Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good News Indeed !

Compliments on the passage and signing of the Ryan White Act for better treatement and help of people with HIV/AIDS !

And especially for finally allowing those infected to enter the country legally. How wonderful that they may now bring their medications along with them with no more fear of their being discovered by some hyperactive immigrations/customs officer and using them as grounds to deny that person's entry. Until today, if they wanted in, they had to forego their meds and/or simply never take a test at all.
Health care is something different. With proper treatment, no one need waste away with this infection anymore.
Thank you, Mr. President, for ending an order for whose rescenscion the bushbaby had, even confined to his playpen, signed legislation to provide the basis for last fall.

Obama Lifts a Ban on Entry Into U.S. by H.I.V.-Positive People
The New York Times, By JULIA PRESTON, Published: October 30, 2009
President Obama on Friday announced the end of a 22-year ban on travel to the United States by people who had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, fulfilling a promise he made to gay advocates and acting to eliminate a restriction he said was “rooted in fear rather than fact.”
President George W. Bush started the process last year when he signed legislation, passed by Congress in July 2008, that repealed the statute on which the ban was based. But the ban remained in effect.
It was enacted in 1987 at a time of widespread fear that H.I.V. could be transmitted by physical or respiratory contact. The ban was further strengthened by Congress in
1993 as an amendment offered by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina.
Once the ban is lifted, foreigners applying to become residents in the United States will no longer be required to take a test for AIDS.
In practice, the ban particularly affected tourists and gay men. Waivers were available, but the procedure for tourists and other short-term visitors who were H.I.V. positive was so complicated that many concluded it was not worth it.
For foreigners hoping to immigrate, waivers were available for people who were in a heterosexual marriage, but not for gay couples. Gay advocates said the ban had led to painful separations in families with H.I.V.-positive members that came to live in this country, and had discouraged adoptions of children with the virus.
Gay advocates said the ban also discouraged travelers and some foreigners already living in the United States from seeking testing and medical care for H.I.V. infection.
“We think this is going to give a very positive image of where the United States is going in terms of eliminating stigma and discrimination in relation to H.I.V.,” Dr. Socorro Gross, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization, said Friday.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October Outing

As in coming to an end, October has its final Friday and Pedro will be fetched home by Rudi, now that he's again (Pedro) become fully acclimatized to Weißensee and to snuggling under my chin.
Tomorrow, Halloween, we will guard the door to the house and distribute some sort of innocuous candy tidbits to those kids here who have succumbed to this outcropping of commercialism, US style, on the old side of the ocean.
Monday, with a new month, begins a new group of eager learners, who'd better all be as nice to me as it is claimed they are by nature.
IJ, L'I, & GA76 all carry over into the next month, as the Nobel prize winner continues to wait patiently for her turn.
(And my elder niece has been reminded that being a student, even of jurisprudence, still involves attending a class now and then. Could one expect her to prepare a brief? She could analyze the cdu-csu-fdp coalition contract to point out all the unclarities they agreed on; a classic example of a contract that defines little and regulates nothing.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pedro Shouldered

Before he's fetched back home tomorrow, Pedro's decided to spend some quality time on my shoulder while I'm working at the computer. Koko, not at all jealous, is enjoying his morning nap. And next week I get to shoulder a new group of students.
Shouldering is caring.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Unconstitutional This Year, But Not Next Year

--- At least that's what all those CDU-CSU-FDP coalescing coalitioners claim about the off-the-books budget for debts they want to create to be able to finance income-tax cuts. Although Wednesday they claimed such would somehow be more transparent, now they claim NOT doing so would be more transparent, until next year, when off-the-books again would be more transparent, because doing it this year would be unconstitutional while doing it next year somehow would not be. By then, the current law-and-order minister Schäuble will be, as the reports now claim, Finance Minister and can carry on with his perversions of the consitution in that office, always assuring every unconstitutional innovation he comes up with is consitutional as soon as he comes up with it. Anyhow, they're gonna give Germans a tax break and take the cost out of their hides for generations to come.... Stay tuned for more neo-liberal idiocy as a new coalition pulls all the old tricks out of the bag.

*See previous post below.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Schwarzgeldpartei will scharze Kasse

Ist es überraschend, daß die Partei der schwarzen Kohlgelder und des kochenden Parteibilanzfälschers nun eine schwarze Kasse aufmachen möchten, um die Kredite zu verstecken, die durch die Kreditbremse nicht erlaubt sind im "normalen" Haushalt? Die Kredibremse kam durch eine von genau dieser Partei befürwortete Verfassungsänderung zustande. Nur hat ihre zukünftige gelbe Koalitionspartnerin am Anfang dieses Jahres vor genau solchen Schattenhaushalten vehement ausgeprochen, wollte auch die Bremse, um neue Verschuldung des Staates zu verhindern. Leider sind die beiden von den wenigen Wählern gewählt worden und damit gezwungen, Steuersenkungen zu schenken. Da sie offenbar selbst nicht so erst glaubten an ihren Sieg, hatten sie scheinbar nie damit gerechnet, Steuersenkungen realisieren zu müssen. Und da ist das neue Problem: Keine Steuersenkungen auf Pump lautete noch ein Wahlversprechen. Wie bringt nun Schwarz-Gelb diese beiden sich widersprechenden Versprechungen in Einklang? Sie möchten einfach die Pumpe begraben, verstecken, verschatten.
Und diese Koalition soll sichern, daß die "Wirtschaft" berg auf geht?

Kritik am geplanten Schattenhaushalt

"Größter Haushaltsbetrug der Geschichte"
Der von Union und FDP geplante Schattenhaushalt für das Milliardendefizit der Sozialversicherungen stößt in der Opposition sowie bei Wirtschaftsfachleuten auf massive Kritik. Der Präsident des Deutschen Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung, Klaus Zimmermann, bezeichnete den geplanten Schattenhaushalt als schwarze Kasse. "Damit stellt sich die Koalition
einen Blankoscheck für haushaltspolitisches Fehlverhalten in den nächsten Jahren aus"', sagte er der "Süddeutschen Zeitung". [...]
Berlins parteiloser Finanzsenator Ulrich Nußbaum sprach von "Bilanzfälschung" und fügte hinzu: "Wenn ich in meinem Unternehmen auf diese Weise bilanzieren würde, wäre ich wegen Konkursverschleppung dran." Der Grünen-Haushaltsexperte Alexander Bonde sagte der "SZ": "Das ist der größte haushaltspolitische Betrug in der deutschen Geschichte."

Aber von diesen Rechnern und "Immer-Mehr-Fundamentalisten" hätte ich eh nichts anderes erwartet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sollers : Céline

Sur le tome de tous les écrits de Philippe Sollers sur Céline!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Repeated Recommendation

Finally, yesterday evening, we saw the haunting film by Lars von Trier, which I had already once placed on a must see list in an earlier posting here. Images of nightmarish beauty, indelible visions flow through the entire work. It is a horror film of high art, so artistic that you may not be able to bear it, far more upsetting than any hollywoodesque feature spook flick. And the entire film is in effect generated out of Händel's aria in the opera Rinaldo, "Lascia ch'io pianga", which provides the background music to the opening scene and underscores the entire movie. Antichrist is an exploration of witchcraft, motherhoold, analysis, reason, nature - and leaves no fear unfeared. It is a film you'll NEVER forget, if you are bold enough not to run out of the cinema somewhere along the way, as app. half of the audience did last night. We stayed and recommend this work of art. If you can read, you can watch it; if you can hear music, you will stay to the end.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Start With Berlusconi, Continue With Sarkozy, and Merkel?

Even the American press has finally picked up on the disaster area calling itself prime minister of Italy (see below); now one could move on to the incorrigible nepotism in France of smiley boy Sarko appointing his smiley boy son (incompleted university education and zero career experience) to the boss of the La Défense development corporation, state-run with billions of euros for a budget. One might even begin to consider what nonsense murky Merkel has perpetrated on Germany by attaining a continuation of her chancelloretteship with the aid of Westernwave, the pro-liberalization-of-banking-rules statue of liberty.
Just continue to think, and things will become clearer.

Why Italy Should Dump Berlusconi Newsweek International

The ultimate blame may lie with ordinary Italians. Author Umberto Eco wrote last month that the Italian public has accepted Berlusconi, and will accept the gagging of the press. "So why write about this when most Italians know very little—because the media, so tightly controlled by Berlusconi, tell them very little?" Eco asked. "The answer is simple. In 1931, Mussolini's Fascist regime made all 1,200 university professors swear fidelity. Only 12 refused, and lost their jobs … Those 12 saved the honor of our universities—and of our country. That's why you have to say no, even when it may do no good."
And that's why Italy must say no once more. And tell Silvio it's time to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Light Again

Once more, Berlin is lighting up the autumn evenings with color-bathed monuments and buildings throughout town. Here, through the link to "Festival of Lights 2009", you can even send your own message to be projected onto the Brandenburg Gate. This link shows the illumination of the Gate live from 7pm to midnight Berlin time and some recorded images at other times.
On a couple of the next evenings, we will go out and explore our city in its temporary illumination and upload some pix of our own.
Yesterday, as we had a nice day off to ourselves, we went up to Oraninenburg and explored the Palace there, though we didn't go through the Garden Show, because it was just too cold and cloudy. An Italian meal sufficed to send us the few kilometers back south to Berlin. And here are three pictures of the palace, beautifully restored and reopened to the public about a year ago.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reasoning, American Style

Reasoning Behind Obama's Peace Prize
By Robert Parry October 12, 2009
Okay, I’ll admit that when I first saw on the Internet that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize, I checked to make sure I hadn’t accidentally gone to The Onion’s satirical news site. But the more I think about it – and the more I hear the snickering from Official Washington – the more I appreciate what the prize committee did. [...]
So, maybe what the Nobel Peace Prize committee was trying to do was to get Obama’s back so the President could feel a bit safer in charting a new, less warlike course for the United States, no small feat for the American people and the rest of the world.
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  • Not bad for thinking it through from an American point of view, says this one who's often accused of being totally Europeanized (as if that were anything negative).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What for?

For all those asking this question with regard to Obama's designation as Nobel Peace Prize recipient in this year, I would first like simply to quote in its entirety the statement by the Norwegian Nobel Commitee that made the decision.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
Oslo, October 9, 2009
And if that doesn't satisfy you, try adding these reasons as well:
Obama is set on closing Guantánamo, an infringement of justice and great jeopardization of world peace as its mere existence feeds the flames of fanaticism and terrorism.
He has bridged the violent chasm of racial antagonism in the United States to attain by peaceful means the highest office of the land.
He is pulling down the troops in Iraq, from a war which never should have been started and now must be ended cautiously.
He refuses simply to throw masses of troops and weapons into Afghanistan, insisting on the necessity of nation-building, security measures, infrastructure, and rights and education in that country as a means of countering the threat of terrorism.
He recognizes the essentiality of multilateral discourse and international institutions to solve the problems facing the world today, from the United Nations to the World Bank to the G20, and participates as an equal partner rather than "master".
He has begun dialogue with North Korea and with Iran, without relinquishing any means of pressure the U.S. may have.
He has cancelled the starwars project that had so riled Russia as to provoke military tensions where none need any longer be. This is in itself a move for world peace.
And he has put an end to torture by governmental agencies, which was not only a threat in itself to any efforts for world peace but was a most violent attack on any principles of democracy and justice able to uphold peace.
Indeed, he is aware and a promoter of the correct idea that THINKING is the way humans should proceed in dealing with all questions and differences that may arise among them and that SPEAKING with each other is the wisest way to attempt to preserve and protect the world we all share.
Finally, he has put an end to one of the most dangerous organizations that threatened world peace, simply by becoming president: he has closed down the playpen!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Congratulations! And Do More!

Yes, the playpen is gone, and earnest attempts to improve the world we live in are again possible.

The Nobel Peace Prize for Obama is also an honor for the United States and all those there committed to justice and freedom, democracy and human rights, peace and true progress for humanity.
Continue, Mr. President, and prove you wear these laurels with all the honor they imply!

The New York Times
Obama Says He’s ‘Surprised and Humbled’ by Nobel Prize
President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” a stunning honor that came less than nine months after he made United States history by becoming the country’s first African-American president.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

For Your Consideration

« Il y a des choses très intéressantes sur les filles et leur mère, sujet à vrai dire inépuisable, comme le ressac. »

- PhS on Montherlant, L'Infini n°108
There are some very interesting things about daughters and their mother, quite honestly an inexhaustible topic, like undertow.

« Woher stammt die Lust an der Besinnungslosigkeit, die jede Gelegenheit zur Flucht in die Aktivität der Aktion bejubelt? »
- MH GA76, S.13
Where does the desire for unconsciousness (non-reflection) that cheers for every opportunity to flee into the activity of action come from?

Is the choice to phase out endlessly on something a free choice, all the way through?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There are seagulls there after all...

After waking up having dreamed the question as to why there are no seagulls in Palma, or anywhere else in Mallorca we had been, while lazing at, in, and by the pool Sunday, we looked up from our loungers and actually saw two or three flying way up high. Detlef said they probably just land in the mountains, but we had been in the mountains ourselves and never once caught a glimpse of one, not even flying, so I disputed that assertion.
Then, later in the afternoon, for one last little outing in town, we took a bus back down to the center of Palma, still near the shore, and strolled up a little park to the "river" Torrent sa Riera, where we saw quite a few seagulls bathing like sparrows in the birdpath of the concrete river bed and lounging on the grassy banks under palm trees, all protected by high stone walls and fences from people accessing the area in any way.
So Mallorca's seagulls have devolved into some kind of rain-floodwater-runoff-stream-gulls...

And that was definitly the last posting re this wonderfully relaxing vacation. (Koko gets another visit from Pedro as houseguest beginning Friday, by the way.)

From here on, its MH GA Bd.76, L'Infini n°108, and Infinite Jest mixed with writing and teaching and translating and just simply thinking which will be reflected here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cloisters, lizards, dams, and hikes - beach, too

On Friday and Saturday, two adventure days, one riding around with Renate through the mountains, and one just us today hiking across a mountain between two port towns here, Port Andratx and Sant Elm.
Here are the slides:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gore Vidal: "We'll have a dictatorship soon in the US" - Times Online

Gore Vidal: "We'll have a dictatorship soon in the US" - Times Online
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More than worth the read, and we can only hope his warnings and admonitions will, exceptionally enough, be heed to avert the consequences he foresees.

Thinking is an obligation! And it is also a joy!