We’re Not Worthy!

Actually, we’re too worthy – and that’s the problem.

Rich

If they think their ranking on rich lists is too low, American tycoons fume. German ones kick up a fuss when theirs looks suspiciously high, explains Heinz Dürr. When a magazine called him a billionaire a few years ago, Mr Dürr rang the editor to remonstrate. The reporters had double-counted his ownership of Homag, a maker of wood-processing machines that Dürr, his family’s mechanical-engineering firm, bought in 2014. Plutocrats have reached the top of politics in America and Italy, while in Asia the super-rich often display their wealth in ostentatious style. Germany’s magnates love to shun the limelight.

Which reminds me of German oddities 302 and 25.

German 302. Germans have a big Neid (envy) problem. They are perfectly aware of this and often complain that they live in a Neidgesellschaft (envy society) but keep turning green with envy all the same. One comedian claims that Germany is the only country in the world where the need for envy is stronger than the sex drive.

German Oddity 25. When Americans refer to something as being “typically American” they generally mean this in a positive way. When Germans refer to something as being “typically German” they generally mean this in a negative way.

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German Of The Day: Erfolglos

And while we’re at it, fassungslos und ahnungslos.

Fassungslos

That means unsuccessful, stunned and clueless, respectively. And all three apply to Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas, who just got a taste of the real world in Tehran during his pitiful attempt to salvage what is left of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran – for world peace, of course (and for German corporate interests in the region, coincidentally).

The German foreign minister appeared somehow surprised to discover that the mullahs are upset with Europe as “so far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests.” This is because, well, they can’t. If you aim at being weak long and hard  enough then weak you shall be. But there’s a bright side to this, I guess. German diplomacy would not be German diplomacy without the foreign ministers fervent hope that “ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue.” Good luck with that, Heiko.

By the way, anybody in Germany who repeats the word “dialogue” long and hard enough can become German foreign minister, too.

Außenminister Maas in Iran – Zwischen erfolglos und fassungslos.

Germany To Lead From Behind Again

This time from far behind. You know, like from way, way, way far behind? But still.

Iran

Germany looks to ‘lead’ US-Iran talks– in what is clearly a noble effort to bring peace to the region and profits to the German corporations still sexually aroused about doing business with Iran despite the collapse of the 2015 nuclear agreement – and, of course, to take an indirect swipe at Israel in the process while they’re at it already.

“The latest escalation requires us as European neighbors to intervene in favor of de-escalation and peaceful coexistence,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters during an unannounced stop to Iraq. “We cannot just seek dialogue, we must lead it, precisely where the differences seem insurmountable and long-simmering conflicts run deep.”

“Das ist eine Reise in die Krise.”

Germany Finally Prepared To Help Iraq

Out of the goodness of its heart. With a giant electricity agreement worth billions.

Iraq

The Germans may not have been prepared to help free the country from Saddam Hussein militarily but they have finally taken a great step forward and are now prepared to free it from lots and lots of money makes the world go around.

Iraq and German giant Siemens have signed a framework electricity agreement potentially worth billions of dollars. The Iraqi premier was in Berlin to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Our claim is that we are a reliable and affordable power supplier to the people of Iraq and want to help them rebuild their country.”

German Of The Day: Naivität

That means naivete, as in being gullible or simple-minded.

China

Here’s an example: Industry Leaders Accuse Europe of Naivete with Respect to China – China’s aggressive approach in extending its economic power is causing concern among European companies. They demand a tougher approach from Brussels – and a convincing vision.

Good luck with that, European industry leaders. “Europe” doesn’t have time to deal with little issues like that at the moment, nor will it have any time in the near future. It is too occupied with self-inflicted problems like uncontrolled migration and Brexit (and the ensuing financial crisis) and placing the next batch of non-elected and unaccountable EU eurocrats in power. But once all that is taken care of, who knows? That little Chinese issue might just get tackled, too.

Die aggressive Vorgehensweise Chinas bei der Ausdehnung seiner Wirtschaftsmacht bereitet europäischen Unternehmern Sorgen. Sie fordern eine härtere Gangart von Brüssel – und eine überzeugende Vision.

We’re All Going To Die!

When the Brexit hits the fan, remember?

Brexit

It’s quite odd. Germans, notoriously nervous by nature, don’t seem terribly worried about Brexit these days at all. I guess there’s only so much you can worry about at any given time. Even if you’re a German.

Dead calm: Brexit not in top 10 of German businesses’ priorities – With five weeks to March 29th, Germans are worried – about everything but Brexit.

Commuters fear inner-city bans on diesel cars. Politicians are fighting over renovating – and digitising – German schools. Police are battling criminal Arab clans.

“I don’t know why Germany, all in all, is so relaxed about this.”

Let’s Celebrate Together In Berlin!

The German foreign affairs ministry sent representatives to Iran’s embassy in Berlin yesterday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran

Iran is just a regular old country after all and Germany is everybody’s darling so, what’s the big deal? OK, the mullahs have been known to dabble in international terror now and again. And maybe that part about Tehran urging the destruction of Israel (the Jewish state) is a little over the top but Germans would never urge that kind of thing on their own, directly, so take a chill pill already. Keeping up good business, I mean, diplomatic relations is never a bad idea.

Doch warum schickte die Bundesregierung einen Vertreter zur Revolutionsfeier eines Terrorregimes in dessen Botschaft?

“Trump Still Clicks”

CNN title: Trump’s been president for two years. Germans still can’t look away. Nor will they look away. Because they can’t.

Trump

Why should this surprise anyone? This a perfectly normal everady pathological German obsession, no different than their irrational infatuation with Obama before Trump and their Verteufelung (demonization) of Bush before him (and on and on it goes). Germans are hysterical in these matters. It’s a collective psychological issue, an obsession with US-Amerika in the end. What is more, this collective hysteria is very profitable for the brain police in German media who milk it daily.

I’ve always liked this guy’s take on it (a Spiegel man himself): “German schadenfreude knows no bounds, particularly when it comes to the United States. The country loves to feel superior to a superpower like America. Yet Germany also harbors a childish infatuation with Obama — one which has little political grounding. The reasons are psychological. …The criticism of America has always been a bit infantile. One is familiar with the theory from psychoanalysis, when people talk about transference, or when suppressed feelings or emotions are overcome by projecting them onto others. It may work for a while, improving one’s feeling of self-worth by devaluing an imagined adversary. But it always falls short. Which is why the ritual must be constantly carried out anew.” – Jan Fleischhauer

Over two floors of Der Spiegel’s glasshouse building, walls bearing seven decades of the magazine’s covers serve as a colorful chronology of modern history. On one wall are cartoons of an angry yellow-haired man that are so provocative they’re impossible to miss.

“Trump still clicks, people are interested in those stories — and the same applies to our magazine stories and covers.”

The Nerve

After all Germany has done for Iraq.

Siemens

Germany’s main industry federation said U.S. pressure to quash Siemens AG’s $15 billion power-plant deal with Iraq is unacceptable and shows how President Donald Trump’s “America First” stance is corroding business decisions.

Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with General Electric Co. on Oct. 15 after U.S. officials warned Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that U.S.-Iraqi relations would be at risk if his government accepted the deal with Siemens, Bloomberg reported.

Hey. All’s fair in love and business (Siemens is fighting back).

“To implement the America First doctrine in this way in the global competition of multinational companies is not acceptable.”

Germans Concerned That Google Will Now Become Even More Evil Than It Already Is

Now that “Don’t Be Evil” has been removed from their code of conduct thingy. And I don’t blame them, either. Just look at that Doctor Evil-looking evil character down there.

Evil

Sheesh. I’m going to switch to a German search engine. What do you mean there’s no such thing? Like, how lack of evil is that? And lame.

NERD RAGE Google removes legendary ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto from code of conduct – should we be worried?

“Sei nicht böse” – und alles wird gut. Das inoffizielle Google-Motto “Don’t Be Evil” war das Beruhigungsmittel für alle Dystopie-Phobiker, die eine zukünftige Allmacht des Mega-Konzerns fürchten.