Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The motto these days
without blowing my top.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Pope converts to Moneytheism
A row has broken out in Rome about whether the speeches and writings of Pope Benedict should be freely available to everyone or subject to copyright.
The dispute was prompted by revelations that a publishing house in Milan had to pay £10,000 to reprint 30 lines from the first speech by the Pope following his election in April, after the Vatican transferred copyright on papal texts to its own publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The Vatican also plans to charge rights on any papal texts of the past 50 years.
Full story here.
Hear hear! Even His Oddity seems to have come to the conclusion that it's moneytheism which keeps the world together in its innermost.
No applause from the wrong side, please. Anybody calling his religion, his worldview the 'one and only' is - with all respect - an idiot.
Yes, yes. There's a difference.
Thus, all idiots in the classical sense, come on and sue me!
Does it help (me) that I am laughing at them? That I am fed up? So damn fed up. With all those opportunists, who'd call themselves pragmatists.
Whatever politician/bishop I asked 'what's the difference between opportunism and pragmatism' smiled, raised his/her brows, but would not (try an) answer. In 30 years!
Back to 'Moneytheism':
I am exaggerating? What's about this?
SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO, Italy - The exhumed body of Padre Pio, a saint considered a miracle worker by his devotees, attracted thousands of pilgrims on Thursday when it went on display 40 years after his death.Ah, the older I get, the less time I do have to be diplomatic. No one needs to believe in a god. It's just enough to be good*. To be kind to your neighbours, to the 'strangers/foreigners you meet and to those you love. That's all**.
Full article here.
* Sometimes it is difficult to be good.
** I repeat: That's all.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Poison of democracy
The Russian tabloid newspaper that reported President Vladimir Putin was planning to marry an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast has been shut down.Mind you, I am not focusing on Mr. Putin copulating with Angela Merkel, Alina Kabaeva or whomsoever, but on the shutting down of newspapers.
Mind you, I do scorn on hack writers and paparazzi who'd do all to get a photo showing f.e. a sweet tiny ministrant serving the pope.
As long as people would buy such so-called tabloids there is a market, isn't there?
And here we are: As soon as people would not buy them, there would not be any market for tabloids.
Meanwhile: By surpressing freedom of speech Mr. Putin does deserve to be wholeheartedly
Mind you, if I were Mr. Putin I'd not know how to cope with all the / his problems.
P.S. I am glad that Mr. Putin is (not yet) able to shut down this blog. Being one of his poor countrymen, I'd very probably not be as brave a Anna Politkovskaja, but rather singing a song of praise to honour this crooked and dishonest man.
P.P.S. I am not Martin Luther King. But I do have a dream: Mr Putin may fuck whoever erroneosly thinks he is attractive, but not the people of Russia or any other country. Same goes for all Bushs, Cheneys and Khomeinis of this world.
No need to say what I think about the fact per se.
However, I am surprised that 'everybody' - politicians and media - by their reaction would try to make people think wiretapping of / spying on politicians and journalists would not be the norm.
What hypocritical cants. Otherwise secret services* would have nothing to do, would they?
The Afghan government is clearly upset by revelations that Germany's foreign intelligence service (BND) had been spying on the country's trade and industry minister. It says it will approach Berlin in the next few days.
News broke at the weekend that the BND had read e-mail correspondence between Der Spiegel reporter Susanne Koelbl and an Afghan politician between June and November 2006, sparking outrage because of the breach of press freedom.
It only emerged on Thursday (Apr. 24) that Trade and Industry Minister Amin Farhang was the actual target of the operation. No explanation has been given for why he was under scrutiny.
Farhang, who lived in Germany for a number of years, has told the German newspaper Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung that his life was now at risk because the measure implied that he was co-operating with hostile forces.
"Because of this absurd lie that I'm some kind of double agent, my life and the lives of my family are in great danger," he said. "I could be shot on the street tomorrow," he added.
Full article here.
As said, I am not surprised about the fact itself. Just one question, though.
Given I do understand Mr. Farhang correctly, he says his life is at risk because corresponding with a German journalist implies he was co-operating with hostile forces.
So, why are there still hostile German soldiers in Afghanistan?
Would be nice if the answer would not be 'Germany is also defended at the Hindu Kush', for a change.
* not: intelligence services
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
the 392nd anniversary of either his death
and the death of Cervantes
just to wish a very special literary Wednesday.
It's also the (International) Day of the book?
Well, yes. But isn't every day a day of the book?
At least it should be.
instead of writing or weeding,
now I go on reading ...
The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck* and the Fortunes of German Science
* today is his 150th birthday
Monday, April 21, 2008
Just a thought on relativity
If the U.S.A. did the same today, there would remain about 107 million people in the country.
Well, plus one million Chinese protectors.
If England, France and Germany tried to do so in a concerted action, there would remain three million Chinese protectors of human rights, one million in each country.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Holiday in Zimbabwe
Here's the gist of what Deng Xiaoping replied: According the human rights we are of different an opinion. But to make you happy: How many Chinese do you wish to take with you to the U.S.A.? 50 millions? 100 millions?
Chinese troops have been seen on the streets of Zimbabwe's third largest city, Mutare, according to local witnesses. They were seen patrolling with Zimbabwean soldiers before and during Tuesday's ill-fated general strike called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).Well, 10 (in words: ten) Chinese soldiers. I suppose, they are the flame guards who did a great job guarding the Olympic torch in London, Paris & San Francisco, and now got their well deserved reward: holiday in tourist's paradise: Zimbabwe.
Earlier, 10 Chinese soldiers armed with pistols checked in at the city's Holiday Inn along with 70 Zimbabwean troops.
Full article here.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
A real friend
Ah, I start feeling the Olympic spirit of international understanding, and to understand what E. W. Howe meant when he wrote in his Country Town Sayings:
South Africa confirmed that it will not intervene to stop a shipment of Chinese-made weapons from reaching Zimbabwe, despite fears of a violent crackdown in the country.
A Chinese ship docked in Durban harbour late on Wednesday carrying three million rounds of ammunition for small arms, 3,500 mortar bombs and mortar tubes, as well as 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades, according to local media.
Full article here.
When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Wordy Wednesday V
And now for something completely different: The beginning.
Thanks a lot to all of you who are visiting me and leaving comments these days, despite of that I am 'lazier' than ever, myself. I do appreciate your patience and kindness very much.
Oh it is a difficult thing to do indeed...knowing what the right way to respond to a problem. For first there has to be a problem...and just how the heck does one define a problem or even decide what the problem of the problem is? And then there is the ball of wax that comes from fixing the problem and making a new problem.As if the lady had written this sentence just for me. :)
I haven't read many of her meanderings and blatherings, yet, but after this I am quite sure I will.
Surely it will happen to you, too: Someone, by painting with letters, creates a picture that from now on will be exhibited in the gallery of your mind - and from time to time you can't but must enter this room and contemplate this very picture.
The wonderful jmb - It will be fine! It will be fine! It will be fine! :) - in March 'painted' one of these pictures in my mind-gallery:
[...] He is still a good looking old fellow, with a full head of the most wonderful grey hair, now below his ears and curling a little at the ends. When I spoke to him his face lit up, although he has no idea who I am and he really can't speak now, just makes noises. He has the attention span of a flea, so after a moment he wheeled off leaving me standing there. I watched him go, thinking about the university professor of Pharmacy that he once had been and whom I met at the Faculty 46 years ago. Luckily he has never lost his wonderful disposition, as so many do with this terrible disease, and for that I am very grateful because the caregivers all like him and he is relatively easy to take care of. [...]And now let me introduce two bloggers to you who recently gave me their placet to add them to my seldom borings. :)
What to choose from Gracchi at Westminster Wisdom? One of his film- or book-reviews?
No, I'd rather commend one of his recent posts where you will find what I do like about Gracchi's style: He's moderate in tone, and at the same time often thought-provoking, as when f.e. asking
Why Tibet? Why Palestine? The Rational Choices of ProtestAnd now, what shall I say ... err ... write in order to properly explain what I do appreciate about Mr. Deogolwulf? His up till now 236 'fewtrils'? His widening my horizon? Oh well, is it enough when I tell you that I intend to discover him / his blog by reading his postings chronological, from the very first in May 2005? - Ah, end of the eulogy! :)
Enjoy The Joy of Curmudgeonry.Hm, and herewith we are back at the beginning where I promised you a good laughter at the end of this Wordy Wednesday.
Originally I intended to quote the essential passages, but now I am hesitating, as I fear I might divulge too much.
In order to increase your suspense let me just say: James claims it is his 'best post yet'.
Time for me to put my head on the pillow
and listen to the silence.
The Peace of the Night. :)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Well, already Seneca knew: Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue.
Time for some special drops of vino then. You'll find them in any well-assorted Italian shop.
Impression, soleil levant
Great art ... is preeminently and finally
the expression of the spirits of great men.
... and may I add: women. :)
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Waiting for Sam
People are bloody ignorant apes.
Charming spot. - Inspiring prospects. - Let's go.
We're waiting for Sam.
That we were to wait.
He said by the grave. Do you see any others?
He must be dead.
No more weeping.
We are always finding something, eh, Sean, to give us the impression we exist?
Yes, yes, we're magicians.
Happy birthday then, Sam! :)
As for Nietzsche's skeleton
Friedrich Nietzsche declared famously that “God is dead!” so it is probably safe to assume that he did not much care what happened to his skeleton.
Thus Mr. Boyes decided to start his article, published March 26th.
Good news for the gentleman:
Nietzsche's birthplace, baptistry and grave will persist.
Bad news for the gentleman: His inference (above) does not lack of illogicality.
Advice: It's probably (sic! - not: perhaps) safer to think before mauling the keyboard.
The advisor knows this from own experience. :)
Saturday, April 12, 2008
37 laughable Popes
Exactly 100 years later, thus 47 years ago , Juri Gagarin happened to be the first human earthling in the orbit.
Well, and 375 years ago was the first day of the process Pope(s) versus Galileo Galileo.
And only 37 Popes or 359 years later, 23 years after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, the damned heliocentrist, got rehabilitated, which makes me still laughing. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Ah, anybody feeling offended?
So ... err ... No sorry. You see, I am agnostic. Thanks god? :) Oh well, anyway, I am.
... Well, yes :) Science by itself, cannot supply us with an ethic. [Bertrand Russell, 1950]
Good for bilateral relations
Berlin police have found a body that is probably* that of a missing Russian artist who had been condemned by the Orthodox Church for an exhibit in her homeland. The death was an apparent suicide, police said Friday.
Anna Mikhalchuk, [unfortunately not English entry, yet - sj] who moved to Berlin in November, has been missing for three weeks. She created a stir in Russia with an 2003 exhibition that the church considered blasphemous, and was tried and acquitted by a Moscow court on charges of inciting religious hatred.
To be continued here.
Apparently!! I see.
In German - although most Germans would not know :) - there is a big difference between scheinbar (only looks like being true/a fact) and anscheinend (it looks very much like; thus seems quite probable).
This allows the conclusion: Apparently Anna Politkovskaja committed suicide by shooting herself into her back.
Thanks for having me.
* Meanwhile according to Spiegel online (German edition), Anna Mikhalchuk has been identified by her husband, the Russian philosopher and author, Mikhail Ryklin.
Friday, April 11, 2008
O tempora, o mores!
Today German lawmakers agreed to allow broader embryonic stem cell use. But they signaled their ambivalence by refusing to completely do away with restrictions.
Germany's science minister, Annette Schavan, said reforming the law was key to fostering research in Germany.
“This is a good day for both protecting life and also for research in Germany,“ Schavan, of the Christian Democratic Union, said after the vote Friday. *
And may I add it is a good day for Mrs. Schavan et al.: Here questions like this one will not be asked.
There was, however, a German philosopher whose name is being pronounced like one of the words you could read in the devil's title: Kant.
And I am quite sure Kant would agree: What a bunch of hypocrites, per se!
Having followed the discussion about stem cell research from its beginning in the past milennium, I am not surprised, though.
To give you at least a glimpse, of what made me come to call hypocrites hypocrites, I commend reading this article.
* Full article here.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Wordy Wednesday IV
Of course, I could imagine one of his eyes twinkling when reading my dear friend James' (*) comment on last week's 'Wordy Wednesday'.
* Is it too much to call 'a' blogger your friend? - This, readers, is worth a post of itself, would you agree? :)
As this *idea* came - as most of my ideas - spontaneously - it would not be suprising, had you to remind me of this; in case you are interested in my thoughts/convictions. :)
Anyway, here's Wordy Wednesday IV. And again I do hope you will enjoy; and again I do ask you to leave comments on those posts you like (or dislike), 'cause (your) comments are the salt in the soup of any post. :)
Prodicus can be sure that I shall pinch this very post, but before doing so it's my pleasure linking to his site.
No, I do not agree to every detail he is posting about, but he's what I do call 'unique'.
In order to preparing you for what you are going to read:
I read the first part to Mrs. J, then stopped as if it were the end.
Her one word-comment: 'Impressive.'
Then I added the rest.
Mrs J: 'Sean, it's good to know you have an alibi. This would have been very embarrassing for me and the whole family.'
I, myself: Laughing and laughing and laughing.
Now you know a little more about my sense of humour, let's get a bit serious:
The Old Brit about a man I once (around 1990) tended to 'admire', until I started to learn that he has his personal Blairney stone (not to mix up with the Blarney Stone): Tony Blair.
Call me lazy: But here is another one by the Old Brit.
Ah, Ben Hur, ah Soylent Green; and despite I could go on praising the actor: here is the title I call the best of this week, made by Colin Campbell your host at the Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe. :)
No poem today? No. But a painting - by Fabian Perez**. Which one? Ah, difficult to decide. Actually, I should like to show you four. But as a copy of Dali's 'Girl in the window' (the fifth painting when you are scrolling) is hanging in our front building - I chose this one:
** Hat tip Sandra Singh at Internation Musings.
Remains a question to myself, tonight: Am I playing with Death, or is Death playing with me?
The Peace of the Night.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
If the Games fail ...
"International companies are ignoring basic human rights in return for business opportunity, while the Communist party is offering profits in return for continued control of the internet and the ability to intimidate dissidents."
"The collusion of these two kinds of ugliness means that there is no way for western investment to promote freedom of speech in China, and that in fact it greatly increases the ability of the Communist party to blockade and control the internet.”
“You are helping the Communist party maintain an evil system of control over freedom of information and speech."
Three core statements from an open letter to yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang quoted by the Financial Times - almost 30 months ago, October 18th, 2005.
Its writer: Liu Xiaobo, Chinese intellectual human rights activist who accuses Yahoo of betraying its customers and supporting dictatorship by providing information on journalist Shi Tao to Chinese authorities.
Full article here.
Of course, Mr. Liu who had the pleasure of several years being spoilt by 'his' leaders' unlimited love - in prison - would be delighted by the increasement of voices demanding a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing, wouldn't he?
Hm, and that's what he said according to a yesterday published Spiegel-interview:
And what do you think?"That wouldn't be a good way to punish China. If the Games fail, human rights will suffer. The government would stop paying any attention to the rest of the world. I personally think: We want the Games and we want human rights to be respected."
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Prisoners in Freedom City
At the end of the interview Zeng Jinyan is waving back towards the camera.
She has entered that part of Beijing where the Hu's have a flat: Freedom City.
Lovely name, isn't it? Almost as lovely as The Place of Heavenly Peace.
But who am I but a 'misinformed malicious Western blogger'?
Let's watch some videos, documenting how intensively Mr. Hu the leader of the leaders and thus General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee lets care his best men for the safety and freedom of an unemployed father aged 34 and his family, never giving up the hope these black sheep may find back on the left path.
Here we go:
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 1 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 2 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 3 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 4 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 5 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 6 / 7)
Prisoners in Freedom City (part 7 / 7)
In this sense: The peace of the night.
The Bastards of Beijing *
Quoting from China Daily - March 17th, 2008:
Chinese citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech by the nation's Constitution, Zhang Jun, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, said on Saturday.
Marvellous, isn't it?
"Citizens have the rights to express their ideas under the legal system, which includes suggestions to and criticisms of the government. These rights are protected by law and by the Constitution," Zhang said.
It is acceptable for people to criticize preparations for the Olympic Games or express their complaints, he added.
Zhang made the remarks in response to questions raised by foreign media at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing legislative session.
Well, the next sentence starts with a 'But'.
Back? Did you also see the portraits of nine leaders? Fine. Just keep these in your mind. Especially the one of the leader of the leaders, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee, Mr. Hu Jintao.
End of the beforegoing.
Mr. Hu has been sentenced to 3,5 years in jail!
Ah, no. Not the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee.
Mr. Hu Jia.
Why would Mr. Hu Jia be sentenced, although he is not the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee?
Well, as one could - for certain reasons - not rely on Western newspapers, I do again tend to rather trust on the phare of journalism, the China Daily.
Back? Let's recapitulate then:
'Hu spread malicious rumors, and committed libel in an attempt to subvert the state's political power and socialist system.'
How did Hu, 'libel the Chinese political and social systems, and instigate subversion of the state, which is a crime under Chinese law'?
By 'two website articles' ... 'published [...] on overseas-run websites'.
In other words: 'An unemployed father aged 34 and the holder of a college degree' by 'spreading malicious rumor' tried to find oversea-allies to knuckle down his fellow countrymen - roughly one billion Chinese.
And here comes the moment to remember the portraits of nine leaders. Especially the one of the leader of the leaders, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee, Mr. Hu Jintao.
Obviously these gentlemen do not only suffer from mental inferiority, but also are heroic cowards who fear 'an unemployed father aged 34 and the holder of a college degree'.
* How could this happen? I had just started to write a review of 'The Bastard of Istanbul' by Elif Safak. While writing the title suddenly the Olympic Games in Berlin ... err Beijing came to my mind, and thus the little faux pax seems to have happened.
Of course, I do distance myself from the title. Never would I call mighty criminal and corrupt cowards who suffer from mental inferiority bastards.
Ah yes, as the phares of China's daily journalism did not mention (surely due to a lack of space), I do allow myself to add:
Mr Hu Jia has a wife, Zeng Jinyan (24), and a two months old daughter.
But that's completely a different post.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
China feels insulted ha ha ha
China Tuesday criticized a British newspaper's report that linked the Beijing Olympics with the Berlin Games of 1936, saying the story is an insult to Chinese citizens and to the people of the world.
confess to their mental inferiority.
It's, by the way, a Chinese saying.
... and there is ...
Friday, April 04, 2008
Wordy Wednesday III
Unlike last week today I shall listen to my stomach (German idiom). And this is what my stomach said the other week: Careful, Sean. Less is more.
Thus, instead of ten remarkable postings and perhaps too much reading stuff, tonight I do commend just five. Here we go:
1. To help us getting in the right mood for this year's Olympic Games, The Little Man let us for 7:04 minutes feel the wonderful spirit of those Olympic Games 72 years ago the 'leaders' of China are absolutely determined to surpass.
2. This is a great pleasure for me. Very probably he will leniently smile when reading 'this man is no blogger; he is a poet'. But that is what he is.
To visit his site every morning has (almost) become a ritual. And I am glad, Floots gave me permission to 'pinch' one of his recent gems. Here it is:
Now, is that poetry?!
3. Back to prosa. Late, only yesterday night, I noticed Ian Appleby's latest post: No nukes are good nukes. As (almost) always: Thought provoking.
4. And now to my badly neglected friend Erkan who's output is such amazing that one could daily spend hours on his site. To cut it short: I do admire his professionalism, his wonderful friendliness - and, just to make him happy - I wish Besiktas to become Turkish champion. :) Some days ago Erkan put the focus on following question: Should Wilders become censored?
5. And finally, a painting by the poet I introduced you to the other week: Janice Thomson. It's to be found on her second blogsite: Gray Sky Over Mountains.
And now, I hope to have found a nice little mixture. Enjoy, and have a marvellous week - until next 'Wordy Wednesday' - and if it will happen to be a Friday. :)
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
A coffee for The Poor Mouth
Congratulations, Jams, and voilà, as promised, here's your anti-hangover-coffee.
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say that you need a change,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Wanderers Night Song
In allen Wipfeln
Kaum einen Hauch.
Die Vöglein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.
Over all peaks
In all treetops
Barely a breath.
The birdies keep silent in the wood.
Simply wait, soon
Resteth thou, too.
translated by McSeanagall :)
Flann fooled you, folks
- The Plain People of Ireland: Isn't the German very like the Irish? Very guttural and so on?
- Myself: Yes.
- The Plain People of Ireland: People say that the German language and the Irish language is very guttural tongues.
- Myself: Yes.
- The Plain People of Ireland: The sounds is all guttural do you understand.
- Myself. Yes.
- The Plain People of Ireland: Very guttural languages the pair of them the Gaelic and the German.
And now - although it is most unlikely they exist - to all those who happen to not being in possession of the master's complete œvre: Saddle your ponies, folks, and hurry up. The friendly, most well-educated and -sorted bookseller just round the corner will be happy to fill the gaps of your education and in your bookshelf.