Just Like That Japanese Reactor

Not quite as dramatic, granted, but just like how Fukushima took down the nuclear power industry in Germany, all it takes is a collapsed highway bridge in Italy to suddenly put Germany’s bridge infrastructure in full tilt crisis mode. You gotta worry about something, after all.

Bridges

The latest reminder of the risks of aging infrastructure came Tuesday, when a highway bridge in Italy collapsed, killing at least 35 people. Germany is also exposed. Its once-envied network of roads, bridges and railways are decaying due to decades of underspending. The country has fallen to 15th in road quality behind Oman and Portugal, according to the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness rankings.

Autobahnbrücken in Deutschland – Jede achte Brücke in schlechtem Zustand.

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No Fake News Here

It’s called “miscommunication.”

Miscommunication

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: “Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!”).

Except they weren’t, and they didn’t.

The two men, as it turns out, are 58 and 59 years old and had escaped “a home for people with mental health issues,” according to the Associated Press, before traveling to Wacken, a city roughly 50 miles north of Hamburg. They arrived there at the same time that the Wacken Open Air music festival — referred to as the world’s largest for metal — was happening.

If they can’t or won’t get the facts straight on a harmless little story like this then imagine what kind of fairy tale twisting must be going with the more politicized stuff.

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

“Explosive Narcissism And Vulgar Capitalism”

Are bad things, I guess. What the people over at Spiegel Online really want is vulgar narcissism and explosive capitalism, I assume.

Trump

I could only read a paragraph or two of this little gem because… I dunno. Try reading it yourself and see. But the just of it is, I believe, that Donald Trump is really, really bad and it’s high time for Europe to start doing more for itself. Knock yourself out on that one, folks.

More than half of Germans think Europe can defend itself without military backing from the United States, a poll showed on Monday, less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he could withdraw support.

German State TV Has Questions

When it comes to today’s Trump-Kim event. And the answers are already written between the lines – by the fact that these particular questions were even asked in the first place.

Trump

Was the Trump-Kim meeting successful?

Is the closing statement really such a breakthrough?

Who benefits from the agreement?

Why wasn’t denuclearization made contractual?

Are there also losers?

Damn right there are losers. Anybody who voluntarily watches German state TV, for instance.

“Großartig“ und “historisch”. Doch die kamen vor allem vom US-Präsidenten selbst. Ein wichtiges Ziel des Gipfels wurde nicht konkret vereinbart.

Disproportionate Reporting Of Crimes Committed By Migrants In Germany?

I suppose that’s true, but not in the way you would think.

Media

There are “disproportionate,” near daily state TV and news reports that point their fingers at migrant perpetrators – by going out of their way not to point their fingers at migrant perpatrators. It’s an embarassingly simple code that everybody here was able to crack in no time.

By reporting, for instance, that “a man stabbed his daughter at a local shopping center” and refusing to give any names or indicating directly that the man was a German, everyone knows who this guy is, his background.

So, yes. Disproportionate it is. The number of crimes committed by migrants reported in the news, I mean. But you can see by the way these crimes are reported that the media is not making them up (for once?). They’re just covering them up.

The somewhat dubious concept of lawless areas in Germany has been promoted in no small part by disproportionate reporting of crimes committed by migrants and foreigners in popular media, particularly outlets like Bild.

PS: The first article I read made no indication as to who the perpetrator was. A later one did indicate – at the very bottom of the article – that father and daughter were Turkish citizens.

No Alternative Facts Or Fake News Here

While President Donald Trump held his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday he brought up one of his favorite themes: “Fake news” and malicious journalists who are ought to get him.

Trump

There were some boos in the crowd following this. No big surprise here. But responsible journalists at Germany’s Staatsfunk channel ARD, concerned that these boos might not be as audible on their recording as they “ought” to be, tweaked the audio to make the boos louder.

The outrage in Germany hielt sich in Grenzen (was limited) when this came out, of course, but a few German journalists were nevertheless less than impressed with the ARD’s methods. “You’ve clearly overstepped the limits for a news broadcast,” wrote one journalist. “And it’s hard to imagine that you would have done the same should there have been applause.”

„Die @tagesschau hilft ein bisschen nach, damit Buh-Rufe gegen Trump lauter und deutlicher zu hören sind. Klare Grenzüberschreitung bei einer Nachrichtensendung, lieber @KaiGniffke. Und schwer vorstellbar, dass Sie dasselbe bei Applaus getan hätten“, schreibt Reichelt.

German Of The Day: Blamage

That means humiliation or disgrace. And we, as in me, can only hope that this is what the “leadership” of the SPD gets to experience up close and personal at their big grand-coalition-yes-or-no party conference today.

Links

Many of the SPD Genossen (comrades) are against forming a new grand coalition because the agreement Martin Schulz & Co. has worked out with Merkel’s CDU/CSU is, well, not “left” enough. Whatever that might mean these days.

I’m with them, of course, although not for the same reasons. This grand coaliton was voted out of office by the German electorate. What part of “no” don’t you understand? Merkel needs to spend a little time in minority government purgatory before calling for new elections again. This is the mess Germany is now in, folks. Every once in a while reality catches up with you. But as messy as it might be, the German voter does not deserve another GroKo. Please, SPD delegates, put an end to all this nonsense and have your party “reinvent” itself already, like it says there on that Spiegel cover.

600 Delegierte und 45 stimmberechtigte Mitglieder des Parteivorstands werden am Sonntag in Bonn entscheiden, wie es mit der SPD weitergeht. Aber nicht nur das: An ihrem Votum hängt auch die Zukunft von Parteichef Schulz.

OMG We’re All Gonna Die

Again. And again and again and again already. This must be the one year anniversary special or something.

Trump

Here’s some more of that high-class and balanced Spiegel journalism we have all grown so accustomed to. Jeepers. How can anybody hyperventilate this long? Just a few key terms here will tell you all you need to know about this article (and you thought some folks got carried away with their tweets):

“moral emptiness”
“the erosion of American greatness”
“existential threat to the American Republic”
“nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea”
“erratic belligerence”
“frayed to the breaking point”
“like Britain’s perverse flight from the European Union”
“a blow-up-the-system mood”
“the ultimate provocateur”
“Trump’s ‘America First’ is a slogan of impeccable fascist pedigree”

“After a year of MAGA, it has become clear that a disaster is unfolding whose consequences for humanity and decency will be substantial.”

He Opened The Door For Me

“And this other creep said he liked my new Frisur (hairstyle).”

Sex

German men would never do that, of course. They just grab knees and do other more direct kind of sexually harassing stuff like that. And they’re apparently pretty fleißig (diligent) at it, too.

One in two women in Germany has experienced some form of sexual harassment, a new YouGov survey showed. The poll comes amid global outrage over sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Only one in two? No way. I get globally outraged myself just reading that. Why don’t they just print the truth as it is meant to be and say that all German women have been sexually harassed (or at least all of them will have been very soon – we’ve only got two hands, ladies) and just move on already. To the next global outrage, I mean.

“In 20 years of show business I’ve never been sexually harassed by a man. But that is probably because I find sexual advances from men basically enjoyable and see them as compliments, not as harassment.”