Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

Istariol I know that it is more complicated (and has become more complicated after the 70s).

In Music I always got terrible grades because we had to sing until the 6th grade……

And then you have sport, arts, artisanal items (knitting, cooking, diy classes)…
 
Part 131, Chapter 2227
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Twenty-Seven



16th July 1973

Tempelhof, Berlin

It seemed like everywhere one looked in Tempelhof these days, there was a reminder that the land the neighborhood had been built on had once been an airport. The café near the hospital that Kiki was meeting Nora Berg at was an example of that. The owners had not only gone with an aviation theme but lately had started with the “Air Rescue” artifacts provided by those who worked in the hospital who were in the FSR or Air Ambulance Service. It was a reminder to Kiki that she was inevitably going to get called to Laupheim or Judenbach to renew her field certification. It was not something that she was looking forward to and had tried to get her superiors to move it up to before the trip to Russia this summer, but silence was all she got in reply. It seemed that she had pushed things to the limit of their tolerance of her antics and they didn’t want to get seen as playing favorites. She wasn’t looking forward to that because neither of those places were vacation spots in the wintertime.

While the owner was happy to have her as a customer, he didn’t like that she always came with a pair of bodyguards from the First Foot. They tended to scare off anyone who was not used to their presence. Berg was reading a newspaper as Kiki entered the café, she might have thought that the headline was a joke unless she knew that it was over an extremely serious matter. Berlin and Paris to London, Drop Dead. It seemed that historical memories were alive and well as the “Grand Europa” project had progressed. As the economic benefits of project started to be felt, the United Kingdom had wanted in only to be rebuffed by the block of countries. That this had come only weeks after the entry of Ireland was an unmistakable message that no one in England, or whoever had written that headline could possibly have missed.

“You look tired” Berg said as Kiki sat down across the table from her. Berg had already ordered the way she always did, except this café didn’t have a menu as such. You got whatever they happened to be serving.

“Something about the summertime makes people stupid” Kiki replied, “You wouldn’t believe some of what I had to deal with over the last couple of days.”

“I did what you are doing now for decades” Berg said, “The only thing I miss are the little moments like telling a man what my specialty happened to be when I was working on something else entirely.”

“You took entirely too much enjoyment in that.”

“And you never did know how to take care of yourself” Berg said to Kiki with a smile. “It’s just as well that you are a Princess and a Doctor, otherwise I can’t imagine what your life would look like.”

“Anonymity?” Kiki asked in reply, “The ability to go out in public without being recognized? Never having to worry about a photographer catching me in a compromising position. Taking Nina to the park or beach, like an ordinary family? That would just be awful.”

“That isn’t what I mean” Berg replied, “I had the most interesting encounter in the park the other day, a young woman who reminds me a lot of a young Kristina von Preussen without as many advantages. A bit more self-reliant though.”

Kiki had wondered how long it would be before she would be hearing about this matter from Berg. She had discussed Sophie’s self-destructive tendencies with Kat and what exactly to do about them. The idea of having Nora Berg playing to role of mentor and role model had come up. She had been a huge help to Kiki years earlier.

“You know full well that it wasn’t a chance encounter” Kiki said, “Was that your impression, that she is self-reliant?”

“That and she seemed to spend every moment of her life like she is scared of something.”

“You once told me that you shouldn’t ask questions if you were unable handle the answers” Kiki said before she took a bite of the sweet roll that was her breakfast and thought about what exactly she was going to say.

“I’m trying to understand this girl” Berg replied.

“Sophie is terrified of going back” Kiki replied, “When I first saw her, she was malnourished and jumped at her own shadow. Her mother made her life a living Hell, to the point where she was removed and placed in a different household. In the years since it has been her attempting to get perfect grades, maintain perfect behavior, and avoiding the sorts of minor mistakes that got her beaten and starved. The trouble is that we live in a world that is far from perfect and Sophie is far from perfect. That is why passing score that is not one hundred percent is enough to cause her to despair and she treats an argument with her foster mother like if it were the end of everything.”

“I see” Berg replied, “At least there isn’t a sexual component this time. Those mess women up forever, there is no undoing it.”

“How can you be so nonchalant?” Kiki asked.

“Would you prefer that it be something that we just don’t talk about” Berg replied, “Especially since you see the result quite often professionally.”

Kiki looked at her roll, her appetite gone. She had always admired Berg’s blunt manner, but there were times when it felt like she was getting beat over the head with obvious truths she didn’t want to deal with.
 
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It seemed like everywhere one looked in Tempelhof these days, there was a reminder that the land the neighborhood had been built on had once been an airport

Didn’t Kat bury some people in the foundation back when it was an airport?

Also, you continue to amaze me with your nuanced approach to the wide array of human psychological reactions and behaviors.
 
Without Charles De Gaulle as the President of France (unless the butterflies have him going in to politics after the European War) and the IOTL "Special Relationship" between the United States and Great Britain having the UK not being part of a "European Economic Community" is somewhat a stretch.
But then again the UK is much more powerful ITTL at this point in time compared to IOTL and probably the Commonwealth is more economically integrated also.

Kiki is still Kiking it and the unrealistic wish of the Upper Middle Class lifestyle, she just doesn't know how good she has it.
For Sophie she is still insecure about her place in life, maybe Kat and Doug could adopt her and tell her that she is part of their family forever but I have a feeling that Elke will stop it out of spite.
 
Without Charles De Gaulle as the President of France (unless the butterflies have him going in to politics after the European War) and the IOTL "Special Relationship" between the United States and Great Britain having the UK not being part of a "European Economic Community" is somewhat a stretch.
But then again the UK is much more powerful ITTL at this point in time compared to IOTL and probably the Commonwealth is more economically integrated also.

Kiki is still Kiking it and the unrealistic wish of the Upper Middle Class lifestyle, she just doesn't know how good she has it.
For Sophie she is still insecure about her place in life, maybe Kat and Doug could adopt her and tell her that she is part of their family forever but I have a feeling that Elke will stop it out of spite.

It's important to remember that the UK got special abilities in OTL which meant that they were more predisposed to joining the EU (or rather bribes to get them in). Like veto powers over legislation, having their own currency, being the monetary trading house of the EU (all currency goes through them... which makes London bankers very rich), and so on. Like Britain still uses the Pound while the rest of Europe has the Euro, which would have let them avoid the last 12+ years of economic hardship... if not for some very British reason, they decided to embrace austerity and shoot themselves in the foot, driving people to vote for Brexit.

It's so very British.

Here there's much less incentive to give into London to get them into the EU since the German Empire is the dominant economy ITTL. Like Australia, Canada, and South Africa are building things that are being sold and the payment is going to Berlin, not London. So their dominant position as economic head of the Commonwealth like OTL is much more shaky ITTL, and it also gives them a much weaker position to negotiate from. OTL Britain had to discard the 'priority' position Commonwealth nations had in terms of trading to join the European Economic union-thingi. ITTL they don't have that as a bargaining chip.

So London wants in but on their terms, the rest of Europe tells them to bugger off and London throws a hissy fit. Paraphrasing what Churchill said about the US but really really really applies so much better to the UK, 'we find the correct solution after trying every other solution.'
 
It's important to remember that the UK got special abilities in OTL which meant that they were more predisposed to joining the EU (or rather bribes to get them in). Like veto powers over legislation, having their own currency, being the monetary trading house of the EU (all currency goes through them... which makes London bankers very rich), and so on. Like Britain still uses the Pound while the rest of Europe has the Euro, which would have let them avoid the last 12+ years of economic hardship... if not for some very British reason, they decided to embrace austerity and shoot themselves in the foot, driving people to vote for Brexit.

It's so very British.

Here there's much less incentive to give into London to get them into the EU since the German Empire is the dominant economy ITTL. Like Australia, Canada, and South Africa are building things that are being sold and the payment is going to Berlin, not London. So their dominant position as economic head of the Commonwealth like OTL is much more shaky ITTL, and it also gives them a much weaker position to negotiate from. OTL Britain had to discard the 'priority' position Commonwealth nations had in terms of trading to join the European Economic union-thingi. ITTL they don't have that as a bargaining chip.

So London wants in but on their terms, the rest of Europe tells them to bugger off and London throws a hissy fit. Paraphrasing what Churchill said about the US but really really really applies so much better to the UK, 'we find the correct solution after trying every other solution.'
Not every EU country uses the Euro. Other countries have opt outs OTL.
 
@Tamarind77 I think in the fourth paragraph you meant recession instead of inflation. Otherwise well written even though I would disagree on a lot of points but that would make it a diversion.

Oh and Poland and Sweden are also out of the Euro.
 
I had a quick google search and from what I can tell, only Denmark has opted out of the Euro by negotiating it. As standard you need to adopt the Euro once certain conditions have been met.

So yeah, same point. Britain got to keep the Pound Sterling and not have to adopt the Euro and come under the management of the European Central Bank.

Like it's not something minor, having control over your own currency is hugely important as part of your national security and stability.

For example, if you are experiencing inflation, you can devalue your currency (by printing more) to then reduce the pressure. If you're under the ECB, you can no longer do this, your country's monetary policy is under the control of a foreign entity that does not have your best interests at heart.

So yeah, having to negotiate to not adopt the Euro is significant, while having more countries use it allows the EU to be more powerful as an economic block.

There's also the fact that being under one economic system whilst being a different nation causes severe problems when 'the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few'. As an example you have the current (but very very very quietly being eased out) economic policy of balancing the budget. What this means is that for half of the EU to be running a deficit, the other half needs to be running a surplus. In other words, Austerity. For Germany, Romania, etc to be producing cars and car parts for export so they can make bank, France, Greece, etc need to be running a surplus... which means enormous cuts to infrastructure and services.

Which over the last 20 or so years has not turned out so well given the rise of extremist politics and national instability... and Greece's murder by France and Germany when their economy collapsed and recovery was sabotaged.
In the end the euro means you can't undercut local purchasing power in a “beggar your neighbour export policy” through inflation.
That's it.
Second, austerity was an answer to the European debt crisis, not the great recession, or trade account surplus.
 
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CalBear

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I had a quick google search and from what I can tell, only Denmark has opted out of the Euro by negotiating it. As standard you need to adopt the Euro once certain conditions have been met.

So yeah, same point. Britain got to keep the Pound Sterling and not have to adopt the Euro and come under the management of the European Central Bank.

Like it's not something minor, having control over your own currency is hugely important as part of your national security and stability.

For example, if you are experiencing inflation, you can devalue your currency (by printing more) to then reduce the pressure. If you're under the ECB, you can no longer do this, your country's monetary policy is under the control of a foreign entity that does not have your best interests at heart.

So yeah, having to negotiate to not adopt the Euro is significant, while having more countries use it allows the EU to be more powerful as an economic block.

There's also the fact that being under one economic system whilst being a different nation causes severe problems when 'the good of the many outweighs the needs of the few'. As an example you have the current (but very very very quietly being eased out) economic policy of balancing the budget. What this means is that for half of the EU to be running a deficit, the other half needs to be running a surplus. In other words, Austerity. For Germany, Romania, etc to be producing cars and car parts for export so they can make bank, France, Greece, etc need to be running a surplus... which means enormous cuts to infrastructure and services.

Which over the last 20 or so years has not turned out so well given the rise of extremist politics and national instability... and Greece's murder by France and Germany when their economy collapsed and recovery was sabotaged.

For the EU as a whole, it's a benefit since everyone using the same economic system and laws (like the product protections for national items) allows them to tap into a large market and sell with the EU backing them.

Basically, so long as you have actual human beings in charge, using the Euro as your national currency and being part of the EU is the best thing for a tiny European nation to have. If, however, the ECB is run by Austrians who panic and scream 'HYPERINFLATION' at the tops of their lungs whenever inflation spikes by 0.00000000000000001%, it's going to ruin your society and politics, leading to enormous social divisions and political extremism because Austerity is their answer to everything (hint, it isn't.)

Anyway, this is a massive diversion brought on by Celecoxib and Palexia IR I'm taking for pain given my surgery. A diversion that won't be an issue since the German Empire has not experienced Hyperinflation ITTL and thus won't be run by economists terrified of the mere possibility of it returning. Granted, if neo-liberalism takes hold, it's going to lead to the same thing but with the Germany we're seeing ITTL it won't be as much of an issue as Stagflation hasn't occured as of yet. Of course, we do have the US which will no doubt be rushing the neo-liberalism policy-tree and give an enormous example to the new EU about why it's a horrific economic policy to pursue for economic and social stability.

Sorry again for the diversion, if it's a derail please let me know and I'll delete it.
It is both a derail and a Brexit argument.

That sort of argument belongs in Chat.
 
Part 131, Chapter 2228
Chapter Two Thousand Two Hundred Twenty-Eight



19th July 1973

Fritz von Below Barracks, Wunsdorf-Zossen

Life within the vast military base was very much dictated by the seasons. The first half of the summer was dedicated to practice and that the second for maintenance. It was during this time of the year that the barracks were entirely opened up, cleaned, and any outstanding repair work was handled. The thing was that this resulted in a blizzard of paperwork that needed to be done in triplicate and submitted to the Administrative Services Battalion. That was what Manny’s desk was currently buried under and he figured that he would see the surface of it again about the time requisitions for supplies for winterization, fuel, firewood, and winter gear buried it again.

Just the fact that Headquarters needed a battalion sized unit to handle the clerical aspect of running the 4th Division spoke volumes. Manny knew better than to complain too much about any of that. His Uncle Stefan had commanded Admin. Services for a while before he had gotten promoted to command the 8th Panzer Dragoons and eventually the entire Division.

Unfortunately for Manny, the tasks required for fixing up the barracks were deemed perfect for teaching Cadets in the final years from the various Prussian Institutes the art of soldiering. It was more like them learning shirking, evasion, and goldbricking from the pros. That was why he was not at his desk doing his job but talking at a group of Cadets, including two of his cousins, as they were covered in yellow paint that should have been on the interior walls. They had done a rather sloppy job the day before and the Feldwebels had given them an early lesson in just who you don’t mess with, ever. They had redone the job today, properly this time.

Into this, a familiar face decided to make an appearance.

“The face of the German Army, Captain von Mischner?” Captain North asked in English with a laugh as he saw the gathered Cadets. “The yellow stripes are a nice touch.”

“God help us” Manny muttered. North was the last man on Earth he wanted to deal with. He saw Sabastian Schultz give North a dirty look, at sixteen Bas stood taller than most men, knew how to fight, understood English and contrary to the impression he gave of being easy going, had a volcanic temper. U.S. Special Forces or not, North would find Bas to be more than a match if he picked a fight.

“Who is that?” Niko asked, stepping around Bas. He had grown into the leadership role that he had been thrust into by the academy. Preventing Bas from getting into too much trouble seemed to be a key part of that.

“He’s a visitor from the U.S. Embassy” Manny said, “An observer who we are supposed to extend every courtesy to.”

“Who came up with that bullshit, Sir?” One of the Cadets asked as they started moving in a group towards the Mess Hall. It seemed like food was one of the few things that truly motivated them.

“They seem like a bunch of smart-alecks” North said.

“The two who did most of the talking are relatives of mine” Manny said, “They can speak to me out of turn in an informal setting. Besides, they have spent the last several days getting yelled at by Sergeants. So, I took a bit of mercy on them.”

North chuckled at that.

For some odd reason, North thought that they were friends. The truth was that Manny found him to be arrogant and pigheaded. There had also been some of the comments he had made regarding what could only be termed American Exceptionalism that made Manny’s skin crawl.

“Exactly what do you want, Captain North?” Manny asked.

“You were in La-La Land last year?” North asked.

“Because script writing is an obnoxious process” Manny replied, “I needed to go there to straighten out a mess of my own creation.”

“You have friends there though?”

“Hardly” Manny replied, “I was staying in the house of a man who owed me a favor.”

Manny didn’t want to jam up Ritchie, so they had both agreed to the story about a favor being owed. Everyone involved was Special Forces in some capacity, so the idea of a debt being cashed in was a concept that would be understood instantly.

“Oh” North said, “I was hoping that you knew who I could sell a script to.”

“You wrote a script?” Manny asked. He had once heard a comedian joking about seeing a wreck coming, but not being able to look away. Captain North writing anything had that same feeling.



Schwielochsee, Spreewald National Park

It had taken all morning, but Sophie had covered the distance between Tempelhof and Schwielochsee. She had reached the camp in the early afternoon and found that she was the first one there. Oddly, this had been Doctor Berg’s idea and Kat had agreed to it. It was figured that she was old enough to find her own means to get to the camp where she had spent the last few Summer Holidays. It being a Thursday, the rest of the campers would not arrive until Saturday. The adult staff had been a bit put out that Sophie had shown up a couple days early, but the Head Councilor had figured that if she wanted to help with the finishing touches of the set up then the more the marrier.

The truth was that Sophie had found the silence in the cabin a welcome relief as she enjoyed the first afternoon alone. Especially after how noisy her life had become in recent days. The best part was that the staff had seen that she had brought everything on the list of required clothes and equipment in her panier bags they had not thought to check further. She had smuggled all sorts of goodies into the camp in the basket in the front of the bicycle. It almost made up for having to leave Sprocket behind for the holiday. She had considered smuggling him in but figured that would have taken things a bit too far.
 
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Makes one think about heating. The barracks are obviously quite old, but one would expect Germany to use coal for heating even in those old stoves. It is locally produced after all. Brown coal from the Lausitz possibly, being the most local variant and not especially high quality IIRC. Or maybe the open pit brown coal mines near Leipzig.

It also made me wonder about heating in general. OTL 1973 was the year the oil crisis started after all.

So is Germany still 'dirtier' than OTL burning nearly universally local coal? Between protectionist policies, existing infrastructure and inertia I wouldn't be too surprised. Especially since the urban renewal thanks to the Soviets had been less throughout compared to the RAF and USAAF.

Or are they getting oil and maybe gas from their friends in the east, Russia? Without the bi-polar world those oil fields should be easier to access compared to how they were 'in the west' OTL. And that means even if OPEC exists in some form, it'd be a slightly different club compared to OTL. Or less influential.

Also there might have been something on that in the past, since I remember nuclear weapons getting mention, but what's the status of nuclear power? Do we see a anti-nuclear movement, as got started in the early 70s OTL.
 
There are so many balls in the air that it is practically impossible to track ITTL.
There is no Saudi Arabia ITTL so that probably means no OPEC.
No Israel means no 1973 Arab-Israeli war and no Arab Oil Boycott.
Libya doesn't gain independence from Italy and Italy gets the oil revenue after earlier discovery and uses the money to further colonize Libya with Italians from the less economically developed parts of Italy.
This creates a "Peaceful Demographic" change in which the Italian population now out numbers the native Arab population.
A post war Russia that is more opened and developed is selling more oil to other countries, the same goes for a post Revolution Mexico.
This means there isn't the big spike in oil prices and there is no Stagflation of the IOTL 70's.
Then again this is all just my speculation based on the fragments that has been given.
 
Why do I get the feeling North is going to brag that his SF training in unarmed combat is better than the German's hand to hand, only to find himself in a ring with Bas and no rules?

And then have to deal with the humiliation of having the shit kicked out of him by a "child"?

Of course, Richie will find out, and then the rest of the USSF community find out...
 
All Manny has to do is tell North that he knows this guy Ritchie in the LAPD who used to be in the Special Forces himself knows a producer and Manny tells North to take it from there and leave his name out of it meanwhile he gives Ritchie a heads up suggesting that having North taking up a new career is a win-win for both the US. Army and Germany.
 
Why do I get the feeling North is going to brag that his SF training in unarmed combat is better than the German's hand to hand, only to find himself in a ring with Bas and no rules?

And then have to deal with the humiliation of having the shit kicked out of him by a "child"?

Of course, Richie will find out, and then the rest of the USSF community find out...
No, that would be bad writing. That would be as bad as a complete amateur picking up a light saber for the first time and beating a guy trained by Luke frigging Skywalker
 
Why would this be a win for the German army? Any incompetent officer in an other countrie‘s army is your advantage.
The problem is with North is that he is in a position that will ultimately affect policy decisions by the United States and you don't want somebody in there who gives the wrong impression on what the intent of Germany is because that may bring future unnecessary conflict for each country which they both don't want that, better he goes to Hollywood and writes hack screenplays that have the United States being the good guys who can do no wrong instead of pushing that idea to the policy makers.
 
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