Music, poetry, and a kestrel


Henriette Roland HolstNoordwijk in the Netherlands is the village where famous Dutch poetess, socialist, and environmentalist Henriette Roland Holst was born.

Today, in memory of the founding of a primary school there, the Bronckhorstschool, 25 years ago, there was a concert night at that school, with poems set to music by local composer Hans Plug who works at the school.

On my way to Noordwijk, south of Voorhout, a farm with shelducks, barnacle geese and bar-headed geese.

A bit further, in a ditch, a coot swimming with chicks with red feathers on their heads.

In a crowded hall, the performers of tonight, Margot Kalse, vocals; and Wilco van Wee, guitar, came onstage. Their first six poems had been set to music by Hans Plug.

The first poem/song was Hummingbird, by Harrold Littlebird.

Then, Quando verrai, by Lavinia.

Then, Zomer (Summer), by Floor van Galen.

Then, two poems by Niesje Raaphorst, On the edge of a blue summer, and Sterre (star).

Then, a poem by a pupil of this primary school, Nathalie Caspers: Poezenfeest (cats’ party).

Then a song, based on a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca, Las morillas de Jaen.

Then, an instrumental, with Margot stepping aside: J. Rodrigo, En los trigales (see video here).

Then, by Manuel De Falla, Canción del fuego fatuo, with Margot singing again.

Then, Margot went offstage again, while Wilco played Asturias, by Isaac Albeniz.

As last song, with Margot again, of these five Spanish compositions, again Federico Garcia Lorca, with Sevillanas del Siglo XVIII.

Then, it was the turn of Hans Plug’s compositions again.

First, a poem by Niesje Raaphorst on a painting.

Then, a poem by yours truly, mentioning famous Dutch nineteenth century painting Panorama Mesdag.

Then, Heureux, by Aad van der Kraan.

Then, Ginds, by Boudewijn Büch, whose girlfriend Bernadette Gallis was present.

Then, Let us say goodbye, by Ramona Wilson.

Finally, two poems by pupils of this primary school: Sweets party, by Laura Houwaard; and Spring party, by Richelle van Abswoude.

On my way back, just north of Voorhout, close to me, a male kestrel divebombed into the grass of the right hand roadside; catching, or failing to catch as it happens too fast for me to see everything, a vole or similar animal.

Western green lizards and kestrels: here.

A poem, translated into English, and a video clip of Dutch poet Remco Campert: here.

US Women Soldiers Back from Iraq Suffering Mental Health Problems


Video “of war crimes committed by the Bush regime in Iraq”.

From Associated Press:

CHICAGO — The nightmares didn’t start until months after Alicia Flores returned home. The images were stark and disturbing: In one dream, a dying Iraqi man desperately grabbed her arm. In another, she was lost in a blinding sandstorm.

Sometimes, Flores awakened to discover her mouth was dust-dry — as if she were really stumbling through the scorching, 120-degree desert.

The nightmares bring Flores back to Iraq, and her service in the Army’s 92nd Chemical Company.

She was just 19 when her unit arrived there. Now 23, she’s left with memories of women and children being killed, of hauling bodies, of shooting a teenage Iraqi fighter. (“It was him or me,” she says.)

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Dear Kitty in Technorati Top 100,000 of blogs


This video, from CNN in the USA, is about a hot topic in the US and world blogosphere: George W. Bush’s commutation of the prison sentence for ‘Scooter’ Libby in the “Plamegate” scandal, about false WMD allegations which started the Iraq war.

It is called [US Ambassador] Joe Wilson blasts President [Bush] over Libby decision.

According to Technorati, recent links by other bloggers etc. to this Dear Kitty blog mean that it is now in the top 100,000 of blogs.

To be more precise, Technorati says today, on 7 July: Rank: 97,906.

Not bad if one considers that Technorati says about itself:

Currently tracking 90.4 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media.

Of course, there is not any guarantee that this blog will not go down, or up, from that rank 97,906 of today.

I’ll try to keep the level of contents up. Thanks all readers of this blog for this!

US troops charged with murders, cover-ups in Iraq


This video is about the Haditha massacre.

“Why was the entire family of this Iraqi girl murdered by the US soldiers?

Eman Waleed, a 9-year-old girl who survived the massacre told Time: “First, they went into my father’s room, where he was reading the Koran, and we heard shots. Then, the soldiers came back into the living room. I couldn’t see their faces very well — only their guns sticking into the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny.” Safa Younis Salim, a 13-year old girl, who in an interview said she lived by faking her death. “I pretended that I was dead when my brother’s body fell on me and he was bleeding like a faucet,” she said. She said that she saw American troops kick her family members and that one American shouted in the face of one relative before he was killed.”

By Alex Lantier:

Recent weeks have seen a spate of investigations and trials of US troops for murdering Iraqi civilians. The circumstances in which the investigations have been carried out—typically months after the events in question, which came to light only due to the intervention of enlisted men or outside journalists, and after cover-ups orchestrated by US officials—suggest that most such cases go unreported.

On June 30, two US soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, were charged with premeditated murder of three Iraqis near Iskandariya, a town 25 miles south of Baghdad in the so-called “Triangle of Death” region. According to military spokesmen, Staff Sergeant Michael Hensley was placed in military confinement in Kuwait. Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval was arrested at home in Laredo, Texas and transported to Kuwait three days later.

Hensley is also charged with obstruction of justice and “wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of the deceased Iraqis”—that is, attempting to cover up murder by portraying the victims as gunmen.

According to the military spokesman, the investigation began after fellow soldiers in their unit reported the alleged crimes to military authorities.

On July 2, Sergeant Evan Vela, of the same unit as Hensley and Sandoval, was also detained and charged with one count of premeditated murder, planting a weapon with the deceased, obstruction of justice, and making a false statement. All the alleged murders by soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division near Iskandariyah reportedly took place between April and June of 2007.

In a separate case, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents are investigating possible war crimes by at least ten Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, who fought in the brutal invasion and razing of Fallujah in November 2004. The victims were unarmed Iraqi prisoners captured by the Marine unit. Three enlisted Marines reportedly face murder charges and four officers are charged with failing to investigate the killings.

The battalion to which these Marines belonged, the “Three-One,” was highly decorated for its combat experience in Fallujah after November 2004. President Bush personally singled it out for praise.

Significantly, the case went unreported for over a year.

Haditha update 8 October 2007: here.