Seaweed Snacks

Folks, have you tried roasted seaweed snacks? It’s the best thing ever.

Florida’s Germans vs Illinois’s Germans

The German population of Florida is not useless like the one where I live. It has its own newspaper and even a good schnitzel restaurant, even though it is run by a Czech.

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The Germans in my region are useless. They lost their culture completely and we have to contort ourselves into weird shapes to convince them that having a German program at the university is not a bad idea. And they can’t even establish a German restaurant in the area.

There is Oktoberfest in a neighboring town but it’s about as German as I am (i.e. not at all.) They serve Budweiser at that Oktoberfest! Any self-respecting German would die of shame seeing such an Oktoberfest.

The Tragedy of Yemen

Al Qaida has captured a significant part of Aden, a large port city in Yemen that used to be the capital of the country’s more secular Southern region. Saudi Arabia has destroyed Yemen with 5 months of unrelieved, horrifying bombing and a blockade that allows almost no food or humanitarian aid to enter this heavily import – dependent country.

The hunger and desperation are growing in Yemen. The state has been destroyed, and a terrorist organization of crazy religious fanatics has stepped into the vacuum.

The excuse that the Saudis use to bomb Yemen is that they are helping fight the rebels who are supposedly supported by Iran. Simply put, Saudi Arabia is waging a war on Iran on Yemeni soil while the Yemenis get to pay the price and Al Qaida celebrates new territories falling into its hands.

After Yemen ‘ s last remaining port was bombed into the ground, even the International Red Cross suspended its work in the country. 65% of the country’s population has no access to any medical care. 21 out of the country’s 25 million people struggle to find access to potable water.

The US is allowing the Saudis to destroy Yemen and create a humanitarian disaster of untold proportions because Obama needs to demonstrate to the Congress that he’s prepared to be tough on Iran if needed. The goal, of course, is to ensure that the Iran deal is ratified. And it’s an important goal. But there is always a price to pay for every decision you make in foreign affairs.

The tragedy of the situation is compounded by the Saudis’ total failure to defeat the Houthi rebels. All of the bombings, all of the destruction, the blockade are only hurting regular, peaceful Yemenis. And the only clear winner is the organization of crazed religious fanatics who will further victimize the people of Yemen.

There’s nothing we can do, obviously. But I believe it is important to stop navel – gazing and discussing Trump and Ashley Madison every once in a while and get informed about things that are happening in the world.

Different Types of Bloggers

As I scroll through my blogroll, I have this funny trick that helps me guess the financial status of the authors. The more tragic, desperate and apocalyptic the posts are, the more financially comfortable their author is. And the posts that are optimistic and lack drama-queenishness are invariably written by those who are still trying to become economically comfortable. (Obviously, there are no poor people in the blogroll because blogging requires both leisure and intellectual / educational capital.)

Well-off people surely do like to entertain themselves with imagining all sorts of horrors as they live their problem – free lives. And those who have actual problems see no need to indulge in imaginary ones.