German Politicians Had STUPID Passwords

And now they are surprised that they got hacked. German cyber-attack: man admits massive data breach, say police.

1000 “public figures” had their personal data hacked.

[The interior minister, Horst Seehofer] revealed that the hacker would not have been able to gather as much data as he had, if his victims had created more sophisticated passwords.

“Bad passwords were one of the reasons he had it so easy,” Seehofer said. “I was shocked at how simple most passwords were: ‘ILoveYou’, ‘1,2,3’. A whole array of really simple things.”

I don’t know why people use a bunch of simple passwords, and then try to remember them all. I have to remember the PW for my password manager. (It is long.) And it remembers all my passwords, which are crazy long. But hey, I’m not a high-paid government functionary.

[The hacker’s] motive appears to have been a general discontent over the public utterances of politicians and others who he wanted to show up.

That last is according to Holger Münch, head of Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, or the German Federal Criminal Police).


Antisemitism, and Cooking the Books on Crime Statistics in the EU

I can’t imagine why the authorities in Germany would want to shade the truth. Anti-Semitism in the EU: Jewish people consider leaving over safety concerns.

Some 90 percent of European Jews believe anti-Semitism has grown stronger — particularly in France — in recent years, according to a European Union survey published on Monday.

In Germany, the situation is bad and getting worse, and the .gov is either willfully ignorant of the facts or just lying.

Some 41 percent of Jews surveyed in Germany said that they’d experienced harassment from a person with “a Muslim extremist view.”

That result stands in stark contrast to last year’s German criminal statistics which said that 94 percent of reported anti-Semitic crimes were carried out by far-right perpetrators, reported the German daily Bild.

“According to police crime statistics, around 5 percent of anti-Semitic crimes are carried out by Muslims. We have to look into this major discrepancy in the statements about anti-Semitic experiences made by Jews,” Felix Klein, the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, told Bild.

The article has more on France and Poland.

And a separate article covers the United Kingdom. Four out of five British Jews believe anti-Semitism has infected UK politics. (Though the data is apparently drawn from the same survey as the DW article above.)

In particular the Labour Party under Corbyn struggled with many accusations.

Four out of five British Jews believe that anti-Semitism has infected British politics, the highest figure in the European Union, and almost a third are considering leaving the country, according to the world’s largest survey of Jewish people.

Headlines From Europe

I read the European press, because they have better coverage of what’s going on in America – some of it anyway – than 90% of the US press. (I guess they can be a BIT more objective, though they are still mostly a bunch of Leftist shills.) Though the 1st story is from the Washington Post…

The Left’s talking points around Germany have been – for 2 years now – that they are placed to become the “new world power.” Since all the “right-thinking” folks in the media hate America. (No, not just Trump, America.) Merkel missing the first day of G-20 is a metaphor for why you shouldn’t believe all the myths about Germany. But when you lose the WaPo…

The Bundeswehr itself isn’t in great shape, either. To the amusement of the world, Germany’s military made headlines a few years ago for replacing machine guns with broomsticks during a NATO exercise because of a lack of equipment. The headlines weren’t exaggerated. Earlier this year, an internal watchdog described the German military as virtually “not deployable for collective defense.” Only a few of the country’s tanks, helicopters and planes are combat-ready, and pilots have at times had to resort to private automobile clubs’ choppers to practice. Germany approved a boosted defense budget this year, but any trend reversal will take a lot longer.

No mention of Trump and his call for Europe to do a better job with their defense.

Italy stops a terrorist. (Granted this is 2 days old, so maybe you heard about it…) Italian police arrest Lebanese man suspected of planning poison attack.

“He was planning an attack with ricin and anthrax,” chief anti-terrorism prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho told reporters, naming the man as Alhaj Ahmad Amin.

Amin, 38, who is a legal immigrant and married with three children, was arrested in Macomer earlier in the day by hooded police who forced him from his car as he left home.

The French are STILL unhappy about paying more for fuel. And now so are folks in Belgium. Brussels protesters attack PM’s office as Paris braces for more ‘yellow vest’ unrest.

Over in Paris, builders were busy boarding up flagship banks and stores along the Champs-Elysées as “the world’s most beautiful avenue” braced for its third straight Saturday of violence.

In what President Emmanuel Macron called “war scenes”, a peaceful protest descended into riots and tear gas, leaving many of the avenue’s windows smashed by cobblestones and other objects.

Two stories from Britain. The first, how NHS (THE Sacred Cow of UK politics) is failing the elderly. Pensioners left in pain amid NHS cuts to hip and knee operations.

The Royal College of Surgeons said patients were being unfairly denied operations by arbitrary policies, including those which restrict them to those in most pain.

And in the 2nd story, folks in the UK still have bad teeth. Soaring numbers of children forced to have teeth taken out in hospital.

The number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.

Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.

Can we blame this on the NHS? No, it isn’t the .gov who is responsible for making sure kids brush their teeth.

The Night of Broken Glass: November 9th, 1938

Kristallnacht could be counted as the beginning of the Holocaust. German politicians remember Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom.

Germany is marking the 80th anniversary of attacks on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust.

Other things that happened in Germany on the 9th of November.

  • Demolition of the Berlin Wall began on November 9, 1989
  • Weimar Republic was created (de facto) on that date in 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated.

In The Static Over the US Election, I Missed Reports of a Terror Attack in Germany

From a week ago… A particularly inept attack, but even so. Germany: Possible terror attack on high speed train investigated.

German media reported on Sunday that authorities in the state of Bavaria were investigating a possible attempted terror attack on a high-speed train. The incident, according to the Bild daily, involved a steel wire being pulled across the tracks.

The attack actually happened earlier in October, but had apparently not been announced by the authorities until the 28th of that month.

Another Election You Didn’t Pay Attention to Took Place in Germany

Though it wasn’t a federal election, it was in the State of Hesse. On probation. (OK, it’s in German. There are translation options available.)

Angela Merkel’s “Grand Coalition” took another beating today. (For those not paying attention to German politics, the Coallition includes The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), The Christian Social Union, and The Social Democratic Party (SPD – remember it is in German in the original). The CSU (headed by Horst Seehofer) and the CDU (headed by Angela Merkel) have – mostly – worked in lockstep since The Reunification of Germany.

The crash of CDU and SPD in the Hessian state election destabilizes the coalition in Berlin – and the chairmen Merkel and [Andrea] Nahles. Will the Chancellor really be re-elected party leader in December?

While there is no federal election scheduled for some time, if the coalition truly fractures, there could be a no confidence vote. That seems unlikely, given that CDU, CSU, and SPD still hold enough votes in the Bundestag to come out on top, but the SPD had threatened to abandon the coalition after their poor showing in the 2017 federal election. If you are interested in why they stayed, it is a long and protracted story. Even the digest in the Wiki manages to be interesting. It took from September 2017 until March 2018 for the government to be approved by the Bundestag.

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.