Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2007

Just too funny...

Rammstein - Bayern

Violence Essay

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?

Only real peace will secure a peaceful world. Only with real respect peace can exist. Only without prejudices a violent-free world can exist. Armed forces will not be necessary. If you’re not violating against someone else - why should they violate against you?
Take Sweden, Switzerland or Costa Rica as an example. Sweden is the present-day nation state with the longest history of continuous peace. Since its 1814 invasion of Norway, the Swedish kingdom has not engaged in war. Switzerland is known as a country of long-lasting peace.
Costa Rica abolished its army following a 44-day civil war in 1944, in 1949. Since then, its history has been peaceful, especially relative to those of neighboring Central American states. This has earned the country the nickname, "Switzerland of the Americas."

Yes, the 9/11 attacks were horrible. Every innocent life taken away is simply tragic and useless. The terrorists were probably brainwashed. But what made them available for brainwashing and what caused their "leaders" to use other people’s life for their belief?
But what had caused that hate?
In the 80s, the US backed up Afghanistan for fighting the Soviet Union. Before the Iraq wars, the US delivered weapons to Iraq to fight the Iran. Both, Iran and Iraq are now a danger to the US.
I’m not saying that the US only had bad intentions to get involved in conflicts that were not on their continent. "Maybe" they really had peace in mind. But, it is obvious that the war industry profited from the cold war, and that the US always had an eye on easy, and cheap access to the black gold - called oil.
I’ve been in the US from August 2002 to June 2003, so I experienced the beginning of that war that is still going on. Until today, I just do not understand why in the world the US did go to war - without being backed up by the United Nations. I still believe that many countries – including Germany – would have taken serious action against Iraq but they judged the consequences of taking military action in this area differently than the US.

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

The United Nations could have been such a powerful institution, if the democratic US would have used a democratic vote in this “world-council of democratic countries” to “force” democracy unto another nation. But this isolated way of action has done some serious harm to that institution.
I know those words might sound very harsh, but 5 years later, where is the world now?
From a world point of view, the image the U.S. has now has (at least) some scratches. Soldiers and civilians still die in Iraq every day – a stable democracy in Iraq will need its time.
Operation Freedom was one thing that could be done quickly. Operation Democracy will take generations. The Israel – Palestine conflict is still boiling. Terrorists attack even European targets, like Madrid and London, and plan attacks all over the world. People die of violent acts. Since 9/11, the world is still leaving in fear. Fear that violence will not only be somewhere away, but right here, among us. The war in Afghanistan, and Operation Freedom in Iraq hasn’t quite calmed down tensions with the Islamic cultures, on contrary, prejudices on both sides even got worse. All Moslems are violent; all the Western population is materialistic and closed-minded.
I don’t want to make it too political, but the (at least questionable) practices at Guantanamo Bay detention camp and the tortures at Abu Gharib Prison are definitely not a mean for long-lasting peace.

In my first essay I wrote that the good needs the bad to exist, and that Germany after losing a terrible war really had to chance to start all over again. With the help of the so called “Marshall Plan”, West Germany eventually experienced an economic miracle (“Wirtschaftswunder”). East Germany had become a Communistic enclave of the Soviet Union.
Ending both World Wars was just the beginning of new wars.

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

Allied propaganda billed the Great War in Europe as the "war to end all wars." Although the Allies won the war, the resulting "peace" Treaty of Versailles only set the stage for the even bloodier World War II.
When the Allied forces met in Yalta (1945) to discuss post-war Europe - while the killing was still going on – the “Big Three Powers” set the beginning of a new, long-lasting war: the Cold War.
The US had various interests in a prosperous Germany; one of them was certainly to not give the Soviet Union to much influence on the European continent. After all, there were still American troops in Germany until the beginning of the 90s.
Though there was no actual fighting between the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union, too many innocent people lost their lives in useless idealistic fights around the world.

Violence begets violence.

When we really want a world without violence we need to break this vicious circle of violence. We need to truly respect others. We need to live to beauty of diversity.

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.

When we realize and respect the differences we will make progress towards a peaceful environment. This is a huge step that can’t be taken just by tomorrow.

Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Yes, it is idealistic, but there is a lot of truth behind it. The actual sinner, for example, isn’t the root of evil.
The root of evil is that some believe that violence is necessary to save problems in the long-run and are willing to manipulate others for their personal benefit.
In Levin’s “The Case for Torture”, torturing terrorists that kidnap a newborn baby from the hospital or hiding a bomb might sound necessary – or makes sense.
But torturing a terrorist doesn’t save the root of the problem. There are a lot of radical Islamists that are willing to sacrifice their life (!) for their ideals! Yes, the terrorist is the present problem that could more or less easily be taken care of. But a single terrorist is not the root of the problem. Yes, if somebody would do something harmful to my family I couldn’t guarantee to be harmful to him/her, too. But this would only be a momentary solution – what would have been done to my family could not be reversed. It is nature that humans will have aggressive feelings during their life. But we should be smart enough to handle those feelings in a way that doesn’t do harm to others.

In order to live in a peaceful world, again, you have to “fight” the root of the problems. But not in a physical way – in a non-physical way.

There is no way to peace; peace is the way

It’s easy to say, “I’m a peaceful guy, I want peace for everyone, but there will always be people that will always be violent, so you can’t do anything about it”.
Always “the others” are blamed. But this very ignorance may give some people the chance to justify the use of violence.
But isn’t the basic need of a human to feel safe? Can there be realistic hope for a peaceful globe?

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Note: Everything that is written in Italic letters, has been said by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement.

Mittwoch, 24. Oktober 2007

Coming home...

Hey, big news... i'm gonna be back in germany over christmas break.... found a pretty cheap flight to munich (ca. 520euro), so i'm gonna be @ home from 16th dec to 12th january. i'm excited! can't wait for some decent German food!brezen oder a schnitzel... mjam, mjam. after 2 months, I had my first real steak last friday at cheddar's (350 gramm, baked potatoe, french fries), yummy yummy... i need to work out before i get back to germany!i don't think i gained weight, but i'm just not exercising at all!
Ok, one reason i'm writing this blog is to offer you a special x-mas service.
I bought two pairs of adidas-orignals today for 95 dollars (66 euro!)...the exchange rate is still soooo good 70 euro-cents buy one dollar! so especially clothing at electronics are really cheap for us europeans. another example is the new i-pod touch. $400 here, 400 euros in europe. However, when i buy it here, it'll only cost me around 280 euros!! i guess what i'm trying to say is... if you're looking for something special as a christmas gift for a special one or if you're just looking for some cheap cloths from abercrombie or something like that, LET ME KNOW IN TIME (mid-november would be a deadline! the earlier the better though!!!), so i can try to get it for you!
other than that, life is just fine. cindy and i have been "dating" for more than a month now - and we still like to see each other every now and then ;)
I'm already kinda sick of the cafeteria food, at least we've got quizznos on campus (similar to subway!)... but sushi (yuichi), cindy and me are trying to cook for ourselves (especially at the weekends, when the cafeteria food is even worse!) as often as we can...
my midterm-grades are as i expected them to be. "A's in consumer behavior, principles of marketing and psychology, "C" in English (this teacher just gives "C"s or "F"s for midterm, since we so far only got 1/6 of our points over the semester)...

und noch was ganz anderes... wenn man abends mal zufaellig bei nem fox sender vorbeizappt ist es schon erstaunlich, wie die "liberal media" verschwoerungen angegriffen werden... ei ei ei...die amis sind manchmal schon so ein volk...
ich geh jetzt erstmal schlafen...
macht's gut!

Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2007


so sieht das dann aus, wenn man eine einseitig beschriebene 4x6 (inches) notecard in sein marketing exam mitnehmen darf...
kann dann ueber haupt noch was schiefgehen?! ich hoffe nicht...

ach ja... ich kanns lesen ;)

Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2007

Culture Trip...

you might not believe it. there is some kind of cultural "stuff" in the states.
I just got home from a field trip to Kansas City. Susan (the foreign exchange coordinator) and her husband took the white Missouri Western van and took us (Cindy, two boys from my floor and me) to the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art.

There are several collections from all kidns of ages and cultures...for example this monet painting (Boulevard des Capucines or Les Grands Boulevards)
as well as some American Indian exhibits

There is a nice sculpture garden surrounding the two buildings of the museum, but when Cindy and I wanted to walk around a bit, it started raining heavily. Oh by the way, we still have 25C temperatures here :)!

After this "culture shock" (it's amazing how Americans consider stuff ancient, even though it's less than like 200 years old "young"), we went to the plaza again. This plaza is desgined to look like the city of Sevilla, Spain. I haven't been in the Spanish city yet. However, the plaza is nice, yet somehow - for a european - it doesn't look 100 % authentic...
Cheesecake Factory is a wonderful place. Cindy and I went there for lunch....and she met some friends that she got to know during her year at Boston. I don't wanna be rude, those two girls were really nice, BUT honestly! WHO cares about human beings, when it comes to burgers?

not to mention the stuff the cheesecake factory is actually famous for - their cheesecake.

"oma, dein taesekuchen is gud, aber der taesetuchen der mama is besser!" NICHTS KOMMT AN MAMA's KAESEKUCHEN RAN!!!

And now i'm back in my dorm. I need to work on a English reading assigntment. We're about to create our inquiry (a contract between MSWU students and teachers)'s just tough to find the right motivation for something that is not among your most favorites class... oh well... mid-term is coming up. MID-TERM!!! ALREADY!! a fourth (!) of my academic year is already over?you gotta be kidding!so far the grades are, well, good :) I just had one test in consumer behavior so far (93%) - the second one is coming up in like 10 days. Principles of Marketing... herrlich! After a dramatic grade drop from 107 to 103 % (with the 50 out of 50 in the last test!), I really worked on that one assignemnt (--> do you feel the irony?!), a SWOT analysis and the Boston Group Consulting Matrix, and scored 22 out of 20... so i'm back to like 106% again. I just hope i can keep my grade around 100% - would be really nice for Bamberg.
I should have all points in English as well. But so far only smaller assignments have been graded - not the major essays (this i believe, the contract, etc.). The essays won't be graded until the end of the semester. but you know what - i acutally don't care about the grade as long as I pass this class!
Psychology is really interesting. We had a test last tuesday. I didn't do much more than typing my notes in a word document and read the study guide and a few pages in the book. On test day, I didn't feel too comfortable, there were a few questions that I didn't really get. I couldn't remember having read anything in my notes, study guide or book about it. But I thought, hey, who cares about that grade in this class?!
On thursday, we got this multiple choice test back. Wow. For American standards this test really didn't go too well for the students... just 5 As and a couple of Bs in a 70+ class?! So our teacher curved the test. This means that whoever scored best gets 100 % of the test - even thought he might have like 20 out of 50 right... the best in our class scored 45 out of 50. I wonder who ;) not me! i scored 44 out of (now) 45 - and kinda scared my neighbors in that class. oh well. Since we're gonna get extra credit for participating in a little (psychologic) survey, my grade in this class should be above 100% as well...