I Thought He’d Never Leave

Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD) will finally step down on 11 December, after thirteen years in power. Damn. That’s longer than the Third Reich lasted.

Klaus

And talk about chuzpe. This guy took it to a whole new level (just like he took building airports to a whole new level). He’s leaving now of his “own free will.” Before his cronies get around to tossing him out first, in other words. Even the Berlin SPD crowd has finally figured out that Berlin doesn’t “work” because of Wowereit, it works despite him.

Hey, lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. The Party Klaus is finally over.

Sein drittes Problem: die Stadt. „Arm, aber sexy“, wie der Bürgermeister sie eins beschrieb, das reicht in Wahrheit keinem Berliner mehr. Ihre Stadt, so stellten sie fest, funktioniert nicht wegen Wowereit, sondern trotz Wowereit.

German Of The Day: Lösegeld

That means ransom.

Terror

You know, like the ransom Germany just paid IS terrorists in Syria to free a 27 year-old German who wandered down there “not being aware of the threat posed there now by the ‘Islamic State.'”

The German government officially denies having paid the ransom, of course, but they have a long tradition of doing this. Paying the ransom and then denying that they did, I mean. And this is a very sound policy, I find, because by doing so they never have to deny that paying ransom to terrorists for German hostages only encourages them to take other hostages and then kill them later when the ransom is not paid.

Zahlte Deutschland Lösegeld? Does a bear scheißt in the woods?

Germany Increases Pressure On Russia By Selling It An Oil Company

Berlin is set to approve the sale of one of Germany’s largest oil producers to a Russian consortium, in a move that may undercut U.S. and E.U. sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its role in stoking the conflict in Ukraine.

Oil

Der Verkauf galt wegen der Rolle Russlands in der Ukraine-Krise als politisch umstritten. Die Bundesregierung hat bei derartigen Transaktionen ein Mitspracherecht nach dem Außenwirtschaftsgesetz.

We All Lose Our Heads Once In A While

But how do you lose a 5.6-foot tall one of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin? It’s not easy, but Berlin city authorities can do it.

Lenin

It was the star of Good Bye Lenin, Wolfgang Becker’s tragicomedy set around the fall of the Berlin Wall: a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, suspended from a helicopter, seemingly waving goodbye to the crumbling socialist republic.

But more than two decades after it was torn down, Berlin authorities have admitted the giant monument may be lost in storage.

And You Thought US-Amerika Had Problems With Potholes

A Second World War bomb discovered under one of Germany’s busiest autobahns has blown a 65ft hole in the road after it exploded.

Pothole

Bomb disposal experts were forced to carry out a controlled explosion after being unable to defuse the 1,000lb British shell which was unearthed during construction work.

Der britische Blindgänger war neben der stark befahrenen Autobahn 3 in der Nähe des Frankfurter Flughafens bei Bauarbeiten gefunden worden. Um die Fundstelle wurde eine 1000-Meter-Sicherheitszone eingerichtet. Die Autobahn wurde voll gesperrt, es kam zu kilometerlangen Staus.

Last Place Again!

The same procedure as last year. The same procedure as every year?

Last Place

The latest education study indicates that when it comes to the 16 German Bundesländer (states) and their school systems, Berlin schools come in 16th again. The states that seem to have their stuff together are Saxony, Thuringia (both in the Evil East!), Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

We’re poor but sexy. So we don’t need no education.

Die Hauptstadt erreichte bei dem Vergleich der Bildungssysteme der Bundesländer des arbeitgebernahen Instituts der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) insgesamt wie im Vorjahr Rang 16.

If BND Spying On Turkey Is “Necessary”…

Then NSA spying on Germany most certainly is.

Turkey

The German government faced an angry reaction from Turkey and accusations of hypocrisy from its own opposition on Monday after media reports that its intelligence agency spied on its NATO ally.

“Dass ein geheimer Nachrichtendienst dort Erkenntnisse sammelt, kann man ihm nicht vorwerfen. Das ist seine Aufgabe.”

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

Somebody said that once, not all to0 long ago, after some NSA Aufregung (excitement) about something somewhere. I forget where. But I couldn’t agree more. So, uh, where’s the outrage now?

Turkey

Now that Germany’s intelligence agency BND has revealed that NATO ally Turkey is one of five countries it is spying on, I mean.

Outrage won’t be necessary this time, I guess. It appears that Germany is finally coming clean and ready to admit to the world that Turkey has officially reached non-friend status so spying in this case is allowed.

Hey, what goes around comes around.

The news reports (of NSA spying in Germany) outraged Germans, leading to favorable attitudes about the United States falling to their lowest levels in years and creating a public and private sense of mistrust. Merkel has repeatedly called the U.S. spy program a breach of trust and noted that “friends don’t spy on friends.”

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