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.”

 

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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.

Whatever Is Not Expressly Allowed

Is verboten. In Germany. If you’re Facebook, Google, Amazon, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Co., that is.

Facebook

Recognize a pattern here? They’re all American companies and they’re all “free” to use. The Germans, of all people, surely must have figured out by now that nothing is ever for free. But they haven’t.

GERMAN REGULATORS JUST OUTLAWED FACEBOOK’S WHOLE AD BUSINESS – FACEBOOK’S MASSIVELY LUCRATIVE advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles. Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests. Privacy advocates have argued that the company isn’t transparent enough about what data it has and what it does with it. As a result, most people don’t understand the massive trade-off they are making with their information when they sign up for the “free” site.

“We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services.”

No Nukes, No Coal, No Agribusiness…

No plastic, no non-refundable bottles and cans, no speeding

Agribusiness

No meat, no new economy, no tourism, no gentrification, no toxic masculinity, no defense spending, no borders? Hell no. But that’s just the tip of the German ICEBERG OF NO. Let’s call it the German NICEBERG. Germans think positive, you see, and want to move ahead, progressively, into the future. After all the no’s are said and done – and that might take some time yet, mind you – whatever’s left, well, that’s the brave new future.

Thousands of farmers from across Germany and their supporters protested at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate on Saturday, calling for climate-friendly agriculture and healthy food.

“We are fed up with the agricultural industry.”

I Can’t Stand It

I know you planned it!

CDU

Conspiracy theory of the week: The CDU sabotaged Friedrich Merz’s chances for winning the election for party chairman against Mini-Merkel on Friday by turning down his microphone during his speech. I believe it. Of course, I also believe that interdimensional shapeshifting lizards are calling all the shots here on Planet Earth from a secret bunker complex somewhere under the polar ice cap, thus causing the ice there to melt. But still.

Wirre Gerüchte: Falsches Spiel mit Merz? CDU soll sein Mikro absichtlich gedimmt haben.

German Of The Day: Nichts klappt

That means nothing works. Or how about “failed State?” That means failed state. You know, like the failed city-state of Berlin?

Palmer

When the prominent Mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer (Greens) has to come to Berlin for business he says to himself “Watch out, you are now leaving the functioning part of Germany.” He just can’t deal with the mix of crime, drug dealing and bitter poverty confronting him here on the street. “I don’t want to have these conditions in Tübingen,” he says.

Don’t worry. You never will. And you’re right, of course. Nothing works here in Berlin. But isn’t that the point? Oddly, for whatever the reason (decades of SPD-Green-Left Party mismanagement at city hall? Half the population being on welfare?) nobody in Berlin seems to care. And sheesh. In all fairness, this guy has clearly never been to an American city.

Berlin, ein „failed State“? Irgendwie schon, so Tübingens Oberbürgermeister Boris Palmer. Die Mischung aus Kriminalität, Drogenhandel und bitterer Armut auf der Straße verunsichere ihn als Baden-Württemberger nachhaltig.

Germans Feeling Gloomy?

Wow. We’ve never had that one before.

Gloomy

The German economy is booming. Unemployment is at a near-record low. In Europe and around the world, the country is seen as a beacon of wealth and efficiency.

So what’s so mysterious about their gloom? This is Germany. Duh. How could Germans not get gloomy about a situation like that?

But maybe, just maybe, with a little luck things will start to crap out here before too long and everybody can start cheering up again.

Es war einmal ein starkes Land.

AI Don’t Trust You

But what’s new? Germans don’t trust any new technical development that comes along. Grundsätzlich (out of principle). New is scary because it always comes from somewhere else.

AI

So here’s another piece of news that made the news even though it’s not news at all: A YouGov survey has revealed that Germans are distrustful of anything that has to do with artificial intelligence. Not only is AI new (and from somehwere else), it’s, well, artificial. It’s not natural, you know? Non-organic or something.

Die Mehrheit der Deutschen steht einer Umfrage des Instituts YouGov zufolge dem Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) misstrauisch gegenüber. Nur rund jeder Siebte – 15 Prozent – denkt demnach, dass der Nutzen der Technologie gegenüber den Risiken überwiegt, wie die repräsentative Umfrage ergab.

World Ending Again

In Germany.

Heat

In a country where everyone is always complaining about the lack of sunshine, several consecutive months of heat and sunshine (in other countries referred to as “the summer”) have led the alarmist fringe of the population (that’s roughly 97% of the population) to the scientific conclusion that they now find themselves smack dab in the middle of a major “state of meteorological emergency” and are all going to die even before the sky gets the chance to fall down. If only the gray skies and rain would come back so they could bitch and moan about that again! As nature intended.

What makes summer 2018 an exception is the unusually long period of heat. Such a persistent period of fine weather, with lots of sunshine and little rain, occurs on average once every 10 years at most in the country. And given the lack of rain, it’s not the heat that’s the problem, but the drought — especially in northern and eastern Germany, where there has been virtually no rainfall in some places since May.

This may be due to climate change, but it may also be unrelated. Germany has also experienced extreme droughts in previous years. In 1992, for example, when wheat withered away in the fields, wells dried up and priests prayed for rain at church services. Or in 1971, when forest fires flared up in many places across the country. Or in 1947, when even drinking water became scarce.

“Somebody is always complaining. It’s sheer nonsense.”

Germans Sitting Too Much – In Drafts

Whether at work or in front of the TV, Germans spend around 7.5 hours per day sitting, a study has found.

Draft

But worse still, much of that time these Germans are sitting in deadly German drafts (see German oddity 14).

14. A real German is a faithful practitioner of “Stoßlüftung” or inrush airing. This is when someone quickly rips several windows wide open for a few minutes to let some fresh, preferably ice-cold arctic air into what had been your warm and cozy apartment or office up until then. When it comes to leaving windows open for a longer period of time, however, Germans are clearly divided into two distinct ideological groups. The first group is the “shut the window right this minute because there’s a draft” faction (Germans are terrified of drafts). The second group is the “open the window again immediately because it smells like the cat house at the zoo” faction. Strangely, these two groups appear to be equally distributed in homes and offices across the nation so the fun with windows never stops here.

Fresh air or deathly drafts? Germans’ belief in the myth that breezes make you sick is completely overblown.