November 8, 2016

One date that makes it tough to concede that I have citizenship in the US of A is November 8, 2016. First thing this morning when I woke up in Bern, I checked on the election results. I was glad that I had gotten some sleep. The day has not been easy.

I’m Swiss too. I am also a Swiss politician, and as such I have decided that I would not vote in US elections, and so it has been for more than thirty years. For more than thirty years, I have not voted in US elections. Today I feel sorry for all of my American compatriots. I don’t regret my choice. 

I feel sorry for those who voted Trump, he will not make America great again. He will not even make America better. You are still in the losers lot, you will become further disenfranchised and the class struggle will continue. It just isn’t the class struggle that Marx talked about.  

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I feel sorry for those who voted Clinton, she may represent all the ugly things that the establishment represents, but she is miles ahead of the pack, and she could have been a good president, given a chance. Frankly, I don’t give a shit that she is a woman, but I would trust her to make it work for all of us. I feel sorry for all of those of you libertarian and higher ground intellectuals who wasted your vote on a candidate with no chance; you can’t distinguish your idealism from real politics and you don’t have a clue on how to be pragmatic. It’s not a good day to have US citizenship. It is a day to reflect. 

 That is, I say yes to the rainy days, I say yes to the rainbow, and I still don’t like umbrellas. Don’t let the crises go to waste. Start rebuilding humanity.

 

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Mourning

On March 11, 2011 the city of Sendai was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 9 and later, a tsunami hit the eastern coast of the Japanese archipelago main island of Honshu. I got the news through my twitter (@dannie) stream on the way to a course that kept me busy both friday and saturday. Still I kept taking a look at the stream that includes several contacts residing in Japan. On friday evening I was in the offices of a local newspaper as the saturday issue was being put together. There were lots of pictures and none of them pretty. On saturday evening, enveloped in the warmth of family life, we discussed the news events. Nobody could really fathom what was happening. Two emotions were and continue to be very strong. First, compassion with the population on the aftermath of the catastrophe. Second, deep upset and repulsion at the attitude of European and other nuclear energy opponents who with presumptuous wickedness and profanity, impiously ignore the suffering of the Japanese people in a catastrophic moment, and instead rally around celebrating their ignorance and cluttering the physical and media space with their irrationality and fear.

I can not bear to look at the face of suffering that the images present and I do not want to look at those images. I do not want to be entertained by the suffering of others. I do not want to see the suffering and struggle of other humans instrumentalised for goals that serve the ideological vanity of a few comfortable hypocrites.

It is time to mourn the victims of the Sendai earthquake. It is also time to think about your emergency plan. It is time to learn about what life on earth is about. I am upset. There are no news.

We Are All Egyptians

This morning cold shivers ran up and down my spine while reading Nicholas Kristof’s account of what he has experienced on Tahrir square. Been there on that square. Cairo is the womb that I return to for nurturance. I love the city, and the country, especially the people that give it cohesion and sense. Just two little quotes from the article.

We Are All Egyptians – NYTimes.com: “At Tahrir Square’s field hospital (a mosque in normal times), 150 doctors have volunteered their services, despite the risk to themselves. Maged, a 64-year-old doctor who relies upon a cane to walk, told me that he hadn’t been previously involved in the protests, but that when he heard about the government’s assault on peaceful pro-democracy protesters, something snapped. “

It is good when something snaps and you feel alive and ready to die. Those are the moments that make life the adventure that it is, not the complacent excuse for consuming oxygen and annoying others with silly power struggles that neglect the rights of others. Could you consider that you have an obligation to respect the rights of others? What kind of difference would that make on how you lead your life?

We Are All Egyptians – NYTimes.com: “Unfortunately, usually what determines the fate of such movements is not the courage of the democracy activists but the willingness of the government to massacre its citizens. In that case, the survivors usually retreat in sullen silence, and the movement is finished for a time. “

I hope this time, it does not go the way of retreat in sullen silence. I want to see history written in another way, and that the government is by the people and for the people.