Archive | Documentary RSS feed for this section

Some of my Thoughts on Nuclear Usage

16 Mar

 Are there still people who want nuclear power stations? There must be, for from time to time I hear someone here in Australia voice an opinion that we should have nuclear power stations as a back up. In the media there are at present endless discussions about our power supply. 

All the nuclear power plant disasters that we know about already, and all the difficulties to rid ourselves of nuclear waste, these are well known facts but not talked about much in main media. Anyhow, with all that present knowledge that is available to us, some people still seem to deliberately ignore all this knowledge and do voice an opinion that we should consider nuclear power stations!

I know, doomsday predictions are not very popular. A significant number of people just want to ignore all the facts. I published in my last three posts some YouTube tapes. All of them have Helen Caldicott in them:

http://www.helencaldicott.com/about/

Helen Caldicott is a famous anti-nuclear activist. That does not mean that the majority of people all over the world are willing to listen to her, does it? How many people really make time to listen to what she has to say? Or when they listen a bit, they might soon say, she is just a doomsday predictor, and they are not wanting to further think about the consequences  of playing with nuclear. There are an immense number of anti-nuclear organisations:

https://www.google.com.au/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=famous+anti-nuclear+activists&*

It seems to me politicians and main media all over the world ignore more or less the message of these organisations. And the extent of the Fukushima disaster is hushed as to not create a panic. It seems to me people with vested interests in nuclear just do not want to change their policies. The worst part is that a lot of people in power are not willing to work on nuclear disarmament. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Caldicott

 

 

Sunday, 23rd of October 2016

23 Oct

I always find my walks more interesting when I can take some pictures while I am walking, that means I really like to just stroll along. Taking pictures gives me an excuse to walk at a leisurely pace. I like to walk slowly so I can better notice a few details about what is beautiful to look at.

Right now, I think I need a break from reading articles on what is going on in the world. There’s just too much to read, and I cannot possibly read everything that interests me.  However, I am very glad that so much information is available on the internet. Unfortunately, sometimes it just gets too much. For relaxation I’m now going to publish some more pictures that I took on a little walk a few days ago.

This tree is in Lakelands Park.

This tree is in Lakelands Park.

I started this post in the morning. It is evening now. In the meantime Peter and I watched the above Video. We watched it with several breaks in between. You can find this video  also here on Dr. Stuart Bramhall’s site:

Brexit,Trump, Syria and the Fabricated War on Terror

Stuart did write a film review about it. It is a BBC production directed by Adam Curtis. Stuart says that in this fascinating documentary, Curtis explores the link between the rise of Putin and Donald Trump, the Brexit vote in Britain and the fabricated War on Terror. Having watched this video now, I must say that I too find this video fascinating. While watching it, I often thought, that we live in a crazy world. Really, it is extremely difficult to see what is “normal” in our world. We all seem to be manipulated by one power or another. Now back to my pictures.

dscn2372

dscn2378

That morning I took at first a few pictures in Lakelands Park. One of my neighbours came along and talked with me for a while. I took some photos as she went further along the footpath. She said she wouldn’t mind if I took a picture of her. However, the close-up photo I took of her did not turn out very well. So I am not going to publish it.

dscn2376

dscn2377

“Good vs Evil”

22 Oct

Reducing Foreign Policy to Good vs Evil

Last year in March Dr. Stuart Bramhall published a Film Review by Adam Curtis (BBC).

At the moment I was mostly interest in what it said about Good vs Evil. I copy it here:

“Reducing Foreign Policy to Good vs Evil

Like Ronald Reagan, George W Bush attempted to reduce the US role in Afghanistan to a simple battle of good vs evil. The political reality was far more complex. US and Saudi intervention during the Soviet occupation brought corrupt warlords to power who supported their fiefdoms through Afghanistan’s heroin trade.

The Taliban, consisting mainly of Afghan orphans raised in Pakistani Madrassa, were primarily driven by a desire to end the heroin trade and this endemic corruption, which they (rightly) blamed on the interference of western imperialists in their country’s domestic affairs.”

A simple battle of good vs evil? Certainly not. I think it still has not become clear to us what is at spiel. It still is not simple, on the contrary, it seems to become more and more complicated. See here:

Brexit,Trump, Syria and the Fabricated War on Terror

I reblogged the avove!

My Paternal Grandparents

24 May

Haus von Josef und Hulda Spickermann during the 40ties

Above the house of Josef and Hulda Spickermann in Lodz during the years before the end of World War Two.

Josef Alexander and Hulda celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in November 1943. All their children with all their spouses and most of the grandchildren were present. Josef and Hulda had three daughters and three sons: Olga, Jenny, Elisabeth (Lies) and Edmund (E), Alexander (Oleg) and Ludwig (Luttek). I have a picture of the Golden Wedding with everyone in it. I tried and tried to copy it for this blog. For some reason it was not possible to do it. Maybe one day I will find a way, to still include this picture of the whole family.

My father was the second son of Josef and Hulda. He married my mother, Irma Charlotte Summerer, on the 30th of September 1930. My mother was only nineteen at the time. Four years later, on the 21st of September 1934, I was born. In June of 1935 my parents travelled with me to Lodz (Poland) to visit Dad’s family there. My mother and I, we did not have our own passports. We were included in Dad’s passport as can be seen in the following picture.

Passport 1935

As far as I know we stayed in Lodz with Tante Lies and Onkel Alfred. I have several pictures that show me with their son Horst who was born on the 7th of February 1935. Tante Lies was about the same age as my mother. Whereas Onkel Alred was twenty years older than his wife. He owned huge properties. We always thought they were rich.

Juni 1935 in Haeuslers Pk Lodz

In the above picture I am in the pram with my cousin Horst. There are also cousins George and Gerd, the sons of Tante Olga as well as cousin Ursula, the daughter of Jenny. (Olga and Jenny were of course the older sisters of my mother.) The picture is taken in the park of the Häuslers, Horst’s parents.

Ute ist 6 Wochen alt

When I was six weeks old the grandparents, Hulda and Josef, came to Berlin for a visit, where they saw me for the first time. They were proud to have a grandchild by one of their sons. (Their other two sons did not have any children yet at the time). I think my twenty-three year old mother looks very pretty in that picture.

9.Juni 1938 Bodo ist nur ein paar Stunden alt

On the 9th of June 1938 my brother Bodo Alexander was born. He was born at home in our apartment in Berlin, Bozener Strasse. Here in this picture he is only a few hours old. I was thrilled to have a baby brother! I believed the ‘Klapperstorch’ had brought him. Mum’s sister Ilse was very excited about this addition to the family as well. Later on I always heard stories about how this home delivery took place. And I did sleep through all of it. When I woke up in the morning, Tante Ilse led me to the cot in the parent’s bedroom. And surprise, surprise, der Klapperstorch had brought a beautiful baby boy. There he was lying in the cot!

Ute mit Opa Spickerman am Reichssportfeld Juni 1938

Here I am with Opa Spickermann at the ‘Reichssportfeld’ in June 1938 soon after the birth of brother Bodo. I was a time when Mum still had to stay in bed. Tante Ilse and her husband Adolf Schlinke owned a ‘Wanderer’ car. In that they drove Dad, Opa and me to the Reichssportfeld for an outing. Probably so Opa could see a bit of Berlin. Presumably he had come all the way from Lodz to Berlin to see his first born grandson by the name of Spickermann.

Dad, Granddad, Tante Ilse and little Uta, (I guess, Onkel Addi took the picture.)

Dad, Granddad, Tante Ilse and little Uta,
(I guess, Onkel Addi took the picture.)

This is a picture of Dad's sisters from 1927 in Lodz.

This is a picture of Dad’s sisters from 1927 in Lodz.

And here is the Golden Wedding Anniversary picture from November 1943 that we were finally able to find.

Golden Wedding (2)

HOW DID WORLD WAR TWO AFFECT US?

15 Apr

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2016-04/kriegsenkel-2-weltkrieg-

http://www.zeit.de/index

Peter and I, we both looked yesterday at two articles in ZEIT ONLINE. These articles are written in German by

Reading these articles prompted us to think once more about how WW2 affected us. We both came to the conclusion that we did not experience anything that would have caused us some trauma. Both our fathers survived the war, but we agreed that both our fathers most likely would have gone through traumatic experiences during the war. Both our parents’ marriages ended up in separation and divorce after the war.

 

Peter has written a number of blogs about his experiences during and after the war. On the 16th May 1945, soon after the end of the war in Germany,  Peter turned ten. Now, more than 70 years later, Peter still remembers amazingly much about 1944 and 1945, and as I said, he has written about it. You may find some of his blogs here:

https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/page/2/?s=World+War+Two&submit=Search

 

Following is a link to the blogs that I wrote about my childhood during World War Two and after:

https://auntyuta.com/?s=World+War+Two&submit=Search

 

Matthias Lohre writes about how badly millions of people had been affected by the War. Yes, millions and millions of people. And a lot of readers wrote comments on this subject.  I read only a few of the comments, there are just too many. But just reading some of the comments, one becomes aware how badly even second and third generations have been affected by the traumatic experiences of their parents or grandparents.

 

Even if Peter and I have not been affected personally by traumatic war experiences so I must say that as children and later young adults we were very much aware how much suffering the war had caused. Some families were totally or nearly totally wiped out because of the holocaust, military casualties or bombing raids on civilians. o All survivors from families with such traumatic experiences were experiencing trauma themselves and even the next generation became very aware that the parents were affected by war.

 

I wonder, how many people, alive today, have never been affected by war? Wars continue to be fought in a lot of countries and a lot of continents. The refugee crisis is now worse than ever. Is mankind going backwards? The few people, who are not affected by wars, do they not ever consider how wars affect the rest of humanity? For as long as some of us can live in peace, we do not care what is being done to the rest of humanity? How can we be so selfish? Has it just got to do with a survival wish?

 

Or is it just a feeling that we have no power to stop wars? But at least we can voice an opinion that we do not want all these wars, can’t we? I really do wonder whether mankind has any chance that some true peacekeepers with a lot of power will come to the fore once more to stop all this fighting! Well, for as long as there is life, there is hope! Or is there?

 

 

Why Suicide?

8 Feb

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078.full.pdf

This paper documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of
middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States
between 1999 and 2013. . . .

. . . . . potential economic causes and consequences of this deterioration . . . .

To read on, please go to the above link. I found the following interesting reading too:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/07/suicide-rates-rise-butte-montana-princeton-study

Charlotte Amalie

7 Feb

THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES BY ALICE HOFFMAN

All the following pieces are copies from various Google articles.
In this book with the title “Marriage of Opposites” Alice Hoffman says in her afterword, that Rachel Pizzarro’s life in her imagined story mirrors the known facts about Rachel as closely as possible.
I reckon it is very rewarding to find out more about the historical background of the book’s characters by googling for some more information. Right in the beginning of Hoffman’s book Rachel says that she rarely did as she was told. Out of all the numerous children that Rachel had, Jacobo Camille, the artist, is by far the most interesting. I would say this novel is extremely well written and that it is based on historical facts makes it all the more interesting.

The story is set on the Island of St. Thomas and in Paris. Charlotte Amalie is the place where Rachel and her family lived. Here are some facts about Charlotte Amalie:

“Charlotte Amalie (/ˈʃɑːrlət əˈmɑːljə/ or /-ˈæməliː/), located on St. Thomas, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning “beer houses” or “beer halls”[1]). In 1691, the town was renamed to Amalienborg (in English Charlotte Amalie) after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650–1714), queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark. It has a deep-water harbor that was once a haven for pirates and is now one of the busiest ports of call for cruise ships in the Caribbean, with about 1.5 million cruise ship passengers landing there in 2004. Protected by Hassel Island, the harbor has docking and fueling facilities, machine shops, and shipyards and was a U.S. submarine base until 1966. The town has been inhabited for centuries. When Christopher Columbus came here in 1493, the area was inhabited by Island Caribs and Taíno. It is on the southern shore at the head of Saint Thomas Harbor. In 2010 the city had a population of 18,481,[2][3] which makes it the largest city in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. Hundreds of ferries and yachts pass through town each week, and at times the population more than doubles.
The city is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, and a dozen streets and places throughout the city have Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has buildings of historical importance including St. Thomas Synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere,[4] and the oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere, the Frederick Lutheran Church. The town has a long history of pirates, especially stories of Bluebeard and Blackbeard (Edward Teach). In the 17th century, the Danes built both Blackbeard’s Castle and Bluebeard’s Castle attributed to the pirates. Blackbeard’s Castle is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Another tourist attraction is Fort Christian, the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. A copy of the Liberty Bell is in Emancipation Park, which is a tourist attraction.

The city was named Charlotte Amalie in honor of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel in 1691”

I also found the following about THE DANISH WEST INDIES:

“The Danish West Indies (Danish: Dansk Vestindien) or Danish Antilles was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas with 43 square miles (110 km2); Saint John with 42 square miles (110 km2); and Saint Croix with 100 square miles (260 km2). The Danish West India Guinea Company annexed the uninhabited island of Saint Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1675. In 1733, Saint Croix was purchased from the French West India Company. When the Company went bankrupt in 1755, the King of Denmark-Norway assumed direct control of the three islands. The Danish West Indies was occupied by Britain in 1802–1803 and 1807–1815, during the Napoleonic Wars.
The intention of Danish colonization in the West Indies was to exploit the profitable triangular trade, involving the exportation of firearms and other manufactured goods to Africa in exchange for slaves who were then transported to the Caribbean to staff the sugar plantations. The final stage of the triangle was the exportation of cargo of sugar and rum to Denmark. The economy of the Danish West Indies was dependent on slavery. After a rebellion, slavery was officially abolished in 1848, leading to the near economic collapse of the plantations.
In 1852, the sale of the increasingly unprofitable colony was first debated in the Danish parliament. Denmark tried several times to sell or exchange the Danish West Indies in the late 19th and early 19th century, to the United States and the German Empire respectively. The islands were eventually sold for 25 million dollars to the United States, which took over the administration on 31 March 1917, renaming the islands the United States Virgin Islands.”

The Synagogue on the Island of Saint Thomas is mentioned frequently in Hoffman’s novel. Here is some more background about this synagogue:

“Saint Thomas Synagogue was built in 1833, and is the second-oldest synagogue on United States soil (after the 1763 Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island). It also has the longest history of continuous use by a Jewish congregation in the nation. It was built for a congregation founded in 1796 by Sephardic Jews who had come to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between Europe and the New World.[1]
Features[edit]

The synagogue as a number of distinctive and unique features. Most of the wooden features including the benches, the ark and the bimah are made from mahogany. The menorah dates back to the 11th century and is Spanish in origin. The chandeliers are European and are presumed Dutch. There are four pillars inside representing Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, the four matriarchs of the Jewish people. But by far the most unusual feature of the synagogue is the sand floor. There are two theories behind this unusual occurrence. One is to represent the Israelite journey through the desert. Another theory is that it represents the Conversos who were forced to convert to Catholicism. Many continued to observe Judaism, so they usually met in their cellars and would use sand to muffle their prayers.
The congregation is affiliated with the Reform Jewish movement and the rabbi is a graduate of Hebrew Union College.

Here now a synopsis written I think by Tom Morrison:
ALICE HOFFMAN
“The Marriage of Opposites”

“Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of faraway Paris.
Her mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules.
But Rachel’s fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father’s business, she is married off to a widower with three children.
When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frederic arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history’s greatest artists.

Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES shows Alive Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frederic is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary women and her forbidden love, from the internationally bestselling author of THE DOVEKEEPERS.”

Beautiful, harrowing . . .
A major contribution to twenty-first-century literature’
Tom Morrison, for The Dovekeepers

Jodi Picoult says: “Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love.”

Synopsis

Alice Hoffman’s compelling tale of the artist Camille Pissarro and his mother

By Wendy Smith August 4, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/alice-hoffmans-compelling-tale-of-the-artist-camille-pissarro-and-his-mother/2015/08/04/86534d92-37fa-11e5-9739-170df8af8eb9_story.html