Monday, September 29, 2008

Public Transportation as an Outing

With our niece, we rode all forms of public transportation in Berlin yesterday for our special outing with her. No sooner than we got around the corner on the tram was there a passenger with the DTs whom a policewoman accompanied to the driver up front where we were to have him wait until an ambulance could come. Lea, highly interested and a bit nervous at first, remained calm when we told her it's good to know people will take care of you if something happens on the train and it's ok to wait for the shaking man to be taken to the hospital.
From the S-Bahn station Bornholmer Str., we then went to Unter den Linden and came out so she could see why the surface train has to be in a tunnel in the middle of the city and there at the Brandenburg Gate the first marathon participants were coming through to the finish line, so she got a whiff of all that and a baloon from some people advertising something. At York Str. station, we came out again to the street where the big mass of runners was passing by and she could hear and watch everyone cheering for their relatives to pass. On the train, there was another strange passenger, a nut case yelling at everybody, but in the end doing no harm.
And on and on it went, as we found out from her mom later, to Lea's absolute enjoyment and edification. "How do you guys know about everything." We like learning new things, just like you do, was our answer...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wertigkeit neu erleben

VW hits a new low in mastery of language, taking the word "valence" (Wertigkeit) from specialist fields (chemistry/linguistics) and claiming you can experience it anew with an automoblile: "Wertigkeit neu erleben: der neue Golf". They have plastered half of the billboards in Berlin with this nonsensical claim. I'm not sure if they think the car is valuable, offers value, or contains some strange chemical isotopes with heretofore unknown valences.
Keep on going and no one will be able to understand why they should park their cars and get on a train or a bike or walk before all that shiny metal is turned into temporary housing for the homeless.
Don't get cynical, though, think and defy such misuse of langage. If hopefully defiant, you can survive the morast of unintelligibilty.
The ad people don't know what they're saying anyway...
Dare to value language highly and experience that value anew every day!
Just buy a BOOK instead of a car!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Play Money

Playpenal bushbaby and playmates are going wild with the play money they forbade anyone to regulate or watch over. So now they want to buy up from each other the paper from bad investment decisions they all made themselves and use YOUR money, not their play money, to do it. Rather, let's provide regulation and penalties on play money games and take the bonus money away from those playmates at bankrupt playpenal banks. Lehman playmate chief, for example, got 22 million only a few months ago for the success of his business. Now the playpen is pumping in 700 billion to cover all their losses. Way to go playpen!
(And McPain was always a supporter of these machinations: The economy is fundamentally strong, he claims, and his own playmate the bushbaby pretty much said yesterday that the whole things going to hell in a handbasket if Congress doesn't get scared enough to shower it with cash, though of course giving everyone health care would be socialist.)
Oh well, when I grew up I learned it was bad to try to live on borrowed money. Anyone ever heard of a savings account?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two Birthdays at Once

Malte and Lea have each had birthdays earlier this month, and yesterday was the party for both with the relatives. Cake and fun playing with the kids for the uncles and all the rest of the clan...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kein Kölsch für Nazis

As this report in today's Tagesspiegel shows, finally everyone who thinks is concerned about the rightist conference coming up on the weekend in Cologne:

Kein Kölsch für Nazis
Umstrittenes Treffen Kein Kölsch für Nazis [Von Jürgen Zurheide]
Die Wählergruppe Pro Köln hat für das Wochenende Rechtsextreme aus zahlreichen Ländern in die Metropole am Rhein gerufen. Offiziell geht es bei dem Treffen um den Protest gegen den Neubau einer Moschee. Die Stadt wehrt sich gegen den rechten 'Antiislamisierungskongress' – auch die Altstadtwirte.

See my earlier blog post on this so-called "Antiislamisierungskongress"!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

By Popular Demand

News Flash:

Koko, a famous resident of Weißensee, whence he can see Poland on a clear day with his telescoping eyes, has turned down a request by the McPAIN team to assist them in achieving a bird's eye view of the world, because, as he chirped it, "They have never shown interest in anything green before and I am not available as a token intellectual to a gang of populist rabble-rousers. I hope the other side wins."

Monday, September 15, 2008

If you can't grow a pair, I'll lend you mine

The veep debate we didn't get to hear.
(Thanks to DarthR for putting me on to this!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Laïcité !

Laïcité positive
by prochoix

La laïcité ne doit pas plier devant Benoît XVI
Appel autour de la venue de Benoit XVI en France du 12 au 15 septembre

Nous appelons ... à une vigilance vis-à-vis de tous les intégrismes. Cette vigilance passe par une revalorisation du lien social sur un mode laïque, un soutien aux associations de quartier luttant pour le vivre ensemble et la défense de l’école publique. Nous le disons sans détour : dans la transmission des principes de la République, le curé, le pasteur, le rabbin ou l’imam ne pourront jamais remplacer l’instituteur.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thinking Unnecessary in a Playpen

It's also all about whether Americans can finally admit thinking is something good, rather than something to be afraid of, especially when others think. The ability to think is by far more important in our world today precisely because there are so many out there who believe they are on a mission and therefore sneer at and, depending on their audience, attempt to hinder or eliminate, those who do think. You have nothing to fear but your belief that thought is bad!

Gov. Palin’s Worldview
"It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.
What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.
The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country."
The New York Times - Editorial - September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Towers of Light !

light of freedom

light of thought

light of tolerance

light of justice

light of solidarity

light of humanity

light of hope

light of democracy

Let us spread THIS light, shine it deep into the darkest corners of hatred and superstition, convince all how wonderful it is to stand in the light that only we as humans are capable of providing, nurturing, and enjoying.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Consider This...

Something to think about

  • before the US election in November
  • before the Brandenburg local elections on September 28
  • before the Bavarian state elections on the same day

Something to think about before you

  • deny others the rights you have
  • envy those who have less than you
  • opt out of systems of social solidarity
  • claim you can't be a bigot because some of your best friends are ***.
(If you are looking at this, then someone in your family or among your friends is definitely *** and will be very disappointed in you if you vote for backwardness!)

Es geht allein darum, darüber zu wachen, daß uns die anbrechende Fragwürdigkeit, die Vorläuferschaft für die Größe, nicht entrissen wird durch billige Antworten und Aberglauben.
[MH: Vom Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit, GA Bd.31 §15 S.143]

It's all about taking care to ensure that dawning questions worthy of consideration, precursors of greatness, are not ripped from our thoughts by cheap answers and superstitions.

Il s'agit seulement de veiller à ce que les questions dignes d'être posées naissantes, précurseurs de grandeur, ne nous soient pas arrachées par des réponses faciles et des superstitions.

[French & English versions my own]

Birthday Boy Had Fun!

And we don't have a single photo to prove it. But he immediately mounted his wrap-dispenser-cutter, gobbled up his mom's gulash and cauliflower lunch, beat both of us at skat, and giggled and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the show by Malediva in the tent.
(One of their best jokes, in this tent-venue next to the chancellor's office, was when it thundered outside and they quipped, "Oh no, the Russians are coming and Angie's shooting back and telling them, 'You might get Georgia, but Brandenburg is mine!' After all, she has a house there.")
And we still have apple cake left to enjoy for a couple of days to come.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Enlighten Instead of Veiling!"

"Aufklären statt verschleiern!"

Gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit und reaktionäre Islamverteidigung
Kritische Islamkonferenz attackiert Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongress

Sonderveranstaltung der Kritischen Islamkonferenz
anlässlich des sog. „Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongresses“
Redner: Ralph-Giordano, Mina Ahadi und Hartmut Krauss
Freitag, 12. September 2008
Köln, Jugendherberge Riehl, An der Schanz 14
Beginn: 18:30, Kostenbeitrag: 5 Euro
Veranstalter: Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime, Redaktion Hintergrund, Giordano Bruno Stiftung

Köln. Anlässlich des „Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongresses“, der vom 19. bis zum 21. September in Köln stattfinden soll, haben Vertreter der „Kritischen Islamkonferenz“ zum Widerstand „gegen die einheimischen und zugewanderten Rechtskräfte“ aufgerufen. In der von Mina Ahadi (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime), Ralph Giordano, Hartmut Krauss (Zeitschrift Hintergrund) und Michael Schmidt-Salomon (Giordano Bruno Stiftung) unterzeichneten Erklärung heißt es, den Veranstaltern des „Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongresses“ gehe es nicht darum, „die menschenrechtswidrigen, antidemokratischen und reaktionär-patriarchalischen Grundinhalte und Praktiken des Islam anzuprangern, sondern darum, Einwanderer aus der Türkei, dem Iran und arabischen Ländern pauschal als Bedrohung zu stigmatisieren.“ Diese Anti-Islam-Propaganda diene als Mittel zur „populistischen Ausbeutung begründeter islamkritischer Stimmungen innerhalb der einheimischen Bevölkerung“. Im Verborgenen bleibe dabei die „tiefe weltanschaulich-politische Wesensverwandtschaft zwischen einheimischem Rechtskonservatismus und islamischer Orthodoxie“, die sich etwa in gemeinsamen patriarchalen Werten ausdrücke.
Ähnlich scharf wie mit „Pro Köln“ und ihren Verbündeten rechnen die Vertreter der Kritischen Islamkonferenz jedoch auch mit der Gegenseite der „vermeintlich antirassistischen Islamversteher“ ab. Die Abgesandten Erdogans, Milli Görüs und die Grauen Wölfe würden sich „ins Fäustchen lachen, wenn die deutschen Blockierer einseitig und voller Vehemenz gegen Pro-Köln und Co. demonstrieren“, aber auf Tauchstation gingen, „wenn gegen Islamisten, Ehrenmörder, Zwangsverheirater, Karikaturenschänder, muslimische Mordhetzer und Judenhasser etc. aufzumarschieren wäre“. Gefordert sei heute eine „dritte Kraft“, die sich gegen Rassismus und Fremdenfeindlichkeit ebenso wehre wie gegen menschenrechtswidrige Formen religiöser Herrschaft. Ziel dieser dritten Kraft sei „eine freie, gerechte und solidarische Gesellschaft, in der Menschenrechtsverletzungen von keiner Seite geduldet und verharmlost werden“.
Am 12. September wollen die Unterzeichner im Rahmen einer „Sonderveranstaltung der Kritischen Islamkonferenz anlässlich des Anti-Islamisierungs-Kongresses“ ihre Positionen zu Gehör bringen. Als Redner werden Ralph Giordano, Mina Ahadi und der Islamkritiker Hartmut Krauss auftreten.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

For Detti's Birthday We're Going into a Tent

Tipi - Das Zelt at the Chancellorette's Office, for a concert of Malediva, wine, cheese, bread, and a lot of fun!

Under this link there's a short snippet from one of their songs. Exquisitely camp, extravagantly Berlin, extraordinarily gay, exorbitantly cult, extensively fab.

A report on the evening will surely follow, Saturday evening that it is, the evening of my wonderful husband-partner-lover-friend's birthday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Playpen Doubly Redux

I'm sorry, but this all sounds far too playpenal to me. How do you spell her name? Sarah Palin? or is it actually Sarah Playpen? None too canny of Johnny mcCanny, I must say. But oh well, who's expecting miracles here? What would the President of Georgia think about this governor of a US state who wanted it to secede from the country? Remind anyone of South Ossetia? HO HUM! That's why she's down on untraditional relationships, I suppose. Let's redraw some nerve-endings here and let the playpen get nervous for a change.

The New York Times
U.S. / Politics
Disclosures on Palin Raise Questions on Vetting Process
By ELISABETH BUMILLER, Published: September 2, 2008
The disclosure that Gov. Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant was one of several revelations that called into question how well John McCain had screened her.

The Washington Post
No Surprises From Palin, McCain Team Says

The Boston Globe
Palin's daughter, 17, is pregnant
ST. PAUL - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin revealed yesterday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant - a disclosure made by John McCain's campaign in an effort to stop what it called "out of control" Internet rumors that Palin's youngest child actually was conceived by her daughter and that the Alaska governor faked her pregnancy to ...
Michael Kranish, September 2, 2008

The Christian Science Monitor
Palin daughter’s pregnancy shocks GOP convention
But delegates say situation humanizes the nominee for vice president.