Sunday, March 23, 2014

Themes, themes, themes, My Idea for the 2014 Challenge

I am getting excited about the 2014 Challenge!  And meeting new people through my blog and theirs.  So, drum roll please. . .

My April blog will be about Art, Art and more Art.  Art is universal and even though we may not speak the same language, we can enjoy looking at the same painting and seeing different things in it, because of our own experiences and thoughts.

What I may see in a painting might be different from what you might see. And some of the paintings might inspire your creative thoughts to write a small story or poem about the art.   Here is to Spring, Creativity and the 2014 Blog Challenge!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Deception, Defeat, Defiance--The Annexation of Crimea

It happened--Russia "annexed" the Crimea after a one-way vote by Russians in the Crimea, who approved Russia taking back the area.  This was the first annexation since World War II.  Russia has stepped into the vacuum of the inaction of the Western powers and did what Vladimir Putin said two weeks ago he would not do, annex the Crimea.  Putin also says that the Kremlin has no further designs on the territory.  Perhaps not there, but there are all those Baltic countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. . . .

An activist, Reshat Ametov, an ethnic Tartar who protested the occupation and was last seen in Simferapol, Ukraine, was found murdered.  At least 14 journalists and anti-annexation activists have gone missing.

The thuggish ways of the old Soviet Union are re-born, no dissent allowed. Staged trials, imprisonment, poison, murder are the tools used for compliance and silence.

There is an expression in Russian, "na leva" which means the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

The left hand has been very busy.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't Cry for Me Argentina but do cry for the Ukraine

The Russian Bear roars again in the Ukraine.  The Ukraine, plus many other countries, has been through so much in its recent history.  Now, President Putin in his desire to bring back the Baltic countries into Russia's sphere of influence and regain the glory days of the Soviet Union, has moved into the Ukraine on the pretext of "protecting Russian citizens," those who live in the Eastern half of the Ukraine.  So he sent 150,000 Russian soldiers for "maneuvers" to that area and today the Russian Navy sunk one of their own junked ships to block Ukrainian Navy ships from leaving a nearby Navy base in the Black sea and preventing the Ukrainian Navy from going to sea.

The Ukrainians who want to be part of Europe and the EU, want no part of this, but whether the European countries can have enough economic clout to force Putin to retreat, remains to be seen. Words have to be backed with action, and so far, from both Europe and the US, it's just words.

During the 1930's, Stalin starved the Ukrainians, shipping food out of the country which the Ukrainians had grown themselves.  25% of the Ukrainians died from starvation, which included 3 Million children.

The Soviets, at that time, set up a kind of Potemkin Village for visiting Europeans, which hid what was going on.  Among those visitors was George Bernard Shaw who visited a set-up collective farm and declared there was no famine.

Then came World War II and more horror and hardship.

You can read more about the famine on-line.

And you wonder why the Ukrainians want self-determination to continue?