German Of The Day: Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz

That means… Beats the hell out of me. I think it means something like Internet Enforcement Law.

Mass

At any rate, it’s this really clever new law pushed through by German Justice Minister Heiko Mass (SPD) – a particularly lame duck because his party is now history after last week’s election – that forces Internet companies like Facebook to remove “obviously illegal” posts (whatever that means) within 24 hour or pay big fines. This takes care of “hate speech” forever, see? Brilliant.

Of course it will also take care of a lot of posts that will have nothing at all to do with hate speech but will be blocked anyway by these companies. Just in case, you know?

Free speech ist not quite as free as it used to be in Germany. But it’s worth it, right?

Kritiker bemängeln, dass die Rechtsdurchsetzung in private Hände gelegt wird, und sie fürchten ein “Overblocking“: Die Betreiber könnten im Zweifel lieber zu viele Inhalte entfernen, um nicht mit dem NetzDG in Konflikt zu geraten. Dadurch gerate die Meinungsfreiheit in Gefahr.

 

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“The Slow Death Of Europe’s Social Democrats?”

How ya figure? They’ve been dead for years already, Spiegel Online. Don’t any of you over there ever read the papers?

SPD

I would even ALMOST venture to say that it’s ALMOST time for a social democratic walking dead rennaisance. But the key word here is ALMOST. It won’t be anytime soon. They’re going to get annihilated in this election on Sunday. Again.

In 2000, social democrats or socialists were part of the government in 10 out of the 15 countries that made up the European Union at the time. These days, though, the picture is a drastically different one. There is a real chance that German Social Democrats will no longer be part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition following Sunday’s vote and the same could happen in Italy after voters there go to the polls next spring. Were that to happen, center-left parties would only be part of six EU governments out of 28 member states, all of them on the European periphery: Malta, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

 

Let Us All Learn Together

And hold hands together. And show solidarity for one another. You know, all that kind of wonderful gooey fooey social activist stuff that “Social” Democrats do.

School

But even though I’m a big time SPD public school education advocate and multi-cultural integration cheerleader poster girl kinda woman – and former Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and current Minister President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – I still prefer to send my kid to a private school, if you don’t mind. Even if you do mind I’ll be sending my kid to a private school. There’s way less riff-raff there.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns Ministerpräsidentin Manuela Schwesig (SPD) steht wegen der Entscheidung, ihr älteres Kind, Sohn Julian (10), zum Schuljahresbeginn auf eine Privatschule zu schicken, in der Kritik. Nach Ansicht der Links-Opposition im Landtag offenbart der Schritt die Mängel und Lücken im staatlichen Schulsystem.

Martin Schulz Also To Demand End Of Cold War

Once he’s elected and has demanded that US-Amerika remove it’s nuclear armaments from German soil. All two or three of them (they’ve already kind of sort of been removed already, see?).

Schulz

It’s a brave move, as always, but the SPD’s Martin Schulz is known for taking those hard stands. It’s always about principle when it comes to the SPD.

Then, after ending the nuclear arms race and Cold War, he will demand that Germany’s invasion of Poland be nullified, Hitler’s rise to power cancelled and World War 1 be put off indefinetely. If that doesn’t get the vote this guy needs, nothing will.

“Trump wants nuclear armament. We are against this.”

Germans Worried About Low Angst Level

Concerned about the traditional German angst about sozialer Abstieg (personal social decline) is currently at an all-time low, a number of German angst experts are recommending that radical options be considered when next month’s election rolls around.

Hafen

“We could all vote for the SPD, for instance,” said one less than thoroughly angst-filled social worker, with a stress on social. “That would bring my angst about social decline shooting back to appropriate levels in no time. I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for the Left party yet, though. I do have heart problems, after all.”

Die Wirtschaft wächst – und die Deutschen fühlen sich so sicher wie seit fast drei Jahrzehnten nicht. Laut einer Erhebung der Universität Leipzig hat nur noch jeder Dritte Abstiegsängste.

PS: To help folks combat their angst about not having enough angst, somebody has introduced Donald Trump ecstasy pills over here. They are guaranteed to stick in any German throat that tries to swallow them, however.

Gazprom Gerd Gets A Raise

You’ve got to have principles. As many as possible. For all eventualities. Take former German chancellor Gazprom Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), for instance. Please.

Gerd

His nomination to the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company – majority-owned by the Russian government – is breathtaking in its brazenness. You can’t really call it a sell-out, however. This guy sold out long ago.

Rosneft is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. By pure coincidence, Schroeder, who calls Vladimir Putin his friend, has regularly criticized any moves to impose sanctions on Russia.

I know it’s hard to take an unpopular stand sometimes, especially when it is unethical, mercenary and just plain wrong, but he certainly is consistent here, at least.

“Schröder macht sich zum russischen Söldner.”

PS: Germany is predictably outraged about this (not) (or not particularly). But rest assured that if this had been a US-Amerkan oil company there would have been hell to pay.

German Of The Day: Heimaturlaub

That means home leave. And boy oh boy is Germany ever sticking to its guns on this one. When it comes to being super-mega-ultra strict about paying for asylum seekers’ vacation trips back home, that is.

Vacation

As German Integrationsbeauftragte (integration commissioner) Aydan Özoguz (SPD) explains, Germany doesn’t foot the bill for just any asylum seeker. They have to be Ausnahmefällen (exceptional cases) before the German tax payer will be asked to send them on an all expenses paid flight back home – and back again.

Someone’s mother dying would be such an exceptional case, for instance. Anybody’s mother (it doesn’t have to be your own). Or maybe your ex-neighbor’s dog is suffering for an ingrown toenail. Or maybe you forgot to bring your favorite bowling ball with you when you were on the run and now you have the urgent need to go pick it up. For integration purposes, of course. You know, exceptional cases like that.

I’m not making this up, people. Not all of it anyway.

“Es kann gewichtige Gründe geben, warum ein anerkannter Flüchtling für kurze Zeit in seine Heimat reisen will.”

The Next Giant Leap For Womankind

Peeing standing up. And people like you said it couldn’t be done.

Urinals

The future will be taking place right here in Berlin, too. If Berlin’s breathtakingly progressive left-wing coalition government can succeed in pushing their zukunfstweisend (forward-thinking, groundbreaking) “toilet concept” through, that is.

It’s a common problem when you’re out and about. Nature calls – but the queue for the ladies is bladder-testingly slow to advance. Meanwhile your male companion waltzes in and out with what often feels like unfair speed. Now, the Berlin city authorities plan to address the issue of gender equality in public toilets, as they seek to redevelop the city’s conveniences. All locations that currently have a male-only “pissoir” (public urinal facility) should only exist in combination with unisex toilets, a 99-page city strategy paper called “the toilet concept” concludes.

Today the urinals, tomorrow the, I dunno, jock straps. Womankind marches on.

Hat das rot-grüne Berlin keine anderen Probleme?

What The SPD Stands For

Stop Paying for Defense, for one thing.

SPD

It’s election time, you see. And Germans like to pretend they are pacifists (as the world’s third largest weapons exporter). So the SPD, once again, is going to take an unpopular stand (not) and rule out their country’s obligation to meet NATO’s two percent defense spending target – a target the Germans agreed to years ago and still refuse to meet. You’ve got to have backbone in politics.

The parliamentary leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) rejected NATO’s 2 percent of GDP defense spending target and called for strategic investment in the German armed forces in an interview published Thursday.

“We think this is the wrong way, and with the SPD in the government there will be no such thing.”

Schulz Effect Now Tropical Depression Schulz

Only we’re not in the tropics here.

Schulz

And down, down, down they go. Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) keep losing ground in the polls just weeks ahead of the country’s parliamentary election. They have now reached what they call the vor-Schulz-Tief or pre-Schulz-low before the legendary, if not mythical medial Schulz effect kicked in when he announced his candidacy. Well, at least he’s not an alien. Having the media on your side doesn’t always help, folks. Not here in Germany, either, I mean.

The Greens have seen better days themselves. Some of the Green rats have even begun jumping ship.

„Die spannende Entscheidung ist der Platz drei. Daran zeigt sich, welche Botschaft von der Bundestagswahl ausgeht. Für die Grünen sind alle, die ihre Meinungen nicht teilen, dumm, von gestern oder böse. Diese Überheblichkeit ist nicht nur nervtötend, sondern auch eine Gefahr für den Wohlstand, wenn Technologien zum Feindbild gemacht werden.“