Berlin Starts Talking Tough To Russia After All

Sort of. Jeepers creepers already! This ought to stop old Vlad Putin dead in his tank tracks.

Tanks

Germany should remove a pair of World War Two-era Soviet tanks standing on pedestals next to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in protest at Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine, Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild said on Tuesday.

Launching a petition to get rid of the two green T-34 tanks that have stood in front of the Soviet war memorial since it was built in 1945, Bild and Berlin tabloid B.Z. urged readers to send letters of protest to parliament against the war symbols.

Wir wollen keine Russen-Panzer am Brandenburger Tor!

Bring This Guy To Germany, Please

German Aufregung (fuss and commotion) is a funny thing.

Edward Snowden

On the one hand, the Germans feel that it is absolutely, unquestionably and positively of the very utmost importance that their Volksheld Edward Snowden be brought to Germany right here this minute so he can testify against that despicable Empire of Evil itself, the NSA (stands for Narks, Spys and Agent provocateurs, I think).

On the other hand, well, if Mr. Snowden were in fact to come to Germany, the Germans, unfortunately being Germans, being the reliable, law-abiding and legalistic Germans they are, would have no other recourse but to extradite their folk hero to US-Amerika to face the criminal charges that are currently waiting for him there.

This is a dilemma. Or maybe a predicament. Perhaps even a quandary. At any rate, it really is a funny thing, like I said. You see it just doesn’t cost you anything to make a big loud fuss and commotion about something when you know right from the start you won’t ever “have to deliver” on anything concerning it.

“Wenn Snowden nach Deutschland käme, müsste die Bundesregierung meines Erachtens einem rechtlich einwandfreien Auslieferungsersuchen der USA stattgeben.”

Aminata S.

Beautiful German of the week.

Aminata Sanogo

Because somebody has to admire them.

PS: Troupe of topless Femen protesters get dragged kicking and screaming out of Berlin’s Islamic Week meeting after covering themselves in anti-Islam messages

Femen

So like let me get this straight. The guys who get to wrestle down and drag these women back outside again get paid for this?

Berlin Is Already Over And Nobody Here Had The Decency To Tell Me

Or at least that’s what one New York Times journalist had to report – after clearly having run into way too many Americans here. And how could that not spell trouble?

Berlin

The Berlin backlash had to happen sooner or later. No city could be so consistently lauded to the skies for its creative edge, elegant shabbiness, and 24-hour nightlife without eventually coming down with a hard bump. And the bump does seem to have arrived.

…On the international front, the city’s social scene is also getting increasingly Anglophone.

Erschwerend kam hinzu, dass der offenbar aus New York stammende New-York-Times-Autor im Berghain wie auch überall sonst in Berlin ausschließlich auf andere aus New York stammende Menschen gestoßen ist, was die Bedeutung der einstigen Hipsterhochburg für ihn abschließend ruiniert hat; getreu der von dem ebenfalls aus New York stammenden Gegenwartsanalytiker Groucho Marx aufgestellten Maxime, dass er kein Mitglied in einem Club sein möchte, der ihn aufnehmen würde.

Germans Bugging Americans About Bugging Germans Again

Well they’re sure bugging me.

Merkel

I mean, the Pres already told the NSA to stop listening in on Angela Merkel, right? So like are they now supposed to stop listening in on everybody else out there, too? Why that’s, I dunno, unrealistic or something. Damned if you do. Damned if you still do.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.

Was soll ich denken?”

PS: Looking at that picture up there makes me think that I could work for the NSA, too. I bet I could have cracked that password eventually myself.

Germans Don’t Trust German Politicians

But German politicians do.

Bundestag

That’s why they just gave themselves a big raise. They’ll now be receiving 830 euros a month more and take in over 9000 (not counting all the other benefits, of course). And this particular Bundestag vote was 464 yes, 115 no and 10 abstentions.

Firemen, paramedics and nurses are held in high regard in Germany and 22 other countries, a current study says. People trust them the most. Only 15 percent of Germans trust politicians, however.

Feuerwehrleute, Sanitäter und Krankenpfleger sind in Deutschland und weiteren 22 Ländern hoch angesehen. Ihnen vertrauen die Menschen einer aktuellen Studie zufolge am meisten. Nur 15 Prozent der Deutschen vertrauen den Politikern.

I Think I’ve Been In This Guy’s Cab

This Berliner taxi driver just got three years in jail. Damn. That’s more than most murderers get here. Although he was making quite a killing, if you think about it.

Taxi

On his good days he took in 300 euros for a ten kilometer drive, milking clueless tourists he picked up at the airport. Jiminy crickets. And he managed to do this without a gun?

Fast 300 Euro für zehn Kilometer: Ein Berliner Taxifahrer stand am Flughafen abseits des offiziellen Halteplatzes für Taxis und passte ahnungslose Touristen aus aller Welt ab.

Chinese And Eastern European Spy Attacks Boring Spiegel Readers To Tears

1) Chinese intelligence agencies have apparently carried out a spy attack on the federal government of Germany. Yawn.

China

2) Some 16 million email addresses and passwords of 600 government employees at every German ministry have been taken in a massive data theft operation. The attack was carried out by eastern European criminals, according to Der Spiegel. Snooze.

When asked for more detailed information, a German government spokesman replied “More detailed information. Of what? Like who cares? It’s not as if these attacks were carried out by the NSA or anything.”

Researchers declined to speculate about the possible origin of the malware, but noted that none of the victims were from China.

PS: As for this year’s Berlinale, hmmm. The Chinese just won the Golden Bear for best film this year, too. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Some long-established film festivals, such as Cannes and Venice, can legitimately claim to be timeless. Berlin, however, seems to be stuck in the past, and not only because the event somewhat coasts on its bygone reputation as a festival of discovery…

The Berlinale’s 64th edition was the most lukewarm in years. You don’t usually expect swoons and scandals here, but you do hope that every year’s competition will bring one major discovery, or at least an unassuming gem that everyone falls in love with. There was one universally adored film in competition – but it doesn’t quite count as a Berlin revelation, as it came straight from wowing Sundance…

Berlin always provides its share of A-list red-carpet promenades – this year, by the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray and Uma Thurman – yet these never quite disguise the festival’s essential earnestness…

Otherwise, I suspect that Berlin 2014 will be best remembered for its major innovation – the addition of a pop-up line of gourmet food wagons. Festival-goers will turn up undeterred again next year – but many of them will be doing it less for the films than for this Berlinale’s real discovery, the pulled pork baps.

Energy Turnaround? Nein, Danke!

Not if the SüdLink power lines have to go through my backyard!

Grid

Network providers planning one of the country’s most important power-transmission pathways presented a proposal on Wednesday for an 800-kilometer, or 500-mile, corridor of high-voltage lines. The power lines would carry electricity from wind turbines in the blustery north states to power-hungry industries in the south...

But many Germans balk at the idea of high-voltage power lines running through their backyards and the fields around their communities. Last week, angry villagers in Bavaria protested plans by the network operator Amprion to construct a similar high-voltage line through their state. An attempt by the power company TenneT last year to have citizens invest in another planned expansion to the grid in the state of Schleswig-Holstein failed to win substantial support.

And mark my words here folks, the real ugliness hasn’t even begun yet. They’re never going to get this thing built.

“The corridor is not definitive, and we need feedback from citizens and communities to be able to plan this important link.”

Here’s Another One Of Those “You Must Have Confused Me With Somebody Who Gives A S#?$&”T!”

So. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit knew for quite some time now that his SPD Culture Minister buddy André Schmitz had some funny money hiding in Switzerland (everybody‘s doing it these days) and just pretended that this problem would eventually go away all by itself. Well it didn’t, of course, and Schmitz has now had to resign and the mayor is in deep Scheiße about this right now or something, right?

WOWI

Well any other politician would be but you clearly don’t understand with whom we’re dealing with here (unless you do understand). This is Klaus Wowereit HIMSELF (some call him Wowi – with that “v” sound, of course). This is the same guy who “did” the Berlin Airport that still hasn’t been done yet and will end up costing eighty-five quadrillion bazillion euros before it ever does get done, if at all.

Do you think there have been any consequences for that? Hardly. If anything, Wowereit got rewarded for his Engagement (commitment) by being put right back on as the “new” chairman of the board of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport Company after the “old” one had proven just how clueless he had been and had been forced to leave (that had been Klaus Wowereit too, of course).

Why is this guy always free from sin? Beats the hell out of me. There’s teflon, dann kommt eine ganze Weile gar nichts (then you can go on for a long, long while – way past normal teflon), and then there’s Klaus Wowereit teflon. He’s on his ski vacation right now and simply couldn’t be bothered by any of this. And he’s laughing his ass off all the way down the slopes I bet. Damn. Nice job if you can get it.

Kann ein Kinderschänder ein guter Bildungsminister sein?

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