How the Alternative for Germany Has Transformed the CountryWednesday, October 17, 2018
They begin slowly, and then one morning you wake up and find yourself in another country. The small group that gathered on the evening of Feb. 6, 2013, in a Protestant community center in the town of Oberursel near Frankfurt, had no idea that by founding a new political party called the Alternative for Germany they would trigger something bigger. Who would have thought that a retired senior government official, a conservative newspaper columnist and a numbers-loving economics professor would changed the face of German politics?
And who would have thought that the AfD of Alexander Gauland, Konrad Adam and Bernd Lucke would become a big-tent party of its own -- at least in parts of eastern Germany -- within just a few years? Or that it would win almost a hundred seats in the federal parliament with its pledge to "hunt down" Chancellor Angela Merkel? Or that its party leaders would one day march through the streets of Chemnitz alongside far-right extremists, like they did on Sept. 1, 2018?
The AfD stands for an unprecedented political success, but also for a history of radicalization. Like any new party, breaking taboos is the AfD's lifeblood, but its shift to the right has continued unabated. And anyone who has stood in the party's way has gotten steamrolled. First it hit Lucke, the well-behaved co-founder and former party head; he was overthrown by the much more politically shrewd Frauke Petry.
When Petry herself became too powerful, Alexander Gauland pushed her aside. His tweed jackets may lend him an air of amiability and scholarship, but in reality he has few inhibitions about sealing pacts with far-right extremists. In that regard, it's no coincidence that Gauland is the only person from that founding meeting in Oberursel who still holds sway over the party today.
No other party leader stands as much for the AfD's split personality as Gauland. A former senior official in the state government in Hesse, in western Germany, Gauland lives in a dignified Potsdam neighborhood filled with mansions. He can speak intelligently about Prussian history -- and then, without missing a beat, claim that the Nazi era was but a "speck of bird shit" on German history.
"We're a thorn in the side of a political system that has become outdated," Gauland told the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier this month. He wants to drive out anyone who played a role in what he calls the "Merkel System," including people in the media, and he has called for a "peaceful revolution."
But a revolution against what?
In January, Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt published a book titled, "How Democracies Die." In it, they write that in the decades since the end of the Cold War, liberal systems haven't been overthrown through force and military coups alone. More than anything else, democracy has been undermined non-violently through the election of anti-democratic politicians.
The book was written in light of Donald Trump's victory in the U.S., but Germany, too, seems to be on the verge of a turning point. By the end of this year, the AfD is likely to hold seats in every state legislature in Germany. And it has already put forward one of its own -- a conspiracy theorist who predicts the imminent collapse of the euro -- to chair the budget committee in the Bundestag, Germany's parliament, which oversees annual government spending of 350 billion euros ($411 billion).
MALHEUR MOVERS: Vale native builds business to make community blossom - malheurenterprise.comSunday, January 26, 2020
El Campo was once a routine happening in Vale but it declined over time and eventually disappeared. Rodriguez said she remembered going to the carnival as a child and linked up with Todd and Kale Hesse to revive the event.“It was time for our generation to pick it up,” said Rodriguez.Rodriguez said creating small coalitions within the community is crucial. Rodriguez said while she is involved with the community, she is just one of a large number of people who strive to make Vale a great place to live.“These community events only go on because of volunteers,” said Rodriguez. “We are surrounded by a lot of people in this community who like to give.”Rodriguez said her civic involvement can trace its roots to her youth, where she watched members of the community step up and help on a regular basis. Plus, she said, Vale has been good to her.“The community has been amazing to me,” said Rodriguez.Rodriguez and her husband, TJ, both aim to ensure their children, Thomas, Zettie, Tristan and Trent, learn how to give back to their town.Good role models, said Rodriguez, are important. “My parents, they were always giving,” said Rodriguez.The best part of her life and her business, said Rodriguez, is the people.“I get to meet some amazing people and I can go home and be blessed,” said Rodriguez.She said she also likes the variety her shop generates.“Every day there is something very interesting, every day is different,” she said.Letting people down on their orders is her worst fear, said Rodriguez.“That’s hard for me,” she said.Rodriguez said she likes her role as a local businesswoman and a volunteer.“I feel I have to do my job and if that (volunteering) is my job in this world while I am here, I will take that job,” said Rodriguez.News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell: firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-473-3377. For the latest news, follow the Enterprise on Facebook and Twitter.SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING -- For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.
Shirley A. Grover – Cedar Rapids,formerly Independence – Mix 94.7 KMCH - kmch.comSunday, January 26, 2020
In her quiet time, she enjoyed reading and flowers.
Mrs. Grover is survived by 2 sons, Mike (Vicky) Grover of Cedar Rapids and Mark (Jason Hesse) Grover of Coralville, Iowa, 2 daughters, Patricia (Keith) Grover of Mountain View, California, and Beth (Danny) Hinde of Cedar Rapids, 2 grandchildren, Travis Grover and Josh Hinde, and 4 great granddaughters.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and 1 brother, Paul.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 24, 2020, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence. Rev. David Beckman will be the Celebrant. Burial will be in Rowley Cemetery in Rowley. Friends may call for visitation from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23rd , at the White Funeral Home in Independence. On line condolences may be left at www.White-MtHope.com.
The perfect destination foHere is why Germany is the perfect destination for your next holidayr your holiday! Discover nature in Germany - Emirates WomanSunday, January 26, 2020
Alps are characterised by green trees and extensive forests.Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: at the corner of the three German states, Bavaria, Hesse and ThuringiaThe Rhôn hills are located in the heart of Germany and offer a wide range of beautiful views! And if you are a fan of athletic activities, you can try gliding, water sports, and indulge in a spot of star gazing.Jasmund National Park Mecklenburg-Western Pomeraniait takes you right along the cliffs and features enough natural treasures for several holidays. White chalk cliffs, lush beech forests and the shimmering blue of the sea. You’ll catch sight of a rare white-tailed eagle circling in the skies, while far below a thousand different species of beetle scuttle through the undergrowth in this landscape of contrasts.Black Forest National Park, Baden-Württemberg, South GermanyPerfect for cleansing your lungs. The remarkable feature of this national park is that some areas have been able to develop for more than 100 years without human intervention. This means that all the animals and plants that are found here live in authentic, natural surroundings.You can use Deutsche Bahn trains all over Germany, where it uses 100% green energy. In addition, you can take the InterCity Express for a unique experience, as it is a high-speed train that connects all major cities in Germany with speeds of up to 300 km / hour, and this is one of the fastest ways to reach between Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne!Check out their Instagram: GermanyTourismAr, and Facebook: Germany Tourism Arabia– For more about Dubai’s lifestyle, news and fashion scene straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook Media: Supplied...https://emirateswoman.com/germany/
Berlin moves to greatly reduce ‘solidarity tax’ for eastern Germany - EuronewsTuesday, August 20, 2019
We'd better invest this money in education and climate protection."Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, parliamentary party and state leader of the SPD in Hesse, also supports Scholz.What is the Soli tax?The solidarity surcharge was introduced in 1991, to help reconstruction of the east following the reunification of Germany in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall.The tax was originally supposed to be in place only for a limited time but became permanent in 1995.Initially, the solidarity rate was 7.5%, but since 1995 it has been 5.5%. In addition, the surcharge has been unlimited since 1995.Contrary to some assumptions, taxpayers in the west and east have to pay the tax.According to the Ministry of Finance, in 2018 the German state received €18.9 billion as a result.Criticism of the billAccording to the Ministry of Finance, single people with an annual gross income of up to €73,874 would not have to pay anything. From €109,451 gross annual wages, the full supplement would have to be paid.Accordingly, a family with two children and an annual income of €221,375 or more would have to pay the full solidarity surcharge. Families earning less than €151,990 gross would be exempt from the solidarity surcharge.If the draft is adopted, German citizens would then have to pay around €10 billion less in tax.Criticism comes from parties outside the coalition. Katja Kipping of Die Linke said that the CDU/CSU and SPD were making politics for the rich with their proposal.FDP General Secretary Linda Teuteberg wrote on Twitter: "The Soli is unconstitutional for everyone from 2020. So it must also be abolished for everyone. Our constitution also applies to those who in reality want tax increases, and there you have to choose the normal procedures and not the back door."Many citizens on social networks are also outraged by the fact that they still have to pay the solidarity surcharge. "The solidarity surcharge was introduced in 1991 for a limited period of one year. I believed that," wrote a user on Twitter.https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/13/berlin-moves-to-greatly-reduce-solidarity-tax-for-eastern-germany