Eilika Emmerlich
Sunday October 31st, 2010

Business Locomotive Germany – Who Is The Stoker?

“Germany is again at the forefront and pulling the European Business Train”. Those are the proud words of the German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs. The Federal Chancellor says it with the hint of a fighting spirit showing around her mouth. The Federal Minister of Finances says it cautiously. So we ask: who does the pulling? Who is the stoker? The innovative enterprises? The diligent German workers, with and without migratory background? Probably.

But looking at the calendar, I get a different idea, probably a better one. The first of May – a Saturday. The third of October – a Sunday. Reformation Day – a Sunday. The first and second day of Christmas – Saturday and Sunday. And I am sure you already guessed – New Year’s Day is also a Sunday, although strictly spoken it no longer counts. 5 more work days than in other years means a roughly 2.5 per cent higher GDP. Even if we take into consideration that Reformation Day is no longer a holiday in all regions, there still remain 4 days = 2 per cent.

So, ladies and gentlemen: be cautious and humble! Instead of praising yourself, you should pay an extra bonus to Pope Gregory XIII (of course less than 500,000 Euros) by lighting a candle of thanks on this Reformation Day. After all, it was he who, in the year 1582, wrote the bull “inter gravissimas”, thus showing how farsighted he is and seeing to it that we work so much in the “boom year 2010”.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre

A Day in My Life ♫

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday October 30th, 2010

“The Beatles” – “Nostalgia” – “EUROVISION” ♫

“The Beatles” – “Nostalgia” – “EUROVISION” ♫

What would our youth have been without the Beatles? And the then so “new” music and whatever else came along in its wake. To this day, I envy one of my best friends, Karl Bürger, because he actually was there in the Munich “Zirkus-Krone-Bau” when they sang in 1966.

But here comes a story I only remember very vaguely. I still hope it is true. After all, it describes the general attitude of the time very well. In those days, TV arrived at our homes in black-and-white quality. The official start of colour TV on the then exclusively public-law stations was on August, 25th, 1967.

In 1967, we already had EUROVISION. For special occasions, TV stations connected or a broadcast was sent synchronously to many countries.

One very special EUROVISION broadcast of 1967, this time under the lead of BBC was named “OUR WORLD”. It was the first “world wide” live broadcast!

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Roland Dürre
Friday October 29th, 2010

Debitor and Creditor

Today, I read and heard the following – and I can hardly believe my eyes and ears:

Merkel successful at EU summit!
EU nations want a better protection of the Euro!
The Federal Government installs a permanent crisis mechanism, which is supposed to protect us against possible future economical, financial and currency crises!
In the future, the main burden for saving over-indebted member states is to be borne by private creditors like banks and fonts!

Those are the moments when I think I must be dreaming:

What happened, to make anybody call it a success?
How can you protect the Euro additionally, except by all those billions we already provided?
Who is naive enough to believe it is possible to protect us permanently from another economical, financial or currency crisis?
Hasn’t it always (until recently) been so that creditors had to shoulder the risk?

Well, I guess they had story telling time in Brussels. And this time, the siblings Merkel&Sarkozy told the fairy tale protection for the entire Euro zone.

Now all that remains is for the Lisbon treaty to be modified – but, please, in such a way that the people need not vote.

Oh, yes: on the next EU summit in December, the President of the Council of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, is supposed to come up with ideas how to make the crisis mechanism work.

It is all so easy. Basically, it is hilarious.

(Translated by EG)

Instructions, instead of Objections. Directives, instead of prohibitions – Yes, instead of: No!


Basic Democracy Live!

A short time ago, a small wave made its way through twitter:

Let us stop always just objecting to everything. Let us, for a change, be in favour of something!
I think this is a great idea!

Especially when it comes to big projects!

How do you feel about it?

What about a website where future big projects are collected – both those that have already been decided on and those necessary in the future.

A website where you find links to all relevant information. With total transparency.

And where everything is clearly structured and described. And where, then, everything will be discussed at length and judged.

It would be a kind of special Wiki for big projects.

It might be the basis for the movement “IN FAVOUR OF AN ACTUAL LARGE-SCALE PROJECT”!

I believe such an idea might render surprisingly good results!

So – if any of you wish to create a “PRO MOVEMENT” – I am on board!

(Translated by EG)

I believe large-scale projects providing the basis for a stable supply of environment-friendly electricity might have a good chance of succeeding.

On the other hand, plans to build additional airports or landing strips, new motorways or projects motivated just by the wish for a better reputation (national and personal) might have no such luck.

It might even be possible that a PRO movement for a nation-wide magnetic railway system is initiated. In any case, a PRO railway, like our neighbours, the Swiss, have created, sounds a given.

And I am sure everybody would be in favour of a pro Germany and pro a hundred thousand years of nuclear waste. Except – at least in Germany this probably is utopian. Even a “pro” movement would not help, because it simply cannot be done. You want to bet?

Chris Wood
Thursday October 28th, 2010

Direct Democracy? No thank you!

I hear that the opponents of the new Stuttgart station objected that, as well as eliminating a historic (but ugly) building and a few trees, it would do nothing for freight traffic and that there are too few passengers to justify it. Now they admit that the improvements will help freight traffic too. Regarding “too few passengers”, I am reminded that the first TV transmitters were not needed, because nobody watched TV in those days!

Regarding rubbish disposal in Naples, everybody agrees that it is needed, but that it should rather take place near to other people.

In France, the young people want the seniors pushed early into retirement, to make room at the workplace. The seniors want to retire early and live longer without reducing pensions. People find car burning and stone throwing good arguments in this context.

In Greece, good public services are desirable, but few people want to pay taxes. Nobody really likes to pay taxes, so why do democracies elect parties that are in favour of taxes?

Direct democracy is proposed as a solution to all this. But there are problems. Who should decide what questions to vote on? It has been shown that slight changes in the wording can change the result, without affecting the meaning. And who should vote; with the Stuttgart station, should it be all in Stuttgart, or all in Baden-Württemberg, or all within 100Km of a line from Paris to Bratislava? Should it be restricted to people who use the railway, or should everybody in Europe vote because European money is involved?

Our doubly representative democracy suits me better. With my family, I leave it to normal Germans to choose a government. We cranks should not meddle!

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Riding a bike through the autumnal fog between Ottobrunn and Unterhaching, you notice quite a few things. After all, we live in times of change.

For instance, the queue of cars gets longer and longer. And the waste on the grass strip between the street and the cyclist’s path also changes its nature.

Recently, I notice more glass splinters on the roads. It seems that the deposit for the beer bottles is not high enough. To make up for it, more and more PET bottles lie around near the shoulder of the streets. There is no deposit on those. Mostly, they have been imported from EU and non-EU countries. Many of them come from Turkey.

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Here are my tweets of last week on

Blogging and twittering, wisdoms and rules:

1011104 A jester’s arrows are in vain – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101105 Simplicity comes in beautiful shape – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101106 Once a prostitute, always a prostitute – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101107 Iron rubs on iron – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101108 Idle soft-talk contains venom – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101109 Vanity is a bad cloak – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

101110 Either-or! -also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See Twitter and “follow” RolandDuerre!


(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 27th, 2010

Railway Workers on Strike

Now we are reaping more fruits of privatization…

Of course, the workers of some private railway companies earn less than at DB. And, of course, it is a logical consequence of privatization. And, of course, they want to make up for it by collective labour agreements.

So why did we not leave it all in the hands of the state? All that was necessary was a small reform. I could have come up with quite a few ideas.

How important are really efficient transport systems for minimizing our dependency from cars! But now here we go: everything drowns in chaos.

Yet it is no use complaining. Not wishing to go by car makes you vulnerable and a likely blackmail victim.

(Translated by EG)