Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beginning To Look Alot Like American Culture? ... (What No Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Or Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey??)

psst .. tonight's the night ... 9 PM CBS (two hours with commercials).

Photo credit: All-American, for a change, Kennedy Center Honors (c) John Paul Filo/CBS 2009. Copyright controlled.

America Continues To Provide Deadly Favors To The Very Rich And Their Offspring

In June 2008, the American Embassy in London granted Mr. Abdulmutallab -- the youngest of sixteen children of one of the richest bankers in Nigeria who was also a practicing polygynist -- with a two-year open visa to enter the United States.

During his fifth year as Vice President, Spiro Agnew was under investigation by the United States Attorney’s office in Baltimore, Maryland, on charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy while holding office as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and Vice President of the United States. In early October 1973, he was formally charged with having accepted bribes totaling more than $100,000. On October 10, 1973, Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he had failed to report $29,500 of income received in 1967, with the condition that he resign the office of Vice President.

In July 1973, the Government of the United States of America jails my brother for six months for conscientious objection to the war in Vietnam.

In 1926 Fitzgerald published one of his finest stories, ''The Rich Boy,'' whose narrator begins it with the words ''Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.''

33 Years Ago Tomorrow I Started Driving From Berkeley To New York City With An Art Therapist Driving Companion

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"One of the top leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is Said al-Shihri, 36, a Saudi national. He was captured in Pakistan in December 2001 and spent six years in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before being transferred to Saudi Arabia in November 2007.

In Saudi Arabia, he entered a highly praised rehabilitation program that uses dialogue and art therapy to persuade former militants to renounce extremism. But after graduating, Shihri crossed the border into Yemen and rejoined al-Qaeda."

Source: Washington Post

Header: "Courtroom" by Philip Guston 1970. Copyright © 2009 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


National Gallery of Art The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection Selected Works

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Life On Earth This Western Christmas Eve

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Mark Leibovitz "Despite Fragile Health, Byrd Is Present for Votes" New York Times December 24, 2009


Photo credit: (c) Brendan Smialowski/New York Times. 2009.

Initial Design For A Rose, Stain-Glassed Cathedral West Window ... (Or Rudolph's Nose)

I forgot yesterday to add the important upcoming performances in early Februrary, in Washington, D.C. and New York City, of Gluck's opera Armide, performed by Opera Lafayette.

Also, from the New York Times "An Italian City Shaken to Its Cultural Core":

"Roberta Pilolli works for L’Aquila’s music conservatory. After the quake she helped lug the conservatory’s grand pianos from the rubble." ...

L'Aquila, unlike the Nation's Capital of the richest nation on earth, at least has a music conservatory.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

There Is Hope

I am cheered to read that early in the new year the Folger Consort will perform Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers at Washington's National Cathedral; that the early music ensemble Sequentia will reprise its stunning Ping Chong-directed production of the Reingold Curse at the Library of Congress; and that -- later in the winter -- the Mariinsky Opera Theater of Saint Petersburg will be bringing four concert opera evenings -- Musorgsky, Borodin, Chaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov -- as well as a staged production of Prokofiev's War and Peace to the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Happy Holidays to my faithful readers... And peace on earth.

Photo credit: Washington National Cathedral. Copyright (c) American Institute of Architects.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stem cells help restore sight to blind


Friday, December 18, 2009

It's A Small World After All ... Tweet, Tweet ... Climate Deal Reached In Copenhagen ... Tweet, Tweet

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Photo credit: (c)Doug Mills/New York Times. 2009.

Beginning To Feel A Bit Like The Solstice

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Remains Of The Decade ... Fighting Corruption In Public Opera Houses In Central And Eastern Europe And Around The Globe

"The vice-director of the Kraków Opera, Andrzej Gurda, has resigned from his post. The resignation was forced by the local government body after it was discovered that Gurda’s son has won a contract for services for the Kraków Opera. In a letter to director of the Opera, Bogusław Nowak, it was expressed that such actions will not be tolerated in an institution financed from the public money. Bogusław Gurda has resigned from his post, even though two legal investigations at the Opera did not prove any inconsistencies or illegal activity."


Header photo: Krakow's one year old new opera house. (c) Krakow Opera 2008. Copyright controlled.


1/8/2010 6:30p Friday 6.5: New Music by Composer George Benjamin with the San Francisco Symphony

1/9/2010 8:00p New Music by Composer George Benjamin with the San Francisco Symphony

1/10/2010 2:00p New Music by Composer George Benjamin with the San Francisco Symphony

1/14/2010 2:00p George Benjamin conducts the San Francisco Symphony

1/15/2010 8:00p George Benjamin conducts the San Francisco Symphony

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More On The New 'Titanium Wall', The Creation Of The So-called "European Union," And The Growth Of Income Inequality In Europe's Homeland

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Council of Europe-recognized Museum of One Street, Kyiv

The Council of Europe Commemorates Andrei Sakharov:
December 14, 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of the leading human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. To commemorate his work and writings, a conference 'Andrei Sakharov’s Ideas Today' was organised on 14 and 15 December in Moscow, Russia, with the support of the Council of Europe.


A new Eurostat survey of the EU-27 shows that Estonia ranked 21st with a GDP per capita at 67% of EU's average [$32,100]. According to the CIA Factbook, Estonia's per capita income was $21,400 in 2008; Russia's per capita income was $16,100; Ukraine's per capita income was $7,400; and Moldova's per capita income was $2,500.

The EU has openly welcomed Turkey [$11,900] and Albania [$6,000] as future members of the European Union; but not Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus [$11,800], and Russia. Instead, the EU's policies create a new Titanium Wall of inequality and alienation.

Memo: Liechtenstein [$118,000 per capita], Luxembourg [$81,200], Norway [$59,500], Switzerland [$42,000], and Austria [$40,400].

Header photo: Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pssst ... Tonight's The Night ... 11:11 pm George Chadwick's Symphony #2 in B-flat Major, Op. 21

Extra! Extra! Americans' Net Worth Rises To $53.4 Trillion In The Third Quarter Of 2009, According To U.S. Federal Reserve System

Extra! Extra! This Just In From The New “WNO Insider: Exclusive Opera News”!

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“Last week, the Washington National Opera announced changes to its business model, including a more modest 2010-11 season featuring five productions [compared with six in 2009-10, and seven in 2008-9]. These changes will allow WNO to continue its commitment to producing operas of the highest quality, serving the community through its award-winning education, outreach and training programs, and maintaining fiscal responsibility. WNO is confident that its patrons will be unaffected by any of these changes. Read more about the news in The New York Times.”

The WNO will be announcing its more modest 2010-11 season in mid-January, 2010, at the same time as the President's nationally-televised State of the Union address.



"Ireland’s government announced Wednesday that it would cut pay for teachers, nurses and police as part of a plan to reduce the budget deficit to 2.9 percent of gross domestic product, from 11.7 percent, by 2014."

Photo credits: (c) Ken Howard for Opera America 2008. Copyright controlled; and,
(c) Brendan Smialowski for the New York Times 2009. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Today's Free Noontime Concert -- In Berlin, Still-Divided Europe

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CREDO Chamber Choir, Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union

Bogdan Plish Conductor

Philharmonie Foyer

Sacred Songs from Ukraine and Russia for Advent and Christmas Time. Works by Victor Beliaiev, Dmitry Bortniansky, Mily Balakirev, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Vladimir Dowhan, Victor Stepurko, Evgeny Stankovich and Georgy Sviridov.

Admission free

Header: Kyiv's/Kiev's Great Gate.


"EU - Tear Down This Wall!"

-- Pan Cogito

Photo credit: Kim Kashkashian (c) Claire Stepani 2009. Copyright controlled.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hold The Holiday Music: In Midst Of Imperial Crisis, I Want To Think And Feel

"By the end of 2011, the United States will have spent 10 years, thousands of lives and $2 trillion trying to create stable, democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the most difficult, divided countries in the world. It will be time to move on."

(c) Copyright controlled. 2009.

"the finest example of a 19th century ferryboat afloat"

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"Berkeley is moving full-steam ahead with plans for a new ferry terminal, despite howls from windsurfers and environmentalists that the ferries will bring the marina more harm than good.

The City Council recently approved preliminary plans for a $57 million terminal at the waterfront, just south of the Berkeley Pier. Two ferries, which will run primarily during commute hours, are expected to bring 1,700 people a day to San Francisco via a 30-minute trek across the bay. …

"City Councilman Kriss Worthington opposed the terminal for environmental reasons, saying the ferries create too much greenhouse gas.

"If everyone's so gung-ho about our climate action plan, then why are we not telling WETA (the Water Emergency Transportation Authority) to make their ferries more ecological?" he said, adding that the ferries could save energy by traveling at a slower speed.”

Carolyn Jones “Foes fail to sink Berkeley's ferry plans” San Francisco Chroncile December 7, 2009

Header photo: well.com

"The upper passenger deck of the ferry Berkeley, now on exhibit at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Launched in 1898, the double-ended steam-propelled Berkeley operated between the East Bay and San Francisco until 1958. It carried 1700 passengers on a 20-minute run across the Bay while consuming only 480 BTU of energy per passenger-mile.

Compare to single-occupancy cars at 7,000 BTU/mile or buses at 660 BTU/passenger-mile.

While modern fast ferries can be extremely energy-intensive, new designs have also been proposed that approach the efficiency of the historic low-speed steam configuration."

Monday, Monday: Paul McCartney Proposes Meatless Mondays; Pan Cogito Proposes Carless Mondays Until Electric Cars Widespread

Photo credit: (c) Paul Devitt/CNN 2009. Copyright controlled.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pan Cogito's Avatar Begins Her Long Dream Back On The Last Decade

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Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

East Jerusalem: A Shared Capital Or A Palestinian National Capital, But Not Part Of The Capital To An Israeli 10,000 Year Reich

"The dispute over east Jerusalem — home to sensitive Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites — is the most intractable issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel captured the area in the 1967 Mideast war, immediately annexed it and claims all of Jerusalem as its eternal capital. But the annexation has not been internationally recognized, and the Palestinians want to make east Jerusalem the capital of a future state.

An explicit European endorsement of their claims to east Jerusalem would be a major diplomatic victory for the Palestinians. It also would mark a significant break with tradition. The Europeans have long said Jerusalem should be a shared capital, but that Israel and the Palestinians must jointly agree on that."

Josef Federman "Israel warns EU over east Jerusalem dispute" Associated Press December 1, 2009

Photo credit: East Jerusalem, either part of a shared capital, or the future national capital of the Future State of Palestine; but not part of the capital of Israel's illegal, expansionist dreams. (c) Dan Balilty/Associated Press 2009. Copyright controlled.


In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict". In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel", however, without specifying boundaries. This declaration was declared "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.

The United Nations said in a statement on December 1, 2009, that the “Secretary General has expressed his dismay at the continuation of demolitions, evictions and the installment of Israeli settlers in Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.”

World Aids Day 2009