Friday, July 21, 2017

The Pretender News Media

Die Welt carried a shocker of a story today....over a study which the Media School of Hamburg and the University of Leipzig carried out.

The study?  Did German news media organizations do a good job of journalism during the 2013 to present on the asylum/migrant/immigration crisis?

Short answer:  no.

They were more of a promotion crew, rather than journalists.  The independent survey noted that they were uncritical (not just casually, but full-blown), and simply hung a sign out...."welcome".  The idea of being critical?  Non-existent.

The piece of the story which I found interesting....the study even noted that most of what was said during the past four years....simply were words of the political elite....repeated by the journalists.

The study crew even went as far as suggesting that journalists don't understand their professional role or the function of the news media.

I'm guessing the ARD and ZDF big-wigs are sitting there and trying hard not to read over the assessment by the Hamburg school and the Leipzig university.  They hate criticism, and in this case....the professors are taking the 'kids' to the wood-shed and laying on a fair amount of criticism.

What happens now?  Nothing.

It's done.  You can't fix this.  You can't retract the stories.  You can't suddenly say you discovered the stupidity of your analysis.  You just keep going forward.  Kinda sad, but that's the German method.  The only shocker for me is that it took three years for the survey crew to get around to this and finally pronounce a judgement.  I saw it in 2014 and sat mostly amused.  The 'kids' felt that no one would ever come and judge them.....and they were wrong.

I would also note.....if they weren't critical over that particular topic....what else are they lacking clear judgement or analysis upon?  Any guesses?  I don't think the Hamburg or Leipzig folks are finished on analysis....they might want to continue.

That Took Two Hours (New Ambassador Comment by German Public TV)

Yep, within two hours....they'd hyped their message or theme.

German public TV (ARD) put their first big announement of the new American ambassador.  The message?  "Now Fox News, Soon New US Ambassador."

Around nine lines into the piece, they then admitted....oh yeah....he is openly gay.

Then they went to the final 13 lines of the piece....talking over the woes of various ambassador jobs and high-ranking positions left unfilled at present. Shocking....yes, absolutely shocking.  Well...if you were an intellectual.

I suspect by tonight that at least sixty seconds of background video will be put up as Grenell is noted as a past contributor to Fox News.  Sadly, it would have been told in a much more favorable light if he'd just been a past contributor to CNN or perhaps even PBS.

The effect on the bulk of German society....the working-class Germans?  They don't really care.  They can't name any of the past dozen US ambassadors.  If you asked them who were the last five US State Department chiefs....they might be able to name Hillary Clinton but that's about it.  If anything, from the working-class, they might ask the German public TV news geek.....is there anything really news-worthy out of this entire story?

Man, thank God that there's only 28 days left before the Bundesliga (soccer) season starts (18 August).  Then there will be some noteworthy news.

The ISIS Fraulein Story

In recent days, various news sources (German, British and French) have covered this little short news item out of Iraq.

As Iraqi troops have moved into Mosul....a few days ago, they came to this basement area and found this young woman....a German.   So her story has been laid out in some degree.....as a wannabe-ISIS-thug.

LInda Wenzel....now 16 years old....basically ran away from home (Dresden) last year.  Various emotional issues popped up and her only future path ended up being a runaway and joining ISIS.  No, she wasn't a Muslim....she was just looking for some emotional escape-door (a gang-like situation that would take care of her).  She uses her mom's credit card and buys a ticket into Turkey.....walks across the border, and then discovers the world of ISIS.

Married within ISIS....she had a Chechen husband. Iraqi forces kill the husband.  Then they get to the young girl's situation.  She's alive and being held as a prisoner.  Some stories indicate that she's shot and killed Iraqi soldiers over the year that she's been in Iraq.  Some suggest that she was a sniper at one point.

What becomes of Linda?  No one says much.  There's probably enough evidence to convict and execute her.  Some German influence might be used to spare her and just convict her with Iraqi charges and let Germany take possession of her.

You tend to go and make a lot of stupid mistakes in your youth....doing things for the wrong reason, and having to pay a price for the mistakes.  In her case?  You need some fair amount of judgement and punishment dished out, but there might be some rehab value of bringing her back....letting her get her wits, and then let her tell the insider story to the whole fake nature of ISIS.  Yes, there is some value in bringing the German kid back home.  If she is some nutcase?  Then fine....put her into some mental facility and just get some judge to sign the paperwork.

The New American Ambassador To Germany

Richard Grenell.

Ok, he's not a household name.  Generally, you can say five things about Grenell:

1.  He's a Republican (I know....that will worry most Germans....it's very frightful).
2.  Highly educated (Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, with a bachelor's degree in Government and Public Administration from Evangel University (private Christian college in Missouri)).  This should also worry Germans because he's had been educated via Christian college, and fairly intellectual.
3.  He spent roughly eight years at the UN, as the US's chief spokesperson (throughout the Bush period).  He can probably get all chatty and go on for hours about crisis X, Y and Z.
4.  He's been on Fox News a good bit and can talk at length about worldly affairs.  This would usually worry Germans.
5.  He's openly gay.  Yeah, a shocker for Germans....you can be gay, intellectual, and Republican.

How this will go over?

I'm guessing that the confirmation process will take three months (summer vacation period).....so he won't show up until early November.  I'm also guessing that he will be invited onto one or two German public-chat-forum shows, and be asked over and over how a gay or intellectual can be a Republican.  At some point, the stupidity of the German view will shine through to the general public, and everyone will have a good laugh that they were amused by the whole gimmick of biased news for months.

Grenell?  He might actually be around for more than two or three years.  It wouldn't surprise me if he's still there as ambassador in 2024.  I suspect if you were looking for a badger-like instrument to dig claws into some biased news gimmick, and not let go....Grenell is probably that instrument.

An Immigration Comment

North Rhineland-Westphalia's Integration Minister (Joachim Stamp, FDP) came out today in a Focus-written piece talking about the lack of a immigration 'plan' for Germany.

He laid out two issues.  First, if something isn't done in Africa to stabilize the population shift and show some economic promise for the future....then a fair number of the African population will give up and head for the Med and try to get a ship across to Europe.  Second, as he emphasized in his short piece....there is no real immigration plan or law existing today in Germany.

When you sit and analyze the old 'understanding' of West Germany (before the wall went down)....there was a process where you had to submit paperwork to your local West German embassy in your country, and patiently wait several months for them to process it and approve or disapprove your application.  Within this process, you showed a valid ID or passport, and proved your ability to work or generate an income.

After the Wall came down....we moved onto what I would call immigration plan version 2.0. No one really worried much about immigration because it generally stayed at 250,000 per year....except in the Balkan War years.  Since 2013....the lack of a real plan or concept is noticeable.  The federal involvement is basically to take the application and process it....but beyond that....it's all dumped down to the states and cities to render care and help to the individual, with money dished out later to compensate.  A clear program across all sixteen states?  No....it was never designed that way.  The ability to have one guy faking out two separate states with different ID's or names?  It's been proven to work....although on a small basis.

On the Africa talk....I think that Stamp is correct, but it's going to mean that Germany, along with the rest of the EU....will have to cough up tens of billions over a 25-year period (my estimate) and figure out a way to create markets in Africa for goods.  It also means bringing birth-control into the region, and altering the reproduction cycle.  And it means putting enormous pressure on war-lords and crisis-creation vehicles to stop their chief purpose in life.

The odds of some immigration change coming?  Maybe after the election, there can be some minor shift created.

The Schornfeld 'Mini-Riot'

We are now five days past the Schornfeld fest (down in the Stuttgart region), and it's much hyped 'riot'.  N-TV article laid out the whole thing in a very precise fashion.

What the news media, cops and political folks talked about in abundance on Monday....has settled down.

The basic facts:  (1) the four-day fest had twice as many people arrested this year when compared to 2016 (total of 53 people arrested over the weekend for disturbances, violence, or assault of some variety).  (2) There were not a thousand rioters, but closer to one-hundred. (3) The big upsurge of violence started when a 16-year-old German hit a 19-year-old Syrian in the head with a bottle.  (4) A handful of folks (some immigrants) were arrested on sexual assault (mostly for patting some gal on the butt).  (5) One German was arrested for....resisting arrest (you get the impression he was seriously drunk). And (6) serious alcohol consumption is now believed to be the root of all the violence of the weekend.

In other words....a bunch of folks (Germans and immigrants) were drinking in significant quantity (like typical German fests)....and words got exchanged....insults got tossed around....a few acts of violence occur....and then all heck breaks loose.  That's how you get a hyped-up five-star riot....when it's really just a two-star drunken brawl.

Next year's Schornfeld fest?  I'm going to take a guess that serious rules on alcohol consumption will come down.  Maybe only sales of 1-percent beer....maybe no alcohol sold after 6PM.  You can bet that the German political folks are going to sit and think over this very carefully.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The EU "Fist" on Diesel Cars

It was an interesting piece by N-TV on the current diesel car crisis in Europe.

The EU Industry Commissioner....Elzbieta Bienkowska....suggests that the EU is reaching a point where they will regulate the diesel car crisis to an end-point....which probably scares the crap out of a number of German car-makers and the German government.

The suggestion in the hyped-up talk is that if VW doesn't carry forward it's solution-repair by the end of 2017....then the EU might ban the affected cars from European roads (affecting not just the diesel vehicles in Germany....but across all of the continent).

The road-block?  One gets the impression that that VW and the solution-rocket-scientists.....aren't that confident in their fix-package.  If you go and say X-package will get the job done and it costs 1,100 Euro per package....then fine.  If you finish the job, and 18 months later discover that the X-package only does 70-percent of the job, and you need a Y-package to wrap up the final 30-percent, and it costs 1,100 Euro....well....that's a heck of a lot of cost that you dig out of profits.

The EU threat?

In 2016, almost half of all new car sales were diesel related around Europe.

If you go by 2015 numbers....Germany has around fifty-percent of it's vehicles running on diesel.  Portugal has nearly 70-percent of it's vehicles running on diesel.  Norway, nearly 40-percent.  Greece, nearly 60-percent.

For the EU to come out and regulate these cars off the road....they'd face a huge backlash with a EU election year coming up in 2019.  It would be unwise and provoke a 'throw-the-bums-out' sequence.

So, I'm of the mind that this is most hyped-up talk by the EU in hopes that pushing VW and the other car-makers to cooperate, and get this solution business done.  The odds of this starting before the end of 2017?  No one says much.  You get the impression that it might be 2018 before any work gets started.

German News, Friday

Hamburg G-20 'help' fund set-up:  NDR article.  The regional state government (with Berlin help) has set up a general fund of 40-million Euro to aid destruction issues from the G-20 Summit riot.  It has a little 'but' tied into it....if you had insurance (for your car or your store)....you have to use the insurance first.  My guess is the deductible can be claimed from the gov't fund.  Enough to cover damage?  My best guess is that 90-percent of the cars, almost 100-percent of the business operations damaged....were insured.  So a lot of this will be for people without full car insurance or to bicycle damage.  The speed in which this was done?  It's a shocker that they found the cash so quickly and have started to set up the program.  How much will be left in the end?  Hard to say.

German administrative court in overload:  Focus article.  Basically, there are 250,000 immigrant with petitions in front of the court system and challenging the failure of their visa application.  The German court system wasn't really created to handle this many cases, with all the details involved.  Delay tactics?  Yes.  Until the court can render on each person with a petition....they can't be forced to exit Germany.  Amount of time that we could be talking about?  No one says or suggests some conclusion.  One might take a guess that you could be looking at two to three years for some folks.  The odds that each BamF's decision is stamped final by the court system?  That's really a big question.  No one ever talks about the number of man-hours to sort through a visa application....my guess is that there is at least forty man-hours on a routine application (with a person having an ID or passport).  Toss in a peer review process, and questions over authentic details....you might have up to sixty man-hours per application.

Court says 'no' to dismissed soldiers: SWR article.  The German court system listened to the argument of the four dismissed soldiers on hazing-charges.  Then the court system said that the action of the German Army was legal....dismissing the case.  End point?  Some expected a long drawn out process, and the court quickly decided that it wouldn't go any further.

Sticker shock. HR article.  I've point this out several times over the past four years.....local folks wake up one day when some village chief has given them a 'tax-bill' for renovation on their streets or drainage line.  In this case, in the Lahn region....there was a street and pipe episode.  So bills are being sent out.  This one couple got a bill of 33,000 Euro.  Others got similar bills, depending on the property value.  For some, there is no real exit other than selling the property and hoping to get enough to cover their exit.

More Asylum seekers leaving Germany:  Focus Article.  In the past six months.....roughly 66,000 non-Germans left Germany in a voluntary way (not be forced onto a plane).  If you use the other numbers by the German government, roughly 226,000 individuals have left via voluntary ways or forced ways....in the same period of time.

Hyped up German chat on Turkey:  ARD article.  A lot of statements yesterday by the German government over Turkey.  In some ways, there were warnings to Germans about vacation travel being something to worry about....that you might be arrested for something very easily.  Real evidence behind the commentary?  As far as I know.....no German has been arrested while on vacation in Turkey.    From the article, you can pretty much assume that there is very little that Germany can do in getting some change out of the Turkish government.

Neo-Nazis at the G-20 Summit:  ARD article.  Well....no, there is zero evidence of neo-Nazis at the riot episode in Hamburg.  I admit, it does sound like a good rumor, but no police evidence or intelligence evidence has been presented to show Nazis were there in Hamburg for the Summit riot.

Greeks get cash.  ARD article.  Over the past six months, everyone was hyped up over another Greek economic fall in July.  Well....the ESM arrived and delivered 7.7 billion Euro in early July to help carry the Greeks through old debt, and the IMF came to add another 1.6 billion Euro, which was authorized in the past day or two to be delivered.  Some would say that it only carries the economically-crippled Greece to another staging line.  Some would suggest that Greece can recover...although it's a number of years involved in this massive change required.  In some ways....the EU has to keep this hope going because they really can't kick out a member.