If We Rename The Street It Never Happened

Berlin is set to rename streets linked to atrocities Germany committed during its 1884-1919 occupation of Namibia.

Streets

Local councillors agreed on new street names for the so-called African Quarter in the north-west of the German capital on Wednesday evening.

The resaoning goes like this, I think: Historical or cultural explanations for events that took place over 100 years ago by people who have absolutely nothing to do with the culture under strict supervision by today’s ultra-moralists cannot even be brought up much less considered as this would be, well, heretical. OUR moral truth is universal and transcends space and time so we, as in you, are responsible for everything everywhere at all times that ever happened, throughout all known dimensions even, except the modern parallel universes we have created here in town and elsewhere and refuse to address much less take responsibility for. So we, as in you, should be ashamed of yourselves already.

“The African Quarter still glorifies colonialism and its crimes,” council members from the Greens, Social Democrats and Left parties say in their joint motion.

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“Trump is awful but…”

“He’s right.”

Handelsbilanz

Uh-oh. All bets are off now. I may have found a German economist who is willing to take an unpopular stand and defend certain aspects of the Trump administration’s policy. Unpopular? Sacrilegious is more like it, right?

“On one side there’s the EU with a trade surplus that is mostly supplied by the huge German surplus. On the other side is the USA that has been living with deficits for 30 years. Germany is the world’s largest surplus country and the USA is the world’s largest deficit country. The trade practiced between these two national economies may be free but it is not efficient. This criticism of the German undervaluation strategy – that is, the relatively weak salary increases combined with a weak euro – has been around since presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Politicians in Congress have warned about making trade deals with notorious surplus countries. Trump is just the first one to do anything about it.”

“Every country can do whatever it wants – but not when it is part of a currency union in which there are no exchange rates that could be adjusted. Germany procures an advantage in global trade not just due to the quality of its products vis-a-vis its EU partners, the USA and other countries. In the past 15 years salaries in Germany have remained far behind productivity. We gain advantages over other national economies through wage dumping.”

“Will the punitive tariffs have a real effect on the German economy? Not so quickly. They have just been little needle pricks up until now. But if the EU now pursues the loud-mouth announcements made by Commission President Jean-Claud Juncker and reacts with its own punitive tariffs it is possible that the USA’s reaction will be more massive. Yet Trump is merely following a very simple rule here that no one in Germany wants to believe: The losers in such a trade conflict will be the trade surplus countries and the winners will be the deficit countries.”

Aber wenn die EU jetzt den großmäuligen Ankündigungen des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker folgt und mit eigenen Strafzöllen reagiert, kann es sein, dass die USA noch massiver reagieren. Trump folgt doch einer einfachen Regel, die in Deutschland niemand wahr haben will: Verlieren werden in einem solchen Handelskonflikt die Handelsüberschussländer und gewinnen werden die Defizitländer.

German Of The Day: Verliererin

That means loser. In feminine form.

Kundin

A German federal court has rejected a customer’s demand for her bank to include the feminine form of words such as “account holder” on official forms.

The Federal Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that plaintiff Marlies Kraemer hadn’t suffered any discrimination under German law from her bank’s use of the “generic masculine” on forms, a common practice. The German language adds a suffix to turn nouns into feminine form. In the case of account holder, “Kontoinhaber” becomes “Kontoinhaberin.”

Kundin bleibt Kunde: Klägerin unterliegt im Formularstreit.

Freak Out!

No, not the Frank Zappa record. If you’ve ever wondered why folks on the left freak out the way they do you really out to read this.

Freak Out

And if you happen to do German, pick this up sometime.

He and his colleagues Brian Nosek and Jesse Graham sought to discover how well conservative and what Haidt terms ‘liberal’ (ie: progressive) students understood one another by having them answer moral questions as they thought their political opponents would answer them. “The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold. To put it bluntly, Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives.

 

 

“Muttiland” Does Have A Nicer Ring To It

But not even Mutti wants to remove Vaterland (fatherland) from the German national anthem. And if Mutti don’t want it, ain’t nothing going to happen. “Equality czar” or not.

Muttiland

Equality czar? What is that? Why don’t they introduce a common sense czar instead? They could call him the sense czar. And he could get rid of all this nonsensical sense-czar-ship going around here these days.

Germany’s equality czar wants to remove words like“fatherland” and “brotherly” from the country’s national anthem, following Canada and Austria in adopting gender neutral phrases.

Kristin Rose-Moehring, equality commissioner since 2001, made the proposal to strike male-specific references from the anthem in a letter to staff at Germany’s family ministry ahead of International Women’s Day, German media reported on Sunday.

Ahead of Women’s Day? How you figure? Every day is Women’s Day over here.

Die Kanzlerin sehe “keinen Bedarf einer Änderung.”

PS: I’m going to ask this woman to look into “mother nature” while she’s at it. It irks the hell out of me every time I hear somebody use that term. The nerve. Person nature will do just fine, thank you.

More Crappy PC Films But This Time With That Special #MeToo Touch

Which is also a bunch of crap. But maybe that’s just me.

Berlinale

Let the Berlinale begin again or something. That way it will be over quicker. And please note: With special safe space area this year!

The organizers said they had created a special counseling center at the festival where both audience and participants of the festival could go if they experience or witness discrimination, harassment or abuse. 

I’m wacko for Wacko-puffs! Wacko for Wacko-puffs!

Berlinale-Chef Kosslick verspricht “politisch korrektes Entertainment.”

Operation Valkyrie 2.0?

‘We don’t have much time’ Angela Merkel’s youth wing plots to OUST her as popularity drops.

Merkel

Worried that the tiny little bit that is left of the CDU could soon evaporate altogether after Chancellor Merkel’s breathtakingly poor negotiation results in forming the latest grand coalition (the CDU has, in essence, become the SPD – the tail will soon be wagging the dog), a small group of fanatical CDU youth is preparing to implement an emergency continuity of CDU government operations plan as soon as they can figure out a way to bump off the old bag. Politically speaking, of course.

Insiders speculate that incriminating photos of a drugged Chancellor in bed with an even more drugged Martin Schulz ought to do the trick.  Outsiders speculate that there are not enough drugs out there strong enough to enable anybody to look at photos like that.

“Merkel has yielded critical levers in order to buy herself another four years in the country’s top office. Now these SPD politicos, most of whom are relatively unknown outside Berlin, will be the ones to shape the politics of Europe and Germany, the EU’s mightiest member, in the years to come.”

No Alternative Facts Or Fake News Here

While President Donald Trump held his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday he brought up one of his favorite themes: “Fake news” and malicious journalists who are ought to get him.

Trump

There were some boos in the crowd following this. No big surprise here. But responsible journalists at Germany’s Staatsfunk channel ARD, concerned that these boos might not be as audible on their recording as they “ought” to be, tweaked the audio to make the boos louder.

The outrage in Germany hielt sich in Grenzen (was limited) when this came out, of course, but a few German journalists were nevertheless less than impressed with the ARD’s methods. “You’ve clearly overstepped the limits for a news broadcast,” wrote one journalist. “And it’s hard to imagine that you would have done the same should there have been applause.”

„Die @tagesschau hilft ein bisschen nach, damit Buh-Rufe gegen Trump lauter und deutlicher zu hören sind. Klare Grenzüberschreitung bei einer Nachrichtensendung, lieber @KaiGniffke. Und schwer vorstellbar, dass Sie dasselbe bei Applaus getan hätten“, schreibt Reichelt.

Germans Can’t Live Without Facebook

Or at least that’s the impression I get. Otherwise, if they were so terribly worried about what Facebook does with their data, they would simply stop using it. It’s still a “free” service, right? But, of course, nothing is ever for free.

Facebook

Facebook is open about collecting a broad variety of personal information, from facial recognition data to, yes, “likes” on other sites. Privacy-minded people can easily find out what Facebook knows about them and even download the data. So it’s not as if users were deceptively kept in the dark about Facebook’s harvesting of “21st century raw materials.” That, however, is not the Federal Cartel Office’s main concern; it’s that Facebook, as a company dominant in its market, forces users to agree to these harvesting practices: They don’t really have any place else to go for their digital social needs if they feel uncomfortable about how their data are used. If it’s a choice “between accepting ‘the whole Facebook package,’ including an extensive disclosure of personal data, or not using Facebook at all,” as the regulator put it in a December document, and if Facebook is a dominant company, it’s illegal in Germany.

The regulatory attack on personal data harvesting is based on the unproven assumption that the data are valuable.

More Censorship Fun

This time Germany’s way cool new censorship law (NetzDG or Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, if you prefer) has seen to it that a German artist’s works be effectively banned on Facebook and Instagram because, well, no one even bothered to explain why this time.

Barbara

That road sign up there is a form of hate speech, you see. If you look closely, I mean. It’s sexist, right? Or is it racist (the dark part)? I don’t know but something is definitely distrubing about it and I think that the nameless employee who pressed on the Censor Sensor Button or whatever it is they call it was right on the money. Better safe than sorry, I say. When it doubt, censor it out. It’s good to know Big Bruder is watching.

“Über das Löschen von Beiträgen entscheiden irgendwelche Angestellte von privaten Firmen im Auftrag von Facebook und Instagram, die im Schnellverfahren entscheiden und nicht einmal irgendwelche Gründe für das Löschen nennen. Ich sehe die Freiheit im Internet dadurch mehr als nur bedroht, sie wird aus meiner Sicht dadurch ruiniert.”