German YouTube Produces The Most Widely-Seen Denglish Fail in Human History

As many of you know, Germany's music royalties organization, GEMA, has been locked in conflict with YouTube for years now:

According to a German court in Hamburg, Google's subsidiary YouTube could be held liable for damages when it hosts copyrighted videos without the copyright holder's permission. As a result, music videos for major label artists on YouTube, as well as many videos containing background music, are censored in Germany since the end of March 2009 after the previous agreement had expired and negotiations for a new license agreement were stopped. On 30 June 2015, Google won a partial victory against GEMA in a state court in Munich, which ruled that they could not be held liable for such damages.

This is the English-language version of the message you get when you try to watch a blocked video:

Dengilsh

Along with hopeless confusion about until/by ("I'll have that report on your desk until 5, boss!"), mismarked relative clauses are quintessential Denglish errors. Oxford, refresh our memories:

A relative clause is one that’s connected to the main clause of the sentence by a word such as who, whom, which, that, or whose. For example:

It reminded him of the house that he used to live in.

The items, which are believed to be family heirlooms, included a grandfather clock worth around £3,000.

There are two types of relative clause: restrictive (or defining) relative clauses and non-restrictive (or non-defining) relative clauses. The difference between them is as follows:

  • A restrictive relative clause provides essential information about the noun to which it refers. It cannot be left out of the sentence without affecting the meaning. The highlighted section of the first sentence above is a restrictive relative clause. If it was left out, the sentence would not make sense:

It reminded him of the house. [which house?]

  • A non-restrictive relative clause provides information that can be left out without affecting the meaning or structure of the sentence. The highlighted section of the second sentence above is a non-restrictive relative clause. If it was left out, the sentence would still make perfect sense:

The items included a grandfather clock worth around £3,000.

You do not need to put a comma before restrictive relative clauses. On the other hand, non-restrictive relative clauses should be separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma or commas. For example:

A list of contents would have made it easier to steer through the book, which also lacks a map.

Bill, who had fallen asleep on the sofa, suddenly roused himself.

Now we see what's wrong with the GEMA message. The phrase "for which we could not agree on on conditions of use with GEMA" (which itself caused a fight between GEMA and YouTube, since GEMA thought it unfairly made them out to be the villain) is a restrictive relative clause, like "that he used to live in" in the Oxford example. Therefore, it should not be marked off with a comma.

But virtually all relative clauses in German are marked off with commas. So Germans frequently insert too many commas when they write or edit English. Any translator will tell you of epic, 79-email battles with German clients who think they know English and who insist on re-inserting commas. This usually culminates in an email from the translator which says "I'm really going to have to put my foot down about this. The comma must go, and it's not a style issue, it changes the meaning of the sentence. Trust me." but which really means: I AM A FUCKING PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATOR WHOM YOU HIRED TO TRANSLATE THIS FUCKING DOCUMENT BECAUSE I AM A NATIVE FUCKING SPEAKER OF ENGLISH. YOU ARE NOT. I AM RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG. IF YOU REINSERT ONE MORE FUCKING COMMA, I WILL FUCKING STRANGLE YOU.

The meaning of the GEMA warning is obviously incomplete without the clause about the GEMA conditions. Without that clause, the warning simply says you can't see the video "because it could contain music". The marking of the clause with commas tells an English speaker that the phrase "for which we could not agree on conditions of use with GEMA" is a non-restrictive clause, which would mean that it applies to all music in general: i.e., that GEMA and YouTube sat down to negotiate an agreement about all music ever created and failed to do so. With the comma removed, the sentence now correctly states that you're seeing the warning because GEMA and YouTube could not agree on terms for the music in this specific video.

It seems incredible, but YouTube obviously did not have this warning, which has probably been seen literally billions of times, checked by a native English speaker. I can just imagine some pompous, gel-haired German YouTube executive insisting it was correct, and zis konversation iss over!


No "Jew-Conscious" Comments, Please

You'd be surprised how few comments I have to erase here. Most of my commenters are quite reasonable, if opinionated. Some of them are incredibly articulate and a pleasure to debate. As long as you're making some kind of argument, and as long as your language isn't actionable, Imma let you finish.

I only have to step in once every few weeks and block something. But to try to reduce even this frequency, let me reiterate a few things that'll get you blocked:

  • Anything with "WhiteGenocide" or Stormer, Stormfront, or anything Stormy in the name
  • Links to videos advocating a, er, "Jew-conscious" interpretation of history
  • Racial slurs
  • Threats or advocacy of any kind of violence for any reason.

Policy critiques are welcome. But if you are a white supremacist, Holocaust denier, Jew-baiter, or Nazi sympathizer, you are a sad, sick, freak deserving of pity and contempt, and I will eagerly zap your comments as soon as I find them. Not to mention the fact that many of these views are a crime in Germany, a state of the law which I fully endorse.

So far this year, I've only had to zap 7 or 8 comments out of hundreds which have been posted here. But a periodic reminder of the policy seems sensible.


Random Migrants do Random Things for Random Reasons

Yesterday, a 17-year-old Afghan migrant hacked four tourists from Hong Kong nearly to death before being shot by police. Early reports indicate he was shouting 'Allahu Akbar' during the deed, and that a handmade IS flag was found where he lives. IS has already claimed him as one of theirs. 

The FAZ frets: "How Susceptible are Young Refugees to Islamist Propaganda?"

The only honest answer to that question is "we have no idea". The overwhelming majority of migrants know no German or English. They speak languages like Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, Dari, or Amharic. If you thought Germany was teeming with qualified, reliable interpreters for these obscure tongues, you are mistaken. The German government is scouring the nation for any person sentient organism who speaks these languages. But since there is neither the will nor the means to check out the bona fides of these volunteer translators, corruption, incompetence, and/or hidden political and ethnic agendas keep cropping up.

Therefore, until they learn German -- which many of them never will -- migrants are sealed in a linguistic isolation zone. They can communicate with the world outside their bubble only in the most primitive terms, and nobody from the outside has the slightest idea what they are thinking. This is one reason why there is so little information in the press about migrants who commit crimes: they can barely read or write, and speak obscure languages nobody in Germany understands.

Which means there's a 99 percent chance the migrant sitting next to your on the train poses no danger of whipping out his penis and ejaculating onto you (there's a lot of that going on), or groping you, or screaming at you for no discernible reason, or hacking you to death at random. But there's a 1? 0.1? 1.3? percent chance he might do something like that. You have no idea what that chance is.

Neither do the authorities, since they allowed this man into the country knowing nothing about his background, not even his name, and haven't found anything out since he got here. How could they? He speaks only Dari, is (either partially or completely) illiterate, and there is no way to verify anything he does decide to tell the authorities. Plus, there seems to be a far above average likelihood he suffers from a serious mental illness. Families seeking to cast an anchor into prosperous, stable Germany send their misfits and problem children, not the ones who have families and a steady job at home.

Can you see why European domestic security agencies began tearing their hair out when Germany opened its borders?

But they're not the only ones. If you have to use the train, as millions of Germans do every day, you have no control over whether you might end up sitting next to a crazy, dangerous migrant whom nobody knows is crazy or dangerous. Today the migrant sitting across from your did nothing unusual. And the next 100 you sit next to on your daily commute won't do anything either. But watch out for No. 102 -- he'll be a doozy! And thanks to the insurmountable language and cultural barriers, you'll have no idea what he decides to do if and when he finally snaps.

People do not like it when government policies needlessly expose them to unfathomable risks over which they have no control. Germans are especially resentful of this: see organisms, genetically-modified; and power, nuclear. A sense of powerlessness, insecurity, and mistrust translates into profound, seismic shifts in the public mood which nobody can predict.

Which is what we see today all over Europe.


The World is So Much Safer Now than in 2015

About one year ago, open-borders types in Germany were assuring us that Germany just had to open its borders because the world was in a uniquely dangerous, unprecedented phase of instability.

War in Syria! Instability in Kosovo! Repression in Russia! Unrest in Afghanistan! Bombings in Iraq! Something horrible probably happening somewhere in Africa!

Why, with all the dangers and disruptions in the world, it would be positively inhuman to close the door on hundreds of thousands of random strangers wandering toward Germany on the Balkan Route.

Now the Balkan route is closed, and migrants are being turned away.

Is this because the world has gotten more stable? Has the war in Syria ended? The insurgency in Afghanistan been defeated? Iraq become more stable? Also, how's the situation in Turkey compared to a year ago?

But most of the humanitarians arguing for open borders are quiet now. A year ago, calling for border controls earned you smears and insults: you heartless racist xenophobe, condemning these poor innocent people to the horrific fate of having to live in their own countries. Crypto-fascists like you should be prosecuted, at the very least.

And now...silence. The number of tear-jerking reports is down to almost zero. All the hastily-assembled arguments about why 2015 was an unprecedented, once-in-a-millennium perfect storm of global instability now look a bit dated, since -- by open-borders-activist standards, not by the empirical evidence -- 2016 is an even perfecter storm of global instability.

Yet nobody is calling for Germany to open its borders again. I wonder why not?


German Police Can Seize Your Phone and Arrest You If You Film Them

Via Udo Vetter's excellent lawblog, this police report (g) from Bamberg, Germany:

Early Saturday morning, a person on the Schönleinplatz was halted by police for a check. The 29-year-old student refuse to tell police his personal information and began filming the policeman. He was informed that this was not allowed and constitutes a criminal offense, but the man nevertheless continued. 

As his mobile telephone was being seized, the man resisted officers and was arrested.

He has been charged with resistance against peace officers.

Vetter believes the charges should be dropped, since the police officer's claim that filming him was illegal was incorrect, and citizens are permitted to resist illegal police actions. However, the comments reflect a wide variety of views about whether filming the cop was in fact legal or not, and if not, whether it could be a criminal or civil offense.

The upshot: if you attempt to record police officers in Germany, they may seize your phone and arrest you, and you will only find out your actions were justified after a long and expensive legal proceeding. This is practically the definition of 'chilling effect'.

It's long past time for Germany to pass a law making it absolutely clear that any citizen has the right to film and broadcast any police officer in the performance of his or her duties, no matter what, under any circumstances, as long as the filming does not interfere with performance of the officers' duties.


Who is Fethullah Gülen, What's he Doing in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, and Why does Turkey Want Him Extradited?

The reactions to the recent attempted coup in Turkey are basically the predictable moralizing -- Erdogan will now finally become a dictator! This is just like the Reichstag Fire! (which, contrary to popular opinion, actually was started by a Dutch Communist, not the Nazis). Erdogan-bashing has now reached a fever pitch, even though the question of leads Turkey has zero practical relevance to the daily lives of 90% of Germans (and would have zero relevance to even more if Germany had a better immigration policy).

Leave it to fun contrarian Steve Sailer to put aside the bloviation and focus attention on the most interesting aspect of the whole shebang: mysterious Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen. Gülen now lives in a fortified compound in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, having been allowed to obtain a green card for mysterious reasons.

And now, Turkish officials are demanding he be extradited to Turkey to face prosecution as a ringleader of the recent coup attempt. The USA is in high dudgeon publicly, saying Turkey has no evidence. The affair is threatening to do severe damage to relations between the USA and Turkey. Privately, I'm sure a lot of officials are asking the question yet again: "Why exactly did we allow this guy into the country? How does it benefit the USA to be dragged into the Byzantine internal politics of some other country halfway across the globe?"

Here's part of Sailer's profile of Gülen from way back in 2014: 

With Turkey’s traditional ruling class—the secularist Kemalist generals—finally neutralized by the Ergenekon show trial, the Muslim civilian factions now appear to be plotting against each other. It is widely assumed among Turkish conspiracy theorists (i.e., roughly 98% of all Turks) that the prosecutorial assault on the prime minister was at the behest of Erdoğan’s former political ally, Fethullah Gülen, a powerful and mysterious Muslim cult leaderholed up since 1999 in, of all places, the Poconos, where he has become America’s largest operator of charter schools.

The imam has been preparing for the struggle in Turkey for decades, launching his adherents on a long march through the institutions. The holy man’s Turkish enemies leaked a video in 1999 just before he defected to the US and took up exile in his fortified compound in Saylorsburg, PA. Gülen was shown advising his believers:

You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers.…You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power….

Gülenists have since become common within Turkey’s police and judiciary, playing a lead role in last year’s conviction of 254 secularists for allegedly conspiring against the Islamic government. According to Wikileaks, the American ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffreys, cabled Foggy Bottom:

Gülenists also reportedly dominate the Turkish National Police, where they serve as the vanguard for the Ergenekon investigation—an extensive probe into an alleged vast underground network that is accused of attempting to encourage a military coup in 2004. The investigation has swept up many secular opponents of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including Turkish military figures, which has prompted accusations that the Gülenists have as their ultimate goal the undermining of all institutions which disapprove of Turkey becoming more visibly Islamist. (COMMENT: The assertion that the TNP [Turkish National Police] is controlled by Gülenists is impossible to confirm but we have found no one who disputes it.…)

Amusingly, the Gülenists’ December attack on Erdoğan’s ethics seems to be retaliation for the government’s November attack on Gülen’s college admission test preparation centers. TheNew York Times reported:

…relations soured in recent weeks after the government tried to shut down private test preparation centers in Turkey, many of which are run by followers of Mr. Gülen and are important for the movement’s recruitment and finances.…“Erdoğan’s efforts to shut down the private schools was the last straw for Gülen and the Gülenists,” said Steven A. Cook, a Turkey expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He who controls test preparation controls the future.

...Ambassador Jeffreys commented in his secret cable:

…we have heard accounts that TNP [Turkish National Police] applicants who stay at Gülenist pensions are provided the answers in advance to the TNP entrance exam.

The Gülen movement receives hundreds of millions of dollars from American taxpayers to operate approximately 130 charter schools in America. Not surprisingly, they claim excellent test scores.

In defense of Gülen, it might be argued that he’s providing the Anatolian heartland with something that was extremely valuable to northern Europe: a business-oriented religious network in the Weberian mode. One reason Mexico is Mexico is because the Counter-Reformation kept Puritanism out of Latin America, and along with it the Protestant work ethic. Turkey, which has long been a sort of Mexico of Europe, could use an Anatolian business class.

On the other hand, the more I look into Gülen, the more he seems characteristically Ottoman. The adjective “byzantine” stems from the labyrinthine and devious politics of the imperial court of the Byzantine Empire, the successor to the Roman Empire. Not everything has changed since 1453.

Of course, the Gülen movement’s test prep schools in Turkey aren’t just about test prep. In an aggressively laicized state, after-school school is the best chance for indoctrinating youths in Islam and/or Gülen’s cult of personality.

“It’s organised like a cult,” a French researcher told FRANCE 24, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In certain places where they meet in Istanbul, it really feels like you’re in a Scientology centre. Leaders make speeches about universal love, and distribute pamphlets with photos of celebrities on them. Private classes are given, but we don’t know if the teachings are religious or not.” Most members are not even allowed to talk about the movement,” the French researcher explained. “The way it functions is totally opaque, which is reminiscent of Freemasons.”

Gülen's English-language Wikipedia page displays the suspiciously anodyne tone and ESL mistakes characteristic of controversial topics/people involving developing countries. Everyone who thinks their English is good enough is trying desperately to massage Gülen's image for English speakers.


Golden Rules for East German Teachers

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Courtesy of the DDR (East German) Museum Pirna, a plaque with guidance for teachers: 

Golden Rules for Teachers' Work

Make an Effort to Maintain Ideological Clarity!

Take Up a Firm Fundamental Position!

Be Optimistic!

Be Humble!

Be Balanced! Guard Against Cynicism!

Judge Your Work Realistically and Be Critical of Yourself!

Recognize Successes! Use Scolding Rarely!

Trust and Love Children!

Respect the Pupil! Give Him Responsibility! 

Convince, Don't Browbeat!


An Eternal Reminder of the Dark Days of German Oppression

One day, Germany will have to erect a memorial to all the people unjustly imprisoned for selling beautiful, fresh, delicious marijuana.

It should go right in the middle of Berlin: an eternal flame lighting an inextinguishable joint. Under it, a bronze plaque:

'Den unzähligen Opfern des irrwitzigen Kampfes gegen Hanf. Nie wieder!'

(Dedicated to the countless victims of the absurd war against hemp. Never again!'


It Can't Happen Here, Despite Our Best Efforts

On September 2, 2015, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said (g): "Now we are going to get hundreds of thousands of Muslims from Arab cultures, and that is, according to everything my French colleague said to me, a significant difference when it comes to integration."

The profile of lone-wolf terrorists who have struck in Europe recently is clear: young, alienated North African males with meager education and criminal records.

Germany imported something like 25,000 of these last year alone, and more are arriving every day. Germany has a plan for ensuring none of these young men becomes radicalized and carries out a mass-casualty terrorist attack in a German city. The plan is called "crossing our fingers".