Multiple Swedish localities were subjected to what appears to be coordinated arson attacks on Monday, as youths set fire to at least 100 cars in and around the city of Gothenburg, the city of Trollhättan further north, Falkenberg and in the capital city of Stockholm. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven described the attacks as “very organized, almost like a military operation.” He said he was “really getting mad” and that “society must react in a tough manner.” No kidding! This is nothing new. Five years ago, for example, Sweden experienced days of rioting, with cars and buildings set ablaze. In early 2016, “Swedish police had to run for safety after being surrounded by an angry mob of migrants,” Express reported, “when they went to rescue a 10-year-old boy, who had allegedly been raped and 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher was stabbed to death by a Somali boy aged 15.” Riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood of Stockholm in 2017, CNN reported, with vehicles set on fire. Also last year, a frustrated asylum-seeker embarked on a deadly rampage with a truck, killing or injuring several people.
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Angela Merkel is hardly ever seen in speaking roles. After her holidays she deigned to speak to a selected audience of people.
The presenter says, “No questions were prepared, no questioners selected.” He must have missed that all media, state media and private media, have already spilled the beans: The people were selected.
One citizen asks, “Why does the EU not market itself and its achievements better? I’m convinced that if we knew more about the EU, we had an easier time to identify with it.” He identifies as an “EU citizen” and complains that the media is only reporting about bad things.
La Merkel: “The first thing is, ‘Do we even have to know what politics does?'” [sorry for “politics does”]
I shit you not.
Next guy wants a “master plan for integration” because he thinks that discussions about borders were just a make-shift remedy and not the way to a “Europe how I can imagine it.”
Before I give the floor to her Highness, I express my discomfort about the repetitive use of the word “integration.” All I hear is “jobs” and “language.” What about not getting the head chopped off for an Islam joke? What about democratic principles?
La Merkel: “Every country in Europe does it differently.” She says that she were talking to Macron and other European politicians. So?!?
Next question: “[Orban has throttled immigration] Is that how we want to go about things in Europe?”
La Merkel: “It is important that those who have come to us, had come legally.” She then talks about UNHCR and registration. In between she drops the lie that we have the obligation to “rescue” people from emergencies on high sea and “to bring them here.” She already throws her net to Africa and Asia. Of course, it isn’t about Iraq and Syria. It never was. Oh, and tomorrow (today) the Nigerian president visits her and, oops, we have a “migration deal” with him. The media did not speak about a Nigeria migration deal so far. And, of course, we must save Africa and all the planet so that people don’t come.
Next. Some guy wants “specialists for the medical sector.”
I don’t know how but she is right back on the EU and that single nations must not make trade deals. At this point I think that she is stupid. Anyway, her answer is *drumroll* socialism.
La Merkel: “The EU ministers for health can come together and decide how many hours are spent on a patient.” Because some countries have better work conditions and payments the governments must “do more.”
The mic is given back to the guy. He notes that the doctors already don’t speak German.
La Merkel: She just fills in anecdotally that in her constituency the doctors are Polish.
A second questioner says that the language barrier is too difficult and that after coaching and bureaucracy the doctors move to the cities.
La Merkel: Along the lines of “many people in the countryside flee.”
Yes, it is the reason why the country goes downhill! The whole country bleeds out!
Okay, enough already. Bullocks.
Germans are hardly on social media. I wrote a piece about in-group out-group communication that talks briefly about the platforms available in Germany. The most obvious ones are the comment sections under the newspapers. In the mentioned article I recalled my experience with ZEIT online. It took me only a weekend to get blocked from the place. I also registered with Tagesspiegel. I spent little time and got also blocked there after a few weeks. The next step was WELT.
What is WELT? WELT is the second most popular political news outlet after Spiegel and enjoys 69.8 million visits per month. It belongs to the publisher Springer, which also owns the tabloid BILD (and a myriad other papers and book publishers). BILD is technically the news outlet with the largest reach, but is usually not considered political. Springer used to be a conservative publisher and became a target of a bombing by the communist terror organisation Red Army Faction RAF in 1972.
Under Merkel the media aligned and Springer is now on the political left. However, WELT is still less screechy than the Washington Post. The sound is comparable to the Wall Street Journal.
I did not read WELT for a while because it had a monthly budget per IP for some time and their views did not clearly enough represent the views of those who actually run the show in media, culture and politics. The power elites are best represented by my usual paper ZEIT. WELT is considered a quality paper and their job is to speak to ordinary citizens. They do so with lacing the cover page with mildly conservative viewpoints.
Yes, they do call Trump a sociopath and compare him with mass murderers, but there is the occasional article that is overall pro-Israel and just makes a nasty self-righteous turn towards the end. Sometimes the White House gets praise, but purely on economic grounds. Left-wingers also want their taxes cut, but not other people’s. Sometimes even an immigrant crime story makes its way to the front page.
Because I did not read it for a while, I also did not pay attention to the comment section. A superficial look at it surprises. It seems to contradict my usual allegations that conservative voices are hardly heard anywhere because of the absurd level of censorship. People say that they want less immigration, that they like Israel, want their taxes cut, prefer less regulation, less nannying, and even favor openly the conservative party AfD.
So I felt that I could finally wrap up by blog. No, of course, not. I became suspicious and registered as a user.
The first thing that meets the eye is that there are no messages to indicate what should and shouldn’t be said. ZEIT online controls their forum with an iron fist because media types know that comment sections do more to persuade people than articles. Tagesspiegel like WELT did not offer any guidelines. So I grew used to that during my ongoing experiment.
Both Tagesspiegel and WELT check each comment before it goes up. An obvious difference is the size of both platforms. While Tagesspiegel is quick to run through a comment, WELT will have to deal with a flood of texts and each takes its time. A discussion is not possible for the time that an article remains on the front page. The big advantage of WELT is that the likes on your profile page indicate how much what is read once a comment of yours goes through.
Did I write “once a comment goes through”? Yes, it is only a tiny, tiny minority of your comments that will see the light. And this is what intrigues me. What is the selection based on?
Given the very small number of comments that go through, I believe that the censors make a positive selection. They don’t read everything and therefore will also never block a user. They just skim through the messages and pick what they like.
But how does the comment section then look like a conservative outpost? I see safe selects. The comments don’t contain material that is rare knowledge. What is out there is the kind of general sentiment that you cannot help spreading over the kitchen tables. People say that they vote conservative party AfD or that they want less immigration. Important is that it does not get too specific and that no individual member of the elite is called upon to do this or that. There is the occasional oddball that makes conservatives look stupid. Jokes are completely absent because the messaging of jokes cannot be controlled and people are more likely to be convinced with jokes than with long-winding texts.
This is what Noam Chomsky famously called the “controlled opposition.” You give the impression that some criticism is heard, but you don’t show the full range of options or new information. Criticism looks repetitive and dull. The German left repeats over and over again that the right “would not have answers.” Of course, Clinton did the same, but Trump was putting out his policy papers online and could leapfrog the media. In Germany information is so tight that people who are not actively seeking will come to the conclusion that there are no ideas but the “throw tax money at it” solution for every problem. I understand that some Americans are also caught in that CNN bubble which makes them believe there was no Trumpian policy. They simultaneously believe that he is enforcing fascism and also that he does nothing but eat fast food and watch TV. Imagine almost an entire country in such a CNN-like bubble.
What is ironic about this is that for the lack of policy discussions German media almost exclusively talks about foreign countries, much like the media in totalitarian regimes. When it does talk about German politicians – which is different from policies – they talk a lot about their calendars: who meets whom where. This is why you see so many international summits that all have no results but vague “declarations” of their intentions. They come with smiles and photos. And the media outside the English-speaking world is reporting things like when the plane lands, what is discussed on the lavish dinner table, the general “topic”, the location of the conference etc. As if they worked. In summer the parliament goes on holiday and outside the Putinesque Merkel-holiday reports the media openly admits that it turns to other yellow press rubbish. This is called “Sommerloch”, German for “summer hole.” I’m not kidding.
The bottom line is that commenting on WELT is not worth the time. Even the most innocuous posts don’t get through because of the random selection of comments that are chosen for publication.
America’s most controversial and popular conservative commentators are teaming up for the event of a lifetime. Ann and Milo Live comes to Australia this year featuring Ann Coulter, the twelve-time New York Times bestselling author and queen of right-wing media and her friend Milo, also a queen.
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Le glameur de Hawaii. Avec mots de France parlance, en le spirit de liberté et l’amoure des singes. Elle est la heroine de classe laborière et la seule goddamn god-dame de baraque. Rosiènne….eau sorré…Roseanne. Achetez! Rapid, rapid!
This is the kind of person we are finally getting out. Murderers and mass murderers are sent to their home countries if they guarantee to not apply the death penalty. I guess that he could also have been brought to the US, but they wouldn’t have guaranteed that he would live happily ever after. The obsession of Germans with their anti-death-penalty position is unjust and cruel for the victims and loved ones who were left behind.
“He was found guilty of 246 counts of accessory to murder — one for each of the passengers who died on all the four hijacked flights that day,” Debra Burlingame said. “It’s shocking he only got 15 years and this sends the message the cost of human life is cheap in Germany.”
Burlingame’s brother Charles “Chic” Burlingame III was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was hijacked out of Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., and flown into the Pentagon.
She was invited to attend the 2003 trial in Germany of el-Motassadeq’s alleged accomplice, who wasn’t convicted. The news of the release, the New York native added, has her worried people are forgetting the lessons of Sept. 11.
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