Sunday, December 31, 2006

Playpen's top ten of the year

The following is excerpted from SLATE. Follow the link for the complete report with details of the violations of rights.

The Bill of Wrongs
The 10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Posted Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006, at 6:30 AM ET
I love those year-end roundups—ubiquitous annual lists of greatest films and albums and lip glosses and tractors. It's reassuring that all human information can be wrestled into bundles of 10. In that spirit, Slate proudly presents, the top 10 civil liberties nightmares of the year.
10. Attempt to Get Death Penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui
9. Guantanamo Bay
8. Slagging the Media
7. Slagging the Courts
6. The State-Secrets Doctrine
5. Government Snooping
4. Extraordinary Rendition
3. Abuse of Jose Padilla
2. The Military Commissions Act of 2006
1. Hubris - This legal and intellectual intractability can create the illusion that we are standing on the same constitutional ground we stood upon in 2001, even as that ground is sliding away under our feet.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Killing killers kills humanity

Imprisoned for life as a living warning not to commit crimes against humanity, SH would finally have served to promote human rights; executed by hanging, SH will in the end merely become yet another martyr to those lusting to kill humans and trample their rights.

The New York Times gets it right:

The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein
Published: December 29, 2006
Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won’t either.

The Washington Post has yet to understand the rights at stake:

A Death Sentence Affirmed
For those who oppose the death penalty, as we do, any execution is regrettable -- and this one, should it come to pass, will follow highly imperfect judicial proceedings and may in the short term inflame sectarian divisions. But it's hard to imagine the death penalty existing anywhere for any crime and not for Saddam Hussein [...] Should the world see his end in the coming days, the justice will be imperfect. But it will still be justice.

No, Justice would be served in worldwide abolition of death penalty: to show what human rights are all about!

And the current results of an online poll in Nouvel Observateur

Saddam Hussein condamné à la pendaison
- Normal : 31,81%
- Scandaleux : 17,91%
- Et Bush alors ? : 50,29%

The cynicism expressed is certainly warranted.

And Le Monde apparently understands, as does "Old Europe" in general, what rights and manners of justice are constitutive of democracy and a free society.
Pas grand-monde, sauf peut-être dans son fief sunnite de Tikrit, ne versera une larme sur Saddam Hussein. L'ancien dictateur a été pendu, samedi 30 décembre, après avoir été condamné à mort, le 5 novembre, pour crime contre l'humanité. [...]
George W. Bush, qui ne sait ni pourquoi maintenir ses 140 000 soldats en Irak ni comment les retirer, a salué l'exécution de Saddam Hussein comme "une étape importante sur le chemin de la démocratie". C'est une conception de la démocratie. Elle n'est pas la nôtre.

Non à la peine de mort
LE MONDE 30.12.06

© Le

Thursday, December 28, 2006

READING from point to point

By Gore Vidal
Illustrated. 277 pages. Doubleday. $26.
And it is wonderful to read someone who is still writing in our (as it indeed CAN be) wonderfully mellifluous and malleable and musical language!
It is also wonderful to note that the New York Times, who long denied him any mention of his books, has granted Vidal (deservedly) two rave reviews, excerpts and links follow.

Books Of The Times 'Point to Point Navigation'
Wry Luminary Upstages Stars
Published: November 24, 2006
As a memoir (his second, after “Palimpsest”), “Point to Point Navigation” is as meandering as its title indicates. That’s a compliment: it takes an adroit raconteur to skip so entertainingly among seemingly unrelated subjects without losing track of each anecdote’s destination.
In the end he is his own best advertisement, with a lifetime’s worth of stinging observations and sharp, combative insights to his credit. Add vanity, hubris and audacity on the same scale, and you have a man whose new memoir is unmissable. Surely he would be the first to agree.
Sunday Book Review
Published: November 26, 2006
TO describe this collection of fragments as a valediction would apparently be in accordance with the author's wishes. Nearly every page is heavy — I almost said "gravid"—with intimations of mortality . It's closing time at the Vidal villa in Ravello, Italy, where (as Noel Coward once said about his own bedroom), "let's face it, quite a lot has happened over the years." The books and pictures are being crated up, and farewells tendered to the locals. On a neglected hook hangs a faded bathrobe , somehow preserving the outline of the late Howard Auster , companion for over half a century . "I now move, graciously, I hope," Vidal writes in his opening line, "toward the door marked Exit."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A playpen Christmas present from the bushbaby

AP report as published in the Houston Chronicle, excerpt:

Dec. 26, 2006, 4:36AM
U.S. deaths in Iraq exceed 9-11

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq — At least 36 Iraqis died Tuesday in bombings, officials said, including a coordinated strike that killed 25 in western Baghdad. Separately, the deaths of six U.S. soldiers pushed the American toll beyond the number of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Here is the link to the complete article on the bushbaby's Christmas present to Americans and the world.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Doing the family holidays ...

So today we're off to Heiko and Steffi's where niece Lea and nephew Malte will be reveling in the attention of far too many relatives for a 4-year-old girl and 4-month old baby to cope with. Detlef & I will be joined by his mother + friend, his father + wife, Steffi's mother & father & sister & her friend & grandparents.

And we'll have the camera along.

US relatives have already been sent a quick video Xmas greeting (see 12 days below) and will be getting phone calls tomorrow, mother and sister that is.

And this is the only really blog sort of blog entry for this year: something personal, almost chatty, downright familial.

But then, I am after all in love with Detlef -- and that makes us a family.

We're even registered, making us officially and legally "related" to each other's relatives.

All we need is something good to eat -- and maybe some flaming candles...

Which brings me back again to what I like to write about here most:

More Light!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas - 12 Days of it...

Ruinous pope / pape funeste

It is time again to warn against the ruinous pronouncements of Maledictus (maquerading as "bene", "male" is even more pernicious).
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) Friday, December 22, 2006; 11:37 AM - Pope Benedict warned in a year-end speech on Friday of an impending clash of cultures and religions [... and] reaffirmed the Catholic Church's rule of priestly celibacy and its condemnation of same-sex marriage[, ... which] "tacitly accredits those ruinous theories that strip all relevance from the masculinity and femininity of the human being as though it were a purely biological issue." [...] Theories "according to which man should be able to decide autonomously what he is and what he isn't" end up with mankind destroying its own identity," he said.

And the nihilism of his pie-in-the-sky abandonment of human responsibility is the most dangerous of all. If an ideology is ruinous, then such religious ideology, as apparent in the fuming rage it - in all its varieties - unleashes to threaten us all. And with this "papal condemnation" this so-called pope sees fit to attack me personally. So I will mince no words in proclaiming his lack of intelligence - clever though he is - because of the blinding power of his "ruinous" faith!
Sex and gender are indeed biological. What man makes of it is human, neither an animal nor a divine affair! (Or what is Maledictus implying about that lady with a baby in a cradle not procreated by the man she was married to?)
Une idée plus funeste que celle que proclame cet ainsi-dit pape n'est guère imaginable. Le manque d'expérience sexuelle l'a enfin rendu débil, malintentioné, et funeste même! Voir le rapportage de Le Monde:

© Le

Lors de ses vœux de Noël à la Curie romaine, vendredi 22 décembre, le pape Benoît XVI a fustigé avec vigueur les partisans du mariage gay, dénonçant leurs "théories funestes". Cette déclaration intervient alors que le débat sur le mariage homosexuel fait rage en Italie. Plusieurs élus de la coalition de gauche de Romano Prodi, divisée sur ce sujet, sont récemment intervenus en faveur des unions gays. Mercredi, deux d'entre eux ont ainsi disposé quatre poupées représentant des couples homosexuels près de l'Enfant Jésus, dans la crèche du Parlement à Rome. Dans son intervention, Benoît XVI a durement critiqué tous ceux qui mettent sur le même plan les mariages homosexuel et hétérosexuel. "Cela accrédite tacitement ces théories funestes qui refusent toute pertinence à la masculinité et à la féminité de la personne humaine, comme s'il s'agissait d'un fait purement biologique", a-t-il estimé.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Some voices are saner; others, ever more insane

For an example of the first:

The New York Times
Opinion, Published: December 22, 2006
Saner Voices in Iran
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the populist demagogue, is not so popular with important elements of Iranian society. [...]
Two weeks ago, the students chanted, “Forget the Holocaust — do something for us.” Last week, one of them told a reporter: “A nuclear program is our right. But we fear that it will do more harm than good.”
For an alarming example of the obstinate second:

The Guardian
Iraq sacrifices worthwhile, claims Rice
Mark Tran and agencies Friday December 22, 2006
Condoleezza Rice today said Iraq was worth the cost in US lives and dollars, rejecting accusations that the conflict is a foreign policy disaster.
With George Bush's popularity plummeting amid growing sectarian violence and US casualties rising towards 3,000, the secretary of state defended the decision to invade the country in 2003 and said the US could still win.

Some random names to remember...

Harald Pinter, Orhan Pamuk, John Lennon, Hanna Loewy, Gutenberg, Detlef Siegel, Gore Vidal, Philippe Sollers, Martin Heidegger, William Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hermann Broch, Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire, D.A.F. de Sade, Casanova, Jonathan Safran Foer, Noam Chomsky, Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, Martin Luther King, Thomas J.O. McCarthy, Erich (von) Kahler, Jean Cocteau, Oscar Wilde, John F. Kennedy, Montesquieu, Jacques Diderot, Friedrich Hölderlin, Éric Satie, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henry David Thoreau, Daniel & Noah Webster, and Koko.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Aspergic bushbaby Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome or (Asperger’s Disorder) is a neurobiological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who in 1944 published a paper which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.
Except for his apparent lack of "normal" intelligence and language development, the bushbaby fits the description.
Perhaps he's exhibiting a new form; let's call it the aspergic bushbaby syndrome, the same as Asperger Syndrome, but to be found in middle-aged men of below-average intelligence whose language development shut down in early adolescence and who also exhibit obviously autistic behavior (particularly facial expressions) in public appearances (at which "normal" people would be embarrassed) as well as extreme deficiencies in social and communication skills, particularly with the press and anyone with other ideas, more education, or multinational experience.

Check out the Wikipedia explanations in English, German, and French.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Get the bushbaby a therapist ...

... says the editor of Newsweek International, Fareed Sakaria, in this interview on Comedy Central. Just sit back and watch and listen to how absurd the playpen's view of the situation in Iraq really is.
And here it is...

Stop wasting everyone's times (and lives) !

The New York Times
Without Deliberate Speed

Published: December 13, 2006
What follows are the first and last paragraphs from the NYTimes excellent editorial, which you can read in full by clicking the link in "opinion" above.
The claims of calm deliberation emerging from the White House this week are maddening. The search for a new plan for Iraq seems to be taking place with as much urgency as the deliberations over a new color for the dollar bill.
Mr. Bush has no more time to waste on “listening tours” and photo ops. The nation is in a crisis, and Americans need to hear how he plans to unwind the chaos he has unleashed in Iraq. If the president is delaying because he is searching for a good option, he can stop. There are none. But Americans need to see that he is prepared to choose among the undesirable alternatives, and clear the way for a withdrawal of American troops that does not leave even more killing and mayhem behind.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Time to put some grown-ups in charge...

Now it's clear that the bushbaby playpen isn't capable of accomplishing ANY "mission" it has set out on (while trampling on civil and human rights at home and abroad in the process). Not even the Afghanistan-Pakistan area is secure against the Taliban and al Qaeda there, which are creating a mini-state of more and more strength.
This was what the playpen first set out to rid the world of after 9/11 ... so what is going on?
Isn't it time to set priorities?
Please refer to this New York Times report for more on this disaster! What follows is a brief excerpt from the beginning of the article:

Islamic militants are using a recent peace deal with the government to consolidate their hold in northern Pakistan, vastly expanding their training of suicide bombers and other recruits and fortifying alliances with Al Qaeda and foreign fighters, diplomats and intelligence officials from several nations say. The result, they say, is virtually a Taliban mini-state.

And this bit from near the end of the piece:
Morale is high among the resurgent Taliban after their revival in Afghanistan this year, one Pakistani security official said. That will lead to still more recruitment and better organization and planning in the year ahead.

Isn't it time to be realistic about what is going on in the world, rather than simply trying to pretend? Let's depose the playpen and ask some adults to take charge again.

Or anyone who can and will think.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In praise of a courageous citizen!

Represenatative McKinney introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on December 8, 2006, to impeach the bushbaby. Her courage is to be praised, her clarity of vision to be emulated. Here is the text of her statement on the floor of the house.

Mr. Speaker:
I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Throughout my tenure, I’ve always tried to speak the truth. It’s that commitment that brings me here today.
We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.
No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable—what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?
The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.
Leading up to our invasion of Iraq, the American people supported this Administration’s actions because they believed in our President. They believed he was acting in good faith. They believed that American laws and American values would be respected. That in the weightiness of everything being considered, two values were rock solid—trust and truth.
From mushroom clouds to African yellow cake to aluminum tubes, the American people and this Congress were not presented the facts, but rather were presented a string of untruths, to justify the invasion of Iraq.President Bush, along with Vice President Cheney and then-National Security Advisor Rice, portrayed to the Congress and to the American people that Iraq represented an imminent threat, culminating with President Bush’s claim that Iraq was six months away from developing a nuclear weapon. Having used false fear to buy consent—the President then took our country to war. This has grave consequences for the health of our democracy, for our standing with our allies, and most of all, for the lives of our men and women in the military and their families—who have been asked to make sacrifices—including the ultimate sacrifice—to keep us safe.
Just as we expect our leaders to be truthful, we expect them to abide by the law and respect our courts and judges. Here again, the President failed the American people.
When President Bush signed an executive order authorizing unlawful spying on American citizens, he circumvented the courts, the law, and he violated the separation of powers provided by the Constitution. Once the program was revealed, he then tried to hide the scope of his offense from the American people by making contradictory, untrue statements.
President George W. Bush has failed to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States; he has failed to ensure that senior members of his administration do the same; and he has betrayed the trust of the American people.
With a heavy heart and in the deepest spirit of patriotism, I exercise my duty and responsibility to speak truthfully about what is before us. To shy away from this responsibility would be easier. But I have not been one to travel the easy road. I believe in this country, and in the power of our democracy. I feel the steely conviction of one who will not let the country I love descend into shame; for the fabric of our democracy is at stake.
Some will call this a partisan vendetta, others will say this is an unimportant distraction to the plans of the incoming Congress. But this is not about political gamesmanship.
I am not willing to put any political party before my principles.
This, instead, is about beginning the long road back to regaining the high standards of truth and democracy upon which our great country was founded.
Mr. Speaker:
Under the standards set by the United States Constitution, President Bush—along with Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Rice—should be subject to the process of impeachment, and I have filed H. Res. 1106 in the House of Representatives.
To my fellow Americans, as I leave this Congress, it is in your hands—to hold your representatives accountable, and to show those with the courage to stand for what is right, that they do not stand alone.
Thank you.

And here is a link to the PDF file of her articles of impeachment.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Truth emerging?

So now the bushbaby has some serious information in his playpen (leaving him and all his playmates looking a bit grim, as though they all reek of the sour milk he has splashed about him) from the independent study group on Iraq. Not enough that his dad's ol' pal Gates (whom daddybush evidently prevailed on babybush to nominate for the Defense Secretary post) told the Senate that the US is currently NOT winning "the war" in Iraq, his papa's own Secretary of State Baker with his colleague Hamilton have presented him with their bipartisan independent analysis of the situation there. This is how it begins:

The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved.

And this is a clear warning from the end of the "Executive Summary":

It is the unanimous view of the Iraq Study Group that these recommendations offer a new way forward for the United States in Iraq and the region. They are comprehensive and need to be implemented in a coordinated fashion. They should not be separated or carried out in isolation.

Right clicking on this link will give you the chance to download the entire report to read at your leisure and draw your own conclusions:
The Iraq Study Group Report

Monday, December 4, 2006

Bolton bolts... Lightning strikes...

In a bit of good news, the media is reporting today the "resignation" of Bolton from the position of US Ambassador to the UN, a job for which the Senate has NEVER confirmed him, and which he has thus been usurping for more than a year, and for which even the bushbaby has finally realized the new Senate, including some prominent Republicans, will NEVER confirm him in the future.
Time to appoint - and confirm - someone committed to diplomacy and the United Nations so that the US can begin a slow return to international legitimacy and credibility.
Here a few links to the reports on the end of this "acting" ambassador:
from CNN, and
Let us all rejoice together.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Vidal fantastically Gores the bushbaby !

You just simply MUST watch this clip from a Tavis Smiley PBS interview on November 28, 2006, with Gore Vidal on the bushbaby's playpenned wargames in Iraq. It includes such zingers as:
"'I'm a war time president, I'm a war time president, Quack quack quack.' Any fool can see that he is looney. Preemptive war, well, what's he trying to preempt? Certainly not a war since he's starting a war."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Freedom of speech deserves an unconditional YES

Alain Finkielkraut, a contemporary French philosopher, writes in Le Figaro from November 27 on the absolute necessity of defending freedom of speech, unconditionally, against all the vile efforts to restrict it which are currently fomenting, especially in fundamentalistic Islamistic circles, but also among some Westerners without the guts to stand up for what is important.

Follow this link to the full article, dealing with the reluctance of some French writers to support one of their colleagues who, after speaking out against attempted Islamistic restrictions on freedom of speech, received death threats and was dismissed from his university chair.

Here, one trenchant excerpt:

La liberté d'expression n'est pas une sinécure. Ce droit de l'homme n'est pas seulement mon droit. L'homme, c'est moi, mais ce n'est pas que moi. L'homme, c'est aussi les autres hommes et leur droit insupportable de dire des choses que je n'ai pas envie d'entendre, des choses qui m'énervent, qui m'effraient, qui me blessent, qui m'accablent, qui m'écorchent vif, qui me font mal. Dans une société ouverte, aucune conviction n'est souveraine, ce qui fait qu'elles sont toutes en colère.

Roughly and quickly anglicized, I would put it thusly:

Freedom of expression is no easy task. This human right is not merely my right. The human is me, but not just me. The human is also all those other humans and their unbearable right to say things I don't want to here, things that bother me, frighten me, wound me, overwhelm me, skin me alive, hurt me. In an open society, no conviction is sovereign, which is why they are all so angry.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Listening In on Tribunals

Though scratchy and of poor quality, hours of audio recordings obtained by National Public Radio provide a glimpse at the Guantánamo Bay tribunal proceedings that affirmed two detainees' classification as enemy combatants. The two men are only allowed to call as witnesses the others with whom they were arrested, and the unclassified evidence presented against them is slim. The tapes, made by the US Navy, also give some idea of the conditions under which the men are held.

With this link to the NPR report, you can also click onto the recordings, listen, and (again) decide for yourself who has no brain! The original NPR broadcast is also audible through a link on this page.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Survey: Iraqis Want a Speedy U.S. Exit

Astounding report on a new poll among Iraqis, as reported by Editor & Publisher Staff on November 21, 2006, 10:20 AM ET, should give all interested in democracy building pause to think.
Here the first paragraph from the article:

"Past surveys have hinted at this result, but a new poll in Iraq makes it more stark than ever: the Iraqi people want the U.S. to exit their country. And most Iraqis now approve of attacks on U.S. forces, even though 94% express disapproval of al-Qaeda."

And here is the link to the full piece on the original website.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You may have to get the news yourself

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Sans Frontières

--working for freedom of the press everywhere

If we don't have that, you may not ever get to see what some are doing... unending efforts to prevent you from thinking!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Essential Language

Das Wort
Wunder von ferne oder traum
Bracht ich an meines landes saum
Und harrte bis die graue norn
Den namen fand in ihrem born –
Drauf konnt ichs greifen dicht und stark
Nun blüht und glänzt es durch die mark ...
Einst langt ich an nach guter fahrt
Mit einem kleinod reich und zart
Sie suchte lang und gab mir kund:
›So schläft hier nichts auf tiefem grund‹
Worauf es meiner hand entrann
Und nie mein land den schatz gewann ...
So lernt ich traurig den verzicht:
Kein ding sei wo das wort gebricht.
- - Stefan George

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Playpen still playing with old rattles

Confirming its infantile nature, the playpen-bound Republican faction in the US Senate elected as its Whip the confirmed racist Trent Lott, who was only a short while back booted out of the majority leadership of that "august" chamber for his remarks praising the longtime SC racist Strom Thurmond, on the latter's 100th birthday, with the observation that the country wouldn't have a lot of the problems it does if it had done as the segregationist Thurmond wanted. I suppose there are still enough reactionaries in the Republican party for this refusal to find integration positive to be considered something positive itself.
Babies in playpens have no business governing anyone.
And this playpen daily proves how dangerous it is and how opposed to human rights it remains.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


> 15 novembre 2006
- Liberté d'expression - Pas de contrôle religieux sur la liberté de création : le délit de blasphème n’existe pas.
[Communiqué LDH]
C’est ce que vient de rappeler la Cour de cassation en cassant l’arrêt de la Cour d’appel de Paris qui avait, le 8 avril 2005, condamné Marithé et François Girbaud pour une publicité inspirée de la « Cène » de Léonard de Vinci.
La Ligue des droits de l’Homme, qui était intervenue devant la Cour pour contredire la demande rétrograde des évêques de France, s’était vue condamnée à leur payer des dommages et intérêts, un comble s’agissant d’une telle question de principe.
La Cour de cassation vient de tenir, dans son arrêt du 14 novembre, son rôle de gardien des libertés fondamentales et des valeurs essentielles, et rappelle aux évêques, qui contestaient à la Ligue des droits de l’Homme qu’elle pût agir en défense des droits de l’Homme, que tel est bien son rôle !
En disant clairement que l’affiche litigieuse est une parodie de forme de la représentation de la « Cène », la Cour de cassation rappelle un principe essentiel de la liberté de création. En disant que cette représentation n’avait pas pour objectif d’outrager les fidèles de la foi catholique, la haute juridiction rappelle que l’iconoclasme n’est pas un délit, et que l’injure prévue par la loi sur la presse vise les discriminations des personnes à raison de leur religion, et non la libre discussion sur le contenu des croyances.
Paris, le 15 novembre 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Decide who's a no-brainer

More evidence for the no-brain character of the bushbaby playpen's playmates:
More than 5,000 pages of transcripts of interrogations of Guantánamo detainees were released in March by the Defense Department in response to a lawsuit brought by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
Click this link to access the excerpts republished today by Harper's Magazine on its Website, originally in the magazine itself in May, 2006.
Unbelievable, the people they're "protecting" us from by denying them their rights, curtailing ours, and making the US a laughing stock and/or image of injustice around the world

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Get to work

Now that the Democrats have titular control of both houses of the US Congress, Americans (concerned thinking ones) and Europeans (those committed to liberty and justice) are looking forward to advancement in the areas of human rights and application of justice, to more cooperation internationally, fewer attempts at hegemony, and a relighting of the light of freedom that the bushbaby playpen, under the guise of fighting terrorism, has done so much to dim, so that the US may again become one of the countries recognized as bearing the beacon of enlightened democratic concepts of liberty and justice
The world is waiting for the US again to be a partner.
Live up to the challenge, Democrats. The clock is ticking.
Berlin can look like this...

and shouldn't look like this photo of the playpenned US embassy

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Wie Ihr vielleicht schon den Medien entnommen hat, wird die NPD morgen im Fontanehaus im Märkischen Zentrum (Reinickendorf) in Berlin tagen.
Daher haben die BVV-Fraktionen Reinickendorf zu einer Gegenkundgebung aufgerufen, an der Die Grünen sich mit den anderen demokratischen Parteien anschließen.
Also Sonnabend in den Norden fahren:

Die im Abgeordnetenhaus vertretenen Parteien rufen auf zur
Kundgebung gegen die Feinde der Demokratie am
Samstag, 11. November 2006, ab 11.00 Uhr
vor dem Fontanehaus (Märkisches Zentrum)
Wilhelmsruher Damm 142c, 13439 Berlin (Reinickendorf)
S- und U-Bahnhof Wittenau (S1, S85, U8)
von dort alle Buslinien Richtung Märkisches Viertel, Haltestelle Märkisches Zentrum

Zeigen wir, dass die Nazis in Berlin nicht willkommen sind.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Take a look... Remind the Dems to CHANGE THINGS

How America defeated itself in Iraq -- by believing its own spin.

From the non-profit Center for Media & Democracy.

Bush manoeuvering...

Bush à la manoeuvre
LE MONDE 09.11.06
Robert Gates, pas plus que Donald Rumsfeld, ne peut gagner la guerre d'Irak. Pour protéger la renommée du président, sa mission est d'éviter de la perdre dans des conditions humiliantes.
© Le

Guy Debord: Commentaires sur la société du spectacle, Paris, Éd. Gérard Lebovici, 1988 / Éd. Gallimard 1992---
Cette démocratie si parfaite fabrique elle-même son inconcevable ennemi, le terrorisme. Elle veut, en effet, être jugée sur ses ennemis plutôt que sur ses résultats. L'histoire du terrorisme est écrite par l'État ; elle est donc éducative. Les populations spectatrices ne peuvent certes pas tout savoir du terrrorisme, mais elles peuvent toujours en savoir assez pour être persuadées que, par rapport à ce terrorisme, tout le reste devra leur sembler plutôt acceptable, en tout cas, plus rationnel et plus démocratique. [IX]

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Democrats Control House - Senate Depends on Virginia and Montana

Bye bye playpen; give up your rattle, bushbaby; get ready for hardtimes, playpenalers!
Get to work, Democrats. Live up to what you've been selling folks. Change the US for the better!
Respect the constitution, human rights, civil rights, liberties, freedoms, democracy, equality, and justice!
It's about time!

House: 227 Dem / 195 Rep
Senate: 47 Dem / 2 Ind / 49 Rep
as of this moment.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Stop Internet Censorship

24h Against Internet Censorship ... support this action of
Reporters sans frontières .
Reporters without borders organises 24-hour online demo against Internet censorship Help to combat online censorship by taking part!
Everyone is invited to connect to the Reporters Without Borders website ( between 11 a.m. on 7 November and 11 a.m. on 8 November.

Monday, November 6, 2006

A Fate Worse Than Death...

is my proposal for a hard sentence for Saddam:
Force him to spend all his waking time (but let him sleep 8 hours a night - no cruel or inhuman treatment, please) with the following activities:
watching videos of the most recent Berlin Christopher Street Day Parade;
reading Gore Vidal, Casanova, and Philippe Sollers;
explaining passages from Martin Heidegger's works;
listening to Mozart's operas;
attending multicultural festivals in Baghdad;
identifying one female, preferably lesbian, opinion per day to assume as his own.

This would cause the old puffed up potentate more concern and make him more miserable than a death penalty which he can conceive of as martyrdom with heavenly recompense.
(I'm sure the bushbaby would also opt for death if the above activities posed the only alternatives to it for him to choose from. And you?)

----another fate worse than death (for the USA and the world) would be if the Republicans are allowed to retain a majority in the House of Representatives in the US bi-elections tomorrow!
But their continued misgovernment would certainly be a welcome relief to Saddam H!

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Your More Secure World - by the bushbaby playpen

Not only has the New York Times reported the story, the world press is enjoying more evidence of the incompentence of a US administration curtailing rights and bombing countries for protection against terrorists while itself providing instructions for anyone on how to kill us all...

This time, the playpen published documents online on how to construct nuclear weapons (albeit only "a small atomic bomb") on a Web site intended to be used to make a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war available to the public. The plans were placed online in March; the site was shut down November 2 after the NYTimes questioned Negroponte's office (Director of National Intelligence) about complaints from arms-control officials to the newspaper. All information will now be "reviewed" before putting the site back online --- though this was already required by the law for publishing the documents!

This is the link to the NYT article.

Here, some links to world press reactions:

This is what the Berliner Zeitung reports.
Les Etats-Unis ont publié la recette de la bombe atomique, comments Le Figaro.
The Guardian discusses the idiocy here.
And, finally, even PRAVDA cannot comprehend the playpen incompetence.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

No Known Path...

«Im wesentlichen Denken sind keine zum voraus abgesteckte Pfade. Erst dort, wo es fährt, ist ein Weg; und sein Fahren ist die Er-fahrung des Seyns. Und der Weg hinterläßt kaum eine Spur.»
[MH: GA Bd.69, Geschichte des Seyns, §172, S.170]

»There are no paths staked out in advance for essential (ownmost, utmost) thinking. Only where it passes is there a route; and its passing is the encom-passing of Being. And the route leaves hardly any trace behind.«
[my own feeble attempt at anglicizing this path of thought]

Black Out - It Sure Isn't Halloween!

American Blackout

Watch the Trailer for GNN's Latest Documentary:
American Blackout Trailer

Directed by GNN’s Ian Inaba, American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement witnessed from 2000 to 2004. Told through the life of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who took an active role investigating the scrubbing of the Florida voter roles and then found herself in her own election debacle after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the terrorist attacks of 9-11. American Blackout travels from Florida to Georgia to Ohio examining the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence political dissent.

Winner – Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival 2006

Winner – Best Documentary Feature, Cinequest Film Festival 2006

Winner – Stand Up Audience Award, Cleveland International Film Festival 2006

Winner – Special Jury Prize, Independent Film Festival of Boston 2006

Winner – Audience Award, Columbus Alive Deep Focus Film Festival 2006

Winner – Best Documentary Feature, Urbanworld Film Festival 2006
“One of the most important docs of the past several years.” -Earnest Hardy, LA WEEKLY

“Impossible to Ignore” -Jeanette Catsoulis, NEW YORK TIMES
“Engrossing, fast-paced, stylish… a powerful examination of voting rights in America.” -Sura Wood, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“…a muckraking indictment of … the systematic disenfranchisement of African American voters…” -Kenneth Turan, LA TIMES

Directed by Ian Inaba
Produced by Anastasia King
Edited by Liz Canning, Jean-Phillipe Boucicault, Ian Inaba
Graphics by Anson Vogt
Music by DJ Shadow, Soulsavers, Thievery Corporation, Michael Bierden, Mark Batson

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

United States Central Command Says Irag Moving Towards Chaos

A slide from the briefing of the Central Command on October 18, 2006, shows that the playpen's military staff don't agree with their bushbaby cheerleader on what's happening in Iraq:

Monday, October 30, 2006

Festival of Lights

Alles klar?
Got it?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

No Country Should Be Ruled by Faith

The New York Review of Books: A Country Ruled by Faith
By Garry Wills
"The right wing in America likes to think that the United States government was, at its inception, highly religious, specifically highly Christian, and even more specifically highly biblical. That was not true of that government or any later government—until 2000, when the fiction of the past became the reality of the present."

Read the whole article!

In Berlin, two Members of Parliament, Ekin Deligöz (Grüne) and Lale Akgün (SPD), both women themselves of Turkish origin, have called on all women of Islamic faith to take off their veils, considering them only a sign of Islamic fundamentalist repression of women. They call on female Muslims to discard them OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL, reminding them they do nothing for an integrative, integrated society, but instead merely increase animosities.
The result for the two has included death threats. The Green representative had to be place under police protection, and now many other German politicians are calling for respect for their right to free expression of their opinions.

I would like to add an appeal for the faithful of ALL RELIGIONS to cease wearing any symbols of their belief in public, remove the crosses, the crucifixes, the clerical collars, the nun's veils, the hairshirts, the dreadlocks, the yamulkahs, ALL MANIFESTATIONS of RELIGION should be kept in private.
Best, everyone would confront and speak with each other as HUMANS THINKING and not as potential objects for missionary work and conversion through blatant symbols.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

What is a no-brainer?

Scott Hennen, WDAY: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President "for torture." We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that. And thanks to the leadership of the President now, and the action of the Congress, we have that authority, and we are able to continue to program.

Source: Office of the Vice President, October 24, 2006

Next question, from me:
Would you agree the chained up current holder of the office of the Vice Presidency of the United States is a no-brainer?
If that means someone without a brain (in the sense of something one employs to THINK), then the answer is an unequivocal YES.

Here's for some waterboards for Chainy and his entire chaingang!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Das Seyn

« Das schlechthin Unvergleichlichle, durch jeden Bezug Untreffbare und daher im Wesen los-gelöste, in solchem Sinne Ab-solutum, ab-solut, aber weder das Höchste noch das Geringste, sondern nur einzig seines Wesens. »

[MH: GA Bd.69, §79, S.96-97]

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Oedipus vs Sphinx

Anfänglicher anfangen!
Initier plus initialement!
Originate more originarily! mit einem Sprung in die Geschichte des Seyns
with a leap into the chronicle of Beyng
d'un bond dans l'histoire de l'aître.

Our parrot acts just the same!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Le journal de Trêve

Here, an excellent opportunity to make the acquaintance of a different writer, unfortunately already dead, and his exquisite NEW written work just published by Gallimard, in the Collecton L'INFINI, under the auspices of Philippe Sollers.

Frédéric Berthet : fragments d'un testament

© Le

JOURNAL DE TRÊVE de Frédéric Berthet. Edition établie par Norbert Cassegrain, Gallimard, "L'Infini", 640 p., 25 €.

A brief extract from the review which is to be found in full under the link above:
On rêverait de convaincre les lecteurs de romans bien ficelés que ce livre en fragments est plus important que tous ceux qui vont recevoir bientôt des prix littéraires. Et qu'il est passionnant d'entrer, avec Berthet, dans une oeuvre majeure en construction, avec des allers et retours, des listes de chapitres, des plans parfois contradictoires, des échappées, des repentirs, des scènes isolées dont on ignore encore la place dans la narration finale, des interrogations sur ce que doit être le livre à venir, le temps qui convient au récit, les pronoms, l'éventuelle "valeur humoristique de l'adverbe"...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bushbaby Signs Un-American Military Commissions Act - Undermines Due Process and the Rule of Law

American Civil Liberties Union : President Bush Signs Un-American Military Commissions Act, ACLU Says New Law Undermines Due Process and the Rule of Law:
The following is attributed to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director:
"With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man's-lands.
"The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act."

Wiedereröffnung des Bode-Museums in Berlin Reopening

Adding a crown jewel to Berlin's exquisite Museumsinsel, the Bode Museum reopened yesterday after long years of restoration and renovation. Here a link to the reports on the opening on German "cultural" tv-channel 3sat.
This link is to a virtual tour of the entire complex (with German commentary) in flash and with 360° panorama pictures.
It is well worth while, as this image of the grand dome with the equestrian statue may help to indicate.

To spend time on the island, at the colonnade to the Alte Nationalgalerie for example to read and write, is always envigorating, enlightening, encouraging. Now, with the (re)addition of this spacious museum with sculptures and paintings grouped together by period and theme, Berlin can offer yet more luxuriant spots to BE in the very heart of the city.

Take a look - and visit in person when in Berlin.

9 Paradoxes of a Lost War

TomDispatch describes more playpen confusion and the paradoxes Michael Schwarz demonstrates in a war written and directed by a bushbaby: "The More Force You Use, the Less Effective You Are".
--- well worth clicking to read in full

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nobel Prize for Literature - an excellent choice

Congratulations to Orhan Pamuk on winning, and much more on standing up for the right to speak out and write on what must be said and written, whatever a state or a religion may do to repress those thoughts.
And praise for the Nobel Committee for making such a point with this choice. The Enlightenment lives from free and fearless literature.

Press Release
12 October 2006
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006
Orhan Pamuk

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2006 is awarded to the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk
"who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures".
The Permanent Secretary

Biobibliographical notes
Orhan Pamuk was born 7 June 1952 in Istanbul into a prosperous, secular middle-class family. His father was an engineer as were his paternal uncle and grandfather. It was this grandfather who founded the family’s fortune. Growing up, Pamuk was set on becoming a painter. He graduated from Robert College then studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University and journalism at Istanbul University. He spent the years 1985-1988 in the United States where he was a visiting researcher at Columbia University in New York and for a short period attached to the University of Iowa. He lives in Istanbul.
Pamuk has said that growing up, he experienced a shift from a traditional Ottoman family environment to a more Western-oriented lifestyle. He wrote about this in his first published novel, a family chronicle entitled Cevdet Bey Ve Oğulları (1982), which in the spirit of Thomas Mann follows the development of a family over three generations.
His second novel, Sessiz Ev (1983; The House of Silence, 1998), uses five different narrator perspectives to describe a situation in which several family members visit their ageing grandmother at a popular seaside resort with Turkey teetering on the brink of civil war. The period is 1980. The grandchildren’s political discussions and their friendships reflect a social chaos where various extremist organisations vie for power.
Pamuk’s international breakthrough came with his third novel, Beyaz Kale (1985; The White Castle, 1992). It is structured as an historical novel set in 17th-century Istanbul, but its content is primarily a story about how our ego builds on stories and fictions of different sorts. Personality is shown to be a variable construction. The story’s main character, a Venetian sold as a slave to the young scholar Hodja, finds in Hodja his own reflection. As the two men recount their life stories to each other, there occurs an exchange of identities. It is perhaps, on a symbolic level, the European novel captured then allied with an alien culture.
Pamuk’s writing has become known for its play with identities and doubles. The issue appears in his novel Kara Kitap (1990; The Black Book, 1995) in which the protagonist searches the hubbub of Istanbul for his vanished wife and her half-brother, with whom he later exchanges identities. Frequent references to the mystic tradition of the East make it natural to see this in a Sufi perspective. Kara Kitap represented a definite break with the governing social realism in Turkish literature. It provoked debate in Turkey not least through its Sufism references. Pamuk based his screenplay for the film Gizli Yüz (1992) on the novel.
Yeni Hayat (1994; The New Life, 1996) is a novel about a secret book with the capacity to irrevocably change the life of any person who reads it. The search for the book provides the structure of a physical journey but bordered by literary references, thought experiments in the spirit of mysticism, and reminiscences of older Turkish popular culture, turning the plot into an allegoric course of events correlated with the Romantic myth of an original, lost wisdom.
According to the author, the major theme of Benim Adim Kırmızı (2000; My Name is Red, 2002) is the relationship between East and West, describing the different views on the artist’s
relation to his work in both cultures. It is a story about classical miniature painting and simultaneously a murder mystery in a period environment, a bitter-sweet love story, and a subtle dialectic discussion of the role of individuality in art.
Pamuk has published a collection of essays, Öteki Renkler : Seçme Yazılar Ve Bir Hikâye (1999), and a city portrait, İstanbul : Hatıralar Ve Şehir (2003; Istanbul : Memories and the City, 2006). The latter interweaves recollections of the writer’s upbringing with a portrayal of Istanbul’s literary and cultural history. A key word is hüzün, a multi-faceted concept Pamuk uses to characterise the melancholy he sees as distinctive for Istanbul and its inhabitants.
Pamuk’s latest novel is Kar (2002; Snow, 2005). The story is set in the 1990s near Turkey’s eastern border in the town of Kars, once a border city between the Ottoman and Russian empires. The protagonist, a writer who has been living in exile in Frankfurt, travels to Kars to discover himself and his country. The novel becomes a tale of love and poetic creativity just as it knowledgeably describes the political and religious conflicts that characterise Turkish society of our day.
In his home country, Pamuk has a reputation as a social commentator even though he sees himself as principally a fiction writer with no political agenda. He was the first author in the Muslim world to publicly condemn the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. He took a stand for his Turkish colleague Yaşar Kemal when Kemal was put on trial in 1995. Pamuk himself was charged after having mentioned, in a Swiss newspaper, that 30.000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in Turkey. The charge aroused widespread international protest. It has subsequently been dropped.
Literary Prizes and Awards: Milliyet Roman Yarışması Ödülü (1979, shared with Mehmet Eroğlu), Orhan Kemal Roman Ödülü (1983), Madaralı roman Ödülü (1984), the Independent Award for Foreign Fiction (1990), Prix de la Découverte Européenne (1991), Prix France Culture (1995), Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (2002), Premio Grinzane Cavour (2002), the IMPAC Dublin Award (2003), Ricarda-Huch-Preis (2005), Der Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (2005), Prix Médicis étranger (2005), Prix Méditerranée Étranger (2006).

Works in Turkish
Cevdet Bey Ve Oğulları. – İstanbul : Karacan Yayınları, 1982
Sessiz Ev. – İstanbul : Can Yayınları, 1983
Beyaz Kale. – İstanbul : Can Yayınları, 1985
Kara Kitap. – İstanbul : Can Yayınları, 1990
Gizli Yüz : Senaryo. – İstanbul : Can Yayınları, 1992
Yeni Hayat. – İstanbul : İletişim, 1994
Benim Adım Kırmızı. – İstanbul : İletişim, 1998
Öteki Renkler : Seçme Yazılar Ve Bir Hikâye. – İstanbul : İletişim, 1999
Kar. – İstanbul : İletişim, 2002
İstanbul : Hatıralar Ve Şehir. – İstanbul : Yapı Kredi Kültür Sanat Yayıncılık, 2003
Works in English
The White Castle / translated from the Turkish by Victoria Holbrook. – New York : Braziller, 1991. – Translation of Beyaz Kale
The Black Book / translated by: Güneli Gün. – New York : Farrar, Straus, 1994. – Translation of Kara Kitap
The New Life / translated by Güneli Gün. – New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997. – Translation of Yeni Hayat
My Name is Red / translated from the Turkish by Erdağ M. Göknar. – New York : Knopf, 2001. – Translation of Benim Adım Kırmızı
Snow / translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely. – New York : Knopf, 2004. – Translation of Kar
Istanbul : Memories and the City / translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely. – New York : Knopf, 2005. – Translation of İstanbul : Hatıralar Ve Şehir
Works in French
La maison du silence / trad. du turc par Münevver Andaç. – Paris : Gallimard, 1988. – Traduction de: Sessiz Ev
Le livre noir / trad. du turc par Münevver Andaç. – Paris : Gallimard, 1994. – Traduction de: Kara Kitap
Le château blanc / trad. du turc par Münevver Andaç. – Paris : Gallimard, 1996. – Traduction de: Beyaz Kale
La vie nouvelle / trad. du turc par Münevver Andaç. – Paris : Gallimard, 1998. – Traduction de: Yeni Hayat
Mon nom est Rouge / trad. du turc par Gilles Authier. – Paris : Gallimard, 2001. – Traduction de: Benim Adım Kırmızı
Neige / traduit du turc par Jean-François Pérouse. – Paris : Gallimard, 2005. – Traduction de: Kar
Works in German
Die weisse Festung / Aus dem Türk. übertr. von Ingrid Iren. – Frankfurt am Main : Insel, 1990. – Originaltitel: Beyaz Kale
Das schwarze Buch / Aus dem Türk. von Ingrid Iren. – München : Hanser, 1995. – Originaltitel: Kara Kitap
Das neue Leben / Aus dem Türk. von Ingrid Iren. – München : Hanser, 1998. – Originaltitel: Yeni Hayat
Rot ist mein Name / Aus dem Türk. von Ingrid Iren. – München : Hanser, 2001. – Originaltitel: Benim Adım Kırmızı
Schnee / Aus dem Türk. von Christoph K. Neumann. – München : Hanser, 2005. – Originaltitel: Kar
Der Blick aus meinem Fenster : Betrachtungen. – München : Hanser, 2006

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Home Again - and Berlin's doing just fine

So, refreshed back in the cozy site of our life in Weißensee in Berlin, we've collected our parrot and unpacked our bags, e-mailed some friends and family, chatted with others on the phone, and are enjoying a nice sunny autumn afternoon before all work begins again on Monday.
Three images from Scotland to start with, just for record-keeping,
one from Edinburgh
and two from the incredible Island of Arran.

Of course, much more is happening in the world, and here's a link to some sound thinking on the formation of a Palestinian government of unity being hindered by playpen policy:

Tragédie annoncée
LE MONDE 07.10.06
This next-to-the-last paragraph sums it up nicely, but click the link for the whole thing.
La conjonction de ces trois facteurs - les tergiversations d'Ismaïl Haniyeh, la maladresse de Mahmoud Abbas et enfin l'intransigeance américaine, qui ne veut toujours pas d'un gouvernement dirigé par Ismaïl Haniyeh, même s'il est constitué de membres du Fatah et de technocrates après que Washington eut plaidé pour des élections démocratiques en Palestine, ce qui a été le cas - a achevé de ruiner les chances de constitution d'un gouvernement d'union nationale.
© Le


What follows from The New York Times is extremely funny and the entire article a great read on the absurdity of the "more secure playpenned world" we are now all living in. I will quote only one paragraph and provide the link to the full article.
Security Barriers of New York Are Removed
[3rd paragraph] Officials found that the barriers obstructed pedestrian flow — and, in the case of planters, often ended up being used as giant ashtrays. Counterterrorism experts also concluded that in terms of safety, some of the barriers, which building owners put in of their own accord, might do more harm than good.

Take a look around in Berlin at some of the streets that we have lost for the creation of the bushbaby's safer world!


And finally for today, a recommendation for a really good cinema experience. Now I know why I never wanted to be queen or be anywhere near royalty! You have to go see it; Frears is ingenious and the actress Helen Mirren incredible!
The Queen, a film by Stephen Frears

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Just for a hint of playpenalism, check out this story in the
Washington Post from today:

Tenet Recalled Warning Rice
Former CIA Chief Told 9/11 Commission of Disputed Meeting
By Dan Eggen and Robin WrightWashington Post Staff WritersTuesday, October 3, 2006; A03
Former CIA director George Tenet told the 9/11 Commission that he had warned of an imminent threat from al-Qaeda in a July 2001 meeting with Condoleezza Rice, adding that he believed Rice took the warning seriously, according to a transcript of the interview and the recollection of a commissioner who was there.
Tenet's statements to the commission in January 2004 confirm the outlines of an event in a new book by Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward that has been disputed by some Bush administration officials. But the testimony also is at odds with Woodward's depiction of Tenet and former CIA counterterrorism chief J. Cofer Black as being frustrated that "they were not getting through to Rice" after the July 10, 2001, meeting.
Rice angrily rejected those assertions yesterday, saying that it was "incomprehensible" that she would have ignored such explicit intelligence from senior CIA officials and that she received no warning at the meeting of an attack within the United States.
Rice acknowledged that the White House was receiving a "steady stream of quite alarmist reports of potential attacks" during that period, but said the targets were assumed to be in the Middle East,
including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Israel and Jordan.
"What I am quite certain of, however, is that I would remember if I was told -- as this account apparently says -- that there was about to be an attack in the United States," Rice said. "The idea that I would somehow have ignored that I find incomprehensible."
The meeting has become the focus of a fierce and often confusing round of finger-pointing involving Rice, the White House and the 9/11 Commission, all of whom dispatched staffers to the National Archives and other locations yesterday in attempts to sort out what had occurred.

Be sure and check out the Washington Post site for the full text. And stay tuned for the next episodes.

After a week of Arran..

Now back in Edinburgh and off to the Lyceum this evening for their new production of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
Noticed that in Germany nothing's changed> cdu pols are claiming not to be distancing themselves from Buttons Angie, which of course means they are or wouldn't need to deny it.
In Berlin there's still no new coalition for the city-state. SPD playing hardball with both potential partners of equal strenght (weakened PDS and strengthened Gruene).
The bushbaby and cunilingus are still claiming they didn't know anything was coming before 9/11 and therefore were so immediately prepared to start so many military interventions.
And this is nice place to be.
There is no void like the void in the head's of people who claim that voids are nihilistic!
Herzog by Bellow is great.
Even Bret Easton Ellis hit the mark with Lunar Park.
It's possible to have a full heart and a full mind and an incredibly sensually fulfilling erotic life all at the same time.
That's what Herzog was trying to learn and what Bret EE admits he couldn't and what I experience with the utmost joy everyday.
Refer to my verbal mood (conjugatable only in present and future tenses) "Voluptarium".
The voluptuous will inherit the earth, because they're the only ones glad to be on it!
That's a revolution!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Edinburgh comes in herds of stags and flocks of hens

Stags drunkenly stumble up and down the ravines from pub to pub with football (soccer) transmissions and dreams that some girl might find there combined alcohol fumes attractive.
Hens flock together in the back of buses and drink fifths of vodka from plastic-bag wrapped bottles, moan about loss of chewing gum packets, mistake a gay couple for possible prey for pointless flirtation by claiming one is, or looks, like Harry Potter. The two Scots behind the couple are jealous of the attention and offer one of the hens some gum.
Covens of mixed sex college kids come around the corner with determination to find the next pub offering student discounts (2 pints for one, or such) on inebriating substances.
The castle is illuminated and from the garden in the ravine behind it BBC is broadcasting live some version of "whoever wants to be a millionaire must laugh at anything".
The buses have usually no back doors.
The food is in general good.
And watching the natives is a source of infinite entertainment!
Pictures later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

NYTimes is right

This editorial from the Times is exactly right, and the sooner the busbaby is not allowed influence beyond his own little playpen, the less the sound of his raging baby rattle will unsettle the world!
Bush Untethered - New York Times
And here the beginning:

New York Times - September 17, 2006 - Editorial
Bush Untethered
"Watchng the president on Friday in the Rose Garden as he threatened to quit interrogating terrorists if Congress did not approve his detainee bill, we were struck by how often he acts as though there were not two sides to a debate. We have lost count of the number of times he has said Americans have to choose between protecting the nation precisely the way he wants, and not protecting it at all. On Friday, President Bush posed a choice between ignoring the law on wiretaps, and simply not keeping tabs on terrorists. Then he said the United States could rewrite the Geneva Conventions, or just stop questioning terrorists. "
It is really time to teach the executive branch that they must enforce ALL laws and uphold the Constitution, which of course requires that branch to obey all laws and abide by the Constitution. The judicial branch decides on guilt and innocence and consitutionality, the legislative branch decides what laws exist. And attempts to change that are an ATTACK on the American system of government. Homeland Security should provide some defense against these lasting assaults by the bushbaby playpen on the USA!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reignite the Enlightenment

Anyone who recognizes this post's title, at least as an echo, is probably committed to doing what it suggests, since it is a "free" translation of the first essay in the new issue (n° 96) of L'Infini, «Rallumons les Lumières», by Philippe Sollers.
He also, in this piece, writes that «Les Français vont mal parce qu'ils n'aiment pas leurs Lumières.» I would add that not only are the French doing badly because they don't like their Enlighteners, but the whole world is equally bad off!
And that largely because most are too puritan or fundamentalist or sexually hung-up to deal with these libertines! Yes, the great writers of the Enlightenment were also committed to sensual pleasures.
And, as Sollers also reminds us in this excellent piece, Voltaire summed it up this way: «J'ai toujours préféré la liberté à tout le reste.» And when he said he had always preferred liberty to everything else, he was also denouncing ANY sacrifice of it for security or "morals" or "beliefs" or "social pressure".
Thinking is free, thinking is freely questioning everything, always, never finding the "final" answer, because always continuing to question.
Besinnen! Contempler! Consider!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What you've seen you can now hear !

To hear what the famous parrot Koko has to say about our niece's USC student apartment cavorting in the internet, just click on his name.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Five years later and what do you get ...?

Cinq ans après le 11 septembre 2001, le monde n'est pas plus sûr et Al-Qaida n'a pas atteint ses objectifs politiques et religieux. La "guerre" contre le terrorisme a, quant à elle, fait d'innombrables victimes. Des milliers de morts et des libertés sacrifiées, un peu partout dans le monde, à la faveur de l'instauration d'un climat de peur généralisée et d'une demande de sécurité.

Le : 11-Septembre, la peur permanente, par Jean-Pierre Stroobants is the link to the entire piece.

Think and don't succumb to those who would use fear to promote their ideologies!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

internationales literaturfestival berlin

Worthy of attention:
internationales literaturfestival berlin
The 6th international literature festival in Berlin has just begun and promises to be very rewarding for all who come in contact with it.
The site also has an English link.
Yesterday evening's keynote address by Édouard Glissant (F/USA) highlighted the possibility of beauty in art as the glory of difference in the world with all the potential for human understanding that implies.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Today's Tyranny

From- Guy Debord: Œuvres; Paris: Quarto Gallimard, 2006, p. 1509 ("Note de l'éditeur pour Tuer n'est pas assassiner d'Edward Sexby [1657]")

... cette tyrannie d'aujourd'hui, si insolemment surdéveloppée qu'elle peut même assez souvent se faire reconnaître le titre de Protecteur de Liberté [...] et qui s'est enfin donné la puissance de défier une vérité aussi éclatante que le soleil lui-même, et le témoignage de vos pauvres yeux, en vous faisant admettre qu'il est bel et bien midi à dix heures du matin.

... today's tyranny which is so insolently over-developed that it can rather often even lay claim to the title of "Freedom's Protector" ... and which has finally granted itself the power of disputing a truth as dazzling as the sun itself, and what your own poor eyes tell you, by getting you to admit that it is indeed noon at ten o'clock in the morning.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Spectacular TV Idea

When the blitheringly babbling iranidiot "debates" the bottomlessly blurry brained bushbaby on worldwide live tv with live-streaming online, chanceless chancellorette angie can provide for a few serious moments in lieue of commercial pauses by demonstrating button popping while the lithely licking lapdog blair tries to catch them in his astonishment banned open mouth.

Where there is serious conversation, these four should be required to listen and learn.

That's right !

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wenn wir nur alle so lernfähig wären !

»Es verging Zeit, bis ich in Schüben begriff und mir zögerlich eingestand, daß ich unwissend oder, genauer, nicht wissen wollend Anteil an einem Verbrechen hatte, das mit den Jahren nicht kleiner wurde, das nicht verjähren will, an dem ich immer noch kranke.«
- Günter Grass in seinen soeben erschienenen Memoiren: Beim Häuten der Zwiebel, Steidel Verlag

Indeed, we should all be so capable of coming to terms with ourselves, our past, our world, and especially with everything 'we couldn't do anything about' at the time!
For Grass, "It took time for me to grasp, in spurts, and hesitatingly to admit that I had unknowingly, or, more precisely, unwilling to know, participated in a crime that became no smaller over the years, that refuses to fall under some statute of limitations, that I continue to suffer from."

Möge Grass weiter mahnen! Solche Stimmen braucht die Welt!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A well read parrot...

... can be a great help these days!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Society of the Spectacle

And also this little snippet from Guy Debord's 1967 still 100% current La Société du spectacle:

Le spectacle est le capital à un tel degré d'accumulation qu'il devient image.

The spectacle is Capital at such a level of accumulation that it becomes image.

Glory of HumanBeingThere

From M.Heidegger: Besinnung, (GA Bd. 66), p. 428 :

Die Herrlichkeit des Da-seins ruht auf der wechselweisen und selbsteigenen Übersteigung im verzehrendem Kampf, der das Verschwiegenste verbirgt und doch jeder kleinen Hilfe unsäglich dankbar bleibt.

The glory of the human-being-there rests on an alternating and self-possessed exceeding [of all limits] in the debilitating struggle which conceals what is most discreet and is however inexpressibly thankful for every little bit of help.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jonathan Tasini For Senator from New York

There is actually a chance (even if slim) to boot the hypocritical Hillary out of the Senate. She has disgusted me ever since she voted for the playpen military adventure in Iraq, for the so-called "patriot act", and she has refused since then to take any clear stand for justice and human rights.
If you have the chance to vote in the NY Democratic Primary on September 12, please take a look at Tasini's website:
Jonathan Tasini For New York
He is FOR gay-rights and equal treatment of gay partnerships, FOR universal medical care insurance, FOR education for all, FOR human rights,
AGAINST the Iraq War, AGAINST the bushbaby curtailment of rights in so-called "security" laws,
Even if Hillary ends up being the Democratic candidate, she should learn, as did Lieberman, that not all (bush)baby's asses should be kissed!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

UN Security Council finally passes a resolution to END HOSTILITIES IN LEBANON-ISRAEL

Here the text of the resolution unanimously passed yesterday evening:

PP1. Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425 (1978), 426 (1978), 520 (1982), 1559 (2004), 1655 (2006) 1680 (2006) and 1697 (2006), as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statements of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21), of 19 October 2004 (S/PRST/2004/36), of 4 May 2005 (S/PRST/2005/17) of 23 January 2006 (S/PRST/2006/3) and of 30 July 2006 (S/PRST/2006/35),
PP2. Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hizbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,
PP3. Emphasizing the need for an end of violence, but at the same time emphasizing the need to address urgently the causes that have given rise to the current crisis, including by the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,
PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,
PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,
PP6. Determined to act for this withdrawal to happen at the earliest,
PP7. Taking due note of the proposals made in the seven-point plan regarding the Shebaa farms area,
PP8. Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,
PP9. Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict,
PP10. Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
OP1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
OP2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from Southern Lebanon in parallel;
OP3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;
OP4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line;
OP5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;
OP6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the Government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbours, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;
OP7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;
OP8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution based on the following principles and elements:
- full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,
- security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani river of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,
- full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,
- no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,
- no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,
- provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;
OP9. Invites the Secretary General to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;
OP10. Requests the Secretary General to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;
OP11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel;
d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;
OP12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;
OP13. Requests the Secretary General urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges Member States to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the Force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;
OP14. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;
OP15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,
(a) the sale or supply to any entity or individual in Lebanon of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, whether or not originating in their territories, and
(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above, except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the Government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;
OP16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution;
OP17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;
OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
OP19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

May it be accepted by Lebanon and Israel and manage to stop the killing there!