Stupid Luck and Happenstance, Thread III

The waterways were a part of the commons.
I've been considering this for a while. Warning: My legal knowledge on the topic is quite limited.

I've never have heard the term commons ('Allmende') applied to waterways. In fact, that style of ownership died a slow death in most parts of Germany over the centuries. What's left is state-owned waterways, but I'm not sure how comprehensive that is. IIRC there were private concerns building and owning some of them, but I'm not sure how they fared in the century or so since. Drawing parallels, while most railway lines were unified in what TTL probably still is the Reichsbahn (I'd have to check older posts on the name...), there were OTL and probably TTL too some private ones remaining.

And then there is the fact that the central powers did better in WW1, leading to the question what happened to the important waterways: the Rhine and the Danube. OTL the Paris treaties made them international waterways, something that I can't see happening here to the same extent with no French border on the Rhine. That alone would inevitably change anything that happened in Germany afterwards.

However, even with AH still falling apart for some contrived reason, I'd expect a more concentrated effort on the Rhine-Main-Danube canal than OTL - the project was approved in the 1920s IIRC and only started building in the 1960s, finished in the early 90s.

Wait...

Kiki remembered that that had been her mindset when she had bought the Meta, the rules had not even been a consideration for her. Fortunately, she hadn’t got caught on that odd trip up the Rhine to the Danube and Prague.

Did that one and the Danube-Oder-Elbe canal get built already?

Coming back to the first point, as ferdi254 said, regulation and licencing will not be nearly as hot topic an issue as in the US. Accessibility to licences might be more the topic, because most German would probably agree that river traffic has to be regulated, and that the equivalent of a car registration and driving licence can be expected as the minimum. (As annoying it can be to holiday-makers to not be able to just jump in)
 
I can say, that today the license to be allowed a boat is not that hard to get...
Here are some pages from Wiki (sadly only in German)

This is a list of all possible licenses you can have:

This second one is the "Sportbootführerschein Binnen" for boats on lakes, rivers and channels:

To make it short, it is structured similarly to the driving license in that you need to be bodiely able and have theoretical and practical lessons.
 
It seems someone has been able to build that absolute folly that is the RheinMainDonau Channel. OTL both channels and railroads are (with veeery few exceptions) run by the state while driving on artificial and natural waters is free unless you have to use a lock.
 
Part 123, Chapter 2067
Chapter Two Thousand Sixty-Seven



20th June 1971

Potsdam

Sitting in what had been his father’s office in the Summer Residence still felt uncomfortable for Freddy. It was like wearing someone else’s suit of well-worn clothes. They just didn’t fit right, and you were reminded of it constantly. He’d had the desk replaced and new artwork on the walls, but there were still aspects of the room that could not be changed that were constant reminders of the presence of Freddy’s father.

Freddy’s father had warned him that while his sisters were mostly apolitical, it was a term that held a lot of different meanings. A hurricane could also be considered apolitical, which was cold comfort if your house happened to be in the path of the storm.

These days, Ria was the Queen of Galicia-Ruthenia and most of the trouble she was caused was within the borders of that Kingdom. There was the widespread, and somewhat ironic, belief that Ria was a lesbian, Ria keeping her hair cut short and her preference for men’s suits tailored to fit her didn’t help matters. There was also Rea’s wholehearted embrace of the many ethnicities who lived within Galicia. For those reasons she had emerged as a controversial figure.

Freddy remembered seeing the reaction by many of the more conservative elements of society to news reports of Ria’s efforts to reach out to groups who had been historically marginalized, Jews and Gypsies most notably. She had explained to Freddy how both those groups had been key in the fight to gain independence from Poland. Their appreciation for the freedoms granted to them by the State Constitution of Galicia-Ruthenia made them among her closest allies. There were also vast numbers of ethnic Germans, Poles, and Russians living there. Freddy had no idea how Ria was able to keep all of them pulling in the same direction. Freddy’s understanding was that Krakow was sort of an odd place to be these days.

Victoria had taken to her role as the Consort of the Crown Prince of Bavaria like a duck to water. Frequently seen in public functions alongside her father-in-law. Recently, it was announced that she was expecting her second child with Prince Franz of Bavaria and the hidebound people of Bavaria were delighted. No one had caught on to the fact that her Courtly appointed friend and companion Anna Muller was Vicky’s real romantic partner this whole time. Freddy just hoped that Vicky, Anna, and Franz could keep that charade until historians pondered it a century or so from now.

Antonia and Annett were probably going to cause some major headaches in the coming years. For the moment though, they were more interested in what they would be doing over the Summer Holiday than any other consideration.

Finally, there was Freddy’s oldest sister Kristina, Princess Royal of Germany and currently on Maternity Leave from the Medical Service. Recently, Kiki had found another way to cause trouble that had amazed both Freddy and his father when they had last talked earlier that day. It seemed that Kiki’s interest in boating had led her to become involved with the movement to open up Germany’s rivers and canal system for more recreational use. And while no one was talking eliminating the licensing or skill requirements, Kiki had mentioned that there needed to be a better way to go about doing that. The movement was also pushing for the restoration of historical canal systems that had been abandoned or had fallen into disuse. There were communities along those parts of the system who saw expanded recreational use as economic salvation because they had been bypassed by commercial use, becoming victims of the economy of scale. The barges that were pushed or towed up the rivers only stopped in places where it made economic sense.

The it was the same economics also drove the shipping companies’ interest in not having competing river traffic to contend with. They were concerned that congestion might cause expensive delays. Kiki had nodded in agreement, she understood that much. Then Freddy had mentioned some things that she had not considered. While the infrastructure of the canal system was owned by the State, the majority shareholders in most of the large shipping companies were names she might be familiar with such as Hohenzollern, Wittelsbach, Württemberg, Zähringen, among others.

In shipping, the margins were often slight. At the same time, there existed the opportunity to have big payoffs for those able to play the long game. Many of the companies had existed in some form since the canals had been established far further back than most people realized. Few had been better positioned to be institutional investors than the various Royal Houses of the German States.

Into this was the fragmented structure that was a relic of how what had become the German Empire had been a collection of dozens of independent nations just a century earlier. It was something that had bedeviled Lawmakers to no end, how everything from formal treaties to gentlemen’s agreements from centuries earlier often that had the backing of the Law, not to mention the absurdly detailed leasing agreements that were commonplace before the modern era. As a Lawyer, Freddy had specialized in Contract Law, it was an evergreen field if there ever was one. What Freddy had tried to explain to Kiki was that many of her ideas for reforming the system might even require a special act in the Reichstag and the resulting debate could open a can of worms that no one wanted to deal with.
 
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The repair and reopening of the abandoned canals for recreational purposes is a good thing for commercial companies as it will minimize recreational use on the heavier used main waterway systems and this is where Freddy can work behind the scenes to get a compromise solution that will benefit everyone in the long term.
Imagine the Imperial Family Barge going to one of these waterfront towns that was on a previously abandoned canal and dedicating the opening of the new docks and waterfront district and how much a boost that is to the town.
Freddy should learn about the history of his office in Potsdam and how each of the previous Kings of Prussia and Kaisers of the German Empire put their own stamp on the office and he is going to add to it and if he should also talked to his dad about it he will find out that his dad had almost the exact same experience that he is going through.
No surprise about Albrecht of Bavaria being close to Vicky as she gave him a healthy grandson to carry on the Dynasty and her having a second child is only going to make them grow closer.
 
Part 123, Chapter 2068
Chapter Two Thousand Sixty-Eight



27th June 1971

Los Angeles, California

“You have a nicer grill than I do” Mike said as he had insisted this cookout occur at Ritchie’s house. “Besides that, you might get lost in the Baldwin hills again.”

The incident that Mike was referring to had occurred when Mike’s wife Clair had invited Ritchie and Lucia to their place in Crenshaw for a dinner party. To get to know just who their respective husbands worked with every day. It had been far from the portions of the city that Ritchie was familiar with and first he had gotten lost. Then he had to walk in embarrassingly late seeing that the food was already on the table, and that everyone was waiting on them.

Today was something of a celebration of life going back to some semblance of normality after weeks of Ritchie and Big Mike being in the spotlight. The Department had pulled them off the street and Ritchie had found himself working in the warehouse where seized firearms were stored until their value as evidence had passed. Then rifles and shotguns were cut in half through the receiver while handguns were placed in a hydraulic press and crushed flat. Then they were sent off to the foundry. Among them had been an M2 50 cal. Machinegun and the U.S. Army was particularly interested in learning just how it had ended up in the house of a drug dealer in West Hollywood. The thinking had been that because Ritchie was former Special Forces and was a Sergeant in the California Guard, he would know how to talk to the Army Investigators. Little did they know that Ritchie had spent his entire career in the Army trying to avoid the attention of the Criminal Investigation Division. The thinking was that if you were even talking to them, you were already sort of fucked. Finding himself walking two surly Warrant Officers through the investigation that RHD had conducted had not been a fun experience.

In the background the events at Roosevelt Highschool continued to rumble on. Unknown to Ritchie, he had caught one of the bullets fired at his squad car as it had pulled into the parking lot. The Panzerweste had absorbed the hit, probably saving him from serious injury. Mike had seen it but had not said anything to Ritchie at the time, half amazed that he had walked away from that and was grabbing his rifle from the trunk of the car. The Department Brass had pointedly asked Ritchie a lot of questions about the matter.

Just how had he come to be wearing a nonissue piece of kit, and while it was permissible for an Officer to wear a bulletproof vest, one that was normally issued to the Police in a foreign country wasn’t what they had had in mind. The German company that had made it was extremely interested in what had happened and had asked the Department for the after-action report, photographs, and had even sent Ritchie a new Flak vest. Jokes had flown around the Department about how if someone were crazy enough to shoot him, they would just make him mad. Bill Wilkinson had once told him how reputations tend to build up over time. There were worse things than being known for being tough as nails. There was also talk about how he had put three shots from a Stoner Rifle into the shooter and the perp had somehow lived. The Captain in his Precinct had told Ritchie that he was disappointed, and that he clearly needed more time on the range. Ritchie had just shrugged that off. It was clearly said in jest, and he was actually glad that he didn’t have a death on his conscience.

Lucia had looked at the whole situation in wry amusement. She was a bit put out that he had been in a dangerous situation but accepted that it was a part of his job. Both of them had spent the summers of their childhood working on the farms of Central Valley where serious injuries were a part of life. Lucia knew that with the Police, injury was the exception, not the rule. She had also observed that if they ever had a girl, they would probably need to name her Cristina after this. This wasn’t the first time that she had dropped a hint like that. With things going so well, perhaps it was time to withdraw the Goalie. Watching Mike’s kids, the unholy terrors that they were run around the house made clear the implications of that. Just the thought made Ritchie want something stronger than the beer that he and Mike were drinking on the back porch as Mike worked the barbecue.

“So, the kids are going to Oakland to stay with their aunt, while me and Clair go on our second honeymoon” Mike was saying, “Santa Catalina at a four-star resort.”

“For real?” Ritchie asked.

“I understand that it is romantic, and it being out on an island the kids won’t be calling every five minutes.”

“Being a hero has worked out for you” Ritchie said.

“I’d say that there is plenty of that going around” Mike said, “I understand that you had the Governor on the phone?”

“Yeah” Ritchie replied, “He wanted to know if I needed anything.”

Both Ritchie and Mike had been credited with saving possibly hundreds of lives and bringing the perp to Justice. Word was that they were up for the prestigious Medal of Valor at the next presentation ceremony in a few months. It was the sort of thing that caught people’s attention.

“You know that Nixon is running for President next year?” Mike asked, “He may have been offering you a golden ticket, thought of that.”

“I don’t know why he would” Ritchie replied.

“Demographics” Mike said, “That’s why. The Republicans are making a big play for the Peckerwood vote and having a hero with your name and complexion at his side would go a long way towards helping him lock up the Latino vote in California and Texas to counter that.”

“Suddenly you are an expert on politics?” Ritchie asked.

“Comes with the territory” Mike replied, “And do you know what happens to those who a sitting President owes a favor to?”

Ritchie had not thought of any of that.
 
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I am so looking forward to this Nixon.

That said, Ritchie is only 31 in 1972, be a decent amount of grooming for him if he is noticed by Politicians like this. Especially as a latino.
 
I love how Nixon is going run as a champion of civil rights and law and order, he going to point to his time working at the ACLU while being tough on violent crimes as the Governor of California but if anyone can pull that off it is going to be the ITTL Nixon who doesn't have the resentments and paranoia that the IOTL Nixon did.
I still think if the GOP show signs of going hard to the right President Rockefeller will run for a third term in order to save his "Legacy".
 
Part 123, Chapter 2069
Chapter Two Thousand Sixty-Nine



5th July 1971

Kiel

The city of Kiel just after the annual weeklong People’s festival felt like a balloon with a small puncture letting the air slowly escape. Kiki and Ben had arrived here with no fanfare after spending the prior weeks at Hohenzollern Castle. Because Ben was going to be teaching Air Combat Tactics that autumn, an Aide had been appointed to assist him and that was something that Ben was still trying to get used to. Bram meant well and earnestly tried to do his best, but at the age of sixteen he had almost never set foot outside of Ballenstedt where his grandfather had insisted upon him receiving a military education. So, everything was a new experience for the boy. Music, literature, food, you name it, Bram had never experienced it outside of the narrow confines of his education. Suddenly finding himself in the center of Berlin was an entirely new education and Ben had a few doubts as to if he would survive the experience, especially when he learned the hard way about Kiki’s preferences regarding Mexican Cuisine.

There was also the aspect of Ben now being a Markgraf as well as the Consort of the Princess of Hohenzollern that Ben had not considered, and the selection had been of someone who was felt to be a good match for a man of his station. Bram was the grandson of the Duke of Anhalt. It seemed that Duke Joachim had not been pleased with Bram’s mother, who had divorced years earlier and causing something of a scandal. That had been when Bram’s grandfather had taken firm control over his life.

Still, Bram was good at keeping Ben’s schedule straight and probably for the first time ever, Ben’s dress uniform didn’t look like it had been ironed by a gorilla. All the little bits of military etiquette that Ben had never needed to worry too much about as a Reserve Officer had suddenly become a huge deal in his new role, Bram had lived and breathed that stuff since about the time he could walk. That had been useful. He also wasn’t overawed by the presence of Kiki as some people were.

The trouble was that the presence of Bram was one more person in the ever-growing Staff that surrounded Ben and Kiki. While that presented no problems on land, the Meta was too small to accommodate so many people. Ben remembered how the Meta had seemed huge when it had just been Kiki living on the barge when it was moored behind the Imperial War Museum. He had learned how small it truly was when it had been packed full of people and every berth had someone sleeping in it. Kiki said that the bench seat in the wheelhouse could be slept on, but whoever was up there had better get used to the idea of not having any privacy.

Ben had come to understand Kiki’s love for boating. On the canals and rivers, one was forced to slow down. Everything moved at its own rhythm from the seasons to the waterways themselves and it wasn’t the frenetic pace that defined modern life. Kiki had hoped that she would achieve the same sort of thing in her cottage in Plänterwald, but the world had not allowed her to do that yet, it seemed. The alternative that Kiki mentioned involved pulling up the drawbridge at Hohenzollern Castle and only lowering it for those she knew wouldn’t have expectations of her.

That was why they were in Kiel at the HDW Shipyards. To look at a hull of a barge similar to the one that would become the ML Epione when it was completed next year. Or would it be the SMS Epione? The Medical Service was talking about having it be considered an Auxiliary Hospital Ship, a use that similar barges were put to historically. Kiki was less than thrilled with the Medical Service elbowing its way into what she considered her personal affairs. However, her brother had pointed out that it was a purely symbolic action and when, not if, she got involved in a disaster of some sort, it would cut through a lot of the red tape she might otherwise encounter.

Looking at the cavernous hull, Ben was sure that this represented a huge change. At thirty-eight and a half meters in length and a touch over five meters in width, the Epione would easily be twice the size of the Meta. Where this hull would be left open to haul moderately sized cargo, the Epione would be subdivided into cabins, have a full galley, and living spaces.

“We can change the plans and build to suit your needs, if you have any changes that you want made” The Representative from HDW said, as they looked down from the gantry at the small army of workers completing the superstructure, the wheelhouse and crew accommodation, on the far aft end of the hull. After a decade with the Meta, Kiki had a lot of ideas about things that could be improved upon and had discussed them at length with the Architects when she had been taking bids from the various builders. Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft had been the ones who had been most receptive to Kiki’s suggestions and that had won them the job. Ben doubted that Kiki would request any further changes now that she had settled on that. Still, it was good that they were asking.
 
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Freddy’s father had warned him that while his sisters were mostly apolitical, it was a term that held a lot of different meanings. A hurricane could also be considered apolitical, which was cold comfort if your house happened to be in the path of the storm.
Or UXBs. Just sitting there. Waiting for someone or something to set them off.
These days, Ria was the Queen of Galicia-Ruthenia and most of the trouble she was caused was within the borders of that Kingdom. There was the widespread, and somewhat ironic, belief that Ria was a lesbian, Ria keeping her hair cut short and her preference for men’s suits tailored to fit her didn’t help matters. There was also Rea’s wholehearted embrace of the many ethnicities who lived within Galicia. For those reasons she had emerged as a controversial figure.
UXB the 1st aka Rea (faux outrage to her confused cabinet): "What?! What do you mean 'I'M a lesbian'? Why is this the first time I'm hearing of this? WHY did NONE of you tell me that that I was a lesbian?"
Finance Minister: "We... ah... thought you already knew?"
Rea: "I DID NOT!! Here I am, having lustful thoughts over all sorts of delicious himbos, and you lot up and tell me I'm supposed to be lusting after the chambermaid?"
Prime Minister: "You mean... you're not? But we assumed that... Shit."
Rea: "You assumed. Because I like short hair and practical clothing WITH POCKETS!?! What is wrong with you? If I put a leash on a duck, would you think it was a dog? No. You wouldn't. So stop making assumptions."
Interior Minister: "So... you're NOT a lesbian?"
Rea: "That is none of your business. Is. That. Clear?"
Victoria had taken to her role as the Consort of the Crown Prince of Bavaria like a duck to water. Frequently seen in public functions alongside her father-in-law. Recently, it was announced that she was expecting her second child with Prince Franz of Bavaria and the hidebound people of Bavaria were delighted. No one had caught on to the fact that her Courtly appointed friend and companion Anna Muller was Vicky’s real romantic partner this whole time. Freddy just hoped that Vicky, Anna, and Franz could keep that charade until historians pondered it a century or so from now.
UXB the 2nd aka Vicky: "Well, now that the children are all grown up, and dear Franz passed away last year, Anna and I have decided that we just can't keep it a secret any longer. We are in love and have been for decades."
Reporter: "Wait. Your gay? Like your twin sister?"
Vicky (as Anna starts to laugh): "Oh, Rea isn't gay. Never has been. She just loves screwing with bigots."
Antonia and Annett were probably going to cause some major headaches in the coming years. For the moment though, they were more interested in what they would be doing over the Summer Holiday than any other consideration.
UXB the 3rd & 4th aka Antonia & Annette: "We did nothing wrong!"
Louis (former Kaiser): "You were caught in the boys camp with a bottle of scotch whiskey!"

Finally, there was Freddy’s oldest sister Kristina, Princess Royal of Germany and currently on Maternity Leave from the Medical Service. Recently, Kiki had found another way to cause trouble that had amazed both Freddy and his father when they had last talked earlier that day. It seemed that Kiki’s interest in boating had led her to become involved with the movement to open up Germany’s rivers and canal system for more recreational use.
UXB the 5th aka Kiki: "I just think that the recreational boaters need to taken into account when discussing access to the waterways of the empire."
Other vested interests (watching Kiki as they would an iceberg or un-moored sea-mine that has drifted into a major shipping channel): "Its... complicated."
Kiki: "Why?"
Into this was the fragmented structure that was a relic of how what had become the German Empire had been a collection of dozens of independent nations just a century earlier. It was something that had bedeviled Lawmakers to no end, how everything from formal treaties to gentlemen’s agreements from centuries earlier often that had the backing of the Law, not to mention the absurdly detailed leasing agreements that were commonplace before the modern era. As a Lawyer, Freddy had specialized in Contract Law, it was an evergreen field if there ever was one. What Freddy had tried to explain to Kiki was that many of her ideas for reforming the system might even require a special act in the Reichstag and the resulting debate could open a can of worms that no one wanted to deal with.
And the Holy Roman Empire is back! Well, its legal precedents, at least.
In the background the events at Roosevelt Highschool continued to rumble on. Unknown to Ritchie, he had caught one of the bullets fired at his squad car as it had pulled into the parking lot. The Panzerweste had absorbed the hit, probably saving him from serious injury. Mike had seen it but had not said anything to Ritchie at the time, half amazed that he had walked away from that and was grabbing his rifle from the trunk of the car. The Department Brass had pointedly asked Ritchie a lot of questions about the matter.
Called it.
 
And the Holy Roman Empire is back! Well, its legal precedents, at least.
Sadly my German legal expert is no longer on this site, but I'd happily put money on the fact that its legal precedents are still with us today, after the dissolution of the HRE, the unification of Germany, WW1, WW2, Disunification of Germany, Reunification of Germany 2 (Now with less Prussia!) and the EU.

It is not for nothing that the Germans have a stereotype of being fastidious when it comes to rules and laws.
 
Sadly my German legal expert is no longer on this site, but I'd happily put money on the fact that its legal precedents are still with us today, after the dissolution of the HRE, the unification of Germany, WW1, WW2, Disunification of Germany, Reunification of Germany 2 (Now with less Prussia!) and the EU.

It is not for nothing that the Germans have a stereotype of being fastidious when it comes to rules and laws.
You forgot the Reunification Betatest (with Saarland 1935) and Reunification Betatest 2 (with Saarland again, 1956).

Whatever precedents Saarland stole from the French is probably still with us, too.
 
You forgot the Reunification Betatest (with Saarland 1935) and Reunification Betatest 2 (with Saarland again, 1956).

Whatever precedents Saarland stole from the French is probably still with us, too.
It's the Saarland, they are an outlier and should never be counted :p

But yeah, probably some French laws kicking about too.
 
I think that French laws might be a bit more influentual than only in the Saarland. The Code Napoleon was quite influential in its time, after all.
 
Opportunities abound in this last update, first off the German company that made the vest should start thinking about buying an American company to make their vests and gets some retired police officers to talk "Cop" with the various law enforcement agencies on how it is much cheaper to buy vests for their personnel then to pay for hospitalization, rehabilitation, disability pensions, and survivor benefits.
Kiki should also start some quiet lobbying on her part and take some of the more influential people involved in the use of the waterways on her new boat and show how the smaller towns and villages are suffering because that newer canal that has cut time and distance between Point A and Point Z has bypassed them can show that restoring the older waterways for recreational purposes can help them.
Kat after her successes with the Templehof and Teagel redevelopments should also had some of the planners branch and starting their own companies that she is an investor in and start selling plans to the various towns and villages on redeveloping their waterfront for recreational traffic like taking a disused warehouse and turning it in to a Farmers Market that sells fresh food and take and heat items to the boaters, overnight docking areas with electrical and water hookups and waste pumping stations.
Once again Kiki should use the Meta as her support boat and Palace Security should also start thinking about either leasing or buying boats for their use in providing security for their protectees.
 
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