Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

McDonalds hires Stasi Informer, adopts Stasi Tactics

by Jeffersonian Democrat Tue Apr 13th, 2010 at 11:57:36 AM EST

A really, really bizarre story here.  Der Spiegel has an investigative story of McDonalds not only employing former Stasi informers, but of also using them for Stasi intimidation practices.

The story, for the article, begins with a McDonalds franchise owner Ulrich Enzinger in the area of Munich.  Enzinger goes to visit one of his restaurants that he owns and something pretty creepy happens

The restaurant is busy on this Monday morning, as Enzinger parks his car in one of the few empty spaces, locks the door and walks toward the entrance. Suddenly a dark sedan pulls up next to him, the passenger window opens and a voice says: "You are barred from the premises. Please leave."

Stasi: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit; Staatssicherheit, literally State Security.  The State Security Apparatus for the German Democratic Republic, GDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR)

McDonald's Corporation: (NYSE: MCD) is one of the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving nearly 47 million customers daily.

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I won: The Veterans Administration and Me

by Jeffersonian Democrat Wed Mar 24th, 2010 at 07:05:54 AM EST

On February 24th, a judge at The board of veterans appeals (BVA) adjudicated in my favor.  Based off of medical evidence, she granted me service connection for PTSD as a combat veteran.  Severe Depression and Anxiety Disorder was remanded to the VA to determine if it was separate from or, as my psychological exam states, secondary to the PTSD.

I have a feeling that another exam is coming.

But this leaves me with a financial problem

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Socialized Medicine: The VA and a potential Cure for Cancer?

by Jeffersonian Democrat Tue Oct 27th, 2009 at 03:56:08 PM EST

Government run health care, socialized medicine, European and Canadian systems suck.

Somehow, none of the right-winger or pundits dare to even challenge the one single-payer system in the US: the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It looks like that horrible government-run system just may have found something very positive in the field of cancer research: something that seems to affect all cancers in petri dishes and in animals.

Next stop - human trials, if they can get the funding.

x-posted in Orange

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Immigration to Europe: A Non-EU migrant's perspective

by Jeffersonian Democrat Fri May 29th, 2009 at 04:41:49 PM EST

Last week, I wrote a diary that was one part desperation, two parts dark snark, and four parts Schloss Hefeweizen.  Needless to say, it didn't go over very well but it was about my despair about turning 43 on the 23rd and the French Foreign Legion's big "Non".

So what does age, the Legion, and immigration have to do with one another?  Not really a lot unless you are trying to find ways to contribute to a society you really wish to live in.

I've loved Europe since I was around eight-years-old.  It has always been a dream to live here.  I'm really nerdy when it comes to visiting castles and museums and reading Sagas and Arthurian Legends, that hasn't changed since I was 8.  My military experience provided me with the chance to experience exotic places from the Sinai to Honduras to Panama and elsewhere.  But only once did I come here for Reforger '85 in January 1985.  I've yet to experience another Winter here that cold.

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Ok, I am pissed at Europeans

by Jeffersonian Democrat Sat May 16th, 2009 at 04:29:18 PM EST

I am really pissed at age discrimination not only from university grants to....

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My Thoughts and Perspective as a SERE Graduate, Part I

by Jeffersonian Democrat Wed May 6th, 2009 at 03:39:49 PM EST

On Fri Dec 09, 2005 at 04:03:27 PM CET, I published a diary in response to the release of the Abu Graib photos SERE training and torture.  SERE - Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape.  I was one of the first here to scream SERE when I saw those images.  Since then, Valtin especially, has done outstanding work in his effort to familiarize the non-military American citizen with the SERE program.  He has also caused me great shame and anguish that an institution to which I once belonged and revered engages in these techniques now as an operational, rather than a training, procedure.

[Note, this is a reprint from Kos.  Neveertheless, I thought that maybe I would share it with my European friends since I live here in Europe and hope to be able to soon call myself European as far as immigration goes, anyway, these are my thoughts.  And this is a first in a series, if there is interest, I will post more of the series]

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"Gotcha" Dirt on Democrats: The Clandestine Search Abroad

by Jeffersonian Democrat Fri Apr 18th, 2008 at 03:38:20 AM EST

Hello everyone, I am posting this really as a Public Service Announcement for American democrats here in Europe who may read ET but are not on the Democrats Abroad email list: a warning was sent out yesterday and I just wrote a diary about it, which I will post later today on DKos for maximum exposure.

I feel like I am back in the military, on a strategic reconnaissance  mission deep in the hinterland, sending a report of raw intelligence back to higher for further analysis and decemination.

People, we really have to get our shit together and quit bickering amongst ourselves, because there are others laying the groundwork for some serious attacks against our nominee in the fall.  What follows below is a report for a search, or fishing expedition, of information to build a case of not only character assassination but possible legal problems and complications for the Democratic nominee in the General Election, IMO.

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Requesting Tips from Econ & Finance folks

by Jeffersonian Democrat Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 12:02:03 PM EST

Ok, this is the deal.  I am not dumb enough to request financial tips off the web, but I am dumb enough to lose a lot of money and comfortable future if I do not use it right.  So what I am asking for, if you are so inclined to give advice, is a list of things to take to a financial advisor (I bank at Merril Lynch in the US and Sparkasse here in Germany)

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The Problem of European Identity: Are the Humanities a Factor?

by Jeffersonian Democrat Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:43:01 AM EST

While reading the diaries of Mr. Schnittger and the informative and insightful arguments of European Identity within, it dawned on me that there was no discussion on the role, if any, of my particular field of study: Literature.

Of course, on the surface, it doesn't seem something as abstract as literature would have anything to do with the person on the street identifying as a Czech or as a European.  Still, I ask, does someone like W.B. Yeats represent an Irish identity within the Irish national consciousness, and if so, how?  Or how about Balzac for a Frenchman?

I think Mr. Schnittger is on the right track in his argument, particularly a common denominator needed for identity, however I am not of the opinion that it is Christianity.  In fact, I believe that it may go deeper.  Because identity is so intertwined in the nation, the attempt to understand identity lies within a particular nation's culture.  I would acknowledge that Christianity is a denominator but I think we can go further and try to identify the lowest common denominator in which to measure identity.  Religion plays a distinctive role throughout all of humanity and its identities but I have to be careful here as to how I use the word religion.   Nikolai Berdyaev in his Origins of Russian Communism argues that the Russian people are very religious and the Bolsheviks understood this.  They merely exploited this belief system and replaced Christian Icons with Party portraits, for example.  Yet the functioning of a religious belief system remained though officially atheistic concerning the question of a deity.

Diary rescue by Migeru

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Worker Struggles - a personal perspective

by Jeffersonian Democrat Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:31:48 PM EST

Daneel [on dKos; DoDo on ET] invited me to diary this here from a comment I made on Jerome's diary Don't Spite the God of Economic Reform over at the Big Orange's edition.

What follows is a case example of working conditions you don't expect in a European country that is supposed to be stiffled by socialistic regulation, maybe not even in an Anglo-Saxon country with a supposedly dynamic and flexible workforce. And of collective fight-back. Is this our future?

Promoted with slight edit by DoDo

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I've been published, a while ago, here it is: The Dialectic of Perception

by Jeffersonian Democrat Sat Jun 9th, 2007 at 03:03:48 PM EST

Since I've been here a while, I thought that I would share my one and only publication so far.  This is an essay that shares the pages with such luminaries as George McGovern and Noam Chomsky.  I highly recommend (I do not recieve royalties) this work, entitled:

The United States in Global Context: American Studies after 9/11 and Iraq

edited by Walter Grünzweig, 2004, ISBN 3-8258-8262-4

Distributed by Transaction Publishers in North America
x-posted at Boo and Kos
This is my published writing so far, kind of embarrassed as I was absolutely wrong:

The forward is:

Richard Gallant is a graduate student in Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Virginia with a focus in aesthetics, ideology, and revolutionary theater.  After spending a year in Dortmund as an exchange student two years ago, he is currently exchange lecturer at Dortmund teaching a course entitled "Pornography and Literature: Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Sacher-Masoch, and Vladimir Nabokov"

(that was 2004, I now focus on Germanic Saga)

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Controversy and implications of whether Israel fired on German Navy

by Jeffersonian Democrat Thu Oct 26th, 2006 at 09:41:54 AM EST

Some folks here have expressed an interest in the foreign press and what is going on outside of US domestic politics.  So, here is my contribution in that spirit, to bring to light a huge issue now happening in Germany complicated by an incident yesterday.

(x-posted at Booman and European Tribune)

A report in the German press, released Wednesday by Der Tagesspiegel, claims Israeli F16s conducted a low level fly-by and shoot twice in an "over the bow" warning, on the German Navy conducting UNIFIL operations off the coast of Lebanon.  Today's follow up is at:


Nach einem Bericht des "Tagesspiegel" sollen bei dem Vorfall zwei israelische Kampfflugzeuge vom Typ F16 ein deutsches Schiff überflogen und zwei Schüsse in die Luft abgegeben haben. Außerdem hätten die Kampfflieger Infrarot-Täuschkörper zur Raketenabwehr abgefeuert. Die deutsche Marine kreuzt im Rahmen des Nahost-Einsatzes der Vereinten Nationen vor Libanons Küste. (tso/ddp)

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What is Enlightenment?

by Jeffersonian Democrat Thu Sep 28th, 2006 at 04:58:41 PM EST

x-posted at Boo and Kos

I see trend passing, like a dark storm cloud over western civilization.  A cloud of immaturity, ignorance, superstition, regressive hatred, and self-loathing in the mind of western man (including women in that statement).  In just the last week:

"[Frisco, Texas]...School board members have voted to not renew the contract of a veteran art teacher who was reprimanded after one of her fifth-grade students saw a nude sculpture during a school trip to a museum."

"A leading German opera house unleashed a furious debate over free speech Tuesday by pulling a production over fears it posed a security risk because of a scene featuring the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad.
The Deutsche Oper said it had decided "with great regret" to cancel a planned production of Mozart's "Idomeneo" after Berlin security officials warned of an "incalculable risk" because of scenes dealing with Islam, as well as other religions."

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I have a NSA file

by Jeffersonian Democrat Sun Dec 18th, 2005 at 09:28:41 AM EST

x-posted at Kos & Boo

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SERE training and torture

by Jeffersonian Democrat Fri Dec 9th, 2005 at 11:18:02 AM EST

I haven't written a lot of diaries, mostly because people here have much more insight, expertise, and perception than I.  Nevertheless, I think I'll write this one up because it something I have personal experience with and the subject came up on another thread.  I'm a SERE grad, and although the program, especially the Resistance Training Laboratory (RTL, or mock POW camp) is classified, I think that I can comment on what's been going on in the news about the program and correct a lot of misperceptions on the objective of torture.

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Tin Foil Hats on 9/11? (x-posted at Boo)

by Jeffersonian Democrat Sat Nov 12th, 2005 at 04:14:08 PM EST

Let me be very clear: I do not believe in conspiracies, mainly due to the fact that conspiracy theories do not take into account that the only secret is the one kept by one person.  If something like this report took place, it would take lot's of logistics and support personnel to carry out.  Since I firmly believe that people in our intelligence organs, the professionals, truly believe in protecting our country, such a conspiracy would produce whistle-blowers in the chain of people with the need-to-know.  That is why this study puzzles me and I do not know what to make of it.  Below the fold:

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New American Socialist in Euro politics

by Jeffersonian Democrat Thu Nov 3rd, 2005 at 11:06:33 AM EST

Special thanks to DoDo and Ritter for their informative insights into German political parties in the twilight of the gods diary.  I took the advice to heart and after reading more information I've sent for a membership packet from the Linkspartei.

Since I am a new immigrant from the US to Germany, I decided to get involved in the political process of my new country.  Not only country however, but also continent.  Metatone's diary today of a pan-European party struck my interest and if I'm going to be a European in two years, then working toward a pan-Euro Left seems like a worthy goal.  Nevertheless it starts at home and that's why I am getting involved at the local level ... now if I can just find that L'Internationale ringtone for my cell phone!

So this quick diary is just a personal one of one person rolling up the sleeves in their new country to fight for a better future.  I will be proud the day I become an EU citizen.

Oh, and Ritter, you're on for X-mas, thanks for the invite.

Comments >> (5 comments)


by Jeffersonian Democrat Sat Jul 9th, 2005 at 04:20:59 AM EST

I just read a Der Spiegel artical on a website that just popped up, so I checked it out:  http://www.werenotafraid.com

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German Diary: excursions into activism

by Jeffersonian Democrat Tue Jun 28th, 2005 at 07:33:02 AM EST

OK, I haven't been pulling my weight; here or in activism in general.  The last thing I did was march in Berlin on the eve of the Iraq war.  Now, I am conducting my second act in activism.

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Is the Left dead?

by Jeffersonian Democrat Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 10:16:44 AM EST

I ran across an interesting column that dares to dishearten me.

More below the fold

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