Trump’s Stalinist Show Trial

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

At his rally in Arizona, a mastermind named Donald Trump spoke of Stalinist show trials in connection with the investigative committee on the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

I was born into a Soviet satellite state where there were such show trials, as a result of which Stalinists and Communists tortured and murdered people. The victims were neither mentally deranged nor anti-social rioters, but freedom fighters who stood up for the fundamental right of the people.

To compare victims of dictatorship and tyranny with the demented American mob of January 6, would be tantamount to disparaging Stalinist victims – if it didn’t come from the mouth of someone like Trump, who, as a con man, is bent on taking others for fools. Figures like Marjorie Taylor-Greene and Ted Cruz strike the same chord.

The fundamental question is: What brainchild are those who elected and support experts like Trump, Cruz, and Taylor-Greene to positions of ultimate responsibility for their country – political charlatans who don’t shy away from fomenting conspiracy theories no matter what societal damage they inflict?

But such a question cannot actually arise. After all, what can be expected in a country where half of the population (!) completely rejects evolution and instead believes that the world and all life was created by a supernatural ghost?

Is What Bernie Sanders is Saying not True?

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Is someone a radical left if he calls a truth by its name – a truth that affects the majority of people in the U.S. at that?

The truth should prevail above personal political and, by the way, religious convictions. Why? For, first, humanity has been misled and abused by both sides – by politics and even more so by religions – more often than seldom. And secondly, because those who in principle give their convictions a higher value than facts and truth degrade themselves to intellectually wretched creatures whose train of thought discharge into baseless assertions. From such a corner emerge the conspiracy theorists, who, by the way, have always existed throughout history.

Without my own experience, I probably wouldn’t believe Bernie Sanders so easily either. In eight years of working for a company called Walmart, I’ve encountered more than enough not to know what he’s talking about. I can justifiably say that I have not experienced such a lack of rights on the part of the workers even under communist rule in the GDR. There – in a command state in which we were all walled in – at least the physical well-being of the workers was still taken care of. In the workplace, physical integrity was a high priority, and no one has ever been burdened with additional financial demands other than the monthly health insurance contribution. Medical care at that time was excellent, even if it was subsidized.

It is an arbitrariness like in a third world country, to which the employees at Walmart and more than likely elsewhere in the country are exposed – without a real possibility to defend themselves. Working time was cut if the profit figures for the store did not match greedy corporate expectations. Consequently, those who were spared from even lesser income now had to run faster to get all the work done. In a hopelessly understaffed department, I contracted a double hernia. All references from my side to a health impairment contracted at Walmart were of no use – the superiors had their instructions according to which they had to proceed.

A case like mine was everyday business, and Walmart had long since taken precautions to shirk its financial responsibility. Workers’ compensation insurance was only on paper, because according to Walmart’s philosophy, I had not sustained the injury while loading hundreds of bags of mulch, garden soil and compost for the customers, not seldom without help, but probably at home growing tomatoes or studying American history books.

Despite health insurance, a not inconsiderable part of the costs for the surgery fell on me. I settled the bill with means not generated in the USA, but in my home country Germany. How many Americans are fortunate enough to be able to similarly compensate for the miserable care their own wealthy country provides them?

After the passing of a young colleague, the lady from Human Resources went from table to table in the Walmart break room asking for donations for his immense hospital bill that the bereaved family was facing. No one sitting there could answer in the negative. People barely able to make ends meet themselves pulled a dollar out of their pockets, some as much as five, while American health insurance companies shoveled billions in profits into their own pockets without lawmakers lifting a finger to stop the criminal profiteering at the public’s expense.

A few weeks later, this HR woman who had helped me get a full-time job in 2014, was also hospitalized and died.

During my tenure at Walmart, I’ve seen colleagues 80 and older dragging themselves to work, forced by medical bills, incurred years ago. People undergoing cancer treatment had visible difficulty to make it through the workday. I saw all this for the first time in my life, and I couldn’t believe I was in the United States of America.

Of course, Bernie Sanders is right. Anyone who denies this has lost all touch with reality and lives in another galaxy. Facts cannot be blurred by closed eyes during prayer, either, but faith and belief can be misleading. Religion can very easily lead astray – especially when those who derive lucrative benefits from it know how to skillfully spread it among people as an ideology. As a consequence, this has a lot to do with how few of my colleagues recognized the injustices that happened to them every day. Most took it in silence. To put it bluntly: they were used to it, they didn’t know any different.

The old man Bernie is also right about the Democratic Party. Because just like the Republicans, Democrats with very view exceptions are also grateful recipients of large donations from the country’s moneyed elite. Their corrupt nature deprives millions of needy Americans of much-needed help in connection with the build back better act once so hopefully announced by Biden. Instead of supporting their president, his own party is embroiled in an internal battle of alignment while more and more Americans are dissatisfied.

Is he really surprised? Joe Biden is an American, he should have known better. After all, not long ago he publicly described himself as a capitalist. It seemed to me as if he wanted to make clear with this very insipid formulation how little he has to do with socialist ambitions. The man knows only too well what a sour taste such a disposition would evoke in most of his compatriots. Therefore, he did not even bother to explain to them what socialism actually is, nor what kind of capitalist he himself impersonates as president of the country.

I don’t think a turn for the better is imminent for most Americans.

The Neoliberal Blow to the USA

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Children sent to school with guns, a silly never-ending abortion debate, a congressman posing with his family in front of a Christmas tree, all with guns in hand: profit-hungry gun manufacturers with a criminal National Rifle Association (NRA) as their umbrella of protection take precedence over the welfare of the American people, while at the same time the protection of unborn life is prioritized as the noblest of Christian values. The insanity of all American contradictions is supported and directed by the donors of a targeted policy that in the end ensures the greatest possible financial gain for both sides. At the same time, most Americans are apparently unwilling to recognize that their society is vegetating under subversive neoliberalism.

How should they know? If they already associate the term “socialism” with the most ludicrous notions, then how should they grasp the facts about neoliberalism in their very own country? An essential factor is: There is no realistic approach to tangible socialism in the United States; instead, neoliberalism is pervasive. The specter of socialism is meant to ensure that a perception of real existing neoliberalism cannot arise in the first place.

I know both forms of society all too well; I have personally lived among them and experienced them first hand. The second experience occurred in a place of freedom where I least expected it: the United States of America. For in the past, living far away in a completely different world, we looked longingly to America in the firm belief that this was the freest country on earth.

In my “first life”, I was involuntarily exposed to socialism in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) for 28 years. I didn’t see anyone there who was really enthusiastic about it; we were walled in, separated from relatives in the free part of Germany, and there was no escape without a high possibility of endangering life and limb. In 1989, the barrel overflowed, and the long-pent-up popular anger was discharged in an astonishingly peaceful manner. The realization had already grown in us long before: Socialism is indeed a dictatorship, therefore it has no human face and it does not work also because there is no freedom for individual creativity due to the nationalized means of production. Moreover, people in the masses do not function according to predetermined moral norms. For similar reasons, Christianity as a whole has continuously failed in its own demands, with very few people able to live according to Christian ambitions (read the first paragraph again).

I experienced the excesses of neoliberalism for more than eight years in a company called “Walmart”; a lawless space without any legal protection for the working people, some features strongly reminiscent of the GDR with intimidation methods the order of the day, here and there. Of course, in the end you could “merely” lose your job at Walmart, while in the GDR personal freedom was at stake – a disproportionately higher price. In terms of labor, however, the working people in the GDR did have rights, which I could not see in any way at Walmart.

The deception about socialism is spread in the United States as deliberately and purposefully as is the concealment of inhuman neoliberalism: in the media, in the schools, in the churches, by politics anyway, because the political caste is the essential part of the whole, similar to a referee in sports who has been bribed by one of the participating teams. As shocking as the realization is, but it has been possible in the land of the free and the brave to create a broad stratum of ordinary people whose thinking is directed to the restrictions of microcosm and who willingly allow themselves to be trimmed in almost any direction – except that of reality.

The real disaster of the present is the Republican Party’s nearly unconditional agreement to neoliberalism, thereby dealing a deep blow to the old idea of conservatism on American soil. Large sections of the Democrats are not lagging behind. This is how a country is divided from the top down. Those who speak out against it risk being assigned to socialism, a form of society that is not applicable to practical life anyway.

Thus, a conducive discourse about the country’s problems cannot even take place, especially since every opinion in the U.S. is subject to the principle of deeply divided two-party rule. Even wearing a mouth-nose guard because of Corona some interpret as political orientation.

How conditions are supposed to change for the better under such circumstances is a mystery to me.

Center-Left Government in Germany takes Shape

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

The coalition agreement in Germany is ready, and the country gets a center-left government within the next weeks, consisting of three parties. It is reassuring to know that there are still countries in the civilized world where political currents can come together to share responsibility without blocking each other, even if they are far apart on some issues. And it is astonishing how little this seems the case on the other side of the Atlantic, in a country that calls itself the oldest existing democracy on earth, along with all those people who proclaim a Christian faith. If only they would live accordingly instead of constantly denigrating political dissidents in support of perverts like Donald Trump and his minions.

In authoritarian countries – and the U.S. may be one of them, because a very large part of its electorate cannot be reached with rational arguments and instead adheres to delusions that may reflect in radical election results again at any time – the term “left” may sound strange and be equated with socialism. First, not only is it wrong, but the label “center left” is also not particularly informative. Secondly, content is more important than labels, not only because the pandemic has created even more complex problems worldwide that require overarching answers. Thirdly, it follows that the questions of our time will not be solved by partisan ideological stubbornness, but by rational approaches of pluralism.

Those who want to divide a people into left and right, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, and point the finger at anything progressive, are damaging the unity of their own country. The U.S. has been and continues to be a prime example of deep social division. In Germany, too, a burgeoning polarization must be persistently countered so that those who refuse to face reality by promoting conspiracy theories cannot divide society with ideological nonsense.

So, it remains to be seen what the new German government is capable of achieving. The challenges are huge, and for that reason alone things will more than likely not run completely smoothly.

Biden’s Egg Dance over 9/11

The God Who Told an American President to Start Two Wars

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

The American President is once again on a course of appeasement. Family members and victim’s representatives do not want Joe Biden to speak on-site on the imminent 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on the United States. Instead of the usual heroic epic, they demand clarification about the real reasons why their loved ones had to die. Yet, shortly after the attacks, reports already circulated about the actual mastermind behind the 19 terrorists, 14 of whom came from Saudi Arabia alone. But George W. Bush, in the exuberant euphoria of his deluded countrymen, ordered the invasion of Afghanistan.

With his announcement to review classified information about the terrorist attacks from FBI sources at the time and release it early if necessary, the current president is trying to take ammunition out of the game. Once again, Biden runs the risk of having to take the rap for unfortunate decisions of his predecessors. For he is no more responsible for the Bush administration’s deliberate “miscalculations” 20 years ago than he is for the premature decision to withdraw the last American troops from Afghanistan. Nevertheless, he is aware of how much more compromising intelligence material could discredit the U.S. as the Western leading power, even more so after the ignominious end in Afghanistan.

Moreover, even a Joe Biden cannot afford to seriously condemn the close ally Saudi Arabia. The Americans are too involved with the Saudis in multi-billion dollar oil and arms deals. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is seen as a kind of bulwark that keeps the other Arab countries in a reserved position toward Israel. As tragic as it is obvious, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center were certainly intended to also hit major Jewish interests in the United States.

Biden again finds himself in an unenviable position. This time, however, he will hardly have to fear a similar backlash from members of Congress as he did during the chaotic retreat from Kabul. For even if the truth behind the September 11 attacks now emerges more clearly with the likelihood that Afghanistan had nothing to do with it, this will hardly change anything in the public perception in the USA. The masses barely take notice. Even the American defeat in the Hindu Kush seems to have been acknowledged by the population to only a relatively small extent – ideal conditions for future U.S. military aggressions in all parts of the world. After all, war material gathering dust in arsenals does not bring in revenue, but costs money – a lot of money. And it yields billions in profits to a few as soon as it is used and subsequently replaced. Seeing it from this paramount American perspective, the results in Afghanistan and Iraq were anything but defeats.

A numerically very small caste of politicians and big capitalists operating in the background – all members of a power-obsessed oligarchy – consistently lead the American public by the nose, and they are not reluctant to deceive Americans even when it comes to senseless wars and human lives. This is by no means a new insight with regard to the USA, and it has nothing at all to do with conspiracy theories. In this context, it also does not matter who holds the presidency.

The U.S. cannot live without intervening or let to intervene militarily somewhere in the world – too often, this fact has proved to be a perpetual spiral. Perhaps this and his own place in the history books was George W. Bush’s primarily motivation when he started the two wars with shameless hypocritical religious bluster and lies twenty years ago. In the historical record, before Bush’s time, political leaders and responsible military officers had been brought before international tribunals for their actions under very similar circumstances.

But his very personal assessment for the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, which resulted in endless civil wars in the Middle and Near East and the deaths of several hundred thousand civilians, as well as the emergence of ISIS, was, in George W. Bush’s own words, different: “God told me to start this war.”***

In reality, neither of the two wars instigated by the U.S. was directly related to the victims of September 11. Their deaths were misused to impose American ideas of democracy and freedom by force in countries that never wanted anything to do with American culture. The relatives of the dead of September 11 fear nothing less than that today.

Notes:

*** There are several verifiable sources that support Bush’s statements at the time about the wars; only two are cited here. Sometimes, the bizarreness of his choice of words seemed to rival the later primitive rhetoric of a Donald Trump. In connection with himself, Bush finally brought Divine Providence into the picture, and the majority of Americans fell for it. This was their blessing for the “Christian Crusades,” which the former President himself has called by these words.

“President George Bush has claimed he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden’s stronghold of Afghanistan as part of a divine mission to bring peace to the Middle East, security for Israel, and a state for the Palestinians.” Quote: The Independent, UK, 15 November 2011“God told me to go to war.” Quote: George W. Bush, The Mirror, GB, 10 July, 2005.

An Almost Collective Failure

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Once again the compassionate, everything and everyone understanding citizen of the world spoke to his people.

The American president’s pithy remarks yesterday are surprising, because just a few days ago he sounded quite different. But it is he who is largely responsible for the chaos at Kabul airport.

It is amazing how the American pattern repeats itself over and over again. After the deaths of 13 soldiers, Joe Biden found words that have become standard in this country – it is what most Americans want to hear, although the supporters of the right-wing spectrum may not believe this president on this point. Because many of them falsely believe that it was he who screwed things up in Afghanistan. Yet, Biden “merely” handled the exit to another American tragedy in an incompetent manner that could hardly have been worse.

As recently as July 8, he had responded to a reporter’s question by saying that it is “highly unlikely” that the Taliban would overrun the entire country. This had proven how out of touch he was with reality. He was clueless about the historical realities in Afghanistan, which a president before him had already thrown to the wind: George W. Bush, the man leading an administration actually responsible for what we see today.

To a certain extent, however, responsible are also the millions of Americans who fell for primitive slogans 20 years ago and who, with their consent, supported the American adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq in the name of freedom and thus made it possible in the first place.

From this point of view, it is eminently notable that the crusade ends under the same slogan from the mouth of an American president with which it began in 2001: “We will hunt them down.”

DeSantis, the Story Teller

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

“The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry our founding fathers did not believe that.”

It’s laughable: These words actually came out of the mouth of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday in Surfside, Fla, in the presence of Florida Legislature and leaders in the local Jewish community. The background is that starting next school year, all public K-12 schools in Florida will be required to hold a moment of silence at the beginning of the day. The phrase “Moment of Silence” clearly replaces the intended wording “prayer” to circumvent the American Constitution. DeSanti’s own, historically untenable commentary unmasked the true intentions, allowing no other conclusion.

This feeble-minded person should receive some history lessons, whether with or without silent remembrance – about the past of his own country. For the “Fathers” during their constitutional convention from May to September 1787 in Philadelphia left the question of religion completely aside to not to prefer one religion over another. For similar reasons, the word “God” does not appear a single time in the American Constitution, on the contrary: The framers of the Constitution in their First Amendment’s Establishment Clause explicitly excluded any endorsement of any specific religion over another as well as the preference of religion over non-religion on the side of the polity, thereby establishing the American Republic de facto as the first secular state in the modern Western world.

DeSantis should quote the founders of his own country instead of putting words in the mouths of the dead. But these lies are purely intentional: American adolescents are to be brought into line before they can even read and write properly. Of course, the better one succeeds in controlling the thinking of others, the better such tactics serve to achieve one’s own goals. Liars like DeSantis have no qualms about hoodwinking the Americans, and they don’t even shy away from children and teenagers. And clearly – “provisions” like the one announced yesterday bring easy votes from the clueless.

Not even the communists in East Germany lied to me to such an extent as Americans lie to their own people.

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.

Social Media Reveals the Mind of Trump-Supporters

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

President Biden wants to unify his country to overcome the polarization between left and right, Democrats and Republicans. My assessment is that he cannot achieve this goal. Four years, still difficult to bear, under a president who managed to manipulate the minds of millions of people with untruths using the most primitive methods, have reignited the division of the country – a division that exists since time immemorial.

The majority of those who voted for Trump in 2020 and continue to support him will not be swayed. They have long since left the path of independent thinking. Church and military, preferably both together, seem to be the ideal environment and breeding ground for the perfect brainwashing – for the acceptance of foreign ideas, for the parroting of cheap slogans that easily catch on. The proof is nowhere more evident than in the social media.

People of this type post anything, as little school children do: Cartoons, colorful pictures with slogans, macabre jokes about people who think differently – just nothing of their own. They are obviously incapable to summarize their own thoughts, neither verbally nor in writing, and certainly not in an essay.

Their thoughts come from other sources, and they merely copy what is convenient for them, however absurd it may be, how little logic exists in the context, and no matter how old they are themselves. Here one can see the true intellectual background of the Trump insanity.

They are sick, mentally sick, and they cannot be helped. It is no wonder that the psychopath Trump was elected by such people.

And the ignorant will continue to support him.

“Government Overreach”

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Recently I read an interesting essay about the American self-understanding of individual rights versus government overreach. It was about the perceived sacred right of private gun ownership. American society, the author criticized, is about the only one that values freedom over life. This is what makes America so unique, and the same thirst for freedom – back then in a justified way – had already led to the separation of the former American colonies from the British colonial yoke, at a time when this world was quite different from today.

This may well be true – and if it really is, many things would have to change today in people’s mind. The American problems are not too difficult to identify, provided that the ubiquitous partisanship does not resonate in the assessment.

For a more just society it is undoubtedly necessary that the collective good of the community stands decisively above the individual interests of few people and institutions, which are legally granted special rights through the power of their money – and from which the masses have to suffer. There are only two ways that can stop such a tragic development: Either governmental intervention, or a revolution from the bottom up.

It is sometimes hard to grasp what Americans think when it comes to individual rights. Because what most of them pray for actually signals something quite different compared to what is going on in their heads.

Aren’t brotherhood and mutual compassion the noble goals of an upright Christian? Oddly enough, they coincide with the goals of communism: We are all brothers and sisters – that is their common confession. As a consequence of such credo, the common good takes precedence over self-interest. The strange thing is that mankind has never put into practice either of these ideals, as much as they invoked them throughout human history.

Power, greed and egoism always stood in the way, but unfortunately also the stupidity of clueless pretenders who pray to their God and see no contradiction between their precepts and their actual behavior, including their views. If they would – Donald J. Trump could never have received a single vote from a “Christian” electorate, which in reality turned out his strongest base.

Abused power and injustice remain untouched as long as there are gullible people with limited horizons who make themselves stooges of a wrong cause.