The Link of the Day…

is this wonderful article titled “The Exit Of 12,000 US Troops Is The Single Worst Event In German History.”

It’s very funny and very good. Highly recommended.

6 thoughts on “The Link of the Day…”

  1. Trump hasn’t even managed to start a war yet. He’s clearly the greatest threat to peace the world has ever known.


    1. Yes, but he sends insensitive tweets! That’s like literally worse than dropping bombs on people. Hurting feelings is so much worse than killing!


  2. Liked Chris Hedges’s article “America’s Social Hell.” Seems there is a great need to change how ex-prisoners are treated, spend money on rehabilitation, and so on. With all the media focus on statues and populist ‘Abolish the police’ slogans, will anyone do the hard work of incremental change?

    // Chris Hedges: America’s Social Hell
    July 29, 2020
    This is Kabir’s America. It is our America. And our shame.

    He is denied public assistance, food stamps, public housing, the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, the ability to collect Social Security for the 40-hours a week he worked in prison, barred from obtaining hundreds of professional licenses, burdened with old fees, fines and court costs he cannot pay, as well as losing the right to be free from employment discrimination because of his record.

    Kabir is one of America’s tens of millions of second-class citizens, most of whom are poor people of color, who have been stripped of basic civil and human rights and are subject to legalized discrimination for life.

    One-third of all black men in America are classified as ex-felons.


  3. “The Exit Of 12,000 US Troops Is The Single Worst Event In German History.”

    Oh, come on! When I was stationed in Germany from 1980-1984, the United States had 250,000 people — a quarter of a million Americans, including dependents (wives and children) –stationed in the country that we had entered as conquerors and stayed as allies, hardline targets that the Russians wouldn’t dare fire a shot at without triggering Word War III.

    I loved that assignment! The Frauleins were beautiful and receptive, eager to help me learn their language and their culture, and I performed my military duties so well that I got promoted a year early from major to lieutenant colonel.

    But my presence was unnecessary, and so are the 12,000 troops to be removed that the Trump-haters are criticizing today. The threat keeping Russia out of Western Europe has always been , and still is, the nuclear umbrella that casts its deadly pall over aggression from the East.

    As for the troops being reassigned to Italy and Belgium: I can assure them from my 1980’s assignments to two Italian islands (Sardinia and Sicily) that they won’t be disappointed with the ladies there, and the girls of Belgium will surely be as free of prejudice as their French counterparts across the southeastern German-French border forty years ago.

    So if you’re an American young man in uniform stationed in Germany today, just chill out and go with the flow. The worst that they can happen is that you’ll find yourself assigned back to the United States, where the standard yearly inflationary rise in prices of movie tickets and restaurant prices will temporarily rock you on your heels.

    Don’t worry, no war is forthcoming! And wherever you end up, the natives will be friendly.


  4. This African-American author summarizes the situation wider than the previous link to Chris Hedges. Liked his two articles:

    FIRST raises the question of cultural vs racial prejudice

    Raised in an affluent suburb and speaking high-class, “the King’s English,” he describes making a middle-aged man nervous as a teen with an Afro:

    // The way I looked made him nervous. The way I sounded put him at ease.

    Was this man a racist? No. I was just as black when he smiled at me, as when he was straining not to look at me. The likely explanation is that, by virtue of my hair, he perceived me as sending a certain cultural signal. That signal I seemed to send was one many black people with that hairstyle would consider to be tied to their very blackness itself. In some sense, then, this man was put on the defensive by what might subjectively be considered my blackness, even though he had no issue with the objective reality of my being black.

    This is the difference between cultural and racial prejudice. It also explains why the latter is so often confused for the former.

    Culture correlates fairly tightly to race (particularly among ethnic minorities). Thus, we often treat them as if they were synonymous. Yet culture is more fundamental to the differences between us. Though there are genetic differences between groups […] if we remove these distinctions, the cultures of peoples and the ways in which they do and do not harmonize remain.

    SECOND summarizes the two histories of blacks since the 60ies

    The Pivotal Irony of American Racism


    The pivotal irony of American racism is that the white majority in the United States has become dramatically less racist over the same period of time in which the consequences of historic racism have become most pernicious to black Americans.

    By 1968, economic opportunities for blacks in key sectors and communities were contracting quickly.

    In these environments where unemployment was high and fixed incomes were available but social mobility was not, with their leadership drained, morale low and political gains still largely symbolic, fewer people lived in stable family formations and less organized groups of—or inspired by—former political militants held sway. This left these communities more vulnerable to drugs like first heroin and then crack cocaine. Gangs suddenly became the distributors of a product, with a demoralized consumer base before them and a wider nation surrounding them, celebrating its moral victory over segregation and oblivious to the new problems boiling beneath the surface—just as oblivious as we Americans had been in the aftermath of Reconstruction, one hundred years before.

    This is the story that most Americans do not know—including black Americans not unlike myself. I have had the privilege of having been raised in a cocoon of social acceptance, in a multicultural, middle class community. The apocalypse of the LA. riots of 1992, when I was five years old, is only a faint memory to me. But fifteen miles away from me, in Watts, Los Angeles, the woman I would later marry remembers living out those days, as a four-year-old, in the heart of a war zone. The crime, violence and police misconduct she saw over the course of her life made the death of George Floyd and the ensuing outrage seem not exceptional to her, but familiar.


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