Vienna November 2020 – Now, Again, Forever: Peace!

peace dove drawing

The events in Vienna are dreadful and tragic. My heart goes out to all who are affected!

Let’s take care that in everyday life, each day, we know that such deeds never exist in mid-air, unrelated.

(Neighbourly) love, peace and equality are the basic ingredients of a truly peaceful world, some day, hopefully soon.

Self-esteem, appreciation for all around us will help to spread what is good.

And voting for all those politicians, who want better things than just power and money at the expense of many, for the benefit of few. In truth and clear-headed knowledge.

Peace!

Neo-Nazis, Politics, Media – and Responsibility!

Again, someone has gone and done it: Hanau, Germany, 19.02.2020: a crazed man kills 9 people who seemed ‘foreign’ and then his mother and himself.
And now, wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth can be heard everywhere, online…

It is important to loudly and clearly state: such deeds are criminal!

But at the same time all the politicians that now stand pompously or even truly sorrowful in front of cameras in Germany, have to ask themselves, as well as the media broadcasting these images and speeches:
why so late?
Why did the discussion go on publicly for years on end without any foresight of possible consequences?

Is it even the bible, book of lots of wisdom, if nothing else, where it says:
“Sow wind and you will reap storm”?

The problems visible now and for almost two decades now are European, and home made:

  • A public discussion for years on all available ‘channels’ of information, newspapers, TV shows, news, fora and talk shows, which spills over into the so-called ‘social media’.
  • This discussion started by a politician in the south of Germany who in the fall of 2016 called the refugees a ‘problem’ for the first time, this time around – and then gleefully taken on by the abovementioned channels, because:
  • News are goods to be sold as well!
  • The discussion continued endlessly, for more than 4 years! Again, on all public channels, trying to ‘find ways out of the crisis’, when there really was none!
  • On and and on droned the specialists and scientists and activists and journalists and political consultants and … everyone who hoped to make something out of this:
  • Over and over and over: ‘a problem, an issue, a crisis’.
  • Then the right wing politicians and other charlatans and up-starts and power-thirsty elements: they are just as bad as any of those that go and do the shooting as such!
  • Because without properly thinking twice, thinking it through, taking care of possible consequences, they take up the yarn and go on spinning it to make a good sound rope – to ultimately ‘hang’ people by?
  • For centuries, sensations, drama, is what draws crowds. For some reason or another.

Learn from history! Learn, learn, learn…!

Some of the lessons are hilariously easy if you care:

  • Condemning the ‘other’ is easy!
  • Send fear into humans with less insight by making them aware of imagined ‘strangeness’ is easy.
  • People, like the AfD in Germany these days – or people like Trump and his party and followers, ‘feed’ on the fact:
  • In ancient Rome the ‘recipe’ worked the same way: make it public – and the crowd, the sheep will go ‘baaahhh’.

So, do not condemn!
Do not call anything a problem, especially about other human beings, if it is not!
And, last but not at all least, also look for that most striking similarity:
the hungry masses, that feel abandoned by the few wealthy who abuse them for the sake of more power and more money:
they are the first to strike out at someone apparently weaker – because to have someone below oneself in the social strata provides some kind of pride to those that have lost even that.

But do not repeat those phrases! Do not pretend to listen to them for the sake of making them feel heard! And then abuse them again…

That was one of the most foolish – and damnable in its consequences – of tendencies a couple of years ago, in Germany, among others. That’s how the AfD got started.

That’s how political parties similar to it can gain power and ultimately throw us into the abyss of another world war, if we and you do not look out.

Because as the smart ones among my readers will know: those abusing wealth and power are not out for the good of the masses, even if they pretend to do so.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Regardless of gender, creed and colour!

Remember Cuba? Remember the Nazis? Iran, the US, War, Pride – Make Peace!

The cold war is behind us, so it seems, which was a stage laid out for two ‘super-powers’ in finance as well as weapons.
What is now going on is the same song and dance as it was and has been before, not only for the decades since WW II – but for time almost immemorial: finance and thus money and more money, deals, power over resources and thus wealth – and also: pride.

I have posted here already that in my opinion wounded pride has caused more rifts, arguments and wars than anything else in this world.

When the Nazi dictator was still a young man in his twenties, he tried to be admitted to the academy of arts in Munich, Germany, to become an artist – and study painting. They refused him.
So, he joined the ‘party’ and one might say that most of the rest of his life was dedicated to make up for the ultimate private humiliation by becoming famous some other way – and prove to the world…

In history, we may find things repeat themselves, true to Job’s age old adage in the bible, that ‘there was nothing new under the sun’.

Well, yes, technology has progressed. We, basically, can prove now there’s no ‘man in the moon’.
But otherwise, as Erich Kästner has it in one of his poems, too: ‘Einst haben die Kerls in den Bäumen gehockt…’ which translates into:
‘in ancient times they sat in trees….’ – ‘they still are the same’, only the surroundings are different.
At Kästner’s time, mail was sent via tubes in large cities between offices – these days it’s email.

But if someone’s pride is hurt he or she may react in all kinds of (predictable) ways. President Trump may be one of the candidates.
Although he is in fact part of the small group of extremely rich, who may even want more, then they could ever need, just to prove to their family, parents, the world, themselves that they are worth at least as much money in their accounts…

Ultimately, payback may well be at the root of the most striking actions he as president of the US has set in motion.
If you follow his biography more closely, it seems that his mind was made up to run for president when he had been publicly (felt) humiliated by the then holder of the office.

But whatever the cause, whatever the effect – is it really worth it, to endanger millions of innocent lives – for a payback?
Just revoking all the good that has been done – just so it’s being revoked?
Is not that what is done in sandbox games?
‘If you kick my castle, I will kick yours.’

Dignity can be important – but our own individual reactions always determine what manner and amount of dignity we retain.

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, negotiations were upheld to the culminating point, to the last possible moment, in order to prevent war.

And that should now be moot? Not true? Another ‘disgruntled’ person feeling small and blowing himself up in the face of the world, when anyone smart enough sees through that at a glance?

Why not do the really magnanimous thing? Retain dignity?
Refrain from payback!

Because the bible has that too, in so many words, quoted from memory:
‘and God speaks: what you have done to the least of my (millions of) brothers, you have done to me.’

Trump, War, Weapons … Money

Although one might not think it right away: Trump all through his presidency has acted true to character. Driven by the need to make more and more money and prove himself to be the tough guy who will not – apparently – consider anyone else’s ideas or pleasure:

He really is the greedy creature he’s always been. A few corrections in his behaviour when cameras are around; some travels around the globe so he can create the image of the diplomatic and reliable person he should have been from day one, as an added ‘polish to the image’ – they cannot fool anyone who’s followed his ‘career’ just a little more closely:

With him and his ‘train’, who are rather the puppet masters in the background, it is not about anything, but gaining money, by hook or by crook, if necessary, by both.
A shame actually to think that such a pitiful excuse for a man who often is downright ridiculous, should get so much attention. But of course, with people such as him, that is the second weakness: the craving for attention. Any kind.

I still wonder how it was possible that North Korea so comparatively easily changed tune in such a short time… what funds were transferred from where to whom…

I hope and even pray that Iran for all it’s worth will keep it’s diplomatic cool and not be drawn into any of the antics Trump so far has used with other countries and which amount to what is again common in global politics:
bribery and extortion.

Hoping that Iran in politics will one day turn out to be a country where something like the Declaration and International Bill of Human Rights will be political principal inside as well as out, in accordance as well with age old traditions; I still do not believe for a moment in the rights the US have claimed at least since WWII around the world: do anything they can, literally any thing, to keep or expand their power over natural resources in any shape or form.

Do not let them fool you! Media, the best especially, are crucial for knowing about what is being said in front of cameras. But to know people and politics, look for the underlying principle and beware. Behind the cameras, a lot goes on that sometimes is only found out decades or even centuries later.

Know them by their deeds. Resist war and manipulation with all peaceful, nonviolent might.
Make peace, not war!

Greed, Poverty and War – or: How to Be Truly Noble Again

Trump: lies, selfishness and rudeness as well as greed rolled into one, combined with a high sense of self-representation in a world where more money superficially makes the person more ‘priceless’.

The golden calf… although originally the first settlers of the US fled from Europe to avoid that – they created it again: the first manifestation of human society: every man fights on his own, wealth and power being the only yardstick for distinction.

This is in a way a wonderful example of political and historical repetition: as Job had it in his famous biblical monologue: nothing is new under the sun – or words to that effect. Because here we see, what the ‘Adel’, the aristocracy of former centuries in Europe, too often was made of.
The same principle applies, again: cruelty, the greed for wealth above all others, being looked up to – and reign, in order to feel even more distinguished and – appreciated.

The German word for aristocracy, ‘Adel’ makes it clear nicely: in those times, someone who distinguished himself – usually in warfare – was made ‘special’: ‘edel’, which is the modern form of the word ‘Adel’ which translates into ‘noble’.

Yet, all this is good for nothing if we don’t learn from it: in our history books we look with disgust on those that distinguished themselves as rulers by cruelty and selfishness, by greed and the general poverty and starvation of the people they ruled.
But today’s similar leaders are cheered at?

Let’s learn that to live greed will create more greed.
That to live cruelty creates more cruelty.
That war will cause more war.
That inequality will cause more inequality.

Live love and you will create love.
Live equality and you will create equality.
Live peace and you will create peace.

As an African saying has it: if lots of small people in lots of small places do lots of small things – they will change the face of the earth.

Live all these – and be shrewd too, as the bible, another wealthy source of wisdom if you know how to use it, also has it: be like the snakes and the doves.
Which is to say, live all these noble ideas, but don’t let others fool you.
Learn, educate and – know them – by their deeds.

Trump, Contracts, World Peace and the Principle of Cover-Up

History can teach us: what’s happening at the moment in US foreign affairs is really an ignominious yet often used method to cover up what goes wrong ‘at home’.

From ancient kings in the past to Hitler during the Third Reich this procedure has been apparently easy to use and quickly leads to the desired effects. On the surface hatred and abuse are called out, even screamed sometimes, from the speaker’s desk, and Hitler and Trump show uncanny similarities in their rhetoric.

But the underlying schemes and patterns are even more important to realize in order to get a grip on the recent US foreign policies, with apparently no consideration for anything but the immediate, even if pretended, hatred…?

It is quite clear that the Trump government hasn’t so far even come close to the promises made to its voters. The book recently published by an author as prominent and well-known, not to say famous, as Bob Woodward makes the situation even more poignant.

The incompetence and almost insane quality of the present government stand out like a boil. The promised thousands of jobs cannot be found, which for most people are the main reason for voting for one candidate or another, in many parts of the country.

What remains to be done, is what Trump is preparing now: he cancels armament contracts, partly long-standing ones that were made to protect the world from complete destruction, by mad and greedy dictators or any heads of government, kings or otherwise.

That way he paves the way for what is this procedure, this easy to use and fast working ‘medicine’ for all that need to make their people devotees and believers in their cause again: cover up your problems in home affairs by focusing on foreign ones.
Tell them that dreadful enemies are everywhere and therefore arms are necessities of the first order.
Start arming the country with lots and lots of tanks, guns and other even more destructive weapons, not to say ‘weapons of mass-destruction’ (term may ring a bell….), and the following goals will be reached:

  • Get a lot of government money into a dormant industry sector, producing those weapons on a large scale.
  • Create thousands of new jobs and a content population, who may one day soon then even swallow the more bitter medicine that war has to follow, again.

This way, no one will care to look twice at what was there before: high numbers of unemployed and disgruntled people. People with apparently no future who even now use the weapons already in the streets – while others are clamouring for stricter gun laws, potentially reducing profits of that industry sector even more.

Let’s not be fooled!
Let’s be aware – and say ‘No’ – to war – and to rearmament!

Human Rights, Extremists and Rudyard Kipling – Can the ‘Twain’ Ever Meet?

Rudyard Kipling in his poem ‘The Ballad of East and West’ put it in his famous phrase: ‘East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.’
His idea was that the differences were too great to ever be fully reconcilable. The term reconcilable in turn stems from ‘reconciliation’, something two or more parties at war would do…

These modern times see the discussion going on just as forcefully, opinionated and to some extent just as wrongly prejudiced as Kipling was. He also was the poet laureate who coined the phrase of the ‘white man’s burden’. It’s another way of saying that ‘the West’ actually has an obligation and a duty to go elsewhere into the world and teach ‘them’ there what life should be like and how to think and feel.

The prejudice this idea is based on of course means: here (in Europe, the West, US) ‘we’ know all about it, are always right and could not accept another point of view because the truth is to be found here.

The ‘devil’ in such ideas lies in two things:

  • That there exists one real truth only.
  • That there are whole countries or regions filled with tribes or people who have to be taught what is right. In former times: to be religiously converted in a ‘mission’.

This is actually the same principle ‘the other side’ employs when influencing simpler minds into attacking and killing people, or go to war.
The propaganda for centuries has been the same:
Find an image in the ‘other’ that is harmful, problematic or even dangerous, paste it up, make it look shiny and ‘red’, present ‘the enemy’ in the most gruesome colours and then take up the weapons and march.

A very simple and core argument today is in judging Islamic terrorists by the fact that allegedly ‘they’ have the fierceness written into their religion, namely the Koran contains suras that explicitly ask its followers to go to war or kill. Although this is true – here comes the interesting and even more simple fact:
Terrorism sanctioned by the government is called just – war.

More importantly, if we take the human rights act and lay it beside the allegedly worthy, because peaceful bible, that is taken as proof that the West is worthier still, we may be astonished: the bible has many parts in it that are just as fierce, ‘bloody’ and dangerous to simple minds than any possible counterpart in the Koran. I just like to bring up the ‘eye for an eye’ phrase as an example.

If you want to understand and truthfully judge, how people think and live in a majority of a culture, you do not just take up their religious book and make an equation.

You start to understand this:

  • Living, breathing and caring people are all around the world. They very often have very similar dreams about a peaceful life that contain love and reasonable wealth.
  • The propaganda is the same – in basic fact – around the world, in words as well as in deeds. Using simple concepts and even simpler wording to ‘drive people crazy’ – and into torture or killing.
  • Putting your own view of the world ‘up there’ as the only truth that has value and should be adhered to, namely be self-righteous, is the starting point of any narrow-mindedness and ultimately may lead to war just as easily.

If we want to really change the world, let’s start at our own door: open it to let different point-of-views in and thus different kinds of people from around the globe and try and understand, that many things can be differentiated and sometimes difficult – but they are certain to be exciting and fruitful, not to say beneficial too. Because variety is what makes life colourful!

Trump: Lies, Hate – Atomic War? – Remember Gandhi…!

Donald Trump has been a phenomenon from the first times he entered public record and awareness. He’s the worst version of a depraved and downright hateful human being you can probably imagine. I myself read about these types only in books – and in newspapers of course.

He’s perhaps not one of those you would outright suspect of murder – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was secretly involved in such schemes.
What is public and confirmed knowledge though is this: he’s been involved in lies, shady business schemes and fraud to the ‘hilt’. He is so obviously lying almost any time he opens his mouth that it’s difficult to take him seriously.
The fact that he’s come all this way in terms of wealth is proof of an also comparatively commonly known concept: there always were and always will be a certain percentage of human beings on this earth who believe that money is a form of distinction in a man (or woman) to have acquired – the more the better.
If Trump wasn’t president of the USA, one could easily just have a good laugh at him – or two – and then dismiss him for the basically ridiculous person he is.
Unfortunately he is president of the US at the moment. My only hope is that an impeachment process will  be started against him after all. That there will be enough people around who still have some kind of reason at their hearts – and also realize that the respect for the USA outside of it is at a historic low – and no new war even be started by them – yet…
Well, in view of such trials we have to face in this life, the only comfort left to me are two things:

  • As a peaceful person at heart and of conviction you can always resort to Gandhi’s way of civil disobedience, if all else should fail.
  • Take comfort in the fact, that depravity always has been part of humanity – but that there are at least as many kind, smart and knowledgeable people around!