Monday, 18 December 2017

Boycott Austria?

Austria’s new extremist right-wing government is sadly no surprise. We are, after all, surrounded by the USA, Poland, Hungary, Israel and the unmissable gnarls in the UK, France and Germany, to name but a few.

The Austrians have already announced that they will be cutting the monthly payments to refugees. 

Has the time come to boycott Austria back to its senses? How about skiing in France or in Italy instead?  How about giving the Salzburg Festival a miss this year? If it makes it any easier, Munich’s opera is better anyway.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Getting Older

The New York Times ran an article, a few days ago,  suggesting that people my age, spend more time:
1.   Playing golf
2.   Playing cards
3.   Playing with their grandchildren
4.   Playing with the remote control

So: I have never played golf, nor have I played any game of cards, since I was a child. I do not plan to start either. I do not have grandchildren to play with, nor do I own a TV.

Therefore, dear New York Times, I am unable (and unwilling) to follow your advice.

Happy new Year.

McCarthy - No Dream

Nazi Germany introduced laws faster, but they had the advantage of full control. Trump still, occasionally, has problems with Congress. Where we would be without the hardly checking and definitely not balancing is demonstrated by the latest report on banned words, allegedly issued by the US Government’s Center for Disease Control.

Staff at this federal agency were given a list of words or phrases, which should not be used in any official documents prepared for next year’s budget. The list includes: fetus, transgender, vulnerable, diversity, entitlement, evidence-based and science-based.  The new speak, approved by the Trump  Politruks,** is  “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

Next step will be the punishment of those still caught using decadent language.

**  In the Soviet system, the Politruk, the political commissar, was the supervisory political officer responsible for the political education and organization, and committed to the civilian control of the military.

Monday, 4 December 2017

America - No Hope

Americans are not a race and forming an opinion about “the Americans” would therefore not count as racism. It would undeniably be a generalisation. Yet what is one to think, when one learns that a year into the election of this despicable man, his approval rating has hardly dipped amongst Republicans in the United States.

After a year of Trumpism, four out of five Republicans, still support this vile man. He represents their values, views and wishes. They trust him to navigate their country best and feel comfortable in being represented by him.

An approval rating that has not gone lower than 79% and according to the latest Gallop poll, a few days ago, stood at 81% is sick and is worrying. Not only is there no hope of impeachment (Republican politicians who criticise Trump, get punished by voters!), but with such ratings, there is no hope for America.

At a party in Los Angeles, last May, friends of friends said to me “do not think badly of us, here we did not vote for him.” This is difficult. It is difficult not to think badly of a society that allows such deterioration.

 “God Bless America”, like so many slogans, is also empty and meaningless.