We’re Not Worthy!

Actually, we’re too worthy – and that’s the problem.

Rich

If they think their ranking on rich lists is too low, American tycoons fume. German ones kick up a fuss when theirs looks suspiciously high, explains Heinz Dürr. When a magazine called him a billionaire a few years ago, Mr Dürr rang the editor to remonstrate. The reporters had double-counted his ownership of Homag, a maker of wood-processing machines that Dürr, his family’s mechanical-engineering firm, bought in 2014. Plutocrats have reached the top of politics in America and Italy, while in Asia the super-rich often display their wealth in ostentatious style. Germany’s magnates love to shun the limelight.

Which reminds me of German oddities 302 and 25.

German 302. Germans have a big Neid (envy) problem. They are perfectly aware of this and often complain that they live in a Neidgesellschaft (envy society) but keep turning green with envy all the same. One comedian claims that Germany is the only country in the world where the need for envy is stronger than the sex drive.

German Oddity 25. When Americans refer to something as being “typically American” they generally mean this in a positive way. When Germans refer to something as being “typically German” they generally mean this in a negative way.

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Just In Time For Summer!

No creeping multicultural parallel societal infiltration going on here, folks.

Burkini

German court has lifted a city’s ban on the burkini, an all-encompassing swimsuit used by some Muslim women.

Wearing the garments in municipal pools in the western city of Koblenz was forbidden at the beginning of this year after the local council narrowly approved a ban. Officials argued that the suite makes it impossible to check whether wearers have open wounds or diseases.

The rules were challenged by a Syrian asylum-seeker, a pious Muslim who said doctors had recommended that she use a swimming pool to tackle pain caused by a back problem.

Das Burkini-Verbot in Koblenzer Schwimmbädern ist nicht rechtens. Es verstoße gegen das verfassungsrechtliche Gleichbehandlungsgebot, hat das Oberverwaltungsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz entschieden.

Someone Call The German Foreign Minister!

What you call him is entirely up to you. He needs to contact his buddies in Iran ASAP.

Tanker

German Tanker Attacked in the Golf of Oman.

Deutscher Tanker im Golf von Oman angegriffen – ++ Auch norwegisches Schiff attackiert ++ Norwegische Seefahrtsbehörde meldet drei Explosionen ++ Besatzungsmitglieder evakuiert ++

Go West, Young Man!

But not everybody at once! Sheesh.

Population

The East German rural population is now as low as it was back in 1905. The population in West Germany has more than doubled since then. For three reasons, demographers say: 1) Anybody who could fled from the Communist East after World War II and before the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, 2) Communist East Germany never had any immigration (of guest works like in the West, for example) and 3) there was also a big migration to the West after the Berlin Wall came down. Now it’s ghost town time over there and nobody knows what to do about it.

“For a long time, the problem of eastern Germany was, above all, the lack of jobs. Now you almost have the opposite problem: they are running out of workers.”

Back To Nature

This story bears a resemblance to the wolf pack incidents.

Bear

Bear in mind, Germans have this need to get back to nature. But one guy had to bear the brunt of this romantic nonsense while his girlfriend was forced to bear witness.

A German PhD student was mauled and bitten by a female bear while hiking in the Romanian mountains. He managed to drive the animal away after his girlfriend told him to “punch it in the eye.”

A PhD student, huh? So this guy was smarter than the average bear, was he? Hope the bear doesn’t bear a grudge. That would be noble savage of both of them.

“Then I remembered that you’re supposed to punch a bear in the eye, so I yelled that and the bear turned around and left him. Andi’s so lucky to be alive.”

German Of The Day: Erfolglos

And while we’re at it, fassungslos und ahnungslos.

Fassungslos

That means unsuccessful, stunned and clueless, respectively. And all three apply to Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas, who just got a taste of the real world in Tehran during his pitiful attempt to salvage what is left of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – for world peace, of course (and for German corporate interests in the region, coincidentally).

The German foreign minister appeared somehow surprised to discover that the mullahs are upset with Europe as “so far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests.” This is because, well, they can’t. If you aim at being weak long and hard  enough then weak you shall be. But there’s a bright side to this, I guess. German diplomacy would not be German diplomacy without the foreign ministers fervent hope that “ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue.” Good luck with that, Heiko.

By the way, anybody in Germany who repeats the word “dialogue” long and hard enough can become German foreign minister, too.

Außenminister Maas in Iran – Zwischen erfolglos und fassungslos.

Germany To Lead From Behind Again

This time from far behind. You know, like from way, way, way far behind? But still.

Iran

Germany looks to ‘lead’ US-Iran talks– in what is clearly a noble effort to bring peace to the region and profits to the German corporations still sexually aroused about doing business with Iran despite the collapse of the 2015 nuclear agreement – and, of course, to take an indirect swipe at Israel in the process while they’re at it already.

“The latest escalation requires us as European neighbors to intervene in favor of de-escalation and peaceful coexistence,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters during an unannounced stop to Iraq. “We cannot just seek dialogue, we must lead it, precisely where the differences seem insurmountable and long-simmering conflicts run deep.”

“Das ist eine Reise in die Krise.”

Why Did The German Warship Cross The Taiwan Straight?

To get to the other side? To get repaired?

Taiwan

No. To 1) show the world that it actually has a warship, 2) demonstrate that it can actually travel this far without sinking or being towed and 3) demonstrate Germany’s formidable military power. No, all three are true. You don’t have to pick just one. But remember folks, this is all a purely hypothetical construct.

Why a German Warship Would Head To the Taiwan Strait – A naval mission to the region would be a low-risk way for Germany to show that it’s committed to alliances – and that it still has a navy.

No low-risk, no fun.