Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

More on my current situation (and complaints about politicians)

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Apart from a few hours on the 11th, there has been no construction works for some time. I am still bordering on being a wreck, however, between the accumulated damage from construction noise, countless other issues, and, of course, frustration with the anti-scientific, anti-democratic, anti-civic-rights, and anti-individual political climate that manifests again and again. Only over the last week or so have I moved away from having bouts of anger, sometimes to the point of shouting out loud, on a near daily basis.

Do not even try to tell me that COVID would be a problem in comparison.

To illustrate how viciously such prolonged* stress can damage someone: Yesterday, I read that Germany was finally caving and beginning to lift its destructive and scientifically unfounded restrictions of various kinds. This with the likely additional implication (knock on wood; there was no explicit mention) that the threatened forced vaccinations would be off the table for the time being. Truly good news! This is something that should have put a smile on my face and made my day. What happens instead? Within five minutes I am in fury over the situation until now, having to restrain myself from shouting out loud that Merkel should be thrown in jail and have her Ph.D. revoked.

*Note e.g. that the COVID situation has been going for close to two years and that the construction noise has, in bouts, covered more than an accumulated year of my total stay in this apartment. Also note that the COVID situation often has blocked escapes and “rest and relaxation” that would have been open to me during other times. Also see excursion on built-up tension.

It is that bad.

Indeed, I have begun to avoid some news sources, even when valuable, because the contents are too frustrating and slow the restoration of my own normalcy. Indeed, I have hardly written a word for my books since December, because I have not been able to gather the energy. (Blogging is easier.) Indeed, I have over a dozen unopened and unanswered letters lying around, the oldest from October—first because I wanted to wait until the construction works ended (but they went on forever), later because I feared that too bad news before I had reached some normalcy would cause me to snap to the point of, say, throwing my notebook at the wall. (But, no, that is not what happened to the old one.)

These letters include sources like my bank and various government agencies, notably the German IRS—exactly the type of letters that it can be harmful to neglect. Still, I have simply not dared the attempt.

Beginning today, I am going to (try to) take a few a day (with reservations for what happens). The two that I opened today were perfectly harmless, but my pulse was still raising due to sheer nervousness—what if this is some really bad news and my progress over the last week is ruined?* (Not to mention whatever the bad news might involve more directly.)

*I realize, of course, that most letters do not bring bad news—some might even bring good news. Maybe, they will all turn out to be harmless. Still, the risk is there, and, at least in Germany and at least where banks and the government is concerned, the risk is not trivial. Moreover, there might well be some item that has only grown to be a problem due to the delays.

Excursion on built-up tension, etc.:
As an extension to an earlier text, I note that any fit of anger leaves me more prone to have another fit of anger in the course of the same or even the next day. When there is no time to, to use the metaphor from that text, empty the basin, the risk of further fits increases, and when the stress is constant over weeks or months, e.g. through construction noise, it is a disaster. Positive events leave me almost untouched; negative ones, even minor, cause the basin to overflow. (Cf. above.)

Excursion on forced vaccinations:
A few weeks ago, I read a German article that loudly proclaimed that no-one would ever be forced to take a vaccine. (Bodily self-determination, and all that—we are not Nazis after all and any longer.) No, to speak of forced vaccinations would be horribly unfair towards the poor politicians, because no-one would ever be held down with violence while some physician stabbed him with a needle. No, all that would happen would be fines—honest. Well, from what has been suggested so far, and looking e.g. at Austria, these fines might have been very large, highly damaging to most and preventative to many. If that is not enough, barbaric German laws still allow for various forms of imprisonment for not paying government-proclaimed debts and whatnots to the government. An enforcement with bodily force would not be much worse, would at least be honest, and would expose the government to a greater resistance from the population. (The latter likely being the true reason for why bodily force is avoided.)

Excursion on the need for a reckoning (and Merkel et al):
In the last few weeks it appears (again, knock on wood) that the public opinion has finally turned enough that politicians begin to cave and (whether a separate event or not) journalists and government agencies appear to finally begin to report the actual science, instead of their own panic-mongering pseudo-science. This is not enough. To prevent repetitions, we need a reckoning, we need countermeasures, we need consequences for the main perpetrators—and, above all, we need the broad masses to understand how very thin the protection against another Communist or Nazi dictatorship or an Orwellian dystopia actually is. Among measures, we need more political transparency, “evidence based” politics, and a ban on politicians dictating to the people what the people should believe. (A complete discussion might take hundreds of pages.)

As to consequences for the main perpetrators: Above, I speak of wanting to shout that “Merkel should be thrown in jail and have her Ph.D. revoked”. While this, of course, was not a reasoned opinion but a “heat of the moment” thought, there is more than a little to it—and many others, including Biden, Fauci, Macron, and Trudeau, should be prosecuted.* Even if they are subsequently acquitted, this will set a warning to future leaders to tread more carefully; if they are convicted, the more so.

*Speaking from an abstract ethical point of view. Whether the current laws in their respective jurisdiction allows this is another matter.

Merkel has been a particular disappointment (for the umpteenth time!): Unlike many of the others, who have a comparatively weak education, say a bullshit bachelor and a J.D. for most U.S. politicians, she has a STEM Ph.D., she has research qualifications, and she has worked as a scientist. Nevertheless, her behavior has ranged from the un- to the anti-scientific. She has betrayed science, just like she already had betrayed the traditional values of her party (Christian Conservatives) to form repeated coalitions with the Social-Democrat archenemy and often seemed more Left than “Right”, herself. She might no longer be the chancellor, but she had done a tremendous amount of damage to Germany and her party even before COVID arrived. During the COVID-era, she has been a disgrace. Indeed, Merkel embodies the type of politician that I so loathe—and the reason that I once was a fan is that I assumed that her scientific background would make her the opposite of what she turned out to be.

Written by michaeleriksson

February 18, 2022 at 7:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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