Thank you George W. Bush!

Well, since everyone is giving the current president of the United States such a hard time, I think I personally have to step up and thank him for making one of my biggest dreams come true.

How you might ask?

There is also a little pre-story that I want to share, which dates back to the year 2001, to be precise, the 9th of September 2007. I was travelling around Australia at that time and visiting a friend of mine in Brisbane. We where sitting at the shores of a river watching the Goodwill Games and each one of us was smoking a big cigar. Both of us love to travel and we where mapping out trips that we would love to do in the years to come, up to about when both of us would turn 25. To my own surprise I managed to stick to all the plans I made back then. Which included Mexico, Cuba, New Zealand, South Africa and LatinAmerican. But silently, I added another goal, to visit all continents, including Antarctica before I would turn 30. Back then a ridiculous plan way beyond my financial resources. But the idea kept spinning in my head all the time.

Well, seven years later, and I just got the booking confirmation for my trip to Antarctica. The trip is still months ahead, but I would have never gotten this far without the weak US economy!

When George Bush was elected president of the United States (thanks to Florida…), the Dollar was at an All-time-high, and the trip I booked recently would have cost me a whopping 5.500 Euros.

Fast forward to 2008, the Trip is down to 2.350 Euro, less then half of what I could have paid if the Dollar would have sustained its strength. Since the day George Bush took office, the Dollar has gotten weaker, and by the time the citizens of the USA have elected their new leader, I will have returned from my trip to the frozen continent.

So in a wicked way, I do owe my trip to George Bush and the path the American economy has taken since he is in charge.

G8 summit 2007– At worlds end

Another G8 meeting, this time its Germany! The big players meet in a seaside spa, called Heiligendamm – to talk about Global warming, poverty in Africa and Globalisation. The summit lasts for about 3 days and costs about 100 Millon Euros. If I am correct that makes 385 Euros for every second of those three days. When big players like George Bush, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin meet somewhere, you can bet that a lot of folks are going to show up to protest against them, which is actually one of the main reasons why this summit has such a big price tag.

Sealing of the property and having 16.000 police officers protect the most powerfull men and woman can’t be done on the cheap. If the summit would last for a year, it would cost around 12 Billion Euros (, about 16 times the German government plans to invest in development aid for 2008. Thank God it only lasts for three days.

A Maginot Line for the 21st century

Currently there are talks to build a Missile defense shield to protect the USA from attacks from evil wrongdoers around the globe. Even Europe might get one! How funny… evil Wrongdoers are usually small or middle sized countries that have oil, not comparable to the economic or military scale of the United states or the EU… Part of the Missile defense shield goes back to plans once dreamed up by the Reagan administration, a project called “Star Wars”, which included laser guns up in space, destroying any missile heading towards American soil. The project was arguable the product of public fear of an equal powerful Soviet Union attacking America with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. As we all know, there is a different ending to the story, and today Russia and the USA are “allies” in the so called “war on terrorism”.

With Russia and China being becoming more important trading partners these days, some might wonder why there is a need to spend Billions of Dollars on a system that is built on a assumption of threat that dose not even exist anymore. My guess would be that the Military needs to justify to spend money on developing new and more powerful weapons and therefore “creates” public fear and a sense of danger.

History has shown that spending a fortune on building a bigger and better defense system doesn’t necessarily mean to be prepared to deal with your enemies.

A good example can be found in France. The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy between World War I and II. It was built at an astonishing budget of around 3 billion french francs, probably comparable to what the US military is willing to spend on their latest gadget.

While the Maginot line would have been able to fence of the Germans, it was simply bypassed by the German Army and became useless once the government surrendered. So what if the Missile defense system is somehow “bypassed”? Billions spend one one project means that Billions are not spend somewhere else – for example alternative engergy suplies…

Even if someone shots missiles at the USA, the retaliation would be devastating for that country. While there are countries that still try to develop a nuclear weapon, the USA itself has uncountable of them hidden in bunkers, loaded on plans, submarines and who knows where. Still, they have to spend more money on protecting themselves from a mysteries “superpower”.

I suppose that we will look back in 30 to 40 years and say – remember that Missile Defense System the came up with in the early 21st century? Stupid idiots, made the same mistake the French did in the early 20th century… Wishful thinking, but maybe we have learned the lesson by then…

The one to blame

I suppose God is as at least as old as human mankind is able to speak. Some might call that blasphemy, since God is believed to be there since the beginning of time. Well, I will try a different approach and say: God was there since the beginning of time, I just don’t like the way God is used by some humans.

But how can God be used? Isn’t God the one who looks after us, guides us, inspires us, and if we go down the wrong path, might even punish us?

Well, that is where the whole thing gets tricky. Take George Bush and Osama Bin Laden, both think that God is on their side, that they are doing the right thing, one of them calling it a Crusade, the other one a Dschihad, in the name of the Lord. Using God for “political” reasons is nothing new, it has been done, well, I suppose, since human mankind is able to speak.

Take a soldier, fighting in a recent war. He follows orders of his superiors. If he is asked to explain his actions, he most likely replies: I had to, that was an order. So how does his superiors justify their actions? Well, they might refer to their “leader” from whom they got their instructions. This goes up all the way to generals, who might refer to the president of their country.

But once you get to the very top, the air gets thin and it gets difficult. How does a president, king or dictator justify his “decisions”? There is no one really above him, no judge, no president of the world – to guide him. Humans, even kings and presidents, can make mistakes, they can have flaws.

That’s where God comes in. He is the flawless strong guy, that makes no mistakes, that is always right, that knows what is going to happened and what is ultimately right and wrong. Explanation to all glory victories and gruesome failures. (To the woman who are reading this– don’t worry, I don’t think God is a guy, I think there is no he or she above us, something both of it maybe.) But if that is really the case, if it is that old guy, sitting above the clouds, inspiring great leaders of this world, he has done a lousy job so far.

I think that the opposite is the case, look at the miracle of life, the sun rising, flowers growing and kids playing, God has done a terrific job in creating the world and letting it develop, but to use him to justify decisions made by humans is flat out wrong and highly unfair to a true mastermind.

Just my thoughts

Something’s rotten in the state of… – whom?

With the recent election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-line conservative, as the new leader of the Iran, president George Bush once again made clear that attacking Iran is indeed an option, if the government of Iran is not willing to do what the US government wants them to do.

Is the Iran an aggressor that wants to use nuclear weapons against western nations? Will Mahmoud Ahmadinejad start to produce thousands of deadly (intelligent) bombs, load them onto stealth-bombers, fly to our soils and wipe us out? Will Iranian troops march to Europe and the United states, overthrow our governments and force their culture upon us and gain access to our recourses? Make us eat their food, dress like them and watch their TV-shows?

Or is it that the people of Iran are actually not a threat, but feel threatened? Maybe there are people in Iran who fear that some day, someone is coming to occupy their country and to get access on their most valuable resources. Oddly, if the Iranian government wouldn’t say otherwise, I would actually understand why the Iranian government wants to get their hands on a powerful weapon – for protection…

Maybe the Iran is not as dangerous as the media reports tell me day in and day out. I don’t know much about the lives of people in Iran, if they are actually doing good or bad, but I hope they are able to stand up for themselves if they want a change in their country and their system.

Well, what more can I say… with another old arch enemy (Iraq) almost gone, the US military industry maybe is just in need for a new enemy to fight against and keep the war factories working and the money from Americas honest tax-payers going into the “right” channels… Maybe… but these are just my thoughts.

Hands up! We come in peace!

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is currently touring Europe to find allies to stop Iran from developing their own nuclear weapon program.

Of course there are also higher, more noble goals, like democracy. With or without force is yet up in the air, but the United States wants democracy across the world, especially for the Iranian people. And if governments are not willing, a good way is to bomb the countries till foreign soldiers can move in and Democracy can be established. A lesser, but also important agenda is of course to protect the interests – pardon – “freedom” of the USA.

Only hundred years ago, there where hardly any functional democracy established across Europe. Monarchy was the main political system all over Europe. Then came a time of change, and people got rid of “ruling” families, only to be replaced by dictators, like Hitler, Franco or Mussolini. Today, almost every country in Europe has a functional democracy and countries like France, England and Germany, who used to fight each other for centuries can live peacefully together. Don’t get me wrong, the USA can take a major credit for helping to establish democracy in Europe, but I think the involvement it is taking these days especially in the Middle east is very dangerous.

I think democracy can’t be “established” or forced upon a nation, it’s a process, growing over years and decades. Force shouldn’t come from outside, democracy must start from inside a countries to be successful and lasting.

Let us pray…

I found this on the web a couple of days ago

…The Christian soldier has someone he takes with him besides his fellow soldier – Jesus. In time of need, we are taught to turn to Jesus, to let Him lead, guide, and direct our path….

Wait a second – “fellow soldier” – Jesus (?!). I never heard anything about Jesus being a soldier and going to war. Reading blogs of people from the USA some might get the impression that they are very religious people. Very often, they ask for prayers, sent to “their boys” in Iraq. Even George W. Bush prays, of course in front of the camera so that everyone can see him… Sorry, but I call this hypocritically. To go to war is the complete opposite of what Jesus tried to tell us. Read the bible again!

I would understand people who ask Jesus that the war is over, that no on is killed, not even those who are called enemies. That no more bombs are dropped and everyone can just go home. Thats the message Jesus left for us.

The ugly face of war

Just a couple of days ago, Kevin Sites, a cameraman working for NBC filmed the shooting of an unarmed wounded man lying in a Fallujah mosque. He is running a weblog at and his discussion board is loaded with hate messages, calling him a traitor and terrorist, etc.

I wonder why people who write such messages, who probably live in a cosy home somewhere in the middle of the United States, are complaining and sending hate emails to someone, who is just doing his job. After all there is an ugly face of war, and Mr. Sites is capturing it. These people don’t want to see pictures of American soldiers killing defenceless people. They want the illusion that American soldier are the good people. But hey, wake up, there is no clean war. War will always contain killing, rape and torture.

Pervert this might sound and I hate that I have to admit it, but considering that Iraq is still a war zone, the soldier that shot the wounded men in the mosque has done nothing outstanding. Maybe he was just bored, maybe his best friend was killed the other day and he was seeking revenge. But this is what war is also about. Americans should be shown this “real face of war” with all the ugly side effects, day in and day out.

Why did this war start in the first place? Protect the freedom of the United States? What a freaking joke! What was Mr. Bush afraid of? That Sadam was building weapons of mass destruction. It doesn’t matter if Iraq had such weapons, as long as the United States has a couple of thousands nukes just waiting to be used. Oddly enough, not even a single “weapon of mass destruction” has been found in Iraq yet.

We all should be reminded when we go to a gas station to get some fuel that this is what people in Iraq are still dying for. US soldiers and all the soldiers from other countries in Iraq are there to secure economy interests of western countries and for nothing else.

The 11th Commandment: You shall not take the pill!

This very interesting article was on Yahoo yesterday…

Druggists refuse to give out pill

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

For a year, Julee L. stopped in a CVS pharmacy near her home in a Fort Worth suburb to get refills of her birth-control pills. Then one day last March, the pharmacist refused to fill Lacey’s prescription because she did not believe in birth control…

… The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill….

I’ve never heard of such a case in Europe, it is almost the opposite here, I know woman who where not informed about the side-effects by their doctor and the gynecologist was actually surprised if they opted against the pill for health reasons.

This is just my point of view, but pharmacists who refuses birth control because of moral concerns should find another job. They not only sell pills for birth control, but also medication that can be used for suicide and of course drugs that can cause addiction. Just as unmoral as birth control.

The more interesting question would be: Is to refuse a prescription because of religious concerns just the beginning,? Where does it stop? What if Kmart decides to ban pills from all their stores because of religious concerns. What if there is a law established that forbids using birth control at all?

The truth is, that this doesn’t matter. Because people always have and always will use contraceptives. No matter how hard they would be punished. Just like during the time of prohibition more alcohol was consumed then during the time it was legal to buy liquors.

Jesus of Nazareth vs Che Guevara

Last weekend, the “Motorcycle Diaries” started in our cinemas. It’s a movie about the young Che Guevara and his adventures while traveling around South America. The tagline to this movie is “Let the world change you… and you can change the world”. Did Che change the world? I would say no. Other people did, like someone who lived two thousand years ago and also travelled around a lot did. His name was Jesus and I thought it would be interesting to compare this two people.

What do these two men have in common? Well, they are icons/heroes to a lot of us. Some have the infamous “Che-face” as a T-shirt, coffee mug, or sticker, others show their admiration for Jesus by having a cross around their neck. Che was a doctor; Jesus was a carpenter and prophet. Both where executed, Jesus nailed to the cross and Che shot with a gun. Both where killed because of for what they stood up for.

A lot of people think of Che as some kind of savior, just like Jesus, but I think these two men couldn’t be any more different. Where Che used force and even killed people to reach his goals Jesus used the power of words. That’s why I think the words of Jesus will stay, and even in two thousand years, people will still think about him and what he said, whereas Che will long be forgotten.

It’s easier to reach your goals when you use force, but only in short terms. Che (and Castro) maybe freed Cuba from a corrupt regime, but if you look at Cuba today, it could not be any further from freedom.

Jesus changed much more, just by using words.