Sex, Donald Trump And Language

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 22, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

The headline, no matter which languages you may understand, is clear: Is Donald Trump a Sex Monster? With the recent revelations surrounding the candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America and his sexual leanings, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the international press has also hit upon the many stories emanating from his campaign and those involved with him.

What has surprised many, it seems, is that a German-language newspaper has used the English language to describe him or, for legal reasons, to ask about the legality of his position and actions. Bild newspaper, which is a mass-market scandal sheet much of the time, has latched on to the revelations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and other proclivities emerging about Trump and his past by using the words Sex and Monster as a single word on their front page.

Is there not, some have asked, a German word or two? Did they have to use English? It’s not as if Germany doesn’t also have sexual predators and perverts, so why English?

Sex Monster

Screenshot Source: Twitter / Slate

The words Sex and Monster have been a part of the German language for many years and have not simply come into fashion – as single words or run together, which the Germans love to do – over the last few months. Both words are clear and have meaning for Germans. There are few who use the German words today, and for good reason, except in legal and legislative documents.

The German for sex is Geschlechtsverkehr, for monster ungeheuer. A combination of the two would probably have blown the typesetter’s mind and caused many of the normal readers of this newspaper to stutter and reach for their nearest dictionary. Sexmonster, on the other hand, is clear and easy to understand, even when run together as one word.

As to whether these words are applicable to Donald Trump and his actions and predilections is left for the reader to decide.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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Pensions: Planning For The Future?

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 21, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

Back home, and I still refer to the United States as home even having lived here for so long, many people worry about their 401K and the future. In European countries there is little need, since most have automatic pension plans for workers with contributions being taken straight out of their monthly wage packets.

In Germany the pensions authority is required to, and does, write to every single person who is entitled to receive a pension some time in the future to tell them what they are likely to receive when the time comes to retire. This annual event caused a close friend of mine, who has been working in Germany for over twenty years, to reconsider his position. The letter he received had two positions listed: what he will receive at 67, when he retires; what he will receive now if he is deemed incapable of working through illness or disability.


Photo Source: Keith WilliamsonCreative Commons

Although he is still relatively young, and has worked his entire life, he is now placed in the position of having to seriously consider whether it is worth working. Not that he is seriously considering stopping, he enjoys his job too much and the pay is good, but the pensions authority seem to have made him an offer which is hard to refuse.

Under the present regulations, if he works to 67 he will receive a good pension which, coupled with his savings and a private pension plan, will allow him to live a life of relative ease. His house will be completely paid off in a few years and he will have no other major debts to consider. If, however, he becomes fully disabled this year and can no longer work, he will receive slightly more than if he works to pensionable age. A very strange offer indeed.

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Spammers: Got To Love Them!

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 20, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

Most of the spam I receive, and delete without a second thought, on this blog – and through my mail account – tends to be either nothing but links without explanation, or an attempt to sell me something – a commodity or service – which no one in their right mind needs. Now and then, though, a certain amount of humor comes through, unwittingly I am sure.

effortlessly as if your internet site but you really need to check out the punctuational in several of your blogposts. A number of possibilities rife having punctuation challenges and I to uncover that very irritating to express to the facts nonetheless Let me certainly return once more.

It is always amusing to receive criticism from someone who cannot follow their own ideal.

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Beyonce: Making Your Ears Bleed

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 19, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

It can happen to anyone, a slight mis-step and something goes wrong. For Beyonce, at her recent concert, it was an earring apparently caught in her ponytail which ripped her ear and then bled. She, of course, continued despite the injury and has earned both praise and some vitriol as a result. And, of course, a total lack of understanding from some fans who, hearing that she had bled on stage, were then stupid enough to suggest they should cut themselves (!) to show solidarity with the music star.

Bleeding Beyonce

Screenshot Source: Twitter / DK Uzoukwu

That it was an accident is clear, that she played nonetheless shows her professionalism, that some said they should cut themselves an act of irresponsibility.

And the really mean people out there: naturally, the claim that their ears bleed when they hear Beyonce too.

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Secure Servers: The Sweet Irony

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 18, 2016 in Internet |

Probably everyone in the United States now knows that WikiLeaks – a theoretically impartial whistleblower website dedicated to leaking government and business documents and information – has been posting countless mails from and to Hillary Clinton for the last few weeks, the bulk of which has been incredibly boring and tells us nothing new, nothing that wasn’t already in the public domain through speeches, press releases and common sense.

Their impartiality has ensured that they have only released documents concerned with Clinton and no other candidate, and caused something of a stir, with accusations of hacking and improper actions being thrown left, right and center.

One of the main points in the long – and equally uninspiring – investigation by the GOP / Republicans has been that Clinton used a private server which could have been hacked, and was undoubtedly against the rules. It has been pointed out that her server – until WikiLeaks began receiving information – remained clean and unhacked, whereas State department and other government servers have been successfully hacked and accessed a number of times.

Trump's Servers

Screenshot Source: Twitter / Kevin Beaumont

Since this is also something which The Donald has played upon, I thought it a matter of irony, of the sweetest sort, when Kevin Beaumont revealed that the servers at the Trump organisation are so out of date and so lacking in security that anyone could have hacked them.

Not, of course, that too many people would be interested in hotel and casino conversations, but the question remains: when will WikiLeaks, being so impartial and only concerned with revealing the truth, start publishing Trump mails?

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Playing On The Gullibility Of The Masses

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 17, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

Another two attempts to defraud or infect have come my way this week. They may well be ones which are already well-known to some, but such warnings bear repeating time and time again: there is always someone prepared to buy London Bridge.

This first is a clear case of attempted Identity Theft as well as fraud. No one is going to send you two and a half million dollars just like that, there will be real correspondence beforehand, and the people offering to transmit the cash will have both better means of performing the transfer and your name.

Attn Beneficiary,

This is to notify you that your fund USD$2.5M has been programmed in an ATM visa card for immediate delivery to you upon reconfirming your physical destination address as all arrangements has been finalized and to released to you as the legitimate beneficiary of the fund, via global ATM visa card.

Your ATM visa card worth USD$2.5M united state dollars was with a delivery service here in Benin Republic, for we have waited enough to hear from you so that your funds can be transferred through UBA Bank here, but due to the late response we decided to credit the fund through ATM CARD.

(1) Receivers name
(2) Your home address
(3) Your direct telephone
(4) Your passport or ID card

Your ATM visa card withdrawing access PIN number is (0516) take note, once you receive the card you take it to any POS cash point around your area and slot the card and enter the PIN number (0516) to activate and start withdrawing thereafter.

Finally, be informed that we have left an instructions to the delivery company for urgent delivery of your ATM visa card immediately you forward them the required information, feel free to get in touch with them today.

Below is the contact information delivery company:

Wilson Nwave
Avenue Jean Paul I BP 325- Cotonou
Email: wi33nw33@gmail.com
Tel + 229-6785-6743.

Please understand that you will be liable to pay for the delivery fee of your ATM visa Card.
Mrs Nadia Ben.

Two things to note here: giving the information you demand will allow someone to steal and use your identity. Agreeing to pay possible postal or delivery charges, which will not be USPS rates or even FedEx, will merely bolster the bank balances of these criminals, but not result in the payment of a single cent from the two and a half million promised. This money simply does not exist, and nor do the people under these names.

This second one looks reasonable at first glance, until you realize that there can be no need to print out a delivery label, since the label should be on the package. Meant is a delivery note, but you’d know all about this beforehand too, because you’ll either have ordered a product, or someone will have told you they are sending it.

Dear Customer,

Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you.
Please, open email attachment to print shipment label.

Kind regards,
Derrick Elkins,
FedEx Operation Manager.

The delivery label is also sent as a .zip file, which should be an instant red flag. A simple piece of paper compressed into a .zip? I think not. It’s a virus, and you don’t want it on your computer, believe me.

Read, laugh, delete in both cases.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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The Influence Of The Internet

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 16, 2016 in Internet |

This may well become an Internet legend, or it could also be just a story someone made up along the way but it goes something like this:

The German supermarket chain Lidl decided upon a new advertising campaign comparing prices of products that they sell, between their own brands and those of market leaders. They bought space outside their own stores – presumably from their own advertising company – and hired a company to paste the new adverts all over Germany. Sadly one worker made a slight mistake. The man mixed up the order of the sheets he had been hired to hang.

Du Hast Die Wahl

Photo Source: Viktoria Michaelis

The result was that at least one advertising board, instead of having Du Hast Die Wahl with the images of two products side by side, had the advertising slogan back to front. It read Die Wahl Du Hast. Very Yoda and Star Wars.

Someone saw this mistake and took a photograph, posted it to the Internet somewhere, and it went viral. The advertising managers at Lidl came across this posting somehow – even Lidl managers are human and use the Internet, just like ordinary people.

Rather than flip out and castigate the company and its worker, they went the other way. They took advantage of the mistake for their own good.

Die Wahl Du Hast

Photo Source: Viktoria Michaelis

Now you can see both versions of the campaign, sometimes side by side as here.

And some claim that the Internet has no influence on our lives.

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The Saddest Side Of American Politics

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 15, 2016 in Immoral Conversations |

As many will possibly have noticed, the bulk of the news stories coming out of the election campaigns in the United States are about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as they are the forerunners in the charge towards the White House. Now and then you’ll see something about the two other candidates – did anyone notice that there are four? – but not a great deal.

And the stories about both Trump and Clinton can be broken down into categories, of which actual policies and plans for the future appear, at the moment, to be the smallest section. I hardly need mention what those other categories are, just that they smear the very idea of an election race, just as much as they blacken the good name of American politics – which has been going from a clean(ish) vest, through all the shades of grey to what it is today for a very long time. This is probably the dirtiest campaign ever, in any country throughout the world. But, one small consolation, at least none of the candidates have been killed, yet.

The Saddest Side

Screenshot Source: Twitter / Kevin Robillard

Leaving aside all that, if you can, and it is difficult bearing in mind the constant updates with new accusations and counter-claims, there is another side of American politics in every election campaign which is sad and reprehensible: money.

Some people are honestly accessing the value of each campaign, each position of the candidates in each State, by the amount of money they are raising and spending. As if this were a criteria for the next President.

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Presidential Campaign: Lest We Forget

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 14, 2016 in News & Opinion |

There are parody accounts, real accounts and stared accounts on Twitter, and sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference one from another. Quite a few people have been caught out recently by parody accounts claiming to be Donald Trump – although I do not understand why anyone would wish to parody a man who is a parody of everything sleazy and unacceptable in American business and politics; he does a good enough job of parodying himself.

While cleaning out my Twitter feed I came across these two Tweets from August 2015. It reminded me that the ‘attacks’ on the character of Donald Trump are not sudden apparitions, they have been there for a very long time. People have been saying that Trump is not suitable for the office of President for a very long time, and people have also been making fun of his since the beginning.

Lest We Forget

Screenshot Source: Twitter / DPRK News Service / Ron Fournier

However, there is one thing we should remember amid all the back and forth, the conspiracy claims, the claims of rigged elections, the claims of falsified accusations and confessions: it is the ordinary American on the street, in the workplace, in coffee bars, kindergarten, factories and on welfare who will be damaged by all this. The view from outside, from the rest of the world, where the USA wishes to influence and assist – if not police – is being damaged beyond repair.

How can a country which insists it is the democratic hub of the world, a fair and just society, possibly even entertain the idea that sexual assault against women is acceptable or forgivable? That winding up people to commit acts of racial hatred, acts of violence against their fellow-man or woman are acceptable or should even be considered? How can Americans supporting Trump hold up their heads and claim that justice is fair in the United States when their idol stands in front of an audience of tens of million people, and clearly says that Hillary Clinton would be in jail if he were in power, without mention of a fair trial?

Lest We Forget. Our America should be a Land of the Free, a welcoming country, willing and able to assist where assistance is needed the most – including inland, among the poorest people of the States – and not what many foreigners are now perceiving it to be: a land where only business interests are acceptable; where women are lesser subjects; where foreigners, or people conceived to be foreigners, are worth still less and the poor and needy are pushed out of sight, out of mind.

Is that the country I was born and raised in? Is that the country I love and am loyal to?

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How To Save Your Job

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 13, 2016 in News & Opinion |

I’ve been sitting on this news story to see how it develops, and because I found it almost impossible to believe. The basic story line is this: the management of two airline companies are considering merging in order to be competitive in the marketplace. The workers in these two companies are scared that a fusion of the companies will result in a loss of jobs. Neither of the two companies will survive without a fusion, or they will suffer major losses in the near future. To prevent a fusion, or to voice their disagreement with the proposed merger, workers do not go on strike – they would need to hold a ballot for strike action to do that – rather they just report in sick for a day or two.

In Germany, unless a contract states otherwise, workers can report sick for a day without the need to produce a doctor’s certificate. At three days sickness they must produce one. Sick days in Germany are paid.

How To Save Your Job

Screenshot Source: Twitter / FAZ

It is clear that when two ailing companies merge, there will be job losses. If the two smaller companies cannot survive alone, a larger company is not going to be able to survive with the doubled – effectively – number of workers. How those job losses are effected is a matter of discussion and negotiation between – on the first level – the company management and a work’s council. On the next level, if agreement cannot be reached, between the management and a union. To date there has been no indication of how many job losses there could be, nor how they would be realized.

My thoughts, though, go along a slightly different line. Fine, it is highly likely that the two companies will enter into merger talks, but it is not certain that these will be successful. Both companies have problems and their bottom line is suffering, partially because they are in competition with each other. What is, then, the best way to ensure that your company, the company you work for, gains strength and can protect jobs in the future?

For me the answer is to attract more customers through good customer service, good pricing, and a product that the public is interested in and will buy. None of these points can be achieved when the transport firms involved have to cut back flights, often on short notice, pay compensation to passengers, and cannot earn.

And who is going to be looked at when the time comes to consider letting someone go? The people who worked and were loyal to the company, or those who caused it more problems?

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