EppsNet Archive: Germany

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Sleepwalkers by Hermann Broch

31 Jul 2017 /

The Sleepwalkers is one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read, very close to the edge of what can be accomplished with the written word.

I had never heard of either the book or the author — neither seems to have any following here in the States — but Amazon for some reason started recommending me post-WWI Austrian modernists.

(I also read Robert Musil’s A Man Without Qualities, which was extremely tedious.)

I don’t know who to compare Broch with, in terms of language, wit, psychological and historical insight — maybe Nietzsche, if Nietzsche had decided to write historical fiction.

The book chronicles, via multiple overlapping narratives, the moral history of Germany in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the disintegration of values that led to fascism.

And in his fear of the voice of judgment that threatens to issue from the darkness, there awakens within him a doubly strong yearning for a Leader to take him tenderly and lightly by the hand, to set things in order and show him the way; a Leader who is no one’s follower and who will precede him on the untrodden path of the closed circle and lead him on to ever-higher reaches, to an ever-brighter revelation; the Leader who will build the house anew that the dead may come to life again, and who himself has risen again from the multitude of the dead; the Healer who by his own actions will give a meaning to the incomprehensible events of the age, so that Time can begin anew.

Rating: 5 stars


Greece is Going Out of Business

9 Jul 2015 /

I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries.

The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous.

My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov

What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences?

According to the government debt chart below, the next countries in line for a day of reckoning are two more small countries (Ireland, Portugal) and a medium-sized country (Italy). Further down the chart are two big countries.

The United States, the biggest of the big, is not shown on the chart but is currently at 100 percent debt to GDP.

Government debt


Women’s World Cup: USA 5, Japan 2

5 Jul 2015 /

I turned on the TV just as the announcer was shouting “2-0, USA!” so I thought they must be showing highlights of the game against Germany. It’s only 4:06 p.m., the match probably hasn’t even started yet.

Then I sent a text to my kid, “This will teach me to tune in to soccer games on time.” I sent a second text saying I thought when the announcer yelled “2-0, USA!” they must be showing Germany highlights.

Then I sent a third text, “My god in the time it took me to type that they scored two more goals.”


Women’s World Cup: Why the US Will Beat Germany

30 Jun 2015 /

A recurring theme in world history is the United States dick-slapping Germany: World War I, World War II, “Tear down this wall!” … maybe that’s not the most appropriate metaphor for a women’s soccer match but we’ve been winners all our lives.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!


World Cup Semis: Germany 7, Brazil 1

8 Jul 2014 /


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Angela Davis

8 May 2014 /
Angela Davis

I still believe that capitalism is the most dangerous kind of future we can imagine.

Alternatives to capitalism have resulted in shortages, famine, mass murder and societal collapse (cf., Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Venezuela … I could go on and on but I think we both get the point).

Can anyone list a few capitalist countries where this has occurred? If not, what does the word “dangerous” mean in this context?

Angela Davis is now 70 years old. Can anyone list a few well-known Angela Davis-style radicals who lived a long life in any of the aforementioned countries?


EppsNet at the Movies: The Monuments Men

20 Feb 2014 /

The Monuments Men

This movie is getting killed on Rotten Tomatoes — 34 percent as I write this. Granted, it’s not in 3-D, doesn’t have robots or aliens or other really fake-looking bullshit, and despite being set during World War II, has only a minimal amount of violent action.

(If you like that kind of thing, fear not! We were shown previews for Pompeii, Spiderman, X-Men, some Tom Cruise sci-fi thing . . . rest assured there’s plenty of crap in the pipeline.)

The Monuments Men tells an interesting story in an entertaining way, with memorable scenes and characters, and the best female role I’ve seen in a movie since Come Back, Little Sheba.

Rating: 4 stars

The Monuments Men

An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

Director: George Clooney
Cast: George Clooney Frank Stokes, Matt Damon James Granger, Bill Murray Richard Campbell, Cate Blanchett Claire Simone

IMDb rating: 6.1 (110,749 votes)


Put it on my Charge Account

8 Apr 2010 /

German industrial orders static in February


A Case of Honorable Intentions?

2 Apr 2009 /

My friend G.L. Hoffman sent this to me:

Sex sells

I just want to add that I knocked my wife up on the first try, in case any of my neighbors are reading this . . .


Mozart for Muslims

29 Sep 2006 /

A German opera house announced that it would cancel its staging of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” because Berlin police concluded that staging the opera — which includes a scene in which Jesus, Buddha, Poseidon and Muhammad are beheaded — would pose an “incalculable security risk” from jihadists. Germany, recall, proudly opposed the Iraq war — but still narrowly missed a Spain-style terrorist attack on its rail system this summer.

A leading Muslim spokesman in Germany explained that he was all for free speech, as long as it didn’t offend Muslims. The Germans’ all-too-typical appeasement of terrorism no doubt makes them “safer” and “creates” fewer terrorists.

And all it cost them — for now — is Mozart.


Antiwar Myths About Iraq Debunked

23 May 2006 /
A lie told often enough becomes truth.
— Lenin

OH YEAH!? Not if I have anything to say about it, comrade!

Not only do lying liars rely on Lenin’s repetition principle, they rely on people being generally inattentive, uniformed and eager to believe anything consistent with their existing opinions.

I say that as someone who’s as inattentive and uninformed as anyone on most topics. But I do know a couple of things, and I set them forth herewith.

Continue reading Antiwar Myths About Iraq Debunked


Topics to Avoid

14 Jan 2002 /

From ExecutivePlanet.com:

England
Do not make references to the mediocrity of British food, since it has now improved significantly.

Continue reading Topics to Avoid