Hätte er Erfolg gehabt

Die Geschichte Europas wäre anders verlaufen, hätte der »Prager Frühling« Erfolg gehabt und wäre er nicht mit brutaler Gewalt gestoppt worden, er hätte ein Modell für die Welt werden können, vielleicht wäre es der viel zitierte »dritte Weg« geworden.

—René Böll, Der Panzer zielte auf Kafka, (Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2018), 18.

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The despair of antics

Thomas Frank:

The gnawing anger beneath the pandemic is that democracy itself is being rewired in our absence. The system has failed us, the system is guaranteed to go on failing us, but while we the people are out of the picture, others are making grand, world-altering decisions. The powerful are rewriting the social contract while we watch TV and console ourselves with booze and simple chores.

Richard Falk:

Even Orwell would be at a loss to make sense of some of the recent antics of leading governments. We would expect Orwell to be out-satirized by the American actions to impose penalties and sanctions on officials of the International Criminal Court, not because they are accused of acting improperly or seem guilty of some kind of corruption or malfeasance, but because they were doing their appointed jobs carefully, yet fearlessly and in accord with their proper role.

Falk is speaking here of the US imposing sanctions on ICC officials because they accepted “the request for an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed in Afghanistan by military personnel and intelligence experts of the U.S. armed forces, the Taliban, and the Afghan military.” He points out “Israel is equally infuriated that the ICC has affirmed the authority of its Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate allegations by Palestine of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.”

Since Falk’s essay Netanyahu has announced Israel will annex the West Bank.


I, for one, am not watching TV and consoling myself with booze and simple chores. I am, instead, watching the US body politic engage in an orgy of programmatic self-deprecating despair. A stance of helplessness in the face of Evil Trump seems the order of the day, as well as an insistence on those other guys — respectively libtards or dumb fuck rednecks — being stupid. There seems here an insistence on not simply passivity but in fact paralysis. “They are robbing me and then killing me, but what can I do? And, after all, I am wise to their antics. I laugh knowingly at them as they empty my pockets and kneel upon my neck. Yes, there is another world out there. I am prevented from vacationing in it, and so laugh at myself while I waddle about the plasticized reifications I’ve constructed:”

Los Angeles Times travel writer, on Paris Las Vegas:

What I’m saying, America, is we may not be much good at staving off a pandemic. But when it comes to knocking off European culture, we are in our own category. A category as red, white and blue as the British flag. Right here, we have all the Europe we need and more.

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San Francisco continues to battle the evil one

Los Angeles Times:

Salvatore Cordileone, center, leads the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which received a cease-and-desist letter from the city attorney alleging violations of COVID-19 health orders.(Michael Short/Associated Press)

I really love the lighting in this photograph. News of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has me wanting to read A Canticle for Leibowitz again.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has agreed to stop celebrating public Mass indoors and to restrict outdoor services after city officials threatened to close churches that were operating in defiance of the city’s public health orders amid the coronavirus outbreak.…

Public health officials said in May that San Francisco would allow religious services and ceremonies to resume June 15. But after an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, the city’s public health orders were updated June 11, noting that religious services could be held only if conducted outdoors and with a limited number of people.

Despite that, the archdiocese began celebrating in-person Mass on June 14 at more than half a dozen churches across San Francisco. That Sunday, the city attorney began receiving numerous complaints about the health and safety violations, including one involving an unmasked priest sharing a homily at Star of the Sea Church.

Herrera’s letter linked to a video showing the services at Star of the Sea, in which Father Cameron Faller reminded parishioners of a church forefather who had been put to death for illegally celebrating Mass.

“It would have been far safer for him to stay in his home and do nothing, to do a spiritual Communion, but he knew he needed the Eucharist, as did his fellow companion martyrs,” Faller says in the homily.

After quoting a priest who held covert services in a Russian gulag, Faller said he was concerned that social distancing orders preventing Mass will do unholy harm.

“Part of me fears what effect this could have on the church, that the very life force of people’s spiritual lives has been taken away from them for three months,” Faller said, noting that recent in-person protests prove the importance of proximity.

“Some things in life are more important than health protocols,” he said.

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Former Polish territory sprouted extermination camps: Chelmo, Belzec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Majdanek, Birkenau.

—M.R.D. Foot, Resistance, (London: Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2016), 458.

This is the first time I recall seeing this phrasing. Foot is writing in the early 1970s.

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Lithuania annexes Polish Vilna

In the third week of September 1939 Poland underwent its fourth partition: Germany annexed the whole of the Polish corridor, Danzig (for twenty years a free city) included; the province of Poznan; a large slice of Upper Silesia; and a district round Suwalki, at the eastern edge of East Prussia. Lithuania annexed (for a few months, as it turned out) a long strip of territory centring on Vilna (Viln’yus).

—M.R.D. Foot, Resistance, (London: Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2016), 445.

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Als Zarathustra dreissig Jahr alt war, verliess er seine Heimat und den See seiner Heimat und gieng in das Gebirge. Hier genoss er seines Geistes und seiner Einsamkeit und wurde dessen zehn Jahre nicht müde. Endlich aber verwandelte sich sein Herz, — und eines Morgens stand er mit der Morgenröthe auf, trat vor die Sonne hin und sprach zu ihr also:

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Proclamation 4771

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Europaweite Fahndung nach Ex-RAF-Terroristen hat bislang zu 101 Hinweisen geführt

Süddeutsche Zeitung:

Today is July 2, 2020. This is the headline in the Politik section of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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In the aftermath of activity of the evil one

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Foot on de Gaulle

[I]n 1940 the external leader was hardly known, even by name, within the country that he felt he was. As Pétain the hero of Verdun was the most senior, de Gaulle was the most junior general officer in the French army; Pétain was a world figure; de Gaulle was a nobody. He was so dim that the BBC did not bother to record his original broadcast of 18 June 1940, which gaullists now revere as the starting-point of resistance. A few professional friends, and a handful of politicians, knew him; a few people had read his books on military theory, one of them dedicated to Pétain under whom he had served. His name sounded like a magniloquent pseudonym. It was in fact an old one — a Sieur de Gaulle had fallen at Agincourt — and one of his grandmothers was a MacCartan of Lille, descendant of an Irish soldier who had preferred Louis XIV to William III. It was not an ancestry to predispose a man to love the English.

—M.R.D. Foot, Resistance, (London: Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2016), 369.

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