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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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4551  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Homeschooled girl in Germany taken from family on: February 27, 2007, 09:31:21 am
Personal sidenote: It's amazing how every time Germany or other European countries tends to differ from America on a specific issue (no homeschooling in Germany for example), it's either seen as a sign of "fascism", "socialism" or "communism".

We are at least trying to limit our baseless accusations towards the United States in that way that you are a people of imperialist warmongers, without permanently switching the ideology you are being accused of. Cheesy
4552  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where would you rather live on Mars? on: February 27, 2007, 08:59:30 am
Preferably at a location with a habitat unit. Wink
4553  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: BBC World reported at 4:57 PM that WTC7 had collapsed, 23 minutes before it did. on: February 27, 2007, 08:53:48 am
CONSPIRACY!!!

Jewish Communazis (in league with the IRS and the Federal Reserve) blew the WTC up!
4554  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Homeschooled girl in Germany taken from family on: February 27, 2007, 05:52:43 am
Unlike Old Europe, I actually have heard of cases like that before, though.

I was talking about the specific case. Wink



I googled it before I posted it. Here's another source:
http://www.netzwerk-bildungsfreiheit.de/html/pe_erlangen_en.html


Yes, this source is also quoted in this "article" from WorldNetDaily... actually it seems that WorldNetDaily has based its story on the information from that site and similar websites/organizations.

Frankly, I never heard about a "Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit" before. Judging from the information they give about themselves they are most likely one of those fringe evangelical pressure groups advocating homeschooling. So, it isn't exactly the most objective source either.

As Colin Wixted pointed out, you probably won't find a report about that particular case in German/European/American mainstream media (despite WorldNetDaily's claim that this case "has been in the headlines ever since the beginning of this month"... but they're probably refering to their own headlines here).

My take is that this might be based on a true story, but that the facts are highly exaggerated and distorted by these pressure groups in order to use it for their goals... and WorldNetDaily has simply adopted the point of view of those groups. Well, I guess they weren't really bothered to check whether these reports are true or not anyway.

A half-truth is always better than a lie. So take a few bits of truth and mix it with some lies and people will swallow it easier.
4555  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Homeschooled girl in Germany taken from family on: February 26, 2007, 01:41:10 pm


Is it true that attendance of public schools is mandatory in Germany.

Did I just read that right? Are private schools really illegal in Germany?

No. Tongue

In other words, I should have phrased the sentence differently.



EDIT - Longer explanation: There is a type of school in Germany officially called "Ersatzschule" ("Substitute school", "Alternative school"). Those are schools run by private and/or religious organizations who can serve, as the name implies, as an substitute for or alternative to public schools. Students may opt to receive their compulsary education at one of those schools. To achieve this, those private schools have to meet certain academic standards set by the state governments (education is an state issue, therefore the standards are set by the states; this also means that the standards differ from state to state, as do the standards for the public schools; the state ministers of education are trying to make sure that those standards differ not too much from each other through their regular conference).

If the academic standards are met, those schools are officially recognized as a "Ersatzschule". Those schools also may apply for or receive government aid, which means that they're at least partially financed through public money to some extent.

According to the numbers I've found, about 7% of all students are attending one of those schools, instead of a regular public school.
4556  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Homeschooled girl in Germany taken from family on: February 26, 2007, 11:18:13 am
The situation involving Melissa Busekros has been in the headlines ever since the beginning of this month, when the officers arrived at her parents' home with a court order allowing them to take her into custody, "if necessary by force."

Which headlines? This is the first time I hear about a case like that. Seriously.

Considering that this news site doesn't seem to be most neutral on the globe to me, I would recommend to check whether this actually happened and if it happened that it happened in the way it is decribed there.

Is it true that attendance of public schools is mandatory in Germany. It is also true that "homeschooling" is all but non-existing as a political issue. General consensus is that compulsory education is a good thing and cases where people are favoring "homeschooling" are very rare and mostly seen as a obscurity. I'm not sure if a word for "homeschooling" even exists in German language.

In particular, the frequent allusions to Hitler and Nazi Germany in this "article" were hilarious. I was laughing my ass off after reading the last two paragraphs:

Quote
"The 'Jugendamt' (youth welfare office) has its origin in the German Nazi state," the German homeschool group told WND. "German Wikipedia writes about the Jugendamt: 'In 1939 the Jugendamt [was] adopted ... as a part of government in the NS-state control of child-education. The Jugendamt controlled and observed families and children politically from their birth.'"

A spokesman for the group told WND, "Today the Jugendamt is free to take the children away from their parents when in their opinion the child's welfare is jeopardized. A false accusation of neighbors is sometimes sufficient to capture the children from their parents."


Oh, yeaaaahhh... that evil Jugendamt. Cheesy



EDIT: Ah, well, I voted "Other" in the poll... "other" in the meaning of "good, even if unintentional, satire". Wink
4557  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Presidential Election 20 April 2007 Thread on: February 24, 2007, 03:16:32 pm
IFOP poll

First round
Sarkozy 28% (-4)
Royal 28% (+2.5)
Bayrou 17%
Le Pen 11.5%

Second round
Sarkozy 50.5%
Royal 49.5%


source: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,468481,00.html (in German)
4558  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Stoiber calls Bush "President Brezhnyev" on: February 23, 2007, 02:20:37 pm
Can't you see the stunning similarities?

 
4559  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: President Forever results thread... on: February 23, 2007, 11:36:39 am
2004 as Nader with dynamism on and negative ad blitz at the end:





Kerry
PV: 39%
EV: 238

Bush
PV: 37%
EV: 242

Nader
PV: 22%
EV: 58


Election tied, Congress elected Bush
4560  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: President Forever results thread... on: February 23, 2007, 11:01:54 am
Same scenario w/ dynamism on:





Brown
PV: 44%
EV: 339

Perot
PV: 31%
EV: 181

Buchanan
PV: 24%
EV: 18
4561  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: President Forever results thread... on: February 23, 2007, 10:36:21 am
1992: Jerry Brown/Bob Kerrey vs. Pat Buchanan/Pat Robertson vs. Ross Perot/James Stockdale (me)

Dynamism off, no negative campaigning (at least from my/Perot's side)





Brown
PV: 48%
EV: 512

Buchanan
PV: 26%
EV: 8

Perot
PV: 25%
EV: 18


Closest state - Oklahoma
Brown: 33.9%
Perot: 33.3%
Buchanan: 32.7%
4562  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: President Forever results thread... on: February 23, 2007, 08:46:41 am
Well, this is certainly one of the rare occasions were D.C. and Utah were won by the same candidate. Cheesy


Carter/Mondale vs. Reagan/Rockefeller 1976 (dynamism off):



Carter
PV: 51%
EV: 367

Reagan
PV: 47%
EV: 171
4563  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: New Freedom House ratings on: February 22, 2007, 06:43:20 am
Not entirely sure why Iraq went down. Probably the result of the violence there.

To quote Freedom House: "Civil Liberties rating declined from 5 to 6 because of growing sectarian violence and insecurity."
4564  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Prodi hands in resignation on: February 22, 2007, 06:35:58 am
What is it with this Berlusconi admiration among American conservatives anyway? I mean, the guy is an asshole, plain and simple.

I probably could understand the same kind admiration towards Bertie Ahern or maybe even Anders Fogh Rasmussen. But Berlusconi???

Is it because he send troops to Iraq against domestic opposition? Great, the same thing happened in the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, among several other countries. And don't forget that Berlusconi was also guy who announced the withdrawal of the same troops from Iraq (probably to secure his own re-election... something that Blair didn't do, for example).

Or is it because he is supposed to be one of the "few true conservatives in Europe"? Well, first I would like to know who came up with the myth that Berlusconi is a "true conservative" in the first place. Maybe Bertie Ahern or Anders Rasmussen are "true conservatives". But Berlusconi is interested in only two things: money and power. As it happens it suits him to pursue quasi- or semi-conservative policies to reach these goals... at least most of the time. But that's all. Personally, he gives a sh** about the issues.

So, what is it with this Berlusconi cult?
4565  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Stoiber calls Bush "President Brezhnyev" on: February 22, 2007, 06:24:40 am
No really. I'm not making this up.

I confirm it. Wink

The mix-up probably happened because both are presidents whose last names start with a "B". That's enough for a quasi-dyslexic like Stoiber . Cheesy
4566  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Northeastern Election Booth-Feb 17th-19th on: February 17, 2007, 02:30:09 pm
Governor
[X] Write In: EarlAW

Lt. Governor
[X] Write In: Old Europe
4567  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Freedom Fighter or Horrible Person? on: February 16, 2007, 11:02:52 am
HP's
George W. Bush
Rick Santorum
Pat Toomey
Che Guevara
Kim Jong-Il
Hugo Chavez
Augusto Pinochet
Islam Karimov
Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Michael Moore
Pim Fortuyn
jfern
bandit
Ray Nagin
Pat Robertson
My old RA who bought alcohol for underage people on her floor
Rush Limbaugh

FF's
Bob Casey
Cindy Sheehan
The stripper who broke the rules and let me touch her
Al Franken


Yeah, I know, perhaps I'm bit too harsh, but there are no in-betweens allowed. Cheesy
4568  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The U.S. Standing alone on: February 16, 2007, 06:50:09 am
LOL...
4569  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Official February 2007 Federal Election VOTING BOOTH on: February 16, 2007, 06:41:03 am
For the offices of President and Vice President:

[1] Boss Tweed/Porce (ILP-NY/JCP-OR)
[2] ilikeverin/Lewis Trondheim (AMRLP-MN/IDPA-ND)
[3] afleitch/Yates (I-WI/LP-IL)
[4] Lewis Trondheim/ilikeverin (IDPA-ND/AMRLP-MN)
[5] Keystone Phil/Speed of Sound (R-PA/BP-SD)
[6] Mike Naso/Inks.LWC (R-TX/ACA-MI)


For the office of Northeast Senator:

[1] Ernest (I-DE)
[2] Conan (SLA-NJ)
4570  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Republicans and Republican-Leaning Independents Only on: February 15, 2007, 06:19:43 am
Chuck Hagel
Tommy Thompson (no, really)


Ron Paul came close too, but he's a bit too nuts for my taste. Cheesy
4571  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Who is your favorite foreign leader on: February 14, 2007, 06:28:04 am
Um, boy, dunno... national leaders tend to be horrible people, be it at home or overseas. Wink
4572  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Democrats and Democratic-Leaning Independents Only on: February 13, 2007, 07:23:13 am
Richardson
Obama
4573  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Is an anti-war candidate unelectable? on: February 11, 2007, 07:46:30 am
At this point, I think a pro-war candidate is unelectable.

^^^^
4574  Forum Community / Election and History Games / Re: President Forever results thread... on: February 10, 2007, 02:17:18 pm
WTF???


Gore/Lieberman vs. McCain/E. Dole 2000




Gore
PV: 48%
EV: 321

McCain
PV: 49%
EV: 217

Buchanan
PV: 1%
EV: 0

Nader
PV: 0%
EV: 0
4575  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Will Hillary KILL Obama? on: February 10, 2007, 10:55:47 am
The demonization of Hillary Clinton is clearly approaching a Hillarious level.
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