Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Unfortunately, the Countess must...

... learn about Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML):

"Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a malignancy that arises in either granulocytes or monocytes which are white blood cells that battle infectious agents throughout the body. AML is not inherited or contagious. It develops when there is a defect in the immature cells in the bone marrow. Although the exact cause of AML is unknown, exposure to benzene, cigarettes smoking, and prior exposure to chemotherapy drugs are linked to the disease."

And here's hoping the Countess can reign at Chicora Court a while longer with the knowledge she's being forced to accumulate.

Stop Escalation!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Countess in the hands of Duke

Yes, the Countess of Chicora Court is, we hope only temporarily, following Ducal orders and confined to Duke's quarters. But we're counting on old Duke to count the Countess right back into full control of that Court where she belongs. The reign of this Countess has not nearly run its course, and there are many waiting to be allowed new audiences before her upholstered throne there among the Chicks of Chicora Court. So, come on Duke: do right by this Countess and restore her to full power - fast!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Close Guantánamo - Open a facility for human rights !

The New York Review of Books: No Exit: here a one-paragraph excerpt of the excellent article to be found under the link above.
"The argument that putative combatants—would-be combatants who have merely been trained as well as those picked up in the vicinity of a battlefield—can be held in wartime until the end of hostilities isn't in itself novel or controversial. What's new in the current conflict, as it pertains to al-Qaeda and those detainees who are alleged to be its followers, is that no one can imagine the armistice or surrender that would signify an end to this war. In these circumstances, or so it now seems, indefinite could prove to be synonymous with endless; in effect, it could signify a life sentence. This would be a far cry from the preventive detention imagined as appropriate in a conventional war by the authors of the Geneva Conventions, which were intended as a rulebook ensuring humane treatment on all sides of those imprisoned for the specific purpose of keeping them out of military action. What has been at issue are the questions of whether the United States has legally been in a state of war since September 19, 2001, when Congress authorized the use of military force against those responsible for the attacks a week earlier, and if it has been, where that war begins and ends."

Imagine a world in which we make efforts to convince all that the best way for all to enjoy and have control over their lives is to be allowed to express themselves freely without control of third parties and to be guaranteed trial when accusations of violations of others' rights are raised against them before they may be denied their own!
That would be a world outside the playpen, outside fundamentalism, free of terror.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Bait-and-Switch White House - New York Times

Jump on that chainy-gang and bushy-baby!
Stop'em from trampling all rights left in the US!
The Bait-and-Switch White House - New York Times

Friday, January 26, 2007

Seyn - Beyng - L'Aître

« Der Würde würdig ist allein das Denken des Seyns; daß es sich ereignet und nichts sonst. »
« Das Sein ist anfänglicher denn jeder Gott. »
[MH: GA Bd.70 Über den Anfang §21, S.39 u. §52, S.64]

Thinking Beyng alone is worthy of any worth; that it endows itself and nothing else.
Being ist more initial than any god.

Seul le penser de l'Aître est digne de la dignité ; qu'il s'approprie et rien d'autre.
L'Être est plus initial que tout dieu.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Recommending ...

... these welcome lights in an enlightened firmament:

a film:

In the remote sands of the Moroccan desert, a rifle shot rings out - detonating a chain of events that will link an American tourist couple’s frantic struggle to survive, two Moroccan boys involved in an accidental crime, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children and a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by the police in Tokyo.
STARRING: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Paul Terrell Clayton, Koji Yakusho, Elle Fanning, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi
DIRECTOR: Alejandro González Iñárritu
SCREENWRITER: Guillermo Arriaga

Copyright © 2006 Paramount Vantage Trailer

a book:

Against the Day, by Thomas Pynchon
Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.
With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.
The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.
As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them. Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.
Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck.
-Thomas Pynchon

a French meditation:
Fleurs : Le grand roman de l'érotisme floral,
de Philippe Sollers
Que dit le lys ? la rose ? la tulipe ? le lilas ? le mimosa ? l'œillet ? Ou bien, plus à l'Est, le lotus ? Quels drames, quels secrets, quels parfums ? Quel sang, dans l'ombre ? " On se propose, à partir d'un artiste et d'un botaniste trop peu connu, Gérard Van Spaendonck (1746-1822), de découvrir le continent des fleurs tel qu'il est apparu au dix-huitième siècle. Les fleurs étaient là de tout temps, bien entendu, mais leur mise en lumière encyclopédique, leurs noms, leur dessin, surgissent alors sur soie et sur vélin, avec une précision et une délicatesse inouïes. Spaendonck, au Jardin des Plantes de Paris, a eu des élèves, dont le célèbre Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Ces hommes ont vu s'ouvrir à la fois la nature florale et sa représentation. Ils en ont vécu l'éclosion et le geste qui la prolonge. Leur prodigieux et silencieux travail a traversé la Révolution et la Terreur. Il vient maintenant vers nous comme un signe renouvelé de beauté, de vivacité, de diversité, de fraîcheur. Voici la langue des fleurs. Il s'ensuit une libre improvisation à travers la poésie, lalittérature, la peinture (sans oublier la métaphysique et la théologie), où ce langage se montre dans toutes ses dimensions symboliques,amoureuses, érotiques. Fauteur de ce petit livre suit sa rêverie et son inspiration du moment. Il revisite Dante, Ronsard, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Proust, Colette, Ponge ou Genet.


Published in The New York Review of Books, this letter from many enlightened Iranians abroad is worthy of attention.
Here only the text of the leter, while this link leads to the full publication with all signatories.

To the Editors:
We the undersigned Iranians,
Notwithstanding our diverse views on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict;
Considering that the Nazis' coldly planned "Final Solution" and their ensuing campaign of genocide against Jews and other minorities during World War II constitute undeniable historical facts;
Deploring that the denial of these unspeakable crimes has become a propaganda tool that the Islamic Republic of Iran is using to further its own agendas;
Noting that the new brand of anti-Semitism prevalent in the Middle East today is rooted in European ideological doctrines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and has no precedent in Iran's history;
Emphasizing that this is not the first time that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has resorted to the denial and distortion of historical facts;
Recalling that this government has refused to acknowledge, among other things, its mass execution of its own citizens in 1988, when thousands of political prisoners, previously sentenced to prison terms, were secretly executed because of their beliefs;
Strongly condemn the Holocaust Conference sponsored by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran on December 11–12, 2006, and its attempt to falsify history;
Pay homage to the memory of the millions of Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and express our empathy for the survivors of this immense tragedy as well as all other victims of crimes against humanity across the world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Don't forget freedom of speech...

On Robert Redeker, see link below, Le Monde correctly supports his maintenance of freedom of expression, even in the face of accusations of "blasphemy" from whatever religion.

La liberté face au blasphème
LE MONDE 22.01.07

© Le

Since, however, the author of this piece (on IL FAUT TENTER DE VIVRE by Robert Redeker [Seuil, 136 p., 12 €], his journal on living under Islamist-fundamentalist death threats since his article appeared in Le Figaro on September 19, 2006) Gérard Courtois bemoans the fact that Redeker did not include the text of that original article in this review of the situation, and since it is now no longer available at Le Figaro without a fee (archives), here is the permanent link to it's republication on the Prochoix News blog, with the author's permission, on the following day:

Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre ? (Robert Redeker)
Les réactions suscitées par l'analyse de Benoît XVI sur l'islam et la violence s'inscrivent dans la tentative menée par cet islam d'étouffer ce que l'Occident a de plus précieux qui n'existe dans aucun pays musulman : la liberté de penser et de s'exprimer.

[Par Robert Redeker (Philosophe. Professeur au lycée Pierre-Paul-Riquet à Saint-Orens de Gammeville. Va publier Dépression et philosophie (éditions Pleins Feux). Source : Le Figaro, 19 septembre 2006. Interdit en Tunisie]


Friday, January 19, 2007

Pass This Resolution !!

S. CON. RES. 2
Expressing the bipartisan resolution on Iraq.
JANUARY 17, 2007
Mr. BIDEN (for himself, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. LEVIN, and Ms. SNOWE) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

"Whereas the United States strategy and presence on the ground in Iraq can only be sustained with the support of the American people and bipartisan support from Congress [...] : Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that—
(1) it is not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by escalating the United States military force presence in Iraq;" [...]

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is this the cooperation the bushbaby claims to have ???

The Times of London reports from an interview with Iraqi PM Maliki that he only wants guns for his own troops instead of more American troops:

America’s refusal to give Baghdad’s security forces sufficient guns and equipment has cost a great number of lives, the Iraqi Prime Minister said yesterday.
Nouri al-Maliki said the insurgency had been bloodier and prolonged because Washington had refused to part with equipment. If it released the necessary arms, US forces could “dramatically” cut their numbers in three to six months, he told The Times.

And he tells Corriere della Sera that the bushbaby has never been weaker and that cunning rice helps the terrorists by saying his government is doomed:

"Mai come oggi ho avvertito la debolezza di George Bush. Mi sembra che agli sgoccioli siano loro a Washington e non noi qui a Bagdad. Il nostro governo è in grado di funzionare meglio di tanti altri. E vorrei consigliare a Condoleezza Rice di evitare dichiarazioni che possono aiutare soltanto i terroristi. Che così si sentono più forti."

In each case, the link is to the entire article quoted here.

Secret Wiretaps Catapulted Out of the Bushbaby Playpen

The US Attorney General Gonzales yesterday revealed to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders that, "the president has determined not to reauthorize the Terrorist Surveillance Program when the current authorization expires." This letter preceded his appearance before that committee by one day, was one week after the court decision rendering it necessary, and still leaves questions wide open about the illegality of the procedure up to now.
Good news, when finally the top law enforcement official in the US decides to abide by the constitution (and drags his bushbaby boss into compliance behind him).
Follow this link to read the letter from Gonzales, and this one to get some background from The Nation.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What a superior person

« Oh, quel homme supérieur ! disait encore Candide entre ses dents, quel grand génie que ce Pococuranté ! rien ne peut lui plaire. »

"Oh! what a superior man," said Candide below his breath. "What a great genius is this Pococurante! Nothing can please him."

Kandide brummte in den Bart: "Ein großer, großer Kopf ist Pocucurante. Das nenn' ich noch Genie! Dem kann niemand etwas zu Danke machen !"

- Voltaire: Candide, ou L'Optimisme

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hello Pentagon

Military Is Expanding Its Intelligence Role in U.S. - New York Times

Hope no one paid for Xmas presents in the states with credit cards....

Shocked sister in her own kitchen

posted by her brother, provided by her daughter

- note the stools stylishly not matching
- if this one doesn't get a comment from her, I don't know what I have to blog to get her to type something
- what is all that stuff on the counter? (she doesn't seem to know for sure either)
-the object on the extreme left is the most interesting

Friday, January 12, 2007

Here a fundamentalist, there a fundamentalist, everywhere a fundamentalist

Take the time to read the article below in full by following the link to Harpers Magazine. It explores the depths of American Christian Fundamentalism, confirming that they are precisely as dangerous to civilization and thought and humanity as Islamist Fundamentalists are: both versions are committed to religion commanded government and a warring allegiance to self-proclaimed holy men and the spread of their one true faith and faith's country. You only have to change the names -- the warrior American haters of this world and humanity adore the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson for his massacre of Mexican civilians en masse during the Mexican-American War and for his "belief" in teaching negroes how to read so they could read the Bible. American Fundamentalists call him worship him as one to be emulated in serving god before country, submitting the country to religion, and murdering if it be "god's will", and consider his letters to his wife to be near "scripture". Well, I think in Badr City the murderous warrior Ali is adored and respected not only as a warrior and leader, but as a writer and religious authority and is given the titles Commander of the Faithful (Ameer-al-Momineen) Father of Dust/Soil (Abu Turab), Winning Lion of God (Asad-ullah), The Charging Lion (Haydar-al-Karrar), Piercing lines, fighter (Safdar). Both Islamists and Christianists and are equally committed to killing homosexuals, liberals, topless women, apostates, heretics, and anyone, essentially, who doesn't accept their views without question.

Here the beginning of the article with the link:


Through a Glass, Darkly
How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007. Originally from December 2006.
By Jeff Sharlet.
We keep trying to explain away American fundamentalism. Those of us not engaged personally or emotionally in the biggest political and cultural movement of our times—those on the sidelines of history—keep trying to come up with theories with which to discredit the evident allure of this punishing yet oddly comforting idea of a deity, this strange god. His invisible hand is everywhere, say His citizen-theologians, caressing and fixing every outcome: Little League games, job searches, test scores, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the success or failure of terrorist attacks (also known as “signs”), victory or defeat in battle, at the ballot box, in bed.

And - in response to a cogent comment, this addition:

Reading Lolita in Tehran - Middle East Quarterly
Reading Lolita in Tehran, a new memoir by Azar Nafisi, is the story of Iran's revolution from the unusual vantage point of an Iranian-born, American-schooled instructor of English literature, who arrived at Tehran University in the revolutionary year of 1979.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bushbaby surging in the playpen

Let us hope that somehow reason may prevail in Washington despite playpen antics and that the people of Iraq may achieve some calm and find a way towards peace.
May we also hope that the advisors in Washington do not continue to turn the world into an ever more dangerous place, that they begin to make efforts to curtail the emergence of ever more terrorists hostile to democracy, freedom, and human rights, hostile to civilization and the Enlightenment as we cherish it.

The New York Times
The Real Disaster
Published: January 11, 2007
Wednesday night was President Bush’s chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation about Iraq, and he did not take it.

Le Figaro (avec AFP).
Publié le 11 janvier 2007 / Actualisé le 11 janvier 2007 : 12h58
Les alliés des Etats-Unis saluent la nouvelle stratégie en Irak annoncée par George W. Bush, mais refusent d’envoyer des renforts. Les principaux partis irakiens réagissent, quant à eux, avec un enthousiasme mesuré.

Los Angeles Times
The last way forward
Bush's speech, like his strategy, was unsatisfying. But there are no good options left for the U.S. in Iraq.
January 11, 2007
PRESIDENT BUSH'S latest plan for Iraq has the feel of an overdue high school book report. It looks nice, reads well and is persuasive in parts. If only he had handed it in on time.

© Le

The Nation
BLOG Posted 01/10/2007 @ 9:44pm
Surge Into A Quagmire
In a sober address to the nation Wednesday night, President Bush confirmed his determination to surge the United States military deeper into the Iraq quagmire by sending roughly 21,500 more troops to that troubled land.
The president went even further than his critics feared he might, outlining a dangerous program of integrating U.S. and Iraqi military units – with U.S. trainers and strategists embedded in Iraqi units and U.S. brigades partnered with Iraqi brigades. And he signaled that he will implement his new approach before Congress has a chance to consider it.

The Washington Post
Mr. Bush's Strategy
The president raises the number of troops -- and the level of risk -- in Iraq.
Thursday, January 11, 2007; Page A24
PRESIDENT BUSH is right to recognize that U.S strategy in Iraq is not working and to seek a different policy. He is right to insist that the United States cannot afford to abandon the mission and to reject calls for an early withdrawal. But the new plan for the war Mr. Bush outlined last night is very risky.

Poll: Most Americans Opposed to Bush's Iraq Plan
Majority of Those Surveyed Are Skeptical That Surge Would Make Victory More Likely
By Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 11, 2007; 7:00 AM
Most Americans oppose President Bush's call to send additional U.S. military forces to Iraq and just over a third say the new plan makes victory there more likely, an initial public rebuke of the strategy he unveiled last night in a nationally televised address.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted following the President's speech finds broad and strong opposition to his call to send about 21,500 more troops to Iraq: 61 percent oppose the force increase, with 52 percent "strongly" opposing the build-up. Thirty-six percent support the additional troops; only one-quarter of the public is strongly supportive.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

11.01.2007 11:12 Uhr
Bushs Irak-Strategie
Gegen die Wand
Die Pläne des US-Präsidenten lesen sich wie ein Gegenentwurf zum Bericht der Baker-Kommission - und sind ein weiterer Ausdruck seiner Hilflosigkeit.
Ein Kommentar von Peter Lindner

Die Welt
Bushs Pläne stoßen weltweit auf Skepsis
Die neue Irak-Strategie des US-Präsidenten ist weltweit überwiegend mit Skepsis aufgenommen worden. Lob für Bush gibt es von Großbritannien und Australien, zwei der engsten Verbündeten der USA. US-Verteidigungsminister Robert Gates will nun 92.000 zusätzliche Soldaten für Heer und Marineinfanterie.

Die Zeit
Zum Scheitern verurteilt
Der Iraker Ghassan Attiyah glaubt nicht, dass die neue Strategie von George Bush aufgehen wird. Stattdessen fürchtet er einen Krieg zwischen Schiiten und Sunniten im ganzen Mittleren Osten.

Associated Press TERENCE HUNT Posted January 10, 2007 09:13 PM

White House Site official Real Video of the speech and link to the full text of the
"President's Address to the Nation
The Library
President's Remarks
9:01 P.M. EST January 10, 2007"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Surge is the word

Two years ago this time, surge still meant the tsunami tidal wave devastating much of the coastline of the eastern Indian Ocean.
Now I suppose the playpen's speech writers and linguistic genies have advised the bushbaby of the cogency and efficacy and metaphorical desirability of the same happening in Iraq, while he's still at the wheel of the ship of state on the high waves of international crisis.
Even my students in class today were baffled by the use of this word as they tried, rather successfully, to decipher CNN news under my patient guidance. Why don't they just call it an "increase" of troops or "more troops" or a "rise in the number"? Such were their proposals. And they were fascinated to learn of the oceanic tidal wave of destruction the playpen is attempting to evoke with this "surge" of poetry from a bushbaby mouth.
Surging right along: Who will rebuild everything after this "surge" of troops swamps the country, the enemy, the insurgents, the people, the civilians, the country, al Qaida, the one's "we" don't like, whatever, whoever...? Or is the "shock and awe" (old code words) of the "surge" supposed to stun us so that we can only watch with wide open mouths how a playpen continues to rattle the world.
And as you can see here, I'm not alone in detecting verbal aggression in this:

surge (surj) n. 1. a sudden increase . . . in political parlance
Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; Page C01
It's one of those words -- like "chad" or "blog" or "waterboarding" -- that's suddenly become the go-to phrase to describe a contemporary phenomenon.

Click this LINK to the entire, quite witty article.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Winter in Berlin

Dark, otherwise you'd never know it's winter here.
56.1° F / 13.4° C
at 5 pm!
Blooming cherry trees, roses, wild flowers...
Birds starting up new families...
And there's snow ... somewhere else .... in Denver, for example, while winter has apparently forgotten Berlin.
What will spring do to surprise us?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Wahrheit des Seyns

Seyn - ein Ergebnis des Denkens ?
Denken ist stets Ereignung des Seyns.
[MH: GA Bd.70 S.5]

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Even Sarkozy gets it right!

Sogar Sarkozy, Vorsitzender der konservativen UMP in Frankreich, verurteilt die Hinrichtung von SH.
Even Sarkozy, president of the conservative UMP in France, condemns the execution of SH.

Monday, January 1, 2007


playpenal mortality

3,000 Deaths in Iraq, Countless Tears at Home

U.S. Toll In Iraq Reaches 3,000

Deadline looms as US toll reaches 3,000

3 000 GI's sont tombés en Irak

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 2991
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 9
Total 3000