Side thoughts and muttering about our crumbling democratic life in the fresh air can become wide scouring while Clyde sniffs out his "news". Clyde can perceive 1000 times more with his senses than I ever could: Which dog peed his message here, where did another dog dig here and why? Except for his occasional look or when he presses himself against my leg to show me something he cares about, he doesn't care about me at all when he performs his news consumption.
Our sometimes stunning intelligence seems to have outstripped our instinct for survival. Our inability to live entirely in the present (like my buddy Clyde is doing), combined with our inability to see very far into the future, makes us strange in-between creatures, neither beast nor prophet.
While we're still arguing about whether there's life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By "democracy" I don't mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are.
The question here, really, is what have we done to democracy? What have we turned it into? What happens once democracy has been used up? When it has been hollowed out and emptied of meaning? What happens when each of its institutions has metastasised into something dangerous? What happens now that democracy and the free market have fused into a single predatory organism with a thin, constricted imagination that revolves almost entirely around the idea of maximising profit?
We plunder the earth hoping that accumulating material surplus will make up for the profound, unfathomable thing that we have lost. It would be conceit to pretend I have the answers to any of these questions. But it does look as if the beacon could be failing and democracy can perhaps no longer be relied upon to deliver the justice and stability we once dreamed it would.
After many years of living in socially unstable countries, talking to political leaders I’m becoming now in our democracies increasingly speechless about ideologists and "vox populi popes” who have already succeeded in stealing our language by making the world fit for our script.
This theft of language, this technique of usurping words and deploying them like weapons, of using them to mask intent and to mean exactly the opposite of what they have traditionally meant, has been one of the most brilliant strategic victories of those "vox populi popes” and their followers in mainstream media. It has allowed them to marginalise their detractors, deprive them of a language to voice their critique and dismiss them as being "anti-progress," "anti-development," "anti-reform," “anti-sozial” and of course "anti-national" -- negativists of the worst sort.
Unlike the flow of capital, this virus seeks proliferation, not profit, and has, therefore, inadvertently, to some extent, reversed the direction of the flow. It has mocked immigration controls, biometrics, digital surveillance and every other kind of data analytics, and struck hardest thus far in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt. Temporarily perhaps, but not long enough for us to examine its parts, make an assessment and decide whether we want to help fix it, or look for a better engine.
Are we too obsessed with "vox populi popes”, these populists pulling us back into older, discredited models of totalitarian or authoritarian governance with a new environmentalist facade? This then meant to suggest that the system of representative democracy -- too much representation, too little democracy -- needs some structural adjustment. Till then I walk with my Rottweiler alway ready for a change.
Keep people fat, keep them happy, keep them diverted and keep them entertained with dribble, shock and nonsense; because trustworthy journalism is no longer the priority, - creating confusion and news fatigue is….
For years I watched the German press agency, DPA, scamming one of my photos.It was the only photo they ever received and this just because a colleague who returned to Germany had sent the DPA the negatives by mistake.
A few weeks later, colleagues told me that this photo had been published in "Der Spiegel". At that time I did not know that the negatives had ended up with the DPA. They had not informed me or my colleagues about it, but simply uploaded the photo to their server.
I had called the agency at that time and informed them of their illegal use of the photo. Nothing had happened. They just continued to market the photograph at will.
For the protection of rights, in legal disputes the association FREELENS is a good choice for photographers. It is the professional association of photographers and is helpful with tips and hints.
I think it would be useful if colleagues who have had similar experiences with the DPA would contact me to create a clearer legal basis that prohibits agencies such as this one from using alleged "partners" from the outset. This is the only way to at least limit this increasing monopolisation.
No lockdown, no masks - fewer deaths than in previous major flu waves. And here in France, policemen lurk behind every corner of every house armed to the teeth, they are standing like Robo-Cops in front of streetcars and buses and pant like Rottweilers to oder people to pay fines if they don't wear masks...
Then, you know the vodka-drinkers and chain-smoking White Russians must have a "herd immunity". For six weeks now, major rallies have been held every weekend in Minsk and other Belarusian cities. Despite brutal police operations, the tens of thousands of protesters did not back down from their demands: Head of State Alexander Lukashenko had to resign.This topic is covered in detail in the main media.
What happened at the end of July, however, were pressure attempts by the IMF and World Bank.
Before these two institutions would grant any financial aid to the country, the government of Belarus would have to order corona measures like those in Italy. Belarus refused. The country was prophesied by the main Western media of imminent doom and endless infirmity. None of this happened.
For a long time Belarus was considered a blank spot on the Covid-19 map because reliable figures on deaths since the outbreak of the corona crisis could not be found. This is now over, as Swiss Policy Research reports, citing a United Nations database.
For example, the number of deaths has so far been understated by the government by a factor of three. However, cumulative Covid 19 deaths in Belarus, at about 1,400, are below the number of the strongest waves of influenza since 1980.
It should be noted that the demographic situation in Belarus is different from that in most Western European countries: There are few people in the highest age group. Currently, about 9.5 million people live in the country.
This makes Belarus proof that what several experts recommended at the beginning of the pandemic is working: focusing protective measures on the risk groups, because lockdowns would do more harm than good. Most countries around the world have done the opposite with lockdowns of varying intensity and with the same mask obligation: they are proof that it has not worked.
The Jaguar E-Type, or the Jaguar XK-E for the North American market, is a British sports car that was manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing established the model as an icon of the motoring world. The E-Type's claimed 150 mph (241 km/h) top speed, sub-7-second 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration, unitary ... This model is the 6 cylinder straight, 4,2 litre engine.
Everyone who knows me also knows about my somewhat ambivalent opinion about hunting animals. Like the care of plants, the care of animals living outside is also necessary. That means I do not reject hunting per se. But if I see someone shooting at wild pigeons with 70 grams of bulkhead and carrying a "flag" of pastis, wine or other liquor in front of him, it is the end of fun.
There are quite a few dog owners in the UK or Germany who occasionally travel with their campervan in France in the off-season. The hunting season has now started since Sunday and there are some things that are better to be considered. The most important equipment is one of these fluorescent vests RED. But also for the hikers among you such a cheap one is very useful, even if it is not a Level IV Kevlar vest 😎
I have made the details available on my website as PDF for everyone to download for free. If you still want to do something good, please contact the two of them from the Rottweiler Gnadenhof, they have been overrun by doctor and treatment costs this year
The Photo session in Kiel at the shipyard went very well. The yacht with it’s double hull is completed and will be on its way to the Eastern Mediterranean in September just before the weather ist getting more serious when it will cross the Biscaya with its unpredictable storms.
Well this year was, plainly speaking a a pain in the back. With shipyards closing, yacht shows postponed or even cancelled 2020 was the year of distance and We started to believe that we would still be able to enjoy some boat shows in the final months of 2020, our hopes have been dashed late in the day.
With the news last week that Cannes Yachting Festival had been cancelled followed shortly after by the announcement that METSTRADE had suffered the same fate, boat show season has been well and truly wiped out this year. Given the health and safety risks associated with hosting such events I think the outcome is understandable. We just have to hope that the landscape is different in 2021 to enable the superyacht industry to come together once again.
Clyde and me at least enjoyed producing photo-documentations for 2 yachts for charter on our visits in St. Tropez.