S.O.D. #8: Jean Asselborn: Neoteny No News

In a childish and ill-informed statement on the eve of the German general elections, Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s minister for foreign affairs, displays his total inadequacy not only intellectually and scholarly, but also professionally.  In the elections, the somewhat conservative party Alternative für Deutschland or AfD, which has risen to fill the void left on the law-and-order side in politics by Chancellor Merkel moving her CDU ever further towards repressive socialism, received 13% of the votes. Commenting the result of the elections, Mr. Asselborn told the Tageblatt Letzebuerg:

“Again, we now have neo-nazis in the Bundestag. That 70 years after the war ended. In the Reichstag in Berlin, once more will ideas of the extreme right be preached.”

I will point out only the most obvious and alarming errors Mr. Asselborn manages to commit in these few words:

  1. National socialism has very little in common with the political right and much more, as the name correctly says, with socialism and the political left, Asselborn’s own political home
  2. The national socialists in the German Reichstag in 1945 were no neo-nazis, but rather of the original kind, obviously
  3. Alternative für Deutschland is not a national socialist party, be it neo or paleo. Indeed, Mr. Asselborn’s own party, the (Luxembourg) Socialist Workers’ Party, has much more in common ideologically with the historical National Socialist German Workers’ Party than does Alternative für Deutschland with its democratic call for the re-institution of free speech and the rule of law in Germany.
  4. A somewhat covertly communist party, The Left, reached almost the same popularity as did AfD, and it has been reaching this level for many years, without Mr. Asselborn reacting in a similary unseemly and erratic manner
  5. Calling the Bundestag in Berlin “Reichstag” is a base insult to that institution, the carrier of German democracy, to all parties to that institution and to the German Federal Republic as well as to the whole German people. It is not a mature sign of European brotherhood at a level which must be expected in a political union

For a foreign minister and presumably a member of Cabinet, it is somewhat unusual and unexpected to polemically misrepresent the political system of a neighbour country, question its democratic purity on the ground that more than one alternative were presented to the country in the general elections and use rank racist insults while doing so. Especially if this neighbour country is a member of the same ever-closer political union.

Luxembourg has once again proven that it has some of the stupidest, most tasteless and most inapt policitians in all of Europe. That is quite an achievement!



S.O.D. #6: Martin Schulz, King of America

In an affected statement to Reuters, a news agency, the socialist candidate to the office of Chancellor of Germany, Martin Schulz, calls a policy of the democratically elected president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, “un-American”. Implementing a policy explicitly willed by the people is, according to Schulz, not in line with “enlightenment, democracy and the values of freedom”.

Some of us have other associations. We find Mr. Trump quintessentially American. We think of the enlightenment as the tendency to act on indications from the real world rather than socially prescribed dogma. Democracy we associate with allowing an enfranchised population to thwart the plans of elites, and our freedom, we find, must ever be vigorously protected from a plenitude of threats, not only from the likes of Mr. Schulz, but also at the borders of what in spite of all his efforts can still be called the Free world.

Should Mr. Schulz go on to become Chancellor, he continues, he would say: “This is not the policy of Germany and Europe”. Of course he would. Of course it isn’t. It is the American policy of America. Still, if the statements of Mr. Schulz tells us nothing of American policy, it does inform us of Mr. Schulz:

  • Mr. Schulz never grasped the significance of the enlightenment, democracy or the values of freedom
  • Mr. Schulz is tormented by a megalomaniac vision of vying to become not the Chancellor of Germany, but the Ruler of Germany, Europe, and America — perhaps of the whole world

Lashing out like Mr. Schulz, without a hint of knowledge, finesse or discrimination, against a major power is a very ill-advised piece of foreign policy. Mr. Schulz opened his mouth and put his foot in it.

The best label for Mr. Schulz’s statement would appear to be un-hinged.

S.O.D. #5: Vegan Banknotes

Stupidity reached a new high as some vegan extremists protested against the plastic new English five-pound banknote, which contains minute amounts of tallow:

“The new £5 notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans & vegetarians in the UK. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use”

This can happen to you if you join irrational mass movements instead of using that precious piece of animal fat located between you ears. Because do you know what?

Why would you want to eat banknotes in the first place? Normally, being vegan is understood as not eating animal produce. Many arguments used for promoting veganism are based on an understanding of human digestion. Vegans who just don’t eat meat are taken hostage and abused as human shields by calls for pure legal tender under the banner of veganism. Vegan extremism, a fringe within a fringe, is attempting to look larger than it is. Millions indeed.

The English Government uses and kills animals every day. Government acts are carried and bound in leather casings. That the Government also uses tallow in its banknotes makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.

The streets we drive on and most of the houses we live in were built literally on the backs of horses and other animals.  A vegan extremist who has a problem using a five-pound note containing tallow should have a far larger problem just walking down the street and entering a building.

Most people aren’t vegan extremists, and there’s no way for vegan extremists to completely avoid touching these tallowy people, to interact with them, to pay them with a five-pound banknote, smile and say thanks. A person who has a problem with a plastic banknote but can still interact in a non-autistic way with another  person who just swallowed half a pound of prime meat and who carries his fivers in a leather wallet is just plain silly.

The modern proposition of vegan extremism is based heavily on the use of petroleum-based replacements for animal produce. Perhaps more plastic items than just banknotes contain tallow or other animal produce. This could be a very disturbing proposition to many vegan extremists. It could very well even cause cognitive dissonance producing in turn the hallucinations described in the above petition.

Civilized society is based on compromises and agreements which are never perfect, but in the best case aim at causing the least actual harm to most people. Not animals. There are no absolutes in non-fascist societies, and of course they also fail miserably in the attempt to establish some.

In a free and open society, it is unacceptable to allow small fringe groups to veto public policy based on their personal superstitions.