#131: Please Stop this Fascination with some End-Times Rhetoric

The end of days is not coming, no matter what we hear. Covid is not going to last forever. The more people get VACCINATED, the more we will be able to get back to normality. (vaccination: also decreases transmission a bit, but mainly decreases risk of severe illness, which means, keeps hospitals free to their… Continue reading #131: Please Stop this Fascination with some End-Times Rhetoric

#130: German Hypocrisy: How to Claim to be a Moral Leader While Acting like an International Free-Loader. A Polemic

Living in the United States, it amuses and befuddles me how much Germany seems as a shining beacon in the world to many Americans. Now, while I do have affection for my home country, and take my civic duties seriously, a more realistic and necessarily critical attitude would be helpful. So here goes. You may… Continue reading #130: German Hypocrisy: How to Claim to be a Moral Leader While Acting like an International Free-Loader. A Polemic

#129: Pets Teach Empathy and How to Live

Most people who live with pets are able to somehow communicate with them. It’s not difficult. They teach you: all you need to do is to recognize that there is a little person in your animal just as much as there is in you. That little person speaks a different language than you, but you… Continue reading #129: Pets Teach Empathy and How to Live

#128: Russia is Part of the West

Recently, I conducted a little teaching experiment in several of my classes. I simply pulled up a map of the world and asked my students which countries were part of the West. In almost all cases, we found out that many more countries are actually culturally “Western” – whatever that means – than typically thought.… Continue reading #128: Russia is Part of the West

#127: We Cannot Overcome Racism If We Talk About “Race” all the Time

The category of race as we know it today, especially in the American context, was established historically in order to denigrate other groups of people based on otherwise meaningless criteria for the purpose of domination and colonialism. As an ideology, it emerged as a reaction to Columbus’ arrival in America. It served the effective othering… Continue reading #127: We Cannot Overcome Racism If We Talk About “Race” all the Time

#126: NATO Is Not Threatening Russia, and Putin Knows It. Some Thoughts on Solutions.

We are hearing all kinds of complaints by the Russian leadership in recent weeks, accompanied by a troop buildup near Ukraine. Allegedly, NATO has been threatening Russia, and that somehow justifies whatever Putin may deem justified. Let’s clarify some points, and hint at solutions. NATO is not threatening Russia. It is a defense organization. Even… Continue reading #126: NATO Is Not Threatening Russia, and Putin Knows It. Some Thoughts on Solutions.

#125: Eliminating the Filibuster is Political Stupidity

The American system of government has worked for more than 240 years. It survived a Civil War, Segregation, Fascism, Communism, two World Wars, the Cold War, 9/11, and many other challenges that would have destroyed any other system. There is no other single country on the planet of comparable size and complexity that has lasted… Continue reading #125: Eliminating the Filibuster is Political Stupidity

#124: Happy New Year 2022!

For the first time in my life, wishing others a “Happy New Year” feels weird. Maybe never before has it seemed so inappropriate, so hollow, so somehow sarcastic to make such a pronouncement. Or maybe not. I have hesitated each single time. Last year, we thought the pandemic would be over with vaccines available. Well,… Continue reading #124: Happy New Year 2022!

#123: Poem: Pretend We

PRETEND WE Corvallis, December 8th-30th, 2021 – P#769 pretend wethere could be normalitythere could be a way to beas we were before pretend weall we wish will come to passall we wish will make us wholeand fill empty souls pretend wetime could easily turn backpast mistakes won't haunt us sowe can have it all pretend… Continue reading #123: Poem: Pretend We

#122: Only a Zero Covid Strategy Will Bring Success

Frequently, we hear the line “we have to learn to live with Covid.” It sounds nice. It sounds like there is a way of coexisting with the spikey bugger. But it is not realistic. We have seen now that countries that used to be able to open up (Denmark, the UK, Sweden, even to some… Continue reading #122: Only a Zero Covid Strategy Will Bring Success