German Of The Day: Mundtot Machen

That means to make “mouth-dead,” as in to silence someone.

Brain Police

Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.”

On its third try, Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) will be able to kick controversial anti-Islam author Thilo Sarrazinfrom its ranks, an arbitration court ruled on Thursday. The former Berlin senator intends to appeal the ruling.ConCo

“We will try to take the case to all stages of the state and the federal arbitration court of the SPD and, beyond that, if necessary, all the ordinary civil instances of the district court of Berlin, the Court of Appeals and Federal Supreme Court, then the Federal Constitutional Court,” defense lawyer Andreas Köhler said. “In the meantime Dr. Sarrazin will continue to be an astute and attentive member of the SPD.”

Who are the Brain Police?

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AKK Taling CaCaCa

Mini-MErkel alarm! Could this be the end of her beginning or the beginning of her end?

AKK

One can only hope for the later.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), leader of Germany’s centre-right CDU, faced a massive backlash on Tuesday after calling for tighter rules on politicking on the internet, with critics accusing her of advocating online censorship.

Her comments came after European elections in which the CDU and its main left-of-centre rival, the Social Democrats, slumped to their worst results in a national election since the second world war, as voters defected in their droves to the Greens.

“Freedom of expression is a precious commodity in a democracy. What we need to talk about are rules that would apply during election campaigns.”

Well, We Certainly Don’t Want To Spark Controversy

Do we? German conference on Islamic veil sparks controversy.

Veils

The Islamic veil – Symbol of dignity or oppression? I’m going to go out on the limb here, folks. I’m going with oppression. Just sayin’.

Islamic veils are a hot topic in Germany, particularly due to a growing Muslim population. Now, outcry over an academic conference on the issue has surprised even its organizer, who says freedom of speech is at stake…

Germany’s Muslim population, which has rapidly increased in recent years due to immigration from Muslim-majority countries, was estimated at between 4.4 and 4.7 million people or approximately 5.5% of the country’s total population in 2015, according to the Federal Statistical Office. The number is doubtless higher now, according to the agency, but updated official figures exist.

With these demographic changes come societal debates — one of which, that of the Islamic veil, has been a continual source of discussion. The latest veil controversy, which made headlines all across Germany, has occurred over a planned academic conference — something that even its organizer did not expect.

“Dissenting opinions must be respected and tolerated.” Must they? For how much longer?

Thought Criminal Beaten Up By Real Criminals

But nobody cares here. He’s AfD. The outrage hält sich in Grenzen (has remained within limits).

AfD

As a matter of fact, you won’t find any outrage here at all. It never happened. Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

German far-right politician Frank Magnitz has been beaten up and severely injured in an attack seen by police as politically motivated.

The leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Bremen was attacked by at least three masked men in the centre of the northern city on Monday.

The attackers knocked him unconscious with a piece of wood and kicked him in the head, AfD officials said.

“The citizen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense. Actually, the three philosophies are barely distinguishable.”

Thought Crime Doesn’t Pay

Not even if you’ve been a member of the SPD for forty-five years, Thilo.

Sarrazin

The SPD party leadership wants to exclude author and former Berlin Finance Minister Thilo Sarrazin from the party. Again. For the third time.

His thought crime? He is critical of Islam and the islamizing of Germany. I know, right? In this day and age? But worse still, he has been critical of this process for decades, not just the past few years. And, worst of all, he refuses to go away.

From an earlier post: To sum it up his latest book (Hostile Takeover) Sarrazin maintains: Islam is a backward religion incapable of reform, inherently violent (the step from Muslim believer to Islamist terrorist being merely one of degree), intolerant and xenophobic and that the Muslims in Germany are openly attempting to out-populate the Germans, which of course isn’t terribly hard to do.

So… Which part of that is getting everybody over at the SPD all upset about? I thought this was mainstream thinking.

“Ich habe keine SPD-Grundsätze verletzt.”

PS: Speaking of thought crime, Berlin’s Waldorf School just turned down a child because his father is in the AfD.

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.”

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.

Orwell In Da House

It’s been a long time coming, people. Now the New Germans finally have what they have wanted all along, it seems: Full-blown, voluntary, participatory state censorship (got a better term?). It’s what you’d call grass roots censorship, I guess.

Orwell

Beatrix von Storch, a leading figure in the Alternative for Germany party, is one of the first hit by new hate speech laws on social media… A top lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Monday after slamming the Cologne police for sending a New Year’s tweet in Arabic.

The first groundbreaking hate crime is wondering why the police in North Rhine-Westphalia tweet in Arabic? Damn. I need to get my brain properly washed. That rather freaks me out, too.  “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”

Brain Police 2.0 is out now, folks! Go get it before it gets you.

“Was zur Hölle ist in diesem Land los, wieso twittert eine offizielle Polizeiseite aus NRW auf Arabisch?”, schrieb von Storch. “Meinen Sie, die barbarischen, muslimischen, gruppenvergewaltigenden Männerhorden so zu besänftigen?”