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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

You Ain't Nothing But Fine

Rockin' Sidney - You Ain't Nothing But Fine

Nothing but good news coming out of Germany these days. I am going to go into the most horrible thing next time around, starting off with just some regular politics joke. Apparently the German Familienministerin (secretary of the family, or someting like that I guess) is working on an outline to help people educate their children. This actually might not be all that pointless (even though the big government complications even someone as left-wing as me is aware of), but Von der Leyen thinks it necessary to work out this outline with representatives of the two major Christian churches in Germany. Not only did I think we had a constitutional seperation of church and state, guess I was wrong on that one, but I also am wondering which part of the population this church-guided approach is supposed to appeal to, the 8% of small-town folks that are still actually religious? What a joke.

Plus, I love the timing of Leyen (I am going to leave out this nobility bullshit since we luckily are a republic since 1918 and these noble bastards were rendered powerless that november) considering we just had one of the worst and most disgusting attacks on a foreigner in Germany in a while (I am going to get to that tomorrow) maybe it finally would have been time for someone to adress the biggest minority living in Germany and actually include some kind of muslim institution? These conservative politicians really don't seem to realize that times have changed and what kind of impression they make on some of the more easily swayed folks (aka the Bild-Leser). More on xenophobic Germany tomorrow though.

1, 2 (German) articles

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jelly Roll King

Frank Frost - Jelly Roll King

I am sure most of you have heard of the controversy regarding the pictures taken by the Sun during Merkel's vacation in Italy. Here are the two (I believe only) published pictures (1,2). The Bild-Zeitung of course took it upon themself to defend German pride, no matter that only days earlier they had published daily unflattering pictures of Merkel (while of course not as bad as those by the Sun) thus invading her privacy rights as well (click on the photo gallery on the left of the Bild-article in order to see these pics).

The reason why I actually care about this, is not Merkel's attractiveness or Germany's hurt sense of pride or some other crap like that. What is more important to me is the degrading position that women are put into in general. Here is the leader of one of the most powerful (economically at least) countries in the world (what are we? the third largest economy?), who gives a flying fuck what her ass looks like? Anyone cares about how Schröder, Bush, Putin or Blair look like when they put on swimming shorts? Seriously, I can't believe this actually is a topic in the first place. Seems like the 60s never happened or something.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Roscoe Gordon - Booted

'Jack, man have you ever been booted?' -- 'You sayin booted?' -- 'Yeah man, booted.'

Seems like the last authoritarian leader of Western Europe - for now only of course - has finally been booted. Am not going to go into him refusing to acknowledge his defeat here too much, would only like to point the not all that flattering comparison to a certain German politician this provokes (to the future energy kingpin). I would like to make my worthy readers aware of one current theme though. It seems as if a lot of the more recent elections shared the fact that they were unusually close. The US in 2000, Germany in 2005, Italy just now. I believe the Spanish elections two or three years ago were quite close as well. Wonder whether there is anykind of explanation for this out there. Cursory one would expect elections in times of dwindling party affiliations to produce clear results based on fads and trends. Anybody have an explanation - or another example - please venture forth.

Just noticed that I hadn't even mentioned whom I was talking about in the beginning of that paragraph. I was, of course, referring to Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister (is that capitalized in English?). The epitome of everything that can go wrong in a democracy in the modern capitalistic world. An authoritarian leader with no ideals - neither left or right - but only the desire to secure his position (economically but also to prevent himself from being sent where he belongs - jail). The amazing thing about this really is that - luckily I might add only - nearly 50% of the Italian population - the voting part that is, which actually is supposed to be educated better than the average anyway - still voted for a man who repeatedly brought into effect laws that were tailored to keep judges from holding trial over him and ruined his countries economy while his companies were flourishing, also his family directly benefited from decisions made by his government - the sale of digital TV-receivers is one example that I know of. But then Germans voted Hitler into office so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

No song today, I am visiting my girlfriend and Frankfurt and thus do not have access to my music collection. Weather is crappy here too btw, hope summer will start at some point this year.

I've talked about Moussaoui before, he really seems to be some sorry bastard who feels like he needs to make himself a hero by exaggerating his role in the 9/11 attacks and receiving the death penalty. What a loser, seriously.

According to the NY Times Europe Stalls on [its] Road to Economic Change. Read this article carefully and you will find quite a few mistakes (claiming that the Social Democratic party is Merkel's biggest obstacle in the path of reform for example, saying that Schröder's reforms have made a difference in Germany...), but the biggest of them all and the one I do not understand at all is this complete blindness to anything else but the standard libertarian approach. If Europe does not reform in a way that will make it more similar to how things in the US are we are all going to die in misery basically.

What BS.

Look at the Scandanivian countries look at the crisis in Argentina in 2002 (hope I got the year right there). There is no one concept that will work. And just because the French people do not want to be fired without anyone having to even give them a reason to do so, that doesn't not mean that they are incapable of surviving, incapable of reforming and changing their economy and lifes. And neither are we (meaning the rest of Europe). I don't even want to go down that path that the US is, with the people at the top making more and more money while the ones at the bottom barely scrape by. Yes, we cannot keep on living the way we have the last 50 years but that doesn't mean other options aren't out there except privatizing everything and making sure rich companies or people don't pay taxes anymore.

Btw, I will start my new minor next week (economy), so basically you can expect more of this crap as the semester progresses. Happy Easter to everyone (even though I don't even know what that is supposed to mean to me).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

They're Red Hot (Robert Johnson)

Robert Johnson: They're Red Hot

Wollte nur mal darauf aufmerksam machen wie latent ausländerfeindlich die deutsche Gesellschaft eigentlich ist, diese Zeitung hat 12 Millionen Leser (glaube ich). Wir sind sowas von ruckständig in Bezug auf Integrationsversuche, echt unglaublich. Das läuft mit den Ausländern falsch.

Die 68er hatten halt doch recht, enteignet Springer!

Friday, April 07, 2006

There Were Ten German Bombers in the Air and the RAF shot one down

Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press have published an interesting article in Foreign Affairs, The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy. Basically they are arguing that since the demise of the Soviet Union the USA has gained nuclear primacy and will continue having it for some time to come as well. Nucear primacy describes the ability to strike at another country (China, Russia...) without having to fear destruction in retribution. The US does have that ability right now simply because they would be able to take out most (if not all) nuclear capabilities of these two possible antagonists. There is no country in the world right now that has a second strike option the way the Soviet Union did. The authors further argue, that the US is intentionally expanding their lead in this matter in order to preserve this primacy. I am not sure what to make of this, it definitly seems to make sense to me though, since the US does have to realize that it will not be possible for it to dominate world politics much longer on the basis of economic power or army forces since other countries (China!) will overtake them. Just some food for thought.

If your knowledge of the bible is somewhat lacking maybe you have a look at this site. Somebody seems to have had a lot of time on his/her hands.

The title of today's entry is in tribute to a video a group of German anarchists produced. Apparently Ten German Bombers is sung by British football fans a lot, but the FA (Football Association in Britain) is trying to stop them from doing so at the world cup here as well. I guess, as a kind of tribute to anti-fascist forces and the anti-German sentiments of left-wings, this group produced the song with a techno beat (the music is horrible I admit it). Brings me back to my days of hating on the German national team, I used to watch them and cheer for whoever they playing against, somehow that lost all of its fun since they actually do lose all the time. Rooting for a sucky team to lose just doesn't do much for one, kind of sad really. In this sense:
2 World Wars and 1 World Cup

Abschließend für alle meine deutschsprachigen Leser, versucht Euch mal an diesem Test. Ich hatte 39 von 41 (muß aber zugeben, daß die Zeitungen vorher einfach schon viel Informationen über den Test bereithielten und meine Daten dadurch nach oben verfälscht wurden), würde mich mal interessieren was Ihr da so kriegt. Keine Angst leite die Daten an niemanden weiter, Ihr werdet nicht ausgebürgert.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Du Brauchst Bei Mir Nur Anzurufen (Will Glahé)

I might be considered yellow, but I have decided once again to refrain from posting songs that might result in me having legal problems. Thus, after reading up on German (or European for the most part actually) copyright laws some, I will only post songs which are not copyright protected anymore (meaning they were published originally more than 50 years ago). No more Hip Hop I guess.

To start this off, here is some hardcore old German Jazz from the 30s, You Only Have To Call Me by Will Glahé.

Religion, once again, has enthralled me. Check what scientologists believe in, maybe I should really start boycotting these morons (Tom Cruise and Travolta that is), such losers. Anyway. The importance of religion in the US keeps on bewildering me (and I usually don't like posting stuff like this, because it feeds the usual (and really stupid for the most part) anti-americanism currently fashionable in Europe).

The [US-]government has spent more than $2.3 million on prayer research since 2000.

The NY Times in a prominent position publishes an article about a study on the effectiveness of prayer. Not to sound arrogant or anything, but I could have told them that it wouldn't work in advance. Bizarre.

Stephen Biddle's assessment of the Iraq which I have discussed before gains some further credence with this article. All signs seem to point to the Iraq inching towards a full-blown ethnic war with maybe even the Balkanization of the country looming on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sad Sad Day (Muddy Waters)

Today is the late great McKinley Morganfield's birthday. Sad, Sad Day when he passed away, surely one of the few truly genius musicians out there.

The Intern said the only reason why he posted this was because he could, I would concur but now I'll just pretend to pay a tribute to UF winning the NCAA-Tournament this year. This is from the Intern as well, anybody would like to watch the movie with me? Seriously don't think I have ever seen a suckier preview.

I am currently writing a paper on Twain's Huckleberry Finn, specifically the question of racism regarding Huck and Mr Clemens. Found some interesting food for thought in one of the books about that novel (cannot recall where I found it, sorry).

Basically the author makes his reader aware of the fact, "that the United States established a fiction that denied sexual and social contact among the races". How does that manifest itself you want to know? He (don't think it was a woman) says that "unlike in Spanish (and Portugese) there is no English word [for] mestizo, zambo, mulatto". Zambo is Portugese for a person of Native-African descent. I am sure you know the other ones (in case you don't, mestizo is a person of European-Native origin, I'll leave it up to your math skills to find out what the last one is).

In the South a person was considered black if 1/16 of his ancestors had been of African descent, that is stricter than racial rules in Nazi Germany (1/8 jewish heritage was the requirement by law). I thought this was really interesting. I cannot though, really give you any conclusions on it, maybe there are none but that American society must have been so racist it is barely conceivable for one so free and religious at the same time.