The Germans Are Coming!

Just not right now.

Hoogan's Heroes

Germany wants to strengthen its role in international affairs. But recent reports suggest the country’s weapons systems are in such disrepair that Berlin actually has very little to offer its partners.

Ramshackle Military at Odds with Global Aspirations

German Of The Day: Wetter

No, let’s make that the English word of the day instead. Not Wetter,  German for weather, let’s go with the English word wetter. You know, as in there are few countries out there that could possibly be wetter than Germany?

Wetter

But that doesn’t stop Germans from going completely overboard when it comes to unnecessary water conservation measures, of course (and don’t say you heard it from me but it’s the German water mafia I tell you).

People here are known to flush toilets with old bath water and to take turns bathing in the same tub without refilling it. New German toilets typically use about two gallons of water for a full flush and less than one for water-saving.

Conserving water is an expression of personal virtue and social responsibility. But as scholars, utility managers, and municipal officials point out, there is a dark side to the impulse. Sewage stagnates in too-large canals and noxious gas is corroding cement. Basements in Berlin are flooding because of the rising water table.

“Water Saving in Germany Is Nonsense.”

And In Other News: Germany Unable To Deliver On Its NATO Promises

Ain’t no big deal. It’s not like NATO partners could ever get attacked or anything.

Bundeswehr

And besides, it’s not the Bundeswehr’s fault. “Industry” let them down again (or the lack of it?).

Germany could not currently fulfill its NATO commitments in the event of an attack on a member of the alliance, owing in part to severe backlogs in replacement parts for its aircraft.

“With our airborne systems we are currently below the target figures announced one year ago, defining what we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in the case of an emergency,” Defense Minister von der Leyen told the “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper. “Delays for replacement parts for our planes and the missing helicopters are the reason for this.”

Maul Of Berlin

It’s a gallery… It’s a shopping center…  It’s the Super-Mall (of Berlin)!

Mall of Berlin

Oh boy, another mall. I’m outta here (not).

A gigantic German department store, rebuilt in the heart of Berlin on the rubble of a shopping center seized by the Nazis, was opened on Thursday with a ceremony paying tribute to its original Jewish owners.

The near 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) “Mall of Berlin” — an entire quarter with a glass-covered arcade, 270 shops, a hotel and flats — marks the spot where the Wertheim store was built in 1896.

This Guy Has Definitely Earned His Mickey Mouse Ears

Edward Snowden, that is. Here in Germany, I mean.

Snowden

In Germany, the new Che Guevara wears glasses instead of a beret, wields a computer rather than a shotgun, and is popping up on the streets of the German capital in graffiti, posters, and T-shirts.

The German War Machine She Is Broken

Only half of Germany’s Eurofighters are operational. Of Germany’s 180 tanks (total), only 70 are ready to roll.

Army

But honestly, who cares? Where would these tanks roll to even if they could roll? Other than over and die, I mean.

This “shocking” new revelation that doesn’t shock anybody who has lived in this country for more than five minutes is just another one of these  famous German Scheindiskussionen (mock discussions). Everybody here knows that even if all of this equipment was in perfect working condition it would never be used anyway. It’s at times like these when everyone else in the world can see what the German army really is: An Alibi Army (you can’t sell expensive weapons systems without having an army to justify why you built them). Not that anybody out there could care less or anything. But still.

Nur 42 der 74 verfügbaren Eurofighter der Luftwaffe sollen für Ausbildung, Übungsflüge oder Einsatz bereitstehen, bei den Tornado-Jägern seien es nur 38 von 66. Von den 43 aktuell verfügbaren Transall-Maschinen C160 könnten demnach nur 24 starten, beim Transporthubschrauber CH-53 seien nur 16 von 43 einsatzbereit…

Accidents Do Happen

A German construction company has apologized to the city of Goslar after laying bricks in the shape of a swastika at a new shopping center there (this is the town that finally got up enough civil courage to revoke Adolf Hitler of his honorary citizenship last year, after all).

Swastika

The builders claim that the shape of the bricks was purely accidental but when trying to contact the particular worker responsible to ask him about some other shapes discovered at the shopping center (the Nazi party eagle, several pairs of SS bolts and a big “I Love Adolf” mosaic)  he could no longer be found for questioning.

“We have no leads, we are keeping our options open and investigating. We are speaking to the building firm responsible for the new footpath. They claim it was not deliberate but just an innocent mistake, and have already changed it.”

Update: Why Germans Always Pay Cash?

Because they can. Take cash-stuffed German mega-companies, for instance.

Cash

They’re buying everything they can find in US-Amerika these days that hasn’t been tied down.

In recent days, two multibillion-dollar deals were announced. On Sunday, the German engineering conglomerate Siemens announced a $7.6 billion acquisition of the Dresser-Rand Group, the United States oil products company. And on Monday morning, Merck of Germany, the chemical and drug giant, said it would pay $17 billion for Sigma-Aldrich, an American life sciences company.

PS: Remember when Japan was going to take over the United States? No, I guess you wouldn’t remember that. Never mind.

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