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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: March 24, 2015, 06:21:41 pm
The Danish SDs should be euthanized.

I'm so glad when we agree on something 100%  ^^

The thing is that at this point it is basically an advantage for Danish politicians (outside of Radikale and the left wing) to be criticized by Swedes on immigration and integration.

Well it's a door that swings both ways. V and S aren't running these ads because they think it will affect the Danish Social Democrats or Danish opinion, they're using it to win political points at home, as Denmark is often seen as the worst example to what will happen if we give in to demands for stronger restrictions for immigrants.  Them criticizing SD because this ad might help SD, but it also helps themselves here at home by energizing their grassroots.   

2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: LOLGreece - Part 1268 on: March 18, 2015, 05:49:27 am
Antonio has been disappointed by every new centre-left government in western Europe and North America for as long as I've been on the forum, so I think it is only fair to give him another fifty days to hold out hope for this government.


On the topic, it's of course greatly scandalous that Samaras' government did nothing to retrieve these tax evaders, and if the current government continue to follow in their footsteps they've really relinquished the one thing were I actually though they could make an improvement.   

But it's still early in their term so lets see what they do on the matter in the upcoming months. Still one would hope that this, and not war reparations (Roll Eyes) would be a more pressing priority. 

 
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: March 15, 2015, 04:59:33 pm
While it seems morally correct to scrap this deal, the handling of our foreign policy is beginning to worry me. They seem to have no idea what they're doing.

I think the plan is quite clear: grow a backbone and push the international Overton window as much as possible on important issues.

Foreign policy is complicated. There are lots of countries that Sweden has trade and diplomatic ties with that are terrible and that we should and have criticized. The government might be incompetent on most counts, but this blow-up with the Saudi's isn't really the government's fault at all. I'm willing to give the them the benefit of the doubt.

I also think it was right and brave of Wallström to call Saudi law medieval, because it is.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greece threatens open Western Europe for jihadists, confiscating German property on: March 12, 2015, 06:04:18 am
Desperation is a sign of imminent defeat, no?
I'd really like to see Kammenos trying to sell open boarders and mass immigration to his xenophobic voters. Tongue

I actually thought Tsipras would be a somewhat sensible and pragmatic player on the political stage and maybe even manage to cobble together some sort of compromise with the Troika. As it is now he is just ramming his dick into a wall, and the wall is obviously winning. The tragedy being that when it all comes falling down, it will once again be the Greek people who will pay the price of their politicians incompetence.

   
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: March 08, 2015, 03:06:10 am
The Saudi offer is a bit of a surprise since Saudi-Arabia hitherto has supported the rival Menningarsetur múslima á Íslandi, which were expelled from Félag múslima á Íslandi a couple of years ago for extremism and fanaticism.

Why is it a surprise?  A classic way of controlling people is to get them dependent upon your money and then threaten to cut it off unless you do what they want.

The Icelandic press thinks it is a surprise, probably because they don't have your devious Southern mind.

I would add that Saudi-Arabia trying to buy influence in something as marginal as Iceland is in itself surprising.

They don't care about Iceland, but about Iceland's Muslims.  Wahhabism seeks to convert all heretic Muslims to the true faith.

All five of the icelandic muslims? :0
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which show is a more accurate representation of the US political system? on: March 04, 2015, 01:46:15 pm
They're both equally laughable in the opposite directions.

^This^

The nauseating idealism and hackishness of the West Wing and the dark cynicism of House of Cards are equally unrealistic. The best tv-series to get a real sense of politics is Borgen, which doesn't really apply to the American political system.

How exactly is Borgen any less idealistic than West Wing?

I could make a long list, but to name a few examples, Nyborg is constantly struggling with her popularity numbers (which for most of the series are implied to be bad), often has to compromise with her principles and ideals, alienate several friends and her husbands because of her job and ultimately, in the end, looses reelection and only gets to come back as a junior partner in the least worst of two bad coalition alternatives. She also has to be manipulating and conniving at times to outsmart people like Laugusen who belong more in House of Cards than anywhere else. 
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which show is a more accurate representation of the US political system? on: March 04, 2015, 12:34:09 pm
They're both equally laughable in the opposite directions.

^This^

The nauseating idealism and hackishness of the West Wing and the dark cynicism of House of Cards are equally unrealistic. The best tv-series to get a real sense of politics is Borgen, which doesn't really apply to the American political system.

Veep is the correct answer.

Yeah it's certainly a better representation than both WW and HoC

 
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: March 04, 2015, 12:23:42 pm
Wasn't this because the favoured candidates stepped aside?

Actually I think it was because Alf Svensson told the election committee that he wanted it that way. Tongue
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: March 04, 2015, 05:31:39 am
Big news today also as Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson came out and said that the government would be looking to abolish the current 1% budget surplus goal and replace it with a simple balanced budget goal.

This came not a second too late in my opinion since as many economists, Confed. of Swedish Enterprise, all major trade unions, etc. have said, the surplus goal is really no longer needed when we have a relatively low national debt of 30-40% compared to the 80% we had in the early 90s. Besides, we haven't run a budget surplus for several years and for the sake of all honesty none of the parties would've ran on billions and billions of austerity cuts and tax hikes in the next election just to reach the 1% surplus goal. Better to set the goal of a balanced budget now instead so we won't have to see lots of empty talk about reaching the 1% surplus in the coming years when in reality there's no true political will to do so.

What are you talking about!? :O

Don't you know that the barns are empty, debt is running crazy because of the neoliberal tax cuts, and the economy is in shambles because the Alliance mismanaged the economy for the last eight years!!!

Or did the new government magically fix all those problems in the last few months? Tongue
I have to say, despite not being able to pass a budget or any major legislation through parliament, the Social Democrats sure are an effective bunch at fixing things. Roll Eyes   

10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: March 03, 2015, 06:41:37 am
Cmon Johan, you are the one that wanted a separate Sweden thread. No need to answer him here.

Yes, but since Gustaf posted it here I assumed he'd be more likely to see my reply here. Wink


And, yeah, by Swedish standards I think she is. I've seen her speak live and was relatively impressed.

Well we'll have to disagree then I guess.

I'll admit that I'm basing my impression of her mostly from the documentary series Kommunpampar, were I really thought she came across as a stiff and cold careerist. But I've seen here preform decently in debates about affermative action since then, but not enough that I'd qualify her as charismatic.   
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: March 02, 2015, 04:36:17 pm
Busch is the charismatic leader of KD in Uppsala. 

Really... ?I will have to disagree with you here Gustaf.  If Busch seemed any more cold she'd be the ice queen from Narnia. Busch might be charismatic for KD, but really, that's not saying much.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Behold: The Troll on: February 25, 2015, 06:56:53 pm
Instead of banning him, why don't all of us "fairies" send him lots of flirtatious PMs? I'd reckon he'd either be so disturbed he'd leave on his own or come to terms with his own internal repressed homosexuality and become a better person.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Denmark Parliamentary Election 2015 on: February 25, 2015, 07:17:50 am
If Alternativet receives 1,9% (under the 2% threshold for parliamentary representation) of the votes in the election, their votes would indirectly benefit the Danish Peoples party and the blue bloc just as the Feminist Initiative party indirectly benefited the Sweden Democrats by only receiving 3,1% (which was under the 4% threshold in Sweden). Morten Messerschmidt of the DPP and Simon Emil Amitzböll of the Liberal Alliance encouraged their followers on Facebook and Twitter to help Alternativet get on the ballots.

Not going to happen. Uffe Elbæk is no Gudrun Schyman.

It should also be noted that Feminist Initiative had eight years in the wilderness before actually going somewhere, and their first two elections they didn't come close to hitting 1% even with Schyman at the steering wheel. So I agree with politicus on this matter. Tongue
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: War is coming on: February 18, 2015, 09:34:55 am
Guys, im concerned about this.  Alex Jones and Jesse Ventura say its gonna happen!

And the little credibility this discussion had just went flying out of the window.
15  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Antifascism amendment on: February 11, 2015, 04:16:03 pm
 
The modern "Fascist" is essentially defined as anyone you dislike politically, so yeah...I am sure this would work great.
Bandit is a noted fascist, of course.

Banning people from holding office on a purely subjective political ground is actually quite Fascist. I therefor conclude that Sanchez is right, and Bandit is in fact a terrible Fascist (if not a Fascist commie even).
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 09, 2015, 11:27:01 am
To put this in perspective, in the US, which has a functioning internal labour market, little welfare, much more homogeneity economically AND a common language and culture, the richer states still pay roughly the equivalent of the largest Greek bailout from Germany. Every year. As a constant state of affairs, more or less. That's what monetary union is. Once people realize this they might also realize how ridiculous it is to try and sustain this nonsense.

So you also support disbanding the US? Tongue

Why not? We could use its disbanding to solve the Greek crisis. I see the Transatlantic Kingdom of Greecissippi in fron of me right now. Tongue 
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 05:36:01 pm
Gut feelings don't make for sound policy, though. And yes, if the alternative is between spending money you don't have and depriving your citizens of the most basic services, cutting their wages to 3rd world levels and letting them sink into absolute destitution, the first option is preferable. Besides the fact that austerity is inhumane, it doesn't even work for the narrow goal that has always been set for it, as it ends up causing a depression that makes the debt even worse. To cling to this idea just because your guts tell you it's right is not only immoral, it's stupid even by a strictly economic standpoint.

What exactly is morality if not gut feelings, Antonio? Is there a scientific calculation for what counts as good moral? I fail to see how one gut feeling is more correct than another.

My point still stands true. The anti-austerity crowd on here can't present a single option except to keep giving money to them, and hope they do the right thing. Then what? Call that a strawman if you want, but then also present what your alternative line of action is.

If a government can be as populist as it pleases, promising everything to everyone without considering if they can actually afford it, and be allowed to run the country into the ground with-out any consequences, because someone will always be there to bail you out, eventually there will be no one left who can bail out, and we will all  eventually sink into absolute destitution.

Thankfully over thousands of years humanity has been able to conceive moral principles slightly more articulate and sound than those based on gut feelings. It's a shame you appear to be stuck in this primary state.

I don't need to present a fully fleshed alternative (though many brilliant economists have, SWL is right that you should check out Piketty), because austerity is objectively worse than any of the conceivable alternatives from any perspective. Since you seem so concerned about Greece reforming itself, you should be the one coming up with a reasonable solution to achieve this goal. Because austerity hasn't achieved that outcome.

Oh baloney! There is no such thing as a universal set of moral principles conceived through-out human history. If you want me to believe that you consciously deliberate on philosophical principles and different theories through-out history when you're deciding if you think something is right or wrong, you must take me for a simpleton. You go by the gut, you just think your own gut is more correct than everybody else.

As to what I think should be done, firstly I believe Greece should try to arrange a manageable walk away from the Euro. Greece needs to be able to control their own monetary policies so that they can change it to suit the situation in the country.  Then they should devalue their currency so that Greek export become cheap and thereby increase the appeal for Greek products, and make tourism cheap, hopefully giving a kick-start to the economy. After that they should do a tax-review where they come up with an effective tax system, and a plan on how they manage to collect that tax-revenue from tax evaders. Then they should adjust their expenditures to that, prioritizing healthcare, education, police and justice, and infrastructure, cutting everything else that cannot be properly financed.   
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 04:36:24 pm
Gut feelings don't make for sound policy, though. And yes, if the alternative is between spending money you don't have and depriving your citizens of the most basic services, cutting their wages to 3rd world levels and letting them sink into absolute destitution, the first option is preferable. Besides the fact that austerity is inhumane, it doesn't even work for the narrow goal that has always been set for it, as it ends up causing a depression that makes the debt even worse. To cling to this idea just because your guts tell you it's right is not only immoral, it's stupid even by a strictly economic standpoint.

What exactly is morality if not gut feelings, Antonio? Is there a scientific calculation for what counts as good moral? I fail to see how one gut feeling is more correct than another.

My point still stands true. The anti-austerity crowd on here can't present a single option except to keep giving money to them, and hope they do the right thing. Then what? Call that a strawman if you want, but then also present what your alternative line of action is.

If a government can be as populist as it pleases, promising everything to everyone without considering if they can actually afford it, and be allowed to run the country into the ground with-out any consequences, because someone will always be there to bail you out, eventually there will be no one left who can bail out, and we will all  eventually sink into absolute destitution. 


The problem with the anti-austerity camp is that so far I've never seen anyone of you present any options to the current policy.
Piketty for example defends a progressive one-time tax on private capital, or failing that, inflation.

I'm not sure how a one-time tax on capital would be implemented, but if someone tries and succeed, bless their soul. Inflation, or rather devaluation, has always been the best option, but it requires that Greece leaves the Euro. Which it of course might very well do in near future.   



 

 
19  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:53 am
This is all well and good, but you still have to explain how austerity has helped Greece "reconstruct itself, so that it can eventually stand on its own feet". In fact, it has achieved the exact opposite! Even Greek debt is bigger now than when the crisis began!

So I'm not an economist and I can't tell for sure which policies are going to work in solving Greece's economic problems (although cracking down on corruption and tax evasion, which is what Tsipras has vowed to do, certainly can help a lot), but anyone can easily tell which policies haven't worked.

You guys are hilarious, trying to defend failed policies through strawmen of other policies nobody has argued for.

Now who is using strawmen? I'm certainly not defending Samaras or his policies, or holding him up as an example to be followed, and I don't really see anyone else doing so either. It is clear that tax evasion and corruption are two big issues that need to be handled for Greece to get back up. Obviously you have to have an income. If you collect no money it doesn't really matter how much you cut your spending, we all now that. New Democracy's failure to tackle those problems is a failure indeed, and I don't mourn their passing one bit.

I do hope that Tsipras will follow through and try his best to accomplish something on both tax evasion and corruption. But what if he doesn't? What if his government just raises the spending limit and don't actually do something to collect more revenue? Do you still think they should be handed money unconditionally? That is the central question. The Greek state will never reform, if they know that they can just carry on as always and just get saved by Northern Europe. The money they get need to be conditioned.   

You see I don't like austerity because I believe the Greeks need to be punished, or because I think it is a useful lesson for them. But what I do believe, and what I feel very strongly in my gut, is that you don't get to spend money you don't have, and then expect someone else to come and pick up the tab for you. That is why there is a need both to curve spending and to raise income by collecting tax revenue. If that is your goal, people should help you get there, but not if you intend to sail by.

The problem with the anti-austerity camp is that so far I've never seen anyone of you present any options to the current policy. Do you want to keep pouring money into Greece indefinably with-out any sort of counter requirements?

Do you mean people on this forum? There are competent and more skilled people out there proposing other alternatives. Another question is that you can agree or not with one proposal or another. Personally, I don't believe that the solution is pouring money indefinitely in exchange for nothing. Varoufakis seems to be in the same opinion, since he says that Greece doesn't need more "doses of dope" (loans) to pronlong its agony. My impression is that he is saying that Greece needs some air to breathe, as well as he's willing to undertake reforms in his country. On the other hand, it's easy to check (even for non-experts) that austerity has been extremely costly (both socially and economically), aside an utter failure.

I generally meant people on this forum yes.
As I said, I believe we should help Greece out, but only if they themselves help them out. Now I'm not saying that should happen with spending cuts only, major structural reform is needed much more. But that doesn't mean the Troika and Germany is wrong for giving the  Greece conditions for their loans, that just means their conditions are wrong, and that I'm willing to concede, but that doesn't mean that Greece should all of a sudden be given a Get Out of Debt Free Card, it just means that the conditions should be renegociated.       
   

       
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 09:57:19 am
You're right, it's not a Scandinavian thing. All the North European countries (even France, to some degree) have the same smug attitude and feel entitled to educate those lazy southerners about how to best manage their economy.

Well that is because those countries are actually able to manage their economies...

The problem with the anti-austerity camp is that so far I've never seen anyone of you present any options to the current policy. Do you want to keep pouring money into Greece indefinably with-out any sort of counter requirements?

That is like giving money to someone who has gambled away all their money in Vegas, that will just gamble away the money once you give it to them. It's not social justice, it's idiocy.

It's not that we shouldn't help those who are in a weaker position economically than we are, indeed I believe strongly that we must help them. But the help should be in order to reconstruct them, so that they eventually can stand on their own feet, and in order for that to happen they must do what they themselves are able to do to achieve that goal. It's all really simple, and can be applied to individual citizens, as well as countries.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: January 29, 2015, 08:03:13 am
Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund announced today that he would step down as party leader at an extra congress to be held in the spring. Somewhat expected, although his departure has pretty much been speculated on at various times through the past five years or so. It did however take some attention away from the Liberals' Jan Björklund who has really been exposed to the majority of the resignation speculations in the past two weeks or so. 

Göran Häglund is one of Sweden's most likable politicians in one of its least likable parties, which is of course why he has survived all these years despite the awful awful polling numbers through-out his tenure. I have to say I really didn't expect him to go this soon, maybe in 2016 or 2017, but definable not now.

Jan Björklund on the other hand became a huge liability for his party a long time ago and he becomes worse for every passing day. I would expect him to survive until the summer though, as FP is scheduled to have a party conference this autumn, and there is no reason to have an early conference just to sack Björklund a few months in advance.   
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 08:37:04 am
Hard to see these guys just bow their heads and adapt to a Syriza-Anel alliance. They got 30% at the founding congress in Syriza.

We should not forget the possibility that it'll be ANEL, and not the SYRIZA left-wing that gets the short stick in this agreement. I think it's much more possible that Syriza runs over ANEL with left-wing policies, that will cause ANEL to rebel, than it is that they take a huge leap to the centre thereby annihilating their own caucus.

I have so far never heard of a coalition government where the dominant party didn't get to decide 90-95% of the policies leaving just crumbs to their partners, so I don't see why SYRIZA would actually give ANEL any meaningful influence on the new governments policy.   
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 07:04:36 am
Tsipras will break the tradition by not being sworn in by the head of Greece’s orthodox church, Archbishop Ieronymos.

Pissing off ANEL before he even gets started? Tongue
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 06:22:27 am
Well, the problem I pointed out still exists. We do not know exactly how many of the new MPs that are Left Platform, but it is about 25% of the party and they will be alienated from the start. This is going to be a trainwreck.

Also, you obviously love to say "I told you so" Wink Don't be a hypocrite.

I always assumed Syriza would be pragmatic when it came to coalition partner if they really needed a lot of seats (although I thought they would try Potami first), but not in a 148-149 scenario. This seems like an unnecessary gamble with possibly 30-40 left wingers among the MPs.

I also think Potami would have been a better choice as they are more close on matters not relating to the troika, but who still isn't tainted by the unpopularity of the current government. Syriza and Anel will obviously run into trouble agreeing on policy quite fast.

Still, I would expect Tsipras to have enough political savvy to know if this would cause mass defections from his caucus, so I don't think, initially at least, that that part will turn out to be a problem. Let's not forget that he is one of few leaders who managed to keep all his MPs through the last parliament.

(And yes, I do love it. Wink)    
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 05:56:05 am
Tsipras has promised not to enter coalition with others than KKE. If he breaks that promise he risks defections from his left wing (which will be bigger than any potential coalition partner), so it wont be worth it.

If KKE says no, and the only way to obtain a majority is through To Potami or ANEL, he will break the promise.

Bam! Hate to say I told you so... (/Yes I am an insufferable person)
He didn't even wait for KKE to say no. ^^
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