The End of German Volksparteien?

The “Grand Coalition” that has been governing Germany for years may – May – be on its way out. Why the Bavarian election matters for Angela Merkel.

Actually the coalition and their partners have been sinking in the polls for sometime, but they started out with such a majority, that it has taken a while to notice.

The German state of Bavaria is having itself an election today. (It is a federal system after all.) The Christian Social Union (CSU) has been the majority party in Bavaria since the 1950s. At least. The CSU and Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have been governing Germany for years, lately in coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SDP). That looks like it might be changing.

The party [CSU] has been steadily sinking in the polls since the election campaign began. A Friday poll by public broadcaster ZDF put them at 34 percent, 2 points below September, 5 points below August, and a whole world away from the 48 percent they reached in the 2013 state election.

The 2 groups to gain are the Greens on the Left and Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on the Right.

It is hard to say what will happen to the Chancellor, because she is not a member of CSU, and this is a state election, not impacting the seating in the Bundestag, but it could drive CSU out of coalition, and that might lead to a no-confidence vote. But no one thinks that is likely.

It could make things easier for Merkel in the short term, but the fact that some stories are saying she is being referred to as a “lame duck” doesn’t look good.

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German Stabbed by Immigrants – Chaos Ensues

Well maybe not chaos. But it looks like it will get worse before it gets better. Germany: Stabbing leads to far-right protest in Chemnitz.

A street festival in the eastern German city of Chemnitz was canceled on Sunday, hours before it was supposed to conclude, after 800 people took to the streets to protest the death of a 35-year-old man.

The victim, said to be of German origin, was stabbed during an altercation that involved 10 people, several of whom were of “various nationalities,” police sources said.

There isn’t a lot of detail on the original stabbing. Some media outlets say that 2 people were arrested, but even that isn’t clear.

What is clear is that more protests have been called for today, and counter-protests. No, that won’t end badly.

So How Is It That “Refugees” in Germany Include ISIS Fighters?

I guess they need to beef-up their admittance procedures. (Of course I think they would first have to have some procedures before they could be improved.) ISIS sex slave survivor says she met her captor in Germany.

ISIS was hard on the Yazidi. The Western media pretty much ignored the Yazidi people. (Most spell checkers don’t recognize that name.) It was hard to swing the narrative I guess, given that it was a bunch of Christians being terrorized, abducted and sold into slavery by Muslims.

Ashwaq Haji Hami was only 14 when she was sold in her home country of Iraq for $100 to an Islamic State fighter named Abu Humam.

You would think that would create some movement in the West, but not much of one.

She ran into him in Germany, and he seemed to know quite a bit about her life there.

She told the Associated Press that Humam’s real name was Mohammed Rashid and that after fleeing, she allegedly encountered him in Germany in 2016 and again this February. She reported the incidents to police, but fearing for her safety, she moved back to Iraq in June.

Think about that for minute. She left Germany, and went back to Iraq, where it was safer.

Her family is currently trying to get to Australia “as part of a special program for women abducted by ISIS.”

Germany is reacting to the bad press by saying “she didn’t give us enough information.”

Anti-Semitic Attacks in France

The basic story is disturbing enough, but take the time to watch the video. French court sentences ‘ignorant’ anti-Semitic attackers.

The basic story is about three Palestinians in France who attacked a brother and raped his sister.

There are links to stories about attacks from 2017 or earlier in this year, and how attacks are on the rise.

The video is about how young French Jews are of the opinion that the government isn’t doing enough. Young Muslims are making it impossible for Jews to go to public school. And not seeing that things are going to get any better, given that the government won’t even admit they have a problem, the young Jews are opting to immigrate to Israel after high school. Even though that means a mandatory stint in the armed services.

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s public broadcaster. They are one of the few German media organizations who actually publish their stuff in English. I want to say that their admission that Antisemitism is on the rise, and fueled by young refugees, is significant, but Angela Merkel was forced to admit that there are no-go zones in Germany in order to get her latest coalition deal. So maybe it isn’t new. And they are talking about France.

France currently has Europe’s largest Jewish population, but if this trend continues, that probably won’t last.

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.

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