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The one thing that these elections have told me is that the Icelandic Pirates are more than willing to throw the rights of foreigners and asylum seekers under the bus.

The endless cicle of frustrating Icelandic politics

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Last year the government collapsed over the revelations from the Panama Papers. Two politicians were implicated, Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson and Bjarni Benediktsson. Sigmundur Davið, chairman of the Progressive Party and prime minister resigned from both posts after massive protests, which went on for weeks (so many days standing in the rain). The government collapsed and new elections were set for October, 29th. Bjarni Ben, chairman of the Independent Party did not resign and went on to run in the election. In the election, the Independence Party won the majority, with 29%, 3% more than in the previous election and formed the government with Bjarni Ben becoming the prime minister. Maybe the reader can start to spot the source of my frustration.

This September the government collapsed again, this time over the stomach turning scandal that Bjarni Ben's father had provided a letter of recommendation to a convicted pedophile for a process called "restored honor", which Bjarni Ben and others in the Independence party (among others the minister of justice) had been covering up.

Now after just one year there are again elections in Iceland (28th of October). Bjarni Ben is still the chairman of the Independence Party, even though there is yet another scandal involving insider trading and an injunction against the newspaper reporting on it, that I'm too tired to elaborate on, see here and here. The Independence Party is currently, one week before the election, polling between 23% and 25% and there is a chance they will again form the government...

Sigmundur Davið, feeling himself to be a victim of a leftist-liberal conspiracy and stabbed in the back by the Progressive Party founded a new party, Miðflokurinn (the Middle Party,) three weeks before the election. The party's logo looks like it could be from some hippie party from Lower Saxony:

They immediately started polling around 10%, even before they had a program. I saw someone with a Miðflokkurnn badge the other day and had the urge to go up to him and ask: "What is wrong with you people?"

As a none citizen I have no vote, I can only hope.

Shojo anime is deep, man!

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I did not expect an exploration of Modernism vs Post-Development theories in an episode of Sakura Quest, but well...

So I guess I actually have been studying the past 20 minutes.

Picture of the week - Touriststand from above

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This year my birthday was on Karneval again. So obviously I insisted on a German style Karnevalsparty. I even sowed my own mouse costume (by hand!). One of my friends (who shall not be named) is creatively verbose (insert joke about Americans here) and I asked him to hold a Büttenrede* for me. Which he did, rhymes and all:

Here we are together,
Hiding inside from this awful weather.
We're here to celebrate the start of Carnival,
Drinking, eating, dancing, and all.
But we have also gathered for a second purpose, one which our host holds most dear:
We are celebrating the day that my nemesis has lived yet another year!

Even though she is hiding behind a mask,
I can tell which one she is; I need not ask.
She is that little mouse,
The one you've seen scurrying about the house.
Drink in hand, she's been having a great time,
And hopefully I'll make it even better with this little rhyme.

Today is her 35th birthday, a milestone in anyone's life.
Usually this is the time for a crisis, so please make sure we don't let her have a knife.
But even if she doesn't go psychotic with a kitchen utensil,
After today, she still might be a bit mental.

Some people learn an instrument, or switch religions, or buy a new car,
Personally I think our favorite German won't go that far.
She seems happy baking bread day in and day out.
With this extremely repetitive and simple life,
I truly wonder if she has more cognition than a trout.

After all, why would you ask someone like me to write a speech about you?
Clearly, we have seen that idea is absolutely cuckoo.
She might have thought, "nothing can go wrong!" and "he will be such a nice friend."
I thought "I totally have to abuse this, all the way to the end."

I have some interesting facts about Christina,
Ones you might not have heard before.
She tries to guard them, like secret lore,
But fear not, for now to you all I lay them before:

She comes from the state of North Rhine-Westfallen,
A place where you probably wouldn't go unless you got lost in.
First, some information about this bundesland:
This place is the smelliest in all der Länder,
That's why we gave them Köln, in all its splendor.
Of course, in English, this city is known as Cologne,
All the stink is masked by this one place alone.

But Christina is not from Köln.
She comes from a town in the very west,
A place which likes to claim they are the very best!
They say they're famed for emperors and springs,
But smart Germans of course know they're actually famous
For other things:

Our favorite German comes from a family most grand,
A family, that in 1799, wanted to become famous throughout the land.
Though a long line of chicken farmers and beer drinkers,
The Milchers also fancied themselves great thinkers.
They decided that they would rename their town,
Such an action would obviously bring them great renown.

While farmers and beer drinkers do have a good idea now and then,
What kind of name would you REALLY expect from such a group of men?
For many days and nights they debated names: over and over, again and again.
Finally, one night, after seeing a lone chicken in its pen,
A drunken Milcher suggested, "Why don't we just call the place Aachen?"

Now, I don't have much left to say, except that without Christina,
My life would certainly be much more dull.
She is a good person, and whenever I am with her, there is a never a lull.
Of course, she is my nemesis, so I can't give too much of a good word,
So I will end this poem now before it gets even more absurd.

* Die Büttenrede is a traditional Carnival speech, which is held standing in a tub (die Bütte). It is usually used to poke fun at people in power (though these days it is used for self-promotion of prominent guests of the more established Carnival clubs). It rhymes, is full of puns and often held in local dialect. It originated from the tradition that one could get away with saying things during Carnival that in other times would have gotten one into trouble.
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