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.
It’s all about bunkers, bombs & people...
In Kiel’s "Flandernbunker" is an art project that has the goal teaching history for peace promotion and international understanding.
Technically speaking: a former anti-aircraft bunker. The amazing two meter thick concrete walls give an idea and impression of war constructions.
There are year-round exhibitions in the “Flanders Bunker” related to First and Second World War, as well as to the period of National Socialism. Sometimes living contemporary witnesses tell about their experiences. In the end, references to the present shall be established.
Witnesses of wars, also contemporary witnesses, are giving in this art project their accounts under the slogan: "daring memories”. Their experiences during wars should bring the reality of that time closer and serve as a reminder to help avoid repetition.
are larger than the houses of the town....
Making the most of the Med-yachting season is pretty cumbersome this year. Many photo documentations & works, especially in the Italian shipyards are still waiting for completion. At least we finished all charter yachts for the 2020/2021 season in the Caribbean today in St. Tropez with the last brochure & website photo session.
For all of us it hasn’t been the big and exciting Med season we were all hoping for, but at least we are enjoying a form of season now – it’s definitely better than nothing given where we were a few months ago.
After Monaco Yachtshow being canceled at least We can still look forward to Cannes Yachting Festival this year, however, with show organisers reiterating earlier this month that the show will go ahead as planned from the 8th to 13th September.
Another reminder to owners, captains and crew reading this: Please remember that as of last month French laws came into effect which stipulate that wildlife - most notably posidonia/seagrass - must not be damaged due to boating activities.
Propaganda and counter-propaganda have the same root and serve the purpose of deliberate stupefaction. Counter-propaganda, however, is trickier: the intention is to provoke reactions in order to generate information. Otherwise I cannot understand this conjecture essay.
The only useful thing about such disinformation is that the latent anti-Semitism everywhere becomes really visible in its various layers in all societies
Ok, let's assume that there was no knowledge that nitro ammonium was stored there. Let's assume that there was no known storage of nitro ammonia. Wouldn't that be the greater improbability? And then, even if it was known, what difference would it make?
Would Israel's leadership want to provoke a war? If so, what allies of Israel would / could still be willing to support Israel without not being suspected of being a supporter of crime? Is His Untouchable Sovereignty so deep in the shit that he now has to organise a Masada? No, he is not! He has his "base". Consisting on what sort of individuals?
I am highly skeptical that such assumptions based on “highly informed sources”. Sure, they will become commonplace now since for 2 decades now politician talk about a “high degree of certainties”, highly likely" and "unalterable certainty”.
If this is possible why is it not similarly likely that the little Saudi trickster wants to settle a score because his tricky business with Syria didn't work out and Saudi investors with their Lebanese projects (Hariri) saw their investment gambled away by a Lebanese government which is composed almost entirely of war criminals. Lebanese youth had been trying for months to free themselves from these warlords running the entire country into the ground…
The reality is: speculating is difficult since we are in the early phases of the downturn into a 9/11 syndrome, Covid syndrome, or to stay in Lebanon, Hariri syndrome. Events can only be assessed retrospectively. I find it absurd that every time something mysterious happens, funny people try to use conspiracy drums to find the culprits in Israel.
It seems patently obvious to anyone who actually thinks about these issues and still we as humanity are now at a critical juncture in history. But the world has postponed, indefinitely, dealing decisively with the challenges of investigation of where the virus really came from, which caused the two sky-scraper to fall apart, was there a Russia Gate. Anyone who questions the present course is held up to ridicule as a professional pessimist, or worse. Nothing is done, and we ignore reality.
In these days of messy transitional period I should not complain. There is work enough. Everyone who trades goods wants to go online. This means photo productions for catalogues. But that alone is anything but sustainable. And sustainability is all that is needed.
Eventually, we will become a new regime which will arise on the ruins our free market economy, which has been successfully dismantled since the 1980s. And then, also this is an old story. The Romans responded to the death of their Republic with resignation.
Because we tend see only the potential gains from social engineering, but not the risks, my guess is that we will not change, and will evolve from citizens into subjects. We will console ourselves by awarding ourselves the status of victims. So we will have moral superiority over our billionaire-rulers. And, they will find that hilarious.
Giving up on America is the easy way out. Of course financially US$ as a reserve currency is coming of age and its financial back will continue to invest in ideologies. The first sign of rebellions are written on the wall and the “security” apparatus is realising the beginning of many young people finding many grievances to vent their anger in this world. These Millennials are not disengaged and annoying anymore. They want change. Wait until a genuinely rebellious Generation “Z” can’t find stable employment, earn a decent wage, buy a home or start a family…
In Europe all this is more divided because Europe has become a nation of people governed by tribal truths. That means increased social conflict, because tribal truths are irreconcilable by logic or fact. A rebellion in Europe is far less likely. The little troubles in Britain about discrimination are not a rebellion, Also, in Europe most of the critics are made in “social” media. This is the reason why social media has become more an exchange of insults than useful dialog. The social media rather suffocate any form of serious rebellion already in the sprout.
The two systems that were built from the second World War – the consensus of social democracy that morphed into neoliberal Capitalism – facilitated by globalisation is falling apart. Russia’s collapsing oil-dependent economy becomes reliant on China which is bringing Chinas sphere of influence to the borders of Europe.
Europe will see serious splits between the wealthy north and poorer south. A weaker south will have a softer approach towards instabilities to become more and more financial support from Brussels. At the same time the instability in West Africa and the Middle East will most likely rapidly rise because of demographic reasons. This could ignite an avalanche of currently 80 million people, displaced by war, violence and persecution, resulting in an increase in much higher migrant movements directed to Europe.
Our failing systems of economic and political governance has proven to be fragile and unsustainable and has fragmented in front of us in a matter of weeks. Nothing less than a reboot is approaching. For those who see the status quo returning – a brutal awakening is coming.