Illustrious? At Risk?

What Germany are these journalists writing about?

Merkel

Merkel’s illustrious reign is at risk of being tarnished. Huh?

That nobody really much cares about or follows what is going on in Germany is one thing but to start churning out science fiction about a parallel German universe is simply irresponsible.

There is nothing “illustrious” about Angela Merkel’s “reign” and there is absolutely, positively no risk that it could become tarnished. It already is tarnished. It can’t get more tarnished than it already is, in fact. Ask any German on the street and he/she will tell you. The journalists at CNBC ought to consider giving that a try.

Sakrileg, the German word for sacrilege: the violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. I’m about to go there. Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel been a disaster for Europe, and is her prolonged tenure at the Federal Chancellery extending the region’s problems rather than holding them back?

Secret Report Not Much Of A Secret

It was just leaked, as secret reports so often are, and now it’s come out that – get this – the Bundeswehr’s equipment is still inadequate.

Tiger

Yawn. Been there, done that. Top inadequacies this time? Of the Bundeswehr’s 53 Tiger combat helicopters only 11.6 of them are operational (they would never get me in that .6 one). With the NH90 transport helicopter it’s 17.5 from 71 and only 15.9 of the 71 CH-53 transport helicopters are ready for combat.

But not to worry (as if anybody is). German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen promised a “turnaround” in the Bundeswehr’s equipment department – a year or two or three ago. Other defense menisters would have been fired for this long ago, of course, but 1) she’s a girl and 2) she’s one of Angie Merkel’s bosom buddies.

Die Ausstattung der Bundeswehr ist laut einem Zeitungsbericht weiterhin mangelhaft. Das zeige der neueste, als geheim eingestufte “Bericht zur Materiallage der Hauptwaffensysteme der Bundeswehr”, schreibt die “Welt am Sonntag”.

How Could It Not?

Not win, I mean. This is the Berlin Film Festival, after all.

Berlinale

Argentine LGBTQ Sci-Fi Film Wins Berlin Festival’s Teddy Award.

That’s the Berlinale for you. If it’s not about LGBTQ Sci-Fi films it’s about politics. Or should I say other forms of politics?

Santiago Loza’s Brief Story From the Green Planet, an odd genre-mixer involving a trio of LGBTQ friends who discover an actual alien sleeping in the house of one of their late grandmother’s, won the Teddy Award for best LGBTQ film screening at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival has always been a political stage for filmmakers, and the 69th edition is no exception.

I Shall Call Her… Mini-Me!

‘Mini-Merkel’ calls for Syrian migrants to be returned home as CDU leadership rivals jostle for position.

Mini-Me

Heel, Mini-Me! Heel!

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said asylum-seekers whose claims are rejected or who commit crimes could be returned to the war-torn country…

Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, popularly known in Germany as “mini-Merkel”, is widely seen as Mrs Merkel’s preferred successor. But she has been at pains to distance herself from the chancellor’s controversial migrant policy in her bid for the leadership of the Christian Democrat party (CDU).

“Certain regions of Syria could be secure enough in the foreseeable future.”

Merkel’s Hand-Picked Successor To Introduce A New Era For The CDU?

Uh, OK. Boy, and it looks like she can hardly wait to start, too.

New era

She ought to adopt Merkel’s name while she’s at it, too. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is a real tongue-twister (say that ten times really fast).

Germany’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) must build on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s legacy but move on from her era, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is running to be CDU leader, said on Wednesday.

“This is the end of the era,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, presenting her candidacy for the CDU leadership, said of Merkel’s time as party leader.

Uh, no it’s not. Not with you it isn’t. Some call her Mini-Merkel.

Kandidatin Kramp-Karrenbauer – Für eine “neue Ära” der CDU.

Germany Idealistic, Naive And Leftist?

How ya figure?

Maassen

“I’m seen in Germany as a critic of idealistic, naive and leftist foreign and security policy,” the fired head of German domestic intelligence said on his way out. He just got put out to pasture. Early. Thought criminals pay heed.

Dismissed when he questioned the authenticity of videos showing far-right extremists chasing immigrants in the eastern city of Chemnitz, Maassen became the lightening rod of German self-righteous rage.

This time Maassen, whose agency monitors extremist threats to Germany’s constitutional order, compared the videos to Russian propaganda and presented himself as the victim of a witch-hunt by “radical-left forces” in the Social Democratic Party (SPD), junior partner in Merkel’s coalition.

“I can imagine a life outside public service, for example in politics or business.”

This Guy Doesn’t Have A Chance

Of replacing Angela Merkel as the chairman of the conservative CDU, I mean.

Merz

1) Because Merkel doesn’t like him and forced him out of politics ten years ago, 2) he’s pro-business (and that’s a bad thing to be in German politics) and 3) he represents the conservative wing of a conservative party that stopped being conservative long ago. What’s the difference between the CDU and the SPD – or the Greens, for that matter?

I sure do wish this guy a lot of luck, though.

A former rival of Chancellor Angela Merkel who seeks to replace her at the helm of Germany’s conservative party said Wednesday he would aim to renew the party and establish close ties with Western democracies but wouldn’t push for a radical overturn of current policies.

Friedrich Merz, a corporate lawyer and former parliamentary floor leader of Ms. Merkel’s conservatives, said he could get along with the chancellor despite previous clashes that led to his gradual exit from politics nearly 10 years ago. A good working relationship with the chancellor would be crucial to ensure party backing for the ruling coalition’s political agenda.

“We need an awakening and renewal but not an overturn.”

Despair Is In The Air

But there ain’t nothing new about it.

Despair

Germany’s New Politics of Cultural Despair – The Authoritarian Revolt: The New Right and the Decline of the West (a book by Volker Weiss).

Nothing against new takes about how the West is in decline (again? still?) but the West has been in decline for as long as anyone alive can remember, not to mention for as long as a whole bunch of folks who are no longer with us could.

Take Oswald Spengler and his The Decline of the West, for instance – from 1922! Nothing against declination, folks, but how much longer is this decline of the West going to last? As a wise man once said: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In modern times, fears of social change and spiritual impoverishment can always tempt the malcontented to imagine that the present is an interregnum destined to yield to a new age of faith and wholeness.

Method Merkel

Although eight out of ten Germans feel that it’s time for Germany’s national trainer Joachim Low to go (his recent failures have been breathtaking), an all-time low for Low, Low won’t go.

Low

But, then again, why should he? He’s in good company. The numbers are very similar with regard to Chancellor Angela Merkel and nobody can get her to leave, either. She, like Low, refuse to face the consequences of their actions (or lack of action) while depicting themselves as being alternativlos (without alternative). There always is an alternative, however, as we all know, and the clock is ticking for both of them.

The coach could change things but he isn’t doing so. The team needs new blood.

German Of The Day: Sitzfleisch (vs. Aussitzen)

Take Angela Merkel. Please.

Merkel

To have Sitzfleisch (sitting meat) means, on the one hand, to be able to sit still for the long periods of time required to be truly productive; it means the stamina to work through a difficult situation and see a project through to the end. On the other hand, it can also refer to someone who doesn’t know when to leave. You know, like the guest who won’t go home or the chancellor who won’t go home, either?

Aussitzen (sitting something out), however, is to deal with a difficult situation or crisis by not doing anything about it. That is, to just wait it out until it finally goes away – or until the person waiting it out claims that it has gone away. You know, what Angela Merkel and other politicians like her regularly do?

“German condenses what would take about seven or eight words in English into one particular word. The humour comes from the density of the word and the fact that it expresses something in such condensed form that we can’t get anywhere near.”