Thursday, December 30, 2010

On The Subject Of Encouraging/Preserving Democracy & Civil Society In Eastern Europe Including In The Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, & Moldova

U.S. Government Statement on Investigation of Ukrainian Opposition Politicians

30 December 2010.

'Although as a rule the U.S. Government does not comment on the specifics of individual cases, we have raised with the Ukrainian government our concern that while corruption should be pursued, prosecution should not be selective or politically motivated.

In that context, we also raised our concern that when, with few exceptions, the only senior officials being targeted are connected with the previous government, it gives the appearance of selective prosecution of political opponents.'


The Glory of Ukraine: Pre-Christian Archeology and Christian Sacred Images from the 11th to the 19th Centuries CE on display in Washington, D.C. until Sunday, January 16, 2011.

Happy New Years to my faithful readers.


Image credits: Copyright controlled.

Rhyton with Ram Protome
5th - 4th centuries. B.C.E.
The Museum of National Cultural Heritage PlaTar (now under construction), Kyiv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Mother of God Hodigitria
Village of Isaiah, Lviv Oblast, 1370 C.E.
Wood, tempera
30 1/2” x 24 1/4”
The Andrei Sheptitsky Lviv National Museum,
Lviv, Ukraine, Future European Union.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aide-mémoire: 'Benchmark, Luminous, And Remarkably Compelling' Free String Quartet Performances Upcoming This Winter At Library of Congress, NGA

Friday, FEBRUARY 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm [FREE, reserved tickets available in advance.]

Utrecht String Quartet “clarity, depth, and impact”

Praised for its benchmark recordings of Tchaikovsky, this dynamic and versatile quartet from the Netherlands makes its first U.S. appearance in the Library of Congress.

AUERBACH: String Quartet no. 1 (Washington premiere)
SCHUBERT: String Quartet in B-flat Major, D112
MEIJERING: “Mein junges Leben hat (k)ein End” (after Sweelinck)
(U.S. premiere)
TCHAIKOVSKY: String Quartet no. 2 in F Major, op. 22


Tuesday, FEBRUARY 22, 2011 at 8:00pm [FREE, reserved tickets available in advance.]

Quatuor Debussy “luminous performance”
with Katherine Chi, piano “remarkably compelling”

This excellent Lyon-based quartet performs an unusual program capped by a French work “of bold originality and dark beauty,” featuring one of Canada’s fastest rising stars.

GLASS: String Quartet no. 2 (“Company”)
PUCCINI: Crisantemi
MILHAUD: String Quartet no. 9, op. 140
FRANCK: Piano Quintet in F minor

Photo and image credits: (c) Willard Wigan 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


Complete Beethoven String Quartets at National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. [FREE, first come, first served.]

'In a series of six concerts placed on the first Sundays of the month, six string quartets will present the complete quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. The American String Quartet plays the first of the six concerts on January 2, 2011, with subsequent concerts on February 6 (Ariel String Quartet - Beethoven Quartets opp. 18/3, 59/1, and 132 ) and March 6 (Leipzig String Quartet). The series continues in October 2011.' [Program notes upcoming.]

'Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain'

January 2011
Jan. 7 -- Unemployment rate (December 2010)
Jan. 28 -- GDP (advance estimate, annual/4th quarter 2010)

February 2011
Feb. 4 -- Unemployment rate (January 2011)
Feb. 25 -- GDP (second estimate, annual/4th quarter 2010)

March 2011
March 4 -- Unemployment rate (February 2011)
March 25 -- GDP (third estimate, annual/4th quarter 2010)

April 2011
April 1 -- Unemployment rate (March 2011)
April 28 -- GDP (advance estimate, 1st quarter 2011)

May 2011
May 6 -- Unemployment rate (April 2011)
May 26 -- GDP (second estimate, 1st quarter 2011)

June 2011
June 3 -- Unemployment rate (May 2011)
June 24 -- GDP (third estimate, 1st quarter 2011)

July 2011
July 8 -- Unemployment rate (June 2011)
July 29 -- GDP (advance estimate, 2nd quarter 2011)

August 2011
Aug. 5 -- Unemployment rate (July 2011)
Aug. 26 -- GDP (second estimate, 2nd quarter 2011)

September 2011
Sept. 2 -- Unemployment rate (August 2011)
Sept. 29 -- GDP (third estimate, 2nd quarter 2011)

October 2011
Oct. 7 -- Unemployment rate (September 2011)
Oct. 27 -- GDP (advance estimate, 3rd quarter 2011)

November 2011
Nov. 4 -- Unemployment rate (October 2011)
Nov. 23 -- GDP (second estimate, 3rd quarter 2011)

December 2011
Dec. 2 -- Unemployment rate (November 2011)
Dec. 22 -- GDP (third estimate, 3rd quarter 2011)

U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2009 Income and Poverty Estimates for All Counties and School Districts (Released Dec. 8, 2010)

The 2009 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) are available for roughly 3,140 counties and nearly 14,000 Title I-eligible school districts. The 2009 estimates also show that 1,084 counties had child poverty rates (ages 5 to 17 in families) significantly above and 866 significantly below the [U.S. 2009] national poverty rate of 18.2 percent.

U.S. Census Bureau: International Data Base (Last updated Dec. 28, 2010)

Symbolism And The Mind's Eye

"On January 1, [2011] Estonia will become the eurozone's 17th member and instantly claim the mantle of the poorest as well as one of the smallest – representing just over one-tenth of a percent of the bloc's economy, writes Associated Press.

Estonia's membership carries symbolic value, it is hoped, demonstrating that Europe's grandest financial project remains an appetizing prospect despite the worst crisis in its 12-year history.

Estonia is even vowing to lend a hand, no matter how small, to other members in need. Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said recently that the Baltic state would soon start negotiations with the European Union on granting a loan guarantee of up to 130 million euros to bailed-out Ireland – a major commitment for a nation with a state budget of only six billion euros.... Estonia will also boast the lowest public debt per GDP of all euro area members." ...

Source: Baltic Business Newsletter December 28, 2010


United Nations Human Development Report 2010: 20th Anniversary Edition


Photo credit: P.Virot and the World Health Organization.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Invitation to World Literature

"The Bhagavad Gita," a sacred Hindu scripture, will be discussed tonight on Howard University television WHUT (Channel 32), at 9:30 PM.

'This epic tale of the warrior-prince Arjuna confronting a life-or-death dilemma during civil war presents a unique and powerful philosophy of duty, discipline, and serving a higher purpose. Beautiful illustrations connect the story with its rich history and culture. Featured speakers include Sheldon Pollock, Professor of Sanskrit Studies and acclaimed composer Philip Glass.'

'This year [2010] the MBA who landed the highest annual base salary -- a whopping $350,000 to start -- graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and went into a private equity job with a firm in New York.'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, And The Russian Federation In The European Union By 2020

Photo credits: (c) China Daily and (c) Vasily Fedosenko and Reuters 2010. Copyright controlled.

And How Did The U.S. Poverty Rate Respond?

[Click on graphic for enlargement.]

GDP report: Economic growth ticks up to 2.6%

U.S. Federal Recovery Programs and BEA Statistics

U.S. Census Bureau: Poverty Statistics

World Bank: Global Poverty Reduction and Equity Website

Worldwide, the current financial turndown has meant a slower rate of global poverty reduction. In 2009, fewer people left poverty as a result of the crisis.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ireland And Portugal Seen As Minor Distractions As Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, And The Russian Federation Seek A 'Europe Whole and Free and at Peace'

Minsk, Belarus, Future European Union.

[Click on images for enlargement.]

MINSK, Belarus (Associated Press) — A presidential candidate arrested after Belarus' weekend election says the KGB tried to pressure him into renouncing his opposition to the country's authoritarian regime. …

Lukashenko, often called Europe's last dictator, has been in power more than 16 years. He exercises overwhelming control over politics, industry and media in this nation of 10 million bordering Poland and the Baltic nations. The repression has been an embarrassment to the European Union, which offered 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) [later raised to 3.5 billion euros ($4.6 billion)] in aid to Belarus if the elections were judged to be free and fair.

Photo credits: (c) Agence France Press 2010 and (c) Associated Press 2010.


The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

At 4:20 on Monday morning, special forces broke down the door of the offices of the Belarusian opposition website Charter 97.

In media res

There is a special border, the border between art and life that often shifts deceptively. Yet, without this border, there is no art. In the process of being produced, art borrows material from life, and the traces of life still shine through the completed work of art. But, at the same time, the distance from life is the essence, the substance of art. And, yet, life has still left its traces. The more scarred the work of art is by the battles waged on the borders between art and life, the more interesting it becomes.

--Anselm Kiefer

Photo credits: (c) Reuters 2010. Copyright controlled. (c) Katherine Frey and Washington Post 2010. Copyright controlled.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The End Is Near

“Hundred of people, including six presidential candidates, have been arrested in the former Soviet republic of Belarus for protesting the announced results of the country's presidential elections, the BBC reports.

Incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 16 years, was declared the winner in what the opposition says was a rigged election. Lukanshenko won a fourth-term in office with 79.8% of the vote according to the official results.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe called the voting "flawed" and said it fell well short of democratic standards.”

VIASNA: Belarusian non-governmental human rights organization

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

European Radio For Belarus

Photo credits: Getty Images and Alexey Gromov, AFP/Getty Images 2010.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan"

[Click on table for enlargement.]

Photo credit: (c) Agence France Press 2010. Copyright controlled.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Principle Of Hope

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Life expectancy drops in U.S. - to 75.3 for males and to 80.3 for females

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Opera In Time Of Warfare







Heart of a Soldier based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart’s acclaimed book and the life stories of Susan Rescorla, Rick Rescorla and Daniel J. Hill. A true story of military combat, love, friendship and heroism culminating with the devastating terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

San Francisco Opera

Header credit: (c) Copyright controlled.


San Francisco Opera WORLD PREMIERES 1961-2011

1961 Dello Joio/Hoffman, Blood Moon
1976 Imbrie/Hall, Angle of Repose
1976 Ives, Meeting Mr. Ives [Spring Opera Theater]
1980 Mechem, Tartuffe [Opera Center]
1982 Fine, The Women in the Garden [Opera Center]
1982 Harbison, Full Moon in March [Opera Center]
1994 Susa/ Littell, The Dangerous Liaisons
1998 Previn/Littell, A Streetcar Named Desire
2000 Heggie/McNally, Dead Man Walking
2001 Chukhadjian/Tersian, Arshak II
2005 Adams/Sellars, Doctor Atomic
2007 Pasatieri, The Hotel Casablanca [Merola Opera Program]
2007 Glass/Hampton, Appomattox
2008 Wallace/Tan, The Bonesetter’s Daughter
2011 Theofanidis/DiNovelli, Heart of a Soldier (planned)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The King Speaks To The Scribe

There are 8 persons in the U.S. with LastName=TRINKL and FirstName=GARTH.
PROJ. 2012 POP. DELTA: +0.000101%

Pan Cogito Applauds The Upcoming National Gallery Of Art's Complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle By The ASQ But Still Wonders At The Picture ...

[Click on image for enlargement.]

American String Quartet

January 2, 2011 at 6:30PM

West Building Main Floor, West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.)

Music by Beethoven

First concert in a free series of the complete Beethoven string quartets


[Click on image to enlarge detail.]

American Masterpieces: The American String Quartet champions a dozen quartets by American composers (Essay by ASQ violist Daniel Avshalomov)

Martin Edgar Ferrill

Country Dance, 1883

Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch

"Martin Edgar Ferrill was born in 1836 or 1837 to Matthew and Eliza Ferrill, natives of Ireland who had come to the United States before 1835 and settled in the northern division of Troy, New York, known as Lansingburgh. Lansingburgh was Ferrill's birthplace and remained his home throughout his life. On 25 March 1857 he married Delia Adams, the daughter of a local farmer. They had two children, but neither survived past early childhood. Their daughter's death at the age of three in 1863 is recorded in New York City vital statistics, which suggests that the family had traveled there in or by that year. In Lansingburgh, the Ferrills lived in an early colonial home which had formerly served as a stagecoach stop and is still standing. Martin died in this house on 17 February 1897 and was buried in nearby Oakwood Cemetery.

Little is known about Ferrill's artistic career. In Troy directories he was listed for most of his life as a brush maker, his father's trade. Later in his life his profession was recorded as "agent," a term of unknown meaning. Ferrill's death certificate gives his occupation as "artist," but it is not known just when he took up painting. ..."

Header, detail, and text credit: Copyright © 2010 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

European Second Day Of Winter Edition: Ukraine And Belarus 2020

[Click on top image for enlargement.]

Ukraine 2020

U.S.-Belarus Joint Statement on Nuclear Security, Human Rights, December 1, 2010

Vilnius, Lithuanian, Present Day European Union - European Capital of Culture in 2009

Palmer, Robert. "Study on the European Cities and Capitals of Culture and the European Cultural Months (1995-2004) European Commission

Photo credit: Minsk International Christmas Opera Forum 2010 which opens on December 7, 2010 with a production (pictured) of Verdi's Nabucco, conducted by Herbert von Karajan Foundation conducting laureate and Moscow Bolshoi Opera guest conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

European First Day Of Winter Edition: Another Small Step For Mankind Against The Prospect Of Nuclear Winter

[Click on images for enlargements.]

'Belarus has agreed to give up its stock of highly enriched uranium, a critical fuel for nuclear weapons, the United States and Belarus announced Wednesday. The agreement would help eliminate one of the last legacies of the Cold War, when stocks of nuclear material were abandoned on territories of former Soviet states.'

Source: Washington Post

Photo credits: Nazi German photograph of occupied Belarus in May 1943 from the Federal German Archives. Minsk, Belarus, Future European Union after World War II; and Minsk's newly restored Belarusian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet in May 2010 by Gruszecki via Wikipedia. [Нацыянальны акадэмічны Вялікі тэатар опэры і балету]

National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Republic of Belarus

National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Belarusian State Academy of the Arts

The Vankoviches’ House of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus