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.”

Tesla Must Fail

Right? At least that’s what I’ve been reading in the German media for many years now.

Musk

But some things you just can’t ignore away. And times change, or something. Looks to me like the German automobile industry just ain’t what she used to be.

Elon Musk’s German Factory Started With Love Letter From Berlin – Musk is taking his fight for the future of transport into the heartland of the combustion engine, where the established players long laughed off Tesla as an upstart on feeble financial footing that couldn’t compete with their rich engineering heritage. But Musk has captured the imagination of the think-different consumer, putting pressure on the Germans to respond.

“We definitely need to move faster than the airport.”

German Of The Day: Disneyfizierung

That means Disneyfication.

Checkpoint

Just stop by Checkpoint Charlie sometime and see for yourself.

Authorities in Germany’s capital Berlin have banned local performers from wearing US army uniforms at Checkpoint Charlie, the iconic Cold War crossing between the east and west of the city.

They said the actors exploited tourists by demanding money for photos at the attraction…

People impersonating US soldiers have been at Checkpoint Charlie for nearly 20 years, working in rotation to pose with tourists.

But many Berliners are unhappy about the “Disneyfication” of the site, where fake Soviet Red Army fur hats, gas masks and pieces of the Berlin Wall can be found for sale.

German Of The Day: Hubraum

That means engine displacement or capacity. Or horsepower, if you prefer. You know, like Fridays for Horsepower?

Hubraum

The German Motorists Who Oppose Greta Thunberg – Motorists in Germany are banding together to oppose climate activists’ calls to limit the use of cars. Politicians are taking them seriously because, unlike the Fridays for Future movement and its leader Greta Thunberg, most members of the Fridays for Horsepower group can vote.

“Fridays for Horsepower is a logical and reasonable reaction to the ideological madness of the environmental activists.”

This Just In: Poor People Have It Tougher Than Those Who Aren’t Poor

Poverty, unemployment and poor education in Germany lead to tougher lives and shorter life spans.

Arbeit

Wow. Who would have thought that? I’m sure thankful that researchers up at the Max Planck Institute in Rostock were able to finally make this major scientific breakthrough. The tons of German taxpayer money that went into this study were certainly well spent. Now maybe something will finally be done to stop poverty here. Apparently no one has been doing anything about it up until now. Thumbs up to you, researchers!

In a related story (see the link at the bottom of the same article), it has also been determined that the older the human body gets the more it weakens and – now get this – that this decline is inevitable.

Armut, Arbeitslosigkeit und schlechte Bildung gehen in Deutschland mit einer deutlich verkürzten Lebenserwartung einher.

German Of The Day: Kater

That means tomcat. But it also means hangover.

Kater

And here you thought that the courts of the country you live in made wacky court decisions (and they do).

A German court has ruled that hangovers are an “illness”, in a timely judgement days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival began in Munich.

The case landed before judges in Frankfurt when plaintiffs claimed a firm offering anti-hangover “shots” and drink powders to mix with water was making illegal health claims.

“Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the sober ruling from the superior regional court on Monday said.

Ein Alkoholkater ist eine Krankheit. Hersteller von Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln dürfen daher nicht damit werben, dass ihr Produkt gegen den Kater hilft oder ihm vorbeugt, wie das Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt am Main in einem am Montag veröffentlichten Urteil entschied.

Save Planet Earth’s Climate?

Hell yes! Count me in.

Climate 1

Climate 2

Clean up my own neighborhood? Nah, I think I’ll pass on that one.

A “Fridays for Future” demonstration will get 40,000 German environmental activists out on the street in no time. A call to clean up the local neighborhood on “World Cleanup Day” might get about 100 to 150 out of bed (here Frankfurt).

These World Cleanup Folks clearly don’t get the deal. Abstract heroics is were the money is – I mean, people are.

Nur rund 1000 kamen zum großen Aufräumen, sammelten vier Tonnen Müll. Am Main, in Sichtweite des Camps der „Fridays for Future“-Macher, verschlug es gerade mal 150 Freiwillige.

They’ll Never Set Foot In Combat

So why on earth would they need combat boots?

Boots

More Bundeswehr humor. It’s a never-ending source of… Fun.

German soldiers won’t get new combat boots until 2022 – German soldiers will have to wait until 2022 to get new combat boots, in a setback that has angered politicians and raised questions about the readiness of the country’s military.

The rollout of the new footwear, which began in 2016, was scheduled to be completed by 2020 but has now been pushed back to mid-2022.

“Boots are the key to everything. You don’t go skiing with a pair of trainers and you don’t go hiking in high heels.”

That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”