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Beginning Over, 16. Non-Politics, Non-Song, Nonsense.

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Saturday night was yet another edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. As was more or less predictable, Ukraine won by popular vote. Their song was not one of my favorites, but I think people judged more on the situation than on musical merits.  Which is really ironic, because this contest is supposed to be apolitical. In the past twenty years, Ukraine has had its wrist slapped repeatedly for introducing politics with its Russian neighbor into their songs. This year, when they ended their song, they called out for people to support Mariupol and help out those trapped in the Azovstal works. But, this year was different from previous ones, and it was ignored by the judges. The song itself, ostensibly about the singer's mother, could as easily be extrapolated to the Motherland of Ukraine. In other words, nothing on this earth is apolitical; music, especially. The festival itself began with staged people singing Give Peace a Chance in Turin, where the festival was held. Spain, amazin

Beginning Over, 15. In Mourning.

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This morning, I have been seeing an article from Politico mentioned on the internet (link  here ), talking about an opinion draft in the Supreme Court. Justice Alito mentions that Roe v. Wade must be overturned because it is not upheld by the Constitution, nor is it a part of the tradition or history of the nation. Therefore, regulations on abortions must be passed back to the states.  He argues that the basis for passing the popular decision in 1973 was weak, and that nowhere in the Constitution is abortion mentioned. Also, that the Court should not hold in consideration popular opinion. His main argument, is really that it is not a specific right mentioned in the Constitution. He goes on to strike down arguments supporting legal abortion nationally, controversially mentioning that abortion was used by those who wanted to suppress the African-American population, noting that most aborted fetuses were African-American. Also, that not having access to abortion would not impinge on a wo

Beginning Over, 14. May Days.

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Easter has come, and Easter has gone. It was a very uneventful week's vacation for me. I didn't go anywhere on my own, just for a drive in the mountains with my husband. The following week, masks came off, and I didn't wear them on the first day of freedom, but I had to put them back on after that because my husband came down with Covid. He has no idea how he got it; perhaps an evening he spent with friends was the culprit. He still doesn't understand how, because he kept on his mask the entire time. None of the others were wearing one, though. He didn't have such an easy time of it as I did, however, because his lungs were affected with a wracking cough. Even now, over a week since he was negative on the test, he still has shortness of breath, though he is finally expelling the phlegm that had lodged in his chest. His recovery is slower than mine, since he still feels fatigued. Cases are on the rise, again. It was only normal, seeing how crowded Holy Week celebrati

Beginning Over, 13. Past is Present.

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There have been many images and news reports coming out of Ukraine about how Russian troops have massacred and tortured civilians. Mass graves have been found, and women have come forward claiming they had been raped, a few saying their own children had been forced to watch. These are details that make many think back to World War II. Stories have popped up of survivors of Babi Yar, and the horror they lived through. But, on European soil, there's been other massacres that people seem to have forgotten about. Srebrenica. In July, 1995, with Dutch troops from the U.N. looking on and doing nothing to stop it, about 8,000 Bosniak men were summarily executed by Serbian commandos. Of the roughly 14,000 Bosniak women and children rounded up and sent out to other towns, thousands were raped. Children were raped and some were killed, some of them snatched out of their mothers' arms when they wouldn't stop crying. A knife across the throat did the job. The commanders, Serbians, were

Beginning Over, 12. Another Year.

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Today marks the moment I have done another trip around our tired sun.  I have been thinking lately about the times I have been plunked in. There are moments I wish I had been born earlier, to avoid this apparent prelude to the destruction of our environment and our civilization. Yet, past moments were not wonderful, either. They seem simpler in retrospect, but nothing is quite as simple as it seems. There is a show on one of our public channels, where they show music clips of songs popular in this country in times gone by. Watching some of them, remembering when some of the songs came out, seeing people wearing clothes and hairstyles soooo popular in my youth, I felt an anguish of wishing myself back. It seems so simple, life in the seventies and eighties. No worries over the rising temperatures, no worries over whether Putin will push the nuclear button, no worries over living. But there were other worries. At the same time I wished myself back, I remembered that there were worries ov

Beginning Over, 11. It Matters Not Where We Are From

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Today is Women's Day. Today, while in the West we are still struggling for equal pay for equal work, and to change social norms about women, in the East, women are struggling for survival. Ukrainian women, their menfolk forced to stay behind to fight, are evading bombs and missiles to lead their families to safe havens in the West. Most of them reach their destination. But some are being tricked into human trafficking, it seems, by strangers coming up to them, promising them and their children a place to sleep.  Of course, since it is European women this is happening to, it's suddenly something to get angry about. But it's been happening to countless women in countless third world countries, as they marched through them, trying to reach the relative safety of Europe, escaping from their troubled or war-torn homes. Yet, because those women's skins are not pink and cream, nor do they have blue eyes, they are ignored.  Much has been made these days of a Ukrainian woman, wh

Beginning Over, 10. Another Stupid War.

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So, I was wrong and Putin did attack Ukraine. The man isn't a rational, thinking human; he's a megalomaniac who doesn't care about anyone but himself and the "glory" only he can bring to his country.  The problem for Putin isn't so much that Ukraine looks to the West, and wants to join NATO, and perhaps the European Union. If we look at that angle, we can see that the Baltic states and Poland belong to the Union, and to NATO. But Poland's government is leaning away from the rest of the Union, and slowly becoming less liberal, less open. Ukraine was opening up. Belarus, in between, has been taken over by a tiny dictator that is bosom buddies with Putin. Putin wants Ukraine to become another Belarus, easily molded to Russia's (Putin's) needs and wants. Putin was happy when a puppet dictator was in Kyiv, but the Ukrainian people don't want anything to do with another dictatorship, so Putin is punishing them, before he puts in place his own handpic