Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Gay Rights ARE Civil Rights"

Julian Bond is to be praised for his speech, to which you ALL should take the time to listen ! His message is, "Gay rights are civil rights!" and should be afforded without limitation. Here s the link to the Advocate for the video so you can watch and listen to it yourself.
And here Bond's statement for the NAACP on the infamous infringement of civil rights by California's proposition 8:
"The NAACP has long opposed any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any groups or individuals from guarantees of equal protections," said NAACP chairman Julian Bond in a press release. "We urge the legislature to declare that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper protective process and should be overturned as an invalid alteration that vitiated crucial constitutional safeguards and fundamental American values, threatening civil rights and all vulnerable minorities."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Paradise, Hell, Vintage, Intoxication, Grief, the End

Yes, the new issue of L'Infini has arrived !

And here to tempt the English speaking readers of this note, rough translations of the titles of the contributions in this issue of Printemps 2009 (spring), N°106:

Hidden Paradise, Céline in Hell, Vintage Mauriac, Claudel's Intoxication by Ph.Sollers; Grief Diary by Roland Barthes; Artist's Young Man in Portrait by Pierre Guglielmina; Situations: Venitian Chronicles by Marcelin Pleynet; Simone de Beauvoir and Suffering by Catherine Cusset; The Dead Man by Emmanuel Moses; The Chorus of Hosea, The Book of Hosea by Franz De Haes; Philippe Sollers' "Paradise" by Thierry Sudour; Critique of Some of La Rochefoucauld's Maxims by Marquis Luc de Vauvenargues; At the End by Patrick Amine

The intense pleasure of close reading continues!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trying to have a spring outing...

Well, the crocuses are blooming everywhere in grassy areas where no one walks, best on the medians in the center of the avenues, a riot of white yellow and vivid violet, so yesterday we decided to head to the southern rim of the city to a little "mountain" (big hill) called "Dörferblick" (Villages View). In this absolutely flat area, this rise must have been created from the rubble in the city carted there (as is the case of many such "mountains" in Berlin) after WWII as rebuilding began. There is nothing higher anywhere, and some sort of nature has reclaimed this hill, scraggy trees and bushes, just now beginning to bud out some. From up there you can see the "villages" all around this southern outcropping of Berlin, including the one with the airport Schönefeld. But it's all a bit to flat and barren to offer much in the way of beauty. Nonetheless, we had a nice long afternoon out in relatively mild, if extremely windy, weather. And from here on in, it should be getting better.
And now for the slide show evidence...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Giving Hope a Chance

How refreshing to have a US President who talks with others in the world, who is man enough to extend an olive branch even to those who often taunt enlightened democracy, freedom, and humann rights. May this be the beginning of a successful campaign to restore many renegade states to civilization and respect for the rights of man!

Obama's remarks, today, were on the occasion of Nowruz, a New Year's celebration holiday, particularly in Iran. That country he invites to cooperate for a world of peace and mutual partnership and exchange, reminding them that

"in the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago: 'The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.'
With the coming of a new season, we're reminded of this precious humanity that we all share. And we can once again call upon this spirit as we seek the promise of a new beginning."

This link is to a transcript of the video address you can watch above.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good News for Human Rights !

US to Support UN Gay Rights Declaration News
By Julie Bolcer

The Obama administration will support a United Nations declaration affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity are included in international human rights protections, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday evening.
According to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Congress was still being
notified, the Obama administration had reviewed the reasons why the Bush administration opposed the declaration, and decided to notify the French sponsors that the United States would support it.
One official said that the United States was concerned about "violence and human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual individuals" and was also "troubled by the criminalization of sexual orientation in many countries."
The United States did not join more than 60 countries that signed the historic declaration in
December, putting the country in the company of gay rights opponents such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and the Vatican. The Bush administration rejected the non-binding declaration on technical legal grounds concerning federal and state jurisdiction over gay rights.

Latex Never Helped Anyone !

Of course maledictus is right again and oh so horribly honorable in his reminder to Africans that condoms (disgusting! made of latex! eeee! you can use them as water balloons!) do NOT help in the fight against AIDS.

Of course, because the maledictus organization NEEDS ever more people infected with HIV in Africa so they can send their nuns and monks and priests in to help those horrible sinners and thereby gain (the nuns, monks, priests, that is) plus points for charity and thus pass more quickly through purgatory and into the higher spheres of paradise.

So give those poor charity workers a chance to secure their personal salvation by throwing away your condoms and contracting a serious disease in a third-world country today! They can then care for you to your death and earn brownie points in the sky.

And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you should. It's your life and your world at stake here, too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Keeping Promises, Extending Rights

Follow the link below to call on President Obama to uphold his campaign promise to provide LGBT couples full equality under the law in the United States. The time is NOW !

The link, where you can sign the letter, is to the Courage Campaign with the following text:

Keep your promise, President Obama
Tell the President to allow same-sex partners of federal employees
to receive health benefits
As the New York Times reported on Thursday, "two judges of the federal appeals court in California said that employees of their court were entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers." But, citing the "Defense of Marriage Act," the federal Office of Personnel Management has instructed insurers not to provide the benefits ordered by the judges.
President Obama is now faced with a choice -- to uphold the benefit ban or keep his campaign promise to enforce equal rights. Last year, in a letter to San Francisco's Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, he reaffirmed his support for providing federal
equal rights to same-sex couples:

"I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law." -- Senator Barack Obama, in a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, March 2008

President Obama now has the opportunity to keep his promise and allow the federal government to provide health benefits to all same-sex partners and spouses of federal employees.

Please sign on to this letter to President Obama as soon as possible:

Dear President Barack Obama,Your historic election to the presidency shows that any barrier to equality in America can be overcome. We were especially pleased that you demonstrated a clear commitment to ending discrimination by speaking out in support of "extending (full) equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law."
Unfortunately, your predecessors did not share this commitment, as they discriminated against gay and lesbian federal employees by denying them the same benefits that
partners and spouses of their heterosexual colleagues receive. Now, you have an opportunity to provide a fresh start and make good on your campaign commitment
to equality.
We, the undersigned, call upon you to allow the federal government to provide the same health benefits to same-sex spouses and partners of federal employees that other federal employee spouses receive. We promise to support you in this effort, especially in the likely event that right-wing opponents attack you for implementing equal rights for all federal employees.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Stop the Killing !

Stop the nonsense of pointing weapons at other people and firing! Just stop it. Take them out of the hands of any and everyone who doesn't need them professionally, i.e. for law enforcement, military operations, security needs carefully controlled by courts and lawmakers.
Whether in Baden-Würtemberg in Germany or in the US, this idiocy of someone getting his gun and showing up somewhere just to shoot people, or to fire at them while driving past, then only to kill himself afterwards MUST cease. Suicide is bad enough: Life is SO wonderful we have nothing more precious! But taking others along for the ride is simply abhorrent.
Let us think about being and its joy and instill this in all others on this planet!

Libération 12/03/2009
édito de Philippe Sollers

Des jeunes gens encagoulés pénètrent dans un lycée à Gagny. Ils cherchent quelqu’un qu’ils vont sérieusement tabasser et blesser. C’est une danse misérable avec barres de fer et couteaux. Le lendemain, en Allemagne, un jeune homme de 17 ans entre dans un collège et commence à tirer au pistolet, tuant, avant d’être abattu par la police, une quinzaine de personnes. Si ces phénomènes, notamment le dernier, se passaient aux Etats-Unis, cela nous paraîtrait presque banal. Mais la violence qui commence à éclater dans la société notamment à l’école tendrait à prouver que c’est le système social tout entier qui est touché en profondeur. On nous parle tous les jours, en temps de crise, du malaise de la jeunesse, de son sentiment de n’avoir désormais aucun avenir, et par la même occasion, on sait bien que l’organisation de la répression et de la résignation est mal cachée par les bonnes paroles ou les pseudo-effets d’annonces contradictoires de tel ou tel ministre. Je suis jeune, j’ai l’impression que tout est bloqué pour moi, je ne crois plus un mot de ce qu’on me raconte, je sens autour de moi une atmosphère empoisonnée de conformisme et de bêtise, mon existence n’a plus aucun sens, et surtout pas celle que les différents pouvoirs prétendent lui donner. Remède radical : les Mémoires de Claude Lanzmann, sous le titre le Lièvre de Patagonie. Ce livre, qui décrit une grande vie, est d’abord un chef-d’œuvre littéraire. Au contraire de tout ce qui se passe aujourd’hui, Lanzmann écrit : «J’aime la vie à la folie, cent vies ne me lasseraient pas.»

The final sentence, quoting Lanzmann, whose memoirs Sollers recommends reading as an antidote to distress over the current world, translates roughly into a maxim I can and DO completely subscribe to:

"I am madly in love with life; not even a hundred lives would tire me out!"

I might also add another suggestion for discovering the joy of life in reading: Sollers' own Grand beau temps, a smiling collection of aphorisms.

And also, try a touch of love and a smile. They work absolute wonders!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Too Little Too Late

Maledictus thinks he can excuse THIS by waiting so long and not admitting what a reactionary action his resitution of the Pius Brotherhood of Mr. Lefebvre to communion represents. In case you haven't realized how horrid what Mr. Williamson said is, how disgustingly he denied the Shoah, the youtube link is above, and the video itself is below in this blog post.

In Letter to Bishops, Pope Admits ‘Mistakes’ -

Pope Benedict XVI has written an unusually personal letter to bishops worldwide explaining why he revoked the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop and admitting mistakes in how the Vatican handled the case.
Die Kirchenleitung in Rom veröffentlichte einen Brief des Papstes zur Aufhebung der Exkommunikation von vier Bischöfen der umstrittenen Pius-Bruderschaft. Darin drückte Benedikt XVI. offiziell sein Bedauern über die entstandenen Irritationen im christlich-jüdischen Verhältnis aus. Zudem räumte er Fehler im Vatikan ein. In Deutschland stieß der Brief des Papstes auf positive Reaktionen.
La forme et le ton sont inhabituels et soulignent l'ampleur du séisme vécu par l'Eglise catholique ces dernières semaines. Un mois et demi après la levée des excommunications, le 21 janvier, de quatre évêques intégristes, parmi lesquels un négationniste, le pape Benoît XVI a rendu publique, jeudi 12 mars, une longue lettre aux accents personnels dans laquelle il justifie ce geste controversé.
La missive de sept pages adressée à tous les évêques de l'Eglise catholique revient sur les défauts d'explications et les "erreurs" commises dans ce dossier.
Benoît XVI y reconnaît d'emblée que sa décision de tendre la main à un courant schismatique, la Fraternité Saint-Pie X, qui refuse les orientations du concile VaticanII, "a suscité une discussion d'une véhémence telle qu'on n'en avait plus connue depuis longtemps".
Maledicuts also says here that the Vatican must pay more attention to the internet, as well he should indeed, and now, as promised, the horror statements of a so-called bishop who has been welcomed back into the bosom of the church:

All that is necessary to demonstrate how shameful Mr. Williamson is and how easily he could learn the truth is to view Claude Lanzman's beautiful film from 1985, SHOAH. The trailer follows:

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Reader

The Reader
is a film worth seeing. The trailer is in the link, the film is better the less you know.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reading finished, but always on the line

Ligne de risque n°24 has been digested, and the thoughts from it will burgeon out here and everywhere else I appear with my words.
It is always my hope to help "lever les voiles qui nous font voir les choses de façon imaginaire" so that we all may each day be just a little less ignorant and forgetful.
Thanks to Yannick Haenel and François Meyronnis for putting together this occasional publication of so few pages and so enormously much thought!
[There should be a multilingual edition at least including German and English. I'd be willing to work for that!]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Book Questions Are My Kind of Question

You're packing your bag for that other desert island—the one with no electricity—what 5 books do you take with you? stolen from Darth Rachel.
(These are my very serious answers!)

1. William Shakespeare: The Riverside Edition of the Complete Works, all in one volume, second edition, because it's several lifetimes and the best of the English language.

2. Dante: La Divina Commedia: single volume edition, because it includes the entire world up to 1300 and is the best of the Italian language.

3. Martin Heidegger: Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), because all of Being is there to be enowned and considered.

4. Philippe Sollers: Grand beau temps, because it's a collection of pithy aphorisms, quotes, from my favorite living and the best French author, who also manages to encapsulate the wisdom of the ages in his own words.

5. My own notebook, not out of conceit, but because I fear it must be counted as a book, and I couldn't live without it, in whatever incarnation it currently has, and it enables me to expand my realm of language endlessly.


Phrases to Like

I can't help it, I just love these little snippets of things, picked up, read, here and there, and worth remembering, spreading, preserving. Some are my own variation on a theme.
1. Ich bin so platt wie eine Äußerung der nicht anwesenden Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel.
(of which I could extract, reform, the following English version: "That's as flat as a statement by the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, who isn't here.")
2. in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni
(This alone makes Guy Debord worth reading. To help you comprehend, consider "Able was I ere I saw Elba.")
3. "Maus war weg, Mutter unterwegs."
(I just like it.)
4. Time to replace the bacteria in this remote control.
(Think about it.)
5. Time spreads over us like a dome, an incubator, hatches this and that, and now and then someone actually does something.
(This is its own comment.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Tyson Gone...

The Countess' brother Henry, my dear uncle has chuckled with us the last time and left us one day after his birthday. We won't be able to go to the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet together anymore!

Henry C. Tyson Jr.
Mr. Henry C. Tyson, Jr., 81, died Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel by the Rev. Clint White. Burial will follow in Pinewood Memorial Park. Henry was a native of Pitt County and a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. He was employed with the Sunbeam Bread Company, retiring in 1993. Henry was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Mary Ida Tyson; two sisters, Lou Streetman and Rose T. Gardner; and a brother, the Rev. Aaron G. Tyson. His is survived by his wife of 53 years, Wilma Owens Tyson; two sons, Todd Tyson and Mike Tyson and wife, Sheri, all of Greenville; a granddaughter who was the light of his life, Katie Lynn Tyson; brother, Amos Tyson of Farmville; and four sisters, Carrie T. Davis of Hickory, Sally T. Mozingo and Mary T. Smith, both of Farmville, and Addie Parker Williams of Rocky Mount. The family will receive friends from 4:30-6:30 p.m. today at Wilkerson Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be to made to Wesley United Methodist Church, c/o Brenda Albritton, 6361 Stantonsburg Road, Farmville, NC 27828. On-line condolences at

Published in The Daily Reflector on 3/1/2009