It’s Called Paranoia

Why is Germany a blank spot on Google’s Street View? See above.

Paranoia

There are good historical reasons why Germans are suspicious of surveillance — but is Google as bad as Gestapo or Stasi?

It’s to do with Germans’ curious sense of privacy: they’d rather flaunt their private parts than their personal data…

While public nudity is a big no-no in the United States for example, Germany has a long tradition with what is known as FKK – short for Freikörperkultur, or “Free Body Culture.” Certain beaches and areas of city parks are dedicated to nude sunbathing, and even Nacktwanderung (“nude rambling”) is a thing.

On the other hand, Germans are extremely possessive of their personal data — and are shocked by the readiness with which Americans (and others) share their names, addresses, friends’ lists, and purchase histories online.

According to research presented in the Harvard Business Review, the average German is willing to pay as much as $184 to protect their personal health data. For the average Brit, the privacy of that information is only worth $59. For Americans and Chinese, that value declines to single-digit figures.

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Save Planet Earth’s Climate?

Hell yes! Count me in.

Climate 1

Climate 2

Clean up my own neighborhood? Nah, I think I’ll pass on that one.

A “Fridays for Future” demonstration will get 40,000 German environmental activists out on the street in no time. A call to clean up the local neighborhood on “World Cleanup Day” might get about 100 to 150 out of bed (here Frankfurt).

These World Cleanup Folks clearly don’t get the deal. Abstract heroics is were the money is – I mean, people are.

Nur rund 1000 kamen zum großen Aufräumen, sammelten vier Tonnen Müll. Am Main, in Sichtweite des Camps der „Fridays for Future“-Macher, verschlug es gerade mal 150 Freiwillige.

How Will Germany Pay?

Like, duh. The same way Germany pays for its Syrian migrants (three out of four live off the German welfare system). The captive taxpayer audience will pay. Always has, always will. Gladly, even.

Climate

How Will Germany Pay For Its €50bn Climate Plan? After months of intense negotiations between the governing parties in Berlin, Germany on Friday announced a €50 billion package of measures designed to help the country meet its 2030 emissions reduction goals.

Just so you know: Citizens in ridiculously expensive Switzerland already pay half of what the Germans pay for their energy now. And in France, the people take to the streets to protest rising energy costs (gilets jaunes). In Germany, the people take to the streets to protest the latest planned energy price increases not being high enough. German voters want this, in other words. It’s psycho here, folks. I keep telling myself “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…” but, sadly, I know it’s real life. As real life as German reality can get.

Strompreise steigen auf Rekordhöhe – auch Gas ist teurer.

German Of The Day: Abzocke

That means rip-off.

Abzocke

You know, like the way the German government uses any opportunity it can to rip-off taxpayers (nobody pays more taxes than Germans do)? The latest Abzocke planned is to double the air travel tax in order to fight climate change. And it will definitely not be the last Abzocke to use fighting climate change as an excuse. It’s a brilliant Masche (scam). I mean, when hasn’t the climate changed? They can keep on introducing rip-off tax tricks forever.

Germany’s ruling conservatives have proposed doubling taxes on domestic flights, as part of a wider package to cut CO2 emissions.

The decision was taken by the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU), who form a coalition with the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).

“We will invest, together with the aviation industry, to make electric-powered flight standard for short-haul flights and to create synthetic fuel to achieve climate-neutrality on medium- and long-haul flights,”

German Of The Day: Diktieren

That means to dictate. You know, like dictators do?

Herbert

When Gutmenschen (do-gooders) go bad. Like all left-leaning artists everywhere, German singer Herbert Grönemeyer routinely goes out of his way to demonstrate how he is on the right side of history by being on the left side of history. But unlike many of his anti-right-wing friends, he actually comes right out and admits on stage that if the populace doesn’t think the right way (namely left) then “it’s up to us to dictate what society must look like.” Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it? Think Germany 1933.

Grönemeyer: „dann liegt es an uns, zu diktieren, wie ‘ne Gesellschaft auszusehen hat.”

At Least He’s Not With The AfD

The AfD or Alternative for Germany is the main far-right opposition party in Germany these days and is a potential danger because its ranks are most likely filled with neo-Nazis, one reads time and time and time again. None of the other parties will work with them.

AfD

This guy, on the other hand, is a real neo-Nazi from the National Democratic Party (NPD) so the danger is real and therefore less, I dunno, dangerous, I guess. The same parties just elected him mayor of a small town in Hesse.

Senior politicians in Germany’s ruling parties have voiced anger at the election of a neo-Nazi as mayor of a town in the central state of Hesse.

Local councillors representing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), its governing partner the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) all voted for Mr Jagsch.

“The NPD candidate filled the vacuum.”

Doubled Since 2014?

What could have brought that about?

Guns

More Germans applying for alarm gun licenses – More and more Germans are acquiring the permit they need to carry a gas pistol, a newspaper has reported. The number has more than doubled in the last five years.

The so-called Kleiner Waffenschein (“small weapons permit”) is relatively easy to acquire in Germany: they are usually available to anyone over 18 with no previous serious criminal convictions, and who is considered “physically and mentally fit.”

“At least since the events at the Cologne cathedral square on New Year’s Eve in 2015 people apparently feel more and more unsafe.”

They’re Only 25 Percent Of The Electorate

And growing. So we’ll just keep shunning them and they’ll eventually go away.

AfD

That seems to be what Germany’s established political parties are telling themselves when it comes to the far-right AfD – a party that owes it’s increasing popularity solely to Angela Merkel’s bat shit crazy migration “policy.” None of these parties are willing to even consider working together with the AfD. Even after yesterday’s results in Saxony and Brandenburg.

This is because the AfD politicians are all “Nazis” (everybody I don’t like – or offers “my” voters an alternative – is a Nazi, right?). So a quarter of the voters who voted in these two federal state elections yesterday are all Nazis, too? Uh, I don’t think so. This is German democracy in action? Here’s a little tip: Once they reach 51 percent you won’t have the opportunity to take the wind out of their sails because they won’t need you anymore.

Far-right AfD bids to encircle Berlin as resentment and division grow.

That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”

A nine-year-old girl in Berlin who was refused entrance to a centuries-old boys’ choir is filing a lawsuit for gender bias.

A nine-year-old girl in Berlin who was refused entrance to a centuries-old boys’ choir is filing a lawsuit for gender bias.

Bias

A nine-year-old girl in Berlin who was refused entrance to a centuries-old boys’ choir is filing a lawsuit for gender bias.

A nine-year-old girl in Berlin who was refused entrance to a centuries-old boys’ choir is filing a lawsuit for gender bias.