Todesnacht von Stammheim

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October 16, 1968

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Innerer Protest gleich innere Emigration, nachher immer schwer zu beweisen.

—Eva Menasse, »Dunkelblum«, (Köln: Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2021), 20.

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Die Mitläufer sind die Täter

Die Mitläufer sind die Täter!

Du glaubst, du sitzt bequem (und schweigst),
du stehst es durch (und schaust weg),
du liegst gut gebettet (und vergisst)?
Du sitzt nicht, du stehst nicht, liegst nicht –
du läufst! Mit! Täter!

—Robert Menasse

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Die Jacke

After work I walked over to a huge sporting goods store and bought myself a new jacket. To get to the mens outdoor clothing section I needed to walk through what seemed to be acres of sports equipment, rack after rack of shirts, balls, caps, every variety of shoe. Along the way it occurred to me that I was surrounded by plastic, as all of this clothing was indeed made of plastic. We hikers and sports enthusiasts don different forms of non-biodegradable cellophane bag in which to wander Europe’s forests and football fields.

I found and purchased a jacket I like. a cashier young enough to be my granddaughter tolerantly listened to my explanation of not needing an additional sack for my purchase because I intended to wear my new plastic in place of the fleece I’d been wearing, which while looking its comfortably six-years-old and still being quite serviceable also displayed an American North Face logo. The new jacket is adorned with a German-looking brand name to mask its Vietnamese origin. I imagine young Vietnamese workers somewhere going to work in a sweatshop surrounded by fields in which the soil is laced with Agent Orange’s dioxin. The cashier was nice enough to fetch her scissors from a drawer and clip off tags which inform me “Wir rüsten dieses Produkt mit Eco Finish aus.” Eco Finish is a water-repellent coating without PFCs, thus my plastic garment will protect me from rain “und hält die Natur sauber.” In three languages another tag informs me that I will receive “warmth, softness and lightweight comfort from post-consumer recycled material.” “Post-consumer”, I think. I am encased in plastic buffered from the cold by the shredded remains of what was once someone’s toothbrush or waterbottle.

On my way home I passed these Stolpersteine, several times larger than any I’d seen before.

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Mit einer ersten Begegnung von Union und Grünen endet an diesem Dienstag die erste Runde der Sondierungen zu möglichen Koalitionen. Einzelne Vertreter der beteiligten Parteien äußerten die Erwartung, dass Grüne und FDP, die sich eng abstimmen wollen, noch in dieser Woche eine Entscheidung treffen könnten, ob sie zunächst mit der SPD oder der Union weitere Gespräche über eine Regierungsbildung aufnehmen wollen. Möglich wäre eine Ampel- oder eine Jamaika-Koalition.

It really couldn’t get any clearer, could it? The Greens are first and foremost one of the two parties of the better-earning middle, and therefore see their interests as primarily akin to those of the FDP – they may ally with either the SPD or CDU – they are in no way “natural” allies of the SPD, as if they were red in all but name.

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Mona Jaeger, FAZ:

Im SPD-Wahlprogramm war viel von Aufbruch und Veränderung die Rede, und die neu zusammengesetzte Bundestagsfraktion verkörpert das auch zu einem guten Teil. Die Wahl gewonnen hat Scholz aber in der Mitte. Um die Merkel-Wähler der Union zu gewinnen, sprach er wie Merkel, blieb ruhig wie Merkel, formte die Raute wie Merkel. Es hat funktioniert. Aber das Herz der SPD-Basis, die Scholz vor knapp zwei Jahren noch abstrafte und ihn nicht zum Vorsitzenden wählte, schlägt links.

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Spannende Zeiten


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Remarkably really interesting


Americans know intuitively that their healthcare is expensive, frustrating and often unfair. Remarkably, even amid the pandemic, roughly 30 million Americans went without health insurance, exposing them to potentially ruinous medical debt.

“It’s also really interesting how often the messaging is: talk to your doctor, talk to someone you trust,” said Aron. “Yet, we don’t really acknowledge how many people don’t have a doctor, or a doctor they have a trust-based relationship with them”.

Even people relatively well insulated from societal ills, live shorter, sicker lives than counterparts in Europe.

“That is, Americans with healthy behaviors or those who are white, insured, college-educated, or in upper-income groups appear to be in worse health than similar groups in comparison countries,” the 2013 report found.

Research since this report has elaborated on these findings, notably including recent research on how American life expectancy has declined while peer nations saw continued gains.

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