Sunday, October 01, 2023

Outrage in Germany after video shows revellers 'performing the Nazi salute while listening to song linked to Third Reich' at Oktoberfest event

This story is rather over-egged. "Erika" is simply a rather pretty love song for a woman. German soldiers sang it out of nostalgia for the times before they went into the "Heer" (army). It is a very good and innocent song and I would conclude that the salutes were for the song, nothing else. It is a very catchy song and the German "Oom-Pah-Pah" bass is mesmeric. American evangelical Christians often raise their hands high to indicate enthusiasm for the preaching and associated hymns

I am putting up a video of one performance. It has subtitles so if you understand German you can confirm what I say of the song. Note that the flag in the song is the flag of the present German Federal Republic. The Maltese cross also in the video is the "Balkenkreuz" dating from before Hitler's rise

German revellers have sparked fury after a video emerged showing them performing the Nazi salute while listening to a song linked to the Third Reich at an Oktoberfest event.

Video reportedly shows three men and a woman dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes repeatedly raising their arms in a Nazi salute while singing along to the song 'Erika' by composer Herms Niel.

The tune is a German marching band song published in 1938 and was associated with the Wehrmacht, the armed forces of the Third Reich.

One man is accused of making the Nazi salute, which is a crime in Germany, as many as 14 times in 16 seconds while the woman raises her arm seven times.

The video was filmed by a shocked onlooker at an Oktoberfest event in the small town of Zieschützen near Dresden, Germany, on Saturday night.

Police are now investigating the incident, with a spokesman telling local media: 'We are investigating the initial suspicion that unconstitutional symbols were used. State security is also participating in the investigation.'

One of the event's organisers, Matthias Braune, also distanced himself from the revellers' actions.

He told Bild: 'We clearly distance ourselves from these types of visitors. We just want to celebrate a normal Oktoberfest.' He added that the song 'Erika', which is not banned, will not be played at future events.

According to German law, performing a Nazi salute or using any Nazi-related symbols is considered 'unconstitutional', and offenders can be sent behind bars for up to three years.

One local commented on the video: 'It's not too late to reinstate the Nuremberg Trials with harsher penalties yet.'

Another said: 'This gives the same energy as southern Americans still rocking confederate flags because of heritage and nothing else.'

Someone else wrote: 'In fairness, a good number of Germans would be outraged too!'

Another responded: 'Herms Niel wrote Erika in 1938. Niel was definitely a Nazi through and through. The song Erika was incredibly popular in both the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS. Like the song or not, it is a song by a Nazi for Nazis.'


Leaked Messages From UAW Official Reveal a Big Cause of Unions’ Decline

“If we can keep them wounded for months, they don’t know what to do … this is recurring reputations damage and operation chaos.”

That leaked statement, first reported by The Detroit News, is not a military tactic nor a hostile takeover plan. Rather, it’s a strategy for wounding and weakening American companies, with collateral damage that includes the American economy.

And it’s the strategy—expressed in a private group chat on X (formerly Twitter) by United Auto Workers communications director Jonah Furman—of an organization whose foremost mission statement is to “improve and protect” the compensation and work environment of UAW members.

The utter disconnect between the UAW’s strategy of wounding, damaging, and inflicting chaos on the companies upon which its members’ jobs and compensation prospects depend is astounding.

Big Labor’s increasingly distorted understanding of unions’ role in America—and of free enterprise and democracy—are a cause of their decline.

At their heyday, unions represented about 35% of workers in the U.S. Today, they represent 10% of workers, and only 6% of private sector workers.

Workers realize that the viability of their jobs and the compensation they receive are interwoven with the success of their employers. In science, this is referred to as a symbiotic relationship: two groups working together toward a common goal.

(There will, of course, always be some bad employers who take advantage of workers or deny them a voice in the workplace. And when that happens, the best remedies are for workers to either seek better job opportunities or for those who want to band together collectively to do so.)

But despite surveys that show that teamwork and good relationships with managers are primary components of employees’ engagement and satisfaction, Big Labor seems intent on convincing workers that they must be at war with their employers.

When critiquing the suggestion that unions would do better to abandon their focus on politics and adversarial tactics, two Teamsters union attorneys essentially admitted that creating conflict is how they survive, saying, “It is no secret that such a ‘non-adversarial’ approach would gravely weaken organized labor.”

That’s where unions have gone astray, thinking that “it’s us or them.”

Even in 1950, when the only cars Americans could buy were those made by the Big Three automakers, that flawed interpretation of labor unions’ roles was short-sighted. Yes, the UAW was able to drive up compensation above market wages to the benefit of its members, but the result of higher car prices meant fewer families could afford cars and, thus, fewer cars were produced and fewer workers were needed to produce them.

Now, in the globally competitive 21st century, unions inflicting damage and chaos are at odds with unions’ short- and long-term goals. How can companies whose reputations have been crippled and who’ve suffered financial losses somehow pay workers 40% more for 20% less work?

That’s like eliminating 11 players from the Arizona Cardinals roster, not allowing players to access to their practice stadium, and expecting them to win the Super Bowl.

Understandably, the Big Three automakers are frustrated.

A Stellantis spokesperson said that the reported comments “are incredibly disturbing and strongly indicate that the UAW’s approach to these talks is not in the best interest of the workforce. We are disappointed that it appears our employees are being used as pawns in an agenda that is not intended to meet their needs.”

GM said that it’s “now clear that the UAW leadership has always intended to cause months-long disruption, regardless of the harm it causes to its members and their communities.” GM also said this “calls into question who is actually in charge of UAW strategy and shows a callous disregard for the seriousness of what is at stake. UAW leadership needs to put the interests of its members and the country over their own ideological and personal agendas.”

And a Ford spokesperson said, “It’s disappointing, to say the least, given what is at stake for our employees, the companies, and this region,” and noted, “For our part, we will continue to work day and night, bargaining in good faith, to reach an agreement that rewards our workforce and allows Ford to invest in a vibrant and growing future.”

If union officials actually want to protect UAW jobs and improve workers’ compensation, then they have to want the Big Three American automakers to succeed and to grow. Considering that U.S. auto production is less than half of what it was two decades ago, success is likely going to require that the UAW work alongside—rather than against—U.S. automakers to help them become more competitive.

To the extent that involves lobbying policymakers, the focus should be on getting the government out of the business of picking winners and losers by its subsidizing of more expensive electric vehicles that require 40% less labor while also seeking to ban gas-powered vehicles that Americans still overwhelmingly desire.

And if unions across America want to increase their membership, they should appeal directly to workers by offering things they value instead of using their dues to get politicians to go against their interests by doing things like attacking secret ballot union elections, restricting employers’ ability to share important information with workers before union elections, and establishing a pathway to force an employer to bargain with a union even if workers don’t want to be represented by it.


As Ibram X. Kendi’s ‘Anti-Racism’ Center Implodes, Let’s Make Sure to Stop His Noxious Ideology

Kendi is a very third rate intellectual but that suits the Left. They are haters, not thinkers

Much like the crooked Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation before it, author and agitator Ibram X. Kendi’s noxious “anti-racism” grift has imploded at Boston University.

After three years of existence and tens of millions of dollars in funding, Kendi’s organization reportedly is falling apart.

Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research received, at minimum, $43 million in grants and donations since it went into operation in 2020, according to the Boston University’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press.

“The $43 million, according to 2021 budget records obtained by The Daily Free Press, includes general support, such as the $10 million from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, as well as donations for specific projects,” the student newspaper reported.

Kendi’s center had the budget of a small market sports franchise, which is a lot of money for an ambiguous research institute. The production that Boston University got for this massive investment ended up to be about the same as my beloved but hapless Oakland A’s.

Kendi’s organization is now laying off staff en masse.

“There’s a mismatch between the amount of money that [the Center for Antiracist Research] has received from these grants and what they’ve actually produced,” an anonymous source told The Daily Free Press. “You can juxtapose that with other research centers either at BU or other universities that have received a tiny fraction of what CAR has received and has produced a lot more.”

It appears that, for all its money, Kendi’s anti-racism center produced next to nothing. Former employees are publicly burying it.

“It’s not that Kendi tried and failed to generate meaningful scholarly output; he seems to have had no interest in doing so to begin with—and no concept of what would have been involved if he tried,” writes Spencer Klavan at the Spectator.

Really, what did Kendi’s backers expect?

At no point has he ever been expected to prove his thesis with data or information. Academia never questioned the fundamental premise of Kendi’s ideology, especially after the “racial reckoning” of 2020. Any who did within the official institutions of approved thought would have found themselves quickly banished for thought crimes.

The legacy media praised Kendi breathlessly. In the few cases in which he’s been called on to defend his more ridiculous ideas—like how lowering capital gains taxes is a racist policy—his unsatisfactory answers never got a follow-up.

He was treated not as a scholar or researcher but as the Rasputin of anti-racism. Even at that, he’s been woefully deficient. He got tens of thousands of dollars for short speaking engagements and a huge contract from Netflix.

Still, there was nothing to show for it.

At an extremely friendly Aspen Ideas festival event, Kendi was asked to define “racism.” The venerated swami of our woke elite answered: “I would define it as a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas.”

According to Kendi racism is defined as doing a racism, leading to racism, the result being racism and inequity, which is racism. Got it?

I will give Kendi his due in one sense. His ideas have become akin to official orthodoxy in our country’s public and private institutions. That’s more a product of our institutions looking for someone to say what Kendi would say rather than his unique and insightful brilliance.

He just took advantage of the situation and sold them the snake oil they’d been yearning for.

For a refresher on Kendi’s worldview, I’ll point to my review of his book, “How to Be an Antiracist.” This book, alongside “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, became a kind of foundational tract for college-educated liberals burning with the fire of the Great Awokening.

Kendi’s work revolved around three main concepts: First, that racism had to be redefined. It was no longer good enough to simply not be racist. There are only two modes of thought, Kendi wrote: racist and anti-racist. Denying you are a racist can actually make you a racist—the classic Kafka trap.

Second, anti-racists such as Kendi have posited that “colorblindness” in dealing with race is itself racism. You must see race all the time, recognize it, then address it. Under the anti-racist rubric, race becomes the defining feature of human existence.

Third, Kendi wrote that the way to deal with past discrimination is present discrimination. In addition, literally any racial discrepancies in society, according to Kendi, are a product of racism. To be a good anti-racist, you really must be the right kind of racist.

Here’s what Kendi wrote in his book:

If discrimination is creating equity, then it is anti-racist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. Someone reproducing inequity through permanently assisting an overrepresented racial group into wealth and power is entirely different than someone challenging that inequity by temporarily assisting an underrepresented racial group into relative wealth and power until equity is reached. The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.

To think that one can tinker with society to ensure perfect racial equity in all situations makes traditional Marxism seem downright pragmatic.

Did it matter that Kendi’s project was philosophically absurd, in practice discriminatory and tyrannical? Not at all.

Big money and big institutions went all in on this project.

Millions of Kendi’s books have flooded American bookstores and libraries, most of them now gathering dust.


Why Are Gun Companies Losing Payroll Services? Cruz Investigation Finds Underlying Culprit

JPMorgan Chase admitted to pressuring the financial software company Intuit into preventing gun sellers from using the company’s payment processing services, according to a letter Sen. Ted Cruz sent Monday after looking into the policy. Bank of America, meanwhile, denied pressuring Intuit into banning gun manufacturers from using its famous QuickBooks software.

“Woke big banks are increasingly weaponizing their power to cut off law-abiding businesses from accessing banking services,” Cruz, R-Texas, told The Daily Signal in an email statement Monday.

“The American people and small businesses must be protected from this discriminatory overreach,” Cruz added. “We cannot allow giant corporations to get away with punishing customers who do not fall in line with the Left’s political whims and leanings.”

Intuit, the financial software company best known for producing QuickBooks, had adopted an acceptable use policy previously listing “guns and firearm manufacturing” as one of the business types prohibited from using payroll services. Intuit also listed “firearms and weapons sales” as a business type prohibited from using payment processing services.

Intuit removed its prohibitions on payroll and payment processing for gun manufacturers and firearm sellers Aug. 1, following Cruz’s investigation of the company. The Texas Republican thanked Inuit in his letter Monday.

Cruz learned about the issue after Intuit withdrew its services from Dawson Precision, a Texas company that manufactures firearm parts. Intuit gave Dawson Precision no warning and simply refused to process payroll. Intuit later notified Dawson Precision that the software company had canceled the manufacturer’s account because Intuit’s acceptable use policy excluded firearm manufacturers.

When Dawson Precision explained that it manufactures only parts for firearms, not firearms themselves, Intuit directed the company to lodge a complaint with a third party that had flagged it. The third party didn’t respond to Dawson Precision’s attempts to appeal the decision.

Intuit also stopped processing credit card payments for the Arizona company Gunsite Academy, citing Intuit’s ban on companies that engage in gun sales that aren’t face to face. After Gunsite Academy explained that it legally shipped firearms to local dealers rather than directly to consumers, Intuit refused to reverse the decision.

When Cruz’s staff approached Intuit about its firearm policies, the company said its banking partners, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, demanded the policies. Specifically, Intuit said Bank of America required it to prohibit gun manufacturers from using QuickBooks and JPMorgan required Intuit to prohibit gun sellers from doing so.

JPMorgan admitted its role in the policy, but Bank of America denied that it ever gave Intuit any instructions about firearm companies.

This doesn’t mark JPMorgan’s first foray into cracking down on bank accounts associated with conservative causes.

In May 2022, Chase Bank (a division of JPMorgan Chase) closed an account for the National Committee for Religious Freedom, an organization founded by Sam Brownback, a former Kansas governor and President Donald Trump’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

Brownback, along with conservative organizations, suggested that Chase closed the account for religious or political reasons, which Chase denied. The bank said it closed the account because it needed more information about donors and recipients than the nonprofit provided.

Chase also closed accounts associated with the Arkansas Family Council and Defense of Liberty in 2021.

The threat that conservatives may face blacklisting from banking services extends beyond JPMorgan Chase.

Far-left groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center have pressured donor-advised funds to cut off charitable donations to conservative organizations that the SPLC brands “hate groups.” The left-leaning group SumOfUs also pressured Mastercard to refuse to process any credit-card transactions for “hate groups.”

As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the SPLC took the program it had used to bankrupt organizations associated with the Ku Klux Klan and weaponized it against conservative groups, partially to scare donors into ponying up cash and partially to silence ideological opponents. In 2019, amid a racial discrimination and sexual harassment scandal that led the SPLC to fire its co-founder, a former employee came forward, calling the “hate” accusations a “highly profitable scam.”

In his letter, Cruz wrote that “Intuit did the right thing regarding its payroll and payment services.”

“I encourage other companies to follow your company’s lead and take note that banning customers from using their products due to political differences is not good business,” the senator’s letter concludes.




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