Fearless Leader: “Russian Cyber Attack Ain’t No Big Deal”

It was only 900,000 users, after all. For only a day or two. And is probably only just the beginning, so don’t worry. Be happy. And now sitzen machen!

Merkel

Cyber attacks from Russia are now so common that Germany must learn to cope with them as part of daily life, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday, after Europe’s top economy suffered its largest ever online assault.

She then moved on to more pressing matters. Like preparing to take a tough stand on the UK for Brexit or worrying about hate-speech on Facebook. Stuff like that.

“Such cyber attacks, or hybrid conflicts as they are known in Russian doctrine, are now part of daily life and we must learn to cope with them.”

Heckler & Koch Announces Bankruptcy Plans

German weapons manufacturing company Heckler & Koch has announced a major change of business strategy.

Guns

In the future the company will only sell its weapons to countries that are “unequivocally democratic” and “clearly not corrupt.” A frantic search has now begun by Heckler & Koch customer care professionals to locate any countries out there that might possibly meet these requirements before the liquidator is called in but the results have been less than encouraging and time is running out fast.

“Wir wollen nur noch solide Länder beliefern, also zweifelsfrei demokratisch, eindeutig nicht korrupt und in der Nato oder Nato-nah.”  

Angela Merkel To Be Deported

Although it looks to me like they may have picked the wrong one.

Merkel

Late last year, a Syrian woman gave birth to a girl at a former hospital that had been repurposed into a refugee shelter in Duisburg, Germany. She and her husband had only recently arrived in Germany and wanted to honor their new home. So, they named their daughter Angela Merkel.

But less than a month before the infant’s first birthday, the Al-Hamza family’s future in their adopted country isn’t looking so sure. According to the Bild newspaper, the family was told their asylum application had been rejected by Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Instead, the Al-Hamza family has been offered “subsidiary protection,” a separate legal status that protects people from deportation for an initial period of one year but does not allow them to bring their family to Germany. They may stay longer if they are shown to be working and learning German to a sufficient level.

“There are no indications that the Syrian state puts everyone under general suspicion of belonging to the opposition.”

And The Little Girl Was Goose-Stepping, Too

And those Christmas trees covered in snow? Talk about white supremacist symbolism par excellence.

Christmas

Are we having that Christmas spirit yet, Germany? It’s time to find Nazi symbolism in supermarket TV ads that make a pitch for spending more time with your children during the holidays. Seek and you shall find, I always say. But don’t forget to take your medication regularly, I also always say.

A Volvo shown in the 84-second clip has the number plate MU SS 420. “SS” is forbidden on German number plates because it is synonymous with the Schutzstaffel, the Nazis’ paramilitary “protection squadron”. The number 420 is a common abbreviation – especially in far-right circles in the US – for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s birthday, 20 April.

I’m Outta Here!

Speaking of Sozis… Failing to lead from the front, Martin Shulz is now hightailing it out of the shambles he helped create in Brussels and will now lead from behind in Berlin. Or maybe he won’t. Nobody who has ever paid any attention to this guy seems to particularly care.

Schulz

This guy has never accomplished anything but spend a whole lot of time on any German political talk show you can think of being THE expert on any “European” subject you can think of talking about. He helped a lot with Greece (not). He stopped Brexit from happening (not), he helped solve Europe’s refugee crisis and its deficit spending crisis and on an on and on (lots more nots here). He lectured US-Amerika right and left (mostly right) about all those things Europeans lecture US-Amerika about. He did that particularly well, I must say, but he’s just one of legion in that department so who needs him? In other words, he was the perfect non-elected European bureaucrat boss-type and he will be sorely missed until his replacement non-elected European bureaucrat boss-type is crowned by whoever it is who crowns them – so he/she can then carry on where Schulz left off. Accomplishing nothing. But with style.

The long-serving parliament boss will stand as an MP for his Social Democratic party in North Rhine-Westphalia, opening the door for a potential run at the German chancellorship in elections next year. Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, an emotional Mr Schulz said: “It was not an easy decision.”

Rent A Sozi?

As in rent a social democrat? Sure, OK. But who would want to do that?

SPD

I always thought that “social” was code for “here’s something for free.”

According to a German media report, the social democratic SPD party is granting access to ministers and officials in exchange for payments of up to 7,000 euros. Experts say this may violate the law on political parties.

Eine erste Konsequenz hat man bereits beschlossen: “‘Vorwärts-Gespräche’ – ob mit oder ohne Sponsoring – wird es in Zukunft nicht mehr geben.”

Eco-Power?

As in enormous-cost-power?

eco

And green power must be short for greenback power, right? Only they have to pay in euros here in Germany.

You’re never going to believe this: Energy prices will be rising dramatically again next year in Germany (same procedure as every year). It has something to do with this little thing they call the “eco-power levy” here (levy sounds better than tax). It’s going up another 8.3 percent. But it’s for the Energiewende so that’s a good thing, or something. Hey. It’s not easy being the world’s leader in renewable energy but somebody has to do it. And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still don’t mind paying for it… And you still…

Öko-Strom-Umlage steigt um 8,3 Prozent.

SPD To Announce Candidate Later

Now that Angela Merkel has opened the campaign for next year’s parliamentary elections in Germany by announcing her intention to run for a fourth term, the folks over at the SPD have made it clear that they intend to wait until they are good and ready before announcing their candidate, probably sometime in 2018.

SPD

They don’t have a candidate who has a chance in hell, get it?*

Am Montagmorgen hatte SPD-Vize Ralf Stegner erklärt, die SPD werde “bald” über ihren Kandidaten befinden.

*Chancellors aren’t directly elected here, of course, but the SPD is now an under-20%-party.

German Of The Day: Multikulti

That means multiculti, as in multicultural. And this is a word that is suddenly “out” for Angela Merkel’s CDU, for some inexplicable reason.

Multikulti

But to compensate for the loss, Modernisierungsverlierer (modernization losers) is now officially “in” with them. And just in case you were wondering, we are once again moving into election season in Germany and these “losers” are the same ones who have helped parties like the AfD become “winners” in recent years. Sounds vaguely familiar somehow but I can’t seem to put my finger on it at the moment.

Im Entwurf für den Leitantrag, der beim Parteitag Anfang Dezember beschlossen werden soll, sprechen die Christdemokraten ausdrücklich jene Bürger an, “die sich als Modernisierungsverlierer sehen und derzeit noch bei populistischen Parteien von rechts und links ihre Zuflucht suchen”.