And You Thought Government in the USA Was Screwed Up

The News from Europe reinforces the idea that Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

First up, Greece. It hasn’t been on my radar for a while. Greek lawmakers to vote on no-confidence motion in govt. (For those of you not up on Parliamentary governments, a No-confidence vote would trigger new elections.)

This is over an insane issue.

Greek lawmakers are debating for the final day a no-confidence motion against the government over a deal to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Macedonia over the latter’s name.

Greece wants to claim the name “Macedonia” because of Alexander the Great – also known as Alexander of Macedonia. (And his hometown IS in northern Greece.) But Macedonia has been Macedonia since WWII, though lately it is The Former Yugoslavian Province Known as Macedonia. Or some such nonsense. (That is actually how it appears on official NATO and EU maps, though it is usually abbreviated as just a list of first letters.)

Most of the EU is making faces at Italy because their new .gov has decided the whole unfettered immigration thing has gone far enough. Italy’s populist government won’t permit boats carrying migrants to dock, despite EU pressure

Even the Pope has weighed in on that one.

Last but not least, we have Germany. Merkel stands firm against Bavarian demands to close borders

Among Merkel’s sharpest critics is Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, whose Christian Social Union is taking an increasingly hard line ahead of a state election this fall, even though it forms part of the national governing coalition.

The CSU has been in partnership with the CDU (Merkel’s Party) pretty much since reunification. But that cozy deal seems to be falling apart – ahead of elections that the CSU might be worried about losing.

And on the subject of Germany, Austria is PISSED that the Germans were spying on them. Austria angry at Germany over ‘enormous’ spy effort

Top Austrian officials called on Germany to clarify reports that its BND spy agency had snooped on high-profile targets including embassies, international organizations, Austrian ministers and banks based in the Austrian capital.

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Ricin Plot Stopped in Germany

This could have been very bad. Islamist extremist ricin plot foiled by German police

Sief Allah Hammami, a 29-year-old Tunisian, was held on Wednesday along with his German wife after police found large quantities of the deadly toxin his apartment.

It is believed to be the first time Islamic extremists in Europe have succeeded in manufacturing ricin, which is one of deadliest biological agents known to man.

The LD50 dose for ricin is 500 micrograms. “A 500 microgram dose of ricin would be about the size of the head of a pin.” It can be inhaled, ingested or injected.

This is only one of several attempts by terrorists to get their hands on ricin. There is no antidote. If you are dosed, you will die.

June 9, 1018 – Consecration of Worms Cathedral

Worms CathedralWorms being a city in Germany. Worms Cathedral celebrates its 1,000th birthday

Emperors, popes, Martin Luther: Worms Cathedral has been the scene of great events. The Romanesque cathedral of St. Peter, 1,000 years after the cathedral’s consecration on June 9, 1018, has shaped the city in the Rhineland-Palatinate like no other building. Tobias Schäfer, as provost in charge of the cathedral, says its jubilee has galvanized the entire city. “The people of Worms identify with their cathedral, whether they’re Catholic, Lutheran or not religious at all.”

A couple of great photos of this cathedral, and the slide show of other cathedrals as well

Sign of the Times?

The Germans can no longer make the trains run on time. So is this progress, or just a symptom of a deteriorating Europe? Quarter of German long-distance trains late in month of March

Once a shining example of German efficiency, accuracy and, above all, punctuality, today there are accusations voiced that Germany’s long-distance railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) is a shadow of its former self.

Trains are on time about 78 percent of the time. Which I’m Guessing is better than AMTRACK. (They don’t publish percentages, since it is all the fault of the various “host freight lines.” Not that the passenger knows or cares which freight line is involved.)

Deutsche Bahn is wholly owned by the German government. It was formed by the merger of Deutsche Bundesbahn (“German Federal Railway”) from the West, and Deutsche Reichsbahn (“German Reich Railway”) of East Germany after Unification.

Large Police Force Raids Asylum Shelter in Ellwangen, Germany

At first they didn’t think they needed a large force. Why? Because Germans are fairly law-abiding. Razzia in Asylunterkunft – „18 Beteiligte hatten hohe Geldbeträge dabei“ OR raid on asylum shelter – “18 participants had large amounts of money” (Google translate does a fair job with translations from German.)

On Monday, four police officers, in two patrol cars wanted to retrieve a 23-year-old Togolese from an asylum shelter in Ellwangen, Baden-Wuerttemberg.

But it did not get to that. Around 150 Africans opposed them and prevented the planned deportation by force.

They never expected that more than four officers would be required to subdue 1 man, but then it wasn’t 1 man. When they realized the size of the resistance they faced, they left. (He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. That other day was Thursday.)

On Thursday the police mounted a “Large Scale” operation. Hundreds of police and armed special forces stormed the shelter during the night. (The rest is behind a paywall.) The other number that is interesting is that 60 paramedics were on hand, with more in reserve in case they were needed. Three residents of the shelter and 1 police official were treated in a local hospital.

Although no weapons were found during the deployment on Thursday, there were new findings: Five residents were found who were suspected of having committed drug offenses or thefts. In addition, 18 men had large sums of money in excess of the so-called retention limit of 350 euros. A total of 27 people would have resisted the operation.

The refugee they were seeking was found, and taken into custody.

Monday’s resistance to the police came as quite a shock to the government and the people of Germany. After Monday’s aborted operation Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said it was “a slap in the face to the lawful people” of Germany. The translation (provided by Google) of one of the photo captions is as follows.

In Ellwangen, a law-free area emerged, where refugees set up communication channels to prevent state action.

So is this the thing that Tam was referring to?

The EUtopians may seem all soft, docile, and toothless right now, but the recent immigrant welfare sponge class is playing with fire here. Euros have a proven zero-to-jackboots time lower than just about anybody on the planet. Get Gunter or Pierre all backed into a corner and feeling existentially threatened and you’ll be wishing you hadn’t, faster than you can say “Arbeit Macht Frei”.

Maybe not there yet, but moving in that direction.

Germany’s Immigrants Promise to Get Better

A German city is seeing a crime wave. Auffällige Flüchtlinge: Verantwortliche versprechen Besserung OR Attributed to refugees: Those responsible promise to improve

Well OK then, they promised.

More than every other crime (56.9 percent) in the city of Sigmaringen was committed in 2017 by an asylum seeker – alien law offenses already excluded. Crime in the areas of shoplifting and drug-related crime has risen particularly sharply, as shown by the recently published statistics of the Constance Police Headquarters. But in all other areas, from personal injury to sex offenses, the number had risen in the double-digit percentage range. The Ministry of the Interior has therefore since developed a security plan for Sigmaringen, a specially set up investigators group has recently arrested 21 multiple offenders among the asylum seekers.

Even though the crime rate is still spiking, the bureaucrats say “We have this under control.” Well, OK then. The bureaucrats have spoken.

On a larger scale than a single city, Germany also has a new problem with antisemitism. Is Germany capable of protecting its Jews? I don’t know if they are able, but I don’t think they are willing to face the problem honestly. They are happy to denounce the far right antisemitism, but are less willing to address the brand that they imported with all the refugees.

For the plain fact is that most of the migrants who have come (and continue to come) to Europe hail from Muslim-majority countries that long ago expelled their once-vibrant Jewish populations, where anti-Semitism figures prominently in state propaganda, and where belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories is widespread. To take just one obvious incongruity between Germany and the migrants it is accepting: Holocaust denial, a crime punishable by prison in Germany, is pervasive across the Muslim and Arab Middle East.

Hard to solve a problem, when you won’t admit you have a problem. (Isn’t that one of the 12 steps?)

Another Terror Attack. No Guns Needed

Where is the outcry against delivery trucks? Vehicles as weapons: Muenster crash part of a deadly trend – CNN

This time, it was in Muenster, Germany, where police said several people were killed and at least a dozen seriously injured Saturday after a delivery truck slammed into people.
Authorities are treating the incident as a deliberate attack, according to a police spokeswoman.

Since they have few details about the attack in Muenster, Germany, they provide a list of all the vehicle attacks over the past few years.