The Scandal Nobody Wants To Talk About

Because it reveals the Media Brain Police for who they are.

Relotius

Granted, this guy was a real artist but can you imagine the armies of lesser charlatans out there who furnish us with our news each and every day? No media bias or fake news here, right?

The furore surrounding Der Spiegel journalist Claas Relotius is back, with a book by the colleague who exposed him –

Fiction and non-fiction can feed off each other in unusual ways. In the winter of 2018, Germany was shaken by the biggest media scandal since the forged Hitler diaries, after it emerged that the country’s bastion of investigative journalism – DER SPIEGEL – had published stories by a reporter who had “fictionalised” his prize-winning articles with armies of invented characters. Now the “Relotius scandal” has gone into its second round, with the publication of a non-fiction book by the journalist who exposed his fraudulent colleague: a detective story about the search for truth in the era of fake news that makes a more gripping read than most novelists could have managed…

Before he was exposed, he had won the top prize for German reporters, the Reporterpreis, four times in six years. One judge praised his stories as jumping off the page “almost like literature”. He was in line for a promotion at Der Spiegel.

More Down, Down, Down, Down, Down

Just when you thought Germany’s SPD couldn’t sink any further…

SPD

The Genossen (comrades) figure out a way to do it. I never really believed that the Volkspartei (people’s party with a broad base) SPD could ever actually disappear into the sunset forever but now I’m just not so sure anymore.

Germany’s SPD slip in polls after choosing new leftist leaders – Support for Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) has fallen after members last week chose as leaders a leftist duo who are skeptical about remaining in government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a poll showed on Saturday.

A Forsa poll put the SPD on 11%, 3 points down from a week ago and hitting a low last seen in June after previous leader Andrea Nahles quit due following the party’s worst-ever result in elections to the European Parliament.

You know the lyrics, folks. I’m going down. Down, down, down, down, down.

 

German Of The Day: Abschwung

That means downturn.

Downturn

German industry hit by biggest downturn since 2009 – Output falls 5.3% in year to October, weighing on eurozone growth outlook.

Germany’s sprawling industrial sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade, underlining how the engine of the eurozone’s biggest economy is sputtering.

In der deutschen Industrie geht der Abschwung mit einem schwachen Start ins vierte Quartal weiter. Im Oktober haben die Betriebe ihre Gesamtproduktion erneut deutlich zurückgefahren.

 

Dull And Duller

Or: Non-Party Elects Nonentities To Non-Lead Them.

Dull

Does anybody out there remember the uncola? Doesn’t matter. I’m sure you get the idea. Germany’s SPD (Social Democratic Party) has just made the leap to unparty status. Or non-party, if you prefer. I do. Nobody can figure this out. These two came out of nowhere because that’s where they belong. How can I put it? They are sheep in sheep’s clothing. Dull? These two are so dull that either one of them, on his or her own, could make the perfect chairman of the bored. But two of them together? Like, at the same time? It’s just too much to take.

Two strong leftist critics of the coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives – Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken – won a vote for leadership of the Social Democrats on Saturday, possibly putting the country, Europe’s largest economy, at a political crossroads.

Their ascendancy raises the chances of an early election or a minority government if the SPD leaves the coalition, which could trigger political instability at a time when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has become the country’s third-largest party.

“I think it is good that the SPD has made a decision.” Loud yawn. “It paves the way to return to business. For the CDU it is quite clear: we stand by this coalition. We stand by this coalition on the basis that has been negotiated.”

Deportation German Style

When Germans say deportation they mean deportation. It’s just that deportation clearly means something else in German than it does in English. Even though it means deportation, I mean. And here I thought I spoke the language. Sheesh.

Deportation

Germany: Thousands of migrants return after deportation, report says – Thousands of asylum-seekers in Germany have returned multiple times after deportation, according to a report in German media. Those with entry bans often serve a few months in jail or are not arrested at all…

There are nearly 5,000 asylum-seekers who have reapplied for asylum after being deported from Germany since 2012, according to the report, which cites official government figures. Some of the asylum-seekers willingly left Germany, knowing deportation was imminent. The then returned to German to make another application for asylum, according to the report.

German oddity 234: Germany is a country that now places the ugly security controls, bollards and heavily armed police it used to have on its national borders at Christmas markets and Volksfeste around the country instead.

A Positive Development

But nowhere near what the Germans pledged to do long, long ago.

NATO

Germany to match US contribution to NATO budget – From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance.

Gee. I wonder what – or who? – finally got the Germans to act?

Starting in 2021, the share of the NATO budget covered by Germany will increase from 14.8% to 16.35%, while the share covered by the US will decrease from 22.1% to 16.35%…

NATO officials hope the new agreement will alleviate some of the tension around the topic of NATO financing. US President Donald Trump has complained that the US covers more than its fair share of the costs for the alliance. He has demanded that other member states make good on their pledges to increase their NATO contribution to 2% of GDP by 2024 (pledged nearly twenty years ago), a goal that Germany will not reach.

Merkel on Wednesday vowed to reach the 2% mark by the “early 2030s.”

Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers…

And organized crime professionals.

Mobsters

Germans were told time and time again starting back in 2015 that a significant number of the Syrian refugees illegally entering the country at that time were of the highest professional standing and would soon be a great enrichment for the country. I will not say that this did not happen but they could have at least mentioned the professional mobster folks too.

Newcomers from Syria, Iraq and other countries are changing the structure of organized crime in Germany, federal police representatives told the public broadcaster ARD in a new documentary set to be aired on Monday evening.

While investigating Arab-linked crime families, Germany’s BKA (Federal Criminal Police Agency) noted a rising number of suspects with foreign passports.

“In about one third of proceedings, suspects also included immigrants — and that means that we need to keep a very close eye on this phenomenon,” BKA leader Holger Münch said.

“The rule of law is under pressure.”

German Of The Day: Späti

That means the late-night stores of Berlin. And we should have smelled this rat coming long ago.

Späti

How could these popular local convenience stores be allowed to continue running without being inconvenienced by the Berlin city government? They were allowed to open when they saw fit, depending entirely on supply and demand. You know, like in capitalism? Spätis are one of the few things that actually work in this town, by the way. Obviously, somebody had to step in here. Spätis are crying out for government regulation – for our own good.

Since a May ruling by the Administrative Court of Berlin, city authorities have fastidiously targeted family-run convenience stores such as Abels’ if they’re open on Sundays. The crackdown is part of a broader debate that’s erupting over the future of these stores — known as Spätis — that have over the decades emerged as cultural symbols of Berlin.

“Spätis are to Berlin like cafés are to Paris. It’s where all forms of life come together.”

Angela Merkel Must Go

I couldn’t agree more. Enough Merkeldämmerung already (Twilight of the Merkel – as in of the Gods).

Merkel

But who is strong enough going to push her out the door? And who would want to? She’s the Blob, so don’t touch her. And she’s even cloned herself.

For 10 of the last 14 years, Merkel has presided over grand coalition governments, bringing together the centre-right Christian Democrats and the centre-left Social Democrats. This has given continuous stable government, but at a cost. Consensual centrism has not encouraged the robust political debate essential to a liberal democracy. Conservative Germans have long complained that “we have two social democratic parties”. This is a perfectly competent government for undemanding times, but with none of the ambition needed to face the giant challenges of today.

German Of The Day: Putsch

That means putsch. Or coup, if you prefer.

Merkel

And there might be one in the making for Mini-Merkel herself (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer or AKK). Then again, there might not be one in the making either. You never know for sure. But you can always hope, right?

Angela Merkel’s party in a shambles as new leader flounders – Christian Democrats fail to convince both the left and the right as some consider ousting successor…

Friedrich Merz, the conservative poster boy defeated by AKK in last year’s leadership race, said Merkel’s lack of direction was smothering Germany “like a carpet of fog.”

CDU-Parteitag in Leipzig – Riskiert Friedrich Merz den Putsch?