Thought for the day

"Civil disobedience, as I put it to the audience, was not the problem, despite the warnings of some that it threatened social stability, that it led to anarchy. The greatest danger, I argued, was civil obedience, the submission of individual conscience to governmental authority. Such obedience led to the horrors we saw in totalitarian states, and in liberal states it led to the public's acceptance of war whenever the so-called democratic government decided on it.  In such a world, the rule of law maintains things as they are. Therefore, to begin the process of change, to stop a war, to establish justice, it may be necessary to break the law, to commit acts of civil disobedience, as Southern blacks did, as antiwar protesters did." -- Howard Zinn, from "You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"

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Germany's former chancellor Angela Merkel warned that taking Vladimir Putin's words seriously is "a sign of political wisdom" not weakness. 

Merkel, who left office two months before the Ukraine war began, was speaking about an answer she had given in June about Putin's character. 

"I replied that one should take his words seriously," said Merkel, while speaking at the inauguration of the Helmut Kohl Foundation.

The photos displayed here are taken by Hugo Jagger, Adolf Hitler's former personal photographer. He came to power and traveled with Hitler during World War II.

He was one of the few photographers who were using color photography techniques at the time. When the war was ending in 1945, Jagger hid the photographs in a leather suitcase. He then faced US troops, raising fears of possible arrest and prosecution for carrying so many images of such a wanted man.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the US cynically calls Germany, Japan, South Korea and some other countries its allies, although it still essentially occupies them.

"The US has left a terrible imprint on the memory of the people in Korea and Vietnam. Barbaric carpet bombings, use of napalm and chemical weapons. It still essentially occupies Germany, Japan, South Korea and some other countries, but cynically calls them equal allies," Putin said at a ceremony for accepting four new territories into Russia.

Since shortly after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian War in February widespread calls began to emerge in the West to supply the Ukrainian Army and possibly Kiev-aligned militias and contractors with Western main battle tanks to enhance their armoured warfare capabilities.

According to news reports at the time, Simon Paris (also known as Ali Mahmud) was born in either the Congo or Senegal and came to Hungary when he was a little boy. Originally he was a servant of a Turkish man living in Budapest.

After the death of his mentor, he worked as a porter in a cinema in Nagyvard (now Ordea) and spoke fluent Hungarian, which was reportedly very adept at using colored insults. While certainly a curiosity in early 20th century Hungary, he was clearly liked for his good humor in the city and he was also very patriotic and proud of Hungary.

The US is planning to establish a new command base in Germany that will focus entirely on supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

Establishing the command would be part of the Western effort to support Ukraine in the long term, as there are no signs that the war will be ending anytime soon. The command would oversee the arming and training of Ukrainian forces.

That war, hidden behind the U.S. created Ukraine crisis, is designed to destroy Europe’s manufacturing advantage compared to the U.S. It is more likely though to strengthen the economic position of China and other Asian economies.

I have argued that Germany must open the Nord Stream II pipeline which can bring Russian natural gas to Germany without crossing other countries’ territory. It must also allow Siemens to repair the defect Nord Stream I compressors. It is in fact inevitable if German’s industry is to survive.

The German national election held last year must be completely re-run in the city of Berlin as a result of multiple discrepancies plaguing the result, a court in the city has said.

As a result of a wide variety of serious voting irregularities in Berlin, elections that took place in the city last year  — including the nationwide general election — must now be re-run in the city, a court declared on Wednesday.