Angela Merkel Visits Hong Kong

Just kidding. Why would she do that?

Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was welcomed with military honors in China on Friday with a business delegation in tow, hoping to secure an economic agreement.

China is Germany’s largest import market and, after the USA and France, and also its most important export market. In 2018 the two countries traded goods worth almost €200 billion ($221 billion).

Hong Kong protesters make plea to Chancellor Merkel.

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The Case Of The Missing Monitor Station

The Russians did it.

Russians

Or maybe Nessie? Bigfoot can’t swim. Can he?

A massive environmental monitoring station off Germany’s Baltic coast has disappeared from the seabed, baffling police and researchers.

The seabed “observatory”, worth about €300,000 (£270,000), weighed more than half a tonne. It could not have been dragged off by a storm, tide or large animal, German experts say.

Divers only found a torn power cable at the site, 22m (72ft) down and 1.8km (1.2 miles) offshore.

It is a prohibited area, north of Kiel.

No boats – not even local fishing boats – are allowed into the area, called Eckernförde Bay, about 70km (44 miles) south of the Danish border..

The missing observatory, installed in late 2016, stopped sending data on 21 August.

Now This Is What I Call Equality

Germans know how to do this stuff. When everybody loses over here then everybody loses equally.

Merkel

Everyone Loses in Germany – Voters in state elections effectively choose ‘none of the above.’

European elections these days are generally contests between a beleaguered mainstream and insurgent alternatives. Voters in two German states on Sunday chose a form of “none of the above” as the country stumbles out of the Angela Merkel era.

It Doesn’t Matter Who Replaces Merkel. Germany Is Broken.

Doubled Since 2014?

What could have brought that about?

Guns

More Germans applying for alarm gun licenses – More and more Germans are acquiring the permit they need to carry a gas pistol, a newspaper has reported. The number has more than doubled in the last five years.

The so-called Kleiner Waffenschein (“small weapons permit”) is relatively easy to acquire in Germany: they are usually available to anyone over 18 with no previous serious criminal convictions, and who is considered “physically and mentally fit.”

“At least since the events at the Cologne cathedral square on New Year’s Eve in 2015 people apparently feel more and more unsafe.”

They’re Only 25 Percent Of The Electorate

And growing. So we’ll just keep shunning them and they’ll eventually go away.

AfD

That seems to be what Germany’s established political parties are telling themselves when it comes to the far-right AfD – a party that owes it’s increasing popularity solely to Angela Merkel’s bat shit crazy migration “policy.” None of these parties are willing to even consider working together with the AfD. Even after yesterday’s results in Saxony and Brandenburg.

This is because the AfD politicians are all “Nazis” (everybody I don’t like – or offers “my” voters an alternative – is a Nazi, right?). So a quarter of the voters who voted in these two federal state elections yesterday are all Nazis, too? Uh, I don’t think so. This is German democracy in action? Here’s a little tip: Once they reach 51 percent you won’t have the opportunity to take the wind out of their sails because they won’t need you anymore.

Far-right AfD bids to encircle Berlin as resentment and division grow.

Isn’t That Special

Germany Isn’t Special – To pull its weight, it needs to start seeing itself as a normal country, subject to the same pressures as all its neighbors.

Germany

Polls before this weekend’s elections in states in the former East Germany show the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) comfortably capturing 20 percent or more of the vote. This is just one of the ways in which the country at the center of Europe is confronting a new state of affairs.

Ever since reunification, Germany has built its liberal democracy on a few key pillars—a disavowal of the extreme right, a focus on economic performance, and a steadfast relationship to the United States—to avoid a return to the conflagrations of the past. By following these guidelines, the country has won itself respect around the globe. But it has also persisted in treating itself as a special case, not subject to the pressures affecting its Western peers. That, in turn, has led to resentment among its partners. It is time for Germany to buck its postwar policy traditions and begin to see itself for what it is: a normal power.

A German friend of mine summed it up more succinctly: Die Deutschen wollen immer eine Extrawurst haben. The Germans always want “an extra sausage” = special treatment. Are those days finally over? In the real world, I mean? Stay tuned.

“Treacherous Manslaughter?”

Getting shot in the head twice with a silenced Glock 29 by an electric bicycle-riding man in a Berlin park in broad daylight?

Russians

Except for the broad daylight part I’d say yeah, that’s pretty treacherous (“treacherous manslaughter” is what the suspected killer is being charged with).

The killing of a former Chechen separatist commander in central Berlin has raised concerns that Russia may have deployed an agent to a European nation to target a Kremlin opponent, a tactic it has been accused of using many times in the past.

The victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who fought against Russian troops in the second Chechen war 20 years ago, was on his way to Friday prayers last week when he was shot in the head twice by a bicycle-riding man using a handgun with a silencer, according to witness accounts cited in the German news media.

The Russian government in 2006 legalized the killings abroad of people who were judged to pose terrorist threats, resuming a Soviet-era practice.

Russischer Geheimdienst womöglich in Mord an Exil-Georgier verwickelt.

They’ll Never Set Foot In Combat

So why on earth would they need combat boots?

Boots

More Bundeswehr humor. It’s a never-ending source of… Fun.

German soldiers won’t get new combat boots until 2022 – German soldiers will have to wait until 2022 to get new combat boots, in a setback that has angered politicians and raised questions about the readiness of the country’s military.

The rollout of the new footwear, which began in 2016, was scheduled to be completed by 2020 but has now been pushed back to mid-2022.

“Boots are the key to everything. You don’t go skiing with a pair of trainers and you don’t go hiking in high heels.”

How Rude Or Something

Ninety percent of the nationalities give the other ten percent a bad reputation, I say. Or was it the other way around? I forget.

Nationality

Police in western German state to reveal nationality in all crimes – Police in North Rhine-Westphalia will now name every crime suspect’s nationality — and not just in crimes where it’s considered relevant. It’s a sensitive topic against the background of recent immigration to Germany.

“I am convinced that this transparency is the best means against clumsy deception.”

That Didn’t Take Long

But, then again,  it never does.

Trump

#TrumpNotWelcome trends in Germany after Trump says he’d like to visit ‘soon’ – Merkel couldn’t contain a surprised smile at Trump’s announcement, but social media users weren’t so gracious. The mayor of Trump’s grandparents’ hometown shrugged at the news.

Speaking of Donald Trump’s roots, I really love this little documentary (too bad it’s in German for ya’all). It was filmed before he ran for president and none of today’s  toxicity is there yet. The film makers even treat him like, I dunno, friendly or something (start viewing around minute 47:00). Refreshing, to say the least.

“We’ll be there … we’re very honored by the invitation — and that’s true — and we will be there. Maybe soon. I have German in my blood.”