Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Thursday, January 14, 2016
An excellent thriller on the wicked global workings of money:
One Trillion Dollar, by Andreas Eschbach (in English) (in German)
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Das Argument der TTIP Befürworter "(...) dass Europa sonst Einfluss bei der Regulierung des Welthandels einbüßen könnte." Ist bestenfalls drollig. Regulierung durch weitgehende freiwilige Aufgabe der Kontrollfunktion? Aha. Regulierung durch Deregulierung. Hört sich an wie Schwimmen durch Untergehen oder Sättigung durch Verhungern. Die Leute denken sich Sachen aus...
In der EU wird der Ruf nach dem "Schutz der Außengrenzen" lauter, und das nicht gegen einen militärischen Angriff, sondern gegen verzweifelte, frierende Menschen, die hunderte, teils tausende von Kilometern zu Fuß zurücklegen, um ihr nacktes Leben zu retten. "Außengrenzen schützen" ist nichts anderes als die Forderung danach, hunderttausende von Menschen in Lager zu internieren, oder im Sinne des Wortes im kalten Regen stehen und am langen Arm verhungern zu lassen. Wir haben es mit einer humanitären Katastrophe größten Ausmaßes zu tun, wie sie allerdings andernorts auf der Welt immer wieder zum Normalzustand gehört hat und auch jetzt gehört - man denke an den Sudan, und an die Tsunami, Erdbeben- und Sturmkatastrophen der letzten Jahre in Asien. Diesmal lässt sich das Gewissen nicht mit einer 20 Euro Spende an "Deutschland Hilft" beruhigen.
Die Reaktion der Bevölkerung der EU ist ein Rechtsruck, das gesamtgesellschaftliche Äquivalent zum Cocooning. Das ist die Antwort eines kleinen Kindes, das glaubt, es sei unsichtbar wenn es die Augen verschließt. Die Monster der Erwachsenenwelt aber sind real. Wenn die EU versagt, ist auch Europas Rolle in der Weltgeschichte zu ende. Im Vergleich zu den "Big Players" unserer Zeit ist selbst das ökonomisch aufgeplusterte Deutschland nur mehr ein politischer Zwerg. Die tatsächlichen Angriffe auf Europa kommt von Innen - durch die eigene zaghafte Bevölkerung und eine EU Kommission, die demokratische Grundprinzipien für politisch motivierte Handelsabkommen (CETA, TTIP, TISA) zugunsten der Macht transnationaler Konzerne in den Wind schlägt. Hinzu kommt die seit mehr als einem Jahr immer wieder ausufernde Aggressionsrhetorik der US-geführten NATO und auch der US Regierung die wirkt, als gäbe es ein Interesse an einer ausufernden militärischen Eskalation. Gerade jetzt braucht die Welt ein starkes, moderates und humanistisches Europa das hinter seinen Grundprinzipien steht und gewillt ist diese auch gegen innere und äußere Widerstände aufrecht zu erhalten. Die Wähler und nationalistischen Politiker einzelner EU Staaten begehen einen fatalen Fehler wenn sie meinen ihre Souveränität würde durch einen neuen Nationalismus gestärkt. Das Gegenteil ist der Fall, denn nur im Rahmen der EU lassen sich die Interessen der Mitgliedsstaaten weltweit auch nur bemerkbar machen.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Die US Aktivistengruppe "Intelligence Veterans for Sanity" hat am Vorabend des NATO Gipfels in Wales einen außergewöhnlichen Schritt unternommen. In einem eindringlichen Memorandum, verfasst als offener Brief an Kanzler Merkel, warnen sie vor Falschaussagen der NATO und auch der US Regierung zur tatsächlichen Situation in der Ukraine. Die Gruppe, zu der hochrangige ehemalige Beamte aus NSA, CIA, FBI und dem US Militär gehören, veröffentlichte den Brief zunächst im US Nachrichteportal OpEd News und inzwischen auch in Deutschland.
Coleen Rowley, pensionierte FBI Spezialagentin und Anwältin sowie Hauptautorin des Artikels, warnt unter anderem vor gefälschten und falsch interpretierten Fernerkundungsdaten. Sie verweist mit Nachdruck auf die Präsentation gefälschter Nachrichtendienstlicher Informationen durch den damaligen Außenminister Collin Powell vor dem Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen. Auch NATO Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen hat eine zweifelhafte Vergangenheit in Punkto politische Wahrheit. Nicht nur, daß er sich seit Monaten völlig unangemessen in politische Belange einmischt - er verstieg sich auch schon als dänischer Ministerpräsident am Vorabend des Irak-Krieges in einer Rede vor dem dänischen Parlament zu Aussagen wie "Irak hat Massenvernichtungswaffen. Das ist nicht etwas, das wir lediglich vermuten. Wir wissen es." Heute wissen wir, daß diese Waffen nie existiert haben und lediglich einen fingierten Grund für die längst beschlossene Invasion lieferten. Eine Lüge, die zehntausende Menschenleben kostete.
Es ist vollkommen unklar, was aktuell in der Ukraine geschieht. Klar ist jedoch, daß der Westen seit Jahren provokative Signale in Richtung Moskau schickt. So sendete am 01. Februar 2008 der damalige US Botschafter in Russland, William Burns, nach einem Treffen mit Russlands Außenminister Lavrov zum Thema NATO Osterweiterung und Ukraine ein Kabel an seine Chefin Condoleeza Rice. Dort hieß es: ""NYET heißt NYET: RUSSLANDS ROTE LINIEN ZUM THEMA NATO-ERWEITERUNG." Burns gab der Mitteilung die höchste Priorität. Es dauerte anschließend keine zwei Monate, bis die NATO Führung auf einem Treffen in Bukarest formal erklärte, die Ukraine und Georgien würden eines Tages Mitglieder sein. Eindeutig ist hier der Westen der Provokateur.
Die Europäische Union kann nicht das geringste Interesse an einer Eskalation dieses Krieges haben, der im schlimmsten Fall ganz Europa betreffen könnte. Die EU und Russland sind geopolitisch natürliche Partner und in vielen Bereichen funktionierte die Zusammenarbeit seit Jahren tadellos. Die USA haben ein machtpolitisches Interesse daran, eine zu enge Partnerschaft zwischen EU und Russland zu unterbinden, da sie durch eine solche Partnerschaft in die zweite Reihe gerückt würden. Für die Europäische Union - und für Kanzlerin Merkel - kann deshalb es nur eine Strategie geben: keine Militäreinsätze gegen Russland.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Der Taifun Haiyan ist eine Kategorie von Sturm, die es eigentlich nicht gibt. Kinetische Windenergie steigt mit der 3ten Potenz der Geschwindigkeit, und somit war Haiyan mit seinen bis zu 380 km/h schnellen Böen fast 5x so stark wie der Rekord Wintersturm Kyrill, der im Januar 2007 weite Teile Westeuropas verwüstet hatte. Ich kann mich an diesen Sturm gut erinnern, den wir damals in Marburg miterlebt hatten - die ganze Nacht hörten wir das explosionsartige Knallen und Krachen der Der berstenden Bäume in den Wäldern der Lahnberge. Unser Ortsteil Marburg-Ginseldorf war von der Außenwelt abgeschnitten, selbst das Notfallzentrum an der Uniklinik auf den Lahnbergen war wegen ganzer umgestürzter Wälder nicht zu erreichen. Ein Sturm der fünffachen Stärke sprengt die Vorstellungskraft, und das wahre Ausmaß der Katastrophe in den Philippinen ist noch längst nicht abzusehen.
Für den Augenblick ist Nothilfe gefragt, und die wird am besten von gut ausgebildeten und organisierten Profis geleistet, wie beispielsweise von ISAR - International Search and Rescue Germany, aus Duisburg. Gut organisierte profis die ehrenamtlich mit geringen Kosten sinnvolle Hilfe leisten die wirklich ankommt. Wer helfen möchte kann dort etwas spenden: ISAR
Benefiz Versteigerung zugunsten der Sturmopfer auf den Philippinen
Wer mehr tun möchte: wir versteigern den limitierten Druck "Sanctuary" des Hawaiianischen Künstlers Christian Riese Lassen . Das Bild wurde 1992 von der UNO für den Welt-Umweltgipfel in Rio in Auftrag gegeben. Die Versteigerung läuft bis zum 22.11.2013. Die Verwendung des Geldes wird nachgewiesen und veröffentlicht!
ZUR ebay BENEFIZ VERSTEIGERUNG
Friday, January 11, 2013
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I keep thinking that if Wikileaks had appeared in the atmosphere of the 70s or even the 80s (here in Germany at least) it would have made the news, but it would not have lead to any hysterical reactions. In these old days the "mainstream media" themselves still were thoroughly engaged in investigative Journalism. But we now have lived in the age of embedded journalism for such a long time that we hardly remember what investigative journalism in nation-wide major newspapers looks like. An entire generation grew up without ever encountering it! And the face of embedded journalism is diverse: long before Journalists were embedded in selected military units encountering selected operations, they had been embedded (and thus effectively neutralized) in commercial units leading to selective whitewash reporting. At one point Journalistic output had become more defined by corporate advertiser interests than by the earnest urge to inform the public. What Wikileaks might be able to achieve, if anything, is to shake up Journalists, writers and citizens and remind them that a truly free press is an absolutely mandatory pillar of a truly free society. The best example to the contrary may well be Italy with a head of state who simply owns all major media outlets and thus controls much of the public opinion - enough to win elections. And albeit current day Italy may be an extreme case, the other western countries differ only by degree, not in principle. We need a free press. We need investigative journalists. I really dislike the worn out word "hero", but perhaps they can be called the "heroes of democracy". And I wonder if the likes of Sarah Palin ever bothered to familiarize themselves with the works of George Orwell or Aldous Huxley - on my side of the Atlantic they still are mandatory reading in high school.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
For more than thirty years Wagner & Co developed, constructed and manufactured award winning top flight solar energy systems, motivated by the idealistic goal to make clean and independent energy available and affordable for everyone. Wagner & Co is known for continuous innovation, including the planning and installation of many large scale solar plants, among them many technological "firsts". But the company does not only excel in the field of sustainable technology - the organization is also built upon sustainable foundations: from the outset, the 9 founders from the anti nuclear student activist scene devised the company as employee owned and with democratic decision structures. Despite more than thirty years of perpetual growth and economic success, these structures as well as the flat hierarchies, are still firmly in place and form the heart and soul of the company - a company now globally active, serving customers all over Europe and beyond, with branches in four European countries and the United States.
Following the motto "solar technology for everyone", the company also engages in corporate responsibility and supports sustainable development projects in diverse settings: solar hot water for a school cantina in the Chernobyl affected region of Belarus, solar light for a boarding school in Tanzania, solar water supply for a Nigerian village, to name a few.
The nomination for the German Sustainability Award confirms the path and strategy of Wagner & Co, focusing on sustainable high-quality products and a sustainable corporate governance with healthy work/life balance and a participatory climate for the company's employees. Past awards and nominations went to companies like the organic food brand Alnatura and the global logistics giant Deutsche Post/DHL. The high profile of these corporations as well as the status of individual prize winners underscore the nomination's value. The illustrious list of prize recipients includes for example the British heir to the crown and environmental activist Prince Charles or the retired UNEP director Klaus Töpfer, who also serves on this year's jury board.
Having been identified as one of Germany's three most sustainable brands and thus been nominated for the Sustainability Award is yet another encouragement for the company to further promote and live a cooperative and environmentally friendly business style. For a common solar future.
Wagner & Co is one of the leading collector manufacturers in Europe. The company offers solutions for solar heating applications and solar electricity. In 1979 Wagner & Co was spearheaded by nine college students rooted in the ecology and anti nuclear movements of the 70s. Nowadays the company headquarter and main production facilities are situated in Cölbe and Kirchhain, right in the geographic heart of the EU (near Frankfurt, Germany). The company is employee-owned, independent from the stock market and has more than 350 employees. The total turnover amounts to approx. 250 million Euro. Thanks to its subsidiaries in France, Spain, Italy and the United States the company passes on its more than 30 years of solar energy know how and experience throughout Europe. Many times Wagner & Co products came out first in rigorous tests by Stiftung Warentest (German consumer testing agency), and currently the solar package COMBI line SH 1440 AR is certified as “best in test” for the third time in a row in spring 2009. In the field of solar electricity the company offers highly efficient photovoltaic systems with precisely dimensioned installation components produced by globally renown manufacturers. Wagner & Co is a pioneer on the European solar market and received numerous awards, including the "Ethics in Business" award and the OTTI Innovation award.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Think about what kind of Blogger Albert Einstein would have been. The great Albert, the Icon of intellectual superiority and moral integrity in the 20th century. He would have written E equals m c squared. Grand. He would have written on a bit the Lorenz transformation. Interesting. And a few rather incomprehensible treatments on tensor calculations and 4 D space time. A no – actually he would not have written that in a blog as he would have published these things – as he did then – in peer reviewed academic journals. So what would Einstein have written in a Blog? Maybe a few witty statements about fashion, God (also a fashion) and a few things about people and their follies in general. There are a few dozen bonmots about Einstein. But not much more. Actually I believe he would not have become a blogger. Because there is no reason for it. Maybe some students would have sat down and collect his quotes and put them up on a blog or on Twitter or a similar one of all those hollow internet entities.
Einstein simply did not have enough to say to create an interesting blog. So who the hell would I be...
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Such is that.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
What a former vice presidential candidate knows - and what not, and what she and I have in common. Or not.
P.S.: Ms Palin and I are no alumni – we both have in common that we did not graduate from HPU. I graduated, for example, from the University of London. London is the largest city in the UK and of the European Union. If it were situated in the US, it would be the 2nd largest city there. Not that it is important... I assume Ms Palin and I have a lot of things in common that we both did not do... I did not, among other things, become Vice President of the United States. Or any other vice president of any other state. Nor president. And I never will. Again something she and I have in common. I hope. For the well being of the world.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When younger I argued against children, against population growth, and now I, myself, have three daughters and cannot even plausibly argue along these lines. I also drive a relatively big car because my job (in solar energy R&D) requires me to travel, our family of 5 plus dog won't fit in a GEO Metro AND we live in the country. So it goes. And we try to recommend not using excess resources on an individual level, yet the economy as it is is entirely based upon just that: ever more consumption of everything!
Be that as it may: arguing against forced economic growth as the fundamental cause of our future demise nowadays is like standing as an attorney in front of the grand inquisitor of medieval times saying "Sir - I herewith plead not guilty for these women accused of witchery, because God as well as the Devil and their ilk are cultural inventions and do not really exist, hence, they cannot serve as arguments in court."
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
I keep reading along the NEWSMAX newsletter, and I believe these people are in need of some serious mental treatment (of course the liberals do not force mental treatment upon others – only the right wing has such ideas like the “Freedom Commission on Mental Health”). I read things like “Obama care can be stopped”. The majority of that sentence consists of the phrase “care can be stopped”. Care is an awful thing, isn’t it? It strikes me as if the believers of the market religion (who often falsely claim – or believe themselves – that they are Christians) find nothing more terrifying than the notion that people actually might CARE about each other. People apparently are not supposed to care about EACH OTHER. They are supposed to care about the market, their job, about consuming, about making money. About the economy. About paying their credit card debts. They are supposed to care about HAVING and not about BEING. All these people believe in is money. All they want is money. More of it, and ever more of it. That is their true and only faith. And there are millions of such believers – tens of millions in the US. That such people exist in the first place scares me shitless.
If anyone thinks that the issue will be solved by efficiency or a service oriented society: there is no 100% efficiency and there is no service that does not require any energy or resources at all, therefore a perpetual exponential growth is impossible in any case. And even if we consider that economic growth will more and more rest with non-material goods (e.g. software) there is another limited resource: consumer time. It does not matter how we look at it: perpetual exponential economic growth is not possible. And there also really is no need for it from an individual's point of view - it merely is a built in requirement of our financial system. Every single unit of money forming out of thin air results in a corresponding quantity of resource consumption and pollution.
If anyone can explain to me where I am wrong and how perpetual exponential economic growth in a limited world is possible without violating the most fundamental physical and mathematical laws, I would be very thankful. I also need to understand why even the richest country requires continuous economic growth in order to function properly. I hold a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, and studied Economics, Climatology Oceanography and more, so you are most welcome to throw some serious theory and math at me. Before you do that, however, you might want to read Prof. Binswanger's rather mathematical book "Die Wachstumsspirale", though.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
When tooth-brushing with little Sophie (5), I noticed a stain on her blouse. A brown stain. Choc-milk stain. I suggested to change the blouse. What impression does it make when she goes to Kindergarten with a stained blouse? My child, the dirty, unwashed one, the one in stained clothes... no! It is not so bad, she said, and marked a size by putting the tips of her thumb and index finger together. “This is the size that is bad. Or bigger.”. A size a bit larger than a quarter or a 50 Eurocent coin. Okay, I thought. She is a girl. She knows better.
I brought her to Kindergarten, long good bye ceremony. I said hello to other parents, who looked at me in a somewhat indefinable way. Well. I went to my office. I passed by that silvery light reflecting pane on the wall and... I saw it. IT. THE STAIN! Not a little stain. Not a bit of choc on a little girl’s blouse. It was a huge stain, stretching almost from shoulder to shoulder. White stuff covering much of the chest area of my expensive dark shirt. Now I recalled what I forgot on that stressful morning after a long, sleepless, humid, tropical night. I had forgotten that baby Stella had emptied the content of her stomach onto me last night. I had forgotten that my favourite shirt was covered with half digested milk all over. All that would not have happened, if I simply had dressed up in front of the mirror in our sleeping room – the huge mirror ranging from floor to ceiling. The mirror I always hated, because it always reminds me of – me. It always shows me mercilessly who I am – at least on the outside. So they do serve a purpose, those mirrors! And the whole thing reminds me of the biblical proverb about the log in the eye. While being concerned about Sophie’s little stain, I was one huge walking stain myself...
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Proclaiming human emotion to fundamentally differ from the emotions of other animals is laughable in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. That merely is an aspect of the outdated attempt to establish our species as the crown of creation, as something outside - or above - the rest of nature, rather than an integral part of it. Only the twisted human mind can speak of the environment as something surrounding him, something separate from himself, while in that very moment his heart pumps water that used to be part of the ocean, while at that very moment his lungs inhale gases produced by the metabolisms of myriads of photosynthesizing organisms. We are animals and as such an integrative part of the nature we live in and from. Our difficulties acknowledging that result from the very animal emotions we deny to have. We are jealous, we want to be special. We want to be something better than that perfect Tiger, Shark of Orca out there, because we feel small, weak and ugly in comparison to those magnificent and indeed near perfect creatures with who we share a planet - and a common ancestry. And if we look more closely at the word animal that we gave them, I must say yes, I am an animal, and I want to be one! For the word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. Considering this, if we say we are not animals, doesn’t that mean we have no soul? Is that a possible deeper truth about what become of humans?
Friday, July 10, 2009
“I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilisation will survive to the end of the present century.”
I have to let that sink in. A statement along the lines of the “Scientists Warning to the World” of the early 90s. A statement not coming from a nobody, but one of the most eminent scholars of our time. And he is not the only one. Something to think about.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I am thinking... freedom is a complete illusion altogether.
Unless one finds it in the Buddhist sense.
Or the other extreme would be to be a psychopath.
Or a Christian or Muslim extremist.
Which is, in my view, the same.
But in general...
Life seems to largely consist of demands from the outside and of actions
that we think we decide ourselves, but in fact they are a result of our
being manipulated or of peer pressure.
Like mowing the lawn.
Like cleaning the windows, shaving the legs, etc.
I am looking out of the window, and five airplanes are trailing across
the blue, blue sky...
Not even airplanes are free.
Freedom was lost on this planet.
Except for a few Penguins in Antarctica...
Nothing of this is overly new, is it?
Nothing of this is overly creative.
I suddenly feel the big burden of potential failure on my shoulders again.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday, December 08, 2006
We live in a time, my friend, where genius in art and science is measured in money. We live in a time, where beauty is only acknowledged, if it can be sold. We live in a time where Goethe and Schiller would never be published, A time where Shakespeare would end as a curbside beggar, a starving fool writing poetry for food in vain. We live in a time where people never see the sky, because they stare at screens from dusk till dawn. If you are not the master over at least two thirds of your daytime, you are a slave, Said Nietzsche. We live in a time where freedom is consumption – for which we lack the time. Using things is replaced by obtaining them. We live in a time where greed is challenging reality itself. We live in a time, my friend, A time, that will come to an end.
I see the rain in the hills that falls onto fertile ground.
The Grass is green on well watered soil, soaked with life granting liquid,
While the trees are waiting for snow that does not come.
The warm Spring air this Winter carries a hint of shivering frost biting deeper into the flesh of our soul than mere cold.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Does an electric fan decrease the room temperature? It is one of the physics question tricks that you can ask someone to check if he has any idea about physics at all. I find it absolutely fantastic that at the beginning of the 3rd millennium practically everyone thinks a fan cools the air. Some people even let the fan run when they are not in the room. Causes me physical pain. In my view someone who lets the fan running when nobody is in the room should not be allowed to vote or to drive a car or to do anything else that requires even the most minimal intellectual capacity.... I wonder if George Bush leaves the fan on when he is not in the room... He probably does. Until the shit hits the fan.
Brrrrrrr.. What a world.
I am overdoing it of course.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
I still did not quite return to Earth. I had chicken for Dinner. With: Dave's Temporary Insanity sauce. (It arrived today) Wow. WOW! My GOODNESS. I think if I ever would want to, say, kill my father (hello FBI or BKA: no such intentions), I only have to call him a coward... And make him try... Booff! That would be it. My eyes turned into overflowing lakes. My heart felt like it had to pump the Pacific Ocean. My good old SELF became the Pacific Ocean. Liquidified. Flowing over. Wavy. And the face turned into one big grin, while every pore, every gland, started to frantically produce liquid in defense. And neurotransmitters running wild, endorphines on the rise. Haha! Amie insisted to try a bit of chicken, with a tiny, tiny drop, and she disappeared behind the couch, whining, with the tail between her legs... "Du Nase!!" baby Sophie Maris shouted. Haha! "Du NASE!" And it sounds like NASA, when she says that.
PS: Nase is nose in German. Sophie Maris, of course, grows up bilingually.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Quote From the Buddha – Kalama Sutta.
Do not believe in anything (simply)
Because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions
Because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything
Because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything (simply)
Because it is found written in your religious books
Do not believe in anything merely
On the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis when you find that
Anything agrees with reason and is conducive
To the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.
Source: World Buddhist University
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Cybermonk sits on the mountain top in a world that ceases to exist. In a golden moment his Buddhadog hopes that the trajectory of compassion will finally cross the path of REALITY. But Cybermonk knows that the crossing point ist just an instance in time, a speck of knowhere in the nothingness. He cites the mantra of merging, and the universe waits...
A consumer advocate dances with simulated clouds, while the creators of science long for the truth about it all. Cybermonk is not so easily fooled: Someone behind the mirror, suddenly, is very hungry. These men of the cloth denie to legalize the hidden truth, but Cybermonk finally demands the knowledge about how things are.
A Gypsy cleverly comes alive after midnight, whirling across the collective unconscious. The Masters of addiction want to legalize uploading of the brain. Someone's idea of a simulated joke. Jezebel smiles. Cybermonk is bathed in golden sunlight, Trying to control anything resembling maturity, he comes to life with the new moon.
The spies of mercy do not include life on this planet. Cybermonk keeps applying for time at heaven's gate. His constant companion, unexpectedly keeps asking for love, and finally turns out to be his former self.
His memory of the flash is fading, mountains of illusion sinking into dust. Trembling with delight, the soldiers of mercy will never forgive the city of greed. Cybermonk finally lifts the veil from the golden cage....
- Money is not real.
- God is not real.
- Ideologies are not real.
A few things that are real, at least as far as I can tell, include:
- The stink of the shit in my daughter's diaper.
- The suffering of a family who lives through Winter in an unheated tent in Pakistan after their home was destroyed by an Earthquake.
- The pain of the feet of their little boy who walks barefoot through the snow.
- The rain falling from the sky, drumming onto my window this very moment.
- The angular momentum of our spinning planet.
- Electromagnetic fields.
- The sun.
- The stars in general.
- Black holes in the centres of Galaxies.
- Human brains.
- Amie the dog snoring on her own armchair in our living room.
They can be observed, felt AND they can be measured with physical instruments. They are not invented.
The list of real things that are not invented is truly endless. And still the actions of our leaders have little to do with the endless items on the reality list. They are mostly concerned with the three items on the list of unrealities.
I assume most of you out there won't agree...
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
My last post was a bit premature. That much I have to admit. Through the Alumni Network of the University of Münster, where I used to study, I yesterday received a long, detailed and very sober assessment of the idiotic cartoon conflict and its background that was written by Professor Dr. Muhammad Kalisch, chair of Islam Religion studies in Münster. He reluctantly had written an 11 page statement that I must say so far is the only reasonable assessment of the entire mess that I so far have read or heard. I myself am not an expert on the Islam religion, but I am also not entirely ignorant. Yet I had to reconsider some of my - admittedly emotionally colored - views. Yes, that happens. it made me wonder whether perhaps as a 14 year old I was wiser than I am now, for I was not so easily fooled. When in school back then we learned about the cold war, the evil empire, the nuclear bombs and the looming threat of global destruction, I had thought: they behave like little children fighting over the possession of toys in the sandbox . "I am right, you are wrong, no I am wrong, you are right..." It is mine, no it is mine.. NO IT IS MINE..!!" What a nonsense. From Prof. Kalisch's article I learned about the Danish Newspaper (the name of which my fuzzy mind already discarded). it seems to be a populist right wing newspaper with a history of racist, reactionary publications. It is well possible that the effect the cartoons had was indeed intended! This then is not freedom of press anymore - it is propaganda for lower purposes. At the same time: still nobody has the right to get violent over a drawing - let alone abduct people, burn buildings, threaten countries with destruction etc.
In any case: the deeper one digs, the more messy the entire subject becomes. The problem with thinking and getting informed is that complicated topics generally cannot be assessed with simple methods, cannot be described with easily understood one sentence descriptions. To my utter amazement I myself had to learn from Prof. Kalisch, that here in my own country, in Germany, home of Immanuel Kant, Blasphemy is a crime. But which blasphemy? And how is that defined? In any case: if this law applies to the established majority Christian churches only and not to every religion, our state is deeply hypocritical.
There are other points that Prof. Kalisch made and that I agree with. It is not a secret that the West - mainly the US - is mainly interested in the resources of the middle east. They are not interested in political stability, democracy, humanitarian issues etc. it is all about oil. In addition, the US seems to be interested in having a permanent enemy. This is not new - an external threat unites the nation. External threats are the only reason why Mr. Bush still is president of the United States. The US government is almost happy about every lunatic dictator. If they wouldn't appear by themselves now and then, they would have to be invented!
Islam is no more violent than any other religion. There are extremists hiding behind almost every faith. Although I must say it is extremely difficult to imagine an extremist Buddhist (like..uh.. becoming EXTREMELY compassionate? Practicing EXTREME meditation?). Well. But I, as the utter layman with an admittedly shallow understanding of the Quran, I do not agree with Prof. Kalisch when he says there is nothing violent in the Islam. My impression is that the word war appears quite often, that killing is justified under a variety of circumstances, that historically the Prophet himself duly carried a sword and at the very root of this religion we find military expansion.
The Islam described by Prof. Kalisch is of one of deep beauty - it is the Islam of dialogue, the friendly and tolerant Islam of mystics and scholars. It is similar to the Catholicism of for example the German Zen Master and Catholic Mystic Benedictian Monk father Willigis Jäger. But not only that Willigis Jäger's view of science, religion and mysticism can hardly be considered the view of the majority of Catholics (or even a significant portion - as desirable as that may be) - the Vatican also prohibited him to teach. This is what happens to the voices of tolerance and dialogue, the voices of the true seekers of answers. And I am afraid that is so in all Western religions - to varying degrees - the religion of Mammon being the worst of all.
In any case: think! Our own absolute view of things is just as likely to be wrong as someone elses is!