Leftest Violence Still As Harmless As Ever

Ah Berlin. I love the smell of barbecue ignition chemicals in the morning.

Car

In the past seven days, the extremists proved true to their claim, starting what could be the most destructive single anti-gentrification action any city in Europe has yet seen. On Saturday, a gang of 40 masked vandals smashed up 28 cars in the area near central Potsdamer Platz, leaving some of them in flames. Attacks continued the following night in the southwestern district of Neukolln, when at least 20 more cars were damaged and shop windows smashed in.

But don’t worry, folks. The Deutsche Welle reassures us that in the wake of two spates of property damage by extremists in Berlin, some news outlets and politicians have warned of a rise in “leftist violence.” But the long-term stats do not bear this out.

Well if it’s only a protest against gentrification, then alles klar (say no more). Why didn’t you say so in the first place? We thought it had something to do with property rights, respect for the law and senseless violence and vandalism again.

The vandals’ weapon of choice is a disposable tinfoil barbecue set of a sort that many German stores sell for use as summer grills in the park.

German Of The Day: Checken

You know, like Checkpoint Charlie checken?

Checkpoint Charlie

Checken means “to get it” in German. To get it as in, I dunno. How about to get it as in finally-now-at last understanding that terrorists really and truly have infiltrated your country as refugees? Are we having denial yet (or still)? Denial will get you nowhere, fast.

German police Thursday arrested two Algerians suspected of links to the Islamic State group after raids targeting several sites, including refugee shelters where some of the suspects lived…

According to information acquired by the Tagesspiegel in Berlin, the former Checkpoint Charlie had been selected as the target of the attack. “As a tourist destination, Checkpoint Charlie was to be hit,” security authorities said.

Nach Informationen des in Berlin erscheinenden “Tagesspiegels” galt der frühere Checkpoint Charlie als Anschlagsziel. “Es sollte mit dem Checkpoint Charlie ein Tourismusziel getroffen werden”, hieß es in Sicherheitskreisen.

 

Berlinale Increases Security To Protect Crappy Films

With the threat of terrorist attacks in Europe on the rise, organizers at the Berlin International Film Festival are worried that frustrated patrons might actually take action for once and are beefing up security big time this year.

Berlinale

“All measures essential to ensure the safety of these pretentious films of ours from any possible attacks carried out by radicalized festivalgoers and other unwanted guests are being implemented as we speak,” a spokesperson said, more like snarled. “Albeit in an inconspicuous and unobtrusive manner. Not like the way we organize the rest of our awful festival, I mean.”

Wird es auch spezielle Vorführungen für Flüchtlinge geben?

Alles wie Immer*

When it comes to reliable news sources, I mean – ‘Refugee’: A keyword that gets German media every time.

Refugee

Let’s see. Here’s what’s coming out of German media outlets these days: A dead refugee who isn’t, a thirteen-year-old girl raped by refugees who wasn’t and a hand grenade attack at a refugee facility done with a hand grenade that doesn’t explode… Tell me when to stop or something.

Police said the grenade still contained its explosives but it was not clear whether it still had a detonator. Forensics experts are investigating.

* alles wie immer means the same as always.

You Can Only Buy So Much Pepper Spray

Damn. These are gettin’ to be purty near amerikanische Verhältnisse, folks.

Guns

For weeks arms sellers and regulatory agencies have seen increased demand for gun permits. Enrollment in self-defense courses is also up. Police say that is not yet a problem…

Germany has strict gun laws which stipulate that weapons may only be purchased under very specific circumstances. But with the so-called small arms permit, citizens are allowed to own weapons, such as gas cartridge guns or signal pistols. These may also be carried outside the home. The permit costs between 50 and 60 euros and the only restriction is that the applicant be a minimum 18 years of age.

PS: Dead refugee who died waiting in line outside a Berlin government office yesterday turned out to be not nearly as dead as originally reported. Uh, why is everyone in Germany prepared to believe a story like that and nobody wants to hear about a story like this?

And speaking of Sweden

No “High Abstract Threat” Here

These puppies will blow your fingers clean off.

Silvester
You folks have a Happy New Year anyway!

In der Hauptstadt werden mehrere Hunderttausend Menschen auf einer rund zwei Kilometer langen Feiermeile zwischen Brandenburger Tor und Siegessäule erwartet. Hinweise auf konkrete Anschlagsplanungen in Berlin gebe es nicht, betonte ein Polizeisprecher. Es herrsche aber eine hohe abstrakte Gefährdung.

The German Reputation For Efficiency?

Is that anything like the German reputation for moral integrity (see VW’s Dieselgate, Deutsche Bank’s countless crooked dealings, the ADAC “Gelber Engel” fraud, the purchase of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, to name just a few)?

Refugees

So what’s all this talk about “Berlin’s refugee chaos eroding the German reputation for efficiency” here? You can say what you want about the city of Berlin, pal, but at least we Berliners are consistent. Nothing ever works here and the people of this less than fair city are damned proud of it, too (see the Airport fiasco, the S-Bahn, the city’s finances (ha, ha!), to name just a few). Just go and try, for instance, as a “normal” citizen here, to get an appointment at your local Behörde (public authority) for some important paperwork to be processed. You will have to wait months – unless, of course, you “buy” an earlier appointment online from one of the many enterprising entrepreneurs active in the Internet these days (I’m not making this up, folks). I think this is how they do it in Baghdad, too.

Why on earth then should anyone expect that the 73,000 refugees who have arrived in Berlin during these past months be treated any differently? You can expect it if you want to but your expectations will most definitely be disappointed. Welcome to poor but sexy land, people.

At least Hertha BSC seems to be working at the moment. Enjoy it while it lasts, my fellow Berliners.

Berlin’s State Office for Health and Social Affairs is the gateway to life in the German capital for thousands of asylum seekers. Refugees must register here for access to healthcare, housing and welfare support; the wait is measured in days rather than hours. But in a country that prides itself on its orderliness and moral integrity, the chaotic scenes outside this office block have proved deeply humiliating.

German Of The Day: Massenschlägerei

That means a mass brawl or free-for-all. Like the ones that took place between refugees in Berlin (and elsewhere) last weekend.

Schlägerei

So here’s the first predictable reaction in the German media: What have we (the Germans) done wrong to have caused this?

It must get tiring always having to be in the wrong, don’t you think? My own personal theory here is that these refugees just aren’t that much into other refugees anymore.

Meanwhile… When not beating each other up in refugee centers, it appears that these folks are being singled out for recruitment by radical Islamists. Jeepers. Who would have thought that?

“You can’t put Afghans, Syrians and Eritreans in the same place because they hate each other.”

Günther Has Left The Building

You know, just like Elvis used to? Only in this case Günther has left the Gasometer. Or will have left it, a bit later tonight.

Gasometer

Don’t ask. This is the spaceship thingy inside Schöneberg’s Gasometer (taken out of service in 1995 – the Gasometer, not the spaceship) where Gunther Jauch has been holding his popular Sunday evening political talk show on German Channel One (Das Erste) since 2011. And he’s done a pretty good job at it, I think, Gasometer spaceship or not.

Another era has come to an end or something. He will be replaced by Anne Will whom he replaced in 2011. Don’t ask. It’s a German öffentlich-rechtlich TV (“public sector” or state TV, if you prefer) kind of thang.

So, Anne Will (her last name could be translated as “wants to,” if you wanted to): May the talk be with you.

Am Ende war es ein eher kurzes Gastspiel für Günther Jauch in der ARD: An diesem Sonntag lädt der Moderator zum letzten Mal als Polittalker ins Berliner Gasometer. Für Jauch könnte es der Einstieg in den Vorruhestand sein.

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