Sauerland. This is the name of a region of Germany, part in Hesse and part in North Rhine Westphalia. There is no reason for this word to interest anyone, and it usually does not interest me. It just so happens that we are spending a few days at a spa hotel in Sauerland, an area a few hours north of Frankfurt. One could reach this area quicker, if there were highways; there are only winding roads through narrow valleys and over hills on which one ends up behind tractors, trucks, or vehicles turning left. The landscape is rather picturesque and very bucolic. Good for a vacation, if you are not in a hurry to get here. There are a few small ski areas and a famous bobsleigh run, which makes the area appealing to folks from the Ruhr or Holland.
Because I am here, I think about the name. It is a strange name, so I wonder about the origin. Sauer means sour or acidic, which makes me think that the soil might have something to do with the name. Land means region or area. This name might fit regions of the US west, like Badlands, where acid lakes dot part of some state, but nothing in the landscape suggests such soil. Being curious, I checked out the name on Wikipedia. It turns out that the word is a bastardisation of sud, which means south (originally suder), so it is an area south of some other area. People had trouble pronouncing suder or were too lazy to pronounce the original word.
Aren’t you glad you wasted the time getting this far? I am happy that the soil is not acidic….
OBAMA PAYS MEXICO FIVE BILLION DOLLARS TO KEEP DONALD TRUMP
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—President Barack Obama defended his decision on Wednesday to issue a payment of five billion dollars to Mexico to compel that nation to retain custody of Donald J. Trump.
The payment, which will be delivered to the Mexican government in hard American currency by Wednesday afternoon, will insure that Trump will remain in Mexico for the rest of his natural life.
“I have been assured by the government of Mexico that Mr. Trump will be well taken care of and, if he proves to be a productive member of their society, will be provided a pathway to Mexican citizenship,” Obama said.
While the transfer of funds to Mexico sparked howls of protest from some Trump supporters, it was hailed by congressional Democrats, as well as by over a hundred Republicans currently running for reëlection, including Arizona Senator John McCain.
The President bristled at the suggestion that paying Mexico to keep Trump was “reverse ransom” and an extravagant use of taxpayer money. “There is only one accurate word for this payment: a bargain,” he said.
Interesting how things happen simultaneously, although completely unrelated. Media around the world feature the story of a standoff between Native Americans and government authorities in North Dakota. The issue is the building of a pipeline across scared Indian lands, which past governments had given to the Indians (ie. forced them to live on a reservation after stealing their natural habitat for the benefit of white men and women from the East.)
Why is this significant? I happen to be reading an excellent book on an events that took place in North Dakota and Montana in the 1870s. This is traditionally known as Custer’s Last Stand (more appropriately named Custer’s Last Folly), but the book points out that it was also Sitting Bull’s (the winner of the aforementioned) last stand. My great grandfather, who is mentioned in the book, happened to have died because the folly of hagiographer’s darling.
As with much of history, more careful study proves that the Indians were treated badly and the 7th Cavalry got what they deserved. And, again, those making the decisions in places of safety tend to win the most. Of course, then and now, it’s always about money.
The burkini, that famous piece of female bathing attire, has been in the news quite a bit lately. Because one cannot avoid the headlines, one cannot be blamed for thinking about the bloody thing.
Anyway, yesterday, I decided that I want to wear one. Even better would be its big sister, the burkha. This is the only way, other than a beekeepers outfit, to protect myself from the plague of mosquitoes and other biting insects visited upon this country. Since I do not plan to travel to France, I expect little more than strange looks.
The lack of freezing temperatures during recent winters and excess rain this year has allowed these pests to flourish. Because I am a nice person—and obviously flavorful—I am the menu item of choice for all and any in the vicinity.I gotta do something to protect myself.
In the meantime, I look forward to a cold winter…
Humans are crazy, and not just the French. Well, at least the male version of the species.
Men make rules about what women can wear at the beach. Males become exercised—or are told to do so by their wives—about skimpy coverings for water sport or sunbathing. Now, there are people who become excited about women covering up at the beach.
In an ideal world, people—male and female—could do whatever they want to do without fear of censure by some idiot. In the desert, people would cover their skin to prevent sunburn. At the beach, people would wear minimum clothing to catch rays and/or speed drying after a dip. There is no vice versa…except at luxury hotels in Dubai.
After I wrote the above, I spotted the following headline in the New York Times. I guess I’m not the only one to notice or think about this subject.
From Bikinis to Burkinis, Regulating Women’s Swimwear
Mutti (Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany) met with the government leaders of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia to discuss the immigrant crisis. Germany wants all countries to accept immigrants based upon a shared principle; these countries reject accepting immigrants.
The end resolution is always revealing. Mutti said that the discussion were “helpful” and declared that economic agreements were reached. This means. of course, that German taxpayers will be paying for whatever she promised to get her way.
* Displaced Person or...Dumb Politician
Whenever I hear or read about a government official—in any country—citing “national security” in refusing to reveal information about something that the government did in the past, I smell cover-up. Someone did something illegal or stupid and that someone—and government credibility must be protected.
PENCE RECAPTURED AFTER FLEEING TRUMP CAMPAIGN BUS
By Andy Borowitz
VIRGINIA (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it a “scary moment” and a “close call,” Donald Trump’s campaign officials confirmed that they had recaptured Mike Pence after the Indiana governor attempted to flee the campaign bus in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to the campaign, Pence had asked to stop at a McDonald’s in rural Virginia so that he could use the bathroom, but aides grew concerned when the governor failed to reappear after twenty minutes.
After determining that Pence had given them the slip, Trump staffers fanned out across the Virginia backcountry, where the governor was believed to have fled.
News that Pence had vanished touched off a panic in Indiana, where residents feared that he might return to resume his political career.
After forty-five minutes of searching, however, campaign officials located a bedraggled and dazed Pence walking along Virginia State Route 287, where the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee was attempting unsuccessfully to hitch a ride.
A confrontation that Trump aides characterized as “tense” ensued, after which a sobbing Pence returned to the bus.
In the aftermath of Pence’s disappearance, Hope Hicks, Trump’s press secretary, attempted to downplay the severity of the incident. “This is the kind of thing that happens in the course of a long and demanding campaign,” she said. “Having said that, we’re grateful to have Mike Pence back with us, and we won’t let him get away again.”
Reportedly, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered to fill in for Pence in the event that he became unable to fulfill his duties. That offer was declined.
I think that I might have pointed out how democracy is its own worst enemy. This the result of it being too nice to its actual enemies, thus delivering the means to defeat it.
Case in point: the French government banned the wearing of burkinis on public beaches. (For those unfamiliar with female swimwear, the is bathing suit that covers the entire body, including the head. This is worn by Muslim women wishing to swim…an non-Muslim women wishing to prevent sunburn or embarrassed about their body shape.) Anyway, the French said that this was a public safety issue, feeling that said garments might cause some form of violence. Not quite sure by or against whom…
Someone took the government to court, claiming that her civil rights were being violated—of course—and the court agreed. The ban was lifted…except in those towns where the major refuses to follow the court ruling. Naturally, appeals will filed and the battle will rage in the media. This is all happening in August, the month France shuts down and goes to the beach.
Propaganda value is being harvested by Muslim radicals around the world and the list of people hating the French (more over Republicans) grows. Of course, there are plenty of people siding with France. Once the weather turns cold, this issue will solve itself.
But, stay tuned…
REPUBLICANS TO PULL MONEY FROM TRUMP ADS AND SPEND IT ON ALCOHOL
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it “the best use of our resources at this time,” the Republican National Committee has decided to pull money originally earmarked for Trump campaign ads and spend it on alcohol instead.
According to the R.N.C. chairman, Reince Priebus, the decision to reallocate the funds from television advertising to alcoholic beverages came after a careful review of the polling in crucial battleground states.
“With about seventy days to go until the election, we had to consider what was the optimal way for us to get through those seventy days,” he said. “We are confident that we have found that way.”
“The decision was unanimous,” he added.
In the crucial state of Pennsylvania, twenty thousand litres of vodka, gin, tequila, and an assortment of fine whiskeys are already being distributed to Republican Party offices.
“It’s questionable whether the ads we were thinking of buying for Trump would work,” Harland Dorrinson, the Pennsylvania G.O.P. chairman, said. “We received the first shipment of alcohol this afternoon, and I can tell you that it’s already working.”
According to the most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, after the outlays for wine and spirits, the R.N.C. will still have a million dollars in cash on hand, which will go to beer.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.