Sunday, June 28, 2009

Liberty - individual, singular, for all

Read this piece, a lecture on individual liberty by Julia Kristeva in China in February of this year, published in the latest issue of L'Infini, n°107.
Here, only short extracts, perhaps later to be anglicized in this blog:

A l’horizon du monde moderne, il importe aujourd’hui d’insister sur cette deuxième conception de la liberté – qui se donne dans l’Etre de la Parole à travers la Présence du Soi à l’Autre
celle qui privilégie la quête identitaire indéfiniment reconstructible, ouverte et favorisant la singularité, à l’encontre des certitudes et impératifs identitaires, économiques ou scientifiques.
Cette singularité de chaque homme, de chaque femme dans ce qu’il ou elle a d’incommensurable, irréductible à la communauté, et en ce sens de « génial » ; cette singularité dont l’émergence et le respect sont parmi les acquis les plus étonnants de la culture européenne, et qui constitue le fondement ainsi que la face intime des droits de l’homme.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Christopher Street Day

Since it's CSD in Berlin today, I have no time to post anything more than this statement that today is the day for every one to strut their stuff in Berlin and show that LGBTs are here to stay and have a right to every right that anyone else has.
Love is where the heart is!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Heiko's 60 Kilometer Race

We watched as Lea swelled with pride when her dad, Heiko, came across the finish line today in the Skoda Velothon, managing 60 kilometers in 1 hour and 50 minutes.
And here some photographic evidence:
Ergebnisse ŠKODA Velothon Berlin 60km
Name Siegel, Heiko (GER)
Platz 1355
Pl.AK 419
Nr. 14502
Ankunft 10:16:31
Endzeit 01:50:20
∅ km/h 32.63
Next year, Malte gets to come and watch, too!

World's Biggest Prison for Journalists

Reporters Sans Frontières
Repression stepped up yet again as Iran becomes world’s biggest prison for journalists
Published on 20 June 2009
The Islamic Republic of Iran now ranks alongside China as the world’s biggest prison for journalists. The crackdown has been intensified yet again following Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s endorsement yesterday of the result of the 12 June presidential election and the opposition’s decision to call another demonstration today.
Iran now has a total of 30 journalists and cyber-dissidents in its jails, while journalists who could not be located at their homes have been summoned by telephone by Tehran prosecutor general Said Mortazavi.
“The force of the demonstrations in Tehran is increasing fears that more Iranian journalists could be arrested and more foreign journalists could be expelled,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The regime has been visibly shaken by its own population and does not want to let this perception endure. That is why the media have become a priority target.”
The press freedom organisation added: “The international community cannot continue to ignore the situation. It must have a clear and unanimous reaction that is proportionate to the gravity of these events. And there will never be any question of recognising the results of the 12 June election.”

Trying to access most of the sites linked in the Reporters Without Borders piece linked here will simply leave you in an internet nivana of "oops broken site" or "inaccessible". Tear down the walls!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Let the World SEE ...

... SEE what's going on in Iran. And may all there be spared violence and soon enjoy freedom in all its facets and slowly emerge from the shadows of fundamentalistic fearful religiosity into the bright light of contemplative thought, love, and joy in life!

Here you can add your voice to a UN petition calling for the Secretary-General to undertake all necessary steps to ensure that a truly free and legitimate election takes place in Iran. Certainly, the charges of misconduct and electoral fraud MUST be examined and appropriate measures taken to make the choice between the 4 candidates (of more than 200) even allowed by the "council" truly legitimate!

Green ?

For those demonstrating for more democracy, justice, and human rights in Iran, we should all express our support. This is my frail effort to express my admiration for their courage and my encouragement for them to continue their struggle against the manifestations of tyranny - religious and secular - in Iran.


And for everyone else: when you see their slogan, you should ask yourself where YOURS is if you didn't bother to vote in whatever election you were last entitled to have participated in. Hang your head in shame if you didn't vote!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Words, Paroles, Worte, Parole

The welcomed arrival of L'Infini n° 107 today was my present upon returning from classes yearning for something beyond the bounds of English and German. There it is, next to this keyboard, and the post will be short, the reading long, the enjoyment infinite....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Russia

The Russian National Holiday yesterday coincided with the opening of the German-Russian Folk Festival in Berlin Karlshorst.
And we enjoyed the pelmeni, the blini, the sashlyk, the kwas...
And the entertaiment was fab: nice to have this festival that offers so much culture on the stage!

And as birthday wishes to Russia and its people:
Equal rights for all its citizens, including homosexuals...
Ever more democracy and self-determination...
Justice in full...
Freedom of the press and cultural expression!
That will do.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On Art in Film / Von der Kunst im Film / De l'art du filme !

Though I had never before thought too highly of the highly commercial(ized) film, theater, and opera director Doris Dörie, I have now recognized the ARTIST she is, evidenced in this moving film which we finally watched Saturday evening:

Kirschblüten - Hanami
Cherry Blossoms - Hanami

The trailer shown here will, I hope, entice you to watch this film, if you haven't seen it already, but it does not really give a good idea of the incredible aesthetics of the film, apparently instead going for a mass commercial audience by emphasizing pathos and humor and sentimentality, which are indeed all there,
this film also and primarily is a perfect composition of pictures and movements which move the story, which are explained by and explain the story, images and plot essential complements to one another. The incredible beauty of the images is made all the more so by their interspersal with images of the ugliness of our age, of family spitefulness, of urban hideousness, of stuffy provincialism. Here the serene simplicity of Japanese high culture is captured on film and will captivate anyone who sees it.
Let the cherry blossoms rustle in this movie for you, observe the subtle motions of characters learning to live on the edge of death, and watch for the shy mountain to reveal itself !
This is a work of highest art ! Don't miss it !

Sunday, June 7, 2009

EU Parliament Elections

Today is election day for the European Parliament in most EU countries and concludes the vast election that began earlier in the week in some countries with other traditional voting days.

Parliamentary democracy is the vital key to human rights and justice, places legislative power firmly in the hands of the electorate through those representatives they choose.

Vote if you can and watch the results and refer to other information on this election and the EU Parliament under this link.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Remember June 4, 1989, The Massacre on Tiananmen Square

The words in the title of this post alone will be used by the current Chinese government as grounds to block access to this blog by anyone accessing the internet from China. Still today there are no reports available there about the 1,000,000 people who protested on that square in the center of Peking, for freedom, justice, democracy; no reports about the at least 2,600 people killed there as the Chinese "People's" Army crushed the protest with tanks. The Chinese did not attain what was achieved here in Germany later that year, where, luckily, some officials in the GDR, enough, refrained from using violence against the protesters in Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin, and the Wall fell. In China, freedom of opinion, access to information, equal justice, and human and civil rights are still denied the population by a "Communist" party run commando-capitalist authoritarian state.
And the world let these despots host the Olympic Games last year in the "hope" that there would be progress on human rights. There has been none. May that flame of freedom and human rights, which flickered on Tiananmen Square from April 15 to June 4, 1989, finally illuminate the path to freedom, justice, and human rights for the Chinese!

JUNE 4, 1989

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This Proclamation Deserves Acclamation!

President Obama has proclaimed the month of June LGBT Pride Month, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. From drag queens using handbags to fight off brutal policemen trying to harass a gay bar in Greenwich Village, gays & lesbians have advanced greatly in their achievement of rights enjoyed by the rest of the population. There is still a ways to go, and civil unions are just one step to the full equalization of gay relationships with hetero pairings.

It is wonderful that Barack Obama has taken the time to express his solidarity with this large segment of humanity. I would like to thank him expressly here.

We are proud to be gay and determined to achieve equal rights in all aspects everywhere around the globe!

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 1, 2009
- - - - - - -
Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.
LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.
Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.
The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.
My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.
These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
A President we can be proud of!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Koko Pleased ...

Home again are we and Koko is, too, hand-delivered by Lea and her dad Heiko, arriving hardly 15 minutes after us. Koko was as usual vocally happy to see us, and Lea was visibly sad to have to return him, but she has exacted from us the promise to let Koko spend all our vacations in future with her and in her care, of course their schedule coinciding. She really enjoyed having a parrot for a week, and received a little pendant with amber stones from the Baltic fashioned on our island of Hiddensee as a thank-you present for babysitting.

More photos have been added to the slide show in the first post from the island, so take a look again or click it to access the picassa album.

Tomorrow will see a return to the routine, but you know what? We're glad to be home again, because it really is the site of our great life in love together! Love and you live a lot better.