VW Too Big To Fail?

Then it’s too big. Think GM (Government Motors). Only different. As in much worse.


At Volkswagen AG, political connections come already fitted.

When it comes to Volkswagen, German chancellors don’t intervene in company decisions. But the unique arrangement in Lower Saxony (it holds 20 percent of the company) has spawned alumni in high places with an interest in the boardroom, including Merkel’s Social Democratic predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder. Schroeder, who sat on VW’s supervisory board for eight years as state premier, was known as the “auto chancellor” when he led Germany from 1998 to 2005 because of his perceived closeness to the car industry.

Following him to Berlin after serving at his side in Lower Saxony was Frank-Walter Steinmeier, now in his second stint as Merkel’s foreign minister. Sigmar Gabriel, who succeeded Schroeder as state premier — and VW board member — is now vice chancellor and economy minister. He also heads the Social Democratic Party, Merkel’s junior coalition partner. Christian Wulff, a Christian Democrat like Merkel who succeeded Gabriel in the state capital Hanover, made it all the way to the German presidency, before resigning in 2012 amid a legal probe.

Im Abgas-Skandal, dessen Auswirkungen noch unübersehbar sind, rückt die Frage nach der Mitverantwortung der deutschen Politik in den Fokus. Und weil die politischen Spitzen der Republik wie geschockt schweigen und selbst die sonst geliebten Talkshows meiden, werden Vorwürfe laut, die Bundesregierung habe mit Volkswagen gekungelt und möglicherweise sogar von den Manipulationen gewusst.

To Pee Or Not To Pee

(In Germany) That is the question. Standing up, I mean.


And the next German court has just made its standpoint clear. They’re still on our side, men. Standing. Because they won’t stand for us having to roll over dead by sitting down like that. But how long can we keep going like this?

Gee wizz. Bladder enjoy it now while we still can because let’s face it, pal: Urine danger. So hang in there.

A court in Germany has once again ruled in favor of a man’s right to urinate while standing up after his landlord demanded money for damage to the bathroom floor.

And You Thought Your Government Wastes Money

And it does. But the German state can burn the stuff up pretty good, too – at any level.


The German Federation of Tax Payers just came out with its latest “Black Book” of government waste, a breathtaking collection of 133 of the most impressive cases of abuse it found. Some are quite imaginative, I must say.

The city of Bergen on the island of Rügen, for instance, ordered 200,000 earthworms from a special firm in Holland for a sports field there – for over 7,000 euros. These special  „Dutch Nightcrawlers“ were supposed to loosen up the hard playing field. They failed at that but made the field so “soiled” with worm Dreck (filth) that it couldn’t be used anymore.

Or how about the five manhole covers in Osnabrück with the colorful LED lamps on the side? They only cost 10,000 euros a shot. They sure are purty, though.

Then there’s the State Ministry for Culture boss who felt the need to have a “cemetery app” developed that would show its users where over 1,000 famous graves are located. It was called “Where They Rest” and all it did was redirect these users to the website with the same name. It only set tax payers back some 548,000 euros, however.

Nicht kleckern sondern klotzen, I say. Don’t take anything halfway.

German Media Giving Germans A Distorted Image Of The Migrant Crisis?

No way. Or way?


The German language website Frankfurter Allgemene has reported on how the British media “reports on the crisis differently than the German” media.

The newspaper explains: “When it came to clashes between Hungarian border guards and refugees, the BBC showed young men who threw stones.”

The rioting, fit young men were of course described as “hungry”, “desperate” and “defensive,” but at least the images were shown. The suggestion that such a key part of the developing story was omitted on German TV is a startling one.

“On [German channel] ARD Tagesschau,” Frankfurter Allgemenie reports, “the most dramatic pictures could not be seen – instead, women and children, fleeing the tear gas by security forces [was shown]… German television suggesting disproportionate action by Hungary, however the BBC reported of the “defense of the borders…””

Flüchtlinge sind eine Chance, heißt immerfort. Und das entspricht der Wahrheit. Gleichzeitig jedoch stellen uns die 800 000 Flüchtlinge vor Integrationsprobleme, die offen anzusprechen ein Tabu ist. Menschen, die dies trotzdem tun, werden unbedarft rechts verortet, teils sogar medial beleidigt. Dabei muss das Stellen von Fragen erlaubt sein: Wenn so getan wird, als gäbe es bei hunderttausenden Flüchtlingen keine oder kaum Probleme, können diese auch nicht bekämpft werden.

Germans Outraged Over Russian Air Force Support For Assad

And they’re demonstrating accordingly. No, wait. I got something mixed up here. Now I remember: They’re outraged about American plans to upgrade its nuclear presence in Germany and are demonstrating accordingly about that (the United States intends to place 20 B61-12 nuclear bombs at the Büchel Air Base later this year).


And set your watches on this one because it won’t be long before they will also be loudly supporting Putin’s “counter measures to restore the balance of power in Europe.” It’s like tradition or something.

Die Bundesregierung fordert seit langem einen Abzug der Amerikaner.

German Of The Day: Dreck Am Stecken

That means there is dirt stuck (to you) somewhere or you have dirt under your carpet – as in having done something wrong or illegal.


You know, like Volkswagen has/does in US-Amerika? The company inserted a device into almost 500,000 cars meant to trick emissions testing, the EPA says. Volkswagen is not denying this.

So the next time Germans begin those tiring lectures about doing more for the Umwelt (another German word meaning environment), remember to make sure and check if their emissions are make-believe or not.

There are almost 500,000 vehicles on American roads with the devices installed, according to the EPA. Volkswagen must now pay to repair the emissions systems in affected cars. The government may also fine the company as much as $18 billion.

Migrants To Crash The Oktoberfest ITSELF?

Of all fests? Is nothing heilig anymore? Some folks are already referring to number 182 as the Krisen-Wiesn (crisis Oktoberfest). In your neighborhood tomorrow. If you live in Munich, I mean.


On Munich’s main shopping street on Tuesday, women in abayas—the long robes worn by some Muslim women—were studying lederhosen and dirndls—the revealing shorts and dresses traditional in Bavaria—in the shop windows.

“Asylum seekers in particular from Muslim countries aren’t used to encountering heavily drunk people in public. It could get out of hand.”

What To Do When You Get Your Next German Panic Attack

First of all: Don’t panic.

Panic attacks

Then stick your fingers in your ears because you’re probably about to develop an acute case of tinnitus. Because of all off that repressed panic or something.


But don’t panic about that, either. I SAID BUT DON’T PANIC ABOUT THAT, EITHER!

Panikattacken: Einfache Ratschläge gegen Atemnot, Schwitzen und Herzrasen


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