Veteran CIA Officer Accuses Kerry and Obama of Hiding MH17 Guilt

Ray McGovern, a 30-year veteran of the CIA, believes it likely that the U.S. evidence on the MH17 shoot down has not been produced because it points away from anti-coup Donetsk rebels and  towards Ukrrainian troops or an oligarch-financed rogue Ukrainian battalion in this excellent article, which is not his first on the subject. Many of his colleagues agree.

I’m keeping the post short, but can’t let go of this bone. You can find my earlier posts in a new category: MH17. My “Continuing Study” contains much more evidence and includes the U.S. coup that started it all in February, 2014.

What? No Birds?

A couple of species that just might outlast us...

Buzz… Buzz… Buzz… B??

Whaaattt? No birds?

Looks like the environmental Rip Van Winkles among us, after letting Monsanto, Bayer et al. poison everything that isn’t a profitable crop, are finally getting a rude awakening:

CBC’s Ontario Today asked people to call in and report what species they’re not seeing now that they used to see. The many responses were scary. Here’s one dramatic example:

Russ, a farmer from Acton, ON, has seen 50 barn swallows every year in his barn. This year: NONE. Suddenly, none.

The 23-minute podcast is here.

We snored through the Monsanto Roundup years and even the recent Bayer Neonicotinoid bee-killing years. “Health Canada” is a disgrace to its name, in recent years just a follower and a pawn of agribusiness and big pharma. And, down south, Monsanto is close to being favoured with draconian legislation that will nullify a ton of existing local American laws against GE crops!!

Maybe the accelerated vanishing of our feathered, fellow-vertebrate friends like barn swallows and (in our back yard) hummingbirds, will wake us up to the global threat to the entire food chain caused by pesticides that are hugely potent and woefully undertested. We are blind to the critical importance of the tiny, even microscopic, living things in this world, without which the bigger things like us can not continue to survive.

Gotta be a better way than snoozing our way to mass extinction…

We must learn to tread gently on our earth. We’ve been struttin’ way too long, John…

Hummingbird at feeder

Ruby-throated at our feeder in 2012

Dresden – May 12

05121142-Cyclists

Cyclists enjoying Dresden’s charm appear blissfully unaware of the scary chappie on their left.

We left Berlin early and headed for Prague. Focusing on Budapest, Poland and Berlin in my pre-trip research, I’d done no research on Dresden, the capital of Saxony. It was only a 2.5 -hour lunch stop on the way. Dresden’s beautiful transformation from bombed out ruin to architectural film-gobbler took me totally by surprise. We crossed the Elbe River from north to south and got off our bus in its old centre on the Elbe’s left bank. The Elbe flows into the North Sea. Our tour director told us about the intense, sometimes controversial, rebuilding that has taken place since Germany was reunified in 1989. She told us about Augustus the Strong and Friedrich the Wise. Post-trip reading on Dresden revealed the importance of Saxony in German history and the deep, torn religious fervour of its rulers. I pondered, chuckling about how Friedrich der Weise, a devout  Catholic in the early 1500’s who somehow found the courage to support Martin Luther, throughout his life collected and filled his castle church with about 19000 Catholic relics that included St. Anne’s thumb, a twig from Moses’ burning bush, hay from the Holy Manger and milk from Mary’s breast. Gems like this encourage me to keep on doing research on the olden daysContinue reading

Berlin – May 10, 11

God detail from the real, full-size, reconstructed Ishtar Gate of Babylon, preserved at the Pergamon Museum

God detail from the real, full-size, reconstructed Ishtar Gate of Babylon, preserved at the Berlin Pergamon Museum

We loved Warsaw. I remember little of our drive from Warsaw to Berlin. Berlin is a very exciting, memorable city today. It was in ruins in 1945.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Our group went out for an optional Berliner Dinner. We were seated in a corner of a cramped restaurant and a very small number of noisy tour-mates made the decibel level needle swing, I’m sure, into the ear damage range. Being a singer who accompanies himself on the guitar, I was not ready for any increased hearing loss. Ready to walk out, my ear drums were rescued by a keyboardist who began singing and playing for us. His amplified sound actually caused the noisies to quiet down and the decibel levels to re-enter the safe range. He was looking for volunteers to sing with his accompaniment, so, knowing this upbeat, friendly crowd of Aussies and Yanks pretty well, I suggested to the keyboard guy that I sing Elvis.  He said “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and I said “Nope, but it’s a great song to do!” My stock went up during that song. It was languishing after my embarrassing scene, 5 days earlier,  going through security at the parliament building in Budapest, grumbling about having to take my money belt off, unbuckled pants, etc. etc. grrrr… etc. I hate surprises like that and am over-sensitized to them after a similar security “strip” at the Colosseum in Rome in 2007.

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Berlin, Once Divided – Now Beautiful:

On April 30, 1945, with Russia’s army occupying most of Berlin, Hitler committed suicide. Continue reading

Something New

  Queen Anne’s lace blooms appeared this week in “Our Woods.” Just a few; it’s early yet :)

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I always like this flower. It tells me that we are getting closer to my favourite season – autumn. And Apollo was brilliantly shining low in the sky just after 7 A.M.

Things like this remind me of why I still care.

Warsaw – May 9

Simply smiles and styles

Smiles and styles on the green roof of the University of Warsaw Library

A highlight of our tour was spending time with friends, A & O, whom we had met on our Camino Santiago walk in 2013. We met them at the monument to Sigismund III in Castle Square at 12:40, behind schedule after a morning bus tour that was delayed by a naive, enthusiastic, family-friendly, pro-Europe demonstration.  Our bus-around tour had visited the large monument to Frederick Chopin (where our group souvenir photo was taken) and Warsaw’s Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. So we said do widzenia to our group and met our friends.

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A showed me what she thought was a better angle to take a photo of Sigismund on his column and then off we went to Trattoria Rucola for some darn good pizza and wine. Continue reading

Warsaw via Częstochowa

1656: King Jan Kazimierz dedicates Poland to the protection of the Blessed Virgin

1656: King Jan Kazimierz vows to dedicate Poland and its territories to the protection of the Blessed Virgin

From Auschwitz we bused to  Częstochowa, and visited Jasna Góra, a pretty monastery that houses the much venerated Black Madonna. A photo I had taken  out of pure curiosity in the monastery provided a clue that helped broaden my understanding of the period when things began coming apart for the Polish-Lithuanian Coalition and the huge geographical area controlled by that alliance. As we passed through the Monastery a large painting with a big Polish sign underneath intrigued me, so I snapped it. Looking at it a few days ago, I translated the sign and the painting was indeed important. It refers to what is called the Lwów Oath sworn on April 1, 1656. The Swedes had invaded Poland. They marched into Warsaw in 1655. This was the beginning of the 5-rear-long Swedish Deluge. In November 1655 the Swedes threatened to take the monastery at Jasna Góra, but a force of 3200 was fought off by about 150 monks and locals successfully. Their heroism inspired all of Poland to rise up. The Black Madonna (Mary) became the “miraculous” power behind the Polish resistance.

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Continue reading