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Posts Tagged ‘germany

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly calls on journalists to stand up to Trump.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at exocomets.
  • Language Log shares an ad from the 1920s using the most vintage language imaginable.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money talks about globalization as a mechanism for concentrating wealth at the top of the elite.
  • The LRB Blog talks about the ghosts of the Cold War in the contemporary world.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen argues that Germany has its own responsibility in transatlantic relations.
  • The New APPS Blog looks at the importance of administrative law.
  • The NYRB Daily celebrates John Berger.
  • Savage Minds proposes a read-in of Michel Foucault in protest of Trump’s inauguration on the 20th.
  • Towleroad reports on the latest statistics on the proportions of LGBT people in the United States.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the continuing depopulation of the Russian Far East and examines the shift to indigenous naming practices in Kyrgyzstan.

[LINK] “Putin Will Find Germany’s Elections Hard to Subvert”

Bloomberg View’s Leonid Bershidsky argues that, owing to the greater resilience of German politics and a more honest media environment among other things, any Russian involvement in Germany’s elections would have more limited results. Here’s hoping.

Merkel’s Achilles heel in this election is the refugee crisis of 2015. I doubt, however, that much unpublished kompromat exists on that: Merkel’s mistakes in handling the crisis were extensively covered by the German press. And unlike Americans, whose trust in the media is at a historic low, Germans still trust traditional media.

There’s a notable difference between the ways relatively conservative Germans and tech-crazy Americans get their news. Only 20 percent of Americans find it in newspapers; 57 percent of Germans still read a newspaper or a magazine every day. That means the effectiveness of fake news campaigns and social network echo chambers won’t be as high in Germany as it was in the U.S.

Besides, Germans are far more amenable to speech restrictions than Americans. Germany has hate speech laws that would be impossible under the First Amendment. Calls to outlaw fake news or prosecute those who spread it are coming from many quarters, especially from Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, and the other centrist political force — its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party. Unlike in the U.S., the government in Germany has the ability to go after those who knowingly publish disinformation. A Russian TV journalist who reported on the fake rape earlier this year was briefly under investigation, though he wasn’t convicted.

On Tuesday, the leader of the Social Democrats, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, posted a photo of a handwritten message on Twitter: “A fair fight! That’s how we must fight the 2017 election — not like in the U.S.! No fake news, no bashing, no insults.” Gabriel wrote “fake news” and “bashing” in English. Germany doesn’t even have the kind of echo chambers of anti-establishment opinion that amplified the anti-Clinton line in the U.S., where a propaganda effort could just use the existing channel that gorged on the additional content. In Germany, the channel itself would need to be built.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “How Christmas Markets Have Gone Global”

Torontoist’s Emily Macrae looks at the globalization of the Christmas Market.

In a city known for snow, skiing, and hearty cuisine, wooden stalls fill a downtown park to create an annual Christmas market. The scene is Sapporo, Japan, which has hosted a German Christmas Market since 2002.

Japan’s fourth-largest city might seem like an unlikely place to find Bavarian specialties, like pretzels, each December, but the event is a result of Sapporo’s relationship with its sister city, Munich.

Christmas markets have a long history in Germany, dating back to the Middle Ages, with the first written records of the winter festivals appearing in the mid-1600s. Today, there are some 2,500 markets in Germany, and similar practices are found in neighbouring countries.

As anyone who’s wandered through the Distillery District’s Christmas Market can attest, vendors typically sell crafts and other gifts alongside warming food and drink. From glogg (mulled wine) in Denmark to grzane piwo (mulled beer) in Poland, there is no shortage of festive beverages, and Canadian gamay may soon join the ranks of holiday icons.

Sapporo shows that Christmas markets have expanded beyond their origins in Central Europe to become a global phenomenon. So if countless cities across multiple continents boast markets, do these seasonal events contribute to the unique identity of a community or simply entrench each place as an interchangeable site of shopping and off-key songs?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling looks at the art scene in Istanbul.
  • Crooked Timber takes issue with Tyler Cowen’s support for school vouchers.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes signs that the ephemeral Martian lakes were temporary creations of methane outbursts, and considers how to use WISE to hunt for Planet Nine.
  • Far Outliers looks at Britain’s contracts with petty German states for soldiers.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas looks at Trump in the context of the conflict between orality and literacy.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Donald Trump’s complication of the United States’ China policy and reports that Seattle’s new minimum wage has apparently not led to job loss.
  • The LRB Blog reports on The Gambia on the eve of the elections.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that truth is essential for liberty and freedom.
  • From the Heart of Europe’s Nicholas Whyte looks at the strange history of an enclave on the border of Belfast.
  • pollotenchegg maps language in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds announces that the blog will seek a new name, and that they are looking for suggestions.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s fertility uptick will not alter the dynamics of population loss, and reports on a Russian radical’s astonishing suggestion that Russia is now in the same position versus Ukraine as Nazi Germany was versus Poland.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at signs of advanced technologies detectable by SETI searches.
  • D-Brief notes evidence of the domestication of turkeys in 4th and 5th century Mexico.
  • Dangerous Minds discusses a legendary 1985 concert by Einstürzende Neubauten.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the banning of Tila Tequila from Twitter.
  • Language Log looks about a Hebrew advertisement that makes use of apostrophes.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money bids farewell to one of its bloggers, Scott Eric Kauffman.
  • The LRB Blog notes that Israel is fine with anti-Semites so long as they are Zionists.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Hillary Clinton won the most economically productive areas of the United States.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer suggests anti-sprawl legislation helped lose the recent election.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes Russia’s banning of LinkedIn.
  • Towleroad notes Ellen Degeneres’ winning of a Presidential honor medal.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Trump could be much less easy to handle than the Kremlin thinks, and looks at claims that small northern peoples are conspiring with foreigners.

[LINK] “Newly unearthed letter shows how Trump’s grandfather begged to stay in Germany”

Via the National Post I found Ishaan Tharoor’s Washington Post article documenting how Donald Trump’s grandfather sought to escape deportation from his Rhineland homeland.

According to a bulletin by the Associated Press, the letter was penned in 1905 and was addressed to Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, a monarch who presided over a realm within the united German Empire. Trump beseeches the “well-loved, noble, wise and just” Bavarian royal not to deport him. Luitpold apparently decided to reject what Trump offered as a “most subservient request.” The document was recently identified by a local historian in a state archive.

Friedrich Trump reached the United States in 1885 when he was 16, after leaving his home town of Kallstadt, in what is now the southwestern German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Although his arrival in New York City was like that of myriad other European immigrants seeking greater opportunity, his departure from Bavaria was illegal — he skipped mandatory military service in the kingdom’s armed forces and was formally stripped of Bavarian citizenship four years later.

Trump went on to make his fortune out west, including a stint running taverns and brothels amid the gold rush in Canada’s Yukon territory. He “mined the miners,” as one chronicler put it, and his Arctic restaurant became one of the more infamous institutions of the territory.

“For single men the Arctic has the best restaurant,” wrote a moralizing 19th-century journalist in the Yukon Sun. “But I would not advise respectable women to go there to sleep as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex.”

Trump later returned east and made trips back to his homeland in the early 1900s, including one visit during which he met his eventual wife. Her homesickness compelled Trump to attempt to return to Kallstadt with all of his life savings. But his status as a draft dodger and noncitizen prompted a deportation order.

(He failed to escape the deportation order.)

Written by Randy McDonald

November 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that Toronto has its first Ethiopian food truck.
  • Beyond the Beyond considers the alien ocean of Europa.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the protoplanetary disks of brown dwarfs.
  • D-Brief notes that Saturn’s moon Dione may have a subsurface ocean.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at how broadly Earth-like exoplanets form their atmospheres.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog wonders about the benefits of praising failure, as a sign of risk-taking.
  • Far Outliers notes how the English village became an imaginary eden.
  • Language Log looks at a Hong Kong legislator’s Sanskrit tattoo.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes one man’s upset with the announcement that Wonder Woman must have a bi past.
  • The LRB Blog considers controversy over electoral boundaries in the United Kingdom.
  • The Map Room Blog links to some maps showing the continuing divisions of post-reunification Germany.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the limit of Danish “hygge”, coziness.
  • Seriously Science looks at the surgeries performed on fish.