Letters to the editor

A lesson in “gap press”

Recently the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (Editorial Network Germany, RND), a subsidiary of the Madsack media group from Hanover, which sees itself with 200 employees as a supra-regional news portal, delivered a lesson in “gap press”. The prehistory: During the serious riots in Portland, Oregon, stores were looted, store windows and goods were destroyed, store owners who wanted to protect their property were dragged onto the streets and beaten. The federal government did not intervene for a long time, retreating to the position that only local law enforcement agencies were allowed to operate in Oregon. Finally, special forces without emblems were sent in which stopped the riots.
    An RND employee had apparently read letters to the editor in the “Los Angeles Times” dealing with the issue. One reader1, David L. McDaniel from Capistrano Beach, wrote: “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It is rioting. [...] I support the right to peacefully  assemble, but [...] as a US citizen I am tired and disgusted with the coddling of  these rioters by local politicians. Appeasement never works. [...]” As a German with an interest in history, such descriptions may remind you of the November pogroms of 1938, during which the police also stood by and watched men, mostly in SA uniforms, committing the most serious acts of violence and destruction. However, Henryk M. Broder, drawing this parallel after the Stuttgart riots, which took place at about the same time, was violently attacked and compared with Goebbels (“... has the potential to be the head of Reich’s propaganda etc.”).

A second letter to the editor² in the “Los Angeles Times”, by Lois Winsen, San Diego, stated: “I am old enough to remember how Hitler sent his jackbooted thugs out on what  became known as Kristallnacht. The world watched in horror as Jews were dragged out into the streets and beaten. [...] Now the White House is doing something similar – sending out specialized  federal units to wreak havoc and create chaos! […]”
    The RND only called the writer of the second letter to the editor and turned the telephone call into an article, which was printed under the title “94 years and worried as never before: The warnings of old Ms. Winsen” by several local newspapers, among others in Kiel, Lüneburg and Weißwasser in Saxony. The fact that the omission of the first letter to the editor creates a message that is completely wrong in terms of content and gives the impression that Trump’s special troops, like the SA at the time, looted and destroyed stores and attacked people was obviously intended to be exactly that! Even unbalanced reporting can serve a certain purpose.

Hansjörg Rothe, Leipzig

(Translation Current Concerns)

1 To the editor: Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It is rioting. If anything, the federal government has held back in its response to the rioting in Portland and other cities where there is no longer civil discourse. I support the right to peacefully assemble but not to destroy people and property. As a U.S citizen, I am tired and disgusted with the coddling of these rioters by local politicians. Appeasement never works. It is seen as weak-ness by anarchists. Remember, feeding the tiger never works because the tiger eventually comes for you. (David L. McDaniel, Capistrano Beach)

2 To the editor: I am old enough to remember when Hitler sent his jackbooted thugs out on what became known as Kristallnacht. The world watched in horror as Jews were dragged out into the streets and beaten. Hitler’s purpose was to create chaos and discrimination, to flex the muscles of the right-wing fascists who made up his base, and to stay in power. Now the White House is doing something similar: sending out specialized federal units to-wreak havoc and create chaos and discrimination and flexing the muscles of Trump’s own white-supremacist base. It is unspeakable that this travesty is allowed to remain. First he came for the immigrants from  Mexico. Then he came for refugees from the Middle East and Central America. Now he’s coming  for cities with Democratic leadership. Whose freedoms will come under attack next? (Lois Winsen, San Diego)

The painful common currency, the euro

I would like to corroborate Professor Hamer’s  article in Current Concerns No 16 of 8 August 2020 with some thoughts.
    The joint bond purchase by the 27 EU countries for 750 billion Euro shows us more and more what a long way from democracy this Politburo in Brussels is. After all, the Brussels headquarters naturally wants to know how the money is invested in the respective countries in a future-oriented manner or with the right political priorities and then controlled. These are countries that are far from Brussels, including their citizens, from Estonia to Portugal or from Ireland to Greece.
    Lars Feld, the head of the economic wise men, puts one more thing on top and sees the EU on the way to becoming a federal state. Individual countries are no longer in a position to take responsibility themselves. Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research, joins the same horn and welcomes the bond purchases as a step towards fiscal union (according to the “Oberbergische Volkszeitung” of 22 July 2020).
    All this shows us that the EU is instrumentalising the corona crisis to undermine the sovereignty of nation states. Europe is a continent with many, very different countries. The citizens of these countries have become 27 different states. It is the natural right of people with the same culture, tradition, history and language, or even a common will, to join together to form a community in the form of a constitutional state, a republic, and to refuse any form of external domination. The sovereignty of a democratic constitutional state also includes budgetary sovereignty on its own responsibility as the royal right of national parliaments.
    Particularly, but not only in the southern countries, serious structural problems such as over-indebtedness of public budgets, high unemployment, and lack of competitiveness arose long before the corona pandemic. This was created by the painful single currency of the euro, accompanied by community indebtedness. If the national currencies had been retained, Greece, for example, would have been able to regain its competitiveness by devaluing the drachma.

Werner Voß, Wiehl (Germany)

(Translation Current Concerns)

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