“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Banksy

Hell, NO! We are Germans.

Art, books and Germans. Always a fickle relationship. What happened in ze land of ze Krauts?

All the Red Lines Have Been Crossed’: Just Days After Opening, Documenta Conceals an Artwork Depicting Antisemitic Stereotypes

Organizers of Documenta 15 have decided to drape a large curtain over the artwork by Indonesian collective Taring Padi.

Detail of the mural People’s Justice by the Indonesian artist group Taring Padi. In the center of the artwork, one can see a figure that appears to be an Orthodox Jew with an “SS” on his hat, as well as a pig wearing a helmet with “Mossad” written on it. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

“Artistic freedom ends where xenophobia begins.”

Ah, ze Germans

Putin’s speech at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum June 2022

Official transcript is here. Here is Gilbert Doctorow‘s post on the speech and there are two paragraphs on the blockade of Kaliningrad by the EU.

However, on Friday evening Lithuania announced a partial blockade on rail traffic to Kaliningrad. Specifically, all goods subject to EU sanctions would no longer be allowed to transit their country. This would amount to about half of all railway freight, and would present Kaliningrad with a host of problems to resolve if alternate, sea transportation has to be put in place.

By Saturday morning, Russian news channels were discussing the counter-leverage Russia may exert in response to the Lithuanian move. They claim that the free transit of goods between the Russian Federation and its outpost, Kaliningrad, was a precondition agreed by all parties at the start of the 1990s when Russia accepted the line of its international border with Lithuania. If free transit was now being withheld, Russia might cancel its acceptance of the borders. As regards leverage of a non-legal variety, threats were being made to cut the supply of Russian electricity to Lithuania, which is a major element in the country’s energy balance.

One thing is certain, Europe is the absolute loser in this whole episode.

“Slavery requires a society complex enough to have a formal justice system …”

The story of “Slavery gets shit done” t-shirts sold on Amazon resonated with a lot of people, and quickly resulted in Amazon pulling them off its site. That was four years ago. This was short-sighted and lacked historical understanding, because “you have to consider the alternatives”. That is exactly what Eric Falkenstein suggests in his post “Why Slavery in the Bible is Justified“. Following some excerpts.

“Slavery requires a society complex enough to have a formal justice system that enforces property rights, as highlighted by the many references to slavery in our oldest texts (Code of Hammurabi), law codes from 1700 to 2300 BC. It is an institution enforced not merely by the owner but by a community, as otherwise, enslaved people would run off at the first opportunity for a better life. Conquering tribes did not take the defeated men home and have them work as a group, they sold them off to individuals, diluting them sufficiently so that a slave uprising would be an impossible coordination task. Most people would prefer slavery to execution, however, making this a moral advance.”

Consider one alternative, prisons.

“Prison is an invention of the early 1800s as an alternative to corporal punishment. Before that, jails existed merely to hold people until their trial, as no society could afford to house prisoners for a long time, which is why the death penalty was so prominent. As late as the 1700s, 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including theft, cutting down a tree, and counterfeiting tax stamps.”

And trumpeting from a high moral pedestal one should be aware that

“It is even more ludicrous to assert that because today’s humanist intellectuals have never tolerated slavery, their worldview is morally superior to one based on a text written thousands of years ago that did. A mere century ago, humanist progressives were promoting colonialism, scientific racism, communist tyrannies, and fascism.”

Full post here.

Germany’s Happy Month €9 ticket

Germany has introduced the €9 ticket “to cushion rising fuel and living costs“. A further purpose is to wean people off from using the car. It is valid for a whole month and will run for three months and is good for travel on regional trains (not the fast ICE and the IC trains), subways and S-Bahn. Will/can that work?

When something is deeply discounted people will go for it. In particular, when they know it is temporary. Will it convince people to switch from their car to PT to get to work? That is highly questionable. If they have not already done so, they have their reasons. There is a chance they say, hey, €9 is dirt cheap, I make the switch for those three months and then I go back to my car. Some money saved.

Here is a paper about the drinks Happy Hour which gives a hint how Germany’s project might/will play out.

Experimental analysis of the ‘happy hour”: effects of purchase price on alcohol consumption

Abstract

An experimental analogue of a discount drink policy known as the “happy hour” was used to study the effects of purchase price on drinking behavior. Male volunteers with a prior history of either casual (N=20) or heavy (N=14) drinking were given free access to beverage alcohol during a 20-day period. Approximately half the subjects could purchase alcohol under a single-price condition (50 cents/drink), while a matched group was given a price reduction daily (25 cents/drink) during a three-hour period in the afternoon. The results demonstrated that the afternoon price reduction significantly increased alcohol consumption in both casual and heavy drinkers. Reinstatement of the standard purchase price effectively suppressed drinking in both groups. The findings are discussed in terms of the theoretical and research implications of environmental influences on drinking.

THE US WAR IN EUROPE ISN’T HOT ENOUGH – DROPPING THE CLIMATE BOMB ON RUSSIA

John Helmer, Moscow starts off by suggesting “There ought to be a law, or at least a sanction –  tenure cancelled, travel visa blocked – for American experts on Russia who claim to know from their reading of other American experts on Russia why Russia does things, and what will happen next.” Good idea because what the MSM with its presstitutes is dishing up about Russia is mind boggling. Just today one could read that the Russian army has a death toll 10 times higher than the Ukraine army. Here is John Helmer with an excerpt:

Thane Gustafson, a Georgetown University professor publishing at the Harvard University Press, claimed very recently “it’s not too hard to reconstruct at this point what was likely going through Putin’s mind as he gave the order to attack…Putin was not nuts, not deranged, not isolated, etcetera. It was all a reasonable bet—by his strange lights—except that every one of the premises turned out to be wrong.”  Gustafson is certain he knows this; how he doesn’t say.  

But then Gustafson concedes: “All the cards are up in the air, and who knows how they will come down…I don’t know how this ends.”

There’s modest uncertainty for you — except that Gustafson is kidding. He wants you to know, he also says, that Russia is now a fascist state, and there’s really only one thing left he doesn’t know: because it’s such an effective fascist state, “the fact is that because of the regime’s control of information, we have very little idea of how Russians actually feel about the war, and how they will react to Putin’s apparent defeat.”

Gustafson didn’t notice he was squatting on the horns of a dilemma. If Russian regime control of information is so total(itarian), Gustafson’s information must come from the other side – American, Canadian, British, NATO headquarters in Brussels. The technical terms which professors usually apply to information emanating from one side of a two-sided war are misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, active measures, fake news, lies.  Between these things and the information Gustafson says he’s sure of, he has trolled himself.

So, to repeat the question, what if Russians actually support the war and blame the US for starting it?  What if they are as certain of this as Gustafson is certain Putin started it?

And what if the war ends in the US and NATO alliance retreat to Lvov; after which the Polish government will notify NATO HQ it is reviving its treaty claim to the Galician territory of the Ukraine; the chancellery in Berlin will then inform Brussels it requires the return of the ancient Danzig Corridor and Breslau, Polish territories  currently called Gdansk, Wroclaw,  and the  Ziemie Odzyskane;  and the Hungarian government will follow suit with the announcement of the recovery of historical Kárpátalja (Transcarpathia), the Zarkarpatska oblast of the Ukraine?

These were the spoils of the World War II settlement between the US and the Soviet Union in 1945-46. The territorial reversion claims aren’t new. What is new is that the US and the NATO alliance, plus the Galician regime still ruling between Kiev and Lvov, also in Ottawa, have aimed to change the terms of the post-war settlement by continuing the war eastward on to the territory of Russia itself, all the way to regime change in Moscow.

That is what Russia says it is fighting now to defend itself against. As Russian officials have been hinting in recent days, the foreign and defence ministries and the intelligence services are currently discussing in the Kremlin Security Council whether Russia’s long-term security on its western front may be best served by terms of a Ukrainian settlement in which the German, Polish, and Hungarian territorial claims are recognised.   

Read his full post here.