Same Old Problems Caused By Same Old Solutions

Rent control still rocks. Just ask the people looking for a place to live in Hamburg, for instance.

Rents

The German government’s Mietpriesbremse (rent control plan)  – it’s “sozial,” as in “for free”  –  has alarmed landlords who are now raising rents even higher than they already had been, “vorsorglich” (preventitively).  Imagine that. Bad landlords.

It’s always the same old thing. There is a shortage of apartments. This increases the rents. New apartments are needed. That is why the government steps in “to help” by imposing price controls called rent controls. That is, the government ensures that the shortage will remain by making new housing construction unprofitable for those who would otherwise build the new housing (I know, profit is a dirty-ugly-yucky word but we haven’t found a better one yet). The shortage is sustained and increased by rent control, the supposed solution.

But don’t worry. Elections will come around soon enough and the same politicians who fixed that first problem will have new proposals for fixing the one that followed, all inexplicably like. And they will get reelected – by the very same people they screwed in the first place. Now that’s what I call sozial.

“Durch die Ankündigungen ohne konsequente Umsetzung hat die große Koalition die Kosten immer wieder angeheizt.”

Germany Best Brand Ever!

I mean nation. Sorry, Germans. I mean country.

Best

Germany knocks USA off Best Nation top spot after 5 years

At least according to something called the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index, that is.

Hmmm. I smell a Ratte (rat). GfK stands for Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (Society for Consumer Research) and is on organization located in a city called Nuremberg. In the best little country in the whole wide cotton-pickin’ world. Jiminy Crickets. Talk about your conflict of Interesse (interest).

Anti-Semites, Pogroms, Nazis…

Racists, shylocks, Asryans, faschists, subhumans, Untermenschen… Did I say anti-Semites?

And Goodwin’s Law, of course. Sheesh. This “endless Hitler vocabulary” ain’t never gonna end. I guess that’s why they call it endless. No class, these guys.

Sheen and Blumenthal had been invited by other parliamentary members of the Left party, Thalheim said. Gysi canceled the meeting because of their “radical” views on Israeli settlement policies, he said.

German Of The Day: Der Elende Rest

That means “the miserable remnants” and that’s what singer-songwriter and former East German dissident Wolf Biermann just called SED leftovers the Left Party today at a ceremony commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. To their faces. In the Reichstag itself.

Somebody’s got to remind folks about this now and then. Not that anybody here cares…

Eure Sprüche, die habt ihr drauf … ihr müsst mir gar nichts erzählen.”

Germans Being Assured That Bad Republicans Didn’t Actually Win

“Why the Democrats’ debacle isn’t really a victory for the Republicans,” the title of this here article goes, for instance.

Bad Republican

I would have loved to have read what was surely the profound explanation for just how on earth that can possibly be but then that scary photo of that evil Republican lurking in the shadows wearing a black hat there caught my eye and I just had to click away real pronto-like before he could get the chance to draw me into a maelstrom of evil and villainy and consuming despair.

Die Republikaner feiern einen Erdrutschsieg im Senat. Doch der Machtwechsel wird an der Lähmung der US-Politik kaum etwas ändern.

Once An Ex-Communist Always An Ex-Communist

Another Ex-cellent chance to ex-ceed, I’d say. And a great way to celebrate the coming 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall!

Communist

Well isn’t this special. Germany’s main center-left party, the Social Democrats (SPD) – currently in power in Berlin with Merkel & Co. – said Tuesday a party ballot in eastern Thuringia state showed 70 percent favoring negotiations to join a regional government led by Left Party candidate Bodo Ramelow. The Left Party used to be the PDS which used to be the SED (the East German communist party), of course, but nobody with any manners likes to put it that way so I figured I would.

Do you think this coming ex-communist coalition with the SPD upsets anyone over here? Of course not. The only thing that ruffled a few folks’ feathers was the audacity Germany’s president Joachim Gauck had – a former East German pro-democracy activist – by openly questioning whether a party with communist roots like the Left Party could really be trusted or not. Can you imagine that? Who does this president of Germany think he is anyway? The president of Germany?

“There are parts of this party where I, like many others, have problems developing this trust (he means like the openly Stalinist folks).

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.

Anti-Chancellor To Anti-Celebrate Her Anti-60th Birthday Tomorrow

And she’s been running the show here in Germany for about 40 of those sixty years too, I think. But don’t call her Anti, I mean Aunti. Her real name is Mutti.

Merkel

I’d wish you a happy birthday now, Frau Bundeskanzlerin, but Germans like you are very superstitious about doing that before the actual birthday takes place, so I won’t. But I’ll think it now anyway.

Das Talent der Angela Merkel, heraufziehende Chancen und Risiken zu erkennen und – ganz unabhängig von ihrer Überzeugung – opportun darauf zu reagieren, ist gut dokumentiert: beim nach Fukushima plötzlich betriebenen Atomausstieg, beim Ringen um Jean-Claude Juncker, als sie gleich mehrmals die Position wechselte, oder in der NSA-Affäre, in der sie zu Gunsten guter US-Beziehungen lange schwieg und auch angesichts der jüngsten Spionage-Skandale nur symbolisch handelt, um die Deutschen zu beruhigen.

Gerade die größten Erfolge der Kanzlerin bleiben bei einer derartigen Management-Methode unbesungen. Es sind jene Katastrophen, die nicht eingetreten sind, weil vorsichtiges, iteratives Agieren sie verhindert hat. Merkels größter Verdienst ist letztlich jene lang anhaltende Phase der Langeweile, an der Intellektuelle gerade wieder so lautstark leiden.

Why Are These Eurosceptic Parties Winning?

The professional Europeans in Brussels made clear that they don’t want this to happen.

Alternative

So what do they do then? They do what they always do: Ignore what just happened and carry on with EU business as usual, whatever that is. Well, one thing we do know about EU business as usual in the meantime is that it is carried out by a Brussels political elite that Jane and Joe European simply does not understand nor feel represented by.

Not that anyone out there cares or anything, but the voter turnout for this latest round of European elections was absolutely pathetic and those who did vote voted in one-fifth of the new European Parliament’s seats to political parties critical of the EU’s previous policy, whatever that was. You would think that the elite would finally get the message here, right? Nope. It ain’t happening. And that’s why it ain’t happening with Europe.

I know. Why doesn’t Brussels consider acknowledging this overwhelming European apathy and start respecting how those Europeans who did vote have voted and slowly start the process of giving back competencies to the countries in question? You know, decentralize and let Europeans start deciding more for themselves at the local level again? Na. Wozu (what for)? If it wasn’t decided in Brussels, it didn’t happen.

Für den schlichten Normaleuropäer sei der schwierige Konsensfindungsprozess in der EU zu komplex. Der leider etwas beschränkte Bürger wisse gar nicht, wie gut die EU für ihn sei. So redet sich die „europäische Elite“ das Wahlergebnis schön und blendet die Tatsache der drastisch schwindenden Zustimmung aus.

PS: Speaking of winning, Tempelhof loses. I mean wins?

Only In Germany Can You Emasculate A Traffic Light

The city of Berlin may be poor but sexy, but it is not poor but sexy enough to not be able to scrape up enough needed tax euros to introduce a traffic light woman quota.

Quota

I don’t make this stuff up, people.

“Women need to be more present in the appearances of our capital’s streets,” Martina Matischok-Yesilcimen, Germany’s Social Democratic Party district leader who signed a recent motion (PDF) to introduce female walk signals, told Bloomberg News.

“We’re a diverse city, and that deserves to be seen.”

PS: And have a happy election day or something while you’re at it.

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