Sunday, January 14, 2018


When Red Baron learned about Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury on January 4, he immediately looked into Amazon and found out that the American edition would not be available in Germany until the 9th. But when I searched in the Apple Store one day later, I was invited to download a copy onto my iPad. The reason for this earlier release was, as you all may know, an impending injunction President Trump’s lawyers were preparing to forbid the publication of the book.

I wanted to read the book not so much for the sometimes juicy details (yes!) but rather to better understand the American political system of checks and balances. On the first pages, I read that like most of us nobody in Trump’s entourage had reckoned with his victory, but I was stunned that he himself was not at all prepared for the presidency for he did not want it himself. The Freiburg-Madison-Gesellschaft will dedicate its February Stammtisch to Fire and Fury with Red Baron reporting.

When last Friday, January 12, halfway through the book, I checked the news I was shocked that reality had surpassed any possible fiction: On Thursday Trump reportedly grew angry during a meeting about protections for immigrants from several countries, and asked: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” He then reportedly added, “Why do we need more Haitians?” and suggested the US bring in more people from Norway.

Subsequently, the NYT reported that foreign correspondents had problems translating shithole into their languages. As a child, I remember a shithole being an essential part of the Plumpsklo (pit latrine) at my grandparents’ farm. It was a plank with a hole to sit down on that was in use until the building got a proper toilet connected to the sewer system in the 1950s. By the way, some people now claim that POTUS instead said „shithouse“ which, however, does not change the explanation given in this paragraph. Comedian Stephen Colbert commented subsequently, “He does not belong in the White Hall.”

POTUS's remarks are inhumane and racist (although positive for Norwegians). He is on the same line as leading figures of Germany’s right-wing AfD (Alternative for Germany).

Father and son Becker (©dpa)
Jens Maier, MP and judge, after having babbled about the creation of mixed race populations, called tennis legend Boris Becker’s son Noah a Halbneger (half-nigger), and AfD deputy chairwoman Beatrix von Storch twittered after the police in Cologne had sent out an appeal for a peaceful New Year’s night in various languages: Was zur Hölle ist in diesem Land los? Wieso twittert eine offizielle Polizeiseite aus NRW auf Arabisch. Meinen Sie, die barbarischen, muslimischen, gruppenvergewaltigenden Männerhorden so zu besänftigen? (What the hell is happening in this country? Why does the police of North Rhine-Westphalia twitter in Arabic? Do they think this will calm down those barbaric, Muslim, and gangbanging hordes of men?) referring to #meToo events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve two years ago.

I just learned that today the French are celebrating the medieval Christian Festum Asinorum (fête de l'âne or Feast of the Ass) commemorating the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

©Store norske leksikon

Apropos people from Norway: 75 years ago the Nazis deported young Johan*, belonging to the blond Germanic race, from Norway to Germany to teach him German Physics. He died last year on July 15, peacefully at the age of 96 in Oslo, a vital man indeed.
*later my boss at CERN until 1980

Resquiescat in pace.

1 comment:

  1. This video makes the same point about human anatomy: