BMW: Bring Me West

German engineering at its best.

Talk about a mother of invention…

In 1963, a man named Klaus-Günter Jacobi decided to help his best friend escape East Berlin and before being forced to report for duty in the East German army. To do so, he decided to modify his BMW Isetta to be able to hide a body.

Now, if you’re not especially familiar with the Isetta, it’s a tiny bubble car with a motorcycle engine at the back and barely enough room for two people to sit in the bench seat behind the front opening door. Space is at a premium, but Jacobi — who had trained as a mechanic — found that there was a dead space behind his seat and next to the Isetta’s tiny engine that could be used to smuggle a person.

The Small Escape

More Negativity

But it ain’t nothing new, folks.

Flag

More than half of Germans (53 percent) said they did not believe the United States government respects the personal freedoms of its people, according to a Pew Research Center report published on Tuesday.

“The U.S. receives largely positive reviews among many of its key NATO allies. About two-in-three Canadians have a favorable opinion, as do large majorities in Italy, Poland, France, the UK and Spain. The outlier is Germany.”

The FDP vs. The German Nanny State

Gee. Who’s going to win? Aber immerhin (but still).

Katja Suding

… Germans have forgotten what it was like not to be free, and as a result, liberalism is assuming the appeal of a historic marble statue: beautiful but cold to the touch, skillfully sculpted but lifeless. They would rather snuggle up to the warmth of the nanny state.

For the moment, what is left of the Free Democrats certainly doesn’t have the oomph to alter this pro-paternalist mood, despite its recent success in Hamburg. But who else will do it? The Greens have tried to fill the void lately by emphasizing civil liberties and the rule of law. But the Greens can’t shake their longstanding distrust of individual sovereignty and free will.

Instead, it’s up to the Free Democrats. In the next few years Germany will see a long series of state-level elections, in which the party can begin to rebuild. Let’s hope, for Germany’s sake, that they succeed.

German Government’s Concern About NGO Raids Has Russians Shaking In Their Fur-Lined Boots

After German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle himself summoned a Russian envoy to “express the German government’s concern” about a series of raids on German NGOs in Russia, the envoy broke down in tears of regret, fell to his knees, grovelled around for a bit and then promised that his country would never ever ever do anything bad like that again.

Guido

The Russian offices of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have both come under intense scrutiny recently by Russian authorities seeking “foreign agents” who support domestic dissidents because, well, that’s what Russian authorities do. But all of this will come to a screeching halt now, I guess.

“Hampering the activity of German foundations could inflict lasting damage on bilateral relations.”

Speaking Of Ingratitude

Don’t the Libyans appreciate everything the Germans have done for them? Gee, I guess they don’t.

Before the Libyan revolution, Germany was the country’s second-largest trading partner. But then Germany abstained in a 2011 UN vote to militarily intervene in its civil war. Now that the war is over, German businesses and think tanks are finding that most Libyans want little to do with them.

“Water doesn’t flow uphill on its own / And wars, too, don’t stop themselves.”

Let’s Deepen German-Russian Ties

And let’s do so by cancelling a German freedom prize that was to be awarded to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin just days before German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss reinforcing their countries’ growing economic and trade ties.

Whatever. But he’ll be heartbroken for sure.

The Quadriga award annually honors people who are “role models for and from Germany” and is “dedicated to all those whose courage tears down walls and whose commitment builds bridges.”

German Recycling Destroying Umwelt

Bad consumer! Environmental groups are alarmed and warning that the entire German reusable bottle system as we know it may soon be on the verge of collapse. And it’s all because of you, ihr Flaschen (“you bottles,” a German idiom for losers). You’re recyling the wrong bottles (the plastic ones, these are “bad”).

Horror of horrors or something. Just when Big Green Brother finally got you to robotically return your bottles to the reusable bottle robots located at your local supermarket, like you should, for your own good, you start buying more plastic returnables (thinking that these are as “good” as good old glass ones), causing the share of environmentally friendly bottles in circulation to sink from 70 to 50 percent. If this continues, the whole system will become “unprofitable,” whatever that means.

It seems that Fearless Leader’s five-year plan actually called for a percentage of 80 percent of environmentally friendly bottles to be in circulation so you have all failed miserably and will now have to be reprogrammed at your own cost again so that you know better and start buying the good glass recyclable bottles instead. And returning them to the robots (the machine ones). After you have emptied them, I mean (the bottles). Ah, the hell with it. They’ll explain it all to you better later.

Eine bessere Kennzeichnung und ökologisch differenzierte Steuer werden verlangt.