German Of The Day: Bußgeld

No, that doesn’t mean bus money. It means fine or penalty.

Fine

And that’s what the parents of the kids who have been taking part in Joan of Arc’s, I mean, Greta Thunberg’s wackedelic Fridays for Future (FFF) demonstrations will now have to be paying. At least here in Germany.

German school authorities are starting to get tired of all the truancy going on or something and have begun handing out fines starting at 88.50 euros a pop. Jeepers. That might get FFF-freakin’ expensive before too long, folks.

Eltern von Klimaschutzdemonstranten müssen Bußgeld bezahlen – Seit Monaten demonstriert Fridays for Future für besseren Klimaschutz. Weil das auch während der Schulzeit geschieht, wird in Mannheim das Ordnungsamt aktiv.

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You Didn’t Sit While Peeing!

And I warned you twice, Hermann. Now I’m gonna beat you black and blue.

Hurt

After millennia of callous neglect, Germany is finally prepared to address the scandalous issue of domestic violence against German men. And addressing it, as if it actually existed, is precisely what makes this all so scandalous. Talk about wussies, sheesh. Beam me up pronto, Scottie. It’s a freakin’ nuthouse here.

For the first time ever, two German states are launching an initiative to help male victims of domestic violence. Officials in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia say they want to break the taboos surrounding the topic.

A three-pillar program to help men suffering from domestic violence was unveiled by the German states of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Tuesday.

The first pillar of the initiative would include a hotline and an online counseling platform for victims. The second pillar would see constructions of safe houses and counseling centers. Finally, the authorities aim to make the subject of violence against men “visible” and “break the taboo” surrounding it.

“Until now, there was hardly any help or support structures. There are possibilities to cooperate across state borders, most of all in creating a hotline and in the area of online counseling.”

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 Government “Sways?”

Of course it sways. That’s all it’s ever done as long as Angela Merkel has been in power.

Sways

The latest “grand coalition” that nobody here wants anyway is now swaying to its end, it seems. Or maybe it isn’t. Let’s see. Whatever. But at the latest once the SPD disappears completely from the stage of history there won’t be anybody “grand” enough left to keep this grand coalition farce going.

German Government Sways After Social Democrat Leader Quits – German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Sunday to continue with her government after the leader of the center-left Social Democrats, a junior partner in the coalition, resigned following a series of disappointing election results.

In a surprise announcement hours earlier, Andrea Nahles had announced she planned to quit, saying she wanted “clarity” after questions were raised about her ability to lead the Social Democrats. The party finished third in last month’s European Parliament election, receiving 15.8% of the vote behind Merkel’s center-right Union bloc with 28.9% and the Greens with 20.5%.

“The party is in an extremely serious situation. If we don’t manage to stick together and find a way out of it then things will look really bleak.”

A Standing Ovation For An Anti-Trump Speech?

At an American University? Wow. Now that’s news-worthy.

Merkel

Or at least the Germans seem to think it is. Yawn.

Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent jibes at Donald Trump and his policies.

Though she did not name the U.S. president, the German chancellor devoted much of her Harvard University commencement speech to attacking major pillars of Trump’s presidency: protectionism, trade wars and building walls.

Merkel in Harvard: Für die Anti-Trump-Rede gibt es Standing Ovations

More State Control Of Media In Germany?

Like, than they already have? What could possibly go wrong?

Control

OK, it didn’t quite work out as planned back in the 1930s (or did it?), but today’s enlightened media experts are much more, you know, enlightened and stuff. And it is social media they’re talking about here, after all. So take a chill pill already. They’re from the government and they’re here to help.

A Lesson From 1930s Germany: Beware State Control of Social Media – Regulators should think carefully about the fallout from well-intentioned new rules and avoid the mistakes of the past.

The history of radio, and in particular how it was regulated in interwar Germany, is more relevant than ever: Five years ago, the question was whether we would regulate social media. Now the questions are how and when we will regulate them. As politicians and regulators in places as disparate as Berlin, Singapore, and Washington—even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—consider how best to do so, we should think carefully about the fallout from well-intentioned new rules and avoid the mistakes of the past.

“Our way of taking power and using it would have been inconceivable without the radio and the airplane.”

Let’s Celebrate

Having democracy shoved down our throats!

Constitution

You’ve come a long way, Germany. In those few short years (70) you have now become the Lehrmeister (schoolmaster) in all things democratic. Or at least you sure do come over that way. We couldn’t have done it without you. Or vice versa. Or whatever.

This month, a united democratic Germany marks the 70th anniversary of its constitution: the Grundgesetz, or Basic Law. The lengthy document—one version of the English text runs 135 printed pages—was composed under Allied supervision in 1948 and 1949. The final text was completed May 8, 1949; approved by the British, French, and U.S. occupying authorities on May 12, 1949; and entered into effect May 23, 1949. Its first article begins, “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.”

“Why don’t you sing Deutschland uber alles?”

What A Horrifying Thought

I shudder to think of what could happen to Europe after this weekend’s big European Parliament elections. I mean, should the people actually choose to vote for parties that would, gulp, “elevate the sovereignty and economic interests of individual member-states over the collective interests of the EU.

Horror

The horror.

Salvini, who’s framed himself the de facto leader of this coalition, has embraced the slogan “Towards a Common Sense Europe.” Besides Le Pen’s National Rally and Wilders’s Party for Freedom, other far-right parties have joined the cause, including Germany’s Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) and Austria’s (currently scandal plagued) Freedom Party. Broadly, these leaders want to curtail immigration. They may want to reorient the EU’s priorities on the global stage, too.

But, mostly, they want to elevate the sovereignty and economic interests of individual member-states over the collective interests of the EU.

“There are no extremists, racists, or fascists in this square. Here you won’t find the far-right, but the politics of good sense. The extremists are those who have governed Europe for the past 20 years.”

PS: Isn’t that picture they chose to use for the article brilliant? No suggestive images here, folks.

“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.

Shame On Him!

Trump treats Germany like ‘America’s worst ally.’

Worst

Especially because, well, like, you know… They are.

North Korea, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela: America currently has disputes with a lot of countries. Europeans, meanwhile, have done quite well at keeping their heads down. A US-EU trade truce is still holding. And Nato’s 70th anniversary festivities in Washington came and went in early April without tweet fireworks from the president threatening US withdrawal.

There was one notable exception to this queasy peace, however: Germany.

At a think-tank event during the Nato celebrations, vice-president Mike Pence castigated Germany for its inadequate defence spending and for being a “captive of Russia”. A few weeks later, presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump opined on Fox Business that Angela Merkel’s welcome of refugees in 2015 had been Germany’s “downfall” and “one of the worst things to ever happen” to the country.

Germany is, in fact, having a bit of a moment in the roiling imagination of the Trumpian nationalist right. It has been denounced as “selfish” and “America’s worst ally” by Ted Bromund, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation. Jakub Grygiel, until last year a member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, called it “a source of fear and resentment”. And Michael Anton, a former senior White House adviser for strategic communications, just published an essay on the “Trump Doctrine” which contends that the EU is “a fraud” and Germany “treats the EU as a front organisation”…

Like I said. All of this is outrageous. And, well, I dunno, like, how should I put it? True. It’s actually much worse than all of that but nobody wants to hear it so, shame on you, President Trump!