Monthly Archive for June, 2008

Spain – “Campeones con Mayúscula”

Spain, the perennial underachievers, have won the Eurocup 2008. Who would have thought the Ramblas would be so full of Spanish flags?

60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift

1949 British propaganda film about the Berlin Airlift

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Berlin Airlift. In June 1948 the Soviet regime blockaded the three western sectors of West Berlin, cutting off all food and logistical supplies. It was an overt effort to push the Allied powers out of Berlin, which lay in the heart of the DDR, communist East Germany.

On June 28, 1948, the British and the Americans began airlifting food and supplies to 2 million West Berliners. Originally decried as a “futile attempt to save face” by the Soviets, and a “lost cause” by the French, the airlift soon became a resounding success. Thousands of tons of supplies were flown in on planes which landed and took off every few minutes. After a year the Soviet regime backed down, and re-opened supply routes to West Berlin.

Nice having you around, George

In memory of the most Schopenhaurian of all comedians, George Carlin. He proved you can be lucid about the darkside of human nature, and still be hilarious.

The End of History … for Bush

Bush in berlin

Bush, on his last official trip to Berlin

Bush just popped in to Berlin to say tchüss to the Germans. Ever the intransigent and “visionary leader”, he still says he has no regrets about his disastrous 8 year mandate. Though he does concede on one point: he could have been a little more tactful in his rhetoric leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Make no bones about it, “The world is a safer place without Saddam Hussein.” Which, of course, is just one of the many unprovable facts the neocons try to warp our minds with.

How do we know the world is a safer place? Compared to what? What the world might have been like? Of course, a sharp reversal in public approval ratings won’t make Bush question the spurious logic that drove us into the Iraq war. Because – as his neocon cronies so like to hammer into our heads – history will be the judge of them, and they will win*. Which is, of course, exactly what Fidel Castro says.

Castro: \

Castro – Absolved by history

I love how they both act like they’re beyond good and evil, like they’re tapped into the dialectical synthesis of history, like they know they’re right. They know they will be absolved by history.

The same actors wearing different masks, on the world stage.

* Compare this choice bit of neocon thinking (taken from the article I linked to):
Let’s look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees.
William Kristol

with this:
You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
Vladamir Lenin

Wittgenstein says

Ludwig Wittgenstein on Bertrand Russells’s then-radical views on free love:

If a person tells me he has been to the worst places I have no right to judge him, but if he tells me it was his superior wisdom that enabled him to go there, then I know he is a fraud.

I can’t help but agree with the big W.

Germans vs. Greeks

This cracks me up every time. Nietzsche has just been booked for arguing with the referee, who is Confucius. He accuses Confucius of having no free will. Confucius say, Name go in box.

To his credit, Marx accurately calls Socrates’ goal off-sides. But it doesn’t matter anymore once the Greeks have won.