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Duesseldorf, Germany
Recent Activity
Kevin Drum: For all the praise she gets, Angela Merkel has been one of the most disastrous European leaders in my lifetime. She's as responsible for Brexit as anyone I can think of, thanks to two catastrophic decisions she made.... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at German Joys
This is a young German guy who, by his own information, studies computer science. Let's call him Udo. When huge numbers of migrants began arriving in 2015, he decided to volunteer to help some of them learn German and navigate... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at German Joys
I'm outsourcing this prediction to Kevin Drum: My sense—though I'd prefer actual data if anyone has collected it—is that secession votes usually follow a pattern: the leavers get an upward bump a few weeks before voting day, but stayers get... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at German Joys
Megan McArdle talks to ordinary middle-class English people about immigration in Luton: I bought some Polish sausage and pastry at an off-license, some Indian dumplings and Thai noodles at a couple of food trucks, and I sat on a bench... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at German Joys
The Süddeutsche Zeitung has discovered something awesome: Migrants are a hidden gold mine (g)! When it comes to cricket, that is. Before 2015, there were only 1500 cricket players in all of Germany. After "Angela Merkel opened the borders," (the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at German Joys
The head of the American Republican Party has one of the strangest names you will ever encounter: Reince Priebus. The Onion mocked it with the headline: "Reince Priebus Forced Back Into Ancient Puzzle Box After Being Tricked Into Saying Name... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at German Joys
In the New Republic, Omer Aziz takes up a theme I've posted about before many, many times: Growing up, I attended Koran classes in Toronto every day between the age of 6 and 16. I have traveled around the world... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at German Joys
Swedish columnist Paulina Neuding bluntly states some uncomfortable truths: Indeed, the refugee crisis in Europe is more a matter of culture than of numbers. And cultural clashes are much harder to address than logistics – especially once they leave the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at German Joys
One of the reasons I began blogging so much about the migrant crisis is that I simply could not believe the things I was reading in the German press. I've had plenty of occasion to decry the nonexistent fact-checking in... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at German Joys
The Economist looks at why the most high-middlebrow shows and books about Germany are written by Brits: This popularity of Anglo-Saxon storytellers “really is astonishing”, says Hermann Parzinger. He is a German archaeologist (best known for his work on the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2016 at German Joys
The most useful phrase a world traveler can know is, of course, "My hovercraft is full of eels." Here is a website with the phrase translated into dozens of languages, including -- importantly -- Sardinian. For all other needs, Spy... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2016 at German Joys
The father of the Orlando shooter, an Afghan immigrant who came to the USA sometime in the 1980s, hates homosexuals just as much as his son did, but thinks we should leave it to God to punish them. Plus, he... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2016 at German Joys
You're missing a fundamental distinction: Public accommodations in America cannot discriminate on the basis of race, gender or other criteria. That means if you open up a business to serve the public, you cannot discriminate against certain groups of customers *solely* on the basis of race. That's been the law since 1964, and it's a good thing, too. Or are you pining for a return to segregated lunch counters? The EU finally caught up with this minimal standard only after 2000, and Germany is still far behind. If you want to run a *private club*, not a business, open to the public, you are still free to discriminate however you wish. You may face some backlash for this, but that's life in the big city.
The Washington Post looks at the burqini ban: While the burqini may sound straightforward, it is quite controversial. German media recently reported that a public pool in Neutraubling in the German state of Bavaria had banned swimmers from wearing burqinis.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2016 at German Joys
The Atlantic summarizes a recent study: Why do some societies not encourage casual smiling? I got my answer, or at least part of one, when I stumbled across a new paper by Kuba Krys [Kuba Krys? Didn't he lay down... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2016 at German Joys
As I have been pointing out for some time now, there's only one workable answer to the coming African migration 'crisis': Europe must intercept all migrant boats in the Mediterranean and immediately return them to their place of origin. No... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at German Joys
[source] Non-Europeans can't understand the immigration debate in Europe without recognizing a key fact: Every single migrant who enters a (Northern) European country and files an asylum claim is immediately entitled to state-funded housing, healthcare, and education, plus a monthly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2016 at German Joys
Doing a bit of tidying-up recently, I found a business card I got during a recent trip to Sofia, Bulgaria. I was minding my own business, waiting by the side of the street to be picked up by friends, when... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2016 at German Joys longer: Nabiel Peter Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff, born Nabiel Bagadi, and known in the U.K as Peter Mark Emanuel Graf von Wolffersdorff Freiherr von Bogendorff, may have to remain a man of two identities and many more names following a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at German Joys
Schwarzenbek, Germany. Never heard of it before? Neither had I. But it does have an English Wikipedia page: Schwarzenbek is a town in the district of Lauenburg, in Schleswig-Holstein,Germany. It is situated approximately 10 km northeast of Geesthacht, and 35... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2016 at German Joys
Hat tip to Stakhanov for a link to this article: More and more people from the Russian Caucasus region are crossing from Belarus into Poland, where the vast majority immediately apply for refugee status. According to the Polish border authority,... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2016 at German Joys
The number of asylum-seekers in Germany from Chechnya is on the increase (g). Chechens are notorious in Russian novels for being the most violent and fractious minority in the empire. The list of terrorist attacks carried out by Chechen Muslim... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2016 at German Joys
Bullying, fistfights, petty theft -- these are all normal incidents of every society. Ignore them. What matters is crimes of violence. Murders, rapes, armed robbery. Those detonate like bombs everywhere they happen -- when they happen to random strangers. Everyone calculates their behavior on the basis of the amount of harm which might happen to them. In terms of changing behavior and perceptions, a 10% risk of having your wallet stolen is trivial compared to a .001% risk of being raped or murdered. Germans are blissfully unaware of this fact because they have always lived in an extremely safe society. We'll see how long that lasts.
Anyone who grew up in the US during the crime wave of the 1970s-1990s learned never to open the door to strangers. If a stranger knocked at your front door claiming to need help, you were supposed to communicate with... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2016 at German Joys