Tuesday, 6 March 2018

This is Not True

Despite the fact that anti-EU, populist parties in Italy have been supporting an appeasement policy vis-à-vis Russia

In my imagination, the following took place in a meeting, some time ago, at the political cyber hacking centre of the FSPM, a unit of the Russian Secret Service. The subject was the 2018 Italian elections. As they did in the USA, Britain, France and Germany, a plan had been prepared and a budget was brought for approval. And yet, much to the disappointment of the colonel in charge of the web brigades (troll army) for Southern Europe, the FSPM General in charge of cyberwarfare in countries that are not yet ready for military takeover, laughed it off explaining that Italian politics are so chaotic, that no external interference is needed to ensure continued weakness.

As not to offend the Italians, the Russians have denied the veracity of the above story.   

The Darkest Hour – in German

Friends of mine took me to the pictures last night. They wanted to see the Churchill film, which was being screened in the German version.

I would, of course, have preferred to see this film in its original English. And yet, hearing the gifted orator successfully turn parliament from doubt and resistance to produce frenzied support of his “war to the end” policy, in the German language, with German idioms and figures of speech, and not in English, was illuminating.

Doubtlessly, evil Hitler with his evil plans and evil methods, cannot be compared with Churchill, acting to save Britain. Moreover, Churchill was part of a democracy, and had to democratically overcome opposition to his policies. This was a burden which Hitler – who had those disagreeing with him killed – did not have to bother with.

But whereas the causes cannot be compared, one can compare the manipulation techniques. It is useful to be aware of the ease with which gifted speakers can emotionally manipulate, to achieve their own ends.  Nationalist fervour in humans knows no national boundaries.   

Jared Kushner

I have been asked, why I have stopped writing to Jared Kushner. I therefore must inform you that I have cut all my connections with JK. He is way too deep in it and I will have nothing anymore to do with him.

You are all my witnesses that I repeatedly warned him. He cannot say that I didn’t. What a fool.

Making a run for it, as an immigrant to Israel is, of course, still open to him.  

Friday, 2 February 2018

Kicked by China

So low has Brexit Britain sunk, that Chinese government media commend Theresa May for not raising human rights issues, during her current China visit.

Putting economic interests before moral values is unattractive, yet widespread. But it is rare to be shamed in the act, as Theresa May now has. Detecting Britain’s Brexit weakness, China informs the world, what doing business with the great power entails. Take it or leave it.

Theresa May: your decision to prostitute yourself for the prime minister’s job is one thing. Do not prostitute Britain. Moreover, in that line of business, try to be classier, not one that gets pointed at by her clients.  

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Is it ok to burn flags?

Today’s German Süddeutsche Zeitung carries an op-ed, “Wenn Israels Flagge brennt”, that I wrote about flag burning and whether it should be outlawed, a demand that arose in Germany, following the recent burning of Israeli flags at anti-Israel demonstrations. These demonstrations took place after Trumps announcement that he would be moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Get a copy, if you read German.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Boycott Austria?

Austria’s new extremist right-wing government is sadly no surprise. We are, after all, surrounded by the USA, Poland, Hungary, Israel and the unmissable gnarls in the UK, France and Germany, to name but a few.

The Austrians have already announced that they will be cutting the monthly payments to refugees. 

Has the time come to boycott Austria back to its senses? How about skiing in France or in Italy instead?  How about giving the Salzburg Festival a miss this year? If it makes it any easier, Munich’s opera is better anyway.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Getting Older

The New York Times ran an article, a few days ago,  suggesting that people my age, spend more time:
1.   Playing golf
2.   Playing cards
3.   Playing with their grandchildren
4.   Playing with the remote control

So: I have never played golf, nor have I played any game of cards, since I was a child. I do not plan to start either. I do not have grandchildren to play with, nor do I own a TV.

Therefore, dear New York Times, I am unable (and unwilling) to follow your advice.

Happy new Year.

McCarthy - No Dream

Nazi Germany introduced laws faster, but they had the advantage of full control. Trump still, occasionally, has problems with Congress. Where we would be without the hardly checking and definitely not balancing is demonstrated by the latest report on banned words, allegedly issued by the US Government’s Center for Disease Control.

Staff at this federal agency were given a list of words or phrases, which should not be used in any official documents prepared for next year’s budget. The list includes: fetus, transgender, vulnerable, diversity, entitlement, evidence-based and science-based.  The new speak, approved by the Trump  Politruks,** is  “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

Next step will be the punishment of those still caught using decadent language.

**  In the Soviet system, the Politruk, the political commissar, was the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education and organization, and committed to the civilian control of the military.

Monday, 4 December 2017

America - No Hope

Americans are not a race and forming an opinion about “the Americans” would therefore not count as racism. It would undeniably be a generalisation. Yet what is one to think, when one learns that a year into the election of this despicable man, his approval rating has hardly dipped amongst Republicans in the United States.

After a year of Trumpism, four out of five Republicans, still support this vile man. He represents their values, views and wishes. They trust him to navigate their country best and feel comfortable in being represented by him.

An approval rating that has not gone lower than 79% and according to the latest Gallop poll, a few days ago, stood at 81% is sick and is worrying. Not only is there no hope of impeachment (Republican politicians who criticise Trump, get punished by voters!), but with such ratings, there is no hope for America.

At a party in Los Angeles, last May, friends of friends said to me “do not think badly of us, here we did not vote for him.” This is difficult. It is difficult not to think badly of a society that allows such deterioration.

 “God Bless America”, like so many slogans, is also empty and meaningless.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Is Trump a Terrorist?

Yesterday, Theresa May criticised Trump for his recent incendiary tweets in which he repeated hate emanating from a far right and nationalist group in the UK. The subject of Trumps hate speech were his pet-enemies, the Muslims. In reaction to Theresa May’s condemnation, Trump came out with: “don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”

Trump is partially right, we should not focus on Trump as a person, his hair colour, his mannerisms, his primitiveness, his many bankruptcies, his sexual abuse, his pathological lies, but rather on Trump the terrorist. Trump who has been allowed by the voters of his country to terrorise the world.

Terrorism, according to one definition is “the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror, or fear, to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim.” Violence can also be verbal and an important element ensuring the success of terrorists is the reporting of their deeds.  A bomb we do not know of, may kill the people directly hit, but does not terrorise the rest of us.

The Americans elected this despicable man as their president. It would help us all were the media to stop reporting every noxious smell he produces. Let the stench remain in the USA.