Tag Archives | Germany

German Zoophiles Outraged Over Plan To Prohibit Sex With Animals

Is bestiality the world’s strangest civil rights issue? Der Spiegel reports:

The German government plans to ban zoophilia — sex with animals — as part of an amendment to the country’s animal protection law, but faces a backlash from the country’s zoophile community, estimated to number over 100,000. They say there’s nothing wrong with consensual sex and that the true violations of animal rights are taking place in the farming industry.

Zoophilia was legalized in Germany in 1969 and animal protection groups have been lobbying for a ban in a campaign that has been fuelled by heated debate in Internet forums in recent years. In the future, having sex with an animal could be punished with a fine of up to €25,000 ($32,400).

“We will take legal action against this,” Michael Kiok, chairman of zoophile pressure group ZETA (Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Information), told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “We see animals as partners and not as a means of gratification.

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Western Drug Companies Paid East Germany To Use Its Citizens As Guinea Pigs

At least a handful of the unwitting subjects died as a result of the pharmacological experiments. An instance of capitalist and communist collaboration during the Cold War, via the Independent:

Communist East Germany allowed Western drug companies to use its medical patients as unwitting guinea pigs for tests with untried pharmaceuticals in return for hundreds of thousands in hard currency, a television documentary by Germany’s ARD television channel has revealed.

The disturbing disclosures about the former communist state’s patients-for-cash scheme comes only weeks after an admission by the Swedish furniture giant Ikea that East German political prisoners were used to make its products before the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Using information gleaned from East German Stasi files, the film shows how, in 1983, Communist Party Central Committee members hatched a secret deal with Western drug companies enabling them to test their unlicensed products on unwitting patients by using specially selected doctors and clinics.

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Germany Army In Trouble For Propaganda Ads In Teen Magazines

It’s intriguing that marketing the military to kids is considered illegal and unethical in parts of the world, as it seems a normal part of life here in the United States. Via Russia Today:

The German Army has been accused of unethical recruitment practices, after it placed ads in a teen magazine promising “crazy water battles” and flights “in a real army plane” at its “Adventure Camps” that encourage youngsters to join the army.

The colorful adverts, showing smiling young teens, were published online and in the printed edition of Bravo, Germany’s most popular teen magazine. Under the slogan “Action, Adrenaline Adventure!” the German army, known as the Bundeswehr, is offering paid-for trips to Sardinia and the Alps for underage teens, where they are told about a possible career in the army once they come of age. Legally, the Bundeswehr cannot recruit people under the age of 18.

Ralf Willinger, a children’s rights consultant at Terre des Hommes [said] “The armed forces should be limited to recruiting adults, so that they do not attract young people who are easily influenced and can hardly appreciate what an obligation military service and the related foreign missions can entail.”

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German Pussy Riot Copycats Face Jail For Church Protest

The two-year prison sentences handed down to Pussy Riot supposedly revealed how oppressive and backwards Putin's Russia is, in contrast to our Western democracies. But now three colorfully ski-masked Germans who tried to stir a commotion at the historic Cologne Cathedral earlier this week are staring at the possibility of three years behind bars. Any guesses on what would happen to a U.S. Pussy Riot, assuming some sort of terrorism charges would be thrown at them?
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Neo-Nazi Flash Mobs A Trend In Germany

Over the last few years, flash mobs have gradually shifted from annoying to terrifying. Via CNN:
A German neo-Nazi group has been harnessing 21st century technology to stage terrifying flash-mob protests that echo the fascist torch rallies of the 1930s. In a demonstration on May 1st in Bauzen, Germany hundreds of black-clad figures with white masks suddenly converged in a street carrying torches and signs with extreme nationalist slogans. The group uses an outdated word - 'Volkstod' - on their signs, the newspaper noted, intentionally harking back to the days of the national socialism. It's a turn of phrase that neo-Nazis use to describe what they perceive as the degredation of the German race taking place under democratic government. A Neo-Nazi group in the state of Brandenburg called 'Spreelichter' first came up with the idea of organizing flash mob protests in 2009, according to Die Zeit.
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Karl Marx-Themed Mastercards Are A Hit In Germany

The ultimate indignity for the great critiquer of capitalism? Or a subtle expression of mass dissatisfaction with the current financial paradigm? Via Reuters:

Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, some eastern Germans are once again carrying round images of Karl Marx – if only in their pockets. More than a third of customers at Sparkasse bank in Chemnitz opted for the picture of a bronze bust of the bearded 19th century German-born philosopher, bank spokesman Roger Wirtz said. Marx’s stern face is depicted gazing towards the logo of Mastercard.

The east has witnessed a wave of nostalgia in recent years for aspects of the old East Germany, or DDR, where citizens had few freedoms but were guaranteed jobs and social welfare. The trend is not limited to the region. A 2008 survey found 52 percent of eastern Germans believed the free market economy was “unsuitable” and 43 percent said they wanted socialism back.

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Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

Photo: Túrelio (CC)

This story from inhabitat has the sustainable energy movement incredibly excited, and rightly so methinks:

Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid last weekend, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand.

After the Fukushima disaster, Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity! …

By meeting a third of its electricity needs on a work day and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed, Germany’s solar power industry has broken all previous records.

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Authorities Define “Violence” As Any Restriction Of Capital Flows

6269542564_1930ee174e_nCritical Legal Thinking on the German government response to Occupy Frankfurt — peaceful protest is now defined as “violent” if the target is financial institutions:

As debate spilled over into a shouting match in the Hessian State Parliament concerning the effective ban of Blockupy protests this 16-19 May in Frankfurt am Main, the administrative decision that effected this ban has come to light. The key finding being that:

The blockade action cannot be assessed as peaceful. To make blockades and hinder traffic with the goal of closing down the entire financial district...has to be defined as violence. The European Central Bank ‘must be functional, especially in times of financial crisis around the clock’. This includes things like ‘the operation of large-value payment system TARGET2′.

So in effect, a civil disobedience directed against the Eurozone’s financial authorities cannot take place because the obligation of the Frankfurt government to support the operation of the Euro-system overrides the right of European protesters to assemble and demonstrate against that very operation.

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Did Germany Launch A Manned Rocket Into Space In 1933?

medium2Could there be any truth to tales of early space travel success in 1930s Germany? Just imagine how different the World War II outcome could have been had it involved Astro-Nazis. Via io9:

On October 29, 1933, the London Sunday Referee published a report from Rugen, an island in the Baltic Sea, just off the coast of Germany. Someone named Otto Fischer had flown inside a 24-foot steel rocket, to an altitude of six miles. Were the Germans really testing out a rocket that could carry people, nearly three decades before Yuri Gagarin?

Reports said that Otto was the brother of the rocket’s designer, Bruno Fischer. The flight had been made in total secrecy because of a fatal attempt at a launch the previous year, combined with the fact that the flight had been made under the auspices of the Reichswehr, the German War Ministry.

“It was a tremendous sensation,” Fischer reported.

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How Germany’s Pirate Party is Hacking Politics (With Liquid Feedback)

Piraten ParteiWould be great if this caught on in the United States. As David Meyer writes on GigaOM:
In the furores over SOPA, CISPA and similar bills, many have suggested that politicians just don’t get technology. That’s not an accusation that can be leveled at the Pirate movement, which is gaining traction in Europe at impressive speed. The Pirates saw their first major electoral success in the European elections of 2009, when voters in the movement’s birthplace of Sweden returned a Pirate to the European Parliament. The Swedes didn’t vote the Pirates into their own legislature, mind you, but now big wins are coming in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and the ideological home of the hacker movement. Why Germany? Because that’s what the Pirates are trying to do: hack politics, in the sense of making-and-tweaking-stuff sense, rather than destroying it. The movement may have begun with a narrow focus on intellectual property, but it has developed into an attempt to make the political process transparent — and of course better suited to the digital age.
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