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Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Chapel Hill, Boston, Istanbul, Calgary, Washington DC, Austin, Tunis, Warszawa and counting

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

No More The Moon Shines On Lorena (The Carter Family)

No More The Moon Shines On Lorena (The Carter Family)

I've said this before, why does no one in the US begin to attack Bush more for his absolute failure in catching these Al-Qaida leaders, shouldn't that be the most pressing task for him?

The Boondocks rule today and I found this gem in the NY Times. Can't really add anything to that article, because I am (a) really tired and (b) just totally agree.

My first week in the German parliament shapes out to be a complete waste of time since most likely no one will be able to give me anything to do until next week. After that it's supposed to get better. If that turns out to be true, then this week actually suits me well, since I have to write this complicated paper on the US Senate. I'll talk some more about that as soon as I am done with it. Two remarks on the parliament though. Number one, the library there might be the sexiest thing I have ever seen, the amounts of current magazines and books is just astonishing, in a way wish I will never get any work and just spend my time reading there. Number two, they actually have a gymn and a weight room in there, including a really nice hoop court. So first thing tomorrow morning (before my guided library tour at 9) will be to shoot some hoops and go into the weight room for a while. Hope to reestablish my momentarily completely screwed up mental health with that again (created by an overload of work or stress coupled with having to sit around for hours not being able to do anything). Wish me luck.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Something Got A Hold Of Me (Hank Williams)

Something Got A Hold Of Me (Hank Williams)

Linking to a great song by Hank Williams today. I've decided (for now) to side-step the legal issue and only link to songs performed by artists who have been dead for more than 50 years, since (according to European law) on theses songs there are no copyright restrictions anymore.

I started work today and it was an amazing bore, hopefully the will start giving me something to do tomorrow. But, this still means I have to get up early and do loads of university work during the night meaning I don't have as much time anymore to detail stuff here (except of course if I am bored at a computer at work :d).

Just one quick link about the Birdman, just because he has such a weird life story for a baller.

And a couple of random thoughts on Hamas' win in the elections in Palestina:
- Isn't it (positively) amazing that the current administration seems to step down without any kind of resistance? This is democracy, practised by a people that do not even have a state and no kind of order really. Isn't this what the West has been asking for the whole time? Taking place in the Middle East of all places?
- Hamas in power will become just another political party (maybe they will split, with a smaller faction clinging to their guns), history has proven it (Sinn Fein, Hizbollah (in Libanon)).
- Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is a lame duck, yet the Western world needs him to not have to deal with Hamas directly (for now, meaning for not too long, because politics move fast). I mean think about, how ridicolous is it that the German chancellerette (:d) does not meet with the election winners? I think she should have done just that and, while doing so, made clear that the existance of Israel is not open to debate. Isolating Hamas will not work, it is a dead end only days after the election already.
- Where this could hurt is Israel. I guess my dream (aka Peretz) is dead, but then let's hope the Israelis are not stupid enough to fall for Netanjahu again but rather will settle for Olmert.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday Evening (Chaka Demus & Pliers)

Friday Evening (Chaka Demus & Pliers)

Forgot the links to Paul Shirley's most recent journal entries last night. Really would be great if he managed to sign into the NBA again, he provides the best behind-the-scenes look that I have ever read or seen anywhere:
15 & 16

Friday Night Jamboree (Jah Thomas)

Friday Night Jamboree (Jah Thomas)

Have a completely random collection today, hope your minds are as twisted (should I say screwed up? twisted sounds kind of vain somehow) as mine sometimes is.

To start out on a negative note (is there a nice opposite to cheery btw?), I just spent some time doing one of my favourite pasttimes when I am actually supposed to study or look up something for class, which is browsing through Wikipedia, most of the time simply clicking myself through one topic and stumbling onto new ones. I found one really depressing entrance there about the Righteous Among the Nations. The depressing factor kicks in when one looks at the list at the bottom. Germany is 10th with only 410 people having been recognized, not even a tenth of what either Poland or the Netherlands offer. On the one hand it has to be taken account that people coming out of Germany had to be more righteous so to speak in order to be recognized, the reasons for which I believe do not have to be elaborated upon. But, considering the population Germany had back then (around 40 to 50 million would be my personal guess, but that is really just a wild guess) and the fact that, again because of sheer size (meaning the absolute numbers of deported humans was so much higher than say in the Netherlands), so many more opportunities were available, I believe it is just shocking how few Germans actually acted upon their conscience and DID something. (That is assuming their consciences told that them, if that was not even the case, which it probably wasn't, that just makes it even more horrible.) The percentage of people who actively did anything against the biggest crime in the history of mankind must have been simply ludicrous (hope that word conveys my meaning there, am not quite sure about its use here). Fucked up, fucked up, and yeah, really depresses me, hope I shared my gloom successfully.

After this amazing beginning, we'll just answer the question of postmodernism (as far as I understand it, correct me if I am wrong) of whether there can be anything after the holocaust with yes. (And I hope it is understood that lame sarcasm is the only way I can go on in anyway after concentrating on stuff like this for too long.) Here is an article from the FR (in German) which proposes a sarcastic (and yes, I feel bad about using that word twice in the matter of like two sentences) solution to the Middle East dilemna, kind of liked it.

In all honesty I wanted to mainly discuss some bball crap here (the stuff that I didn't get done last time) but, I don't know, it feels sacriligous to just change to bs like that. So I will not really discuss any of this but simply post it:
Really weird fight (one-sided initially) between Isiah Thomas and Bill Simmons
1 & 2

Is LeBron a choke artist? (I really wanted to say some stuff on this topic, maybe I'll come back to this later at some point, if it comes up again or King James proves us wrong come april (I always fuck up with the months in basketball, when do the playoffs start?)):
Clutch advantage

One German quote to end it all (general observation: weird how, while writing, one tends to end up with different priorities than the ones one had in mind in the beginning...):
"Uta Brandes, Professorin an der International School of Design in Köln, verficht die These, Fußball sei eigentlich ein Frauensport, "in dem Männer wildern":
"Beim Fußballspielen ... benehmen sich Männer so, wie es als typisch für Frauen gilt", schreibt die Designfachfrau. Die Kicker brächten "enorme Gefühlswallungen" zum Ausdruck: "Sie brüllen, weinen, brechen zusammen, lachen, hüpfen vor Freude ... Im Fußball übertrifft der expressive Körperkontakt ... alles mädchenhaft Dagewesene." Brandes weist darauf hin, dass "ständiges Anfassen und der Wunsch nach großer Körpernähe typische Vergewisserungswünsche von Frauen beziehungsweise Mädchen" seien.

Oh yeah, to everybody who didn't get it, I've started to use song titles as my 'headlines' since I seemingly cannot offer songs without risking prosecution, a subject on which I have still come to no definite conlusion yet though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones)

Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones)

Spent a good half-weekend with my girlfriend in Frankfurt, the second half sucked because I got food-poisining from some oysters I ate, wasting my time on Sunday solely with lying in bed and hanging over the toilet. Good times all around.
Quite the busy post today, have a lot of interesting stuff to catch up to (and a class which already started 15 minutes ago, but since I haven't managed to read the book we were supposed to have finished by today, I might as well be a little late). Gonna start out with the intellectual stuff and then cross over to BBall after that...

I'm assuming all of you have heard of Bin Laden's new message. Here is what the NY Times has to say about it. What I personally wonder about are two things.
One, why is no one in American politics (and that include the Democrats and Kerry at the last elections) making a bigger deal out of the fact that the current administration is failing miserably in catching the guy responsible (according to the official US-position at least) for the single worst terrorist attack ever? What was it that Bush said shortly afterwards? We will get him dead or alive or some crap. It's been four years. Two countries have been invaded, the US has spent billions on this so-called War on Terror (if there ever was a misnomer this would be it, but anyway) and they can't even get Bin Laden? Fuck, Germany caught Baader, Meinhof and Esslin rather easily. Every video this guy sends out is a mocking to the American effort or rather its effectiveness in this fight. Seriously.
Two, and yeah, I nearly forgot about this, because number one quite enrages me (does that sound British or do I just imagine that?), shouldn't people (OK, I am lagging behind in my newspaper reading again, having been sick and in Frankfurt, so maybe everybody is doing this already) completely focus on the fact that Bin Laden has offered a truce to the US? I mean, I don't think you should take him up on it or anything (this being based upon principal thoughts regarding the state which I will not detail upon right now...), but what the fuck? Bin Laden wants to make a deal? With whom? The devil? What results is he expecting, the complete drawback of heathen troops (and civilians?) from islamic countries? Basically I have two attempted explanations for this. Number one, Bin Laden and his followers have been hit hard by US-actions against them (whether of military or financial nature) and simply need a break. Number two, he is losing support in the Islam world because the people dying in most attacks nowadays are not heathens or even American soldiers or something but rather civilian muslims, whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan or Saudi-Arabia. A Pan-Arabian Islamic government? Honestly this leaves me rather dumb-struck. It is kind of like Hitler calling for negotiations with Israel (and yes, I know Israel did not exist then, but you get my point) or McCarthy asking for a truce with Stalin (on a less harsh level than the former comparison so to speak).

The new Bolivian President has been sworn in. Am not going to focus on this for too long. But analogue to China having been 'lost' under Eisenhower (or was it Truman?) what's up with South America going completely left after Bush has taken office. Chavez, Lula, that new Chilean woman (can't think of the name right now), Argentina, now Bolivia, definitly seems to be a back lash to American policies in 'their' own hemisphere. The good thing about most of these guys (with the notable exception of Chavez) seems to be that they busy themselves with sensible left-wing politics (coupled with radical left-wing propaganda, but then whose agenda isn't radical) and do not pursue autocratic options or communist measures that make good PR but do not offer any results for the people.

Last on the politics agenda is a Tocqueville article from the NY Times which is very interesting. Haven't read that book initially, but large excerpts. Definitly seems worth a read though, the same applies to that new book which is mentioned in the article.

Regarding BBall I wanted to inform y'all of two developments, when Kobe chimed in and even though I do not like him, I guess I cannot ignore him... Going for 81 of course is incredible and does deserve some follow up. Just a couple of notes on that. Is is harder or easier for a perimeter player to score as much? I would believe in the harder aspect since that position involves a lot more movement on both ends. John Carrol argues that it might be easier because as a front court player the ball needs to be fed to you, while Kobe can pick up outside somewhere. Another random thought, Kobe didn't really have to defend anyone against Toronto did he? Who plays SG for the Raptors? Morris Peterson? Dan Dickau could probably check him, so this fact kind of counters my believe in the difficulty of scoring in these heights for guards at least for this game. But in general this just leaves me speechless.

I actually had even more for today, but I seriously need to get to class now, plus this is long enough as it is. I'll do the rest either tonigh (we might finally get Internet at our place tonight) or tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday (Raekwon)

Friday (Raekwon)

Catchy title, ain't it? Didn't even make it to friday with the songs, but then I can't cheat right now, 'cause I don't have my musical database here, so bear with me.
Good news of the week, month, perhaps even the year so far (no, that would have been me selling out) is that we are finally going to have internet at our place next week, meaning I can yeah, well, waste more time I guess and download even more crap I don't need, ain't it wonderful?
Only have one article for today, in German too. It's from my most favorite newspaper page ever possibly, which would be the last one of the Zeit, a page where some professor (usually) discusses a historic topic, that chances are you know about, yet not really. (What a great sentence that, but I am in a hurry, I have class again in a second). The article deals with the supposedly clean (as if war ever could be clean) war that the German army fought in the West. I would say enjoy, but that does not seem apropriate somehow.

PS: I cheated and searched for and found a song with exactly that title after all :d

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (well, almost)

Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (well, almost)

Wonder at what point I will run out of song titles with weekdays in them, probably quite soon actually. Anyway, lot of crap for university right now, I have an oral presentation about the USA PATRIOT Act tomorrow (quite an interesting topic btw, I'll definitly post something on that when I'm through with it).

I have already sent some of you guys this essay, I wrote it for a North American Studies Class and I kind of like it. And here is one of the sources I base that essay on, definitly check the article if you don't want to read my own crap.

And here a crazy article from the Frankfurter Rundschau about an American plane loaded with 4 atomic bombs that crashed into a small Spanish village (in German) (quite some time ago I should add).

Monday, January 16, 2006

Blue Monday (Fats Domino)

Blue Monday (Fats Domino)

Way too much university stuff to do. Anyway not like I actually don't enjoy doing my crap there, not as those poor law or business people (most of the time true at least from what I gather).

Somebody posted a link in the comments section (, that I thought I should feature here as well. In case you do not like registering for sites...

Ok, what do we have for today, another Bill Simmons column where he very adamantly asks for the firing of Doc Rivers. Again, kind of as Paul Shirley, I have the feeling his writing has suffered (in this case ever since his bore him a daughter (had to use that, sorry, just thought it sounded cool in a biblical way)), but maybe I have simply read too much of his by now.

Then there is a really interesting article in this week's Zeit (in German obviously) talking about how South Korea tries to sort of stabilize the North Korean government and economy (against American wishes, being that North Korea would be part of the infamous Axis of Evil), because of the lessons they learned by studying Germen Reunification. With North Korea having more people and being a lot less developed than the former GDR. Interesting. I recommend printing this at work or something, 'cause it seems a bit long to read online, but then maybe that's just me being anal and hating to read online too much.

And then I thought I'd make some advertisement for my Dad's radio show, which airs tonight from 2 to 5 in the morning (make that minus 6 hours for the American East coast, so 8 to 11 pm, if my math doesn't fail me). You can listen to it online. It's mostly music, some spoken German comments, but the music kicks ass, trust me (well, if you know me well, that might actually be counterproductive, but hey, can't help but try).

One last personal thing. I've been accepted for an internship position in a FDP-Bundestagsbüro (the FDP is the market-liberal party here). So on the one hand I am really happy and proud of being able to do that, of working in the parliament (of working for the people so to speak to be really corny), but, and this is a major but, that I have been thinking about a good bit, it'll be with the FDP. Meaning I will endorse positions I do not believe to be true, just or fair. Positions I actually in most cases will believe to be counter productive for the general public. So, even though I will not get any money (well, maybe a small sum not exceeding 150€ a month and I even doubt that), I am wondering whether I have sold myself with that or whether am I exaggerating here. Seems to be a little bit of a dilemna and I haven't succesfully come to any kind of conclusion here yet. Not that that will change anything, I definitly will take the position and start working there on the 30th, it is only about whether I consider myself a hypocrite (or a phonie to refer to Mr Holden Caulfield here for a second) or not. 30 silver pieces so to speak.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday Blues

A friend told me, that he knows of at least on person who got sued for putting music online in a blog, the way I did/do, so I guess I have to think about what that means for me, not quite sure yet, until I decide it'll be just random crap and links (for which I have actually gotten two positive email-feedbacks already, which, yeah, is cool :d).

The first one is in German but so random I loved it:
Frankfurter Rundschau

then, here is Paul Shirley's newest journal entry:
his writing skills seem to have deterioated a little for some reason, but I really recommend reading his early stuff, maybe I'll post a link at some point (don't even know whether that stuff still is online)

oh yeah,
my girlfriend send me this one, it's in English, probably only of interest to those of you though who have actually been to Germany:

and one last thing, I have added my favorite comic strip (The Boondocks) onto the link section on the right, it is barely syndicated in the US (too political), love it though

Friday, January 13, 2006

Reading material

Two quite interesting articles I thought, the first one is detailing what Bill Simmons thinks about Kobe Bryant sitting out the 4th quarter after having outscored Dallas 62-61 in the first three. The other one talks about a split in the Iraqi insurgence groups. The US should have tried to work that angle fuckin ages ago if you ask me.



You need to have a sign-up name for the NY Times article, but if you don't have that I'd recommend getting one anyway...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beginnings...or back because of popular demand

In my ongoing attempt to become cool at some point and because of popular demand (meaning one person in a drunken state of mind wondered why I hadn't sent him any songs in quite a while) I have decided to join the blogsphere (that word somehow sounds really corny and bad but hey...). No, don't worry I will not keep all of you updated here on what I eat for dinner (probably pasta with tuna tonight). Rather, and some of you will probably have received my irregular showering of songs already, I will simply put songs on here every once in a while that might or might not interest you, that might or might not be new to you. Apart from that it'll be ramblings and ravings and some information about the singers or the songs that I post. We'll see whether I keep this up or whether it will be a fad solely (probably my interest in it will have something to do with how many people (if any) actually look at this thing every once in a while).
So without further ado, I have two songs here that I really like:

Kinky Friedman - They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore

Big Maybelle - One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

Kinky Friedman is this pretty funny jewish, Texan (I think) country singer, a little bit in this Hank Williams Jr vein, but a good bit better I believe.

Big Maybelle is, nomen est omen, one of these massive, black blues-shouters who just plainly kick ass. Big Mama Thornton comes to mind as someone comparable.

Hope y'all like it.

Feedback more than welcome (hint, hint).