Who Makes This Stuff Up?

Oh, Al Jazeera makes this stuff up. Then it makes sense.

Germany

Germany welcomed refugees. Now it’s reaping the economic benefits – German companies need more skilled workers. Refugees are helping to fill the gap.

This is not the German reality. When Angela Merkel opened the floodgates in 2015, talk was soon everywhere (where talk like this was expected to be – see state television) that precisely this would happen; highly skilled engineers, doctors and other specialists from Syria would “fill the gap” in a booming German economy short on workers. This simply did not happen. The small number of specialists who did make it here were generally stymied by German bureaucracy or simply do not have the skills German companies expected them to have. Who did come? Armies of unskilled workers who are now a big burden on the German social system.

It’s not the Syrians’ fault that Germany does everything bass ackwards here, though. The Germans needed skilled workers so they let the unskilled in. They don’t even bother to introduce a comprehensive immigration law so they can decide who enters their country or not – haven’t gotten around to it to this very day. And on and on it goes. Al Jazeera’s fantasy Germany makes for good stories, I guess, but it has nothing to do with the real Germany. Not that anybody is interested. Just sayin’.

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German Of The Day: Eigentum

That means property. But property doesn’t mean much in Germany anymore. At least not in Berlin under its current “red-red-green” city government.

Property

Another word you might be interested in here is Enteignung.

German officials facing protests and endless complaints about threats to affordable housing in the nation’s capital have decided the solution may be a five-year ban on rent increases and fines as high as $550,000 for violators.

Officials in Berlin, a city of about 3.7 million residents long known for its affordable housing options, announced this week that they plan to temporarily freeze the rents charged on publicly and privately owned apartments in a bid to halt runaway gentrification.

“It will scare away investors who will find alternative markets with less regulation. It’s a socialist and populist attack on the free market and it’s not going to lead to a single new apartment being built.”

 

Illustrious? At Risk?

What Germany are these journalists writing about?

Merkel

Merkel’s illustrious reign is at risk of being tarnished. Huh?

That nobody really much cares about or follows what is going on in Germany is one thing but to start churning out science fiction about a parallel German universe is simply irresponsible.

There is nothing “illustrious” about Angela Merkel’s “reign” and there is absolutely, positively no risk that it could become tarnished. It already is tarnished. It can’t get more tarnished than it already is, in fact. Ask any German on the street and he/she will tell you. The journalists at CNBC ought to consider giving that a try.

Sakrileg, the German word for sacrilege: the violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. I’m about to go there. Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel been a disaster for Europe, and is her prolonged tenure at the Federal Chancellery extending the region’s problems rather than holding them back?

Germany To Lead From Behind Again

This time from far behind. You know, like from way, way, way far behind? But still.

Iran

Germany looks to ‘lead’ US-Iran talks– in what is clearly a noble effort to bring peace to the region and profits to the German corporations still sexually aroused about doing business with Iran despite the collapse of the 2015 nuclear agreement – and, of course, to take an indirect swipe at Israel in the process while they’re at it already.

“The latest escalation requires us as European neighbors to intervene in favor of de-escalation and peaceful coexistence,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters during an unannounced stop to Iraq. “We cannot just seek dialogue, we must lead it, precisely where the differences seem insurmountable and long-simmering conflicts run deep.”

“Das ist eine Reise in die Krise.”

Germany Reassures NATO Partners It Will Continue To Miss Defense Spending Goals

Worried that the German government’s tax revenues are likely to decrease in coming years due to a slowing economy, German defense officials were quick to explain to their NATO partners that this will have absolutely no effect on the country’s continued failure to increase defense expenditures.

Defens

“Whether tax revenues increase or not is really not the issue here,” these officials stressed. “We have absolutely no intention of raising our defense spending under any circumstances. We do this to ensure that our NATO partners will be able to plan effectively for future increased defense spending on their part and thus continue to protect us as they have done so in the past, pretty much free of charge. For us, anyway. But still.”

“We have time until the end of March. Let us negotiate.”

Even I Can See That These Are Fakes

A. HitPer? Never heard of him.

Hitper

Three watercolour paintings attributed to the former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler have been seized by German police.

The works were up for sale at the Kloss auction house in Berlin, but taken on suspicions of forgery, police say.

“Wir verwahren uns mit aller Entschiedenheit dagegen, dass uns von unberufener Seite eine Nähe zum nationalsozialistischen Gedankengut allein deswegen unterstellt wird, weil wir – ähnlich wie andere Auktionshäuser weltweit, gerade auch in Deutschland – Gegenstände aus dem Nachlass Hitlers versteigern.”

The Money Was Real, Though

Fake news reporters may fake their news like there’s no tomorrow but they rarely want anything to do with fake money.

Fake

Der Spiegel said Sunday it would file a criminal complaint against a disgraced reporter after it emerged he may have embezzled donations intended for Syrian street children.

Claas Relotius, 33, resigned this month after admitting to making up stories and inventing protagonists in more than a dozen articles in the magazine’s print and online editions.

Spiegel said it now had information that Relotius allegedly launched a campaign for readers to give money to help subjects of an article he wrote but that the bank details he gave directed the funds to his own account.

Spiegel said concerned readers had in recent days reported Relotius’ call for donations purportedly for orphaned Syrian children living on the streets of Turkey.

“Der Spiegel will give all the information it collects to public prosecutors as part of a criminal complaint.”

PS: And on that happy note, Merry Christmas!

Santa

German Fake News Scandal Reaches Fergus Falls, Minnesota

“Reality is in the business of killing off fiction.”

Fake News

“In 7,300 words he really only got our town’s population and average annual temperature correct, and a few other basic things, like the names of businesses and public figures, things that a child could figure out in a Google search. The rest is uninhibited fiction (even as sloppy as citing an incorrect figure of citywide 70.4% electoral support for Trump, when the actual number was 62.6%), which begs the question of why Der Spiegel even invested in Relotius’ three week trip to the U.S., whether they should demand their money back from him, and what kind of institutional breakdown led to the supposedly world-class Der Spiegel fact-checking team completely dropping the ball on this one.”

If It’s Not In Der Spiegel, It Didn’t Happen

Unfortunately, that’s also the case even when it is in Der Spiegel.

Spiegel

And here y’all thought that fake news was fake.

Award-winning journalist Claas Relotius wrote fake news, German magazine Der Spiegel says.

An award-winning journalist who worked for Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s leading news outlets, has left the weekly magazine after evidence emerged that he committed journalistic fraud “on a grand scale” over a number of years, the publication said Wednesday…

Spiegel’s revelations echoed past instances of journalistic fraud by reporters elsewhere, including Jayson Blair of The New York Times, Christopher Newton of The Associated Press and Janet Cooke, whose 1980 piece about a child addicted to heroin won The Washington Post writer a Pulitzer Prize before it was exposed as untrue.

Er hat nach Meinung der Jury des Deutschen Reporterpreises 2018 wieder die beste Reportage des Jahres geschrieben, über einen syrischen Jungen diesmal, der im Glauben lebt, durch einen Kinderstreich den Bürgerkrieg im Land mit ausgelöst zu haben. Die Juroren würdigen einen Text “von beispielloser Leichtigkeit, Dichte und Relevanz, der nie offenlässt, auf welchen Quellen er basiert.”

German Of The Day: Kindergeld

That means child benefit payments. The “Kindergeld” benefits consist of monthly payments for each child in a family, starting at €192 per month per child for the first two children. Payments are then staggered depending on the number of children.

Kindergeld

The funny part is – hardy, har, har – these German Kindergeld payments are also going to parents of children who don’t even live in Germany but in other EU countries (€600 million per year). It’s another big scam, in other words. This has raised some concern here in Germany, believe it or not, and attempts have been made to restrict this.

So the really funny part is – hardy, har, har, har, har, har – is that the unelected officials over at the EU Parliament’s Sozialausschuss (Social Committee) have just ruled that Germany has to keep on making these payments anyway or else face disciplinary action from the EU. Wow. When Brussels says “social” (something for free), they mean it. You wanted Europe, Germany. Now you’ve got it. And you can bet there will be more good stuff like this to pay for in the future.

Deutschland, Österreich und Dänemark hatten gefordert, dass das Kindergeld für Ausländer an das Preisniveau des jeweiligen EU-Landes angepasst wird. Der Vorstoß ist im Sozialausschuss des EU-Parlaments gescheitert.