite of the peaceful energy the protests have had so far. To this point, the Ukrainian police and military have been very "friendly" towards the people at the rally, as Neeka puts it, and the Ukrainian Marines have declared for Yushchenko. However, are many reports of Russian troops, some in Ukrainian uniforms. Ukraine, Oh my! has further details about this.

Hubby, who is currently helping at one of the media centers to get news into English, including the latest reports, "Authorities have begun violent action against peaceful protesters near the Presidential Admin building. 2 buses of special ops police units drove up and have moved on the demonstrators. . . Provocateurs planted an "explosive" device in our tent city. Snipers were called in."

Victor continues to get news into English as well, translating from radio and tv reports.

PORA It's Time, is updating its English news site frequently. Included are reports of troops being flown in and plans for Yanukovich being sworn in today. I haven't verified whether this has happened or was just planned. More on that here, too.

Oh, and I just read that some internet services have been terminated in Kyiv. If you don't hear from us, that may be why. . .

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Not Just Kyiv

Vinnytsia -- 5 thousand participants
Dnipropetrovsk -- 10 thousand
Zhytomyr -- over 40 thousand
Zaporizhzhia -- nearly 10 thousand
Ivano-Frankivsk -- 60 thousand
Kamyanets-Podilsky -- 15 thousand
Kyiv -- 500 thousand – 1 million
Kirovohrad -- over 10 thousand
Kremenchuk -- 2 thousand
Lebedyn -- 6 thousand
Lutsk -- 15 thousand
Lviv -- 120-150 thousand
Mykolayiv -- 3 thousand
Okhtyrka -- 15 thousand
Poltava -- 15 thousand
Rivne -- 6-7 thousand
Simferopol -- 1 thousand
Sumy -- 30 thousand
Ternopil -- 30 thousand
Uzhhorod -- 12 thousand
Kharkiv -- 80-100 thousand
Kherson -- 1 thousand
Cherkasy -- 10 thousand
Chernivtsi -- 30 thousand
Chernihiv -- 2 thousand
Shostka -- 15 thousand

The Ukrainians who are not travelling to Kyiv to rally, are making their voices heard in their home towns.

And around the world, Ukrainians and world citizens are joining together to show their support for true democracy in Ukraine: Warsaw; The Hague; Buffalo, NY; New York, Washington, and across the US; Toronto and throughtout Canada; Rome; London; and Paris.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

To Do Justice

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justice, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?

Micah 6:8

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Slideshow: Kyiv Rally

Yahoo News has great photos and descriptions from the rally in Kyiv. Scroll down past the first few paragraphs, and there is a link for "Slideshow: Ukraine Elections" on the left. No direct link.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Friendly Riot Police?

Neeka was walking around in the center in the wee sma's of the morning, and this is what she saw:

"At 3 am, the city's so loud you'd think it's daytime. . . .

Every once in while a journalist barged in and announced that, according to some very well-informed sources, the riot police were beating everyone up over there, or that the armored personnel vehicles (is that what they're called?) are approaching the city center. . .

Those were all rumors, thank God. Later this evening, reports came in that the riot police are acting friendly and tolerant, and that they've declared their support for Yushchenko, and that they aren't embarrassed to put on some orange stuff on themselves. I assume it happened thanks to Yulia Tymoshenko - thanks to her charisma."

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Election Observers

If you're interested in primary source documention, here's a PDF file of the International Election Observation Commission Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions.

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

From the White House

"The United States is deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud committed in the Ukrainian presidential election. We strongly support efforts to review the conduct of the election and urge Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved. We call on the Government of Ukraine to respect the will of the Ukrainian people, and we urge all Ukrainians to resolve the situation through peaceful means. The Government bears a special responsibility not to use or incite violence, and to allow free media to report accurately on the situation without intimidation or coercion. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in this difficult time."


(Via Instapundit. Hooray for Glenn!)

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November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

From the Velvet to the Orange

"Dear Citizens,

Allow me to greet you in these dramatic days when the destiny of your country is being decided for decades ahead. You have its future in your hands. All trustworthy organizations, both local and international, agree that your demands are just. That is why I wish you strength, perseverance, courage and good fortune with your decisions.

Yours truly,

Vaclav Havel"


(via EuroPhobia)

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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

UkrNews in English

Victor Katolyk at The Periscope is summarizing Ukrainian news reports in English, updating constantly.

I'm not surprised that most of the up-to-the-minute news about the Ukrainian elections is coming from the blogosphere. Kudos to Neeka, A Fist Full of Euros, Europhobia, A Step at A Time, Ukraine, Oh My!, Le Sabot and many others who are helping to bring the world's attention to Ukraine.


I heard there is a football game tonight. That worries me a bit. After all, past attacks on unpopular journalists have been blamed on "soccer hooligans." I'm concerned that the oligarchs could use the pretext of inebriated football fans to start trouble among those who have peacefully rallied in the center.


I don't expect to hear from Hubby until morning. Off to scrub his bright-orange winter coat. It has PBA glue on it from hanging up flyers.

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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Kyiv Rally Photos

I just posted photos from Independence Square on Hubby's blog.


Webcams:
1 + 1
Inter

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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Update from Hubby

Hubby describes what is going on in Kyiv here:

A Dispatch from the Barricades in Kiev!
Update from Kyiv

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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

More Ukraine Election News

NRO has some essays on the Ukrainian election:
"People Power" 2004? By Nikolas K. Gvosdev
Waiting for the Inevitable

The Kyiv Post has waived their registration / subscription requirements to read the current articles on the election. I wish they'd go back to that permanently. . .

Europhobia is constantly updating the Ukrainian news links he finds. (And even links mnye!)

Some photos from obdymok.


And this just in from the boys who are looking out the window. . . Look! It's snowing hard! Poor Dad, and all those people out there on Khreshatyk. . .


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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Yushchenko Sworn In!

"Victor Yushchenko has taken an oath of the President of Ukraine at the Verkhovna Rada; he did it laying his hand on the 300-year-old Bible.

That happened after Volodymyr Lytvyn closed the parliamentary session on hearing that Yuriy Yukhnovskiy had suggested that Yushchenko take such an oath.

The assembled deputies greeted the new president. They sang Ukrainian National Anthem." -- Yushchenko's Web Site


We'll see where this leads. . .


More on the Verkhovna Rada special session:
Turmoil Deepens, Rada Meets
Parliament to Consider Election Results
Yushchenko Takes Oath, Protests Widen
Ukraine's Parliament Fails to Secure Quorum

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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

A Picture of Ukraine

Ukranian novelist Oksana Zabushko had an excellent essay in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. I can't find the article online, so I'll copy the text here.

For those who are hearing about the Ukrainian run-off elections and post-election excitement, this provides a quick overview of what is going on. Ms. Zabushko's essay very much mirrors what we have observed here, too.

November 22, 2004

COMMENTARY

Ukraine's Solidarity

By OKSANA ZABUZHKO

KIEV -- On Saturday afternoon, I was going by taxi past the Central Election Committee headquarters. The grand edifice was surrounded by two rows of steel fences, the construction, ironically, copying "maximum security" prisons. Inside, in the courtyard, there are camouflaged armored vehicles, waiting. For what?

"Here they are," said the driver with a wry smile. "Barricaded against us. They must be scared like sh-t now, what'ya think?" He turned his head and gave me a companion's wink. "Their last days are coming!"

There's no need now in Kiev to explain who "they" are, and who "we" are. "They" sit in "their" fortresses, in the government and presidential administration buildings on the downtown core's high hills. "They" stop traffic to let "their" motorcades of black BMWs and model Mercedes 600s rush across the city, and treat "us" as dirt -- or, more precisely, as a cheap labor force enabling "them" to sell "their" steel abroad at the most favorable price for "their" benefit. "They" own the police that beats protesters, the national TV channels that pour tons of lies on "us," and the tax service that pumps money out of "us" for "their" needs, until "we" are left naked as a worm. (Last week, for example, my publisher received an urgent demand from the local tax service to pay, out of the blue, 44,000 extra hryvnas, or about $7,000, and was happy to conclude from this that "they" must have exhausted "their" financial resources for the electoral campaign, and were now panicking.) To put it simply, "they" are the power -- the most widely hated power in Ukraine since Soviet times. And "we" -- we are the people.

* * *

And that's what we are. Never before -- even 13 years ago, on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union -- has Ukraine witnessed such a massive upsurge of national solidarity. People who've always remained politically indifferent and had missed voting in all previous elections, were disseminating self-printed leaflets from the Internet (samizdat is back -- any piece of information was voraciously devoured on the spot!) in public places, and volunteering to monitor the elections on behalf of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. At a peasant food market a merchant first asked who you're voting for -- the right answer (with which you could count on a generous discount) was "Yushchenko," while incumbent Prime Minister's Viktor Yanukovych's supporters were more than likely simply refused service. In the playgrounds children were playing a game called "Yushchenko beats Yanukovych." To quote my seven-year-old neighbor, "in our class Irka alone stands for Yanukovych, and no one wants to play with her." The slogan chanted by protesting students at demonstrations reads in English as "We're together! We're many! We won't fall!" And just how may of "us" there are, one can easily see in the streets. These days Kiev, as well as other major Ukrainian cities, is defiantly demonstrating its political sympathies by wearing orange, the campaign color of opposition candidate Yushchenko.

A special term has come into use -- "The Orange Revolution." It looks like people have dragged all shades of orange, from yellow to vermilion, out of their wardrobes and adorned themselves with them simultaneously -- vests and sweaters, scarves and purses, coats and umbrellas. Orange ribbons flutter everywhere -- on trees, fences, lanterns, and cabs. Drivers joyfully beep to each other, and pedestrians (traffic police included!) salute them with smiles and raised fists. It feels like the capital of three million has been transformed into a sea of brotherly love! The windows of shops are lavishly decorated with things orange. Among my favorites is the stunt of my neighborhood coffee shop -- its windows glow with pyramids of oranges!

Much of this may sound childish. But some call it the awakening of the nation. And the authorities didn't find it childish, either. Every night criminals brought to Kiev by special trains to provoke disturbances slash tires of orange-ribboned cars. On Saturday night, a day before yesterday's runoff, people adorned in orange were attacked. A friend of mine, wearing a ribbon on his coat, was knocked down in a dark alley with two blows -- to his head and kidneys. His even bigger shock, though, was to hear the bandits calling him, in Russian, "a dirty Jew" (my friend is Jewish, and looks unmistakably so) -- the words which seemed to have been long forgotten during 13 years of Ukrainian independence. "Rats," he commented afterwards. "They ran away before I was able to fight back -- just disappeared into the darkness."

That's the way it goes: Days are "ours," nights are "theirs." In the daylight of Oct. 31, we went to the polling stations and voted for the first time in this presidential race -- that is, those of us who managed to wade through all the mysterious "irregularities" in the voters-lists, because of which around three million Ukrainians were denied their right to cast a ballot. This appeared to be good training for a nation striving for democracy. Yesterday, the second time, we arrived at the polling stations far better prepared to protect our rights while in the daylight. By the time I voted, hundreds of multifarious "irregularities" (like, say, busloads of people with absentee coupons running from polling station to polling station to cast multiple votes, people with files of ballots pre-marked for Yanukovych caught red-handed, cases of gunfire and arson at polling stations, etc.) had already been reported by voters calling hotlines from all over the country. I had to wait in line for my ballot for a while: The place was overcrowded, yet somehow strangely silent, and the tension in the air was more than palpable. Everybody knows that the ballots will be counted at night, and that thus "our" part in the elections doesn't exhaust itself with putting a ballot in the box.

* * *

Here I have to clarify one important point. A widespread cliche used by many Western journalists to describe the major collision of our dramatic elections is that the establishment candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, is "pro-Russian," and that opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, is "pro-Western." This version has as little to do with the feelings of an average Ukrainian voter as with those of the belligerents of the Trojan war. Mr. Yanukovych is perceived not so much as being "pro-Russian," but as, first and foremost, being "pro-criminal" -- a Ukrainian Al Capone, who has under his belt two prison sentences for robbery and assault, and publicly uses criminal argot compared to which even the boorish tongue of retiring President Leonid Kuchma sounds as innocuous as a school textbook. A former governor of Donetsk, Mr. Yanukovych in power represents the so-called "Donetsk fellas" -- a business clan with a notorious criminal background. That the latter have close ties with similar mafia clans in Russia seems to be the most immediate explanation for the pre-election outburst of a passionate love between Russian and Ukrainian leaders, an affair of which Yanukovych-as-president had been designed as a mutually satisfying offspring.

I doubt whether we'll ever know exactly how many million Russian petro-dollars were spent on this project, yet it's been afflicted by one crucial fault from the very beginning. It failed to take into account the possibility of a free will being manifested by the people of Ukraine. This is the problem of all authoritarian rulers. After a while, they lose touch with their people, and never really know who they rule.

Leonid Kuchma's presidency has been extremely unpopular. During his last year he has never enjoyed more than 10% of the people's support. His choice as his "successor" of a prime minister with prison terms and 15 spelling mistakes on his CV, with an accompanying uncurbed propaganda campaign by the national media, was taken by only too many as a brazen act of national humiliation not to be borne -- as a sign that the "shamelessness" of the corrupted establishment had reached rock-bottom. It was from my hairdresser -- a Russian-born and Russian-speaking girl -- that I first heard, about a month ago, this vox populi, boiling with genuine wrath. "Who do THEY think WE are?" she kept lamenting while doing my hair. "What do THEY think THEY can do to US? What am I going to tell my son if this gangster makes it to the presidency -- go ahead, sweetie, rob, steal, and rape, and one day you'll become the president of your country?"

One shouldn't play jokes with millions of indignant mothers. A nation with its dignity so deeply wounded constitutes a force not to be ignored. The first round has already proved this. The fraud committed was probably one of the biggest, and the most elaborate in modern history. None of the applied falsification techniques, however, could provide outright victory for Mr. Yanukovych. What the real figures in the first round were, we'll never know. The official result, meant to show the country as "split" between the two men, has only annoyed people more. If you think that of the nearly 12 million of the officially recognized Yushchenko supporters in the first round at least 10 million have never had a chance to see him on TV other than in an outrageous defamation campaign, clearly modeled after old Stalinist (or Goebbelsian?) techniques, you can easily imagine to what extent Ukrainian authorities have lost their credibility with the nation. It was primarily the "if-THEY-hate-this-man-so-much-then-he-must-be-right" logic that has given the Ukrainian revolution its orange color.

The "harsh scenario" implemented by the authorities for the second round leaves little room for hope that the elections will be everything but fair. A week ago, in the long-awaited live TV debate between the "two Viktors," Yanukovych addressed Yushchenko with a statement sounding like an undisguised threat: "The new power has already arrived (!), and you won't squeeze us out!" And it looks like "the new power" means it, no matter what the cost. The pre-election week alone has provided enough material for dozens of horror writers (and for some 15,000 complaints about the violation of the electoral law now in courts!). News reports read like those from an invaded country under the boot of an occupation regime: Arrests and detainments of public activists (over 200 of them), tear gas and clubs used against protesters (with a police promise that "next time we'll use bullets"!), blackmail and assaults (with bullets included!), committed upon representatives of the opposition candidate, the replacement of administrators in "pro-Yushchenko" areas with "obedient" ones, blatantly promising (as in a village in the Sumy region) that "everyone who voted for Yushchenko will be shot by the police," and many other things, more and more reminiscent of Germany back in 1933.

There is, however, one crucial difference. Them "Bavarian fellas" from 70 years ago were also armed with an ideology, which, however pernicious, after all, addressed "the people." The present-day "Donetsk fellas," apart from money, have at their disposal nothing but guns. And it's known that humans, not guns, decide the outcome of any war.

* * *

This fall, history has turned Ukraine into its unique playground, to check whether this truth is still valid in our brave new world. Thirty-five thousand civilians have volunteered at opposition headquarters to guard polling-stations on the night of vote-counting. This seems to be the only way to make sure that the opposition's landslide victory (the most professional exit poll suggests 58% of the votes for Yushchenko and 39% for Yanukovych) won't be turned on its head the next morning.

Such "civil control" proved to be quite effective a strategy in the first round. Wherever electricity was "inexplicably" cut off, people turned on their car headlights to light up polling-stations, so that election committees could continue their work. No ski-masked attackers risked appearing in well-lit, crowded places, in the flashes of cameras. So far, "they" have stuck to the darkness -- however burning "their" desire is to emerge from out of it and fully establish themselves in the open light on Monday morning.

While I'm writing this, my boyfriend is packing his backpack for the night. Crackers, chocolate, water, a thermos of coffee. Camera, a set of batteries. Candles, matches. Flashlight.

We'll be keeping our place lit. It's beautiful, our place. Never before have we realized how much we loved it all these years. And what a painfully powerful, orange-blazing thing wounded love can be.

Ms. Zabuzhko is a novelist and poet.


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November 23, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Post-Election Ukraine

As I mentioned yesterday, I thought it was a bit premature for Reuters to be declaring Yushchenko the winner of the presidential run-off in Ukraine. The "official" count from Electoral Commission currently has Yanukovych as the winner wtih 49.4 percent of the vote to Yushchenko's 46.7 percent. There are myriad indications that this is not accurate.

Election observation committee OSCE spokesman Bruce George said, "The second round did not meet a considerable number of standards of the OSCE and the European Council for democratic elections." They are calling for a review of each area of the country before.

And so, Ukrainians have taken to the streets to rally and protest. One news source estimates over half a million Ukrainians participating in this post-election rally. Some locals estimate about 250 thousand people were down at Independence Square today. The rally is ongoing--right now there are tents set up and people staying the night in sub-zero weather.

More:
Europhobia's Election news, updated regularly.
MPC's photos from today's rally.
Neeka's observations from the rally.
Independence Square, Kyiv, Live WebCam

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November 22, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Election Update

Reuter's is already reporting that Yushchenko has been elected. Exit polls show he has won by a large margin. However, the official vote counting has been going on for only three hours at this point.

We've heard of disappearing ink on ballots, students being paid 100 uah ($20) to vote for Yanokovich, and "absentee voters" arriving by train-car-full to vote in Kyiv.

While it may be premature to announce the next Ukrainian president, things are looking pretty positive. Please continue to pray, especially for peace for the next few days.

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November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukrainian Election Run-Off

Today is the run-off election in Ukraine between oligarch-supported Yanokovich and reformer Yushchenko. Please be in prayer that the voters will be respected and their decision honored. We have friends who are official election observers who will be present during ballot counting tonight. This election has seen so much. . . irregularity. . . that it's hard to ask for prayer that it be a fair and just election. It's just not possible at this point.

If you are interested in reading more about the election, there are several newsites and blogs being updated throughout the day:

EinNews - Ukraine Feed
Yushchenko's Tak Site
Maidan News
Teksty Blog
Blog de Connard
Neeka's Backlog
Ukraine, Oh my!

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November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Beyond the Gates

“Valerie (4) sat down too, and fixed her eyes on him, the first Auca man she had ever seen. I had told her plainly that her father had died, that he was now “in Jesus’ house,” but I had said very little to her about how it happened. I had wanted to save it until she could comprehend it more fully. Somehow, however, her mind has associated Auca with her father. I watched her study Kimu’s face. Finally she spoke.

“He looks like a daddy. Is that my my daddy?”

So those who had spelled “death” to me were to Valerie human beings, her own. She identified herself with them and was ready to accept as her own father the man who had helped kill her father. There was nothing strange to her about the Aucas.”

From The Savage, My Kinsman Elisabeth Elliot


This quote that really grabbed my attention as I was reading this book last week. I suppose in part it's related to the struggles I've been having "identifying and accepting as my own" the people and culture where I'm living. This is a temporary feeling I'm sure--it's been a rough few weeks. I'm "at home" here and have felt very much a part of Ukraine in the past. But this week has been hard and I anticipate the next two months may be a bit of a challenge as well. The weather is cold, the days are short, and the holidays are coming up. As much as people complain about the commercialization of Christmas, I really do miss going into a grocery store and hearing holiday music and having people around me sharing in similar traditions and anticipations.

Yet, I love it here and this is home. While reading about Elisabeth Eliot and her daughter among the Aucas/Waodoni, I was even more thankful for ways I've been spared--I don't have to eat monkey brains and I appreciate having our family's privacy in our own flat.

Recently released is the new documentary Beyond the Gates. The movie traces the involvement of the missionary families with the Waodani--from the murder of the five men who initially made contact to present day with the Saint family who now live among them. Marsupial Mom and TRW have a summary and reviews of this movie.

To find out whether Gates of Splendor is at a theater near you, check out the zipcode movie finder.

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November 14, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

The Other Election

For those interested in Ukrainian politics, I recommend Hubby's post about Europe's Most Important Election.

And, Einsondernull recommends the following blogs for "on-site news. Sometimes biased, maybe incomplete - but definitly commited and first hand."

Natalka’s Diary
Blog de Connard
Neeka’s Backlog
Ukraine, Oh My!
Teksty

Also, check out:
Maidana
Ukraine Election NewsFeed

Disclaimer: I haven't screened all of the content of these sites, so linking to them is not an endorsement of their views or validity of their information.


Update: Batesline Blog is also blogging on Ukrainian elections.

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October 30, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Iraq, Russia and Syria

Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said. The Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam's weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX, is still being investigated, Mr. Shaw said. The RDX and HMX, which are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons, are probably of Russian origin, he said.

Read the rest of the Washington Times article.


(Via Drudge)

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October 28, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine Photography

We met a Ukrainian-Australian photographer at the embassy when we were renewing our visas. You can see the Ukrainian life that Bohdan Warchomij has captured on film at his website. He's back in Ukraine to photograph the election and hopefully spend some time among the Crimean Tatars.

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October 25, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

JWs at the Door

A few minutes ago, the doorbell rang and there stood two well-dressed ladies offering me Jehovah's Witnesses literature.

I only understood about half of what they were saying, but after confirming they were JWs I told them I wasn't interested.

"You're not interested?"
"The Jesus you believe in isn't the Jesus that is taught in the Bible," I explained.
"You don't think we believe in Jesus?"
"No, I think you do believe in Jesus."
They smiled.
"But you believe in a Jesus that is different than the Jesus of the Bible. I pray that you will read your Bible more and understand who the Jesus of the Bible is. My kids need me--I need to go."
They looked at me quizzically and tuned to go. I hope I actually said in Russian what I was trying to say.

If Hubby had been home, perhaps we could have invited them in for tea and talked more about JW beliefs and the Bible.

Sadly in Ukraine, cults like JW and LDS are growing rapidly. The average Ivan on the street frequently thinks that any religious group that is not Ukrainian or Russian Orthodox is a cult. That can make things difficult for historical, small-o orthodox churches like ours.

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October 16, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Blogging in Iran

"Six online journalists and webloggers have been arrested in Iran recently in a crackdown on dissent on the internet." --BBC News

For more on Iran, check out Blog Iran and Free Persia.

Please also remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Iran, as well as the people who desire freedom from an oppressive government.


(Via K-Lo at The Corner.)

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October 14, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Places Not to Live

T6 told me the other day, "I NEVER want to be a missionary to China."

A startling, out of nowhere comment. "Why?"

"They eat too much rice!"


But, Bejing is one of the places that Marla and crew might be headed. Brilliant!

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October 13, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Pyramid Project

BoysPyramidSmall.JPG

As we started back into our school routine yesterday, J8 and T6 build pyramids and a sphinx. We discussed how difficult these were to make with play dough and how the ancient Egyptians actually built them.

Later, they built pyramids with cuisenaire rods, and compared the structure of a step pyramid with an actual triangular pyramid.

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October 13, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Two Familes in Beslan

I've been avoiding, in large part, reading the news and looking at pictures from Beslan. It just hurts too much and is too "close" for me. . .

So, this is a warning--if you don't want to read about it, start scrolling now.

We have dear friends who serve in Moscow, but have ties to Beslan. This is from an e-mail we received from Steve and Marti this week:

"We minister in Moscow, Russia. Beslan, a city in North Osetia, is about a 40 hour train ride south of Moscow, close to the Black Sea, Chechnia, and north of the country of Georgia. Most of the regions around North Osetia are Muslim, but North Osetia has a large population of Orthodox Christians, and also some Evangelicals. Down the street from Beslan School #1 is Evangelical Baptist Church. Most of the children in that church go to School#1. The two pastors had their children in that school.

The Youth Director in the Baptist Church, a year ago, graduated from our Moscow based training program for Youth Ministers, "Perspektiva". Our pastors Yuri P., and Lance C., went to Beslan to mentor the youth minister, and while there they stayed in one of the pastor's homes.

When the tradgedy happened several people from our Moscow office went down to Beslan to give support and comfort. Following, is their report.

"Pastor Taymuraz Totiev and his wife Ria had 5 children.

Larissa, 14 years old - killed
Luba, 12 years old, killed
Albina, 11 years old - killed
Boris, 8 years old - killed

A daughter named Magina was found, released from the hospital, and is recovering at home.

The other pastor, (they are brothers and live next to each other):

Paster Sergei Totiev and his wife Bela had three chldren:

Dzerassa, 15 years old - killed
Anna, 9 years old - killed

A son named Azamat, 12 years old, is in the hospital and is being treated for severe eye injury in both eyes.

Our colleagues, Paul and Nedezhda, traveled to Beslan to take part in the memorial service at the Totiev's home and they gave a very moving report of what took place.

The Totiev brothers live in houses next to each other. Between 1,500-2000 people gathered in front of their homes, including many Christians who came from other areas to support the Totievs who ae loved very much. Neighbors of the Totieve family told them with tears in their eyes, "You lost your children, but we feel like they were our children too. They were shining lights on our street" [referring to their good behavior and helpful spirit}. Others in the crown began cursing and vowed to take revenge against the terrorists. Pastor Sergei Totiev, who lost two children in the siege, sttod up at the end of the service and said, "Yes, we have an irreplaceable loss, but we cannot take revenge. As Christians, the Bible teaches us that we must forgive. Vengeance is in God's hands."

This was the most powerful sermon and witness that has perhaps ever been heard in that community. The crown was very moved by what Pastor Totieve said. Truly the Totiev children who were killed are still shining lights in their community even as they lay in their caskets".

This information was sent to us from Moscow, and I hope will fill you in on some of the details about the hurting Christians in Beslan. The church also lost a deacon and many children in the massacre.

Pray with us for these dear fellow believers that lost those dearest to them.


If you want to read a news story with more detail, I recommend this one.

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September 18, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Yes, I know today's date.

And no, I'm not blogging on it. I just can't.


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September 11, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ukraine in the Olympics

I came across a list of the medals won by various countries today, and was pleased to see how well Ukraine is doing. (And of course, happy that the US is currently in the top position!)

To summarize Ukraine's medal status:

August 28
Men's 66kg Freestyle (Wrestling) Gold: Elbrus Tedeyev
Women's High Jump Bronze: Viktoriya Styopina

August 27
Men's K4 500m Bronze: Team

August 26
Open Double Handed Dinghy Silver: Team

August 25
Women's 400m Hurdles Bronze: Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova

August 24
Men's 105kg (Weightlifting) Bronze: Igor Razoronov
Women's 100m Hurdles Silver: Olena Krasovska

August 23
Women's 48kg Freestyle (Wrestling) Gold: Irini Merleni
Men's Parallel Bars Gold: Valeri Goncharov

August 22
Women's Quadruple Sculls Bronze: Team
Men's Quadruple Sculls Bronze: Team

August 21
Women's Keelboat Silver: Team
Men's Team Archery Bronze: Ukraine
Men's Trampoline Gold: Yuri Nikitin

August 20
Men's 100m Butterfly Bronze: Andriy Serdinov

August 18
Women's 63kg (Weight lifting) Gold: Natalya Skakun
Men's Shot Put Gold: Yuriy Bilonog

August 17
Men's -81kg Silver: Roman Gontyuk
Women's 200m Individual Medley Gold: Yana Klochkova

August 15
Women's 10m Air pistol Gold: Olena Kostevych

August 14
Women's 400m Individual Medley Gold: Yana Klochkova
Men's Sabre Bronze: Vladislav Tretiak


I was surprised to see that this information is from Darren Rowse of The Living Room--and this Athens Olympic Games Blog is run by him. Interesting. Darren's was one of the blogs I read pretty regularly before I started blogging.

Updated August 28.

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August 28, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Pink&White M&Ms

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Buy fun and yummy M&Ms, support breast cancer research.

Today my friend Jill starts chemo.

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August 26, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Happy Independence Day!

Kyivites are celebrating Ukraine’s independence today. We skipped most of the festivities downtown, but have had a wonderful day with the boys. Ukraine, in its current political construct, is only 13 years old. Thirteen. I have dear friends with children older than that.

And while Ukraine is still in a bit of a rocky adolescence finding her own self-identity, she’s survived the first toddler steps of independence and the growing pains of separating from the Soviet Union.

The economic outlook seems bright. I look around my neighborhood and see new high-rises under construction, retail stores opening, and consumer goods not even imaginable when we first arrived now easy to find. Hubby, who has done real economic research (as opposed to my “glance around the neighborhood” analysis) is impressed with the economic growth and stability of the past few years.

Spiritually, we can see the hand of God moving. When the Iron Curtain came down, we all heard of the amazing responsiveness people had to the Gospel. That sort of enthusiasm is no longer here. Instead, attitudes toward religion are jaded, cults and cultic churches have scared people off, and new age philosophies are growing. And while Eastern Orthodoxy seems to be recovering from the trauma of communist oppression, it often seems intent on instituting some of its own.

But God is calling his lost sheep in Ukraine to Himself. Each week we gather in corporate worship with people from our neighborhood. We know several solid seminaries, where pastors and Believers are emerging with a sound foundation in the Bible and a vision of Ukraine and the surrounding countries. We see young Believers maturing rapidly eager to study and grow. And I’m not just talking about our church, but we’re also seeing churches having an impact on the wider community and country

And so we rejoice at what God is doing. He has brought independence to a nation, and He is bringing His people into dependence upon Himself.

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August 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Urban Design

Today I came across Christopher Leeson's Urban Design in His Kingdom on the PCA's web magazine, ByFaithOnline.

"Our God wants us to be consumed with praise for him, and the Psalms are filled with various ways to communicate that praise. He instructed artisans and craftsmen to praise him with the Tabernacle. The possibilities for creative forms of dwelling are endless, and the unique and thoughtful ways to inhabit this earth are ways to give Him praise. We should commission architects, landscape architects, engineers, and planners to design and build cities that are works of art worthy of our God. Although in this day and age we have an inclination to experience God and His presence in nature, there are artful moments in cities, either with beautiful scenes of architectural color, an incredibly placed axis, a wonderful aroma, or amidst seas of strangers we expand our understanding of the mercies of God."

--Christopher Leeson

It's a good read, especially as a followup to yesterday's post.

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August 17, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

City Girl at Heart

"I love cities. I am quite convinced that a great city is the greatest kind of place to live, and that human beings are put together in such a way that most of us need the kind of interaction possible in a city at least some of the time, if not all the time. [...] Cities are good things because they embody at its most intense the gracious gift of human community."

--Gideon Strauss in Comment magazine

I love cities, too.

Read more of Mr. Strauss's comments on God's work in cities.

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August 16, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week: August 1 - 7

Exclusive Breastfeeding: the Gold Standard Safe, Sound, Sustainable

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Check back each day this week for world news, information, art, and inspiration in support of World Breastfeeding Week and noonie-mamas everywhere!


Update: Also blogging about World Breastfeeding Week 2004
Bag and Baggage
Starbellys
My Domestic Church
Marsupial Mom
Mungo's Mathoms
Curmudgeonry
House of the Chakram
Breastfeeding News Weblog

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July 31, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Mothers not Mandatory?

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This 18 y/o mama is required to leave her 8 m/o nursling to participate in Malaysia's mandatory National Service--or go to court and possibly jail.

Read more here:
Parents among Trainees Reporting for NS
National Service, or Disservice?
Call for Referendum

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July 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

In Memory of Sean Galton

I didn't know Sean Galton, though I'd seen his prayer-card picture before. I don't know how he died. But when I read this today I was just so sad for his family and for the people he worked with in Peru.

Please pray for his parents and his sister.

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July 26, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Think Pink: Project Blog

I've been wanting to encourage everyone to read Dana's story of being a breast cancer survivor and young mother.

And this Saturday, Dana will be blogging for the Young Survival Coalition, as part of the Project Blog charity blogathon. I encourage you to check out Dana's blog Think Pink and consider donating towards helping people triumph over breast cancer.

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I just found out last night that a friend of mine in the States has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It looks like an aggressive form, and I still don't know the details. It's when friends and family are going through hard times, that I feel so very far away. It's easier to rejoice and celebrate with weddings and new babies from overseas. It feels harder to comfort and mourn and pray through the hard times from over here.

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July 19, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

God Bless the USA!


If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

By Lee Greenwood


I remember being a child on Guantanamo Bay NTC--celebrating the Fourth by climing in and out of display tanks, seeing the sailors with shore leave, feasting on hot dogs and coke, singing in the Independence Day cantata. It was a sharp contrast to the rising smoke across the bay, from the sugar cane fields where Castro held his power tightly and people were oppressed by communism.

I heard this song sung by Lee Greenwood at a USO concert over a decade ago. During most of the concert, the young Air Force recruits were whooping it up, but when he sang this song, there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd.

I remember during the 2000 election thinking, "Well, we survived 8 years of Clinton--we'll survive Gore if he's elected. But since I'll be living overseas, I'd really rather have Bush and his foreign policy team in the White House." This was before 9/11, and I've been thankful every year we've lived overseas for Bush, Cheney, Powell, and Rice.

And on this Independence Day, I'm encouraging you to be sure you are registered to voite--and vote for George W.

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July 04, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Grade the Flags

This guy decided to grade the flag of each country, based on his very subjective, personal criteria.

Ukraine got a B-. His comment? "Bad colors."

I don't understand that--the clear blue of the sky over a golden yellow field of sunflowers. I mean, it's not like it's purple and orange.

A couple of his grades seemed like they could have been politically motivated. But Carol and Andrea will be pleased with how their country's flag fared.

(Via Andrew)

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June 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

More on Reagan

"He had this sort of "God’s plan" theology. He really believed in the sovereignty of God. God is in control; God works all things for the best — even the bad things. Reagan believed that about his 1976 presidential bid that he lost; he believed that about his Hollywood career being washed up; he believed it about the assassination attempt; and he believed it about the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. And, if you believe that, it’s a very liberating feeling." --Paul Kengor, Reagan biographer


TRW links to the eulogies given by Thatcher, Bush, and others.

PossomBlog's tribute to Reagan is well worth the read, and we'd do well to heed his words.

Samantha remembers Reagan and the "land of opportunity."

And Adrian Warnock provides perspective from across the Pond.

A Must Read: Peter Hammond on how Reagan saved lives in Angola.

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June 12, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Just what I was thinking. . .

"During announcements at the beginning of the service, I called attention to the list on the back of the bulletin of the missionaries our church supports. Notice how many times you see Ukraine in the list. Twenty years ago, the idea of Christian missionaries openly preaching the gospel and planting churches in any part of the USSR would have been unthinkable. But, in His providence, God raised up a leader who called evil by its real name and worked to defeat it. And because of that, hundreds of millions of people are free to hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ. God willing that will happen again, and the door will open for a billion more souls. We ought to give thanks to God for bringing this to pass."

Batesline eloquently remarks on how God has amazingly worked. Earlier today, Hubby and I were sitting in amazement that we live in a Former Soviet country--something that was unheard of when we were kids.

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June 07, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Peggy Noonan Remembers

I've been looking for this since hearing of President Reagan's passing. Peggy Noonan's Thanks From a Grateful Country, in honor of Ronald Reagan.

"He was dying for years and the day came and somehow it came as a blow. Not a loss but a blow. How could this be?

John Rabe echoed the same sentiments on Hubby's blog.

And it's true.

And I'm near tears again with memories,

"It's not hard to imagine him now in a place where his powers have been returned to him and he's himself again--sweet-hearted, tough, funny, optimistic and very brave. You imagine him snapping one of those little salutes as he turns to say goodbye. Today I imagine saluting right back."
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June 07, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

The Gipper Goes On

"When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead." --Ronald Reagan, 1994

Ronald Wilson Reagan, February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

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June 05, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

D-Day 1944-2004

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J7 and T6 in Normandy, saluting in front of a German pillbox

Here in Ukraine, World War II is known as the "Great Patriot War against Fascism." It seems to be remembered a bit more here, than in the US. Perhaps because the Germans occupied Ukraine for awhile.

The only time I've cried during the opening credits of a movie was for "Saving Private Ryan." Last year, Hubby and the two older boys were able to tour Normandy. It really made an impression on them. When they came home, J7 drew a picture of the rows and rows of crosses in the Normandy cemetary.

Britannica.Com's Normandy
National D-Day Museum in New Orleans
D-Day: American Experience

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June 05, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Memorial Day 2004

LittleSoldierSmall.jpg


Little Soldier

Little soldier, little child
You're still too young to know,
The impact of the battlefield
Or how its memory lingers so.

Playing war is now a game,
Its truth you can't conceive
Should you defend, until its end
Our freedom to believe.

In God, in man, in liberty
With rights for one and all,
Little soldier, little child,
That day you'll stand as tall.

Written by Maureen Kuehne
Copyright 2003

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May 31, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Online Journalists a Target?

"We do question the real reasons for their arrests," said Reporters Without Borders. "It is all the more important to look into these cases because both of them were investigating issues that are sensitive for the authorities,"

Two UA reporters have been arrested this week. With stories like these, I'm always curious about what's really going on.

And I was wondering what The Liberal Media's take is on the situation--how much is really corrupt journalists and how much is supressing free speech?

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May 26, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Love, Remember, Live

"Ukraine has the highest HIV infection rate in Eastern Europe. An estimated 500,000 people - 1 percent of the population - are infected. The infection rates in this ex-Soviet republic have grown 20 times in the last five years."

(via KyivPost)

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May 21, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Pakistani Christian Martyr

Anjum said he was finally forced under torture to repeat the words of the Muslim creed, an act which according to Islamic law constitutes conversion to Islam. But he told his family he had not renounced his Christian faith.

News like this jolts me out of my complacency.

I know people die for their faith. But it still shocks me when I hear about it. Growing up in the US with freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of the press so ingrained, it's hard to really realize that it isn't the same everywhere.

Please pray for Javed Anjum's mourning family. Please pray that his death will be used by God to soften the hearts of the other students at Government College in Quetta.

Reported by Asia News, Christianity Today and WorldNetDaily.

Update: Imago Veritatis has much more written on this, and I recommend his post.

(Via Kolbi)

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May 16, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink

 

 

Green Roofscapes Chicago

Recently, my Dad was telling me about a new push in Chicago for rooftop gardening. The benefits are many--moderating temperatures, less rain run-off, cutting down smog, and lots of relaxation potential.

In general, people in Ukraine love to garden. Fresh vegetables and flowers are valued. People who have dachas go every weekend. The parks and gardens in the city are well-maintained and enjoyed. And as the country transitions from the old Soviet system, I think the environmental impact would be very beneficial.

It's an idea that I'd love to see the contractors in Kyiv latch onto. I don't know the technical/architectural details of whether roof-top gardens could be integrated into the older high-rise neighborhoods. But if the newer buildings were designed to include rooftop gardens, they would be a hit with the residents and a benefit to the city.


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Across the street from our building: We could use some green, huh?

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May 12, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

. . .a mother's instinct to save her child can move a woman to perform extraordinary acts. . .
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April 09, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Islam and "The Rod"

Middle East Media Research Institute has just released a report on Islamic Shar'ia law related to wife-beating.

In January, Sheikh Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, a Muslim cleric in Spain, was sentenced for publishing his book "The Woman in Islam" which includes the application of Shar'ia law as it relates to wife-beating.

One of the interesting points brought up in this article is the various interpretations of what the rod is and how beatings should be administered. For instance, in Mustafa writes,

"The [wife-]beating must never be in exaggerated, blind anger, in order to avoid serious harm [to the woman]." He adds, "It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head. Instead, she should be beaten on the arms and legs," using a "rod that must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused." Similarly, "[the blows] must not be hard."

Please pay attention to the description of the rod, "must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused."

This is the same wording used by some Christians about the type of rod that should be used when punishing children. For example, Gary Ezzo teaches that children ought to be "chastised" with a "biblical rod" which he describes as "somewhat flexible, not stiff or unbending" instrument (GKGW, p.220). Ezzo families sometimes describe this being a wide strip of rubber tubing, a rubber show sole, a thin razor strap, or a large glue stick.

Michael and Debbie Pearl similary suggest that "a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument."

Credenda Agenda suggests, ". . .wood seems the obvious choice. Look for something about a cubit long that flirts with flexibility, but be sure it's strong enough. . ." Volume 14, Issue 4

Both Ezzo and Pearl call for immediate obedience from children, followed by "chastisement" with the rod if they don't comply without delay.

At least the Muslims show more patience with their wives--beating with a rod is the third step in "wifely discipline." The first is gentle verbal admonishments and the second is being removed from the marriage bed.

From the photos in the MEMRI article, the Muslim's "small rod" is a bit bigger than a glue stick.

SmallMuslimRod

However, the photo of the "large rod" seems to be much closer to a shebet, the type of rod that is referred to in Proverbs.

LargeMuslimRod


For further reading, I recommend Laurie Moody's study on Biblical Discipline and Joan Sewell's study Suffer the Little Children.


Update: Though taking a different angle, this story is also being talked about by The Commissar, Chris, DhimmiWatch, Matt, John , Allah and Marsupial Mom.

(Via schoolraider)

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March 20, 2004  |  Comments (20)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Mourn with those who mourn

Four Baptist missionaries were killed by terrorists on Monday. They were in Iraq helping provide clean water supplies. The missionaries included the parents of Scott, a fellow blogger.

It has been said that "the blood of the martyrs is the seeds of the church." May the Church grow strong in Iraq, to the glory of God.


(via World Mag Blog)

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March 17, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

A Glimpse Into Chernobyl

The other day, I read at The FireAnt Gazette about a young Ukrainian woman who is motorcycling and photographing the Chernobyl region. Of course this was of great interest to me, and I was disappointed that when I clicked on the link, the site had already exceeded it's bandwidth.

Today, however, I noticed that The Politburo Diktat has linked to mirror sites that have been put online to keep this woman's photo and commentary up. The Chernobyl disaster is very much in the collective memory of the people we know, and impacts the choices that many people make even today.

I was surprised, however, to see that The Commissar had neglected to congratulate women on March 8th. Didn't his mother raise him right?

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March 10, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink

 

 

Grace and the City

"In the city, you'll find many things that challenge your grasp of the gospel, many people that seem hopeless to you spiritually and morally. But if the gospel of grace is true, why would you think their conversion to be any more a miracle than your own?

You will find people of other religions and of no religion who are wiser, kinder, and deeper than you. Even after growth in grace, lots of Christians are weaker people than lots of non-Christians. But if the gospel of grace is true, why did you think that Christians are basically better kinds of people than non-Christians?

After a while these and other examples will begin to show you that, even though you may intellectually understand the doctrine of justification by faith alone, you functionally assume salvation by moral goodness and works.

Ministry in the city, then, will help you grasp the gospel of grace in powerful ways. You may even come to see that you spiritually need the city more than the city needs you."

--Dr. Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City

From the essay World Mission and the Global City, available in the book Looking Forward: Voices from Church Leaders on Our Global Mission.

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February 28, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (2)  |  Permalink

 

 

Missions: Recommended Resources

Westminster Confession of Faith on Missions
Mission to the World

Finding Your Role in Missions
You Can Change the World!
Avenues of Mission Involvement

Mission Network News
Brigada Today
Mission Mobilizer's Database

PCA Global Missions Conference 2004 November 5-7, 2004
Vision Retreats March 7-9, July 18-21, and November 5-7 of 2004

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February 28, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

States I've Visited

Thanks to my nomadic family and hubby. . .



create your own visited states map

(Via Teri)


Updated 3/1/2005.

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February 02, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Serving in Bam

I just read a moving letter about a short-term medical team that spent 13 days in Bam, Iran. Because the Islamic government restricts evangelism, the team worked at showing mercy and "preaching the Gospel" without words.

". . .one of my responsibilities was to counsel people that were going through severe grief from their loss of family members. And as a Christian, I would normally find out what had transpired, share the gospel where appropriate, read a portion of Scripture and pray with the family member. But most of those resources were not available options. However, God provided other resources as I was soon to find out. One of the first persons that I was asked to meet with was a woman who had lost 9 of her 12 children in the quake, and another 150 extended family members. What do I do -- what do I say? I learned from one of our translators that the book of Job was included in the Koran – and was therefore able to draw on insights from Job and his sorrows as a source of comfort. . ."

Also, this week Hubby encouraged me to sign a petition that calls international bodies to hold the Iranian government accountable both for its ongoing human rights atrocities, and its criminal negligence with the Bam earthquake.

And, for staying up-to-date on what is going on in Iran, I recommend visiting Iran News Filter, Free Persia and Blog Iran.

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January 31, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 


 
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