I Will Not Delete Comments At Your Request

Commenters sometimes ask me to delete some of their previous comments, or other peoples' comments.

I am not going to do that. Let me repeat points I've made a few times, but which apparently need to be made again and again:

  • This blog is a private, non-profit hobby run by exactly one person, me. I have no staff, no helpers, no assistants.
  • I like having a comments section and am usually amused and stimulated by what goes on there, because the vast majority of commenters have something interesting to say.
  • Many comments contain points of view with which I strongly disagree and are phrased in ways I wouldn't choose myself. I let them stand anyway because they contribute a point of view to the discussion.
  • I have a real job, and therefore a limited amount of time to work on this side hobby.
  • What little time I do have I put into writing new stuff
  • I have neither the time nor the inclination to search through thousands of past comments to find ones which someone regrets having posted, or which they think is inappropriate.

Yet if a comment comes to my attention which I don't like, I reserve the right to delete any comment, at any time, for any reason, at my sole and unappealable discretion. Period. This blog is not a democracy; if I find a comment crosses the line, I will nuke it.

I define the line, and I don't do so in any consistent way. Nor do I read every single comment ever posted here. I have only deleted a very few comments during the life of this blog. If you ask me nicely, I might explain why I did so, or I may ignore your question. I am ignoring it not because I dislike you, but because I have only a limited time to work on this blog, and I would rather spend it creating new posts than adjudicating disputes about old posts.

I suspect you would rather I spend my time that way as well.

So, with that in mind, feel free to comment away. But please do not ask or expect me to intervene in the comments section. Handle it yourselves.


This Blog is Now Moving to Facebook Permanently

For those of you already on Facebook, please visit my Facebook page here and sign up.

From now on, I will be posting exclusively to Facebook. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • Trying to keep up discussions on two different platforms is too much effort for a side-project.
  • On Facebook, I can control who sees these posts, and make sure they're more likely to reach people who, let's say, are likely to understand the spirit in which they're posted. On a blog, they reach everyone. This was tolerable as long as it was the only option available, but now with Facebook, there is an option, so it's long past time to switch.
  • Integrating videos and pictures is much easier.
  • Responses on Facebook are instant, and I can read and post to Facebook from anywhere, including smartphone
  • The commenting and response functions on Facebook are light-years easier to use and more responsive. I can't say how many times I've wanted to 'like' a particularly good comment here, but no go.

I understand that some of you have privacy and other concerns about Facebook, but that doesn't affect my decision. The advantages of Facebook are so overwhelming now that there is no real choice. Blogs are horse-driven carriages, Facebook is a modern luxury air-conditioned bus. Everyone get out of the carriage and on to the bus. You won't regret it. 

Also, anyone can take simple steps to keep themselves anonymous on Facebook. It's quite easy. Create a profile not using your real name or information, and upload a random picture. Bingo, you're done. Nobody will check it, nobody will close your account, and you will be free to read and comment and post on anything as long as I friend you.

All you need to do is create a profile, then visit my Facebook profile here. Request to add me as a friend. Because I limit the number of people I friend (spam friend requests are common on Facebook, don't friend anyone whose name you don't recognize or who's not already friends with someone you know) please let me know you're from the blog. Do this either my adding a message to your friend request, or, if you use a fake name, by making sure your fake name has the word 'joy' somewhere in it. 'Joy Buzzer'. 'Richard Joyington'. 'Mr. Joyboy'. You can also use your real name, as I do. I've been Facebooking for years under my real name, and I've never noticed a single piece of spam mail or any problems.

Alternatively, you can simply 'like' my page and follow my public posts without friending me. It's up to you. I've enjoyed blogging here for the past few years, and I look forward to continuing the debates on Facebook.

I don't want to be too much of a martinet here, but this decision is final and irreversible. I've even shut off comments on this post, since reading complaints about this decision benefits neither me nor anyone else. See you all on Facebook!


New Blog on Its Way

Just a short update.

First, the address of this blog is going to change to www.germanjoys.eu soon. I lost the .com domain to some stupid vulture firm. According to Typepad, you will still be able to find entries under the long typepad domain, andrewhammel.typepad... etc. 

The address of the new blog is going to be www.germanimmigration.eu. 

Once again, ladies and gents,

www.germanjoys.eu (or this long address you see in your browser)

www.germanimmigration.eu

The changes should take effect by tomorrow, I am assured. I'll post again when they're online. Thanks for your patience!


The Birth of a New Blog

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Conundrum: This blog is supposed to be about Germany in general, and it's not supposed to be very political. A little political, but not very.

Yet lately, the German immigration crisis has generated so much fascinating controversy that, like a crow toying with a bright, shiny object, I can't seem to let go. The immigration posts are taking over this blog, but the subject is so momentous that I feel obliged -- nay, compelled! -- to keep posting about it. 

Solution? I'm going to split off immigration posts into a brand-new blog called "How Many? Which Ones? The German Immigration Blog" (h/t Ralph for the first part of the title).

Stay tuned here for announcements and links.


Now, The One-Post-A-Week Rule Finally Takes Effect

I've been fascinated by the migrant crisis enveloping Germany, which is why I've been posting so much about it. But frankly, I think I've made all the points and predictions that I thought worth making.

I'll sum up the points I've made in the previous month:

  • Germany is going to accept something like 1 million migrants this year.
  • These people were not screened in any way. Many are legitimate refugees from Syria, many aren't. Germany currently has only the most basic information about who these people are.
  • Germany is not prepared to handle anything like this number of new residents.
  • Between 1/3 and 1/2 of these migrants are not refugees and do not qualify for political asylum, and therefore don't have any legal reason to be on German soil.
  • Most of these migrants come from profoundly dysfunctional countries with primitive educational systems.
  • Almost none speak German, and only about 5-10% speak proficient English.
  • Perhaps 15-20% of the entire mass of migrants have college degrees or the equivalent. Because of the dismal quality of universities in much of the developing world, they will likely not be trained to anywhere near the level of the graduate of a German university, no matter how clever and motivated they may be.
  • Probably at least 15-20% are illiterate, and many others likely have modest cognitive ability. This means they will never learn to speak anything but primitive pidgin German.
  • The majority of these migrants are conservative Muslims, and probably 5-10% would qualify as extremists. Syrian immigrants themselves have repeatedly warned that there are some terrorists and radicals among the migrants.
  • The economic migrants chose Germany as their destination because they believe Angela Merkel 'invited' them and that the German state is going to give them a place to live, money and a job. Almost none appear to have given serious thought to whether they want to or can adapt long-term to a radically different culture.
  • Under current German law, many migrants will be able to secure 'family reunification' visas and be able to bring 3-4 more family members into Germany in the coming years.
  • Germany's system for deporting illegal migrants is broken. Under current law and practice, it is effectively impossible to deport someone who really wants to stay, even if they lied to German authorities, have no legal right to be in Germany, and have committed serious crimes.
  • Germany does not have anywhere enough available housing to provide a brick-and-mortar accommodation to all of these migrants.
  • Hundreds of incidents have conclusively demonstrated that many of these immigrants come from ethnic and religious groups which have long-standing conflicts, and that they have brought these conflicts to Germany.

I think that about covers it. Now for a few predictions. These predictions are based on the fact that, as of now, German political leaders responsible for actually dealing with migrants (not newspaper columnists or public-radio talking heads) know that they face a severe crisis.

  • In the next year or so, Germany is going to radically change its laws on asylum, family reunification, border security, and deportation. If the German Basic Law needs to be changed to make this happen, it will be changed. 
  • To try to reduce violence in overcrowded shelters, German authorities will begin seizing commercial and residential real estate properties.
  • Working- and lower-middle-class Germans will perceive the new migrants as a threat, and will resent the fact that new migrants get housing, cash, and special education and other services for free, while working-class Germans struggle to make ends meet on meager salaries.
  • The current cost estimate for dealing with this crisis, something like €10-12 billion, will turn out to be a hopeless underestimate. Lucky profiteers, whether they make mattresses, cots, portable toilets, or containers, will make millions in windfall profits as German officials desperately struggle to accommodate too many migrants. Same thing for landlords.
  • Germany will try to place migrants in underpopulated areas in the east of Germany, but they will not stay there.
  • The currently most 'respectable' anti-immigrant/Euroskeptic party, the Alternative for Germany, will start getting 15-20% of the vote in the east, and 10-15% in the west.
  • The migrant crisis will further damage the German Social Democratic Party, which is already struggling.
  • Germany is not being invaded, is not going to collapse, and will of course never be 'Islamized'. Those are mindless rhetorical exaggerations. Germany has needlessly imported a galaxy of new, expensive, insoluble social problems, but it will muddle through.

That about covers it. I don't anticipate any major new developments now, except that the problems we already see will continue to exist and, in many cases, get worse.

So from tomorrow on, I'll post about the migrant crisis once a week at most. I've basically said all there is to say. Now time to move on to the pleasures, delights, and curiosities of live in Germany. And other, completely unrelated topics.

Citizens, my work here is done. You may now return to your normal activities.


A Note About Sources

Many of you have complained about the fact that I sometimes link to right-wing websites such as Gates of Vienna or Politically Incorrect news. Sometimes I link to left-wing websites. Sometimes I link to cute cat videos. Sometimes I link to flatworm-eating contests in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Let me make clear that I know that these websites are nativist anti-immigrant sites. I have excellent Google-Fu, and can spot political bias a mile away. When I put a link in a post without comment, the purpose is solely to point you to information that confirms what I said in my text. The purpose of the link is not to endorse every single article, picture, and comment on that site. The purpose of the link, I repeat, is solely to point you to information. If the link I cite to has a political bias, I am aware of that fact already. I do not need to be told. Also, I do this blog in my spare time. I will cite to the first website that provides information to back up my claim. I will not waste minutes or hours until I finally get to an ideologically 'non-objectionable' website, if such a thing exists.

If you can direct me to information that disproves what I put in the link, then I would love to hear about that. If you simply don't like the political tendency of the source I linked to, but cannot disprove the facts reported there, I don't care.

I am also aware that Steve Sailer recently excerpted one of my posts about Merkel's Millions. I read Sailer regularly. I do not agree with all of his political positions, and I'm sure he doesn't agree with all of mine. But he's a punchy writer with an original perspective who actually does often highlight important information the mainstream media ignores. If you don't agree, read more of his posts. For every one that has you seething with outrage there will be another that will have you, perhaps grudgingly, saying 'the man does have a point'.

To sum up: if your comment consists of nothing more than clutching your pearls, dropping onto the fainting couch, and exclaiming: "How could you have cited that site?!?", you might as well save the effort.