Tag Archives: Germany

Open Letter from a WWII Vet about the Shutdown

Dear VoteVets supporter –

Last week, John Boehner said that Republicans were locked in an “epic battle” to keep the government shutdown going.

As a World War II veteran, I fought in six epic battles. I helped fight the Nazis in the North African seas, and took part in operations that liberated Italy and the South of France, from Germany.

The Tea Party Shutdown is not an epic battle — it is bad governance.

Americans and veterans like me depend on our entire government being open.

I filmed a television ad with VoteVets, and it’s on the air starting today. I hope you’ll watch it and contribute to help keep it up.


After receiving General Wesley Clark‘s email last week, I responded with my personal story about how the shutdown impacts my life, while expressing my disgust with the Republican Party’s politicization of the World War II Memorial shortly after the shutdown began.

I served this nation with honor. Today, I can’t say the same thing about most Republicans in Congress.

Thank you for standing up for me,

Redge Ranyard
World War II Veteran


Filed under History, Politics

Syrian Refugees Begin Relocation

The United Nations announced on Tuesday that over 100 Syrian refugees are being relocated to Germany, in the first step of a plan to move 12,000 Syrians this year.

 (Photo courtesy of World Bulletin)

More than 100 Syrians will be the first of 5,000 Syrians to be relocated to Germany by the end of this year in what the U.N. is deeming a temporary humanitarian admissions program.

This first wave of refugees includes “women and girls at risk, people with serious medical conditions, survivors of torture or others with special needs.”

Neighboring countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon have taken in most of the Syrian refugees so far, as 2 million Syrians have fled.

The U.N. has managed to find homes for 7,000 refugees in twelve western countries in the current plan, despite the goal of reaching 12,000. Other countries that have agreed to accept Syrian refugees include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Germany’s relocation plan is the largest. The country has announced that it will extend two-year residence permits which allow the Syrian refugees to work, and the permits could potentially be lengthened if the Syrian conflict remains unsettled.

Via Impunity Watch.


Filed under War and Peace, World

European Court of Human Rights: There Is No Right to an Incestuous Relationship

European Court of Human Rights - Cour Européen...

European Court of Human Rights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that German courts did not violate a man’s rights by convicting him for incest with his sister.

Patrick Stuebing came into contact with his biological family in 2000. That year, he began a sexual relationship with his sister. They have four children together.

Mr. Stuebing was sentenced to fourteen months in prison in 2005. The ECHR said the German courts did not convict his sister because she has a personality disorder and was “only partially liable” for her actions. Mr. Stuebing claimed his rights to private and family life were violated; the case prompted calls for Germany to follow France, Turkey, Japan and Brazil in ruling that consensual sexual relations between adult relatives are no longer illegal.

Via The Independent.

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Filed under Family, International Justice, Sick Sad World

German President Resigns

Christian Wulff, German President, hold a pres...

Christian Wulff, German President, hold a press point (Photo credit: European Parliament)

German President Christian Wulff announced his resignation today in a televised statement, following a series of scandals that prompted calls for him to resign.
Germany “needs a president who can devote himself completely to national and international challenges,” Pres. Wulff said in a statement.
The developments of the past days and weeks have shown that this trust and therefore confidence in my ability to serve have been adversely affected. For this reason, it is no longer possible for me to continue in my role as president.
The German presidency is a largely ceremonial office, but Pres. Wulff’s resignation is a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel, who supported his candidacy as president.

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Filed under World

Judge Refuses to Let Demjanjuk Return to U.S.

John Demjanjuk hearing his death sentence. Dem...

Image via Wikipedia

John Demjanjuk‘s legal struggles continued Tuesday when a federal judge rejected his claims that prosecutors withheld a FBI document from him.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster ruled that a 1985 FBI memo that questioned the legitimacy of an identity card linked to Demjanjuk was immaterial. Mr. Demjanjuk can appeal.

In May, the ninety-one-year-old former Ohio man was convicted in Germany of being an accessory in the deaths of 28,000 people for his role as a guard at a death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Judges say the key pass places Demjanjuk in Nazi service.

Mr. Demjanjuk’s attorneys wanted him returned from Germany because they say prosecutors withheld documents that could have helped his defense when he was tried in U.S. District Court in Cleveland in 2001. A year later, a judge stripped Mr. Demjanjuk of his citizenship, a move that led to his 2009 deportation to Germany and his trial. Mr. Demjanjuk remains in Germany, where he’s free on appeal.

Mr. Demjanjuk’s attorneys cited the FBI memo that said the Nazi card “was quite likely fabricated by the KGB.” The report was not turned over to the defense.

Federal prosecutors said in court documents in October that they had no idea that FBI agents in Cleveland ever looked into Demjanjuk. They said the report was based on conjecture and misinformed impressions, not evidence.

Judge Polster agreed. He said that because the internal FBI documents are speculative, they did not need to be turned over to the defense. He also appeared to lash out at Mr. Demjanjuk, whom federal judges have said spent time as a guard at several Nazi concentration camps. Mr. Demjanjuk has denied those claims.

“Despite numerous opportunities, Demjanjuk has never provided a single, consistent accounting of his whereabouts during the war years 1942 to 1945,” Judge Polster said.

Via Cleveland.com.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, International Justice, World

On This Day…

The defendants at the Nuremberg War Crime Tria...

Image via Wikipedia

In 1945, twenty-four Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Catholic Church Publishes Porn at Huge Germany Publishing House

Catholic Church

Image by The Advocacy Project via Flickr

The Catholic Church owns a publishing house in Germany that sells pornography. Now that people have found out, the Church is claiming it was all a big misunderstanding!

The publisher in question is Weltbild, a very large German media company (second only to Amazon in size) that has been wholly owned by the Catholic Church for thirty years. It’s recently been discovered that the company has long published some very adult books:

Weltbild’s massive assortment of titles available to customers online includes some 2,500 “erotic” books with unmistakably lewd titles including Call Me Slut!, Take Me Here, Take Me Now! and Lawyer’s Whore, to name a few. The publisher’s website also pictures the titles’ lascivious dust jackets that feature colour photographs of scantily clad women in high heels and erotic underwear.

The Church (officially) is no great fan of pornography. In fact, it’s considered a “grave offense” and the Church says, “Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.”

Carel Haff, Weltbild’s managing director, was quoted as saying that the revelations had provoked “a very intense and critical dialogue” within the company. He said discussions were under way about possibly limiting the assortment of titles that would be available in future.

Are we to understand that the fact that 2,500 of their titles contain erotic material comes as a revelation? It seems like it should have dawned on them that a) they publish books with titles like Call Me Slut!, and b) this is in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. So what does the Church have to say about this mess?

Catholic bishops responded with a statement claiming that “a filtering system failure” at the publishing house had allowed the books to stray on to the market. “We will put a stop to the distribution of possibly pornographic content in future.”

That is a great statement, except that this issue has been brought to the bishops’ attention before. As Bernhard Müller, the editor of PUR, a Catholic magazine, explains,

The sudden proclaimed astonishment of many church leaders that pornographic material is being distributed by their publishing house, is play acting—bad play acting. Believers have been complaining to their bishops about this for years.

In 2009 the Catholic Church tried to sell Weltbild to “clear itself of potential embarrassment over the sale of porn.” Apparently it couldn’t get the price it wanted, so it took the company off the market.

Via Jezebel.


Filed under Religion, Sick Sad World, Stupid Is As Stupid Does