Go German navy!

Well let’s chalk up another great success for the Deutsche Marine. Or at least that’s what one might want to do if he or she believes what they put out on the wire half an hour ago about their “Atalanta” anti-pirate mission going on down in the Gulf of Aden. And this despite that unfortunate little nasty detail about the hijacking of a German tanker by Somali pirates – yesterday.

 

 Another great success!

 

Carrying liquefied petroleum gas from Saudi Arabia, the German-owned, Bahamas flag-waving Langcamp was hijacked with a crew of 12 Filipinos and an Indonesian by Somali pirates in international waters (can’t get much more international than that), and this despite the highly praised and loudly acclaimed (in Germany) “international” German navy mission that echoed through the German press a few weeks back. This was the third ship hijacking this year, by the way.

 

Böse Zungen (malicious tongues) might suggest that this proves yet again how things can actually go wrong once you actually start doing things, actually, even if you are a German, or a German navy. But that would be böse so you won’t be hearing it from me.

 

Nope, nobody down there can stop the Karlsruhe. Nobody down there needs to, I guess.

 

„Die deutsche Marine werdet die Mission als Erfolg – trotz der erneuten Schiffsentführung durch somalische Piraten.“

Activism in action

When not serving your own country, try serving the interests of another’s, another country’s vested interest in demonstrating against what it insists upon calling an “unlawful war” (Germany only takes part in legal ones, you see).  But at least it’s always a peaceful demonstration here, you know. This sets a good example or something.

 

No war if you want it.

 

Come to Germany. Come to where the asylum is. The political kind, I mean. For, uh, US-Amerikaner, and others like you.

 

“I’m having the time of my life.”

 

“He’s our poster boy.”

Joe not home alone

Biden the Basher, that formidable tongue-lashing Mother of All Foreign Policy Experts has officially been let off the leash to come to next month’s 45th annual Conference on Security Policy in Munich and let his European friends know (and heaven knows he’s got a lot of them) that Mr. Cleanup Himself (or at least one of them) has come to redress the wrongs that have been wronged for so long so, uh, right.

 

 Let me tell you something...

 

Last year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has been allowed to stay on for a bit, criticized Germany and other usual suspect types of wanting to turn the NATO intervention in Afghanistan into a “two tier” alliance of countries willing to fight and others less so.

 

Like I said, Gates has been allowed to stay on so it might be interesting to see what Joe has to say about the matter, here in Germany, among all his friends. But, then again, practically everything Joe has to say is of interest. If you’ve got the patience to stick it out until he’s finally finished talking, that is.

 

But if you don’t, and many of us don’t, you can just turn down the volume and look at the pictures. I mean, just look at these here. How can you not love watching that guy speak?

 

“Wir haben eine Menge Schaden zu beheben”, sagte sie (Hillary Clinton) am Dienstag in Washington.

Archaeologist discovers untouched 20-year-old GDR apartment

OK, so it was an architect, but still. Talk about living in a time warp. Or not living in one, I should say.

 

My, how time flies.

 

While renovating a building in Leipzig, an architect stumbled on to what might just be the last traces of what appears to have been a crude form of late communist civilization which existed some 20 million years before our time. OK, so it was only twenty years, but still.

 

Dusty bottles of untouched “Hit-Cola” were left standing on the kitchen table. Proof, I guess, because nobody touched them back then, either.

 

Hmmm, what a strange, ironic and almost hard to believe coincidence that such an apartment should or even could be discovered in the year 2009, exactly twenty years after the fall of THE WALL itself. But like I said, still.

 

PS: Speaking of lost traces, check out these Berlin ones here (thanks for the link, Joe).

 

„Nach Ansicht von Wohnungsmarktexperten ist ein solcher Fund zwar in der Tat selten, aber bei den vielen leerstehenden Altbauwohnungen in Leipzig durchaus möglich.“

Anti-Jungle Camp show grossing everybody out now, too

Damn. There really is some kind of a Neue Deutsche Ekelwelle (new German gross-out wave) going on. On TV, I mean. Or it sure seems that way when you read these comments about last night’s “Wetten, dass…?” show, anyway (it was competing for viewers with RTL’s smash hit jungle freak extravaganza).

 

If it looks and smells like cow shit, then...

 

“And in the end, one realizes sitting at home on the sofa just how awful our TV situation is. Especially when you tune in once a month to our big Saturday night show to watch our entertainment elites complain to invited foreign stars about how stiff Germans are compared to the rest of the word.

 

It’s no wonder so many guests have to get up and leave in the middle of the show to catch a flight. What kind of a country is this anyway, when you get invited to a show to hear the hosts continually complain about themselves?”

 

Oh I don’t know, it’s probably the same kind of country in which journalists write an article the next day complaining about the same thing. You know, complaining about the TV hosts who complain about themselves. There’s nothing ekelig (gross) about that. Germans just like to mecker around (bitch and grump) a lot.

 

It ain’t no big deal, really. It’s just what they do. And as you can see, I love to do so myself (bitch and grump), thank you, and I’m not even one of them. Maybe it’s the water here or something.

 

Und… „Amerikaner müssen Filme über unsere Geschichte drehen, damit sich die Jugend überhaupt noch dafür interessiert.“

Send me those yearning to be free

I always knew that the French had a screw loose somewhere. Thrilled, like Germany, at the closing of Guantanamo in a year’s time, unlike Germany, those crazy Frenchmen are actually willing and even planning to take in 60 of the 245 detainees remaining. Don’t they know that these folks are dangerous?

 

Time for your daily torture or something.

 

In other words, the French are putting their money where their mouths are. Germany, on the other hand, welcomes Obama’s decision to close the facility but has no intention of welcoming any of the detainees. That’s a more vernünftige (reasonable) and, well, cheaper reaction (decisions that don’t cost or obligate you to anything are always the more reasonable decisions here).

 

But the Germans are still willing to talk. They always are, come to think of it. France, occasionally actually willing to do something, has sent its plan to distribute Guantanamo detainees throughout Europe to all its European partners and will be discussing this European solution with European EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday in Brussels, in Europe.

 

Washington, for its part, has indicated that it would like its allies to take in some of the detainees, but has not yet made a formal request to Germany (duh). Germany, of course, still aglow over its glory years under Gerhard Schroeder when it learned to loudly say no before ever being asked, has effectively said no already. Before being asked again, I mean. But I’m sure these European talks in Europe tomorrow will be very, uh, productive anyway, Europeanly speaking.

 

Jeder Staat soll entscheiden, ob er Ex-Häftlinge nimmt und welche.“

City-West gets the best?

They’re going to build a Waldorf Astoria here in Berlin? Sure, why not? But right across from Bahnhof Zoo? Is nothing sacred anymore?

 

Waldorf-Astoria am Zoo

 

That’s still a thriving low-life ecological niche kind of place, you know. Although it isn’t like it used to be, of course. Where are those folks supposed to go (the ones that never board the trains)? Are they going to take them from Bahnhof Zoo and put them in the real Zoo over there across the parking lot?

 

And I thought that all the way cool new stuff is only supposed to get built in City-Ost. Are we having a revolution yet or something? Isn’t this going to deepen the lack-of-cultural divide already dividing our beloved city all the more than it already is already so give me a break already?

 

And worst of all, I’m really going to miss this cool Baustelle (construction site). It’s one of my personal favorites, and has been, for years.

 

 

Es soll nicht nur ein weiteres Berliner Luxushotel werden, sondern „das beste Haus der Stadt.“

Don’t read this, you might not get it

No, not this, you’re bound to get this. I mean this here:

 

Hot off the press!

 

Apparently worried that the reprinting of an annotated Nazi newspaper might be taken the wrong way and that the unsuspecting Germans reading it might start goose-stepping uncontrollably all over themselves again, Bavarian authorities are dutifully doing their Vorsorge (prevention) and Bevormundung (paternalism) thing and tying to get the injurious and destructive not to mention nasty little peace of politically incorrect history removed from the newsstands ASAP. 

 

Admittedly, 1933 wasn’t the best of years in Germany and the Reichstag fire wasn’t one of the most cheerful turning points in German history, but we are living now in the year of our Operation Walküre 2009 for crying out loud, people. You can handle it, honest. Alles wird gut (everything will be OK), OK?

 

“The paper – the Völkischer Beobachter (People’s Observer), dated March 1 1933 – is the second of a series of Nazi-era newspapers republished in annotated facsimiles by British publisher Peter McGee, who intends to reprint papers up until 1945.”

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