Thursday, March 31, 2011

Union Rights are YOUR Rights!

The right to collective bargaining and organization of workers in unions is the ONLY reason workers have any protection and benefits on the workplace anywhere in the world! The curtailment of collective bargaining rights place an utterly unfair advantage in the hands of owners to maximize profits while dehumanizing society! WORK IS NOT FOR OWNERS' PROFITS BUT FOR A DECENT LIFE FOR THOSE WHO WORK! That various states in the USA are curtailing union and collective bargaining rights is a move back to the early 19th Century. Unless you'd like to live in shop housing, have black lung, die of tuberculosis, have no vacation or sick leave ever, work 80 hours a week, maybe even pay for the "privilege" of having a job, you'd better wake up and stand up for the unions who are there to stand up for your rights!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A President Who Can Think !

How good, in this world of governmental incompetents and fools, that the current president of the United States is one who thinks and has true concern for the rights of man against the draconian repression of dictators!

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release March 28, 2011 Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya National Defense UniversityWashington, D.C. 7:31 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya –- what we’ve done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us. I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda all across the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I’m grateful to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and to their families. And I know all Americans share in that sentiment. For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks. Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt -– two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant -– Muammar Qaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world –- including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents. Last month, Qaddafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights. As one Libyan said, “For the first time we finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over.” Faced with this opposition, Qaddafi began attacking his people. As President, my immediate concern was the safety of our citizens, so we evacuated our embassy and all Americans who sought our assistance. Then we took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Qaddafi’s aggression. We froze more than $33 billion of Qaddafi’s regime’s assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Qaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Qaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power. In the face of the world’s condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air. Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people. Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Qaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear. At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Qaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit Qaddafi’s air defenses, which paved the way for a no-fly zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities, and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Qaddafi’s deadly advance. In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies -– nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey –- all of whom have fought by our sides for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibilities to defend the Libyan people. To summarize, then: In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians. It took us 31 days. Moreover, we’ve accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge. Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Qaddafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role -- including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation -- to our military and to American taxpayers -- will be reduced significantly. So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: The United States of America has done what we said we would do. That’s not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Qaddafi regime so that it’s available to rebuild Libya. After all, the money doesn’t belong to Qaddafi or to us -- it belongs to the Libyan people. And we’ll make sure they receive it. Tomorrow, Secretary Clinton will go to London, where she will meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than 30 nations. These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Qaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve -- because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people. Now, despite the success of our efforts over the past week, I know that some Americans continue to have questions about our efforts in Libya. Qaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous. Moreover, even after Qaddafi does leave power, 40 years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions. The transition to a legitimate government that is responsive to the Libyan people will be a difficult task. And while the United States will do our part to help, it will be a task for the international community and –- more importantly –- a task for the Libyan people themselves. In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all -– even in limited ways –- in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing needs here at home. It’s true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country -– Libya -- at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground. To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action. Moreover, America has an important strategic interest in preventing Qaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful –- yet fragile -– transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power. The writ of the United Nations Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling that institution’s future credibility to uphold global peace and security. So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action, I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America. Now, just as there are those who have argued against intervention in Libya, there are others who have suggested that we broaden our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people, and do whatever it takes to bring down Qaddafi and usher in a new government. Of course, there is no question that Libya -– and the world –- would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake. The task that I assigned our forces -– to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a no-fly zone -– carries with it a U.N. mandate and international support. It’s also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do. If we tried to overthrow Qaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs and our share of the responsibility for what comes next. To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya. As the bulk of our military effort ratchets down, what we can do -- and will do -- is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We have intervened to stop a massacre, and we will work with our allies and partners to maintain the safety of civilians. We will deny the regime arms, cut off its supplies of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Qaddafi leaves power. It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Qaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power. But it should be clear to those around Qaddafi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on Qaddafi’s side. With the time and space that we have provided for the Libyan people, they will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be. Let me close by addressing what this action says about the use of America’s military power, and America’s broader leadership in the world, under my presidency. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform. I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests. That's why we’re going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country. There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and our values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and our common security -– responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us. They’re problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help. In such cases, we should not be afraid to act -– but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all. That’s the kind of leadership we’ve shown in Libya. Of course, even when we act as part of a coalition, the risks of any military action will be high. Those risks were realized when one of our planes malfunctioned over Libya. Yet when one of our airmen parachuted to the ground, in a country whose leader has so often demonized the United States –- in a region that has such a difficult history with our country –- this American did not find enemies. Instead, he was met by people who embraced him. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, “We are your friends. We are so grateful to those men who are protecting the skies.” This voice is just one of many in a region where a new generation is refusing to be denied their rights and opportunities any longer. Yes, this change will make the world more complicated for a time. Progress will be uneven, and change will come differently to different countries. There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes. And then there will be places, like Iran, where change is fiercely suppressed. The dark forces of civil conflict and sectarian war will have to be averted, and difficult political and economic concerns will have to be addressed. The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference. I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed at one’s own people; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people. Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith -- those ideals -- that are the true measure of American leadership. My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas -- when the news is filled with conflict and change -- it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I’ve said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength here at home. That must always be our North Star -- the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring for our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear. But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer, our own future is brighter, if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity. Tonight, let us give thanks for the Americans who are serving through these trying times, and the coalition that is carrying our effort forward. And let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world. Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.) Thank you. END 7:58 P.M. EDT

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Hommage to Liz

An evening of ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House in summer, 1981.

"Nureyev was expecting Elizabeth Taylor at his performance at the MET as his guest, and we had reason to believe she might try to cause a scene. It seems that he had gone to her play the night before, as her guest, but he arrived late. Quite late. Halfway through the second act. Since his seat was in the front row, he created a bit of a stir when he entered. Practically stopped the show! She had to restart her monologue. Needless to say, Liz Taylor wasn't too pleased. So there was concern that she might try the same stunt at the MET. I arranged a seat for her on the Parterre, where she could enter late without being seen. Also, I didn't want a fight with her either, and that's the only place latecomers are allowed to take their seats during the performance. The private boxes, you know..."
"Yeah, I know. Go on."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to explain the obvious. Anyway, I thought all was settled and relaxed. Sure enough, she arrived late, about thirty minutes late. She seemed a little disappointed that this caused no problem and looked around the lobby forlornly. No one was there to see her. She couldn't do her scene. And she was ready for one. She was playing Elizabeth Taylor: her famous purple mascara, bright red dress short enough to show off her knees, and an escort or two in tow. But she went on to her seat to watch the ballet."
"So what? That's nothing unusual. What's the big deal?"
"That was only the prologue. Then came the main act, during the first intermission. Finally, there were people around. The lobby was packed. Of course she could have remained in the Parterre's private lobby, where there's everything she or anybody could ever need. Except one thing: her public. So, she came bouncing out into the main lobby, and headed straight for the main entrance, looking for downstage center, obviously. Already I could hear the wave of whispers surging through the crowd: 'There's Elizabeth Taylor. Look, Elizabeth Taylor.' She glowed with glee. She had been noticed."
"Is that all? Every actor wants to be noticed. Or did she cause a hassle somehow?"
"You'll soon hear. Of course, she had passed countless members of the staff before reaching the entrance, but she strode straight up to one of the ticket-takers and asked him a question. Nothing ever flusters Nick, but whatever she said made him turn as red as her dress. The commotion among the spectators around him grew to a roar. He pointed out his superior, and she marched over to him. The same reaction, and even more commotion. On to his superior she pranced. I watched intently, because I would be the next, the final arbiter, if Michael couldn't handle her problem. Well, he couldn't, but he had sense enough to escort Miss Taylor over to me. The crowd was buzzing by now. Michael opened his mouth to explain the situation, but Miss Taylor launched into an oration in her newly acquired Southern drawl.
"'Hi, sweetie. Ain't you cute? I was wonderin'. I hope maybe you can help me. You see, I have to pee.'
"I'm sure my mouth must have fallen open, though she didn't seem to mind at all. Now I could understand the words whispered all around me in the crowd: 'Elizabeth Taylor has to pee. Elizabeth Taylor has to pee.'
"'You see, sweetie,' she continued, 'the thing is, I have to pee, and every time I pee in a public room, it causes such a hubbub. People sort of stand there and listen, like. So I have to pee, and I was wonderin' if there was some place private I could go to pee. Maybe you could take me?'
"To calm down the scene as quickly as possible, I gave Michael the keys and told him to take her to the bathroom in the executive office area. I also suggested that he then take her from there directly back to the Parterre, the back way. It worked.
"'Thanks, cutie,' she called back to me, as she followed Michael with a big grin on her face."
"What a hubbub!"
"Oh, but there's more. There's the epilogue."
"After the performance, she went backstage with Nureyev for some photos. I was there, too, of course, doing my duty. When she passed me to leave, she turned back and said, 'Sweetie, thanks for helping me pee. Listen here, do you ever get a night off?... Good, here's two tickets to my show next week. And if you have to pee, you tell them I said you could use my room. See you soon, honey. Tata!'"
He pulled the tickets out of his pocket. But Little Foxes had a hard time topping this night's show.
[excerpt from The Unspoken, by Richard Gardner, all rights reserved]


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moving into the Twenty-First Century !

Indeed it is time to repeal this arcane obstacle to the equality of gay civil partnerships and marriages before the law, with all the same privileges and responsibilities! Heteros have nothing to fear whatsoever; the only thing that might make them nervous is their own unconfessed, repressed, or closeted inclinations or secret activities. But you know what? I don't even care if they want to continue to hide! I don't and will not accept any discrimination because of their hang-ups!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Help the Libyans!

It is good that the Security Council of the UN called for intervention to halt crazed Qadafi's decimation of the people in "his" country. Far too long, the world had watched silently. May this be the beginning of the liberation of Libya from its dictator and of rule there of, for, and by the people!

Le temps presse en Libye. Jour après jour, heure après heure, avec sa force armée meurtrière - avions, hélicoptères, chars, missiles, mercenaires -, le dictateur Kadhafi reprend la main sur son pays et écrase les efforts du peuple libyen qui tente de se libérer. Le tyran, décidé à noyer son pays dans "des rivières de sang", mitraille les populations civiles, "purge" les villes des opposants et fait régner la terreur. Partout, à Tripoli et dans les régions reprises à la rébellion, les hommes sont enlevés en nombre pour être conduits dans les salles de torture et assassinés.
Nous demandons donc d'urgence au gouvernement français de tout faire avec ses partenaires pour que l'ONU respecte son engagement "responsibility to protect", et que l'Europe prenne ses responsabilités et prouve que son souhait de voir partir le colonel libyen n'est pas un voeu pieux. Il faut obtenir de toute urgence une réunion du Conseil de sécurité pour qu'il donne mandat à une intervention. Mais qu'il ne serve pas une fois de plus d'alibi à notre inaction face au crime.
Il n'appartient pas aux gouvernements russe et chinois de nous contraindre à laisser massacrer la démocratie libyenne. C'est maintenant, tout de suite, qu'il faut agir. Maintenant, tout de suite, qu'il faut en finir avec le bourreau.
Nicole Bacharan, historienne ; Etienne Beaulieu, chercheur ; Jane Birkin, artiste ; Pascal Bruckner, écrivain ; Daniel Cohn-Bendit, député européen ; Frédéric Encel, géopolitologue ; Raphaël Enthoven, philosophe ; André Glucksmann, philosophe ; Romain Goupil, cinéaste ; Nicole Guedj, ancienne ministre ; Gilles Hertzog, éditeur ; Bernard Kouchner, ancien ministre ; Claude Lanzmann, écrivain ; Bernard-Henri Lévy, philosophe, membre du conseil de surveillance du "Monde" ; Olivier Rolin, écrivain ; Olivier Rubinstein, éditeur ; Antoine Sfeir, journaliste ; Dominique Simonnet, écrivain
UN security council resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya – full text (Source: The Guardian)
The Security Council,
Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011,
Deploring the failure of the Libyan authorities to comply with resolution 1970 (2011),
Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties,
Reiterating the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan population and reaffirming that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,
Condemning the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions,
Further condemning acts of violence and intimidation committed by the Libyan authorities against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel and urging these authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law as outlined in resolution 1738 (2006),
Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,
Recalling paragraph 26 of resolution 1970 (2011) in which the Council expressed its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel,
Recalling the condemnation by the League of Arab States, the African Union, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have been and are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Taking note of the final communiqué of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference of 8 March 2011, and the communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 10 March 2011 which established an ad hoc High Level Committee on
Taking note also of the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States of 12 March 2011 to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Taking note further of the Secretary-General's call on 16 March 2011 for an immediate cease-fire,
Recalling its decision to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and stressing that those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account,
Reiterating its concern at the plight of refugees and foreign workers forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, welcoming the response of neighbouring States, in particular Tunisia and Egypt, to address the needs of those refugees and foreign workers, and calling on the international community to support those efforts,
Deploring the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities,
Considering that the establishment of a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya,
Expressing concern also for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr Abdel-Elah Mohamed Al-Khatib and supporting his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,
Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the
United Nations,
1. Demands the immediate establishment of a cease-fire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;
2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;
3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;
Protection of civilians
4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;
5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;
No fly zone
6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;
7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorisation conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;
8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,
9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary over-flight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;
10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;
11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;
Enforcement of the arms embargo
13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : "Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections";
14. Requests Member States which are taking action under paragraph 13 above on the high seas to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General and further requests the States concerned to inform the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) ("the Committee") immediately of measures taken in the exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 13 above;
15. Requires any Member State whether acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 13 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspection, the results of such inspection, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;
16. Deplores the continuing flows of mercenaries into the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and calls upon all Member States to comply strictly with their obligations under paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011) to prevent the provision of armed mercenary personnel to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
Ban on flights
17. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing;
18. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, except in the case of an emergency landing;
Asset freeze
19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and directs the Committee to designate such Libyan authorities, individuals or entities within 30 days of the date of the adoption of this resolution and as appropriate thereafter;
20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
21. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or subject to its jurisdiction, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, if the States have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to violence and use of force against civilians;
22. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I shall be subject to the travel restrictions imposed in paragraphs 15 and 16 of resolution 1970 (2011), and decides further that the individuals and entities listed in Annex II shall be subject to the asset freeze imposed in paragraphs 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011);
23. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply also to individuals and entities determined by the Council or the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), particularly paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof, or to have assisted others in doing so;
Panel of experts
24. Requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts ("Panel of Experts"), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:
(a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;
(b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;
(c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;
(d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel's appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;
25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;
26. Decides that the mandate of the Committee as set out in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall also apply to the measures decided in this resolution;
27. Decides that all States, including the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the Libyan authorities, or of any person or body in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or of any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or body, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions;
28. Reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011).
29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

It is a great SHAME that along with Russia and China, GERMANY also abstained on this resolution! Therewith we have yet more evidence of the total incompetence of the current German government!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Three Meltdowns !

With reference to my previous post, now there are three reactors on the verge of or actually melting down in Japan. Radiation levels are thousands of times above normal.
Tomorrow another may be added.
And Angie Buttonpopper has evidently popped some as she's now supposed to be about to announce a moratorium on the extension of running times for reactors that her own Tigerentenkoalition put into effect against the will of the people and the advice of all experts.
Better late than never?
Stay tuned in for more radioactive static, as even the US and France have to face the music about their nuclear energy policies.
China, of course, ready to sacrifice millions if necessary and uninterested in individuals at all, has announced just in these days that they are going to EXPAND immensely their own nuclear energy program and build many more reactors.
How'd you like some radiation chou mein?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

So you still think it's safe?

Hey, Angie, hey, Norbie, hey, Brüdly, hey, Guido, do you guys still think nuclear energy is a useful "bridge" technology instead of all out efforts for ecological energy production?
Consider, please, what is going on in Japan, and don't EVER again open your mouths to say nuclear energy production is safe when you KNOW the only reason for it is to make those very few energy conglomerates super rich at the expense of the taxpayer, and now probably also at risk of his life!

+++ Cäsium tritt aus AKW Fukushima 1 aus +++
[06.29 Uhr] In der Nähe des beschädigten Atomkraftwerks Fukushima wird radioaktives Cäsium festgestellt. Das berichtete die Nachrichtenagentur Kyodo unter Berufung auf die Atomsicherheitskommission. Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass Kernbrennstäbe des Reaktors schmölzen, sei hoch, meldet die Agentur Jiji unter Berufung auf die Atombehörde. Möglicherweise seien sie sogar schon geschmolzen. Der Betreiber hat daran gearbeitet, den Druck aus dem Reaktorgehäuse abzulassen, um eine Kernschmelze zu verhindern.
Nach der Naturkatastrophe war das Kühlsystem des AKW ausgefallen. Bis Samstag war es nicht gelungen, die Störung zu beheben. Insgesamt gilt für fünf Reaktoren in zwei Atomkraftwerken der Notstand.
And an earlier announcement from VOA:
Japan has declared states of emergency at two nuclear plants damaged by Friday's massive earthquake along the country's northeastern coast.Officials said the 8.9 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami knocked power out and caused cooling systems to fail at two plants in Fukushima. They warned of radiation leaks as steam was vented from reactors in an effort to relieve growing pressure.
From the Los Angeles Times:

Damage at two Japan nuclear plants prompts evacuations
After the tsunami damages the cooling systems at five reactors in northeastern Japan, officials take steps to avert the possibility of a meltdown.
Japanese officials struggled Saturday to avert the possibility of a meltdown at two major nuclear power plants whose emergency cooling systems were damaged by Friday's earthquake and tsunami.Emergency officials ordered the evacuation Saturday of all civilians within a six-mile radius of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which is about 150 miles northeast of Tokyo, after its normal backup cooling systems failed and it became necessary to release radioactive steam to relieve pressure that could cause an explosion.
Several hours later, authorities revealed that cooling systems at the Fukushima No. 2 plant, a few miles south, had also failed, and evacuations were ordered around that plant as well.In all, five reactors at the two plants were damaged.
Radiation levels in the control room at Fukushima No. 1 were reported to be as high as 1,000 times normal, while levels outside the plant were said to be about eight to nine times normal, indicating some leakage of radiation had already occurred.

It is bad enough that the people of Japan have to suffer the ravages of this earthquake and the tsunami, and we should all think of and help them as each is able, but the idiocy of a nuclear power plant placing them at further risk is unpardonable!


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Please take the time to read and sign this appeal for the freedom of Liu Xiaobo, also an appeal for the protection of YOUR freedom of expression!

Appeal for Freedom for Liu Xiaobo
The internationales literaturfestival berlin
appeals for a signing of this letter and a worldwide reading on 20th March 2011 of the ‘Charter 08’ and the poem ‘You wait for me with Dust’ by Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2010.

Here you can find the complete appeal here you can find a list of all institutions that take part in the reading.

Here you can find a list of all those who signed the appeal so far.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm still watching you ...

Though I may be in the hospital for treatment of AML and not getting out particularly soon, I am nonetheless watching what you are doing, Mr. Obama, and must say that I am not exactly pleased about this:

The Guardian, March 7, 2011

Obama lifts suspension on military terror trials at Guantánamo Bay
Move marks departure from election promise to close camp and use civilian law to fight terrorism.
Barack Obama has given the green light to resume military trials of terror suspects detained at Guantánamo Bay, making a sharp departure from his election promises to close the camp and bring America's fight against terrorism back into the remit of civilian law.
The US president lifted a suspension on so-called "military commissions" which he had imposed on his first full day in the White House. By so doing, he permitted the revival of trials conducted by military officers, with a military judge presiding.
Obama also signed an executive order that moved to set into law the already existing practice on Guantánamo of holding detainees indefinitely without charge.
The president sought to sweeten the pill among civil rights and liberal groups of the resumption of two of the most widely criticised aspects of George Bush's war on terror by emphasising that he still wished to see Guantánamo close. When he came into office in January 2009, he repeatedly promised to have the camp closed within one year. It was set up in the wake of 9/11 in 2001 and thereafter the war in Afghanistan.
Bring charges against those who are accused and ensure them a fair and speedy trial, as is required by the Constitution of the United States. Indefinite incarceration without trial is fundamentally counter to all principles of enlightened justice and resembles, rather, the practices of those despots the world is attempting to rid itself of! Maintain the principles of democracy and abhor the practices of despotism!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Freude / Joy / Joie

Schiller's text, Beethoven's music, so much to live for!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reading Heidegger on Chemo

Gesamtausgabe Band 53: Anmerkungen zu Hölderlins Hymne "Der Ister"
provides very enjoyable and thoughtful reading while here at Virchow, especially when you can see (and then ignore) the (mute) TV images the other patient in the room is watching from the private commercial stations all day.

And for variety, when I need to let a couple of sections solidify reflectively in my mind, I pick up John Waters' Role Models for a taste of truly tasteful trashy extravagance of the artistic mind.
Roth's Nemesis is also waiting to be begun, and there is a volume of lesser known one-acters by Tennesse Williams also on the shelf.

And if the counts are too low, or the chemo and the rest has just left me too tired, then a nap after lunch is also allowed.

After all, I have to drag out the laptop and check in here every once in a while, also news sources, to make sure they haven't further screwed up the world while I haven't been watching as closely.
That the plagiarist ex-Dr. not at all noble Guttenberg finally resigned from his position of Defense Minister here, still claiming he has done nothing wrong, may be the reason his university now accuses him of intentional plagiarism and has turned the whole thing over to the state attorney for investigation and possible charges.
That Kadaffi is still around is a reason to wish all those against him as much strength and endurance in their battle to shake off the yoke of tyranny as possible.
And my personal current experience should be a reminder to those in the country from which I hail of how important universal health insurance truly is

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Home Away From Home

That is the Rudolf-Virchow-Klinikum for me for several weeks into the future now; Thursday last I came in. Here, the team, facilities, everything is great, and chemo has already begun to defeat my leukemia. I am so thankful that Detlef is at my side in this whole long struggle, and trust that I will always be able to give him the sustenance he needs. He is my lover and my life, my husband and my best friend, my stimulus and my calm. It is for him that I am fighting this disease.
I had never wanted to post such things in my blog.
Who would?
But once more, it is true:

"Wo aber Gefahr ist, wächst
das Rettende auch."

That will also be the case when my bone marrow, I hope, is completely wiped out so that only non-leukemic cells appear when it regenerates.

'But where danger is, grows
what saves, too.'

Hölderlin knew more than most!