Friday, February 26, 2010

Rap français alsacien contre le Front National !

Hoorah for this French Alsatian rap against the Front National (fascistic neo-nazi party) using images of their village Ammerschwihr for the campaign posters of Patrick Binder, the head of the party list for the regional elections coming up in Alsace. This is true antifascist work by the kids in the town! They deserve high praise for mobilizing their town against racism and hatred! Let us all hope that the Front National receives as few votes as possible!

Allow ALL Americans Health Care !

It is past time to enact comprehensive health care reform in the United States to enable ALL its citizens to have access to affordable health care, no matter how ill they may be, no matter what their job is, no matter where they live. Going to the doctor when you're ill, receiving treatment in a hospital for major illness should not result in personal bankrupcy. Stop protecting the rich against the poor: the rich can pay for whatever they want anyway; society is responsible for its weakest members, need not be concerned with those "above" it.

Editorial - After the Health Care Summit -

Here is a basic fact: If the House Democrats voted tomorrow to approve the Senate bill, health care reform would become the law of the land.
The president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi should push the House to accept the fundamentally sound Senate bill. If they still cannot garner enough votes from their own caucus, they should alter the Senate bill slightly with parallel legislation that could be passed with budget reconciliation.
Mr. Obama needs to keep explaining to Americans that this health care reform is critical — to give them security, to hold down costs and ease the strain on federal budgets. His main challenge, and his best chance, for passing it is to get his own party in line.

Obama's plan spells hope for those suffering disease with no hope of treatment, and you could become one of them if you lose your job and thus your insurance or if your insurance decides to cancel your policy when the treatment of your disease becomes too expensive! Of course, hospice measures, palleative only, are available to all. Not even D.A.F. de Sade could have dreamed of something as cynical as that: promise to die within a year and we'll pay to eliminate pain for you...

At summit, Republicans prove they aren't putting America's health first - Washington Post

The most important thing Republicans think is that if there are Americans who can't afford the insurance policies that private insurers are willing to offer, then that's their problem -- there's nothing the government or the rest of us should do about it. [...]
That was their clear message Thursday. It was their message during all those years when their party controlled Congress and the White House and they did nothing and said nothing about the plight of the uninsured. And it is clear that they would continue to do nothing if, by some miracle, Democrats were to drop their plan or embark on a more modest approach. For Republicans, the uninsured remain invisible Americans, out of sight and out of mind.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All the All of Life

Shakespeare, according to Salmon Rushdie, with whom I here modestly agree, provides a daunting model of juggling everything at once in a literary work.

Or, as in the concluding line to one of his sonnets: And thou, all they, hast all the all of me!

Could This Be Their Credo?

For the arrogant attitude of the Fully Dum Party polemicists only concerned with sitting in a "cool" office (geil!) and wallowing in unearned wealth and luxury (Strandbar, Presseball), for the Republicans who would rather see people suffer and/or go bankrupt than have a chance to be cured from serious illness (insurance company tea party!), for all those who obnoxiously envy those who have less than they do for having anything at all that they themselves are ineligible for (shit, too rich for welfare!), I may well have stumbled onto the principle on which they operate.
It is included in D.A.F. de Sade's Les infortunes de la vertu [Paris: Gallimard 1970/folio 1977, p.95]. When asked if his refusal to assist the unfortunate in any way - either personally or with state aid - ultimately means they should simply perish, M.Dubourg blithely replies:

«Qu'importe? il y a plus de sujets qu'il n'en faut en France; le gouvernement qui voit tout en grand s'embarrasse fort peu des individus, pourvu que la machine se conserve.»

So apparently, substituting the country name Germany, believes Mr. Westernwave, who quite clearly sees the big picture and is only concerned with operation of the machine sufficient to ensure himself and his dum party friends well-paid governmental positions for which they have neither aptitude nor interest. Why should he be concerned with individual plights outside his party membership rosters?
Republicans against health insurance for all in the US substitute another country's name as they consider the big picture of donation from insurance lobbyists, bonus payments, and stock dividends as opposed to those poor individual subjects suffering catastrophic illness. There are too many of them anyway, and their demise would relieve the economy.
Another diatribe by one of Sade's heroes of vice, Dalville, provides the script Westernwave uses in claiming that recipients of Hartz IV are forbodings of socialism and are in fact simply lazy do-nothings who want money without working, when he explains why any assistance to them is anathema:

«C'est travailler à une égalité dangereuse pour la société, c'est encourager l'indolence et la fainéantise, c'est apprendre au pauvre à voler l'homme riche, quand il plaira à celui-ci de lui refuser son secours, et cela par l'habitude où ce secours aura mis le pauvre de l'obtenir sans travail.» [ibid., p.218]
"It would mean striving for equality which would be fatal to society and encouraging idleness and sloth. It would teach the poor to pick the pocket of any rich man who chose not to give them charity, a lesson the more easily learnt from the habit they would acquire of expecting to have money without working for it." [translation from Wordsworth Classic Erotica edtion]

Perhaps it is not even ironic to find the core philosophy of these beasts in an utterance of one of the "villains" of a more than 200-year-old work by the Marquis de Sade. It could simply be that these so-called politicians are sadists in a sense far worse than the old marquis could have ever imagined.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Roman Decadence and Modern Poverty

Oh, dear, Mr. Westernwave! Are you simply determined to prove how hardheaded and dum your FullyDumParty really is? Roman decadence, which you claim Germany will follow into the late version of, should recipients of social welfare support continue to get as much money as some of the poorly paid workers, who receive so little because your party is opposed to any and all form of minimum wage legislation, resulting in them having to run to the dole for help, a subsidy for cheapskate employers placed on the shoulders of those you like to criticize... But anyway, Roman decadence was the overly luxurious behavior of the elite there, fiddling as Rome burned, enjoying luxury as the borders were stormed, ignoring the calls to help from those in all forms of need. It seems the Roman-style decadents are rather the clients and beneficiaries of your policies: hoteliers with reduced VAT, those opting out of the solidarity-based health insurance system for cheaper premiums for the well and young and healthy and beautiful, not even to mention those shipping their money out of the country into the banks of Switzerland etc. to avoid paying any taxes on it where they "earned" it. And yes, one indication of Roman decadence was Caesars's appointment of an ASS to the position of consul, something Heiner Geißler quite correctly correlated with your appointment to the position of Foreign Minister. And, Mr. Westernwave, there is NOTHING MORE DECADENT than envying people who have LESS than you.
May the video remind you, too, of who the real ass is!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BHL vs Botulism

Because I love the French in all of their philosophical playfulness!

L'hommage des Amis de Botul à BHL (Mediapart)
Uploaded by Mediapart. - Watch the latest news videos.

Charles Bremner - Times Online - WBLG: Bernard-Henri Lévy comes a cropper with fake philosopher

Frédéric Pagès (born 1950) is a French journalist noted for his work with the satirical weekly, Le Canard enchaîné. He wrote two books of spoof philosophy under the name Jean-Baptiste Botul:

  • La Vie sexuelle d'Emmanuel Kant. Éditions Mille et une nuits. 1999.
  • Nietzsche ou le démon de midi. Éditions Mille et une nuits. 2004.

He founded the "Association of Friends of Jean-Baptiste Botul" to promote this fictious philosopher and his school of "Botulism". In 2010, the hoax caught out the well-known philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, whose book De la guerre en philosophie used Botul as the primary source for his attack on Kant.

Waiting for it go online...

But in the States you can watch the broadcast tomorrow evening, a White House Performance in homage to the music of the Civil Rights Movement:
In Performance at the White House PBS

Monday, February 8, 2010

Do You Want to See It Completely Lost ?

I would prefer to keep it operational...

Op-Ed Columnist - America Is Not Yet Lost -

The truth is that given the state of American politics, the way the Senate works is no longer consistent with a functioning government. Senators themselves should recognize this fact and push through changes in those rules, including eliminating or at least limiting the filibuster. This is something they could and should do, by majority vote, on the first day of the next Senate session.

So stop thinking obstruction of government is good government! And this message is also valid for many European parliaments, and of course for the F.ully P.arty's continuing harping on a coalition treaty instead of understanding the realities of the country and the world they live in. 11% of the vote never meant control of the country would fall into their hands, nor did it give them a mandate to alter social systems they would prefer to abandon to pocket the money for more yachts somewhere beyond the reach of the tax office!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Before They Melt ...

On Schloßplatz, the site of the old (new) Palast der Republik where the new (old) Stadtschloß is to be rebuilt with the exterior it had in the Kaiser period and where between demolition and new construction a temporary lawn has been laid which is now a gigantic snowfield, as it has been since December 27 last, more and more SNOWMEN have been built. So today, on the bus on the way home, I snapped a couple of shots of them before the gradually warming (+1°C) weather relegates them to history...
From Berlin views

From Berlin views

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't Let Them Get Away With It !

There are currently many politicians running around in the world trying to hinder or censor YOUR access to information and deny YOU your right to express your opinion freely.
Among them are:

  • Nicolas Sarkozyof France, with an office in the Élyssée to monitor anything printed or broadcasted that he dislikes or deems contrary to his opinion.
  • Silvio Berlusconi, now attempting to forbid ANY and ALL video transmissions via internet without the uploader first having attained a broadcasting license from his control board.

Add to these those countries well know for repression of free expression of opinion:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Belarus

And always remember what a precious gift it is to be able to think freely and have access to all information at all times!

Add UGANDA to the list of repressive abhorrent regimes, and listen to Pres. Obama & Sec.State Clinton condemning their new "anti-gay" law:

Tell Everyone Now !

Let's use the defense budget bill to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell":

Chairman Carl Levin:

We, the undersigned, urge you to act immediately to stop the discharge of gay and lesbian soldiers as a result of the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy.

Please include repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the upcoming defense authorization bill to ensure the policy is ended by Congress as quickly as possible. Dedicated soldiers who want to serve their country -- like Lt. Choi, an Arabic translator -- can't afford to wait.

I have signed this appeal to Senator Levin, you can sign the letter yourself with this link : Courage Campaign - Don't Wait !

And check out the video of McCain flipflopping on another issue, claiming first he'd do what the military chiefs recommend, now opposing it when those chiefs say repeal the measure!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Solidarity for Solidarity !

While Obama is working hard with sensible people finally to achieve solidarity in the US health insurance system to provide affordable insurance and health care for all Americans, we here in Europe must NOT allow latter-day neo-liberal yuppies concerned only with increasing their own wealth to diminish the solidarity of the European healthcare system.
The F.ully P.arty's Minister of (Un)Health must be returned to the swamp of arrogance from which he emerged and removed from any and all political responsibilities forever. Germany may NOT go backwards when finally even the US is ready to move forwards!
Let all pay a lower percentage health insurance premium on all their income so that all may continue to have affordable health care. Solidarity is human; "head premiums" are robber baron efforts of the wealthy to rob those less well off.
Must Robin Hood return from the forest to save us all?
Here's to Obama for saying yes to health care for all!
Here's to Seehofer, even to Söder, for saying NO to FDP efforts to abandon such solidarity here! (And that means oddly enough, praise for the CSU! Which only goes to show how horrid the FDP has become!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Finally, A Move for More Rights for People Like You and Me !

'Don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays in military to change
By Craig Whitlock and Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, Tuesday, February 2, 2010

'This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,' Obama said.
Last summer, Gates asked the Pentagon's legal counsel whether the military could ignore allegations made by snitches, civilians or other third parties. Under such a scenario, gay military personnel would face discharge only if they themselves declare their sexual orientation.
Despite persistent objections in some corners, the Pentagon's senior leaders have largely come to terms with Obama's stance on the issue and are operating under the assumption that the law banning gays from serving in the military will be repealed, Pentagon officials said.

This is a move without costs and only benefits for the rights of man! Long overdue, it is reassuring that Gates is moving on this only days after Obama's repetition of his pledge to abolish this abomination in his State of the Union Address.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Month?

- old snow, still lying around and getting dirty, dusted with yet more during the day
- old cold, rising barely to 0°C today but dipping back down before anything can really melt
- old class, although today was the final session with this fine group
- old books, so to speak, at least in the sense that they are all being carried over into February for completeion
- old notebook, which will, however, be filled within another couple of days at most
- old black-yellow hornet government in Germany still arguing about all the same old things, all of which everyone is glad they are arguing about rather than enacting, because all their plans are too horrible for words, and even the VAT reduction for hotel stays (supposedly a "growth" measure ! ) is unacceptable for some of the black-yellow party leaders who fear losing the next state election in NRW
- old idiocy still prevalent stateside claiming health care for everyone is communist; but then the yellow jackets here claim minimum wage is communist, so maybe that's just the state of the world of idiots
- old newness is nonetheless the novelty of another month ...

Yet the world is there for us if we wish to see it and inhabit it truly, with open eyes and open minds!