Friday, November 24, 2017

Merkelstein Mondays

Those are, without a doubt, the most decorative anti-ram bollards or planters I've ever seen. Put up in a German Christmas market (news article here), they form an über-aesthetic terrorsperren that ought to preclude a truck ramming attack this holiday season like the one that happened last year in Berlin, when an ISIS-influenced failed asylum seeker from Tunis killed 12 persons and injured 56.

Since such security measures in public gathering places have evidently become a new holiday tradition in Europe, I plan to feature them in a series of posts this December which I'll call "Merkelstein Mondays," after a new hashtag I saw today in German Twitter. Merkelstein = Merkel stones.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Markets),
Ev'rywhere you go;
Take a look in the Merkelstein, saying to terror “Nein!”
High-visibility stripes aglow.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Markets),
Police in ev'ry street,
But the prettiest sight to see is the bollard that will be
On your own front door.
Christmas markets are pretty much exclusively a European thing, I believe, with some exceptions for a couple of Canadian cities and maybe the American upper mid-west. But Merkelsteins of one sort or another are being introduced to high-traffic public venues of all kinds today. Pay attention when you go to large gatherings and special events and you'll see them.

Bollards aren't just for government buildings or U.S.-interest targets anymore. Bit by bit, one vehicle attack after another, everyplace is starting to look like the Blast-Proof City of Washington DC.


Anonymous said...

TSB: The Brits may have plenty of time to decorate these beautiful white ships:
They built 6 of em at a $billion a piece without realizing the brand new Rolls Royce engines won't operate in warm waters! (Naturally, they tried to pass it off as a "propeller problem" but actually it is the turbine engines the propellers are connected to that keeps breaking down leaving the British Navy with zero destroyers to defend the Empire or Save the Queen! gwb I suggested they install a giant ice machine on the bow and toss bags of ice into nets dragged in front of the water intakes but they said that "Wouldn't be proper."

Anonymous said...

TSB: Has any government ever admitted to a nuclear disaster? Now we have the answer to the mysterious radiation detected in France. This illustrates that the Moscow area has some serious radiation going on. It might be a good time for world leaders to step up and cooperate.

Not that I can think of any. gwb

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TSB said...

James: My apologies, but I accidentally deleted your comment while trying to reply to it. I fat-fingered the button. But you have a good point - "At least the Germans have retained a sense of humor." I hadn't considered that angle. You could see gift-wrapped vehicle barriers as an ironic way to show appreciation to Chancelor Merkel for gifting Germany with a million Ahghan and other failed asylum seekers. The Merkelstein hashtag shows at least some German think that.

TSB said...

GWB: I guess the UK Navy could sell those cold weather destroyers to Canada or Russia, and recoup a little of their cost. Or they could hope that global cooling is a real thing, the way it was in the 1970s, and wait this warm spell out. Hey, Brittania rules the waves, whatever the temperature.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Great idea! The Chi-coms are preparing for using the new Northwest Passage as a big time and distance saver for shipping to Europe and North American East Coast vs the Panama Canal so maybe the Royal Canadian Navy could patrol up there to prevent Caribou hunting. gwb

James said...

No problem. I have a lot of them that should be deleted for just being stupid.