Shoot The Hoop

Better late than never. Actually, maybe never would have been better than late this time but you never know about never. Before it’s too late.

Hoop

Angela Merkel traveled to Chemnitz Friday to meet with residents, three months after the eastern city was the scene of violent, far-right protests that highlighted divisions in Germany — and the chancellor’s own party — on the issue of migration.

Merkel met with the Niners Chemnitz — a local basketball team — before heading to a town hall-style discussion with readers of the Chemnitz Freie Presse newspaper at which the recent unrest was expected to be a central issue.

The protests were triggered after the killing in August of a German man that authorities blamed on recent migrants. Far-right groups flocked to the city, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Berlin, clashing with counter-protesters in scenes that drew widespread condemnation.

Ludwig warf der Kanzlerin eine „praktisch seit drei Jahren währende Sprachlosigkeit“ vor, deren Folgen sich besonders beim Thema Integration zeigten. Die Debatte werde viel zu oft denen überlassen, die Ängste oder tatsächliche Probleme instrumentalisierten.

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German Of The Day: Unerklärlich

That means inexplicable.

Islamophobia

You know, inexplicable like of all places on earth it’s inexplicable that Islamophobia and xenophobia could be on the rise in Germany. But it is. What could possibly be behind it?

Prejudice towards Muslims and foreigners is rising in Germany, a study has revealed.

More than 44 per cent of Germans believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating, compared to 36.5 per cent in 2014, the Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found.

The poll found more than one in two (55.8 per cent) said the number of Muslims made them feel like strangers in their own country, while 43 per cent gave the same answer four years ago, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

“We want a leader who governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”

How Tasteless

How could British newspapers report such things? In this way, I mean. As if they really happened. Which, of course, they did. But still.

Rape

If a German newspaper printed this it would be… Well, it wouldn’t be a German newspaper

Five Afghan asylum seekers are arrested for allegedly raping a girl, 15, in Germany – as country is rocked by sex attack on student, 18, ‘by Syrian migrants’

If it’s not in the German news, it didn’t happen.

They Still Don’t Feel Anything

They’re still numb. And if they’re honest, they’ll admit it. Germany’s Willkommenskultur has always been a myth.

Feel

We asked Germans what they really felt after Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015.

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to keep her country’s borders open and give shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees was praised by commentators and leaders around the world. Her decision was also approved of by thousands of German citizens who welcomed refugees and provided clothes, food, and other support.

The term welcome culture, or Willkommenskultur, was frequently used in political debates and the media to describe the events of autumn 2015.

But a year later, the picture had changed dramatically. By the end of 2016, the public debate had shifted to focus on the so-called refugee crisis, or Flüchtlingskrise, alongside the religion of refugees and migrants, and limits to Germany’s capacity to integrate them. The change of perspective was reflected in discussions about upper limits – Obergrenzen — of the numbers of refugees that should be allowed to enter the country.

Our recently published research suggests that welcome culture has never been as widely embedded in German society as public debates in 2015 would make us believe.

There Is A Certain Logic To It

Jews joining the AfD? Well…

Jews

It is the only political party in Germany that declares “Jew-hatred” as “inseparable” from Islam, and says out-loud that Islamic religious dogma is “incompatible with the German constitution”.

That is Dimitri Schulz’s view of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). A Jew who was born in the Soviet Union and came to Germany with his parents as a small child, Mr Schulz is one of a small band of Jewish AfD supporters who see the party as a bulwark against the Islamic threat to Europe.

Warum sollten Juden politisch reifer sein?

Mysterious

Puzzling. Enigmatic. Inexplicable.

AfD

The latest poll indicates that the AfD has now surpassed the SPD in popularity and is now number two among the political parties in Germany. None of the other parties will work with them, of course. Not yet, anyway. Of course, none of the other parties will ever need to work with them if they get an absolute majority of the vote in the next election.

As for the causes of this continued surge in popularity, none of the smart folks in government, academia or media can figure out why this is happening. I think it’s time to call even more experts, don’t you?

Die Polizei teilte am Samstag mit, der afghanische Asylbewerber leide nach der Einschätzung eines Gutachters an einer tiefgreifenden psychiatrischen Erkrankung.

German Of The Day: Beschönigen

That means to whitewash.

Merkel

And as Angela Merkel herself says, there is nothing to whitewash about her party’s decision to refuse reelecting her man Volker Kauder as CDU party whip. They elected the Merkel critical Ralph Brinkhaus instead.

The natives are getting restless. The AfD keeps growing in popularity. Her coalition partner SPD is still dead and getting deader by the minute. Now her own party members are trying their hand at open rebellion. Other than that, though, everyhing is looking just fine.

“Das ist eine Stunde der Demokratie, in der gibt es auch Niederlagen, und da gibt es auch nichts zu beschönigen.”

It’s Not Supposed To Grow

The AfD’s popularity. But it keeps on growing. How can that be?

AfD

Anyone “good German” you ask will explain to you that the AfD is “bad” and “racist” and “Nazi” and “completely unacceptable.” The friendly people from the German media will explain that to you, too. How could such an awful group of people keep on growing in popularity? Something must be wrong somewhere. What on earth could it be?

The AFD is benefiting from being the official opposition to Chancellor Merkel’s grand coalition government. Polls rate it Germany’s second most popular party, dropping the Social Democrats to third.

German Of The Day: Fremdschämen

That means feeling shame on someone else’s behalf. You know, like for the SPD? The party you just left because you can’t take it anymore?

Fremdschämen

The SPD mayor of Freiberg just tossed in the towel and left the SPD. He had tried to get the party leadership to consider a four-year immigration stop for any new refugees in the hopes of stopping what he saw to be a shift in the public’s mood. He was ignored, of course.

Tired of them refusing to listen to what his constituents on the street in the real world have to say, he announced his departure from the party with a post on Facebook, noting that “if you look at what’s going on in Berlin these days the word “Fremdschämen” doesn’t even come close to how I feel about it.”

“Schaut man diese Tage nach Berlin, drückt das Wort ‚Fremdschämen‘ nicht einmal ansatzweise aus, was ich derzeit empfinde.“

Angela Merkel Condemns Xenophobia

After her decision to let more than a million refugees into Germany.

Bundestag

She hasn’t got around to condemning murder yet but she’s lernfähig (capable of learning), or at least she claims to be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned xenophobic attacks and the use of Nazi slogans in a robust speech to parliament on Wednesday after the most violent far-right demonstrations in decades exposed deep divisions in the country.

Protests of right-wing radicals in the eastern city of Chemnitz two weeks ago after the fatal stabbing of a German blamed on two migrants has reignited a fierce debate about her 2015 decision to let more than a million refugees into Germany.

Dann griff er Kanzlerin Merkel scharf an: Sie habe „Fake News“ verbreitet, als ihr Sprecher von „Hetzjagden“ gesprochen habe… „Verbarrikadieren Sie sich nur weiter im Bundeskanzleramt. Ich wiederhole meine Frage: Wer gefährdet den politischen Frieden?“