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.”

Advertisements

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.”

Going, Going…

Gone.

CO2

Here’s another one of those well-intentioned-do-gooder-mandates-from-above-meeting-reality kind of things. Why is it that reality is always popping up its ugly little head all the time, anyway?

The two parties likely to form the next coalition government in Germany have agreed to give up on the country’s climate targets for 2020. The goal was to achieve a 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels. In 2016, Germany’s had only reduced emissions by 28% versus the baseline (pdf), so the plan is now unrealistic.

There are two ways to interpret the announcement.

A charitable response would be that the news isn’t a surprise. Although Germany has made heavy investments in renewable energy, it has also been shuttering zero-carbon nuclear power plants since 2011. Giving up on the 2020 climate goals makes sense, especially if the coalition maintains the 2030 target of a 55% emissions reduction versus 1990 levels.

A harsher response would be that the news is devastating. “This damages the credibility of Germany but it also damages the whole international climate process,” Tobias Austrup, an energy expert at Greenpeace told the Financial Times. “Why should other countries stick to their climate goals if we don’t?”

Don’t The French Have A Hate Speech Law?

This could never happen in Germany. Not anymore. It’s simply too, too… Too hateful.

Women

French movie star Catherine Deneuve and other prominent French women say men are being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations and should be free to hit on women.

This #metoo hysteria is, well, hysterical. Think Hollywood show the other night (I won’t say which one). You know, the girls in black? Isn’t it strange, folks? Since when did so-called liberals get to become so puritanical?

“Women are sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”

German Hate Speech Law Keeps Reaching New Levels

Of absurdity, I mean. Now satirical publications are up for grabs.

Fake

When a German neo-Nazi politician tweeted that German police were trying to “to appease the barbaric, Muslim, rapist hordes of men,” her account was briefly suspended — but when the satirical magazine Titanic put up its own tweet mocking the Nazi, their account was suspended, too…

Prior to the law’s passage, free speech advocates warned that this would happen, and Angela Merkel personally promised it wouldn’t. It only took three days for the first case to come to light.

Government regulation in action. You know the deal, folks. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

“The last few days have emphatically shown that private companies cannot correctly determine whether a questionable online statement is illegal, satirical or tasteless yet still democratically legitimate.”

What Goes Around…

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer Big Brother.

Maas

Germany’s justice minister has fallen victim to the rules he himself championed against online social media, as one of his tweets was deleted following several complaints, Bild daily reported Monday.

The tweet dated back to 2010, when Heiko Maas was not yet a minister.

In the post, he had called Thilo Sarrazin, a politician who wrote a controversial book on Muslim immigrants, “an idiot”.

In der Debatte um das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG) wird Heiko Maas von einem Tweet eingeholt, den er vor sieben Jahren verfasst hat. Durch das neue Gesetz, das der SPD-Politiker und Bundesjustizminister entworfen hat, sollen strafbare Äußerungen im Internet schneller gelöscht werden.

Food For Thought Police

“Please spare us the thought police!” read a headline in Wednesday’s Bildzeitung.

Feige

As recently reported, the latest German censorship craze (exemplified by the Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz or “Internet Enforcement Law”) is already being abused by those who would make us think what we are told. This type of thing never takes very long, of course. I read this in a book in high school once long, long ago in a galaxy far away. It was called 1984 or something. The book, I mean.

Anyway, this law… meant to curtail hate speech on social media in Germany is stifling free speech and making martyrs out of anti-immigrant politicians whose posts are deleted. The law which took effect on Jan. 1 can impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($60 million) on sites that fail to remove hate speech promptly. Twitter has deleted anti-Muslim and anti-migrant posts by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and blocked a satirical account that parodied Islamophobia.

But the case I really like is this one here: A German thought criminal had the audacity to criticize Germany’s reticence to support the protests in Iran and write “one could get the impression that Germany has become an unbelievably cowardly nation” in Facebook. This horrid example of hate speech was enough to get the user promptly blocked.

The outrage about this outrage about the other outrage (I’m running out of outrages) among the German population also remains rather reticent, to say the least. But they are law-abiding citizens, after all. The Germans. They don’t want to commit any thought crime or anything.

Einer der beiden Fälle betrifft Irina Schlegel (33), die Chefredakteurin des Kreml-kritischen Recherchemagazins „InformNapalmDeutsch“. Sie schrieb am 1. Januar im Zusammenhang mit der deutschen Zurückhaltung zu den Protesten im Iran: „Man bekommt den Eindruck, Deutsche sind eine unglaublich feige Nation geworden“. Zwei Tage später löschte Facebook den Post und sperrte die Verfasserin für drei Tage.