The German 80 percent rule

You know, like the 80 percent of all Germans (at least) who love Obama no matter what he does or does not do.

Or how about the 80 percent of all Germans who are fervent pacifists and yet clearly have no problem with their country being the world’s third largest weapons exporter (NOBODY cares here, honest)?

But this one really kills me, and it’s quite a surprise. It turns out that 80 percent of all German Auswanderer (emigrants) who demonstratively leave their homeland forever (well they do on the numerous TV shows that document their adventures) toss in the towel after a bit and come back home to Deutschland again.

I guess once you go red, gold, black (the German flag), you never go back.

Deutsche entpuppen sich als “Ich bin nur kurz weg”-Auswanderer


“Cairo is not Berlin”

But where Polish Solidarity activists and East Berliners could look to the West — and, specifically, the United States — as a model in opposition to their reviled Communist leaders, in this case, it is the U.S. which has, awkwardly, helped prop up a leader who has lost credibility with his people.

On Friday night, President Obama finally found some strong words, “What’s needed right now are concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people, a meaningful dialogue between the government and its citizens, and a path of political change that leads to a future of greater freedom and greater opportunity and justice for the Egyptian people.”

“President Barack Obama should set a new rule for his administration’s policy in the region — when he draws a line in the sand and stakes out a position that is ignored by an ally in the region, there should be consequences, and policy changes should be implemented.”

We never get tired of being admired

Yeah, Herr Brüderle, you guys are the best thing since sliced toast. You’ve done everything right, right?

But please, enjoy it now, while you still can, fast. Because here’s what might just happen next: Mr. Sarkozy putting your money where his mouth is (“Germany and France will never let the euro fail) and your temper tantrum behind the scenes at Davos might be an indication that you have already been pushed down the road you didn’t think you would have to travel:Spending whatever it takes to bankroll your near-bankrupt euro neighbors.

And should it come to that, let’s see how much admiration you’ll be getting from German taxpayers back home.

Germany is getting boxed into a corner. Somehow, the ideas that the bailout-funding European Financial Stability Facility needs to be much bigger, that it should buy government debt, and that the interest rates charged on aid need slashing, have all dodged Frankfurt opposition and moved to the top of the bond market’s agenda.

How poor (poorly paid) are Berliners?

The latest statistics say that they’re the poorest in the land. Nearly a quarter of all Berlin households have to get by on roughtly 1100 euros (about $1,500) per month.

So If you’re looking for rotten work that’s grossly underpaid, Berlin is like, I dunno, El Dorado or something. No skills required, either. Come on down!

And money isn’t everything, of course. Unless you don’t have any, I mean.

Das passt ins Bild von der „armen“ Hauptstadt und hat vor allem mit der hohen Arbeitslosigkeit zu tun. Sie liegt in Berlin bei 12,8 Prozent – so hoch wie in keinem anderen Bundesland. Mehr als 600.000 Menschen beziehen Sozialtransfers.

Germans in Davos: We’re not close-fisted because we want to be

We’re close-fisted because it’s one of our defining national obsessive compulsive disorders and the one over which we have the least control.

When it comes to the euro crisis, Germany is about to be slapped around a bit by some folks at the Davos World Economic Forum for not being willing to make more money available than it already has. There is not enough money in circulation in Europe, they believe, yet this is necessary for certain ailing economies to be able to crawl back out into growth again.

Germany’s critics also believe that more money needs to be set aside for the European “safety chute” fund, something Germany steadfastly refuses to do. This extra capital would convince financial market investors that the euro is properly “covered.”

Needless to say, the Germans will listen politely and refuse to budge an inch, their fists tightening automatically, close-fistedness being one of their defining national obsessive compulsive disorders and the one over which they have the least control.

What can I say? This is New Europe, people. Germany does what it wants and everybody else here has to like it.

Für die deutsche Delegation geht es in diesem Jahr nicht so gemütlich zu wie üblich.

Now if they could only get the Bundeswehr to misbehave this badly with the Taliban whenever they come around

The German Navy has this quaint little training ship called the Gorch Fock with this quaint long tradition blah, blah, blah but now it’s coming out that these sailor/soldiers are acting quite scandalous these days (like sailor/soldiers in other countries are actually expected to act) and so Defense Minister zu Guttenberg has pulled the plug on the ship’s captain way down in Argentina and has ordered an investigation and holy shit let’s call the whole thing off.

The Gorch Fock (some are now calling it Germany’s biggest floating brothel) appears to have become the one place where modern German military types have lost all sense of inhibation and political correctness and where all kinds of bad misbehavior (of the non-German kind) is taking place big time. Scandalous, never-heard-of-things-happening-with-German-sailors-at-sea before have been hitting the fan. Here are just a few to name just a few:

The sailors on the Gorch Fock drink lots of alcohol on board.
The boy sailors are always hitting on the girl sailors really hard, sometimes on the other boy soldiers too.
The officers yell at the sealors a lot and often hurt their feelings, sometimes even “insulting” them.
Then there’s that bizarre ritual of eating raw pig’s liver and washing it down with even more alcohol.
And the drop-the-soap games in the shower.
And the freakin’ Aryan Brotherhood dudes on board.
Oh yeah, and mutiny and stuff like that too.
And, of course, the two women who have recently died on board under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

I think all of this is being caused by having to sail around the world in an old ass ship like that. But maybe that’s just me. Or maybe they’ve just got scurvy or something.

Today a 70-page annual report on the armed forces criticised the “inexperienced” officer class for not possessing “the knowledge and intuition to realise when the line has been crossed into criminality.”

If I wanted to find a friend I’d buy a dog

Bowing to excessively strict German privacy law pressure, Facebook has grudgingly agreed to allow German users to protect their email contacts from unwanted social network solicitations that could lead to possible “friendships” or other related gross infringements of privacy.

Although there are more than 10 million Facebook users in Germany, none of them appear to be particularly friendly, much less know one another, nor do they “get” the Facebood Friend Finder concept in the first place, nor want to, because we’re not kids anymore damn it and we are all perfectly aware of what these so-called “friendships” are all about and where they eventually lead to and if any one of us wanted a find a friend he or she would go to the local pound and buy a freakin’ dog like God had intended us to.

“We are pleased that we have come to a solution with the Hamburg DPA regarding concerns about Friend Finder and look forward to continue our constructive discussions and dialogue in the future,” although they weren’t particularly friendly.

“The United States of Hate”

This is the seventh article like this I’ve seen just today. I guess they’re going to be milking this one for the next week or two at least.

“In the crosshairs of hate,” “rightwing preachers of hate,” “Sarah Palin in particular has been taking aim at her,” blah, blah, blah.

I find this obsessive need to politicize a tragedy like this beneath contempt.

This is all too Kindergarten for me, in other words–only kids in kindergarden behave better. I’m taking a few days off.

“Hier tobt der hysterische Kampf zwischen Rechts und Links besonders heftig.”

Sarah Palin?

It didn’t take long for Der Speigel & Co. to determine who the real culprit behind the senseless shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Gifford is (resulting in six deaths and nineteen injuries): Sarah Palin.

It doesn’t seem to be of any importance that the suspected shooter prepared Internet videos filled with rambling statements on topics like mind control or that his classmates wondered if he might not be on hallucinogens or that “as I knew him, he was left wing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy” or that all of this is “consistent with the delusions produced by a psychotic illness like schizophrenia.”

The real telling stuff that hard-hitting investigative reporters have dug up here is that Sarah Palin has criticized Gifford’s politics in the past and even went as far as to place a map on her “Political Action Committee” website page in which voting districts that had supported Obama’s health reform were marked with “crosshairs.”

How sinister, or something. And how much more ridiculous can you get than that?

“It almost seemed like he was on his own planet, because his comments would have nothing to do with what we were talking about.”