The Polls Are Never Wrong

Right? As we were recently reminded after the Brexit vote and the United States presidential election, the pollsters, survey scientists and media manipulators who publish them are always right on the money.

Poll

So please keep this in mind (and please bring it back to mind in a few months time) when we now read that “the SPD has passed the union in another survey” (the union being Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU) and that this is due to the so-called “Schulz effect.”

This means, of course, that Germans are supposed to believe that the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, is wildly popular and on a roll and is single-handedly bringing German social democracy back from the near-death it is now experiencing to march together bravely into the brave new social democratic (socialist) future. They don’t believe it, of course, because he isn’t and he can’t. Germans, too, have also realized that polls have long since failed in their traditional function as poorly functioning forecast tools and are now failing miserably at their latest job: To deftly manipulate public opinion and steer it in the direction these pollsters & co. want it to go.

Nobody buys it anymore, Martin. Just like nobody buys you. You can bring out all the survey results you want but that won’t change a thing.*

Der Schulz-Effekt hält an: Die SPD hat auch laut einer Emnid-Umfrage die Union überflügelt. Die AfD fällt erstmals seit einem Jahr unter zehn Prozent.

*The real issue here is the true degree of Angela Merkel’s unpopularity, another closely guarded media secret.

German Of The Day: Schweinefurz

That means pig fart. And pig farts are super hilarious here in Germany (Hey, German humor is what it is. I’m not passing judgement here or anything).

Pig farts

Unless, of course, they are directed toward foreign heads of state, so-to-speak.

A German court upheld  ban on a satirical poem which suggested Turkey’s president had sex with animals and watched child porn. The Hamburg court upheld its injunction issued in May banning re-publication of parts of the poem which it called ‘abusive and defamatory’.

A lamb or a llama fart probably probably wouldn’t have been all that bad in this guy’s poem, but pig fart? That just doesn’t cut it (Cut it, get it?).

Schweinefurz“ ist für Erdogan besonders ehrverletzend.

Shocking?

Trump

Not wirklich (really). OK, maybe a bit. But it’s certainly not anything new.

Spiegel

It’s one of this magazine’s major obsessions (US-Amerika and the bashing thereof), something that defines what it is and ensures its continued popularity. Popularity? No, it’s more like the party line. Somebody told me that every German household could once boast of having a copy of Mein Kampf, know what I’m saying? But don’t take any of this personally because, as their editor-in-chief says about this latest cover: “Der Spiegel does not want to provoke anybody.”

Now if that’s not the Lügenpresse (lying press) I’d like to know what is.

Enjoy Your Super Bowl Commercials Responsibly

“In this polarized world, it could easily upset half the country and be seen as political and stepping into something they don’t want to get into.

Der Spot sorgt trotzdem für Aufregung. Viele sehen in ihm einen direkten Angriff auf die Migrationspolitik von US-Präsident Donald Trump.

“Overwhelming And Sustained Public Presence”

That’s what the English term fake news has in Germany. And that’s why it just won Anglicism of the year 2016 (that’s bigger than the Oscars over here, folks).

Fake

Fake (pronounced “fack” as in Fack ju Göhte) and news (pronounced “noose”) is more than the sum of its parts. Much more. It fills a gap in German vocabulary that would otherwise not be filled. That is, unless you filled this gap with fake German news, a term for which there is no proper German term. This is because all the news here is fake, always has been (state-run TV, know what I’m saying?). But it’s all good clean fun and nobody gets hurt feelings because Germany is a benevolent all-intrusive kinda state, right? Not always has been, but still.

„Fake News“ wird im Englischen den Angaben zufolge etwa seit dem Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts verwendet: Damals seien bewusste Falschmeldungen in Zeitungen ab und an so bezeichnet worden.

Next Misleading Berlin Wall Comparison Just In!

This happens regularly, of course. The cool thing about this particular one is that it comes from the mayor of Berlin himself.

Berlin Wall

Michael Müller (SPD), apparently not all too familiar with the history of his own city, has implied through a message he sent to President Trump on Friday that the wall he is planning to build on Mexico’s border is somehow comparable to the infamous one that divided Berlin for decades. “Divisive?” Certainly. Most walls are divisive, as far as I know. Otherwise they wouldn’t call them walls.

But what Müller and others bend over backwards to ignore here is that the one in Berlin was built to keep people “in.” You know, like a prison wall? The planned Trump wall, however, is being built to keep people “out.”

Now I understand that I am being an annoying stickler for details here but one really ought to consider this from time to time. Before the next misleading comparison comes over the wires, I mean. Because you’ll be hearing them regularly, like I say.

“Berlin — the city which stands for the separation of Europe as well as the freedom of Europe — cannot watch silently as another country plans to build a wall,”

Who Am I? Where Am I? And Why Am I Reading This?

My fellow Americans: We have lost our identity. Again already, or something. Or at least that’s what I just read down here.

Amerika

But luckily for us, the folks over at Spiegel Online are going to give our identities back to us. Only this being Germany, and Germany being Germany, and what with Datenschutz (data protection) and all, we will have to properly identify ourselves first, of course (unless we’re Syrian refugees from North Africa, I mean, but we’re not, we’re Mericans). So… Wait a minute. How the hell is this supposed to work anyway?

Reporter Holger Stark spent the past four years as DER SPIEGEL’s Washington correspondent during a time in which the country changed radically enough to elect Donald Trump as its president. What led this once mighty nation into decline?

Megalomania & Small-Mindedness – How America Lost Its Identity

PS: Just read it, folks. They’re only trying to help us. This is NOT fake news, by the way, so don’t even THINK of looking for any alternative facts.

Germans Disturbed That Racial Profiling Actually Worked

But not all too much, it seems.

Profiling
I mean, who ought those police checks on New Year’s Eve in Cologne have been directed toward? Blonde Scandanavian retirees? Something tells me that would have been less effective than the emphasis they placed on Nafris.

A YouGov poll released on Thursday found that the majority of Germans said racial profiling was not problematic, amid criticism of police checks on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. Sixty-three percent of Germans in the YouGov poll said they did not find racial profiling generally problematic.

Mehrheit der Deutschen hält Racial Profiling für unproblematisch, US-Amerikaner denken anders

My German Is More Dumber Than Your German Is

It’s 99 cent blowout ebook sale time again! Like how outrageous is that?

Dumb

Dumb Deutsch: Absurd German Language Errors (auch für deutsche Leser geeignet)

Also available at iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc. For a limited time only or something.*

“Very funny book, relating dumb things people say while trying out their high school German. Laughing so hard at my normally quiet workplace I had tears in my eyes, my boss walked by and asked if I was OK. Oh yeah! She has a great sense of humor with an eye toward languages. Buy this book and laugh yourself silly!”

Kilgore Trout

* I’d give this ebook away for free but then you wouldn’t read it and that would be irresponsible so I won’t.

At Least It’s Not A Life Sentence

Or lebenslänglich*, as the Germans like to call it. It’s only 169 years.

Life

Or could be. For Volkswagen managers who get arrested in US-Amerika, I mean.

A U.S. judge on Thursday ordered a Volkswagen executive charged in the Justice Department’s diesel emissions investigation held without bail pending trial. Oliver Schmidt was arrested Saturday at Miami’s International Airport as he planned to fly home after a vacation. He was one of six current and former VW executives charged this week in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The other five are in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited…

Schmidt is charged with eleven felony counts, which could be punished by up to 169 years in prison, the government said.

VW-Manager drohen bis zu 169 Jahre Gefängnis

* There is no such think as a life sentence in Germany, by the way. A life sentence is 15 years here.