Swabians In Berlin Soon To Be Wearing Yellow Mercedes Stars

Remember that Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in Berlin back in the bad old days with all those signs and scribblings about “Don’t Buy from Jews!” and the like? Of course you don’t.

Schwaben

But many from Berlin’s enlightened anti-gentrification left do remember and have now come up with the breathtakingly brilliant idea of introducing this same simple asymmetrical tactic against the “hated” Berlin Swabian community by spraying “Don’t Buy from Swabians!” on the walls around town, too.

The evil Swabians are hated here, you see, because they work hard and are successful and make lots of money (and the cliché goes that they’re  tightwads, too, but that’s beside the point) and, through their very presence, therefore increase Berlin property values which is an awful thing to do because those of the enlightened left (like most other Germans) do not own property but prefer to pay rent instead and this pushes the rents up and laber, laber, laber (blah, blah, blah) been there done that.

There can be no losers in Germany in general and Berlin in particular, you see (it’s verboten or something). That’s why there are so many of them here, I guess.

Der anonyme Unmut regt sich gegen die Schwaben, weil sie angeblich die Besonderheiten des Stadtviertels veränderten und die Preise auf dem Wohnungsmarkt in die Höhe trieben. In Berlin leben schätzungsweise rund 300.000 Schwaben.

„Kauft nicht bei Schwab’n!“

The Green Shirts vs. The Environment

Guess who’s going to win?

Green

One would assume that ecology and the Energiewende, Germany’s plans to phase out nuclear energy and increase its reliance on renewable sources, were natural allies. But in reality, the two goals have been coming into greater and greater conflict…

Since the party’s founding in 1980, it has championed a nuclear phaseout and fought for clean energy. But now that this phaseout is underway, the Greens are realizing a large part of their dream — the utopian idea of a society operating on “good” power — is vanishing into thin air. Green energy, they have found, comes at an enormous cost. And the environment will also pay a price if things keep going as they have been.

“We should overcome the temptation to sacrifice environmental protection for the sake of fighting climate change. Preserving a stable natural environment is just as important.”

High Five Claudia

Or high, anyway.

Claudia

How did the high five and theocratic rule in Iran come to cross paths recently? Well, this past weekend at the Munich Security Conference, Claudia Roth, who heads the German Green Party, which represents 11% of the country, was photographed engaged in an enthusiastic high five with the Iranian Ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar.

The story is beginning to make waves in Germany because Iran’s leaders routinely deny that the Holocaust ever happened, which is a crime in Germany. An example came soon after at a forum with the German Council on Foreign Relations on Monday when Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Selehi was invited to visit the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Selehi ignored the invitation and then passed on answering a question about Holocaust denial in his country by simply saying “Any holocaust is a human tragedy.” When asked if there has been more than one Holocaust, Selehi told the packed audience that it was up to them to find out.  

Claudia Roth’s Green Party arose from the German student movement of the 1960s, recalcitrant in thumbing their noses at the previous generation who had pro-Nazi tendencies. They championed human rights and cast themselves as the enlightened and progressive leaders of Germany’s bright future.

So why is the head of the Green Party so cozy with someone whose country’s fascism represents the complete opposite of the Green Party pillars? Roth has issued a statement downplaying the encounter, but unfortunately, not even German has a word for how this incident makes any sense.

Attar werde vorgeworfen, dass er in den “80ern als Gouverneur im Iran Oppositionelle aufhängen ließ”. Attar war nach der islamischen Revolution von 1979 Gouverneur der Provinzen Kurdistan und West-Aserbaidschan gewesen. Seit 2008 ist er Botschafter in Deutschland und nicht zuletzt damit beschäftigt, Kritik an Menschenrechtsverletzungen des Regimes in Teheran zurückzuweisen.

Phase-Out Fizzling Out

Support for Germany’s Atomausstieg (nuclear phase-out) ain’t what it used to be, it seems. And it seems to have something to do with Geld (money), or something. With reality, in other words.

According to an Emnid survey, 77 percent of German voters asked say it is very important that energy costs remain affordable while only 53 percent care if the nuclear phase-out succeeds or not.

Welcome back to the real world, volks, I mean folks. Hey, you are here in Germany after all. And there is a clearly discernable pattern here. Once the first wave of hysteria is over, it always goes back to es darf eben nichts kosten (OK, but only as long as it doesn’t cost anything).

Für sie ermittelte Emnid auch, dass zwei Drittel der Bürger maximal 50 Euro pro Jahr mehr für Strom zahlen wollen.

German Ecological Energy Turnaround Working!

As long as power plants that burn fossil fuels remain in operation, that is.

The Federal Network Agency warns that if ecologically questionable coal-fired power stations do not stay in operation, the German power grid will crash. Especially in Southern German “assured capacities” are missing.

Power stations old as dirt (and at least as dirty), ready to be shut down due to the high environmental pollution they cause, will have to remain in operation.

Details, details. The main thing is that Germany’s ideologically-fired power elite stay in power long enough to keep that visionary progress of theirs a comin’.

Die ökologische Energiewende in Deutschland scheint ohne umweltschädliche fossile Kraftwerke nicht zu funktionieren.

Germany’s Energy Turnaround Rocks

They never promised you a rose garden (actually, they did). It looks like Germany’s Energiewende (the energy turnaround = shutting down nuclear power and waiting for solar and wind energy to pick up slack) is going to have its price, too.

And it looks likes the first installment will by about a seven percent increase in energy costs for private housholds. But Germans pay these increases gladly, I think. At least for now (seven percent is just the start, of course). It’s back to the future. It’s for the common good. Or it’s for saving the planet or something.

Uh, like why don’t they just have “the state” pay for it. Oh, that’s right. They already are (the taxpayers are, that is).

Stromtrassen, Umschlagwerke oder intelligente Stromzähler kosten den Staat Milliarden. Draufzahlen muss am Ende oft der Verbraucher – offenbar bis zu sieben Prozent in den kommenden Jahren.

Unterdeckungen

That’s German for deficient coverage. And German readers might be reading that word a lot in the weeks to come, at least when it comes to the electricity supply in Germany.

„We have been observing for weeks now that something with the system just doesn’t seem to be right,” one market expert said.

And in a letter from Germany’s Federal Network Agency to the power traders it deals with, it makes clear its concern about the rather volitile situation going on at the moment and has even warned of the collapse of the German power network. It almost happened on Febuary 6, already, they wrote, as “substantial undercoverage continuing over several hours” nearly brought the system to its knees.

Hmmm. Last year at this time, during one of the coldest winters ever, there wasn’t any problem with the German electricity supply at all. What on earth could have possibly happened since then and now to have caused this disturbing situation?

Nach dem Reuters vorliegenden Schreiben stand das Stromnetz in den vergangenen Tagen mehrfach vor dem Kollaps.

Not One, Not Two…

But three films about Fukushima are being shown this year at the Berlinale.

That was to be expected, I guess. Especially now since Fukushima hysteria has all but disappeared from the Bildfläche (screen), even here in Germany.

It’s hard to keep people scared for months on end, now matter how important you think your agenda is. They just get tired and want to move on with their lives. The latest media stunt I just barely heard about had a lot of potential, for a few minutes, but then it rolled over and died, too.

I am looking forward to the big one-year anniversary media terror show bombardment to be held here in Germany next month, of course. But what are they going to be able to scare us with then? The German nation threatening to shut down all it’s nuclear power plants? Been there, done that. It makes you wonder sometimes why they even take the trouble to keep on agitating at us like they do. Now that the war is over and all, I mean. There’s just no place else to agitate at the moment, I guess (thanks for nothing, “Occupy Movement”). It must be hard being progressive sometimes. Much less all the time.

The 11-day film festival, which prides itself on its generally edgier and more politically-overt line-up over other film showcases, was perhaps a fitting backdrop for the documentaries.

Electric Cars Bad, Too

For the climate, I mean.

How piquant or exquisite or unintentionally funny or something. An eco-study by an eco-institute (Öko-Institut) has just found out that eco-cars of the ecolectric kind are not nearly as ecological for the ecology as assumed (is there an eco in here?).

Basing its findings upon the amount of additional electricity these cars will have to use in the future, the study determined that if this energy does not come from renewable energy sources (a most unlikely likelihood at this time, it appears), then this increase in electricity production will actually prove to have a detrimental effect upon the so-called climate balance.

Exhaust or not, it must be clear by now that this subject will never be exhausted.

Als Grund nennt das Öko-Institut die Strommengen, die durch Elektroautos verbraucht werden. Die Klimabilanz wäre nur dann ausgewogen, wenn dafür zusätzliche Mengen erneuerbarer Energie in den Strommarkt eingeführt würden.

The Three Percent Solution?

Three percent. That’s how much solar energy contributes to Germany’s overall energy mix (now don’t go be a jerk and break it to the Germans that the sun doesn’t shine very much here).

But that doesn’t really matter because, jeepers, that measly three percent only costs consumers half of the total 17 billion euros they have to shell out for renewable energy here.

It’s the principle of the matter, you see. If the Germans left this solar energy stuff up to the free market (that means no subsidies), then solar power’s contribution would be even lower than three percent – at none of the cost – and just think about how ridiculous they would look then.

And (even) the Spiegel says: Solar Subsidy Sinkhole

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