Germany

Compare and contrast – Kim Dotcom

In the interview with Kim Dotcom on Q+A he said this when asked about his political ideology:

I’m neither left or right, I’m commonsense. I would say I’m up…you know.

[...]

We are new, you know, we are fresh. We are about common sense. You know some of the left have good ideas, some of the right have good ideas and you know we need to find the right mix.

[...]

Well because I don’t sit anywhere politically and the Internet party doesn’t sit anywhere politically.

[...]

It’s not about the left or the right, it is about what works.¬† Read more »

How are the Germans getting on with green energy? …Not so well it turns out

The German economy is almost on its knees as a result of green energy policies that are failing to deliver.

Germany is in the middle of one of the most audacious and ambitious experiments a major industrial economy has ever attempted: To swear off nuclear power and run Europe’s largest economy essentially on wind and solar power.

There’s just one problem — it’s not really working.

The energy transformation, known as “Energiewende,” was meant to give Germany an energy sector that would be cleaner and more competitive, fueling an export-driven economy and helping to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. On that count, the policy has floundered: German emissions are¬†rising, not falling, because the country is burning increasing amounts of dirty coal. And electricity costs, already high, have kept¬†rising, making life difficult for small and medium-sized businesses that compete against rivals with cheaper energy.¬† Read more »

Colin Espiner shanks Kim Dotcom, hard

Kim Dotcom showing off his Waffen SS helmet

Kim Dotcom showing off his Waffen SS helmet

Colin Espiner performs one of the best stabbings on Kim Dotcom seen so far.

What a relief to hear Kim Dotcom explain that he’s not a Nazi sympathiser – he just likes war games and making lots of money.

For a minute last week I was concerned the “vision leader” (as opposed to someone-you-can-actually-vote-for leader) of the new Internet Party was not the sort of person New Zealand really needed pulling political strings in an election year.

It isn’t a crime to buy a copy of the autobiography of one of the 20th-century’s most monstrous figures, unless you live in France, Germany, Austria or Hungary – which ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia.

And there are legitimate scholarly reasons for owning a copy of Mein Kampf. No doubt the book is in most major libraries in New Zealand.

But let’s be honest. Owning a rare first edition personally signed by Herr Hitler and gifted to Hermann Esser, one of the founders of the hated and feared Third Reich, is just a little bit creepy.

Actually, given Dotcom’s German nationality, it’s more than creepy. It’s boorish, stupid, crude, and unthinkably insensitive. Most Germans would rather collect excrement than have anything to do with a regime they remain deeply ashamed of to this day.

But then, most Germans don’t hold multiple identities, flee criminal charges, make a fortune out of hosting a web site that enabled large-scale internet piracy, live a self-described lifestyle dedicated to “fast cars, hot girls, super-yachts, amazing parties and decadence” before buying their way into a foreign country, fighting extradition to the United States on counts of fraud and racketeering and deciding to set up a political party dedicated to bringing down the prime minister.

Dotcom also feels it’s OK for a German to pose at a party wearing an SS helmet because “I’m a young guy [and] I’m not always politically correct”.¬† Read more »

Comment of the Day

Left on the arts, travel and lifestyle blog:

As an aside, I’d like to compare two historical figures against a number of objective criteria…

Has a giant narcissistic ego.
Hitler: Check.
Dotcom: Check.

As a foreigner, used another country’s political system for his own amusement.
Hitler: Check. As an Austrian in Germany.
Dotcom: Check. As a German in NZ.

Owns a copy of Mein Kampf.
Hitler: Check.
Dotcom: Check. But only as a reference source for his video gaming, mind you.

Lives in a big house.
Hitler: Check. Berchtesgaden.
Dotcom: Check. Coatesville.

Surrounded himself with bodyguards.
Hitler: Check.
Dotcom: Check. ¬† Read more »

Dotcom: Mark of the psychopath – bends reality, believes in his own lies

Earlier today we posted the facts about the Eiffel Tower.

Built in 1889 by French engineers, using French steel and rivets, nothing was supplied by Germany and it cost around $1.5 million dollars back then.

From Wikipedia:

The¬†Eiffel Tower¬†(French:¬†La Tour Eiffel,¬†[tu Ā …õf…õl]) is an¬†iron lattice tower¬†located on the¬†Champ de Mars¬†in¬†Paris. It was named after the engineer¬†Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the¬†1889 World’s Fair, it has become both a¬†global cultural icon¬†of¬†France¬†and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.¬†The tower is the¬†tallest structure in Paris¬†and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011.¬†The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

Before we go any further we also need some facts about the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty (‚ÄúLiberty Enlightening the World‚ÄĚ) is a 225-ton, steel-reinforced copper female figure, 151 ft 1 in. (46.05 m) in height, facing the ocean from Liberty Island1¬†in New York Harbor. The right hand holds aloft a torch, and the left hand carries a tablet upon which is inscribed: ‚ÄúJuly IV MDCCLXXVI.‚ÄĚ

The statue was designed by Fredéric Auguste Bartholdi of Alsace as a gift to the United States from the people of France to memorialize the alliance of the two countries in the American Revolution and their abiding friendship. The French people contributed the $250,000 cost.

The 150-foot pedestal was designed by Richard M. Hunt and built by Gen. Charles P. Stone, both Americans. It contains steel underpinnings designed by Alexander Eiffel of France to support the statue. The $270,000 cost was borne by popular subscription in this country. President Grover Cleveland accepted the statue for the United States on Oct. 28, 1886.

The Statue of Liberty was designated a National Monument in 1924 and a World Heritage Site in 1984. ¬† Read more »

Map of the Day

germany_1619

 

 

Germany: The Thirty Years War 1619-1629, Campaigns in Bohemia, the Palatinate, Lower Saxony & Denmark

Map of the Day – Places Kim Dotcom can’t run to

So Kim likes the Map of the Day? …he might not like this map.

United_States_extradition_treaties_countries

This map is all of the countries that US has extradition treaties with.¬† Read more »

Solar isn’t cheaper, or more effective, learn from Germany’s mistakes

The Green party wants to foist an energy policy upon New Zealand that is idiocy in the extreme. Industry sources say it is a hopelessly flawed policy, reliant on subsidies to work and even then it is based on a lie…that solar is cheap and effective.

Germany’s problems suggest the opposite.

Germany once prided itself on being the ‚Äúphotovoltaic world champion‚ÄĚ, doling out generous subsidies‚ÄĒtotaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany‚Äôs Ruhr University‚ÄĒto citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned and to phase out support over the next five years. What went wrong?

Subsidizing green technology is affordable only if it is done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the government‚Äôs generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed ‚Äúacceptable.‚ÄĚ It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer‚Äôs annual power bill.

According to¬†Der Spiegel,¬†even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel‚Äôs staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp R√∂sler, Germany‚Äôs minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a ‚Äúthreat to the economy.‚ÄĚ

Germany‚Äôs enthusiasm for solar power is understandable. We could satisfy all of the world‚Äôs energy needs for an entire year if we could capture just one hour of the sun‚Äôs energy. Even with the inefficiency of current PV technology, we could meet the entire globe‚Äôs energy demand with solar panels by covering 250,000 square kilometers (155,342 square miles), about 2.6 percent of the Sahara Desert.¬† Read more »

More problems for the Green’s solar policy

The Green’s solar policy is reliant on subsidies…and as we know subsidies always blow out massively.

If you want to know how massively we only need look at a couple of examples…like Germany where the government is now faced with having to curtail the subsidies.

Two interesting stories that show, at least to me they do, that the subsidies offered to solar power were simply too large and too fast. The first is from Germany, where it looks like the European Union is going to take a very large bite out of a number of large companies. The second is from the US, where there’s a disturbing trend of solar cells failing after only a couple of years in the field.

Germany first: the basic story is that Germany has offered some of the world’s highest subsidies for solar PV installation. I work part of the time in eastern Germany and the place is festooned with them: in one of the climates least able to make efficient use of the technology. The method was that those installing PV were offered high and guaranteed rates for the electricity produced. These were paid for by inflating the electricity bills of users. The problem is that large industrial users simply could afford these rates (more like 28 euro cents per unit than the 10 US cents an American company might pay) for energy intensive processes. So, the German government created a system of opts out for large energy users: they would have to pay that extra to subsidise the solar installations.

That’s ludicrous, of course. You want all energy users to be paying for the installation of a new energy system (even if it is one as badly thought out as solar in Germany).

Germany is a silly place to push solar…I would have thought that New Zealand was too…given Aotearoa means “Land of the long white cloud”.

The other story comes from the US. It’s about the very shoddy quality of some of the solar panels that have been installed:

All solar panels degrade and gradually generate less electricity over time. But a review of 30,000 installations in Europe by the German solar monitoring firm Meteocontrol found 80 percent were underperforming. Testing of six manufacturers’ solar panels at two Spanish power plants by Enertis Solar in 2010 found defect rates as high as 34.5 percent.

The story here can be read two ways. There’s a lot of blaming Chinese companies in which case we might read it as just softening up people for the tariffs to be imposed upon Chinese solar panels. But this report is in the New York Times so it obviously couldn’t be something that politically nefarious. The other way is that shoddy production is an inevitable outcome of an industry expanding pell mell. Which would be an indication that we’re just trying to do this switch over to solar too fast. Which in itself would be an indication that we’ve set those subsidies too high: and also that it’s going to cost us a lot more than previously thought to replace those shoddily made components.

The good news keeps on rolling, this time it is tourism

Thjs news won;t make the Labour party party happy as they want to trash talk the New Zealand economy, and john Key.

He is the tourism minister so can rightly claim this piece of good news.

A record 2.7 million overseas visitors touched down in New Zealand last year, providing a shot in the arm for retailers, tourism operators, the hospitality industry and the economy.

Tourism New Zealand estimates the extra 114,112 holiday makers last year from abroad spent $365 million.

In addition to a bumper year, December also recorded the highest number of arrivals in any month with 381,000 clearing immigration controls.

Tourism NZ chief executive Kevin Bowler says the growth for the year was driven by traditional long-stay markets and the biggest source of tourists – Australia.¬† Read more »