The Lying Press?

No. But the biased press? In Germany, when it comes to Donald Trump?

Trump

I’d have to say yes to that one. After taking a look at this recent study done at Harvard, that is – Harvard, that infamous hotbed for right-wing extremism.

When it comes to reporting about Donald Trump’s fitness for office by Germany’s ARD (Channel One),  for example, 98 percent of this reporting is negative. Now that’s what I’d call objective journalism, folks. 98 percent of people in the real world can’t agree on anything, as we all well know, but things are different here in Germany (and in North Korea, too). The ARD, by the way, is one of the state-run “public” television channels that anyone who lives here is forced to subsidize, whether he or she watches it or not – whether you even own a television or not. Do any of you out there remember Der Schwarze Kanal? I didn’t think so.

98 percent? That only shows us that there is something 100 percent wrong with the ARD.

Only 3 percent of Trump’s U.S. coverage explicitly explored the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. European journalists were less restrained with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting.[21] Journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, are not governed by the same rules, and Trump’s suitability for the presidency was ARD’s leading topic in January, accounting for a full fifth (20 percent) of its Trump coverage. ARD stayed on the issue in its February coverage, when it consumed 18 percent of its Trump coverage. In March and April, Trump’s fitness for office got less attention from ARD, but it nonetheless accounted for about 10 percent of ARD’s coverage. Even that reduced amount exceeded the level of any of our seven U.S. outlets in any month. And ARD’s journalists were unequivocal in their judgment—98 percent of their evaluations of Trump’s fitness for office were negative, only 2 percent were positive.

The SPD

You know, as in Shellacking, Pounding, Drubbing?

Schulz

Or, if you prefer, look at them more as being Shaken, Prostrate and Debilitated.

At any rate, all this talk about the “Schulz effect” turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of Silliness, Prattle and Drivel. Because, well, what the comrades really got was a Scourge, a Pile-up, a Debacle.

Germany’s opposition SPD is nursing a stunning defeat in the state election in its North Rhine Westphalia heartland. In power here for most of the postwar period, the SPD were decimated, losing nearly 10% of their vote as Angela Merkel’s CDU soared.

“Leberhaken” in NRWWie cool ist Schulz?

Solar Energy Is The Future

That’s why big solar companies like Germany’s Solarworld are going broke right now. That’s so they can regroup or something for when the future finally does come around, I guess.

Solar

Or maybe it’s some international anti-renewable energy conspiracy. That’s always good to get folks hot and bothered. The endless subsidies were sabotaged or something, see? Or maybe, just maybe, solar power is a losing business proposition proposed down our throats from those enlightened ones above (pun intended). Hard to say for sure.

Ask the “Sun King” over at Solarworld (it’s good to be the Sun King): “Due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings.”

What Goes Around Comes Around

What’s worse? Governments that openly deal in stolen information (Germany buying CDs from informants with lists of Germans having Swiss bank accounts) or Governments that spy on governments who do so?

Mole

Ha. Ha. Ha.

German investigators suspect that a mole spied for Swiss intelligence from inside a government office which was trying to catch German tax dodgers… Switzerland objects to the practice of buying data stolen from Swiss banks.

SPD empört über Steuer-Spitzeleien der Schweiz.

German Of The Day: Leitkultur

That means the dominant, leading culture. In this case, the one with dominant German values.

Leitkultur

This is of course a bad word because it incorrectly implies that Germany should be more like Germany and less like, I dunno, Pakistan or something. That kind of thinking is anti-multikulti and therefore racist not to say Nazi (which will be said soon enough) so when the German interior minister suggests a 10-point plan to help establish these dominant German values – in the hope of actually helping immigrants to integrate – massive waves of righteous moral outrage are virtually guaranteed.*

“Wer sich seiner Leitkultur sicher ist, ist stark.”

* Election time is approaching fast, folks. If this suggestion would have been made by the AfD, by the way,  this moral outrage would have been expressed by the very government that just made the suggestion.

German Of The Day: Vollverschleierungsverbot

That means full-face veil ban. Veil, what will they think of next?

Veil

That just became law in Germany, although it only applies for Richterinnen (judge ladies), Beamtinnen (civil servant ladies) and Soldatinnen (soldier ladies). All ten or twelve of them. How many women in those positions in Germany might want to wear such an awful thing, anyway? But hey, it’s a good start I guess.*

“Integration bedeutet auch, dass wir unsere Werte und die Grenzen unserer Toleranz gegenüber anderen Kulturen deutlich machen und vermitteln.”

* I don’t think men in those positions are allowed to wear them, either. But don’t quote me on that.

Happy Easter!

Rocket

Funny how a rocket can just explode like that. During such an important test, I mean.

China hatte noch am Freitag vor dem Hintergrund der stark angespannten Lage eindringlich vor neuen Provokationen und Drohungen gewarnt, damit die Situation nicht außer Kontrolle gerät. Alle Seiten sollten Zurückhaltung zeigen und nichts unternehmen, was die Situation noch verschärfen könnte, sagte Außenminister Wang Yi.

German Of The Day: Verpufft

That means fizzled out.

Schulz

Scientists recently hired to find traces of the mythical “Schulz Effect” in Germany are said to be busy preparing their resumes for new employment opportunities as the search for the mysterious, ethereal force has proven to be much more difficult than originally expected.

Meanwhile, German newspapers (ARD-Deutschlandtrend) are reporting that Martin Schulz’ popularity has dropped significantly behind that of his opponent Angela Merkel and even behind that of German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the previous SPD loser candidate he was brought here from Brussels to replace.

Verpufft or not, let us continue to wish these scientists all the best for the future because, after all, science marches on. Or in the words of Max Planck: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

German Of The Day: Netto vom Brutto

That means net pay from the gross. And gross is it ever. Only Belgium (think Land of the EU) does it better. Meaning worse, of course.

Netto

According to a report just published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Germany has the second biggest tax burden worldwide. And we’re talking about middle-income people here, people. Not millionaires or anything.

The OECD calculated each country’s tax wedge – the gap between what employers take home in pay and what it costs to employ them, including personal income tax and social security contributions. Germany had a tax wedge for single, childless workers of 49.4 percent, behind Belgium at 54 percent. That means nearly half of a single person’s income goes towards taxes and social security contributions in Germany.

Please remember this the next time somebody starts telling you again how wonderful everything over here in ze Europe is (“socialized medicine” and all that). There simply is no free Mittagessen (lunch).  You can go broke eating free lunch over here.

„Die Belastung der Bürger ist deutlich höher, als uns bewusst war.”

Remember: Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

Obama’s Red Line Finally Crossed

Yesterday: “Germany welcomes Trump criticism of Assad” (Washington Post).

Today: “Trump playing the world’s policeman after all” (Welt – N24).

Syria

There’s talk and then there’s action. Talk is always cheap. Action is always, well, bad.

“I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”

Als Reaktion auf den mutmaßlichen Giftgasangriff des syrischen Regimes auf den Ort Chan Scheichun haben die USA erstmals seit Beginn des Syrien-Kriegs Luftangriffe gegen das Assad-Regime geflogen.