Not If You Work For A Living

Is Germany’s health care system a model for the U.S.?

Health

Nope. Unless you want to pay a considerable amount of what you earn for your regular health insurance (15 percent – and climbing) – that’s the el cheapo insurance, by the way, the “private” insurance costs much more. Your husband/wife get to pay that fifteen percent, too. Then you get to pay extra for countless other things like dental work (1000 euros for a crown ain’t no big deal, for example) And if you’re a freelance, self-employed type you normally can’t even afford the regular insurance. You have no choice, however. You cannot opt out when it comes to insurance here.

However, if you’re on the dole and even openly admit that you have no intention of going back to work, everything is covered for you.

This is what “free health care” comes down to, folks.

“The ones who are able to pay more, pay more. And the ones who aren’t able to pay that much, don’t pay that much.”

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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.

Siggi Has A Blackout

Clearly still under shock after his party’s latest crisis, the SPD’s ex-boss Gabriel just accidentally praised Donald Trump.

Siggy

Needless to say he was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital and is currently under observation – and very strong medication.

German center-left SPD’s ex-leader Gabriel gives Trump praise – The US president is right to criticize China and to negotiate with North Korea, according to left-of-center former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. Gabriel also warned against seeing Trump voters as “dummies.”

“His criticism of China is justified, and so is his courage to negotiate with North Korea. And he is also right when he calls on Germany and Europe to get their terror-supporting citizens out of Syria and Iraq and put them on trial, instead of letting the Kurds deal with it.”

German Of The Day: Bildungsurlaub

That means educational or vocational training leave. You know, like that yoga course you took for your job?

Yoga

What? Your boss freaked out at the suggestion? Well, everybody does it here in Berlin. Yoga to go with the times, people.

A yoga course can be considered vocational training, a Berlin court has ruled, paving the way to doing the “Downward-facing Dog” or “Greet the Sun” on company time in Germany’s capital.

The state labour court for Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled a worker has the right to paid leave so they can attend a five-day adult education course entitled “Yoga I – successful and relaxed at work with yoga and meditation”.

The judge ruled that under Berlin’s Educational Leave Act, even a yoga course fulfills the far-reaching criteria of “professional development” which would promote an individual’s “adaptability and self-assertion”.

“Yoga I – erfolgreich und entspannt im Beruf mit Yoga und Meditation.”

This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

German Of The Day: Schwerbehindert

That means severely disabled. You know, like 10 percent of the German population?

Scam

Huh? I know what you’re thinking, but it’s true. No, I’m not thinking it’s just another big scam (I know it is). I’m thinking how could it only be just 10 percent?

Schwerbehindert sind laut Statistik Menschen, denen die Versorgungsämter einen Grad der Behinderung von mindestens 50 Prozent zuerkennen und die einen gültigen Ausweis haben.

 

Many Germans Feeling Ill Already

Germany will legalise medical cannabis in early 2017.

Pot

Now the government just has to figure out how to grow the stuff – The ultimate goal of German health authorities is to grow medical marijuana on German soil at specially approved sites.

It is a high art, after all. And knowing how our half-baked buds in government regularly blow things sky high, the whole thing might just end up going to pot. I bet you it’s going to toke them forever to sucseed, in other words.

Um die Versorgung mit Cannabis in kontrollierter Qualität sicherzustellen, will die Regierung den Anbau der Droge zu medizinischen Zwecken unter staatlicher Kontrolle ermöglichen. Über den Anbau wacht das Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte.

DiscrimiNation

Get it? Nation?

Discrimination

And you thought you had it bad where you live (and of course you do) but here in Germany one out of every three Germans gets discriminated against regularly.

That’s right. Germans just don’t like Germans and they refuse to treat them fairly. They treat them like second-class citizens, which, in a way, well, they are. But so are the other two-thirds so why just pick them out to be treated like Dreck (dirt) like that? It just ain’t fair.

And the latest numbers (see the graph in the article) show that Germans get treated like Dreck whether it is at work or at play or while shopping or over at the courthouse or in the hospital or at school or in the media or even on the Internet. Like right here, for example. They just don’t get no respect.

But don’t worry because these Germans have had it up to here and are now going to start taking each and every one of each other to court about this, without discrimination. I mean indiscriminately.

“Es muss endlich möglich sein, Betroffene vor Gericht effektiv zu unterstützen – wie es in vielen anderen europäischen Ländern längst möglich ist.”

Speaking Of Driving…

I don’t think the question they should be asking here is “What is driving Angela Merkel?

Merkel

It ought to be “What kind of industrial strength hallucinogenics is she on at the moment and where can I get some, please?” Let’s face it, folks. Whatever that stuff is it’s working REAL GOOD.

Or maybe they’re just really, really, really strong sedatives?

Chancellor Angela Merkel spent a decade amassing political capital. Now, with the refugee crisis showing no signs of abating, she has decided to spend it. With her legacy in the balance, she has finally found an issue to fight for. But why now?

Dieselgate Actually US-Amerikanische Conspiracy Or Something

But you knew that already, I hope.

Diesel

It was a few researchers from West Virginia (at least one German researcher working in the US was involved here, too, by the way) who brought down the might of the German automotive industry, exposing VW’s Dieselgate cheats. Do you think Germany is pleased about that?

Displeased might not be the right word, but the very healthy sense of irony in Germany came out strong as the industrial nation had to reckon with podunk yahoo America getting German tech on the global shitlist (see the FIFA scandal, “unfortunately” a similar situation). Let us not forget that VW is Germany’s biggest automaker, and making autos is Germany’s most proud export business.

This video comes from the publicly-funded ZDF TV network.

American cars. Non-manipulated. Out of love for the environment.