Forbidden Terrorist Organization?

So much for Verbote (bans) in Germany.

PKK

On the one hand, nobody has any problem refusing to let Turkish ministers hold pro-government rallies here, but when the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) organizes a demonstration with 30,000 protestors carrying their banned party symbols, that ain’t no big deal, either.

How could Erdogan and Co. possibly think that there is a double standard being applied here, right? Wow. Do the Germans really think that this is going to contribute in helping to bring Erdogan under control? Erdogan wins big with this one.

Die PKK ist in Deutschland seit 1993 als Terrororganisation verboten. Erst vor kurzem hatte die Bundesregierung das PKK-Verbot ausgeweitet und auch das öffentliche Zeigen von Öcalan-Porträts untersagt.

Living Up To Contractual Obligations Causing Angst

Concerned about possibly turning Germany into a military superpower again by raising its defense spending from 1.3 to 2 percent of its gross domestic product (as agreed to by Germany many years ago in NATO), Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) says that this could cause angst elsewhere in Europe, and most certainly at the German ministry of finance, and therefore maybe ought to be put off for an other 10 to 15 years or so. Or maybe longer. It all depends.

Gabriel

Angst is a terrible thing, people. And so is Verarschung (being bullshited). But angst is worse, I guess.

“Für Deutschland unrealistisch.”

This War On Journalism Must Stop

Here in Germany, I mean. It is outrageous, unacceptable behavior and is damaging press freedom in Germany and abroad.

Monitor

Like I said, outrageous. So where’s the outrage, folks?

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, apparently spied on large numbers of foreign journalists overseas over the course of several years, including employees of the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times. Critics see a massive violation of press freedoms.

German Of The Day: Populismus

That means a left-wing political doctrine that proposes to help the common people who are being exploited by a corrupt dominant elite. Or at least the one I am referring to here is of the left-wing variety.

Populismus

Ironically, this particular form of Populismus is being proposed by a leading member of that corrupt dominant elite himself. But this is the left-wing variety, as I said, and this type of thing has a long tradition so it is therefore “OK.”

The Social Democrats have presented a serious, new challenger for upcoming federal elections. But they are using the same old lines about social justice when there are more important things to talk about, writes a former economics minister (himself once in the SPD).

The Polls Are Never Wrong

Right? As we were recently reminded after the Brexit vote and the United States presidential election, the pollsters, survey scientists and media manipulators who publish them are always right on the money.

Poll

So please keep this in mind (and please bring it back to mind in a few months time) when we now read that “the SPD has passed the union in another survey” (the union being Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU) and that this is due to the so-called “Schulz effect.”

This means, of course, that Germans are supposed to believe that the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, is wildly popular and on a roll and is single-handedly bringing German social democracy back from the near-death it is now experiencing to march together bravely into the brave new social democratic (socialist) future. They don’t believe it, of course, because he isn’t and he can’t. Germans, too, have also realized that polls have long since failed in their traditional function as poorly functioning forecast tools and are now failing miserably at their latest job: To deftly manipulate public opinion and steer it in the direction these pollsters & co. want it to go.

Nobody buys it anymore, Martin. Just like nobody buys you. You can bring out all the survey results you want but that won’t change a thing.*

Der Schulz-Effekt hält an: Die SPD hat auch laut einer Emnid-Umfrage die Union überflügelt. Die AfD fällt erstmals seit einem Jahr unter zehn Prozent.

*The real issue here is the true degree of Angela Merkel’s unpopularity, another closely guarded media secret.

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.”

Nero Was The Guy In The Matrix, Right?

More cool Spiegel stuff, folks.

Trump

Trump as Nero: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President.

It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.

I feel your pain, buddy. It literally hurts me to read this about how it literally hurts you to write this. Let’s both of us stop all this hurting, literally, and move on already. Please.

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.

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.