Dear Hollywood

It’s Christmas season so here’s my wish. I know your first and foremost priority is to bash everything time-honored and traditional about us (as in US). I understand and respect that (actually I don’t, that was just a figure of speech). But seeing what’s going on in the world at this moment I would really appreciate it if you could possibly consider bringing back one of your own time-honored genres: The wartime drama. You know, like Casablanca? You could refer to it as a wartime propaganda film if that makes you feel better about it, of course.


I would like this Casablanca to have a Muslim hero in it, however. A Muslim Rick, so-to-speak. The reason being that one of the obvious intentions of the ISIS attacks in France (coming to Germany soon!) is to incite hatred against the Muslims living here and to hopefully, from their point of view, have this hatred lead to some form of civil war in ze Europe.

This may have seemed far-fetched a short time ago but a thoughtful look at the current atmosphere in Germany, for instance, should convince you that this is well within the realm of the possible.

The Traumfabrik (dream factory) needs to give us a positive Muslim role model here, in other words. The “normal,” moderate Muslims living here need one erst recht (all the more). This Ric, too, will need to do the right thing and combat the evil that is terrorizing us all and explain to everyone how it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, of course.

I know you’re busy and all these days and I really hate to bother you (another figure of speech) but I’m just thinking out loud here.

PS: Scarlett Johansson would make a great Ingrid Bergman character. No head scarves or anything, though.

German Of The Day: Putzig

That means cute. As in funny cute. You know, comical? Like when little kids say something unexpectedly and unintentionally funny? Or, I dunno, like when Germans are completely shocked to find out that their spy agency actually spies on other folks, too?


After angrily upbraiding the U.S. for its electronic spying networks that targeted Germans, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has been rocked by two reports in less than a week charging that German intelligence targeted U.S. arms companies, the FBI, a top French diplomat, several international organizations and allied government departments, and even a German diplomat working for the European Union.

“Es kann solche Praktiken zwischen Verbündeten nicht geben.”

German Of The Day: Lügenpresse

That means the lying press. And, like, welcome to the club already, Germany. It appears that many Germans were not aware of this up until now. I mean, when has the media anywhere ever not been guilty of “embellished and inaccurate reporting?”


In a recent German survey, 44 percent of respondents said they partially, or wholly believe the media regularly lies to the people, as the Pegida movement asserts. Media experts (the people helping with the lying?) examine whether that’s true.

Media outlets in Germany “are controlled from the top,” and therefore spread “embellished and inaccurate reporting.” Nearly half of the 1,000 German citizens recently polled by the Dortmund-based Forsa Institute agreed with these statements.

Currently, the refugee situation dominates media reports. But Germans are simultaneously experiencing the crisis first-hand in their own towns and cities – and often finding dramatic differences between their perceptions of these events and journalists’ representations of them…

For example, Sebnitz: In this village of 8,000 residents in Saxony, where right-wing radicals often make headlines, the son of a German-Iranian couple, both of whom are pharmacists, died accidentally. The immediate headline read: “Neo-Nazis Drown Child.” In truth, the boy drowned after having a heart seizure. A newspaper that reported on the actual facts of the accident nevertheless added: But the way the mood is in Sebnitz, neo-Nazis could well have done it.”

Above all, the issue is often about choice of words: BBC World reported: “Dutch politician Geert Wilders acquitted of hate speech charges in The Hague.” Germany’s national news broadcast, Tagesschau, formulated the same story thus: “The Islamophobe and right-wing populist politician, Geert Wilders…”

To Boldly Go Where No Syrian Refugee Has Gone Before

To boldly go and find your way around “official” Berlin, for instance.

Arriving in Berlin

European refugee crisis: Berlin group create digital map of resources for new arrivals.

More power to you. The Lord helps those who help themselves, I say.

The map, “Arriving in Berlin,” which is available in English, Farsi and Arabic, shows over 250 different services, including experts in residence and asylum law, German language classes, public libraries and doctors who speak Arabic or Farsi.

“Friends Don’t Spy On Friends”

So that’s why Germany’s BND spied on EU neighbors and US-Amerika itself, I guess.


The German magazine Der Spiegel has reported that Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) spied on European and American organizations until 2013.

To what depths have you sunk, Germany? A spy agency that actually spies on people? What will be next? A military that actually goes to war? A border patrol that actually protects your borders? Granted, all of this remains well within the realm of science fiction but we ARE still allowed to speculate about crazy un-German ideas like these in public here. Aren’t we?

So. I assume now that everybody in Germany is going to be REALLY REALLY empört (outraged) about this. Although you know what they say about you when you assume things. How you make an ass- out of u and -me?

Abhören unter Freunden – das geht doch: Ähnlich wie die NSA hat offenbar auch der BND die Kommunikation befreundeter EU-Staaten ausgespäht. Ziele der Spionage waren laut rbb Inforadio offenbar europäische und amerikanische Einrichtungen.

What Germans Brought To Amerika?

Other than bitching and moaning, you mean?


Whah? There’s a German-American Day? I had no idea, again. Too bad I missed the celebrations this year, too.

Hmmm. What did they bring to us (as in US), anyway? Well, there’s aspirin for one thing, for when the bitching and moaning gets to be too much. Gimme a minute. Gimme a minute, I said. OK, there’s the ring binder. That’s pretty cool. They also brought us the hair perm – and the Easter Bunny himself! Then there’s German chocolate cake. Ha, ha. Just kidding. A German doesn’t know what the hell German chocolate cake is, people. That’s as American as apple pie. Anyway, yeah. You know. They brought us stuff like that. And a lot of bitching and moaning, too. Happy holiday.

From Kindergarten and Christmas trees to hamburgers and hotdogs, German-Americans are credited with some of the most recognizable features of US culture to have emerged in the past 300 years.

Less than 5% now speak German themselves.

A Fireside Chat With Angela

Things have caught fire here and there these days, you see.


We have nothing to fear but the refugees themselves. Just kidding, Leute (people). Sort of.

Repeating the mantra “Wir schaffen das,” (“We will manage,”) German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her strategy on handling the refugee crisis against growing criticism.

“Let’s just assume we all would declare that we will not manage it — then what?” she asked host Anne Will in a primetime, one-on-one TV interview on Wednesday night.

Unlike critics, “I actually have to work out this problem,” says the German chancellor.

Ich habe einen Plan.

PS: The word crisis originates from the Greek word krisis, which means “decisive moment.” Krisis like circle? As in turnaround? I haven’t seen one here yet.

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.

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.”

Are We Having An Ugly American Border Wall Yet?

Sooner or later reality gets up in your face.


Germany has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of migrants, the interior minister has said.

Politically this is a shrewd move by Thomas de Maiziere. His announcement comes just a day before he travels to Brussels to meet other EU interior ministers to discuss the migrant crisis. The measure will help him put pressure on other European countries to do their bit. It highlights just how much Germany is struggling to cope.

The move could also serve as a useful threat; after all, Mr de Maiziere said Germany was controlling the border with Austria “first”, the implication being more could follow. The possibility that Germany might suddenly decide to control its other borders could well help jolt EU partners into action.


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