The Exceptional Bully

Upon glancing at our local Sunday paper this morning, I realized why what appears to be a majority of the public, knows little of the rest of the world. It rarely exists in the pages of local media. I suspect my rather late recognition of the obviousness of this observation was jolted to consciousness as …

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EU-Turkey Deal

On March 7, 2016, the EU Heads of State or Government met with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the deal reached with Turkey about ten days later.  The EU Council has published an English press release of the plan here. The initial paragraphs of this plan are already disappointing, and illustrate how shortsighted the …

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Clausnitz

There’s a German idiom that may also be similar in British English, but it’s one I’ve never heard Americanized: “Ich glaub’, ich bin im falschen Film.” Literally this means: I think I’m in the wrong movie. Figuratively, it means that something is out of place. Something went wrong, and you ended up on someone else’s movie …

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National Identity after Cologne

The events on New Year’s Eve at the Cologne Central Train Station have been instrumentalized, politicized, criminalized, sensationalized and radicalized. The amount of attention paid to Cologne has also made the event itself a national metaphor. Depending on your political position, Cologne can stand in for right-wing arguments that Germany is being invaded by macho Muslim …

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Digital Narratives

North German Radio (NDR – a subsidiary of ARD) has started a new long-form narrative storytelling series they are promoting with the hashtag #EinMomentDerBleibt  (A Moment Which Remains). In twenty to thirty minute videos, refugees to Germany – all shot standing or sitting next to a wooden chair against a white photostudio paper background – …

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Three Years to the Day

Today is three years to the day I decided to try and blog about “possibilities”. While they have been rather sparse over the past couple of months, in total this is number 197 that I’ve published along with another dozen started but left dangling. The purpose for me was to share inspiration that we might …

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Protests in Berlin

Protests in Berlin Berliners have been demonstrating today against the conditions at a registration point for refugees in their city. Tim Lüddeman (@timluedde) tweeted this composite image and a link to photos of the demonstration for non-commercial purposes with the hashtag #EsReicht (Enough!) that was the slogan of the demonstration, along with #LeGeSo, the German abbreviation …

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Data and Racists

In July 2015, PEGIDA posted a link to a GoogleMap. The map was littered with the red balloons GoogleMaps uses to denote location. Each balloon denoted the site of a home for refugees or asylum seekers. Lutz Bachmann had already encouraged his followers to camp out in front of a home for asylum seekers in …

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The Naivete of Evil

Bernd Ulrich, the main editor for Die Zeit‘s political pages, has written a beautiful essay in the October 7th edition of the paper. Despite my frequent blog posts and twitter and facebook accounts, I am an open Luddite who makes her students hand-write assignments and who has a paper subscription to Die Zeit. I also have an …

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Day of German Unity

October 3rd is a national holiday in Germany celebrating the reunification between the Federal Republic (West) and the German Democratic Republic (East) in 1990. Today marks the 25th anniversary of reunification. Germans celebrate today by watching documentaries about divided Germany, visiting concerts and listening to speeches held around the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. According to Berlin Police, …

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Lutz Bachmann charged with Volksverhetzung

Lutz Bachmann, after a delay of several months, has finally been charged by Dresden prosecutors for inciting hatred. After last Monday’s PEGIDA demonstration, an individual also filed a complaint for the same charge. Volksverhetzung and the legal paragraphs defining it include a paragraph against justifying the foundations and actions of Nazi totalitarianism, which is apparently seen …

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What War Leaves Behind

Notwithstanding the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the continental U.S. has been spared war on our shores for 150 years. Thus no one born here and still alive has experienced the devastation that lingers after war here, although many a soldier has seen too much of it. This week marks the 50th anniversary of our …

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