Making Unpopular Decisions?

That was never a problem with this guy. And you don’t see that very much anymore, do you? Here or anywhere else. Sorry to see him go.

Helmut Schmidt

During his two terms as chancellor of West Germany, from 1974 through 1982, Schmidt even had trouble convincing his own Social Democratic party to back him. His insistence on maintaining a balanced budget during an economic slowdown irritated his colleagues who were pushing for a stimulus; his push to station U.S. nuclear missiles on German territory angered the many members of the party’s grassroots who preferred to pursue rapprochement with the Soviet Union. Schmidt, for his part, scorned the inspiration-peddling politicians who stoked the idealism of late 1960s and 1970s Germany — and did so, according to Schmidt, in order to feed their own egos.

“If you have visions, you should go see a doctor.”

PS: One of my favorite sayings of his (regarding the treatment of Germany after World War II) is „Wir sind mit einem blauen Auge davongekommen.“ Meaning, we got out of it with a black eye, as in unscathed.

German Of The Day: Geht Nicht Gibt’s Nicht

That means, “it’s not possible is not an option.” And that’s where we are right now with this German refugee crisis, I believe.


What would you think, my fellow Americans, if your fearless leader (let’s call him “The Pres”) were to tell you in a nationally televised address that it simply is not possible for the United States to stop the influx of refugees coming in from, say, Canada? Or, I dunno, Mexico maybe? You would rightly think, well then what’s the point of having the freakin’ border in the first place?

Well, that’s what the world’s most powerful woman has told her countrymen in Germany now on several occasions.

I have not yet figured out why she is saying this – because it obviously is possible – but talk about your self-fullfilling prophecy. If what she really means is that it is not possible for HER to secure her country’s borders (European Union borders clearly do not exit so these are the only borders left), then somebody else after her will. And I think this could happen pretty quickly now, too.

In other words, German of the day coming soon: Putsch.

Schäuble ist am Ende seiner Karriere angelangt. Er hat nichts zu verlieren. Er ist die Schlüsselfigur, der ideale Mann, einen Putsch anzuführen. Der einzige, der es erfolgreich tun könnte. Er wäre ein denkbarer Übergangskanzler im Fall der Fälle.

PS: I think what we’ve got here with Angie is the next Günther Schabowski.

Just In Case You Were Wondering

German playmates will continue to take their clothes off. For as long as the German Playboy manages to stay solvent, at least.


And yikes! You will still need to wear sunglasses when paging through the damned thing (why are German girls so… shiny?).

In Germany, too, nudity and porn is accessible on the Internet, and the magazine’s circulation numbers are steadily declining as well. In the fourth quarter of 2009, Playboy Germany sold 256,866 issues. By the second quarter of 2015, this number had decreased to 167,700 issues, according to German statistics portal Statista.

You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.

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.

Why Does This…


Remind me of this?

Just kidding. Sort of.

When East and West Germany reunited 25 years ago this weekend, the country was drunk on euphoria and a sense of heightened optimism. While reigning chancellor Helmut Kohl promised “flourishing landscapes”, his predecessor Willy Brandt produced the now legendary sentence: “What belongs together, will grow together”.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today

Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play. No, wait. That was the Rolling Stones. And they were destroying Berlin’s Waldbühne.

After World War II, the Olympic grounds were within the British occupation sector of Berlin. They were released for public use beginning in 1948, and the amphitheater was used for film showings, including for the Berlinale, and beginning in 1960 for boxing matches. Use for concerts began in the 1960s, but when the Rolling Stones performed there on 15 September 1965, the theater was severely damaged. Fans stormed the stage, and after the band left after a set of only 20 to 25 minutes, fought police, who attempted to control them with rubber truncheons and fire hoses, and destroyed the seating, fire hydrants and other furnishings. 270,000 DM in damage was done, in a riot that fulfilled the dire prophecies of some Berlin newspapers about rock concerts and was the first inter-generational battle of the 1960s in Germany. A reporter from Bild wrote of the concert, “I know Hell.” The arena had to be completely renovated and was then little used until 1978.

You Shining Symbol Of Socialist Superiority, You

You’re 50 years old or something. And you’re still ugly as sin.


But I love you, you big dummy.

It took four years to build the prestigious building, and the construction costs were three times higher than initially planned – a fact which only emerged after the fall of the Wall.

German Of The Day: RIAS

That stands for Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor and means radio (or broadcasting) in the American Sector – of a place they used to call “West Berlin.”

Now Father Time has managed to take care of something that the East German jamming stations were never able to do back then in the good old bad old days: Shut this broadcasting tower down. With explosives, in this case.

Von Britz aus ging 1946 der Rundfunk im Amerikanischen Sektor (Rias) auf Sendung. Später entstand dort Europas damals leistungsstärkster Mittelwellensender, mit dem jahrelang auch die Störsender aus Ost-Berlin überwunden werden mussten. Heute gilt die Übertragung per Mittelwelle als veraltet.

German Of The Day: Schwitzkasten

That’s “sweat box” but actually means stranglehold. You know, like being stuck between a rock and a hard place?


Is the current five-year Greek drama finally going to come to an end today? Hardly, it already ended quite a while ago, the real drama having actually begun long before that, of course, generations before. The name of the drama is “Living Beyond Our Means” and now the current government wants to give Greek voters the illusion that it gets the chance to turn back the clock with one final vote, a final vote that doesn’t actually mean anything, of course, because the money is long gone and nobody is going to give you any-more-anymore. Said current government has seen to that.

It took many, many years of concerted effort – on the Greek side – to get this far, but at least now we will all have an “official” result: However Greece votes today it has already voted to escape “financial asphyxiation” by committing financial suicide.

After all, debt and guilt – “Schuld” – are the same words in German.


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