How Do You Tittelate An Ocelot?

No, not that kind of an ocelot. The German Ozelot mobile air defense missile system kind of ocelot.

Ocelot

Why would you want to? Just buy an old Bundeswehr laptop on eBay for $100 that includes classified Ozelot instructions and proceed to destroy the damned thing.

VS-Nur für den Dienstgebrauch.

The Mini-MErkel Mess

Is finally over.

The Germans say lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. That is, better an end with horror than a horror without end.

Merkel Succession Crumbles, Blowing Open Race to Run Germany – The race to lead Germany was thrown wide open on Monday when Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced that she will step down as leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and won’t run as the party’s candidate for chancellor in the next election.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known by her initials AKK, has struggled to stamp her authority on the party since taking over from Merkel in December 2018 and was humiliated last week when a local chapter in eastern Germany defied her orders and threw its lot in with the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Kramp-Karrenbauer ist an sich selbst gescheitert.

Hysteria Time

It’s just what the doctor ordered for the morally outraged. More moral outrage. The Nazis are coming back to Germany again or something. And again and again and again. Yawn.

FDP

Thomas Kemmerich, a liberal democrat from the FDP, became Thuringia’s new Minister-President on Wednesday (5 February), thanks to support from the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the far-right AfD– a first in post-war Germany.

So?

The real issue is a sour grapes kind of thang… In the final round of voting, Kemmerich surprisingly edged out the incumbent Bodo Ramelow, from the leftist Die Linke party, who was planning to build a minority coalition with the Greens and the social democratic SPD.

The AfD didn’t so much vote the FDP guy in – a party that will have nothing to do with them, by the way – as vote the red-redder-green folks out. Now that’s outrageous. Scheiße happens, folks.

More outrage here: “A candidate from the democratic center has won!”

These Wind Turbines Don’t Work

Wind

German wind energy is in a crisis – “Five times the amount of wind turbines are needed.”

Like these wind turbines up  there, Germany’s energy turnaround just isn’t turning around the way the smart people who planned it planned it. To turn around.  Unless turning around and around  in circles counts.

A mere 1078 megawatts worth of wind turbines were built last year – nearly 80 percent lower than the 2017 level.

Eine Windkraft-Leistung von gerade mal 1078 Megawatt wird im vergangenen Jahr installiert – fast 80 Prozent weniger als noch 2017.

What Does SPD Stand For?

Other than Social Democrat Party, I mean. Shekels, Payola and Dough?

SPD

Or is it more like Scratch, Plunder and Dinero?

When not fighting for the rights of the working class and alleviating the capitalist economic oppression of the masses, ex-vice chancellor and national chairmen of Germany’s Social Democrat Party Sigmar Gabriel enjoys doing part-time community service work serving on the supervisory board of the freakin’ Deutsche Bank.

It’s understandable. Sort of. He recognized there was a problem with Deutsche Bank years ago (he wasn’t the first, however) and now only wants to take this opportunity to help them clean things up.

“Deutsche Bank, as one of the most important financial institutions in Europe, has the opportunity and the responsibility to help shape the future of the German and European economy. I want to play a part in this.”

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.

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.”

What A Spooky Thought

That Berlin’s ghost airport could finally, like, actually, you know, well, open? Sends shivers down my spine.

Airport

But I don’t believe in ghost airports. That eventually open, I mean. You can’t scare me with that nonsense. So don’t even try.

After a 13-year saga punctuated by scandals, bankruptcies and comical setbacks, Berlin’s new airport could finally open in 2020 – nine years behind schedule.

An exact opening date for Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) – October 31, 2020 – was announced last week, with Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of the German state of Brandenburg.

“This time it will happen.”

Boo!

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.”