TPC 44: With the First Link, the Chain is Forged

As Germany is heading into another lockdown, our government now wants to search our homes without a warrant and due process. Why? Because they suspect illegal partying is going on. Also: More on the Cyberbunker case.

Welcome to another episode of The Private Citizen! Today, I’m once again covering new COVID-19 restrictions here in Germany – it just never ends – and I’m also giving you more information on the background of the Cyberbunker trial. Since that is what many people told me they’d like to hear and I had done the research anyway.

The recording of this episode was streamed live on Twitch. An archived version of the stream is available on YouTube.

But before we start the show, I’m happy to present the official Private Citizen t-shirt in real life. Patreon has sent me a sample and I must say it turned out absolutely gorgeous. If you want one, go to Patreon and subscribe at the $30 level for at least three months and they’ll send you one as a reward. You’ll also have my gratitude and the respect of everyone who likes that this show exists.

Sample of the Patreon-exclusive TPC shirt
Sample of the Patreon-exclusive TPC shirt (size M, model is 1.84 m tall, weighing 75 kg)

Second Lockdown in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met today with the heads of the federal state governments and, as was expected, everyone decided on a new lockdown starting next week . Shortly before this meeting took place, leading German virologists and doctor’s associations published a declaration denouncing lockdowns as a control mechanism that’s hurting us more than it helps .

It seems they have Van Morrison on their side as well, as he’s just released a new song called No More Lockdown.

In the meantime, the health expert for the junior party in the governing coalition, Labour party member Karl Lauterbach, has said that the police should be able to enter private residences to check for gatherings condemned under the new lockdown rules . “The inviolability of private residences can’t be an argument for not performing checks anymore”, he said.

→ See Article 13 of the Grundgesetz

Maybe we all should remember what Captain Picard said in the TNG episode The Drumhead.

More Details on the Cyberbunker Case

I received messages from many producers who enjoyed my explanation of the Cyberbunker case from episode 43. Because of this, and because I did a lot of research into the backstory of the bunker and its owner in the meantime, I’ve decided to give you some more of the fascinating details of this case. I’ve also covered a lot of this in a blog post I published over the weekend.

Producer Feedback

Cap’n Egghead writes in with a correction.

Thank you for your work on The Private Citizen podcast. By now I have listened to about 10 episodes. I do think they provide good value, and I should probably de-douche in a proper way in the near future.

Meanwhile, just a small comment/correction: a bit off-topic, but since it is the second time I hear you saying that, I could not resist mentioning it…

In episode 42 comments section, while talking about the scientific method, you said “for thousands of years it’s been accepted scientific fact that the earth is flat”. Also I recall you said something similar in a past episode, referring specifically to Galileo.

I am sure that you are well aware that the “known truth” challenged by Galileo was not the earth’s “flatness”, but it’s being stationary and at the center of the universe. After all, he is associated with the phrase “and yet it moves”, not “and yet it is round” or something. The “roundness” was known and measured at least since the time of the ancient greeks, and most likely the “accepted truth” in Galileo’s time as well (via Aristotle).

Nevertheless, you have already made this slip-of-the-tongue twice, so it is interesting to note how well-rooted the “Myth of the Flat Earth” is (either that, or maybe you are a flat-earther yourself, which would be even more intersting).

Fadi Mansour sent me some very thorough feedback on episode 42 (which I’ve shortened a bit, for brevity’s sake).

I want to focus on a point that you mentioned while talking about the response to COVID-19. I think you mentioned something to the effect that more regulation will probably result in more corruption. It was relatively late that I learnt of this distinction between small and big governments, and, as I mentioned, for me this is now an important factor to consider when discussing any decision. A big government might be useful to solve big problems (taking the devil’s advocate point of view, and putting in mind something like climate change). So it might be an acceptable premise, that the size of government should preferably be tuned according to the issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, what happens in reality is that whenever there are some new powers given to governments, they are reluctant to give them back. One might even say that it could happen that some parts of government would create circumstances where more government would be needed, and then we are in a vicious circle downhill.

So the point that I would like to raise is: when making a decision at a country level, a good point to consider would be: does this mean more or less government? And if more, does the benefit outweigh the risk? Unfortunately, what you see advertised, is not this topic, and the cost of the new measures, but sentimental talk, about humanity, the global good, saving the children… etc, etc. I’m very skeptical when this kind of sentimental language starts to be used. For me this is a warning sign that there’s probably something nasty behind.

Another interesting point that was raised is with regard to the science being settled. Here again, I would like to add, that from what I see, our understanding of some topics is still evolving, and some systems (like the climate, or even our bodies), are too complex and we keep discovering new facts that hopefully will increase our understanding, but to start with a premise, that now it’s settled, and we need to take big decisions, increasing governments sizes along the way, is a warning sign to tread very carefully. And just another point related to climate change: in the seventies, they were talking about the second ice age, and then it was global warming, and now, in order to reduce further embarrassment, the term to use is now “climate change”. So what exactly is settled?

And here I come to a sad point: unfortunately, with the current global political climate, certain points of view are now being associate with certain labels, so either your are a right-wing, anti-vaccer, climate denier, conspiracy theorist, or you are democratically-minded, humanity-loving, believer in equality! This is a big point of frustration for me, I would love to go beyond these labels, and discuss the facts themselves and hopefully come to an agreement and better understanding.

This brings up the last topic: your comment to Martin, which I also second: it’s important to have different points of view. It might happen that I agree with most of what you are saying, but it’s also important for me to hear a well reasoned counter argument. So thanks to Martin as well!

The aforementioned Martin also chimes in again with feedback:

The American Declaration of Independence is not based on a “UK document” as you stated (they were at war after all!) It was supposedly inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath, which is a Scottish document dating from 1320. Abraham Lincoln was a big fan of the egalitarian poet Robert Burns as well by the way, and could quote him from memory in the original Scots.

Scotland and England have their own separate legal systems. The Magna Carta predates the Act of Union of 1707, and means nothing to me. If you accept that Scotland is a country (and you may not, although it has existed since the 9th Century), then I’m afraid it logically follows that it is not a democratic one. There is no better illustration of this than Brexit. Every single constituency in Scotland voted against Brexit, but it is being imposed on us anyway.

We do elect MPs to the British Parliament, but they are outnumbered 10 to 1 and can decide nothing for themselves. In addition, since David Cameron instituted “English Votes for English Laws” in the “British” Parliament, elected representatives from Scotland are now second class citizens there. There is also such a thing as the “Scottish Parliament”, but it is a parliament in name only (and wasn’t even called one when it was created). I was not joking when I said that Westminster has the power to close it down at a moments notice. “Power devolved is power retained,” as the saying goes.

This is not like the German system at all. This is like everything that happens in Germany being decided by France. I don’t know how you feel about the existence of Germany as a nation state (and would genuinely be very interested to hear you speak about that!), but I’m guessing you wouldn’t be happy to pay all your taxes to the French Government and let them decide how to spend it and how much to give back to you. Far be it for me to defend Prince Charles, but I do think he is sincere when it comes to the environment, as he has been talking about it for as long as I’ve been alive. I also think it was unfair of you to completely dismiss real world data on climate change and put it all down to computer modelling, but I’ll leave it at that.

Georges commented on a video I recorded the other day on fear-based reporting and my problems with social media sites these days. Since he also mentions the podcast, I’d like to include his feedback here as well.

Hey Fab, I would like to thank you for your courage, your podcast and content like this. As a producer of The Private Citizen podcast the views you express in this video are not new to me, but I still find value in hearing you talk again about these topics from a yet more personal viewpoint than when you embed them in some show episodes.

I have great respect for your attitude regarding your relationship with your grandmother and I hope you both can maintain the opportunities to spend time together. As for your views on social media I share your opinion that it is not tech’s fault per se that most social media interactions and behaviours of the people who use them have taken a terribly wrong direction compared to the early times of the internet when all was still very shiny and promising and Silicon Valley still managed to make people believe they would turn the world into a better place with their tech products. Like with the example of the hammer or the knife which both have proven to be most useful tools to humans, it finally lies in the responsibility of their human user if these tools can make life on this planet better or worse.

However I would also like to point out the importance of the design which – if well done – should provide safeguards against most malintentioned or evil use case scenarios. When due to the run for profit, by laziness or simply stupidity bad design is imposed this may lead to negative effects which are hard to counter afterwards as most people find it hard to change their habits once they are used (or should I write conditioned) to some design, media or tool.

If you, too, have thoughts on the topics discussed in this or previous episodes, please feel free to contact me.

Toss a Coin to Your Podcaster

I am a freelance journalist and writer, volunteering my free time because I love digging into stories and because I love podcasting. If you want to help keep The Private Citizen on the air, consider becoming one of my Patreon supporters.

You can also support the show by sending money to via PayPal, if you prefer.

This is entirely optional. This show operates under the value-for-value model, meaning I want you to give back only what you feel this show is worth to you. If that comes down to nothing, that’s OK with me, pard. But if you help out, it’s more likely that I’ll be able to keep doing this indefinitely.

Thanks and Credits

I like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show.

Aside from the people who have provided feedback and research and are credited as such above, I’m thankful to Raúl Cabezalí, who composed and recorded the show’s theme, a song called Acoustic Routes. I am also thankful to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting for this episode’s audio file.

But above all, I’d like to thank the following people, who have supported this episode through Patreon or PayPal and thus keep this show on the air: Georges Walther, Niall Donegan, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Jonathan M. Hethey, Dave, Butterbeans, Mark Holland, Steve Hoos, Shelby Cruver, Vlad, Kai Siers, Jackie Plage, 1i11g, Philip Klostermann, Jaroslav Lichtblau, Fadi Mansour, ikn, Matt Jelliman, Joe Poser, Dirk Dede, David Potter, Mika, Dave Umrysh, Vytautas Sadauskas, Martin, RikyM, drivezero, S.J., Jonathan Edwards, Barry Williams, silviu, MrAmish and Richard Gilson.