Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

Sunday, June 08, 2014

More evidence that Edward Snowden is not the selfless patriot that many want him to be.

Courtesy of Forward Progressives:  

For the sake of argument let’s say that everything Snowden stole pertaining to possible illegal activity by the NSA is 100% legit and every last bit of it is proven to be unconstitutional. Then yes, I would agree that he’s a patriot and a hero for risking everything to take that stand. 

Except that’s not all he stole, nor is it all that he’s leaked. 

Telling a newspaper in China that the United States government spied on Chinese computers isn’t “revealing unconstitutional surveillance of Americans” and leaking that classified information is illegal. 

Writing an “open letter” trying to get Brazil to grant him political asylum by offering to help Brazil investigate United States surveillance, because Snowden leaked information about the U.S. spying on the Brazilian government, isn’t “standing up for the Constitutional rights of Americans.” 

Saying that the NSA is “in bed” with Germany and other governments, working together on elaborate surveillance programs, isn’t “protecting the freedom of American citizens.” 

Leaking documents showing that Sweden has helped the United States spy on Russia isn’t “being a patriot.” 

Producing documents that reveal details on how the NSA gets some of its intelligence on the location of dangerous terrorists isn’t “being a passionate supporter of our Bill of Rights.” 

Revealing that the United States uses cyber-attacks as an “intelligence weapon” for overseas targets has nothing to do with our Constitution. 

Neither did producing documents that showed the British government set up surveillance of G20 delegates and phones during the G20 summit in 2009. 

Last I checked, countries in Latin America weren’t protected by our Constitution either – yet Snowden still leaked information about how the NSA listens in on phone calls in many of those nations.

There is actually quite a bit more over at Forward Progressives, but I think you get the drift.

IF Snowden had simply revealed the domestic spying that was going on in this country, then the argument concerning his patriotism, even if he fled the country, might seem valid.

But as the above post lays out Snowden reveaed information that undercuts our ability to protect ourselves from cyber attacks, our ability to gather intelligence, and our reputation with our allies.   

Now recent information suggests that Snowden may have come to the attention of Moscow six years ago.

I know there are still some arguing that he is a misunderstood whistle blower who is being smeared by the United States, but most of the evidence I have seen suggests otherwise.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

This constantly burns my ass.

In fact both men used the church to gain power, and Stalin even studied for the priesthood.

They used religion to gain power, and once they had that power they stripped the church of influence, in order to protect that power.

Neither were driven by Atheism, they were driven by megalomania.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Controversial new book claims that smoking and drinking by a pregnant woman increases the chance her child will be gay. I imagine this is from the well known study entitled "Look What I Pulled Out of My Ass."

Courtesy of the Daily Mail:  

Women who suffer stress during pregnancy increase the chance of their child being gay, according to a controversial new book. 

The lifestyle of pregnant mothers affects the sexuality of their unborn child, altering their hormones and the formation of their brains, it claims. 

Smoking or taking drugs can also result in a child who grows up to be gay, according to the book by Dutch neuroscientist Dick Swaab, which is yet another chapter in the debate about the origins and causes of homosexuality. 

Professor Swaab believes that a child’s sexuality is determined in the womb and cannot be altered, while others argue that it is affected by upbringing or ‘selected’ as a lifestyle choice. 

In his book, We Are Our Brains, he writes: ‘Although it’s frequently assumed that development after birth also importantly affects our sexual orientation, there’s no proof of this whatsoever. 

‘Children brought up by lesbians aren’t more likely to be homosexual. Nor is there any evidence at all for the misconception that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice”.’ 

Professor Swaab says that the development of the brain during pregnancy is altered by the tiniest of chemical changes. 

As an example, he claims that a drug prescribed to two million mothers to combat miscarriages during the 1940s and 1950s increased the likelihood of bisexuality and homosexuality in their unborn children. 

‘Pre-birth exposure to nicotine or amphetamines also increases the likelihood of lesbian daughters,’ he writes in the book. 

‘Pregnant woman suffering from stress are also more likely to give birth to homosexual children, because their raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol affect the production of fetal sex hormones.’ 

Professor Swaab also claims that a boy with a number of older brothers is more inclined to be gay, and that nature made teenagers annoying to curb incest, and that difficult births produce children with schizophrenia, autism, and anorexia.

You know, because all of that makes so much sense.

Perhaps somebody should point out to the professor that homosexuality has been a component of human sexuality since the beginning of time, and well before the discovery of tobacco and even alcoholic beverages.

Not only that but homosexuality is wide spread among mammals, birds, and fish. When was the last time you saw a pregnant dolphin getting hammered during happy hour?

Look while I applaud any effort to keep pregnant women from smoking and drinking, because it really IS bad for their babies, this is simply ridiculous and should not be used to frighten expectant mothers into thinking they are responsible for the sexuality of their fetus, simply becasue they had a glass of wine before they decided to pee on stick.

And by the way, for the record, my ex-wife did not drink nor smoke, and had the most carefree pregnancy imaginable. So I feel pretty comfortable calling bullshit on this book. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Revelations about internet spying has just put the chill on President Obama's upcoming visit to Germany.

"You got some splainin to do buddy!"
Courtesy of Reuters:  

German outrage over a U.S. Internet spying program has broken out ahead of a visit by Barack Obama, with ministers demanding the president provide a full explanation when he lands in Berlin next week and one official likening the tactics to those of the East German Stasi. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman has said she will raise the issue with Obama in talks next Wednesday, potentially casting a cloud over a visit that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. 

Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens. 

In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were "deeply disconcerting" and potentially dangerous. 

"The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is," she said.

 Remember even if WE are cool with being spied on by our government, we do not exist in a vacuum and there are others who have seen how badly this can go once the government stops respecting the rights of its citizens.

Gee the next thing you know Germany will put the wall back up, this time in cyberspace and not to keep the Communists at bay but instead the Americans.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Forbes Magazine lists the 100 most powerful women. No quitters allowed.

Courtesy of Forbes: 

Our annual snapshot of the 100 women with the most impact are top politicians and CEOs, activist billionaires and celebrities who matter. In roughly equal measure you’ll find next gen entrepreneurs and media mavens, technologists and leaders in philanthropy — all ranked by dollars, media momentum and impact. 

We’ve selected women that go beyond the traditional taxonomy of the power elite (political and economic might). These change-agents are actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority and, in the process, transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways.

On this list are politicians, entrepreneurs, business women, entertainers, and activists. Easily a list of the most impressive women on the planet.

Here are the first five:

  German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Melinda Gates,  Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Michelle Obama, well she needs no introduction.

Hillary Clinton, and neither does she.

The entire list can be found here.

Many prominent Democrats and Obama administration members are on this list such as Janet Napolitano, Nancy Pelosi, and Kathleen Sebelius, While the number of prominent conservatives is not so well represented. (Though Greta Van Sustern DOES show up as number 97.)

And as you may have gleaned from my title there is NO mention of a certain disgraced former politician and Fox News contributor, even though she once held a fairly prominent spot on that very same list.

Nice to see that the most powerful and influential women on this planet are far more visionary, and progressive than some of those listed in times past.

Is is also nice to see that Hillary and Michelle are listed in the top five, since I think that indicates good things for America moving forward.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

So this happened in Germany the other day.

Courtesy of Newsmax: 

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted he "liked" the topless protesters he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel encountered while touring an industrial fair in Hanover Monday. 

The women, who appeared to be representing the feminist Ukrainian group Femen, were stripped to the waist and painted with the slogan "f*** dictator." 

"As for the protest, I liked it," Putin said at a press conference after the fair. The event's organizers should "say thank you to the Ukrainian girls, they helped you promote the trade fair," he said. 

On its Facebook page, Femen said the protest was an "anti-dictatorial attack on Putin." The group criticized the Kremlin, Russia's Federal Security Service, and the Russian Orthodox Church, saying that Femen was against "dictatorship, homophobia, and theocracy." 

So I guess evil dictators don't mind being protested against just so long as you are topless.

By the way the woman were incredibly aggressive and essentially launched themselves in Putin's direction resulting in some not very delicate handling by his security staff.

As you can see for yourself in this video of the interaction.

(I kind of feel badly for Merkel here as she looks completely freaked out by the painted breasts being thrust in her direction.)

Somehow considering just how Putin deals with his detractors ("What another political enemy died in his sleep? What a bizarre coincidence!"), I guess acting like a misogynist pig is probably hardly worth a mention.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Fox News attempts to explain the gap between Germany's highly successful solar energy industry, as opposed to America's lackluster one, on the fact that Germany is sunnier than the US. I kid you not.

Courtesy of Slate:

Thanks to Fox News and its expert commentators, millions of Americans now understand the real, hidden reason why Germany's solar-energy industry is so much further along than ours. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that Germany's government has long supported the industry far more generously, with policies like feed-in tariffs that stimulate investment in green technologies. No, the real reason is much simpler, explained a trio of journalists on Fox & Friends: It's always sunny in Germany! 

"The industry's future looks dim," intoned host Gretchen Carlson at the beginning of the segment, which was preserved for posterity by the liberal blog Media Matters for America. She and her co-host went on to ridicule Obama's "failed" solar subsidies, adding, "The United States simply hasn't figured out how to do solar cheaply and effectively. You look at the country of Germany, it's working out great for them." Near the end of the segment, it occurred to Carlson to ask her expert guest, Fox Business reporter Shibani Joshi, why it might be that Germany's solar-power sector is doing so much better. "What was Germany doing correct? Are they just a smaller country, and that made it more feasible?" Carlson asked. 

Joshi's jaw-dropping response: "They're a smaller country, and they've got lots of sun. Right? They've got a lot more sun than we do." In case that wasn't clear enough for some viewers, Joshi went on: "The problem is it's a cloudy day and it's raining, you're not gonna have it." Sure, California might get sun now and then, Joshi conceded, "but here on the East Coast, it's just not going to work." 

Wouldn't you think that some scientist, somewhere, would have noticed that the East Coast is far less sunny than Central Europe and therefore incapable of producing solar power on the same scale? 

You would—if it were true. As Media Matters' Max Greenberg notes, it isn't. Not even remotely. According to maps put out by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, virtually the entirety of the continental United States gets more sun than even the sunniest part of Germany. In fact, NREL senior scientist Sarah Kurtz said via email, "Germany's solar resource is akin to Alaska's," the U.S. state with by far the lowest annual average of direct solar energy.

As we have reported earlier this week, there are fewer and fewer people who trust Fox News these days, but that is not the only place that puts out this kind of anti-green energy propaganda.

There are also many Republican members of Congress and the Senate whose campaigns were largely funded by energy companies, and their supporters, for the sole purpose of fighting the inevitable move toward solar energy and renewable energy sources which is really what's at the heart of our sluggishness in moving that direction.

Of course the energy companies have far more insidious methods for fighting the move away from fossil fuels as well.

If you happened to watch the documentary Jesus Camp you probably saw this scene where the mom was homeschooling her son and teaching him that global warming was a fraud and only used as a political tactic. You KNOW that is something that the oil companies paid to have put in those books in order to indoctrinate children into believing that green energy is an unnecessary waste of money, just like those folks in the Fox and Friends clip above would also have you believe.

By the way. my daughter is a HUGE proponent of green energy, and would like all of you to know that many people in Alaska DO have solar panels in their homes that work quite well.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Germany guides the way in the field of renewable energy.

Courtesy of the Guardian:  

Germany has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions significantly in recent years as it has pushed forward a renewable agenda leading Europe into an age of wind and solar power. 

In the past year, the country's CO2 emissions fell by 2.4% compared with 2010, according to figures released by Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The decrease, say experts, has largely come through a push towards renewable energy that has accelerated since the country began its move away from nuclear power. 

In the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewable energy rose from 20% to 25%, bringing the country closer to its targets of 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. 

"We are on a good track in regard to the increase in the share of renewables," said Brigitte Knopf, deputy head of research at the sustainable solutions project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Pik). "This is a story of success, though some challenges are still ahead."

Obviously if Germany is capable of such a significant move away from fossil fuels and nuclear energies so is America. But then why are we so far behind?


Well I think since we know that many of our politicians are addicted to oil money, that answer is probably obvious.

However it is worth noting that the presidential candidate most favored by big oil was Mitt Romney, and he lost. So perhaps we are at the precipice of a major change in our country's energy philosophy.

Let's hope so.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

German investigative reporter infiltrates fundamentalist Christian college by posing as prospective student. What she learned is quite troubling.

The woman pictured above is Amrai Coen who attempted at first to work with the administration at Patrick Henry College but was rejected due to “bad experiences with foreign journalists.” So undaunted she instead showed up on "Visitor's Day" in which prospective students visit and are invited to hang out with the current students who show them around the campus and essentially provide the school's sales pitch.

You can find Ms. Coen's entire article here at Die Zeit. It is translated by the website and the translation certainly leaves room for improvement, however here are a couple of excerpts just to give you an idea of what this young reporter encountered:

All students and professors, Patrick Henry College sign a "confession." It says that the Bible is infallible, that Satan and hell are real. And that "all those who die without Christ, forever shackled and tortured while fully conscious." In biology class, students learn that God created the earth in six 24-hour days and that the world is about 6,000 years old. 

Well so much for encouraging critical thinking. And don't forget THIS is an institution of higher learning. However the focus of this college is not simply to indoctrinate young adults, it is also to use them as a type of missionary and advocate for the fundamentalist Christian mindset while embedding them in various government agencies:  

"Everywhere we go we are loved as interns," says one who has studied Strategic Intelligence (SI). The Patrick Henry students accept internships with the FBI, the CIA, and with Republican members. When George W. Bush was President of the United States the Patrick Henry College had the most interns in the White House, as measured by the number of students. At Christmas, the university still receives autographed cards from the Bush family. 

The SI student explains why Patrick Henry interns are so popular: "The FBI has no internal newspaper? We make a free one and offer it to them. The border police have no place where all their data is bundled? We take care of that and prepare the figures, offering them virtually a free news service." They help large companies gain a higher Google ranking and land in the first place. They fill the niche in the system and fill it with their own values. They infiltrate American society, and they do it discreetly.

Okay so let that sink in a little. These young people are provided seemingly unrestricted access to some government agencies, and large businesses, where they are free to proselytize and even provide important services, ALL with a very aggressive agenda.

But wait there's more:

When you speak with students and graduates, you come to understand a fear that they seem to all share: the fear of being meaningless. It is like a poison that is administered to them at that college, a poison that makes them hungry for power. Graduates make plans, in which they desire to serve ten years in the Senate.  

Teresa Scanlan (Student and former Miss America) wants to have as many children as God give will her, she says. "And adopt at least ten." Children should be taught at home. By whom? "Of course I, their mother," says Scanlan. How does she intend to combine this with her career? To that she has no answer. "But God will have a plan for me," When asked about her role models, she says. "Mother Teresa and Sarah Palin," Mother Teresa, because it is the proof that a single person can move society.. Sarah Palin because she is a woman who combines politics and faith.

Mother Teresa and Sarah Palin, THAT is who this poor delusional young woman cites as role models.  I think that pretty clearly sums up the intellectual acuity present at this college. And yet apparently THEY are like a virus infecting government at every level.

And you KNOW they are not alone, there are other schools that have been actively working with the same agenda. Such as the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, which essentially overran the Bush administration with interns and staff members, and pat Robertson's Regent University, whose alum Monica Goodling played a particularity nefarious role within the Bush administration.

I know that I sometimes receive blowback from my readers for constantly pointing out the negative impact that certain fundamentalists Christians are having on our country, but essentially THIS is what I am referring to when I say that we are in a war for the very soul of this country.

If these people get their way this country will look very much like the theocracy from which our Puritan founders fled in the first place. We visualize a country of freedoms and equal rights for all, THEY visualize one with strict moral laws, and a unified Christian mindset, with little room for dissension or critical thinking.

And as the nation, and its young people, move further and further beyond their reach, they will only become MORE aggressive, and MORE subversive in their attempts to wrestle back what they believe to be THEIR country.

In short we are at war, and it may very well be that we are ill equipped for the battle ahead.

(P.S. If you choose to read the original article you may see that I corrected some of the translations to make them easier to read. I did not change the content in any way, but the original translations made it hard to read through without finding yourself mentally correcting the grammar in your head, which in my opinion interfered with the ability to simply absorb the information. If you prefer you can simply skip my interpretations and read it for yourself at the link provided at the beginning of this post.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

For those who believe the "Occupy" movement has died, here is a picture of German police removing their helmets and escorting a march of 20,000 for an Occupy Frankfurt protest.

This from the article:

German police officers escort an anti-capitalism protest march with some 20,000 people in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Protesters peacefully filled the city center of continental Europe's biggest financial hub in their protest against the dominance of banks and what they perceive to be untamed capitalism, Frankfurt police spokesman Ruediger Regis said. The protest group calling itself Blockupy has called for blocking the access to the European Central Bank, which is located in Frankfurt's business district.

It looks like the Occupy movement is not only a live and well, it seems to be gaining support from some rather surprising places.

P.S. For those of you who are wondering how the protest is doing these days you can check here at Occupy Wall Street for updates. Though we hear little about it these days it appears to be going strong.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What a difference six years can make.

In 2006 this was how German Chancellor Merkel responded to our President.
Today she goes all mushy in the presence of our current President.
I don't think I can stress enough how great it is to have a Commander in Chief that we don't have to apologize to the rest of the world for electing.

Let's face it, the man does a GREAT job of representing us.

And guess what? The rest of the world actually KNOWS he was born in America.