The Man In The White Castle

Frightened by unsubstantiated fake news reports that US-Amerika‘s president has turned the place into an alternative history (alternative fact history?) horror-land run in part by their creepy grandparents, German vacationers are staying away in droves.

Castle

Almost half of Germans with an interest in traveling to the U.S. won’t do so now because they feel unwelcome or don’t want to endorse President Donald Trump.

About 46 percent of Germans who would like to visit the U.S. “in principle” have changed their views on that destination since Trump took office and won’t travel there as a result, according to a survey by GfK SE published in travel-industry magazine fvw.

German Of The Day: Du Darfst

That means you may, or you are allowed to.

Kim

You know, as in New Zealand allowing Kim Dotcom to be extradited to US-Amerika itself for racketeering charges? Yes, Kim. You may. The entire Dotcom family is really upset, I assume, but they’ll get over it. In a decade or two.

A New Zealand judge on Monday upheld an earlier court ruling that flamboyant internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges.

The decision comes five years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s file-sharing website Megaupload and filed charges of conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering against the men. If found guilty, they could face decades in prison.

Berlinale Has Numbing Effect On Audiences This Year, Too

It numbs them with its politics. And its smugness. Intentionally so. Every year. And if you don’t have the “correct” kind of politics and smugness, it will numb you all the more.

Numb

The opening night of the Berlinale was all about politics, from the red carpet, where Green Party politician and Bundestag vice president Claudia Roth sported a black dress adorned with the word “Unpresidented” in large letters – an apparent dig at U.S. President Donald Trump’s spelling aptitude and/or his perceived behavior as commander-in-chief – to officials and speakers taking the stage to talk about free speech, free art and resistance to oppression.

“It’s kind of an antidote to massive budget films with millions of special effects and stuff, which in the end creates a kind of numbing effect: I want more, I want more, I want more.”

Peugeopel

That rolls right off your tongue, doesn’t it?

Opel

GM gets rescued by the American government (government is a code word for taxpayer, by the way), Opel gets rescued by the German government and Peugeot gets rescued by the French government. Is there a pattern developing here or something? Now GM is going to rescue itself out of Europe and dump its Opel on Peugeot, making it a Peugeopel. But who the hell would want to rescue one of those?

General Motors is in advanced talks to sell its European Opel subsidiary to France’s PSA Peugeot Citroen, Handelsblatt confirmed after Reuters broke the story. A Peugeot spokesperson told Handelsblatt that the two are in discussions “over the purchase of Opel.” A deal “could be announced within days,” sources told Reuters.

Seit Jahren versucht General Motors vergeblich, seine Marke Opel zu sanieren. Nun steht offenbar ein Verkauf an den französischen Konkurrenten Peugeot an.

German Air Farce Ready For Action

Only one of Germany’s eight way-over-budget Airbus A400M military transport planes is working at the moment, if working is the proper word for a military transport plane that will never actually be used anywhere anyway. Jeepers. That’s like, I dunno, less than half or something.

A400M

Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen apparently discovered this problem single handedly after the A400M she had taken for a visit to Lithuania broke down there.

Meanwhile… Countless aircraft belonging to German Billigflieger (budget airlines) loaded with countless tons of German tourists don’t seem to be having any technical problems whatsoever. Their number will be increasing dramatically this summer. You just got to set your priorities right these days, I guess.

Zum Sommer wächst das Angebot der Billigflieger an deutschen Flughäfen kräftig.

435,000 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall

435,000 bottles of beer.

Asylum

Expensive bottles of imported beer. No, make that deported beer.

“We carried over 435,000 cases into the new year and we want to have dealt with those this spring.”

“If there is virtually no prospect for a migrant to stay here, it makes sense to push for an early repatriation and to encourage that financially.”

Shocking?

Trump

Not wirklich (really). OK, maybe a bit. But it’s certainly not anything new.

Spiegel

It’s one of this magazine’s major obsessions (US-Amerika and the bashing thereof), something that defines what it is and ensures its continued popularity. Popularity? No, it’s more like the party line. Somebody told me that every German household could once boast of having a copy of Mein Kampf, know what I’m saying? But don’t take any of this personally because, as their editor-in-chief says about this latest cover: “Der Spiegel does not want to provoke anybody.”

Now if that’s not the Lügenpresse (lying press) I’d like to know what is.

Enjoy Your Super Bowl Commercials Responsibly

“In this polarized world, it could easily upset half the country and be seen as political and stepping into something they don’t want to get into.

Der Spot sorgt trotzdem für Aufregung. Viele sehen in ihm einen direkten Angriff auf die Migrationspolitik von US-Präsident Donald Trump.

Diplomacy Is Everything

Just ask Donald Trump (after he gets off the phone with Australia). He and the new German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) ought to get along just fine. He’s coming for a visit to Washington today. If they let him through airport security, I mean.

Diplomacy

“The US will have to build better cars.”

“Here in Europe, it is not our policy to stigmatize people.”

“He actually means it and I think we must dress warmly (be prepared).”

“Dear USA, stay the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

“Like speculators who ride the wave of rage, without care for the consequences.”

“I hope to have a direct and personal exchange, as well as to offer friendship and trust to Washington,” Gabriel said ahead of the meeting.

Grossly Undervalued?

Grossly overvalued? The main thing is, gross.

Navarro

When it comes to the advantage that Germany has taken of the euro, Navarro is right about effect, if not motive.

The euro has been bad for German democracy and for German savers and may well ultimately prove to be a disaster for its taxpayers too, but it has been a boon for the country’s exporters. The euro is far weaker than the Deutsche Mark would have been (as was always likely to have been the case). This means that Germany’s decision to abandon its old currency in favor of the euro has acted as a disguised devaluation, a devaluation that has only deepened as the structural imbalances within the common currency have dragged the euro down still further.

Navarro sagte der “Financial Times”, Deutschland profitiere in seinen Handelsbeziehungen von einer “extrem unterbewerteten ‘impliziten Deutschen Mark'”.