We Worry

People living in Germany are the most worried about climate change, according to new analysis of 18 countries published this week.

Climate

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) examined data collected by the European Social Survey on public attitudes to climate change of 16 European countries, Russia and Israel.

Of these 18 countries, it found Germans are the most concerned, with 44% “very or “extremely” worried about climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, just 15% of Poles say they are “very or “extremely” worried.

MeanwhileChaos hits European flights as snow snarls major hubs. Germans worry about that kind of stuff, too. They’re always leaving Germany in the winter to escape the cold weather.

Der Winter hat in vielen Teilen Deutschlands zu chaotischen Zuständen geführt. In einigen Regionen zählte die Polizei in der Nacht zum Montag Hunderte Einsätze.

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More Crazy Protests Going On Down There In The Middle East Again

I mean over there, of course. Over there in the middle eastern part of Berlin.

Berlin

Angela Merkel has condemned the burning of Israeli symbols during protests against the US decision on Jerusalem. Germany’s interior, foreign and justice ministers have also expressed criticism of the weekend’s protests…

On Sunday, some 2,500 demonstrators marched through Berlin’s Neukölln district and burned flags with the Star of David, the Berliner Zeitung reported, to demonstrate against the controversial decision by US President Donald Trump.

Wien, Berlin, Göteborg, Athen, Amsterdam. In den vergangenen Tagen häuften sich Übergriffe auf jüdische Einrichtungen.

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German Of The Day: Gefangenenaustausch

That means a prisoner exchange.

VW

And that is what this guy, the German executive guy responsible for environmental questions in US-Amerika for VW who just got sentenced by a US court to seven years in prison and $400,000 – after “admitting to charges of conspiring to mislead U.S regulators and violate clean-air laws” – is hoping for.

Of course in this case, if nobody can find a US-Amerikan prisoner in Germany worth swapping places with, the exchange could still take place between prisons, couldn’t it? At any rate, his lawyers would like to exchange his yucky American one for one of the more humane German kind.

This is another one of those cases where worlds collide, folks. Convicted murders don’t get seven years over here in Germany. And this wanted clown goes on vacation in Florida thinking nobody will notice (that’s where they busted him)? Here’s some more German of the day: Wer nicht hören will muss fühlen. Those who refuse to follow the rules shall feel the consequences.

Sieben Jahre soll der VW-Manager Oliver Schmidt wegen des Abgasskandals in einem US-Gefängnis sitzen. Doch der Verurteilte hofft auf eine Überstellung nach Deutschland – womöglich im Austausch mit einem US-Häftling.

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German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

Promise?

Do you promise that “relations with the US will never be the same after Trump?”

Gabriel

Because that would be great if you made sure that was the case, German Foreign Minister Gabriel (SPD). And I couldn’t agree more with what you just said in that context; that Germany needs to be more confident about defending it’s own interests and draw red lines where it needs to draw red lines. Germany first? By all means. It’s not the most original idea but we can all see where you’re coming from. Stay tuned, everyone.

Deutschland müsse künftig selbstbewusster seine Interessen vertreten, verlangt Gabriel. “Wir müssen selbst unsere Positionen beschreiben und notfalls rote Linien ziehen – unter Partnern, aber an unseren eigenen Interessen orientiert.”

A Little Paralysis Never Hurt Anybody

If this is Germany’s acting government they sure are pretty lousy actors.

Merkel

On Thursday, the German chancellor spent two hours at the German president’s office in Bellevue Palace with the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, and the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer. The president wants to prevent new elections and has urged the SPD and the CSU, the conservative alliance partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to start afresh with the unpopular grand coalition, despite all past disappointments.

It will likely come to that, as the SPD is now ready for talks, even if it is still keeping its options open, including tolerating a CDU/CSU minority government. But it may take a while until a government is formed — some observers suspect the country could have to wait until March for a government to emerge from September’s election. After all, just a few weeks ago, the SPD was fiercely determined to reposition itself in the opposition.

But honestly, who really cares about any of this, anyway? As long as people here can still concentrate on the really dangerous governments out there chances are that nobody else will even notice that Germany doesn’t have one.

Modern Art For Modern Sensibilities

I know, modern isn’t modern anymore but being a martyr is about as modern as it gets these days.

Art

At least that’s the case at “The Other Eye of The Tiger” art exhibition in Berlin Kreuzberg.

This “martyr museum” places one of the Islamist terrorists responsible for killing 89 innocent people at the Bataclan in Paris next to people like Martin Luther King. One of the artists explains it thus to us dumb folks: One has to differentiate when considering the term martyr, he says. And it always depends on the context. Indeed it does. Always. Even I knew that. How do people get this confused?

Don’t try to understand art, people. Just experience it. Then after you’ve vomited it all out move on to the next exhibition.

Am Ende der Reihe steht Ismaël Omar Mustafaï, einer der Islamisten von Paris, die am 13.?November 2015 im Konzertsaal Bataclan in Paris 89 Menschen ermordeten.

Give Us More Of What We Just Voted Out Of Office

The city of Berlin isn’t the only thing that is dysfunctional in Germany these days.

Merkel

Maybe the Germans ought to consider fixing their parliamentarian system, too. I mean, the one thing that voters made perfectly clear just a few weeks back is that they do NOT want a continuation of the so-called GroKo (grand coalition government of CDU/CSU and SPD). But after Empress Merkel failed miserably during the Jamaica exploratory talks by going greener and green and letting the FDP get away, new talks are beginning to go for that very thing.

She doesn’t want to go with a minority CDU/CSU government, you see, because than her majesty’s government would have to explain everything to parliamentarians first before getting a majority to pass any legislation. She can explain things just fine, it’s just that fewer and fewer Germans agree with her explanations anymore. But a minority government is what she must go with, I find, until new elections are held. This, too, being something that nobody wants.

So, German voters got what they voted for, I guess: Nothing that they wanted.

Deputy SPD head Olaf Scholz said recently that a rebirth of the grand coalition would “have negative consequences for our democracy.” It would also mean that the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) would be the strongest party in opposition. That means it would always have the privilege in parliament of delivering the first rebuttal to Merkel’s speeches.

Dysfunctional, Datfunctional, Main Thing Nothing Works

And costs everybody else in the country a whole lot of money. Berlin, my kind of town. My kind of town??

Berlin

Berlin, the capital of Europe’s most successful economy, is surprisingly badly governed. The new airport, the city’s biggest flagship project, missed its seventh opening date earlier this year and may not open until 2021, ten years after it was originally supposed to. The jobless rate is among the highest in the country. Schools are dismal. Courts and police are so overworked that hundreds of millions of euros in fines and taxes have not been collected; and the city failed to keep tabs on Anis Amri, the jihadist who killed 11 people with a lorry last Christmas, despite warnings about him three weeks earlier…

Astonishingly for a capital city, Berlin makes Germany poorer. Without it, Germany’s GDP per person would be 0.2% higher. By comparison, if Britain lost London, its GDP per person would be 11.1% lower; France without Paris would be 14.8% poorer…

“We have a deeply held suspicion of anything that smacks of efficiency and competence.”

No More Döner For Dinner?

Huh? That’s absolutely, positively my favorite German food!

Döner

Leave it up to the Enlightened Left to help protect us from ourselves again.

The EU’s Umweltausschuss (ecology committee) plans to restrict the use of phosphates in frozen meats. A loophole in their legislation had allowed frozen Döner Kebab to contain phosphates up until now. Only fresh Döner will be allowed to have phosphates in the future.

The problem here: Almost all of the Döner restaurants in Europe depend upon frozen Döner meat being delivered to them. Some 500 tons of it are eaten every day. 80% of that in Germany. Over 110,000 jobs would be affected. And please note: The same EU bureaucrats (from another EU department, of course) have declared that 4200 mg of phosphates per day does not pose a health hazard. A Döner Kebab has on average 134 mg.

What can you say? What else can you say? “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Wegen Sozialisten und Grünen im EU-Parlament – Dem Döner droht das Aus!