Monday, April 28, 2008

Better Not to Have Mentioned It?

Happy as we were to tell everyone that the Berlin mom, even in the midst of her 4th round of chemo, had not even had a hint of nausea, I can only wonder if we shouldn't have bragged so much about her. Thursday she threw up and couldn't keep anything down that day and the next, but then the chemo was over, which was when she informed us of this new aspect, Friday evening, and since Saturday she's been eating again without complaints. Now, of course, she's a bit more apprehensive about the coming final two sessions, expecting this difficulty on top of her loss of any sense of smell and the imposition on her schedule. Maybe we just won't speak of it again. But yesterday, she insisted on cooking us a great lunch and gobbled it up with us, so, we'll just keep counting on her will and fortitude to get her through to the end of her last IV-bottle without further malaise.
We WILL go on PRAISING her!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Where To March...

Moscow's Mayor Bans Gay Parade, Cites Violence News

"The mayor of Moscow said the city will not allow gay pride marches to take place on this year's May Day holiday, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday. Mayor Yury Luzhkov has been an opponent of gay pride marches, once calling them "Satan's work." A spokesperson for the mayor told reporters that a permit for the parade is being denied because of Russian society's opposition to the "gay lifestyle and philosophy." He also said the government wanted to avoid what it assumed would be widespread violence as a reaction to the parade."

And why don't the leaders of the world protest? Tell Putin & Medvedjev to start considering human rights? Is Moscow outside of the realm of humanity?

Perhaps it would be a good idea to get up a gay parade for Beijing? Or do you think they just might prohibit it, too? Or just imprison everyone who voices the idea?

What about gay athletes at the Olympics? How about a good old fashioned love-in for LGBTs on Tianamen Square?

How about getting Obama to accept gay marriage? How about making such issues non-issues everywhere? What does Hillary say? I won't even ask about Johnny Rep McC.

What this kind of denigration and prohibition of gays by political office-holders leads to you can find poignant examples of on the website linked here:
The National Day of Silence is to focus attention on derogatory treatment of gays and lesbians in schools (in the US, but the message is international). One example is the fate of Lawrence King, an 8th-grader who, because of his sexual orientation, was shot dead by a classmate in his own school on Feb. 12. April 25 has been set as a day of student actions to encourage schools and classmates to address LGBT-bashing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

World Book Day

World Book and Copyright Day - April 23
A symbolic date for world literature, for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. It was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity.
Shakespeare and Cervantes, then, are appropriate to quote today:
In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits. His fancy grew full of what he used to read about in his books, enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, wooings, loves, agonies, and all sorts of impossible nonsense; and it so possessed his mind that the whole fabric of invention and fancy he read of was true, that to him no history in the world had more reality in it.
-Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part I, Chapter 1


As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put besides his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart,
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O'ercharged with burden of mine own love's might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
mmmO, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
mmmTo hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet XXIII

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life / Leben / La Vie

Thinking of The Countess, of mama, of Rose,
who so often aggravated, tickled, dismayed, surprised, depressed, thrilled, angered, amused, bored, scolded, admired, encouraged, criticized, praised, guided, and even heeded me,
I feel nothing but
not in the least diminished one year after her death,
and see her smile and hear her voice in mine.

August 30, 1926 - April 21, 2007
Rose Tyson Gardner

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pre- & Post-Birthday Party

For Roswitha,
whose birthday was on Friday,
and Bernhard,
whose Geburtstag is coming on Tuesday,
we wish you BOTH

The bowling party was a lot of fun and the meal delicious!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Get It Right and You're Elitist !

Anyone honest will confirm what Barack Obama said about small-town America and its fears, biases, easy refuges, bigotry, phobias of all and anything the least bit different. And Hillary is also smart enough to know how right he is. (She need only recall an episode or two she experienced in the small town of DC.) It would be nice if the thoughtfulness of Obama and his appeals to think could gain sway, whether he wins or not!

Might I ask you to recall:

  • Growing up in such an American small town and hearing this wonderful explanation from people that they of course have nothing against XXXX : "Some of my best friends are XXXX." You knew better than to ask them to tell you the name of a single XXXX they knew.
  • Those people who tell you the definition of marriage is man+woman and how evil homosexuality is and then add that they don't mean you of course, cause you and your mate are nice and helped your mom move in to her new place or tried to help her in her last months and they all loved you both in that little nest.
  • Your cousins who got sent off to a private christian academy when the public schools were finally totally integrated and therefore of course no good anymore.
  • That poor girl from Boston whose father got transfered to the south and had to say "park your car in the Harvard yard" everyday at recess for an entire school year just so everybody could laugh at her accent.
  • How whites loved to call any black who knew more than they did "uppity".
  • The lady who explained how she conducts her children's home-schooling by praying, reading the bible, drawing bible pictures, counting the generations in the bible, and then praying some more.
  • That bushbaby who has played the redneck game long enough to last for the rest of all time.
Comedy Central's Daily Show gets it right:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bushbaby Awareness Unusual in Playpen

He even admits authorizing unconstitutional measures, measures in violation of all international agreements on torture and prisoners...

ABC News: Bush Aware of Advisers' Interrogation Talks:
"And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."

Unfortunately, most of us are not surprised.

Italian Idol

or: Berlusconi bewilders thoughtful government; rights and justice in Italy once more faced with cavalier cynicism and patronage...

Veltroni: «Berlusconi ha cominciato male,faremo un governo dell'opposizione». Corriere della Sera:
«Sono rimasto negativamente colpito dalle dichiarazioni di oggi del vincitore delle elezioni, Silvio Berlusconi. L'annuncio di non dare all'opposizione la presidenza di una Camera, un certo tono nei confronti delle altre forze politiche, non solo il Pd, una certa idea di autosufficienza, non fanno vedere un buon inizio».

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Si on ne sait plus lire, ..."

"... il n'y a plus de formation de l'esprit critique. Cela veut dire que l'on ne peut plus comparer. Si l'histoire et la capacité de lecture disparaissent, c'est-à-dire le temps et la mémoire, vous préparez des esclaves parfaitement déterminés à obéir. C'est très grave. "
[-Ph.S. in the interview segment below]

« If people are no longer able to read, critical thinking can no longer be developed. That means people can no longer make comparisons. If history and the ability to read disappear, in other words, time and memory, you're preparing slaves perfectly programmed to obey. That is very serious. »
[-my own quick anglicization]

Invité Sud Ouest - Philippe Sollers - le Livre
by journalsudouest

Le 9 avril 2008 à Bordeaux, l'écrivain Philippe Sollers est l'invité du journal régional SUD OUEST

Worth practicing your French to understand, in depth. This link will lead you to a print version also including some mp3 files to hear some more of the replies. There is a total of five video files and many more audio files as Sollers answers questions on 68, China, Tibet, musty France, Bordeaux, etc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Along the lakes, hiking from Karow to Buch

Well, another nearly spring day, sunshine, and we took another hike, with photos to document it for the interested. We enjoyed it. A morning in the countryside in a city of 3.5 million inhabitants.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Trampling on Human Rights is not China's Prerogative Alone (Sadly) !

In the United States, as playpenaly mismanaged and perverted by bushbaby and his playmates:

Think Progress » Blog Archive » ABC Report: Bush’s ‘Principal’ Advisers OK’d Torture:

ABC News reported tonight that President Bush’s most senior and trusted advisers met in “dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House” beginning in 2002 to approve the use of “combined” interrogation techniques (the joint use of harsh interrogation techniques). Those tactics included whether detainees “would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.”

And in Egypt, where they also can be very kind to people not so well off but of persuasions the government dislikes:

Egypt jails five 'homosexuals' for three years
CAIRO (AFP) — A Cairo court on Wednesday jailed five men, four of them HIV positive, for three years on charges of "debauchery" linked to homosexuality, the latest example of what rights groups call a "witch hunt."
The men were arrested three weeks ago in a central Cairo restaurant following an argument after which a client accused them of practising homosexuality, in what rights groups say is becoming a familiar pattern of persecution.
A police doctor carried out anal inspections on the men "which confirmed their homosexuality," the court official said. Human Rights Watch said such examinations constitute torture and are medically spurious.
Man can think and should be prepared to stand up for that right to think and live and be. The above are two examples of the opposite and of efforts to prevent thought and the freedom necessary to sustain it.
Freedom is really more than just another word for nothing left to lose!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Is Possible To Speak Up !

Thank you, Majora Carter!

Olympic torch bearer from Bronx in Tibet protest:

As she ran with the flame, Majora Carter, 41, a South Bronx environmental activist, whipped out a small Tibetan flag to condemn China's human rights abuses in the Himalayan province.

Torchbearer gets kicked out of relay:
"At first I was like look, yes I'm carrying a flag, that is my right, as an American citizen," said Majora Carter.
Carter was selected as a torchbearer for her environmental work. Little did organizers know, she would use the opportunity to protest. Video from Sky 7 shows Carter pulling a small Tibetan flag from her sleeve and waving it, before a Chinese official took it away from her. Video from SF Gate then shows a police officer shoving her toward the sidewalk.
And a big "too bad" to Mr. Ma Conrong, the Chinese Ambassador to Germany, who told the newspaper the Tagesspiegel here that he feels his country is being treated unfairly with all these protests about human rights or in favor of Tibet's cultural autonomy (NOT separatism). He should explain to the world how he thinks all those feel who are arrested in his country for dissenting opinions, who are prevented from accessing information sources his country's government deems unsuitable (such as this blog, or youtube, or any website with access to uncensored literature), who are denied the possibility of expressing their opinions openly in whatever forum, who are denied retirement benefits as senior citizens and told to turn to their family (limited by state-ordered birth control), who as workers on the Olympic construction sites are denied the right to belong to labor organizations or form unions, who are so unfortunate as to maintain a culture outside the narrow confines of the single-party-state's wishes...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Note on Freedom

"[die] Freiheit des Daseins ist nur im Sichbefreien des Daseins. Das Sichbefreien des Deseins geschieht aber je nur, wenn es sich zu sich selbst entschließt, d.h. für sich als das Da-sein sich erschließt." - [MH GA Bd.29/30 §32(b)]

"die innerste Notwendigkeit der Freiheit des Daseins [, ...] die Notwendigkeit des Verstehens, daß allererst das Dasein sich wieder ins Freie bringen muß, als Da-sein begreifen muß. [...] die Menschheit im Menschen befreien, [...] d.h. das Wesen des Menschen befreien, das Dasein in ihm wesentlich werden lassen." - [MH GA Bd.29/30 §38]

Freedom of (human)being-there is only in (human)being-there's self-liberation. This self-liberation only occurs, however, when the (human)being-there opts for and to itself, i.e. opens up to itself as the Being-There.
the innermost urgency of the freedom of (human)being-there ... the urgency of understanding that first of all (human)being-there must bring itself back into the free, grasp itself as Being-There. ... liberate the human in man, ... i.e. liberate the essential sway of man, let the being-there within him essentially sway.
-[RG English transl.]

To put a lot into a nutshell of my own words:
In time and of time, man, being-there, is alone capable of distinguishing beings and Being, glimpsing the Nothing, of conceiving of death, enabling time, and IS therefore FREE. And if man does not take on this task, it will not be, and man will not fully be.

And Thank You, San Francisco !!

In advance in SF, outside of the playpen, beyond the reach of the repressors in China, in the true spirit of the Olympics:

Here, also, from Paris yesterday, as the flame went out --- just as the flame of human rights is constantly extinguished in Peking!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thank You, London ! Thank You, Paris !

It is good and right that inhabitants of London yesterday and Paris today demonstrated against the Chinese in their attempt to coopt the Olympic flame to distract from their violations of human rights, justice, and simple human dignity.
The Chinese should realize that the world is not ready to accept them as "hosts" for the Olympic Games despite their renegging on their promise to "improve their performance" in the area of rights and freedoms, a promise the IOC should never have believed, one for which they should never have sited this years games in Peking, the capital of a dictatorial one-party state pretending to belong to the modern world, which it only copies when it can sell it.
These pictures WILL BE SEEN around the world, pictures of people saying NO to China!
Thank you, London. Thank you, Paris.

Thousands protest as Olympic flame carried through London
Police and security staff forced to fend off demonstrators

Friday, April 4, 2008

What about "Fitna" ?

Putting it all into context, polemics can be avoided and the potential dangers equally well exposed while pointing to possible paths OUT of the violence and intolerance incipient in most religious notions, in particular monotheistic, missionizing ones.

C’est à ce genre de nuance que l’on distingue un engagement sincère, destiné à éveiller l’esprit critique d’un acte de propagande visant à éveiller l’instinct. Wilders fait plutôt partie de la seconde catégorie, comme les islamistes. Ils n’ont aucune leçon à lui donner. Puisqu’ils utilisent exactement les mêmes procédés pour accréditer l’idée d’un complot de l’Occident contre l’Islam, à partir de dessins ou de phrases sorties de leur contexte. Mais en prime, leurs films incitant à la haine trouvent des mains pour tuer. Ce qui fait tout de même une sacrée différence.
Dutch Lawmaker to Edit Anti-Quran Film - The Washington Post - Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Dutch lawmaker whose anti-Quran film drew worldwide condemnations will edit out a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad after complaints of copyright infringement, his office said Monday.
A more engaging approach would have been to pepper the film with positive verses from the Qur'an, thereby revealing that Muslims who expound hostility are actively choosing to ignore the better angels of Islam.
Irshad Manji, a scholar at New York University and the European Foundation for Democracy, is creator of the award-winning film "Faith Without Fear."

April has begun ...

... and so has daylight savings time here in Europe (ok, on the last Sunday in March, 2 days before April)
... and it's cloudy and rainy and only occasionally a hint of sunshine
... and we're as busy as little bees (or great big ones, for that matter)
... and the Berlin mom is in for her third round of chemo (forbidding us to visit, so we'll have to wait till she gets home on Saturday)
... and this is the month's first blog post
... and it won't be the last