The Scandal Nobody Wants To Talk About

Because it reveals the Media Brain Police for who they are.

Relotius

Granted, this guy was a real artist but can you imagine the armies of lesser charlatans out there who furnish us with our news each and every day? No media bias or fake news here, right?

The furore surrounding Der Spiegel journalist Claas Relotius is back, with a book by the colleague who exposed him –

Fiction and non-fiction can feed off each other in unusual ways. In the winter of 2018, Germany was shaken by the biggest media scandal since the forged Hitler diaries, after it emerged that the country’s bastion of investigative journalism – DER SPIEGEL – had published stories by a reporter who had “fictionalised” his prize-winning articles with armies of invented characters. Now the “Relotius scandal” has gone into its second round, with the publication of a non-fiction book by the journalist who exposed his fraudulent colleague: a detective story about the search for truth in the era of fake news that makes a more gripping read than most novelists could have managed…

Before he was exposed, he had won the top prize for German reporters, the Reporterpreis, four times in six years. One judge praised his stories as jumping off the page “almost like literature”. He was in line for a promotion at Der Spiegel.

More Down, Down, Down, Down, Down

Just when you thought Germany’s SPD couldn’t sink any further…

SPD

The Genossen (comrades) figure out a way to do it. I never really believed that the Volkspartei (people’s party with a broad base) SPD could ever actually disappear into the sunset forever but now I’m just not so sure anymore.

Germany’s SPD slip in polls after choosing new leftist leaders – Support for Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) has fallen after members last week chose as leaders a leftist duo who are skeptical about remaining in government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a poll showed on Saturday.

A Forsa poll put the SPD on 11%, 3 points down from a week ago and hitting a low last seen in June after previous leader Andrea Nahles quit due following the party’s worst-ever result in elections to the European Parliament.

You know the lyrics, folks. I’m going down. Down, down, down, down, down.

 

German Of The Day: Abschwung

That means downturn.

Downturn

German industry hit by biggest downturn since 2009 – Output falls 5.3% in year to October, weighing on eurozone growth outlook.

Germany’s sprawling industrial sector is suffering its steepest downturn for a decade, underlining how the engine of the eurozone’s biggest economy is sputtering.

In der deutschen Industrie geht der Abschwung mit einem schwachen Start ins vierte Quartal weiter. Im Oktober haben die Betriebe ihre Gesamtproduktion erneut deutlich zurückgefahren.

 

German Of The Day: Wrack

That means wreck. No, not a wreck like the SPD. One like the battleship SMS Scharnhorst.

Scharnhorst

The wreckage of a World War I German armoured battlecruiser has been discovered off the coast of the Falkland Islands.

The SMS Scharnhorst, the flagship of Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee’s East Asia Squadron, was sunk on 8 December 1914 during the Battle of the Falkland Islands, a crucial naval battle in the early days of the First World War.

The discovery is a major breakthrough in the quest to locate all of the German squadron’s ships lost during the battle.

“Suddenly she just came out of the gloom with great guns poking in every direction.”

Dull And Duller

Or: Non-Party Elects Nonentities To Non-Lead Them.

Dull

Does anybody out there remember the uncola? Doesn’t matter. I’m sure you get the idea. Germany’s SPD (Social Democratic Party) has just made the leap to unparty status. Or non-party, if you prefer. I do. Nobody can figure this out. These two came out of nowhere because that’s where they belong. How can I put it? They are sheep in sheep’s clothing. Dull? These two are so dull that either one of them, on his or her own, could make the perfect chairman of the bored. But two of them together? Like, at the same time? It’s just too much to take.

Two strong leftist critics of the coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives – Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken – won a vote for leadership of the Social Democrats on Saturday, possibly putting the country, Europe’s largest economy, at a political crossroads.

Their ascendancy raises the chances of an early election or a minority government if the SPD leaves the coalition, which could trigger political instability at a time when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has become the country’s third-largest party.

“I think it is good that the SPD has made a decision.” Loud yawn. “It paves the way to return to business. For the CDU it is quite clear: we stand by this coalition. We stand by this coalition on the basis that has been negotiated.”

What A Spooky Thought

That Berlin’s ghost airport could finally, like, actually, you know, well, open? Sends shivers down my spine.

Airport

But I don’t believe in ghost airports. That eventually open, I mean. You can’t scare me with that nonsense. So don’t even try.

After a 13-year saga punctuated by scandals, bankruptcies and comical setbacks, Berlin’s new airport could finally open in 2020 – nine years behind schedule.

An exact opening date for Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) – October 31, 2020 – was announced last week, with Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of the German state of Brandenburg.

“This time it will happen.”

Boo!

Deportation German Style

When Germans say deportation they mean deportation. It’s just that deportation clearly means something else in German than it does in English. Even though it means deportation, I mean. And here I thought I spoke the language. Sheesh.

Deportation

Germany: Thousands of migrants return after deportation, report says – Thousands of asylum-seekers in Germany have returned multiple times after deportation, according to a report in German media. Those with entry bans often serve a few months in jail or are not arrested at all…

There are nearly 5,000 asylum-seekers who have reapplied for asylum after being deported from Germany since 2012, according to the report, which cites official government figures. Some of the asylum-seekers willingly left Germany, knowing deportation was imminent. The then returned to German to make another application for asylum, according to the report.

German oddity 234: Germany is a country that now places the ugly security controls, bollards and heavily armed police it used to have on its national borders at Christmas markets and Volksfeste around the country instead.

A Positive Development

But nowhere near what the Germans pledged to do long, long ago.

NATO

Germany to match US contribution to NATO budget – From 2021, Germany will increase its contribution to the NATO budget to be in line with what the US pays. NATO officials hope the move will diffuse tensions surrounding the cost of maintaining the military alliance.

Gee. I wonder what – or who? – finally got the Germans to act?

Starting in 2021, the share of the NATO budget covered by Germany will increase from 14.8% to 16.35%, while the share covered by the US will decrease from 22.1% to 16.35%…

NATO officials hope the new agreement will alleviate some of the tension around the topic of NATO financing. US President Donald Trump has complained that the US covers more than its fair share of the costs for the alliance. He has demanded that other member states make good on their pledges to increase their NATO contribution to 2% of GDP by 2024 (pledged nearly twenty years ago), a goal that Germany will not reach.

Merkel on Wednesday vowed to reach the 2% mark by the “early 2030s.”

No Difference Between China And The USA

Right? Not in Germany there isn’t.

China

To understand any German position on any international theme or issue you must understand that US-Amerika is somehow, in some way, in some form, a, if not the, negative factor in it. Once you understand and accept this, everything German politicians and diplomats say starts making sense. Take China and 5G for instance. Please.

The US ambassador to Berlin has sharply criticised German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier for suggesting a parallel between Chinese and US spying.

The row flared up over Germany’s decision not to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from participation in the German 5G mobile phone network…

Meanwhile, a new opinion poll suggests a wide gap between the views of Americans and Germans on US-German relations.

Three-quarters of Americans surveyed were positive. But nearly two-thirds of Germans felt relations were bad, the Pew Research Center/Körber-Stiftung poll found.

“There is no moral equivalency between China and the United States and anyone suggesting it ignores history.”