Dangerous Mixture

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

The remaining Republican constituency, however numerous, has solidified into an unsocialzed, deluded bunch over a laughingstock like Trump: His followers are filled with a pathetic, populist mindset camouflaged as patriotism, fed by fabricated catchphrases that even the mentally deficient can easily memorize and then parrot as the familiar bird can.

Thematically, most can hardly produce anything coherent from their own thoughts that would make any sense to support their views. Apart from repeating propaganda platitudes, they do not provide any answers to problems that exist in reality. An own fact check with appropriate background knowledge does not take place, because the mental energy is missing and often probably also an honest intention.

It is frightening to observe how much this propaganda-pushed mentality is becoming entrenched in other developed countries as well – but nowhere else as intensively as in the USA. Trump embodies the intellectual decay of much of American society.

There is no end in sight to the dangerous blend of misinformation, lies, conspiracy theories, not-knowing, misdirection, and delusion. For there are millions of people who blindly believe every claim, no matter how abstruse, as long as it only corresponds to their own paranoid fantasies.

Work Ethic is Dying?

It doesn’t get any more cynical than this

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

See the image below:

This person unknown to me is much better than I am at expressing the American problem in a few simple words. The irrefutable facts he mentions apply to more than half of the US-population with rising tendency, even though the wealth in this country exists to provide remedies that would benefit the society as a whole. To deny this would mean to dispute reality. I’ve been there, I’ve worked at Walmart for eight years, with great difficulty trusting my eyes and ears and at the same time knowing that I’m in the United States of America, which (almost) everyone in Europe considers the leading country in the world.

It should not go unmentioned who pays for said food stamps. Not Walmart, not Corporate America, who are shirking their responsibility because they cannot get enough down their greedy throat. It’s the common taxpayer, you and me, which makes it doubly outrageous. This is how Americans in their own country are being cheated good and proper, and they’re letting it happen to them.

Of course, politicians have a moral obligation to intervene through regulation in the interest of the common good. Multi-billion corporations should pay their employees decent wages, so that no public tax money has to be spent on food stamps. Ration cards came into use elsewhere in post-war times – not at all in the 21st century.

And where are the Churches? Here all of a sudden, where it is about the real, earthly problems of the little man, they do not interfere in politics – that is very strange. Are they afraid of having to pay taxes like their flock of sheep, so that their hypocritical business will no longer yield enough profit? You don’t have to open your eyes too wide to see how representatives of politics and the clergy work together hand in hand to play the little man for a sucker and line their own pockets. This is arranged to keep the masses in line.

After all, one crow does not peck out the eye of another. Amen.

Calling for more Violence

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

In light of recent developments, the likelihood of an increase in politically motivated violence in the United States is becoming more and more realistic. The refusal of the predominantly Republican members of parliament to set up a commission of inquiry into the events of January 6 is clear evidence that large sections of them are prepared to at least approvingly accept violence even against state institutions and the security agencies that protect them. This is unprecedented in a constitutional democracy.

A bipartisan investigation could also have provided final clarity and evidence on the political background comprising the mob that invaded the Capitol on January 6. Reportedly, more than half of Republican supporters believe that Antifa was behind it as well as other radical left-wing groups, organized by Democrats to “make Trump look bad.” This statement is of course absurd, if only because there is no significant radical left group in the U.S. organizationally and logistically able to plan and implement an action of such magnitude as the capture of the parliamentary seat in Washington D.C. The assertion is one of the usual catchphrases coming from the right-wing political camp, whereby the senders know only too well how unlikely it is that any of the Trump supporters would be able to explain impromptu what Antifa actually means, not to mention the historical context.

The delaying tactics of officials who are responsible for their country and were elected to serve law and justice, sends a pernicious and dangerous signal to the American public because it de facto normalizes violence as a means to achieve political objectives.

What halfway sound person can seriously want that for his or her country? It should be readily apparent how little such an approach can serve the good of the United States.

This is the true consequence of the fact that someone like Donald J. Trump could become president in this country. And there are too many leaders in the Republican Party who will not stop the further courting of an insane man. The question is at which point on the priority list is the interest of their country.

The Grand Old Party, if it indeed remains on this path, will continue to cultivate the crazy, so they can get elected by the crazy. Are there really so many ideologically blinded, pretended patriots in this country who are unable to put one and one together?

Twisted Talent: DeSantis for President

The Man who invented Germany in the Middle Ages

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Ron DeSantis is an especially known interpretative twister of facts – obvious at least for those who scrutinize his claims -; and he is somebody who has been talking after Trump’s mouth. He is not bothered by any nonsense he utters because he knows that his willing audience will accept anything.

But maybe someone should give him some private lessons in history, because when he tells a certain story with a religious tinge of the three masons “in Germany in medieval times”, all his ignorance comes through.

True, it’s a brilliant story he’s spinning – but unfortunately with a little flaw: For in the times of the Middle Ages, not only did Germany not exist, neither as a country nor as a unified nation – hardly anyone would have known what to do with the term “Germany” up to the 15th century. DeSantis, however, seems to like Germany, because he mentions the country quite often – unfortunately never in a logical context.

With this in mind: What kind of political leaders are these – in this case an acting governor in Florida – who open their mouths and don’t know what they are talking about? Before one speaks, one should know.

Probably this figure also wants to become the next president of the United States of America.

Remark: The first German nation-state was proclaimed on 18 January, 1871, in Versailles; its founder was the Prussian Prime Minister and subsequent Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. The “Germany” to which DeSantis wishes to refer was, from the 9th century onward, called the “Holy Roman Empire”, later of German Nation – a loose, often obscure association of kingdoms, counties, duchies, numbering 330 in the 18th century and often in enmity with each other. For a long time, Austria-Habsburg was the leading power. – This political entity came to an end only late – in 1806 with the Prussian defeat by Napoleon.

Germany: Conservatives Choose Candidate for Chancellor

…but the next person in charge could be a woman again

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

It was obvious that the CDU Federal Executive Board last weekend would push through its own party colleague and not the man from the sister party, the Bavarian CSU. After all, there are many members on the board with their own ambitions for power. The meeting, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion, had been more or less arranged to ensure Bavaria’s popular Minister President Markus Soeder (CSU) a face-saving retreat.

At the CDU base, the mood probably looks a bit more honest: Most of the regular party members would have preferred Soeder as their candidate for chancellor, and with him the conservatives would probably have a better chance winning the upcoming federal elections this September. Now, the two-party-Union consisting of CDU and CSU (the latter exists only in the Free State of Bavaria) is in for a payday for playing a lousy power game: For it would be a surprise if Germany’s next chancellor is to be the far less popular Armin Laschet.

Instead, after Angela Merkel’s retirement this coming September, it might well come down to a female chancellor once again, as the Green Party is at a polling high and could emerge as the strongest party nationwide for the first time. Consequently, for the first time in their history, they are competing with their own candidate for chancellor. The party leadership has recently decided on the 40-year-old, resolute Annalena Baerbock without any further ado – quite in contrast to the grueling, pernicious power struggle in the conservative CDU/CSU.

Although many experts fear negative economic consequences in the event of a Green government takeover, it must be borne in mind that there will hardly be an absolute majority possible for just one party in Germany. In that sense, it is almost certain that the country will continue to be governed by a multi-party coalition, maybe even with the conservatives as junior-partner involved. Such government naturally operates on the basis of compromise. But even in this scenario, the Greens can give priority to their dominant issue, climate protection – supported by the broad public opinion that climate change is caused by humans and must be urgently counteracted; a view held also across all political camps with the exception of the polarizing and in parts extreme right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

It feels like the next generation is already knocking on the door in my home country to take on top political responsibility. Approval for this seems to come from almost all camps. 30 years ago, when I was a city commissioner for the CDU in my little hometown of Wolmirstedt, the party book still played a dominant role. But in the historically short time that has passed since then, the whole world has changed dizzyingly. As a consequence, thinking between party lines has become more and more mixed, out of the need to solve increasingly complex problems together – not only across parties, but also across countries. The Coronavirus is only the most prominent example of many.

Although there is still a lot of water to flow down the Rhine before Germany’s election in September, I can very well imagine the next woman in the German chancellorship. And why not? Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, especially New Zealand – all these countries have relatively young women at the head of their governments, and they almost all do well with it. Above all, Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister of New Zealand does an excellent, refreshing job – almost completely unnoticed by the rest of the world.

So, in Germany it could be Annalena. Let her do it.

Nothing Changes

As long as Firearms circulate in the U.S., Mass Murder will continue

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

What are stricter gun laws supposed to accomplish? Weapons are in circulation in the USA like toothbrushes. On that note, any restriction of certain types of weapons will not solve the deadly problem – unless the rate of fire leads to the macabre conclusion that the Boulder murderer merely would have had enough time to shoot “only” five people instead of ten.

Only a single, unambiguous and uninterpretable law could at least curtail these acts – an absolute ban on firearms to tackle the profusion of any kind of guns in private hands. But such a common sense step will never happen in a country with a culture of shooting and killing, framed as a fundamental right to self-defense – not even in the light of supposed Christianity and the unspeakable suffering of victims and their relatives.

There is no other modern western country where people shoot each other to such an extent as in the United States. This is not related to the reasonableness of the people in other civilized parts of the world, but rather to the existing legal order. If something is found to be wrong, then a government must implement laws that at least provide relief. That is what a democratically elected parliament and the executive authority are for. These mass killings in the USA are not only gruesome – they are also an expression of an all too liberal, flawed system of justice.

Yet, President Biden once again wants to regulate firearms ownership more strictly, including certain types of guns, but this sounds more like an act of stalling perplexity. Someone who intends to go to a shopping mall to shoot people has very likely finished with himself and the rest of the world; in any case, he will no longer be bothered by any restrictive laws. Much less will he have trouble getting a gun in the U.S., even if he has failed every background check.

Nearly unbridled support for the weapons insanity also arrives from the same side, which later officially laments the victims: There are public backyard areas in the U.S. where elected officials in neighborhoods with pure poverty not only spend vast sums of tax money on a shooting range, but seriously agree to demands that their county should be declared a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.” Any attempt to convince people with such a disrupted mindset of the opposite is likely to be in vain.

Some particularly highly intelligent people manage to argue as follows: It is not the gun that kills, but the person who handles it. This eminently remarkable view is as ingenious as it is undoubtedly correct. For the very same reason, firearms do not belong in private hands – particularly not in a country in which an obviously not insignificant ratio of the population exhibits mental deficits.

But, nothing will change to prevent the gruesome consequences of gun insanity in the future. The lobby of profit-seeking gun advocates, like the National Rifle Association (NRA), is too powerful. Human life, on the other hand, does not count. As long as that doesn’t change, it will be the same as always.

And thus, when the almost routine horror and grief have given way to everyday life, it will continue as before and straight on to the next massacre. And the blather of tougher gun laws will erupt again.

It almost looks like a calculated strategy.

America is Black and White, with a Lot in Between

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

I was very impressed because it was perfectly organized, and I would like to express my gratitude to Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security for their overseeing assistance, to the state agencies, including the Georgia National Guard, State Patrol, and the many Healthcare workers. They all ensure that the free Corona mass immunizations in Clarkesville/Georgia run smoothly, day after day.

Especially among the National Guard – and I noticed this – were many African-Americans, with whom their white colleagues worked hand in hand, sometimes even having a kind word to say. That’s how it should normally be. They harmonized with each other and together like normal, civilized people, which otherwise cannot generally be said of this country.

As a long time resident of the United States, I can only say that you have given me hope and confidence today after these shocking four years of Donald Trump, this hatred towards dissenters and people of different skin color. Every normal feeling person knows that this cannot be the right way. Don’t let too many white farts ruin your country and your future. America is black and white, with a lot in between – that’s a good thing, that’s the great opportunity.

Change the Paradigm

The President indicated those “on the top” should pay higher Taxes

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

He did not know that 20 years ago?

The new president, two days ago, talked about the trickle-down effect: “We’ve seen time and again that trickle-down doesn’t work.” He was alluding to the huge tax cuts for “those on the top and [the hope] that the benefits they get would trickle down to everyone” – tax giveaways granted the richest people and enterprises over the past 15 years (it was most likely a few more years, probably reaching back to the Reagan-Administration). He now sees a need “to change the paradigm.” That’s correct.

“Eine Kraehe hackt der anderen kein Auge aus”, as the old German saying goes. Freely translated: There’s honor among thieves. Because representatives of both parties are able to wheel and deal with lobbyists from the “very top”, my fear is that in the end not the billionaires, but representatives of the higher educated class will have to pay for the bulk of a new tax burden. In other words: those who were not eligible for the latest stimulus check because they are above a certain income level. If this happens, it would be a serious mistake by the Biden administration – because it would hurt America’s innovative future.

What Joe Biden did not say last Friday in the Rose Garden is the following: It is a misconception to assume that a national economy regulates itself in such a way that there is justice in the end for the many. From this follows what already John Adams and Teddy Roosevelt knew: The state needs to implement government power to tame nefarious profiteers permanently (the true “top”, which I hope Biden meant) and protect those Americans in their rights that are toiling day after day at the edge of the society to no avail. Will it take another 20 years before a majority of Americans come to this realization?

Because he left this part out, Biden was only talking about half of a plan that would really improve the livelihoods for the majority of Americans. Or did he omit this part on purpose and is clandestinely already on a path to “social democratize” the United States – a path that most Americans seem to confuse with “Socialism?” Has anyone actually realized that the Corona crisis is the last point in which it becomes clear that the United States, with all diversity and disparity, cannot go on as before if it wants to be prepared for the future?

The churches in particular have supported Trump and hatefully painted the specter of Socialism on the wall, fearing that Satan in the form of a Democrat might come after them, brandishing the tax bill with glowing eyes. Unfortunately, it is to be feared that hardly such a thing as taxing the churches will occur, although the President also said the following: “By the way, we don’t have anything against wealthy people. (If) you have a great idea, go out and make millions of dollars, that’s fine. I have no problem with that. But guess what: You’ve got to pay your fair share.”

Amen, Mr. Biden.

American Rescue Plan?

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Who is going to pay for this – for the huge Covid Relief Bill, now also called the “American Rescue Plan?” Future generations of taxpayers?

The question would not even surface if there was something in place as or similar to a Social Market Economy – if government and lawmakers acted as arbiters between society and business instead as profiteers from lobbyism. The obvious need for a more equitable distribution of burdens would not arise to that extent if the big, uncontrolled money-grubbers of this society – such as corporations, insurance companies, but also impertinent bill-dodgers like the churches – finally paid taxes and contributions in a fair way, instead of being privileged on flimsy grounds in the guise of alleged “charity”, while in reality acting at the expense and to the detriment of the American worker.*

Opponents of this thesis love to argue that in such a case the big employers like Walmart would lay off people or give up altogether. Certainly a valid assumption.

But if Walmart, the hideous anti-American monster, didn’t exist in the first place, this would in turn be a boost for innovation made in the U.S., because countless small- and medium-sized companies that were killed off by Walmart’s unpatriotic competition would come back to life and get a fair chance. Products that are labeled “Made in the USA” – how about that? – would prevail, while “Made in China” would fade into the background.

Too much utopia?

Instead, in the U.S., more than anywhere else in the modern western world, it is always the wrong people who have to foot the bill. These are not the ideas of American freedom and unlimited opportunities for everyone who works hard, but the excesses of rampant capitalism.

How can that be in a country with a Christian claim?

Notes:

*The churches in the United States are making billions of dollars year after year in interest alone, free of taxes, while on the opposite end providing merely millions for charity. The business of dulling peoples’ mind is extremely profitable: To list all the churches “benefits”, for which they pay no taxes, would require a book. – However, if someone does not pay taxes, others have to subsidize in their stead, because a state needs money. Churches are among the most voracious vultures in society.

Shoe Laces and Chewing Gum

What has been drummed into Americans

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Almost everything in the US is left to run itself to a certain extent, because the majority of Americans is hostile to any regulations. Some consequences of this are what can now be seen in Texas: people have flooded homes with icicles hanging from the ceiling, and they are lining up for drinking water like in a third world country.

Power companies have created local grids to circumvent federal regulations with the ulterior motive to pocket as much profit as possible. Meanwhile, the power grid throughout nearly the entire country is held together literally by shoe laces and chewing gum. As soon as a bird shits on the line or everyone turns on their coffee makers at the same time, the power goes out.

Wooden power poles… I can see one every day in my backyard in Blairsville/Georgia when I look out the kitchen window. Each time I feel as if I am looking into the face of a ghost, or as if something has catapulted me back into a past century. I have a faint memory of them as a child: At the end of the 60s/beginning of the 70s, such poles were removed in the GDR (former East Germany) and the lines within cities, towns and villages were completely laid underground. Yet, when we watched the West German television every evening, then we saw the progress in western democracies, and we were convinced at that time that the GDR was lagging behind the world standard in all things developmentally. [1] That was half a century ago. I was there, I have witnessed it: The powerlines disappeared from the streetscape. The rich USA can’t bring this about? They land on Mars, while down on earth, in their own country, everything goes from hand to mouth.

Americans nowadays have a strong tendency to acquiesce in everything that is done to them; they rather leave everything up to their dear God, indulge themselves in conspiracy theories and unrealistic conclusions while keep watching as everything collapses. And when they actually do decide to protest, then they do not bring the matter to a countable end result. [2]

The pattern always remains the same: The root of all evil in the United States is the free rein of the big money, utterly unregulated and unattended by any government [3], and its accumulation in the hands of a few who don’t give a damn about the collective good of the country. It makes no sense to support somebody like Trump, who did not do anything about it, either – on the contrary, he gave the wealthiest corporations the largest tax relief in history.

It rather takes staunch government intervention to bring about the equality of treatment of all people and a fair distribution of wealth, as it was the basic liberal idea leading to the American birth through a revolt against the British oppressors from 1775 to 1783. This has nothing to do with socialism, as is usually drummed into Americans – take a look into your own, American history books. Read what Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, had to say about the big money harming the American society, about government control, about Unions, about more justice in terms of equality. The moral of his views is valid, then as now.

As long as Americans do not or do not want to recognize the true problem in their country and do something about it, they can be dealt with at will, and nothing will ever really change – regardless who the president is and regardless which party they vote for.

Notes:

[1] We could not travel to the West to visit our own relatives. An impenetrable inner-German border with minefields, barbed wire, watchtowers, and automatic firing systems made every attempt to escape a suicide mission. – The travel ban was the main cause of the peaceful revolution in the GDR in the fall of 1989, which eventually led to the fall of the Wall and Germany’s reunification.

[2] The “Black Lives Matter” initiative has literally petered out, it seems.

[3] Unlike in democratic countries in Western Europe.