Oh Great And Powerful Wahl-O-Mat…

Tell me who to vote for. But computer says no!

Wahl

It’s odd. Germans seem to really love this goofy computer program that tells them how to vote. Now they’re upset because a German court has shut it down (temporarily?) because smaller parties feel they are at a great disadvantage here (which they are anyway because they are smaller parties). The “Vote-O-Mat” only allows the user to select up to eight parties for comparison purposes and this hurts the really tiny and the really wacko ones.

And this before the big European elections next week! OMG who’s going to tell me who to vote for now?

Das Gericht begründete den Schritt damit, dass man auf der Seite seine politischen Auffassungen nur mit dem Programm von bis zu acht Parteien abgleichen könne. Das sei eine Benachteiligung kleinerer und unbekannterer Parteien.

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Data Privacy, Data Privacy Data Privacy…

That’s how the mantra goes. Unless, of course, it’s about the data privacy of a BAD Austrian nationalist, right?

Srache

No outrage about this blatant breach of data protection here in Germany, at any rate. Normally they’d be out in the streets about something like this.

A German data protection agency has suggested German media outlets were wrong to publish video that exposed Heinz-Christian Strache’s allegedly corrupt intentions.

News agencies violated privacy rights by publishing a secretly filmed recording of the now-former vice-chancellor of Austria, an official German data protection agency claimed on Sunday.

Stefan Brink, who heads the Data Protection and Freedom of Information agency in the German region of Baden-Württemberg, believes the tape of Heinz-Christian Strache has far-reaching negative repercussions.

“If we cheat political opponents, violate their privacy and even commit criminal wrongdoing, we ultimately harm our political culture and us all.”

The Race For Last Place

The Germans did their damnedest, as usual.

But not even after receiving Null Punkte (zero points) from the audience were they able to come in at very last place at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Nice effort though, girls. And congratulations to the UK!

Allenfalls mit Außenseiterchancen fuhr das Duo S!sters aus Deutschland zum ESC nach Tel Aviv. Tatsächlich erhielt es bei der Publikumsabstimmung die Höchststrafe.

Another Fifteen Years?

Whoah. This is getting heavy.

Life

German nurse who killed up to 100 patients faces another life sentence.

Thanks for the fake news there, CNN. There is no life sentence in Germany. They may call it that but that just means fifteen years. Just saying.

German prosecutors in the northwest city of Oldenburg are seeking a life sentence for Niels Hoegel, a former male nurse who is considered Germany’s deadliest postwar serial killer after allegedly killing as many as 100 patients…

Hoegel is accused of giving his victims various non-prescribed drugs, in an attempt to show off his resuscitation skills to colleagues and fight off boredom.

Well, Then He Shouldn’t Announce Tariffs, Right?

German auto sector could drop as much as 12% if Trump announces tariffs, analyst says.

Tariffs

Gee, I wonder if there is anything the Germans/Europeans could do to prevent that from happening? I dunno. How about like maybe lowering their tariffs? Just thinking out loud here, people.

Germany’s automotive sector could fall as much as 12% over “three bad trading days,” if President Donald Trump imposes tariffs on European car manufacturers, one analyst told CNBC.

Trump has until Friday midnight (Washington time) to decide whether to impose duties on car imports. This would likely hurt Germany, the EU’s traditional growth engine, given that it is one of the largest direct car exporters to the U.S.

“If indeed we get U.S. car tariffs on imports from the euro zone — not just their announcement, you could forget our economic forecasts completely. No chance of a sustained pick-up in activity throughout the second half as we expect.”

“Progress has been limited…”

Oh, I dunno. Depends upon how you look at it.

Progress

In 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the country was turning away from nuclear energy in favor of a renewable future. Since then, however, progress has been limited. Berlin has wasted billions of euros and resistance is mounting…

But there’s been plenty of change here, although I wouldn’t call it progress. Lots of people can’t afford to pay their power bills in Germany – the country with the highest energy costs for consumers in Europe. Could there possibly be a connection to the “energy turnaround” here?

More than 340,000 electricity customers across Germany have their power cut off each year for failing to pay bills. A new proposal from one political party aims to change this.

Productivity?

What’s that? I live in Berlin.

Productivity

Asked which region in Europe has been the absolute worst at realizing its economic potential, most people probably wouldn’t name Berlin. The German capital isn’t just nice to live in, it’s throbbing with excitement; a startup is reportedly created here every 20 minutes, and if you leave for a night out, you risk not coming back for a week. But according to a study of the economic performance of European regions, Berlin is indeed the worst.

What is more important: productivity or a city’s peculiar, esoteric feel? Berlin is one of the places where this question is especially poignant.

Germany’s Once Mighty Air Force?

That must have been a long, long time ago.

All of the Reasons Germany’s Once Mighty Air Force Is Dying – The German magazine Spiegel recently revealed that most of the Luftwaffe’s—the modern German air force’s—128 Eurofighter Typhoons are not flightworthy.

In fact, only about ten of the aircraft are ready for operations, Spiegel said. This raises doubts about Germany’s ability to meet its NATO defense commitments.

“The problem is complicated.” Uh, no it’s not. This is nothing new. The Germans simply don’t care.

Well, We Certainly Don’t Want To Spark Controversy

Do we? German conference on Islamic veil sparks controversy.

Veils

The Islamic veil – Symbol of dignity or oppression? I’m going to go out on the limb here, folks. I’m going with oppression. Just sayin’.

Islamic veils are a hot topic in Germany, particularly due to a growing Muslim population. Now, outcry over an academic conference on the issue has surprised even its organizer, who says freedom of speech is at stake…

Germany’s Muslim population, which has rapidly increased in recent years due to immigration from Muslim-majority countries, was estimated at between 4.4 and 4.7 million people or approximately 5.5% of the country’s total population in 2015, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The number is doubtless higher now, according to the agency, but updated official figures exist.

With these demographic changes come societal debates — one of which, that of the Islamic veil, has been a continual source of discussion. The latest veil controversy, which made headlines all across Germany, has occurred over a planned academic conference — something that even its organizer did not expect.

“Dissenting opinions must be respected and tolerated.” Must they? For how much longer?

I Want Whatever The New York Times Just Had

While the New York times asks itself “Why Is Socialism Coming Back in Germany?” a young, supposedly up-and-coming SPD politician has just made himself a national laughing stock by suggesting the “collectivization” of BMW.

Kühnert

Not even Germany’s ex-communist partially Stalinist now socialist (or whatever they call themselves this week) Left party comes up with bat shit crazy ideas like that. Everyone is asking themselves what this guy has been smoking.

No, New York Times. Socialism might be alive in well down in Venezuela these days but it will continue to have a tough stand in Germany, flirtatious as the Germans may seem at times.

Die Empörung über die Sozialismus-Thesen des Juso-Vorsitzenden ist groß. Die SPD-Spitze spielt die Aussagen herunter.