Monday, March 31, 2014


Norma O'Donnell's photo.
Friday, April 4 at 6:00 pm
Corner McGill College and Sherbrooke
(In front of Madame Marois's office)


How many members of the
American Republican Party
Are also members of
The Ku Klux Klan?
How many members of other
Political parties,
Are members of
Fascist organizations?
Not only has no one asked these questions,
Do not expect anyone to reveal the truth.
But thoughtful people ought to consider
The implications.


MARCH 31, 2014

There are none so blind as those who choose not to see. We are all part of the family of life. The apes, especially gorillas and orangs, are so like us it scares narrow-minded people. But that doesn't change the obvious. Be kind to our kin.

Inspiration's photo.

I'm Lovin' Animals on Google+

Sunday, March 30, 2014


March 30, 2014


Montreal Police told me victims have no rights. Only criminals have rights. Seems that was true, But now - Mackay says "in a few days" - victims will have a genuine, authentic Bill of Rights.

Of course, that would be for Canadians, not necessarily for those of us who live in Quebec where corruption is the rule, not the exception.


Canadian Defense Minister Peter Mackay says there will soon be a Victims' Bill of Rights.  Darn it ! Criminals and their lawyers are not going to like this. But don't fret. Lawyers always get their money somehow.
I am a crime victim in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and I am also a victim of cancer as a result of what I have suffered since I was attacked and robbed in my home by Dawn McSweeney - with the help of a Montreal Police officer.
Will I live long enough to see justice for the criminals who robbed me and destroyed my family? Will that Victims' Bill of Rights bring justice for us ?
It is too late for my parents who have died since the first crimes were committed. 
I have been pleading for justice day and night for 17 years, and I am holding on to see the day when there is justice for crime victims like us in Canada.
Detailed reports of the crimes of Dawn McSweeney and those she brazenly calls her "partners in crime" on her own blog are open to the world at I am offering a $5,000. reward and more.
Phyllis Carter
Peter MacKay

Defence Minister Peter MacKay speaks during question period in the House of Commons.

OTTAWA - A long-promised victim's bill of rights is about to be introduced in Parliament, driving another potential political lightning rod into the already fractured ground in the House of Commons.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay, in a letter to the Conservative caucus on Sunday, said he looks forward to delivering on the throne speech commitment "over the next few days."

The letter was obtained by The Canadian Press and the introduction of the legislation is bound to turn up the heat with the Opposition, which has been consumed by the fight against the Harper government's proposed electoral reforms.

The proposal, when it appeared in last fall's speech opening the new session of Parliament, drew a swift response from legal advocates, notably the John Howard Society which described the notion as a return to "medieval" justice and a distraction from the real problems facing the system.

MacKay, in an interview last fall, said the government's intention is to extend the involvement of victims "from the time of the offence to the final disposition of the sentence."

He said the government doesn't want them to be just another Crown witness, but an effective voice.

The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, March 30, 2014




Immediately after Rene Levesque left the Quebec Liberal Party to pursue his separatist agenda, a fellow Liberal Party member said to me - these are his exact words - "You Jews and you English will always vote Liberal. You have no choice."
The Parti Quebecois is so despised, and their intentions so feared, that rational, decent people of all backgrounds will vote against them this April.
But, wait, folks. Please do not give the Liberals your vote without considering what you are buying.
The Liberals believe that you - you Anglos, you Jews, you immigrants, you ethnics, you Italians, you older folks, you who are too frail to leave the province - you who are not pure wool French - you French-speaking Canadians - will automatically hand the Quebec Liberals power over you to avoid the dreaded separatists.
Think about it seriously right now. This moment is when you have some power.
During this brief period before the elections, get a hold of the candidates and nail them to the wall.
Ask the questions, politely? Yes, politely. But with determination to get what truth a politician can ever tell.
Make him or her answer your questions. Don't let their lackeys shut you up, curtail your time, embarrass you, intimidate you, divert you from your purpose.
Ask the candidate what, precisely, he or she has done for you - as an individual - for the Canadian people of Quebec in the past. It has been a long time since any Quebec politician has attracted my trust.
Ask the candidate what he or she has done for individuals with problems over the years.
This is what could happen to you in Quebec. This is what happened to me. Two politicians attempted to expose the crimes that destroyed my family.
Marlene Jennings, Member if Parliament and Quebec's Deputy Police Ethics Commissioner, stated at two public meetings in Montreal in 2008 -
"Mrs. Carter's rights were violated three times."
But no one was willing to do anything about it. These horrendous crimes that tore apart my family and destroyed my health were in nobody's "jurisdiction." After all, a Montreal Police officer helped the thief commit the crime in my home that day in October, 1996, and set off a chain of crimes that destroyed my family.
Russell Copeman, Member of Quebec's Legislature, made an attempt to expose the judge who, a day after my mother was buried in 2007, issued a court order against me to have me picked up by the Montreal Police and taken to hospital for a 30-day mental examination.
I was being punished - intimidated - for complaining about the crimes committed by Dawn McSweeney. I had to be silenced for what was about to be revealed following my mother's death.
The thieves had kept my mother in total isolation for a decade. 
In 2005, they made a will in my mother's name, cutting out all the family heirs specifically named in my father's will, and turning over my father's home and all his life's savings to Debbie McSweeney and Dawn McSweeney. And naming this stranger, Kenneth Gregoire Prud'homme, as liquidator of my father's estate. A man who never met my father who died at the turn of the century, had taken control of everything my father earned all his life, and the lives of my aged mother and my naive sister, Debbie. After my mother's death, they knew I would find out. I had to be silenced.
I learned later from the clerk at the court house archives that my mother DID NOT SIGN THAT WILL
They had to stop me before I exposed yet another of the crimes of Dawn McSweeney and those she calls her "partners in crime" on her own blog. and in Quebec, it was so easy. Detailed reports at http://dawnmcsweeney.blogspot,com
I had to be discredited, intimidated. They had to shut me up. Please note - They did not succeed. But no police officer, no politician, no newspaper or TV outlet, no so-called human rights organization, no lawyer (without big money up front and much more to follow) would help me. This is Quebec, where corruption permeates all power.
The judge issued the court order against me in four minutes - without ever seeing me, speaking to me, without any evidence, without any medical report, without any witnesses except a total stranger named Kenneth Gregoire Prud'homme and my youngest sister, Debbie, mother of the thief, Dawn McSweeney - my "baby sister" - who has not spoken to me since 1997.
The Montreal Police came and knocked in my door and took me away. I did not resist.
A stranger who never met me or spoke to me was able to take this legal action against me, while I, the victim of the crimes, after 17 years, am still pleading for justice in the case of Dawn McSweeney's crimes.
But the magistrates who judge Quebec judges wrote to Russell Copeman saying this judge "did nothing wrong".
Wake up voters! The writing is on the ghetto wall in Quebec.
Demand straight answers, not politico-gab.
Do not accept platitudes. Yes, politicians show up at food banks and churches and synagogues. They shake hands, and kiss babies and smile for the cameras. But what difference has the candidate made in anyone's life, anyone's troubles, anyone's injustices - specifically?
Ask him or her for evidence. Ask him or her exactly what he or she intends to do if elected.
He or she will tell you how government requires party support and compromise with the opposition.
He or she will tell you how tough it is to be in government. All this designed to excuse the fact that he or she will do nothing to help you as a person - you all as Canadian Quebecers.
Pin the candidate to the wall until he or she is red in the face and the lackeys are calling for help.
Make the candidate tell the truth. Make them write it down in their own hand and sign their pledge, and read it and see if it holds water - no "ifs ands or buts". If we elect you and you do not keep your promises - write this down - "I will resign immediately."
Then go and vote - if you will.
Or do - as many do in other oppressive societies - and boycott the elections. It is not a good choice. But it is a choice. It is my choice. Because, for the moment, I am still a free Canadian. And I am still free to speak truth to power.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


CBC News
Quebec City man doused in gasoline, set on fire
A 19-year-old is in hospital in Quebec City after being doused with gasoline and set on fire outside a restaurant in the suburb of Vanier Saturday morning.
- I think that guy needs to be set on fire. He won't be doing much laughing then, pos.


A very nice gentleman I know offered to give me a lift to the polls after reading this piece I published here on my blog the other day:
I could not vote in the Quebec elections
Even if I wanted to -
Because I can't walk.
I can't get to the polls.
How many other elderly
And/or handicapped people
Are unable to vote
Because they can't walk?
David wrote:
I left a voice message with your local Liberal candidate in NDG inquiring about rides they may provide for voters on election day. I expect they have something organized as most parties do that sort of thing. I will let you know.

However, I would be more than happy to give you a lift to vote on April 7. If you are on the electoral list you will have received confirmation in the mail and the address of your local polling station. Just let me know the address and the time you would like to vote and I can pick you up. 
This was my reply:
Thank you for your concern and for your offer. I am really not inclined to vote for any candidate. I have received no help from any of them, not even the courtesy of a response to any of my appeals through the years. I am of no concern to them except when they want my vote.
I really have no heart to vote for anyone. Except for the French issue, they are all the same, all of them out for their own benefit, their job, their money, their success. They show up for photo ops, kiss babies, smile a lot and ignore us all the rest of the time. I just cannot bear to vote for the lesser evil.
My concern is not my own vote, but the fact that there must be many seniors and handicapped people - many who do not use the Internet - who can't vote because they can't walk.
Again, I thank you for your offer.

Friday, March 28, 2014



Quebec Green Party candidate Brendan Edge says he's considering taking legal action after he was told he's not eligible to vote in the upcoming provincial election.

Quebec Green Party candidate Brendan Edge says he's considering taking legal action after he was told he's not eligible to vote in the upcoming provincial election. (Facebook)

  • Quebec's chief electoral office (DGE) confirms that Brendan Edge is running as a candidate in Chomedey for the Green Party of Quebec. He's listed on the DGE's website as well as on his party's website.

But when Edge visited the local revision office with all his documentation to register to vote, he says he was turned down.

'You could say there was a gap in the law if it was a frequent problem, but I think it's an isolated case.''- Denis Dion, Chief electoral office spokesman

"They said that [my documents] didn't prove that I was domiciled in Quebec and one of the men seeing me claimed that he checked and I wasn't even a candidate," he said. 

Edge, who works and pays income tax in Quebec, said he moved from Ontario three years ago to study at McGill University.

Edge is one of many people who have publicly reported that they were turned down by the revision officers over the province's "in domicile" requirements.

The Quebec Elections Act requires all voters to prove that Quebec has been their main place of residence for the past six months, which complicates things for students from out of province, who often still have their old health cards and driver's licences.

But that strict screening process does not apply to candidates, which creates issue for people like Edge. 

Chief electoral office spokesman Denis Dion explains that candidates are only required to present a valid nomination paper and documents that verify their identity to the returning officer.

Candidates are also required to swear an oath that they're eligible to vote, but the returning officer is not required to ask for any proof of that claim.

Dion said cases like Edge's are an exception. 

"He was obviously not aware of his status as a voter," Dion said.  

"You could say there was a gap in the law if it was a frequent problem, but I think it's an isolated case."

The Quebec Elections Act states clearly that anyone elected to the national assembly must be a valid elector, which means Edge could be facing serious consequences if he wins in his riding. 

According to Dion, Edge's election could be contested because he was not an elector, or he could also be sued by the chief electoral office.

Dion said that Dion's candidacy will remain valid, and the office will be keeping an eye on Edge's campaign. 

"We took a good note of the story of Mr. Edge as candidate. We know him and we know what happened to him, but I can't tell you if we're going to do something more than that, it's premature," Dion said.

In the meantime, ​​Edge said he's considering legal action of his own.

He'll be one of several people contesting their right to vote in the Quebec election.

Constitutional rights lawyer Julius Grey has already confirmed he is representing several others who have been kept off the voters list. 

Grey said he'll be filing an injunction with Quebec Superior Court next week.


I could not vote in the Quebec elections
Even if I wanted to -
Because I can't walk.
I can't get to the polls.
How many other elderly
And/or handicapped people
Are unable to vote
Because they can't walk?



Thursday, March 27, 2014


If you ever testify in court, you might wish you could have been as sharp as this policeman.
He was being cross-examined by a defense attorney during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the police officer's credibility.....
Q: 'Officer --- did you see my client fleeing the scene?'

A: 'No, sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.'
Q: 'Officer, who provided this description?'

A: 'The officer who responded to the scene.'
Q: 'A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?'

A: 'Yes, sir. With my life.'
Q: 'With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?'

A: 'Yes sir, we do!'

Q: 'And do you have a locker in the room?'

A: 'Yes, sir, I do.'
Q: 'And do you have a lock on your locker?'

A: 'Yes, sir.'
Q: 'Now, why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with these same officers?'

A: 'You see, sir, we share the building with the court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.'
The courtroom exploded with laughter, and a prompt recess was called.
I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this item but, based on my own experience as a crime victim in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, I can tell you, I have  not been able to find one lawyer who loves justice more than he loves money. I met one many, many years ago, but none since then.
Phyllis Carter



"I think I am listening to a mad man"


"I've made a lot of movies about self-deception over the years," filmmaker Errol Morris said during a Q&A Wednesday evening, following an IFC screening of his new documentary The Unknown Known, "but nothing that comes close to this."

The "this" is former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who inexplicably - as in neither Morris nor Rumsfeld himself can explain why - agreed to be the subject of Morris' new documentary, which hits theaters next week.

The Unknown Known is in almost every way a followup to Morris' Oscar-winning The Fog of War, in which a previous Defense Secretary performed a postmortem on a previous disastrous war military conflict. The difference: Robert McNamara was, in Morris' words, "reflective, tortured, involved in an attempt to figure out why he did what he did." Rumsfeld, meanwhile, has disappeared behind the performance of himself. Eight years after he was finally fired by George W Bush, the architect of the Iraq War is still selling his "little understood" battle.

The resulting film chronicles "Donald Rumsfeld's dream about himself." Morris dug through tens of thousands of Rumsfeld's memos - called "snowflakes," as they dusted down upon subordinates in endless leaves of white paper - and gathered hours of footage of his charming but cocky press conferences, where arose many of Rumsfeld's unintentionally self-revealing statements: unknown unknowns, I don't do quagmires, absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, and so on.

"Here is someone using language to fool himself as well as others," Morris said. He pointed to a scene in the film in which Rumsfeld consulted the Pentagon Dictionary (there is such a thing!) on the definitions of "insurgency" and "torture" to prove that such terms didn't apply to his war. If Rumsfeld didn't like the things he was accused of, he summoned codices that provided him with exculpatory definitions of the charges.

He did the same to history. "In every war, things occur which shouldn't occur," Rumsfeld said of Abu Ghraib. Vietnam was an "unsuccessful effort," torture an occurrence that was "not proper," Pearl Harbor a "failure of imagination." Even proposing to his wife, which he admits he did not want to do at the time, "was correct. It was a good decision." Slowly, revision by revision, Rumsfeld's agency is read out of the results of history. He's never been wrong; it's just that, in one of his most-remembered lines, "stuff happens."

Morris interjects with facts. When Rumsfeld acts as if no one on planet earth ever believed Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11, Morris reads a Washington Post poll that found almost 70% of Americans believed it at one point, and plays a clip of the former Defense Secretary arrogantly making the case himself; Rumsfeld shrugs and refuses to believe it.

Later, after Rumsfeld has called Morris crazy for suggesting that the "enhanced interrogation techniques"of Guantonamo Bay migrated to Abu Ghraib, Morris quotes a congressional report that affirms exactly that; Rumsfeld agrees without revising his earlier statement. "Here is a man who can say contradictory things without batting an eyelash," Morris told the crowd Wednesday evening. "I think at the end I am listening to a madman."

During the Q&A, a sanctimonious pair of questioners tried to condemn Morris for "letting Rumsfeld off the hook" by refusing to confront his "massive lies"; after all, he had the man sitting right there!

Morris had no truck with such criticism. He happily conceded that he thought Rumsfeld a war criminal who should be held accountable for his actions, but that wasn't what he was after.

Rather, he was searching for the real Rumsfeld beneath the constant obfuscation - assuming, of course, there was a real Rumsfeld left, which Morris didn't believe there was. "Sometimes, in discovering the absence of something, you discover something," Morris said, in a line that could almost have been spoken by Rumsfeld himself.


My darling Cliff died in March, 1992. I was in the depths of hell, grieving. My best friend, Carolyn, did everything she could to comfort me. One day she told me there was a healing service at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Pierrefonds, (a suburb of Montreal, my hometown). 
I am Jewish, but I was desperate. My grief was so intense. So Carolyn and I went to the healing service and I started attending services and bible classes at St. Barnabas.
On New Year's Eve, 1992, I moved to Ontario, but I came back to St. Barnabas almost every weekend, even after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery and while I was receiving chemo treatments. Baldness added to my burden, but not much. It was the least of my trials.
Early 1994. I was given a key to the church. I prepared the holy elements for the altar and I spent most of my time in the nave, grieving and praying, hoping for some sign that Cliff was not gone forever. His loss was unbearable. It helped to be there, alone.
I remember that day. The orange rays of sunset beamed through the stained glass windows onto the pews where I lay stretched out. I was exhausted. I think, over the months, my tears washed away a patch in the grey paint on the floor in front of my pew where I always sat alone, weeping. I prayed and prayed for a sign.
When I got home that day, the phone rang. It was my friend, Linda, calling from Ottawa. She had never telephoned before.
Linda told me she had been in a shopping centre in Ottawa that day to enrol her young daughter at a ballet class. While there, she dropped in at a beauty salon owned by a friend. And there, on the wall of the hairdresser's shop, she was surprised to see a framed professional 8X10 black and white photograph of Cliff.
How did a photograph of Cliff come to appear on the wall of a hair salon in Ottawa?
We finally learned that the owner of the salon had a friend who was a professional photographer in Montreal, Lois Segal, and Lois had taken the picture of Cliff in the early 1980's, at a showbiz event at the Casablanca on St. Denis Street in Montreal, where Cliff was the resident pianist with his brass star in the walk in front of the club. This was shortly after RCA had recorded Cliff's album, Mr. Nostalgia, Cliff Carter, in 1982.
A way-out "coincidence"? The sign I had prayed for. I believe in miracles. And I keep on hoping.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My mother was a hermit. She never left the house. She never went anywhere. That is, in the last decades of her life.
But I remember a time when Mom was cooking wonderful, aromatic food that drew me home from the distance. And I remember her joking and laughing, even making up songs. She wrote love notes to me to let me know she was thinking of me.
Over the years, my mother became more and more depressed. She would sit alone at the kitchen table while Pop and I watched TV in the living room. She would sulk and throw temper tantrums if my father tried to talk to her. It didn't happen overnight, but my mother's tone became dramatically worse the summer of 1996.
The thief, Dawn McSweeney was doing her dirty work, but I didn't know about that until much later.
Read the detailed reports of how Dawn McSweeney robbed and destroyed my family - with the help of her "partners in crime - and the Montreal Police at  -


March 26, 2014







'Ales' Pushkin shares his name with Russia's most famous poet, but is a very different kind of iconic figure. A restorer of church frescos, contemporary performance artist and nationalist political dissident, Pushkin is a surprising product of life in Belarus, 'the only European country where the Soviet Union still exists'. Max Seddon meets him…

On 9 December last year, Alexander Pushkin was sentenced to 13 days' imprisonment for 'malicious hooliganism' after a late-night altercation provoked by a drunken neighbor in the sleepy eastern Belarusian village of Bobr. Pushkin had good reason to believe Alexander Lukashenka, Belarus' authoritarian president, was behind it. This was the second time in a row Pushkin had been jailed on the eve of a presidential election. On both occasions, his sentence conveniently expired the day after voting took place.

'They treated me with great respect in jail,' Pushkin says. 'I refused to move, so they carried me in their arms!'

Seven policemen dragged Pushkin – dressed in a traditional Belarusian white peasant shirt with floral embroidery along the arms and in a line from the neck to the chest – into the district court, where he refused to speak or otherwise participate in his trial. Shocked by Pushkin's silent protest, the judge scurried into the room next door twice to confer, Pushkin presumes, with her superiors, and answered the questions she put to him herself. Once convicted, Pushkin continued his vow of silence and went on hunger strike for the remainder of his time in prison.

Bobr – population 1,200 – is not much accustomed to political dissidence – or, indeed, anything at all. Its houses are quaint and wooden, mostly occupied by farmers. It has one paved road and no plumbing system. But Bobr is also the home of Alexander Mikhailovich Pushkin, a Belarusian nationalist and contemporary performance artist who shares a name with Russia's national poet, though he prefers to go by 'Ales.' (For the sake of comparison, imagine an IRA sympathizer called William Shakespeare.)

Ales Pushkin: a paradoxical product of

I met Pushkin early one cold February morning in a decrepit café on the fourth floor of the train station in Minsk. An amiable man of 45 with long hair and gold teeth, he was wearing a frayed trilby hat, an embroidered peasant shirt, and an overcoat Americans would generously describe as 'vintage.' Drawing a worn envelope and a yellowing address-book from his black briefcase, he half seemed to have stepped from the 1950s.

'There are two kinds of Belarusian artists,' he said as he drew a line down the back of the envelope, 'official and unofficial. But it's not a question of 'this art is good, this art is bad,' it's a question of complicity and conformism.'

Top of the list on the left-hand side was the late Mikhail Andreevich Savitsky – one of the five Heroes of Belarus, alongside the metropolitan and the head of the collective farm agency – who dutifully churned out portraits of Stalin until his death at 87. 'They all lie, these old men', Pushkin said, 'they made the decision to shake the hand, accept the awards, and not question anything.'

Pushkin, by contrast, is a contemporary artist – a genre that essentially does not exist in Belarus. It is the only country in Europe, and perhaps the entire industrialized world, without a contemporary gallery. Bar the occasional small orders officially vetted and ideologically appropriate artists receive from the state, which are hardly enough to live on and take months to arrive, its art market is nonexistent. Steeped in critical theory and social engagement, contemporary art is effectively smothered by the repression of independent media and the regressive, village-oriented culture promoted by the government – Pushkin calls it 'collective farm fascism.'

'Playing the holy fool is the highest form of freedom that's ever existed at any time in our country'.
- Ales Pushkin

The vast majority of contemporary artists left Belarus years ago, mostly for Germany and America. But Pushkin is kept in his village by the same repression that drove his peers away. 'An artist in Belarus is and should be a moral standard of freedom,' he told me.

Pushkin's political activity began when he fell in with the Belarusian Popular Front, a now-obscure opposition party founded in 1988 by the folkloric historian Zianon Pozniak in the western Belarusian city of Vitebsk. There, the Belarusian language predominates and cultural connections with Russia are much weaker than in the eastern part of the country.

At the time, Pushkin was in Minsk studying 'monumental-decorative painting' – a uniquely Soviet genre predominantly entailing 'monolithic' heroic murals and frescoes – and making his first forays into performance art. After he earned his degree by painting a 215-square-meter wall, Pushkin found a job in Vitebsk as a public artist, a post held more than seventy years earlier by Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich.

He arrived there when nationalist sentiment in the Soviet periphery was already at fever pitch. The Popular Front was particularly visible at the time, uncovering mass graves from Stalinist purges in the late 1930s and frequently clashing with the KGB. As well as participating in several of these protests, Pushkin brought more trouble upon himself by staging politically-charged exhibitions and actions. They frequently blurred the line between performance and protest. Most of the gallery shows were censored, moved, or closed at the behest of the authorities, though Pushkin escaped censure for hanging the traditional red-and-white Belarusian flag from Vitebsk town hall after the 1991 putsch attempt.

voting with dark blue thread

Pushkin is a contemporary performance artist but
trained as a classical painter and earns a living
restoring frescoes in rural churches.

Once the Soviet Union collapsed, the National Front managed to reintroduce the traditional flag and state symbol. Considering his three-year performative period a success, Pushkin declared an end to it. He spent the next three years restoring church frescoes and holding contemporary art exhibitions in his house, a practice he was the first to bring to Belarus.

Lukashenka's election brought with it increased censorship and repression against liberals – the main audience for contemporary art – and nationalists, including a crackdown against the Belarusian language in favour of Russian. Pushkin's gallery was forced to close, and he was eventually kicked out of his apartment in late 1995 by the Russian Orthodox bishop Dmitri, who claimed the building for his eparchy. Pushkin moved back to Bobr to continue his career restoring churches: he married Yanina, who teaches the Belarusian language in schools, in a new church he painted entirely himself.

'Pushkin's work echoes Marcel Duchamp's statement that creative acts are only initiated by artists and are completed by the interactions of spectators. Most often, Pushkin's collaborators are the local police.'

By the end of the 1990s, Pushkin had returned to the strain of anarchic performance art that prompted the Bobr police to imprison him and has seen him participate in exhibitions across Europe. When Lukashenka's first term in office officially expired in 1999, he appeared outside the presidential palace dressed in traditional peasant costume and pushing a wheelbarrow full of manure, on top of which lay a pile of Belarusian banknotes bearing Soviet symbols reintroduced by Lukashenka and a portrait of Lukashenka himself. In the few seconds before he was arrested, beaten, and fined $4,000, Pushkin spilled the wheelbarrow's contents onto the ground and drove a pitchfork through the portrait. He was only saved from a harsher sentence by pointing out the added irony in his offering: manure, money, and tools would be an entirely sincere gift for any peasant.

Pushkin's 1999 performance 'A Gift for the President'. Integral to his performances is the part played by the police. (Photo:


'I've always understood performance as playing the holy fool,' Pushkin says. 'Playing the holy fool is the highest form of freedom that's ever existed at any time in our country. The authorities didn't punish anyone for it: they'd listen in, trembling and mythically horrified, they'd try to work out what it meant and explain it. Aesopian language flourishes in repressive countries. It's the only kind of free art and, by and large, they leave it alone.'

Consciously or not, Pushkin's work echoes Marcel Duchamp's statement in 1957 that artists only initiate the creative act, which is completed by the interpretations and participations the spectator provides when he or she interacts with a work of art. Most often, Pushkin's collaborators are the Bobr police.

One such series of performances uses 25th March, the date the short-lived Belarusian National Republic declared its independence from Germany (which was occupying it at the time) and the Soviet Union in 1918, as a conceptual focal point. Instead of participating in the rallies held by Belarus's opposition on that date, Pushkin stages mock celebrations designed primarily to attract the ire of the police. Every year, he takes down a painting of a historical Belarusian scene from his attic and works on it outside wearing a beret and holding a palette in a parody of the archetypical artistic naïf, vowing not to finish it until the Lukashenka regime has been deposed.

Key to his performances' success is their inevitable end as the police arrest him. 'The police and the judge who administers the fine become part of the performance', he beams, 'without realising it themselves. Though they do, naturally, realise what an absurd situation they've put themselves in'. He did, however, manage to avoid arrest for the 2009 incarnation by covering his beret in wet paint. Realising that arresting him would ruin their uniforms, the confused policemen hurriedly conferred with their superiors before deciding to let him off.

Pushkin's idiosyncratic performances owe little to canonical Western radical performance art, much of which is essentially a kind of high-concept Jackass. Marina Abramovich stabbed a kitchen knife between her outspread fingers into a table at great speed; Chris Burden had his assistant shoot him in the arm, and crucify him on the chassis of a Volkswagen; the Vienna Actionists played orgiastic, nihilistic games with the blood and body parts of dead animals. Instead, Pushkin's work draws upon a tradition of anarchical happenings that flourished throughout the Soviet Bloc as an organic response to the everyday absurdities of life in a totalitarian state.

Politics rarely played a part in it, as would befit artists who only had Socialist Realist training available to them and in some cases had only recently discovered Dada and Duchamp. The Czech artist Jiri Kovanda would leer into the eyes of random passersby on escalators or deliberately brush up against them in the street. Collective Actions, a loosely-knit Russian group based around the poet Andrei Monastyrsky, would travel to a field a few hours outside of Moscow and stage aimless activities to a tiny audience as if in complete, willful ignorance of the Soviet state. Some, including Kovanda and Monastyrsky, became significant figures in their own right after they emigrated or smuggled documentation overseas, or after the bloc collapsed.

Belarus, however, is the outlier among them: as the joke goes, it is the only European country where the Soviet Union still exists.

Lukashenka, who is frequently called Europe's last dictator, has ruled Belarus since he came to power in 1994 promising to stamp out corruption, suppressing opposition parties and scoring crushing victories at widely decried sham elections. Despite rampant inflation and skyrocketing commodity prices, he enjoys broad support for having ensured stability in a country whose history is peppered with catastrophic upheavals and whose elderly have vivid, traumatic memories of World War II, when millions died and most of the country was razed to the ground. The war remains a major event for Belarusians, and it is commemorated largely according to the traditional pro-Soviet narrative. Brezhnev-style Victory Day celebrations have lost none of their Soviet-era pomp.

'Pushkin's next project will see him run for Belarus's next presidential election in 2015 - from an art gallery if it is permitted; from the street and suburban rail services if it is not.'

Pushkin's resistance to what he sees as the continued Russian occupation of his country frequently takes him to extremes. He often appears in his performances as a black-clad paramilitary soldier exhibiting portraits of controversial Belarusian 'resistance heroes' from the Second World War. While not comparable to the sentiments still held by some in Latvia or Estonia – where surviving SS veterans still hold parades – Pushkin's protests celebrate the efforts of the Belarusian Independence Party to 'liberate' Belarus from Soviet rule towards the end of the Second World War, partly supported by Nazi Germany. Though Pushkin considers the party's members resistance heroes, the official state history labels them traitors and Nazi collaborators.

As with most national liberation movements in the USSR during the war – which saw the creation of idiosyncratic SS divisions made up of 'racially inferior' Slavs and 'mongoloid' Kazakhs – this both is and isn't true. Though the Independence Party leadership had liaised with the Abwehr from its inception, the party's programme once it launched in 1944 roughly entailed fighting the Soviets in the hope that the inevitable Allied victory over the Nazis would create a window of opportunity to set up an independent Belarusian state. The founders of the Belarusian National Republic and March 25th movement had operated a government-in-exile in Lithuania since 1919, when they were expelled by the Red Army less than a year after declaring independence.

Two portraits from Pushkin's series 'Belarusian Resistance
in the 20th Century': Pushkin's nationalism is thoroughly
opposed to the pro-Russian regime of President Lukashenka.

Few in Belarustoday view the Belarusian Independence Party positively, and Pushkin's arrests at his paramilitary performances are usually met with cheers from passersby. He nonetheless remains ebullient when questioned on his nationalist beliefs. 'World War II in Belarus was a civil war', he insists. 'I'm completely convinced of that. The heroes I try to commemorate had a strong, principled position – to be independent from both the Germans and the Soviets. This required that they wear collaborationist German uniforms. Recently I've been coming across heroes who wore 'Russian uniforms' to make Belarusian Belarus independent'.

The contradictory positions Pushkin's nationalism leads him to take indicate the wider paradox at the heart of Pushkin's personality. He speaks Russian with a heavy accent and only speaks with his fellow-countrymen in Belarusian, but his name immediately evokes the Golden Age of Russian poetry in the  nineteenth century. He frequently rails against Russia's overbearing political and cultural influence, but is a devout member of the Belarusian Orthodox eparchy – which is subordinate to the Russian church. He is a contemporary performance artist, but trained as a classical painter and earns a living restoring frescoes in rural churches.

Pushkin attributes much of his personality and artistic path to his service in the Afghan war, proudly showing me his veteran's card.

'I was the only one in my battalion who became an artist! That's when I stopped being scared of the government, the KGB, the police. And it was only twenty years later that I came to realize I paint icons for Orthodox and Catholic churches by way of repentance for my cruelty – even if it was in a faraway land.'

But even when at his most penitent, the impish glee that characterises his performances cannot be repressed. One mural in the Church of St. Nicholas in Bobr was hastily repainted after an image of Lukashenka depicted among the sinful appeared on Russian television.

There is a sense that Pushkin is the natural byproduct of Belarus' authoritarian system. Widespread repression and censorship may prevent a pluralistic, western-style culture from developing, but they are bound to create a twisted mirror image of themselves, much like the other Belarus Pushkin celebrates.

Pushkin's next project will see him run for Belarus' next presidential election in 2015. He hopes to base his campaign out of an art gallery, though is prepared to take his message to the people on the street and suburban rail services if the authorities refuse. 'I don't want to participate in this farce,' Pushkin says of Belarus' managed democracy. 'But after the last time, I thought: "If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, let Mohammed come to the mountain!'''




THE Ku Klux Klan was once powerful. The Far Right, anti-immigration, anti-Catholic, anti-black, anti-Jew, anti-anything not white and Protestant and lately pro-Nazi group has been a fixture of the US political lanscape ever since it was founded in 1865.

This is a history of its members and those who opposed its racism in photos. The captions are of their time:

PA 8666817 The story of the Klu Klux Klan in pictures: racism, civil rights and murder
Ku Klux Klan members parade past the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C. in 1925. (AP Photo)


PA 13357164 The story of the Klu Klux Klan in pictures: racism, civil rights and murder

Members of the National Socialists Movement and the White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan march Saturday April 21, 2012, at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. At least 70 law enforcement officers were present to control a crowd of 150 to 200 demonstrators when a group of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members rallied against illegal immigration on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol. (AP Photo/John Flavell)


PA 9402716 The story of the Klu Klux Klan in pictures: racism, civil rights and murder
by | 10th, December 2012


2005 Ku Klux Klan (KKK) cross burning (Wikimedia Commons)
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Residents in Reidsville, North Carolina have begun receiving fliers inviting them to a May 26 (2012) Ku Klux Klan cross burning intended for "white people only."

Reidsville Police Department Captain Ken Hanks confirmed to Raw Story that people in several neighborhoods had reported receiving the invitations.

Asked if the fliers had broken any law, Hanks replied, "Not that I'm aware of," and added that the matter was not being investigated.

"I'm a little bothered by it," Annie P. Pinnix, who received a flier, told the Winston-Salem Journal on Monday.

Pinnex said her husband found the flier in their driveway. It reads:

"Join us, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a rally and cross lighting, Saturday, May 26, Harmony, North Carolina. Free Admition [sic]-White People Only. No alcohol, drugs, fighting, glass bottles or weapons. Free on site camping-all major motels in area. Souvenirs. Vendors. Food and beverages for Sale. Cross lighting at dusk-a white unity event. Live country band. Security provided by LWK."

A recording on the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan "24 Hour Hot Line" confirmed the May 26 cross burning event.

"Always remember: If it ain't white, it ain't right," the recording concluded.


White supremacists give Nazi salutes and chant 'Sieg Heil' during the rally
Chilling images showing the mundane preparations ahead of a hate-filled Nazi rally have been captured by a photographer given unprecedented access.

Photographer Johnny Milano was allowed to shoot behind the scenes at the National Socialist Movement convention in Atlanta, Georgia, after months of negotiations with Nazi leaders.
Hooded Klu Klux Clan members look on as they prepare their robes for the march

The disturbing photographs show white supremacists ironing their swastikas and getting tattoos as they kill time in their hotel rooms.
The NSM claims to be the biggest 'white civil rights group' in the U.S.

Hotel rooms were turned into makeshift tattoo parlours as party supporter Chris Drake gets another inking by a man wearing a swastika t-shirt

About 40 neo-Nazis and Klu Klux Klan members attended the meeting at the Wellesley Hotel in Atlanta to commemorate the birthday of Adolf Hitler on April 20.
Mr Milano's collection of photographs gives an insight into the dark world of white supremacists.

White supremacists dressed in KKK robes give Nazi salutes and chant 'Sieg Heil' during the rally

The images reveal the strict rules and regulations that Nazi party members have to follow. They are seen ironing their swastika armbands to make sure they are in pristine condition ahead of a formal Nazi sit-down meal.

Despite Mr Milano's presence, Nazis proudly show off the fascist tattoos that commemorate Hitler.

Many members have the number '88' tattooed on them, which represents the words Heil Hitler.

Others sport the number 14, which represents the words: 'We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.'
The collection also captures the anger among anti-fascists who lined up to demonstrate against the convention.

Windows of Nazi party member's cars were smashed and their tyres were punctured.
About 100 anti-fascists gathered to protest against them, and one woman was seen goose-stepping along their march dressed in a red nose and holding a sign that read 'Racism is ridiculous.'
Nazis inspect the damage to a car, believed to have been inflicted by anti fascist demonstrators

Nazis inspect the damage to a car, believed to have been inflicted by anti fascist demonstrators.

The National Socialist Party claims to be America's biggest active 'white civil rights group', although some experts estimate it has only about 400 members in 32 states.

Crimea, Ukraine, Russia -
Who can we trust?
We know that Nazis hate Jews,
But do the Communists love us?





Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter (AP File Photo)

"The existing abuse of females is the worst and most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on earth," says former President Jimmy Carter.

Carter -- repeating something he's stated previously -- said the abuse is "indirectly" derived "from the fact that religious leaders say that women are inferior in the eyes of God, which is a false interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. But when they see that the pope, and the Southern Baptist Convention and others say that women can't serve as priests and so forth equally with men, they say, 'Well, and I'll treat my wife the way I want to because she's inferior to me.'"

Carter made the remarks in a taped interview with Andrea Mitchell that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," and he said much the same thing Monday in a live appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Well, the fact is, I happen to be a Christian, and Jesus Christ was a very wonderful leader who never discriminated in any word or action against women," he told MSNBC. ''

"But the writings of St. Paul -- you can selectively take verses out of the Bible and you can testify (about) women not being able to be priests -- so the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist convention and others quite often say, well, women are not qualified to have an equal role in the service of God as men. And of course, men all over the world take this as a proof that they can abuse their wives, or pay less pay, you know."

Carter said he and his wife Rosalynn left the Southern Baptist Convention when it decided that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and could no longer serve  as pastors, priests or even deacons in the church.

"Those kind of things really convinced me that I should change," Carter told NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

Carter said the abuse of women also happens in the Islamic faith as well.

"You know, I've studied very carefully the Koran...and there are very few verses in the Koran that doesn't say men and women are equal, but in local interpretations particularly in remote areas of Africa and so forth, women are horribly abused, with honor killings and with genital mutilation," he told "Morning Joe."

Asked about the abuse of women in Afghanistan, Carter said he doesn't think it's something that can be changed from the outside, regardless of whether the United States leaves troops in that country when combat ends.

"I don't think there's anything the United States or Europe can do to change the policies in Afghanistan."

Carter said the abuse of women is "very bad" in the United States -- "where we discriminate against women grossly every day. And where there are multiple rapes and sexual abuses on the campuses of our great universities and in the military, as you well know."  He added that women tend to be paid less than men, and relatively few women end up as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

According to Carter, "Human trafficking and slavery is worse now than it was in the 19th century. Citing the State Department, he said 800,000 "slaves" are sold across international borders every year. "And about 100K are sold in the United States -- about 80 percent of whom are women...And so these are the kind of things that go on in our country."

Earlier, he told Andrea Mitchell that leaders of U.S. colleges and the military don't want to admit what is happening in their institutions: "So rapists prevail because they know that they're not going to be reported," he said.




The worldwide burden of childhood tuberculosis is twice as large as once thought, according to a new study that estimates nearly 1 million children become sick with the disease every year.

TB is the second leading cause of death from infectious disease on the planet, but as many as two-thirds of new TB cases in children go undiagnosed each year according to the study, which was published in The Lancet today to coincide with World TB Day.

The findings also shed light on a dangerous new front in the fight against TB: the emergence of drug-resistant strains that are increasingly difficult to treat. Of all children suffering from TB in 2010, nearly 32,000 were thought to have a drug-resistant mutation of the disease known as MDR-TB, according to the study. The paper represents the first major estimate of MDR-TB in children. Until now, fewer than 700 cases of the disease had been reported in the scientific literature.

"TB in a child is recognized as a sentinel event. It tells us about ongoing transmission and missed opportunities for prevention," said Mercedes Becerra, one of the study's authors and an associate professor of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Improved estimates are essential so that we can begin to understand the unmet need for pediatric TB treatment."

The findings underscore shortcomings with how children are tested, Becerra told FRONTLINE. In many countries, the most widely used TB test relies on analyzing a patient's sputum — that's the mucus-like substance that comes up from the lungs when you cough. But because TB is just as likely to appear in a child's brain or bones as it is in the lungs, analyzing sputum is often counterproductive. Even if the disease is pulmonary, children carry a smaller bacterial load, making their sputum harder to read under a microscope.

Such shortcomings are especially worrying, said Becerra, given the heightened risks faced by children with TB. "Once they're infected," she noted, "children progress much more quickly. If they're going to get sick, they get sick faster and they die faster than adults do."

In 2012, an estimated 8.6 million people developed TB and 1.3 million died from the disease, according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organization. The WHO estimates that about 530,000 children develop TB every year, but the study's authors used a different methodology to arrive at their total.

The current epicenter of the pandemic is Swaziland, home to highest rate of TB infection in the world. In tomorrow night's FRONTLINE investigation, TB Silent Killer, filmmaker Jezza Neumann travels there for an unforgettable portrait of lives forever changed by the disease.

Among the patients he meets is Nokubheka, who at just 12 years old has already lost her mother to TB. Soon after her mother's death, Nokubheka was diagnosed with a strain of MDR-TB herself. As she told FRONTLINE in the following scene TB Silent Killer, "I think anybody can have TB. It is not choosy."

The film follows Nokubheka through months of treatment at Swaziland's national TB hospital. Although treatment can be a grueling and sometimes risky process — daily injections, for example, can lead to hearing loss — the disease can be cured if detected early enough. However as The Lancet study warned, "Continued failure to detect and treat child cases of TB and MDR-TB will result in the unnecessary deaths of large numbers of children."