Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You Can Add More to the List

Yes, in nearly all countries shaken by bank mismanagement and waste and fraud and swindle, you can easily add a lot more names to the list of those who should be fired by the responsible parties in the governments which are keeping those institutions afloat as systemic necessities. Indeed, the people are even more systemically necessary to the economy than any bank ever will be.
Watch the video on Bank of America's uppity boss:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thinking Again, and Happy About It !

Um das Bleibende stiften zu können, muß der Dichter selbst ein bleibender sein;
er muß das Eine vermögen, zu bleiben in dem Vielen, was in der langen Zeit zu
tragen und im Gesang zu sagen bleibt.
[MH GA Bd.52, §65, S.194]
And love indeed finds its essential base in words.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Human Rights Revisited in Geneva

The Durban Review Conference (20-24 April 2009) started this week in Geneva, Switzerland. It will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

Statement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the remarks by the President of Iran at the Durban Review Conference, 20 April 2009
I deplore the use of this platform by the Iranian President to accuse, divide and even
incite. This is the opposite of what this Conference seeks to achieve. This makes it significantly more difficult to build constructive solutions to the very real problem of racism.
It is deeply regrettable that my plea to look to the future of unity was not heeded by the Iranian President. At my earlier meeting with him, I stressed the importance of the Conference to galvanize the will of the international community toward the common cause of fight against racism.
I further stressed the need to look to the future, not to the past of divisiveness. In this regard, I reminded the President that the UN General Assembly had adopted the resolutions to revoke the equation of Zionism with racism and to reaffirm the historical facts of the Holocaust respectively.
We must all turn away from such a message in both form and substance. We must join hands and work together to achieve a constructive, substantive agenda to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The film below, in three parts in the French original, provides an excellent picture of the difficult struggle to preserve and expand human rights, making use of the only world-wide organization available to do so, despite venomous resistance and the attempts of many to exploit the Human Rights Commision of the UN.


La bataille des droits de l'homme
Retour sur la première édition de la conférence contre le racisme qui s'est tenue à Durban en 2001, où certaines interventions ont suscité une polémique internationale.
"Nous pensions aller à une réunion de l'ONU contre le racisme et nous avons assisté à un déchaînement raciste" : tel est le souvenir gardé par certains participants à la première conférence mondiale contre le racisme, la discrimination raciale, la xénophobie et l'intolérance qui s'est tenue à Durban (Afrique du Sud) en septembre 2001. Le conflit israélo-palestinien s'était invité à la tribune, des slogans pro-islamistes et antisémites avaient été lancés dans le cadre du forum des ONG, entraînant le départ des délégations d'Israël et des États-Unis... Pour remédier à ces dérives, l'ONU a refondé son Conseil des droits de l'homme en 2006. Le film pénètre dans les coulisses de ce nouveau Conseil, qui a toujours pour mission de mettre en oeuvre la Déclaration universelle de 1948. Mais la préparation de la conférence de Genève (dite Durban 2) révèle, selon les termes de Robert Badinter interrogé dans le film, que "les droits de l'homme sont redevenus le lieu d'un combat idéologique". Une bataille qui passe par la guerre des mots. Ainsi, la lutte contre le racisme doit-elle interdire de s'attaquer aux religions ? La question divisait les nations à la veille de Durban 2...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still Shining Into Our Lives!

August 30, 1926 - April 21, 2007

Looking back to smile into the future, pulling the past into now to ignite the flame of awareness, I am so privileged to have known you and carry you along with me in my loving wonder of existence and in the wonder of the great love I share with a partner who also received the warmth of your gaze.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Just So

Hello from one of the beaches in Berlin
to all those somewhere without such a fabulous blue sky.
Yesterday's little hike in town.
Just our celebration of the wonder of what is.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What It's All About . . .

» Es handelt sich darum, ob das Wesen des ungeschichtlich gewordenen planetarischen Menschen ins Wanken und damit in die Besinnung gebracht wird. «
[MH GA Bd.52, §2, S.6]

It's all about whether the essential being of the global human become unhistorical can be shaken
and thus brought into consideration.

Il s'agit de si l'aître essentiel de l'homme planétaire devenu non-historique peut être ébranlé et ainsi mis en considération.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Polish Easter for a German-American Berlin Couple

As the weather has continued to be non-stop warm and intensely blue skies, we spontaneously decided for a trip to Szcecin (Stettin) on Easter Sunday. And our idea was right: while here the city was bursting with tourists and Berliners vying for space in the sun and in front of landmarks, the train to Angermünde was full (many having headed for the cloister in Chorin or on to relatively close Baltic Sea beaches), but the little connector over the boarder and on to the former Hansa town of Stettin, now Szcecin, was basically empty, as was this charming Oder harbor town itself.
EVERYTHING except the churches was closed, with the exception of two restaurants and one cafe, all on the same terrace overlooking the river, where the Polish citizens came after church in their Easter finery for lunch or ice cream. And thank goodness for that, because we had begun to wonder if we'd be able to eat lunch anywhere at all. So the Colorado Steak House provided us with ample and quite tasty food, although the only thing Polish there was the beer, and the waitress seemed surprised that we wanted it, as Carlsberg was what they are trademarked as in that place.
We almost thought the picture taking would end, when our batteries gave out, but then near the station there was miraculously one 24-hour 7-day supermarket of sorts with the cheapest batteries I've ever found. We first bought a pack of four for 2.50 zloty, stuck them in the camera and it worked. Then we realized they had only cost us about 50 euro cents and decided to buy another pack; even if they only worked a couple of hours they'd be worth it. Well, the first two are still working today.
And it was a really very pleasant trip, hardly any people around at all, proving a devoutly Catholic country can provide a safe haven for urbanites seeking stress-free city sightseeing without encountering the mobs of their home metropolis. We may well return again.

Check out the photo documentation in the slide show here:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday in Berlin

Just beautiful, only pictures, as the whole city was simply one incredible live photo!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

La Grace...

La grace d'être né me donne toutes les graces imaginables, la grace entière enfin !

Et c'est pourquoi cela ne me dérange pas tellement que le mal au monde ne reste pas constant, la bonté non plus. Le mal s'étend sans que nous aidions ; mais la bonté ne s'accroît que quand nous, les hommes attentifs, l'attendons, lui ouvrons le sentier à nous.

Goodness gracious ! As my mother might have put it in her own trenchant way.

If we want the good, the beautiful, then let us look for it - always and everywhere !


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Thank you, is what I have to say to all those legislators in Vermont who have seen the light and understood how little effort it takes to do so much good for so many people. May the gay couples who wed in that state know many years of happy union and the legal protections, rights, and duties of wedlock.

Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage - NYTimes.com

I am very pleased to be in a country where civil unions are nationally recognized and administered by the same state offices which oversee marriages. There is still a ways to go to make all the rights and duties equal to those of married couples, though the most important are already in place.

Giving people their rights costs no one else anything. Rights are something you can give without giving up your own! That's one of the great things about human rights - for all, everywhere, now!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama Prague Speech On Nuclear Weapons

Obama Prague Speech On Nuclear Weapons: FULL TEXT

We are here today because enough people ignored the voices who told them that the world could not change.
We're here today because of the courage of those who stood up and took risks to say that freedom is a right for all people, no matter what side of a wall they live on, and no matter what they look like.
The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. No nuclear war was fought between the United States and the Soviet Union, but generations lived with the knowledge that their world could be erased in a single flash of light. Cities like Prague that existed for centuries, that embodied the beauty and the talent of so much of humanity, would have ceased to exist.
Today, the Cold War has disappeared but thousands of those weapons have not. In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up. More nations have acquired these weapons. Testing has continued. Black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound. The technology to build a bomb has spread. Terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one. Our efforts to contain these dangers are centered on a global non-proliferation regime, but as more people and nations break the rules, we could reach the point where the center cannot hold.
Now, understand, this matters to people everywhere. One nuclear weapon exploded in one city -- be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague -- could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be -- for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival.
Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked -- that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction. Such fatalism is a deadly adversary, for if we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable.
Just as we stood for freedom in the 20th century, we must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from fear in the 21st century. (Applause.) And as nuclear power -- as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.
So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. (Applause.) I'm not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly -- perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, "Yes, we can." (Applause.)
Let's indeed nudge the world in the proper direction, think and work to maintain existence and share humanity, ensure peace and eliminate threats to it.
Thank you Barack!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

No Blue Flowers, but...

...some shots of another mountain and a stream valley where we got out in the warm weather today.
And wouldn't you know there was an Italian restaurant with an all you can eat buffet waiting for us at exactly lunch time and, as chance would have it, precisely at the end of the street Detlef once lived on!
The photos are a poor excuse, because things are growing by the second here now that it's finally become securely warm. The leaves on the chestnut in front of this window have grown since I sat down at the computer to upload and share these pictures. I swear! Tomorrow they'll be the size of a child's hand. And the forsythia is bursting into bloom branch by branch and hour by hour in the garden out back.
Yes, it IS SPRING!

Friday, April 3, 2009


has finally sprung here in Berlin,
after keeping us waiting so long.
There are vast areas of the Tiergarten
(the large park in the center of town)
in little blue flowers,
so much so that you'd think it was the richest deep blue sea you've ever seen.
Which also means it's time to get out in this wonderful sunshine rather than blogging on.
Pictures will be collected on the weekend,
and especially the burgeoning of a new season will be wantonly wallowed in.
I hope you all know how lucky you are
when you can see such simple wonders
as a budding tree or a lake of blue flowers on the lawn