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.”

 

Advertisements

You Didn’t Sit While Peeing!

And I warned you twice, Hermann. Now I’m gonna beat you black and blue.

Hurt

After millennia of callous neglect, Germany is finally prepared to address the scandalous issue of domestic violence against German men. And addressing it, as if it actually existed, is precisely what makes this all so scandalous. Talk about wussies, sheesh. Beam me up pronto, Scottie. It’s a freakin’ nuthouse here.

For the first time ever, two German states are launching an initiative to help male victims of domestic violence. Officials in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia say they want to break the taboos surrounding the topic.

A three-pillar program to help men suffering from domestic violence was unveiled by the German states of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Tuesday.

The first pillar of the initiative would include a hotline and an online counseling platform for victims. The second pillar would see constructions of safe houses and counseling centers. Finally, the authorities aim to make the subject of violence against men “visible” and “break the taboo” surrounding it.

“Until now, there was hardly any help or support structures. There are possibilities to cooperate across state borders, most of all in creating a hotline and in the area of online counseling.”

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.

A Standing Ovation For An Anti-Trump Speech?

At an American University? Wow. Now that’s news-worthy.

Merkel

Or at least the Germans seem to think it is. Yawn.

Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent jibes at Donald Trump and his policies.

Though she did not name the U.S. president, the German chancellor devoted much of her Harvard University commencement speech to attacking major pillars of Trump’s presidency: protectionism, trade wars and building walls.

Merkel in Harvard: Für die Anti-Trump-Rede gibt es Standing Ovations

AKK Taling CaCaCa

Mini-MErkel alarm! Could this be the end of her beginning or the beginning of her end?

AKK

One can only hope for the later.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), leader of Germany’s centre-right CDU, faced a massive backlash on Tuesday after calling for tighter rules on politicking on the internet, with critics accusing her of advocating online censorship.

Her comments came after European elections in which the CDU and its main left-of-centre rival, the Social Democrats, slumped to their worst results in a national election since the second world war, as voters defected in their droves to the Greens.

“Freedom of expression is a precious commodity in a democracy. What we need to talk about are rules that would apply during election campaigns.”

Data Privacy, Data Privacy Data Privacy…

That’s how the mantra goes. Unless, of course, it’s about the data privacy of a BAD Austrian nationalist, right?

Srache

No outrage about this blatant breach of data protection here in Germany, at any rate. Normally they’d be out in the streets about something like this.

A German data protection agency has suggested German media outlets were wrong to publish video that exposed Heinz-Christian Strache’s allegedly corrupt intentions.

News agencies violated privacy rights by publishing a secretly filmed recording of the now-former vice-chancellor of Austria, an official German data protection agency claimed on Sunday.

Stefan Brink, who heads the Data Protection and Freedom of Information agency in the German region of Baden-Württemberg, believes the tape of Heinz-Christian Strache has far-reaching negative repercussions.

“If we cheat political opponents, violate their privacy and even commit criminal wrongdoing, we ultimately harm our political culture and us all.”

Well, We Certainly Don’t Want To Spark Controversy

Do we? German conference on Islamic veil sparks controversy.

Veils

The Islamic veil – Symbol of dignity or oppression? I’m going to go out on the limb here, folks. I’m going with oppression. Just sayin’.

Islamic veils are a hot topic in Germany, particularly due to a growing Muslim population. Now, outcry over an academic conference on the issue has surprised even its organizer, who says freedom of speech is at stake…

Germany’s Muslim population, which has rapidly increased in recent years due to immigration from Muslim-majority countries, was estimated at between 4.4 and 4.7 million people or approximately 5.5% of the country’s total population in 2015, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The number is doubtless higher now, according to the agency, but updated official figures exist.

With these demographic changes come societal debates — one of which, that of the Islamic veil, has been a continual source of discussion. The latest veil controversy, which made headlines all across Germany, has occurred over a planned academic conference — something that even its organizer did not expect.

“Dissenting opinions must be respected and tolerated.” Must they? For how much longer?

Marginal Art Marginalized In Berlin

Marginal art made by marginal artists, that is. Actually, the story’s about the marginal artists who are upset about being marginalized, for being marginal.

White

There is a difference here, of course, albeit a marginal one. I have an idea. Perhaps, just maybe I’m thinking, if they made their art better and not so marginally successful they could stop being so marginal and protest about something else a little less marginally interesting.

Earlier this week, stickers and posters started circulating in and around the city of Berlin that point to a disparaging fact: according to a group of arts activists, 75% of the artists being platformed at Berlin Gallery Weekend are white and male.

The stickers protesting the lack of diversity within the Berlin art scene feature a white sausage — known in German as Weisswurst — against the blue background of Berlin Gallery Weekend’s main logo and branding typography.

German Of The Day: Enteignung

That means confiscation or dispossession. You know, like confiscating private property?

Greens

And the German Greens hold this to be denkbar – another cool German word meaning conceivable or possible.

After all, the world must be fair and if rising property rents in cities like Berlin – caused by city governments like Berlin (Social Democrats and Greens for decades) – are creating hardship for the 85 percent (!) of Berliners who don’t own property – the government does everything it can to discourage owning property here – then the government that created this mess will simply confiscate the private property of those currently developing new housing and… And what? Give it to the poor? Been there, done that. We all know how that turns out. And who foots the bill. Robin Hoodlums never learn. They have no intention of learning.

Thousands took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in protest against rising property rents and called for properties of large-scale landlords with more than 3,000 houses to be taken over by the government.

“Das Grundgesetz sieht Enteignungen zum Allgemeinwohl ausdrücklich vor.”

No Contradiction Here

Not if you’ve lived in Germany long enough there isn’t. Or you won’t notice it, I should say.

Zeit

Germans Invented Daylight Saving Time—Now They’re Going to Kill It – The European Parliament voted in favor of stopping the practice by 2021, following a poll last year from the EU in which 84% of the respondents voted in favor of reverting to one time year-round. The law must now be passed by national governments…

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is a force behind the movement, having vowed to back the end of Daylight Saving Time in September last year, after the results of the poll were released. The survey proved it was the will of the people, he declared; “Clock-changing must stop.”

But in reality, it was mostly just the will of the Germans.

Out of 4.6 million responders to the poll, 3 million were German. (The country accounts for about one-sixth of the EU’s total population.)

“If we didn’t have the time change, and today someone would come up with the idea of introducing it, everybody would think that person was crazy.”