German Of The Day: Verunsichern

That means to unsettle or to unnerve. And that is what German interior minister Thomas de Maizière definitely did NOT want to do by refusing to explain in detail why the soccer match in Hanover had to be cancelled last night, saying “that would only unsettle the public.”

de Maiziere

So now the public is just plain scared instead.

Although, on the other hand, there are some pretty good German tweets cashing in on that line right now: “How do I look this morning, honey?” “I’d rather not say. Part of my answer would only unsettle you.”

Er möchte die Menschen nicht verunsichern. Doch gerade das macht vielen Angst.

Sweden… Austria… Germany?

I don’t want to be offenceve here Angie, but I think it’s time to pull the ripcord.


How Sweden, the most open country in the world, was overwhelmed by migrants…

Austria plans border fence to manage migrant flow…

Considering Germany Without Merkel.

The ongoing refugee crisis has overwhelmed Merkel. The German chancellor is famous for her ability to sense the direction of public opinion and adjust her policies accordingly. This time, though, many think she may have miscalculated. When asylum seekers began arriving en masse to Germany early this summer, Merkel promised that her country would receive them with open arms — and open borders. And Germans initially supported her decision, which they saw as an opportunity to show solidarity to those in need.

But as the influx of people grew, many Germans started to worry that their government had failed to assess the true magnitude of the crisis. Suddenly, Merkel was no longer the infallible leader who could do no wrong but an impulsive head of government who had put her country in danger. Some began to see the chancellor’s famous statement about refugees — “we can manage” — as proof that Berlin had lost control of the immigration problem.

Are we having a putsch yet?

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.

N-S-A, B-N-D, Spy-On-You-And-Me

Our espionage doesn’t stink, right? “Spying among friends? That’s just not done.” But spying on their countries, NGOs and the Vatican? That’s a different matter.


Since October’s revelations, it has emerged that the BND spied on the United States Department of the Interior and the interior ministries of EU member states including Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia. The search terms used by the BND in its espionage also included communications lines belonging to US diplomatic outposts in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. The list even included the US State Department’s hotline for travel warnings.

The German intelligence service’s interest wasn’t restricted to state institutions either: It also spied on non-governmental organizations like Care International, Oxfam and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. In Germany, the BND’s own selector lists included numerous foreign embassies and consulates. The e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers of the diplomatic representations of the United States, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and even the Vatican were all monitored in this way. Diplomatic facilities are not covered under Article 10 of Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law, which protects German telecommunications participants from such surveillance.

“Ausspähen unter Freunden – das geht gar nicht.”

Politicians Making Promises They Can’t Keep?

This is something new, right? Well, in a way, it is. I mean, usually they make them to the people who elect them. This time they were made to total strangers.


“Frau Merkel gave the insupportable promise that anyone seeking a new life can find one in Germany. She created the impression that the limits of our capacity to absorb them are infinite. She created chaos there where nothing is more important than order and regulation. And this not only in Germany but all over Europe…”

“Instead of this, Frau Merkal should follow the Swedish example and publicly concede that we are unable to cope with these numbers and that the people please stop making their way to us. Secondly we need a modern immigration law. Not someday. Right now.”

Frau Merkel hat das unhaltbare Versprechen gegeben, dass jeder, der ein neues Leben sucht, es in Deutschland finden kann. Sie hat den Eindruck erweckt, die Grenzen unserer Aufnahmefähigkeit seien unendlich. Sie hat dort, wo nichts wichtiger ist als Ordnung und Regeln, Chaos angerichtet. Und zwar nicht nur in Deutschland, sondern auch in Europa…

Frau Merkel sollte stattdessen erstens dem schwedischen Beispiel folgen und öffentlich einräumen, dass wir mit den Zahlen überfordert sind, und die Menschen, bitte, sich nicht auf den Weg zu uns machen. Zweitens brauchen wir ein modernes Einwanderungsgesetz. Nicht irgendwann, sondern jetzt.

German Of The Day: Einladungspolitik

That means “invitation policy” and is a term that was recently coined by Austria’s foreign minister Sebastian Kurz to describe Germany’s refugee policy, or lack of it. Other countries other than us (as in US) don’t get what’s going on here, either.


“I definitely wish,” he said, “that we in Europe, Germany above all, start calling things by their right names and say loud and clear: This invitation policy has got to end.”

The irony is that most Germans wish that now, too but can’t seem to jump over their own shadows (as in deep and dark shadows of their guilt-ridden past).

I feel for them, really. Well, sort of. There is just way too much potential for inner conflict here. Germans can be as well-meaning and guilt-ridden as they want to be but, try as they might to welcome these refugees, they are up against some very powerful primal German character traits here (character disorders?): Xenophobia for one, for instance, being extremely territorial for two (ever seen a German house without a giant fence or hedge around it?) and thirdly, having the pressing need for German order – the most orderly kind of order there is, of course. Something’s got to give here, and guess what? It’s starting to give right now.

„Ich wünsche mir definitiv, dass wir in Europa, vor allem auch Deutschland, die Dinge endlich beim Namen nennen und klipp und klar sagen: Es braucht ein Ende der Einladungspolitik“

In My Country We Call Them Coyotajes

Coyotes, actually. Here they’re called Schleuser, which sounds a lot worse.


So like what? Real world stuff can happen in Germany now, too? Maybe it’s time for me to move on to El Paso.

German authorities staged raids across three states against an international people-smuggling network, netting its suspected mastermind as well as a weapons cache, police and prosecutors said.

As Germany faces the biggest migrant influx since World War II, nearly 600 officers were deployed as part of the dawn swoop, the prosecutor’s office in the northern city of Hildesheim and police in nearby Hanover said…

They offered their services mainly to Syrians and Lebanese flying to Germany to pass through border checks with counterfeit documents.

Number Of Refugees Suddenly Dropping

You know. Like as in disappearing without a trace from German refugee centers?


Some 700 of roughly 4,000 asylum seekers in Lower Saxony disappeared into thin air last month, for instance.

Now factoring in all of the other emergency centers across the country, and assuming that this rate of disappearance remains constant, some experts are now predicting that the current German refugee crisis should be completely resolved by the year 2057.

Over the past few months, hundreds of refugees have gone missing from shelters, often before they were registered. Their disappearances are leaving the authorities clueless as to their whereabouts.

German Of The Day: The G-Word

Only it’s the v-word in our language. And if this is the lying press again they’ve sure been busy. It’s in all the headlines these days.


Several People Hurt: Violence Against Refugees

Crime: Violence Against Refugees Increasing

A Weekend of Violence Against Refugees

Violence Against Asylum Seekers Increasing

Violence Against Refugees Won’t Stop

Germany – Violence Against Asylum Seekers Reaches a New Height

Brandanschläge auf Unterkünfte, Überfälle mit Baseballschlägern: Fast täglich kommt es in Deutschland zu Gewalt gegen Flüchtlinge.

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…”


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