Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Bertolt Brecht: Die Musen / The Muses

#SkiptheSpeech gains traction as #Netanyahu Continues to Insult America @jvplive: image via Carbonated.TV @CarbonatedTV, 27 February 2012

Wenn der Eiserne sie prügelt
Singen die Musen lauter.
Aus gebläuten Augen
Himmel in sie ihn hundisch an.
Der Hintern zuck von Schmerz
Die Scham var Begierde.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and his wife Sara, who described him as ‘a giant of a leader’. Sara Netanyahu has been thrust to the centre of his election campaign after the release of an alleged transcript of her ranting down the phone to Monique Ben Melekh, the wife of Netanyahu's political rival Eli Moyal, during the war in Gaza last summer, From the transcript: “Does anyone in the country want anyone else other than Bibi? Huh?! Someone in this entire country?! They admire Binyamin Netanyahu the entire world over! [He is] a man [who] took all of the State of Israel upon his shoulders; he sends soldiers to war, he behaves with rare political wisdom, speaks with leaders all the time! Binyamin Netanyahu’s experience, his wisdom, his education! [He has] extensive education, university degrees! He also reads books, understands the economy, security, policy, he knows how to speak with leaders of the world!... In the United States they say that if he had been born in the US, he’d have been elected president there!” : text by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem; photo by Nir Elias/Reuters via The Guardian, 27 February 2015

When the man of iron beats them
The Muses sing louder.
With blackened eyes
They adore him like bitches.
Their buttocks twitch with pain.
Their thighs with lust.

Bertolt Brecht (1998-1956): Die Musen (The Muses), from Buckower Elegien (Buckow Elegies), 1953, translated by  Michael Hamburger in Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956, ed. John Willett and Ralph Manheim with the co-operation of Erich Fried, 1976

Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu. A damning official report into spending by the Israeli prime minister at his official residence in Jerusalem and private seaside home has accused him of excessive and improper use of public funds, including spending huge amounts on takeaway food, hairdressing and cleaning. Prepared by Israel’s state comptroller, Yosef Shapira – and passed to the country’s attorney general to consider whether any laws have been broken – the report is potentially highly damaging to Netanyahu, coming only a month before Israel’s elections. The government auditor’s report appears to confirm allegations that have been rumbling for several years of excessive spending by Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, and a lack of proper management of the costs in the prime minister’s official home. It has come on top of lurid allegations, detailed in a civil court case, of the high-handed and abusive treatment of staff in the official residence by Sara -– claims strongly denied by the Netanyahus. What has made the issue potentially politically toxic in the middle of an election campaign –- where Netanyahu is running neck and neck with his main rivals -– is the sharp contrast it has afforded to Israelis suffering under a high cost of living. The claims of potential illegal conduct centre on two issues: the so called “bottle-gate affair”, which saw Sara Netanyahu pocket deposits on bottles of drinks paid for by the state, later reimbursed; and claims that garden furniture bought for the official residence was sent to their private home. Among spending items criticised in the report is a bill to the Israeli state for more than $18,000 (£11,700) for takeaway meals in a single year, despite the fact that the Netanyahus are provided with a cook and staff at the government’s expense. Another expenditure highlighted was the cost of cleaning for Netanyahu’s private home in the upmarket beach resort of Caesarea. It cost the Israeli state $2,120 a month –- more than the monthly income of many Israelis -– despite the fact that the Netanyahus spend the majority of their time at the official residence in Jerusalem. Netanyahu was also criticised for excessive spending on a raft of other items including hairdressing, clothes, water consumption and electrical repairs made at the taxpayer’s expense at his private home. The official examination of the expenses -– incurred between 2009-13 –- showed that cleaning costs claimed at the Netanyahus’ two residences doubled without explanation from an already hefty $138,000 in 2009 at the official residence alone. Perhaps most damaging of all is the revelation that employees of the prime minister’s office were obliged to pay for some of Netanyahu’s personal expenses out of their own pockets –- often small sums and not reimbursed. “The meaning of a failure to pay back these invoices from petty cash is that employees absorb the cost of private expenditures of the prime minister or his family,” the comptroller wrote in his report. “When an employee is forced to pay from his own pocket for an expenditure by the prime minister, this is improper administration and it makes no difference whether the sum is large or small.”: text by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem; photo by Riccardo De Luca/AP via The Guardian, 17 February 2015

Netanyahu Denies Wife Pocketed From Returned Bottles #Netanyahu #Sara Netanyahu #Likud #Israel; image via ZERO Filtered @ZEROFiltered, 31 January 2015

#SaraNetanyahu; image via Noga Halperin @HalperinNoga, 30 January 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the campaign trail near Jerusalem. Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered a preliminary investigation into alleged fiscal misconduct at the private and state residences of Prime Minister.: photo by Nir Elias/Reuters via the Guardian, 27 February 2015

Angering the White House and Democrats, Binyamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation from Republican leaders to address a joint meeting of Congress on 3 March and speak about Iran. The Republican leaders did not consult the Obama administration, which the White House called a breach of protocol. Democratic senators Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein on Monday invited Netanyahu to meet in a closed-door session with Democrats during his visit. He declined the invitation on Tuesday: photo by Reuters via The Guardian, 17 February 2015

An extract from the document

Netanyahu’s Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad, leaked spy cables show. Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year away from making a nuclear bomb was contradicted by his own secret service, according to a top-secret Mossad document. It is part of a cache of hundreds of dossiers, files and cables from the world’s major intelligence services -– one of the biggest spy leaks in recent times. Brandishing a cartoon of a bomb with a red line to illustrate his point, the Israeli prime minister warned the UN in New York that Iran would be able to build nuclear weapons the following year and called for action to halt the process. But in a secret report shared with South Africa a few weeks later, Israel’s intelligence agency concluded that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”. The report highlights the gulf between the public claims and rhetoric of top Israeli politicians and the assessments of Israel’s military and intelligence establishment: image extracted from leaked Israeli intelligence document via The Guardian, 23 February 2015

Everything you need to know about #SkipTheSpeech: image via End the Occupation @US_Campaign, 27 February 2015

A former head of Israel’s foreign intelligence service Mossad is urging voters to oust Binyamin Netanyahu in the next general election, accusing the prime minister of endangering the country’s security with his stance on the Iranian nuclear programme. Meir Dagan, a vocal critic of Netanyahu's Iran policy since stepping down as Mossad chief four years ago, is to be a keynote speaker at a rally in Tel Aviv next weekend, calling on the public to turf the prime minister out of office on 17 March. Netanyahu was due to fly to Washington on Friday. In a trenchant critique of Netanyahu’s leadership, delivered in a long interview in Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Dagan said the prime minister’s policies were “destructive to the future and security of Israel”. Netanyahu’s planned speech has brought the already uncomfortable state of relations with the Obama administration to a new low amid suspicion that the speech -– at the invitation of Republican house speaker John Boehner –- was designed to enhance the Israeli prime minister’s electoral prospects.: text by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem, photo by Abir Sultan/AP via the Guardian, 27 February 2015

Binyamin Netanyahu visits at a military outpost overlooking the Israel-Syria border on Wednesday. The Israeli ambassador to Switzerland and a diplomat in India have been called home over comments critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. Among the alleged infractions was a retweet by Ambassador Yigal Caspi, citing criticism of Netanyahu’s accepting a controversial invitation to address the US Congress over Iran’s nuclear policy. “Every time one thinks Netanyahu has taken the relationship with the White House to the lowest point ever, he manages to take it even lower,” said a tweet by Haaretz newspaper writer Barak Ravid, reposted on Caspi’s private Twitter account before it was closed. Foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon told AFP that Caspi and Assaf Moran, political counsellor at the embassy in Delhi, had been called home. “They have been summoned to a hearing in order to check the comments attributed to them on their Twitter accounts.”: text by AFP in Jerusalem; photo Baz Ratner/AP via the Guardian, 5 February 2015

Tell us why, Star Parker, we shld welcome #Netanyahu, who allows this kind of hate run amok in Israel against BLK PPL: image via 3ChicsPolitico_3 @Chics Politico, 27 February 2015

Netanyahu Disrespects Obama & Palestinian Human Rights #SkipTheSpeech via @DreamDefenders #BDS
: image via #NoJusticeNoPeace @PalsJustice, 27 February 2015

#SkipTheSpeech campaign: image via Rana1 @Tantoon, 23 February 2015

#BiBiStayHome #SkipTheSpeech cc @IsraelPM #Netanyahu @SpeakerBoehner @HouseGOP #Senate_GOPs: image via T @southerntalkerTantoon, 20 February 2015

 @SpeakerBoehner belongs behind bars, not in House! MT MT@crazylary51 @DoggedlyBlue @MoveOn @Senate_GOPs #SkipTheSpeech: image via TeaBaggersNightmare @BlueVA_Hound, 20 February 2015

Sickening that we can take care of Israel, but not our own people! Time to end all aid to Israel, and #SkipTheSpeech campaign
: image via Jovan @CSRA_prsn 23 February 2015

CALL NOW: Ask your Members of Congress 2join 29 others & #SkipTheSpeech: image via California Cathy @JaneVoter, 21 February 2015

US Officials Say #Israel = Distorting the Reality of Peace Talks With Iran #SkipTheSpeech #BDS: image via #NoJusticeNoPeace @PalsJustice, 20 February 2015

Close your door "@jvplive: Dear Congress, Please #SkipTheSpeech" by Netanyahu: image via Hello haiku @Aamilne_Tetsuya, 21 February 2015

Probably going to be a short conversation...@ZZion @kharyp @politicsusa #DHS #SkipTheSpeech: image via stu stein @thestustein, 27 February 2015

Friday, 27 February 2015

Bertolt Brecht: Parade of the Old New

Embedded image permalink

A very grey day on the very Grey Lady of #Nantucket: image via Michael West @ACKstronomy, 22 February 2015

I stood on a hill and I saw the Old approaching, but it came as the New.

Off Season #14, Newburyport, MA (Sunpet camera): photo by Jim Rohan (Lower Darnley), 10 February 2015

It hobbled up on new crutches which no one had ever seen before and stank of new smells of decay which no one had ever smelt before.

Intertidal Zones #2, Rowley, MA (Holga): photo by Jim Rohan (Lower Darnley), 11 February 2015

The stone that rolled past was the newest invention and the screams of the gorillas drumming on their chests set up to be the newest musical composition.

tidal inlet [Gnome Pixie Flex / inverted lens / expired Orwo NP 20 / September 2014]: photo by Polar Noire, 28 January 2015
Everywhere you could see open graves as the New advanced on the capital.

i. early night. 2 hours after sunset. ~ 90 sec. long time exp. with Agfa Clack (Inverted lens) / Fomapan 100. 2014 ACFL_whv_2014_1: photo by Polar Noire, 15 January 2014

Round about stood such as inspired terror, shouting: Here comes the New, it's all new, salute the New, be new like us! And those who heard, heard nothing but their shouts, but those who saw, such such as were not shouting.

Black Horse #5, Wakefield, MA (Holga 120S): photo by Jim Rohan (Lower Darnley), 24 February 2015

So the Old strode in disguised as the New, but it brought the New with it in its triumphal procession and presented it as the Old.

∩ ∩ ∩ ∩ ∩ ∩ plastics hot green house. Some trees watching. ^^ [Gnome Pixie Flex / inverted lens / Orwo NP 20 exp. 1986 / February 2015]: photo by Polar Noire, 24 February 2015

The New went fettered and in rags; they revealed its splendid limbs.

Stampede #3 (Rocket Camera): photo by Jim Rohan (Lower Darnley), 25 February 2015

And the procession moved through the night, but what they thought was the light of dawn was the light of fires in the sky. And the cry: Here comes the New, it's all new, salute the New, be new like us! would have been easier to hear if it had not been drowned in a thunder of guns.

Bertolt Brecht: Parade des alten Neuen (Parade of the Old New), 1939, translated by John Willett in Bertolt Brecht: Poems 1913-1956, ed. John Willett and Ralph Manheim with the co-operation of Erich Fried, 1976

m o o n
attracted by the moon. [Kodak Cresta / flipped lens / RPX 400 / Xtol]: photo by Polar Noire, 24 October 2014

Living Through History: Stoneham, MA (Holga 120S): photo by Jim Rohan (Lower Darnley), 26 February 2015

/°\ [
Fuji FP-3000b w. Polaroid Land Camera 100 converted Wollensak Raptar 127mm. WP_2014_WHV_4a]
: photo by Polar Noire, 1 February 2014

/°\ [
Negative from Fuji FP-3000b taken with converted Polaroid Land Camera with Wollensak Raptar 127mm. January 2014. WP_2014_WHV_4anegRS]: photo by Polar Noire, 17 January 2014

Near frozen waves off the coast of Nantucket: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh/Stay Wild: image by Rhonda Berglas, 27 February 2015

Frozen "slurpee waves" on Nantucket: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh/Stay Wild; image by Rhonda Berglas, 26 February 2015

  Nearly frozen waves captured on camera on Nantucket Island: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh/Stay Wild: image by Rhonda Berglas, 26 February 2015

The slurpee waves of Nantucket: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh via Stay Wild; image via Rhonda Berglas, 26 February 2015

The unrelenting cold in Massachusetts has created "Slurpee waves" off the coast of Nantucket: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh
via Stay Wild; image by Rhonda Berglas, 27 February 2015

Photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh spotted ocean waves frozen over with slush off the Nantucket coast amid below-average temperatures throughout the region. The freezing water created an unusual effect on the wave shape. ‘When I got to the top off the dunes I see that about 300 yards out from the shoreline that the ocean was starting to freeze. The high temperature that day was around 19F (-7C). The wind was howling from the south-west, which would typically make rough or choppy conditions not good for surfing, but since the surface of the sea was frozen, the wind did not change the shape.’
: photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh via The Guardian, 27 February 2015

RT @JasonGraziadei
"Slurpee waves of Nantucket" so hot right now. Slurpee waves. #nantucket: image via @JasonGraziadei@JasonGraziadei, 27 February 2015

Embedded image permalink

Awesome. Nearly Frozen Waves Captured On Camera By #Nantucket Photog via @cbsboston: image via Jon O @bzzagentjono, 27 February 2015

Snowing afternoon on jetties beach #Nantucket #jetties #ack #snow #winter: image via Nantucket Bike Shop @ackbikeshop, 18 February 2015

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Almost Time Now

Embedded image permalink

Watching time go by @unionstationTO #BlackAndWhite #Org1: photo via Dré @OrganizedNoise1, 18 February 2015

  Untitled (The Netherlands): photo by Akbar Simonse, 10 June 2013

  This is Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, California): photo by Mark Nye, 18 November 2012

Untitled: photo by Joshua Perez (Strange Goodness), 4 October 2013

Untitled (Dirty Jerzey): photo by Joshua Perez (StrangeGoodness), 3 August 2013

Night ferry (Portland, Maine): photo by Robert Schneider, 3 November 2013

Worcester, Massachusetts: photo by Billy (STREETIZM), 27 January 2014

2741 (Temple Avenue, Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 27 January 2014

ways around (Adogawa-cho, Lake Biwa, Shiga prefecture, Japan): photo by Stephen Cairns, 17 November 2012

Speaker, Portland: photo by Austin Granger, 5 February 2014

the day the Emperor came (Annpachi-cho, Gifu prefecture, Japan): photo by Stephen Cairns, 30 September 2012

searching for Sugimoto. Hiroshi Sugimoto has a fantastic series of images featuring the interiors of American theatres. The series is borne from a simple idea: what would happen if a camera were brought into a movie theatre and the shutter kept open for the length of the film. The answer is equally simple but brilliant. After two hours of entertainment nothing remains -- nothing but the light. This is a huge pachinko LED sign. Pachinko is a Japanese gambling pastime. I leave you to draw your own conclusions: photo by Stephen Cairns, 26 October 2013

 caution sign (Kansas City): photo by Clayton Percy, 26 January 2014

Hotel (Skid row, Los Angeles): photo by michaelj1998, 23 January 2014

shinjuku, tokyo: photo by wire_paladinSF, 10 April 2014

star lofts and fireplug, downtown kansas city: photo by Clayton Percy, 26 January 2014