Monday, July 30, 2007

Birgit Winkler +

It was a privilege to have known you, Birgit, even though it wasn't very long. I quickly discovered my great respect for your mind, your heart, your charm, your ideas. May your two daughters Anna and Nina and your son Uli gather all they had with you up into a soothing whole: They, too, were able to be there with you as you concluded your path, and you know how important that was for me as my mother finished hers. Thank you for your smiles and for sharing some of your time with me and speaking so well and intelligently with me in both your and my languages!
Birgit Winkler
née Sievers
29 August 1950 - 30 July 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Woman Hides with Children from Beating Husband and Is Condemned in Court

Une femme battue doit communiquer sa nouvelle adresse à son mari violent -
"Le tribunal correctionnel de Dunkerque (Nord) a condamné à trois mois de prison avec sursis, jeudi, une mère qui s’était réfugiée avec ses enfants auprès de l’association Sedire. Motif: ne pas avoir communiqué sa nouvelle adresse à son mari..."

That's the kind of judgements that let you speculate about whose rights are being protected by whom!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

German-American Summer Fun in Berlin

This is where we were yesterday evening, almost like a county fair somewhere in the South. And we even rode the ferris wheel, I ate spare ribs and Detlef a steak. We were there more or less during the early evening "family hours" and headed back home before the rowdies started getting too out of hand. Later the American beers and whiskeys start to rev up another aspect of the occasion.

and two typical shots of the "food mile /American village":

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

He'll never understand ...

... but hopefully he won't drive us to oblivion before he's driven from office !
HE opened the way for them in Iraq, and no one else; HE's responsible for giving them the opportunity to wreak havoc there!

President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11
Published: July 25, 2007; The New York Times

President Bush sharply criticized those who contend that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and the network responsible for the attacks on 9/11 are independent of each other.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Modest Suggestion ...

... to the bushbaby and his entire playpen :


Then you wouldn't have to deal with this constant badgering about telling everyone about what's going on there, because it would no longer exist. We wouldn't need a list of all the people you've kept their in deprivation of their fundamental rights, denying them the opportunity to face those bringing charges against them. That the Constitution demands a speedy trial is something you can no longer remedey: you've waited far too long already. And here, in case you don't read the court decisions against your baby-rattler notions (which you apparently don't) information on the latest court decision against the legitimacy of what you're doing in Guantánamo.

Court Tells U.S. to Reveal Data on Detainees at Guantánamo
The New York Times - Published: July 21, 2007

In a stinging legal challenge to the administration’s detention policies, a ruling requires virtually all information to be shared with defense lawyers.

Friday, July 20, 2007

busbabies just don't get scared

One hopes the leader of the free world hasn't really, truly lost touch with objective reality. But one does have to wonder.
Last week, George W. Bush invited nine conservative pundits to the White House for what amounted to a pep talk, with the president providing the pep. Somehow I was left off the list -- must have been an oversight. But some columnists who attended have been writing about the meeting or describing it to colleagues, and their accounts are downright scary.
It's bad enough that Osama bin Laden is still out there plotting bloody acts of terrorism, convinced that God wants him to slay the infidels. Now we know that the president of the United States believes God has chosen him to bring freedom to the world, that he refuses to acknowledge setbacks in his crusade and that he flat-out doesn't care what "the polls" -- meaning the American people -- might think. I'm having trouble seeing the bright side. I think I need cognitive therapy.

By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, July 20, 2007; Page A19

I've recognized and been talking and writing about this alarming aspect of the bushbaby and his playpen for many years now. Good that a Washington Post columnist has also seen the two faces of the one coin of fundamentalism, its resultant terror and its underlying denial of reality. Such inability or unwillingness to call a spade a spade is also one of the definitions of INSANITY.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just to say thanks...

Many have followed the wishes of the Countess and given memorials after her death. The Lady-in-Waiting has written to them all to express our thanks, and here, I, the Page, would like to add my personal thanks to all of you below who with us remember Rose Tyson Gardner.

Memorials to West Haven Presbyterian:
The F.M. Pridgen Sunday School Class
Ruth McLean
Henry and Wilma Tyson
David and Melanie Gardner

Memorials to Hospice of Nash General:
Jane Gardner Smith
Tommy and Margaret Gardner
George and Ruth Price
Amos Tyson
Mary Smith
Charles Sutton
Sandra Bonner
Mary Ann Sutton
Lichtenfelt Nurseries
Joe and Marti Cash
Park and Thomas Williams
Sally Mozingo
Inez and Julian Gardner
Jeanette Allen
St. Giles Presbyterian Women

Memorials to St. Giles Butterflies & Memories Garden:
The Greenville Chamber Singers
Memorials to the NC Order of Eastern Stars Foundation:
25/Past Matrons Club
Nell Boone
Nashville Chapter #332

Sag Harbor
Battle & Steven Whitley

If anyone has been omitted, it is not intentional. Please let me or Terri know if we have not listed you and thanked you for a memorial. The information is not always very quick getting to us and we are truly grateful to everyone for their accompaniment of us and Rose on her final path.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jour de la Bastille

La Marseillaise

A. Roiné © Tous droits réservés

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!
Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons

Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L'opprobre de tous les partis
Tremblez! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix!
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros
La France en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre.

Amour sacré de la Patrie
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie
Combats avec tes défenseurs!
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The bushbaby knows worst...

Everyone knows better, some may know pretty well, but the bushbaby knows absolutely worst: His war in Iraq is helping the terrorists, fomenting fundamentalism, damaging the image of democracy, trampling on human rights, disregarding justice, and flying in the face of reason. When the troops leave, there will be a disaster, a bigger one the longer they stay, even bigger the more time passes before a plan is devised how to pull them out with as little resultant bloodshed as possible.

No Progress Report - New York Times
No Progress Report
Published: July 13, 2007

President Bush still refuses to talk about what almost everyone else now understands is essential: the need for a plan to extricate American troops from a lost cause in Iraq.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More From Maledictus fundamentalistus !

Vatican says other Christian churches wounded - International Reuters:

"A 16-page document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict once headed, described Christian Orthodox churches as true churches, but suffering from a 'wound' since they do not recognize the primacy of Pope.
But the document said the 'wound is still more profound' in Protestant denominations.
'Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress ... it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to them,' it said."

Just a little assistance for the Reuters translators: the German word they translated as "wounded" also serves to describe a DEFECT, so essentially the papal dictator was declaring all churches other than his own as "religiously defective".

Anyone still wondering why the ability to think is so rapidly disappearing, amidst all the clouds of shadowy smoke designed to debilitate all brains everywhere ?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ob Schäuble sich freut ?

Vielleicht würde Herr Schäuble sich besser fühlen, wenn er am Monitor eines solchen Systems in Berlin säße? Obwohl zu häufiges Fernsehen angeblich die geistigen Kräfte mindert. Er könnte aber viele arbeitslose Fernsehzuschauer im Innenmnisterium dafür einstellen...

New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown - New York Times
The program would include license plate readers and 3,000 security cameras below Canal Street.
There is little evidence to suggest that security cameras deter crime or terrorists, said James J. Carafano, a senior fellow for homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group in Washington.
For all its comprehensiveness, London’s Ring of Steel, which was built in the early 1990s to deter Irish Republican Army attacks, did not prevent the July 7, 2005, subway bombings or the attempted car bombings in London last month. But the British authorities said the cameras did prove useful in retracing the paths of the suspects’ cars last month, leading to several arrests.
While having 3,000 cameras whirring at the same time means loads of information will be captured, it also means there will be a lot of useless data to sift through. “The more hay you have, the harder it is to find the needle,” said Mr. Carafano.

Schließlich möchte Schäuble jeden Tag mehr Spielzeuge einführen:

07. Juli 2007 Hamburg
Schäuble fordert Handy- und Internetverbot für Terrorverdächtige
Schäuble macht ernst: Für den Anti-Terror-Kampf fordert der Innenminister im Gespräch mit dem SPIEGEL eine deutliche Ausweitung der staatlichen Befugnisse. Seine Liste reicht von Handy- und Internetverboten bis zur vorsorglichen Internierung von Gefährdern.
"Man könnte beispielsweise einen Straftatbestand der Verschwörung einführen, wie in Amerika", sagte Schäuble im Gespräch mit dem SPIEGEL. Zudem denke er darüber nach, ob es Möglichkeiten gebe, "solche Gefährder zu behandeln wie Kombattanten und zu internieren".

Aujourd'hui, vous pouvez rajouter des avions de combat et des missiles, vous ne combattrez pas les vrais fléaux de l'humanité que sont le terrorisme, les pandémies et le réchauffement climatique. L'aide est infiniment plus efficace que des chars, mais elle suppose que l'on sorte des conservatismes budgétaires qui reconduisent d'année en année les mêmes dépenses en faveur d'armées régulières inadaptées dans le monde actuel. Je sais de quoi je parle : j'ai été ministre des finances de mon pays, la Turquie.

© Le

Caritas Sine Amore ?

Papus maleficus missa latina edicet.
Verbum sine vi.
Fiat mysteria.

For example, if other fundamentalists annoy you with strange formulations in another language and never recognize translations of their holy text, but insist on the original, like this:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
والَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ مِن قَبْلِكَ وَبِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ
أُوْلَـئِكَ عَلَى هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

... then the popal one wants you to answer like this ...

in principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum
hoc erat in principio apud Deum
omnia per ipsum facta sunt et sine ipso factum est nihil quod factum est
in ipso vita erat et vita erat lux hominum
et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt

On the other hand, you could go with the following to evoke another monoculture:

בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.
וְהָאָרֶץ, הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ, וְחֹשֶׁךְ, עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם; וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, מְרַחֶפֶת עַל-פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר.

[SOURCES- Koran: The Cow 2:2-5; Bible: John 1:1-5; Torah: Moses I 1.1-3]

If you don't grasp any of the versions and are more interested in mystification than in thinking, you are the papal piddler's intended audience, especially given that his version isn't the original anyway.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Home Again ... !!!

Hooray for a relatively sunny beach vacation while the rest of Germany was pretty much rained in the whole week ! And that continued this morning with our departure: it was raining when we got up, cleared up for us to go to and board the ferry, started raining again before the ferry reached the next island port, but we were ensconced in our cozy seats and looking for rainbows, which we found, as the first picture below testifies, also indicating that the rain stopped.
Well, it started again, but ceased and let the sun come out for our short bike trip to the train station in Stralsund, where it again started after we left. On the way to Berlin, we passed through another couple of hefty showers, but, when it was our stop and we were on our bikes from S-Bahnhof Greifswalder Straße, the sun was shining again. Once we were unpacking in our wonderfully clean apartment (Edith had been there while we were away) it started raining again, until we were ready to go pick up Koko, our famous parrot. On the way, while we were dry on mass transit, there was a downpour, stopping again in time for the walk to the site of poor Koko's week-long exile at Rainer's. And then once we got him back here, it started raining again, but will surely stop before we head over to Erich's for his gallery open-house this evening.

And it IS good to be rested and relaxed and a bit tan and home again!

The next pictures give a mere hint of what went on at yesterday evening's grill event with our vacation abode hosts.

Friday, July 6, 2007

And today was once again BEACH WEATHER

Actually, mixed weather: some clouds, some sun, some storm, some beach, and this evening a grill party with our "hosts" the owners of the place here and the other guests. Tomorrow we head out on the first ferry --- at 7 am and should be back in Berlin in time to go to Erich's Atelierfest (gallery party) in his artist-village.

(The earlier post today was before the weather was ready to permit our outings.)

Even a rainy day is enjoyable...

Just walk down the street to the inn for coffee and lunch...

This is the main street of the artists' and writers' town, the fashionable village of Kloster.

Ein bißchen Klarsicht - A bit of transparency

As can now be found on the website of the German Parliament / Deutscher Bundestag, Germany's Supreme Court ruled constitutional the law requiring members of parliament to make public income they receive from other sources. Now, the official biographies for each member include this information for all the world to see. First below, the link to the information on the website, then within the quote the link to the bios with incomes.

Nebeneinkünfte der Abgeordneten online abzurufen: "Die Angaben der 613 Abgeordneten zu ihren Nebeneinkünften sind online veröffentlicht. Unter den Biografien der einzelnen Parlamentarier stehen nunmehr auch die veröffentlichungspflichtigen Angaben, die unter anderem Auskunft über bezahlte Tätigkeiten neben dem Mandat geben. Bundestagspräsident Dr. Norbert Lammert hatte nach der Entscheidung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts am Mittwoch, dem 4. Juli 2007, die unverzügliche Bekanntmachung angekündigt."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fireworks for Fourth of July at the Baltic Shore

This picture really says it all!
[This morning it's raining, but yesterday was the first time clouds opened up on the western horizon as the sun went down. So even if we spend more time indoors today, yesterday truly was a perfect July 4th, even giving us our first sunset on this trip. Now we can watch the low swooping swallows and listen to the croaking frogs all playing in the drizzle. Later we'll venture out to the beach, enjoy some nature, read, relax, do exactly what vacation means.]

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident

On the Fourth of July, a brief reminder of what it's all about, warmly blogged by an unashamedly overly idealist American after a morning on the beach of Hiddensee (Germany) on the Baltic shore with his husband-&-lover, proudly noted again as a bushbaby reveals what could in the same document hereinafter to be quoted be deemed tyrannical behavior necessitating removal from office (condoning libbying lobbying lying), but anyway, here some snippets to remember, to take to heart, and to ponder, followed by a couple of Fourth of July pictures from the real world.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident [...] all Men are created equal [...] certain unalienable Rights [...] among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness [...] to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted [...] deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed [...] [One] whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
And here photos of moments when such thoughts occur to me on The Fourth of July - Those are fireworks of thought designed to light up the world and stand up against fundamentalist darkness.

And here a video Fourth Of July to make you all envious:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Yesterday hiking, today on the beach

Today we spent the morning on the beach (photos tomorrow) and yesterday, before the enchanting puppet production of Robinson Crusoe, included a nice hike in the hills at the islands north end, as shown here.

And the sun is still shining, so, with lunch over, we're off again.

Remembering Beverly Sills

She was one of the highlights of my time at the Metropolitan Opera as well. Bubbles from Brooklyn, as the ushers there called her, was one of a kind, a queen among divas, a gift to opera audiences, and a true boon to fundraising for the continued production of high-quality opera in New York City.

Beverly Sills, the All-American Diva, Is Dead at 78 - New York Times

Beverly Sills, the acclaimed Brooklyn-born coloratura soprano who was more popular with the American public than any opera singer since Enrico Caruso, even among people who never set foot in an opera house, died last night at her home in Manhattan. She was 78.

Justin Lane for The New York Times
Beverly Sills in 2002, after coming out of retirement as chairwoman of Lincoln Center to lead the Metropolitan Opera

Monday, July 2, 2007

Second Morning With Sunshine ...

Unbelievably enough, while storms may be brewing elsewhere, we had a hazy sunny day yesterday, comfortable but not too hot; and the sun is shining this morning, though heavy thunderstorms are promised for the afternoon and evening. But then we're going to the puppet theater next door for their production of Robinson Crusoe, so who cares !

And here there are no cars (to be searched or feared), no airports (to wait in lines at or worry about attacks in), no trains (to miss because of wildcat strikes), no targets (to be hit by fundamentalists to defeat enlightenment), and no way on or off except by ferry from three easily controllable little harbors.
This is truly a little island paradise.

Yesterday we did the lighthouse and Enddorn; this morning we're going to do the Dornbusch hike up around the cliff edges to the west & north. And we're enjoying every minute of it.