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31 August 2011

Hey Stan - Colonize any Good Towns Lately?

The east German town of Löcknitz, about fifty kilometres inland from the Baltic Sea, has witnessed a minor miracle in recent years, as one of the few cities of East Germany to halt the decline in population a few years ago; to the contrary, people have started to move in. What’s quite unusual about this is that the local kindergarten and school classes have begun to fill up. There is one “fly in the ointment”, though: the new residents are not Germans, but Poles, coming mainly from the Polish port city of Szczecin, a city of more than 400,000 inhabitants some 20 kilometres from Löcknitz.
The renewal of the former-GDR is afoot. The Poles that Brits don't like are movin' in:
The population of Poles in the town is already at 15 percent, and every fifth child in a local kindergarten has Polish nationality. Even the local Germans are happy for the Poles. “Without them the town would die out,” says the German owner of a local upmarket restaurant. Most of the former East Germany, however, hasn’t had the same luck as Löcknitz. When the East German Communists put up the Berlin Wall fifty years ago they were trying to stem, among other things, the exodus of their citizens to the West. Each year before the Wall was built over a hundred thousand people abandoned the East for the West, and the Communist GDR was facing the threat of a country with no people in it.
Keep on rocking in the free world...
Quietly, the Central Europe of yore is tiptoeing back, where national borders have often been very hazy. And it’s entirely differently from what we feared – which is another reason why we could and should overcome our national inferiority complexes towards Germans and Germany.

30 August 2011

Recipes from the Near Distant Ago: „Housewife” Style Soljanka

Don’t get all “reactionary” on me, bro - I didn’t come up with the name.


3 onions
40 g margarine
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
1.5 liters broth (or even from powder or paste)
Leftovers from cooked meat and sausage
1 pickle
1 teaspoon capers
sour cream

Chop the onions and cook in the pot with hot margarine. Fry to a golden brown.
Add the tomato paste and the broth
Chop the leftover meat and sausage in another pan, and fry.
Chop the pickle into small cubes. Add them along with the capers to the soup.
Let simmer thoroughly.

Add a slice of lemon and sour cream to each bowl prior to serving

29 August 2011

Hurricane Snark

Alexandria, Virginia, USA, 28-AUG-2011, 1100UT

Fallen chimney brick here and there, a chimney-top spark arrestor, shutters, misc. tree limbs... All told, not that bad.

Bonus: former seismic damage!

27 August 2011

And you Thought You Just Needed More Fiber

Don’t expect a Kindle edition any time soon.
The Workers' Party of Korea Publishing House brought out Vol. 10 of "Selected Works of Kim Jong Il" (enlarged edition) which comprehensively deals with immortal classic works of leader Kim Jong Il.

26 August 2011

25 August 2011

Recipes from the Near Distant Ago: Meat Solyanka, DDR Style


500 g cooked beef
1 carrot
1 parsley root
1 onion
1 bay leaf
2 onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pickles
500 g of meat and meat leftovers such as sausage
5 grains of allspice
Salt & pepper

Lemon slices, seeded
sour cream
Parsley, chopped

Cook onions in margarine until golden yellow.
Add tomato puree and sprinkle immediately with some of the broth.
Slice cucumbers into thin slices,
chop meat scraps and small amounts of onion.
Bring to a boil the meat broth with the carrot, onion, pepper or peppercorns.
Add allspice, bay leaf and salt. Fill with hot broth. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes,
Season again to taste.

Garnish before serving with lemon slices and a dollop of sour cream settle in the middle. Sprinkle with parsley.

24 August 2011

The Mullet: A Man's Rite of Passage

Woodcreek High Alum Eric Berger Pitching His Way Through Minors
The handlebar mustache and wavy, almost mullet-like hair is vastly different from the look Eric Berger sported at Woodcreek High School. That guy could never have grown such a 'stache. "I was planning on being Captain Hook for Halloween,..."

23 August 2011

Radio kooks and crazies, such as your correspondent's faithful readership may delight in trying to bag these obscure transmissions.

22 August 2011

21 August 2011

The DDR's Manchurian Candidates

They have returned to Namibia, grown up, and some have moved on. They were GDR-Children of Namibia.
GDR-Children of Namibia are a group of approximately 400 black Namibian children that grew up in GDR. During the liberation struggle of SWAPO against South African occupation of Namibia they were relocated from 1979 onwards from various refugee camps to GDR and only came back in 1990 at the onset of Namibian independence. They were mostly unprepared for their return.
As recently as 2005, they have appeared on the German media radar. Where some would think that their fate in return would have been impossible, they overlook the nature of traditional German culture of faith and compassion: their transition back to Namibia as young adults was enabled by the ethnic Germans of Namibia.
In autumn 1989, as Germany rejoiced at the end of the country's 40-year division, many of the students at the "High-School of Friendship" in Stassfurt, near Magdeburg, felt their hearts sink.
For over 400 children and teenagers dispatched to East Germany from Namibia over the previous decade, the collapse of communism meant one thing: an uncertain future in a country they could barely remember.
What began as an airlift of refugees was exploited by the East German regime as an opportunity to construct the elite of what they hoped would be a nascent pre-Soviet Namibia colonized by Marxist-Leninism.
Erich Honecker's government earmarked what it called "Solidarity Funds" to support the Marxist movement with aid and military supplies, and also hatched a plan intended to be of political and military benefit to both countries. But 1990 marked an abrupt end to the Party-led project to take in and educate Namibian children, with the ultimate aim of creating an elite class to lead the SWAPO liberation movement.
Their fate, it seems was mixed.
The self-proclaimed "Ossi" Africans -- referring to the nickname for eastern Germans -- have experienced mixed fates. Some are now working as lawyers and businessmen, while Lucia herself is training as a journalist. Some, though, were less fortunate. And few returned to live in Germany.

19 August 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\08B

Every fake crisis needs its' orators
The international bee crisis needs to be addressed before we are really stung, says Green Party MP Sue Kedgley.

18 August 2011

The Rainbow Mullet and the Mighty Kruk

Gonzo: Wall-of-Famer Kruk understands Philly.

I'm glad somebody does....
There was John Kruk, rounding third base and lumbering slowly toward the plate in a too-snug uniform -- tufts of bourbon-colored mullet hair trailing behind and flapping out from under the back of his helmet.

17 August 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'am...

What would we do without mullet spotters?
With her flaming red do, this court reporter has managed to combine her news-hounding skills with her love of mullet-spotting. Hailing from hair-raising (and hair style-challenged) Ipswich
Amelia Bentley, court reporter, taking it all so seriously.

16 August 2011

Reviewing the Past

East German largesse has been concentrated on Nicaragua, where the revolution last year provided an obvious target of political opportunity. Barely a week after Dictator Anastasio Somoza had fled the country, East German medical and economic assistance teams were in Managua establishing an early foothold. As one East German doctor admitted at the time: "We do not leave political considerations aside." Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel d'Escoto has called the GDR a "natural ally" of the Sandinista revolution,
A 1980 Time Magazine article illustrated plainly to an international audience something we had suspected seeing around us: to the Soviets, the DDR was to Europe what the Cubans were to Latin America - only more effective.
Why the East Germans? Originally, Western analysts believe, their ambitious foreign role was motivated by a national inferiority complex, as a denigrated political offspring of the Soviet Union and a poor industrial also-ran compared with West Germany. The emerging countries and the liberation movements thus afforded the "other" Germany its first international acceptance and prestige. The East Germans eventually proved to be more diplomatic than the Soviets, who frequently antagonize their Third World hosts with chafing arrogance, and more efficient than the Cubans, who do not enjoy the same reputation for reliability and know-how. Concluded a U.S. intelligence analyst: "The Cubans provide bodies. The East Germans provide brains."
As well they did. What the article didn't touch on was the building or organizing of intelligence apparatus by the Stasi in Yemen, Libya, Nicaragua, Cambodia, and among revolutionary organizations such as the PLO, SWAPO in Namibia, and others.

13 August 2011

Sport's worst haircuts: a tribute

From Ireland's The Score, we find the part of the economy that will not be taking a haircut:
It was a mullet for a while, but scrum half Boss's hair only really came into its own when it was evolved into a mullet/dreadlocks hybrid. His status as one of Eddie O'Sullivan's 'impact subs' probably rested on the nauseating effects of this epic 'do.

07 August 2011

Speak! Speak to your People, Oh Mighty Mullet!

The Hair Is Shorter, but the Career Goes On and On. [God help us.]
Bon Jovi, 49, went on to make an important distinction: "[My hair] was very famous, but you know what? Bono had a mullet. I never had a mullet. Mel Gibson had a mullet. … I was Cousin It. I just had a big ball of hair. … Fortunately I still have it."

06 August 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\08A

Crisis to become fake as soon as you can afford it.
However, broadband that one cannot afford, is as good as no broadband at all. When FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn addressed the National Rural Assembly in Minnesota last month, she wasn't panicking about a make-believe spectrum crisis.

05 August 2011

Lone Listener, Secret Transmitter

While this is a highly entertaining mash-up, it conveys the sense many had about the secretive broadcaster transmitting to secretive, and likely pensive and lonely listeners.

04 August 2011

Eins, Zwei, Drei

“Is everybody in this world corrupt?”

“I don’t know everybody.”
Our silver screen meltdown marches ever forward in something familiar to European political observers, that is to say in goose steps. We present Billy Wilder’s 1961 madcap tale of Commie Berlinalia called One, Two, Three, which also happened to star Jimmy Cagney who brilliantly shows his comic timing and skill, even as Wilder turned the pace of the film up to 11.

Oddly enough, one of the many things that points out the humorlessness of “progressive” activist to this day is the fact that some of them still campaign cheerlessly and sadly unaware of irony against “Coca-Cola Imperialism”, as if their own not drinking the stuff wasn’t enough. I wonder if they realize that the concept was just one of Wilder’s jokes.

I strongly recommend renting or downloading this film! Not only will you not know where the time went, and possibly regret it, but you’ll find strange hidden gems in it, like a Messerschmitt micro-car that keeps appearing in the background, and momentary references to Carney’s “Little Caesar” character by an untitled supporting actor playing to Cagney, and another play on it with him asking for “Rico”. Along the way, look for a Khruchevesque banging of the shoe on a table, and a chillingly accurate portrait of the shambolic ruin that was East Berlin long AFTER this film was shot.

Layering it even more is the appearance of wonderful players like Leon Askin, (born Leo Aschkenasky) who sent up the temperament of a Soviet apparachik in this film, much as he later sent up the comically greedy Nazi General Burkhalter in the television comedy series, Hogan’s Heroes. Those mere moments in his long and rich career which included politically provocative cabaret as only the Viennese could do. Immigrating to America in 1940, he enlisted in the US Army, was stationed in Britain, and upon return to New York having been unable to find his parents who were sent to a Concentration Camp, he started a theater group made up entirely of Army veterans. Like Mel Brooks who served as a combat engineer and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, he seems to have understood that the most humiliating defeat an enemy can face is mockery.

What they share with Wilder, a Berliner transplanted to America himself, wasn’t just comic ability, creativity, but a keen sense of observation, matched to a functioning moral compass.

02 August 2011

Raus mit the Mullet

Ex-Spur Schintzius thinks his mullet got him traded
Former Spurs center Dwayne Schnitzius claims his mullet hairstyle helped facilitate his trade from the Spurs to Sacramento.
An anti-joyousness discrimination claim should really be in the works...
Dwayne Schintzius got traded because of his awesome hair
Like... awesome.
... maybe a person should be able to wear his hair however he pleases, especially when it's as majestic as Schintzius' mullet. Would you have asked Oscar Gamble to cut his afro? Only if you were anti-fun.

01 August 2011

The Near Distant Ago, Remembered

Those among us interested in radio will enjoy this one: one of those new fangled weblog thingies focusing on Radio Berlin International, the voice of the erstwhile German leftist dictatorship. For a collection of their QSL cards, as well as postcards from said erstwhile German leftist dictatorship, hier clicken, bitte.