A Life Sentence?

Nice try. A life sentence in Germany means fifteen years.


This is rather, well, lasch, don’t you think? That means feeble, listless, lame. And shameful, too.

An asylum seeker has been jailed for life for the rape and murder of a woman in Germany in a case that fuelled tensions over the influx of migrants.

Hussein Khavari, who claimed to be Afghan, admitted to attacking student Maria Ladenburger, 19, in October 2016 in the south-western city of Freiburg.

After his arrest, it emerged that he had already been convicted to 10 years in jail in Greece in 2014 for attempted murder after pushing a woman off a cliff. But he was freed in October 2015 due to overcrowded prisons.

He fled via Austria to Germany, where he arrived with no documents a month later, claiming he was 17 years old… But during the trial evidence emerged suggesting that he was in fact from Iran and could be as old as 32.

Ein Urteil, das die Gesellschaft stabilisiert.


German Of The Day: Länderfinanzausgleich

That’s a beauty, isn’t it? And it means “German Länder fiscal equalization scam.” I mean scheme.


And THAT means.. Well, think Robin Hood. The rich and therefore “bad” German states (the ones on the left in the image) must be punished for this and therefore the Robin Hoodlums in the Bundestag take some of their money and give it to the poor and therefore “good” German states (on the right side of the image). Berlin, on top, is actually on bottom, so-to-speak, being the poorest of the poor. The Robin Hoods and the Bundestag are located in Berlin, by the way. But that’s just a coincidence, of course.

The theory being, I’m assuming here, is that this kind of completely unjust robbery and redistribution will encourage the poor “good” German states to finally get their acts together already so the rich “bad” German states don’t have to pay their bills anymore. That’s just a theory, like I said, of mine. I must say, though, this redistribution initiative has certainly had a positive effect here in Berlin these past thirty, forty, fifty years. Once you ignore the fact that not a thing has changed.

Berlin Schlusslicht, Bayern Zahlmeister.

Spring Has Sprung

And twisted an ankle or something.


And this German Bauernregel (farmer or folk saying) doesn’t sound very promising, either: „Wie das Wetter um den Frühlingsanfang, so hält es sich den ganzen Sommer lang.” As the weather begins in spring, all through the summer will be the same thing. Dumb-ass farmers.

Eiskalt kehrt der Winter zurück.

German Of The Day: Oligarch

That means oligarch. Take former chancellor Gerhard “Gazprom Gerd” Schroeder, for instance. Please.


Sanctions aimed at key individuals can be surprisingly effective, it turns out. They help to undermine internal support for the regime or at least its most unattractive policies.

One oligarch, though, remains overlooked. Arguably he is the most important of all. That’s former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder has been a one-man Trojan horse against every European Union commitment to curb Russian energy leverage and improve the competitiveness of its gas market. Notice that the alternative was never to shut Russian gas out of Germany. It was simply for Germany, at every step, to stop lending itself to the enhancement of Russia’s energy power, with Mr. Schroeder leading the influence brigades.

Schröders Engagement in Russland und Nähe zu Putin, den er einen Freund nennt, stößt seit Jahren auf Argwohn. Im vergangenen September ließ sich der Altkanzler allen Einwänden zum Trotz zum Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden des halbstaatlichen russischen Ölkonzerns Rosneft wählen.

German Of The Day: Aneinander vorbeireden

That means to talk at cross purposes. In this case when German politicians use the same word in different ways – gehören (meaning both to belong to and ought to belong to).


In an interview with the German newspaper BILD Seehofer said: “Islam is not a part of Germany. Germany has been influenced by Christianity. This includes free Sundays, church holidays and rituals such as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas. However, the Muslims living in Germany obviously do belong to Germany.”

This statement conflicted with the position of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel said, even though Germany has been influenced mainly by Christianity and Judaism, there are more than four million Muslims in the country, they “belong to Germany and so does their religion.”

Hey, depending upon how you look at it, Germany does not belong to Germany. Neither does Christianity belong to Germany. Let’s not even start with Judaism. So I think Horst Seehofer is right on the money when he says that Islam does not belong to Germany, either. What’s the big deal? We’re all not in this together, folks.

Da muss man schon präzise sagen, was mit dem Ausdruck “gehört” eigentlich gemeint sein soll. Das kann man ja als schlichte Bestandsaufnahme oder Feststellung meinen: Man gehört zu einer bestimmten Familie oder einem Verein an. Man kann es aber auch so verstehen wie bei der Formulierung: Kinder gehören zeitig ins Bett. Dann bekommt die Aussage eine Sollens-Komponente und erhält eine ganz andere Bedeutung. Und drittens könnte die Frage angesprochen sein, ob der Islam die Bundesrepublik Deutschland in ähnlicher Weise geprägt hat wie das Christentum. Je nachdem, mit welchem Akzent man das Wort “gehört” verwendet, bekommt dieser Satz einen anderen Sinn. Diese Unterschiede werden in der politischen Diskussion leider nicht beachtet, und deswegen redet man munter aneinander vorbei. Das ist vorhersehbar und langweilig.

“Trump is awful but…”

“He’s right.”


Uh-oh. All bets are off now. I may have found a German economist who is willing to take an unpopular stand and defend certain aspects of the Trump administration’s policy. Unpopular? Sacrilegious is more like it, right?

“On one side there’s the EU with a trade surplus that is mostly supplied by the huge German surplus. On the other side is the USA that has been living with deficits for 30 years. Germany is the world’s largest surplus country and the USA is the world’s largest deficit country. The trade practiced between these two national economies may be free but it is not efficient. This criticism of the German undervaluation strategy – that is, the relatively weak salary increases combined with a weak euro – has been around since presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Politicians in Congress have warned about making trade deals with notorious surplus countries. Trump is just the first one to do anything about it.”

“Every country can do whatever it wants – but not when it is part of a currency union in which there are no exchange rates that could be adjusted. Germany procures an advantage in global trade not just due to the quality of its products vis-a-vis its EU partners, the USA and other countries. In the past 15 years salaries in Germany have remained far behind productivity. We gain advantages over other national economies through wage dumping.”

“Will the punitive tariffs have a real effect on the German economy? Not so quickly. They have just been little needle pricks up until now. But if the EU now pursues the loud-mouth announcements made by Commission President Jean-Claud Juncker and reacts with its own punitive tariffs it is possible that the USA’s reaction will be more massive. Yet Trump is merely following a very simple rule here that no one in Germany wants to believe: The losers in such a trade conflict will be the trade surplus countries and the winners will be the deficit countries.”

Aber wenn die EU jetzt den großmäuligen Ankündigungen des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker folgt und mit eigenen Strafzöllen reagiert, kann es sein, dass die USA noch massiver reagieren. Trump folgt doch einer einfachen Regel, die in Deutschland niemand wahr haben will: Verlieren werden in einem solchen Handelskonflikt die Handelsüberschussländer und gewinnen werden die Defizitländer.

Speaking Of Tanks…

Tanks for nothing, Germany.


The nerve of Donald Trump to come along and suddenly demand, like out of the blue already, that NATO countries start living up to what they promised to do way back when in that warm and cuddly Obama year of 2014 (that each NATO country spend two percent of its economic output on defense). Since when is an agreement that you agreed to an agreement you have to actually live up to?

Only three NATO countries (other than the US) have kept their word: Greece, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Germany only came up with 1.24 percent of its GDP in 2017.This is a vast improvement from the year before, however. Then it had only been 1.2 percent of its GDP (the number keeps getting bigger, see?).

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. And sometimes things get lost in translation. The German government has interpreted this agreement to mean “to move in the direction of two percent.” They’re heading there, folks. In fifty or sixty years you’ll see.

Er fordert, dass alle Bündnispartner spätestens ab 2024 jährlich mindestens zwei Prozent des BIP für Verteidigung ausgeben und verweist dabei auf einen Nato-Beschluss aus dem Jahr 2014.

German Of The Day: Verliererin

That means loser. In feminine form.


A German federal court has rejected a customer’s demand for her bank to include the feminine form of words such as “account holder” on official forms.

The Federal Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that plaintiff Marlies Kraemer hadn’t suffered any discrimination under German law from her bank’s use of the “generic masculine” on forms, a common practice. The German language adds a suffix to turn nouns into feminine form. In the case of account holder, “Kontoinhaber” becomes “Kontoinhaberin.”

Kundin bleibt Kunde: Klägerin unterliegt im Formularstreit.

Did You Notice That Germany Didn’t Have A Government For The Past 169 Days?

Me, neither. Nobody else over here did, either.


That just goes to show you how, uh, desperately needed this latest GroKo government is.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her partners met to formally sign their agreement on a new “grand coalition” government on Monday and admitted it was a political necessity, not a “love match”.

„Wir haben uns sehr viel vorgenommen und es ist Zeit auch mit der Arbeit zu beginnen.”

PS: I think I’ve finally figured out why Angela Merkel has been behaving so strangely these past few years. She smokes fish. And with Vlad Putin, of all people.

Freak Out!

No, not the Frank Zappa record. If you’ve ever wondered why folks on the left freak out the way they do you really out to read this.

Freak Out

And if you happen to do German, pick this up sometime.

He and his colleagues Brian Nosek and Jesse Graham sought to discover how well conservative and what Haidt terms ‘liberal’ (ie: progressive) students understood one another by having them answer moral questions as they thought their political opponents would answer them. “The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold. To put it bluntly, Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives.