German Of The Day: Flaschenhals

That means bottleneck.

Flashenhals

Germany is looking for new ways to power its economy as the traditional growth engines of manufacturing and exports falter. But the country’s outdated internet is acting as a bottleneck.

The sorry state of the online network has become a national joke and an economic liability. Germany ranks 33rd in the world in average monthly fixed broadband connection speeds, and 47th for mobile, according to Speedtest Global Index.

“It’s too slow. If you’re really world class in production, having a ranking of, say, [33rd] in working internet does not fit together with that image.”

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German Of The Day: Freier Fall

That means freefall.

Freefall

German manufacturing reports industry ‘in freefall’ – Key survey points to weakest sentiment in nine years.

The Ifo Institute’s manufacturing business climate index slumped to minus 4.3 in July from positive 1.3 the previous month. The reading was the lowest in more than nine years and echoes a separate survey released on Wednesday that pointed to mounting troubles in Europe’s powerhouse economy.

“No improvement is expected in the short term, as businesses are looking ahead to the next six months with more pessimism.”

Saving The Planet The Convenient Way

Lord knows that “saving the planet” from climate change is hard work.

Planet

That is why so many Germans are so “conscientious about the purchases they make, ride bikes and try to reduce their trash and carbon footprint.” They are also perfectly aware of the fact that they “can’t solve the problem on their own,” which us very, well, convenient but “they can force politicians and businesses to act,” which they do, if it isn’t all too inconvenient, that is.

And all of this gives them a good conscience, which is good. A good conscience one must have when one is riddled with guilt. A good conscience one must have when one is driving one’s expensive German non-electric automobile down the autobahn at excessive speeds, for example, or purchasing goods and products grown or manufactured on the other side of the planet being saved and flown in to Germany at dumping prices. A good conscience one must have when one simultaneously exports one’s plastic waste to the other side of the planet while flying off on vacation three times a year to culturally exchange with other cultures about the virtues of saving said planet.

Good conscience and convenience go hand in hand here, in other words. Here, too, Germany is a forerunner and we should look up to their shining example with admiration and humility.

“Sustainability is becoming a ‘quasi-religious’ promise of salvation.”

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.

“The World Is Crying For More Europe”

That’s odd. I live here and I can’t here a damned thing.

Ursula

Ursula von der Leyen asks MEPs to back her as first female European commission president- Ursula von der Leyen has championed gender equality in her appeal to MEPs to back her as the first female president of the European commission, telling the European parliament: “We represent half of our population. We want our fair share.”

In a related matter, please take part in this important survey.

“Die Welt schreit nach mehr Europa.”

We’re Not Worthy!

Actually, we’re too worthy – and that’s the problem.

Rich

If they think their ranking on rich lists is too low, American tycoons fume. German ones kick up a fuss when theirs looks suspiciously high, explains Heinz Dürr. When a magazine called him a billionaire a few years ago, Mr Dürr rang the editor to remonstrate. The reporters had double-counted his ownership of Homag, a maker of wood-processing machines that Dürr, his family’s mechanical-engineering firm, bought in 2014. Plutocrats have reached the top of politics in America and Italy, while in Asia the super-rich often display their wealth in ostentatious style. Germany’s magnates love to shun the limelight.

Which reminds me of German oddities 302 and 25.

German 302. Germans have a big Neid (envy) problem. They are perfectly aware of this and often complain that they live in a Neidgesellschaft (envy society) but keep turning green with envy all the same. One comedian claims that Germany is the only country in the world where the need for envy is stronger than the sex drive.

German Oddity 25. When Americans refer to something as being “typically American” they generally mean this in a positive way. When Germans refer to something as being “typically German” they generally mean this in a negative way.

Kings of Kallstadt

President Trump Keeps Falsely Saying His Father Was Born In Germany.

It’s an honest mistake, I guess. If he never saw this German documentary called “Kings of Kallstadt,” I mean. His grandfather – as did H. J. Heinz of the famous ketchup company – both stemmed from this same small German town in the Rhineland. The film is in German, of course, but even if you don’t speak German it gets interesting around minute 48.

What’s also interesting about the film, I think, is that this takes place shortly before Donald Trump ran for President and the civil tone of the whole undertaking is breathtaking. Before all the poison that came out later, I mean. The film is a bit of an accident, in other words.

“He was born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

Man Bites Dog

Just kidding. Dog shoots man.

Dog

And here the Germans are always accousing Americans of having way too lax gun regulations. Sheesh.

A court in Munich has refused a hunter’s legal claim to get his gun license back and be allowed to carry weapons. A loaded gun left inside his car two years ago was the start of his problems.

In November 2016, a German hunter was at a game reserve northeast of Dresden and talking to a passerby when his dog accidentally set off his gun from inside the car. The hunter was wounded in the arm. As a result, the hunter lost both his weapons’ license and his hunting permit, which authorities have refused to extend.

Must have had a dog hair trigger.

We’re Prepared To Fend Off Cyber Attacks From Russia And China

But nobody told us here at Germany’s Cyber Defense Command that we would also have to be on our toes for a twenty-year-old student  living with his parents in Hesse.

Hacker

Now it’s a whole new ballgame. We’ll need a lot more personnel. And way lots more funding (tax payer money). Government in action over here is pretty much like government in action back home, folks. You hardly notice when it’s here. You hardly notice when it’s gone.

German authorities on Tuesday said a 20-year-old hacker had confessed to stealing and leaking private data from hundreds of politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, because he was “annoyed” by some of their public statements.

The young German, who is still studying and lives with his parents, was detained after police searched the family home in the western state of Hesse on Sunday.

“The accused said he published the data because he had been annoyed by certain statements made by those affected.”

Der Spiegel Analyzes The “Kavanaugh Disaster”

As only Der Spiegel can. And oddly, they almost got it right.

Kavanaugh

For one thing, they were honest enough to admit that it was a disaster – for them, of course – because “the President and the Republicans achieved a great victory.” And then they continue  on with their five-point explanation of why this is such an awful, terrible and unspeakably bad thing.

1. Trumpism reigns. They got that right, too.

2. The Kavanaugh nomination was a farce. They almost got that right. The nomination itself wasn’t a farce, of course, but the freak show that accompanied it most certainly was.

3. Consensus culture is a foreign word. Absolutely correct. Take Germany, for instance, where they call it Konsenskultur. Every German knows that there is no consensus when it comes to Angela Merkel’s migrant madness meltdown, for example, but the difference between Germany and US-Amerika here is that the Germans behave as if there is. Germans normally being the all too direct ones, it is the Americans this time who make no qualms about how divided they are in Trump America.

4. There are no clear rules for dealing with accusations. Not true. Making false accusations, like the ones made against Kavanaugh here, is against the law. American laws allow those falsely accused of a crime to pursue a course of action in court, generally based on defamation of character. And this, I believe, needs to be done here.

5. The Supreme Court is now in a real mess. Well, they got the mess part right, I guess. But the Supreme Court mess is now in the process of being cleaned up, although there is certainly still quite a bit of work yet to do.

All in all, a solid job, Spiegel journalists. I’ll give you a seven for your five points this time. Keep the change.

Mit der Wahl von Donald Trumps Kandidaten Brett Kavanaugh zum Richter auf Lebenszeit am Supreme Court haben der US-Präsident und die Republikaner einen großen Erfolg errungen.