'..the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025.' (no replies)        
'In Germany, for example, Deutsche Post has started building its own electric vans and will soon start selling them to other companies..'

'The clock may be ticking for petrol and diesel-powered cars, but it's vans, trucks and buses that are driving the electric vehicle revolution on the world's roads.

This week the UK government followed France in announcing it would ban the sale of such vehicles by 2040, while the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025.


In Germany, for example, Deutsche Post has started building its own electric vans and will soon start selling them to other companies. Meanwhile, in the US, the city of Los Angeles plans to make its entire bus fleet emissions-free by 2030.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that keeping global temperature rises below 2C by the end of the century will in part depend on the electrification of some 600 million vehicles worldwide.


Frost & Sullivan's Ananth Srinivasan says it it easier for freight fleet owners to justify investment in electric vehicles because "when they look at the cost for miles travelled over, say, two years with an electric van versus one powered by petrol or diesel", the financial benefits are obvious.'

- Chris Baraniuk, Electric trucks and vans cut pollution faster than cars, 28 July 2017


Team Solid: Metal Fuels

'..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040

'..wood burning is the single largest source of hazardous particle pollution during winter, creating even more particle pollution than vehicles and industry.'

          '..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017

'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

'..to develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'

The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)

'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'

'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'

(Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

          '..Angela Merkel .. calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.' (no replies)        
'Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

'European leaders have told Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid inflammatory language while Ankara threatened sanctions against the Netherlands as diplomatic relations between Turkey and several EU members soured dramatically.


On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, responded by pledging her “full support and solidarity” to the Netherlands, calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.


The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have cited security and other concerns for their reluctance to allow Turkish officials to campaign in their countries.


Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

- Jon Henley, EU tells Erdogan not to escalate diplomatic row over political rallies, March 13, 2017


European Commission calls on Turkey to moderate its tone in row with Dutch, March 13, 2017

'.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..'

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          '.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..' (no replies)        
'French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" what he calls provocations from the Turkish government.

Macron has called on France to support its European partners and "reject the Turkish government's abuses." He says that "the European Union must have a united response."

He criticizes "unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities that target "European values," and Germany and the Netherlands.'

- French Candidate Macron Condemns Turkey, March 12, 2017

'Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke on Sunday called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to delay a planned March visit because of "tensions" between Ankara and the Netherlands.

"Such a visit could not take place in light of the current attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands. Therefore I proposed to my Turkish colleague to postpone our meeting," Lokke said in a statement.'

- Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit, March 12, 2017


'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?' (no replies)        
'This factory-like system seems increasingly out of date. More and more people are crying out for innovation in education and starting to experiment with curricula, technologies, and governance in schools. But is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school? And what would it look like? A superb example can be found in the center of Berlin in Germany. The “ESBZ” is a grade 7-12 school that opened its doors in 2007 with more than a bit of improvisation. Just three months before the start of the school year, the city council had suddenly given a decrepit prefabricated building from communist times to a group of pesky parents who simply wouldn’t let go of their dream. When the school year started, only 16 students were registered. A few months later, at the mid-year point, 30 more students had joined, mostly rejects and troublemakers other schools had expelled. Hardly a promising start for a new school. And yet today, only a few years later, the school has 500 students and attracts hundreds of principals, teachers, and education specialists from all over the country who want to study the ESBZ model.'

- Frederic Laloux, (Reinventing Organizations, Chapter 2.2 _ Self-management Structures), page 93

'..Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..'

'..At Oberländer’s school, there are no grades until students turn 15, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. The pupils decide which subjects they want to study for each lesson and when they want to take an exam.

The school’s syllabus reads like any helicopter parent’s nightmare. Set subjects are limited to maths, German, English and social studies, supplemented by more abstract courses such as “responsibility” and “challenge”. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.

“Look at three or four year olds – they are all full of self-confidence,” Rasfeld says. “Often, children can’t wait to start school. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

The Evangelical School Berlin Centre (ESBC) is trying to do nothing less than “reinvent what a school is”, she says. “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”

Making students listen to a teacher for 45 minutes and punishing them for collaborating on an exercise, Rasfeld says, was not only out of sync with the requirements of the modern world of work, but counterproductive. “Nothing motivates students more than when they discover the meaning behind a subject of their own accord.”

Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam. Oberländer, who had never been away from home for three weeks until he embarked on his challenge in Cornwall, said he learned more English on his trip than he had in several years of learning the language at school.

Germany’s federalised education structure, in which each of the 16 states plans its own education system, has traditionally allowed “free learning” models to flourish. Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..


Aged 65 and due to retire in July, Rasfeld still has ambitious plans. A four-person “education innovation lab” based at the school has been developing teaching materials for schools that want to follow the ESBC’s lead. About 40 schools in Germany are in the process of adopting some or all of Rasfeld’s methods. One in Berlin’s Weissensee district recently let a student trek across the Alps for a challenge project. “Things are only getting started,” says Rasfeld.

“In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist. Ministries are like giant oil tankers: it takes a long time to turn them around. What we need is lots of little speedboats to show you can do things differently.” '

- Philip Oltermann, No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down, July 1, 2016


(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

          The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..' (no replies)        
'.."What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II..'

'Deist: One thing that’s so remarkable about the Christmas Truce is this whole question of what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier or be somehow limited. Weintraub addresses this in his book. We may not have had the rise of communism, the Russian Revolution and Stalin and Lenin, we certainly would not have had Versailles. As a result, we might not have had Hitler or Nazism or maybe even FDR. I mean, it’s remarkable to think about, isn’t it?

Denson: That’s right and that’s counterfactual history at its best. Weintraub, in his last chapter, entitled "What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II, as I have argued in the past, World War II was simply a continuation of World War I with a truce, and World War I was to see if you could remake the world to benefit the English, the British, and the Russian Czar. World War II was to see if you could keep it that way, what they’d done in World War I. So, it would have changed the whole history, in my opinion, of the twentieth century. And, we are still in the Middle East, suffering the results of the treaties that ended World War I. I mean, the treaties that created Iraq, tried to give Syria to the French, and Israel was created in the middle of an Arab world and it’s still a problem that was created by the World War I treaties. So, all of that, the whole twentieth century, I think, would have been completely different, if it could have ended, say when the troops stopped at Christmas of 1914. It’s amazing to think about that.


..H. Kingsley Wood, a cabinet minister, got up and made a speech and he said, he had been in the trenches, he said in the front trenches in Christmas 1914 and he said, I took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches and shook hands with many of our German enemies and a great number of people and I think we did something that was degrading or wrong and refused to stop, he said, the fact is, we did it. And I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves, there never would have been another shot fired. For a fortnight, the troops went on and we were on the most friendly terms and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again.

And he blamed the resumption of war on “the grip of the political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time, determined there and then, never to rest until we had seen whether we could change it.” And then it concludes. There are people that thrive on war, the military industrial complex and one of the results of the World War I revisionism showed that the people that do the armaments and make money off that, help cause war. There are people, bankers, that have an interest. JP Morgan had a big interest in America getting into World War I and he financed the British Army..'

- The Christmas Truce and the Future of War, December 24, 2016


(Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Christmas Truce of 1914

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love

'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians..

Economics in One Lesson

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..


..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..


What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.


..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.


..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.


The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.


The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.


Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.


..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.


Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.


It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.


Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.


In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.


As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.


Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016

Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'

'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.

          European Football Podcast - Episode 113: 18th May        
Sam Norris is joined by Alex Dunn on this edition of the European Football Podcast. The pair preview games from Germany, Portugal and Russia this week. #betting #EuropeanPodcast #football
          European Football Podcast - Episode 115: 28th April        
Sam Norris offers his thoughts ahead of three of the biggest games in Europe this week. He analyses one match in Germany, one in Italy and one in Spain. #EuropeanFootball #podcast #betting
          European Football Podcast - Episode 113: 13th April        
Sam Norris joins Mark Walton to preview three games across the continent this weekend with games from Italy, Germany and France up for discussion. Enjoy.
          The FWA Podcast: Friday March 24        
The Sun's football editor Charlie Wyett joins Alex Dunn to reflect on England's friendly defeat to Germany on Wednesday and discuss whether three at the back is the way forward for the Three Lions. They then look ahead to the Home Nations World Cup qualifiers. Enjoy.
          The Punt: Monday 20th March        
As the International break begins Mark Walton and Sam Norris take a look at the Premier League Top 4 and relegation markets before discussing the Germany v England match on Wednesday. Enjoy.
          The Punt: Monday 10 October        
Dave Kelner is joined by Sam Norris to preview the World Cup Qualifiers involving the Home Nations on Tuesday night. England travel to Slovenia, Scotland to Slovakia and Northern Ireland to Germany. Sam gives you his best bets. #football #betting #thepunt
          Euros Punt Podcast: 7th July        
We look ahead to semi-final number two on this edition of the podcast and Derek McGovern, Stefan Bienkowski, Andrew Gibney, Dave Kelner, Lee Phelps and Mark Walton all feature. They look ahead to the game between Germany and France and flag up their best bets along the way. Enjoy. http://serve.williamhill.com/promoRedirect?member=audiobooUK&campaign=DEFAULT&channel=will_football&zone=1478396557&lp=1478422550
          Euros Punt Podcast: 2nd July        
Germany face Italy in the Euros Quarter Finals and we have Stefan Bienkowski and Derek McGovern's thoughts on the match, plus a look at some little known German facts.
          Euros Punt Podcast: 26th June        
Sunday's games see France take on the Republic of Ireland before Germany v Slovakia and Hungary v Belgium. On this edition we hear from Dereck McGovern, Chris Mayer & Stefan Bienkowski on the respective matches. Enjoy. http://serve.williamhill.com/promoRedirect?member=audiobooUK&campaign=DEFAULT&channel=will_football&zone=1478396557&lp=1478422550
          The Punt: Euros 16th June        
Jack Critchley is joined by Derek McGovern and Stefan Bienkowski to look ahead to England v Wales, Ukraine v Northern Ireland & Germany v Poland. Plus there's trivia, country files and all of the best betting tips
          Euros Punt Podcast: Sunday 12th June        
We have a jam-packed podcast with Emre Sarigul, Stefan Bienkowski, Neil Lennon, Derek McGovern and Lee Phelps all joining Michael Wood to preview the day's games. Turkey take on Croatia, Poland face Northern Ireland and Germany are against Ukraine. Listen now for information on all six nations playing on day three. #ThePunt #betting #football #Euro2016
          The Euros - Group C Preview        
The world champions Germany enter the Euros in Group C alongside Poland, Ukraine and surprise qualifiers Northern Ireland. This time Pete Farries, Jack Critchley and James Buttler talk you through their best bets. Enjoy.
          European Football Podcast - Episode 85: Thu 19 May        
Dave Kelner and Sam Norris are with you to preview a host of Cup Finals on the continent this weekend. The chaps look at the action in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal and France and come up with their best bets, #DFBCup #CoppaItalia #CopaDelRey #CoupdeFrance
          Oxytocin keeps attached men away from hot women        
The "love hormone" oxytocin may help maintain romantic relationships by prompting men to keep their distance from attractive women, a new study from Germany suggests.
          Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors


The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9

Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].


From the Introduction

One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.


An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”


The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.


As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.


Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project

  •           2016-02-24 18:30:00 - 2016-02-24 22:00:00 / City Talk - CARE Vision        
    Liebe Mitglieder der AG City, wir laden Sie und Ihre Begleitung sehr herzlich zum City Talk bei CARE Vision ein: Wann:         Mittwoch, 24.02.2016, Einlass: 18.30 Uhr Begrüßung: 19.00 Uhr                    Ende der Veranstaltung: 22.00 Uhr  Wo:            CARE Vision Germany GmbH Augenlaserkorrekturen                    ...

              German Father Bought Drugs With Counterfeit Euro Notes        

    A father of a child from Troisdorf, Germany was sentenced to prison for ordering counterfeit euro notes from the dark web and putting the falsified bills into circulation. Court records reported that the man even purchased narcotics with the fake notes. According to the court documents, the suspect, a 23-year-old father of Troisdorf, North-Rhine Westphalia, ...

    The post German Father Bought Drugs With Counterfeit Euro Notes appeared first on Deep Dot Web.

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              Temporary Travel Document for stateless persons and persons of undetermined nationality: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    Temporary Travel Document for stateless persons and persons of undetermined nationality: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) Military Government for Germany This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Temporary Travel Document #0007434 for stateless persons and persons of undetermined nationality of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in Munich, Germany and dated 1949.; Munich
              Hospitalization in Switzerland: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    Hospitalization in Switzerland: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) International Refugee Organization This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Document about hospitalization of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) in Switzerland. The document issued in Munich, Germany and dated January 5, 1950.; Munich; Switzerland
              Church Marriage Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk        
    Church Marriage Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk St. Anthony Greek Catholic Church This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Church Marriage Certificate of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) and Konstantin Melnyk from St. Anthony Greek Catholic Church in Munich, Germany. The document dated July 3, 1945.; Munchen
              Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences from U.N.R.R.A. University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences from U.N.R.R.A. University: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) U.N.R.R.A. University This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Index of courses (cover page) in Natural Sciences (Pharmacy) attended by Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska at U.N.R.R.A. Munich University, Germany in 1946.; Munich
              IRO Certificate of Registration: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska)        
    IRO Certificate of Registration: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) Germany This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); IRO Certificate of Registration #4396 of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska). The document issued in Munich, Germany and dated June 11, 1948.; Munich
              Civil Marriage Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk        
    Civil Marriage Certificate: Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk Germany This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Civil Marriage Certificate of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) and Konstantin Melnyk (required for immigration to US Naturalization and immigration). The document issued in Munich, Germany and dated August 7, 1950.; Munchen; Lemberg, Poland; Brzeg, Poland
              Photograph: 1948, Bavaria, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk        
    Photograph: 1948, Bavaria, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Photograph of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) with her husband Konstantin Melnyk, taken in Bavaria, Germany 1948.
              Photograph: 1947, Munich, Germany, Alexandra KlaudiaMelnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Arkadia Melnyk        
    Photograph: 1947, Munich, Germany, Alexandra KlaudiaMelnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Arkadia Melnyk This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/); Photograph of Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) with her daughter Arkadia Melnyk taken in Munich, 1947.
              Photograph: Family portrait, 1949, Munich, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk; Arkadia Melnyk; Anna Yezerska (nee Anna Bihun); Konstantin Yerezsky; Zenon Yerezsky        
    Photograph: Family portrait, 1949, Munich, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska); Konstantin Melnyk; Arkadia Melnyk; Anna Yezerska (nee Anna Bihun); Konstantin Yerezsky; Zenon Yerezsky This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/)
              Photograph: 1944, Munich, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) at 18.        
    Photograph: 1944, Munich, Germany, Alexandra Klaudia Melnyk (nee Alexandra Klaudia Yezerska) at 18. This item comes from a region where place names vary historically and politically. We have used the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) as a source for controlled place names. (http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/tgn/)
              Ð—амками Європи: Німеччина, Боснія і Герцеговина, Словаччина в одну осінню подорож 2100₴ за всі квитки        
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              Alaskan Smoked Porter 22oz        
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    Known as "rauchbier" in Germany, smoke-flavored beers were virtually unknown in the U.S. until Alaskan Smoked Porter was developed in 1988. The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adven..

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              Viking hordes dined on frozen Norwegian cod shipped to Germany        
    DNA from ancient cod bones shows Vikings freeze-dried Arctic cod for serving up on European menus 300 years earlier than we thought
              Parasitic worm eggs may soon be legally sold as food in Germany        
    Thousands have been infecting themselves with parasites to treat conditions like depression and multiple sclerosis, but we don’t yet know if it works
              I tried ingesting rat tapeworm parasites and my poo turned green        
    With the news that a worm product is being considered for approval as a food ingredient in Germany, Andy Coghlan decided to try out a parasite product
              RE[4]: USD vs. EUR        
    in my country, 999 euro translates to 1290 dollars. 999 US + TAX, is at most 1100 dollars, so 1290 is still 190 dollars more expensive. You are correct that sales tax in the US is usually in the 10% neighborhood (actually, 8% would be a better average). However, isn't the VAT in places like Germany, Netherlands, or Scandinavia more like 20%?
              RE[5]: USD vs. EUR        
    However, isn't the VAT in places like Germany, Netherlands, or Scandinavia more like 20%? In my lovely little country the BTW (Belasting Toegevoegde Waarde, literally: Tax over Added Value) is 19%. Taxes deducted, th elow-end iMac costs 839.50 EUR, which is using current exchange rates, 1073.38 USD. So, we Dutch pay 75 USD more (+7.5%), which is a lot, but a lot more acceptable than it used to be. Apple is going the in right direction with this, probably taking the criticism they received about this to heart. However, things get a little nastier when we look at the Mac Mini. The low-end model costs 599 USD, and taxes deducted 520.17 EUR in The Netherlands. That's 665.05 USD. That's 65 USD more (+10.9%) which I just find a little too much. Here, a Mac Mini is ANYTHING but entry-level. On the iMac side, it's going in the right direction; the Mini is not (yet).
              Europe Summit Aims to Revive Lost Momentum Toward Unity         

    WITH public opinion soured on the merits of European unity, European Community leaders hope to ``relaunch Europe'' with a special summit tomorrow celebrating ratification of the long-awaited Maastricht Treaty.

    ``It's important to get the public thinking in terms of Europe again,'' says one Belgian Foreign Ministry official.

    But the celebration risks being seen as irrelevant by much of the public it targets, as Europeans worry about record-high unemployment, challenges to their infant-to-elder social-welfare system, and instability on the continent's eastern borders.

    ``In Germany, at least, people are thinking about their job security, while published opinion is wondering about the future course of Russia, and neither one sees how the EC can have a major impact on those concerns,'' says Josef Janning, deputy director of the research group on Europe at the University of Mainz in Germany. ``People are seeing such issues less in European and more in national terms.''

    The Maastricht Treaty, an ambitious blueprint for providing the EC with a monetary union and a common foreign and security policy by the latter part of the decade, was supposed to have been ratified and the process of its implementation begun in January 1992. That the treaty was not fully ratified until this month, when the German constitutional court finally approved it, provides a measure of the public doubt about Maastricht's goals.

    In the two-year delay, Maastricht was battered by an initial outright rejection by Danish voters in a referendum, plus rough ratification battles in Britain and France. The European currency crises of October 1992 and this past summer mocked the monetary union goal, while the EC's weak and disjointed response to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina posed deep questions about the feasibility of a common foreign policy. Operation `restore stature'

    Tomorrow's summit, held in Brussels, is a German-French initiative to try to restore both Maastricht's and Europe's public stature. But even in France, where regard for the Community runs high, doubts are strong about what this summit can accomplish.

    ``No one should expect much of anything concrete out of this summit,'' says Phillipe Moreau-Defarges, an EC specialist at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. ``There's too much division among the EC countries for decisions to be made.''

    One possible area of action that Mr. Moreau-Defarges cites provides a good example of the Community's current lack of a common vision. The summit could give a new boost to earlier economic ``growth initiatives'' that have had trouble getting off the ground, he says.

    Elsewhere in Europe, where public spending is already causing record debts, and where skepticism is strong over the actual impact of large public-works programs, enthusiasm for such proposals is slight.

    ``The German public is definitely not in favor of this kind of centralized program to rebuild Europe's economic strength,'' Dr. Janning says. ``People in Ireland or Portugal may see Brussels [EC headquarters] as a guarantor or creator of jobs,'' he adds, since those countries receive substantial EC development funds, ``but they certainly don't in Germany.''

    Germany and France also had wanted to take up another issue at the summit: Community institutional reforms. The larger countries feel their power is too limited by the generally equal rights of smaller members, and concern is growing that the Community's enlargement to include three or four new small members by 1995 will further tilt the balance and generally render the Community more bureaucratic and plodding. Putting off reform

    German proposals for streamlining the EC administration met with staunch resistance from small members, and reform will likely be put on hold until the next EC treaty review in 1996.

    To demonstrate that Maastricht is now in force, EC leaders are expected to prepare the next stage of economic and monetary union by launching the European Monetary Institute, ``embryo'' of a future European central bank. The institute's location in Germany is likely to be approved, a move that could open the way for decisions on the placement of several other new EC institutions, including a patent office and environmental agency.

    Still, there is a lingering feeling that Maastricht, negotiated in 1990, is a treaty already left behind by European events. ``By spring of next year we may very well have a new imperial Russia to contend with, something never imagined when Maastricht was written,'' Janning says. ``Economies are seen more in national terms. [Community] leaders will have to work hard,'' he adds, ``to demonstrate that Maastricht is relevant in these conditions.''

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    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a research paper titled "Slow Violence and Vibrant Matter in Marica Bodrožić' Novel Kirschholz und alte Gefühle" at the 38th annual conference of the German Studies Association for a panel with the title Berlin Haunts: Specters of the Past and Future in Recent Berlin Fictions. Berroth also contributed to discussions in a session sponsored by the GSA Environmental Studies Network titled "The Metabolism of Cultures: Consumption, Waste, and Desire in Ecological Humanities," and in a session sponsored by the North American DAAD Centers for German and European Studies titled Mensch/Natur/Umwelt: New Research and Pedagogy of the Green Germany."


    Erika Berroth, associate professor of German, presented a poster titled "Global Players: Leadership – Football –Intercultural Perspectives" at the 15th annual Texas Foreign Language Education Conference, TexFLEC, that took place on February 14 & 15, 2014, at the University of Texas, Austin. The poster outlined the process and components of a summer experience in Germany that integrates athletic competition with intercultural learning. The conference topic, Shaping the Future of Foreign/Second Language Education to Cross Cultural Boundaries: Integrating Theory and Practice provided opportunities for engaging discussions of the innovative collaboration between our Football and German programs at Southwestern. At the conference, Dr. Berroth also contributed to discussions on addressing foreign language anxiety, best practices on using technologies in second language culture learning, and from her perspective of teaching FYS, on teaching writing for international students.

              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!

    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!


    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia

    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad

    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad

    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass

    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.

    Guenter Schlienz (Stuttgart, Germany) is known for his vast catalogue of tape & cdr releases on different great labels around the world – Sacred Phrases, SicSic, Goldtimers, Constellation Tatsu, etc. He is the man behind wonderful Cosmic Winnetou label, releasing all kinds of experimental/drone/ambient artists — maybe not as frequently as we'd like, but each time pleasing the taste of any tape music geek. Creating his minimalist compositions by means of d.i.y modular synths, tape loops and field recordings, Guenter achieves the serenity of classic ambient works, while keeping the vibe of 70s kosmische musik (think Cluster or Harmonia) and sometimes reaches the territories of academic minimalism, exploring the sound as ding an sich, inspiring the listener to invent its own narrative. Being part of Navel band since mid 90s, Guenter's place in music world has a long, but still almost unknown story which continues nowadays with further explorations of all kinds of ambient music.


    Pied Paper: First of all, I'm curious about how it all started for you — ambient music, synth building, tape releases, etc. I know that you were involved in many other projects before, call you tell a bit about them too?

    GS: phew, where did it all started… definitely many many moons ago. was active mid till end 90s in some heavy stoner psychedelic rock band. was the guy responsible for producing some "far out sounds" with his guitar and some delay pedal. so there already was this drone element in what i did. but far from recognizing it as this for myself. bit later during the same decade i did a session with a guy who did guitar and singing for another noise rock outfit. we just fiddled around with our guitars and with every pedal we could get our hands on. we recorded our very first session with some broken 4track and quite liked the results. after presenting the finished cdr people came back and reported "this is quite cool drone music". so yep, that's how we learned the name of this style. and after having the name we were able to dig deeper and learned names like Stars of the Lid, Flying Saucer Attack, Brian Eno etc pp. this guitar drone project of us is called Navel and we are still recording and doing live shows.

    beginning of the 00's i quit doing this rock band stuff, so there was plenty time to do some other things. after getting introduced to all this amazing kraut and kosmische musik (during a navel live show in france by an english man, but that's another story) there was the idea to do some kind of electronic music solo. so i needed an instrument, and after bit of research i discovered that the schematics for some modular synthesizer would be something i could manage with the training in electronics i already had. so i started soldering, first quite simple filters, later more and more sophisticated modules.

    the tapes, yep, fast forward to the end of last decade. stumbled over this tape scene thing by accident via the internet (god bless it). those days i was pretty frustrated and bored by the music all the labels and magazines i knew presented, so this occurred to me like a big relief. yes. so many people and projects and bands and labels are doing fantastic stuff, exactly the music i love, right at the moment, and sell it for very low money to people all around the world. yes! couldn't belief my eyes. that the favorite medium of all those labels and projects were cassettes don't really bothered me (of course i had this "ugh? on tape? strange…" moment like everybody else i guess), because i never really stopped using this media since my early childhood days.

    I like to dramatize a bit some things some times, but this discovery of the tape label scene kind of saved my artistic live. it gave me so much energy and confirmation and countless hours of joy during listening sessions that i got the feeling that i have to give something back. hence i started my own tape label.

    Pied Paper: Your music sounds almost academic sometimes, especially works as Organ Studies, Loop Studies and Furniture Sounds — which, as I understand is a homage to Eric Satie. But your name is strongly associated with "underground tape scene", as we call it. Did you ever thought about making your music open for the interpretations, to write it down on a paper maybe, letting the others perform it?

    GS: huh, not sure if i my music sounds bit like academic music. for sure i'm quite interested in this genre, mean contemporary composers with "classical" musical education composing pieces for concert halls and operas and stuff. like their approach to their art through quite rigid concepts, their huge knowledge about musical structures and about music of many centuries and cultures. perhaps you see my enthusiasm for their rigidness shining through my stuff? that would be a compliment for sure, at least in my opinion. and of course, if there would be a small ensemble crazy enough to perform it, i would love to write a score for them (though not sure if i would like to conduct it). but i guess your name must be some lou reed or some other in the same league to be honored like this. actually i'm pretty sure that many of those academic contemporary composers would be happily release their stuff on tape if they would only know this special scene around it.

    Pied Paper: It's clear that ambient music is a wide field for interpretation, same sound can be perceived in different ways depending on the artwork, liner notes, track titles, etc. Can you tell something about your own perception of your music? Does it have some stories within, or it's just abstract form which everyone can fill with its own meaning?

    as you see in the answer of the last question i like some kind of concept around the music. and if this concept even gets its visual equal with the artwork i'm more than happy. so of course, there is a story in every piece. but hey, its music, its a form of art, so who am i to dictate what some listener and spectator wants to see in it? isn't it the very meaning of any art, that the consumer of it knits his very personal meaning to it?

    actually i am not able to describe what i hear in my music anyway. for me the answer to this question would lead to some kind of poem, some painting, some huge novel, some dance or any other arty abstraction. in none of the mentioned techniques 'm very good at, so please, listen to the music.

    Pied Paper: Imagine a situation when you someone asks you to create music with specific mood, theme, etc. — like for a movie scene or something — would it be easy for you? What you enjoy more - improvisation or composition?

    already did this, i mean creating some music for a specific use (to earn some money), and hey, that is pretty hard work (and hard earned money)! to create some music without some customers needs to be satisfied, just the personal ones, isn't really easy to do as well, but much more gratifying for the soul. its an privilege to be able to do this, and i have a (pretty time consuming) bread and butter job to create the circumstances to fulfill it.

    can't really separate those strategies during my performances, both live and during my recording sessions. its always a mixture of plan and being ready to include some coincidences respectively enlightenments. actually my believe is, gained through many observations and talks about such things, that nearly every work in which i am interested in is created this way.

    Pied Paper: I know that you enjoy recording outdoor, do you have any specific set-up for this?

    not really specific, the equipment just have to have some possibility to work battery driven. luckily my modulars fall into this category. just to improve the handling of such adventure i have build my modulars as small and compact as possible, and since a couple of months a work on some modules who will be included into some water proofed case.

    Pied Paper: Probably you've noticed that releases of first wave of cassette drone/ambient in 2009-11 was mostly lo-fi and many of same artists still doing tapes nowadays came to much cleared and well-produced sound - is that natural growth or trying to be more "mainstream"?

    yes, i'm aware of this development as well. i think it just was some other group of people with bit different background which had been running those labels you' mention. In those early days of the reemerging of this medium the leading actors had had mostly a background in the noise scene. hence the tape as favorite medium, hence the cheap and ugly aesthetics of the chosen instruments. these different (don't like to ad some other evaluative adjective) sounding tapes of lately are from people without this background, they just take over the torch and work with it out of their musical socialization. so in my opinion it is either "natural growth", this sounds like some kind of improvement who isn't any need for, nor a try to reach broader audiences. the good stuff of recently is produced by people who are just as true to their own style as their ancestors had been, and therefore it is as important and equal beautiful as the old stuff.

    Pied Paper: As a label owner, can you tell how many demos you receive? Which kind of styles you receive most? I'm asking because it seems that ambient/psych/drone music isn't that popular anymore - I see tons of vaporwave/webpunk tapes at new-born labels, while such imprints as Stunned, Tranquility tapes, Goldtimers are long gone (or maybe it's just old man's talk, huh).

    yes, and i'm very happy about it, i receive quite a lot of demos. always love to get some new sounds for my ears. mostly the artists are very good informed about the style of the music i usually release and about the aesthetics i'm interested in. perhaps you are right, there are less people out there which do their own style of ambient/psych/drone as perhaps eight years ago, but i'm not sure about that. and as i stated in the last paragraph i think those vaporwave labels and the like took the torch of the cassette celebration and run with it their own way. and this is a good thing. who needs the 16th or whatever version of the emeralds (insert here the name of your favorite release of those years)? isn't this exactly what have happened with pop and rock music and what makes this stuff sometimes unbearable to listen to?

    Pied Paper: And what are your plans for the Cosmic Winnetou in the foreseeable future?

    prepare my next batch right now which will be released in a couple of weeks. but after this 13th cosmic winnetou bundle of cassettes i will need a hiatus, unfortunately. i love to do the label work, but it is very time consuming. have lots of projects for this year, music and private stuff, so i have to pull the brakes to this project for this year. but really looking forward to restart the tape label with new ideas and energies end of this year.

    Pied Paper: Do you ever think about future of music? Is it possible to invent something new, or we are doomed to retro-mania, returning to same tunes from different angles?

    of course there will some day somebody release some music which haven't been heard before and will blow all of us completely into the void. don't know which day this will happen, but i'm pretty sure someday it will. just look around, not only the music is stuck into retro mode. clothing, hair style, performing arts, pictorial arts, industrial design, i think that in our days nearly every form of artefacts are done with quite old ideas, just a few new kind of tools here and there. the whole mood, you can call it "zeitgeist" if you like, is like "let's try to preserve what we have", not "perhaps this is a better idea for the future, let's work on it". in my opinion everything is linked together somehow, and we have this retro mania since the 90s, starting with this global change of the modus vivendi. but nothing is forever, so i'm sure this will change someday. these thoughts are just my 50cents about a very complex question. but yeah, i think about this, and love to exchange ideas about this kind of topic.

    Pied Paper: Humans already sent some music with space probes - which titles would you choose for such mission? I know you won't choose Wagner, huh :)

    really nice question, this is. indeed already thought about that, and i think the nasa did a quite good job with the "golden record" for the voyager mission. very good selection which shows how wonderfully diverse sounds humans are able to produce, and each and all of them aim at the listeners heart. but always wondered if it would be perhaps a good idea to send some field recordings of this strange planet into the void, and f so, which i would chose.

    some people laughing, some people fighting, a mother singing her baby to sleep, the audience at a soccer game, a sundown at the shore of a calm sea with waves and cicades and everything? what else?

    Pied Paper: Okay, that's it — you can send high fives here or add something if needed! Thank you!

    hey, high five to you and many thanks for those questions! took my a while to type the answers, because you found some topics and ideas i love to share my thoughts on it. and of course many thanks for your support!

    perhaps i would like to ad a big "thank you" to all the readers of those lines, time is precious and i'm happy that you waste it reading them. and a big "thank you" to all the people who listen to my music and perhaps even bought the cassettes and cds and vinyls with my music on it. to know that somebody out there cares about my music means a lot to me. hugs.

    selected albums:

              White Monkey bar by Ippolito Fleitz Group, Stuttgart – Germany        
    With "White Monkey Pizza Lab & Bar", we turn the current idea of a pizzeria upside down. The simple dish pizza is transported into the 21st century with unusual combinations and the square shape.
              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

    After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

    In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

    U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

    However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

    There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

    The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………

    JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

    Good evening.

    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    I am doing very well.

    And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

    He is a great mutual friend yes.

    Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

    Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.


    I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

    That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

    Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

    Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

    Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

    Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    Yeah, go ahead.

    Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

    Who made the deal? Obama?

    Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

    Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

    That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

    This is our experience.

    Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

    I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

    Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

    stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

    Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

    No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

    I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

    Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

    But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
    Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

    Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

    Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    How does that help you?

    Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

    Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

    Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

    These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

    Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

    They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

    They were from wherever they were.

    Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

    No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

    You will not.

    Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

    You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

    I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    [inaudible] this is crazy.

    Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

    It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

    You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    Okay, thank you.

    * My yellow highlighting.

              Osborne's attempt to discredit Robin Hood Tax is a bit rich        
    George Osborne has complained to his fellow European finance ministers that they're wasting time debating a financial transaction tax because he believes pensioners will pay for it rather than bankers.

    Good to see our Chancellor fighting the cause for pensioners. He's always got their interests at heart. Like when he changed the rate of indexation from RPI to CPI costing pensioners on average between £2,250 and £2,500 per year and wiping off £75 billion off the value of private sector pensions. Not to mention the millions of public sector workers his government are currently seeking to make work longer and pay more for less pension.

    It is somewhat galling therefore that he seeks to reject a progressive tax that would raise £30bn to fight poverty by painting himself as some kind of defender of pensioners.

    He doesn't see the point of discussing it as it will not be unilaterally agreed. He ignores a report by Bill Gates that cites that the tax would work even if it wasn't agreed by all countries. He ignores faith leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope and Desmond Tutu, and he ignores a global movement of more than 220 million people who are calling for it to help the world's poor and allow the banks to atone for creating the current financial crisis.

    France, Germany and Brazil among others can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that their government's back this tax. I for one am ashamed that my government doesn't just not support it, but out-rightly seeks to disingenuously undermine it.

    Again, Osborne is out to protect the interests of the wealthy few rather than the millions suffering from poverty.

    The Robin Hood Tax campaign does a good job of refuting Osborne's bias against the tax on their website.

              A DEAD GOAT DON’T FEAR ‘HU’        
    Ghana take on Germany in the second group match of Group G on Saturday in Fortaleza. If you were a betting man, you would bet your house on Germany winning this game. If you went with your heart and you believed in miracles, there is a sliver of hope. After all, as a friend of […]
              Feliz dia de las madres        
    Happy Mother's Day, Mom! This year I learned that while our mother's day is on Sunday, the Mexican dia de las madres was actually on Tuesday. I had no idea!

    For this year's Mother's Day, Nick and I drove up to my parent's and had brunch at the town's elementary school, where mother's eat for free and the rest of us were only a dollar! It is put on by a community club and has pancakes, eggs, sausages, orange juice, and coffee, and the drinks and things were fetched by little boy scouts. It was fun!

    After brunch we hung out with my parents at their house. Troy was still in . . . Ireland, I think?( He bounced around from Italy to Ireland to England to Germany in just a few days, it got confusing. But he comes home tonight! In like . . . 20 minutes his flight comes in!!!) That was nice, I don't spend as much time with my parents as I'd like to anymore.

    Then we went to my Nanny's apartment and stayed for a while to talk and wish her a Happy Mother's Day. She recently got new hearing aides and it is noticeably easier to talk with her!

    And then we were off to Nick's aunt's house where all his family was gathering for a Mother's Day dinner feast, full of yumminess and delicious 6 month old baby cousin giggles.

    We left early because we both had homework due the next day.

    It was a great Mother's Day. (Though I must admit, planning holidays now for two families can be haaaard. But worth it.) ^_^
              Comment on Hoodies and Hijabs by Zig Zag        
    Don't forget that many supporters of national socialism in 1930s Germany were small shop keepers and other middle class elements. Business improvement associations are comprised of small business owners who push for gentrification, more police and security, anti-panhandling and anti-graffiti measures, etc. Still, they are not the primary target of militant attacks so we shouldn't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
              Indoctrination of the Youth        
    The city is hot. The temperature has slowly increased over the past few days, but that hasn?t stopped me from my chosen evening watch. Only a few weeks ago fires raged North west of here, fueled by unpredictable winds. People are starting to wake up to the hell this country is heading toward. I can only hope enough will wake up to the fact in order to stop the increasing tide of government control.

    Our youth is being indoctrinated to believe all capitalism is evil. They are being fed a diet of poison at the public schools. Before long kids will be turning in their parents for misdeeds against nature or animals, perhaps one day it will be a crime to have meat more than once a week, and some unlucky parent trying to raise a healthy young child will be turned in. Unfortunately it is not to hard to imagine, a young kid happy that they had meat twice in one week and telling a school friend, and that friend telling the teacher. The next sound would be the parent hearing the verdict of the judge.

    This country is not the one I was born in. I put on this costume to protect the innocent against criminals. I don?t know what side I?m on any more. When it become illegal to have meat more than once a week, should I start stalking the kitchens in the neighborhood? No. I will never in crouch on the personal liberties of an individual, I?ll leave that to our government.

    You may think I?m joking about having meat more than twice a week, but I?m not the seeds have already been sown. The youth in the public schools are already seeing videos produced by activists with one purpose in life, to see a government that controls every aspect of our lives. The video is out there its called ?The Story of Stuff?, and it?s dangerous it gives kids the wrong idea of capitalism, it tells them that having things is bad, that being warm in the winter and cool in the summer is bad, that having food to eat is bad.

    Sometimes I have to stop myself and laugh at the absurdity of this country.

    We can only have meat once a week, but already in congress they are passing a bill to set aside more meat for the zombies. They say this will keep them from killing normal humans. Appeasement didn?t work with Germany and it won?t work with the zombies. With the pro-zombie congress and president, normal humans are in dire straits.

    I am the Mirrorman, when I look into the soul of a normal human, with a wife a kid and a job. I see fear.

              Simple Dried Orange Christmas Tree Decorations        

    This year I set out to make some simple organic christmas decorations. I was inspired by an instagram photo that Tilly and the Buttons had posted where she was attempting to dry some oranges for ornaments. I really dislike the consumer mentality during the christmas period and was eager to stay away from department stores. So this was the perfect solution.

    1. Preheat the oven to 60 degrees Celsius. 
    2. I cut the oranges about 1cm thick.
    3. Place them in the oven on baking paper for about 4 hours or until they are dried out. Turn them over ever so often and regularly check them. 
    4. Once cooled, poke a ribbon or thread some string through the orange. 
    5. Hang them on your tree!

    Alternative Option: If I was back at home in Australia I would have left these babies out in the sun for a few days, but being in Germany means that it is snowing, so little chance of the sun drying out the fruit. 

    When placing the oranges on the tree, try and line some fairy lights up behind them. The oranges will glow!

    I will certainly give the oranges a go next year along with some different fruit!
              Friendly International: Germany vs England – Live!        

    The post Friendly International: Germany vs England – Live! appeared first on Twohundredpercent.

              Video of the Day: England vs West Germany, June 1985        

    The post Video of the Day: England vs West Germany, June 1985 appeared first on Twohundredpercent.

              The 200% World Cup – Dotmund’s Red Card Frenzy: Parts 9 To 12        

    Well, good morning, and welcome to the third instalments of our resident cartoonist Dotmund’s history of sendings off at the World Cup finals. We continue this morning with England, France, Germany/Netherlands and Ghana. You can follow Dotmund on Twitter by clicking here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking here.

    The post The 200% World Cup – Dotmund’s Red Card Frenzy: Parts 9 To 12 appeared first on Twohundredpercent.

              EIB supports Nordergrunde Offshore Wind Farm With EUR 156M Loan        
    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 156m for the Nordergrunde wind farm, which is one of the first offshore wind farm projects developed in Germany. Located in the German coastal part of the North Sea, it will consist of 18 turbines with a total generating capacity of 111 MW. The total cost of this large-scale innovative renewable energy project is EUR 410m. Nordergrunde will be built 16 km off the coast of East Frisia and 14 km east of the island of Wangerooge. The off-shore c...
              EU governments scrapped deal on CO2 limit for cars        
    Brussels -  European environment ministers today effectively scrapped an agreement to limit emissions from new cars to 95g CO2/km by 2020. The European Parliament, the Commission and EU governments had, in June, previously struck a fairly negotiated deal confirming the target.   Since the agreement was reached, Germany has been abusing EU democratic processes to undermine the deal so that its luxury carmakers (BMW and Daimler) will be allowed to keep selling even more gas guzzlers for another ...
              Future timber bridges in focus        

    Timber bridges can in the future begin to be built on a larger scale in Germany. That was one of the news from the international conference on timber bridges, held last week in Skellefteå.

              Helloween Show, Oct. 2        
    Sometimes, something happens that blows your mind. If your mind printed a newspaper, the headline would be 80-point type. Yet it would probably only sell one copy on the newsstand because no one else seems to care.
    Granted, it doesn't happen too often. The marathon's world record was broken recently, and I thought that was awesome, and while I realize this was probably not front page news in most people's Brain Bugle, my Twitter feed was full of people saying, at least, "huh, look at that."
    But it did happen to me many months ago. That's when Helloween announced they were coming to Denver.
    Helloween, as you probably guessed, is a metal band. But they're a fascinating one, and they've always been one of my absolute favorites. They also almost never  come to the U.S.
    Helloween came out as one of the leaders of the speed metal movement of the mid-80s, and for a while, they almost made it as big as the Big Four (Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth). They were a faster version of Iron Maiden. They were also weird. Their first big album featured a 13-minute opus, "Halloween," and it was titled "Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part I." What the hell? The title made it seem like a soundtrack for a "Dungeons and Dragons" movie. Yet I bought it because I read a review comparing them to Iron Maiden, and as a huge Maiden fan, that was enough back then. I was in high school. It's not like I had a girlfriend to spend the money on.
    That name didn't help either. Helloween sounds like a demonic, thrashing band with a vocalist who swallowed a broken bottle. It is exactly the opposite. In fact, I can't think of a goofier band in metal. One of their biggest hits was "Dr. Stein." "Dr. Stein grows funny creatures, lets them run into the night. They become great rock musicians and their time is right." That sounds like a nursery rhyme, doesn't it? I think the band thought Helloween was a funny, ironic name that would make people laugh, but I have a feeling it scared more people off than made them laugh.
    Anyway, this is already more than you wanted to know, but Helloween released Part II a couple years later. Both albums, in my mind, were metal masterpieces, a perfect blend of melody, whismy, terrific musicianship, songwriting and soaring vocals. The band had a hit, "I Want Out," from the album, in addition to "Dr. Stein," and MTV put them in heavy rotation on "Headbanger's Ball," which was big in the late 80s. By that point, Helloween was a top-5 band for me, just behind Iron Maiden and Metallica, and I desperately wanted to see them in concert. Only, as I said, the German band never came to America much.
    And then Helloween fell apart. They released two albums after, and both of them emphasized even goofier lyrics and more of a commercial sound, and both were just terrible. Awful. I've never known a band to be so good, and then so bad. Yes, many bands come out with good debuts and fade away, but those bands were usually just enjoyable, not as epic as Helloween. It was as if Steely Dan decided to become a polka band.
    So I gave up on them. Years later, I heard they got a new lead singer and were still putting out albums. I bought a couple and was underwhelmed, despite showing some promise with one, "The Dark Ride." So I gave up on them again. 
    I'm not sure why I bought "Gambling With The Devil," Helloween's 2007 album. I can't remember. I guess I heard from the two or three other people I know who like Helloween that it was really good. And there was a basis for that. Helloween had a stable lineup and was releasing fast, hard and heavy songs again. Their lead singer had been with them a long time and had turned into not only a good vocalist but a good songwriter as well. The band's core was still there.
    I loved the record. And the next, "7 Sinners," was nearly as good. When Helloween released its next in January, "Straight Out of Hell," I bought it without question, and I can name a handful of bands I'll purchase without hearing the album. Helloween is back in my top 5.
    So a band with a revamped lineup has had two periods of releasing outstanding albums, including its current one.
    So you can see why I geeked out. You can see why I'm geeking out now.
    * * *
    No one else would go with me to the show. I had a couple friends, some WPBT buddies, of course, who would go, but Colorado is too far. 
    Helloween, as stated, is from Germany, and papers are a problem to tour for more than a few days. That's why you won't see them all over the U.S. I think the last time they made it out to Colorado was in 2003.
    The other problem, as stated, is most, if not almost all, people don't share my infatuation with them. Helloween is a little too much for even my metal-loving friends back here. I'd argue less than 1,000 in Denver or northern Colorado ever owned one of their albums, and that was probably 20 years ago. I was worried that the band might think the trip wasn't even worth the trouble.
    My fears seemed realized when I arrived at The Gothic in Englewood, after an hour drive from Greeley. There were 20 waiting in line, a half-hour before the show. Oh man. Would the band even get 100?
    Three bands were opening. To show how things have changed from high school, this annoyed me because I really wanted to see Helloween and get home to bed. I also wore earplugs. Like I said, things have changed. I'm old now.
    Even with my worries about getting to bed at a decent hour, I was pleasantly surprised to see Cellador on the bill as well. No, I'm not going to write 750 words on Cellador. The band is a part of the melodic speed metal resurgence and sounds a lot like late-80s Helloween. They played five songs, including one, "Leaving All Behind," that sometimes makes my 5K race playlists. They're fast, like Dragonforce, and kind of annoying like them too. But they're also great musicians, and I enjoyed their brief set.
    The first band was local and horrible, and the third seemed to take all the bad qualities of Five Finger Death Punch and blend them together without bringing any of the good.
    Helloween hit the stage at 9:30 p.m. after "For Those About To Rock" blasted over the soundsystem (awesome) and opened with "Eagle Fly Free," the opening track to part II. I was immediately enthralled. I wouldn't have been surprised if Helloween had ignored the late 80s. Even if that was the band's heyday, the breakup with their lead singer wasn't good, and there was a lot of strife at that time. So I was thrilled that I was getting to hear some of the songs I adored in high school live for the first time. Andi Deris couldn't hit the highest notes, but the band ripped through it, which was impressive for a bunch of older guys, as the song's HARD. Dani Loble's drumming was especially impressive, as Helloween couldn't perform the song live for years because they couldn't find a drummer who could pull it off. Loble had no trouble. 
    I glanced around from my perch in the balcony, where I could sit and yet was practically on top of the band, and noticed I wasn't the only one enthralled. Suddenly the place seemed alive and full of maybe 300 people.
    Helloween, as I expected, didn't scowl or drink blood or sacrifice goats the way their name implies. In fact, they avoided all the cliches. They didn't bang their heads in that way that makes their hair fly. 
    Instead, Sascha Gerstner spent most of his time playing a game with bassist Markus Grobkopf, where he would toss a pic at the feet of Markus, and he tried to kick it into the audience. Michael Weikath looked bored until he made goofy faces to us in the balconies.
    This show was no frills. Not much dry ice smoke, minimum lighting, that sort of thing. I always found that stuff distracting anyway unless Iron Maiden was doing it. 
    Helloween then went right into "Nabataea," the first track off its latest, another fast, difficult song, and they crushed it. After a few more tracks from their latest, Loble launched into a drum solo that was, as they usually are, too long and too cliched to keep my interest.
    I perked right up when I heard "I'm Alive" when the band came back out. "I'm Alive" is the title track to "Keeper of the Seven Keys part I." I used to listen to it in high school when I was depressed, which was more often than I'd like to admit, and the lyrics always perked me up a bit. It's a catchy, inspirational song, and it was fun to hear it 20 years later.
    After that, the band played a terrific mix of old and new hits. They played a track from "The Dark Ride and a couple new ones and a couple classics, including "Future World" and "Dr. Stein." 
    Those last two were encores. The band did two encores, and I know they are a concert tradition, but I've never been a fan. We shouldn't have to beg the band to come out, and on the second, we had to wait more than five minutes. Did one of the guys have to take a shit? Just get out there and play the songs. 
    "Are You Metal," one of the band's best, wiped away any annoyance I had (and let's be honest, I was probably cranky because it was past my bedtime and I knew I had an hour's drive ahead of me). There were other tracks I wanted to hear that I knew weren't going to be played, but after that, I was satisfied. I got my money's worth, I thought. I heard what I could reasonably expect to hear. There's no better feeling when you know a concert's winding down.
    * * * 
    I did a little people watching while I let the crowd thin out. This is what amazes me about metal fans. It's pretty rare to see another or talk to another metal fan outside of a show. Hey, the music's abrasive, loud and hard to follow. I get it. It's even rarer to see a metal fan who is pronounced about being a metal fan, like someone with long hair or wearing a black concert T-shirt or headbanging in public. It's not like we're ashamed of it. But metal has to be the only music that seems to demand an identity as well as a preference for shredding guitars. You could argue that for hip-hop, too, but it's far too popular now. It attracts too wide a demographic. Dave Matthews fans are some of the most passionate in the world, one of the few bands that inspires the kind of loyalty that metal fans display, and yet, they look like everyone else too. Metal fans, when they are being metal fans, look like metal fans. They do not look like accountants going to Katy Perry. They stand out in huge crowds. They look like Al Can't Hang. 
    Well, most of them do, anyway. I am a massive exception. In the throng attending the show, there was a guy who wore one of those Vegas-type button-down shirts and had short hair, and there was a guy who wore a bow tie, a pink button-down shirt and jeans the color of a 50-year-old woman who had a lifetime membership to a tanning salon (that guy, by the way, had to know what he was doing). And then there was me. I wore a Dream Theater long-sleeved, long-underwear looking concert shirt, but my short hair, thin jawline and nervous expression just can't pull off the metal look. I've even tried to have long hair, but it curls in several wrong ways and tends to frizz more than kick ass. I had to settle for a mullet with an earring in high school, and if I wore that now, I'd look creepy, not badass. I am far too Kohl's and not nearly enough Spencer's. 
    My point, though it is drifting, is that although these people stand out in society, at a small show that only a tiny portion of the population would ever attend, we're all together. I stand out at these shows, but in society, I blend, probably far too much. There was a sea of black glorifying Masterplan and Gamma Ray and Slayer (of course) from both the guys and the girls. Long hair, tattoos, piercings, you name it. I loved it. I loved it because they share a love for metal, and knowing that makes me feel less weird about being so passionate about a form of music that most people find scary.
    It turns out I wasn't the only one excited about Helloween coming to Colorado. I just had to wait to stand with them.

    Starter list:

    Here's a starter list of albums, with key tracks, in case you're actually interested in Helloween after reading this screed.

    • "Walls of Jericho" — "Ride The Sky," "Guardians" and "How Many Tears." 

    (Look for "Judas" and "Starlight," a couple rare tracks, on iTunes as well).
    • "Keeper of the Seven Keys" Part I — "I'm Alive," "Future World" and "Halloween."
    • "Keeper of the Seven Keys" Part II — "I Want Out," "Eagle Fly Free," "Save Us," "March of Time" and "Keeper of the Seven Keys."
    • "The Dark Ride" — "Mr. Torture," "The Dark Ride," "If I Could Fly," "Salvation" and "We Damn The Night."
    • "Gambling With The Devil" — "Paint a New World," "Kill It" and "Bells of the Seven Hells"
    • "7 Sinners" — "Are You Metal?," "Where The Sinners Go."
    • "Straight Out Of Hell" — "Nabataea," "Burning Sun," "Waiting for the Thunder" and "Church Breaks Down."

              World Road Association in Karlsruhe        
    In July, the Road Infrastructure Investment and Social Development Committee of the WRA met at PTV Group’s head office in Karlsruhe, Germany.

    In July, the Road Infrastructure Investment and Social Development Committee of the WRA met at PTV Group’s head office in Karlsruhe, Germany.

    At World Road Association (WRA), expert teams work together in committees on different subject areas over a period of four years. In 2016, Professor Dr.Read more

              Comment on Xiaomi Redmi 4X Review: Best Android Smartphone Under $150 by Beatrix Faerber        
    Many thanks, Arnav. (I am not sure that Gearbest can answer this question, since they are only the intermediaries.) In the meantime, I have just set it to the region 'Germany' though I am in Ireland, and it seems to work with the SIM card provider (Lycomobile). So it seems to me that this setting actually does not have any consequences for the operation of the mobile phone service. But I am still puzzled that the country name was omitted from the list. I have also asked a question in the MIUI forum (software is MIUI 8) yesterday since I thought it must be a software bug. But I have not had a reply from any of the people who are active there. Again, many thanks for your help. 2017-08-02 12:08 GMT+01:00 Disqus :
              15 Castelos incríveis ao redor do globo        
    Embora tenham sido projetados e construídos para o efeito importante de defesa, hoje os castelos parecem construções um pouco irrealistas diretamente do mundo de conto de fadas. De fortalezas sólidas para palácios orientais altamente decorativos, os castelos são a nossa ligação ao passado, onde as lendas se misturar com a história e a realidade se mistura com a terra das fadas.

    Alcázar of Segovia. Spain

    Burg Eltz Castle. Germany

    Castle Howard. England

    Chambord Castle. France

    Conwy Castle. Wales

    Corfe Castle. England

    Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland

    Guaita Fortress. San Marino

    Himeji Castle. Japan

    Matsumoto Castle. Japan

    Neuschwanstein Castle. Germany

    Peleş Castle. Romania

    Prague Castle. The Czech Republic

    Hohenzollern Castle. Germany

    Neuchâtel Castle. Switzerland


              "Germany's Next Topmodel" - Heidi Klum lästert über ihre Schützlinge ab        
    Was ist nur in Heidi Klum gefahren? Ihre angehenden Möchtegern-Topmodels sind doch ihre Schützlinge - doch jetzt hat die 40 Jahre alte Moderatorin böse abgelästert über die Teenager.
              A Summer of Events        
    We'll be in Cologne, Germany and at PAX West soon—find out how you can join us!

    Read More

              Intergeo 2016 in Hamburg        

    YellowScan will attend Intergeo 2016 from October 11th to October 13th. This event will take place in Hamburg, Germany. Come and meet us in Hall A1 booth B1.035 to discover or know more about our LiDARs: the Surveyor and the Mapper.  Tell us what your applications are, we’ll help you design the best fitted solution to your […]

    Cet article Intergeo 2016 in Hamburg est apparu en premier sur YellowScan.

              Sustainability Challenge– Collaboration Isn’t an Option, it’s a Requirement        
    Through the generosity of James Farrar SAP VP for CSR and support of Stephanie Raabe who helped launch SAP Feedingknowledge, I had the opportunity to attend the Economist Conference in NYC today titled: Sustainability Challenge- Addressing Environmental and Societal Demands on Business.

    What better way to educate oneself around the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility, than to listen to panel discussions with some of the most informed thinkers in this sphere representing global (UN Global Compact), public sector US (EPA), corporate (Dupont, Orange Telecom, SAP, Jones LangLaSalle and Bank of America), and academic (Harvard University Kennedy School of Government) perspectives.

    I know that James Governor, Thomas Otter and Dennis Howlett had received an opportunity from James Farrar to hear from and about Transparency International back in November in Berlin and I was sorely grieved to have missed that event because of my TechEd travels. This invitation was ample compensation and a real learning opportunity.

    The event provided the audience of about 130 business leaders with fodder for thought around the following topics:

    • What does sustainability mean to companies around the world?
    • What are they doing well and where is more action required?
    • Does sustainability pay and how much does it matter?
    • Can this build shareholder value?
    • Sustainability obstacles
    • Business and government, markets vs regulation
    • What it the role of business
    • Where does that role stop

    Vijay Vaitheeswaran, correspondent, for the Economist chaired the conference and I found him exceedingly adept at moving the panel discussions along by asking provoking questions, engaging the audience with the speakers and allowing each of the featured panelists to present their unique perspectives.

    Each session easily warrants a separate entry, but I will try to summarize just one speaker of one discussion here.

    A big takeaway came from a surprising source:

    The title of the blog entry is a quote from Mark Vergnano, Group Vice-president of DuPont Safety and Protection. “Collaboration isn’t an option, it’s a requirement”. Pretty compelling (actually disruptive and disturbing) to think of Dupont as a force for sustainability. Vergnano described Dupont as a company viewed in the past as one of the largest polluters in the world. For me such companies are still tainted with the specter of Union Carbide and the tragedy of Bhopal (synonymous with chemical and industrial disasters) hovering. The images of Bhopal are lingering ghosts that haunt and inform our sensibilities about that particular industry. Perhaps the Dupont story is so compelling for the very reason that it was difficult to think of Dupont a chemical company partnering with BP resulting in attaining sustainability goals and reducing carbon footprint and yet, Dupont claims to not only have accomplished its goals but to have saved billions of dollars. As a number of the speakers pointed out, if the company had been “Ben and Jerry’s” or Timberlake, the impact of the sustainable growth mission of Dupont, a top-down driven, gunpowder company, would have been less dramatic.

    Vergnano spoke of science as an enabler and collaboration as an imperative. If Dupont has indeed harnessed science and partnered with BP in order to get government on boarded with bio-fuel usage and has managed, as it declares, to have turned waste to energy and taken the unique science of two companies and through collaboration, succeeded in its goals, it is an interesting story indeed.

              Pennywise Singer Zoli Teglas Collapses at German Festival        
    Lightning wasn't the only thing that came down at Germany's With Full Force festival this past weekend. As Alternative Press reports, Pennywise singer Zoli Teglas collapsed during his band's set, succumbing to serious back pain... Continue reading…
              Extending multilateral tax information exchange to the Cayman, the BVI and Bermuda is great news – if it’s more than a hollow gesture        
    It’s been announced over night that, as expected, the so called G5 tax agreement – between the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – is
    Read the full article...
              Los Angeles {West Coast USA Part I }        
    Wenn man an Kalifornien denkt, dann denkt man doch automatisch an Sommer, Sonne, Strand und Meer. Ja - das tat ich bisher auch immer. Doch ich wurde eines Besseren belehrt, denn: Es geht auch anders.

    Nach einem ziemlich turbulenten 6 stündigen (!!!) Flug von New York nach Los Angeles, war ich froh, als wir dann auch endlich unsere Koffer vom Band nehmen und zum Shuttle-Bus gehen konnten. Der brachte uns dann in unser Hotel, das allen Fans von Germany's next Topmodel wohl noch aus der letzten Staffel bekannt sein wird - das Hotel Figueroa im indischen Stil. Die Zimmer sind eher klein, aber da man sich dort eh kaum aufhalten wird, war das vollkommen ok. Leider liegt es in Downtown und damit auch ziemlich abseits von allem Sehenswerten.

    Los Angeles ist eine wahnsinnig riesige Stadt, so dass man schon so einige Kilometer zurücklegen müsste, um von einem Ort zum nächsten zu gelangen. Doch viel Zeit blieb uns leider nicht - die etwas unpassend gelegten Flugzeiten ließen uns erst am späten Nachmittag in Los Angeles ankommen, wodurch viele Sehenswürdigkeiten leider auf der Strecke bleiben mussten. Die erste Erkundungstour starteten wir rund um unser Hotel in Downtown. Mir ist nach den 3 Tagen in New York sofort aufgefallen, was für eine Ruhe LA eigentlich ausstrahlt. Die Straßen waren leer, die Menschen blieben komischer Weise an roten Ampeln stehen, keiner drängelte einen über die Straße und auch Bauarbeiten, hupende Autos und laute Menschenmassen waren nicht an jeder Straßenecke zu finden. Dafür empfand ich die Stadt ehrlich gesagt doch viel dreckiger und unschöner, als erwartet. Zwischen all der Show blitzten nicht nur Glamour, sondern auch hier und da mal Dreck und heruntergekommene Gebäude hervor. Und so kommen wir nicht nur an wunderschönen Ecken vorbei, sondern auch an denen, die man Nachts instinktiv wohl besser meiden sollte.

    Vor allem muss man sich daran gewöhnen, dass Jaywalken hier komplett verboten ist! Sollte man also dabei erwischt werden, die Straße in der Mitte eines Blocks oder diagonal zu überqueren, hat man einen Strafzettel als Urlaubssouvenir erstmal sicher. An der Westküste gelten andere Regeln und an diese hatte man sich hier nun zu halten - Umdenken war also mal wieder angesagt. Hinzu kamen der erneute Jetlag und die Verwirrung aufgrund des Wetters - ich habe mich auf strahlenden Sonnenschein, Tops und kurze Hosen eingestellt... doch bekommen habe ich Wind und einen wolkenbedeckten Himmel. Meine Laune sank also von Minute zu Minute. Doch der Abend und vor allem der nächste Tag belehrten mich dann eines Besseren.

    Da sind sie - die Palmen, die aus LA kaum wegzudenken sind und einfach dazu gehören. Sie erinnern an ein tropisches Paradies mitten in der Stadt und lassen schon erahnen, dass das Meer nicht mehr weit sein kann. Für uns allerdings schon - denn Venice Beach und Co waren genau wie die Universal Studios für diesen viel zu kurzen Aufenthalt leider unerreichbar. Aber dennoch durfte Hollywood nicht fehlen und lud dazu ein, sich einmal wie ein Star zu fühlen.

    Selbst für einen kurzen Shoppingausflug zu Victoria's Secret mit Blick auf die Hollywood Hills blieb noch etwas Zeit. Ich bin erstaunt, dass es, wenn man denn mal in einem der Läden steht, gar nicht so glamourös ist, wie man es sich immer vorstellt. Hier findet man für jeden Geldbeutel die passende Unterwäsche. Selbst Slips im 3er Pack, wie man sie von H&M kennt, sind hier in allen Formen und Farben mit dabei. Wodurch ich den Hype ehrlich gesagt gar nicht mehr so nachvollziehen kann. Dennoch kamen zwei wunderschöne BH's mit nach Deutschland, denn Qualität und auch Service sind wirklich toll!

    Nicht nur am Haus von Steven Spielberg Ã¼ber den Dächern von LA hoch oben in den Hollywood-Hills fuhren wir vorbei, sondern auch an einem kleinen Häuschen, in dem Marilyn Monroe einst eimal gewohnt haben soll. In vielen Gegenden ist es den Reiseveransaltern verboten, die Touristen dort "abzuladen", da sich viele Stars und vor allem auch Anwohner von all dem Trubel reichlich gestört fühlen, was ich auch vollkommen verstehen kann. Vor allem in Beverly Hills muss man aufpassen. Aber einzelne Spaziergänge durch die Nachbarschaft der Schönen und Reichen sollten kein Problem sein. Wer in den zahlreichen Bars und Restaurants trotz Suche auf keinen Star trifft, dem bleibt dann am Ende noch Madame Tussauds. Hier sind sie zwar nur aus Wachs, aber immerhin!

    Wer dann immer noch nicht genug von all der Traumwelt hat, der geht auf Entdeckungsreise entlang des Hollywood Boulevard. Der Walk of Fame ist mit so vielen Sternen der verschiedensten Stars gepflastert - ob Musiker, Produzenten, Schauspieler oder Regisseure - hier muss man schon ordentlich auf die Suche gehen, um seinen Liebling zu finden. Ansonsten stehen Superman, Mickey Mouse oder Charlie Chaplin ähnlich wie am Time Square in New York an jeder Ecke herum und warten auf Touristen, die sich gern mit ihnen fotografieren lassen wollen. Auch das Chinese Theatre ist ein beliebter Anlaufpunkt und sollte nicht ausgelassen werden. Hier stellt man sich gern mal in die Fußstapfen der Lieblingskünstler und legt die Hände in deren Abdrücke. Genau so habe ich es mir auch vorgestellt. Das Gefühl, genau dort zu stehen, wo so viele Stars bereits ein und aus gegangen sind, ist einfach überwältigend. Doch bei der Durchsicht der Bilder wurde mir das Herz auch etwas schwerer - nicht nur, da ich mich an all diese Orte zurücksehne und dort gern noch so vieles mehr erleben wollen würde, sondern auch, da ich entdeckt habe, dass ich genau auf den Fußabdrücken von Robin Williams gesessen habe. Ein Schauspieler, der mich von meiner Kindheit bis heute in all seinen wundervollen Rollen begleitet hat, mich zum Lachen brachte und an den ich mich noch ewig erinnern werde. 
    Carpe Diem


              If companies were countries, here’s what our currency would look like        
    This week's Apple earnings call revealed that the company has an absolutely mind-boggling cash hoard of over $261 billion. If Apple were a country, its cash reserve would rank 11th in the world, ahead of Singapore and Germany. As we steadily march closer to a future where corporations and CEOs are universally more influential than elected officials, artist Jade Dalloul is answering an importation question: what would currency actually look like if Apple, Google, or Microsoft ruled the world? Clearly inspired by the design of the Euro and British pound, Dalloul rendered impressively believable bills baring the likenesses of tech leaders like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as other corporate big shots like McDonald's franchisor Ray Kroc and Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson. The result is a stack of bills that seem at once absurd and yet completely believable, with company logos and imagery dotting the background of the currency and appropriately heroic portraits of their most influential leaders. "I took brand’s missions statements as if they were states Mottos, used the picture of companies’ founder as if they were intellectual and political figures, and displayed up strong brand icons the same way regimes had highlighted ideologies," Dalloul explains on his website. "Doing so, I also tried to root legitimacy of these brands in putting places related to their history, like the first gas pump for Shell, or the new Apple campus." Whether it's Apple Pay, Android Pay, or sending money to friends on Facebook, every major tech company seems to be dabbling in payments these days. This project is an interesting reversal of that, and while we probably won't ever see the likes of Steve Jobs on our cash, it's interesting to wonder "what if?"
              THE ART OF THE (TRUMP AND PUTIN) DEALSay you’re Vladimir Putin,...        


    Say you’re Vladimir Putin, and you did a deal with Trump last year. Whether there was such a deal is being investigated. But if you are Putin and you did do a deal, what might Trump have agreed to do for you? 

    1. Repudiate NATO. NATO is the biggest thorn in your side – the alliance that both humiliates you and stymies your ambitions. Trump seemed intent to deliver on this during his recent European trip by bullying members about payments and seemingly not reaffirming Article 5 of the pact, which states that any attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all. (He’s backtracked on this since then, under pressure from Congress.)

    2. Antagonize Europe, especially Angela Merkel. She’s the strongest leader in the West other than Trump, and you’d love to drive a wedge between the United States and Germany. Your larger goal is for Europe to no longer depend on the United States, so you can increase your influence in Europe. Trump has almost delivered on this, too. Merkel is already saying Europe can no longer depend on America.

    3. Take the United States out of the Paris accord on the environment. This will anger America’s other allies around the world and produce a wave of anti-Americanism – all to your advantage. You’d also love for the whole Paris accord to unravel because you want the world to remain dependent on fossil fuels. Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia, and biggest exporter of natural gas. And the oil and gas industry contributes about half the revenues to your domestic budget. And, hey, there’s also all those Arctic ports that are opening up now that the earth is warming. Trump has delivered on this. 

    4. Embark on a new era of protectionism. Or at least anti-trade rhetoric. This will threaten the West’s economic interdependence and loosen America’s economic grip on the rest of the world. Trump is on the way to delivering on this one.

    5. End the economic sanctions on Russia, imposed by the United States in 2014. Oil production on land is falling so you want to tap the vast petroleum and gas reserves offshore in the Arctic. In 2011, you and ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson, signed a $500 billion deal to do this. But the sanctions stopped it cold. Trump has promised to lift them, but he hasn’t delivered on this yet, because he has got to cope with all the suspicions in America about his deal with you. Once it dies down, he’ll end the sanctions. In the meantime, he’ll give you back the two compounds that were seized by the Obama administration when the U.S. intelligence discovered you’d interfered in the election.

    And what might you have agreed to do for Trump in return? 

    Two things: First, you’d help him win the presidency, by hacking into Democratic Party servers, leaking the results, sending millions of fake news stories about Hillary to targeted voters, and tapping into voter lists. 

    Second, after he was elected, you’d shut up about your help so Trump wouldn’t be impeached and convicted of treason.

    In other words, if you did a deal, you both still have every incentive to fulfill your side of it. That’s the art of the deal.

              Arse Trump at the G-20 Summit        

    Brainchamber Blog - Authoritative Blog

      Unretouched photos from the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, clearly show that President Donald Trump is an Arseface.  In the photo, Trump appears to have an asshole where his mouth should be. Up until now, his staff has done a great job of hiding the real Arse Trump from the public spotlight.  It’s likely […]

    The post Arse Trump at the G-20 Summit appeared first on Brainchamber Blog.

    My condolences to the families of the innocent people who lost their lives at the Chris Kringle Mart in Berlin. I lived in Germany for three years and I know what a wonderful place that is. May they all rest in peace. Citizens of the USA are with you.
              Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
    Our team is a unique producer of quality fake documents. We offer only original high-quality fake passports, driver's licenses, ID cards, stamps and other products for a number of countries like: USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. This list is not full. 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              Up And Coming International Vacation Spots        
    Things change fast in the international world of travel. From time to time, there are fairly untouched gems, like Mozambique 15 years ago or Cuba 10 years ago. For very different reasons, Germany, Argentina, the Philippines, and Madagascar are destinations to consider or re-consider for your up-and-coming vacation bucket list.
              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?


    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

    Pre Baseball Life

    Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

    After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

    After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

    Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

    In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

    Baseball Career

    In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

    After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

    The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

    Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

    Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

    Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

    Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

    Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

    In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

    That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

    Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

    In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

    Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

    Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

    During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

    Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

    Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

    In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

    In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

    In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.


    Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

    Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

    "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy


    Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

    Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

    Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

    In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

    In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

    On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

    Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

    Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

    Family life and death

    After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

    Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

    Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

    After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

    Awards and recognition

    According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

    The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

    Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

    As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

    At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

    Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

    Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

    A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

    In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

    Career statistics

    1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
    1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
    1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
    1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
    1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
    1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
    1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
    1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
    1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
    1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
    1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
    1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
    TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
     Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

    a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

    b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.


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    Tuesday, September 7, 2004
    Dateline: China
    This week marks the debut of my bi-weekly (or so) column for the AlwaysOn Network, Silicon Valley's premier online social networking venue (and unofficially linked to Silicon Valley's premier in person social networking venue, the Churchill Club; I'm a member of both).  I will be sharing "Letter from China" columnist duties with Paul Waide, the head of Pacific Epoch, a Shanghai-based boutique consultancy that advises hedge funds on alternative investments in China.  My first column is on Shanghai and a couple/few forthcoming columns will examine cultural differences between Chinese Nationals, Chinese-Americans and Anglo-Americans, especially within the context of IT and IT marketing.  I will post my AlwaysOn "Letter from China" columns to this blog/e-newsletter, although please be advised that my intended audience are readers based in Silicon Valley.
    Grudge Match: China vs. Europe
    Staying on topic, I'd like to make a comment about a recent "Grudge Match" on the AlwaysOn Network.  See the item marked "Grudge Match" for 08.05.04 (5 August 2004) at http://www.alwayson-network.com/polling/index.php .
    In the referenced "Grudge Match," China was pitted against Europe.  China received 45% of the votes in contrast to Europe's 55%.  Frankly, I'm surprised that China did so well.  I've found that the AO "Grudge Match" results tend to indicate sentiment more so than reality.  For example, a recent match pitted SpaceShipOne against NASA and SSO absolutely clobbered NASA (besides, perhaps most of the votes for NASA came from either Ames or the Blue Cube).  Of course, SSO is a high school science experiment compared to what NASA is doing, but I believe the results accurately reflect sentiment. 
    But what is amazing (to me, at least) is that China was pitted against Europe in the first place!  Let's face it, this is a rather goofy "grudge match."  For Europe to include First World nations such as Germany, France, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark (yes, some countries are intentionally left out) -- and to compare the collective whole of First World Europe (a.k.a. "Western Europe") to China is absurd.  If this was First World Europe vs. China circa 2020, okay.  But TODAY?  Yet, the sentiment indicator showed a strong vote in favor of China.  Europe "won," but barely.
    I propose the following "grudge match":  China vs. "Eastern Europe" (i.e., the former Soviet Bloc).  Look, if China can do so well against Europe as a whole (including First World Europe), I'm sure China would absolutely kick Second World Europe's butt!!  And a China "grudge match" against Eastern Europe more accurately reflects current "history."
    But even this is a bit misleading.  The real "grudge match" is this:  China + India vs. Second World Europe.  And given this choice, only someone stranded on Mars for the past decade might choose Second World Europe.  Yet, this is the real so-called "grudge match."  First World Europe is in descent, to be sure, but it's descending from a high altitude.  It will take at least a decade or two for China (and/or India) to truly match First World Europe.  But China ALREADY is superior to Second World Europe.  And don't rant about NATO and EU memberships; this is simply window dressing.  Then combine China with India versus Second World Europe, playing into my "Golden Triangle" theme, i.e., it's all about the U.S., India and China.  This is where the action is, ESPECIALLY in IT.
    "It's Malaysia Time ..."
    I must be getting punchy since I'm borrowing a theme from a beer commercial, but it seems that Malaysia is experiencing its 15 minutes of fame.  The Philippines has recently been "hot," and several articles of late have been touting Malaysia (see, for example, an article which appeared in Space Daily).  Frankly, I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.  Look, when it comes to ITO (IT outsourcing) in East Asia, there are just two choices, i.e., India and China.  And, it's not really a competition; both have their strengths and weaknesses.  A few crumbs to Singers (Singapore), maybe even a few crumbs to the Kiwis (New Zealand).  The Philippines deserves notice, albeit passing notice, and Malaysia might be okay for some BPO.  But ITO?  Come on, give me a break!!  See my Furl archive for more links.
    The only thing I recently found interesting regarding Malaysia was an article on Satyam's IT boot camp in Malaysia.  This isn't really unique, after all, IBM has been doing this sort of thing for decades.  So does HP.  Kind of like training plus a bit of brainwashing, but the brainwashing is acceptable since it includes political survival skills -- and said skills are essential, especially in F500 corporations.  But I like the idea of SI (systems integrator)-based training:  This way SIs can focus on "real" versus theoretically perceived needs.
    IT Tidbits
    Which certifications have the best ROI (return on investment)?  Playing off the idea of SI-based training, which are the most important certifications?  Well, Cisco leads with three out of the top five, although Microsoft picks up a couple of "wins" when looking at fastest-growing ROI, with RedHat and Oracle getting one win each.  SIs in China may also want to benchmark how much U.S. employees are paid given a certain certification, e.g., Microsoft DBAs receive an annual average salary of US$80,600.  Think about how much SIs in China pay for a certified Microsoft DBA.  For example, what do they get paid in Jinan -- or even in Dalian?  Compare this to US$80,600.  Spot any opportunities?  See http://tinyurl.com/3nvpz and http://tinyurl.com/6r2s5 .
    ITO in the news.  Two particularly noteworthy items.  First, ITO got Slashdotted.  The Slashdot links are worth a review.  Probably some good insight into what American software engineers are thinking and feeling.  The second is a review of Lou Dobbs' new book on ITO and BPO.  Mr. Dobbs is a well-respected host on CNN; his views shouldn't be taken lightly.  A couple of excerpts from the review:
    "GE, as Dobbs makes clear in abundant detail, is only one of many companies outsourcing high-tech and professional jobs to India and other parts of the world where wage expectations are lower.  Among the others spotlighted by Dobbs for outsourcing jobs to India, the Philippines, Romania, Ireland, Poland and other countries are IBM, SAS Institute, Intel, Microsoft, Perot Systems, Apple, Computer Associates, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems."  My comment:  Romania is the Changsha of Third World Europe, i.e., their programmers are about as cheap as programmers come.
    "'India can provide our software; China can provide our toys; Sri Lanka can make our clothes; Japan make our cars.  But at some point we have to ask, what will we export?  At what will Americans work?  And for what kind of wages?  No one I've asked in government, business or academia has been able to answer those questions,' Dobbs writes."  See the review in the Tallahassee Democrat or my Furl link .
    So-called infrastructure vendors beat out app vendors in terms of their ability to meet expected ROI and TCO (total cost of ownership) levels.  I don't really like the way infrastructure and application vendors are defined in this article and related survey, but top honors go to IBM and Microsoft.  There's a lot being written between the lines, but in general this plays into my "build-to-a-stack" strategy, albeit Oracle is left behind.  See http://tinyurl.com/3tpjo .
    Speaking of Microsoft ...  A good, quick review of the various IBUs (independent business units) at Microsoft.  (See http://tinyurl.com/5rjtk .)  For a take on MBS, see http://tinyurl.com/6k4dp .
    New marketing technologies.  Interesting article from the premier issue of CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).  There are two ways to view this:  1) which marketing technologies can be used by SIs in China for their own marketing endeavors, and 2) which marketing technologies will likely be adopted by retailers, e-commerce sites, financial institutions and numerous other sectors -- and which in house skills does an SI in China need to implement these new technologies (all of which are IT-related)?  See http://tinyurl.com/57wvp .
    Looking for partners in the utility computing space?  For a start, try the top 25 vendors.  (See http://tinyurl.com/48s9j .)  Yankee gives a quick look at utility computing ROI (see http://tinyurl.com/5fw88 ).  HP chimes in with their take, too (see http://tinyurl.com/58mhg ; it's a PDF).
    The battle of the SI globals.  Two related articles both based on the same Forrester report.  (See http://tinyurl.com/6tfrn and http://tinyurl.com/5tljq .)  Issues being considered include scalability (i.e., handling US$100+ million accounts), the need for broad offerings (e.g., strategy consulting) and expanding geographical presence (hey, where is EDS in China?).   "(T)he (Forrester) study finds that Infosys and Wipro have melded together a mix of CMMI, P-CMM, Six Sigma and ISO 9000 to create a culture focused on consistent and repeatable processes and value-added tools."  For China's SIs, mostly food for thought -- and a bit of dreaming.
    ... and how to battle the globals.  The article was a bit silly, after all, G2000 firms joining forces to battle Accenture or Infosys doesn't really fit the notion of smaller firms joining forces.  But I believe that they're on the right track and that a myriad of partnerships will be formed to most effectively capture new business and battle the globals.  However, ISVs (independent software vendors) have to walk a very fine line.  SIs need to carefully consider ISV responses and existing alliances.  See http://tinyurl.com/7xj82 .
    "Infosys to set up second outsourcing facility in China."  The article states that Infosys is running out of space in their Pudong facility and that they're scouting for additional digs.  Come on, guys, running out of space?  There's not enough space in the Shanghai Pudong Software Park?  I don't think so ...  The reality is that Infosys needs to find lower cost developers.  As my column on Shanghai for AO's "Letter from China" notes, developers in Shanghai are a bit pricey compared to other places in China.  Infosys China is primarily servicing their global customers in China and looking for high-end integration within the domestic market.  However, this is a tough nut to crack and Infosys will need another development center to lower their overall costs -- and this is why they are looking for additional space IN ANOTHER CITY.  The idea that they're running out of space in the SPSP is ridiculous.  (I've been to their Shanghai digs ...)  See http://tinyurl.com/6nz8d .
    Zensar gets broader press coverage.  Kind of like watching a meme, a couple of non-Indian IT trades have picked up the Zensar/Broadengate announcement.  See http://tinyurl.com/65afx and http://tinyurl.com/3jh2r .
    "Rethinking the business case for Java."  A good article.  Hmmm ... maybe not much of a case, eh?    Hey, I'm still a believer.  See http://tinyurl.com/5hbcn .  Of course, Java programming ain't what it used to be ...
    "The selling of SOA."  Two-part series in Line56.  SUPERB!!  (I prefer the singular to the plural, i.e., "architecture" versus "architectures"; personal preference.)  Reviews various viewpoints on SOA.  See http://tinyurl.com/6xqdn and http://tinyurl.com/6tw9o .
    Urls update.  Expect to see lots and lots of stuff on software engineering and development.  Great stuff, too!!  Later this week.
    David Scott Lewis
    President & Principal Analyst
    IT E-Strategies, Inc.
    Menlo Park, CA & Qingdao, China
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    To automatically subscribe click on http://tinyurl.com/388yf .

              Getting to Germany — Hahn, Germany        
    Student Teaching in IRELAND
              note to self        

    ok, so the farm thing was not a good idea...note to self: lonely middle-aged german women running farms = unnecessary drama
    cool digs, though - eh?

    my mother gave me a book a few years ago by parker palmer - let your life speak - in it, palmer drops mad science about how to live well, but my favorite piece of advice for when encountering tough situations is: "if you can´t get out of it, get into it".

    this has been mantra time for me (traveling always is) and these recent days have been the only recent time that i have reminded myself of palmer´s words and used the escape hatch. ha! when someone projects victimhood vibes onto you and starts yelling at you for not sharing the load (in the capacity that maybe a co-owner of a farm might), and in conversation they vascillate between manic exuberance and grief, then it is time to go. even if the sun is setting and you don´t know where you are headed - just that anywhere is better than here.

    so, as i pack my bags i remind myself of napoleon´s advice to his soldiers, "On s´engage et puis on voit" (jump in and then figure it out). i leave a note for the woman encouraging her to sell her overrun farm and get into community, clean my area, say a prayer of thanks and blessing, hulk the flybar over shoulder and head for the highway. first dude i see: road construction worker

    "disculpe, senor...ustedes van a amposta ( name of the nearest town)?"
    " no, pero vamos a tortossa."
    " ok, esta bien si mevoy con ustedes?"
    "si. no problema...esperate por alli (wait over there - near a construction shed)."

    boom. ride secured. three moroccan homies cranking out an immigrant living in the unrelenting spanish heat, concrete dust in their ears, hair, and encrusted around their mouths. it´s 8:00 pm, their hands calloused but hearts softened, and they welcome me into their car. they take me back the way i had hitchhiked three days earlier and dropped me off near a river. i am on my last 20 euros. i remind myself that i did everything i could have to make peace with pyscho farm woman and that there is no guilt available for me to own, and i walk into town to get some ice cream. it tastes damn good. costs 2 euro - i need the remaining 18 for food (8) and travel(10) over the next two days. i meet 8 or so high schoolers who want to see me jump on the flybar. salta! salta! salta! they love it... i help them do it, and then watch this - the give me 10 euro. what? "no, es gratis!", i say. they wouldn´t have it - a truck load of more friends pulls up and we are all jumping, laughing and they want to give me this gift of money for my travels. que amable. how kind.

    heart full of wonder, i head to nearest pub to watch germany v. italy and drink a celebratory beer in honor of my country´s independence from england (july 4th) and as well, for my independence from the creeping illusion of comfort and security at the farm - which was beginning to break the rhthym of trust that i had going. after the first half i go for a walk and find a different place to watch the game. better vibe, young people, families, "regulars". upon entering, i receive weird looks (customary when carrying around flybar, or perhaps b/c i kind of look like charles manson right now) - and then, "hey! hey! de donde eres tu?" i retort back my original coordinates, and this spunky, fit, overly- bronzed russian woman invites me to sit down with her husband and 8 others gathered around the table. it´s noisy, the game is blaring, plates of food being passed back n´forth. these people have known each other a long time.

    after answering a barrage of questions i begin to ascertain that these folks are all neighbors and that it is one of their birthdays. a huge plate of potatoes, onions and the leg of some animal are generously slopped down in front of me. "eat! eat!" i am floored with surprise. an hour ago i was pinching pennies and now i´m eating a free meal with a table full of loud, beautiful russian immigrants and their neighbors. it gets better...

    i was planning on sleeping in the local park and then making my way south in the morning. change of plans. this is why: nathalie explains to me that her neighbor, igor, needs to call australia in the morning for business, but cannot speak or understand english. " you stay at his house tonight and help him in the morning! ok?" i laugh. accept. throw back another shot of birthday vodka for igor.

    italy wins in overtime, we shut the place down with the owners (who began drinking with us), jump on the flybar outside, and then head home to igor´s house on foot. i get into a conversation about franco (spain´s former fascist dictator), el che, and fidel with a kind-eyed spainard and we all say our two-kiss farewells. igor´s wife is over the top. she insists on taking all of my clothes and washing them (even the clean ones), shows me the shower and then makes a bed for me on their couch. that is where i´ll leave you, b/c that is where i am.

    faith. hope. love. -donnie
              for your own good...        

    holy moses. please do yourself a favor. give your soul a molatov cocktail. go to www.myspace.com/tylerjames and listen to "stay humble". then cool off with www.myspace.com/griffinhouse and listen to 'only love remains'.

    from riches to rags
    from diamonds to coal
    has always seemed better to me

    than trading for silver
    the price of my soul
    to buy what is already free

    damn, griff. keep on truckin'. and to quote tom petty, "it's time to move, time to get going, what lies ahead i have no way of knowing, but under my feet, babe, the grass is growing, it's time to move on..."

    a night train to paris and then to the border of spain for a hitching to the island of ibiza? who knows...as my great friend, brother and mentor -tres altman - says, "when it comes to making plans, always have reservations." so my soul is full from sounds of home and moments of deep living here in stuttgart, germany - where i 'planned' on staying for two days and am leaving a week later. ha! big love to jens, jesse and sophie for taking care of me. thank you. tweet, tweet.
              bratwursts and angelina jolie        
    uh -oh...

    ´ello beautiful people. did you see cole´s goal for england yesterday against sweden? unbelievable. makes me want to sign my life away to a füssball club for the next 3 yrs. to be able to do it myself. total mastery of mind and body, i tell you. so much so, that in the subconcious - when the mind is humming 'om', you can rip a ball within inches of your target. so that is the thought of the day....how do we get there???

    i've heard that discipline is the road. lately, i have not been disciplined in certain areas of my life...eating too many bratwurts, not learning the language, and being too much of a hermit (funny how hanging out is a discipline for social excellence). so today i am thinking/praying this: help me to practice control over my passions so that i can funnel them into creative acts of love that contribute to the good times of all of those within reach...and beyond, maybe. and today's example: angelina jolie. UN 'goodwill ambassador' who gives 1/3 of her income to refugee camp NGO's, has adopted 2 children, and walks the line of entertainer/humanitarian. of course, there are thousands of soulwarriors doing the good work who will remain anonymous, but this morning i saw her interviewed by anderson cooper (www.cnn.com) and was shaken to my heart once again. God have mercy on the suffering...and then i realize that i am the answer to my prayer.

    and a quotation concerning self control...since we're in germany

    "you can't keep the birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from building nests in your hair." - martin luther

    i'm feeling spain, folks. coastal towns with perhaps a brief appointment with stupidity in pamplona with the running of the bulls on july 7th. if you see me get gored on ESPN, i sure as hell better have a flybar between my legs. ok - i hope you all are experiencing wonder today. be happy.
              rocking like pele back in his hayday...        

    my apologies for MIA, but it has been a string of long, over-stimulated days of tramping around like a hobo with a pogo. let�s talk about spectrums for a moment. i started last week sleeping under an overpass in berlin eating other peoples� "trash" (don�t worry, mom...i still haven�t gotten herpes from this behavior) - to this week, waking up in a posh flat that overlooks all of stuttgart with a fridge full of beer, jello and cheese. the floors are all marble, too, so i feel like liberachi or sigmund and roy - without the tigers and the gay sex of course.

    ok, moving on: top news...1) buying two overpriced tickets for italy v. ghana from some sleeze-ball italian guy named "salvatore" who had the chinese character for "trust" tatooed on his neck. turns out the tix were legit and my brother and i fulfilled a childhood vow to make it to the world cup together to see the azzuri play the game that we love. 2) meeting a talented, tramping welsh girl named faye who lives out of her van and busks enough money from playing songs with her guitar to get to her next temporary destination. a few of my new favorite english terms: minging - which means �disgusting� / rum - which means �risky� / see your ass - which means �to be humiliated ...another great comment she had concerning england was "soccer is the game that england gave to the world and now we can�t get it back." this was to describe a great english futbol song that talks about "thirty years of hurt" - england last won the world cup in �66.

    the flybar continues to bring the people together and bring the kid out in those who are "rum" enough to hop on. one observation...though soccer has brought the world together this month in germany, all of the jerseys, flags and �ber nationalism keeps most of us at an arm�s length...until people start drinking, dancing, or flybarring. this is why i am doing what i am doing. i am addicted to seeing a tunisian hug a spainard after they have jumped around together for a few minutes in a sea of onlookers. stay tuned for some pictures- as soon as i figure out the damn website stuff. also, thought of the day: does hosting the world cup heal any residual guilt and shame from the nazi era?

              drunken german boys + flybar = bad idea...or good times        

    wow. die fussball weltmeisterschaaft is off and running. with my brother in berlin at the braendenburg gate for the opening match: germany v. ecuador on a jumbotron screen, cuban cigars in our mouths, wonder in our eyes, and grattitude in our hearts for a dream come finally true. it was unbelievable...check out the bitchin` pics.


    1. drinking brews on the train to the festivities...and to the game (open container, what?)

    2. being immersed into germans in their capital city when their team scored the first goal of the cup. talk about good vibrations, brian wilson.

    3. pogoing with folks from all over the world and giving away free flybar swag...thus making my pack a lot lighter (light and fast, light and fast kids)

    4. jumping over 3 argentine hermanos with the flybar.

    5. falling asleep exhausted near some bushes outside of the trainstation

    an epic day indeed. my brother said it best..."international euphoria". a lot of my favorite things are being combined right now in my life: crossing cultures, travel, good food\drink, soccer, mass congregations of very different social groups, and a hearty activity to bring them together and laugh, sweat, and believe in themselves. unless they are drunk, and then they just make an ass of themselves...and we get a kick out of it, too. ja duetschland. keep your eye on our boys: usa v. the czechs this monday.

    peace and love.

              temporary destinations        



    meine bruder and i have arrived to what i will call the "cleanest country" on earth. germany is frickin' beautiful! i haven't walked the terraced patties of the far east yet, but just like hagen daas knows what the hell they are doing with ice cream, german farmers understand how to plant. damn...the womb of the world, i tell you.

    i'm a little surly right now. we have spent long times getting our arses over here and already i'm brainstorming what i can do without...can a man really live without underwear and a pair of jeans? definitely not ready to ditch the denim, but my shoulders can not carry what i have packed. anyway, this town that we woke up in this morning...magdeburg - is the first of many temporary destinations. i am a pilgrim...with a pogostick. so perhaps, we could call me a "pogrim". nonetheless, i am embarking on epic journey with this iron beast. where am i going? i don't know, i am only on the way. perhaps i have don quixote delusions but i am determined to contribute to the good times vibration here on this durable planet. i have seen the fruits of facilitating playfulness throughout the united states this past year and thanks to the wonderful people at flybar (www.flybar.com) -david jargowsky & bruce turk- i will continue to pogo for peace, laughs, food, lodging, learning, faith, hope, and love through this part of the earth. keep your ear to the ground and your eyes to the jumbo screens of berlin to catch the beginning tremors of yet another tasty drop in the ocean of love.


              Germany's 1904 Genocide in Namibia        
    In what is often called the twentieth century’s first genocide, the German colonial authorities,

              The Beckoning of Nuclear War        
    SUBHEAD: A glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to our "national security" managers.

    By John Pilger on 4 August 2017 for JohnPilger.com -

    [IB Publisher's note: As much as Trump may not wish a nuclear exchange with Russia, he seems quite amenable to turning North Korea into an ashtray. World War III may begin in  Guam and relay to Hawaii on its way  to the US mainland. Here in Hawaii it may mean Duck and Cover!]

    Image above: Detail of original paperback cover of Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On the Beach". From (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/267542034087528868).

    In Nevil Shute's book "On the Beach" the US submarine captain says;
    "We've all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you're never ready, because you don't know when it's coming. Well, now we do know and there's nothing to be done about it."
    He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

    The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The northern hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

    A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper

    These two lines from T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

    Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

    Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the US Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless spectre descending on the last of the living world.

    I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world's second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

    The "sanctions" are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

    Their main aim seems to be war - real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

    The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies - the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indo-China, which President Reagan called "a noble cause" and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an "exceptional people"He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

    Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. "Listen up," he said. "We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom."

    At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

    A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls "an eternal present".

    Harold Pinter described this as "manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

    Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously "the left" are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

    Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics", wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man - not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system - beckons great danger for all of us.

    While they pursue their fossilised anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardian suppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.

    On 3 August, in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a "Soviet agent"), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia. Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was "clearly unconstitutional".

    A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.

    This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the "national security" managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them "the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today".

    They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to instal an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia's "borderland" - the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people.  Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.

    In response, "partnership" is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin - anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.

    The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The US has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China's economic lifelines.

    The admiral commanding the US Pacific fleet said that, "if required", he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute's fiction.

    None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.

    The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a US Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 - during the Cuban missile crisis - he and his colleagues were "told to launch all the missiles" from their silos.

    Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded - but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not "stand down".

    At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that US officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 - the year Shute wrote On the Beach - no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world's most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.

    The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms "left" and "right" are meaningless. Most of America's modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.

    When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America's longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings - murder - by drones.

    In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the "reluctant liberal warrior", dropped 26,171 bombs - three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.  Having pledged to help "rid the world" of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

    Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama - with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side - who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the "deporter-in-chief".

    One of Obama's last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.

    Buried in the detail was the establishment of a "Center for Information Analysis and Response". This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an "official narrative of facts" that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war - if we allow it.

    Video above: "On the Beach" the complete 1959 movie from Nevil Shute's  novel. From (https://youtu.be/Ue8hC5qqMt4).


              Fascism and the Denial of Truth        
    SUBHEAD: Party polarization and gridlock in the US have created unsolved issues amenable to a Trump demagogue.

    By Thomas Scott on 30 July 2017 for Truth Out  -

    Image above: Cover art for song release of "Demagogue" by Franz Ferdinand. From (https://rateyourmusic.com/release/single/franz-ferdinand/demagogue/).

    What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they? These are the questions that the New York Times posed to Henry A. Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt's vice president, in April 1944.

    In response, Wallace wrote "The Danger of American Fascism," an essay in which he suggested that the number of American fascists and the threat they posed were directly connected to how fascism was defined.

    Wallace pointed out that several personality traits characterized fascist belief, arguing that a fascist is;
    "one whose lust for money and power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends."
    Wallace also claimed that fascists "always and everywhere can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power."

    Fascists are "easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact" (my italics), he contended.

    Moreover, Wallace noted that fascists "pay lip service to democracy and the common welfare" and they "surreptitiously evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion."

    Finally, Wallace identified that fascists' primary objective was to "capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they keep the common man in eternal subjection."

    Wallace was writing in the context of an existential threat to democracy posed by Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan.

    However, his essay is prescient in that he identified the existence of a domestic form of American fascism that emerged from the political context of enlightened thought, rule of law and limited government. Wallace drew a clear distinction between European fascism and the kind of fascism found in the United States.

    Rather than resort to overt violence, American fascists would "poison the channels of public information," Wallace reasoned. Likewise, he argued that American fascism was generally inert, not having reached the level of overt threat that it had reached in Europe.

    Despite this, Wallace argued that American fascism had the potential to become dangerous to democracy under that appropriate context; one in which a "purposeful coalition" emerges based on "demagoguery."

    British historian Karl Polanyi has written in his seminal book, The Great Transformation, that fascism can emerge in a society in reaction to "unsolved national issues."

    Party polarization and gridlock in the US have created unsolved issues concerning health care, immigration reform and the "war on terror." These volatile issues, in turn, have created the perfect political context for a demagogue to emerge in the United States.

    With the election of Donald Trump, the purposeful coalition Wallace feared may have evolved. Trump is the first US president who has been seriously associated with fascist ideology.

    His coalition of white supremacists, xenophobes, plutocratic oligarchs and disaffected members of the working class have aligned with the mainstream Republican Party.

    The coalition's political philosophy, rooted in reactionary populism and "American First" sloganeering, has quickly led to the United States' systematic withdrawal from global leadership.

    Coupled with a disdain for multilateral collaboration, a rejection of globalization, and a focus on militarism and economic nationalism, Trumpism has taken the country down the perilous path of national chauvinism reminiscent of previous fascist states like Spain under Franco, Portugal under Salazar, or Peronist Argentina.

    Unlike past Republican and Democratic presidents, Trump has disregarded long-standing traditions related to political protocol and decorum in the realm of political communication. He routinely makes unsubstantiated claims about political rivals, questioning their veracity and ethics.

    Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped his phones during the 2016 campaign and that Obama refused to take action regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as well as Trump's incendiary tweets about federal judges who ruled against his executive orders on immigration, suggest a sense of paranoia commonly associated with autocrats.

    Trump has demonstrated a fundamental ignorance of democratic institutions associated with the rule of law, checks and balances, and the separation of powers.

    Common to autocratic leaders, Trump sees executive power as absolute and seems confounded when the legislative or judicial branches of government question his decisions.

    Trump has seemed willing to ignore norms that are fundamentally aligned with US democracy: equality before the law, freedom of the press, individual rights, due process and inclusiveness.

    Typical of all autocratic leaders, Trump has a deep-seated distrust of the media. Calling journalists "enemies of the people," Trump's incessant claims that media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post create "fake news" is a common attribute of authoritarian regimes.

    In response to investigative reports that are critical of his administration, Trump engages in systematic tactics of disinformation. Trump has refined the art of evasion through communicating a multiplicity of falsehoods as a means of obfuscating charges of abuse of power and political misconduct.

    The biggest dilemma for an autocrat is confronting the truth. Systematic strategies to implant misinformation have historically provided significant political dividends for demagogues.

    From Trump's earliest forays in national politics, the truth was his biggest enemy.

    Trump discovered in the 2016 campaign that the perpetuation of lies and deceit could be converted into political capital. Lying on issues actually generated support from Trump's political base, many of whom were low-information voters.

    The hope by many that Trump would conform to traditional political norms once elected proved to be a chimera. Trump has obliterated the Orwellian dictum that lies are truth; in Trump's worldview, truth does not exist. It is seen as a political liability.

    As president, the debasement of truth has become an important political strategy shaping much of his communication to the American public.

    Purposeful deceit has become one of the primary means by which Trump energizes and excites his supporters. It is the catalyst that drives their emotional connection to Trump, who is insistent on "telling it like it is" and fighting for "the people" as a challenge to the political elite.

    For Trump, facts mean nothing. They are contrary to the desires of his political base. Connecting to his base is visceral; intellectualism is the antithesis of Trump's immediate political objectives.

    By denying the existence of truth-based politics, Trump solidifies his populist vision and perpetuates one of fascism's greatest mechanisms for acquiring absolute power: the force of emotion conquering the force of reason.

    As Timothy Snyder states in his insightful book On Tyranny, "To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.

    If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so."

    Seen in this light, empirical evidence based on scientific investigation is superfluous; public policy is only useful when it is connected to human emotion and desire.

    This is all that matters in Trump's vision for the US. As such, facts and scientific research are a ruse, a tool of the elite designed to consolidate power over "the people" and discredit Trump's "America First" policies.

    Truth is a necessity for democracy because citizens depend on truth-based decision-making to achieve reasoned judgments about public policy. In the Trump administration, the eradication of fact-based communication has normalized the denial of truth.

    As a result, democracy is clearly under siege. Henry Giroux makes an excellent argument when he writes, "normalization is code for retreat from any sense of moral or political responsibility, and it should be viewed as an act of political complicity with authoritarianism and condemned outright."

    All Americans should take heed of this point. History has provided ample evidence of how institutional and civic complicity with autocratic rule erodes democracy.

    However, history has also demonstrated how engaged citizens can mobilize to resist this erosion.

    ]As Snyder argues, in order to confront autocracy, citizens need to become aware that democracy can disappear and mobilize to stop such a disastrous turn of events. In the age of Trump, there is no time for complacency.


              What Alberta needs in a new PC Leader        
    At 43 years in power, the PC Party has lasted longer than East Germany’s Socialist Unity Party (41 years).
              Company's Line Of Rainbow-Themed Swastika T-Shirts Backfires        
    Think of the swastika and chances are that what comes to mind is the murderous regime of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany. But the symbol is at least 5,000 years old and is incorporated into Hindu, Buddhist and Jain iconography. Even today, in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia it is not uncommon to see the symbol painted on buildings and vehicles as a sign of good fortune. It is this second meaning that a clothing company, KA Design, says it was trying to recapture when it recently launched a line of T-shirts on Teespring.com featuring its "new" swastika, emblazoned with rainbow colors and the words "love," "peace" and "zen." In a video posted on its Facebook page on July 12, the company (tagline: "Questioning Boundaries") says that for thousands of years, the swastika meant something positive: "But one day, Nazism. ... They stigmatized the swastika forever." KA Design promised: "The swastika is coming back, together with Peace, together with Love, together with Respect,
              Germany, Vietnam Spar Over Alleged Kidnapping Of Former Oil Executive         
    Germany and Vietnam have found themselves in the middle of a diplomatic row after the disappearance of a former Vietnamese oil executive from the Berlin Zoo last month. Hanoi says Trinh Xuan Thanh — who is wanted in Vietnam on charges of mismanagement that resulted in $150 million in losses at the state-run oil company PetroVietnam — turned himself in. Germany says he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Vietnamese intelligence agents. Thanh, 51, went missing on July 23 after filing an asylum request with the German government. He turned up days later in Vietnam. Hanoi had reportedly asked German officials for Thanh's extradition during the G-20 summit in Hamburg last month, without success. After an investigation into the disappearance, Germany announced Wednesday that it was expelling the Vietnamese intelligence attache. Foreign Ministry spokesman Markus Ederer said in a statement that "there is no longer any serious doubts about the involvement of the Vietnamese services and the Embassy of"
              German Carmakers Meet To Set New Standards For Diesels        
    German carmakers and politicians are meeting in Berlin at an "emergency diesel summit" this week to try to shore up eroding market share amid concerns over pollution in Europe's major cities. They also hope to put to rest a major scandal over the manipulation of emissions testing data. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that the two sides are expected on Wednesday to agree to lower emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in Germany's 15 million diesel vehicles. Soraya says that in the lead-up to the summit, manufacturers and the German government haggled over reducing emissions by improving auto software, something that would cost several hundred million euros. Alternately, hardware fixes would be far more expensive – estimated at around 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion). In either case, much of the cost would be absorbed by the companies. Germany is Europe's leading car manufacturer, and Volkswagen — the company at the heart of the faked emissions testing data — is among the world's
              Royal Scots Dragoon Guards receive new Jackal vehicles        
    With 60% of the regiment deployed on operations in Afghanistan, the Rear Operations Group in Bad Fallingbostel, northern Germany, led by Officer Commanding Major Steve Walters, formed up to pipe the last of the tanks out of the barracks that have been their home for nearly 30 years. This is one of the first significant steps of the Army 2020 programme which sees the formation of the Adaptable and Reaction Forces. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are currently serving as part of 7th...
              Wilhelm Weber        

    I have over fifty years’ experience as a conference interpreter in Europe, the USA and Asia, in all sectors of our profession.

    Recent Accomplishments

    Senior adviser for professional interpreters at the Rio Olympic Games. Chief interpreter at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014, IOC chief interpreter at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

    Previous Work

    Former staff interpreter at the EEC and the ILO. Free-lance interpreter up to the highest political level since 1964. Chief interpreter of fifteen Olympic Games. Contract interpreter with the U.S. Department of State to date, for German and French.


    MA in Conference interpretation from the University of Geneva.


    One book and several published articles and lectures. Please check for availability with the MIIS library.

    Faculty Program Tags
    Adjunct Professor

    I was raised in a bi-lingual family with German and French and completed high school in Germany. My other languages are English, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.

    I am passionate about transmitting my professional skills and experience to the future generations of conference interpreters.

    I was the Dean of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation from 1978 to 1992, and I am glad to see that the School survived and strives as the new GSTILE.

              Upcoming trends in the cannabis industry        

    The cannabis industry in 2017 has changed in more ways than you can imagine. In the past years, people were a bit conservative when it comes to the investment, but this is quickly changing. Today, investors have a new perspective when it comes to marijuana investment according to the marijuana stock analysis for 2017. The medical acceptance has made it a worthy investment in all spheres of the economy. People used to think that marijuana investment is not for the small investors anymore. Right now the Wall Street is now looking at the cannabis investors, and this is an indication of the seriousness in the investment.

    What to expect in the future of cannabis industry

    Global markets

    In the recent past, USA was the only market for marijuana investment. The good news is now the perspective is changing. Other countries are now legalizing the drug, and this is to tell you that there is now a wide market. As an investor, it is now possible to look at the attractive markets that are coming up in other parts of the world like Canada and Germany. A wide market is always an advantage for any potential investor.


    Banks are accepting the business

    Once of the main challenges that investors face is how to handle their money. Most of the banks are now accepting the trade are willing to work with marijuana investors. In the past marijuana, investors were facing challenges keeping in mind only the state government was accepting the trade while the federal government had issues with it. The fact that the banking industry is becoming open minded about the trade is a good sign for investors.

    Large brands

    Currently, there are several brands that are already known in the cannabis industry. The brands are expected to grow shortly to even bigger brands. The bigger the brands, the easier it will become to finance and grow the business. After the legalization, it is expected that the current brands will even become large and this will pose and advantage to investors who want to grow their investment.


    Variety of investment option

    Currently, most of the people prefer to invest in cannabis stock because they don’t pose a lot of challenges. However, you expect the investment options to expand. It will now be possible to invest in agricultural, retail and even the distribution part of it. The legalization of the sector will increase the investment options.…

    The post Upcoming trends in the cannabis industry appeared first on The Yeson Finance Group.

              Can a nation’s language dictate their footballing future?        
    Stefan Kelly takes a look at player development with Belgium and Germany two of the countries leading the way.
              A Benefit For Rural Vets: Getting Health Care Close To Home        
    Army veteran Randy Michaud had to make a 200-mile trip to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aroostook County, Maine, near the Canadian border, every time he had a medical appointment.

    Michaud, who was medically retired after a jeep accident in Germany 25 years ago, moved home to Maine in 1991.

              1868 Illustrated European maps.         
    In 1868, Dr. William Harvey illustrated various European maps as political figures in the publication Geographical Fun Being Humorous Outlines of Various Countries. The anthropomorphism of each country is even highlighted with the inclusion of their national costume, showing us the diverse personified cultures in the region.



    Holland and Belgium
















    Spain and Portugal






              10 Most Unintentionally Terrifying Statues        

    10 most unintentionally terrifying statues

    As anyone who has ever dicked around with Play-Doh knows, sculpting is fucking hard: If you aspire to create anything but crude dongs, the level of planning and technical skill it takes to bring a passable statue into existence is downright insane. With this in mind, you'd assume that talented statue folks use their power to create wonders, which is precisely what some of them do.

    However, there are ... others. Time and time again, we keep bumping into statues that prove that a whole bunch of sculptors are clearly using every single ounce of their talent to troll the world as hard as they possibly can.

    #10. Verity -- Devon, Great Britain

    Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    If you feel like punching a wall whenever you see the words "modern art," chances are it's because you've seen the works of Damien Hirst. He's the dude behind famous, critically esteemed works such as Isn't That Just a Fucking Shark in a Formaldehyde Tank? and Who the Hell Tries to Sell a Diamond-Covered Fake Skull for $84 Million? As such, he's probably the last person in existence who should be allowed to decorate things like, say, the piers of quaint small towns.
    At least that's what someone must have said a few years ago, because right on cue, a small English town called Ilfracombe stood up and said: "Hey, have you guys noticed that we're a quaint small town? Wouldn't that Damien Hirst dude be the perfect guy to decorate our pier?"
    And that, dear reader, is why the world now has Verity: a giant 2013 sculpture of a half-flayed pregnant woman that looks for all the world like a prop from Hannibal. This 66-foot bronze "allegory for truth and justice" stands facing the sea with a stance that's less "welcome to our little English town" and more "I'm going to punch the very concept of your spleen if you dock." Oh, and it's also brandishing a sword that's as big as the rest of the statue.
    Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
    On a positive note, ain't no one going to invade them by sea in a hurry.

    #9. The Giant Lamp -- Malmo, Sweden

    In the Swedish city of Malmo, there is a light that never goes out. Too bad said light comes in the form of a giant-ass table lamp that switches spots seemingly at will and whispers to passersby in a broken, not-quite-Swedish subliminal language of mayhem:

    "Ia! Ia! R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn bork bork bork!"
    The Giant Lamp of Malmo is a 19-foot inexplicably popular sculpture that tours the squares of the city as the year progresses, only to return to its headquarters at Lilla Torg Square for Christmas. The words "ritual" and "blood" don't feature in the description, but considering that this is a country that habitually pulls a (hopefully mostly Nic Cage-less) Wicker Man with a giant goat sculpture most Christmastimes, it's pretty safe to assume they're heavily implied.

    #8. The Enema Statue -- Zheleznovodsk, Russia

    The Russian town of Zheleznovodsk is famed for its iron-rich mineral springs, and the many wonderful spas that bring this miracle of nature to the people. As such, it was no surprise that the town wanted to honor the source of their wealth with a statue dedicated to the specialty of Zheleznovodsk spa culture: the enema.
    Via Jaunted
    They used to have a statue of a douche, but it attracted too many pickup artists.
    Shaped as a massive rectal bulb syringe held aloft by Botticcellian cherubs, this bronze sculpture greets the visitors near the gates of the town's largest spa. Sadly, the story doesn't elaborate on whether said spa has had a single visitor since this loving homage was erected.

    #7. Man Hanging Out -- Prague, Czech Republic

    So you're walking the historic streets of Prague, enjoying the fine spring weather, and suddenly your gaze lands on a worrying sight. Holy shit, there's a dude hanging for dear life from a beam that's inexplicably dangling from a rooftop! Uncertain of whether you're witnessing a scene in a James Bond movie or a tragic situation just a few minutes away from ending up as sidewalk splatter, you spring into action and call the authorities.
    A few minutes later, a cop strolls over and gives you an enthusiastic slap over the head. Congratulations! You've just become the 367th person this month alone to let Prague's sculpture of Sigmund Freud fool you.
    Via Bestourism
    It's called Man Hanging Out, because lame puns are the only thing Prague loves more than scaring people.
    Apart from routinely confusing the shit out of first-time visitors to Prague, Man Hanging Out is a representation of Freud's struggle with his phobias and fear of mortality. It's also the work of famous Czech artist/troll David Cerny, who is rapidly turning into something of a personal nemesis: No matter how I promise myself I'll avoid him this time, his work just keeps popping up every time I do one of these articles. In fact, let's take this thing somewhere there's no way of bumping into his work whatsoever. Say ... Australia.

    #6. The Big Lobster -- Kingston, South Australia

    Aaaaaahhhhh! That is not better at all!
    Australia has the virtual monopoly on creatures that can scar our mental and physical capacities merely by saying "Boo." The thing you may not know is that somewhere down the line the continent apparently just said "screw it" and started building giant effigies for all creatures great and small that may or may not be able to murder them in some manner, up to and very much including pineapples.
    The Big Lobster is the king of said statues. It's a massive construct 59 feet tall, 45 feet wide, and 50 feet long that depicts what is either a lobster or a hitherto unknown kaiju species that Australia has thus far been able to hide from the rest of the world in order to keep luring tourists in, much like Mayor Vaughn did in Jaws.
    Riana Dzasta
    The locals call it Larry, which is Australian for "Sir."

    #5. The Hare -- Nuremberg, Germany

    The last time you and your sweet grandmother visited the cultured city of Nuremberg didn't go quite as planned, as the local "Fountain of Virtue" turned out to be the sort of lactation frenzy most niche porn companies could only hope to deliver. This time, you've decided to play it safe. Apart from strictly PG-rated galleries and churches, your only point of interest is going to be the sculpture made in honor of Grandma's favorite painting, Albrecht Durer's The Young Hare:
    Via Wikipedia
    There's no way you could go wrong with this one. Sure of yourself, you stop to pat yourself on the back for your choice, letting Grandma limp ahead to the plaza that serves as home to the Hare:
    Via Cuniculture
    God dammit, Nuremberg. What did the bunny ever do to you?

    #4. Floralis Generica -- Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Quick: What's worse than a 75-foot steel statue that looks like the doomsday weapon of a Bond villain? That's right, a 75-foot doomsday statue that moves.
    Floralis Generica is a giant 23-meter-tall metal flower/murder beam pedestal that was built and donated to the city of Buenos Aires by architect Eduardo Catalano. Its giant steel petals open and close, depending on the time of day. During the dark hours, the sculpture emits an ominous red light that is supposed to appear comforting, but is clearly just waiting to blast passing superheroes out of the sky.
    Via ChessBase
    If there's not an evil lair under this thing yet, I'm calling dibs.
    The artist says the sculpture "is a synthesis of all the flowers and is both a hope that is reborn every day to open," which we can only assume is the code phrase for opening the door of the giant vault underneath Floralis Generica that controls its death ray.

    #3. Transi de Rene de Chalon -- Bar-le-Duc, France

    When you're visiting a random church in a small village in Northern France, you expect to see the stuff you see in most old churches: crosses, paintings, a few statues of saints ... that sort of thing. That's precisely what you'll see in Bar-le-Duc's Saint-Etienne church. Well, that and a fucking zombie monster, just gleefully hanging about in a place of honor, arm raised to meet the sky like the world's cheesiest Shakespearean actor.
    This statue is the memorial of Rene de Chalon, a 16th century prince, who had a hunch he'd die in his 20s (it was a turbulent time) and made a special request to be depicted this way postmortem. Local history books do their level best to write this off as an artistic choice meant to represent "doing right by God even after death." However, let's be honest here: The dude was a wealthy 20-something -- there's no way this was anything but a particularly inspired trolling idea someone in his entourage came up with at 4 a.m.

    #2. Genghis Khan -- Mongolia

    heckepics/iStock/Getty Images
    Theme Park History: Dr. Martin Couney and the Coney Island 'Child Hatchery'
    Written by 
    Published: October 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Of all the stories in theme park history (and perhaps medical history), one of the most curious has to be the story of Dr. Martin Couney.
    Dr. Martin Couney
    Born in 1870 in Germany, Dr Couney was one of the early pioneers of neonatology. He helped to develop the baby incubator and methods of caring for premature babies. In the late 1890s, his senior associates tasked him with spreading the word of the new technology to doctors and hospitals. Couney developed an exhibit and began demonstrations at fairs and expos around the world. The exhibits proved to be very popular, but more so with the curious general public than the medical industry they were intended to reach. The exhibit generated considerable crowds and revenue, but doctors and hospitals just weren’t that interested at the time.
    After traveling exhibitions throughout Europe and the US for a few years, Dr. Couney set up a permanent exhibition in the newly opened Luna Park at Coney Island. In those days, hospitals had no special care for premature babies, so Couney was never short of patients. The outside of the building was no different than the other sideshows surrounding it. The sign above the door read “Life Begins With The Baby Incubator.” Customers were enticed in by a carnival barker and charged 25 cents to come and see the “child hatchery.”

    Coney Island incubator exhibit
    The inside was essentially a hospital. The atmosphere was quiet and clinical, incubators lined the walls, and trained nurses were employed to care for the babies. One of the nurses was Couney’s daughter, who ironically enough was born premature and spent some time in the incubator herself. The wet nurses employed to feed the babies were ordered on diets, and were fired if caught eating a hot dog or some other fried fare from the boardwalk. Tour guides were fired if they made jokes during the presentation. The rules and regulations for infant care were strictly enforced, and professionalism was emphasized. It was important to distinguish themselves at least a little from the pandemonium surrounding them.

    Coney Island nurses Coney Island incubators
    Naturally, there were those opposed to the idea of putting premature babies on display for the purposes of entertainment and profit. More than once there was a movement to shut him down. Dr. Couney had his reasons though, for throughout the show’s existence, he never charged a cent to the parents of the children he treated. It was the revenue of the paying customers covering the very high operating costs. He never took a payment for his services, and he accepted children of all kinds. Race, economic class, and social status were never factors in his decision to treat. The names were always kept anonymous, and in later years the doctor would stage reunions of his “graduates.” The medical profession that had once called him into question eventually embraced his methods and began promoting their use and sending him patients. Dr. Couney would eventually open more incubator attractions…a couple more at Coney Island and a handful around the country at other amusement centers and fairs.
    Eventually, the enormous expense of running the exhibits began to outweigh the revenue as public interest in the attraction waned. Dr. Couney had made his case for the preemie though, and almost forty years after attraction opened, the first research center for premature infants was opened at Cornell University’s New York Hospital, reportedly differing very little from his operation. By this time, other hospitals were also opening treatment centers of their own. In 1943, Couney declared his work “finished” and closed for good. It’s reported that over 40 years of operation, Couney’s incubator attractions had an 80% success rate and saved about 6500 newborns from almost certain death. He died a few years later in 1950, having left his mark in both the theme park and medical industry.

              Germany: Israeli Spray-Paints "Let's Gas the Jews" on Public Property, Cops Drive Off - No Charges        
    So here's the deal: you can now legally spray-paint virulent anti-Semitic and otherwise racist hate-talk on public and private property in Germany.All you have to do is be a Jew.The cops won't arrest you.And here's the thing: I think that Germans are so opposed to arresting Jews, that they won't even ask you for proof you're Jewish. Reuters : A German-Israeli artist who accuses Twitter of failing to delete hate speech tweets has taken matters into his own hands - by stencilling the offending messages on the road in front of the company's Hamburg headquarters. A post on video-sharing site YouTube showed Shahak Shapira and fellow activists stencilling tweets saying "Germany needs a final solution to Islam" and "Let's gas the Jews" - clear references t
              A Look At Trump's Day At The G-20        
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Hard to remember the last time a meeting between two world leaders drew quite so much attention as the one set for today in Hamburg, Germany, when Donald Trump sits down with Vladimir Putin. Now, we don't know what these two men plan to say to each other, but we maybe got a hint yesterday of the U.S. position. President Trump was giving a speech in Warsaw, Poland, and among other things, he said this. (SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself. KELLY: NPR's Scott Horsley is traveling with the president. He is on the line from Hamburg. Scott, President Trump often says he doesn't like to tip his hand, he doesn't like to telegraph what he's going to do.
              Volkswagen Group, Tata Motors end talks on emerging markets cooperation        

    BERLIN/NEW DELHI - Cooperation talks between Germany's Volkswagen Group and India's Tata Motors about joint development of a car for emerging markets have ended amicably, the two companies said on Thursday.

    The collapse of the talks is a further blow to Volkswagen's (VW) efforts to develop a cheap vehicle platform for Asian markets, after an earlier alliance with Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp also fell apart.

    In March Tata Motors and VW announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a long-term partnership to explore joint development of products for customers in India and other markets.

    The German group's Czech arm Skoda, commissioned by VW to lead the talks with Tata, was exploring a possible entry-level car platform together with the Indian manufacturer, using Tata's AMP vehicle platform as a basis, a VW group source said.

    Skoda dropped the idea of developing the AMP platform on fears that it would need significant further investment to meet future crash-test and engine emissions requirements and would instead explore parent VW's MQB platform for possible further savings, said the source, who declined to be named.

    "The two companies have come to the conclusion that at the present point of time the technical and economic synergies cannot be realized in the desired way," Skoda said on Thursday, confirming a Reuters story.

    "We have evaluated the technical feasibility and degree of synergies for the envisioned partnership. We have concluded that the strategic benefits for both parties are below the threshold levels," said Tata Motors Chief Executive Guenter Butschek, the German automotive and aerospace industry veteran who joined the Indian company last year.

    But the two automakers, which also studied joint development of components, did not rule out the possibility of collaboration in the future after holding what Skoda called "constructive talks" over the past five months.

    Foreign carmakers like VW, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have struggled in India where more nimble rivals such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor have cornered two thirds of the market.

    Tata, which is also struggling to boost sales, has been trying to turn round its loss-making domestic business by modernising its products, improving efficiency and streamlining its organisation.

    In May General Motors said it would stop selling cars in India from the end of this year, drawing a line under two decades of battling in one of the world's most competitive markets where small cars make up the bulk of sales.

    India is expected to become the world's third-largest car market by 2020 but passenger vehicle sales have slowed in recent months due to policy changes and a new nationwide sales tax.

    The collapse of talks with Tata also deals a blow to VW's efforts to decentralize power within the group in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal and assign greater responsibilities to the individual brands and business regions for vehicles and technology, another source at VW group said.

              Learning from Finnish campaigns for sustainable development – Part 3: Sustainability commitments for apprentice training?        
    In my two previous posts I started with a topic that might seem remote to our EU-funded project Learning Layers (LL). The first post focused on the Finnish sustainability commitments. In the second post I discussed the sustainability issue from the perspective of apprentice training making comparisons between Germany and in Finland (and setting the […]
              China’s Landwind Back In Europe        

    5 years ago, disturbing news reached Germany. A Chinese company called Jiangling had the nerve to disturb the peace of the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA by displaying a Chinese SUV, with the intent to sell the vehicle. With dispatch, a crash test was arranged by the ADAC, the German equivalent of the AAA. The car […]

    The post China’s Landwind Back In Europe appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

              Comment on Rossini does Trump by dycker        
    Ernst Zündel, Holocaust Denier Tried for Spreading His Message, Dies at 78 - No he didn't https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/world/europe/ernst-zundel-canada-germany-holocaust-denial.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=11&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F08%2F07%2Fworld%2Feurope%2Fernst-zundel-canada-germany-holocaust-denial.html&eventName=Watching-article-click
              Coldplay Perform with Shakira at Global Citizen Festival        
    Coldplay and Shakira took the stage together to perform "A Sky Full of Stars" yesterday (July 6) at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany.
              "ReeveLand Festival" et al. at Framus & Warwick Music Hall        

    "ReeveLand Festival"
    Death Angel
    Battle Beast
    Rex Brown
    Poison Garden
    Appearing at Framus & Warwick Music Hall (Markneukirchen, Germany) on Saturday, September 02, 2017

              Fiji se mueve a un .travel        
    El Gobierno de Fiji, ha registrado Fiji.travel, que mantiene como su web oficial para el turismo. Otros países también tienen Germany.travel, Colombia.travel, Egypt.travel, Ecuador.travel o Canada.travel.
              Marcus Abrahamsson player stats from Eliteprospects.com        
    Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

     Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
     1992-1993 Skövde IKDivision 212 1 23 4|        
     1993-1994 Skövde IKDivision 223 3 36 36|        
     1994-1995 Skövde IKDivision 228 2 46 59|        
     1995-1996 Skövde IKDivision 238 1 45 28|        
     1996-1997 IFK MunkforsDivision 128 3 47 22|        
     1997-1998 Mariestad BoISDivision 114 2 810 6|        
     1998-1999 Skövde IKDivision 235 4 48 34|        
     1999-2000 Väsby IKDivision 136 6 1218 16|        
     2000-2001 Väsby IKDivision 137 7 1522 34|        
     2001-2002 EHC MemmingenGermany449 4 1620 32|        
     2002-2003 EHC MemmingenGermany323 5 1116 57|        
     2003-2004 DijonFrance28 0 77 26|Playoffs5 4 15
     2004-2005 Nijmegen DevilsNetherlands37 5 1217 72|        
     2005-2006 EC BregenzerwaldAustria231 10 1828 100|        
     2006-2007 EC BregenzerwaldAustria232 10 3343 83|        
     2007-2008 Linden HockeyDivision 130 4 2428 48|        
     2008-2009 Linden HockeyDivision 135 4 1822 36|        
     2009-2010 Linden HockeyDivision 134 2 810 66|        
     2010-2011 Linden HockeyDivision 226 5 1924 52|        

    Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com
              Texprocess, Germany – EFI Optitex Launches The First Visual Collaboration App For The Fashion Industry        

    The post Texprocess, Germany – EFI Optitex Launches The First Visual Collaboration App For The Fashion Industry appeared first on Optitex.

              Meet EFI Optitex at Texprocess, Frankfurt        


    The post Meet EFI Optitex at Texprocess, Frankfurt appeared first on Optitex.

              2-1 | Forlan - Uruguay Vs Germany__VipFlash.net        

    Autor: yoof06

    2-1 | Forlan - Uruguay Vs Germany__VipFlash.net

    Visite os vídeos de yoof06

              Dr. Svimmm Completes His Dream Swim In The Bodensee        
    Courtesy of Oliver Halder, Bodenseequerung, Germany.

    Sven Eckardt completed his dream swim.

    The 47-year-old German swimmer from Gärtringen, known as Dr. Svimmm, became the first handicapped swimmer to finish a widthwise crossing of the Bodensee (Lake Constance), the largest lake in Germany.

    "The weather was great, but the conditions across two-thirds of the total distance was hard," reported Oliver Halder. "Wind, waves and currents came from the wrong direction and he had a hard job to do. However, he finished the swim after a time of 5 hours 33 minutes where he covered a distance of 11.46 km."

    Photo above shows Eckardt with Thomas Treutler who swam the same double crossing in 2016, Oliver Halder, 6-time Bodensee swimmer Hamza Bakircioglu, escort pilot Reinhold Wentsch, and Carina Halder.

    Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

              Detailed Documentation Across The Bodensee        

    Courtesy of Bodenseequerung, Bondensee.

    Oliver Halder and his colleagues at the Bodenseequerung, the governing body of the Bondensee (Lake Constance) crossings, document an unusual level of detail on lengthwise and widthwise crossings of the lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps.

    The lake is located between Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Its shorelines lie in German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Thurgau, St. Gallen and Schaffhausen. The Rhine flows into it from the south following the Austro-Swiss frontier.

    What is unusual and greatly appreciated about the efforts of the Bodenseequerung staff is their documentation of both the successful and DNF crossing attempts of solo swimmers.

    While the organization observes and details the successful lengthwise crossings of the Bodensee by Christof Wandratsch (66.67 km in 20 hours 41 minutes on July 22nd 2013), Bruno Baumgartner (68.06 km in 24 hours 20 minutes on August 30th 2013), and Hamza Bakircioglu (66.67 km in 30 hours 45 minutes on July 17th 2016 shown above), it also documents and archives the unsuccessful attempts over its history:

    * Jürgen Fussi on August 27th 2015 stopped after about 6 hours and 11 km due to severe bladder pain
    * Mirjam Schall on August 3rd 2015 stopped after about 27 hours and 55 km due to a storm and waves
    * Hamza Bakircioglu on July 20th 2015 stopped after about 26.5 hours and 51 km due to shoulder pain
    * Martin Fessl on July 12th 2015 stopped after about 21 hours and 64 km due to pneumonia
    * Patrick Hotz on August 18th 2014 stopped after about 5 hours and 15 km due to the water temperature, storm, and waves
    * Hamza Bakircioglu on August 4th 2014 stopped after about 27 hours and 60 km due to an oncoming current and storm
    * Hamza Bakircioglu on August 2nd 2013 stopped after about 26.5 hours and 56 km due to a hunderstorm
    * Adrian Alejandro Wittwer on July 5th 2013 stopped after about 17 hours and 27 km due to an oncoming current and time
    * Maximilian Melyarki on August 21st 2012 stopped after about 16 hours and 33 km due to severe muscle spasm
    * Bruno Dobelmann on July 11th 2012 stopped after about 14 hours and 20 km
    * Bruno Dobelmann on May 21st 2012 stopped after about 12 hours and 27 km due to back pain

    "The attention to detail of the Bodenseequerung crossings is greatly appreciated by historians of the sport," says Steven Munatones. "Knowing about and learning from the DNF's of the past is as important for those attempting to swim 66 km across the Bodensee as is information about the successful crossings. Each attempt - successful or not - is something to be respected and is part of the DNA of the sport."

    The Bodenseequerung observers and staff have documented a total of 571 hours 26 minutes of swimming a cumulative total of 1420.18 km by solo swimmers across the Bodensee.

    Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

              Sunshine While Swimming Down The Danube        
    Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

    Romanian Avram Iancu continues on his scheduled 60-day stage swim of 2,860 km along the Danube River through Europe.

    The 41-year-old librarian from Petrosani, Transylvania started his stage swim from Donaueschingen in the Black Forest in Germany. He is now heading into Day 36 as each day is a dynamically different replication of the day before.

    Day 41 on July 30th

    Today Iancu and his team enjoyed a lovely day with sunny weather and no clouds. This enabled him to swim 42 km. The team was cheered on by another group of Romanians 20 km into today's journey. They camped by the 1598 km milestone and are excited for tomorrow.

    Day 42 on July 31st

    Today Iancu swam 50 km, helped by the splendid weather. “Today has been the most beautiful and productive day so far, with a lot of sunshine and high temperatures. Whilst the weather might be too hot for most people on land, this is perfect for me, and everything went very smoothly today.”

    The team had some mechanical problems with their car, but they were able to have that fixed by a kind mechanic who refused to charge them after hearing about their quest.

    After the first 37 km, Iancu had another surprise in store for him: a professional massage, which made the last 13 km of today feel very easy and pleasant after. “My personal masseur from Romania promised to join us once we reach Romania and I am very much looking forward to having him around daily. Receiving a professional massage makes a huge difference in eliminating all the toxins in the body and helps muscle recovery. A Canah delegate also joined us today, bringing a lot of very delicious food – which was amazing as we did not have to worry about preparing anything.”

    Day 43 on August 1st

    Iancu swam 43 km today through the Hungarian lowlands helped by the nice weather. He also passed Paks where the only nuclear power plant in Hungary is located. Here they were stopped and questioned by the local police for the second time in Hungary, but having all documents in order, everything ended well and the team was free to continue. Canah delegates arranged for another massage for Iancu today. “It felt amazing to receive yet another massage, and I am very thankful to Canah for it; they also supplemented our food budget which is great.”

    Day 44 on August 2nd

    Today Iancu swam 46 km, pushing on until after the sunset. He also passed Baja where the Hungarian media interviewed him. At the end of the day, Iancu reached the 1462 km milestone and is expecting to reach Croatia tomorrow, leaving yet another country behind.

    A report on his stage swims between Days 1-9 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 10-13 is posted here. A report on his stage swim on Day 14 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 15-16 is posted here. A report on his stage swim on Day 17 is posted here. A report on his stage swim on Day 18 is posted here. A report on his stage swims on Day 19-20 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 21-23 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 24-27 is posted here. A report on his stage swim on Day 28 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 29-32 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 33-35 is posted here. A report on his stage swims between Days 36-41 is posted here. To follow Iancu on Facebook, visit here.

    Copyright © 2008-2017 by World Open Water Swimming Association

              #954 Schloss Neuschwanstein Postcard from Germany        
              A postcard from Germany, sent by postcrosser Rafal for Vacation RR in postcrossing forum. The postcard shows a beautiful view of Schloss Neuschwanstein in winter. At the back, Rafal used one stamp. The postmark date is 9 September 2013. Thanks a lot Rafal!
              Comment on Confederations Cup: Australia v Germany takeaways by Confederations Cup: Australia v Cameroon takeaways – Sandals For Goalposts        
    […] opening their Confederations Cup campaign with a defeat to World champions Germany, the Australian football public were noticeably divided on the course set by Postecoglou and the […]
              End of Week #28 . . . Still Hot        
    That's right -- twenty-eight weeks of the 52 for this year have gone by so far in 2017. It's day 196 so about 53.7% of the year has passed. And it is hot again (still). Today and tomorrow are projected to be over 100° and in the next two weeks the coolest day is somewhere around 90° . . .

    We keep our fingers crossed for the a/c system and the ice maker (we've had to replace that twice already in five years).

    The above flowers love the heat and four out of the five are found in our yard along with several others. The center flower is the Edelweiss and just the name alone brings emotional tugs.

    I saw the Edelweiss when I visited my son in Germany many years ago. And of course the song in "The Sound of Music" is a keeper.

    We continue to read every night before slumber strikes and this week we just finished "Driving Miss Norma" which is a book that we found very interesting to read.

    Miss Norma was a 90-year-old woman who when given a terminal diagnosis had the option of traveling the country with her son and daughter-in-law in their RV or be hospitalized and go through chemotherapy and other measures.

    She chose to go driving and she had wonderful adventures that are well documented throughout the book.

    Now we started reading "Finding Gobi" and it relates the true story of a long distance runner who meets and befriends a little dog while running a mega marathon in the Gobi Desert.

    We have only just begun the story and are finding it intriguing. Of course, we love dogs -- not so much fans of running marathons that are well over 100 miles in length (under 100 just fine) of course we are . . . we look forward to living the adventure along with "Gobi".

    Unfortunately this week my son, Chris is at this moment in the ICU unit at Swedish Hospital (Cherry Hill Location) in Seattle.

    He had brain surgery two days ago and has made it through this first stage and may face an additional surgery next week.

    We are distraught over these developments and are so anxious to hear that he is mending.

    Of course, I have not been able to talk with him and I  just get the briefest of updates as to his condition.

    The next few days are critical as to keep him free of any infection or other things hampering his recovery. It is difficult to not be able to do things that might help him. Our hopes are in the hands of his doctors.

    I did send the above flower arrangement to him for possibly a bright visual way of encouragement when he "comes to" from the surgery -- however, the ICU would not accept the floral gift.

    We will keep a positive outlook for him in the coming days and weeks. Unfortunately, Seattle might as well be on the other side of the world as far as visiting. We have our own difficulties as to be free to travel . . .

    I have managed to do some genealogy work this week, but only a little. As I have mentioned before genealogy is one way that I can escape any unfavorable aspects of daily life for a little while.

    This week I have been struggling to deal with the above two programs, both of which have introduced new versions that offer new features. The main feature for me is the ability to "sync" the trees in each program with the tree that I maintain on Ancestry.com.

    There is a learning curve for both programs and I have used FTM as my main program for years with RootsMagic as a good backup.

    What I do generally is to work in Ancestry.com and then sync the tree in FTM and in RootsMagic.
    Those actions take incredible skills on the part of the programming to make it happen.

    I just need to spend more time getting the kinks worked out -- but once that is done -- what a great feature. But wait, there is more . . .

    We still have been watching baseball and the Giants struggle this year.

    What a difference to see the Giants almost lose every other game that they play.

    Today, the Giants play the Padres. And MadBum (Madison Bumgarner) is slated to be the starting pitcher.

    This will be his first game this year -- in the preseason he foolishly rode a dirt bike and fell off injuring his shoulder.

    He has been in rehab ever since -- some think it may have finished his career -- but we will get an indication today when he steps onto the mound. The "snot-rocket" king will have a chance to prove that he is still "in-the-game".  We hope so.

    Lastly, I know that I am not alone when I mention that working on family genealogy is a "lonely" hobby, but it comes with a ton of personal satisfaction for me. And so that keeps me working on the trees.

    I happened to notice this question somewhere in my searching recently and I have to agree that almost never do I hear from family regarding any aspect of my searching.

    I recall when I first started working on family history and I told my father about that and he replied: "Why would anyone want to do that?"  and that is another reason that I keep at it . . .

    That is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few"!

              Comment on OEM Carbon Fiber Bike Frame by Sebastian        
    Hi Range, old but gold article!!! I am interested in Storcks newest latest Fascenario .3 and where the frames is produced. As well as in specialized shiv tt...do you know where in taichung/which factory those frames build? Do you have the possibility to give me an address or a name to contact? I would like to buy it in taiwan and complete it with the right components and then reimport it to germany. Maybe you have still some infos on that :-) Best Regards Sebastian
              A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Viergut        
    In 1981, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi watches as her mother and twin sister, Mahtab, board a plane to America, leaving her in a seaside village in northern Iran. Though she is certain of what she saw, Saba's broken father and colorful slew of surrogate grandmothers claim that Mahtab is dead and that Saba should forget about her troublesome mother; nevertheless, there are others who attribute Saba's belief in her sister's survival to “twin-sense” and relish the possibility that Mahtab might still be alive. Over the next seventeen years, Saba immerses herself in illegal western books, movies, and magazines, and weaves an exquisite parallel American life for her twin sister, one that mirrors her own in bizarre and unlikely ways—and rivals the fates of Ivy-League western shahs—a life that the bookish Saba too might have lived if she'd been allowed to get on that plane.

    Beginning with small tokens of adolescence and moving to larger coincidences of unrequited love, the violent consequences of forced marriage to a much older man, and motherhood, Mahtab’s hazier American story keeps pace with her sister like a shadow. Mahtab loses a lover when Saba does. Mahtab finds unexpected wealth in the same way as Saba. But whereas Saba’s story has all the grit and brutality of real life in post-revolution Iran, Mahtab’s is like an American television show as imagined under an Iranian storyteller’s blanket, always returning power and control to the heroine’s hands.

    A TEASPOON OF EARTH AND SEA uses strong, colorful characters, a unique narrative voice, and rural eastern storytelling techniques with western-style prose to convey a sense of mystery and a compelling message about identity and being the mistress of one's own fate while living and battling within the fantasy of our other "selves." The bittersweet ending leaves the reader wondering if it matters at all where life takes us or why. Maybe the soul is unchanging and—as the old saying goes—life is written in the veins.

    [Riverhead (World English) 2012; Edizioni Piemme (Italy) 2012; Rocco (Brazil) 2012; De Bezige Bij (Netherlands) 2012; Editions Calmann-Levy (France) 2012; Gyldendal (Norway) 2012; Damm (Sweden) 2012; Mare (Germany) 2012; Grup (Turkey) 2012; Modern Press (China) 2012; Wydawnictwo Otwarte (Poland) 2012; Thaning & Appel (Denmark)].

    About the author
    Dina N. Viergutz was born to a controversial family of doctors and poets in Iran in 1979 and lived and traveled there throughout the Iran-Iraq war. Having escaped the country on the day of her mother’s intended execution, Dina spent some years in Europe before moving to the United States. She speaks three languages and recently became a citizen of France (dual with U.S.), and has spent the last three years living in Paris and Amsterdam with her husband where she researched and wrote A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea. She is a graduate of Princeton and holds two masters degrees from Harvard, and she has just been accepted to the Iowa Writers Workshop beginning in the fall 2011. She has done an array of work, including leading strategic projects for Saks Fifth Avenue and McKinsey in New York City. As a Zuckerman Fellow at Harvard, she has discussed public policy with world leaders, and as a Teaching Fellow and keynote speaker (also at Harvard) she gave speeches to audiences of hundreds before she turned thirty.

    picture taken from http://apps.facebook.com/facebookshelf/people/1700632880

              The euro does not intend to give up        


    A strong employment report, along with speeches by FOMC members and the ripe technical reasons provoked a recovery of the dollar against most of its competitors, but there is still no certainty that the euro is ready to give its leadership to the dollar.

    The Sentix economic index in August for the eurozone was 27.7p This is somewhat lower than the 28.3p a month earlier, but still indicates a steady growth. Investors' expectations have been growing for the eighth month in a row and have reached 40p, which is the highest since November 2007.


    The Sentix index is often seen by investors as an advance indicator. Since it is slightly earlier than similar studies from Ifo or Markit, it predicts market reversals. At the current period, the release contains a specific warning. Despite the fact that the expectations are at the 10-year peak, the index for Germany once again declined, the second time since February, and signs of a slowdown appeared. Germany is the engine of the entire European economy, its slowdown will inevitably have an impact on all intra-European processes.

    Meanwhile the euro is supported by a number of geopolitical factors. After North Korea warned Washington about a possible attack of the US military base on the island of Guam, the demand for gold and the Japanese yen increased briskly, as well as the franc and euro, which in the current situation can be considered as defensive assets, also rose in a second echelon.

    The momentum for the euro is slowing, but it is still too early to predict a confident turnaround. Markets will be waiting for tomorrow's report on US inflation, and the absence of significant macroeconomic factors will contribute to the flight into the lateral range.

    United Kingdom

    Today, the Office of National Statistics will publish data on industrial production and the trade balance in June. Weak data from the previous month played a role in the pound's lost growth momentum, and players need new data to reassess prospects. The forecast is conditionally positive. It is expected that the industry will show symbolic growth, and good data will be able to support the pound.

    The NIESR will also publish its forecast for GDP growth. Its assessment has a significant impact on market expectations, as it is priced in by the Bank of England in the development of monetary policy. At the moment, the economy of Britain looks affected by the Brexit referendum, as its growth slowed down relative to other G10 countries, and general weakness serves as a deterrent for the Bank of England. The fall of the pound last week was provoked largely by this factor, and the need for decisive action to curb inflation was limited by weak economic growth.


    Political uncertainty also has a negative influence on the pound. Negotiations on Brexit are slow, and the first phase will not be completed in October, as it was assumed recently. Because of the weak results of the parliamentary elections, the position of Theresa May seems unconvincing, and the divided cabinet complicates the negotiations, since it does not in any way give a clear understanding the results the United Kingdom wants to achieve. The key question at the moment is whether Britain is ready to compromise and pay for its exit. The situation is aggravated by the probability of May being overthrown from her post at the Conservative Party's conference in October.

    Pound positions look weak, and there are few reasons for the resumption of the upward trend. The pound may fall by the end of the week below 1.29.

    Oil and ruble

    Oil prices almost did not react to the report of the US Department of Energy on reserves, which was slightly worse than expected. OPEC countries did not provide new information to players, which led to the stabilization of prices at just above $52/bbl. A startling factor is the decline in China's oil imports, which may indicate a slowdown in China's economy, but so far this scenario is preliminary and does not deny the impact on long-term forecasts.

    In the absence of significant drivers, the Russian ruble continues to trade in a narrow range of about 60 rubles per dollar.

    The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com
              Album Review: Sodom - Epitome Of Torture        

    One of the things about the thrash renaissance that is most welcome is the remembrance of bands outside the Big Four. While the Bay Area bands, along with the New York scene, did define thrash and contribute countless classic records, the boundaries of the genre weren't compatible with America's. Thrash exploded everywhere, and nowhere more than Germany, which has solidified its legacy as the second home of thrash. In the dark years of heavy metal, when all but the biggest bands seemed forgotten, the German thrash scene was reduced to but a blip on the screen. But as thrash came roaring back to life, there's been an increased awareness of how vital the German thrash bands were, and how they carried the flag through the down times with more pride than their American counterparts.

    Now that thrash is back in full force, bands like Sodom are getting more attention than they ever did before, and with an album centered around torture, I'm betting they'll be getting plenty more.

    With the typical throwback flare, “My Final Bullet” teases the calm before the storm, a move that has become so cliché it's hard to remember how effective it was the first few times a metal band tried it. The song wastes no time getting to the point, tearing through sharp riffing and a quick shouted refrain of the title. The solo turns the song on it's head, but does so in a way that breaks up what would otherwise be an overlong cycle. The oddly self-referential “S.O.D.O.M.” ups the tempo, while wisely avoiding constant double-bass drumming, with the spelled out chorus something that should never work, but is actually rather fitting for what the band is doing.

    The title tracks flips the playbook, slowing down the tempo as the chorus approaches, a little trick that makes the song infinitely better than if it had been raced through at full speed. That's the kind of songwriting usually only veteran bands are able to display. And then Sodom turns around and plays a song like “Stigmatized”, a more death metal inspired number that deepens the vocals to a half-growl, and ultimately goes nowhere.

    The best Sodom songs, like “CANNIBAL”, are able to take all the fury and heaviness the subject matter demands and inject them with a healthy does of catchy songwriting. The riffs under the chorus of the song are exactly the kind of guitar playing that can get under your skin and infect you if given the opportunity, which is a high form of compliment. When Sodom is firing on all cylinders, they make the kind of thrash that even a non thrash fan like myself can appreciate. They do that often on “The Epitome Of Torture”, even with the few missteps they make along the way.

    Worth noting is that the album sounds amazing. The production is the perfect blend of raw energy and clean sound, heavy in all the right places, but not self-destructive to the music. I can't say I've ever heard a thrash record that sounds better than this one does.

    “The Epitome Of Torture” isn't going to redefine thrash, nor is it likely to be mentioned in the same breath as the comeback masterpieces of the other major thrash bands, but it's a rock solid album that deserves its fifteen minutes of thrash fame.


              The First-Ever Orthodox Vesper Service is Celebrated at the Cologne Cathedral        
    On 27 November 2015, Orthodox Vesper service was celebrated for the first time in history at the Cologne Cathedral during the autumn session of the Orthodox Episcopal Conference in Germany. Over one thousand worshippers from the Orthodox communities of Cologne and the neighboring cities attended. The Cologne Cathedral is unique church; its main sanctuary was consecrated in September 1322 on the site on which the believers used to gather for prayers even in the first centuries of Christianity. The celebration of an Orthodox service became possible thanks to friendly support by Dompropst Gerd Bachner and Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, Archbishop...
              Germany .. People can’t leave their homes’ ‘Migrants go into churches.. and start to riot.        
    Germany's new normal: 'People can't leave their homes' 'Migrants go into churches to disrupt service. They walk in and start to riot." [ full title ]. Media and political elites continue to spin the catastrophic invasion of Europe as some 'humanitarian' movement summarily ignoring the grave consequences of the hijrah (immigration jihad). Only a handful of news sites (like this one) are reporting on the true nature of invasion, getting the real news from the true victims - the besieged Europeans, who almost overnight, are forced to live in a war zone. ... a crime against the German people and...
              Germany: “People can’t leave their homes” “Migrants go into churches to disrupt service        
    What has been happening to the town itself is not difficult to image. The reports I read speak of Muslims in the small streets of the town; I read about serious theft problems in stores where ‘refugees’ walk in, take what they want or need, and walk out again without paying. In the beginning, grocery stores called the police, but stopped doing so after they were told to write up the losses and contact someone at the local municipality to reimburse them. (I had a verbal confirmation from a wife of a German police officer … ) People in Ellwangen...
               Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany        
    2012-09-06 19:14:06 - Kleissner : Interesting My Citadel sinkhole of one botnet shows me 100 pourcents infections are in Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Germany
              Get on Board, or Get Out of the Way        
    14th, 1984, aid, amendment, bush, campaign, channel, clear, Clinton, cnn, communications, compel,, consolidation, corporation, crisis, depression, disinformation, economic, economics, fiscal, fo,, freedom, George, germany, Government, hitler, homeless, inauguration, industrial, iraq, Israel, lakota, lakotah, libertarian, liberty, means, Media, military, monetary, murdock, news, obama, of, of state, orwell, orwellian, palestine, palestinian, policy, poverty, president, propaganda, rate, recession, republic, rockets, russell, secretary, Sioux, soldiers, sovereign, Sovereigns, sovereignty, time, toady, Tribe, USA, veterans, vets, w., war, warner, zionism, zionist, obama, president, whitehouse, white, house
              TrailersFromHell: Ealing Studios’ (!) “Dunkirk” (1958)        
    TrailersFromHell: Ealing Studios’ (!) “Dunkirk” (1958)
    More from my site“Murphy is interested in ‘Baby Jane’ only as a trashy signifier…”Mark Steyn: “The Great Fire of New London”Whenever you hear about Germany doing anything “on an industrial scale,” grab your gun (while you can)Steve Sailer reviews ‘Moana’

    Kathy Shaidle's NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.


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              Europe Forecast: Hot in the south - Thundery central areas, Aug 10 - 10:13        

    Staying hot in southern Europe with thunderstorms in central areas Thursday Dry weather continues across Iberia - hot in south-west Spain and Portugal. Slack low pressure over western Europe brings cool and unsettled weather - areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms for France, the Low Countries and Germany, although the Riviera and also Brittany may escape dry. Thundery rain too for the Alps, and a few showers possible for northern-central Italy. Hot and dry for southern Italy, Greece and areas near the Black Sea. Scorching temperatures for the Balkan states, Hungary and Slovakia, also south-eastern Poland, topping 40C. A risk of severe thunderstorms developing and spreading from Austria to the Czech Republic and also across southern Poland. Areas of thundery rain for the Baltic states and Finland, whilst southern Scandinavia should stay dry.

    Friday Fine and dry across Portugal and Spain today, feeling hot too. More hot and dry weather in the Balearics and the hot weather persists over Italy. Greece and Turkey will be remaining dry with more sunshine and staying hot. Fine with sunny spells in western France although the risk of some thunderstorms developing in the east. Sunny spells and an odd shower in the Low Countries. Heavy showers across Germany and Poland some of this heavy. Austria, Hungary and Switzerland will have thunderstorms. Fair for Denmark with sunny spells here. Fair for the Baltic States with sunny spells here. Staying dry in Finland with more sunny spells. Remaining fair across Sweden whilst some rain arrives in western Norway.

              Latest Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Research Report: Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2020        

    Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market focuses in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

    Pune, Maharashtra -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/09/2017 -- Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market analysis is provided for global market including development trends by regions, competitive analysis of the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market. Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry report focuses on the major drivers and restraints for the key players.

    Ammonium nitrate explosive is a mixed explosive whose main component is ammonium nitrate. It has found wide use in coal mining, quarrying, metal mining, and civil construction in undemanding applications.

    Browse Detailed TOC, Tables, Figures, Charts and Companies Mentioned in Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market research report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/global-ammonium-nitrate-explosive-market-by-manufacturers-regions-type-and-application-forecast-to-2021-10265137

    Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. The process is analysed thoroughly with respect four points Manufacturers, regional analysis, Segment by Type and Segment by Applications and the actual process of whole Ammonium Nitrate Explosive industry.

    Market Segment by Manufacturers, this report covers
    - Orica,
    - IPL (Dyno Nobel),
    - ENAEX,
    - MAXAM,
    - AEL,
    - Sasol,
    - EPC-UK,
    - BME Mining
    - Others…

    Market Segment by Type, covers
    - Emulsion Explosives
    - Powder

    Get a PDF Sample of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/request-sample/10265137

    Scope of the Report:

    This report focuses on the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive in Global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

    Market Segment by Regions, regional analysis covers
    - North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)
    - Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)
    - Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)
    - South America, Middle East and Africa

    Market Segment by Applications, can be divided into
    - Coal Mining
    - Quarrying
    - Metal Mining
    - Civil construction

    Get Discount on Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/request-discount/10265137

    Highlights of Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report:

    - To show the Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market by type and application, with sales market share and growth rate by type, application

    - Ammonium Nitrate Explosive market forecast, by regions, type and application, with sales and revenue, from 2016 to 2021

    - Describe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Introduction, product scope, market overview, market opportunities, market risk, market driving force;

    - Analyse the top manufacturers of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry, with sales, revenue, and price

    - Display the competitive situation among the top manufacturers, with sales, revenue and market share of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market

    - To show the global market by regions, with sales, revenue and market share of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry, for each region.

    - Analyse the key regions, with sales, revenue and market share by key countries in these regions

    - Describe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry sales channel, distributors, traders, dealers, appendix and data source.

    Have Any Query? Ask Our Expert for Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Report at: http://www.absolutereports.com/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/10265137

    Detailed TOC of Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Research Report:

    Chapter 1 Market Overview:

    1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    1.2 Market Analysis by Type

    1.3 Market Analysis by Applications

    1.4 Market Analysis by Regions

    1.4.1 North America (USA, Canada and Mexico)

    1.4.2 Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy)

    1.4.3 Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia)

    1.4.4 South America, Middle East and Africa

    1.5 Market Dynamics

    1.6 Market Opportunities

    1.7 Market Risk

    1.8 Market Driving Force

    Chapter 2 Manufacturers Profiles:

    2.1 Company Name

    2.1.1 Business Overview

    2.1.2 Company Name Sales, Price, Revenue, Gross Margin and Market Share

    Chapter 3 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Competition, by Manufacturer:

    3.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Market Share by Manufacturer

    3.2 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Revenue and Market Share by Manufacturer

    3.3 Market Concentration Rate

    3.3.1 Top 3 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Manufacturer Market Share

    3.3.2 Top 6 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Manufacturer Market Share

    3.4 Market Competition Trend

    Chapter 4 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Analysis by Regions:

    4.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Regions

    4.2 North America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

    4.3 Europe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

    4.4 Asia-Pacific Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

    4.5 South America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

    4.6 Middle East and Africa Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales and Growth (2011-2016)

    Chapter 5: North America Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

    Chapter 6: Europe Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

    Chapter 7: Asia-Pacific Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries (2011-2016)

    Chapter 8: South America, Middle East and Africa Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Countries

    Chapter 9: Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Market Share by Type (2011-2016)

    Chapter 10: Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales Market Share by Application (2011-2016)

    Chapter 11: Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast (2016-2021)

    11.1 Global Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Sales, Revenue and Growth Rate (2016-2021)

    11.2 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast by Regions (2016-2021)

    11.3 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Market Forecast by Type (2016-2021)

    11.4 Ammonium Nitrate Explosive Industry Forecast by Application (2016-2021)

    Chapter 12: Sales Channel, Distributors, Traders and Dealers

    12.1 Sales Channel

    12.1.1 Direct Marketing

    12.1.2 Indirect Marketing

    12.1.3 Marketing Channel Future Trend

    12.2 Distributors, Traders and Dealers

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              iPhone 4 announced        

    Here not talk about OS 4 as it announced sometime ago, for new hardware iPhone 4 come with better camera with flash, front camera, higher resolution screen, thinner size, and alot others which not stated here, but finally a new design of outlook compare to previous model.

    Info from RedmondPie

    Here is what’s new in the newly announced iPhone 4.

    - Glass front and back
    - Front facing cam for video conferencing
    - 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
    - 720p HD video recording
    - 960 x 640 resolution
    - Gyroscope (3-axis)
    - Gyro + accelerometer provide 6-axis motion sensing
    - Rotation about gravity
    - Apple A4 chip
    - 32 GB of Storage
    - Dual mic suppression
    - 802.11n WiFi
    - 300 hours of standby battery time
    - 3.5-inch screen
    and more as they come…

    iPhone 4 release on June 24th launch in 5 countries(US, UK, France, Germany and Japan) and July in another 18 countries

    iOS release on June 21st

    More information from engadget or redmondpie site

              Government plans Censorship in Germany        
    German government to discuss censorship for german internet.
              Kew Gardens ’17: Persona Non Grata        
    Japanese diplomat Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara was forbidden entry by the Soviets, expelled by the Germans, and demoted by his own foreign ministry. Those events certainly buttress a favorable judgement from history, but they did not do his career any favors. Sugihara was ill-advisedly principled throughout his diplomatic tenure, but his decision to issue travel visas to Jewish refugees while serving as the Japanese consul in Lithuania earned him recognition as one of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem. Sugihara’s pre-war exploits and wartime heroics are chronicled in Cellin Gluck’s Persona Non Grata: The Chiune Sugihara Story (trailer here), which screens during the first ever Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.

    Fluent in Russian and well educated in Russian history, Sugihara aspired to a Russian posting. However, his intelligence gathering in Manchuria, with respect to the disposition of the Northern Manchuria Railroad, bitterly antagonized the Soviets. As a result, he was declared persona non grata before he was even posted to Russia. Instead, Sugihara was dispatched to Lithuania, a convenient vantage-point for watching the Soviets.

    Initially, Kaunas is quite pleasant for Sugihara and his wife Yukiko. He quickly comes to an arrangement with Pesh, a maybe not-so-former Polish intelligence officer, who helps Sugihara keep tabs on the Russians and Germans, in exchange for the occasional travel document. By the time Jewish refugees, primarily but not exclusively from Poland start flooding Kaunas, Sugihara heads the only still functioning quasi-neutral consulate. Although the Tripartite Pact is an acknowledged inevitability, Sugihara starts issuing travel visas to the refugees, as quickly as he and his staff can stamp them.

    Not surprisingly, the Foreign Ministry is less than ecstatic over his actions, but they transfer him to a sensitive posting in Germany anyway. Obviously, saving thousands of lives is a big deal, but there is even more to his story. In fact, the Prussian section is unexpectedly fascinating, because it offers up a very different perspective on the War.

    Through Sugihara’s Cassandra-like warnings to his superiors, Gluck and co-screenwriters Tetsuro Kamata and Hiromichi Matsuo suggest Japan always considered Russia their natural enemy, which made the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact awkward, but ironically desirable. According to the film, they were counting on Germany’s help against the Americans and British in the Pacific, but when Hitler attacked Russia, it consigned them to facing the Yanks (and Brits) alone, thereby sealing their fate. Apparently, his analysis of German intentions did not sit well with the National Socialists, who also declared Sugihara persona non grata.

    Admittedly, a figure like Sugihara would be intimidating to portray, but Toshiaki Karasawa largely plays it safe (and rather stiffly). However, Koyuki is terrific as Yukiko, Sugihara’s wife and his conscience when he needs it. She perfectly delivers a pivotal exchange—too quiet and humanistic to be called a big speech—that could earn her award consideration if anyone picks up Gluck’s film. Borys Szyc is also compulsively watchable as the slightly roguish but deeply earnest Pesh.

    The fact that Persona Non Grata has not screened more widely at festivals is absolutely baffling. After all, it addresses the Holocaust, as well as a past refugee crisis, which offers the appeal of contemporary relevancy. It also happens to be a good film. Unfortunately, it might be too smart for its own good. Highly recommended for the heart and mind, Persona Non Grata screens this Wednesday afternoon (8/9) as part of the inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
              Film Review: NATION AFLAME (1937, Victor Halperin)        

    Stars: 4 of 5.
    Running Time: 74 minutes.
    Notable Cast or Crew: Directed by Victor Halperin (WHITE ZOMBIE, PARTY GIRL). Story by Thomas Dixon, Jr. (THE BIRTH OF A NATION, MARK OF THE BEAST). Starring Noel Madison ('G' MEN), Lila Lee (BLOOD AND SAND, THE UNHOLY THREE), Harry Holman (MEET JOHN DOE, BARBARY COAST), and Douglas Walton (MURDER MY SWEET, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN).
    Tag-lines: "Exposé of a Hooded Menace!"
    Best one-liner(s): "Boy, the suckers will eat it up!"

    In what's coming to be a regular feature of this blog, I find myself writing about American hate groups, fascists, and their cinematic depictions. Today's film happens to be written by Thomas Dixon, Jr., whose early novels celebrated hate and formed the basis for the racist, denialist 1915 epic THE BIRTH OF A NATION, which casts the Ku Klux Klan as the heroic saviors of the South during the "dark days" of Reconstruction.

    However, sometime in the 1930s (upon witnessing the revived Klan and the rise of European fascism) Dixon underwent an apparent evolution of character. In NATION AFLAME, his final work, he delivers a formidable condemnation of the Klan, American Nazism, xenophobia, and political hucksterism that's more than worthy of our attention in 2017. If Thomas Dixon's mind can be changed––a mind that was directly responsible for the second wave of the Klan in the 1920s––then truly the sky is the limit: NATION AFLAME is as remarkable in this aspect as it would be if Steve Bannon were suddenly to produce a film denouncing the white nationalist movement.

    Allow me to begin by offering a rundown of the plot, which unfolds with the simplicity of a fable across a slim, 74-minute runtime.

    Enter: Roland Adams, the political huckster. A rich, aging clown-prince who has a certain way with crowds, and rules them with the wave of his jester-faced scepter: he wears the absurdity of this persona as a badge of pride.

    With his eldest daughter reining in his more outrageous peccadillos, Adams once was Mayor of a typical middle-American city.

    Against his daughter's wishes, however, he has made some dangerous friends; career criminals who know that the the huckster's power over the uneducated mob can be exploited, a fast lane to power and riches. His new right hand man is an Italian immigrant named Sandino who has re-fashioned himself as "Sands," and, in a believably hypocritical path to personal agency, becomes a true master of the xenophobic rhetoric that was once leveled against his friends and family.

    He becomes Adams' brain, his attack-dog, his Richelieu. Adams' daughter has very little power over him now, though it pleases her to pretend. Sands and Adams make their xenophobic, "America First" pitch at a political cocktail party, and while it fails to impress the intelligentsia, the seeds are planted for a Populist campaign. The following clip is well worth watching:
    And so the Avenging Angels are formed; a "grassroots" organization subsidized by gangsters and protected by corrupt politicians, whose members wear black hoods (patterned after the Black Legion and the second-wave Klan) and commit acts of political, racial, and anti-intellectual violence.

     Sands lays out their mission in a manner that is straightforward and unfortunately prescient:
    "The only way that we can save the youth of our nation is to organize them in one single group, and through them, enforce the precepts of 100% Americanism! Corruption and politics must go! Civic virtue and patriotism must be our goals! We must enforce a reverence for our flag and our Constitution!  And what is more, protect our American womanhood, and guard the sanctity of our homes! We must guarantee that the wealth of America must be shared only by real Americans! To maintain and declare absolute boycott against foreigners is our only salvation!"
    We are treated to extensive scenes of Adams, Sands, and their cronies practicing their bluster as an acting exercise, repeating the same lines over and over again until they feel they've attained the proper patriotic fervency.

    "Boy, the suckers will eat it up!" says Adams. And they do. The gang is able to enrich themselves financially and politically, selling Avenging Angels memberships and apparel for $25 a pop.

    "For twenty-five dollars, be true Americans!"

    It should come as no surprise that Adams rides this wave of hate to ascend to a fresh political office: the Governorship. Under his rule, and amid a mosaic of domestic terrorism, the Avenging Angels beat to death reporters who dare to criticize them.

    Now Governor Adams has the Oval Office in his sights, an idea planted by Sands, who grows more power-hungry by the day. Sands doesn't care much about the scandals and inquiries piling up at the Governor's doorstep, because he operates in secrecy and will still wield the full power of the Avenging Angels no matter Adams' fate. Adams' daughter makes regular visits to his office in an attempt to save his soul:

    "Daddy, I'd rather see you resign than be impeached," she says...

    But Sands always visits afterward, and the Governor happens to be the kind of man to take the advice he's heard most recently.

    With political opponents closing in, Adams eventually decides to buck his gang and forge his own path. This, unfortunately, is short-lived as he is immediately assassinated by Avenging Angels who, at Sands' insistence, believe he has betrayed them.

    Governor Adams is dead, his jester-faced scepter smashed. And the power of the Angels lives on, vindicated by the destruction of those who were not pure enough; those who were less than "100% American."

    Adams' daughter aligns herself with the Angels' progressive foes and is burned in effigy amid growing misogynistic rhetoric.

    Fearing her reputation already ruined, she sacrifices her remaining stature to take out Sands, entrapping him in a sex scandal that, in 1937, proves to be enough to sink the Avenging Angels for good. The end.

    For me, NATION AFLAME film can only reframe Dixon's body of work, not rehabilitate it. However, like other films of the era such as BLACK LEGION and LEGION OF TERROR, it is very much the product of 1930s American Progressivism, fearful of fascist movements in Germany, Italy, and Spain worming their way into the American South and Midwest. That it comes to us courtesy of a man who never would have described himself as a progressive, and in fact publicly wore the mantle of "white supremacist," is staggering. I suppose this is evidence that even the harshest, most monstrous ideologue can have a breaking point: a crisis of conscience. This is something we must bear in mind.
              Looking For Hidigaurd Born in NY to Donald Pagano after WAR WAR 2        
    Father : Donald Pagano
    Mother ? not sure if her name was HIldiguard or Daughter
    Donald net her in Germany and broght her back to NY .
    Mother leaves with baby abd returns to Germany.
    Donald told his younger daughter Ermelinda he had her at the age of 60 , that he took care of mother and baby sent them money.
    Ermelinda would like to reunite with older sister .
    Dose anyone have any information? Donald has passed
              Re: HILDEGARD DOTZAUER        
    do you know her lost loves name. I am related to a Donald Pagano who returned to NY with a Hildeguard and she had a baby girl . She did not like Donald life style and moved back to Germany with the baby . Donald sent them money for years . Donald last name is PAGANO
              Re: byriga7 aka Gaby        
    No Nicole...what you need to do is to go to this link and post your message to Gaby on that message board, which she visits frequently.

    Message Boards > Topics > Adoptions > Germany > Adoptions in Germany

    Check your other message post on this message board, I've added some new information to that message thread.
              Re: HILDEGARD DOTZAUER        
    Well this is very probably just a coincidence, but her name may not be too common and the two locations are only about 95 miles apart, and her name is the only such listing, and she appears to be a senior who is active in senior matters in a local church, and perhaps she may be a relative of your person.

    Falkenstein is near Frankfurt and her name and address is listed in the German telephone book in Neunkirchen am Brand, just north of Nuremberg and a similar distance from the Czech border.


    Not to be confused with the similarly named Neuenkirchen which is near Saarbrucken




    This is the church, and it's webpage loads reeeeeally slowly and sometimes it returns error messages but sometimes it loads properly.

    These are reports of her church activities.



    This is another senior group that she's involved with.

    Presumably you and or your dad may speak German, but if you wished her to Gaby would probably give her a call for you.

              byriga7 aka Gaby        
    Gaby -

    It was suggested to me that I try to reach you as you have great knowledge of European related searches.

    I am looking for a lady who would be approximately 95 years old +/- 5 years named Hildegard Dotzauer. She is of czech decent and was relocated to the Falkenstein Germany area toward the end of WWII. I am trying to locate her for my Grandfather, she is his long lost war love. He wants any details of her he can find and understand she has likely past.

    Any information you could provide to aid in our search would be must appreciated.

              Re: HILDEGARD DOTZAUER        
    I suggest that you have a word with byriga7 aka Gaby.

    She is a German lady who is very knowledgable about German records and finding people in Germany, she is fluent in English.

    She posts regularly on relevant boards, she posted today.

    You'll find her on the message board on the link below, and if you post a new message with her name in the title, she will soon see it.

    Of course post WW2 many displaced persons in Europe resettled in various other countries.

    This might also be relevant to your topic.


              HILDEGARD DOTZAUER        
    Searching for Grandfather's long lost love from WWII. Ms. Dotzauer was Czech and was relocated during the war to Falkenstein, Germany. I have been able to find very little information and unsure if any what I have found is accurate. Any help or search advise would be greatly appreciated. Grandfather is 92 and believes his love was approximately the same age +/- 5 years. I
              Re: Plane shot down over Colbitz. Germany. WW2        
    And some final information while I think of it: this aircraft was with 156 Squadron RAF which was a Pathfinder squadron. These aircraft generally flew target-marking missions ahead of the main force and were responsible for locating and then illuminating with flares the correct bombing location and so were something of an elite force.
              Montesquieu, Come Back! (The French Police Already Know Where You Are)        

    On December 19, 2013, the French Loi de Programmation Militaire (the Military Program law, or "LPM"), was enacted. Article 20 of the LPM, which will come into force on January 1, 2015, authorizes the government to require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and web hosts to provide "information and documents processed or stored," including geolocation data and metadata in real time, without having to first ask for an authorization from a judge. The new law raises serious questions regarding separation of powers and the extent of administrative authority in France.

    A Surveillance Law Both Broad and Vague

    Article 20 of the LPM allows the Prime Minister to authorize specially designated agents from the ministers of police, defense, economics and budget to issue demands to ISPs for:

    "information or documents processed or preserved by their networks or electronic communications services, including technical data relating to the identification subscription or connection to electronic communications service numbers, identification of all the numbers subscription or connection to a designated person, the location of the terminal equipment used as well as a subscriber's communications on the list of dialed numbers and callers, duration and timing of communications"

    The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France's data protection authority, issued a statement following the enactment of the LPM noting that "information and documents" was so vague a term that "it appears to allow intelligence services to have access to content data, not only connection data." Ironically, the law was purportedly enacted to make surveillance laws more precise, following a 2010 European Court of Human Rights decision, Uzun v. Germany, where the court had warned Member States that "[i]n view of the risk of abuse intrinsic to any system of secret surveillance, such measures must be based on a law that is particularly precise, especially as the technology available for use is continually becoming more sophisticated" (at 61).  

    A Not-So-Precise Geolocation Surveillance Law

    So how did a law purportedly intended to clarify the use of surveillance technology wind up with such foggy language? When the LPM was first presented to the French Senate in August 2013, the explanatory memorandum about the section that would become article 20 presented it exclusively as an anti-terrorism measure. The memorandum indicated that the section would authorize police in charge of preventing terrorism to access geolocation information and communications metadata in real time. The new provisions were originally intended to become part of a 2006 anti-terrorism law that is currently set to lapse the last day of 2015, and would be limited by the scope of the 2006 law.

    But then came the sleight of hand. Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur argued that article 20 of the LPM should not become part of the 2006 law, but instead should become part of an updated general administrative communications interception law. "If geolocation is inserted in Article L.34-1-1, it is confined to anti-terrorist purposes, even though the intelligence services might need it for much broader purposes," explained Senator Sueur. In fact, the senator quoted the ECHR's decision in Uzun to justify this expansion of administrative authority, noting that the Court had found that using a geolocation device "could be acceptable under the right to privacy guaranteed by Article 8 § 1 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, provided that the law is very specific in its description of the device" (p.47).

    Sueur's argument succeeded, and article 20 of the LPM became articles L. 241-1 et seq. of France's Homeland Security Code -- an entirely new chapter VI broadly named “Administrative access to data connection.”

    So Much for the Judiciary

    The main problem with Senator Sueur’s invocation of Uzun was that he conveniently forgot to mention that Uzun involved authorization by a German judge, not the administration, for police to place the GPS device at issue in that case.

    In Uzun, a German prosecutor had placed Bernhard Uzun and "S.," one of his presumed accomplices, under surveillance, as they were suspected to have participated in bombing attacks carried out by a terrorist organization. The police had placed a GPS device in S.'s car and monitored Uzun and S.'s whereabouts for three months until their arrest. Uzun was subsequently found guilty of having carried out a bomb attack and, on appeal to the ECHR, argued that using a GPS device as a surveillance tool had been an unjustified breach of his privacy, as protected by article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. But the ECHR held unanimously that there had been no violation, as installing the GPS device had been done in accordance with the law, to pursue the legitimate goal of protecting public safety, and had been a proportionate measure to accomplish this goal. 

    The fact that Uzun involved judicially authorized surveillance is critical. French law explicitly separates administrative police power, which is exercised preventatively to limit crime and maintain public order, from judicial police power, which is exercised to enforce law and investigate crime. The administrative police power is under the control of the administrative/executive authority, while the judicial police power is under the control of the judicial authority. Only the judicial authority is deemed to be the “guardian of individual freedom” by article 66 of the French Constitution.

    So while the ECHR in Uzun had unanimously found no violation of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights protecting privacy, it was considering an exercise of judicial police power under the oversight of a judge in the active investigation of a terrorism suspect. It was not a case about administrative police power.

    The French Conseil Constitutionnel (Constitutional Council), which is in charge of reviewing the constitutionality of laws, had found in 2006 that it is also permissible for administrative police officers to have access to stored electronic communication data without a warrant, but only when acting to prevent acts of terrorism. The LPM, however, contains no such limitation in its text and, once placed in the Homeland Security Code instead of the 2006 terrorism law, lost any limitation that could have been drawn from context.

    The New Process: Collecting Geolocation and Metadata in Real Time Without a Warrant

    So now the LPM authorizes the collection of geolocation and metadata in real time without a judicial warrant and not only for terrorist crimes. This is how it works: under the new article L. 246-3 of the Homeland Security Code, the ministers of homeland security, of defense, of economy, and of budget may ask for authorization to have access in real time to the "information and documents" subject to the LPM (the definition of which now appears in article L. 246-1 of the Code). The authorization is not granted by a judge, but by the Prime Minister (who heads the government under article 21 of the French Constitution). The authorization may be granted initially for a maximum time of thirty days, but can be renewed for the same amount of time.

    The Prime Minister‘s decision is communicated within forty-eight hours to the President of the Commission Nationale de Contrôle des Interceptions de Sécurité (the National Commission to Control Security Interceptions, or "CNCIS"). The CNCIS was created by a July 10, 1991 law, following the European Court of Justice's condemnation of France in 1990 in two cases, Kruslin v. France and Huvig v. France. These cases noted France's lack of a precise communication surveillance law, holding that since "[t]apping and other forms of interception of telephone conversations represent a serious interference with private life and correspondence [they]... must accordingly be based on a 'law‘ that is particularly precise. It is essential to have clear, detailed rules on the subject, especially as the technology available for use is continually becoming more sophisticated" (Kruslin at 33).

    If the President of CNCIS does not believe the legality of the Prime Minister's authorization is "certain," he is to meet with the whole CNCIS, which must make a decision about the legality of such authorization within seven days.

    But even forty-eight hours, and possibly seven days more, is quite a long time for potentially illegal surveillance to take place. Also, the control is only a posteriori and is only made by the CNCIS, which is an independent administrative authority, not a judicial authority. Geolocation and metadata surveillance in real time are thus left entirely in the hands of administrative authorities with no judicial oversight.

    Is it Constitutional?

    This new scheme seems unlikely to fare well with France's Supreme Civil Court, the Cour de Cassation. The day the Senate bill was sent to the Assemblée Nationale, France's lower chamber, the Cour de Cassation ruled in two geolocation cases. The court quoted, in full, article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and concluded that "geolocation technology constitutes an interference with privacy of such gravity that this requires it to be executed under the supervision of a judge."

    Therefore, there is a real chance that the LPM will eventually be declared unconstitutional. In fact, opponents to the LPM tried to have the law found unconstitutional by the Conseil Constitutionnel before its enactment, but could not gather the signatures of sixty Representatives or sixty Senators necessary to petition the Conseil Constitutionnel. The LPM may now only be declared unconstitutional if a party to a lawsuit argues that the LPM infringes on her rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution. If the conditions of admissibility would be met, the Cour de Cassation would refer the question of constitutionality of the LPM to the Conseil Constitutionnel, which could then repeal the law. 


    Even though the LPM had been presented as the law which would put France in compliance with Uzun, Christine Taubira, the Minister of Justice, announced on December 23 that the government had presented another geolocation surveillance law to the Senate intended "to bring French law into conformity with the requirements laid down by the European Court of Human Rights in its Uzun v. Germany judgment ... and the October 22, 2013 decisions of the Court of Cassation."

    The French Senate adopted this bill on January 20, and it will be debated at the lower Assembly next month. It adds a new article to the French criminal procedure code which would authorize the police to put in place geolocation surveillance without requesting a warrant, if investigating a crime punishable by at least five years imprisonment, or at least three years imprisonment for crimes against property.  

    Hopefully, the new bill will give France another chance to publicly debate whether it is advisable for a democracy to authorize real time surveillance without judicial oversight. For now, it is hard to believe that France was the home of Montesquieu, who famously wrote in The Spirit of the Laws about the tripartite separation of powers: legislative, judicial and executive.

    Marie-Andrée Weiss is a solo attorney admitted in New York, and her admission is pending in France. Her practice focuses on intellectual property, privacy, and social media law. She frequently writes on these topics and on European Union law. 

    (Image of Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu on 1989 200-franc note cou

              Poland and Germany will host Euro-2012        

    After UEFA commission’s visit to Ukraine in early February German mass-media started talks about possible transfer of Euro-2012 from Ukraine to Germany.

    As alternative to Ukrainian cities are suggested Berlin and Leipzig located close to Poland - another host-country of Euro-2012.

    German edition of Express cites commercial manager for German-Polish Chamber of Commerce Larse Bosset, who at RBB channel had his say concerning possible change of host-country from Ukraine to Germany for holding Euro-2012 matches. “There’s happening much more than we can even imagine off screen and behind public discussions” - told Mr. Bosset hinting at corridor talks in UEFA.

    German edition supposes UEFA may refuse to Ukraine to be host-country of Euro-2012 as the country faces serious difficulties with stadiums construction.

    In summer, 2008 there was information of Germany to substitute Ukraine and host Euro-2012 Championship together with Poland, though later Germany denied its negotiations with Poland concerning Euro-2012.


    Artist: Thomas Fehlmann

    homas Fehlmann (born in Zürich), who lives in Berlin has been active in electronic music as far back as the 1980s. He is currently active on the Kompakt record label based in Germany. He is an on and off member of The Orb.
    Besides his work with The Orb he produces a weekly radio show (OceanClub with Gudrun Gut) and has been responsible for countless of remixes and productions, including work for Juan Atkins, Sun Electric, Einst, rzende Neubauten, Serge Gainsbourg, Erasure or Klaus Schulze, the list is, literally, endless.

    CD: $9.99

              Mistakes Mistakes, Mistakes Mistakes,        

    Artist: Ola Podrida

    In November of 2001, my band Figurine went on a short tour of Germany with Lali Puna. Our label there, Monika, set us up with a driver to get from show to show. She only brought three or four tapes to listen to on the drives, mostly techno. I'd never paid much attention to dancefloor-oriented electronic music, but listening to the same tapes over and over again (especially Kompakt's pop-leaning Total 3 and some 7's on Parfum) while driving through Germany made a giant impression on me.

    So this record was supposed to be an extra melodic, minimal techno record with some sparse vocals. Instead, my technopop tendencies got the best of called Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake, because thats what I kept chanting to the beat while I worked on the tracks.

    John Tejada (Palette Recordings) assisted me along the way, adding sounds to some of the songs, helping write and arrange a few, and then mixing everything in the end. Sonya Westcott (Arthur and Yu) sang with me on "55566688833,"Morgan Nagler (Whispertown 2000) contributed some lyrics and vocals to "Pretend It's A Race And I'm On Your Side," Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience, Whitest Boy Alive) sang some words written by designer/animator/poet Geoff McFetridge on "All The Way To China," and Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, The Postal Service) sang with me on "You Again."

    I think that's all you need to know before you listen to the record, hope you like it! With Love, James Figurine

    CD: $9.99 | Vinyl: $9.99

              Germany march        
    850 German patriots marched in Berlin today. The march was organised by the Identitarian movement. The banner's main slogan reads "Future for Europe" and underneath it says "Identity. Love of homeland. Patriotism." The march was five times larger than a similar one held last year.

              Peak White Man        
    As published at OpEd News, Unz Review and Intrepid Report, 8/7/17:

    In a few hours, I'll fly to Europe, my favorite continent, and why not? Most of my intellectual and artistic heroes are Europeans, Kakfa, Beckmann, Kippenberger, Siebald, Rabelais, Rimbaud, Celine, Orwell, Kundera, Dostoievsky and Milosz, etc. I've spent significant time in Italy, England and Germany, and have fond memories of a least a dozen other European countries, all very distinctive from each other. Still.

    White culture has dominated much of the world for several centuries, but it is winding down through self hatred. The white left mostly hate whites, while most of the white right are contemptuous of everybody else. Half of whites, then, hate the other half, and contemporary white culture is a degraded mess. Think Katy Perry being breaded, kneaded, garnished then cooked. Free of war and colonialism, whites are doing a fine job of destroying themselves.

    Many are cheering. It's about time! Susan Sontag in 1967, "The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone—its ideologies and inventions—which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself."

    After white hegemony comes Chinese leadership, many whites themselves are hoping. When I was in Leipzig in 2015, a German friend insisted that the Chinese were lifting up the Third World. It was a constructive partnership, he said, unlike murderously exploitative white colonialism. Often citing Andre Vltchek, this man believed that a resurgent Communism would be led by Russia and China. He didn't care for my observation that the Russians and Chinese had regained their footing, confidence and compass thanks to nationalism. Nationalism is reactionary, he believed. He himself didn't feel German and could care less for the concept. Most tellingly, this man had never been outside Germany. He didn't know how grounded to Germany he was.

    No population anywhere needs a global ideology. Not only is global solidarity unachievable, but undesirable.

    Bereft of a homeland, many Jews dreamt of a international brotherhood, thus the nightmarish chimera of Communism, which is defended to this day by the most emotionally arrested, historically amnesiac or simply hypocritical. Many who extol the virtues of international Communism will also rabidly defend the ultra nationalist and racist state of Israel.

    In the popular mind, the evilness of white culture is epitomized by Nazi Germany, with Germans forever stigmatized as the worst of whites. Contemporary Germany, however, is one that supposedly allowed 500+ German women to be sexually assaulted by Muslims in Cologne during New Year's Eve of 2016. Germany is really that neutered, goes the narrative.

    Perhaps emboldened by such, Vietnam recently kidnapped a Vietnamese asylum seeker from the Tiergarten, right in the heart of Berlin, then smuggled him back to Hanoi to stand trial. A former head of the state-owned oil company, Trinh Xuan Thanh is accused of pinching $150 million. Maybe Turkey will follow suit and snatch a few of Edorgan's enemies?

    I'll be in Barcelona by morning. Emerging from the train onto the Placa de Catalunya in 2003, I encountered so many Africans and Chinese peddling goods, I thought I was in, well, Naples or Belleville in Paris. My mind has been in Spain for weeks. Reading Spanish newspapers, I learnt that a Senegalese had been beaten to death by four other Africans in Salou, just a 15 minute drive from Taragona, where I'll be staying with Jonathan Revusky.

    In Salou in 2015, a Senegalese peddler of pirated DVDs, counterfeit sunglasses and fake handbags jumped to his death from a third floor balcony as police raided his apartment. This led to two days of clashes between 100+ Senegalese and police.

    In Florence more than a decade ago, I often ran into Africans selling bogus goods made by Chinese, often in nearby Prato. With a population of 191,104, it has 45,000 Chinese.

    Taragona and Bacerlona Provinces are 10% Muslims, the highest in Spain. In Reus, a law was passed in 2014 banning burquas. When it was struck down by the Spanish Supreme Court, this code was revised to ban all full-face coverings, so you best not loiter in the Reus McDonald's while wearing a motorcycle helmet, baclava or facekini.

    I read that in Pizarra, population 8,990, a three-year-old girl was hit by a train. What's most remarkable is that as news of her disappearance spread around midnight, 300 locals immediately volunteered to search for her. That's the kind of small town Europe I remember, having spent two years in Certaldo, Italy, population 16,000.

    You see, where every stone tells a story, people are ardently loyal to their home turf. Shared history matters. Strip malls don't. Europe will only be saved if the American empire, with its corrosive ideologies and madnesses, collapses, and this will happen soon enough. There is hope.

              Google Chrome’s Automatic Translation        
    Living in Germany is made a lot easier by some of the tools Google has produced, like the Google Translate app, which uses your cell phone’s camera to do on-the-fly OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to read things like foreign language signs, labels, and any other text, then translate that text to English (or one of […]
              Random Observations About Deutschland (R.O.A.D)        
    New category alert… Ever since we moved to Germany (yeah, I know I haven’t posted about that, yet. I have a post or three pending about how that came about, but if I waited until that was done, I’d never get to the fun stuff!) there have been a number of things I’ve noticed that make […]
              FIFA World Cup Final        
    Fueled by the Shakira's performance the crowd was so pumped that reminded astronauts for FIFA World Cup final.
    "Aaaaand its a goal", its what the either team's fans were dying to listen in the  final . But at the end, i guess God was rooting for Germany. A sublime goal from Mario Gotze and Germany became the football champion. While the Argentina was trying to look normal from the defeat the germans were going insane as they earned that win.

    It was hell of a final. The win tip-toed around both the team's basket as neither of them scored till the 115' of the game. But the germans flipped the Argentinians world upside down in the 117th minute of the game by the Gotze's goal which was totally worthy of the win. Both team played well, but like every game only one side comes out to be a winner.

    Germany was full of totally awesome players. Those players who made Brazilian players look like they just came to play in the recess time of their high school. Muller, KloseSchürrle, Lahm and others who dusted the Argentina's dream to get a third star for their jersey. Its not like they were totally outplayed by the Germans. There were many chances in both the half of the game Argentina couldn't exploit which cost them the match. There were many hopes from the "so-called" next Maradonna Lionel Messi, but he couldn't deliver when it mattered. Though he scored 4 goals in the tournament but ironically he didn't score any of those in the knock-out stage. Clearly I'm not the only one to notice that as fans were going crazy over him. 

    But of all, it was a match worthy of a final. Both the teams totally showed that they didn't earned this in a single day. They earned this after a hell of a lot practice sessions and hard work they and after losing the match its not bad to pour some tears. After all, everyone works hard to even dream that moment. The next epic battle will be in Russia in 2018, i know its a lot of time but this battle is definitely worth the wait.
    Watch the epic goal from Mario Gotze -