Chief Whip of European People’s Party Evokes Wannsee Conference

When chief whip of the accumulation of conservative and right-wing populist European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, uttered his expectations for 2018 on the occasion of his national party CSU’s New Year’s reception in Seeon, Bavaria, he said that, in 2018, “the central European subject-matter is the final solution to the refugee question.”

On 20 January 1941, a clandestine conference was held in a villa outside Berlin located at the idyllic Wannsee. SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich had invited Nazi administrative leaders of various government departments to discuss just one subject-matter, the final solution to the Jewish question. The world got to know about the conference as one copy of the protocol had survived and discovered in 1947. Adolf Eichmann, who was ordered by Heydrich to write the minutes of the conference, gave a detailed account, when having been interrogated while awaiting his trial in Jerusalem in 1961.

Manfred Weber meanwhile dismissed, on Twitter, any “intentional misinterpretation”.

European right-wing populists are not very credible when using Nazi jargon for explaining their humanitarian intentions.

6 January 2018 @ 8:32 am.

Last modified January 6, 2018.


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NASA’s Hurricane Season 2017

The above video clip, published by NASA in November 2017, covers all hurricanes/tropical storms in the North Atlantic this year.

Watch, in particular, Irma which hit Florida but did not devastate Mar a Lago; followed by Maria, devastating Puerto Rico (which has ultimately been abandoned by president Donald Trump). And finally exceptional Ophelia which made it to Ireland.

1 January 2018 @ 9:45 am.

Last update January 1, 2018.

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Donald Trump Launches a Missile

Mighty Rocket Man Donald Trump follows suit today North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un. Well, in a way. His recognition of Jerusalem today as Israel’s (and Israel’s alone) capital is a provocation for hundreds of millions of Muslims and utterly foolish. There is no excuse for willfully risking the fragile and unstable balance in the city which belongs in fact to three World religions.

Editors late Oleg Grabar and Benjamin Z. Kedar describe, in particular, Jerusalem’s Temple Mountain with its Sacred Esplanade “Where Heaven and Earth Meet.”


Of course, for time immemorial, Jerusalem has been the place for deep desire for most Jews. Their religion’s foundation myth has been one of “return” to the promised land with Jerusalem as the location of God’s temple. But Jerusalem is also the city where Jesus died on the cross and Muhammad ascended to the Heavens. It doesn’t belong to one monotheistic faith only but to all three versions where one and the same God only is revered.

Donald Trump lacks many things, among others brains, any sensitivity, any diplomacy, honesty. These would be utterly needed if he was seriously seeking a solution for the root cause of the many crises in the Middle East, broker any lasting deal.

No surprise, he doesn’t seek. He provokes.

6 December 2017 @ 5:52 pm.

Last modified December 6, 2017.

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It’s Cold in Tromsø


The past couple of days have seen temperatures eventually approaching long-term normal values in Tromsø, at 69° 40′ 58″ N the world’s northernmost city. Provided clear skies, today’s the last chance for seeing the sun rising above the horizon, for the next two months it won’t.  It’s cold right now, minus 9 °C (15 °F).

The Arctic is one of the regions which is strongly affected by climate change and Global Warming. The above (and other pictures on Zach Labe’s blog) is another troubling graph indicating how quickly this vulnerable environment is about to disappear right now.

Well, for those who expect  further exploitation of our planet’s resources it might be exciting instead.

21 November 2017 @ 5:20 am.

Last modified November 21, 2017.

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Amids a humanitarian catastrophe of, well, biblical dimension in Yemen, the BBC’s Lyse Doucet interviewed yesterday Saudi Arabia’s foreign affairs minister, Adel al-Jubeir. Visibly miffed by insisting Doucet, the 55-yr-old indeed soft-spoke about Iran as the root cause of the conflict in Yemen since, believe it or not, 1979 when late Ayatollah Khomeini led the Iranian Revolution and promised to export it to other Muslim countries.

As ridiculous that claim appears, it exposes the grudge of the Saudi regime. After more than two years of relentless bombarding the tiny neighboring country, the poorest in the region, there is no real progress. Rebel groups, the Houthis, had dared to dismiss the “elected” (by a ridiculous 99.8% margin) but rather imposed, by the Saudi hegemon, on Yemen president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is now living in exile in the Kingdom.

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