Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Singing Grand Cousin

With this link to the contest my cousin's son Robert Leonard is in, you can hear one minute of his song and give him a vote.
But, I have another reason for putting this here:
He sang this song in a private concert for my mom, and Rose loved it, and today's her birthday, and this is a little memorial present for her.
So thanks to Robert & Cynthia & Lindsay & Robbie for making it possible for me to post a present for Rose, cause she'd love to know Robbie's getting this kind of attention and recognition.

Tap, tap

Tap, tap... tap, tap, tap... tap, tappity, tap... tappity, tap, tap... tipple, tap, tap, tap... tappity, tap... tipplety, tappity, tap... tap, tap, tap...

Do you know what I mean ? If so, be careful you don't get arrested by the bushbaby squads against freedom in the playpen of the brave.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thanks to Rose ...

Thank you, Rose, for your birthday tomorrow !
Rose Tyson Gardner
August 30, 1926 - April 21, 2007
You filled me with being and your being is here in me.

Slowly pain transforms and eases into thanks to the departed. Those who reach thanks experience the mysterious power of recall which thanks enfolds.

[My English rendition of MH's thoughts in memory of Fridolin Wiplinger in 1974 from vol.13 of the complete works, p. 238, which, in the original, reads as follows:
"Langsam wandelt und mildert der Schmerz sich zum Dank an den Abgeschiedenen. Die ins Danken gelangen, erfahren die geheimnisvolle Kraft der Vergegenwärtigung, die der Dank in sich birgt."]

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Justice At Last !

Gonzo Gonzales is no longer Attorney General of the United States. This is a victory for JUSTICE over the cronyism and debasement of civil rights so dear to the bushbaby playpen. Those who uphold the laws must also understand and uphold the constitution, rather than holding it up like Billy the Kid in a bank in the Wild West.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Biking where the Wall was

Today a bike tour from Teltow to Schönefeld along the southern border of Berlin ... all on a path where the Wall stood from 1961-1989.
At this linked site to the whole Berlin Wall path you can follow ours today: two sections - Schönefeld-Lichtenrade and Lichtenrade-Lichterfelde Süd - though we went the other way round.
And here a few pix of our own from the tour.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lea with grandma & uncles at the zoo

Today we both took a well earned day off and went with Edith and our niece Lea to the zoo, an outing we managed to squeeze into a perfectly sunny 4-hour interlude between thunderstorms. It would have been nice to ride in the wagon intended for the soon-to-be 5-year-old Lea ourselves, but at least she enjoyed it for the last 100 meters.
And we saw Berlin's new elephant baby, 1 1/2 days old, on his first outing, even if difficult to spot between his mother's legs and under her belly and behind the crowds there for the new star of Berlin's animal world. (The TV crews were there, so there will certainly be good pix on the news tonight.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Supporting and guiding what we call reading is the act of gathering, gathering up what has been written and what the text has to say. Reading gathers what has already laid claim to our innermost self without our knowing it, whether we live up to, or betray, that essential core. But without true reading, reading proper, we cannot see what is peering at us nor look at what appears and shines.

[My own colloquial English version of MH's "Was heißt Lesen?" from 1954, included in GA Bd.13]

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bringing Someone to Justice

Despite the bushbaby playpen's devious efforts to deprive him of a trial, despite the fact that most of the charges against him were dropped when it was time to lay them out in a court of law, Padilla has finally met justice.
Sworn jurors, under the eyes of a judge, have, in an American court of law, found the man guilty of those charges brought against him.
This is one of the few correct ways of fighting terrorism and that form of fundamentalism desirous of eliminating justice from the word. This trial is a demonstration of practicing what you preach: equal justice for all in a court of law as a foundation of democracy and civil rights!
It is only a great shame that the playpen stalled on this case, as it is still stalling on so many others today.

Below, excerpts from and links to editorials on the subject in today's papers and then a link to all judicial actions in terrorist cases in the US.

Jose Padilla, symbole des excès de la lutte antiterroriste, a été reconnu coupable
LEMONDE.FR 17.08.07
La Maison Blanche a immédiatement salué cette importante victoire, évoquant une décision "juste". Mais le verdict, qui ne fait pas mention d'un projet d'attentat à la "bombe sale", rappelle toutefois, pour ses opposants, les excès de l'administration Bush dans sa lutte contre le terrorisme.
© Le

Jose Padilla's Due Process
The five-year path to a verdict is an indictment of the administration.
The Wahington Post, Friday, August 17, 2007; Page A22

Does the orderly disposition of Mr. Padilla's court case prove that every terrorism prosecution can and should be channeled through U.S. courts? No, although civil libertarians will make that case, there will be genuine enemy combatants who may not belong in civilian courts. But every person held by the government -- U.S. citizen or not -- must have due process to challenge that detention. The presumption must be that U.S. citizens can rely on the federal courts to oversee their prosecutions. And Mr. Padilla's abhorrent disappearance into limbo should come to be remembered as an aberration never to be repeated.
The New York Times - Editorial
The Padilla Conviction
Published: August 17, 2007
It would be a mistake to see the guilty verdict against Jose Padilla as a vindication for the Bush administration’s serial abuse of the American legal system. [...]
In hailing the verdict yesterday, a White House spokesman thanked the jury for “upholding a core American principle of impartial justice for all.” It is a remarkable statement, since the administration did everything it could to keep Mr. Padilla away from a jury and deny him impartial justice.
After all that, there was still some good news yesterday: a would-be terrorist will be going to jail. And the Bush administration was forced, grudgingly and only at the very end, to provide him with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
And, finally, the link to FindLaw's special coverage of the war on terrorism, including
  • Terrorism Cases Prior To Sept. 11th
  • Airplane / Airport Security Cases
  • Civil Cases
  • Criminal Cases (page 1)
  • Criminal Cases (page 2)
  • Hate Crimes Cases
  • Terrorist Hoax Cases

and court documents such as this: American Jose Padilla’s Terrorism Trial / U.S. v. Adham Amin Hassoun, Mohamed Hesham Youssef, Kifah Wael Jayyousi, Kassem Daher, and Jose Padilla: Jury Verdict Form convicting the three defendants on all terror-related charges (HTML) Aug. 16, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Food for thought

Frédéric Berthet, Journal de Trêve, p.21:
Et la femme fit Dieu à son usage. (Et si l'homme fit Dieu à son image, la femme le fit à son usage.)

MH, GA Bd.13, S.33:
Das Denken, gehorsam dem Seyn, sucht diesem das Wort.
Das Denken des Seyns ist die Sorge für den Sprach-gebrauch.

You can hear a lot of nonsense on the 100 and 200 bus lines, and it helps to read from such works as those I've quoted above, especially when you hear a tourist claiming they misspelled Checkpoint Charlie on the sign posted to tell such creatures how to get there, insisting that, "You spell 'Charlie' with a 'Y'." Now, I ask you, what would that look like? Checkpoynt Charly, I suppose. Somehow, I don't think it would have become famous under that label.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Successful Surprise for Edith's 70th

Well, not just lunch and then coffee & cake, but the route turned out to be a good birthday surprise for Edith. (And I think we all enjoyed it as much as she did.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spies and Walls...

Monday, August 13, is the 46th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall. It was one of the best examples of the absurdity and horror of trying to keep a people under control and complete observation.

As a reminder, then, a few links to keep things in perspective.

  • The Documentation Center and Memorial to the Berlin Wall, with many links and references, available in French, English, Italian, and German.
  • The site for the former Stasi prison, now a memorial to those held and tortured there for political "crimes" such as saying the government was bad or trying to leave the GDR or not informing on others, most victims of an intense network of spying and collaborators informing on their friends.
  • In an August 11th editorial entitled The Need to Know, the New York Times quite rightly comments that, "If President Bush wants Americans to give him the power to spy on them at will, Americans should be allowed to know how much their freedoms are being abridged."
  • And here The New Yorker publishes Jane Mayer's article on secret CIA prisons in Poland and elsewhere, The Black Sites, A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program.
  • And finally an editorial from Berliner Zeitung pointing out how absurdly little the bushbaby has learned about giving weapons to supposed allies, forgetting what happened with Saddam and Iran, only to name a few, and blindly believing guns will stop terrorism. Neither it nor spying will.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Various and sundry

  • Maebelle died on Monday; Sheila wrote in what seemed good spirits, which we of course wish her & Bobby.
  • Jennifer apparently cake-walked through her first law school exams, at least she sounded typically blasé and relieved about them when I caught her at "home" when I wanted to phone with her mom.
  • Die Deutsche Bahn meint Streiks gerichtlich verbieten lassen zu können, ihr offenbar lieber als ernsthafte Verhandlungen mit der Gewerkschaft der Lokführer, die den Arbeitskampf als legitimes Druckmittel verwenden wollen. Nun werde Geisler und Biedenkopf vermitteln - hoffentlich kriegen die Arbeiter mehr Geld und nicht nur die "Managers".
  • There are cracks in some 425 of the stone slabs of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, although it only opened two years ago. Most aren't serious, but repair must occur before the winter frosts come. Another enduring repair site.
  • The brick-facade skyscraper at Potsdamer Platz is still bounded by scaffolding to protect everyone below from the bricks falling out of the building, and there is still no sign of any work being done to fix the structure!
  • Edith, my mother-in-law, will turn 70 on Monday, and we're all taking her out on a pedal-train ride preceding and following a fancy lunch. She's promised to serve as my other mom for some time to come, now that Rose is no longer.
  • Another MH has arrived for my perusal: Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, a collection of 66 years of shorter pieces.
  • Berthet's Journal de Trêve is also awaiting my reading, as is the rest of Pamuk's Snow, Chomsky's Failed States, and Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus.
  • And last night we watched that fabulously quirky 60's film: I love you, Alice B. Toklas with Peter Sellers etc.
    And now it's time for a weekend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We celebrate our sixth "legal" anniversary

Six ans de PAC
Sechs Jahre eingtragener Lebenspartnerschaft
Six years of civil union
7 août/August 2001
2 mai/Mai/May 1996)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

To Those Snoops Reading My Email and Listening to My Phone Calls...

I suggest you snoops of my emails and phone calls to the US read the post below from yesterday ("In the Name of the People") to know what category you fall into. Don't expect me to contribute to a memorial to you, however, but surely to your victims when your shenanigans are halted, as they hopefully will be.
In future I shall always attempt to greet you - with a line in every email or phone call to this effect: "Hello, Snoops, hope you're having fun." This was a technique citizens of the GDR used to annoy the Stasi listening in on their phone calls.

Discite iustitiam moniti !

The New York Times
House Passes Changes in Eavesdropping Program
Published: August 5, 2007

Despite serious objections from many Democrats, the House endorsed a bill the Bush administration said was needed to keep pace with new technology. [...]
Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that the bill the administration wanted would allow wiretapping without warrants as long as it was “concerning a person abroad.”
Washington Post Staff Writers
The Washington Post, Sunday, August 5, 2007; Page A01
Civil liberties and privacy advocates and a majority of Democrats said the bill could allow the monitoring of virtually any calls, e-mails or other communications going overseas that originate in the United States, without a court order, if the government deems the recipient to be the target of a U.S. probe.
Last night, several Democrats said the bill would undermine the Fourth Amendment. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said lawmakers were being "stampeded by fearmongering and deception" into voting for the bill. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) warned that the bill would lead to "potential unprecedented abuse of innocent Americans' privacy."

Saturday, August 4, 2007

In the Name of the People . . .

Don't ever forget what crimes have been committed under that label !

Never acquiesce quietly to injustice being done in YOUR name !

Today we visited the Plötzensee Memorial in Berlin, tucked right in among industrial sites, churches, canals, a scenic lake, lovely villas, and a charming lake, easily accesible by all forms of transportation. Nearly 3 thousand were executed there after summary trials by Nazi judges sentencing people to death for such things as saying Hitler was a nut. By those standards, I should have been sentenced and executed decades ago. And you? Think about it.

The following comes from the website of the memorial.

The Plötzensee Memorial Center commemorating the victims of National Socialism is a site of quiet remembrance. From 1933 to 1945, nearly three thousand people unjustly sentenced to death by the National Socialist judiciary were executed here. Today, the execution chamber is a memorial. The exhibition in the room adjoining it documents the practice of the National Socialist judicial and penal system.
One example of the many innocent people executed there "In the Name of the People":

Karlrobert Kreiten is born June 26, 1916, in Bonn as the son of a Dutch citizen. He grows up in Düsseldorf and is regarded as one of the most talented pianists of his generation. Contemplating the defeat at Stalingrad during a concert tour in Berlin in March 1943, he remarks to a friend of his mother that the war is lost. He calls Hitler ”a madman.” His mother’s friend reports Karlrobert Kreiten to the authorities, and he is arrested in July of 1943. The ”People’s Court” presided over by Roland Freisler sentences him to death on September 3, 1943, for ”subversion of national defense, aiding the enemy, and defeatist statements.” Four days later, Karlrobert Kreiten is murdered in Plötzensee.
The court documents of his "guilty" verdict and death sentence:

The photos are some of the ones we made today.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Idealer Gatte to be broadcast again

My German translation of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband will again be broadcast on German television (a video recording of the production in the Schauspielhaus Bochum under the direction of Armin Holz, my co-translator).
August 18, Saturday, from 8:15 to 10:40 pm.
20:15 Uhr
Ein idealer Gatte
Schauspiel von Oscar Wilde
Deutsche Übersetzung von Armin Holz und Richard Gardner
Aufzeichnung einer Aufführung aus dem Schauspielhaus Bochum, 2006
Lord Goring - Sebastian Koch
Lord Caversham - Hans Diehl
Sir Robert Chiltern - Markus Boysen
Vicomte de Nanjac - Michael Lippold
Mr. Montford - Jaschar Sarabtchian
Phipps - Cornelius Schwalms
Mrs. Cheveley - Jeannette Hain
Lady Markby - Margit Carstensen
Regie: Armin Holz
Die intrigante Mrs. Cheveley erpresst den aufstrebenden Unterstaatssekretär Sir Robert Chiltern mit einem Brief aus dessen Vergangenheit. Sie weiß, dass seine Karriere einst mit einem Insidergeschäft begann und droht nun, ihr Wissen zu veröffentlichen. Als ihr Mann das Geheimnis seiner Ehefrau verrät, bricht für die prinzipientreue Lady eine Welt zusammen. Der heiratsresistente Dandy Lord Goring versucht nun, seinem Freund Chiltern zu helfen. Er droht Mrs. Cheveley, mit der auch er eine Vergangenheit hat, als Diebin zu entlarven. Plötzlich steht Intrige gegen Intrige.
Verhängnisvolle Affären stehen im Mittelpunkt dieser Sittenkomödie: Im Spannungsfeld von persönlichen Interessen und gesellschaftlichen Ansprüchen versteht es Oscar Wilde, mit seinem Schauspiel zu brillieren. Geistreich und ironisch zeigt er die Divergenz zwischen Schein und Sein in den Denk- und Verhaltensmustern der Viktorianischen Ära und enthüllt die Fadenscheinigkeit eines Gesellschaftskodex' mit all seinen Normen, Rollenspielen und Illusionen. Er beweist mit diesem Stück einen scharfen Blick auf gesellschaftliche Zwänge und bigotte Moralvorstellungen nicht nur seiner Zeit.

Radiation (Erasure -or- Elimination -or- Strike Out)

Recommended reading regarding relentless relegation of responsible renegades to remunerationless roles. (Or: workless woes wallowing in woeful work.)

Guy Tournaye: RADIATION [2007] , 128 pages, 140 x 205 mm. Collection L'Infini, Gallimard -rom. ISBN 9782070784806. Parution : 20-04-2007. 12,50 €

Here one short exemplary quote followed by my cursory translation:

Tout le monde s'accorde à dire que le chômage est un cancer et qu'il faut traquer sans relâche les faux malades. Mais personne ne se risque à remettre en cause la norme qui fonde un tel diagnostic. Les discours incantatoires sur la valeur travail traduisent au contraire une forme de fuite en avant et tendent à légitimer un modèle social de plus en plus coercitif, où chacun est sommé de brader ses désirs pour accepter n'importe quel poste, à n'importe quelle condition.
Everyone is in agreement in claiming that unemployment is a cancer and that fake patients must be relentlessly pursued. But no one dares to question the norm underlying such a diagnosis. On the contrary, the incantations about the value of labor reveal a form of hasty action and tend to legitimize a more and more coercive social model in which everyone is called upon to surrender his desires to accept any old job no matter what the conditions.

This is essential reading for everyone who can understand French and who is prepared to think about the condition of our world today. Hopefully it will also be translated into many other languages, English and German among them, as it portrays in a charmingly novelistic esayistic manner the malaise of our age in its inability to come to terms with work and distribution of funds for living.