Berliner Mauer

Fifty years ago today, construction on the Berlin Wall began. A dark day indeed for post-war Germany. Below are a series of pictures that I took of the areas where the Berlin Wall once stood (please ignore the finger in the picture).

When I was in Germany several years ago, my traveling buddy Kevin and I took a bus tour of Berlin. We got off the bus at one of the stops and followed the cobblestones that marked the location of the Wall. Our travels took us by the former Gestapo headquarters to Checkpoint Charlie and on to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate). I will say that of all the times traveling through Germany, the trip to Berlin was the most profound to me. A lot of history occurred here.

Perhaps we need to reflect more on the lessons of the past for clues on what to avoid in the future. Somehow, I think that many people (including our politicians) are woefully deficient in this thought process.

Going Home

Tomorrow morning, I leave for the States.  This is, I think, my last visit to Germany for this project.

The time has been well spent.  Project is going OK, and I’ve had a chance to post more, and work on the blog some.  New header, new icons, revised “About” & “Policy” entries, and a few more tweaks such as a different tagline every day.  It think I’m done, but who knows – I might see something that I might like to add.  If anyone has a suggestion or comment on the layout & features on this site, please do so.

I have enjoyed the past 6 months for the most part, but as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

Reflections

This past week, besides writing the previous post, has been spent reflecting upon times past.  Not only on my own life, but that of the country that I have been staying in for the most part of 6 months.

I have been all over Germany.  Berlin, Munich, Bremen, the Black Forest, Hannover, Stuttgart, and Baden Baden are just a few of the cities that were on the itinerary.  Traveling by train and watching the scenery go by makes it hard to think that this country and mine were at war 60 plus years ago.

I look up and can’t imagine the streams of bombers headed to the cities that I have visited, looking to level anything and everything useful to a madman’s dream.  Looking over the countryside, half imagining soldiers in desperate struggles to live just one more hour while trying to defend the land or take it from their respective enemies.  Different languages being spoken, but everyone looking the same.  What a difficult, confusing, bloody time that must have been.

And yet we must understand that this is the nature of humans.  The quest for power by whatever motivations and means is among us during these “civilized” times.  Political aspirations, religious fervor, corporate ambitions, and sheer megalomania are just an overview of the reasons that people seek to control others.

It doesn’t matter how far we’ve come from the dark ages of history, man’s base desires are still there.  Power and control are lurking in the background.  While most of us desire nothing more that to be left alone to live our lives in peace, there are those few who want more.  More money, bigger houses, power over people’s lives, and they are completely amoral in their methods to achieve their desires.

For example:  I look at the Global Warming Climate Change debates between the different factions, and I have to ask myself – If this is truly a scientific fact that has gone through the scientific method, then why is there such an uproar?  The truth of the matter is that a consensus never overcomes the facts of the matter.  Consensus means that there are facts in evidence, but the entire premise and conclusion can be called into question because there is a thing called compromise.  And compromise with the scientific method is ultimately flawed.

So what is the reason?  My belief is power.

There is now a huge industry behind this debate, selling anything from light bulbs to solar panels to windmills.  There is a huge “carbon credit trading” industry as well as massive studies to track minute changes in the health of the world.

Mind you, not all of this is bad.  It’s just the agenda that is behind it.

We now have the politicians of that most corrupt body called the United Nations deeming that all countries must kowtow to their studies and findings, flawed as they may be.  The media reports every little storm as being evidence of the coming decimation of the world because it raises the ratings points.  The leaders of countries are promising to divert resources to this “problem” even though it would damage the economy of their respective countries because they perceive that is what will heal this planet (and get them elected).

And you know that somewhere, someone is going to get hosed.

But Global Warming Climate Change isn’t the only game in town.  Let’s look at the corporate world.

Where has it been so painfully evident that someone can drive a company into the ground, and yet walk away with millions of dollars in compensation?  We’ve seen companies like Enron, Bears & Sterns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mack, Lehman Brothers, and Washington Mutual tank and yet the executives are royally compensated while the employees and shareholders get royally screwed.  They get these fantastically outrageous sums because they meet their yearly goals which may not be in the company’s interests.  It used to be that as the company’s fortunes went up and down, so did the bonuses of the executives.  No longer, and people wonder where the loyalty to American companies went.

That is because the focus went from “we’re in this together” to “how much can I get for me?”  Everyone was going to get more than their fair share because they deserved it (whether they did or not doesn’t matter).  Greed, not teamwork, became the modus operandi.

I can go on and on about the corruption of the Media, the Islamic terrorist insanity, public educational brainwashing, political power plays, and man’s inhumanity to man.  The truth of the matter is that we, as a species, haven’t changed all that much.  True, we eat better, dress nicer, have better sanitation, and technology beyond belief.  But when it comes right down to it, we are just savages that are pretending to be civilized.

And perhaps that is the greatest self-delusion in history…

Back to Germany, Let the Selling Begin, Etc…

Tomorrow, it’s back to Germany.  Not looking forward to it this time – just too many things going on here.

I’ve seen confirmation from an article that I saw a couple of weeks ago that Chrysler is putting the Viper sports car up for sale.  It is a low production car, but just doesn’t fit the business model.  I have rumors of a couple of other “negotiations” in progress to sell off other parts of the business, but who knows what is going to happen.  I’ve also heard that any further cuts will most likely damage the business – our morale is really, really low right now.

Politics and the media haven’t changed a whole lot from the last 6 or 7 posts.  If anything, it’s gotten worse.  The bias of the media is really showing, and it is disgusting.  But then again, I wasn’t holding my breath that it would magically get better, either.

But then again, maybe this is all a dream.  I need to click my heels together three times and hope that the past few months were like a previous season of Dallas was a fantasy.  Oh wait…that’s been done before…nuts!